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Everything posted by J.C.MacSwell

  1. My intention was defining it as something you consider yourself aside from your physical body, assuming there is such a thing. If there isn't I think it's almost certain, at least in my mind (lol because that's where I assume my soul would be), that we do not have free will. Most people believe they have free will and some essence of self but can't prove it, and I think that is how I would define my soul So I guess that's roughly how I choose to define it, but I can't even be certain I have a choice, though it feels like I have both a soul and free will right now, being alive and all. So assuming it exists...the question becomes what happens to it when you die? Since it really doesn't lend itself to a scientific investigation, it can't be proven as correct thinking...so religion, unencumbered by provable lines of thought, gets to reign over this type of question. That's the best I think I can do at the moment...weak-ass as it seems.
  2. Yes. Religions have answers to those ranging from good through terrible. Science can't answer them...though I guess some might try to claim they have scientific answers for them. But I was thinking more along the lines of "what happens to our souls when we die?".
  3. That's a good post explaining your position but a far cry from supporting any characterization of anything anywhere in this thread suggesting "Palestinians have screwed up and now everyone there deserves to be bombed?"
  4. ...do you also feel or believe in characterizing Israel claim of a right to defend itself as "Palestinians have screwed up and now everyone there deserves to be bombed?". Is it helpful in that regard? For the record, I don't think you do, nor do I think CharonY does, and I think INow is just trying to defend it. But that's one nasty take if anyone honestly believes it. Fortunately the stakes on this forum are far less than for those charged with trying to solve the issue.
  5. Is that because you want a repeat of the Holocaust? Because that's about as accurate as CharonY's assessment...and apparently yours also.
  6. CharonY puts together excellent posts, but he seems to fuck up reading other posters.
  7. When Jesus was young he came running into Joseph's workshop saying "Dad, did you call me?" Joseph replied "No, sorry, I just hit my thumb with my hammer!".
  8. I guess this comes down to the fact that Science can't answer questions that Religion claims to answer. So if you are pondering the unknowable, Religion has something to offer where science does not.
  9. Most directly, Iran supports Hamas and it's terrorist activities. Hezbollah in Lebanon as well. Other Arab countries have supporters of Hamas. And as I mentioned Israel is outnumbered by the Islamic population 200 to 1, so a relatively small percentage of support becomes quite significant. Given that, Gaza is not quite as powerless as it might seem especially given the willingness to resort to terror and to hide behind civilians.
  10. I was critical of the longshots individually but not the idea of bringing them up. +1 in fact. As I said maybe they will help someone somewhere come up with something that might work.
  11. I didn't think it was required. Kidding, but serious that NATO countries should not get directly involved, other than perhaps peacekeeping along with non NATO countries after Hamas is removed aside. If somehow some elements of your suggestion could be incorporated in a pragmatic solution, that would be a very good thing. They can do more than the Palestinians, but unfortunately they cannot do more than all of the Arab and Islamic countries, which in population outnumber them 200 to 1. So if just 1% are willing to continue to act against them they are outnumbered 2 to 1. The Palestinians are isolated by all other nations in peace, but not in war, nor in acts of terror. Also add that it seems very unlikely to me that in numbers Hamas represents only 1% of the Gazan Palestinians. Surely many more condone their actions. I don't think they would have survived as long as they have if that was the case. Though I don't know
  12. Suggesting NATO countries take over from the IDF? At what point? Near future? Make it their job to root out Hamas and bring those criminals to justice? Under the auspices of the UN? Maybe after the war Hamas started is over? This also requires Hamas removal from the equation This suggests Israel promoting their choice of leadership to the Palestinians. I guess it's good to look at the better possibilities even if they seem like longshots. Might help eventually lead to a plausible solution where none seem workable at this time. But right now it seems like Hamas's removal is essential as a start, and only Israel is willing to do that. Until it's done or a reasonable proposal to take on that task by others willing to do it no one should be requiring any more of Israel than abiding by agreed laws of war to the degree that protects civilians (which unfortunately will never be sufficient even with other countries stepping in to take over the task of Hamas's removal). Insisting on Israel abiding by a truce they haven't agreed to, in a war declared by Hamas, requires a commitment to upholding the peace that no one is currently willing to offer. I will say though, that the rules of war could use significant improvement. I just don't know how. Maybe though as a start, a commitment to sanctions not just against obvious aggressors, but to those unwilling to sanction them or continue to support them... If NATO does form a task force to take over from the IDF to root out Hamas and bring the criminals to justice I think a good name for the operation might be "The Final Crusade".
  13. I think I probably could have best left that last paragraph out on my praise of Phi's post...but overall I think his post was a little more tolerant and achievable of progress than some previous. Tolerance where possible, and working toward achievable progress, I think are two of the keys for humanity needed right now.
  14. I am certainly onboard with that. +1
  15. I didn't say that. I said some of them were the basis of some of our better laws. I did mention guaranteed success, but wasn't claiming you were suggesting any guarantee, just a strong belief that without religions alone man was capable of "heaven on Earth", which you now have explained means something considerably less to you than utopia. I didn't say that. I said some of them were the basis of some of our better laws. That's hardly the same thing. If you are going to oppress and control peoples freedom of thought you might need to set up an oppressive hierarchy to do so...the very thing you are speaking against. I think it might be better to just focus on any resulting negative actions rather than ban religions entirely, which you seem to be in favour of. Any consistent human tendency, both good bad or both, obviously is allowed to manifest from some capability that is supported by our DNA. You might think the concept that some people are more worthy than others stems only from religion, without which no negative hierarchies would naturally arise but they are everywhere, some necessary and some not, and over time they tend to get abused by those in power. One of my examples was this forum. It certainly requires a hierarchy, and it's mostly good, but it's there. (I don't know which religious zealot among your staff set it up...but I'm sure you will turf them when you find them given your new found intolerance...that or maybe it's just inherent in human nature...😄)
  16. Because here, although we have evolved to have the capacity for peaceful coexistence, we have also all evolved to have the capacity for instinct to take advantage of those that demonstrate excessive pacifism. When not sure we tend to poke the bear to find out...
  17. You used the term "heaven on Earth" which is essentially utopia by most definitions...or at least much closer to it than what you describe here which is much closer to what I thought was plausible with or without religion.. So I think we can at least agree that there is plenty of room for practical improvements. You can certainly point at religious faith being part of the problem when corrupted in certain manners but removal certainly doesn't guarantee success. Yeah. I don't believe they are that bad. Some of them to a "fill in the details" extent are incorporated in some of our better laws. Our laws don't force you to abide by them all. To be tolerant of them you need to look at them in a historical sense (not that I'm any biblical scholar). The concepts, and similar ones prior and in other religions, helped societies and individuals survive. They were "fitter" in that sense than having none. Modern psychology may have some paths to improvement but is far from a hard science. Much of it doesn't lend itself well to scientific method and especially where it doesn't it certainly gets strong doses of human nature, both good and bad. In any event any advantages of any advancements were not available back when the Ten Commandments were carved in stone. Also Moses would have broken his back carrying down all the tablets you would need for your caveats and improvements...😇😀 Unfortunately even if you removed every religion from the face of the Earth doesn't take that with it. We're kind of stuck with it in that without eradicating it from our DNA it would be back in a heartbeat if you could get rid of it from religions... ...continuing from above...sports teams, knitting clubs, Star Wars fans etc. Not to mention political parties... ...or science forums...(though admittedly many don't have it formalised in negative and positive reputation points...😄)
  18. Even the best of intentions get twisted in favour of those in positions of power...all a matter of time...something enduring religions have had a lot of... But how much better can we do unburdened by some of the more detrimental aspects of religious faith? ...and how do we get there? It seems to me the right amount of religious and atheistic tolerance would be helpful, just as the acceptance of some of the worst aspects would not be.
  19. No.Not at all. If you read my immediately previous post... I did cite the Ten Commandments as being not bad. I didn't claim they were perfect. Human nature being what it is we do need to work toward a set of ethics we can hold people to. In utopia of course you don't need them.
  20. I think it is easy to blame the Nazis for Naziism and similar level atrocities, but if we want to avoid becoming part of it it's important to recognize we are all born capable of the same.
  21. That reflects on why you think religions are detrimental, and I can partially agree. What makes you think we can reach utopia if unburdened by religion? Human nature, both the good and bad, will still affect the process. The Ten Commandments are really not that bad...but even the one's who believe in them most break them...along with Atheists, Agnostics, and everyone else.
  22. Do you really believe we are capable of that just through elimination of religious beliefs? I can see some aspects of religious beliefs being detrimental, but I can't see even elimination of all of those leading to heaven on Earth...though it might go some way toward reducing Hell on Earth. I'm not sure if there is any religious faith pervasive in the rest of the Animal Kingdom...but I see plenty of angst out there even within same species. I guess we are smarter than them but are we smart enough? Is our DNA wired in such a way it could possibly work? I think we are limited to just making progress and I think we are capable of that if we work at it...possibly even with the help of some of the better religious teachings from all faiths...and hopefully with the reduction of the detrimental ones. It's a small planet and we evolved in a much bigger one relatively speaking. We also evolved with religious beliefs. It may have helped in our survival, with the "fitter" (don't read as more or less ethical) religions evolving and out surviving less "fit" ones.
  23. I will certainly admit that's a pretty questionable position, especially for someone who is supposed to be strong on foreign policy. Desantis is behind by just as much and has lost ground to her to the point it's fairly even. If she gets clear ahead and he fades he might not be around or at most on life support at the subtraction point...if there is one. Of course Inow, you do know you have to vote for her if it comes down to her and Biden...she is after all a women, and Biden is an old white guy...😀
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