The Obama Osama Thing

Ever since he came on the scene, Barack Obama has been accidentally called “Osama” (and vice versa) and there was a time that I took great umbrage at it. I was convinced that this represented some Freudian slip signifying a disdain for our 44th President.

Well, after the past week where the two most discussed personalities have been Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden, the Obama/Osama switcheroo occurred too many times for me to chalk it up to any ill intent. In fact, to my surprise, I found myself making the slip. So it was with great interest that I read an article that explained WHY we get Obama and Osama confused and it goes deeper than just the pronounced similarity in the sound of the two words.

Obviously, the words differ by a mere letter and have very similar pronunciations, which definitely contributes to the confusion, but the mix-up actually happens so often for a different reason: the syntactic category rule.

The syntactic category rule means that when two words are confused for one another the “target” (the word replaced) and the substituting word are almost always of the same syntactic category. In normal speak: nouns replace nouns, verbs replace verbs, and so on. If “Obama” were a verb instead of a noun (as in, the Democrats are going to Obama the GOP in 2012), we would be substantially less likely to confuse it with the noun “Osama.”

Of course the gaffe doesn’t just happen because both words are of the same part of speech. The speaker is also subject to what linguists call “priming.” Your brain makes certain words more accessible to your tongue when they resemble–in pronunciation, in meaning, in subject matter–words that you frequently hear. “Priming means that when you’ve been reading/hearing/thinking about hospitals, words like ‘doctor’ and ‘nurse’ will be recognized more quickly, and are also more likely to be substituted in a slip of the tongue,” Liberman explains. So hearing Osama and Obama in the same context makes your brain more apt to use them interchangeably in speech.

via Why We Mix Up ‘Osama’ and ‘Obama': A Linguistic Reason – Rebecca Greenfield – Life – The Atlantic.

In addition to the fact that Obama and Osama sound alike, they are also proper nouns and they are both used in a political context. So all these similarities conspire to make our brain put the wrong word in our mouth. With one man dead and the other very much alive, this can result in some jarring gaffes.

The NBC show “30 Rock” warned us back during the 2007/2008 Democratic primary season of this slip of the tongue, with hilarious results.

Of course, similar sounding names can mess up not only your speech but your reading comprehension. I saw the following Atlantic Magazine article title and jumped to the wrong conclusion:

Dagan Thinks That Barak Is Crazy Enough to Strike Iran

I immediately thought to myself, who is this Dagan guy and why would he be nutty enough to believe that Obama would bomb Iran? I neglected to notice the absence of a “C” in the name “Barak”. It turns out Dagan is Meir Dagan former head of the Israeli Mossad and Barak is Ehud Barak the current Israeli Minister of Defense.

And so it goes. Our President’s name is ripe for confusion. We won’t even go into the misunderstandings arising from his middle name — Hussein.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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130 thoughts on “The Obama Osama Thing

  1. You really shocked me on this one “R”.

    You’ve reactions have become so predictable for me, that I just knew we were in for a severe tongue lashing from lack of fawning Zero adulation, daring to making fun The Brock’s prowess, guarantees of great victories, or even a Sarah Palin scolding.

    Is this what you giant authors call filler? :smile:

  2. Same problem with Chris Christie, Charlie Crist and Kris Kristofferson. Of course Kris Kringle and Obama are easily confused, but only by the left.

  3. Tigre every now and then one of you writes a comment that makes me think you need to start blogging.

    The Kris Kringle is a classic. Kudos. ;-)

    Aside to Tex: One might call it “filler” or just an easy one. Every now and then I like to get off a quickie that doesn’t demand any deep thought or ideological fervor. Call it a bit of recovery from the last thread which burnt me out. ;-)

  4. Understand “R” – I appreciate you provided a new post once a week, as I’m sure there are more productive uses of your time. Hope you’re feeling better. It feels way too soon to be talking 2012 – we’ll be lucky to get there in one piece.

    I noticed the liberals in Arizona (Tuscon) have proposed seceding to a new state Baja Arizona. One of the best ideas I’ve read recently and an absolutely superb idea.

    I told disgruntled Conservatives out Arizona who are in the majority, are you crazy? Here’s your chance to be rid of the left. Push for it, get everyone situated and build a massive wall with detonation explosives at the top – treat the new state like northern Mexico and a hostile country.

    Might eventually lead to my new lifetime goal – a new country for my children and grandchildren, free of the bonds of progressives. :smile:

    ———–

    Something lighter. I thought this was pretty funny. Even liberals realize it:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2843/1/

  5. Like you are so suppressed Tex?

    No Puppet. – fat and overweight. Excess weight that would make us Conservatives feel much better and get healthy.

    Progressives (like you) need to be treated like excess adipose around our chubby middle and hips. Eventually, the excess will kill you – like poison to your system.

    We Conservatives need to get off our duffs, get serious and hit the political treadmill.

    I just realize how much better I would feel if I weren’t having to carry folks like you and once and for all be rid of you. And then we need to be diligent in keeping the “weight off” – it’s a long-term solution to make sure you don’t ever again rear your dead weight around our collective asses.

  6. I don’t find this entry a big surprise. Once the high from Osama has worn off, all we are left with is high unemployment, double dip recession, and rising prices.

    What the hell else is an Obama fan supposed to write about?

  7. I think those are being saved up for after the GOP primary. Gotta have something to use against Republican challengers. Obama sure can’t run on his record….

  8. I kind of enjoyed the diversion of Rutherford’s short-termed dreaming of MachO’Bama! Now we have to get back to pain and suffering the dunderhead has wrought.

    Every Lib wants to be a machO’Bama fan
    to have the kind of body, always in demand
    Jogging in the mornings, go man go
    works out in the health spa, muscles glow
    You can best believe that, Obama’s a macho man
    ready to get down with, anyone he can

    Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
    Macho, macho man (macho man)
    I’ve gotten to be, an Obama fan
    Macho, macho man
    I’ve got to be a macho! Ow….

    Macho, macho man
    I’ve gotten to be an MachO’bama fan
    Macho, macho man (yeah, yeah)
    I’ve got to be a macho! (like Obama)

  9. Oh, G, the question I was going to ask you on the prior thread before I began to doubt your credibility was …

    Just for morbid curiosity, what’s your best guess on the gun used to take bin Laden out? Do the SEALs use hand guns or are they all some variation on a rifle or machine gun?

  10. How about an article about the endless possibilities of Baja Arizona? :eek:

    Come on “R” :?: Who could be against that idea? Secession of liberals from America gives me the willies. That would be better than sex.

  11. I don’t understand the premise of G’s video. What media blackout? The video clearly (and rather monotonously) shows many news outlets carrying the story.

    I will say this … the greater threat of retaliation for the Osama killing is likely to come from lone wolf Muslim nutjobs vs any coordinated attack from al Qaeda. At least, that’s my sense of it.

  12. “the greater threat of retaliation for the Osama killing is likely to come from lone wolf Muslim nutjobs vs any coordinated attack from al Qaeda.”

    What gives you the impression those are 2 different things?

  13. Tex, great idea partitioning the country! We’ll talk details later, like should we give you foreign aid, after we grow our economy. And yes you should bust a move once in awhile, it clears the head and flattens the tummy.

  14. R, as shown in the title of the video, the reporting left out the “Allah Akbar” part of the account. It looks like the usual PC crap. We wouldn’t want to offend terrorists by exposing their religious bent. . . :roll:

  15. Obama hates Texans….

    He doesn’t seem to think very highly of those along the MI River, either.

  16. Tex, great idea partitioning the country! We’ll talk details later, like should we give you foreign aid, after we grow our economy.

    Then you are with me? Excellent Puppet. Here’s my first suggestion to your new nation Obamastan. Just print more money as our foreign aid. Works like a charm.

    And yes you should bust a move once in awhile, it clears the head and flattens the tummy.

    Oh, I’m going to bust a move alright. :twisted: I’ve got a special one for you Ms. Puppet before we part with such sweet sorrow. :twisted: Rutherford only commends me for being eclectic. He has no idea the vivid imagination I’ve developed over the years.

  17. “Rutherford only commends me for being eclectic. He has no idea the vivid imagination I’ve developed over the years.”
    :lol:

  18. Tex, great idea partitioning the country! We’ll talk details later, like should we give you foreign aid, after we grow our economy.

    *looks at Greater Detroitistan, Caul-i-for-nia, New York, and Illinois*

    Ha! Pull the other leg. It plays ‘Jingle Bells’.

  19. Here goes Obama getting Mexicans in Texas to chant “yes we can” to keeping promises he made them 4 years ago.

    He spent the last 15 minutes blaming the GOP for what he hasn’t made any attempt to do.

    Welcome to campaign season….

  20. “Welcome to campaign season….”

    I’m going to have to arrange a self-imposed media blackout.

  21. New primary season with more signs of Hoax & Chains? Already? I still think the appropriate 2012 Dimocratic slogan should be “Death To America!”

    MachObama knows no bounds when it comes being disingenuous and hypocritical. Empty suit is an insult to empty – I think null is a better descriptor of Zero.

    Vote Republican. Somebody has got to work to pay for everything.

  22. Damn I would have made some money if I didn’t have to now…rabbit drum roll…. make a house payment.

    I got used to living for free. What a bunch of crap paying for your house.

    Hell, I’m not counting out that call I bought a week ago for 49 bucks an ounce. Rise from the dead you zombie whore!

    I threw the little money I have left to play with after my down payment, all 25 hundred, in silver at 35.

    What kind of bubble rebounds the next week after the worst crash in 30 years?

    An engineered crash? No one believes that Obama and the Banking cartel will actually quit its sodomy of your hard earned dollar? But they believed the Bernank for 48 hours? The margin increase can’t stop it. The Asians are buying like crazy on every dip.

    I don’t get it unless the dollar is truly failing while silver is being manipulated by Fed proxies. They want a nice and orderly destruction of the dollar. And, in the quasi-command economy some refer here to as…cough…the free market, I think they can pull it off.

    I feel like Poolman.

    Oh how I want to be back in the options game!

    If I was a bachelor my food and beer money would have been riding on a 40 dollar call option right now.

    I’m addicted to watching the spot silver chart and gazing at the option chains, even though the crazy days are over. Screw porn. I choke my chicken to Etrade.

  23. Got to love the Baby Boom Generation. Don’t take the brown acid and kick that can far enough to coast to your grave. That is the end game, by any means necessary.

    There is going to be no shortage of people willing to do…uh.. volunteer work in the old folks home 10 years from now. I wonder if brown acid mixes well with prune juice.

  24. I’m addicted to watching the spot silver chart and gazing at the option chains, even though the crazy days are over. Screw porn. I choke my chicken to Etrade.

    :lol: E-Trade instead of porn. :lol:

    Watched a cool documentary tonight – Trinity and Beyond.

    If any of you goons haven’t seen it, you should – the history of the nuclear bomb. It was 16 years old, but I had never heard of it. Nararated by William Shatner, you haven’t seen a thing until you watch a 62 megaton hydrogen bomb in all its terrifying beauty.

    Vaporized this little south sea island and left a crater two miles wide. Can you imagine the power of 62,000,000 tons of TNT simultaneously blowing? It literally boggles the mind.

    Terrifying…really terrifying. Fried electronics from Hawaii to New Zealand. It convinced me we can not allow Mahmoud to have the bomb under any circumstances.

  25. Fuck no we can’t. Your right, its easy to lose perspective on how fucked up a nuclear explosion is.

  26. Speaking of Trinity, you guys need to bop over to Amazon and read the extensive excerpt from Vincent Bugliosi’s new book on agnosticism called “Divinity of Doubt: The God Question”. Granted, the criticisms of organized religion and Christian certainty of God’s existence will piss some of you off, BUT Vince spends just as much time tearing Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins to shreds.

    Bugliosi’s basic premise about God: “I don’t know and neither do you.” I think that captures my attitude even though I’ve always avoided the agnostic label as being a bit wishy-washy.

    P.S. Bugliosi’s ego knows no bounds. He is one arrogant prick. But he has the discipline to stick to his premise and argue it with legal rigor.

  27. What I want to know is how it is humanly possible that no one has blown off another of these bombs since 1945? Once that cat is out of the bag, you can’t get it back in again. Enough countries have nukes that you really have to wonder how, even accidentally, we haven’t had a strike by some country on another.

    Man, I hope we don’t see another one drop in our lifetime. Part of me thinks it’s inevitable.

  28. Granted, the criticisms of organized religion and Christian certainty of God’s existence will piss some of you off, BUT Vince spends just as much time tearing Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins to shreds.

    No thanks…a waste of time because I happen to know God does exist. I suppose it’s a fair argument to argue who God is. But to argue that God exists? Phooey…Like I’ve said before, where there’s a creation, there’s a creator. Most basic logic 101.

    The fact this Bugliosi is arrogant does fit the basic premise of lost, though. Ironic, isn’t it. Mr. Bugliosi will reside with Osama. That’s when the real arrogance will be unveiled. :neutral:

  29. I think you’re right “R”. A nuclear bomb killing hundreds of thousands is inevitable. Too many crazies with too many opportunities.

    Bound to happen sometime.

  30. I don’t think Amazon excerpted that part of the book Tex but Bugliosi says there is only one premise that comes close (but no cigar) to proving the existence of God and that is cause-effect. In other words, as you put it, if everything here was originally created then the creator is God.

    Since I didn’t notice his argument in the excerpt, I don’t know how he deals with the “creator” issue. What he does argue convincingly is that if God is defined as all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful, then that definition cannot be reconciled with reality. So if there is a God, the definition must be changed.

    However, when it comes to atheists, Bugliosi says many of them have a problem with religion and that religion CAN be completely bogus and yet there still can be a God. In other words, Bugliosi states God’s existence is independent of any documented belief system.

    Tex, I know you think it a waste of time but I actually think you’d enjoy following Bugliosi’s logic and refuting it in your inimitable way. ;-)

    I also think the resident attorneys Tigre and BiW would also get a kick out of it since Vince discusses rules of evidence, etc, that would apply to a trial on the validity of God.

  31. You know one thing I’ve noticed you Rutherford with respect to religion? You always read something supporting your own notions. Have you ever tried something that would refute what you already believe?

    By the way, I heard him interviewed. And two minutes into it, our “profound attorney” made three glaring errors – what the Bible says and what Bugliosi says about free will. An invention of Plato? :lol: King David predated Plato by hundreds of years. If your professional pal read the Bible, he sure didn’t “get it.”

    I just read a book called “Heaven is for Real” that our attorney friend refers to and I didn’t believe it either.

  32. By the way, I don’t know Tigre’s beliefs, but BIC would have a field day picking Vincent’s arguments apart. And it’s pretty easy, because if I can do it, BIC most certainly can. It’s actually BIC that would probably be a better person to address his arguments than me. Because Vincent treats this argument as a courtroom, and the evidence is already overwhelmingly to me so I am biased beyond the reasonable doubt.

    Something else “R”. I’ve got an insight you don’t have and undoubtedly Vincent doesn’t have either. Now I know you think me nutty and I know you can’t believe that, but I do. Promise. And the best part? You’re just going to have to take my statement of fact by faith, because I can’t prove it to you either. :smile:

    You’re not interested in increasing the scope of your knowledge I know, but if by chance you change your mind, watch what happens in the Middle East, especially with respect to Jerusalem, because it is setting up beautifully (or hell on earth) depending upon your vantage point.

  33. Okay Rutherford, out of morbid curiosity, I’ve listened to Vincent and an interview some 35 minutes with some bubble head. Interesting. You’ve figured me out – I can’t walk away from a good debate about “religion.” :wink:

    But…

    Vincent Bugliosi’s ignorance of the Bible is extraordinary. Really. I’m not criticizing for the sake of criticizing, but how can I take seriously a critic that bases his premise on the Bible, and yet is ignorant of the Bible? And these aren’t the profound and difficult concepts of faith but the basics.

    Rutherford, you could do yourself a real favor if your real interest is truth to listen to Voddie Baucham. I don’t think you ever did that like I hoped you had. And I won’t ask you to believe a thing.

    All I will ask is for you to listen to this link (Vincent), and then listen to Voddie and decide which one you believe is brighter and the better interview. Since you have a humanist view of life, what do you have to lose?

    [audio src="http://ia600607.us.archive.org/6/items/DailyDigest-041511/2011_04_15_bugliosi.MP3" /]

    P.S. – did you know this Helter Skelter guy wrote a book that George Bush should be tried as a war criminal for taking us to war under false premises? :smile: Perfect.

  34. R –
    “However, when it comes to atheists, Bugliosi says many of them have a problem with religion and that religion CAN be completely bogus and yet there still can be a God. In other words, Bugliosi states God’s existence is independent of any documented belief system.”

    So is the existence of unicorns. Or the Easter Bunny. Or the fairies that play at the bottom of my garden. Or any of ten times ten thousand fantasmagorical creatures you may dream up. And the fact you don’t believe in them or there is no proof of their existence doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Right.

    No, this kind of argument has been dealt with a long time ago. Because you cannot prove a negative, the burden of proof lies on he who asserts. If you say there are unicorns, it is not my burden to prove there are not; it is your burden to prove there are.

    Unicorns, faeries, Easter Bunnies, gods: that which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. dismissed.

  35. Tex, I have not fixed my beliefs when it comes to religion so I like to stay out of the fray. However, I will say that I find nothing titillating about Bugliosi’s (or any other prosecutor’s) take on things from a so-called legal perspective.

  36. Pfesser,

    Oh, have no fear. I have no intent of trying to prove to you the existence of unicorns, a specious analogy if there ever was. If you can’t see God’s hand manifested in this universe with all you’ve learned and seen, it would take someone far greater than me to convince you otherwise. And whether you believe or not, it’s of no consequence to me, so I’m not terribly offended by your insults. I only ask that you start voting right so you don’t help give us Obama again. :wink:

    However, I’ve noted that not only do you not believe, but you are similar in nature to Dawkins, who is openly hostile to religion and has made it his life’s work. And it has always been the case in my circles, when somebody is openly hostile towards something that requires a belief in humanism over faith, there is far more to the story than simple disbelief. I have this really good gut feel that the question of God’s existence is more troubling to you than you would dare to admit.

    Doesn’t matter to me what you think of faith, but if I read correctly your dates of graduation, you’re perhaps ten years from the grave. I would suggest you live large, because the one thing I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is your time draws short and will pass before you know it.

    One thing that I do find of interest. Of all the people on this board, you’re the one that should look at the human body, or any living matter (for that matter) and say, “no way this happened by random chance.” Now, I”m not saying that would immediately make you a follower of Christ or even a believer in God, but it is a non sequitur to me how you would say “this is all there is.”

    I experienced a small part of your type while in med school and rolled my eyes at them too without argument, but I would say at least 60% was involved in some Christian organization. So this isn’t just an intellectual exercise, because like you said previously, anyone in med school is intelligent. Just not all of them wise….

  37. Tigre,

    Tex, I have not fixed my beliefs when it comes to religion so I like to stay out of the fray. However, I will say that I find nothing titillating about Bugliosi’s (or any other prosecutor’s) take on things from a so-called legal perspective.

    I had noted your restraint, and the reason I suggested BIC, was that BIC and I have been very open about our faith. Your debating skills have been noticed, and your humor first rate.

    Though you have probably seen me go round and round with Rutherford, Graychin, even Huck, it is really not my intent to proselytize on a blog. And to be honest I believe it cheapens a witness and drips with pretention. Pretty difficult to personalize something as life changing as claiming Christ as God on an open blog. :neutral:

    My intent has only been to correct the record about my faith. Usually my intent has been when I see a lie or misstatement of fact about Christianity, then I intervene. Not always, but usually.

    I listened to Rutherford’s source for over an hour and was amazed at the abject ignorance of the book the man was trying to disprove. In fairness, he does take militant atheists to task too – but more for behavior than message. Twice Bugliosi contradicted his own message in less than 30 minutes, didn’t recognize it, and I remember thinking, “this is a great legal mind? I should have been an attorney.”

    If this is the best that agnostics can bring to the debate in their criticism of Christianity (and that was Bugliosi’s intent as he focuses almost entirely on the Judeo-Christian faith), then in a debate between Bugliosi and say somebody like I recommended to Rutherford, it wouldn’t take ten minutes before it became obvious that Bugliosi is not terribly well read and not nearly as bright as advertised in his book – I don’t care what his legal win record has been.

    There’s a real misperception Tigre that the great Christian minds are those seen on TV. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson are no more representative of dynamic Evangelical Christianity than Larry O’Donnell is representative of great journalism. Billy Graham is the real deal and a personal hero of mine, but he is certainly no intellectual, and even he admits he is a “C” preacher with a simple message. I agree, but believe he is a wonderful representative of how Christians should walk the walk.

    So unless you’re actually steeped in the study of Christianity and a defense of the faith, the names I would mention to Rutherford are certainly not household.

  38. “I remember thinking, ‘this is a great legal mind? I should have been an attorney.’” :lol:

    Bugliosi is no great legal mind. However, he is a typical prosecutor. Remember, you don’t need to be a great intellect to be a prosecutor. In fact, the nature of the gig does not require true intellect or creativity — and conviction rates mean nothing other than you stink if it’s less than 98%. The reason is that cases, strategy and evidence are not developed by the prosecutor — they are literally handed to them by the investigators and law enforcement.

    While prosecutors present the case, and skillful examination is required to some extent (I rarely see it), the “Nancy Grace” types held out as the pinnacle of professional accomplishment is laughable. Look to the accomplished defense attorneys (civil cases are entirely different in that plaintiff and defendants in a generic sense require the same level of advocacy).

    With that said, the legal profession on average may not mean much. But I will say that over the years I have encountered what I consider to be the most intelligent, knowledgeable, driven, creative, effective and fascinating individuals engaged in any pursuit. None was a prosecutor. None would convince me of a particular religious stance.

    I do pay attention to your exchanges until they become too particularized. Something I have gotten from the discussion on this board is much more clarity on the issue of abortion. Watching Rutherford struggle at Fat Grannies was the final nail so to speak. The logic of the pro-abortion side, Rutherford’s included, is really unavailing.

  39. Just for morbid curiosity, what’s your best guess on the gun used to take bin Laden out? Do the SEALs use hand guns or are they all some variation on a rifle or machine gun?” – R

    They use a lot of different things. My guess, an H&K MP5, which is good for close quarters.

  40. Tigre,

    If I have left you in anyway with the impression that I have no respect for legal profession, that was never the intent. I do, and have found men like Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia brilliant in more than just the law. Many of our founders were great legal minds – how can you not admire them?

    I’ve found BIC and yourself as two of the more insightful people I’ve read here and elsewhere when you two get serious. And I very much enjoy the give and take. Obviously, the legal profession lends itself to some very smart folks.

    Your use of Nancy Grace as what passes as prosecuting expert in the media circles in synonymous to Jerry Falwell passing as the great theologian in the media circles. That may sell to the general ignorance of the American public, but it simply isn’t true.

    While Rutherford and I disagree on about everything, we do agree on one important aspect – and it comes from both the left and the right perspective. America is the greatest nation on earth, but it is not without its problems. And Rutherford and I both agree that one of the biggest problems is an incredible lack of depth with respect to critical thinking. The older I become, the more superficial America seems.

    I come to this board because whether I agree or disagree, I generally find a perspective here sorely lacking in the general populace – it’s as if most Americans stop at the curiosity border of Dancing with the Stars.

    I have no idea if as a group are deep thinkers. But at least everyone that comes to this board in regularity, short of Dawg, makes the attempt to keep informed and formulate their own opinion based on some semblance of what they perceive as fact.

    I may ride Poolman night and day, but even if I think he’s a loon sometimes in his conclusions, I do tip my cap that he has an intellectual interest in something other than being entertained – to at least formulate his opinion(s) on something other than word of mouth or popular opinion. Anyone willing to do that, I have a degree of respect.

  41. If Bugliosi doesn’t get free will (and he apparently doesn’t), then he can’t come to any meaningful conclusion. He can only sound intelligent.

    “What he does argue convincingly is that if God is defined as all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful, then that definition cannot be reconciled with reality.” – Rutherford

    This is your stumbling block, isn’t it Rutherford? Why do bad things happen to good people? What that says to me, among other things, is that you are a compassionate man.

    For me, eternity is the only thing that does reconcile with reality.

    I find comfort in these words, among others –

    “Life is but a vapor.” – King Solomon

  42. Tigre, your assessment of prosecutors interests me. I always figured from a simplistic way, that the prosecutors job was much tougher because they have the burden of proof. Conceptually, the defense attorney can just sit on his ass … if the prosecutor doesn’t present a case beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant takes a walk. I know that is greatly simplifying things. I do understand your point that a lot of the heavy lifting in a prosecution is done by folks other than the prosecutor.

  43. Yeah Muffy … I should have mentioned in my earlier comments that one of Bugliosi’s big claims is that the Bible with rare exception does not address free will.

    Tex, Plato pre-dates Christ, doesn’t he? So why do you reject the notion that Plato came up with free will?

  44. “Tigre, your assessment of prosecutors interests me.” – Rutherford

    Very much so. A great read, Tigre.

    I recall Bugliosi weighing in on OJ Simpson’s guilt (I’m paraphrasing) – “He is found the next day with a fresh cut on his finger. Case closed.”

  45. If this isn’t Pfesser, it should be. :wink: Sounds like our kind of humor.

    RETIRED HUSBAND

    > After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.
    >
    Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse.

    Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target:

    Dear Mrs. Pfesser,
    >
    > Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:
    >
    > 1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.
    >
    > 2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
    >
    > 3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women’s restroom.
    >
    > 4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.
    >
    > 5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.
    >
    > 6. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
    >
    > 7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he’d invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.
    >
    > 8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ EMTs were called.
    >
    > 9.. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
    >
    > 10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
    >
    > 11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the ‘ Mission Impossible’ theme.
    >
    > 12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his ‘Madonna look’ by using different sizes of funnels.
    >
    > 13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’
    >
    > 14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed ‘OH NO! IT’S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!’
    >
    > And last, but not least:
    >
    > 15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in here.’ One of the clerks passed out.

  46. Rutherford,

    The concept of Free Will in the Bible not only predates the Gospels, but predates the first constructs of the Bible, even the physical universe. It should be obvious that even angels have “free will.” Satan’s fall is a testament to free will. Eve obviously had free will, as did Adam, as did Cain. I mentioned David,not Christ, because David had a fling with Bathsheba, which predates Plato by 600 hundred years. I could have picked a thousand different characters demonstrating “free will” from biblical text long before Plato was an apple in his daddy’s eye.

    Free will is an absolute requirement for absolute love.

    I believe Vincent Bugliosi confuses “free will” with predestination. Even if I”m wrong about Bugliosi’s conclusions from what I gathered from the interview, the concept of predestination is not to convey God as some cosmic rapist who makes and creates to condemn or cherish, but to convey and demonstrate the concept of God’s omniscience. I can assure you that it is solely man that determines if he accepts or rejects the message of the Gospels. And I believe that he or she will recognize that immediately upon death.

    I would like to read how Bugliosi has determined Christ’s birth was not from a “virgin.” I listened pretty closely, but he never elaborated. If you do happen to read the book, as it is not something I would purchase, I would be interested in how he arrived at his conclusions. I have a pretty good hunch, which is an old argument that doesn’t hold water, but I would like confirmation of my suspicions.

  47. R, said: “I do understand your point that a lot of the heavy lifting in a prosecution is done by folks other than the prosecutor.”

    That wasn’t my point entirely. And burden of proof is not the issue — nor is “sitting on your ass and arguing that the prosecutor did not prove his case.” That is the approach of last resort.

    I would be happy to elaborate if you care. But in a nutshell, prosecutors decide what will be tried based on what they can prove. So if it ain’t a lock, they better not be taking it trial. The defense has no such ability — you defend what has to be defended. That means you have to develop the evidence and case theories. The disparity in resources to do so is an enormous challenge.

    I am a civil trial lawyer. I always have been. I’ve handled a variety of case, but have a particular focus (that I’m not comfortable disclosing because it wouldn’t be hard to narrow down and figure out my identity). I will not hire former prosecutors for the reasons I just mentioned. Although they tend to have considerable courtroom experience, it is not generally the most valuable and their opponents are not usually much.

    Frankly, if you want to starve, go into practice out of law school as a criminal defense lawyer. You will represent the dregs of society that come to you guilty as sin with overwhelming evidence to support a conviction. Simply put, prosecutors tend not have developed the skills develop the evidence and case theories and strategies. It’s a different world in the civil arena, particularly when you represent individuals.

    These are huge generalities. And I am most certainly not saying that prosecutors are inept or unintelligent or incapable etc. by any stretch. I am just saying that it is not a credential that deserves great weight inside or outside of the law.

    Tex, I think you are principled and insightful enough to have the makings of downright dangerous lawyer of you ever pursued it. But getting from law school to successful practitioner is a long, hard road.

    Rutherford, I’ve always thought you’d make a good jurist for the same reasons, but with a different temperament. Well, at least until Palin had to make her first appearance before you. . . :lol:

  48. Muffy

    You are at least partially right about Rutherford’s struggles about a concept of “God.” Rutherford doesn’t understand why bad things happen to good people. And he’s not alone.

    Neither did Jesus disciples. And I would be remiss to not admit, I can’t fully comprehend it either. Who could short of Christ? Isaiah 55:8-9 tell us why but doesn’t explain further, as that question too a concept of faith.

    8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the LORD.
    9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways

    But the best answer I ever heard, and one I still lean on from the human perspective is this, if interested. And I apologize because I’ve posted this twice before. This is the man I have been trying to get Rutherford to listen to, to balance the scales of the Bugliosi’s of the world.

  49. R, El Tigre, Tex –

    These are all interesting arguments, but they are undertaken with the implicit assumption that there exist(s) supreme being(s).

    Until that is established, there is no point in arguing anything else, so you are wasting your time, IMHO.

    Science by its very rigor establishes rules for proving things, and there is no more evidence that the SB exists than there is for faeries. The data is just not there; even statistically it can be shown easily that there is no outside interference in anything. So even is she exists, god does not interfere in human events.

    When asked what he would say to god’s question about his unbelief if he met him after death, the great atheist Bertrand Russell is reported to have said, “Not enough evidence, god, not enough evidence.”

    Well said.

  50. Sorry Pfesser, I disagree with your entire premise, staring with the proof of a finite universe, provable by your own high standards of observable science. Approximately 14 billion years at last estimate.

    There are no physical constructs to produce the universe – not one. No subatomic particle could possibly reach critical mass to begin to generate a fraction of the power of an explosion of such magnitude. For every question you raise, I can point ten orders of magnitude of mathematical proof that there was a creator. And we can start at the subatomic level.

    The problem is not evidence, as you are overwhelmed with evidence in your physical world. Everything you see, hear, touch and taste is of your unknown god. Grab Russell or Nietzsche, a host of other philosophers and deep thinkers, and they still manifest the same problems of vision you have – the vision of their own arrogance.

    Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good. ~ David, King of Israel

    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. ~ Saint Paul, from the book of Romans

    Undoubtedly, God doesn’t believe in you either… Well said. :smile:

  51. That science cannot prove how the universe was created does not make the claim of creationism correct by default.

  52. Tex –

    I appreciate your POV, but saying that because we don’t know all the answers therefore it was all done by magic doesn’t cut it.

    I like the scientific approach because science advances on the back of everything that has gone before and in doing so, it is self-correcting. If a better theory comes along the old one is discarded or modified, but always on the basis of logical progression, not leaps out into thin air. It is the ultimate honesty, and in my view religion is the ultimate dishonesty. Anything that supports it is kept; inconsistencies are explained away by the thinnest of arguments that won’t hold any water at all.

    And to me the ultimate problem is once again that each religion claims truth over all the others and proclaims all others false doctrine. I have never heard anyone attack this problem successfully or even cogently. It is simply glossed over with, “Well, *we’re*right; they are wrong.” I don’t buy it.

  53. “cogito ergo ZOOM!”

    I think therefore I speed or take close-ups?

    Well, shut my mouth!

    Cogito Eggo Sum.

    (I think, therefore, I am a waffle).

  54. <blockquote<That science cannot prove how the universe was created does not make the claim of creationism correct by default.

    But Huck, we aren’t talk about the how, but that is was…. :smile:

  55. And to me the ultimate problem is once again that each religion claims truth over all the others and proclaims all others false doctrine. I have never heard anyone attack this problem successfully or even cogently. It is simply glossed over with, “Well, *we’re*right; they are wrong.” I don’t buy it.

    True, but that is an entirely different argument than the one we are addressing. We aren’t discussing the worth of any one religion, but the essence is there a creator or is there not?

    And until you can explain to me how a finite physical universe came into being, then your left of your own accord with nothing but inconsistencies and poor speculation. That’s certainly not good science as science starts with rational skepticism.

    But let me throw the argument back to you. You say, “inconsistencies are explained away by the thinnest of arguments that won’t hold any water at all. ”

    And after receiving all “A”s in the biological sciences, I was left with the opinions that Darwin’s origin of species was exactly that. Thin arguments, wild speculation that doesn’t hold water at all, and not a shred of proof that evolution can possibly explain life. Do I believe in evolution? Sure. Bacteria tells me that. But its progeny are still bacteria. It’s bad science to then say that point A then jumps and leads to Z.

    However, I will let you off the hook. At its essence, Christianity is faith. There is no way for me to provide you with the proof you seek that Jesus Christ was God. But mine is not an unmediated, uneducated, unobservable or inconsistent faith.

    Quite the contrary for me – the Bible proves the Bible.

  56. They are the same discussion.

    Perhaps that is your blind spot Huck. If you can’t understand the difference, then perhaps it is time to step back to Point A and start over.

    They are two wholly different arguments.

  57. Something just occurred to me. It was the “Coliseum” was created by Brother Rutherford for just such discussions. And it was Huck and Gorilla that I promised I wouldn’t broach the subject in normal conversation and bore them to death.

    Mea culpa. :oops:

  58. And perhaps that you can’t see that they are the same discussion is your blind spot and cause for re-evaluation. ;)

  59. And perhaps that you can’t see that they are the same discussion is your blind spot and cause for re-evaluation

    :smile: Why am I not surprised that is the conclusion you would come to? Even if I think you are blind, your comments from the previous post were so good, fabulous in fact, that I owe you several passes of non sequiturs.

  60. “And after receiving all “A”s in the biological sciences, I was left with the opinions that Darwin’s origin of species was exactly that. Thin arguments, wild speculation that doesn’t hold water at all, and not a shred of proof that evolution can possibly explain life. Do I believe in evolution? Sure. Bacteria tells me that. But its progeny are still bacteria. It’s bad science to then say that point A then jumps and leads to Z.”

    I understand we will never meet on this subject, but I do want to say that if the above is your understanding of evolution, it is not even close – particularly that Point A jumps to Z. (But having said that, it is the same explanation I see from most of the faithful.)

    Nor is it a series of wild speculation. It is a carefully crafted well-researched and documented theory. (And the word “theory” does not mean “speculation,” which is the usual understanding folks have. It means an enumeration of underlying principles, like the “electron theory.”)

    The most powerful part of evolution is that it predicts things. If it says there should be a transitional fossil, sure enough twenty or thirty years later, they find it. (This is the A to Z thing. Folks say there are no transitional forms. Not true. There are literally thousands of transitional forms, and then the final product takes over and the transitional forms go extinct, to be found in fossil records. They also like to say, “Well there are no half raccoons and half ‘possums.” True enough, but those things are not predicted.) What I see over and over is once again the straw man argument; creationists accuse evolution of things it does not say and then ridicule it for the things it never said.

    A fundamental understanding of biology is not possible without an understanding of evolution. It is the foundation of all study of life on this planet, and without it nothing in biology makes any sense. Is it controversial? No. Not in the science community, who just shake their heads and walk away. It wouldn’t be an issue at all except for one thing – it threatens the Creation myth.

  61. Pfesser,

    I understand we will never meet on this subject, but I do want to say that if the above is your understanding of evolution, it is not even close – particularly that Point A jumps to Z. (But having said that, it is the same explanation I see from most of the faithful.)

    As is yours from the unbeliever. ** Yawn. ** This subject actually bores me, as I recognize Barnum when I see one.

    A fundamental understanding of biology is not possible without an understanding of evolution.

    Baloney. Evolution is generally now a 4000 course and not even required for the MCAT or biochemistry degree in many instances. If a fundamental understanding of evolution were necessary to understand biology, we’d still be studying bird beaks instead of organelles, and evolution would be numero uno on the prerequisite list instead of basic cellular biology.

    With all due respect to that last bunch of baloney, and respect is the last thing that bogus bunch for horseshit deserves, with that boilerplated response I’ve come to expect from your godless ilk and now know by heart and practically ignore, what you’ve actually done is turn the Scopes Monkey Trial on its head.

    The formations of life is no theory – it’s wild speculation and impossible to research because it can’t be duplicated in the most sophisticated of labs. Inorganic clays becoming organic? Amino acids forming complex molecules left to their own accord? RNA to DNA given enough time? Cell cycles, cell signaling, DNA proofreading mechanisms evolving by chance? ** Guffaw **. And without proof at the cellular and the genomic level, the rest of your pet theory is nothing but esoteric hocus pocus masquerading as science.

    First, the fossil record is a jumbled mess. Forty years ago, old farts like you were educating the middle aged like me that Neanderthals were our distant relatives before genetics taught us that they were distant relatives of simians. Crickets, and then we are simply creating a new null hypothesis. Twenty years ago, guys you were still using terms like junk DNA, which was proven bogus. Then when the timing of the phylums didn’t work, we jumped to nebulous fecal streams under the guise of “punctuated equilibrium.” As fucking useless as ebonic studies.

    Why don’t we talk about what really drives your science and your set of facts?

    The admission you don’t have a clue how life evolved, hide your arguments based on the supposed ignorance of your doubters, with you and your buddies who throw rational and skepticism to the winds, try to minimize your detractors? But being the unbeliever, you guys have to hang your hat on something sounding remotely scientific sandwiched between the “scientific method”, so you can make some magic under the ruse of “research” to defend the indefensible and unprovable.

    You can’t bullshit me Pfesser like you can the rubes. In fact, my formal educated is probably far less dated than yours. I’ve had the same sciences you’ve had, taken the same admission tests, had the same preparatory classes, etc…

    I admire your specialty. I really do. Radiology is a very gifted profession and your compensated well. But it no way does it mean your brilliant. Not by a far stretch. I came away from medical school far less impressed with the wisdom of our medical profession than when I walked in. It was worth the price of admission, for no other reason than to learn medicine more an art than science.

  62. PF, I choose not to believe in your existence. What’s your proof?

    Ahhh, heck I’d love an entire thread devoted to “existence”. I always liked ‘I think therefore I am.”

    But even better was a Twilight Zone episode starring Dennis Weaver as a convict sentenced to death and he tries to convince everyone that they are all just actors in his dream and if he is executed, they ALL DIE. On my wilder days, I’ve wondered if everyone I know is really just a prop in a long waking dream that I’m going through … and that with death all of these people (including all of you) cease to exist.

    Think about this for a minute. I’m shown books and pictures that are supposed to prove to me that Abraham Lincoln once lived. I have no experience of him. Why should I believe it? I’ve seen pictures of my Dad in high school but as far as I’m concerned, he didn’t exist until I was born.

    OK … I know I sound like I’m stoned :cool: … but this whole notion of existence … and being awake vs being asleep … reality vs dream is fascinating if you let your mind wander there. Well it can also drive you a bit batty if you let your mind wander there too long. :shock:

  63. “The concept of Free Will in the Bible not only predates the Gospels, but predates the first constructs of the Bible, even the physical universe.”-Tex

    Hey Tex, if that’s the case, why does God curse the offspring of people like Cain or Ham? That always bothered me. Ham meat gazed his old man and his great great grandson pays for it. After reading a chunk of the Old Testament it seems some people have free will and others don’t.

    I also remember reading about people cursing future generations. How do humans have this power?

    If by some chance I make it to heaven, I’m going to respectfully request God intervenes and edits the Old Testament. There are way too many monotonous “so and so begot so and so” sections. That kind of stuff weakens the message.

  64. BTW, Tigre, while I was growing up, lots of folks assumed I’d become a lawyer, mainly because I always had a big mouth and liked to argue (or should I say debate).

    When I gave up pre-med after first semester Freshman year, I toyed with law school and made the fatal error of taking a course called “The Theory of Law”. Dumbass me didn’t understand never to take any course called the “Theory” of anything. Anyway, I think I got a Gentleman’s C in it. I loved the weekly case studies we did. But I sucked at the “theory” part. I swear, the first page of our text book had the word “norms” about 50 times. Confused the f*ck out of me. :neutral:

  65. And until you can explain to me how a finite physical universe came into being

    Did I miss something? Who ever said the universe was finite? Common sense tells me otherwise.

  66. By the way, just to be clear, mathematics tells me the universe is infinite. Believing you eventually hit a wall begs the question, what is beyond the wall?

  67. I wouldn’t go out of my way to defend Bugliosi because as I said he is one ego-driven dude. But he makes some points, call them cheap shots, that do resonate.

    For example, if God is all loving, why do we pray to Him for mercy? Why, on the contrary, don’t we pray to the Devil for mercy? God is by definition merciful. God is by definition good. The Devil is evil, To the extent that evil exists in the world it represents God’s inability to counteract the Devil.
    So shouldn’t we beg the Devil for mercy?

    There is a one word answer that makes Bugliosi’s book a waste of effort ….

    faith

  68. Only God can show mercy. This planet is presently the devil’s domain. He tricked man into giving up the deed. It is only because of God’s mercy that we are even here and see any good.

    Mercy flows from the throne of God. The devil only gets to taunt and torment whomever God allows. We have free will to choose who we will serve.

    Even atheists have faith. It just isn’t in God. You have faith everytime you flip a light switch, take a step, turn a key, etc…

  69. Tex, they are so much the same discussion that you are having it without even realizing it.

    Comment #70: “That science cannot prove how the universe was created does not make the claim of creationism correct by default.”

    Comment #74: “But Huck, we aren’t talk about the how, but that is was….”

    Comment #77: “And until you can explain to me how a finite physical universe came into being, then your left of your own accord with nothing but inconsistencies and poor speculation.”

  70. So as I was playing back this exchange in my head it struck me that I was keying on the word “how” and Tex was keying on the word “created.”

    Which was my mistake to use in the first place.

    Which, in turn means I made 2 mistakes in this thread.

    Hey, it happens….

  71. I’m sorry, Tex.

    The fact is, you just don’t know enough about evolution to discuss it. Everything you think you know and use as evidence for your side of the argument is at best half-truth, at worst complete nonsense – and most of all the idea that it is something simple that can be explained or understood with a few sound bites or platitudes. We’re both wasting our time; I can’t teach a course in evolution in this space and you’re not interested in learning how it works – for real, not some mishmash of lies and half-truths that come out of the church.

    You have the last word.

    poolman –

    re: even atheists have “faith.” Yep, faith based on evidence. Every time I climb on my Perlon rope it holds. Every time I flip the light switch, the light comes on; if not, it’s easy to find out why. Every time I turn the key, to use your example, the car starts or the door opens.

    When you pray there is no relationship to whether you get your wish or not. A climbing rope with random, at least 50% failure rate would not be one I would use. Yet the “faithful” keep praying. What is that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

  72. Intellectual dishonesty and cowardly Pfesser. Atheistic, hack answer. Typical, but lame.

    The fact is, you just don’t know enough about evolution to discuss it.

    Yet somehow I was able to get into medical school and received an “A” in both “Evolution” and Zoology. You did tell me without the assumptions of evolutionary theory, you can’t understand biology? Isn’t that right? Well, that’s not my history. Where’s your proof?

    You tell me I don’t know enough about evolution, then never pinpoint to what exactly it is I don’t understand. I’d be curious to know how you could possibly surmise that, being we haven’t even discussed the subject. That point from “A” to “Z” was perfectly legit. Because evolution at its basic core must be used by your own definition to explain biology.

    What definitive is it I don’t understand? Speciation? I can blow holes in your theory and never leave the constructs of mammalian biology. I’ll tell you the perfect analogy about your assertion of “the science is settled.” Global warming.

    This is the standard M.O. of my adversaries when I have asked the hard questions. Science hasn’t discovered it “yet.” And the pat answer when your bluff is called, always replete with words like Intelligent Design or Creationists with a sneer in the pejorative of which I am neither? “Well, you’re simply not smart enough to understand.” Uh huh. Tell you what I think. The instructor has been caught holding his pecker with his pants at his ankles, and now resorts to the tired tirade of discounting.

    Well, here’s what I’ve found from my own empirical evidence Doctor. Every time I hear a I an evolutionist not admit to the inadequacy of the ‘science’, trying to defend his or her beliefs in macro sphere, my second probing questions is, “What do you think of religion?” And the answer is 99 times out of a hundred is the puppet on a string.

    I’ll say it again. This argument isn’t really over science – it’s over your inability to remotely explain the how and why we are here. There are so many gaps and assumptions in your pet theory, and not just filling in the blanks but canyon wide holes, that it has boiled down to name calling and intellectual cowardice.

    About your own platitudes and excuses? My criticisms were neither derived from church, nor formulated by religion. Genesis is not a book of science or theory. My criticisms are straight out of your classrooms of higher education, as guys like you blew smoke up my ass. Most don’t even make the attempt at a cogent answer anymore when ask a question.

    But if you would like to come up to speed and arrive in the 21st century, perhaps you should read this:

    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/37/4/1011.full

  73. When you pray there is no relationship to whether you get your wish or not. A climbing rope with random, at least 50% failure rate would not be one I would use. Yet the “faithful” keep praying.

    Dad doesn’t always say yes everytime we ask for something. But you are totally wrong about the approach and result. It is never a “wish”, but always a request and often a plea. I have seen the change prayer can have in circumstances. I have numerous testimonies from my life. Recently I have watched as prayer caused one person’s leg to grow out almost 2 inches in 30 minutes time, to equal the other leg. That helps considerably in the faith department. Just saying… :cool:

  74. Poolman,

    Obviously, Pfesser has no concept of prayer as he has no concept of God. It is clear Pfesser will go to his grave believing God is figment of man’s hopes and imagination, and prayer is a mythological request to a mythological god on an itemized lading for more “stuff”, or health and wealth promises, or blessings bestowed. Christians are buffoons to be laughed at, and Pfesser will probably never acknowledge here or elsewhere that some of history’s finest scholars were devout Christians. His own disconnect from historical reality is noted.

    But let us calling ourselves a part of the flock give just criticism where it is due. These pandering thieves masquerading as evangelists lend to Pfesser’s notions. Homosexuals in the pulpit castigating homosexuals. Serial philanders excommunicating adulterers. “Fathers” practicing pedophilia, then the church hiding their egregious sins. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. These frauds provide the perfect caricature of charlatan. Pfesser’s use of Ghandi as critic is should be parody, as the real Ghandi was as flawed as they come. Ghandi’s greatness is a myth. Who Pfesser should be using as example and his “proof” that religion is bunk is pseudo Christians.

    God provides us no guarantees of the soft life until death. That is completely contrary to His wishes and His biblical word. Nobody is spared from the hardships of life. Only those of us who have been called according to his purpose, and work for good for those who love Him, are going to understand that.

    Peter nor Paul, whose prayer life surely exceeding any of us capable, were not spared execution. And yet after their death,they were role models for us as Christians. But their deaths helped in large part lead to a movement that changed the world more than any tyrant or dictator, despot, thug, or even righteous warrior. Both stand with Christ at this minute. That is their reward.

    I always revert back to the beautiful simplicity of “The Lord’s Prayer” as perfect model in its meaning. Even atheists know the words. And in that prayer, it consists of some basic themes: (1) acknowledgment of praise and worship; (2) an acknowledgment of our faith He is with us; (3) an acknowledgment of sustaining life; (4) a plea for forgiveness of our shortcomings; (5) a request for protection from our many weaknesses.

    I can not imagine the emptiness of no hope with the finality of death, the abject emptiness of believing this is all there is. Unbelievers will die in their ignorance, never acknowledging even they were born with an innate sense of good and evil.

    I want to tell you I’m sorry publicly for making you target of my own buffoonery. It’s a fault. I will pray for your success in your business and the restored health of your wife. Whether our detractors believe it or not, I will publicly acknowledge the power of your prayers. But even if it doesn’t happen according to your understanding, my prayer for you is to fight the good fight and keep the faith. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

    That is far more important than any miracle you might ever witness. I don’t need the immediate sign of miracles to acknowledge God’s power, as life itself is a miracle. God is neither benevolent Granddaddy or cosmic rapist.

    He is that He is.

  75. I’ve been searching for so long for this place.

    Gorilla, you post the best links, on the whole, of any blog I’ve ever visited.

    Tex, just a nod of appreciation from me to you.

  76. “Why Don’t We Hear About Soros’ Ties to Over 30 Major News Organizations?”

    He told them not to mention it.

  77. Damn Rutherford. You’ve sunk so low you’re now running with Fat Albert?

    Is that Oliver Willis on your Tweet? :cry:

  78. Sorry for my absence today … didn’t want to use the ‘puter during a six hour Adaware scan that I eventually had to stop cos it was STILL going.

    Today I’ve run Adaware, a malware remover and a registry cleaner to get this damn machine to act right. Time will tell if it did me any good. :neutral:

  79. OK, Tex you spent enough time in Med school to give me a straight answer to this.

    Can you keep a straight face as Poolman, with all due respect, says a man’s leg grew two inches in 30 minutes due to prayer?

    Personally, I find faith-healing to be one of the most egregious scams of religious hucksters. I imagine that most sensible devout folks reject it.

    Now, with that said, I DO believe in the power of positive belief. I believe an optimistic person will be more responsive to medical treatment than a depressed or pessimistic or hopeless person. I do feel there is a mind-body connection. I don’t think prayer has anything to do with it … unless praying makes you FEEL more optimistic, etc.

  80. Gorilla, did I hear correctly that the Mexican book was taught to third graders? I hope the woman is full of sh*t. Clearly it should not be taught to third graders.

    Now, kids perhaps, high school seniors, should be taught the views of many different constituencies so they can understand perspectives outside of their own and start to draw their own conclusions. That is clearly not appropriate for a third grader.

  81. Can you keep a straight face as Poolman, with all due respect, says a man’s leg grew two inches in 30 minutes due to prayer?

    You are correct that the faith healing I’ve been “witness” to is a sham, and I believe damages the credibility of faith. And that is not how I have experienced prayer answered. It’s been my personal experience that God talks in small, quiet voices.

    However, that does not mean I don’t believe in the miraculous form of prayer. There have been thousands of well documented, unexplainable medical “miracles.”

    ——–

    I’ll be bowing out for a few days for my daughter’s graduation. You guys and gals take care of yourself while I’m gone and have a nice weekend.

  82. So Obama is supposed to give a “major speech” (WH words) on his Middle East policy in a couple days.

    Anyone want to make any predictions?

    I predict our elected dictator will try and find a way to weasel out of (following the law) talking to congress about our involvement in Libya.

    We will start hearing the beginning of the end of our involvement in Afghanistan. Because Osama is dead, and who cares about a little acid in a schoolgirl’s face, anyway? It’s not like she’s a Libyan, right?

    And we will hear how Syria is so much different than Libya, that’s why we are allowing them to kill hundreds of protesters.

    What do you (the reader) think?

  83. Another prediction I will go ahead and make now is that, when Abbas goes to the UN in September, he will stand before the General Assembly and declare a Palestinian state, which will be formally accepted by at least 51% of the body.

    Hamas and Fatah have formally reconciled. Elections are supposed to take place soon. I can’t make any predictions regarding Hamas and those elections. At one time I’d have thought Hamas had no chance after the way they have shown to fail at leading in Gaza. But their recent displays of pragmatism, even if a farce, could be attractive to many.

    If Hamas is major part of the PNA when Abbas goes to the UN, then 51% might be tough to get (though I think he still would). If Hamas isn’t a major player after the election, I think without a doubt we will see a Palestinian state (though may not be recognized by the US)

  84. I have no feel for this whole mideast thing. Huck, I’m also not sure whether or not consistency is too much to ask for.

    When one stands on principle, i.e. doing everything for humanitarian reasons, then yes, consistency is not only possible but essential. But when we get honest and factor in oil, previous alliances, geopolitical implications, then things get a lot more complicated.

    I was leaning toward leaving Afghanistan before Osama was killed.

  85. Tex –

    I think we are both honestly seeking the same thing: an understanding of man’s place in the universe, but I have to confess that I find it baffling that the religious explanation could be seriously considered by anyone.

    You challenge science to explain ultimate questions, but you and I both know that this is a specious argument and conveniently ignores the fact that science too is seeking these answers; investigating the unknown is the very purpose of science. Researching these vast gaps in our knowledge and acknowledging that there *are* unknowns is science’s very reason for existence and its strength; if there were no such things to investigate, science would cease to exist.

    But while science acknowledges and celebrates the unknown, religion’s claim to fame is that it *does have* all the answers: It’s magic. Religion is fundamentally dishonest; biblical inconsistencies are ignored or explained with a shrug of the shoulders and a “God said an incantation and it happened.”

    Science, OTOH, is brutally honest; its research is peer-reviewed and any inconsistencies are viciously exposed; failures of logic or method are paraded in the open for the world to see. If you want to see how ruthless science is in its pursuit of the truth, take a look at where Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann – once two of the world’s most renowned electrochemists – are today:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion

    These once-celebrated men are now in the Siberia of Science and have been for decades. They had one little slip of their logical computers and were professionally ruined.

    Religion on the other hand, celebrates or hides its contradictions; “It’s a matter of *faith.*” When Oral Roberts lied, he just got more donations from the millions of credulous dupes who supported him. The christian bible contradicts itself almost from page to page, but instead of pointing it out and demanding an explanation as were demanded of Pons and Fleischmann, the Faithful say, “God works in mysterious ways.” Yeah, well, so does Uri Geller.

    Returning one last time to evolution, and I mean to really make it the last time, to my mind the very idea that there is any comparison between hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pages of original research – all peer-reviewed and subject to the gimlet eye of every nit-picking scientist on the planet – and a single book of Jewish fables, is beyond comprehension. I am glad that you, the poolman and others get comfort from it, but as for me, I prefer the uncomfortable truth to the comfortable lie.

  86. I prefer the uncomfortable truth to the comfortable lie.

    Now we’re in agreement.
    Does that mean you support the “truth” movement?

  87. “But while science acknowledges and celebrates the unknown, religion’s claim to fame is that it *does have* all the answers: It’s magic.”-Pfessor

    That is false.

    The Pope addressed this Easter weekend.

    He said he doesn’t have the answers, is bothered about evil in the world and doesn’t understand why it has to be that way.

    He humbly defers to faith.

    Now you may mock this. And I am by far not an ambassador of Christianity.

    However, your description of religion differs greatly with both the dead rabbit’s and the Pope’s.

  88. Hello :) R, I love posts about language, and have a few recent examples from WordPress to point to. One is a blog called “Slouching Toward Thatcham”. He did a post entitled “FYI…English Language is Evolving…OMG”. About acronyms which are becoming part of the OED. Oh, the controversy lol.
    As for Osama/ Obama issue. Osama is a first name and we have a long history of calling people by their first names in this country (without being invited to do so, in friendship) as a sign of disrespect.
    An odd thing has happened with Obama. It’s a last name, but it’s used as a term of disrespect. (“Obamacare”). When do you ever see “Barack” used? And when do you ever see “President Obama”. Words matter. I’m just sayin’.

  89. lol…..are you kidding me?

    Obamacare is an insult because the policy sucks and was shoved down our throats by Dems in Congress and Obama.

    He is the President and the health care bill is his baby. Of course we are going to pin his name to the disaster!

    We are not being meanies. We’re being mindful Americans.

    I suppose the “Bush” Tax Cuts have kept you up at night pondering the thinly veiled insult.

    You politically correct people kill me. You really do. Your “offense” radar is so powerful that not enough juice can fire up your critical thinking machines.

    Your world must constantly be so full of hurt, I don’t know how you function.

  90. Some thoughts on the last batch of comments.

    Pfesser, I’ve read Tex’s arguments so long that I can probably argue them better than he can right now. So, before he returns from his daughter’s celebration, I’ll warn you what his answer will be.

    “Rigorous science that is self-policing? Give me a break. The whole global warming scam ring a bell? Scientists promoting fake numbers. So much for self-policing.”

    Now, of course it will be lost on Tex that the whole statistical scandal over in the UK has been more or less debunked and the science of global warming has withstood the scandal. I DO believe global warming to be in the realm of theory. I’m not a global warming fanatic. BUT I do say we ignore the possibilities at our own peril.

  91. Rabbit, I’m in both admiration and befuddlement over the quote you gave from Benedict. On the one hand I have to admire him for his honesty. On the other hand, doesn’t his statement brand him as incompetent? Isn’t it the case that the Pope talks to God? How can this be true and yet Benedict lacks full understanding? While I’m no expert on John Paul II, I can’t imagine him saying what Benedict said.

    What Pfesser has not explicitly addressed is religion’s role in making us ready to die. We are all terrified of it. Religion tells us a story that makes not only our death but the death’s of our loved ones more tolerable.

  92. FN, I am a big fan of language. In fact in the next life I may be a linguist although it will make me even poorer than I am now. :-)

    I’m not sure I can sign up for your “no one calls him Barack” analysis. I don’t remember us calling Bush “George” affectionately or otherwise.

  93. Again, I’m the last guy that should be yapping about this.

    The Pope provides leadership in our faith. It is believed that the Holy Spirit guides the selection of the Pope and we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Pope as our spiritual leader.

    But the Pope and the Dead Rabbit are equal when it comes to God. We both have the choice to screw things up as much as we want and often times do.

    Many people, particularly Protestants, feel the Pope is endowed with too much religious authority. But this whole thing about the Pope having super natural powers or a relationship with God that is more impressive then the little old Polish lady down the street is a misnomer.

  94. Returning one last time to evolution, and I mean to really make it the last time, to my mind the very idea that there is any comparison between hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pages of original research – all peer-reviewed and subject to the gimlet eye of every nit-picking scientist on the planet – and a single book of Jewish fables, is beyond comprehension.

    Pfesser,

    So what? Global warming has hundreds of thousands of millions of pages of peer reviewed crap and it still a myth.

    Let me know those contradictions about the Jewish fable when you get a chance. That answer, while predictable, was quite cheesy. The Bible has withstood 2,000 years of the most intense scrutiny by people far more intelligent than you Pfesser and it still stands.

    And I hope you enjoyed my “peer reviewed” article about the shortfalls of Darwinian theory. Welcome to the 21st century of science and not 1956. :wink:

  95. Ah Tex, you’re back. How was the kid’s graduation? Anyway you’ve got two posts to catch up on, both of which will no doubt piss you off. Welcome back. :-)

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