30
May
08

Blank page No.9

Hi all, Ahmad and Dwight are your hosts this weekend.

And I know this is a blank page, and last week I suggested to Mark and Ros that they put up a thought or two here to spur you on but was shouted down for threatening the purity of the blank page. Well, this week I have the power, so I’d just like to say thanks to you all for taking part in World Have Your Say and making the programme what it is.

I’m taking a break from the BBC so I won’t be around for a while – although if Peter in Moscow pops up occassionally you’ll know who it is…


189 Responses to “Blank page No.9”


  1. 1 Shirley
    May 30, 2008 at 20:20

    Ahmad, Dwight, I am delighted! What’s on the table?

  2. 2 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 20:24

    Hello everyone. I was just wondering, does the US government ever do anything out of the goodness of their hearts (I.E. Burma, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), or is there always some kind of hidden agenda? Just curious what others around the world thought?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  3. 3 Virginia Davis
    May 30, 2008 at 20:34

    To Ahmad and Dwight: here is my hope (prayer) for a civil week end. No insults.
    Of any of us bloggers or calling leaders “idiots.” That’s called an “ad hominen”
    argument which means attacking the speaker/writer, NOT what he/she is saying.
    Let’s all get along! Atheists, believers, agnostics….

    And remember: some humor, some just plain “good news” I know it is out there.

    Virginia in Oregon

  4. 4 Zak
    May 30, 2008 at 20:36

    Was’up all, good luck Dwight and Ahmed.

    Why can’t we all just have a nice nuclear family- right?

    Uranium is becoming a huge commodity around the world. A fascinating piece concerning a super valuable Uranium mine in Congo that’s been shut down for years but surrounding it there’s layer of Cobalt, one official described it like an onion. They’re now beefing up security but previously thieves had been stealing the Cobalt and leaving the Uranium alone. Great interest now exists to reopen the mine for Uranium.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90840964

    Some US companies are offering to take the nuclear waste of other countries and bury it in Utah with America’s own.

    Meanwhile the Navajo nation is pressing to stop the mining on their land.

    So it leads us to the notion of how sustainable nuclear power really is. And there’s of course the worries that it could get into the hands of terrorists.

  5. 5 Katharina in Ghent
    May 30, 2008 at 20:40

    Hi everyone,

    It’s so good to be back! After two long weeks of absence due to vacation and move, we’re now all settled in and I’m ready to hit the keyboard again! Lubna, habibti, how are you doing, everything all right with you? How did your exam go that you were writing about earlier this week?

    @ our american friends: I have a rather naive question: Why is the US school system so bad, or is it all just perception? I’ve heard so many bad things that I really wonder, a friend also mailed me this link the other day:

    Even if it’s over the top, it still blows your mind how they can NOT recognize Australia when they see it!

    Looking forward to another exiting Blank Page!

  6. 6 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 20:46

    @ Katharina

    Do you think they would have shown the clips of people answering the questions correctly? You can find idiots in any country. I was in Germany and I spoke to some person who thought Toronto was in the United States.

  7. 7 Zak
    May 30, 2008 at 20:49

    On the humorous side where’s Pearse with our promised audio from the Bond novela. Thanks to Hannah, Rob, Robert, Stu, Will and myself we managed to keep it real for English ears in the wee hours of the morning. If that’s what the BBC calls raunchy…well let’s just say Dwight didn’t really have a prayer of making that one.

  8. 8 Virginia Davis
    May 30, 2008 at 20:53

    Well, here I am again. Just found my comments to Katherina in Ghent were edited out of the overnight blog. So Katherina I found your use of “these people” insulting. My name is Virginia.

    And perhaps the censors did not find it appropriate that I related being molested by the ward psychologist during my first hospitalization. It is not always easy to find good therapists and I am healthy today mentally because I did. And “did” therapy for 40+ years. Plus “meds.”

    What is really needed in a “functional” nuclear family is respect.

    Virginia in Oregon

  9. 9 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 21:01

    + I guess I’m a naysayer to the “getting-along” contingent. What is wrong with not getting-along? Certainly, I don’t advocate for excessive insults or shoddy arguments. But, a lot of the goings-on on planet earth are disagreeable, and I intend on disagreeing with them. Quite frankly, beginning with stipulations and restrictions, doesn’t ensure and foster a “getting-along”—it’s repressive. Expressions of emotion however slipshod, aren’t the problem—it’s the reaction to them.

    – Portland, Oregon

  10. 10 Zainab
    May 30, 2008 at 21:01

    Hello Ahmad and Dwight, and all my good friends,

    We are in the 21th century, and still there are people who disbelieve in God, and want proof for His Existence.
    There are many things that we don’t see, but that does not mean we don’t believe in them, like electricity, electron, sound waves, Gravity,…etc. I believe in all these things though i don’t see them BUT their effects are so clear to me. Thus i believe in God, Because His Effects (which are many and so clear ) guide me to Him. Believing in God is a science, just like believing in electricity…etc. and Denying God is ignorance just like denying electricity.
    Well i know my height, weight, and my features. But, I know nothing about myself, and my soul. they are called “The Unseen”, yet soul is more real than any other things.
    So if one doesn’t know his ownself, how could he claim that he knows God’s, and goes further to deny God existence.
    The master of wisemen said ” knowing God is the highest knowledge.”
    To all, Have a nice weekend.
    Yours truly,
    Zainab
    Good night from Baghdad.

  11. 11 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 21:02

    Ok, I’ve been trying to suggest this topic for a while, but I guess I’m the only person interested in it.

    China is on the rise. There is no question about that. They are a major contributor to the international rise of fuel and grain prices. They are also manufacturing a huge amount of products and shipping them overseas. Our jobs are being outsourced and on the whole, nobody seems to be noticing a great deal. If we continue down this path, we will not be able to sustain the way we are living. what can we do to ease this transition? Should we just keep consuming cheap chinese manufactured Wal-Mart products and driving SUV’s until our ability to afford these things dissappears and then let the chaos following this sort itself out? In my opinion, if we don’t close our market a bit, protect our resources, and protect our technology, we are going to get rolled on the global market.

  12. 12 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 21:08

    Peter,

    May joy and peace follow you in your journey.

    All the best,
    Selena

  13. 13 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 21:10

    @Steve

    lol I might like to think that anyone who believes Toronto is in the US is an idiot. But alas, thinking that does not make a person an idiot. 😉

  14. 14 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 21:13

    At: Katharina in Ghent

    + As much as I think the American public education system might not be up to snuff—memorization of geography is hardly a representation of intelligence—just that of a good memory.

  15. 15 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 21:13

    @Ahmad and Dwight

    The weekend is upon us again. I simply can’t believe how fast the times goes. Have a great time guys!

  16. 16 Nick in USA
    May 30, 2008 at 21:13

    @ Scott

    It’s fine to disagree, just not to insult a person. If you question an argument, then by all means, tear it apart. Open discussion is the whole point of WHYS. Just don’t tear down the person making it. I see that Virginia Davis must have also taken logic class in college. Attacking the person you’re having an argument with is a faulty argument, and it should not be done here.

  17. May 30, 2008 at 21:40

    Well I am around right now. I will be until at least midnight Eastern Time. That is 400 GMT.

    Thanks for all the well wishes. I see that WHYS has left Ahmad and myself with a still hot issue to moderate on the other post about “Talking to Al-Qaeda”. We will have to make sure those don’t get too personal. If one slips by, please try to let me know.

    So far we seem to have these topics mentioned.

    -Does America (or any country for that fact) ever act out of strict compassion?
    -With nuclear waste such a volatile byproduct of nuclear energy, is it really a valid alternative energy source.
    ( I have an extension to this question. Is shipping nuclear waste into outer space a Valid solution? I could argue both positions on this one.)
    -Is the US school system as bad as many Americans claim it is.
    -What is the functional nuclear family and is respect the key?
    -Is it perplexing that in the 21st century there are people who don’t believe in god?
    -China is on the rise economically. Does this worry anybody?

    This is what is on the table now. Thanks everybody for tuning in.

  18. 18 Katharina in Ghent
    May 30, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Steve:

    Of course I realize that only the extreme examples were shown in the clip, otherwise it wouldn’t have been so funny. But that still leaves the question: is the American schools system as bad as its reputation, or is it just the public schools or are they actually not as bad as everyone says? And about the German guy I can only answer: at least he was looking for Toronto on the right continent.

  19. 19 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 21:44

    At: Nick in USA

    + I don’t see too many ad hominem attacks on WHYS, at least not between posters. Perhaps more often: ad hominem arguments about politicians, etc.

    + I personally would rather an ad hominem argument occur between posters, rather then one directed to an outside party that cannot defend itself.

  20. 20 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 21:48

    @ katharina

    I still think you’re making a mass generalization based off only a couple of people. Are all Belgians terrible because King Leopold II was evil and used the Congo as his own personal colony?

    Some schools in the US are very good, some aren’t so good. Just like in every country.

  21. 21 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 21:57

    “Is it perplexing that in the 21st century there are people who don’t believe in god?”

    How about that in the 21st century there people who do believe in God? Without a single shred of evidence other than words written in books.

  22. 22 portlandmike
    May 30, 2008 at 22:00

    @ Zainab

    You say, “I believe in God, Because His Effects (which are many and so clear ) guide me to Him. Believing in God is a science, just like believing in electricity…etc.”

    You say that you believe in an invisible magical being, because you can see what he did. What about all of the other god’s that people have believed in just as fervently as you believe in your special invisible friend? Those gods from Athena to Zues, from Mohamed to Mollach? How about all those Hindu gods?

  23. 23 Venessa
    May 30, 2008 at 22:02

    @ Steve

    “Without a single shred of evidence other than words written in books.”

    Let’s also not forget that they have been translated many times over and there are books of the bible that aren’t in the bible that is in use today….Just makes you wonder….

  24. 24 viola anderson
    May 30, 2008 at 22:03

    I’m interested in the effort of telecommunications companies to control the internet.

    Here is a story from Canada: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/05/27/net-neutrality-ndp.html?ref=rss

  25. 25 Jens
    May 30, 2008 at 22:04

    “There are many things that we don’t see, but that does not mean we don’t believe in them, like electricity, electron, sound waves, Gravity,…etc. I believe in all these things though i don’t see them BUT their effects are so clear to me. Thus i believe in God, Because His Effects (which are many and so clear ) guide me to Him. Believing in God is a science, just like believing in electricity…etc. and Denying God is ignorance just like denying electricity.”

    Hang on a second my friend do never muddel religion with science. That really get’s my goat up. There are fundamental explanations for gravity etc, all explainable and MORE IMPORTANTLY PROVABLE through science. Where is your prove of god? Can you put god into a formula and then prove it’s existance? i would like to turn the table here. Believing in a devine existance for which there is no real prove is ignorance. It is ignorance because believers blindly follow their religious leaders, independent of faith. free yourself off the shackles of religion and start exploring and discovering the world without the blinders of faith.

  26. 26 Katharina in Ghent
    May 30, 2008 at 22:16

    @ Virginia:

    I’m truly sorry if I offended, I honestly didn’t mean to. My comments were meant as a defence rather than offense.

    @ Steve:

    If you would have asked me about Belgians a few weeks ago, I would have had to answer “Yes”, even though that of course is a complete exageration, but it’s sometimes not easy to like the people here. But since we moved to a fairly small village where the people are more relaxed, I’m kind of renewing my relationship to the people here. But the school standards here are very good.

  27. 27 VictorK
    May 30, 2008 at 22:23

    I don’t know about its public schools but America’s private schools are some of the best in the world.

    In informal logic many fallacies are only so circumstantially. An ad hominem argument is usually fallacious but it is sometimes valid. Good ad hominem arguments have been made against the likes of Stalin, the Mongols, Hitler and Saddam. One would have to be deeply irrational not to recognise that the personal characteristics of individuals and nations can sometimes be extremely pertinent in debate. The rules of informal logic need to be applied with common sense; they lack the absolute and rigorous character of positions in formal logic such as the undistributed middle or the illict process of a term etc.

    I don’t think any government is under a duty to do anything out of the goodness of its heart when it comes to foreign affairs. Protecting and promoting its national interests – within the confines of international law – is the most that anybody can expect of governments.

  28. 28 Jens
    May 30, 2008 at 22:27

    does she have something else in her wardrobe than hidiouse trouser suits. she should be band from running just on the basis of her awful dress style. yes men have it easier but that is ridicilouse. every concivable color on earth and the same poor cut. plus who wants to have a president that has her/his mouth always that wide open……it’s like check-out my tonsils, america.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10694.html

  29. 29 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 22:39

    Any opinions on the validity of this:

    “…A lot of the things we love about modern Europe were not necessarily created out of good-will; many things we admire were the result of necessity and economics, not altruistic decisions. In many cases, the modern European “green philosophy” was added later, as an after-thought, on what was originally an economically induced frugal-ness.”

  30. 30 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 22:44

    @ Katharina in Ghent.

    It’s bad for people who don’t care, but for the people who do care, they can take the AP classes (advanced placement program), and really excel. That way we still have the dummies to make our burgers, and then we have our future scientists working their butts off. I think the schools bell curve fits our job markets bell curve quite well.

    Unfortunately in America people get awarded for sports, and coolness, and not for their grades. That’s why we have so many dummies. But then again, we have so many fast food joints that need filling :).

    Anthony, LA, CA

  31. May 30, 2008 at 22:52

    @ America and acting out of compasion- I don’t think our system allows for such actions. One persons compassion is another persons insult. Since we all have an equal voice (at least on paper) there has to be justification for every move. It is a negative side effect of “free enterprise” economies and the taxes paid by them.

    @US School systems- “All things are relative.” The problem with US school systems is that we promise with our founding documents that all citizens are to have equal opportunity. However, on one end of the spectrum you have a child who has to literally fight their way to school on a public transportation vehicle, go to class with 35 or more other students, read from outdated materials that are badly damaged, being taught by teachers who are too new and inexperienced to get a job in a “nice school district”, the only successful people the child sees are drug dealers and thugs, and lives with other adversities that detract from doing homework. On the other end you have children who attend class which are fully stocked with the latest technology, privately bussed in secure vehicles, are in class with 9 or 10 other students, have access to a variety of different disciplines to study, are taught by veteran teachers, have nice pier groups and see the benefits of education in role models in their neighborhoods, and have a home life that is more conducive to advancing studies. One can not honestly say these children are equally advantaged to make a successful life for themselves.

    @God and the 21st century. I personally can’t fathom anybody still believes in a deity in the modern world. So many times science has proven faith wrong. It has never happened the other way. I can’t remember the name but NPR once had an interview with a bible scholar who talked about all the stories and changes in the bible. How scribes would include or exclude portions they didn’t believe when they were copying it. I remember that the story of King Salomon wasn’t added until the 1400’s I think

    @ China- While we are romping around the world making the place “free of terrorist” China and India are building up debt from our country like it found us at a mid spring garage sale.

  32. 32 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 22:57

    @ Jens

    + Lovely example of ad hominem aggression towards Mrs. Clinton. From the scientific validity of religion to this?

  33. 33 Anthony
    May 30, 2008 at 23:04

    @ everyone saying that science proves no God.

    You always hear about science changing its views on this and that, theories changing, and new ideas proving older ideas are wrong and outdated. How can a system like this prove the non-existence of God?

    Also, take into consideration ( just for fun 🙂 ). If you were God, would you WANT everyone to know you were real. If this were a test, and the point of life is that humans have a choice, then where would the test and choice be if we KNEW God was real.

    And last, why does everyone care about who believes in God? You think that a world without God would be better. Then we would be living like animals without our religious based laws. I’d be raping (evolutionary approach, so that I have as many kids as possible), killing (to get ahead and take out competition), stealing (to get ahead and take out competition), and just not caring and doing whatever pleased me 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    -Post Script: polls show people who believe in God are happier, and less depressed than Atheists, so I don’t mind if people believe in Santa, Easter Bunnies, or Leprechauns if it makes the world better, and makes people happier 🙂

  34. 34 Will Rhodes
    May 30, 2008 at 23:05

    @ Zak

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-uranium-mining-in-new-brunswick

    That is about the mining that will be taking place in New Brunswick – there is a mine only 10 mins away from where we are now.

    The province needs the industry and the investment – but is that to be off set with a possible pollution hazard in the water?

  35. 35 Dennis
    May 30, 2008 at 23:07

    @ Peter Van Dyk….Enjoy your time away from the BBC and please return soon….keep in contact with us….

    Ahmad & Dwight–thanks for moderating this weekend….

    @ Dwight, please accept my late apologies, when i saw that you sent me a message on the night, you moderated……

    —————-
    I well be reading and giving me own opinions
    on couple of them.

    Dennis

  36. 36 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 23:19

    At: Anthony

    + Even if these polls are accurate, they don’t account for causation—such as, atheists could be less happy because they have been repressed and ostracized by many of the religious. Or it could simply be the result of being a minority; being alone or feeling alone is often the crux of depression.

    +Even so, happiness isn’t a meter for validity or acuity. One could (perhaps, terribly) argue that the mentally retarded are quite happy!

  37. May 30, 2008 at 23:31

    @ Science and religion. And we beat that horse to death a few weeks ago, so this will be my last comment on that myself. Others may debate away. Science has not changed. Many scientist hold different views. They are theories. No scientific law has ever been rescinded.

    I am an agnostic Christian. (again I know but not everybody has heard it. lol, sorry regulars) Most people would label me an Atheist. I believe in the plan Jesus laid out. I am no thief, killer, or rapist. I do not need a man to tell me that a deity says I shouldn’t be these things. Peace can only come if we rise above our animal instincts. Life is less stressful I don’t have to worry about others stealing, raping, kill, or looking at my wife with coveting eyes. (Although i wouldn’t blame you if you did. I did.) I don’t do these things because I can reason they are not conducive to making the world a better place for my offspring.

    That said, I have theorized the “If was God and crated the system”. I agree with you 100%. If I were god, and this was the testing grounds for who is capable of living eternity in peace and tranquility, I would not let anybody know of my existence. Heaven would be a pretty unpopulated place though. Interested in my musing on this subject are
    here. However, there is a big undeniable “IF” involved with this theory.

    I had the epiphany while writing a response to a fried about religion and its role in politics.

  38. May 30, 2008 at 23:42

    Last weekend another preacher preached an outlandish “Chris Rock” style homily in the church that Obama has rejected. The news is still trying to stick it to him. Is it fair? I personally think it is not fair. Furthermore, it is malice. If I were a republican I would be lining up evangelicals to go preach at that church and say shocking and negative things.
    Obama’s ex-church host another controversial religious figure.

  39. 39 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 23:48

    @ Anthony

    “And last, why does everyone care about who believes in God? You think that a world without God would be better. Then we would be living like animals without our religious based laws. I’d be raping (evolutionary approach, so that I have as many kids as possible), killing (to get ahead and take out competition), stealing (to get ahead and take out competition), and just not caring and doing whatever pleased me”

    I care because people get killed over religion. We’d be living like animals? Do you think blowing up bombs in a marketplace because someone is in a different sect of your religion is non animalistic? I don’t need religion for me not to rape or to kill. SPeaking of killing, people use religion to justify the slaughter of animals for our own use. How many milions of animals do we kill per year?

    “f you were God, would you WANT everyone to know you were real. If this were a test, and the point of life is that humans have a choice, then where would the test and choice be if we KNEW God was real.”

    So why in the bible does God demand some much reverance and worship? Have you ever met a person who was that way? You probably weren’t friends with them because they are so full of themselves. Someone who demands all that reverence is incredibly insecure. The author of the bible gave God a human trait, insecurity. Why would God need to be worshipped?

    If God is so perfect, and designed us, why are there people with mental problems? Why are there birth defects?

  40. 40 Scott Millar
    May 31, 2008 at 00:18

    At: Dwight

    Re: Mr. Obama’s many preachers.

    + The news “trying to stick it to him”? Are we sticking it to him also by discussing this in a public forum? How is this different then the news reporting it? Seems like a lopsided overstatement.

    + Either the views of personal associates of a presidential contender are relevant or they aren’t. We can’t have it both ways and pick and choose when they matter. I’d like to think if Mr. Bush was hanging out with the KKK it would get reported.

    + Mr. Obama is quite unstuck through the lens and pens of the media.

  41. May 31, 2008 at 00:54

    @ Scott,

    John Kerry learned the hard way that not addressing negative campaign attacks and irrelevant news is a bad approach. Voters are marketing targets. If they only hear negative things you and not warm fuzzy things, then they will only have negative feelings.

    This is way different then the news. I have shouted at the TV so many times that the men in white coats told me to quiet down before they have to put me back in restraints.  Here there are very possibly open and undecided minds about the topic that may be swayed and eventually become a spokesman for the point.

    The magnitude of your acquaintance is defiantly important. Right now we don’t know who is on this blog site. Especially with the views expressed in the “Should we talk to Al-Qaeda” post. (It is funny because through the magic of the World Wide Web we could be doing just that.) I don’t think you would want to be called on the carpet to answer why you would participate in a blog discussion that so many extremist views were represented. If you were running, the news would need to just report that these comments appeared on a site you “frequented”.

    The magnitude is relevant. If Obama is going to their house and drinking lemonade, then that is completely different then if he happened to attend a church where some guy he never met before spoke. My wife drags me to that Catholic Church. She made me induct my daughter into the “Catholic Cult.” I like harmony at my house. It wasn’t a fight worth fighting. If G.W. was hangin’ with the KKK sipping lemonade with them, then yes he can be associated with them. If they simply showed up as one of his rallies and supported him, then no, he can’t be held accountable for associating with them. If he worked side by side on real estate deals that eventually got people sent to prison, then he could be held accountable for associating with those people too.

  42. 42 Dennis
    May 31, 2008 at 00:56

    Regarding the education in the United States ….In the recent few weeks, a relatives [his girlfriend who lives in [x], return to my home county, following [living] in the U.S. State of Michigan for the [last winter]….The education system in that state, in her eyes, was a joke….the kids had no homework….

    They are now getting back into the routine of doing homework….

    Schools in my region in New York [and across the United States], have problems because there many UNDESIRABLE teachers in the profession…that will not left it because of the $….

    Revised my remarks: I am a proof of the education system in the State of New York….

    [I Know in my region, schools are doing the annual budgets.]
    http://news10now.com/content/all_news/117052/two-st–lawrence-county-school-districts-budgets-back-up-for-vote-in-june/Default.aspx

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  43. 43 Anthony
    May 31, 2008 at 01:01

    @ steve:

    -If it wasn’t religion, it would be race, if its not that, its what area of the earth we’re from, if not that its how we dress, the color of our hair, and if we ran out of things to fight about we would discriminate on how tall you are. There would still be all that stuff if people didn’t kill over religion. Thats just the most popular and easiest thing to fight over. I mean, some Russians in a World of Warcraft killed a bunch of guys from another clan over a videogame, lol!!!

    -I don’t believe in the Bible.

    -Defects and things like that, because thats part of the test. All these are needed in what I see as a huge test.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    Post Script: Maybe I’ll believe a little more in evolutionary theory and God not having any part of it if you explain the evolution of the Angler Fish, Wood Pecker, and the evolution of the Feather. 🙂

  44. 44 selena
    May 31, 2008 at 01:20

    @Anthony

    Well, in my mind there is no difference in the evolution of a feather than the imagination of a god. No one knows the origins of the feather or the god.

    One thing we do know for certain(?) is the feather exists, so I suppose that is a difference.

    However, how the feather came to be is a mystery. If you believe in god, then it (god) would have to be much more complex than a feather, so there is no logic in saying that because there is a feather, a god has to be responsible for it.

    How did god come to be?

  45. 45 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 01:23

    Theism vs Atheism:
    I know why I believe in God and prefer a religion that has so much emphasis on ritual. However, it is not a priority of mine to attempt to convince others of the validity of my beliefs, at least not in a forum that seems more political than religious. Steve, you are more or less correct when you state thaht our belief in God is without a shred of evidence. To the best of my knowledge, atheists do not believe in that which cannot be perceived by the senses, so it only makes sense to accuse me of believing in the impossibly intangible.

    One thing that has always been interesting for me to discuss with atheists, situation political or otherwise, is ghosts. If I were an atheist, I would have a very difficult time explaining away te concept of haunting. I know that ghosts and hauntings are not accepted concepts in many God-believing religions, very possibly including my own, but the fact that some are able to perceive intangible entities or energies unnerves me.

    salam, Zaynab & Lubna! :=)

    Functional Nuclear Family:
    I am at a stage of my life where this concept takes up a lot of my brain’s idle activity – that s, I mull over it quite a lot in my spare time. Is the nuclear family functional? Or is it dysfunctional in comparison to the extended family? Does it indeed take a village to raise a child? Is it imposing if the neighbour lady calls and tells Mom what Johnny has been up to while Mom was away? Is corporal punishment part of a healthy family life? To what extent should children be medicated for behavioural issues? Does our education system contribute to, take away from, or not affect a healthy family life?

    School:
    Google simply will not load my search query for me, as much as I want to look up information about the quality of education hat U.S. students receive as compared to students in other countries. My stupid computer is such a dinosaur.

  46. 46 portlandmike
    May 31, 2008 at 01:55

    @ Shirley

    About corporal punishment, read Alice Miller http://www.naturalchild.org/alice_miller/ , and cut right to “Every Smack is a Humiliation.

  47. May 31, 2008 at 02:22

    To get into some of these explanations would require many hours of long and boring lectures. And boy are they. The jests of it is this. There first were microorganisms that “fish” if you will. The angler fish is by far not the only organism to “lure” its prey. (Women do it all the time.) We are all familiar with the “Venus Fly Trap”. There is also the lesser known “fisher crab”. (As a matter of fact I think only my wife knows about it. Turns out I have the inability not to have an answer. Of course the marine biologist friend of mine that was with us gave me away.) These microorganism spawned into many different directions depending upon the environment they were in. Fish eventually started to walk on land. They were called Tiktaalik roseae. These became amphibians that eventually became the birds we now know as dinosaurs. At that point things were pretty much moving.

    Some questions that have haunted me. Why do we have an appendix that is really useful in other animals the eat bark? What about these dinosaurs? Why weren’t they mentioned in any religious text, and why do most of them recon the world is only 6 or 7 thousand years old? How do you have a molten lava rock that was the Earth but no light? They generally can prove that the Milky Way has been around for about 13 billion years. These little balls of light showed up way before the earth was created. It might have been useful when God was taking to humans to say, “Hey the Earth is round and you have to go tell the people on the other side about me.” As it was we just found a new tribe in South America that had no clue. How many of their ancestors have lived and died without ever having a chance to hear about Jesus? If we are all supposed to be created equal, why do some of us get disease, mental retardation, or become conservatives. I mean this really ties your hands when it comes to chances of getting to heaven. I don’t care who you are, how can he let a priest rape a little boy in “his house” using his name?

  48. 48 Bob in Queensland
    May 31, 2008 at 03:52

    Hi All!

    Re: Thinking Toronto is in the USA, considering the number of times Toronto (and Vancouver too) have been used in TV and films as generic American cities, that hardly surprises me!

    Re: Belief in god, I think (as usual) that we have to be careful to separate the concepts of “faith” and “religion”. I don’t personally believe in a god but have no problem with people who do have faith. Where I start to be critical is with the “big business” of ORGANISED religion. As others have said, organised religion can be…and often is…a divisive force that causes strife in the world.

    I’d go even farther and be critical of the level of hypocrisy in organised religion. My father was an Anglican minister and one of the reasons I’m on the “anti” side now is the insider view I had of the two-faced–dare I say “unchristian”–attitudes shown by some of the stalwarts in the church. They were far more concerned with being seen in “their” pew wearing the right hat than with loving their fellow man.

    I had another example of this during the past week. As some know, I work in sound and one of the technical forums I visit had a “for sale” ad from a church. They were selling the $63,000 worth of radio mics they bought six months ago for whatever they could get for them–because they wanted to buy better, more expensive gear for their “praise band”. This expenditure was happening at the same time as people were starving all over the world because of the high price of rice and grain.

    Something wrong with this picture methinks!

  49. 49 Anthony
    May 31, 2008 at 04:14

    @ selena

    The point I was making was that there are holes that science seems to forget, and if you want to prove evolution, then all the pieces have to make sense. The proof that God didn’t create creatures is evolution. But if that theory has holes in it then how is it proof? Its like working a Soduko puzzle, and all the numbers fit, except the ones in the top left corner. Well guess what, its not correct until you get those ones to fit.

    And I’m not saying the evolutionary theory doesn’t work, because if I was God, and was testing man, I would create evolution, but make a few pieces not fit. Who’s to say that evolution was Gods plan?

    And I didn’t say because there is a feather it means God created it. I’m saying everything exists because of God. I actually believe that everything came from one single entity, and that all the “energy” which was God was transfered into other energy, mass, etc.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    Post Script: I was drinking some whiskey and playing Call of Duty 4 on the 360 with some buddies right now and am a little buzzed so I hope this post makes sense.

  50. May 31, 2008 at 04:25

    @ Anthony

    You are making me thirsty. I am about to cut out and go get me one, maybe two. lol, the part about drinking and playing video games with some buddies is the most clear thing that has been posted on the blog in a long time.

    @all- I do not know when Ahmad will show up. There are a few others with moderating rights. I am guessing somebody is checking at least once hourly. I will be heading out soon. I will moderate throughout the eastern morning. I will be in for more involved roll at about 1700 GMT.

    For tomorrow, I might like to see what people from around the world think the definition of a “successful child” is. What does it take for you to sit back and think, “I did a good job of rasin’ that one.”

    Have a Nice night all. thanks for the contributions.

  51. 51 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 05:05

    “But if that theory has holes in it then how is it proof?”

    What holes are there in the theory of evolution? I have yet to see it not explain things correctly. It is an extremely well tested and documented scientific principle.

  52. 52 viola anderson
    May 31, 2008 at 05:26

    I just read the “Five for Friday” comments. Some of them were about “honor” killings being reported as having been committed by Asians rather than Muslims in order to not inflame anti-muslim feelings.

    But that’s not the part I’m interested in. What I am curious about is the CONCEPT of honor killings and why someone, anyone, would consider his honor to be more important than someone else’s life.

    It seems to me it’s all about pride, and we all know what that goeth before.

  53. 53 Katharina in Ghent
    May 31, 2008 at 06:30

    @ Dwight and appendix:

    I’m not a doctor, but I heard recently that the human appendix can be seen as a “storage area” for good bacteria, which might get lost when you get seriously sick, say the stomach flu or all those “ancient” diseases like cholera and dissentry. When you recover, then the good bacteria from your appendix will repopulate your intestines to help your digestion.

    @ good child:

    If my son grows up to be a decent person, considerate of the needs of other people (‘s feelings) and a profession that makes him happy, than I will pat myself on the shoulder and say “well done”, I don’t care whether he will become a lawyer or empty garbage cans. I also hope that in general he will learn to trust his instincts and make his own decisions, and stand by them.

    @ evolution:

    Science only started about 150 years ago to seriously look at evolution, which has been taking place for the last 3,400 million years or so, according to wikipedia. So I guess we don’t need to worry about the numbers that don’t fit in the top left corner yet, because this sudoku has way more than 81 fields… And opposite to Sudoku, the more numbers you find and fill in, the more it fits.

    Personally, I don’t believe in God, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be so self-centered to think that he cares what I’m doing every single moment of every single day. Apart from that, there were times when you got burned on the stake as a heretic if you said that the earth wasn’t flat, but hey, science proved that one to be really, really wrong. We’ll prove the rest too, just give us some time.

  54. May 31, 2008 at 08:43

    Good morning to my two Precious friends Dwight and Ahmed…. The weather is pretty hot down here and is getting hotter and hotter each day… Tomorrow at 7 Am GMT the Iraqi national football team is gonna play a very important and decisive match with the Australian national football team in Sydney… All Iraqis are sooooo eager for a new and overwhelming national joy that unifies them and washes away their tears and grieves…. My Precious Bob in Australia, I’d be really sooooo eager to hear your thoughts about this… Also I’d love to talk to all of you guys about EXAMOPHOBIA… Does anyone of you guys suffer from it ?! If yes then how ?! I do… In the day preceeding any exam I usually get pretty anorexic… I barely eat anything, because I usually get nauseic if I put anything into my mouth… And also both my head and stomach ache me soooo badly…. That condition actually started with me two years ago… Kathi my love, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES honey for asking about me…. And to Shirley my love, I’ve sent you 3 messages on you Gmail address, did you receive any of them honey ?! And to Zainab my love, WELCOME BACK sweetie ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  55. 55 Tom
    May 31, 2008 at 11:01

    Science cannot explain all the secrets of the universe as doing so will require us to divide by 0, eg: black holes and light speed particles, which the human logic will not be able to fathom. Mathematics, the fundamental language of human logic, has proven its vulnerability in the face of the very small – “nothing” – and the very large – “infinity”. Quantum physics is largely based on probability and the uncertainty principle. The former ensures that the chain of cause and effect breaks down terribly at the fundamentally lowest level – would that explain “miracles”?? The latter dictates that humans can never know the exact state of things in this universe as any attempt to determine it will only serve to undermine the accuracy of our observation. Does this mean that the only one who knows the exact nature of the universe is God him?

    If creation is whole and everything is a subset then using probability-speak God is 1, and everything else is just a subset of him, i.e. < 1. This means that God is everything that is manifested in this world: love, hate, happiness, anger, sweet, bitter. We are as much part of God as is a worm or a piece of rock. That’s why Buddha lives a live of non-harm but to live practically in a worldly sense, we all have to make compromises. 🙂

    A question I have in mind is: If there is a heaven or nirvana, then would man be guaranteed a place in it as long as he believes and repent for his sins as promised by Jesus to the petty thief on the cross? Or is the world a perfect accounting program where all our bad deeds must be balanced out by our good ones, desires balanced by detachments, and until the balance is zero we will all be recycled back into the world through re-incarnation?

  56. 56 Mohammed Ali
    May 31, 2008 at 11:27

    Morning to all of my WHYS colleagues from here in Liberia.
    The Brazilian government took photos of isolated tribe deep in the forest as I read on the BBC yesterday. Should these people be protected in order to continue their primitive form of life or should they be introduce to “Civilization” with all of its complications and difficulties?

  57. 57 Tom
    May 31, 2008 at 12:03

    EXAMOPHOBIA: I suppose that’s a fear of exams.

    It’s been 8 years since I last sat a university exam. Even though I passed the course on time and have been progressing professionally ever since, every now and then I would have this horrible dream where I’m in a situation a day before an important exam and I forgotten all about studying for it. Graduation would be on the line and I would be racing through the night going through my notes. The dream always ends just before I enter the exam room, and to the sweaty realisation that I have long graduated, and will be waking up for work in a few hours time.

    The worse thing was that during the dream, the situation was all so real. So to add another angle to this philosophical Blank Page, how do we differentiate dream and reality? Was I dreaming of being a student, or was a student dreaming of being me, in which case I would actually be dreaming of typing this??

  58. 58 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 12:25

    Religion: If God loves me, He’ll destroy my dinosaur of a computer with a lightning bolt and drop a new one out of the skies for me. Which is worse: to have a terrible computer, nor not to have one at all?

    Education:
    I have been trying to post these in some form since ast night. Here we go again.
    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=1

    http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=6954

    Moderators: Have I been accidentally sending repeat posts?

  59. 59 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 13:10

    Parenting:
    I am a faithful Super Nanny fan and have gleaned the website in addition to watching the show and taking notes. http://www.supernanny.co.uk There are so many times that I would be watching the show and would say, “Now, for *that* I would spank the child.” But then Jo manages to work with the child, and sometimes the parent, to come to an acceptable resolution without spanking. I am amazed each time, especially when I realise that had I employed those tactics on children who were part of my life, those tactics might just have worked.

    Lubna,
    Not a single blasted message. :=(( Dwight, please please pleeeeeez facilitate an email exchange for us. This is driving me nutz! And Ahmad, where on earth are you??

  60. 60 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 13:36

    Religion:
    Tom, did you know that Catholicism and Shia Islam share the concept of limbo? There are differences, of course.

    Viola,
    Someone actually tried to convince me once of the legitimacy of honor killings by claiming that a man did indeed have the right to kill his wife or daughter for certain social infractions against Islam. I felt my stomach drop to my toes – I thought that I would never meet a person who actually validated such an ugly practise.

    Islamic law specifically states that in order for any punishment to be inflicted for any crime, an accused person must be brought before a qualified Islamic judge. When I once asked a Hawza student what qualified a person for capital punishment if he committed a capital crime, he gave me a 70-count long list and told me that it was just the beginning. That is, you cannot execute a person for a crime if one of those 70-odd conditions applies to him. In the case of honour killings, which are usually inflicted for certain social infractions, witnessing is the first and the most difficult condition to meet. People who commit honour killings are themselves committing a crime in Islam, a crime that is punishable by execution. You are absolutely correct about pride.

  61. 61 Bob in Queensland
    May 31, 2008 at 13:39

    @Mohammed Ali

    Wow! That’s an excellent question…and one to which I don’t have a good answer.

    Basically, I think that if it could be guaranteed there would be no contact with the outside world then they’re probably better off left alone. Alas, I fear that, now that they’ve been filmed, outside contact is inevitable and, this being the case, perhaps the contact should be controlled and planned in a way to offer as much protection as possible. However, my fear is that, as with so many other societies, “civilisation” will be at best detrimental to them…and, at worst, fatal.

    At this point I asked the question of my wife (who has a doctorate in anthropology–too clever by half!) and she says that even seeing the helicopter fly over will have changed the tribe. She cites some of the “cargo cults” in New Guinea that actually worship flying machines they have see and have built religions based on what they found in wreckage of WWII aircraft. Even so, it’s her view they should be left alone if at all possible. According to her, no traditional civilisation has ever benefited from an encounter with the new and modern.

  62. 62 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 13:59

    Parenting:
    Alice Miller’s anti-smacking manifesto: “…the mentality of the Swedish population has radically changed in the course of a mere 20 years. A destructive tradition of millennia has been done away with thanks to this legislation.” This is the same tactic that had to be employed against slavery. No, the two are not the same, only the method of ridding them from society. Abraham Lincoln went over the heads of the American people in putting a quit to slavery. Only after it was legislated against did public opinion begin to shift. In this case, though, the process was much more sluggish. People were still being held as slaves as late as the 1960’s. We still have the KKK. It is a very slow process.

  63. May 31, 2008 at 14:05

    Hey Precious Tom and thanks sooooo much for your thoughts… You know, it seems that almost all of us at some point during our lives have had that dream you mentioned in your comment… I myself often have that dream, but unfortunately in my dream the dream doesn’t end at the point where I go into the examination room, it actually goes on till the point where I experience all those horrific feelings resulting from not knowing at all what to write in my examination paper…. According to Iraqi social traditions if you dream of having an exam then then that means you’re gonna get yourself into trouble, also dreaming of a male child means you’re gonna hear a happy news, while dreaming of of a female child means you’re gonna get a fresh new start for your life… Also according to Islamic traditions dawn dreams do usually come true ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  64. 64 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 14:41

    salam, Lubna
    I had always been told that only the dawn dreams come true, but not the others. However, I have had a strange experience with my dreams and my “gut feelings” in general – not just at fajr.

    Check this out.
    US marine removed over coin claim
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7427373.stm
    A US marine in Iraq has been removed from duty following claims that he handed out coins inscribed with biblical verses in Arabic. Residents in Falluja had complained that the coins were being distributed at a checkpoint, the US military said. US troops are forbidden from proselytising any religion.

    And also this.
    In Iran, Covert Christian Converts Live With Secrecy and Fear
    http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/world/2008/05/08/in-iran-covert-christian-converts-live-with-secrecy-and-fear.html
    A draft Iranian law would mandate the death penalty for apostasy

    The fear was raised in the article that “it could be applied to religious and ethnic minorities like Christians, Bahais, Jews, and Azeris by treating them as apostates.” I personally would hope not, as such a classification has no basis in Islamic law. They would be Ahlul Kitab, not people who had previously been Muslim and had left Islam. The situation of minorities in Iran has been a source of intrigue for me ever since I heard that part of Azerbaijan has been appropriated to Iran.

  65. 65 Katharina in Ghent
    May 31, 2008 at 14:44

    @ Tom and sins:

    I’m sorry, but simply repenting your sins as a ticket to heaven or the likes is a very cheap trick, because it allows you practically anything, as long as you repent afterwards. The catholic church has made this a very thriving business (which is one of the many reasons why I left it).

    @ dreams:

    I don’t dream so much of exams but school in genereal still pops up every now and then when I sleep. Generally, I don’t put too much emphasis on what I just dreamt, even though two nights ago I dreamt that I had forgotten an important document and then woke up – immediately I got up (around 2am) and started searching for the document (which wasn’t that easy, because we just moved and everything is at a new place), and only when I found the document and put it in my bag, did I go back to bed. I’m certain that otherwise I would not have been able to sleep again and then still would have forgotten the stupid thing. So I guess there is sometimes some real sense in them.

  66. 66 Will Rhodes
    May 31, 2008 at 15:42

    Mohammed Ali May 31, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Morning to all of my WHYS colleagues from here in Liberia.
    The Brazilian government took photos of isolated tribe deep in the forest as I read on the BBC yesterday. Should these people be protected in order to continue their primitive form of life or should they be introduce to “Civilization” with all of its complications and difficulties?

    That is assuming that this tribe is a real one.

  67. 67 Nge Valentine
    May 31, 2008 at 17:00

    Hello,

    I have been wondering, “Can we run faster than our shadow”? Let’s think about it.

  68. 68 Anthony
    May 31, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Tino

    I gave 3. Angler fish, Wood Pecker, and the Feather. I would find a bunch online, but I have my first California Militia meeting 🙂

    @ Everyone

    So we all know how the world was created and how evolution works. Well then why have so many scientists all over the world, knowing how to create life, NOT been able to create one single alive….anything? Even in a scientific setting, no one knows how to take non-organic matter, and make it organic? Please, if anyone can tell me I’d like to know. I think the closest they’ve gotten to is a protein, I think an enzyme.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    Post Script: I think I’m the only believer that there is some kind of God out there on WHYS, hehe. 🙂

  69. 69 viola anderson
    May 31, 2008 at 18:03

    @Shirley.

    Thanks for your essay concerning the way Islamic courts deal with honor killings. If only those who commit these killings could understand how they have misunderstood the concept of honor.

    A person for whom honor is an important concept should not cheat, lie, steal, murder or hypocritically commit those and other forbidden acts while proclaiming love of and submission to God.

    O.K. you guessed it. I want to sound off about honor killings and how bad I think they are. I can tell from your post that we are in agreement about this issue, but I think it is an issue that needs to be thoroughly aired.

    Bear in mind that honor killings are committed in all parts of the world, though they may be less acceptable, therefore less common, in some areas. I don’t know if it is still true, but in Texas it was a legal defense to kill your wife’s lover in some circumstances. Perhaps our personal legal eagle, Steve, could fill us in on the legal concept here.

    Could that be considered an honor killing? Or if a woman killed her husband’s lover, would that qualify as an honor killing?

    I’m really intrigued by this “honor” thing, its relationship to pride, and its validity as a motivating factor in so many areas of life.

  70. 70 Anthony
    May 31, 2008 at 18:20

    @ Tom

    Wow Tom, you just explained part of my religion 🙂 (I kinda made mine up through the years) because I feel everything came from God original energy. And as to your question about Heaven and Nirvana, in my mind, if you aren’t “good enough” then your energy is kind of , re-set , and you become what was original energy. Kind of like taking clay that was sculpted to look like a flower, and then smashing it into a ball. Its no longer that flower, and can now be molded into something new. How your are judge is what I’m not sure of, but it doesn’t matter to me anyways. 🙂 That might sound weird, but thats what I believe.

    -Anthony LA, CA

  71. May 31, 2008 at 18:24

    Nge
    I have been wondering, “Can we run faster than our shadow”? Let’s think about it.

    Sure, run forward with the light source behind you, have the light source crest over to your front while you run; you just outran your shadow 😉

  72. May 31, 2008 at 18:51

    Please assist me answer these one questions:

    1. What is the distinction between Written and unwritten Law?

  73. 73 viola anderson
    May 31, 2008 at 19:08

    @Zainab:

    Are you a theologian, Zainab? I’m not, nor am I a philosopher or a scientist. Still, I like to think about things, as you obviously do.

    I was meditating (just thinking, really) one time about Abraham’s insight that “God is one” and what that meant then and what it means now. I had recently read a bit about Buddhism since the Dalai Lama had been in the news and, since I consider the Christian Science Monitor to be one of the best news sources available, I read a bit about the beliefs of Christian Science itself and was struck by its similarity to the Buddhist insight that all is illusion.

    Consider these things:

    l. In nature (the All) you see the repetition of patterns, such as the spiral pattern of the seeds in a sunflower head, the spiraling of liguid down a drain, spiral galaxies. Nature takes a basic pattern and uses it in many places and builds on it. “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the world was God.” DNA is composed of chemical WORDS.

    2. Living things perceive the world through its senses. All living things have senses. Some have only the sense of touch. Others have developed additional senses that have enabled them to survive or even to expand into other environments, such as water creatures that adapted to land.

    3. Human beings perceive the world through their senses. But so did primitive one-celled organisms. Which perceived world is real? They are radically different. Are both creature’s world “real”? Or are both creature’s world merely a construct of the creatures’ effort to understand?

    4. Buddhism and Christian Science both postulate that the world we perceive is not the reality. It is merely our perception of a part of reality.

    5. What senses are possible for some organism to develop that is not at present utilized by any living thing on earth? What would such a sense tell us about the nature of reality (the All)?

    6.Mankind has extended his senses through the use of telescopes, microscopes, cyclotrons, space probes, and many other machines in his attempts to understand the nature of reality (the All).

    My conclusion:

    Perhaps “God is one” can also be expressed as “God is all” or “All is God.” Or, using other words, “Reality is one,” or “Reality is All” or “All is reality.” Isn’t it the same, really? Perhaps when Christians say Jesus is God’s son or is an aspect of God or is God, it is a calling forth of the concept that all creation is God, including human beings, and that God is us.

    Perhaps we humans serve a similar function in the greater reality that some call God, as the cells of our body serve to the the greater organism which is our body. The question then is: Are the individual cells of our body aware that they are a part of a greater organism or do they perceive only their own individual existence? To the cells of our body is our brain’s consciousness “God”?

    This is a fun alalogy and a fun concept to explore.

  74. 74 Will Rhodes
    May 31, 2008 at 19:46

    @ Viola

    You also have to extend to that the question of humanities place in the whole universe.

    Some religions say that, questionably, we are alone in the universe and others see where science and philosophy are taking the human race – and that is to the outer reaches of the universe itself. The cog within the clock scenario.

    On a personal basis I do not believe that the universe is occupied by one bipedal race, us, I believe it is teeming with life – some which we cannot comprehend even now.

    Some religions call all to be a part of that religion because it is the one true religion, but how would those who occupy planet Zog feel?

    Would we have to live in a universe that is diverse and tolerant or would that religion be so predisposed to converting all beings to its way of thinking?

  75. 75 viola anderson
    May 31, 2008 at 20:48

    @Will:

    I thought I was extending that concept to humanity’s place in the universe with the analogy of cell to human and human to God, since in this analogy God/Nature/Reality is the universe and the universe is God/Nature/Reality and it is in some sense an incomprehensible organism.

  76. 76 Dennis
    May 31, 2008 at 20:50

    Hi Ahmad and Dwight….

    And to dear friends, Lubna, Will Rhodes, Brett among the rest of you!!!!

    I have some good news to deliever…I will be going to Community College (i moved into housing) on Sunday 1 June 2008, And i start classes on Monday , 2 June 2008….

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  77. 77 Will Rhodes
    May 31, 2008 at 21:04

    Good one, Dennis. 🙂

  78. 78 Shirley
    May 31, 2008 at 21:27

    Anthony,
    Fear not. Lubna, Zaynab, and I are all religious practising Muslims (to the best of my knowledge). So yes, we believe in God, the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same Who created the Heavens and the earth, Adam and Eve, Who will oversee the Day of Judgement etc. I just don’t spout off on it very much, except when someone acts insulting and offensive. offencive. offensive. Help, someone?

    Viola:
    That is how Islamic courts are *supposed* to deal with honour killings. What happens in real life is beyond my knowledge. I live in the West. I would not be surprised for an instant if today’s Islamic courts are equallt affected by corruption as their Western counterparts.

    The concept of honour is usually ties to the chastity of one’s female relatives. A man’s dignity is preserved by his ability to preserve the chastity of his wife or daughters. Ithink that such a link between honour and chastity is stupid. A person’s honour should come from his own obedience to God (or preservation of his own moral and ethical values, given the situation) and his own sincerity in that obedience. The tendency that we have in the West to kill the lovers of our lovers seems to me to be mor related to sheer jealousy and righteous anger.

    Your post at May 31, 2008 at 7:08 pm:
    I tend to view the unity concept more as the interaction of each member of the ecological unity with each other, the necessity of the involvement of all members, and how the system as a whole, as well as each of the units, are all subjugated to the will of God. How different are we from the innumerable members of one coral animal colony? I tend towards a more strict monotheism. I enjoy thinking over the differences between plants that heal and how they do it and the medicines that we make and what we have to contrive to make them heal with minimal side effects.

    Will,
    What is the chance of any of us ever meeting someone from planet Zog, much less discussing comparative theology with him? her? it? them?

    Lubna & mods: I finally found the emails! Success! Finally!

  79. May 31, 2008 at 21:35

    Good afternoon here, good evening and food morning to wherever you are. I will be able to participate more here in a bit. A recap of what has been placed on the table lately.

    Currently being discussed are the following loose topics.

    – Good Parenting and what criteria would make you feel that you not only raised a good child, but that somebody else did their job well. What about social abnorms. If you child ended up gay, a polygamist, A very successful adult entertainer, a very unsuccessful artist but happy, A great business entrepreneur but never married, an accordion player, or a G.W. Bush supporter. Would you still consider them successful? Would you still think you did a good job?

    – Science and religion becomes a debate whenever I am near. Lol, I am starting to wonder if it is me. There has been a concentration on evolution currently. In a related story kind of to the science and religion is the newly discovered tribe. Bob in Queensland brought up a point about tribes worshiping things they can not explain when they saw planes pass over.

    – Does anybody suffer from “Fear of test taking” “Examaphobia”? It seems here it is common. I have studied for may test that I ultimately back down from due to fear. When I am forced to take them as when I am forced to do anything in life I have just puffed up and greeted it head on. But if there is an out, I usually take it.

    – Written law vs. Unwritten law. Nobody has answered yet. I would only say that unwritten law will not stand up in court. “Common Sense” is often considered “unwritten law”. While it is often common, it regularly doesn’t make sense.

    – Dreams and their impact on reality. I rarely sleep, so dreaming is not an option.

    – Shirley’s slow computer- this is something I know too much about. I hate computers and you wouldn’t believe how ironic that is. Anyway aside from cleaning out temp files, defragmenting your system, and making sure you are virus free (both you and your computer) there isn’t much to say. You, like most people probably bought your computer pre-loaded with that virus known as windows. Go out, download Ubuntu. Find the nearest geek to show you how to make it a bootable CD. If you are just going to surf the internet, connect through Ubuntu.

    – Of course the “talking to Al-Qaeda debate is still trickling on. Mostly things are just getting restated. One said say, “kill them all and keep killing until everybody is dead over there.” The other side has various angles from talking to Osama, to talking to heads of these individual militias. Crazy Ideas like educating the children and making life not so hopeless are also being thrown around. The hippies will never learn that if we don’t kill everybody that doesn’t look like us, talk like us, and believe the same things we do, then they will always be alive.

  80. May 31, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Tino

    Polygamy is a minority sect here in the states. Yet it is practices. It is not only practiced, but it seems the courts are going to give the kids back to the women and let them return to that life all the same. Not even our court system can stop it.

    It is much more complex then, “they are like you, so why don’t you do something about it.”

    Man I can’t get my wife to stop shopping at Wal-Mart. I am so against that. How in the heck am I going to get polygamist to stop having 10 wives.

  81. 81 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 21:49

    Angler fish: http://www.biology-blog.com/blogs/archives/Animal-science-blog/April-8-2006.html

    Woodpecker:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/woodpecker/woodpecker.html

    Feathers:
    There are plenty of explanations, the correct one is still up to debate (google ‘feathers evolution’ to see many of them. That is the great thing about science. It does not speak in absolutes only in what has been verified to be true. Since no explanation yet has the appropriate amount of evidence, no one has come to a consensus. There are multiple evolutionary theories (insulation, mating displays, etc all or one of which may turn out to be ‘the’ explanation). This is in striking contrast to religion which speaks of absolutes, with absolutely no evidence. I mean come on – science cant explain it yet so it must be the imaginary man in the sky? So insane, especially since that has been religion’s stance forever and the only thing that happens is religion’s domain is constantly pushed back (Galileo, Copernicus, and so on) as it is proven wrong time and again.

    Most creationist arguments show a stunning lack of scientific knowledge. Evolution does not happen instantly. It happens on a genetic level as a random mutation is selected for. The angler fish for example, did not just pop out of some different looking fish with its ‘lure’ attached. The process takes – generally – a long time unless you are looking at things with very fast reproductive cycles like bacteria. Perhaps the fish had the bacteria colonize above its lip and the next generation extended that area, etc, etc. I do not know, I do not study angler fish. The point is, these are not holes in the theory – ESPECIALLY the woodpecker, where do you people come up with this nonsense?

  82. 82 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 22:04

    “Well then why have so many scientists all over the world, knowing how to create life, NOT been able to create one single alive….anything?”

    Do you have any idea how ridiculously complex a cell is? We do not even understand, yet, how every protein works in concert. I have taken advanced biology classes recently and even there the professor will get to certain subjects and say: “This is a current area of heavy research, we do not know exactly how this works yet.” They have succeeded in creating various things that approximate what may have been there in early times: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/30917

    (Been trying to find the Wong article, no success yet).

  83. May 31, 2008 at 22:51

    I agree with Tino on this point.

    3.6 million years ago the hominids entered the scene. A full 200,000 years ago we find the first Homo Sapiens. It took us until nearly 1500 BC before we realized the world was round. Some people still don’t realize it. We have come pretty far in the last hundred years. The things that we understand about things like the human Gnome and quantum physics is vast and profound. There is still much to learn. Saying we have all this knowledge and we still haven’t created life is like saying that you have the components to build a corvette in your driveway out of vehicle you have there now. Why haven’t you? Religion has had at least 6000 years, give science some time.

    The internet might have actually slowed the curve. It seems that people who might have occupied their time pondering and testing theories end up surfing the internet or spending countless hours discussing them on a blog. Lol.

  84. 84 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 22:56

    “The internet might have actually slowed the curve. ”

    That is an interesting point. I can only hope the ability to communicate faster has more than offset the downsides lol.

  85. May 31, 2008 at 23:36

    So what should we do with people that come out and say, “I knew I was deceiving the public when I made ‘X’ statements, but I felt pressure to do it.” Are they not admitting to some kind of public deception?

  86. 86 Amy
    May 31, 2008 at 23:51

    Dennis,

    Congratulations!! Best of luck with your classes.

    Anthony, Shirley, Lubna and Zainab – I too believe in God. I also believe in science and I feel that God has a “guiding” hand in where science goes and what it discovers. I also think God has a sense of humor.

    It is a busy weekend here in Beaverton, Oregon (what else is new) but I look forward to reading the posts and catching up. Just wanted to say hello to all of my WHYS friends.

    Amy in Beaverton, Oregon

  87. 87 Tino
    May 31, 2008 at 23:59

    ” Polygamy is a minority sect here in the states. Yet it is practices. It is not only practiced, but it seems the courts are going to give the kids back to the women and let them return to that life all the same. Not even our court system can stop it.

    It is much more complex then, “they are like you, so why don’t you do something about it.” ”

    I think I finally understood what you were saying – if it is reference to: https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/four-for-friday-30th-may/#comment-27682

    If so, then fair enough – but polygamy is not nearly the same as Wahabis (I, for example, do not care about polygamy unless it is forced polygamy). We do a good job of keeping organizations like the KKK and neo-nazi groups as well as anti-abortion terrorists under control. For example: http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_viol.htm

    No deaths since 2000. Even before then, nothing approaching the scale of Islam. We control our terrorists, they should do the same. There is simply no excuse for what is happening. You cannot hijack a religion without the majority being at least silently behind you. The vast majority of Christians, while being overwhelmingly against abortion, do not: suicide bomb abortion clinics, endorse any anti-abortion terrorism, etc. Thus, they are willing to cooperate with the authorities and often point out the obvious – that killing doctors who perform abortions is not a Christian thing to do. Sadly, Muslims do not do the same with Jihad carried out by their terrorists.

    Any Christians who do approve of anti-abortion terrorism are not given legitimate positions to declare their opinion. We in the West do a good job of policing our own. They should do the same or one day we will stop taking their nonsense excuses and show them what it means to awaken the ‘sleeping giant’.

  88. June 1, 2008 at 00:02

    They are about to decide what to do with Florida and Michigan’s delegates. I am not sure what the proposal is on the table just yet. They are showing it live on CNN. Something about seating all delegates with only half of the strength.

  89. 89 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 00:05

    So many times science has proven faith wrong. It has never happened the other way.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    ======= Oh my gorsch!

    Science is given a free pass by scientists because everything is a “theory” subject to a 1001 trillion revisions.

    Without religion there would be no science. You’d think someone bigging up science would be able to read a timeline of historical development.

    And maybe accept a little responsibility for the technology that has allowed massive global overpopulation, genocides, and global warming.

    I don’t mind religion being held responsible for misdeeds in the historical record.

    I won’t, however, tolerate ignorance by scientists any more than I tolerate holier than thou hypocrisy of certain religious folk.

  90. June 1, 2008 at 00:19

    Clinton would get 38 from Michigan and 56.5 from Florida. Obama gets 32 votes for Michigan and 36 from Florida. This is slightly different from what I had heard, however I think they were including the committed super delegates. The hall is filled with Clinton supporters making all kinds of ruckus. It is their right.

  91. June 1, 2008 at 00:31

    @tino,

    Yep, sorry, I posted under the unrelated heading. Sorry for the confusion.

    The difference between the groups you mention and the Extremist in the Islamic nations is that we are not funding the KKK and the Nazis. We are not propping up the governments that hold these people in a repressed and hopeless state. You might ask, “why don’t the majority turn on the minority and denounce them.” The question one should also ask is, “why don’t you stop putting gasoline in your tank in which the money ultimately ends up paying for the weapons and recruitment of the extremist?” The war against the Islamic extremist is the first war that Americans are financing both sides.

    These people don’t shoe up in the villages to recruit suicide bombers with guns and muscle. They show up with food, medicine, and most dangerously, education. Where do you think they get that money to finance those things? What is it that Americans show up with?

    If we had kept the foot on the Nazis or the Japanese after the war, we would still be fighting them today.

    Oh and nobody has died in the US at the hands of an Islamic extremist since 2001, and never before that.

  92. 92 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 00:36

    @ Roberto

    How would there be no science without religion? Religion has hampered science the majority of times. Also how is it given a free pass? Science does not speak in absolutes it is simply like a box of tools that can be adapted as is useful. For example, take the idea of orbitals. This is obviously not necessarily true (we cannot see these orbitals in the physical world) but they explain things in many situations. If we find a better explanation later on, it will replace the current one. What is the problem with that exactly? Science does not claim to offer one absolute truth, anything is up for changing. Some things, like gravity, have proven so insanely useful they are called laws. Even these have special cases sometimes, though, like relativistic gravity instead of newtonian (though currently newtonian gravity would instead be a special case of relativistic gravity as the latter is a better explanation). Science is a bottom up effort, in general, in that someone looks for an explanation for something that has happened. Religion instead takes one concept and applies it everywhere – anything can be attributed to god, easily.

    I am sorry you feel that revising a theory – which never claimed to be absolute in the first place – is ‘giving a free pass’ but the two are not the same at all. Science works to provide useful tools to humanity based on explanations of the world. Their is no ‘responsibility’ for genocide, overpopulation, or global warming. People choose to use the tools provided in whatever fashion they wish. If I had created the spear, which could be used to feed my family more effectively and then someone used it for murder – how would I be responsible. Instead, since religion often provides the MOTIVATION for attacks, it has more of a responsibility for genocide and the like.

  93. 93 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 00:52

    “Oh and nobody has died in the US at the hands of an Islamic extremist since 2001, and never before that.”

    True, but this is not due to lack of effort on their part. Also, they are occupied carrying out attacks on our troops overseas – plenty of Americans have died at their hands since then. There are also the London and Madrid bombings that are against the West which I think is more their overall focus – many would especially like to get their hands on Spain since it was once ‘theirs’. Also, plenty had died before that.

    EX:
    # 18 April 1983 – April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. 63 killed. (I grant this one is a stretch, but it is on technical US soil)
    # 26 February 1993 – World Trade Center bombing, New York City. 6 killed.
    7 August 1998 – 1998 United States embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. 224 dead. 4000+ injured. (same idea as first)

    Plenty overseas have specifically targeted our civilians (bombing of hotels westerners stay at, etc) as well.

    “why don’t you stop putting gasoline in your tank in which the money ultimately ends up paying for the weapons and recruitment of the extremist?”

    Why is the question not: Why do these people not stop funneling money to the terrorists and improve their own country? While I think we should be working furiously toward no longer sending money their way for oil, I do not think it should be necessary to stop the money getting to terrorists. Why is the onus of responsibility never on them?

    “The difference between the groups you mention and the Extremist in the Islamic nations is that we are not funding the KKK and the Nazis.”

    That is my point. They need to stop funding terrorist groups.

    “These people don’t shoe up in the villages to recruit suicide bombers with guns and muscle.”

    They do not need to recruit they get plenty of volunteers and must even turn some down.

    “Public opinion is one thing; actual participation in terrorism is another. There is striking anecdotal evidence from Nasra Hassan, a United Nations relief worker in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who described interviews with 250 militants and their associates who were involved in the Palestinian cause in the late 1990s. Hassan concluded that “none of them were uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded, or depressed. Many were middle class and, unless they were fugitives, held paying jobs. Two were the sons of millionaires.””

    Education level, economic status, etc (all the ‘assumed’ reasons) have turned out to be false based on faith and not evidence. Multiple studies have disproven that idea time and again. Another: http://www.securityaffairs.org/issues/2005/08/sageman.php

    “Joining this violent social movement was a bottom-up activity. Al Qaeda had no top-down formal recruitment program. There was no central committee with a dedicated budget for recruitment or any general campaign of recruitment. There was no need for them. There were plenty of volunteers who wanted to join the jihad. Al Qaeda’s problem was never recruitment but selection. It was akin to applying to a very selective college. Many apply but few are accepted. Likewise, al Qaeda was able to assess and evaluate potential candidates who showed the desire to join by coming to Afghanistan for training. It invited only about fifteen to twenty-five percent of that group to join the jihad. Post 9/11, after the U.S. military eliminated terrorist sanctuaries, this selective process has stopped. Now, volunteers join the movement and perform operations without being trained or formally joining the old al Qaeda. Casablanca, Istanbul and Madrid are examples of this new trend.”

    “In terms of socio-economic background, three-fourths come from upper and middle class families. Far from coming from broken families, they grew up in caring intact families, mildly religious and concerned about their communities. In terms of education, over 60 percent have some college education. Most are in the technical fields, such as engineering, architecture, computers, medicine, and business. This is all the more remarkable because college education is still relatively uncommon in the countries or immigrant communities they come from. Far from being immature teenagers, the men in my sample joined the terrorist organization at the age of twenty-six years, on average.”

    (Sorry for the length but the second link is long and I wanted to post the relevant portions to provide for an easier discussion)

  94. June 1, 2008 at 01:02

    @ Roberto,

    Everything is not a theory. There is the laws of gravity, Laws of Thermodynamics, Laws of motion, and so many other that are referred to as principles. (For those that wonder, A law contains defined constants and principles contain all variables. Short explanation.) Because science requires open and vetted debate, all ideas have to go through a phase known as theory. Saying that science uses theories to fend off being labeled wrong is kind of like saying that the part of court where you see evidence and hear witnesses is just a distraction from the discovery of the truth.

    I looked down the timeline of Religion. Time and again those who feared the curtain would be lifted fought scientific discovery. They have stoned them, burnt them, imprisoned, and condemned them. Socrates was tried and convicted for “corrupting young minds” and sentenced to death. If it weren’t for religion we would probably be a thousand years ahead of where we are now. The scientists we know are the ones that got their ideas into the mainstream. The rest, “off with their heads”.

    It is not science that says having sex with a virgin is a way to cure AIDS, condemns condoms, or justifies 10 wives and incest.

    Calling Science (defined as the quest for knowledge) “ignorant” is possibly the height of an oxymoron. Lol that is great.

  95. 95 Anthony
    June 1, 2008 at 01:18

    @ Tino,

    Your web sites don’t talk about any of the arguments

    The point of the angler fish is the fact that it can survive when it goes to the surface, and then go really deep into the sea and why the male attaches its self to the female for life.

    The point of the woodpecker is the evolution of his pecking. They cant explain how evolution has provided him with the ability to pack without damaging his brain. (just because you google “evolution of a woodpecker” doesn’t mean it’s proving anything 🙂 )

    And the fact that you said “There are plenty of explanations” about the feather is just hilarious and proves my point that it isn’t proven, after all, “whats the point of half a feather?”, hehe, lol! 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  96. 96 Anthony
    June 1, 2008 at 01:30

    @ Tino

    Come on, a prokaryote is so simple. You don’t think scientists can make something as simple as that? Come on, just make some primordial soup and your bound to get something! I mean, if you figure out how something came to be, you should be able to do it right? Unless you’re assuming, and thats when you can’t. Right? 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  97. June 1, 2008 at 01:49

    Talking about suicide bombers alone the most recent study presents a contradiction. They were from middle class educated families. But the bombers themselves were physically or mentally handicapped. According to Robert Pape who did a much more recent study 80% fit this profile. I don’t know if you know any middle class earning families here in the US with a handicapped member, but if you do you know that handicap can be a huge financial drag. It was also found that these people were often not inspired by religious ideas as the were by rejecting an occupying force. Afghanistan and Iraq had no suicide bomber before the subsequent invasions. Osama is not hiding out in the posh downtown sections of Dubai, He is hiding in the poor nether regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also where you will find the training camps.

    Again, Lebanon and Kenya. See comment about the US government propping up puppet governments that repress its people. Then we are all going to sit back and be amazed when the repressed drive a bomb into our tent? Never forget the crazy factor that can’t be stopped. Shoot on thinner logic then Lebanon and Kenya two nut jobs from right here in the good old US of A planned and carried out an attack in Oklahoma city. You don’t think they don’t have nut jobs in these other countries just looking for a reason?

    Do you really think it would be all that hard to hit soft targets in the states? No. It is broadcast daily on the news that our southern boarder is wide open. The plan was not to attack the US. It was to draw us into a fight there. Guess who the suckers are.

    The responsibility is on us because we are the ones that don’t want to get attacked. Why is it on you to put your seatbelt on if you drive safe and never get into an accident? It is on us because as they see it we are not only giving money to their supporters, but also their enemies.

    Now I am getting long. Lol.

  98. June 1, 2008 at 01:54

    If there are any other moderators out there, please feel free to moderate these post. I am going to grab a bite to eat. be back in about 40.

  99. 99 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 02:04

    How would there be no science without religion?…….. Some things, like gravity, have proven so insanely useful they are called laws.
    —————————————————————————

    ====== Do you need a lesson in the history of early science?

    My gosh, man, precivilized man and all animals of the world have mastered the complexities of gravity for thousands and billions of years.

    NPR recently had an article interviewing a group of scientists who have figured that 96% of the universe remains unknown. How would they even know the difference between 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% and 96%?

    You chaps need to be much more careful in how you speak. Just regurgitating rote aphorisms de jour ain’t cutting any more.

  100. June 1, 2008 at 02:05

    Some time ago I wrote about religion on my blog, see here.

    It may be the case that civilizations in which many people are religious develop slower, giving rise to more individuals compared to atheists civilizations. This is because when the civilization reaches the point a which they can make intelligent machines, the machines take over.

    This then means that it is more likely for some given individual to be born in a religious civilization than in an atheist civilization. So, this may be the real reason why religion exists. 🙂

  101. 101 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 02:20

    Abdi said:

    1. What is the distinction between Written and unwritten Law?

    Good question. Here’s a great story from jimcrowhistory.org
    telling how Jackie Robinson came into ML Baseball breaking ‘unwritten law’.

    An example that’s caused some controversy in America involving written law: The Congress passed a law called the Patriot Act in the US that gives the president certain authority to enact measures of defense against terror attacks. The law for instance allowed the President to create a Department of Homeland Security, and appoint a Secretary, which he did.

    To exemplify Bush’s claim of unwritten law used in conjunction with that act here’s a quote from a Boston Globe blog article:

    The debate over surveillance dates back to the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when Bush signed a secret order authorizing the NSA to wiretap Americans’ international e-mails and phone calls without a court order — even though the 1978 warrant law prohibited it. Bush asserted that his wartime powers gave him an unwritten right to bypass such a law.

    BTW and at this point NBFD: Florida and Michigan delegates are in the boiler room on the day.

  102. 102 Amy
    June 1, 2008 at 02:36

    @ Lubna and examitis.

    I can totally relate about dreading exams. When I was in high school, I would get physically sick to my stomach the morning of the exams. My mom knew it was nerves and made me go to school. I usually did fine and I am sure you will too. Just remember to breathe!!!

    All my love,

    Amy in Beaverton

  103. 103 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 02:38

    Florida and Michigan get half their delegates counted apparently along the voters line.

    Only major significance seems to be that it raises the # of delegates needed to clinch up from 2025. Clinton party officials are conceding that Obama will likely hit the magic # after the June 3 primaries.

  104. June 1, 2008 at 02:45

    Roberto,

    I am very careful how you speak. Please enlighten me. What is meant by “Man and animals have mastered gravity? Last I knew it was the right brothers only a few short years ago that could be remote to have said to “Master gravity”. They were laughed at by the religious community. Most religions believe we are no more then 6000 year old. There are creationist movements today trying to hinder the teaching otherwise.

    Saying that we only know 4% of the universe means that our scientific tools can only see that far. Using scientific projections they can judge the actual size of the universe. It can be said of that newly found tribe in South America that “99.9% of the earth is unknown to them.”

    Your logic seems to have disconnects. Please site one example where science was promoted by religion. It shold look something like “scientist said ‘X’ but the religioni of ‘blah’ said, ‘No, the truth is Y’.” Then the science community had to yeild.

  105. 105 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 03:20

    I am very careful how you speak. Please enlighten me. What is meant by “Man and animals have mastered gravity? Last I knew it was the right brothers only a few short years ago that could be remote to have said to “Master gravity”.
    ————————————————————————————

    ———— I cannot enlighten anyone who butchers the first sentence of a a poorly constructed question.

    I would only say that prehistoric peoples and animals know very well how to use gravity without constructing a formula, perhaps like you know what you are asking without constructing a proper sentence.

  106. June 1, 2008 at 03:35

    Roberto,

    I have posted your comment with reluctance only so the rest of the readers can see my point if your tone continues. This is your one warning. If I am being overactive readers please let me know.

    Lol, and oh yeah, “I cannot enlighten anyone who butchers the first sentence of a a poorly constructed question.”

    I love the double “a”. Poor sentence structure while criticizing sentence structure. That’s great.

  107. June 1, 2008 at 03:53

    Well people, I am being made an off that I can’t refuse. I am probably going to disappear here shortly. As usual anybody with moderating rights feel free to look over and post. Not sure where of Ahmad has been present this weekend. I do not believe he has posted a hello. Hope things are alright with him.

    I am usually not far form the internet. I will check for comments as often as I can.

    Thanks for the contributions so far. Keep them coming.

  108. 108 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 04:04

    Yo Dwight Ahmad doesn’t seem to be around, he’s not posted. Tell Ros you need help, I’ll offer my services to fill in.

  109. 109 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 04:08

    Dwight May 31, 2008 at 9:35 pm
    Computer
    Dwight, when I finally have my own computer with its own little Cd thingie that comes with new computers and that cute little bookie thingie that comes with new computers, I will feel free to trick it out acording to my style and taste. Until then, I have to deal with this dino that has been weighted down with enough preventive software to keep preschoolers safe for decades to come. It is a family piece. Add to the dino woes those God-awful typos of mine, and I just hate re-reading that post.

    Family
    If any child of mine turned out to be a GW supporter, I would know that I had failed as a parent. Otherwise, if he played the accordian but was kind and generous, kept up his (religious) worship, etc. I would forgive the accordian playing. As long as it is not in my house. The TX polygamist sect: pregnant pre-teens – statutory rape. Marriage lists at top levels – institutionalised statutory rape. It does not take a rocket scientist. I am livid. If my kid wants to marry more than one wife and finds a place where it would be legal, and if he treats those women fiarly, fine. But underaged girls? Against a woman’s wishes? Over my dead body. And the first phone call that I get from a crying daughter-in-law, I turn that grown boy over my knee, care I not for my no-spanking policy.

    Delegates
    June 1, 2008 at 12:19 am
    Dwight, can you do some math for me and get total delegates in relation to the required 2026?

  110. June 1, 2008 at 04:17

    Shirley,

    I understand about the computer. My dance card is full because I have the ability to help people understand geek speak. Having to have your computer locked down will defiantly make it drag.

    I am on the way out. I will do some looking tonight. Different news outlets have different estimates on how many delegates each have. I will do a best case worst case when I get a second.

    Zak!! That would be great! I will email Ros who is out of town I am told. But I will include Peter and Chloe. One of them will have right to authorize you. Thanks.

    Steve and Will I know have rights and will also help when they are on.

    You have to sign up for a word press account if you don’t have one. Don’t have to have a blog, but you need an ID and they will need to know it.

    Thanks again.

  111. 111 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 04:20

    NPR is reporting the new Democratic magic # is 2118, Obama is 66 shy, and closing.

  112. June 1, 2008 at 05:29

    I’m keeping an eye over the post, guys, not a problem. I’ll step in to moderate if needed.

  113. 113 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 05:46

    You guys are awesome, I appreciate and respect your sense of volunteerism, thank you, thank you, thank you.

  114. 114 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 06:00

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/jzo/2006/00000270/00000003/art00009
    http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=woodpecker

    How woodpeckers peck without killing themselves. Took 5 seconds to find. The reason I addressed the tongue is that is what generally you guys bring up.

    “And the fact that you said “There are plenty of explanations” about the feather is just hilarious and proves my point that it isn’t proven, after all”

    So because science does not have a definitive explanation yet, it should be ruled out here? It has ideas on the evolution of the feather that have yet to be proven to a general satisfaction. It is quite a stretch to suggest that, despite evolution having stood up to rigorous scientific testing, that it is somehow wrong here. There is not a gaping hole it is simply a matter of finding out whether the start of feathers was due to mating rituals, insulation, etc. Unlike religion, science does not declare things at random.

    “The point of the angler fish is the fact that it can survive when it goes to the surface, and then go really deep into the sea and why the male attaches its self to the female for life.”

    Why is this not explainable by evolution?

    “Come on, just make some primordial soup and your bound to get something! I mean, if you figure out how something came to be, you should be able to do it right?”

    No one can be 100% sure what conditions existed then. In addition, it took at least 600 million years for anything to develop, even simple prokaryotes. Plus, they are not that simple, which proves my point that you know next to nothing about what you are talking about. Relatively simple does not mean absolutely simple. All life is incredibly complex, but this does not mean it requires a God.

  115. June 1, 2008 at 06:05

    Zak I am a little leery about posting your e-mail. These guys get plenty pf spam. They should have the info they need.

    I am turning in for the night.

    Thanks all.

  116. 116 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 06:07

    “I don’t know if you know any middle class earning families here in the US with a handicapped member, but if you do you know that handicap can be a huge financial drag.”

    Yes, someone in my family (not nuclear family, but extended) is ‘mentally handicapped’. No, he did not decide to suicide bomb anyone. My point is, plenty of people in the world have the same problems but only Islamic ones decide to blow themselves up/commit terrorist acts on a large scale.

    “The responsibility is on us because we are the ones that don’t want to get attacked.”

    We should put the responsibility on them to control their population. If vigilante squads of Americans were going overseas and slaughtering foreign civilians would you absolve our government of responsibility also? I somehow doubt it. If they choose not too the areas that terrorists operate from should be carpet bombed into glass deserts. Since you seem to suggest we should be responsible for controlling them, I see no other option.

    “Why is it on you to put your seatbelt on if you drive safe and never get into an accident?”

    Yes, an accident. I do not assume anyone will be specifically ramming me with their vehicle – different situation.

  117. 117 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 06:10

    “My gosh, man, precivilized man and all animals of the world have mastered the complexities of gravity for thousands and billions of years.”

    Really, were their cave drawings with the mathematical laws of gravity drawn out – missed that one. They may have understood intuitively that objects fall but they were not close to mastering the complexities of gravity – even we aren’t there yet. We have a pretty good idea of newtonian gravity which applies at the surface of the earth but we do not understand everything.

  118. 118 Katharina in Ghent
    June 1, 2008 at 07:28

    @ evolution:

    First of all: YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW GRAVITY WORKS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! This is where creationists get it all wrong in the first way! Just as you don’t need to know how your digestive system works, but you still get a nice poop out of it… (I hope this gets approved!)

    Second, I will copy a short exerpt from the book “Stardust” by John Griffin (Penguin science books, 2001), I know that usually it’s not allowed to copy-paste on this blog, but I humbly ask to approve it anyway.

    ” In January 2001, scientists from NASA’s Ames Research Centre and the University of California, Santa Cruz, surprised many of their colleagues and created headline news by announcing the results of experiments carried out in laboratories here on Earth which produced complex organic molecules under conditions resembling those which exist in interstellar clouds of gas and dust. In these experiments, a mixture of the kind of icy material known to exist in those clouds (composed of water, methanol, ammonia and carbon monoxide frozen together) was kept in a cold vacuum and dosed with ultraviolet radiation. Chemical reactions stimulated by the radiation (typical of the kind of radiation from young stars which zaps real interstellar clouds) produced a variety of organic compounds which, when immersed in water, spontaneously created membranous structures resembling soap bubles. All life on Earth is based on cells, bags of biological material encased in just this kind of membrane. The implication of this work is that space is filled with chemical compounds which can easily give a kick-start to life if they land in a suitable environment, such as on the surface of the Earth.”

    Later the book describes very neatly how all these components are being produced inside the stars, following specific physical laws. Basically, after reading this book I was done with the story of the mighty creator.

    In any case, it takes A LOT more work to explain scientifically why the stone falls. To me, saying it was God who created everything and we must not question this is just simply the lazy man’s approach. And anyway, without science there would also not be any valuable medicine and I would like to stress here that we FIRST had the healers who gathered valuable information about the healing properties of specific plants and THEN the church that shouted “Whitches” and burned the healers on the stakes – while some of that info was actually preserved in the monasteries, haha. Where would your mother with breast cancer etc. be today if it weren’t for science???

    The mighty creator had its place when we could not explain why the apple falls. Now we know, so we should move on.

  119. 119 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 08:02

    “care I not for my no-spanking policy.”

    Simply out of curiosity, why that policy? I know personally that was the only thing that kept me in line once I realized I could my punishment simply by leaving my room.

  120. June 1, 2008 at 13:51

    Anyone care to comment on Tony Blair’s new Faith Foundation? I, for one, am glad he has taken this step and hope that the work done will increase understanding across factitious religious barriers.

    I like the Cardinal Newman / Oxford Movement shift to catholicism too. If you can jump ship from one faith to another, it shows you’ve got what it takes to move along to where your own truth is leading you.

    Take me, for instance, from Roman Catholic to Christian fundamentalist to charismatic to agnostic to Buddhism, all in the space of 5 decades. What next, I wonder?

  121. 121 Virginia Davis
    June 1, 2008 at 14:30

    To WHYS bloggers:

    I am writing this message the morning of June 1 to send to Ros Atkins and to post here on Blank Page 9.

    As you may or may not be aware, one of the overnight moderators late last week chose to edit out one of my entries. How that decision was reached I have no way of knowing. I do know that one of those moderators has been rude and unkind in the past regarding what I say and who I am. And that he is not the only one.

    I was taught that neither is acceptable behavior. From now on when I participate in BBC WHYS, it will be by direct email to staff.

    Virginia Davis in Portland, OR

  122. June 1, 2008 at 15:37

    Virginia,

    I do not know about the other WHYS moderators. I generally will post that anything doesn’t contain hateful and derogatory speech or words. Your post must also make a loose attempt at a point. Saying things like, “I won’t answer your question because I think you are stupid” is not an acceptable approach. We are listeners and reader just like you.

    There are some flaws with wordpress that can cause a legitimate post not to get posted. First, there is a SPAM filter. I too have fallen prey to this software. Generally if you include a web address or a hyperlink it will send you to the SPAM file. I know some moderators do not check that file. I do. But they get a lot of SPAM and the text and headings are not for the faint at heart. Second s the one I fear. The “SPAM” and “Delete” buttons are next to the “Approve” button. I do a lot of moderating from a laptop that has a really sensitive keypad. I have not done it yet, but I am afraid one day I will accidentally send one to the trash. I would post an apology and own up to it if I did, but many people may not.

    Ros hands this off to us with complete confidence. That has to be scary for them. He tells us that we are free to deny whoever we feel. I am sure that if they received a lot of complaints they would revoke our rights. If you now who was moderating post a question when you know they are. I don’t think I have rejected anybody so far.

  123. 123 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 15:56

    Really, were their cave drawings with the mathematical laws of gravity drawn out – missed that one. They may have understood intuitively that objects fall but they were not close to mastering the complexities of gravity – even we aren’t there yet.
    —————————————————————————————

    ——- Yeah, I’m sure all your drawn out laws of gravity could have prevented the newest crane incident in downtown NYC recently.

    All of life since it’s inception has made applicable physical laws of the universe work for it and is conversely subject to limitations as defined by those laws.

    The arrogance of modern man thinking that somehow he is superior to ancient man because some few rarified genii formulated and then handed off to him a formula to regurgitate is the stuff of Greek and Shakespherean tragedy. Or at least a match to the fable of Little Jack Horner.

    I’m big enough to admit to the various religious conflicts that do exist, but as I’ve pointed out, conflicts go back to the start of life. Irrespective of whether God exists or not, or whether all the laws of the universe are known or not, merely utilizing the evolutionary model to explain modern man, religion and science can be used as tools for good or bad purpose. Same with politics, government, charity, hammers, knives, cars, water, anything that modern man uses.

    For every “religious” shortcoming an atheist can spout out about, I can come up with a “scientific” shortcoming, so on that front they are on equal footing. So, when the suicide bomber detonates himself in the crowd, is it is the fault of religion that he espouses, his politics, or the science that created the means to his assault? Or is it the fault of the religion, the politics, or the science that aggrieved him in the beginning?

    I for one would like for the religious/atheist sniping to stop so real issues could be addressed, That ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. Too many loose cannons ready to sound off.

  124. 124 Will Rhodes
    June 1, 2008 at 16:02

    If you have a grievance could you keep that to e-mail, I am sure Ros and the team would love to hear your feed back. The blog isn’t the place for it – it is for discussions on the issues at hand or to bring new ideas for further shows in the future.

    If there is any more posts along these lines we will leave them to be moderated by Ros and the team.

    Thanks

  125. June 1, 2008 at 16:02

    It’s good to get rejected now and then. Happens to me on various sundry occasions, and I had one rejection from WHYS some time ago, probably because I used the word ‘colonisation’, which can look like a vile insult in some cases; or maybe it has something to do with the idea of the colon or whatever.

    Being rejected from time to time is salutary for the ego, and makes you realize what your poor friends have to put up with. I think I’ll complain to Ros that I don’t get rejected enough times to make me feel special.

  126. June 1, 2008 at 16:27

    @ Tino

    Missing the point with the mentally handicapped. You said that the suicide bombers came from “Educated middle class” families. However they were the handicapped and rejected members of these families. I might remind you that just that description would fit such Americans as the columbine students, the OKC bombers, and the Virginia Tech shooter. These people are predisposed for being suicide bombers. It is the poor people that take up arms and fight invading forces even when those forces come to remove a government the fighters are opposed to.

    I do not expect the same level of responsibility out of my 6 yr old neighbor that I do out of myself. It is also not my responsibility to punish him. If I did punish him his parents would probably respond negatively. What is going on in the Middle East is not our fight, not our business. Great make them pay for the window and put up a fence. You don’t go over there and start beating their children and expect them not to retaliate. 15 people from Saudi Arabia, two from the UAE, and one from Lebanon, and an Egyptian perpetrated attack that was more of a mistake of our logistic security then it was a military one. Yet we have responded by invading a country that had nothing to do with it, and effectively make the situation worse in the country that had a distant relation with the attack. Then we want to sit back and ask why they are mad at us? When did Iraqis attack the US? Heck, they were throwing up their underwear in surrender when last we saw them. When did even the Taliban attack the US?

    Look we do not send suicide bomber over there to personally kill their citizens. We send business men thirsting for oil, plutonium, and diamonds. The US business men want to secure the oil wells in regions with turmoil and conflict. So we find a warlord or a leader like Saddam Hussein who are naturally strong and oppressive. In that region you get that way by being ruthless and well funded. Do you know what the people of the area see? They see a new oil well erected with westeren technology, they see shiny new weapons in the hands of the men that raped their daughtes and killed their wives. In the beginning they kept finding millions of US dollars stashed in the safes of Saddam’s palaces. He was clutching it when they found him.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-12-14-saddam-caught_x.htm .

    So there aren’t “vigilante squads” with explosives over there. There are business men with mountains of cash. To say there is a difference is to say there is a difference between a man walking up top me on the street and stealing my wallet and a stock broker selling me on some fraudulent stock and taking my life savings. There is none.

  127. 127 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 16:27

    We are superior to ancient man, or are you suggesting we have come nowhere in thousands of years?

  128. 128 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 16:32

    Donovan,
    Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation
    It really does sound interesting. Odd that the word “peace” is not mentioned. Have any Buddhist leaders signed on? One thing that I appreciate is that I do not sense any effort to proselytise. I think that it is very healthy for a community to have interactive dialogue between various groups, including religious groups.

  129. 129 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 16:50

    “What is going on in the Middle East is not our fight, not our business.”

    If they would not kill our citizens I would love to leave them to rot in their cesspools of countries, believe me.

    “the columbine students, the OKC bombers, and the Virginia Tech shooter.”

    Columbine students were diagnosed as psychopaths. This does not mean they lost their reason, etc, etc. People like that should be killed as they have no hope and no excuse.

    OKC: “He has no major mental illness,” said Dr. John Smith, who evaluated McVeigh during his trial for the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. “He did not commit this act because he was deranged or misinterpreting reality,” Smith continued, “but because he was serious.”

    VT: You are correct.

    First of all, however, (and maybe I am alone in this) I do not really care what problems they have. They are killing people, nothing absolves that. Secondly, they need VAST funding and assistance to pull off these attacks, or are you suggesting everyone involved is mentally handicapped.

    “To say there is a difference is to say there is a difference between a man walking up top me on the street and stealing my wallet and a stock broker selling me on some fraudulent stock and taking my life savings.”

    Faulty analogy, because their is a difference between someone taking your wallet and someone viciously beating you to death in the street (stealing != murder). Maybe it is just me again, but I would rather be robbed than dead.

    As for Pape, I think you misread him: ““In general, suicide attackers are rarely socially isolated, clinically insane, or economically destitute individuals, but are most often educated, socially integrated, and highly capable people who could be expected to have a good future””

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying_to_Win:_The_Strategic_Logic_of_Suicide_Terrorism

  130. 130 Anthony
    June 1, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Everyone who doesn’t believe in any sort of God:

    What is the big deal with murder anyways? If we use the evolutionary approach, and the “survival of the fittest” approach, then whats really the big deal with killing people to get ahead in life, whether its here, Gaza, the middle east, or where ever? Just wondering other peoples view on it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  131. June 1, 2008 at 17:38

    @ Tino

    I do agree in concept with many of your suggestions. I definaly agree with the overall look at how we can take a defensive posture against a threat that we do not know from where it comes. I would also add that we are not allowed to send one cent in aid or trade to countries from whom a civil war is being wages. They would include Israel as well as Palestine. If we find one anti-western violence advocating, religious entity in your country, then aid and trade is immediately ceased until the fixture is destroyed. That includes Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebonon, and even some of the Jewis establishments in Israel.

    Burkas in your drivers license pics, expired visas, and illegal immigration are some attributes that must not be accepted.

    Right “stealing equals death” If you are dead because a guy robbed you or if are dead because some guy gave your enemy a gun when you only had a stick, you are still dead. In either robbery story you are still just as broke. Which is more to the point. One guy gets to say, “but my hands are clean. I didn’t do anything.” Another analogy would be a guy hiring a hit man is not guilty of murder because the hit man chose to carry out the contract.

    I am sorry, I did combine two sources. I was trying to get out of there last night. Robert Pape asserts that presence f the occupying forces seem to be the greatest motivator of suicide bombers and not the other way around.

    “RP: The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign-over 95 percent of all the incidents-has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw” taken from an interview found here. http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/terrorwar/analysis/2005/0718suicide.htm

    The 80% reference came from a study of 426 suicide bombers. Info found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bombers#Profile_and_motivation_of_attackers

    Got to go for while folks. Thanks for the help fello moderators. Will be back at 2 pm EST. 1.5 hours.

  132. June 1, 2008 at 17:41

    Shirley, I’m sure that the peace aspect in interreligious dialogue can be taken for granted. I don’t know whether any Buddhists have signed on; the thing is quite new. I heard about it for the first time today on …yep…BBCWS. Tony was being interviewed. It all sounded very interesting, but I’m left wondering how you reconcile the Iraq invasion and occupation with efforts to promote religious understanding…

    Never mind. I still respect what he’s doing. I’m quite sure that Buddhists will sign on; it’s in the nature of Buddhism to seek dialogue and insights from other religious paths, not to proselytize and to be welcoming to all religious systems.

    We need to find ways to reach one another without attempts at conversion and without trying to establish a one-world-religion. I’m sure that we can learn from one another without having to abandon our orthodoxies and religious definitions. I hope Tony’s thing will achieve this sort of interaction.

  133. 133 Vijay srao
    June 1, 2008 at 17:43

    I knew a Dwight from Cincinati ,a black Don Knotts wonder what happened to him.
    The Democratic Party really know how to shoot themselves in the foot ,people in Michigan and Florida want there votes counted ,there might be a backlash in the Genereal election in November if they don’t get right.

  134. 134 Roberto
    June 1, 2008 at 17:45

    We are superior to ancient man, or are you suggesting we have come nowhere in thousands of years?
    —————————————————————————————-

    Is this a rhetorical question?

    Other than technical gadgetry and more books with both more knowledge and more nonsense, can you somehow explain from an evolutionary standpoint which would have to start with genetics just how modern man is superior to man from 3000 yrs ago? That’s approximately 150 generations.

    Would you posit that modern isolated tribes in Brazil or Borneo are superior today than they were 3000 yrs ago? Would you posit that you and your peers are superior than these isolated tribes that exist today?

    If your computer has more capacity than mine, or you make more money, or your car is faster, or more environmentally friendly than mine, do you think that would qualify you as my superior?

    I can hop in my truck, turn on the AC, pop in a bank of CDs, pop the top of a cold beer out of my cooler and completely obliterate the speeds Barney Oldfield operated at with one hand, but does that make me a superior driver? I can turn on my very generic computer, and have access to a million times more knowledge than Albert Einstein could conceive of, so would that make me superior to Einstein?

    Is that your definition of superiority?

  135. 135 viola anderson
    June 1, 2008 at 18:17

    The belief of those who believe there is enough knowledge in the world already is what irritates me. I find that to be true of creationists who obstruct the search for truth in the staunch belief that they already have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    A live and let live attitude is the best. Atheists, leave the believers alone. Believers, stop trying to convince everybody with the “the Bible says blah blah blah” argument.

    There are plenty of born again Christians and fundamentalists who are humble enough to know that they do not know their God’s plan for the universe, let alone how their God executes those plans.

  136. 136 viola anderson
    June 1, 2008 at 18:24

    About critising someone’s post because it is not written in perfect English:

    While I strive to create clear, concise sentences myself, I understand that it is easier for someone whose first language is English to do so than someone who must struggle in an alien tongue to communicate with us aliens.

    I really, really appreciate anyone who has taken the time and probably the expense of learning the language I call my own in order to try to communicate on some of the most important issue of the day. Do your best and I will do my best to try to understand what you write and, if it is something I’m interested in, reply in a civil, non-threatening way.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  137. 137 viola anderson
    June 1, 2008 at 18:31

    Evolution:

    In eleventh grade of high school, we had to write a term paper on a subject of our choosing in English class. Then we had to stand in front of the class and present the gist of the paper orally. I researched the theory of evolution.

    Imagine my surprise, standing up there, to discover that a theory which I was merely investigating could arouse such irrational opposition. I believe it could have degenerated into a verbal free-for-all had the teacher not kept a lid on it.

    Things haven’t changed much on that subject since 1957.

  138. June 1, 2008 at 19:09

    Lubna Dear,

    I really am reluctant to chastise a very appreciated member of the WHYS community. But again, Ros gave me free reign as I see fit. I understand the you fee frustration by your perceived prejudices from Tino and VictorK. You may be right about their perspective. However, this forum is about promoting ideas of world and communal interest.

    I would ask that you address topics and issues and not people directly. VictorK and Tino I posted this comment of an example of crossing the line. If you find it personally offensive I will remove it.

  139. 139 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 19:28

    “Other than technical gadgetry and more books with both more knowledge and more nonsense, can you somehow explain from an evolutionary standpoint which would have to start with genetics just how modern man is superior to man from 3000 yrs ago? That’s approximately 150 generations.”

    I do not think we are vastly superior genetically. I think we are vastly superior technologically, I did not realize the argument you were making. I also tend to think that counts for quite a lot.

    “If you find it personally offensive I will remove it.”

    I do not really take offense to almost anything. No worries here.

  140. 140 Shirley
    June 1, 2008 at 19:39

    Modern Advancement vs Ancient Civilisation
    & Religion?
    I get much enjoyment from PBS and other dcumentaries that show how much technology and highly developed knowledge ancient civilisations had, especially the ones that were on the cusp of European invasions. It reminds me not to be so quick to think myself better than others just because of outward appearances. Initially, our archeaological findings would suggest that most ancient cultures were primitive – mostly because of their clothing and relgious rituals. However, once we crack linguistic codes and delve deeper into the archeaologic field, we find more that suggests highly efficient infrastructure and technology; highly developed language, literature, and even oral traditions; and highly developed scientific and mathematical knowledge. Another thing that I like totoss around mentally is the idea that perhaps there were other races of humans before us who were actually comparably as developed as we. And how would we know the difference, what with ice ages and all? But I still restrict my thinking a something of a young earth theory.

    Of course, one can have access to all the technology one want, but how does one act with/interact with/treat it? Is the same civilisation that obliterates entire regions with nuclear holocaust the as advanced, more advanced, or less advanced than one that never did have access to nuclear weapons but used their knowledge of soil, plants, planting methods, calendars and astronomy, seasons, climate, etc. to increase crop productivity to feed more members of his community?

    Religion
    I think that it would be very interesting to have Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation spread to different countries, especially in Europe and the Americas.

    Btw, did any of the atheists here at WHYS ever mention their opinions about ghosts and other ESP-type events?

    And another quesiton for brain fodder: Can a person who has needlessly caused the deaths of countless innocents redeem himself by founding civic-minded institutions?

  141. 141 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 19:57

    Virginia, your voice does matter, and the truth you speak is inspiring. Try to keep an open mind about returning to the blog. People make mistakes, it’s extremely frustrating having had a comment misunderstood and rejected – understandably it can take some time to accept the blog again.

    Here’s a little more tough love this blog needs to hear: right now the amount of male driven moderation is sounding about like bulls in a China shop. This blog has never been short on ego and guess what guys: we’re the fuel for that fire. This isn’t to cast blame on the moderators we have, personally I don’t think your moderation is at fault, only the chromosomes. Beyond Savane who never made it from Nairobi due to internet problems only Selena has moderated a weekend.

    Women, intuitive persons, if you could find it in yourselves to have your say more as moderators that could improve the balance in the overall environment.

    Finally there’s a country that we seldom hear from on WHYS, there are some countries undoubtedly, but it isn’t hard to understand why this one might not want to participate. Ireland is seldom heard from and in part I think that they would frown on this discussion as being far too pompous and frankly “English”. One way: the “old English rub”, subtle insult in tone, flies completely under the radar. Here’s another way of saying it with hope for the future:

    A person I’d most like to hear from on WHYS is Terry George: the director of movies such as The Boxer, and Hotel Rwanda, and a producer on In the Name of the Father. He’s also been extremely active in rebuilding and healing from the conflict; especially that existed between Ireland and England after being a prisoner in Ireland. Now how likely do you think it is that we’ll hear a voice like that to provide a proper contrast to the powerful royalty backed BBC?

  142. June 1, 2008 at 19:58

    @vijay,
    The voters in Florida and Michigan shot themselves in the foot when they did not level a lawsuit against their legislators for breaking the DNC rules. They got the same punishment that the Republican voters got for doing the same thing. They shouldn’t have been counted at all. Those who went out and voted only condoned their legislators’ action.

    If you remember up until late 2007 Hillary was the “presumptive nominee of the democratic party.” One by one as Obama visited the states personally and people got to know him, they changed their mind. The point is that if everybody is allowed to crowd up and ends up with a couple of days of primary he, or any relatively unknown, wouldn’t have gotten that chance. So to keep that “crowding” from happening the DNC set up rules. If you don’t do it that way, then forget letting people vote, you should just award the nomination to the person with the biggest connection to Washington money. That is who would win every time. Talk about disenfranchising the voters. Once people saw that Obama had a legitimate chance the support cam a flooding, but not before.

    In the end it will not affect the way Hillary supporters vote. Stevens and Ginsburg are the two oldest and most liberal members of the Supreme Court. It is generally believed, and will certainly be used as a fear tactic, that the court is only one more conservative vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade. White poor females will not accept that option. They will defiantly fear a conservative Republican nomination. Go Obama / Paul 2008. lol I guy can dream right?

  143. 143 VictorK
    June 1, 2008 at 20:03

    Dwight: you wrote, “VictorK and Tino I posted this comment of an example of crossing the line. If you find it personally offensive I will remove it.”

    You’ve lost me. Who’s crossed the line? What was the comment? The bit before the lines you’ve quoted (seemed fine to me)? Something to do with the other thread we were debating on (but why’s it popped up here)?

    Even in my present state of confusion I wouldn’t want any comment by others removed (though it would be different for a comment that’s genuinely offensive that I’d inadvertently posted – and I think it would be unintentional).

    I like robust, open and honest debate. I prefer putting counter-arguments to trying to stifle an argument by being offended, or claiming to be offended. No topic should be off-limits and no reasoned opinions should be considered beyond the pale.

  144. June 1, 2008 at 20:13

    Sorry Victork Trying to be PC. I thought Lubna’s comments, and continued comments directed at you and Tino were drifting into the offensive category. But I wanted to post what she said for review. Does that clear things up?

  145. June 1, 2008 at 20:19

    And yes I see I again posted under the wrong heading. I have one window open to the “Blank Page” post and the other open to the moderation board where it lists all the comments in one spot. I keep forgetting to switch to the relative heading when posting outside the “blank page”. sorry.
    I was addressing the exchange under the “Five for Friday” heading.

  146. 146 VictorK
    June 1, 2008 at 20:20

    @Dwight: yeah, all clear now. No problem with the comment. I’m sorry if anything I’ve written has upset Lubna or anybody else. It wasn’t my intention.

  147. 147 Dennis Young, Jr.
    June 1, 2008 at 20:23

    hi friends

    i am back ….

    miss you all…

    dennis
    syracuse, new york

  148. June 1, 2008 at 20:29

    Shirley, re: whether someone who has killed countless innocents can redeem himself (or herself…yes…that, too, is possible!), by founding civic institutions…(I don’t quite get the drift here)?

    Well, I don’t know what canon law has to say about the redemptive value of founding civic institutions, but my hope would be that anyone…anyone at all, no matter what evil they have done…can redeem themselves by cultivating a positive mindset, becoming free from neurotic motives, and, above all, devoting themselves to some sort of heartfelt compassionate activity.

    If this were not the case, I’d argue that none of us has a chance.

  149. 149 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 20:43

    Evolution: science and religion combined possibly.

    Stem-Cell Therapy has made advancements in China using cells from umbilical cords. Most agree this makes it non-life-taking act but some religions still disagree. Beyond that the subject of debate seems to be whether it works as well as some Chinese doctors claim to reverse blindness in children for instance. Test procedures in China haven’t qualified for Western use due to lack of study. Some children have apparently shown significant improvement in repaired vision though.

    Doesn’t this constitute the life which Humans are seeking to find in cells for the purpose of medicine – without the need for Human manufacturing?

    They also claim it can heal spinal cord injuries, the equivalent procedure in Western Medicine to repair broken vertebrae usually has about a 50% chance of the patient surviving.

    Lubna, perhaps you would be so kind as to comment on the spinal cord treatment options you’ve seen and how this might effect it?

  150. June 1, 2008 at 21:41

    @ Anthony

    Why don’t Darwinist rape and murder their way to the top of the chain like animals? That is basically your question. First, I don’t need a deity to tell me that something is wrong to not do it. But that not sound science. The reason we don’t all collectively rape and murder is for the same reason religions often do. As we evolved, not much changed physically. I mean sure we are not as hairy, our foreheads aren’t so profound, and we have better oral conformity. Mentally many of us have come a long way. I am an atheist and still believe that Jesus had a great plan. If I go around rapin and killin, then I have to expect everybody else would do the same. I would have to spend too much time just protecting myself and my offspring. I would never find time to surf the internet with my religious counterparts who have al found Zen and are gooving to the beat of one hormonal drum. The greatest advancement we have made was communication. However that required us to agree upon some civil rules. It was then that we realized how much we can get done by working together. In the parts of the world where religion reigns king and communication and just laws to regulate equality are non-existent, there is still animalistic attributes to the community.

  151. 151 Dennis
    June 1, 2008 at 22:22

    i saw that libya and the united states, have reached a deal on the lockerbie bombing in 1988 in scotland….

    i hope that this will settle the problems between the 2 countries…

    interest of full disclosure: some of those killed were attending college in syracuse,
    new york…where i am attending community college currently….

    dennis
    occ
    syracuse, new york

  152. 152 Tino
    June 1, 2008 at 22:29

    @ Anthony

    Fully agree with Dwight, he sums up my position nicely. Basically I act a certain way because it is how I expect to be treated. Unlike Christianity, however, I also believe it works both ways. So while I do not want to kill someone else, if they should happen to try to kill me or my family I will definitely end them.

  153. 153 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 22:29

    This American Life is very interesting this week, involving the case of suspected terrorists in Detroit, one from Morocco, all had their convictions overturned. Moreover the prosecutor was put on trial in what seems to have been just a further waste of taxpayer money.

    In times when America has not shown a lot of compassion towards suspected terrorists even when they’re proven innocent; it’s relevant to point out a show notably Jewish in it’s creators and host that does. In the last month they have given an unbiased look at several citizens from abroad, one Iraqi.

    The podcast is readily available and I’d really like to know how the TV show is on Showtime.

  154. 154 Zak
    June 1, 2008 at 23:01

    Interesting Denis; part of this agreement is referring to the initial settlement in ’03 when Libya took responsibility for the Pan Am bombing. According to the BBC Libya has yet to agree to the further amount, billions, stipulated by American courts but has agreed on negotiations. It’s worth reading this article if you can even make half sense of it; nothing Gaddafi does makes America too happy it seems.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7428901.stm

    In further front page BBC news it appears Israel and hezbollah, after an initial exchange of Israeli pow’s from the ’06 war for Nissim Nasser, may be prepared to deal on the first 2 kidnapped Israeli soldiers that began the conflict. That would seem to mark more progress, although it may be partially, dare I say, in the light of accusations Olmert appeasing his critics. Never the less it does ease tensions a bit.

  155. 155 Shirley
    June 2, 2008 at 00:05

    Donovon, you pointed out something very important that I forgot to remember: one’s mindset. For example, Hitler could have funded all the museums and cultural centres possible, but as long as he had in him the desire to return to his genocidal ways, it wouldn’t do him an ounce of good. Someone who realises the horror of what he had done, however, is repentant, and tries to leave a positive mark on society as the beginning of a compensation to humanity, would probably get the spiritual/mental benefits of his actions. I was referring to certain events in history, but my references were as mashed as potatoes with cream and garlic.

    Limits of Dialogue:
    Dwight, are you certain that I did not also violate your standards? It would probably have occurred on that same page (Five for Friday). I may have used pretty multi-syllabic words, but I thought that I expressed the same sentiments. Let me know if all is well.

    Victor, your statement of your views does indeed reflect a worldview that scares me. I am grateful that you stated your position succintly, though, rather than trying to hide behind eloquency. I mention it here because of the pertinency to limits of dialogue.

    Diplomacy vs Militarism
    Zak, are you certain that the Libya situation is not different from that in Iraq or with al Qaeda? I have seen objections raised concerning the fact that al Qaeda is not a sovereign entity, and that it has a stated purpose of forcefully imposing Islam on the world (fastest way of making hypocrites, have you nitced?), seemingly unwilling to talk, negotiate, or compromise. Then again, other mention that dialogue has alreay taken place between the U.S. and al Qaeda in certain places. What is your take on this? Also, do you feel that the fact that our illegal and unwarranted invasion of Iraq was an open invitation to al Qaeda adds a different dimension that requires different treatment than in other theatres? And how do you feel the involvement of religious extremism impacts the potential for dialogue?

    Lubna,
    I’ve written you; have you got anything? You may have to check different folders besides your inbox – I had to go to the spam folder to see your mails.

  156. June 2, 2008 at 00:24

    Shirley,

    It seemed to me that whole exchange stated getting to personal. You wre still just vcalling them out on points that they made.

    “Victor, I was born here in the West. I am of European descent. Are you implying that I should leave the country of my birth and got to some foreign Muslim-dominated country “

    “Tino, you complain that our protests turn violent, but you want us to protest violence by taking to the streets.”

    Where as Lubna seem to be just labeling them.

    “Oh my goodness Precious Tino ! I do really feel sooooo sorry for you buddy ! Fear, rage, blind hatred, prejudice”

    This is a subtle difference, but in my view it is where the constructive debate edges into personal arguments.

  157. 157 Dennis
    June 2, 2008 at 00:24

    regarding getting lost to the “spam” filters…i have had that happend to me, many times on “world have your say” blogs…..

    dennis
    occ
    syracuse, new york

  158. 158 Anthony
    June 2, 2008 at 03:12

    @ Dwight and Tino:

    But then without God, why should there be good and evil. Is an ape evil for killing other apes offspring? Is a lion evil for killing other lions from a different pride? I had a trigger fish who would kill the gold fish we put in there and not even eat the thing, just play with is. Was my trigger bad? No, so then you guys are putting a negative spin on murder then. Murder should be as beautiful as a baby being born, or dew on roses on a bright spring morning. How is that different than me going to my local CAMSS (California Association of Medical Staff Services) meeting and blowing up a car of women. I could get away with it and not get caught, and there’d be a couple job openings where I could make more money.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  159. 159 Zak
    June 2, 2008 at 04:21

    Shirley you’ll have to show me the exact nature of your question with a quote or otherwise; I haven’t stated that the situation in Libya is the same as in Iraq. If you’re referring to my sarcasm about Gaddafi I”m just echoing lines from so many of our past Presidents dating back to Nixon, expressing displeasure with him. It’s just ironic how many different takes there have been on his rule and none more ironic than the current, although Nixon was definitely odd.

    This may sum up my opinion about how Bush handles Nation States:
    The administration has at one point labeled Gaddafi a terrorist state and then reversed the stance based on the decision to stop working on WMD. The irony there is that has nothing to do with whether or not there is a terrorist presence in the country now or then, most likely just seeking refuge, not a nuke. So if it was all a political maneuver than Bush should have tried negotiation first; official policy should not have been to include Libya, or Somalia, in his warpath but rather only al quaeda. Too bad Bush doesn’t listen…to diplomacy, or extremists, or Sade singing “Pearls” for that matter.

    So if you’re asking did the invasion provoke a response from terrorists in other theaters? There’s no doubt in my mind, that’s the enemy we’re fighting and it does exist outside Iraq, but we’ll never catch a real glimpse of it there. Now no, I don’t agree with Bush’s strategy from day one, literally when he ‘mistakenly’ bombed innocent Uzbek citizens. But for all the civilian casualties he’ll cause in Africa on his quest for terrorists that chalks that up to drastically mistaken policy and I do believe that’s how most in Somali civilians feel on the late night bombing runs now.

    Sade sings

    There’s a woman in Somalia
    scraping for pearls on the roadside
    there’s a force stronger than nature
    that keeps her will at night…

  160. June 2, 2008 at 04:53

    Well I am about out of here. I will swing by from time to time and check for comments.

    It was a good weekend. Seems that a lot about evolution vs. the religion. Don’t know if WHYS team can get any good new topics out of it.

    Anthony, I will get back to you tomorrow. Any other moderators please feel free to help out. thanks again for all the contributors.

  161. 161 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 05:05

    Good and evil can be defined by humans, god is not needed. That is why we have laws forbidding murder, society agreed it was unacceptable. Why is god needed, humans can deal with things themselves. Plus, who really wants a ‘kind’ god who allows children to be raped and slaughtered, would he not be evil? He is supposed to have the power and knowledge necessary to do literally anything, but allows torture and suffering to go on all the time.

  162. 162 Dennis
    June 2, 2008 at 05:19

    Thanks Dwight and Ahmad, for moderating this weekend!

    Sorry, i was not able to do my part!

    Dennis
    OCC
    Syracuse, New York

  163. 163 Dennis
    June 2, 2008 at 05:22

    @ Zak:

    You are correct about the agreement between U.S. and Libya….

    I was having problems with my internet @ schools…….

    Dennis
    O.C.C.
    Syracuse, New York

  164. 164 Zak
    June 2, 2008 at 06:50

    Denis you’re right in what you said; there is a new agreement in the works now so thanks for bringing it up. The BBC actually has confusing links, one dates back to ’03.

    It looks as though Libya will pay the reparations and that would be a good thing for the victims.

    Again thanks Dwight let’s make sure you get some more help next time.

    Cheers, or good morning on the East Coast from the West Coast.

  165. 165 Bryan
    June 2, 2008 at 09:07

    “Does America (or any country for that fact) ever act out of strict compassion?”

    What a question. What was mainly Christian America doing bombing fellow Christians in Serbia to protect Muslims? Acting out of self-interest? An American ship was the first to arrive off the Indonesian coast with offers of aid after the tsunami. And when I last looked, Indonesia was not exactly a friend of America. America is often the first and most generous country to help those in crisis. What does America get out of helping AIDS-riddled South Africa fight the disease? Oil?

    Israel takes in African Muslim refugees from the Arab Muslim inspired genocide in Sudan (those not shot by Egyptian patrols as they try to cross the border) without any obligation to take them in, since Sudan is a hostile country. And the next time there is a major catastrophe like China’s earthquake, have a look at the Israeli response.

    Actually, this could develop into quite an interesting exercise. Let’s see people come up with comparable examples of nations acting out of compassion and not in their own self-interest. How about Saudi Arabia for example. Or are the Saudis too busy flooding schools in the West with textbooks describing Jews and Christians as monkeys and pigs?

    Dwight in Cleveland June 01 4:27 pm:

    “15 people from Saudi Arabia, two from the UAE, and one from Lebanon, and an Egyptian perpetrated attack that was more of a mistake of our logistic security then it was a military one.”

    I had to read that a few times to be sure that I had read and understood it correctly. Firstly, America’s admitted security lapse had no impact whatsoever on the nature of the attack. If a mugger mugs me because I have been careless enough to walk through a bad area, would that make it any less of a crime than if he mugged me in a good area? Secondly, there is no way that 9/11 can be even vaguely thought of as a “military” attack. Nineteen terrorists in civilian clothes with concealed weapons hijack civilian airliners and fly them into buildings housing mainly civilians and that can be considered a military attack?

    9/11 was conceived, planned and executed by Islamic terrorists in the East with the immediate aim of terrorising and weakening the West through the mass slaughter of innocents and the long term aim of the ascendancy of Islam over the entire planet.

    Wake up, people, for God’s sake wake up. (Yes, there is a God.)

  166. 166 Rick
    June 2, 2008 at 12:25

    @Bryan
    How about Canada, Australia, France, Great Britin, Germany, Denmark and on and on.

    The problem with the American school system is that they teach that the USA is everything and ignore the rest of the world.

    When they taught that America saved the world in WW2 did they go on to teach what they did in Cambodia, Vietnam. Nicuragua, Panama, Chile etc.

    The loss of 3000 in NY in 2001 pales in comparison.

    Its time for you yanks to get over it and move on.

    Why? Because you have decided to make it your defining moment and have sacrificed another 4000 young men and billions of dollars for nothing. No gain whatsoever.

  167. June 2, 2008 at 15:42

    @Anthony,

    I have always said, if I could prove without a doubt that there was no god, I wouldn’t out of fear that there is an element in society that has a simplick ideology that needs that belief to keep them from committing heinous acts. Often when I see the “nuke’em all”, “carpet bomb the place”, “we deserve to kill them wherever they are” mentality my fears are confirmed.

    First let us first start with the conclusion. I do not believe in “God”. Even though I do not, I feel no desire, and it is really uncomfortable to think that killing or raping as an option. For some people this is a result of logic and understanding for others it is part of a psychological tradition they can’t explaine. (see the experiment using monkeys a fire hose, and some hanging bananas.) I don’t know haw to explain it other then there is no logical or impulse to kill that I need a book and a religion to tell me not to do it. If a reader is telling me that you think about raping, killing, and stealing all of the time, but you are only stopped by the fact that you believe in a god? If so please scroll past the rest of the post. I’ll wait…….. O.K. for the people who do not need a deity to tell them not to commit heinous acts, is as good of a description I can muster.

    Everything aspect of our life is intermingled systems. We have Bio system, and ecological system, oceanic systems, weather, planetary, and interplanetary systems. We have a biological system made up of a respiratory, digestive, nervous, and heat regulation systems. Each of them are made of smaller systems. We have automobiles that are made up of several complex individual systems. Cars were first created with clumsy wood burning engines. Skip the fact just to make the parts required a team of individual to work together without killing each other, stealing their stuff, and impregnating each others wives. Sure we could just call it game over, ump in the car and go around being animals. But then we would never get any further towards our ultimate goal of spreading our genes outside this planet. Now we have hybrid, fuel injected, turbo charged, technology that is far superior because we do not act like animals. The human system only improves when we work together. Ever run in a potato sack race? The team with the fastest runner will never win because they have the fasted runner.

    Animals do not have our capacity to learn and communicate. At their greatest extent they learn that working as a herds, flocks, or tribes. It helps better their chances at breeding and eating. Left to their own devices they will become as extinct as the dinosaur. Only one animal has ever risen to the height of saving the rest, and possibly spreading it’s influence beyond the bonds of this world. Oddly enough it is the only one that could also destroy it’s own chances.

    Oh yah, no good or evil. Just things that have a negative or positive influence on humanity.

  168. 168 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 15:51

    “The problem with the American school system is that they teach that the USA is everything and ignore the rest of the world.”

    Ridiculous assertion. We had to take both World History and European history at my high school. I took both AP US and AP Euro, and did well on both. Have you even gone to an american school?

    As for US History yes we learn both the good and the bad.

    “The loss of 3000 in NY in 2001 pales in comparison.”

    No I am sorry, the loss of 3000 innocent people is never irrelevant, no matter what you try to say. In addition, our government has a number one priority: protection of its own citizens. There is nothing more important, nothing.

  169. June 2, 2008 at 16:26

    @Bryan

    I had to reread your. “America’s security lapses had no impact on the nature of the attack?” Pilots in schools openly admitting they didn’t care about landing a commercial Jet? 12 of the hijackers were here under some kind of illegal status. I know INS agents with stacks so tall on their desks of people they are supposed to track down that it would take a lifetime to just get through them. We had previous generals testifying in congress that “Osama” is the biggest threat to national security. Nobody seemed to care then, and nobody does now.

    I live in an urban area on the nicer side of “the tracks”. Every now and then I get stuff stolen fro my car. It only happens when I leave my door unlocked. You know who my wife and friends blame when that happens? That’s right, me. They are right, it is silly and naive to think I still live in the farm country I grew up in.

    If you were a gun store owner, and you got mugged by a guy with your own gun, whose fault is it that he had a gun to mug you in the first place. It actually goes a little deeper then that. If they guy that mugged you picked you out because his son had gotten killed by a guy that you sold a gun to, would he really be any less in the wrong? If you had not sold that thug that killed his kid the gun, his kid would still be alive.

    I do not know how you arrived at your conclusion for the purpose of the attack on 9/11, but it hold no logical water. If killing Americans was their drive, then they would still be coming. I hate to break it to you but the route from South America to the US would be a cake walk for them. They have no problems crossing a desert. If their objective was to kill Americans, we have sent plenty over there for them to kill. Think about it. It took 8 years, millions of dollars, and a lot of luck to kill as many Americans in the WTC as they have been able to killing 6 years with a lot less money and resources over seas. Their numbers have grown, and their recruiting machine seems endless. That is opposite of our problems. They are recruiting well “educated wealthy law biding citizens.” We are forced to lower our standards to accept high school drop outs and forgive a level of criminal history. I give the match points so far to them

    Speaking of mach points, Their real objective was a little less sophisticated and more effective. Many who are failure with the UFC know who the “Gracie’s” are. They had a unique style of fighting that is still the most prominently taught today. They would actually jump on you face to face and try to pull you down on top of them. It would seem to the observer that this was shear suicide. They won a lot. From their backs they would draw their opponents in close and wear them down until they were so weak that they submitted. So many people thought they had what it tok to beat the Gracie’s from the “mount” or dominate position. Horace was just this little guy relative to the people he fought. This not new. In Chess we call it “fools mate”. So many fell that they had to just make them judges. So it was with the US. I just shook my head as I saw it happening on the world stage. Al-Qaeda struck us knowing full well we would fall down on top of them. Guess who is winning the objective. Check out our Oil prices, our economy, our housing market, the quality of recruitment to our military, and all the other benchmarks. We are failing miserably.

    You are right Bryan, it is time to wake up. If there is a god, I would prey for rain and a lot of it.

  170. 170 Anthony
    June 2, 2008 at 16:43

    Hmmmm, well, to me it makes perfect logical sense that if I know someone has 100 grand in cash under their mattress, and I need or want money for whatever reason, to take it anyway possible if I can get away with it, whether its with force or not, and even if it results in death. Where’s the logic in not taking it?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    PS: Have you ever seen Natural Born Killers? It’s a very interesting film, and the main characters act exactly what I’m talking about.

  171. June 2, 2008 at 17:05

    The court has ordered all of the children of the polygamist sect returned. There is no doubt that many of these children will be returned to child molester, (who use religion to justify their action I would like to ad.) and abusive situations. Is this right? What can be done about it if not removing them from the abusive situation?

  172. June 2, 2008 at 19:53

    @Anthony,

    There are a lot of people out there who think that they can just take the 100 grand. In the US if you choose to do it, you would be violating the rules of the system that we have set up. We call them laws. In many countries the system is not so well defined or enforced. Those areas of the world tend to be civilizations less technologically advanced and more religious.

    My personal thought is that I wouldn’t want somebody to do that to steal my money, so I am going to set the example by not stealing theirs. Really I am a Christian. I believe the man had a great plan. Jesus was the worlds first hippie, probably a drunk, and a bit of a lune, but he had a great plan. If we followed it we would have heaven right here on Earth.

  173. 173 Shirley
    June 2, 2008 at 19:59

    Dwight,
    Polygamous Sect
    I am not sure that child molestation occurs at the polygamous compound in TX at a higher rate than the average here on the outside. What I am certain of is that there is an institutionalised policy of statutory rape and less than willing marriage participation by juveniles. Those people have such an emphasis on modesty that it is immodest to laugh or cry – so add emotional abuse to institutionalised statutory rape. The head of the sect arranges the marriages based on his whims. Girls are married off while they are at such an age as to become pregnant and deligver babies while yet teens. Whether they are married to 20-year-olds or 50-year-olds, it is statutory rape. And in an environment where they are socialised not to express emotions, I doubt strongly whether they feel capable of expressing unwillingness to participate in married life.

    Generous Nations
    America’s generous aid to Africa
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4091528.stm
    Tuesday, 14 June, 2005
    … Whatever list you make of generosity to those less fortunate than themselves, the Americans will be near the bottom of it. … But when non-governmental generosity is included, the US moves up the list – not to the top, but way above the bottom. Americans will tell you that they are generous but in different ways. …

    Regarding the “Stinginess” of American Aid
    http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/001805.html
    Thursday, December 30, 2004
    Is the United States stingy with disaster relief? Compared to other OECD countries, no. President Bush was correct in pointing out that the U.S. is the largest provider of “humanitarian relief aid” in terms of total dollars… Out of the 21 major donors, we’re ninth — hardly stingy, though not the most generous. … Indeed, the most shocking figure in that table is how ungenerous the Japanese have been on this front. … Beyond humanitarian relief, is the United States stingy with aid? Pretty much, yeah. …on those other fronts, the United States does pretty well. Even if you factor in private giving, the United States ranks 19th out of 21 rich countries in terms of per capita expenditures… This does not mean that the United States is particularly stingy on other dimensions of helping the poor. When you aggregate the different components, the U.S. comes in at 7th out of the 21 countries… … politicians in the United States and Europe “believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It’s not true. They want to give more.

  174. 174 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 21:19

    “If you had not sold that thug that killed his kid the gun, his kid would still be alive.”

    You are removing the onus from someone who committed the crime, which is preposterous. If I kill someone with a gun the manufacturer is not responsible, I am. I pulled the trigger, I mean come on. Same goes for the robbery, etc,etc. Perpetrator = responsible it is very simple do not complicate things.

    If we simply left Al Qaeda alone after the attack, they would do it again. As it is now we have killed many of them and captured many others. They are responsible, they should face justice – the issue is clear cut the how is what is tough to figure out, since carpet bombing is out.

    “mugged by a guy with your own gun, whose fault is it that he had a gun to mug you in the first place.”

    He could have used a knife, or his bare hands if well trained. Is it then the knife manufacturer’s fault, or perhaps the instructor who taught him to fight. If he learned himself and built his own weapon is that the only way he is responsible? Your assertion is beyond ridiculous.

    “If their objective was to kill Americans, we have sent plenty over there for them to kill.”

    Which is exactly what they are doing. Now if we were NOT there what would they be doing? Twiddling their thumbs or attacking our own soil? I mean do you really think they would just stop? Why did they do it in the first place?! We weren’t in Iraq then, or Afghanistan. We enjoy security because our military is taking the heat, for which I cannot thank them enough. I go to school right now as if we weren’t at war solely because other men are fighting for our ability to live the way we do – in relative security, without much adversity. Higher gas prices – so what, nothing compared to rations and such.

  175. 175 selena
    June 2, 2008 at 22:37

    @Tino “We enjoy security because our military is taking the heat, for which I cannot thank them enough. I go to school right now as if we weren’t at war solely because other men are fighting for our ability to live the way we do – in relative security, without much adversity.”

    Don’t you think it is immoral that other young men and women have to die or be maimed so that you and I can have a better quality of life?

    Think carefully about that!

  176. 176 Tino
    June 2, 2008 at 23:03

    Have you even talked to people in the military? They know what they are doing, my gfs brother is in the military and when I said it is ridiculous how people act in this country when we are at war his response was: “I do not think so, that is why we are over there doing it, so the fight never comes to American soil and people can live ordinary lives”.

    Also, they would not be fighting if we were not attacked, it is not like we are over there pillaging villages for resources to keep our way of life. Thus, your question seems weird to me. You make it sound like we are raiding them for material goods to keep our way of life going, when they are there to stop a group who has declared they will kill us unless we convert to Islam.

  177. 177 Bryan
    June 3, 2008 at 00:07

    Rick, I’m not American. And I was responding to the specific question of whether countries act out of compassion. Yes, not only Israel and America act out of compassion but these are appropriate examples for a BBC forum simply because the BBC spends an incredible amount of time and energy bashing those two countries and ignoring the good they do.

    Your “get over it” comment about 9/11 proves how little you understand of what is going on here. We are in a war. Which side are you on, Rick?

    I don’t know much about the American education system. But it can’t be worse than the British. In fact, education worldwide is in real trouble because it has been hijacked buy the “liberal” left.

    Dwight, maybe I’m being dumb but I really don’t understand your response. Of course there were security lapses on and before 9/11 but what on earth does that have to do with the nature of the attack? I had a debate on another blog with someone who kept questioning whether 9/11 could be regarded as a terrorist attack because the Pentagon was a military target and the people on the planes were BOMBS used by the attackers on the target.

    The world has gone mad.

    Selena, throughout human history the young and fit have been sent into battle to protect society, including the weak. It’s not immoral. It’s what we humans do. Would you rather we send the weak against the enemy’s strong?

  178. 178 selena
    June 3, 2008 at 00:28

    @Tino

    My step father is a multi decorated veteran.

    You seem to have missed my point. I am not talking about what we are doing over there. The reason for war is not crucial to my question.

    I am asking you if you think that it is moral for another person your age to keep you safe at his/her own expense?

    I will go another step. Why is one life worth more/less than another?

  179. 179 selena
    June 3, 2008 at 00:55

    @Bryan

    No, I would prefer that there were no wars. But we can never achieve that goal until we start looking at the reason for war, from a new perspective.

    There really should be no strong versus weak argument.

  180. June 3, 2008 at 00:57

    @ Tino,

    It is that complicated and even more. It is also understandable. You are removing the point. Let us take a look at this new tribe just discovered in South America. Let say shortly we find another tribe in the same area. The two tribes have been fighting each other for years. They had been even and in more of a cold war. Some business men find oh say oil in the area, zoom in their, give one tribe firearms, and tell them to protect their oil wells. Whose fault is it if the tribe that didn’t get the weapons gets slaughtered?

    To reiterate, these people don’t get CNN. They don’t even read. They just know that first their enemies got stronger. They see shiny new western technology. As long as the west keep supplying their enemies with weapons, their daughter will still get raped and the sons will still get murdered. I don’t know how much clearer then that it can get. If I was a goat herder that was just minding my own business the all the sudden the thugs I had been able to hold at bay for years are now armed to the teeth, and there is a shinny new oil well in the middle of my pasture, I would probably come after you. One more piece of the puzzle. The 9/11 attackers came form areas where we have oil influence and the rich are very rich and the poor are very poor. Osama is an exile from his own country the son of rich oil tycoons. Oh yah, Afghanistan was the Vietnam of Russia. They supplied soldiers and arms, The US flooded all of these rebel groups with weapons.

    So a little trip through history shows us that in throughout the 80’s the US was supplying money and weapons to militias resisting the Russians. You might recognize the name of one of the main resistance groups, the Taliban. These groups were trained by in training camps set up through this guy you might know him, Osama Bin Ladden. We had no use for him anymore. We were dealing with his parents that had kicked him out of Saudi Arabia. We even had people out there trying to kill him. he felt a little spited about that. To say because we didn’t have boot on the ground is a very shallow way to look at the world.

    My point is that we were in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and UAE. Not to mention that we crucial to the sanctions against Iraq and we propped up the militias in Afghanistan.

    So why do we have laws that somebody must have a license to sell guns. Why can’t a guy just open up a van in east LA and sell M16 and grenade launchers to whoever stumbles up with the going rate. Heck if we sell in volume we could really bring the rate down. I mean if the people actually choose to use them it wouldn’t be the guy in the van’s fault. Sure the violent street gangs will probably rule the neighborhood but that wouldn’t be the guy in the van’s fault. Man we should get this enterprise off the ground before too many people spend their economic stimulus checks.

  181. June 3, 2008 at 01:01

    Oh yeah,

    I work with many of these kids on a daily basis. Most of them joined for the education, occupation, or one of their few chances to out of whatever situation they didn’t want to be in. Their situation made them join the military, their “training” ”made them patriotic.

  182. June 3, 2008 at 01:33

    @ Bryan

    The point was that if we didn’t have those security lapses we wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked. Then we wouldn’t have to go to war and punish people who had nothing to do with it, such as the case in Iraq. They are not stopping anybody over there. I think Al-Qaeda spare another 20 people and a couple of plane tickets to Mexico if they scraped around their oil rich supporters backed by US aid money.

    A couple of CIA agents and a small strike team could have taken care of the Al-qaeda problem discretely, cheaply, and quickly. That is if the administration officials weren’t in the habit of exposing their own networks.

  183. 183 Tino
    June 3, 2008 at 01:53

    “I am asking you if you think that it is moral for another person your age to keep you safe at his/her own expense?

    I will go another step. Why is one life worth more/less than another?”

    It is not, which is why we have a volunteer army. I would also consider enlisting if our country got its mind right on this issue, specifically changing ROE so our troops are not policemen but fighters in a war – I cannot stand the fact that they have to put themselves at risk by: staying out of mosques, giving ridiculous warnings at checkpoints, etc. So yes, if someone volunteers to join the army they should fight to keep their country safe. Maybe I am still missing your point?

    “and tell them to protect their oil wells. Whose fault is it if the tribe that didn’t get the weapons gets slaughtered?”

    If the other tribe is trying to take their oil wells, the tribes own fault. If the tribe uses its weapons offensively, their fault. I am sorry but tools/their makers are not responsible for crimes – people are.

    “I mean if the people actually choose to use them it wouldn’t be the guy in the van’s fault. Sure the violent street gangs will probably rule the neighborhood but that wouldn’t be the guy in the van’s fault.”

    It wouldn’t it would be the gangs fault. If he knowingly supplied them to someone who was going to murder someone – maybe he is less than stellar but at the end of the day it is the fault of whoever pulled the trigger. I mean if someone kills your family member are you seriously going to blame the gun company not the person who shot them?!

    “f I was a goat herder that was just minding my own business the all the sudden the thugs I had been able to hold at bay for years are now armed to the teeth, and there is a shinny new oil well in the middle of my pasture, I would probably come after you.”

    Instead of the thugs?! What nonsense. In addition, I assume you would at least stop with ME and not commit yourself to destroying me, my family, my country, little children, etc,etc. That is another reason the situation is different – they dont just want the government they want EVERYONE and openly say so.

    PS: Please address how you feel about Muslims who claim their right to rape women based on the way they dress – how is what you say any different. Onus on the perpetrator is the only thing that makes sense…

    “Their situation made them join the military, their “training” ”made them patriotic.”

    You cannot train someone to be patriotic. A friend of mine joined for the education opportunities, but he was a patriot before and still is. Once again, volunteer army no one made anyone join – and shouldn’t, abolishing the draft was a good move in my opinion.

  184. 184 Tino
    June 3, 2008 at 02:24

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7431911.stm

    Would like to toss this out there, this is the kind of nonsense Islam puts out on a regular basis. No tolerance for others, but love to use our liberal system to take everything they can – foot baths, prayer rooms, etc.

    “Diyan told me: “If we just let the Ahmadiyah be, they’ll have a negative impact on other people. They need to be disbanded.””

    This is why Al Qaeda will never stop. This is just a guy on the street, and you all think Al Qaeda somehow holds a BETTER view?! All the sect is doing is existing, and Muslims are afraid of what – conversions?

    Ties in with: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1023483/You-preach-Bible-Muslim-area-What-police-told-Christians-preachers.html

    Remind me what the official religion of England is again, I seem to have forgotten – clearly so has England.

    Islam does not preach tolerance, once it is in control it is game over for everyone else.

    Changed the one word I assume made it unacceptable….

  185. 185 John in Germany
    June 3, 2008 at 09:05

    Another case of let the people starve, as long as we keep our face. North Korea could obtain help from the south, all they need to do is request it. which means nothing less than saying please. The word please is going out of use, but it could save Millions from hunger.

    Once again we are informed about the careless attitude of dictators towards their own people, just to keep face. Burma, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and so on. I wonder what will come out of the World Food Conference in Rome?????.

    Debt.
    i thought i was debt free until i read the news paper this morning. It is reported that every resident in Germany has a public debt of €18.880, hanging on her, or his shoulders. The trouble is, these debts would not acour, or at least not so much, if our leaders learnt to budget like a good couple. It is atrocious how money is wasted, sometimes due to basic control being missing from the agenda. Four separate groups, Require-Approve-Order-Pay. the basics of requirement procedures.

    A very good nights listening from the BEEB, Ok not all night, i was nursing the dog through the thunder storm. It is interesting to read the times on the input, most of you are awake when we in Europe are sleeping. No we don’t join in because were snobs, but because we are usually sleeping.

    Is there a greed for disaster in our World today?.. In a German newspaper, Six children killed in an accident in France. It is sickening to see such reports, they do not decrease the accident rate anywhere. It is just the same as the so-called
    laugh programmes, where vehicle accidents, and such are shown for a laugh, and to make money, two frames later could be death, or serious injury. The newest one is sport accidents. What a sick world, probable death or injury to carry advertising.

    Have a nice day, or night

    John in Germany

  186. 186 Rick
    June 3, 2008 at 10:15

    Tino, no I haven’t been to an American school. My exposure to the issue comes from working in the tourist industry in Canada. The level of ignorance displayed was gobsmacking.
    Also, I didn’t say the deaths on 9/11 were irrelevant. Up to this time last year over 66,000 Iraqi civilians have died violent deaths as a result of the war.(according to wikipedia) So I repeat that the 3000 deaths on 9/11 pales in comparison. Why is it that you think that an American life is worth so much more any one elses?
    Bryan, Which side? What are the choises? Terrorists or yours? Like W said your ‘either with us or against us’.
    The Coalition of the Willing, all three of them including Australia’s 500, stood up to that nasty old Sedam against the wishes of the entire rest of the world. I was on the rest of the worlds side.
    Who is buying into the propaganda here Bryan?
    During the cold war we had a commie behind every lampost an now its a muslim who wants to take over the world.
    I’m on the side of reason, respect and justice.
    We are not at war, we are playing chess. We need to out smart them, not out bomb them.
    Tell me , who DO you think gives us a balanced view of world events?

  187. 187 Shirley
    June 3, 2008 at 13:30

    Dwight,
    Early Primaries & Rules
    To heck with those rules. They only establish an elitest order. Until such time as a national primary date is set and everyone votes on the same day, I see no reason why states shouldnot be able to set whatever primary date they want as early as they want. I personally think that the primary date should be established nationally as one day and not staggered all over the country. I also think that it and the main election should be a federal holiday so that people don’t hvae to choose between work and voting.

    Zak,
    I didn’t realise that you were being sarcastic about Gadaffi. I do tend to be naïve when it comes to that kind of thing, though I’ve got better over the years. I saw an article in Newseek that discussed the concentration of resistance fighters/terrorists/extremists that go from Libya to Iraq to fight. It was intriguing t me, because I would have thought most of the impirts to be from Saudi Arabia or Jordan. And I do view the al Qaeda problem in Iraq to be an import. They didn’t have Qaeda until GW opened the doors of welcome to them with his illegal invasion and occupaiton. Did you say that there are late night U.S. bombing raids in Africa these days, by the way?

    National Debt & Personal Debt
    Is it really my debt (USA res)? I didn’t vote for the knuckleheads who want this useless trillion-dollar war and who love their rich donors to death by lowering their taxes.

  188. 188 Tino
    June 3, 2008 at 15:13

    “Why is it that you think that an American life is worth so much more any one elses?”

    Most of those deaths are not due to US forces, the vast vast majority are due to said terrorists instead. I think lives are equal, except when someone does something truly bad – then I think their life is worth nothing (EX: murderers, terrorists, etc).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_of_the_Iraq_War

    “Killing over 12,000 Iraqis from January 2005 – June 2006, according to Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, giving the first official count for the victims of bombings, ambushes and other deadly attacks.[278] The insurgents have also conducted numerous suicide attacks on the Iraqi civilian population, mostly targeting the majority Shia community.[279][280] An October 2005 report from Human Rights Watch examines the range of civilian attacks and their purported justification.[281]”

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War

    That is just from Jan 05 to June 06. Couldn’t find any other stats quickly. These are exactly the people we want to stop and they are definitely responsible for the most civilian deaths.

    “Tell me , who DO you think gives us a balanced view of world events?”

    No one does, everyone has some kind of bias. I think the BBC does a decent job overall though – which is why I read my news there in general.

    @ Shirley

    100% agreement with your comments on primaries and voting in general. Nice to see we don’t always go head to head haha.

  189. 189 Shirley
    June 3, 2008 at 17:36

    Tino:
    Wow. You and Victor both. Cool :=)


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