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Christian. Would you teach your child to use a scapegoat at school?


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Most people would not teach their children to use a scapegoat at school because of the reputation and shame it would give the child.

 

Yet Christians plan on doing that very thing to get themselves into heaven. They call it the sacrifice of Jesus, but regardless, it is still using a scapegoat.

 

Christians have to embrace human sacrifice and the notion that it is good justice to punish the innocent instead of the guilty.

Is that a good moral teaching for Christians or not?

 

Regards

DL

 

 

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From the Christian point of view, Jesus willingly sacrificed himself - which does not make him a scapegoat, but a martyr. It's a subtle, but important difference.

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Most people would not teach their children to use a scapegoat at school because of the reputation and shame it would give the child.

 

Yet Christians plan on doing that very thing to get themselves into heaven. They call it the sacrifice of Jesus, but regardless, it is still using a scapegoat.

 

Christians have to embrace human sacrifice and the notion that it is good justice to punish the innocent instead of the guilty.

Is that a good moral teaching for Christians or not?

 

Regards

DL

edit x-posted with Greg.

 

 

Whilst not a Christian I feel I should point out a few things.

 

Scapegoats are unwilling - Jesus knowingly and willingly gave his life; this is a crucial difference in any moral question. The agency of an actor is essential in determining the outcome, moral perspective, reaction of the community etc.

 

The suffering of Jesus has already happened - he has done his bit and now those that believe must do theirs by repenting their sins and asking for forgiveness; this is in no way similar to the old notion of the scapegoat.

 

It is not human sacrifice - human sacrifice requires that the person doing the killing attaches religious significance to it and that it is done as an offering to their God; this was not the case.

 

It is best to attack the reality of Christianity rather than attack strawmen.

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Most people would not teach their children to use a scapegoat at school because of the reputation and shame it would give the child.

 

Yet Christians plan on doing that very thing to get themselves into heaven. They call it the sacrifice of Jesus, but regardless, it is still using a scapegoat.

 

Christians have to embrace human sacrifice and the notion that it is good justice to punish the innocent instead of the guilty.

Is that a good moral teaching for Christians or not?

 

Regards

DL

 

 

 

In addition to the obvious strawman that this is, as pointed out by previous posters, there is another problem. Christians are called to follow the example of Christ. Jesus taught us to be self-sacrificing. If somebody takes my cloak, I am commanded to not deny them my coat either. I am commanded to love my fellow man, the ultimate demonstration of which is to lay down my life for them.

 

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13.

 

So in contrast, the exact opposite of Christians are expected. In actuality, we are expected to confess our sins and accept the responsibility for them. Nothing could be further from using a "scapegoat".

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The essence of Christianity and similar religions is narcissism. Of course it's a deplorable view to accept a piece of superstition of such, and dress it up as a martyr for the forgiveness of their wrong doings.

 

What they seem to claim as selflessness I can only view as cowardice and darn right ridiculous.


It is not human sacrifice - human sacrifice requires that the person doing the killing attaches religious significance to it and that it is done as an offering to their God; this was not the case.

It is best to attack the reality of Christianity rather than attack strawmen.

 

Well technically God sacrificed his own human form to himself, and it very much had a religious significance, in the eyes of God.

 

God offered himself to God with the human sacrifice of God to allow God to forgive the sins God allowed to happen.

Edited by Iota
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The essence of Christianity and similar religions is narcissism. Of course it's a deplorable view to accept a piece of superstition of such, and dress it up as a martyr for the forgiveness of their wrong doings.

 

What they seem to claim as selflessness I can only view as cowardice and darn right ridiculous.

 

Well technically God sacrificed his own human form to himself, and it very much had a religious significance, in the eyes of God.

 

God offered himself to God with the human sacrifice of God to allow God to forgive the sins God allowed to happen.

 

I never said their belief held any consistency or logic. Only that they don't view Jesus as a scapegoat, which was the topic of the thread.

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I just want point out that this is untrue it may have been awhile since I have read the bible, but, I do recall that the term scapegoat comes from a story in the scripture where a chief had placed the sins of the people upon a goat. A goat has no conscious thought according to the bible. It doesn't define the difference between willing or not, the party is a scapegoat either way. The thing that really should be looked at is the major contradictory in Jesus' self sacrifice; The bible says that life is precious and that it should not be made a sordid boon, but, Jesus goes right up and forfeits it. Another huge contradiction is Jesus summits to his fate because god willed it, but, right in the beginning in the book of genesis God created man in his image and free will to make their own decisions so when pontius sentenced him how was it gods will? When the book that is suppose to define moral relativity has a bunch of moral relativity in it, Who is defining it Man or God?

 

edit x-posted with Greg.


Whilst not a Christian I feel I should point out a few things.

Scapegoats are unwilling - Jesus knowingly and willingly gave his life; this is a crucial difference in any moral question. The agency of an actor is essential in determining the outcome, moral perspective, reaction of the community etc.

The suffering of Jesus has already happened - he has done his bit and now those that believe must do theirs by repenting their sins and asking for forgiveness; this is in no way similar to the old notion of the scapegoat.

It is not human sacrifice - human sacrifice requires that the person doing the killing attaches religious significance to it and that it is done as an offering to their God; this was not the case.

It is best to attack the reality of Christianity rather than attack strawmen.

 

 

 

From the Christian point of view, Jesus willingly sacrificed himself - which does not make him a scapegoat, but a martyr. It's a subtle, but important difference.

I'm agnostic by the way.

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I'm agnostic by the way.

That's nice. I'm an atheist married to a pagan. What difference does that make to the discussion at hand?

 

I just want point out that this is untrue it may have been awhile since I have read the bible, but, I do recall that the term scapegoat comes from a story in the scripture where a chief had placed the sins of the people upon a goat. A goat has no conscious thought according to the bible. It doesn't define the difference between willing or not, the party is a scapegoat either way. The thing that really should be looked at is the major contradictory in Jesus' self sacrifice; The bible says that life is precious and that it should not be made a sordid boon, but, Jesus goes right up and forfeits it. Another huge contradiction is Jesus summits to his fate because god willed it, but, right in the beginning in the book of genesis God created man in his image and free will to make their own decisions so when pontius sentenced him how was it gods will? When the book that is suppose to define moral relativity has a bunch of moral relativity in it, Who is defining it Man or God?

You're trying to argue from logic on a topic that defies it. THe level of inconsistency in the biblical texts goes far beyond these few examples, and there is simply no way to defend the entirety of the text as a whole based on a logical argument.

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GregH - The Bible is written by 40-something individuals and over roughly 1500 years. There is going to be some differences simply because of different points of view. (free will and all) On top of that, when we read The Bible we often read it with our own thoughts, preconceptions and interpretations. Of course there is going to seem to be a lot of inconsistencies. I can read the same passage twice and get an entirely different meaning to it. That doesn't mean The Word is wrong, it means I was not ready to receive it.

 

 

I just want point out that this is untrue it may have been awhile since I have read the bible, but, I do recall that the term scapegoat comes from a story in the scripture where a chief had placed the sins of the people upon a goat. A goat has no conscious thought according to the bible. It doesn't define the difference between willing or not, the party is a scapegoat either way. The thing that really should be looked at is the major contradictory in Jesus' self sacrifice; The bible says that life is precious and that it should not be made a sordid boon, but, Jesus goes right up and forfeits it. Another huge contradiction is Jesus summits to his fate because god willed it, but, right in the beginning in the book of genesis God created man in his image and free will to make their own decisions so when pontius sentenced him how was it gods will? When the book that is suppose to define moral relativity has a bunch of moral relativity in it, Who is defining it Man or God?

 

You are referring to Leviticus 16:8-10 with scapegoat. The Bible is a collective book of how we are suppose to follow God's Word, and how we fail miserably. Again, because of free will. He could have created us just like Him (or them) but then we would be bound to follow his word precisely. Instead, we were created in His image and given the ability to choose. He knows that we have, are, and will choose incorrectly. The entire Bible is full of forgiveness, second, third and forth chances. The scapegoat was a way of forgiveness. Sacrificing animals, grain, and even coin was a way of tithing and learning to put your faith in Him, not something that is earthly. (Mark 12:17, Matthew 6:19-21)

 

God sacrificed his only son so we may be moved and fully understand the never ending limits to His forgiveness. It has always been about forgiveness (Hosea 6:6 & Matthew 6:19-21). Even if you live a life full of distrust, disbelief and misdirection yet you ask for forgiveness on the final second of the final hour, you will be forgiven. (Luke 23:43.)

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That's nice. I'm an atheist married to a pagan. What difference does that make to the discussion at hand?

 

 

It changes the whole argument. An atheist believes in "nothing", but, that "nothing" is really nothing. They have biases just the same as any religious man. In terms of preaching they always have to prove others wrong, even though we as the collective human race don't have any real facts about where existence comes from. Being agnostic I have no biases, I refuse to say there is or isn't a god, you can't counter argue me by attacking my beliefs; but that didn't stop you from trying.

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It changes the whole argument. An atheist believes in "nothing", but, that "nothing" is really nothing. They have biases just the same as any religious man. In terms of preaching they always have to prove others wrong, even though we as the collective human race don't have any real facts about where existence comes from. Being agnostic I have no biases, I refuse to say there is or isn't a god, you can't counter argue me by attacking my beliefs; but that didn't stop you from trying.

 

An atheist doesn't belong to a religious belief. That's the problem with defining yourself as an atheist, it's not always one or the other. Quite a few people who called themselves atheist are technically agnostics strongly leaning towards atheism; that is they don't absolutely rule out the possibility of a God, as they wouldn't rule out the possibility of anything. However, that doesn't mean they believe there is a God, because there's no evidence of one to lead them to do so.

 

That aside, atheists do not have biases in the same way a religious person does, because they are able to look at all religions equally, unlike a religious person. An atheist generally looks at things by evidence and rationale, whereas a religionist will look at it by blind and sheer belief, based on nothing other than their gut; which serves them wrongly.

 

You'd do well to stop referring to 'atheists' as some sort of collective group, in the same way you would a religious group. That doesn't work. Atheism isn't a belief system, it's merely a word to describe someone who doesn't have a belief in a deity. Their beliefs vary GREATLY from one atheist to the next. Unlike religionists, who all conform somewhat to a shared belief system, blindly.

 

As for plainly categorising yourself as an agnostic, is equally as foolish as calling yourself a theist; seeing as the rationale for agnosticism can be applied to anything that doesn't have any evidence, basically, 'I can't prove it definitely doesn't exist, therefore I'm not sure'. Which, personally, I don't think can be described as a 'belief', perhaps only very very loosely.

Edited by Iota
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It changes the whole argument. An atheist believes in "nothing", but, that "nothing" is really nothing. They have biases just the same as any religious man. In terms of preaching they always have to prove others wrong, even though we as the collective human race don't have any real facts about where existence comes from. Being agnostic I have no biases, I refuse to say there is or isn't a god, you can't counter argue me by attacking my beliefs; but that didn't stop you from trying.

 

The bolded part is kind of the point of atheism, though. We don't know where the universe came from, but it has provded us with some clues and through science we can eventually get a better of the full story. Our lack of a complete understanding is no reason to then say, 'therefore God,' or even, 'maybe God,' however. There is zero evidence to support the existence of such an entity and there is no logical reason to go through life assuming that there is or that there might be just because we can't disprove it. If such evidence did exist, it would be a different story.

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That aside, atheists do not have biases in the same way a religious person does, because they are able to look at all religions equally, unlike a religious person. An atheist generally looks at things by evidence and rationale, whereas a religionist will look at it by blind and sheer belief, based on nothing other than their gut; which serves them wrongly.

 

You'd do well to stop referring to 'atheists' as some sort of collective group, in the same way you would a religious group. That doesn't work. Atheism isn't a belief system, it's merely a word to describe someone who doesn't have a belief in a deity. Their beliefs vary GREATLY from one atheist to the next. Unlike religionists, who all conform somewhat to a shared belief system, blindly.

I tend to believe that atheists have biases in exactly the same way religious people do. That is, they develop a belief system over time, and that belief system colors their view of the world. People cannot help but to be influenced by what they believe.

 

For example, you believe that atheist beliefs vary greatly from one atheist to the next (I agree). Yet your biases tell you that just because people share religion that their beliefs do not vary greatly from one to the other (couldn't disagree more) and that they conform to that belief system blindly (I have yet to meet two Catholics who agree on all aspects of Catholicism).

 

You'd do well to stop referring to 'the religious' as some sort of collective group. They vary by particular belief system, as well as by individuals within the belief system. 'Religious' includes many types of people, including those who have no more in common than belief in a deity.

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I tend to believe that atheists have biases in exactly the same way religious people do. That is, they develop a belief system over time, and that belief system colors their view of the world. People cannot help but to be influenced by what they believe.

 

For example, you believe that atheist beliefs vary greatly from one atheist to the next (I agree). Yet your biases tell you that just because people share religion that their beliefs do not vary greatly from one to the other (couldn't disagree more) and that they conform to that belief system blindly (I have yet to meet two Catholics who agree on all aspects of Catholicism).

 

You'd do well to stop referring to 'the religious' as some sort of collective group. They vary by particular belief system, as well as by individuals within the belief system. 'Religious' includes many types of people, including those who have no more in common than belief in a deity.

 

It's not based on biases that stem from atheism though, because atheism isn't a belief system. So, even if you was correct, that my view stems from some sort of bias, it would be separate from my atheism, which defeats your argument.

 

Of course religionists' beliefs vary from one to the next, but that does not remove the fact that they all conform to a belief system based on absolutes, as opposed to individually formed rationales, regardless of whether they do or not; which was exactly my point.

 

I may well do well to stop referring to the religious in groups, but seeing as they put themselves into groups, hence religions, I would not be wrong to do so. At least not in the same way Dylan was to group all atheists together, which again, was exactly my point.

Edited by Iota
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It changes the whole argument. An atheist believes in "nothing", but, that "nothing" is really nothing. They have biases just the same as any religious man. In terms of preaching they always have to prove others wrong, even though we as the collective human race don't have any real facts about where existence comes from. Being agnostic I have no biases, I refuse to say there is or isn't a god, you can't counter argue me by attacking my beliefs; but that didn't stop you from trying.

 

Actually I do belive in something. I believe in evidence. I believe in the human ability to define the natural world with our intelligence, not our superstition. I believe that if there is no evidence for the existence of something, the best position to evaluate claims about that something is the position of the skeptic. I believe that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I believe that we have grown beyond our need for a supernatural explanation for the way the universe works. You are certainly not required to share my beliefs, but do not be surprised if I ask you for evidence to support claims you make based on yours.

 

And I would be very intested in knowing in what way I "attacked your beliefs".

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It's not based on biases that stem from atheism though, because atheism isn't a belief system. So, even if you was correct, that my view stems from some sort of bias, it would be separate from my atheism, which defeats your argument.

I never said it stemmed from atheism, so my argument is intact.

 

Of course religionists' beliefs vary from one to the next, but that does not remove the fact that they all conform to a belief system based on absolutes, as opposed to individually formed rationales, regardless of whether they do or not; which was exactly my point.

Here are your biases coming into play again. That statement is simply not true. First of all, they do not 'all conform to a belief system'. Five minutes of conversation with a couple of Catholics will tell you that. Second, your statement that a person who is religious cannot/does not base their decision on 'individually formed rationales' is not only wrong, but terribly insulting.

The simple fact that people change their view of religion over time, or have doubts, or disagree on whether or not the bible is the literal word of God, should be proof enough.

 

I may well do well to stop referring to the religious in groups, but seeing as they put themselves into groups, hence religions, I would not be wrong to do so. At least not in the same way Dylan was to group all atheists together, which again, was exactly my point.

The religious DO NOT put themselves in a group of people who believe based on 'blind and sheer belief, based on nothing other than their gut...opposed to individually formed rationales".
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I never said it stemmed from atheism, so my argument is intact.

 

Well if you wasn't implying it stemmed from atheism; your argument may well be intact, but it contains no relevance as an argument to what I said. On top of that, you should word your argument more carefully in future, because you said, quote:

 

 

 

I tend to believe that atheists have biases in exactly the same way religious people do.

 

...

 

 

 

Here are your biases coming into play again. That statement is simply not true. First of all, they do not 'all conform to a belief system'. Five minutes of conversation with a couple of Catholics will tell you that. Second, your statement that a person who is religious cannot/does not base their decision on 'individually formed rationales' is not only wrong, but terribly insulting.

The simple fact that people change their view of religion over time, or have doubts, or disagree on whether or not the bible is the literal word of God, should be proof enough.

 

Well then they shouldn't call themselves Catholics. This sounds very much like most modern day Western religionists, you simply don't know what you stand for. It's so ambiguous and so selective that it becomes redundant, yet that doesn't change the fact that a religious belief system IS based on absolutes, regardless of the fact most holy books will contradict these absolutes countless numbers of times, which is just one reason why religion fails utterly.

 

Insulting? How so? According to you, I'm addressing a group that apparently doesn't exist? Unless, of course, you are grouping yourself with them...

 

 

 

The religious DO NOT put themselves in a group of people who believe based on 'blind and sheer belief, based on nothing other than their gut...opposed to individually formed rationales".

 

But they DO put themselves into groups, which is the bigger picture I was pointing at. Regardless of whether you believe they do so based on blind faith or not. Again your argument seems rather redundant therefore. And I also pointed out, quote:

 

 

 

Unlike religionists, who all conform somewhat to a shared belief system, blindly.

 

For the very reason of avoiding this kind of pointless discussion, which avoids the main point completely.

Edited by Iota
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Well if you wasn't implying it stemmed from atheism; your argument may well be intact, but it contains no relevance as an argument to what I said. On top of that, you should word your argument more carefully in future, because you said, quote: "I tend to believe that atheists have biases in exactly the same way religious people do."

It's a shame you quit reading my post when you did, as the very next sentence explained what I meant by that. My entire quote was "I tend to believe that atheists have biases in exactly the same way religious people do. That is, they develop a belief system over time, and that belief system colors their view of the world. People cannot help but to be influenced by what they believe."

 

People are more than simply their belief or lack of belief in a deity.

 

Well then they shouldn't call themselves Catholics.

Why? Because it interferes with your ability to pigeon-hole people into neat little categories?

 

This sounds very much like most modern day Western religionists, you simply don't know what you stand for. It's so ambiguous and so selective that it becomes redundant...

Sorry. Such is life. Not everything is as neat and clean as we'd like it to be.

Categories are made by humans to help make sense of the world. They are generally nice guidelines but very often the reality doesn't quite fit.

 

Insulting? How so? .

Insulting in that you have taken a category and assigned negative attributes to that entire group ("...they all conform to a belief system based on absolutes, as opposed to individually formed rationales...). This is no different than suggesting that the Irish are drunks, the Poles are dumb, and the blacks are lazy.

(As a side note, had you made generalizations about those groups, you would probably have been warned about a rules violation. Not that I think anyone is being malicious, but I do think it points out that biases against the religious go beyond just your comments.)

 

According to you, I'm addressing a group that apparently doesn't exist? Unless, of course, you are grouping yourself with them..

Close, but not quite. According to me, the group does not exist with the attributes you are assigning to it.

 

Again your argument seems rather redundant therefore. And I also pointed out, quote:

 

For the very reason of avoiding this kind of pointless discussion, which avoids the main point completely.

Sorry, didn't mean to drag you into a redundant and pointless discussion. I'll drop off.
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Why? Because it interferes with your ability to pigeon-hole people into neat little categories?

 

 

Now now, I'd given you a reason for this, but if you want to disregard that argument and hypothesize wildly, feel free.

 

 

 

Sorry. Such is life. Not everything is as neat and clean as we'd like it to be.

Categories are made by humans to help make sense of the world. They are generally nice guidelines but very often the reality doesn't quite fit.

 

No need to be sorry, I wasn't complaining, I was just putting forward the fact. Such is indeed life.

 

 

 

nsulting in that you have taken a category and assigned negative attributes to that entire group ("...they all conform to a belief system based on absolutes, as opposed to individually formed rationales...). This is no different than suggesting that the Irish are drunks, the Poles are dumb, and the blacks are lazy.

(As a side note, had you made generalizations about those groups, you would probably have been warned about a rules violation. Not that I think anyone is being malicious, but I do think it points out that biases against the religious go beyond just your comments.)

 

I'll explain the difference you seem to have missed there: the Irish, for example. That is a word to describe someone's nationality, where they are from; something not chosen and corresponds to a location where said person resides, a place we all know, like any other place, people reside by one another by chance and not a deliberate congregation based on a belief system etc. You can't, seriously, assign presumptive attributes to these people for those reasons.

 

A Catholic, on the other hand, is a person who has chosen to identify, with a group (Catholics), based on their shared beliefs and desire to practice with those of a belief very close to their own (yes, obviously there are variations). Beliefs based on a book, which is to be taken literally, in the truest sense of Catholicism and followed by the letter (so is intended). What you call a generalisation I call a prediction, based of an evident trend. Which you'd have to be being deliberately naive not to recognise.

Edited by Iota
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Depending on who you are, Catholics never take The Bible literally and/or take The Bible too literally, because they have things about their religion that are not in any other religion that uses The Bible, but that's entirely based on personal belief. It is true that from a human view, all religion is is just personal chosen life-styles, and if you are religious, you believe that there is something driving you to be religious, whether it's a deity or a self knowledge or self enlightenment or you fill in the blank. However, you cannot say that since different Catholics have different personal beliefs makes them a non-existing religious group (and correct me if I misinterpreted that). If a Muslim, for instance, and not to sound discriminate, goes and joins a group of terrorist extremist Muslims, does that make him no longer a Muslim? It was a little wrong to connect someone being Irish to someone being Catholic, because it's like how people try to connect someone being gay to someone being black, it makes no sense (they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay. They didn't choose to be Irish, but they chose to be catholic). BUT it is true that you can't disregard someone from part of a group of people just because of the personal decisions they make. It is insulting to them because you are taking away their identity because of their lifestyle. Sometimes this is necessary, however, because as most religions say, if someone is saying they are some religion, but never practice or preform any of the necessities of that religion, then they are lying to themselves. But as a general definition, it is insulting to say someone is not part of a religion because of their personal choices. Instead of just saying that they are wrong, however again, you can help them find out what they are doing incorrectly and try to help them to stop doing what they're doing wrong.

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However, you cannot say that since different Catholics have different personal beliefs makes them a non-existing religious group (and correct me if I misinterpreted that).

That is not what I was trying to say. I was attempting to make the point that groups are made up of individuals, having individual characteristics, thus making it difficult to 'know' what someone is like based simply on their affiliation. It is not difficult to identify group members, but to suggest that "all" members of the group share certain negative characteristics is risky, and is typically bigoted.

 

It is true that Catholics are an existing religious group. It is not true that all Catholics fail to think for themselves and make their decisions with the absence of logic.

 

It was a little wrong to connect someone being Irish to someone being Catholic, because it's like how people try to connect someone being gay to someone being black, it makes no sense (they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay. They didn't choose to be Irish, but they chose to be catholic).

It doesn't matter if you choose to be part of the group or not. Making assumptions about people based on group affiliation is risky.

 

"...they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay."

Not even going to touch that one...
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(they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay. They didn't choose to be Irish, but they chose to be catholic)

 

I don't want to derail the topic, but I have to take offense at this statement. Were YOU offered a choice of sexual preference? Because I wasn't, I was born with an inborn trait to be drawn to a certain gender. Study after study has proven this.

 

Being gay is not a choice. If you want to talk about this, I'll start another thread.

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(they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay. They didn't choose to be Irish, but they chose to be catholic).

 

Looks like you made an error there Pete. It looks as though you just inferred that sexuality is determined through concious decision, as opposed to genetic and hormonal control. Not to worry mate! But this being a science website I thought I'd point out your mistake and give you the facts.

Edited by Iota
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!

Moderator Note

 

Let us for the moment believe that Peter mis-expressed himself and refrain from any more criticism - the other posters above have amply demonstrated the more mainstream considered opinion.

 

If you wish to discuss the nature of homosexuality then search on pre-existing threads or start a new one

 

... It was a little wrong to connect someone being Irish to someone being Catholic, because it's like how people try to connect someone being gay to someone being black, it makes no sense (they didn't choose to be black, but they chose to be gay. They didn't choose to be Irish, but they chose to be catholic). ...

 

In the context of Eire I am not even sure 'chose to be catholic' is unarguable...

 

Onwards please.

 

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