Ancient Sensei's page

221 posts. Alias of Steven T. Helt (RPG Superstar 2013).


1 to 50 of 221 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite. kid saw the web site, played with puzzles, and printed coloring pages of your adventure art. I dunno where else a young roleplayer can do all that, so kuds for those very cool ideas.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4

Just saw the birther comment and follow-up, and I just want to add a few thoughts.

The Republicans did not eat up the birther thing. It was started by Clinton's campaign, and a tiny minority of people who are desperate to get rid of the president will cling to any silly notion they think will work.

Uncertainty about who does or doesn't believe in the birther thing is squarely Barack Obama's doing. Because it's a stupid, fringe issue that initially had zero traction, it's been cinstantly manipulated. Look at the backwoods racists, says the media, who don't believe the black man is from America. It is no exaggeration that the first ten times I heard about this issue, nine were the mainstream media serving softballs to concerned "journalists" and one was Glenn Beck making fun of birthers and begging the media to let go of the lame issue. The ONLY time (and I work every day with red-voting, redneck senior citizens who lived through segregation) I have ever heard a person stand up for the argument, it was a town hall meeting where Sen. Tom Coburn utterly shut that noise down. If most of the crowd had tomatoes, we'd have pitched them at the poor guy. No one cares about the birther thing. As with any fringe bs issue, you can always find a few people either posing as fringe to perpetuate the nonsense, or as an actual believer who is too fixated to focus on other facts and issues. I'm not trying to insult the poster who brought it up, but I would say - it's never been true; let it go. Focus yourself on arguments that matter and are supported by facts, for your own improvement and for the sake of a nation that needs to get past 'gotcha' partisanship and find some level of objectivity.

Not that you're gonna find that in a thread about giving the rest of the world a vote in American elections. :b

When the rest of the world starts contributing to our economy, instead of us contributing to theirs, we can talk. Until then, stop punching the gift horse in the mouth. I believe we can intervene less in other countries, I believe we can do a better job standing with true allies like Australia and Israel, and spend less time prostrating ourselves before bad guys in the vain hope they'll be less dangerous. I believe no one is perfect, and we have things to improve like every nation. But I also believe it's self-righteous and revisionist to make antagonistic claims about our country without recognizing the good we do in the world. If you want nations to have access to expensive things like the United Nations, Red Cross, the Southern Baptist Cooperative Programs, Catholic Charities, or American disaster relief, stop pretending America is somehow gouging the world for fun and profit. Lord forbid the next genocidal maniac should come just after some faux academic ideologues convince America to just keep their money and soldiers at home.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

I dunno...a 12th level fighter with a +2 cloak and a 14 Dex still has a 35% chance of falling. If he's in heavy armor and didn't buy Swim...he's a goner!

EDIT: Aw...I forgot my avatar is locked up on this thread. I found this awesome cartoon avatar that says "Shut up, Wesley!" I had it ready just for you, Weasel.

Sorry folks...thought I was gonna be funny.

I think the best advice I can offer is to take the long view. If playing Pathfinder and other games really hits the spot for you like it does so many of us, this isn't your last campaign, these might not be your best or favorite players, etc. Try to keep the perspective that on through high school and college you will develop some fantastic memories and make lifelong friends, and eventually meet some folk that will really challenge you in a positive way.

I dunno how to beat the stutter issue, but maybe you don't have to. Your players think enough of you, or are too chicken to run a game themselves, to leave you calling the shots. Either they aren't bothered by it, or they look past it for the fun you bring them. Either way, you should gain confidence. I don't know if confidence helps stuttering or not (seems I've heard that a few times but could be folk therapy). Maybe gaming will help get you past that like nothing else.

When other players don't ever buy books, or similar challenges threaten you comfort, try to turn them into your advantage instead. Fewer books means less power creep. If players won't buy books, make it clear they can't use mechanics from books no one has. Master the rules in front of you. Set the expectation now that pirated books or "i read it at the store but don't have it on me" doesn't fly at your table. Overall, recognize that people without the money to buy books are looking to have a great time on a budget, and gaming offers that like nothing else. People who refuse to buy books when others can provide them instead are table fillers. Welcome so long as everyone is having fun. Maybe not lasting additions to your table, though. I'm not saying, and never have, no books = no play. I'm saying make use of what everyone brings to the table, and be aware that eventually, people who can't be bothered to buy a book or play in someone else's style for a bit might not be folk you want to build your fun around.

You're new, and letting people walk all over your encounters is fine. After more than 20 years of GMing different games, and being reasonably well thought of as GMs go, I STILL struggle with player who can shred my intentions, and I still struggle with core practices that I want so much to be flawless at. But no one is perfect and we will play games as imperfectly as we do other things. So focus on fun, take the long view, and be tough. You've decades of great relationships, memories and stories ahead of you.

And, as some might predict, I am gonna advise you to attend a few small conventions, and one big one. Come to Gen Con 2012 and play at a table during the Iron GM world championships. Almost without a doubt, you'll be seated in front of someone you can learn something from. There's no shortage of regular competitors at that event that can, in one five hour game, fill your young brain with ideas, habits, and techniques that will have your home players telling you "I didn't know gaming could be like this."

I'd say if you want a 3.5 game based on world you can't possibly license for, email Mike Mearls and give it your best shot. Paizo chose their direction, pursued the spirit of great gaming, and I think have rocked the house. If anyone disagrees, they should start their own global publishing company, design the perfect fantasy roleplaying game with no flaws, and put everyone else to shame.

Failing that, we should all probably jsut be glad we're not stuck with 4e, be grateful to the company that made that possible, and have the most fun however we choose to have it.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I have studied it. Probably not as much as you, definitely not the way you have, but i have. Its disingenuous of you to toss aside the hard work i have done over the years reading the bible, looking through history, and discussing these topics with a wide variety of Christians by using the ad hom that I haven't studied: a claim you can always make regardless of how much work I do. If i hadn't studied this stuff to the degree that you could blithely dismiss my objections you should be able to call me out on my errors without the ad hom. You can't.

Let's be fair, BNW. I have never said I ahve corrected you on anything, and saying you stick by preconceptions despite evidence is far removed from any claims of ad hominem behavior. Thinking you're wrong isn't any more a personal attack than you thinking I am wrong. Correct?

I see the claim that you have studied and put in hard work, but with no responses to the explanations I offer from studying Scripture, I still have to disagree with your conclusions. Moreover, you don't budge from your initial claims despite evidence to the contrary.

There was a guy on FB a few weeks ago. He said the Bible displayed a heartless and bloodthirsty God because his prophet had bears attack and kill young children. He was snarky and vehement about the whole thing - totally self-righteous in his judgment of God's behavior. I gave him a quick word study, about how in that passage the word for young boy also means young man. About how their poking fun wasn't being a nuissance to an old man, but instead was intentional blasphemy directed specifically at God, and accompanied a damaging accusation of leprosy, which was obviously taken very seriosly. Finally, I noted this prophet didn't sic bears on them, he told them God would deal with them and he wouldn't have to. They kept on until bears came out of the woods and, yes, mauled them.

Dude's response was "See, I told you, God let a prophet murder little boys for making fun of his baldness." The evidence didn't matter to him at all. The use of the words, the vital cultural implications - none of it. You are not so snarky and smug as this guy, to your credit. But you do some of the same thing. You use a pasasge that uses the word slavery, and then you judge the entire character of the Bible. When someone points out important details like Jubilee, the social status slaves had, the fact that people sold themselves into slavery to pay debt or re-honor their family, the fact that other tribes in the area simply ate or raped their slaves, the cultural implications of needs large, quick-breeding family groups just to survive, the prohibition of slavery as we understand it today, and more, you don't budge. Instead, you are found in a different thread a few weeks later saying the exact same thing as if no one had ever challenged it.

Now you can say you don't like me personally and you just don't think I tackled the issue properly, but that's hardly fair. Everything I said above I've said in more detail and has an impact on the discussion of the Bible and slavery. The facts are that slavery as we understand it
is NOTHING like slavery in the Bible. No one can make you accept that, but please don't dismiss criticism that you maintain that position despite the evidence with accusations of ad hom.

@DD: I dispute the notion that we are expressly forbidden from judging sin. First, the Bible is clear on sin - those things which separate us from God, whether specifically forbidden, or made into an idol and palced before Him. Second, Jesus passes authority to his Church to preach the gospel, discern what is and isn't of the Spirit, etc. Third, Paul very specifically discusses disipline and pastoral authority, and lays out a proper plan for honest, loving and firm rebuke of sin within the church, as well as within the believer. Finally, your use of the Scripture to say the Bible says not to judge is, once again, eisogetical. Jesus says not to be a hypocrit. Not to judge unless you are prepared to be judged by the same standard. Jesus did not say 'just let the world misrepresent my word and tolerate everything. Hey, anything goes.'

Now, hopefully you don't misunderstand me to mean "Steve gets to pass judgment over the souls, lives and intentions of other people." Because I neither mean that nor practice it. I believe the Bible judges truth and we, who God keeps here as salt and light, are to stand for that truth and fight against false teachings.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The bible outright contradicts itself in a number of places. This isn't a problem for me, but the desire if not need, to see it as one coherent, cohesive message leaves the reader with the need to patch the holes. In that patching is a lot of room for both legitimate interpretation and illegitimate imposition of ones own values on the test. Either of these can (and have been) used for good or ill, as the person wants.

My good friend, I do not beleive the Bible has any mixture of meaningful error, no erros in transmission that affect truth, principle or doctrine, and no contradictions. I do believe that if you want to choose to believe the Bible contradicts itself without caring to study it, you can find some apparent contradictions. I believe each of those contradictions has a credible explanation. I'm excited to look over a few outright contradictions with you to test that theory. Usually, these expressed contradictions are along the lines of who was the first person to see Jesus after the resurrection and such. I'd challenge you on presenting any meaningful contradiction that impacts the meaning of any text. Maybe one or both of us will learn something along the way.

You're defining biblical Christianity as the Christianity that was right after the fact. You have a bible calling for love, which chattle slavery clearly is not. But you also have a bible steeped in the racial superiority of the Hebrews over their neighbors, and the cold hard calculus of salvation that means killing heathens so their descendants will avoid eternal damnation makes a scary amount of sense.

The Bible is not steeped in racial supremacy. By this claim, do you mean the belief of some Jes that they are the only people that matter? I think you'd find that a) both Testaments of the Bible counterindicate this, and b) most Jews don't feel that way. If I misunderstand the assertion, please let me know. I think it's clear that the God presented in the Bible is the complete opposite of racist.

You'd have to have the facts on your side for that, and you don't. You keep relying on your own preconception that the bible speaks of a good god, and therefore anything in the bible needs to be read to avoid Yawey doing anything bad.

Yet which of us has studied the Bible, misunderstandings about it, misrepresentations about it, etc? I can make the exact opposite claim fromthe one you made above, that you need the Bible to be ignorant, sinister, hypocritical, etc. So, between the two of us, perhaps the truth lies in what the Bible actually says, which then necessitates reading and studying it. I've yet to see one response to the presence of the verse that makes slavery as we understand it today punishable by death. I have yet to see the study from you about how the surrounding tribes were not significantly more barbaric when it comes to slavery. The facts aren't on your side or my side, they are, and you and I should choose to recognize them regardless of our preconceptions. Having been an agnostic who studied scripture, it would seem I moved past some of those issues based on what I found to actually be true about Scripture.

I am willing to rise to this challnge any time it's thrown down. Please provide an example of how I am as guilty of eisogesis as anyone else. I try very hard not to be, and I have a pretty good understanding of the term, and also of the Bible in full context. Not the best, sure. But the idea that I read beliefs into Scripture needs evidence, since I try to draw beleif from the Bible instead of justify belief with it.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My friends, theBible is going to say any horrible thing you want it to say if you're going to draw conclusion regardless of evidence. BNW: We have talked about the dramatic differences between what you are calling slavery and the slavery of Hebrew times. You choose to advance your criticism of the Bible unfazed. But you're simply wrong, bro.

In a different culture, being a well-treated servant is a good thing. The surrounding folks would simply eat you or burn you to death if they conquered your area. Having large families and capable fighters was a matter of survival. So God tells them to treat people well, better than anyone treated their slaves, and gives established rules by which family groups may be grown, captives may earn freedom, etc. There's a wealth of information about the vast differences between slavery as you narrowly define it, and slavery described in the Bible. I will remind you that in the very same chapter about slavery that fans of the Skeptics Eisogetic Approach to Scripture Without Knowing Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek make reference to, there is a prohibition against slavery as we know it: seizing people against their will and selling or buying them as slaves is punishable by death.

We who argue over minimum wage and live free of fear from encroachment by barbarians can sit in judgment over the struggles of ancient humanity. But we're silly to. The Bible was written at one point to communicate principle for all points. WHen you look at New Testament scripture, you get an even clearer understanding that eisogetic literal interpretations are abused by beleivers and skeptic, and fully miss the point of sound doctrine and a gospel of grace. I invite you all to look past preconceptions and study with open minds.

B-b-b-b-ut...I like cheerleaders!

Religion itself is not the desirable end. Religion is what happens when imperfect people apply themselves to faith imperfectly.

Religion may have been used to advocate slavery by people who twisted it, but Biblical Christianity does not. Have we not talked about this before. It's a great first step to disabusing you of preconceptions about faith.

I apologize for misunderstanding some relevant facts.

First, let's not go telling folk that Sensei "felt bad" about killing a PC. I get the heebee-jeebies jsut ebing one post away from that comment. If they didn't expect some level of death, they wouldn't play a game with hit points and saving throws.

Second, I missed that this was a sanctioned PFS event, in which ase, I want to say right now, that if there's a chance to kill a PC, I straight up do it. You have to kill PCs to make getting to higher levels an accomplishment in organized play. PCs should be spared for future great storytelling in home games. In the semi-competitive one-off environment of organized play, you are well and truly screwed, and you shouldn't want it any other way. When GMs spare you, they are sparing everyone, and that's not good for the environment. You need to work your way to higher levels, thereby guaranteeing top challenges and memorable games, instead of recycled stuff that happens when PCs become a protected class. Levelling up is a privelege for those who do well, not an entitlement that mitigates success for everyone who acheives it.

On the upside, I promise to make it a good death if you find your way to my table.

Now, I don't run PFS games anymore (not that I'd mind it), and this is only my two cents. But I'd say better attitudes toward the obituary columns will make organized play better for longer than the RPGA.

I first want to remind everyone that I'm trying not to get drawn into the specific moral discussion that is being used as an example here. I prefer a wider range of examples instead of just one, because invariably, I will be accused of hating a reference group jsut for coppoerating with an example I didn't bring up. Please understand the situation.

DD: You are exactly committing the flaw of interpretive bias you are judging parts of the Church for doing. First, by rationalizing language the Bible doesn't use, as per when you say 'mention of the word fruit obviously means fruit of the spirit'. Allow the bright men who wrote Scripture the flexible use of a good metaphor. Paul goes on in Ephesians to talk about the armor of God, but when he alter makes war and battle analogies, he isn't obsessed over the metaphor. The fruits of the spirit are traits we will demonstrate as faithful and humble believers. They do not counter other fruits and gifts that some might say run counter to their display. For example, if I say a fruit of the spirit is gentleness, and then Jesus runs moneychangers out of His temple, is He somehow lacking in Spirit? Of course not. If I judge the sin of someone who struggles with it, am I not acting according to those fruits because they don't feel loved in that moment? I love my kids, but they still receive discipline, judgment, reproof. And it's as gentle as I can make it, but they wouldn't always say so.

I just think trying to connect all Scripture to this dramatized description of the "fruit of the Spirit", going so far as to eisogetically connect other uses of the word fruit to the allegory, might cause you to miss the boat.

I would add that religion can often be behind the times, insofar as religion is a focus on ritual and expectation based on faith, but practiced by imperfect people. Faith is not behind the times, evidenced by its durability through time. I'd argue that while Biblical principle is never wrong, understanding of and application of those principles can be. Attempts to recreate the early church by baptizing the dead or praying a staid prayer instead of actually communicating with God are examples of how religion can be practiced while faith and principle take a back seat.

Darkwing Duck wrote:
... but the verses should be interpreted in such a way to promote the fruits of the spirit, sometimes what promotes the fruits of the spirit can only be reached through challenge and debate (as I had to go through a process of challenge and debate to accept that God makes people homosexual and God doesn't make mistakes).

I will not be engaging the issue of homosexuality again (I never cared to except when the Bible is misrepresented on it). But I want to raise this concentration on filtering all Scripture through the 'fruits of the spirit'. It strikes me as very Mars Hill/emergent church. The Bible doesn't teach that other teachings are mitigated by the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. It teaches that He influences all areas of my life. Therefore, I am not to excuse sin for the sake of being gentler, or to shut down my witness in the interest of being more humble. Do I misunderstand you, DD?

Christianity teaches that we are all lost, and that a holy Creator has made a way back to fellowship with Him by accept the free gift of His grace, as provided in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other religions teach that you can 'find' enlightenment or that your inherent goodness will get you to Heaven or that a littany of works and behaviors is the pathway to earning salvation. We would suggest that these are man's efforts to get back to God, or to ordain ourselves as our own gods. Instead, Christianity is predicated on grace through the provision of God, who wants us reconciled to Him despite our sin.

Paul says itbest and most simply in Ephesians. For it is by grace we are saved, through faith. We did nothing to earn it ourselves, lest we brag about our righteousness. Instead, eternal life with God is a gift offered us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

I find that if we understand this central notion for all of Christianity, we can accomplish a lot in civil religious conversation. We can differentiate among accurate and aberrant representations of scripture. We can alleviate a lot of suspicion about the 'arrogance' of Christianity when we realize that the central claim of the faith is that God has provided a way versus the idea that we can find a way, or that the path to Heaven (enlightenment, whatever) must meet in any way with our own approval. And I think most importantly, we can dismiss claimants of the title of Christianity that do not found themselves in this essential doctrine. So when an imposter like Robert Tilton talks about salvation through giving, or asks you to measure your faith by how much you give to his attempts to minister to others, you know he does not represent Christianity and perhaps ought to be beaten with a stick.

A large, heavy, perhaps even spiky, stick.

....your first Iron GM win was with a TPK.

....the current Iron GM champ was introduced to the sport after you TPKd his party in the DnD Open. have basically memorized Return to the Tomb of Horrors.

1 person marked this as a favorite.


It took considerably less time to reach that consensus that you seem to think. The Old Testament was already a done deal, with the churches relying on the Latin Vulgate, which was the exact same as the Hebrew texts from before it. The New Testament came together quickly and agreeably for the most part. The reason it took a while to establish a canon is because early church fathers didn't feel a need to establish a canon at all until the church got to be a certain size and practitioners in remote churches started to exercise control of the gospel at the expense of said gospel. Then, leaders at regional churches discussed the issue. If there was large disagreement in which books were canon and which documents were authentic, it would seem the larger three among those ecumenical councils would have had even a slight disparity. But they didn't.

And once more, this does nothing to challenge that the Bible judges other parts of life as true. It is clear the Bible makes that claim, and the principles of the Bible have rang plenty true for me and throughout history. Certainly abandoning those principles in order to rewrite God's message for our own purposes ends in disaster.

And to prevent that is my only motivation. I'm certainly not on Paizo to denounce this or that behavior. It's only to oppose folk who use Scripture to imply principles the Bible clearly does not. When I was an atheist, I abused Scripture for all manner of things without taking the time to study it. Probably my guilt in those days is what gives me a passion for debating folk who do the same thing.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
sigh. here we go. but it's important, so I'll stay.

Knight Protector, you referenced Leviticus as saying that homosexuality is a sin. Leviticus also makes cheeseburgers a sin. Are you cherry-picking? Do you eat cheeseburgers?

Ancient Sensei, it is certainly true that there are Christians who try to claim the Bible says things that it doesn't actually say. For example, the Bible doesn't make homosexuality any worse than eating cheeseburgers.

Does it ever strike you the absurdity of comparing cheeseburgers in 2011 to behavior explicitly judged by the Old and New Testaments? You and I have gone round on this concept before. The Bible, like any document, exists in context. It says what it said when it was written, and the principles therein are timeless. So the fact it doesn't have the word 'cheeseburger' in it mean you probably ought not stretch your argument so thin as to eisogetically use whatever example seems handy to get the Bible to say something you'd like it to. Your suggestion a few months ago that Paul implies that some are born gay and should not try to be straight is completely without evidence or foundation, and I'd hope you'd let go of the temptation to add your meaning to the Bible, much less slander Christians who are trying to just stick by the Word without making things up. I hope we don't ahve a repeat of that.

Let's look at the verses commonnly asserted to be against EDIThomosexuality

1.) The story of Sodom is commonly claimed to be against homosexuality. But, as Ezekiel shows, the story of Sodom wasn't condemning homosexuality. It was condemning failure to care for the poor.

This and other attempts to revise Scripture into some kind of 'Jesus was a socialist' doctrine are uniformly in error. Sodom was destroyed for being a cesspool of perversion, arrogance, cruelty and vice. Nothing wasn't going on in Sodom. No one should make the claim that Sodom was singly destroyed for homosexuality, but then no one should make the argument that wasn't a big part of the formula. In the above post where I nuked this argument, I noted that the catalyst - the last straw while Abraham was praying for mercy on Sodom - was that the men of the city demanded Lot allow them to rape his male visitors. While angels aren't really male or female as we get it, they were described as 'men of God' and the sodomites certainly thought of them as men. Now, you could say the attempt to rape female angels would be just as guilty. Sure. We aren't talking about what we think the Bible meant to imply in order to serve our theological needs. We're only talking about what it says.

2.) Leviticus makes homosexuality no worse than eating Hamburger Helper

What? Is this really the quality of argument you wish to maintain in the discussion?

3.) Romans 1:26-27 refers to men and women exchanging natural sexual relations for unnatural ones - having sex with people of a sex that is not natural to them. Since gays are -born- gay, exchanging natural sexual relations for unnatural ones would involve them having sex with people of the opposite sex.

This is the most unworthy of your arguments, LT. There is no evidence that people are born gay. There is absolutely no evidence that Paul would ever have conceived that some are born gay and it's a sin for them to be attracted to a woman. You are absolutely making something up here, and then repeating it as if it were never challenged. It stings me that you maintain this kind of reasoning. Such an untenable positions smacks of "I believe it because I want to, and will twist anything to defend it'. If you just want to choose to believe there's nothing wrong with homosexuality, you've got lots of company here and elsewhere. Just stop perverting the Bible to do it. Say to yourself "I'm not to concerned about what the Bible says about it", and not "I'll just rewrite it to say what I want it to".

4.) 1 Corinthians 6:9 "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers--none of these will inherit the kingdom of God." Since most gay men are not male prostitutes, this has nothing to do with homosexuality.

This is a straw man. This verse very clearly says sexual sin of all kinds is judged by God. It is therefore about homosexuality as much as any other, because the Bible clearly bans homosexuality. In fact, the Bible says men can't marry, and forbids sex outside of marriage. That would seem a pretty airtight case.

5.) 1 Timothy 1:10 "fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching" Again, no reference to gays.

There is a reference to Sodomy, but "Sodomy" means "like those of Sodom".
Philo describes the people of Sodom as
"As men, being unable to bear discreetly a satiety of these things, get restive like cattle, and become stiff-necked, and discard the laws of nature, pursuing a great and intemperate indulgence of gluttony, and drinking, and unlawful connections; for not only did they go mad after other women, and defile the marriage bed of...

There are a whole lot of scriptures that don't reference being gay. That doesn't mitigate the significance or clarity of verses that do. You could also say that John 11:35 (my favorite verse) doesn't mention homosexuality. So? Other verses do, in both testaments.

And I'm not sure the authors of the Biblical texts ever consulted Philo to determine what a Sodomite is. Rather, they probably used the word in the same sense as everyone around them.

Finally, the often-used term transliterated as 'Sodomite' is malakos, which most literally refers to the receiving end of the exchange, but means any homosexual. Context and usage, specifically in light of the perverse practices in Corinth at the time of the early church, does mean some translations use the term 'male prostitutes', but the term refers broadly to all homosexuality. If you're going to go representing Scripture and telling other people what it says, while slandering other believers as hateful just because they don't share your employment of eisogesis, please just do a few word studies, devote yourself to the character of the scriptures, and approach the Word with a little humility. It is God's tool to communicate to us, not our tool to reinvent God.

A.P.P.L.E. wrote:
Ancient Sensei wrote:
First, the Bible judges truth. It is not we, Christians or otherwise, who judge the Bible.
Oh, really? If that's true, then why did humans have so much debate over which scriptures should be included in the Bible and which shouldn't? That sounds a lot like judging what the Bible should be to me.

Well, if you want to discuss what makes the Bible accurate or authoritative or related matters, I welcome the question. But that's not what this thread is about specifically.

The short answer is that there was precious little debate over which scriptures were canon and which were not. The three main councils that affirmed the Bible as we know it today all used those same scriptures for a considerable amount of time before the issue was basically sealed up at Nicea in 343 (?). If you have heard someone say that there was widespread disagreement over which scriptures were canon and which were fake or not inspired or whatnot, you should ignore that source. They are speaking without knowing the facts. There is disagreement over whether noncanonical documents can be inspired (I believe they can), or whether the apocryphal books are relevant (I believe they are, but are not canonical), but the idea that Christians determine what the Bible says instead of the other way around is wrong. On an individual basis someone might go looking for the Bible to say something they want it to say, but which books should be in the Bible and their actual content is not really contested.

I'm not normally one for trying to speak on another poster's behalf, but I wanted to address an issue: I think what Aretas was trying got say is that until the last few decades, homosexuality was treated as a mental illness because it was widely believed to be a choice. People with weak parental relationships or poorly developed sexual identities were considered treatable like anyone else. To this day, Christian counselors approach the idea of homosexuality as a choice, and gay men voluntarily set appointments with such counselors to sort through the issues that lead to their orientation. Sometimes it remains a struggle, sometimes they reject the counseling after they try it, and sometimes they leave homosexuality behind and fall for women and raise families. The horror!

Please do not take such comments to mean that Christian psychologists think you can bleed out homosexuality with leeches or what not. I am sure that's not what Aretas meant.

I was gonna stay away from this if it was a secular accusation of 'homophobia' against secular types in general. But since it's one self-serving 'theologian' trying to tell other people what to believe, and committing egregious errors of reasoning to do so, I'll weigh in.

First, the Bible judges truth. It is not we, Christians or otherwise, who judge the Bible. So inserting our believes, whether it is Christians making up extraBiblical stuff to justify errant positions, or atheists using it to concoct reasons not to believe based on something the Bible doesn't actually say, both behaviors are wrong. So if the Bible says God prohibits homosexuality, that's it. No amount of wanting it to say something else matters. I know some people really want the Bible to admonish killing children who insult their parents or release bears to murder kids who poke fun at old men, but that's not the truth. So needing it to say something so you can write it off as hateful and absurd doesn't change reality, any more than needing conservatives to be racists makes us so.

Second, this article is worthless bias, with no valid commentary on the scripture or on how real people ought to behave in real situations. It's the writing of someone who doesn't remotely represent biblical Christianity. And in order to make herself look like the reasonable person, she ascribes only the most extreme and hateful positioning to those who might disagree with her. Everyone here should be above and immune to such behavior. Christians love gay folk like they love anyone else. Can't condone it, like any other thing the Bible calls sin. But this talk of parents telling kids they're an abomination and going to Hell is exaggerated nonsense. The tactic of making millions of people all sound the same is reprehensible. And as anecdotal evidence (more valuable than dramatic hyperbole), I note that in my life I have had two good friends that were gay, and both had been effectively separated from their parents for life. Neither set of parents were Christians. The strongest Christian presence for both men And I'd go to dinner with them on Christmas, be their family, etc. One once asked if I wasn't afraid of being assumed gay because I was out with a known homo on Thanksgiving. I asked if he ever thought Jesus was afraid of being seen with thieves, tax collectors, hookers, etc. Because we were friends and not strangers over the internet, he wasn't offended at some assumed comparison betwen him and a hooker. He understood the expressed point: Jesus loves everyone, isn't afraid to love anyone, and still hates sin. By doing my best to emulate Jesus, my gay friends were appreciative of my honesty and never mistook my faith for membership in the KKK. SO it ought to be with all of us here. Stop ascribing hate to people as a broad reference group, and stop inserting meaning into Scripture in order to tell students of that Scripture what it really means.

Third, there's no such thing as homophobia. It's a made-up, divisive term with no more meaning than 'social justice', 'corporate greed', or 'building a bridge to the 21st century'. Glossy marketing doesn't change reality. Parents of gay kids still love their kids. If they're Christians, they think sin has no excuse and that no sin is worse than any other (meaning all should be avoided). And they believe all sin is a choice. Insofar as there's no evidence that homosexuality is not a choice, and it would still be a choice even if there were a genetic proclivity, those parents have an argument. And their motivation is obedience to God and the demonstration of grace and love for their kids. Moreover, the relationship between a parent and a kid is none of the author's business. She generalizes the entire dynamic, when in every case the issue, every reaction, any confrontations, etc are entirely specific and individual. Don't tell me any Christian man that doesn't support his daughter's lesbianism is uniformly judgmental, cruel, ignorant or wrong. Let's let the parents parent.

Fourth, let's disabuse everyone of this notion the Bible doesn't judge homosexuality. It absolutely does. Nowhere in the Bible is the practiced excused or accepted. No one is exempted. The Bible makes no distinction between whether someone does it for fun, out of rebellion, because they feel they are born to such, etc. You might not care what the Bible says, which is a different issue. But trying to insert intent and meaning to soften the position is dishonest. The Bible can never say something it never said. And for the one comment I saw: Sodom was absolutely destroyed for rampant homosexuality. Sodomites were guilty of pretty much everything. You'll note that instead of hating them, Abraham prayed for them to be spared. You'll note that God was interested in the idea until the men of Sodom demanded that Lot send Gods own angels outside so the same men could rape them. Sodom wasn't solely homosexual, they had rotten hearts, were arrogant before God, and had totally abandoned reason for sensate sins. But homosexuality was a big part of that, or the scene where they were resolute to rape the newcomers would have been a different scene. Was Sodom destroyed only because its men were gay? Of course not. But trying to write the part of homosexuality out of the script is another example of trying to revise the text so it doesn't judge behavior we want to defend.

So to be clear: Christians love gays like they love anyone, exceptions are not ascribable to all of us, and the Bible definitely judges homosexuality as sin. The effort to make the Bible say something it doesn't fails fro both directions, and attempting to drag out stereotypes to maintain division doesn't help anyone here. If you want to know what Christians really think about gay folk, email me or the staff at my church. But if you do, you have to acknowledge when you aren 't treated with hate and abuse.

I guess the first thing I'd do is roll all over again. You are going to have ugly sessions full of shaking heads and eye-rolling while your friends with the 20-point-buy talk about whether you really rolled those. It happens enough when there's no chance, with rolls like those, someone is gonna have a bad day at the bakery and say something unsportsmanlike. Even if not, they'll decide to rebuild characters with a 5d6 plan, and the rest of the story is lost in competition. I'd just do what everyone else did and let the rolls go. Might sound hard, but a less powerful character is more fun if he gets played, vs time spent defending you build and rolls and this and that.

If there's nothing but harmony where you are, I'd play a worg druid. That sounds like fun, and you'll have no real weaknesses.

Actually, I think barbarian or fighter is a great idea with those statistics. The biggest weakness of the fighter is skill points, so an 18 Int on a human fighter is pretty boss. Intimidate is amped, you can deal craploads of damage through range or melee without having to specialize in either.

I think I'd be able to play any class with those abilities and enjoy them, even calling them 'the perfect character'. I think with the last few builds I made, though, I'd play a venedaemon abyssal sorcerer or a wildshaping champion.

But, just imagine you're a first level human fighter with 7 skill ranks, a +8 Intimidate check (with only one rank!), a +4 bonus to Initiative and AC, +7 to hit on your charge, Power Attacking for 2d6+9 (19-20) with your greatsword.

And, of course, 14 hit points.

Suck it, magic missile.

I agree we shouldn't ignore hazards. Where I don't agree is with the characterisation that opposing increased regulation is ignoring those hazards. There's the belief that regulation might not help much (check out gun control), there's the concern that unintended consequences just make such incidences harder to identify or that they become unreported. And finalyl, there's the idea that you can't legislate tragedy out of life.

I hope it resonates with you, even if we disagree on a number of principles, that statistics are not knowledge. They are tools for analyzing important data. 42% of all work-related deaths of children? If children busing tables at restaurants and running a local convenience store counter accounts for zero deaths, ever, what does that statistic mean? I grant it might answer thejeff's questions about whether all work ought to be regulated as farm work, or vice versa. I'm just saying, 99.9% of kids who work on farms have zero such incidences happen to them. No legislation is likely to improve on that.

A Man In Black wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Let natural selection sort out the unfit!

This is quite possibly the best argument you could make against your position. Especially since "unfit" in this case means "crippled or killed by an unpredictable animal, dangerous chemical, silo collapse/explosion, or heavy machinery."

You're making a case for hard labor, not dangerous labor, anyway. Mowing laws, splitting wood, loading hay, and fixing barns aren't dangerous labor, at least to the degree that the article in the OP is discussing.

Splitting wood is as dangerous as any other job where you have a blade, physical exertion and a need to get on to the next chore.

@thejeff: I see that you're looking for why farm jobs should be any different from other jobs, and I concur, in a lot of ways they should be the same. I'm sure you recognize I'd jsut as soon see several industries benefit from relaxed child labor laws. No, fight-seekers, this is not the same as welcoming sweat shops and preteens poisoning themselves in meat-packing plants.

I wouldn't have younger kids in a full-service restaurant precisely because there are more dangerous implements per square foot than most other industries. You are correct that younger kids could do different and less dangerous work when it's available, but then a huge part of controlling costs is efficiency and cross-training. I ran good controllables because I could preserve food and labor costs with good training and a smaller, more capable team. You also have to be able to do that so your labor costs don't freak out when minimum wage goes up.

I want to point out, yet again, that AMiB takes a word out of its context, twists it to mean something its author didn't say, and then beats the crap out of an argument no one is making. "Unfit" was used in reference to toughening up the culture instead of weakening it with a list of things kids can't do, but somehow managed to do every day a couple of generations ago. It wasn't used to callously disregard tragic accidents. If you don't choose to take something in a way it was never intended, you'll have more productive conversation.

Nah., I've helpes out a tiny bt but I don't think you could say I have personally done farm work. I know a number of farmers, and more kids who grew up on farms. I have clients who are farmers and so I have spent time with their families. I myself am somewhat the opposite of farmer.

If I understand the rules for farm labor, 14 and under cannot work hazardous jobs ( 9 year olds running combines then) and parents of younger kids must approve work. So, I don't get the need for additional restrictions.

And to add to the conversation, no. I haven't employed 12-year-olds and I wouldn't have them in a restaurant environment.


For a long time I would just flatly not hire anyone under 18 at my restaurants because keeping track of them was a hassle. But Tulsa got to about a 3% unemployment market not long after I moved here and so I hired a few 17s. One girl was 16 and I just turned her down, but then she gave me this speech. She needs money, she's helping her parents out, her grades are good but not great, and she'll bust her hump to keep her job and show me I was smart to listen to her.

So I suspect character and a good worker and I try it out. We never cheated on her hours (which some do, another reason the rules can be absurd), although sometimes she whined when I sent her home. SHe graduated school, didn't have moeny for college,and got a salaried job as assistant in the company. So at 18 she's making $26k with insurance and vacation time.Not great, but from there she can do anything. And $26k is a mint at 18 years.

There are other stories like her, I jsut point out she illustrates that people can handle child labor expectations responsibly. A review board doesn't assess responsibility, they ban things because someone complains. If we were gonna be a nation that prevented bad things from happening to everyone all the time (which we of course cannot), we should maybe amp up the regulations after our economy is stable. Adding weight to the cost of doing business in any way is unwise.

If you could show that of the 2 deaths a week, a significant number weren't 15, or that regulations could have prevented those deaths (suppose lightning strikes, earthquakes, stampedes and such are in those statistics. Have you seen how our government compiles information?), I'd be willing to hear more about changes. I'm not unwilling now, but onerous changes when the industry objects, and parents are being quoted regarding the work their kids do, I think are uncalled for. Sets the stage for the governemnt to move in somewhere else in order to justify a larger budget next year.

And I'd be willing to loosen some of the child labor laws we have in other industries, too. There's no reason a 17-year-old can't slice meat at a restaurant, or a 16-year-old can't work until 9. If they have good parents, the parents will comunicate rules. If they have crappy parents, they probably need the money.

meatrace wrote:
Ya know what? I'm done with you.

Believe me, I am very satisfied with that outcome.

But to answer the assumptive reasoning for folk who are here to discuss the issue instead of pass judgement on people, the flaws in your post are really clear: all the assumptions about adding up hours and then working nine year olds to death are just assumptions made to push the argument a certain direction.

I've never had a nine year old work for me. Most farm assistance among kids are 12-15. More restrictive child labor laws protect all the way up to 18 in some states, and federal rules go to 17. So limiting the hours a kid works and what he can do hardly falls under 9-year-olds working 4 hours a day and getting 8 hours of sleep like androids. I wish you'd pay attention to the most important opbjection conservatives have to creeping government regulation: you take the people and responsibility out of the equation. Kids may not want 8 full hours of sleep if they can work a couple of hours. No one reading this is qualified to tell them they have to sleep a certain amount, ride the bus for 3 hours, etc. You are objecting to a hypothetical situation that probably exists for someone, but doesn't verifiably exist for anyone. This is why statistics are tools, but not actual knowledge.

Suppose a kid working a paper rout - done for generations now all over the country - only get 6 hours of sleep. You want to tell kids they can't get up before 6:30 so they get their full 8 hours in? They aren't robots. It's up to them and their parents to decide if they want to work 4-6 hours, or work on school nights or whatever. Big Brother should stay largely out of it. If the work is considered dangerous and something awful happens, we already have a legal mechanism for determining whether there was criminal negligence involved. Sometmes bad things just happen, and we shouldn't amke the mistake of thingking we can prevent everything. Good Lord, how did we ever make it this far without kids shoeing horses and riding bikes without helmets?

And the short answer to your hypothetical is 2. Still leaves 2 hours every day for homework.

Freehold DM wrote:
meatrace wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If an industry cannot survive in its current form without chucking a kid headfirst into a combine every 3 days then perhaps that industry needs to change form.
Say goodbye to Armor Hotdogs!
But I thought all kinds of kids loved Armor Hotdogs?!

I've never really liked hot dogs, but I do like cheese coneys with onions. Kid free.

Actually, I think a common mistake (on both sides) of our country's political dialogue is the tendency to exclude the middle. Refusing to tax capital gains at a higher rate does not mean Republicans want people living under bridges. Asking public teachers and government desk drivers to pay for 10% of their retirement pension is not pro-management screw the little guy hard. In this case, not wanting to see government telling a 15-year-old kid he can't operate a tractor in a remote field is not the same thing as 8-year-olds everywhere being eaten by rabid sheep while careless parents crack a whip over the farm.

I am not sure I believe any of the rules listed above are necessary. Texting while driving a tractor in a straight line downa remote field is nto the same as me texting numbers to my boss on the way home, which is then not the same as a hysterical girl texting about how her boyfriend dumped her on a busy highway. Using blanket rules for such things hurts businesses and taxpayers unnecessarily.

Government has to spend money to bother with a rule about teenagers texting in tractors. Would we spend even a dime on enforcement of that? Surely we wouldn't have OSHA inspectors traveling Iowa farms looking to ticket texters in order to save lives. The smart solution is to let people live life and deal with consequences.

Now, there are versions of these rules that make sense to me. Any kid without a permit shoudln't be able to operate power-driven machinery. But under 16? Why not require the permit (maybe for free), but not attach a certain age to it. Parents will know if their kid can drive a tractor. If he's 14, but 5-8 and handles himself well, why not? Test him (or whatever, make it as inexpensive as possible for the farm family and the taxpayer) and let it go. You can't look at a half-dozen deaths over however many years and declare it some kind of national emergency that we end farm labor. Let parents, owners and kids decide a few things. We're too caught up in how we can prevent something awful from happening to everyone that barely happens to anyone.

Now,this is the libertarian in me speaking, but I am by no means a pure libertarian. If you can show me that kids are in terrible, verifiable danger from some of these things, maybe I can change my tune. Specifics can modify anything (assuming they are real and not manipulated to justify meddling and control), but in principle, we should be handing out fewer restrictions than more.

And of course, there's unintended consequences to consider. Need for more adult farm hands means increased costs for food producers. We have enough of grocery prices going up, right? Denying kids work increases generational poverty, not teaching them to work the family farm. Denying family farms resources to keep costs low also increases generational poverty. Learning the value of work and the direct correlation between effort and reward is the natural enemy of poverty.

And, I do not commit to any response to Meatrace given his tone with me the last couple of threads we bumped heads on, but I'd need to see credible information that promises death for kids and exacerbated poverty if we don't make big changes. I've done some reading on child labor, have ben a manager of different industries, and know several farmers across three states. I see less poverty and little carelessness among careful managers,parents and kids who want to work.

Gark the Goblin wrote:

From my local paper so you know it's veracious as hell.

Another attack on the bottom line of an industry already deformed by overregulation and big farm expansion, or a necessary change to protect young workers?

My dad read this article, and he could name someone he knew who had died (while doing something prohibited under this law) for each of the activities listed. Most of what I know about farm life comes from his 1960s-1980s-era experience. Farm work is dangerous, but this law could drive the last small family farms out of business.

Every 3.5 days in the US a kid dies while on an agricultural work site. I didn't know we even had that many kids.

I think it's the former. In my experience most people evaluate the concept of child labor laws by thinking the intent is valuable, and stopping there. But some of these regulations cost money and opportuntiy. It's my belief that it also costs us a certain level of toughness, and we lose respect for the industry.

Of course, I am not saying we should abandon all child labor law, but we are at a point where discretion is taken out of the hands of milions of well[meaning employers and very capable kids. Some of my best employees ever have had to go home hours before they wanted, losing money and experience because someone else told them they weren't capable of working safely and keeping their focus on school and family.

Paul Watson wrote:
And yes, I was spoiling for a fight because your tone with Kelsey pissed me off and I was too jet-lagged to control myself. So, I'll stop derailing this conversation any further.

Well, I am sorry if my 'tone' with someone else irritated you. I maintain that the Bible can never say something it never said, and so when someone misrepresents writings, or speaks without having knowledge of them, I have to throw in my two cents. You might not agree, but I don't think I made anything personal with her. I admonish folk to study scripture if they're gonna use it, and I'll correct them if I see an error.

I'll say this one last time to Meatrace and let it go. Stop calling me names. I admitted my error and actually apologized twice. I explained where the mistake came from. I did, in fact, initially quote Mr. Watson in my original post, and your response came very naturally right after. I can't do more than admit the mistake and aplogize for it. If your standard for how you are treated online is so high, spend a few seconds thinking about how you cuss and insult other people. No one can make you. You can choose to have class or not. Matters not to me, I'm off to watch the Steelers gamecast. So I extended a handshake, you want to double down on your personal attack, and I'm perfectly happy leaving it at that.

A Man In Black wrote:

Nobody in the original post was using scripture to defend anything. Where were they using scripture to defend anything?

Again, if BNW can't offer one example of the racism he's on about, he needs to stop talking about it.

The original issue is people of faith barring mixed race couples. The conversation naturally develops towhy do some churches or other people do that, and the explanation offered is observable and real. Your tactic is to demand a source in order to deligitimize something without discussing the argument, to misplace and attack sourcing when you get it, or to dismiss arguments you don't respond to as unworthy. It's my last comment on the issue, you clearly do not care how other people view your approach, nor can you be bothered to see that other people see you that way even if you don't. I simply remind you that if you can't spot the sucker at the poker table.....

It is a free country, and BNW can say whatever he likes in any conversation he likes. You are not the arbiter of what is reasonable or worthwhile expression. You'll note that BNW and I agree on very little, but I am always interested in the substance of the statements he makes, and not in whether he properly sourced something I disagree with.

Nope! Argue there or not at all. Don't be that guy who flounces, but brings up his grudge in every thread foreverafter.

I guess my response is, have conversation with people so everyone is edified, don't go looking to prove you're smarter than them. And when you demand sources, don't pollute the value of the conversation by ignoring the ones you're offered. Don't be that guy that raises an arguemtn and ignores responses to it. I'm not going back to a thread where the conversation is adversarial, and the f-word is used to illustrate that folk who disagree with you are barely worth your time.

I'm here for friends and conversation. Not to lock myself in an echo chamber, and not to belittle people who see things differently. If I want a mere argument, I'll go to my kids.

meatrace wrote:

You specifically called me a hypocrit for dismissing it without having taken any time to study the subject properly. You made a personal remark, based on an assumption. Then you challenged me, whom you called a hypocrit with no prior knowledge of me, not to attack you. See how this looks on the other side of the screen?

And this is not an opportunity to open up new discussion on climate change. That's all over the place. If I thought I wanted to engage on that issue again, with someone I thought wasn't going to basically insult me and make asusmptions based on what they believe to be true rather than any observable evidence about me, I'd offer to ahve teh conversation on FB.

Although I probably ought to use that time working on Superstar material. I'm not the world's best time manager.

A Man In Black wrote:
I am calling out broad, sweeping, bigoted generalizations like "there's a lot of christians couching their racism in terms of the bible" because they are unacceptable in casual conversation. Yes, people read their biases into scripture all the time, but, again, the problem is that he is casually referring to contemporary people regularly reading a particular bias into scripture: the difference between general and specific. I am demanding that they be backed up in something other than "every[one] largely believes [it] anyway", not because I want to feel smart, but because I want BigNorseWolf to stop. He does it all the time, and it's about time someone called him on it.

I'd like anyone viewing this thread who DOES NOT believe that religious folk screw up their faith by adding their own opinion to it, inserting their beliefs into scripture in order to jsutify things that may not be there, to chime in and raise their hand.

No one, including you, believes that there aren't people doing that this very minute. It isn't bigoted to mention that people do it. I know people personally who do it. BNW probably feels I do it (although I welcome debate on any such issue so I can set him straight. : b). It's bigoted and unreasonable to assume that all muslims do it or all Chrisitans do it. To say lots of people out there are doing it is to observe folk, like the original church in the original post, among others, commiting eisogetic erros when using scripture to defend extra-biblical beliefs.

The whole conversation about the Bible being pro-abortion is the exact saem thing, and people have done that in this very discussion. There was someone a few threads ago saying scripture clearly pointed out Paul thought people were born straight or gay and that God hated it when they switched form one to the other. That's placing a belief into scripture and hammering at it until it fits. And an ugly job at that (this is not an invitation to discuss any specific issues.)

Jehovah's witnesses deny the deity of Christ by saying that Jeuss himself said "No one has seen God at any time." Their leadership has a belief, and they command their followers to let them interpret scripture for them. They are ignoring hundred of prophecies, the confession of Peter (which Jesus himself confirms), and Jesus' statement that "I and the Father are one". You could go even deeper into scripture, say when Jesus is described as 'passing by' the disciples during a storm, before He invited Peter to walk on the water. Scripture clearly characterizes that incident as common with God, who passes by so we can see a glimpse of glory. They deny a very clear Trinitarian doctrine by abusing scripture, all to place their beliefs into the Bible as evidence of the belifs they placed there.

So, tell me what you think I'm missing. No one needs to source you on the assertion that people commit eisogesis and build their beliefs around it.

(here ya go, MR:) Global warming is the same way: a theory was developed decades ago. It made predictions. Those predictions were the most laughably, embarrassingly wrong thing in the history of science. The theory stayed largely the same after the predictions failed. Then we learned brand new ways to take temperatures and realized we were only taking temperatures at the same sprawling urban areas over time, so naturally they'd be warmer. Then we learned more about cyclical cosmic energy, carbon regeneration in the atmosphere, and more. Authors researched books to assail those who stalled progress on solving the problem, only to find out the problem is being sold to us more by marketing than actual research. Theory stayed largely the same, because the belief interprets the data. Decades after a host of failed articles and predictions about temperatures and sea level increases, the movement got a new champion with a movie. Turns out said champ is making money selling the concept, will make money from carbon credits and green ars, doesn't engage in debate against challengers, and his movie made more predictions that never came true.

And where is OWS on the global warming thing, anyway? Isn't green energy the HEIGHT of government doling out favors to corporations? Never mind....not germane. Sorry.

Belief first, then facts. Discard the facts that don't fit as nonrepresentative, or from a source we don't like. It's all around us. No one who observes that oughtto have to cite it in a friendly conversation. And if he did, you'd reject the citation so you could keep the argument going.

EDIT - What I said about the other thread's discussion is appropriate to this one. Your approach is to pick a fight. Your demand for a citation ended in you ignoring the citation and attacking what you assumed was a source. You dind't even address the ACTUAL study mentioned. You approach is personally, intentionally insulting, and I am not sure why you think I'd bother to get trapped in that conversation again. If you wont' evaluate the information provided based on its merits, and you won't concede that msot folk here could fnd a citation that says anything they want to say (again, bringing it back to this specific discussion about eisogesis), and you won't actually comment on someone's evidence, but instead amke up a new souerce for them so you can attack that source instead of the actual analysis provided, why would anyone bother returning to another frustreating and non-edifying fight with you? Even now, I am much more interested in getting you to see how others view your approach than actually discussing any actual issues.

And now I'm tired of this conversation, too. It strikes me as a great tactic to simply wear well-meaning people out until your perspective is the only one left for others to see. May we all check ourselves to make sure that's not who we really are.

meatrace wrote:
Then please elucidate. Cite sources. I'm very curious.

Come on. What is it with you guys? Say this first: I didn't know what you thought about global warming. I said something to pick a fight and didn't really stop to think I didn't know you or what you know at all.

This is like AMiB. He said last conversation that he made an assumption, got steaming mad and then had to realize he had read something into my comments rather than reading them for their actual content.

He then pointed out it was just something that can happen on the internet. Not his fault or a bad habit or anything. No actual credit for having NOT said what got him POd. Just a brief 'my bad' and then move on to....exactly the same behavior.

Admit you were reading to justify a response instead of making a just response to something you read, and I'll give you my brief thing on GW. Not that anyone here wants to get too far into that on this thread. But at least I'll have given you what you asked for.

On the citation thing again, in a conversation I decided to abandon, in part based on your devotion to personal attack and belittling, you begged for citations when you couldn't think of anything else smart to say. And when I gave you a efw, you picked one and ignored the rest. You then accused me of quoting word for word from Ann Coulter's book Godless.

This is weak. You know I intend not to come back to what amount sto a personal fight you picked with me, so you make this lame indictment of the argument. Either I'm sucked back in because of the poor reasoning or I stay away and you get the last, albeit inaccurate and unsporting, word.

I have not quoted Godless word for word. Most people know what I think about Coulter: a little over the top, but a good researcher and frequently funny. It bugs me not a little to point out that I do sometimes use the word 'caterwaling' because I think it's appropot and because she uses it frequently. I think it's funny, and an apt description when it's applied.

But, as I predicted more than once, you abandon actually thinking about the argument for yourself, and throw a fit about Coulter. So I am left wondering why anyone would bother giving you the citations you demand.

Look, taking apart a poor source of information is perfectly legit when you actually attack the argument. People just yesterday showed my a lower unemployment rate and told my my economic beliefs were clearly wrong based on that data. So, using unemployment numbers, including the U6, the history of revision of unemployment numbers by this administration, and the estimation of the number of workers who fell off UE rolls and are still unemployed (about 315k), I told them the economy was still in the crapper and that truth doesn't depend on convenient single indicators.

When you get a citation, by all means loko at what it says and doesn't say and go get 'em. When you get a citation that's someone you don't like, you still have to actually evaluate the information. I note that I didn't cite, Coulter by the way. I used the word 'caterwaling' in an argument. You actually ignored the real references and moved on as if nothing had been provided. I'd like it if you either changed your approach to dialogue on message boards, or at least bothered to review data offered you after you make the demand for it an intrinsic part of your personal attack on someone.

We all want everyone to know we're smart. We all want everyone to know how right we are. None of us is different in that regard. In the end, no one cares what we think we know, they care about our character and they respect our knowledge when they see it as a resource and not a bludgeon.

A Man In Black wrote:
Nobody's saying that people don't do that; it's an unfortunate fact of life. BNW is saying that the people in the OP are doing that (in the fact of evidence to the contrary!) or that many present-day Christians do that to justify racism (without any evidence). You can't blithely move from the very general to the very specific.

It's very simple. The original issue is people using faith to say there shouldn't be interracial marriages, despite the fact that God never cared about interracial marriages, but intercultural and interreligious marriages. BNW, nor anyone else, doesn't need to cite a source to prove that people commit eisogesis - it's right there as the scentral issue of the OP. No one in the conversation believes that people commit this error in forming their beliefs, we all, Christian and nonChristian, know they do. So no one need provide some kind of hackeyed quotation from an 'expert' to jsutify their remarks. The need to have people source things is an opportunity for you to make a remark. You can pick a fight, indict a source or otherwise respond in whatever way makes you feel smart. Meanwhile, people are having a casual conversation where they don't have any obligation to cite sources for claims that every largely believes already.

Moreover, I remind you that a consistent demand for citations indicates a lack of desire to analyze information based on its own merit. Sometimes pooping on someone's argument or comment because of some classcal 'flaw' in that arguemtn is in itself a fallicy of reasoning. Calling out a special plea when the case really is exceptional is failing to address the arguemnt for example, which might be accurate despite its description as a plea. A slippery slope might be a legitimate fear. A statement might be legitimate regardless of whether a source is cited, or regardless of whether you or I agree with it.

AS, how is it that you have exactly the right advice about how religious study should work—to wit, careful study to derive the context and intent—and then say nonsense like this?

I didn't ask for a citation for comments that can be evaluated, in their context, in a conversation involving multiple people. The advice I give on studying scripture is consistent, and I didn't abandon context or author's intent in making any criticism of your remarks. In fact, I think you're basically creating a nonissue here so you can accuse me of nonsense and maintain personal criticism. If we grant that you seem a reasonably smart guy, will you be satisfied so you can have productive, nonsnarky conversation without barking arguments at nice, normal folk you don't know?

RE: Although Margaret Sanger might have believed as much.

I'm gonna beg forgiveness here. Sanger was indeed a reprehensible, bigoted human being, and so she received snark here because abortion on demand is her legacy. I acknowledge that her actual fight was population control through contraception and that she resented the prominence abortion gained before she died.

Freehold DM wrote:
When your supreme being is advocating segregation whatever the reason, people are going to attempt to follow suit along whatever lines they can come up with, and race is one of them. Also, God punishes pretty heavily too for going against the intermarriage/mingling thing as well(Pillar of salt, some interpretations of Samson/Delilah). It's pretty erratic.

With respect, FHD, it isn't erratic. It's intentional and consistent. Lot's wife wasn't turned to a pillar of salt because she married in or had relations outside of Lot's family. She turned into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed the command of God to run and not look back. She was judged for being willfully disobedient, and for considering what she was leaving behind.

Delilah encouraged Samson to reject god and embrace a life of compromise and idolatry. Her influence would be exactly the reason not to allow the Jews to marry into other religions and cultures. Supposing the followers of Baal married into the tribe of Judah and started burning babies to death. The rest of Israel doesn't put up with it, but the compromise is that Judah's line is polluted and everyone else worships as they see fit? Not good for the rest of us, eh?

Freehold, I don't think anyone can really say that misguided believers will not screw up God's exact idea and turn it into something less just or less righteous. I'd say it's clear that imperfect people interpret a perfect word imperfectly. So, sure, when God demands no intermarriage among nonJewish cultures, some turn it into racism. God never told the Jews they were better than others. He routinely said "I am the God of your forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc)". He kept promises he made with those people, he called the His own people, etc. In this dynamic, the Jews are definitely special, but they are by no means ever told they are better. They are special because God chose them and because their forbears honored Him. He didn't say "Don't marry the chaldeans, they suck and you are better." He said "I am doing something special through you, keep my commandments and remain pure."

Paul Watson wrote:
And yet you feel qualified to dismiss climate change without having taken the time to study it properly. You are aware how hypocritical that is, right?

Have you and I ever discussed climate change? Are you just making the assumption that I dismiss the idea of climate change without a cogent argument or a significant amount of reading on the subject? Can you, in your next post, describe my exact feelings on climate change, how much cause there might be for concern, or whether it's mostly a hoax? Are you calling me a hypocrit for not having a full understanding of something, while not having a full understanding of my position on the whole thing? I hope not, cause it'd be embarrassing for you to have to admit you don't know exactly what I think about climate change or how much I'd studied it. You didn't really make that comment after I posted that one joke, right?

So, why should we accept that your interpretation of Scripture as correct given you've admitted that you, and all other believers, interpret it to suit yourself? You oppose abortion, therefore you interpret Scripture in such a way that God agrees with you. Kelsey does not, and interprets it in such a a way as she is right. The only person who knows which of you is correct is God and he hasn't said anything lately and we've accepted that what he did say is open to inrterpretation, correct?

My friend, I'd think if you were paying attention, you'd know my answer already. I have never asked anyone to just accept what I believe about the Bible and move on. I invite people to actually study, and to not just read a few comments and form an opinion. And to be willing to admit they're wrong. SO by no means should you accept whatever Steve says about the Bible as gospel truth. Read and study it for yourself, with an open mind and a willingness to learn instead of having a chip on your shoulder like so many do.

Now, if you want to measure credibility on the Bible, you could consider the content of my posts, including the word studies and the knowledge that my position is simply to not insert belief into the text, but extract principle from the text. You could go on the body of conversation, which I would hope would cause you to conclude I am a student of scripture, and an honest one at that.

Finally, I'd challenge the idea that God hasn't commented on His meaning of scripture. I just listed half a dozen passages that describe the Biblical idea of the value of life at conception. I just dispelled a myth derived from eisogetic need to have the Bible say something it never said. And I just pointed out that looking at the Bible as a whole, God very clearly loves children, values the individual frmo before birth, hates murder, and demands that we live by our decisions and grow in godly character. I wouldn't think all of this plenty of reason to take my 'interpretation' seriously.

And as for why you ought to believe what I say about the Bible instead of anyone else, I re-iterate you should not. It isn't my Bible. Whatever feelings you have that Christians arrogantly want to tell other people they have a monopoly on truth, recognize that we claim the truth, without laying claim to it. I'm not a Christian because I discovered the whole truth and by golly people ought to do what I say cause I figured it all out. I am a Christian because God made the truth as available to me as he did to others and because I saw my need for salvation and determined to stop pretending I did have those answers. There are only welcomes, and no 'I told you so's on this side of the aisle.

A Man In Black wrote:
That's based on a story that isn't even part of Christian canon, the Book of Numbers.

Maybe I missed somethng that wasn't repeated in this full post. Every Bible I have has the book of numbers. Phinehas is right there in chapter 25 where he's always been. And since Bible vs abortion became a prominent part of the discussion, I note that Phinehas ended the influence of Baal worshippers, who murdered their infants with regularity as a means of controlling their economic troubles. So..ending the people who would have helped end the line of Israel, and who murdered their own children by burning them alive, has to be a part fo the context. God didn't want people of different skin colors to avoide marrying, he wanted impure lines of idol-worshippers to not taint his planning for saving the world.

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The bible's listed punishment for beating a pregnant woman into a miscarriage is a fine paid to the child's father and the listed punishment for killing the woman during the beating is death. It would seem that the one that destroys a fetus is considered an economic crime against the father, and the one that kills the woman a murder. If destroying the fetus were considered murder, you'd think the punishment would be death like for killing the woman. That seems to imply that abortion is a form of property destruction, which would imply that, if consensual, it wouldn't be a crime.

A fundamental principle for interpreting Scripture correctly is that the Bible can never say something it never said. When you begin talk of how the Bible seems to imply something, you start sounding less like someone who knows scripture, and more like someone who researches global warming.

Maybe the best advice I can give folk who want to quote scripture while not being a student of it is to stop. If I go pull a few quotes out of an automechanic guide, I don't understand automechanics. Just because I read a paragraph about changing my serpentine belt doesn't mean I understand the air compressor or power steering systems, but the belt impacts those systems i context. I know the definition of vacuum. I don't understand vacuum hoses. If anyone is the type to go pull a verse from one of those stupid skeptic bibles or whatever, just quit. It's not real research. It's a passage taken without any context, and the vast majority of the time, a few minutes of real research completely dispels the ridiculous positions that people take when trying to use the Bible against itself without actually bothering to study.

Let's take this case. The word used in Exodus to discuss the miscarriage is yatsah. It refers to a live birth, as also in the description of the early birth of Jacob. If any man's struggle forces an early birth out of the pregnant woman, he is fined. The reference to the product of the yatsah is yeled, or an early live birth, instead of a shakol.

Another ting folk ought to know before they accept the ill-intentioned conclusion that the fetus has no value to God. Infant mortality among a trnasient people is a problem. In a culture where a person's economic value is tied to their ability to perform in war or work the fields or in the temple, ancient cultures commonly referred to populations that didn't include infants, or only included grown men. Once again, ripping a verse out of its palce in scripture n order to make it say somethig it never said is poor research, ranging all the way up to simply cowardly. I don't ascribe that to anyone in specific, I am saying the best method for understanding the Bible, as with anything else, is to actually study it. Go looking for what it says, and not for what you need it to say to win a fight.

Then we have the passages where God commands his followers to kill pregnant women from other nations and rip out the fetuses.

The practice of carrying out a death entence is not the same as abortion. 99% of American abortions are decisions of convenience, not attempts to eradicate an evil people that will complicate the development of the gospel. Although Margaret Sanger might have believed as much.

Finally, we have the fact that the bible never calls abortion murder. Abortion was a known practice back then, so you'd think they'd say so if God really considered it murder and wanted it forbidden.

I note that there are not specific prohibitions against murdering people with rocks instead of spears, or murdering blondes instead of brunettes. Murder is specifically banned in the Bible, and so the murder f anyone is wrong. This is distinct from capital punishment, or razing a culture during war. The Bible also does not say that using heroin is a sin or that driving without insurance is sin. But the Bible communicates principle. Be fruitful and multiply. Deal with the consequences of your decisions. The Bible also communicates that life begins at conception. Job 31. Psalm 139. Jeremiah 1. Isaiah 49. Luke 1. Galations 1. Ephesians 1. Taking the Bible as a whole, it is very clear that God considers us alive and unique from before birth.

Wow. Another salient point, illustrated through simple observation, and another demand for a citation for something people everywhere see. It's weird to see agnostic/atheist BNW having to produce evidence that people of faith misinterpret scripture to avoid having to change their beliefs. Not even the most fundamentalist apologist here (which might or might not be me) could possibly disagree. But, you better have a citation, or some of us might not be able to pick a fight.

The Old Testament ban on intermarriage was not about racial lines. It was about dissolving the culture God was attempting to develop from an imperfect people, so that he could, in fact, save the whole world. Note that all of Scripture is a telling of the redemptive process. We learn God's sovereignty, God's character, God's love, and God's plan to reconcile us to himself. So, when God says in 1000 bc that Israel is not to intermarry, it's to keep the Jews from abandoning their special purpose as God's chosen people. There are numerous examples in the Bible where God shows favor and forgiveness to someone outside the Jewish line. It isn't that God doesn't love and redeem everyone. It's that God doesn't want a nation of child-eaters to marry into his plan and dilute his message. So he forces them all to be wiped out, or he doesn't allow intermarriage for generations.

In no way should those rules be interpreted as a lack of love for other races, or a prohibition that Christian whites should not date or marry someone from another race. Since the first Christians were not white, this would be stupid.

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Just another example of how people can twist their theology in a knot so it matches their preconceptions.
Yes. I do so hate this practice. It's so common, too. Just look at most churchs' condemnation of abortion, which is in no way biblically supported. They we have the old "gays and a bunch of other people are sinners for not following the bible, but we don't have to follow everything in the bible, just what we choose to follow" argument. I have never seen someone who does everything in the bible.

This is exactly the behavior that BNW bemoans. And though for clearly different reasons, IO agree with him. You want to decide the Bible does not condemn abortion, so you say the Bible does not. But everything you could extract form the Bible that could possibly, even in a stretch, address the issue of abortion, utterly condemns the idea. You are precisey, exactly, misrepresenting Scripture and church tradition to say what you want.

And these losers in Kentucky are doing exactly the same thing. The Bible is overwhelmingly racially inclusive, and the model of Christ is, without exception, to overlook simple cultural barriers in favor of worhsip of a common Creator. I agree that legally there's nothing anyone can do. That church can have its eisogetic, ridiculous beliefs and damage the gospel. That will be between they and God at ye olde BEMA seat.

But as to what the Bible actually says, it say to preach teh gospel to all nations, and that Christ is salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. It says we'll be know by our love, and that to play favorites is nothing less than sin. Naaman, the one leper who returned, the Samaritan woman at the well, the city of Nineveh - all saved because God looks at the heart while Men continue to screw up.

Federal employees should never be allowed to unionize, so all such strikes should always be broken.

I'm gonna pointout a few bad arguments, try once to set them right, and then leave this conversation. When you repeatedly ask folk to be respectful, and they increasingly have to use symbols to veil (meaning highlight) their profanity, they aren't listening. I'm trying to be better at abandoning conversation where the fight is the thing, and where people insist on turning one statement (poor people have kids they can't afford) into another (Steve must want to tell poor people how many kids they can have), there's no reason to hang around.

Corporations want smart people, but it's not their job to run public education, right? Controlling the cost of doing business isn't a crime, and it isn't immoral. Lobbying to prevent further mucking of the works isn't immoral, either. Bribery by corporations is not moral, and is not defensible, but then you couldn't bribe a government official if bureaucracy weren't so big someone would need and/or get away with a bribe. How did BP operate an unsafe drilling platform while accepting awards for safety? Bribe government officials and donate to their energy agenda. Want to eliminate corruption? Shrink bureaucracy. Want to eliminate lobbying and re-assign $billions to more productive use? Nix corporate taxation and simplify the tax code. Increase revenues, drop prices, build jobs and tax base, eliminate lobbying for tax consequences.

For everyone that has ever floated the horribly misunderstood argument about a millionaire paying less in taxes than his secretary: Paying a lower tax rate on your already-taxed capital gains (the actual example that Buffet used in this commonly repeated, rarely detailed little nugget of rhetoric) than your well-paid secretary (it only takes a reported income of $80k to be in the top 20% of earners) makes perfect sense. You got paid for assuming risk, employing people and guiding your company well, and then you took taxed personal money and reinvested it into a company whose profits are also taxed. The you pay a tax on the moeny that taxed money earns, even though as invested money might actually be worth a zero before those taxes are paid, and the taxes you pay on new profits might not have been possible without the reinvestment in the company you already own, that's already been taxed.

How did we create jobs, explode the internet, raise revenues and balance the budget with surplus? We reduced capital gains to 0 and cut spending. Reduce capial gaisn to 0 again and the amount the millionaire pays in taxes (and his income tax rate) will be higher than his secretary.

With respect to BNW, the socialist agenda you claim is old news is the very conversation we are having right now. Remember, we talked about money and govenrment in education, and my references were to seizing control of the culture and political aparatus through education. Appropot.

Minimum wage most hurts those who earn it. A restaurant employee makes minimum wage, which goes up. The restaurant was already straining reasonable labor costs and making a profit of 10% (a whopping HUGE number in any industry). Now it's making a profit of 8%. MW drives up the cost of produce and paper goods, so now inventory goes up. To cover increased costs and only lose a little bit of profit, the company raises it's prices. Now, people all over town are paying more to eat, which mitigates the increase in minimum wage. Less profitable (and therefore lower paying) restaurants (and other facilities) can't absorb the increased labor costs, so that employee who got the forced raise gets his hours cut. Prices go up, income stays the same or goes down. Happens all the time. I've managed businesses since minimum wage was $3.80. Has poverty been eliminated? Is minimum wage a family wage at over twice its previous value? Is it easier or harder for a small business to stay afloat today than in 1990? For a link that those who won't listen will fail to accept, check this out.

Also, BNW, I think you are more arguing for public education, and missing what was at least originally, my whole point: money is not the answer. I haven't advocated an end to public education. When you point out that most charter schools are government run schools, recall that my bringing up those schools is because they outperform with fewer funds, not because they aren't governemnt schools. The diffferent approach makes them better. As regards the arguemnt that they can unload useless kids, I think again it misses my point. You can't make someone learn something. You ahve to utilize teachers and methods that make learning attractive. Maybe if my oldest, or any of her friends, sucked it up at school, her charter would throw her back into the ocean. The point is actually that that won't ever happen. She learns, she learns several subjects, and she performs well where she didn't before. The change in school changed her performance and how she sees her education. If she gets bad grades, maybe the charter school unloads her to pad her stats. But then the reality is, her grades and scores IMPROVED when she joined the charter school. And for the rude people of the world, this is not anecdotal. She is by no means the only one.

I studied several pages and articles the last couple of days about the comparisons in test scores and demographics. I see that most pro-public education sites say the types of school perform about the same. I see that low-income and second-language students perform significantly better in charter schools, and that CREDO reports in 2005 that 17% of charter schools performed better than public counterparts, 37% performed not as well, and the rest on even ground. So, if 2/3 of charter schools are as good and 1/6 are better on less money, the answer must be that money is not the answer. I note finally that charter schools are at their worst in very blue cities, with the exception of New York, where they perform very admirably compared to counterparts.

Curious that the statistical evidence (charter schools are at least as good, a significant portion better, despite less funding) agrees with my own experience.

AMiB responded to the notion that liberal business owners don't work harder to fulfill their expressed tax burden with this strange response that 'conservatives don't either'. I note conservatives don't caterwale about it. That was my point. One group tears their clothes in anguish about how unfair the tax system is and then uses exactly the same tools (you know, or some extracurricular tools, if you're a DNC bundler or Secretary of the Treasury) to avoid those taxes. I grant your response: those of us who feel we are overtaxed to the nation's detriment don't like paying taxes to the nation's detriment. Bang. You got me.

In the example of LaGuardia, you could read the post, and then maybe check out the information in it. The airlines don't fine the government, and the government didn't shut the airport down. THe government fines the airlines, and the airlines nor passengers get nothing out of it. Medling where it doesn't belong. Let me get on the palne, and get POd when I have to wait too long for a rain delay, and let's see how the company handles it. Let ME fine the company if they suck at it. WHat did the governemnt do to deserve more money because Jet Blue couldn't get off the ground due to a blizzard?

Again, the demand for citations is where I request you think for yourself. 92nd percentile of combined international students. Did you think I was comparing American students to maybe offworld student? Interplanar students? What would the statistic be measuring against? Infants? Chimpanzees? As to the percentage of teaching staff in publc vs private schools, I cite Salisbury, 2005, New York Sun. Is your internet broke?

AMiB: You didn't really call ut your own mistake. I had posted twice already that you were abusing other folk in this discussion, and I wasn't the only one who noticed that you put words in other people's posts and then proceeded to attack statementes they never made. Then you confessed to doing it while reading one of my posts. You dind't offer a mea culpa. That involves saying your behavior was wrong, not saying "Just wanted to show you what can happen on the internet sometimes." The internet is not at fault. You are. You read with the intention of finding something to shoot at. ANd when you realized you were wrong, you were good enough to bring it up, but then you bumped your chst and said 'my bad'. I pointed out that the problem wasn't messageboard conversation or the internet. It's your approach. Looking for something of value in an argument, instead of treating it like high school debate (where's the card? I guess you'd tell poor people they can't have kids! equals nuke war!): that is class.

It's a tautology to say poor people have more kids than they can afford, because they can't afford any? Again, you choose to see and characterize as stupid an argument you don't read correctly. No one is advocating population control based on race or social strata (except, you know, the Margaret Sanger types). I said poor people are made poorer by habits that keep them poor. Credit card interest. Not prioritizing insurance. Having a smart phone that eats 10% of your monthly take-home. Having kids without the ability to manage financially. You choose to look at teh sentence backwards. No one is advocating policy. I am saying the rich get richer because they do rich people things. People are healthier than me because they eat healthier. People aren't healthy by stealing health from healthy people, who are then destined to be sick. Unhealthy people can become healthy by changing their lives. So it is with finances. A struggling stockboy at WalMart might spend a year barely paying the bills with a crappy phone and passable car, and might not get to play every X-box game that comes out. Then he might manage a shift or department. His GM (at least used to) get a bonus of 1% of the bottom line, making him a top 10% earner. He could get there in less than ten years. Right now, tons of stock boys are either working to be wealthier, or working to remain poor. The GM isn't taking anything away from either party.

And that's it. I've tried to be respectful without being passive. I came to share and not to browbeat. Respond as you like, but this conversation has seen its last of me. Have to work on Superstar stuff and still have to make $1000 this week.

While the rest of your post, and most other posts in this thread, have been utter crap, I have to single out this bunch of b**~!&%!.

It's nice to know that we can respectfully edify one another with spirited conversation about principles and beliefs. You know, without insults and personal, inflammatory remarks that don't actually address proffered arguments.

F@%$ing what? Oh this old yarn. Teachers ONLY work 9 months a year. Closer to 10, but who's counting. Also they routinely work 50+ hour weeks. And have a higher level of education that the average kid's parents, I'm betting. you're betting? is that anecdotal? does it need a link? how do you define the education of parents? is this an elitist view, where parents without degrees aren't smart enough, because you're about to assail parents for not being more involved in education... Why would you bemoan the fact that they make a solid middle-class salary? Seriously, what do you hope to accomplish by pointing out that, oh no, college educated professionals make slightly more than you can get working fast food?

I recommend reading and then thinking about someone's post before reaponding to it. I know it's not for everyone, but I think you should give it a shot.

Teachers working between nine and ten months would be, as they say, close enough for governemnt work. Hardly a distinction worthy of an f*bomb, and you getting blood pressure up over the easily understood point that average teacher salary in this country is median for educated careers, average teacher benefits are significantly higher, and average teacher workload is significantly lower. Let's say for a minute that teachers really do work 50 hour weeks. We used to have a quip for restaurant managers - if you're working 50-60 hours per week, why do your stores suck? Controllables out, stores dirty, service bad, training not getting done, quality mediocre, not profitable. What's getting done in all that time if the actual work is not getting done?

There are people working 50 hour weeks for less pay and much less or no benefits to make ends meet. As Coulter points out, there's not a Presidential Plumber of the Year or Turret Lathe Difference Maker of the Year. The auto mechanic industry doesn't routinely take 6-9 weeks off per year. And if they work 50 hours, they are clocked in and out. And if the plumbing/steel-cutting/engine re-assembling isn't done right or on time, they can be fired. If our kids are sagging in comparison to other countries the longer they are in school, what's getting done in all those 50-hour weeks? And can we punch them in and out so we can track their time management? Get them on an accountability program that ends in either stability or termination? Cut standard pay and benefits so that teachers who DO work long hours and who DO contribute to free-thinking, intelligent generations get paid more?

I don't bemoa what teachers make at all. I bemoan their bemoaning how little they make, which is not an honest argument. You've not seen me say 'teachersmake too much'. You've seen me say 'teachers aren't getting it done', 'teachers aren't making too little', and 'money doesn't solve the problem'.

Yes, let's take sex ed out of the schools so that religious nutbags can refuse to teach them about sex. Weren't you just talking about being born poor and single mothers and stuff? Yeah that happens when you don't have a rigorous sex ed program. Seriously what is the argument against having sex ed in school?

We are back to reading and thinking. You'll notice I said that it's the parents' job to teach sex education to kids, and not the government's. The current method uses up taxpayer resources to handle something the government doesn't need to address. I wonder, by definition, what is a religious nutbag? Is there some objecive quality that I'm not living up to? Does my love for roleplaying games and the fact that I do, in fact, teach my kids about sex, abstainence, pregnancy, contraception, etc, mark me as somehow different from the other religious nubags? Or is that just an ad hominem slur with no basis in reality, to defend a practice that isn't constitutionally sound, and which has no measurable standard of success, unless it's to increase pregnancy and tear up the traditional family? Since we don't have any money to run our government and our schools are failures, maybe we should be asking 'What is the argument for wasting time and money on sex education in schools?' Maybe if they had more homework....

Are you seriously intent on suggesting that incidences of teen pregnancy and single motherhood are lower now than before sex education was widely taught in schools? You can't be.

Honestly, the biggest obstacle to teachers are the parents. Not directly, but in that they DON'T actively participate and encourage intellectual and personal growth, that they DO impart all sorts of weird preconceived notions on their children that become hurdles to actual education. It doesn't really help that a household relies on two incomes nowadays for the same level of prosperity as opposed to 30-40 years ago.

Parents should be involved in education. You get more involvement when you a) stay away from social policies that inflate the cost of living and doing business, and b) don't excuse parents from parenting responsibilities by pushing your way into their roles. Give someone more food stamps than they need, and they will sell them illegally for cash instead of get a job and get off the program. Tell parents they can't stop their kids from having sex and don't have to have that uncomfortable conversation, and it is inescable that increasing numbers of parents will abdicate as expected. Every government seizure of personal responsibility increases both thresholds: that culture expects government to provide more, and that they feel expected to provide less.

A Man In Black wrote:
Okay. I had to stop and walk away, because I read this two times and came away with the impression that you were arguing that people are poor because they are stupid and thus deserve to be poor. That is emphatically not what you mean, but it's worth mentioning that I was initially furious at something you absolutely didn't mean at all. It's worth keeping in mind how that can happen in these threads.

With as much respect as I can muster, you are overlooking the most simple solution. It isn't that 'sometimes people just take things the wrong way'. It's that, all too often, people choose to take things the wrong way. You've put wrong words in several peoples' mouths in this thread. While you have some facts straight, your approach is initially hostile, arrogant, and off-putting. Don't tell people they haven't said anything worth responding too, unless they attack you personally or intentionally miss the boat. Much like the example above, you seem to look for a fight first, and then maybe consdier what was actually said later. We don't need that. Some of us are already married.

When you compare population explosion in poor communities and evaluate the wuality of cell phone of people working 20 hours a week for $8 an hour, the wealth gap gains some perspective.
This is 100% BS, don't say nonsense like this. The first part is entirely fictional, no such boom actually exists. The second part is because people who only have a part time job often don't have a fixed address, making having any phone number at all difficult to maintain. That's why that program exists.

Entirely fictional? You should do some reading on generational poverty. Start with Uncle Sam's Plantation. Also, go to Wal-Mart. Poor families have more kids than they can afford. Go to an inner city neighborhood. Read a little about single parent homes and number of kids per household. Research some statistics (and evaluate them together) about early pregnancy, crime and poverty in single-parent or poor families. What does poverty do? Screw up everything. Who stays poor? People born poor whose parents rely on the system to counter their financial mistakes. No one here can really pretend they haven't heard about government intrusions that create difficulty and/or poverty. Marriage penalty. Medicare fraud. Social Security as sole retirement. Divorce to qualify for Medicaid. Increased SSA or other assistance based on number of kids (meaning more kids are had to maintain benefits, which guarantees poverty). Selling food stamps for cash. These things are out of control and they cause two problems: they screw up the economy, and they remove consequences from decisionmaking. Is every poor person a freeloader? Nope. Is every welfare dollar a waste? Nope. Do we want a culture that helps veterans and folks who can't help themselves in a generous but sustainable way? Yup.

Apply that to education: We want kids to want to learn. And we want them to learn discipline and self-reliance. We don't want participation awards. We want ribbons, parental encouragement, and a feeling that the kids did it, not the almighty teacher (who works 9 months a year for more than the average wage and as much as double the benefits of the parents being pushed to worship them)> We don't want free lunches so parents can abdicate their responsibilities. We don't want Sex Ed training that parents should do (and will do if we don't remove the obstacle). We want results from our kids, and not excuses, and that's all we ask of the schools. And if we got those results, maybe we wouldn't have much to complain about in terms of schools and lavish school buildings. But we don't have results. We have failure.

Actually, BNW, as indicated by my quotation of Dewey many posts above, corporations want well-educated people. It's the progressive view of government that doesn't. Look at Dewey, and the desire by his crowd to take over education in order to create a docile, easily manipulated workforce. Lenin said "give me your 4-year-olds and I'll make a socialist state". (paraphrase) Marx wrote that public education ranked right up there with seizing private property in the establishment of a social state. Hitler only wanted national standardizing of textbooks.

COnversely, companies make local education AND taxes a huge part of their plans to grow, open new plants, reloacte, etc. Why? Naturally, companies want the best of every possible situtation. They have to compete. Why pay a tax someone else doesn't have to? Equals lobbying. Why not have the brightest and best-motivated hiring pool, with the greatest possibly quality of life for the happiest possible team? That's what everyone wants. Pursuing those goals isn't greed. It's responsible stewardship of the job they're given.

I know of exactly ZERO liberal small business owners that don't have their accoutnants showing as much of a loss as possible every single year. Where's their bold dedication to the collective? If Buffet thinks the wealthy should all be paying higher taxes, why doesn't he just pay more than he ought to help everyone out? Maybe he should start by having his companies actually pay their calculated taxes first.

GOvernment is an obstacle to survival. A rainstorm is nothing to an airline - routine. But LaGuardia darn near closed down last week because airlines can no longer risk a weather delay or other emergency, which will result in huge fines to the government. Not refunded tickets or extended miles or however else a good customer servant would handle disappointed customers. But fines to the government for no good reaon at all. The government gets involved, and everything becomes less efficient. Minimum wage is another great example.

And of course, education. The government gets involved and education sucks more. A series of statistics compiled by the Department of Education between 2001-2003 tell us that American kids in public schools number among the 92nd percentile in science literacy. As fourth graders. They rank at 29% by the time they become seniors. For the same age groups, students fall from 58% to 14% in math. More governemtn, and longer control over our kids' education by that government, is bad for us all.

I can't remember who it was who disagreed with me, but someone made the statement that accountability for teachers requires more staff, so complaining about the increasing amount of bureaucracy in education is hypocritical. But please think critically. 52% of the staff of public schools are teachers. 80% of the staff or private schools are teachers. Where is there greater accountability? Where is the education superior? Now, where are the most dollars-per-pupil spent? Neither moeny nor governemnt are the answer.

And final myth to dispel is the notion that charter schools only perform better because they cherry-pick their students. I hear that all the time, but then when I provide examples of schools built in specifically poor, under-educated neighborhoods, and illustrate how they smoke their public school competition without selecting students, without gaming the system, and with significantly less money, they run out of things to say. Charter school attract students who want to learn, maybe. That is not a detractor form the claim that charter schools do better with fewer resources. Again, my kids have done well at every school they've been in. In ghetto school, they had good grades and learned nothing. In public middle school they had good grades and hated their teachers. At charter school, which the oldest sought, and which did not seek her out, my oldest has great grades, tutors, loves her teachers, etc. The second oldest sought out an engineering program at a public high school and likes it better. Same kids as control, different schools. And the difference is not per capita expenditure or federally controlled curriculum. And no school they have been to has come looking for them to pad their performance.

Anecdotal? Sure, if you want to be merely dismissive. But these aren't aberrations used to justify beliefs. They are experiences that evidence very common claims.

Freehold DM wrote:

I'm curious, ancient sensei, were you living on the street or crashing on friends couches /spare bedrooms? There's real difference between those two. I still wouldn't wish either on anyone.

There's nothing wrong with sharing personal experiences, but one should not draw overly broad conclusions from them. Everyone is the author of their own experience, don't try to edit someone down to a paragraph just because their experiences or decisions do not match your own.

There's nothing wrong about talking

I very much agree there's a huge difference between where I was (floating from house to house every few days, bumming food, and borring a shower and razor to interview for work). But hopefully my point is clear: while a single experence doesn't describe every such experience, every experience has more value. Will I put more stock in my experience as a homeless guy determined not to let a suddenly bad break up get me down? Or in some statistics presented by someone perfectly willing to tell people he doesn't know that they can't post an arguemnt worth responding to.

In fact, those who know me likely know that I agree with amny of the comments AMiB makes, but certainly not the venom with which he makes them. I believe hospitals and corporations are no more corrupt or self-centered than any other endeavor. I have seen teh difference between what demogogues would have us beleive about running a small business, and actually having to run the business. I have seen fake pity for homeless folk turn into cold rumormongering, and also been shown genuine concner by those who believe in the signity of struggle. My life does not make axiomatic my own beliefs and perspective, but in a world full of snark and partisan posts, that experience, and the other expeeirences I've witnessed that are not my own, mean significalty more than a manufactured single indicator used to say whatever the presenter wants.

Look at wealth gap statistics. People point to them as some kind of evidence that society is sick. But that';s not the case. People who never run up credit cards becomes wealtheir than people who do. People who wait to afford kids are wealthier than people who don't. Politicians who give out programs like candy teach people to vote for a living, while politicians who teach self-reliance and promise to use government to remove obstacles rather than increase control teach people to fish. Behavior impacts that wealth gap. You don't ever hear the MSM analyze such a statisitc. They treat it as its own economic law and use it to pick fights among candidates, parties, and voters. You can link a statistic referring to increases in wealth gaps all day. When you compare population explosion in poor communities and evaluate the wuality of cell phone of people working 20 hours a week for $8 an hour, the wealth gap gains some perspective.

And when we look at evidence critically and with reason, we can actually have firendly conversations where we are willing to learn, willing to share without insulting one another and (gasp) maybe even admit we were wrong about something.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I find myself wondering how AMiB defines 'troll', given the snarky tactic of repeating people's statements into his own terms so he can mischaracterize them and then call them a jerk. Miss the bit about friendly conversation, sir?

"a lot of irresponsible friends still avoided homelessness" is not necessarily code for "I have never spoken to a homeless person". I was homeless once. I refused unemplyment and found a job, got a little help from a couple of great friends, and worked my way out of it. It wasn't my fault I got there, but it would have been if I'd stayed there. I suppose you'll say that based on the anecdotal example of actually being homeless, it's only a sample size of one and I still don't know what I'm talking about. I'll try to link you to a source. Oh. Yeah, I AM the source.

Pseudointellectuals, and all that they refuse to learn by listening instead of picking fights with everyone they perceive to be dumber than they.

1 to 50 of 221 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>