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Michael Shermer points out in his book “Why People Believe Weird Things” that most people hold beliefs because they want to. Nothing more complicated that this simple answer. This goes for believing in gods to a higher minimum wage. Against overwhelming evidence, as the politician Elder quotes: "At the end of the day, between the intellect and the heart, the heart wins out."
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Local or National Elections?

Richard2666 Wrote: Oct 14, 2014 8:04 AM
I agree with Dr. Sowell on so many issues, I find it unpleasant to disagree, but disagree I must. I love Sowell when he limits himself to economics, but I find I disagree with him on many political issues. This article is an example and comment only upon one point. Neither faction of the Big Government Party, the GOP nor Dems, have any principles. The difference between various factions of the same behemoth fighting for power and a principled “third party” candidate is more than symbolic political purity. I find it stellar in magnitude and cannot be compared with the single-issue abolitionists 150 years ago. I cannot in good conscience vote for either a Dem or Republican, not because of political purity, but because it would accomplish nothing other than support the same coercive principles enforced in differing degrees. The saying, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two wings of the BGP is all too true.
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The Challenge: Pornography Pandemic

Richard2666 Wrote: Oct 09, 2014 8:13 AM
Those who fear sex are normally also god-fearing and all the argument adduced against pornography are the same as against sex itself. Face, we evolved as sexual beings and we love sex---that is why we have 7 billion people on earth. But, there will always be those who want to impose their views on others. Conservatives are hung up on prohibiting anything sexual. Liberals are hung up on anything dealing with individual rights. The logical fallacies in this Hagelin article are too numerous to catalog but they start from the second sentence with the conclusion "it's an evil..." Suppose it is not the evil you claim.
I am offended every time somebody says "god bless you." I don't even know which of the thousands of gods humans have groveled to over thousands of years the person refers to. So, yes, please do not say "god bless you."
Carson advocates history and how our government works be taught in schools. I agree. But then he says: "Also in most other countries, it was declared that the rights of the people were conferred by the government; whereas, our founding documents indicate a belief that our rights derive from our Creator, a.k.a. God." And that is what scares me. The history of the Declaration of Independence shows the word "creator" was a compromise word because the US was to be a secular nation and our rights do not come from a god or the government. Ben wants god in government and would bend the history taught to be compatible with his religious views.
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It's Better Now

Richard2666 Wrote: Oct 01, 2014 12:07 PM
Excellent article. I am 73. At the turn of the 1900s to 2000, the average age for death was just under 50. I have already lived 50% longer than my average ancestors and I am in excellent health, not a bent up old man. Everyone is panicked by Muslims killing Muslims (which has been going on for more than 1,000 years) in what the war mongers preach is an attack on the U.S. If we would pull out and let them kill each other, they might not hate the U.S. as they do. It is like a domestic fight. The police show up and both end up attaching the cops for interfering. Stop and think for a moment about just how good things really are overall.
Tens of millions have died truly believing that which is not true, is true. The number of deaths does not establish the validity of a belief, only that those people believed it.
Christians say the wonder, beauty, and allure of the resurrection outweigh the brutality, horror, and repulsiveness of death on the cross. Christians say it is the most glorious and important event of all time and also the key to Christianity’s superiority over other religions. I have a question: How do you know Jesus didn’t die like every other person has or will? What the proof for this extraordinary claim can you produce? The universal rule is: The burden of proof lies with the proponent of the proposition. There is no burden on a nonbeliever to disprove. I hope Christians would understand the reasons I have doubts. I respect the good people who have embraced the resurrection as a fact. My respect for others and my appreciation of their emotional investments in long-held beliefs does not mean such respect dictates I not ask questions. If it really did happen, then I sincerely want them to convince me so I can be better aligned with reality. As Carl Sagan made popular: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Certainly rising from the dead is extraordinary.
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Why I Wrote 'Jesus on Trial'

Richard2666 Wrote: Sep 09, 2014 11:39 AM
Using standard rules of evidence, one cannot even establish Jesus existed, let along “defend the reasonableness of the Christian faith.” A good lawyer would know this. Besides, reason and faith are incompatible by definition. Reason is the faculty which perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by the senses. Reason integrates perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions, thus raising knowledge from the perceptual level, which we humans share with animals, to the conceptual level, which humans alone can reach. Faith is the acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence of one’s senses and one’s reason. Faith is the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as "instinct," "intuition," "revelation," or any form of "just knowing." One cannot, by definition, have a reason for faith. In addition, I challenge Limbaugh to identify or communicate intelligibly the nature, the identity, the definition of the god he worships. Exactly, what is the meaning of the concept? Please note, I said “intelligibly” define, and by that I mean something we readers can all understand and has no internal contradictions.
Rachel provides an excellent example of a closed mind caused by cognitive dissonance.
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