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USA Mid-Term Election Results


BruceVC

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Ok one last post (I had a lot of catching up to do) this is the actual story: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/12/Christian-Baker-Willing-to-Go-to-Jail-for-Declining-Gay-Wedding-Cake

 

As I've posted before this does not rise near the level "We don't serve your kind here"

 

One thing I noted though, the owner claims he is refusing the service because he is faithfully following Jesus. I can't speak for Jesus but He did tell us to 'Love one another: just as I have loved you". I suspect He would have made the cake.

 

I would have too. Their money is just as green as anyone else's. It's the "comply or go to jail" I have a problem with.

 

How is that not saying we don't serve your kind here?  They are asking for the same cake that any straight couple can get from the bakery.  The crazy thing is part of the evidence used against him in the court case showed that he took an order to make a cake for a wedding between two dogs.  

 

The jail time is also a bit sketchy.  He is saying he would rather go to jail.  The courts are saying he needs to serve cakes to everyone and educate his staff, and document who he refuses service to.  Now if he continues to discriminate and run his business, he could face fines and a very unlikely jail sentence.  It's more likely he will be fined and lose his business license, but that will depend on the judge.  It's actually more reasonable than the Oregon baker, who got hit with a bunch of legal fees over $100k.

 

 

OMG....he was prepared to make cakes for dogs and not humans....the story gets worse and worse

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I believe there are ways around this as a business, by the way.  If your religious convictions are so strong, then turn your bakery into a non-profit religious organization and restrict your business to local churches.  Every state has different ways of handling this, but it is very possible, for the same reasons a Catholic Church can turn away any non-Catholics from getting married.  Religious organizations have separate protections under Federal and State law.

 

It might not be the best business plan, but don't expect to run a public for profit business on commercial property and get a choice of who you do business with.

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The way religious freedom works in the US (and the rest of the west) is stupid anyhow. I don't see why allowing someone to go through a bunch of loopholes to be able to be a discriminating jerk is any better than just allowing him to be a discriminating jerk btw.

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The way religious freedom works in the US (and the rest of the west) is stupid anyhow. I don't see why allowing someone to go through a bunch of loopholes to be able to be a discriminating jerk is any better than just allowing him to be a discriminating jerk btw.

 

You are free to be a discriminating jerk.  You are free to join a church full of other discriminating jerks and talk about why your discrimination is good.  You are not free to open a public business and discriminate between customers.  I don't see why that is confusing.

 

 

 

Some people make this out to be a government versus business issue.  It is not.  It is a consumer versus business issue.  The consumers are the ones filing complaints and taking this to the courts.  Do you want to courts to ignore the rights of the consumers to suit the whims of the business owners?

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The way religious freedom works in the US (and the rest of the west) is stupid anyhow. I don't see why allowing someone to go through a bunch of loopholes to be able to be a discriminating jerk is any better than just allowing him to be a discriminating jerk btw.

 

You are free to be a discriminating jerk.  You are free to join a church full of other discriminating jerks and talk about why your discrimination is good.  You are not free to open a public business and discriminate between customers.  I don't see why that is confusing.

 

 

 

Some people make this out to be a government versus business issue.  It is not.  It is a consumer versus business issue.  The consumers are the ones filing complaints and taking this to the courts.  Do you want to courts to ignore the rights of the consumers to suit the whims of the business owners?

I'm well aware that's the law of the land, I just disagree with it. Due to the current laws the courts are doing as they should in this case, it's their duty to uphold the law, not better it. But with that said, regardless of whether we want discrimination laws or not, the fact that there are loopholes is an issue, law should strive to be consistent, and slightly related to this whole mess, the way freedom of religion works is really stupid.

Edited by Shallow
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the way freedom of religion works is really stupid.

 

 

Not really. In the U.S. it's pretty straightforward. The Federal government isn't allowed to make any laws in regards to religions.

 

As things are these days it's a pretty good litmus test that if a law is bumping up against religious groups it's probably a bad law that infringes upon the freedom of others.

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Not really. In the U.S. it's pretty straightforward. The Federal government isn't allowed to make any laws in regards to religions.

 

As things are these days it's a pretty good litmus test that if a law is bumping up against religious groups it's probably a bad law that infringes upon the freedom of others.

My main issues with religious freedom are the following:

 

They grant special rights to people depending on whether they believe in something, rights should be for everyone, if there is a draft (something I'd disapprove strongly of, and refuse to acknowledge), whether you're affected by it shouldn't depend at all on your beliefs.

 

Government acknowledges that certain religions are realer than others, there's no reason random religion A should be considered real where as random religion B should be considered a crazy cult by the government. I've yet to see any real scientific examination as to the chance of religion A being correct vs religion B vs religion C, all of them could potentially be correct, but there's been no examination, it's discriminatory for government to take a stance on what is and isn't a potential god.

 

Government then proceeds to interpret each religion and decide which freedoms which religions want, when that should clearly be the duty of either the individual worshiper or the central human figure if the religion has one, there's no legitimate basis for claiming life is objectively holier for an Amish guy than a catholic guy, or hell, even an atheist like me.

 

Finally government goes on to give tax exempt statuses to whatever the hell they consider churches, if government takes a percentage of all income for anyone else, why shouldn't government take a percentage of all income from churches? Being a member of a church is basically like a gym membership, you pay a fee and then you get to use the services they provide.

 

Essentially freedom of religion is government making arbitrary decisions about what it considers religions, then making arbitrary decisions about what people within those religions want, giving certain clubs tax exemption which I feel is unfair, and then finally, declaring that people are above certain laws provided they believe in certain things, it's not whether you believe contraception is wrong, it's whether you're a catholic or willing to pretend you're a catholic, it's not about whether you think it's amoral to kill another man, it's about whether you're [insert random small religions that strategically wouldn't make up a considerable percentage of our army anyway],  I feel this is wrong.

 

There are better ways to go by protecting individual freedom than this. The first amendment already protects your right to free speech, so you can pray to whoever you want. But when it comes to whether the healthcare your company provides should provide contraception, the law should either give everyone a right to opt out, or give no one a right to opt out, it's just plain unfair to give people different rights than other people based on what they believe in, you can't possibly believe that's fair?

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Shallow, there is a very clear criteria that the government and the IRS have put forth in order to qualify as a church.  Beliefs and ideology have nothing to do with those criteria.  

 

Here is a quick and dirty explanation of what makes a church: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-constitutes-a-church-under-federal-laws

 

Churches rely on donations, I don't know how you can compare them to a gym membership.  My wife and I had a small vow renewel ceremony in front of a priest last year and they charged us zero dollars.  They can charge for events to cover costs, but again they are still non-profit organizations.

 

As a whole, non-profits, religious or not, get quite a few tax breaks and exemptions.

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Shallow, there is a very clear criteria that the government and the IRS have put forth in order to qualify as a church.  Beliefs and ideology have nothing to do with those criteria.  

 

Here is a quick and dirty explanation of what makes a church: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-constitutes-a-church-under-federal-laws

 

Churches rely on donations, I don't know how you can compare them to a gym membership.  My wife and I had a small vow renewel ceremony in front of a priest last year and they charged us zero dollars.  They can charge for events to cover costs, but again they are still non-profit organizations.

 

As a whole, non-profits, religious or not, get quite a few tax breaks and exemptions.

I could be extremely wrong about how actual churches operate, I'm not religious, never been, if my gym membership analogy was as flawed as you claim I'm sorry, I've always been under the impression that churches have minor membership fees, of which it appears I was wrong, I don't know much about the exact workings of tax exempt status, it's not really my primary concern here though, it's the other things on my list I care about the most. In any event, your link includes "a recognized creed and form of worship", so beliefs and ideology are a part of whether you get to be considered a church. Regardless of whether my attack on the tax exempt status of churches was valid (if it isn't, I'm sorry, can't be bothered to look into US tax code, so I honestly don't know how the whole thing works though), my other attacks on religious freedom are still very true, and don't rely on having read and understood any portions of the tax code.

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Not really. In the U.S. it's pretty straightforward. The Federal government isn't allowed to make any laws in regards to religions.

 

As things are these days it's a pretty good litmus test that if a law is bumping up against religious groups it's probably a bad law that infringes upon the freedom of others.

My main issues with religious freedom are the following:

 

They grant special rights to people depending on whether they believe in something, rights should be for everyone, if there is a draft (something I'd disapprove strongly of, and refuse to acknowledge), whether you're affected by it shouldn't depend at all on your beliefs.

 

Government acknowledges that certain religions are realer than others, there's no reason random religion A should be considered real where as random religion B should be considered a crazy cult by the government. I've yet to see any real scientific examination as to the chance of religion A being correct vs religion B vs religion C, all of them could potentially be correct, but there's been no examination, it's discriminatory for government to take a stance on what is and isn't a potential god.

 

Government then proceeds to interpret each religion and decide which freedoms which religions want, when that should clearly be the duty of either the individual worshiper or the central human figure if the religion has one, there's no legitimate basis for claiming life is objectively holier for an Amish guy than a catholic guy, or hell, even an atheist like me.

 

Finally government goes on to give tax exempt statuses to whatever the hell they consider churches, if government takes a percentage of all income for anyone else, why shouldn't government take a percentage of all income from churches? Being a member of a church is basically like a gym membership, you pay a fee and then you get to use the services they provide.

 

Essentially freedom of religion is government making arbitrary decisions about what it considers religions, then making arbitrary decisions about what people within those religions want, giving certain clubs tax exemption which I feel is unfair, and then finally, declaring that people are above certain laws provided they believe in certain things, it's not whether you believe contraception is wrong, it's whether you're a catholic or willing to pretend you're a catholic, it's not about whether you think it's amoral to kill another man, it's about whether you're [insert random small religions that strategically wouldn't make up a considerable percentage of our army anyway],  I feel this is wrong.

 

There are better ways to go by protecting individual freedom than this. The first amendment already protects your right to free speech, so you can pray to whoever you want. But when it comes to whether the healthcare your company provides should provide contraception, the law should either give everyone a right to opt out, or give no one a right to opt out, it's just plain unfair to give people different rights than other people based on what they believe in, you can't possibly believe that's fair?

 

 

I don't know what nation you live in, so what I'm about to say may not apply where you live. In the U.S. it is thus:

 

They do not grant special rights, as I mentioned above:

 

 

 

As things are these days it's a pretty good litmus test that if a law is bumping up against religious groups it's probably a bad law that infringes upon the freedom of others.

 

Not only that but at a fundamental level the U.S. Constitution an the majority of those who crafted it recognized that government doesn't grant rights. Rights are inherent in the individual, God given (or pick your favorite deity or whatever). You get them simply because you exist. The U.S. Constitution was designed, and pretty well to make sure that the Federal government doesn't infringe upon those rights. Much of the U.S. Constitution is ignored these days, or interpreted in a massively warped way (ie: the Commerce Claus as has already been mentioned in this thread) to justify various power overreaches and infringes upon individual liberty. The vast majority of what the Federal government does these days is unconstitutional.

 

You have a problem that others are not suffering as much as you are under oppressive law X, and are making the mistake that so many others do in that you want to see them suffer as you do rather than work to get rid of oppressive law X. This line of thinking gives us more infringement upon people's rights, not less.

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This might come as a surprise to you Valsuelm, but nobody has any inherent rights at all. It's all a convention, actual rights are granted to you by the social contract. If you don't understand that you are just as stupid as the people believe in ghosts and Santa Claus.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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This might come as a surprise to you Valsuelm, but nobody has any inherent rights at all. It's all a convention, actual rights are granted to you by the social contract. If you don't understand that you are just as stupid as the people believe in ghosts and Santa Claus.

 

Well played, but I will remind that Government does not equate society, nor culture. Rights are a moral construct, which is a cultural phenomena. This predates The State. In that way, Rights exist prior and outside of the The State's legitimate authority and purview to grant, restrain, or qualify. That The State has any legitimate or moral authority is itself a myth, much in the way of "The Social Contract" fable.

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This might come as a surprise to you Valsuelm, but nobody has any inherent rights at all. It's all a convention, actual rights are granted to you by the social contract. If you don't understand that you are just as stupid as the people believe in ghosts and Santa Claus.

 

Well played, but I will remind that Government does not equate society, nor culture. Rights are a moral construct, which is a cultural phenomena. This predates The State. In that way, Rights exist prior and outside of the The State's legitimate authority and purview to grant, restrain, or qualify. That The State has any legitimate or moral authority is itself a myth, much in the way of "The Social Contract" fable.

 

You are absolutely correct in that a state does not have any inherent authority, but the rest is just completely inane nonsense. Firstly, a "state" in our context here is any herd, flock or group of people who live together, where some individuals have more authority than others. You should know that people have lived roughly in this way since before even the advent of speech (for the sole reason because it enables people to do more things, which helps people to survive). What is typically called a "state" today is just the current top-level manifestation of the amazing ability of humans to organize and work in an hierarchy. It's pointless to try to distinguish this from "society" or "culture" in a legal and anthropological context, since they are connected.

 

By the way, are you interested in anthropology? I would recommend you read the book "Guns, Germs and Steel".

 

You view that something outside of legislation gives some kind of inherent rights is completely nonsensical (a myth, in your words). A "moral construct"? You do realize that I could say that just about anything is a "moral construct", right? And that it would signify absolutely nothing with regards to the concepts of a state or legal rights?

 

A state does not inherently have any authority at all, just like you do not inherently have any rights at all. "Rights" only makes sense as legal terminology, in which case it means entirely different things depending on the legal corpus in question. This is what I meant when I said that rights are granted to you by the social contract - the "social contract" being all the stuff we have made up which constitute the laws of a state, both rights and obligations.

 

A "state" is simply just a name for a convenient organizational solution for people to get along. You can love or hate the concept of a state, but it's very sad that you have realized that the authority of the state and the law and the "rights" they give have zero intrinsic deeper meaning, while yet maintaining that there is another meaningful definition of "rights" that has some kind of precedence over this. We are discussing made-up conventions. It's utterly pointless to say that one holds precedence over another in any other sense than legal, because there is no inherent order of precedence for made-up conventions. You can believe that one SHOULD hold precedence over some other in your state, but then:

 

2553099-1235075815-11.jp.jpg

 

And that is why we typically want democracy as a way of organizing our states, which excels in enforcing and adjusting laws to suit the moral convictions of a majority of the population, in a certain defined region, on the speck of dust of strictly limited size we live on.

 

There are no inherent rights of any kind, no ghosts, no Santa Claus. It's time for you to grow up and realize that.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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This might come as a surprise to you Valsuelm, but nobody has any inherent rights at all. It's all a convention, actual rights are granted to you by the social contract. If you don't understand that you are just as stupid as the people believe in ghosts and Santa Claus.

 

Well played, but I will remind that Government does not equate society, nor culture. Rights are a moral construct, which is a cultural phenomena. This predates The State. In that way, Rights exist prior and outside of the The State's legitimate authority and purview to grant, restrain, or qualify. That The State has any legitimate or moral authority is itself a myth, much in the way of "The Social Contract" fable.

 

You are absolutely correct in that a state does not have any inherent authority, but the rest is just completely inane nonsense. Firstly, a "state" in our context here is any herd, flock or group of people who live together, where some individuals have more authority than others. You should know that people have lived roughly in this way since before even the advent of speech (for the sole reason because it enables people to do more things, which helps people to survive). What is typically called a "state" today is just the current top-level manifestation of the amazing ability of humans to organize and work in an hierarchy. It's pointless to try to distinguish this from "society" or "culture" in a legal and anthropological context, since they are connected.

 

By the way, are you interested in anthropology? I would recommend you read the book "Guns, Germs and Steel".

 

You view that something outside of legislation gives some kind of inherent rights is completely nonsensical (a myth, in your words). A "moral construct"? You do realize that I could say that just about anything is a "moral construct", right? And that it would signify absolutely nothing with regards to the concepts of a state or legal rights?

 

A state does not inherently have any authority at all, just like you do not inherently have any rights at all. "Rights" only makes sense as legal terminology, in which case it means entirely different things depending on the legal corpus in question. This is what I meant when I said that rights are granted to you by the social contract - the "social contract" being all the stuff we have made up which constitute the laws of a state, both rights and obligations.

 

A "state" is simply just a name for a convenient organizational solution for people to get along. You can love or hate the concept of a state, but it's very sad that you have realized that the authority of the state and the law and the "rights" they give have zero intrinsic deeper meaning, while yet maintaining that there is another meaningful definition of "rights" that has some kind of precedence over this. We are discussing made-up conventions. It's utterly pointless to say that one holds precedence over another in any other sense than legal, because there is no inherent order of precedence for made-up conventions. You can believe that one SHOULD hold precedence over some other in your state, but then:

 

2553099-1235075815-11.jp.jpg

 

 

And that is why we typically want democracy as a way of organizing our states, which excels in enforcing and adjusting laws to suit the moral convictions of a majority of the population, in a certain defined region, on the speck of dust of strictly limited size we live on.

 

There are no inherent rights of any kind, no ghosts, no Santa Claus. It's time for you to grow up and realize that.

 

 

You could have spared me the undeserved pretense and pompous tone. You should also learn not to speak for others in making normative statements on what "we" desire. For that matter, I never claimed that rights are derived from some form of metaphysical creator as you insinuate. Check your premises before taking the time to refute someone in a condescending manner, particularly when your statement amounts to nihilist sophistry.

 

Humans are a social species. All social species possess culture in some form or another. Some species exhibit conventions closer to human concepts and are better understood, like the social relationships among primates and elephants. Others are more foreign and difficult to understand, like the nuances of termite or bee culture. Rights are derived from that culture--how it is organized and what ends that culture pursues. Alpha wolves eat first, elephant matriarchs lead the migration patterns, dominant apes are more supportive of apes that groom them more often, etc. All social species posses culture. Culture determines social interaction. Rights are a term used to define aspects of that social interaction.

 

Perhaps you should do some growing up.

Edited by Mr. Magniloquent
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Certainly depressing but hey what can you do

Riot.

"Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman run the 21st century version of MK ULTRA." - majestic

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This might come as a surprise to you Valsuelm, but nobody has any inherent rights at all. It's all a convention, actual rights are granted to you by the social contract. If you don't understand that you are just as stupid as the people believe in ghosts and Santa Claus.

 

Spoken like a happy serf.

 

I signed no contract. No such contract exists, even for the people who believe in such a thing.

 

The concept of the 'social contract' is a myth generally perpetrated by those who look to self-justify the force they would use or have others use upon those who would not participate in their imagined world (often a wannabe utopia), and/or by those who would subjugate their fellow man, or by those content or even happy with their serfdom and prefer that their overlords squash any attempt by others to break or ignore the bonds that would be placed up on them.

 

There are many fundamental rights that are inherent in your very existence, whether you acknowledge that or not is within you. Whether you would stand up for yourself and your rights or not is within you.

 

Regardless of that, this thread is about the mid term election results in the USA. A nation that was founded on the idea and concept that government does not grant rights and that rights are inherent in the individual.

 

 

'None but ourselves can free our mind'.

Edited by Valsuelm
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Regardless of that, this thread is about the mid term election results in the USA. A nation that was founded on the idea and concept that government does not grant rights and that rights are inherent in the individual.

 

 

 

Oh that's ok. We beat the mid-term election thing to death. This is a more interesting topic anyway.

 

I agree with you (and so do the founding fathers BTW). If our basic rights, to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, are granted to us by a cabal of humans they can be taken from us by a cabal of humans. I believe they are granted by God and are inherent to EVERYONE. The laws are the things we agree on they serve to put a check on the passions of humans but are also used as a check the authority of government.

 

Barack Obama has criticized the Bill of Rights as a bill of negative rights. It limits what the government can do to you. He'd prefer one that mandates what the government will do FOR you. You have the right to a home, a right to a job. Sounds great right? It's not. If the government has the responsibility to provide you a home and a job then the government will decide where that home will be and what that job will be. Self determination is removed from the equation. Pride of ownership is removed from the equation. You guys ever see HUD housing here in the US? It's a slum. The people how live there care nothing for it because they don't own it and are in no way responsible for it.

 

Even if you do not accept the governments hand out you are still impacted by it. The government does not earn money. It takes is. Every dollar someone receives without working for, someone else worked for without receiving it. Every acre of land the government builds something on it took from whoever owned it. 

 

Our founders figured the most important rights, the three I listed above are granted by God. That is a profound wisdom that I certainly agree with. I'd sum it up as the right to be left alone. Everything that cabal of humans, the government, does limits that to one extent or another.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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Regardless of that, this thread is about the mid term election results in the USA. A nation that was founded on the idea and concept that government does not grant rights and that rights are inherent in the individual.

 

 

 

Oh that's ok. We beat the mid-term election thing to death. This is a more interesting topic anyway.

 

I agree with you (and so do the founding fathers BTW). If our basic rights, to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, are granted to us by a cabal of humans they can be taken from us by a cabal of humans. I believe they are granted by God and are inherent to EVERYONE. The laws are the things we agree on they serve to put a check on the passions of humans but are also used as a check the authority of government.

 

Barack Obama has criticized the Bill of Rights as a bill of negative rights. It limits what the government can do to you. He'd prefer one that mandates what the government will do FOR you. You have the right to a home, a right to a job. Sounds great right? It's not. If the government has the responsibility to provide you a home and a job then the government will decide where that home will be and what that job will be. Self determination is removed from the equation. Pride of ownership is removed from the equation. You guys ever see HUD housing here in the US? It's a slum. The people how live there care nothing for it because they don't own it and are in no way responsible for it.

 

Even if you do not accept the governments hand out you are still impacted by it. The government does not earn money. It takes is. Every dollar someone receives without working for, someone else worked for without receiving it. Every acre of land the government builds something on it took from whoever owned it. 

 

Our founders figured the most important rights, the three I listed above are granted by God. That is a profound wisdom that I certainly agree with. I'd sum it up as the right to be left alone. Everything that cabal of humans, the government, does limits that to one extent or another.

 

You may or may not know this, but when they refer to "God"; they are referring to Deism's version of God that is really more of a force of nature than a being. Just saying...

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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You may or may not know this, but when they refer to "God"; they are referring to Deism's version of God that is really more of a force of nature than a being. Just saying...

 

Yes I am aware of the view many of them had of God. It has nothing what so ever to do with the point I was making. But you got your little jab in so it's all good I guess.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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You may or may not know this, but when they refer to "God"; they are referring to Deism's version of God that is really more of a force of nature than a being. Just saying...

 

Yes I am aware of the view many of them had of God. It has nothing what so ever to do with the point I was making. But you got your little jab in so it's all good I guess.

 

I didn't mean it as a jab. It's just that a lot of people get what that phrase means wrong; so I just wanted to be sure you didn't misunderstand. I especially didn't want the non-Americans on the forum to get the wrong idea about the founders.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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 I especially didn't want the non-Americans on the forum to get the wrong idea about the founders.

 

:lol:  Too late for that. I got you though. Jab infers you were trying to undermine the argument by bringing up a point that had nothing to do with it. You weren't doing that. Poor choice of words on my part.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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 I especially didn't want the non-Americans on the forum to get the wrong idea about the founders.

 

:lol:  Too late for that. I got you though. Jab infers you were trying to undermine the argument by bringing up a point that had nothing to do with it. You weren't doing that. Poor choice of words on my part.

 

Talking on the internet makes misunderstandings so easy.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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