Talk:Main Page/archive53

From Conservapedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Suggested Link

Please consider this story for a main page link: Comprehensive sex ed may cut teen pregnancies

"Comprehensive sex education that includes discussion of birth control may help reduce teen pregnancies, while abstinence-only programs seem to fall short, the results of a U.S. survey suggest.

Using data from a 2002 national survey, researchers found that among more than 1,700 unmarried, heterosexual teens between 15 and 19 years old, those who'd received comprehensive sex ed in school were 60 percent less likely to have been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant than teens who'd had no formal sex education.

Meanwhile, there was no clear benefit from abstinence-only education in preventing pregnancy or delaying sexual intercourse, the researchers report in the Journal of Adolescent Health."--TomMoore 20:47, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

Of course, it does depend on just how good the respective programs are. For example, you could have an effective abstinence-only program or an ineffective abstinence-only program. Just because a particular abstinence-only program allegedly hasn't worked doesn't mean that no abstinence-only program could work.
Also, the report highlights pregnancies, and downplays having sex: "While comprehensive sex ed did not clearly reduce the STD risk, there was a modest, but statistically insignificant reduced risk of engaging in sex.". So there's no significant reduction (if any) in teens having sex, but fewer are getting pregnant. And it's not really clear whether the reduced numbers of pregnancies was solely due to not getting pregnant, or partly due to aborting the pregnancies.
Perhaps, based on this survey, other programs should follow suit. For example, don't teach people not to smoke; just teach them to use filters. Don't teach people not to rob convenience stores; just tell them to leave the bullets out of the gun. Surely they would be more effective approaches?
Philip J. Rayment 21:36, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
I must say, you always have the best responses. Bohdan 21:37, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Philip, if the comprehensive approach described in the article is objectively, statistically proven to reduce teen pregnancies and STD's, then how is it responsible to promote abstinence-only education when that will lead to more teen pregnancies and STDs? Premarital sex between consenting couples of close age may be considered immoral by many, but it's not going to ever go from it's current levels to zero because people tell kids not to do it. We're talking about minors who aren't considered responsible enough to drive, vote or drink, but we're expecting them to have judgment that can overcome their hormones in the midst of adolescence?--DinsdaleP 11:12, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Oh, and don't get me started on the morality of cigarettes. That would be the #1 example in an article on Political Cowardice - it's okay to allow the sale of something addictive that sickens and kills millions each year, because the government makes so much off of it in taxes it can't afford to ban it.--DinsdaleP 11:17, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
What I was getting at is that the report indicates that sex education results in a reduction in pregnancies, not sexual intercourse outside marriage, so it appears as though the approach is merely trying to limit some of the consequences of the problem rather than solve the problem. And the reason for this (although I didn't mention this point) is that the people with the programs are not actually interested in stopping extra-marital sexual liaisons. So of course it will fail! I was also pointing out that better than comprehensive sex education would be an abstinence program that works. The fact that the current one fails to reduce pregnancies doesn't mean that a different abstinence-only approach would not produce better results.
Government's that don't ban cigarettes on those grounds are doing so for invalid reasons, as the health costs outweigh what they take in taxes anyway. I don't know what it's like in the U.S., but here in Oz smoking is severely restricted (basically banned inside any building except a private home and cigarette advertising is almost totally banned, and numbers of people smoking are way down on, say, two or three decades ago. Politically, a government is not going to get away with banning a popular activity like smoking; if they do, the government after the next election will probably unban it. But increasing restrictions, such as on advertising, banning smoking in public places, etc., will reduce the demand for it and eventually get it to the point where it could be successfully banned. My point was, governments (here at least) are telling people that they should not smoke at all (not just telling them to use filters or to limit the number of cigarettes they smoke). Sex education, by contrast, is designed to limit the effects, not to stop the activity, because the powers that be generally don't agree that sex outside marriage is not the way we were designed to enjoy it.
Philip J. Rayment 22:31, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
Philip, what possible objective could the government have in preventing sex? STD's and pregnancies are the problem, not the consequences, and preventing those, not sex, is the goal. While abstinence is obviously an effective means of achieving that goal, it must not be confused with the goal itself. If a comprehensive education is better at achieving the goal than abstinence education, then why does it matter if it does not reduce sex? BlinkadyblinkRAGE 23:54, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
What objective could they have? Preventing moral decay, avoiding the emotional problems that come with extramarital sexual relationships, etc. Governments are not just concerned with physical diseases, but emotional wellbeing as well. Philip J. Rayment 06:12, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
The problem with objectives like "Preventing moral decay" is that they are too subjective to be effectively applied to a free country allowing diverse ideas. Fundamentalist regimes like Iran or the Taliban's Afganistan are warning signs that the best form of government is the one with the lightest "touch" where preventing moral decay is concerned. It's one thing for citizens to allow government to monitor and punish crimes where real harm is done - theft, child porn, murder, fraud, etc., but what consenting adults do in private should be their own business. It's better for moral guidance and leadership in other, private areas to come from authorities (religious, social) other than the government. --DinsdaleP 09:46, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Oh, and I'm with you on cigarettes - their popularity, and very effective industry lobbying, is the main driver behind their being sold despit the cost to society & government being higher than the taxes raised. I'm originally from New York City, and when local laws were passed to ban smoking in all restaurants & bars the owners protested, saying that it would kill their business. In fact, business went up over the first year of the ban, because the smoke kept many customers away, and the smokers adapted. My problem with the idea of "popularity" is that we're dealing with something physically addictive, not popular. We had no problem quickly getting rid of useful and popular things like asbestos, lead-based paint and the like when the harm was proven to outweigh the good. It's nothing more than political cowardice that's kept cigarettes from being regulated, let alone banned.--DinsdaleP 09:55, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Under the establishment clause the government does not recognize religious morality as its morality, and the only morality that is decaying is religious morality. The government is not concerned with preserving that. BlinkadyblinkRAGE 11:00, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
If cigarettes were merely addictive and not popular, a government could get away with banning them overnight. But even restricting their use brings howls of protest from some quarters. You are fairly right, actually: much of it is merely addiction, not popularity, but even dismissing those who are addicted and would like to see them banned, there's still a largish group of voters who would object to them being banned, which is why I said what I said.
But isn't your view on cigarettes somewhat hypocritical? Shouldn't consenting adults be allowed to smoke in private? Isn't that their own business? Or does that rule about allowing consenting adults to do things in private only apply when it's something that you agree with? Perhaps my reference to "preventing moral decay" was, as phrased, rather subjective, but I also referred to "emotional problems that come with extramarital sexual relationships". These things do cause harm, just as smoking in the privacy of one's home causes harm, taking drugs in the privacy of one's home causes harm, and so on. How are extramarital sexual relationships any different, except that opposing the latter is not politically correct? Philip J. Rayment 11:09, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
My position on cigarettes isn't hypocritical in 2 ways. First smoking hurts more people than the smoker through second hand smoke (should parents have the right to smoke around their kids in private, when there's overwhelming evidence of the harm to the kids?) I don't want smoking-police going into homes - it's more sensible to ban the deadly substance instead. Second, society pays the cost of medical care for smokers, through higher medical insurance premiums and treatment for those who cannot afford it. If someone wants to hurt their heath deliberately I shouldn't be asked to pay for the consequences. There is no substance as comparably harmful that is allowed to be sold with as few restrictions. I'm not disputing the harm that can come from extramarital affairs, but the reason oit's a more private matter is that there's almost always problems beyond sexual desire that leads to it. Not having sex outside of marriage isn't going to make those problems go away - that's what counseling and/or divorce is for, and those are private matters, not the governments. --DinsdaleP 11:47, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Extra-marital affairs hurt more people than the perpetrator too, so that's not a distinction. You are confusing law with enforcement. By banning smoking, you're also saying that people shouldn't do it in their own homes. Whether you enforce that by sending police into homes is a separate matter. I don't see how other problems makes it "more private", and surely the same could be argued for smoking as well: It's due to factors beyond the desire to smoke, such as peer pressure, wanting to appear "cool", etc. No again, no real distinction. Philip J. Rayment 19:24, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
How do you distinguish "religious morality" from "government morality"? Murder, theft, etc. are all condemned in the Bible—that is religious morality. The slave trade was abolished because of religious morality—it went against the biblical teaching that man had dominion over God's creation, but not over other humans. No, you are making an artificial distinction. Philip J. Rayment 11:09, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
The classic issue here is, "which religion?" Society can decide on a civil, secular basis that there are common benefits (free speech, free trade) and common harms (theft, child abuse, murder) that can be defined in law by reason instead of the framework of a specific religion, while being influenced by the moral codes of religions at the same time. Israel has that problem with the issue of Palestinian refugees - if they allowed every native Palestinian displaced in the founding of Israel to resettle there and vote as citizens, the Palestinians would quickly be the voting majority and could base Israeli law on Muslim values.--DinsdaleP 11:46, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
"Which religion" is the classical excuse, but is invalid because it (a) presumes that all "religions" are equal, and (b) treats atheistic religions as somehow different. See also my following reply to Blinkadyblink. Philip J. Rayment 19:36, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
All religions ARE equal in importance to their respective followers, which is why religion should not be embodied within government, but guaranteed freedom by government instead. Otherwise, you have states where one faith or sect suppresses or oppresses the rest, and good people suffer for it. To call my point an excuse is sidestepping it instead of answering it directly. Also, what is an "atheistic religion", if not an oxymoron? --DinsdaleP 20:10, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps they are all of equal importance to their respective followers, but that is not what I said, and is no reason for governments to treat them as equal, and that does not mean that the state necessarily suppresses others. "Atheistic religion" is not an oxymoron: See religion. Okay, to answer your question directly: Which religion? Christianity, the only correct religion. Now if you don't agree, prove me wrong; don't just presume that I can't be correct or that all religions are equal. Philip J. Rayment 20:24, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
If it was so simple to prove Christianity, or any religion for that matter, to be the only true or "correct" religion, then we'd all be living as believers of that single faith by now. Frankly, I find your statement, "Perhaps they are all of equal importance to their respective followers, but that is not what I said, and is no reason for governments to treat them as equal, and that does not mean that the state necessarily suppresses others." to be chilling. A government bias towards one religion is at the least a discrimination against the rest, and your view reminds me of the way southerners in the USA viewed the "incorrect" races before civil rights legislation - tolerated and accomodated out of necessity, but institutionally reminded of their so-called inferiority at every turn. I won't waste time trying to 'prove' Christianity or any other faith to be correct or incorrect, because it's always about faith in the end, not facts. I would pose the question, though - which Christianity are you referring to when you talk about the "correct" one? Catholocism, Seventh Day Adventism, Lutheran, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, etc.? The Christian Pilgrims fled a Christian England to avoid persecution in the 1600's, and today Iraqi Muslims are killing each other over the differences between the Sunni & Shia sects. We can agree to disagree on this one, but I'm grateful that the founders saw value in what religions can contribute to a nation, but the wisdom to prohibit any single state religion. --DinsdaleP 10:04, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) The difficulty with "proving" Christianity is not with the evidence, but with people's (un)willingness to go where the evidence leads. (See also Essay: Accuracy vs. neutrality on Conservapedia.) Why is it "chilling" to claim that a state need not suppress others? Do you want them suppressed? A bias doesn't mean unfair discrimination. But your claim that "it's always about faith in the end, not facts" is the very point of what I'm getting at: That claim is an atheistic claim, so effectively you are pushing an atheistic view as though it is self-evidently true. And it is this view that you expect governments to adopt! What's that about governments not endorsing a religion? Just so long as it's not atheism that they're not endorsing? Which Christianity? Biblical Christianity! There's only one Christianity (albeit different Christian organisations), and again, this is an atheistic tactic to make out that because there's a choice, the only answer is to declare that one can't make a choice (see also my comments below about defendants and prosecutors). Yet we make choices every day, and atheists expect us to make choice—when it fits their views (such as choosing—and teaching—their origins myth (evolution) and rejecting the biblical account). By the way, in mentioning conflicts due to religion, you conveniently forgot to mention the atheistic mass murderers such as Stalin and Mao. And I wasn't talking about a "state religion"—the government running a particular religious denomination—but endorsing the religion of Christianity over the religion of atheism that has been sneaked into government and schools by drawing an artificial distinction between their own worldview and the Christian worldview by labelling the latter "religion" and the former "rationalism" (or etc.). Philip J. Rayment 10:56, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Other faiths can put up evidence as well, and as I said, if any were overwhelmingly convincing we'd have one world faith by now. The willingness or unwillingness of people to accept evidence depends on their willingness to accept evidence that contradicts their beliefs - Young Earth Creationsists accept the principles behind nuclear power and radiation therapy, but dismiss the application of the same class of physics where radiocarbon dating is concerned. What I found chilling above was the phrase "and is no reason for governments to treat them as equal". The USA was founded on freedoms, including freedom of religion, and once the state treats one faith differently than others that freedom is denied. My views are based on a love for freedom, including freedom of religion, and not the atheist view you assert. A bias doesn't have to mean unfair discrimination, but when one group claims superiority over another, and not just a difference, then unfairness is inevitable - just ask an elderly black american from the south what it was like to live in the time of "separate but equal". Endorsement of a state religion is enough to make the followers of all other faiths second-class citizens - ask a modest Christian woman how much she'd enjoy a month in Saudi Arabia, which endorses Islam without running it. I'm not pulling any atheist tricks - all of the Christian faiths I mentioned above reference the same bible but interpret it differently, and to make this about atheism is to insert a red herring. I'm keeping this about the problems in a state endorsing one Deity-based religion vs. another - state that "Biblical Christianity" is endorsed by the government above all others, and you'll divide people over the differences within it, not unify people around it. --DinsdaleP 12:05, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
Dinsdale, if you're going to disagree with Pope Philip here, he might just excommunicate you. He's a Pope now, he can do that.
Philip, the last time we had unity of church and state in this country, people were hanged as witches. I don't think that's exactly something we need to go back to. --Gulik5 12:31, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
"Other faiths can put up evidence as well...": Of course. Just like both prosecutor and defendant can put up evidence. But that doesn't mean that you can't judge to see which evidence is more convincing.
"...as I said, if any were overwhelmingly convincing we'd have one world faith by now.": Yes, you did say, and I disagreed. And even so, how is that different from judge deciding that the evidence is sufficient to find a defendant guilty, yet there will still be some who disagree? Remember that the judge has found the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Perhaps it's not just as I said, that some are not willing to follow the evidence. A large part of it is that many have not even looked at the evidence. I see this very frequently; that bibliosceptics have very little idea of the evidence for Christianity. So of course they are not going to accept the evidence if they haven't even looked at it! There have been numerous cases of atheists deciding to closely look at the evidence in order to debunk it, only to find that the evidence convinces them that the Bible is true. Your claim that if the evidence was overwhelmingly convincing... could only be true if people do actually look at the evidence.
"The willingness or unwillingness of people to accept evidence depends on their willingness to accept evidence that contradicts their beliefs...": True.
"Young Earth Creationsists accept the principles behind nuclear power and radiation therapy, but dismiss the application of the same class of physics where radiocarbon dating is concerned.": This is nonsense, and shows that you don't know what YECs believe.
"The USA was founded on freedoms, including freedom of religion, and once the state treats one faith differently than others that freedom is denied": First, it depends on how you treat them differently. Second, they already treat them differently. Even apart from western governments declaring public holidays for events on the Christian calendar (which doesn't actually deny freedom of religion to other religions), governments favour atheistic ideas over Christian ideas in its schools (i.e. teaching the atheist origins myth of evolution). To expand on the first point, when I said "treat them as equal", I was meaning consider them as equal. Clearly, because they teach contradictory things, all religions are not equal, unless, perhaps, all are equally wrong. So for a government to consider them as all equal when they are not, is plainly a case of burying one's head in the sand.
"...when one group claims superiority over another, and not just a difference, then unfairness is inevitable...". No it's not. Law-abiding citizens claim "superiority" over criminals. Is that unfair? Your objection assumes that the claim of superiority is wrong. If one view is superior, how is it unfair to claim that?
"...just ask an elderly black american from the south what it was like to live in the time of "separate but equal.": When was that? My understanding is that it was "separate and unequal".
"Endorsement of a state religion is enough to make the followers of all other faiths second-class citizens...": Perhaps that's why Christians feel somewhat second-class, with the government endorsing atheistic views of origins, etc. And that highlights the point: When it comes to things like core beliefs, a government has to endorse one view over another. Even having the view that one should remain "neutral" is a view.
"...ask a modest Christian woman how much she'd enjoy a month in Saudi Arabia, which endorses Islam without running it.": That's a fallacious argument to put to me, because you are asking me to judge how fair it is for a government to endorse the correct religion by using an incorrect religion as an example! Again, you are fallaciously treating all religions (except atheism) as equal, when they are clearly not equal.
"I'm not pulling any atheist tricks - all of the Christian faiths I mentioned above reference the same bible but interpret it differently": The differences are trivial. I am a Christian, and I've attended non-denominational, Wesleyan, Church of Christ (the legitimate one) and Baptist churches, and visited many other denominations. They are all Christian, and are not opposed. A government accepting Christianity as true does not need to concern itself with whether a communion service is held every Sunday or once a month, or whether baptism is by sprinkling or dunking.
"...to make this about atheism is to insert a red herring.": Not at all.
"Philip, the last time we had unity of church and state in this country, people were hanged as witches": Which country? America has never had the government running a religious organisation, and I'm not talking about the government running a religious organisation anyway.
Philip J. Rayment 23:50, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
I'll let this be my last post to this thread. While it's been enlightening, we've gone wayyy off topic, so feel free to get in the last word if you'd like...
- My point about one world faith still holds, because by definition any evidence that was overwhelmingly convincing would be powerful enough to convince people to set even the most strongly-held beliefs aside. The evidence you refer to may be compelling to you, Philip, but it is not overwhelming enough to overcome those who believe in their respective faiths as strongly as you do in yours.
- I based my comment about YEC's and radiocarbon dating on some articles I've read where the validity of the latter was questioned, even though it's been proven to be accurate to within a 2% margin of error. If you can point me to some references that reconcile the young-earth view with objects radiocarbon-dated to be millions of years old, I'll read them with an open mind.
- As for equal treatment, holidays cost every taxpayer in terms of overtime pay for essential government services (police, fire dept.), so all non-Christians (not just atheists) are paying more taxes than necessary to support Christian holidays. On the other hand, these dates are national traditions at this point, and reasonable people aren't looking to undo them.
- Comparing criminals to followers of other faiths is invalid - the former cause direct harm to others, the latter may be idealogically offensive to the intolerant, but certainly not harmful. How is it unfair for one group to claim superiority over another? Racial supremicists are the first to come to mind, followed by the practicioners of ethnic cleansing.
- Your dismissal of the Saudi example emphasizes my point - when you don't respect the legitimacy of the beliefs of others to them, it's easy to be dismissive of those individuals.
- It was ironic and telling at the same time when you mention Church of Christ (the legitimate one) in the same paragraph where you mention the differences between Christian faiths as trivial. Your definition of "Biblical Christianity" is narrower than it sounds, and makes my point.--DinsdaleP 13:37, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Your point about the evidence not being overwhelmingly convincing does not hold, first, because it ignores the second of the two objections that I raised against it (that most have not even looked at the evidence), and second, because it ascribes too much credit to the strength of the evidence and people's ability to be objective. It was you that used the term "overwhelming". I didn't say that the evidence was "overwhelming". Rather, I'd say that the evidence is quite sufficient to convince a reasonable person. I used the analogy of a criminal court case, where the evidence is sufficient to convict a person, but there will still be those that don't believe. Your use of the word "overwhelming" seems to be an attempt to set the standard ridiculously high.
Your comments about radiocarbon dating suggest that you have next to no idea what you are talking about. Radiocarbon dating has an upper limit of 100,000 years, so will never give ages in millions of years. Further, the problem that YECs have with radiometric dating methods is not with the physics as you claimed, but with the assumptions involved. See radiometric dating for more.
"As for equal treatment, holidays cost every taxpayer...": It appears that you've completely missed the point here, as I can't see how your response rebuts my points at all. Further, you've responded to an aside and ignored the main point that I was making (that governments favour atheistic ideas).
"Comparing criminals to followers of other faiths is invalid - the former cause direct harm to others, the latter may be idealogically offensive to the intolerant, but certainly not harmful": Yeah? Sometimes the religions are harmful. And it's interesting how many atheists consider Christian ideas harmful and strongly oppose them, yet here you are now claiming that other religious ideas are not harmful. But again, this view is based on the incorrect idea that all religions are equal. That was the point I was rebutting, and you've failed to address it, instead merely restating your view.
"How is it unfair for one group to claim superiority over another?": It is unfair, as your examples show, when the group claiming that is not superior. But such an example does not demonstrate that it is unfair when the group is superior. I provide an example of that (criminals vs. law-abiding citizens), and you reject that example because it doesn't fit your example. Actually refuting my example would be a better way to argue the point.
"Your dismissal of the Saudi example emphasizes my point - when you don't respect the legitimacy of the beliefs of others to them, it's easy to be dismissive of those individuals": Actually, it undermines your point, because although I was dismissive of their religion, I was not dismissive of the individuals. You've created a straw-man argument.
"It was ironic and telling at the same time when you mention Church of Christ (the legitimate one) in the same paragraph where you mention the differences between Christian faiths as trivial.": Christianity is based on the Bible, not on the pronouncements of its followers. A "Christian" group that doesn't follow the clear teachings of the Bible doesn't deserve to be called Christian.
"Your definition of "Biblical Christianity" is narrower than it sounds, and makes my point": How so?
Philip J. Rayment 08:51, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

[unindent] I know I said I'd let you have the last word, but I looked at the CP article on Radiometric Dating as you suggested, and had two comments. First, you're right in that I should not have been basing my point about evidence on carbon-14 dating. That said, if I replace it with Uranium-Lead dating I believe my point still stands - it's accurate and dates in the billion-year scale. There's also an inactive link to it on the CP Radiometric Dating page, perhaps because the science is hard to refute and it doesn't fit the YEC view. There was also nothing in the CP article on Radiometric Dating that specifically refutes the validity of Uranium-Lead dating.--DinsdaleP 11:49, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

No, perhaps you are right that there's nothing on that page that specifically refutes uranium-lead dating, but there are some general refutations there, such as questionable assumptions and inconsistent results. The point is, as I said above, YECs do not deny the physics as you claimed, they deny some of the assumptions, and they have evidence in the form of inconsistent results, etc., to show that there must be something wrong with the methods. Philip J. Rayment 19:05, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

This is the point I was trying to make - Uranium-Lead dating has been scientifically proven to be accurate and reliable, and the results can be reproduced & and verified by anyone anytime they want. U-L dating shows the earth to be in the billions of years old, and there are no specific refutations of this, but you're holding to a young-earth view because of faith despite being unable to dispute that evidence specifically. I'm not invalidating Christianity (just the young-earth theory), but if the YEC interpretation of the Bible does not hold up to this objective evidence, then it is wrong for a government to hold this or any other religion as the correct one over all others.--DinsdaleP 07:56, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

How has it been "scientifically proved to be accurate"? There's really only one way to do that, and that's to see if the method consistently works on rocks of known age. But the only rocks we know the age of are, at most, only a few thousand years old. (I'm excluding rocks for which the age has been calculated according to radiometric dating methods, as that would be begging the question.) Repeating that there are no specific refutations of it when I've already agreed with that (i.e., as far as articles on Conservapedia are concerned) is a bit pointless, particularly when you've failed to address the general refutations that I mentioned. You say that you are not invalidating Christianity, but you are (in effect and in theory) invalidating the clear teaching of the Bible, on which Christianity is based. Your final sentence is based on your unsubstantiated argument, so is not sound. Philip J. Rayment 09:17, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
Philip, the accuracy of Uranium-Lead dating is proven by the underlying physics of particle decay, not by finding rocks of a certain age and seeing how well the U-L dating corresponds (which it does, by the way). The value of a technique like this is that once you have established the physical rules related to particle decay and can reliably measure it, you are now able to measure the ages of objects far older than other methods allow for, and know that the mathematics backs up the findings. The validity of nuclear physics is established because we have nuclear bombs, power-plants and submarines proving it every day - how can you claim that particle decay works in those applications but by the same rules does not work in U-L dating? If I'm able to give you specific, working examples and your only counter is to fall back on generalities without addressing the specifics, which viewpoint is the more valid one? --DinsdaleP 17:16, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
You claim that uranium-lead dating does correspond with rocks of known age, but where do you find rocks that you know (other than by radiometric dating) to be millions of years old to have shown that? The "underlying physics" does not prove that the method works; it is merely the basis for thinking that it does, and the "underlying physics" does not negate that there are also assumptions involved. Those assumptions don't apply in the cases of nuclear bombs, etc. Your final question is also invalid, because you have not given me specific examples which show that the method always works correctly. Philip J. Rayment 23:12, 30 March 2008 (EDT)
Okay, looks like we've reached the end of this thread. Apparently, if science leads to conclusions you don't want to accept, then you're going to go to any length to question the science instead. The principles of atomic half-life have been researched and established, and the half-life properties of uranium don't switch between the lab and nature - it's an intrinsic property of the element itself.
The various methods of radiometric dating can be validated in ladder-fashion; methods that are accurate for short-term ranges can be verified against man-made artifacts from the past thousand-year range, then that method compared to methods that overlap but span older periods, and so on. Since the math and physics agree to a scientifically valid margin of error, they can be considered useful tools for estimating age to a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Aside from a literal interpretation of the Bible, what different and overlapping technologies allow us to definitely show the earth is only 6,000 years old, and not tens of thousands, millions or billions as different dating methods do? (in other words, instead of taking ineffective shots at invalidating science, can you provide positive, scientific proof of a young earth that holds up to scientific scrutiny and experimental proof?)
Again, I'm not attacking Christianity, just pointing out that with issues like this being debatable, it's not right for a government to endorse any single religion as more "correct" than others - government is about providing essential services to the most people at the least cost of freedom and expense - leave matters of spirituality to the individuals, and their respective places of worship. --DinsdaleP 10:06, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, if you're merely going to engage in insulting rhetoric (e.g. your second sentence), then I guess this is at an end. Again, YECs don't question the principles of the physics, but the assumptions involved in the dating methods, which you keep dodging. But are the methods truly accurate for short ages? Most(?) tests done on rocks of known ages by radiometric dating methods have proved to be wrong, so it's very questionable that it even works on short ages (indeed, I've several times had it "explained" to me why it doesn't work on short ages but does (should) work on long ages! This "explanation" would not be necessary if it does in fact work on short ages). I don't know of any real methods for showing that the Earth is 6,000 years old, but there are many which, using the same assumptions used in radiometric dating, show it to not be as old as claimed. See young Earth creationism for a list of some of these. But the point is, YECs don't claim that scientific evidence shows the Earth to be 6,000 years old. They claim that the methods used to show it to be older are unreliable (i.e. that dating methods are not reliable), and therefore they can't themselves use these dating methods to prove a 6,000-year-old Earth. And again, you are attacking the biblical account, which forms the basis of Christianity. Genesis (and other places) quite clearly says that the time span from the formation of the Earth to the appearance of man was a matter of six days. You are claiming that the Bible is wrong. That may not directly be an attack on Christianity, but that's like saying your not trying to demolish a building because all your attacking is the foundations. As for government endorsement, if you really believe that because there's debate about these things that a government shouldn't endorse a particular view as more correct, then why aren't you (I'm assuming you're not) lobbying your government representatives to stop the government endorsing the millions-of-years view? Or do you take the self-serving view that your beliefs about the age of the Earth are okay to endorse because you call them science (but I don't), whilst mine are not because you call them religious (whilst I call yours just as religious as mine)? Philip J. Rayment 11:17, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Sincere apologies if you found my comment insulting - I don't agree with your positions, but I believe in respect and was not looking to offend. I don't believe that the government should endorse any religion. If you feel that topics taught in public school like evolution or old-earth geology are equivalent to religious instruction, that is because you are incorrectly associating atheism (which you consider a religion) and science. Science isn't atheistic - it's just the application of the scientific method to observations of reality. It's also open to revision anytime new scientific observations improve on our understanding of reality. I have a science book from the 1950's that showed Venus to be tropical and swampy because we observed clouds from Earth by telescope - better observations showed what those clouds were composed of, and dispelled the old ideas.
A literal interpretation of the Bible may not agree with certain concepts in science today, but the more we talk about it the more likely we'll arrive at a common understanding. Also, disagreeing with aspects of the Bible is not "attacking Christianity by attacking the foundations" - I don't believe some of the Old Testament principles, like stoning non-virgin women as in Deuteronomy 22, but that doesn't invalidate the rest of Christianity to me. --DinsdaleP 13:06, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Apology accepted, thanks.
No, I'm not associating atheism with science. I'm associating atheism with evolution [Edit: and long ages], which I don't consider to be science. I know that science is not (inherently) atheistic—it came about due to Christians! But evolution is the atheists' creation myth masqueraded as science. The Deuteronomic laws were applicable to the Jews under the old covenant and not applicable today, but that does not make the Bible wrong, like claiming that the Earth is billions of years old does. If you want to accept which parts are right and which are wrong, then you become the judge of what is God's infallible Word and what isn't.
Philip J. Rayment 07:47, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
We were talking about Uranium-Lead dating, not evolution, but that's okay - I'm not posting responses to these threads until I contribute an acceptable number of edits. I wasn't aware of where the Old Testament laws in Deuteronomy were determined to no longer apply - can you refer me to some reading on that? Thanks --DinsdaleP 20:51, 1 April 2008 (EDT)
Ah, sorry. Substitute "long ages" for evolution. Actually, I'll add it myself. For that reading you wanted, see here, search the page for "categories", and read that and the next five paragraphs. Philip J. Rayment 09:05, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
I must have missed something, because I read the suggested material and the embedded link on christian-thinktank.com, and still didn't see anything that showed how the OT laws in Deuteronomy are no longer applicable. What I found were explanations of how there was much more due process involved than is apparent, but nothing on the laws themselves becoming inapplicable at any point. --DinsdaleP 13:48, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

"Okay, to answer your question directly: Which religion? Christianity, the only correct religion. Now if you don't agree, prove me wrong; don't just presume that I can't be correct or that all religions are equal." Philip, I don't see how that can be applied practically. Politically speaking, couldn't all religions claim the exact same thing? Would you debate them for the right to claim the title of "only correct religion" for Christianity? Or do they just have to take your word (or the word of the majority) for it? Feebasfactor 22:08, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Of course all could claim the same thing. Just like both a prosecutor and a defendant will both claim that they are correct. But see this is the fallacy that I was talking about: That there is a presumption that I can't be correct, because there's a presumption that the claims of religions are of equal value. But when people make competing claims, what you normally do is check out the claims, not throw up your arms in frustration and say that because they all make opposing claims, you can't determine which is correct. That is a logical fallacy right there. Philip J. Rayment 22:26, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
And who checks out the claims, Philip? You? A court? Christianity is true, but my question was on the practicality of deciding such an issue in a political context. Have you a proposed method for doing so? Presumably it's better than "I'm right until proven wrong". Feebasfactor 16:31, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
Who checks out the claims of evolution, for example, that governments have endorsed? Of course it's not me that decides; that's you being silly rather than sensible. How about the voters? My argument is not so much that a government must endorse Christianity; rather it's that there is nothing wrong with it endorsing Christianity; that the arguments against governments endorsing a religion are fallacious and empty, and that if a government/the-people want(s) to endorse Christianity, there's nothing wrong with that. How that is decided is actually a separate question. Philip J. Rayment 08:58, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Philip, with all due respect, you're stating that Christianity is the only correct religion, and more true and valid than all of the others, and then asserting that this is the truth until others can prove it false. No one here is attacking the validity of Christianity, but for you to assert that all faiths except Christianity are invalid until definitively proven otherwise is arrogant. I'd suggest instead that you create a debate page on the validity of Christianity and make an airtight, positive case there, instead of dismissing the validity of other peoples' faiths and leaving it to them to refute you.--DinsdaleP 10:40, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) Yes, I'm stating that Christianity is the only correct worldview, just as Muslims think they are correct, and atheists think they are correct, and so on. There's nothing odd about that. As for asserting that this is the truth unless others can prove it wrong, I wrote that in a hurry, and perhaps didn't word it the best, but my real point was as I've tried to explain above, that if one wants to dispute the claim, one should try and dispute the claim, not to make out that the they don't have to because other religions make similar claims. What do you mean, "No one here is attacking the validity of Christianity"? They are attacking it all the time. What I suspect that you mean is that nobody is attacking the idea that I can have a subjective belief in the Bible as long as I keep it to myself. But the idea that Christianity might actually be true and that I might reasonably able to claim that, is being atatcked. And that's the point. Christianity claims to be true; it's atheists, not the Bible, that claim that Christianity is merely a subjective belief that has no relationship to reality. Philip J. Rayment 11:06, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

I should have been more specific. To clarify, I am not attacking the validity of your faith - you and I are disagreeing, but doing so in a respectful way. What I am asserting is that in a world of billions of good people with diverse faiths, there's no need or benefit in having a government-endorsed religion when people can elect the representatives of their viewpoints to operate government instead.--DinsdaleP 15:08, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
And if their viewpoints are that the government endorses Christianity? At least implicitly, by teaching creation in schools, for example? OH NO! the atheists scream. People can elect people to represent their viewpoints, as long as those viewpoints don't endorse Christianity! Because we are supposed to have "freedom of religion", so we can't allow the Christian view! Philip J. Rayment 09:05, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Wow, I had no idea Christians were such an oppressed majority in this country. I can only hope that someday, in the interest of fairness and freedom of religion, the Secret Atheist Cabal That Runs Everything will allow a Christian to be elected President. Or possibly, 43 of them, in a row. (Thank you, Daily Show.) The reason that Creationism isn't taught in schools is for roughly the same reason they don't teach Phrenology or Phlogistonic theory: because the evidence just doesn't back it up as well as evolution. If they DO start teaching Genesis in public schools, they will be lgaly compelled to teach OTHER Creation Myths in science class also. I'm sure you'll be delighted to see the Book of Genesis taught alongside the Ymir theory and the Dreamtime theory. --Gulik5 12:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Much of the oppression is subtle, and I must admit that Christianity does enjoy a fair bit of residual heritage, but when you've got people being sacked for their beliefs and the like, the oppression is real. Much of Christianity has been compromised, and much of that is due to atheistic scientists convincing the church that, as scientists, they know what they are talking about when they talk about history and propose a view of origins that is opposed to the Bible. Despite those 43 supposed Christian presidents in a row, how many have managed to make abortion illegal, or remove the stranglehold that atheists have on the education system (there are 10,000 Marxist professors on American campuses)? Many of those presidents were "Christian" in name only, or in a very nominal way (admittedly being Christian doesn't make you perfect, but committing adultery whilst in office?). How many scientists support phrenology or phlogiston theory? Or other creation "myths"? Probably almost none. But there are estimated to be tens of thousands of scientists around the world who support creation: your analogy is false. Your claim that the evidence doesn't back it as well as evolution is begging the question; I say the evidence supports creation far better. Philip J. Rayment 19:19, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

OK, Philip--I'ma callin' you out on this one

You said, with your bare face hanging out: Which religion? Christianity, the only correct religion. Now if you don't agree, prove me wrong.
To most rationalists, this would be a pretty tall order. How does one go about DISproving the existence of a being defined as both omnipotent AND willing to go to a great deal of trouble to conceal any physical evidence of His existence?
Fortunately, I'm a Discordian, so doing the absurd and impossible comes easy to me. There's only two ways to settle the question of who's Invisible Friend has the bigger footglands, and I don't HAVE an army to back me up, so I'm challenging you to an Elijah-style Test of Faith! Your miracles vs. mine: spontaneous combustion, loaf-multiplying, fire-enduring, plague-invocation, levitation, healings, sickenings, water-walking, raising the dead, sea-parting, snake-handling, you name it! Loser has to convert on their deathbed to the other guy's religion. I'm pretty certain I can win this one as my Holey Writ states that Eris won custody of the material universe in Her divorce settlement with Jehvah-One fnord. How about it? Willing to put your $30 where your mouth is?
(I couldn't remember my old password, and I can't seem to email you people. Go ahead and block this account, since I'm now 100% talk.) --Gulik5 12:03, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
"You said, with your bare face hanging out: [my statement snipped]": For starters, you've quoted me out of context by not even finishing my sentence, and you've ignored the clarification I made of that 13 hours before you posted this attempted "call out" (see my post dated 11:06, 27 March).
"a being defined as ... willing to go to a great deal of trouble to conceal any physical evidence of His existence?": Huh? He hasn't done that. You've made up a claim about him to reject; a straw-man argument. Not a good way to make your case.
Philip J. Rayment 09:13, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
If God's not going to so much trouble to conceal His existence, why the endless series of fakeouts Creation Scientists have to posit to explain why the evidence LOOKS to us heathens like the Earth is billions of years old? (The "Slow light" thing springs instantly to mind.) You'd think that a genuinely omnipotent entity that CARED what us Earth Roaches think of it would do something BIG and OBVIOUS, like use supernovae to spell out "YHVH WAS HERE" in the heavens, but nope... all we get these days is the occasional Jesus manifestation in toast and such. The quality of miracles has REALLY gone downhill since His Son got killed.
And my point still stands. If you're enough of a prophet to declare the One True Religion, then you should be able to do AT LEAST the stuff Elijah did--make water-drenched wood burn, raise the dead, or just send a few bears to eat me for being a smart-alec. And if you're not, then I believe in TWO One True Religions, so I must be TWICE as right as you are. Do You Believe That? --Gulik5 12:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
A very interesting point, and one of the reasons many (including myself) do not have faith in a God. If He is out there why does He not reveal himself to convince people once and for all that He is real, that way everyone would be Christian and we wouldn't be having ridiculous conflicts such as these... TheGySom 18:03, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
"why the endless series of fakeouts Creation Scientists have to posit to explain why the evidence LOOKS to us heathens like the Earth is billions of years old": That is a loaded question, because (a) they are not "fakeouts", and (b) the Earth doesn't "look" billions of years old! See here for more on that point.
"You'd think that a genuinely omnipotent entity that CARED what us Earth Roaches think of it would do something BIG and OBVIOUS...": He did. Isn't the universe BIG enough for you? And isn't it OBVIOUS enough for you? And that BIG and OBVIOUS universe has plenty of evidence of design. For one thing, the arrangement of galaxies is not random.
"...like use supernovae to spell out "YHVH WAS HERE" in the heavens...": In what language? Think about that question and its implications for a bit. He has spelt it out: in the Bible.
"...all we get these days is the occasional Jesus manifestation in toast and such.": On the contrary, there is a continually-growing body of evidence that shows that the Bible is accurate and that life was designed.
As for your proposed test, Jesus Himself has answered that: "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" (Luke 16:31). You already have enough evidence. You just choose to ignore or dismiss it. Or haven't really looked into it.
Philip J. Rayment 23:53, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Maybe I worded my comment poorly, because I did not mean to imply that there is any such thing as "government morality." The government's job is to protect its citizens and so it cannot allow them to be murdered, robbed, and enslaved. That is why we have laws against those crimes, not because of morality.
As for the emotional problems caused by extramarital relationships, could you please cite your claim with a neutral source? And, if it does in fact cause emotional harm in a large percentage of cases, I agree that, just like cigarettes, it should be allowed as long as it does not harm others. BlinkadyblinkRAGE 11:26, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
We have laws against murder, robbery, etc. because of morality, that is, because we consider it to be immoral to harm another person. And I've already pointed out that slavery was abolished because people strongly believed that it was immoral, according to the Bible. That is simply a fact of history. As for harm, I doubt that you'd accept any source I provided as "neutral". Philip J. Rayment 19:36, 26 March 2008 (EDT)
Ya know, there were an awful lot of self-proclaimed Christians involved in the slave trade back when it lasted, and an embarrassingly large number of supposed Christian preachers going on at great lengths about how it was God's Will that black people be ownable property. It's just that the Abolitionist sects eventually won the day by force or arms. (There's passages in the Bible saying how much it's OK to sell your daughter (Exodus 21:7), and that it's OK to buy slaves (Lev 25:44), so it's not like it condemns slavery....except for when it's Jews in Egypt.) And if murder is so universally condemned by Christianity, why are so many killers supposedly Christian? (Neven even MIND things like wars, or Northern Ireland...) --Gulik5 12:18, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
"self-proclaimed" is likely the operative term. Were they really acting according to Christian principles or were they Christian in name only? The abolitionists won the day by strength of argument and persistence, in the first instance (passing laws). Admittedly they then enforced that by strength of arms (slave traders were declared to be pirates). Slavery in the Bible (see that article) was a quite different thing to European slavery of recent centuries. Again "supposedly" is the operate word in "killers supposedly Christian". Northern Ireland, as with so many other disputes, is a territorial/political dispute that happens to be split along religious groupings; it's not a religious dispute. Philip J. Rayment 09:22, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Calling atheism a religion is like calling baldness a hair colour. --JBuscombe 14:36, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
No, it's more like calling darkness a weather condition. --Ed Poor Talk 18:25, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
Great (although not original) throw-away line there JBuscombe! Got any more? More to the point, got a real argument? Philip J. Rayment 09:22, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
No, it's like calling vegitarianism a type of meat dish. --Gulik5 12:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
Anyway, as for the 'self-proclaimed' above, therein lies the problem. Until Jesus Christ Himself comes down from the Heavens to sort the sheep from the goats, any huckster, hatemonger, or loonie can declare themselves not just a True Christian, but the ONLY True Christians, and the only way we have of seen who's right is to see who's left when the fighting is over. As you may notice from the sorts of Liberals that get mentioned on this site, any group is defined in the eyes of outsiders by its WORST representatives. You'd think an allegedly omnipotent deity that CARES when humanity thinks of Him would at least Smite a few of the people doing the most to offend His good name, but no. And His lackadaisical attitude to enforcement (especially compared to the Old-Testament's micromanaging) is probably costing Him souls--if slavery really is unbiblical, I'll bet the Confederate Army were mighty surprised when they ended up in Hell, for example.
"What an awful lot of people are worshipping might not be Jesus -- J. R. Dobbs.
--Gulik5 12:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
"...any huckster, hatemonger, or loonie can declare themselves not just a True Christian, but the ONLY True Christians, and the only way we have of seen who's right is to see who's left when the fighting is over.": The first part is correct, but the second is not. You determine who's right and who's wrong by comparing them to the standards set in the Bible. Philip J. Rayment 23:57, 29 March 2008 (EDT)
And by that standard, An awful lot of Conservatives flunk. --Gulik5 22:12, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
Possibly a lot do, although from a quick glance at that site I wouldn't give it much credibility. Perhaps, though, I should clarify that no Christian is going to meet the biblical standards perfectly. Not meeting the standards doesn't necessarily mean that you are not a Christian, but the point is that the Bible is the standard, not Christian leaders, Christian claimants, nor "who's left when the fighting is over". Philip J. Rayment 08:06, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

What's the Big Deal?

All you guys would argue over the color of daffodils if it were posted on the Main page. I'm skeptical about modern day miracles, but I'm not going to complain about the breaking news section. Everyone seems eager to get into conflict over news articles or suggested news articles, such as sex education argument above or the Professor values discussion. --Steve 18:21, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Welcome to the Internet, where arguing is the national sport. :) --Gulik5 12:45, 29 March 2008 (EDT)

Oh, yeah--wayyyy back above, Philip said: A government accepting Christianity as true does not need to concern itself with whether a communion service is held every Sunday or once a month, or whether baptism is by sprinkling or dunking.
Which leads me to believe he hasn't studied much history. Or even some of his fellow Christians.(Like this guy.) Rivers of blood and oceans of ink have been spilled over matters that sound (to a heathen like me, anyway) even MORE trivial. The Founding Fathers were students of history, and knew how religious wars has wracked Europe for generations, and wanted NO PART OF IT. --Gulik5 23:27, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Which is one reason why a government will stay away from those details even if still recognising Christianity. Philip J. Rayment 04:59, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Football link reword

Shouldn't the line read "The suspect in an football player's murder is a gang member and is in the U.S. illegally" -- D L e r n e r Articulate 21:43, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

No, there's nothing wrong with it the way it is. Except that the "an" should be "a". I'm fixing that. Philip J. Rayment 21:50, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Personal tools