Tim Daneluk

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TeamCasa wrote:

So your decision isn't influenced by the Creationist conspiracy surrounding IDs birth?
You aren't concerned with the Genie In The Bottle problem associated with it (the "builder" is also so complex he must have also had a "builder")?
You aren't concerned that it merely shifts the complexity to unverifiable causes when there is a plausible, testable, and evident alternative (it seems to allow speciation to occur but attributes the selection process among the variants to a "builder" rather than a "natural" mechanism.)?
You aren't concerned that many of the "arguments" made against evolution by ID's proponents appear to attack problems that aren't associated with it (the "genesis" issue, origin of life vs. origin of species)?
You don't grow suspicious of motive when you notice that it is in many ways indistinguishable from evolution *except* that it requires there be an intelligence at work controlling the machinery?
You aren't upset that many of the arguments attack problems with human thought, verifiability, and logic, that are endemic to all thought (ID included) and as such aren't relevant to science, but to broader questions of philosophy?
You aren't surprised that an idea is being advanced that rightly belongs to a metaphysical discussion, not one of practice, and therefore is orthogonal to a critique on the validity of a theory of speciation?
These are some of the problems I have with Intelligent Design. I'd be interested in knowing how you overcome these.
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Enoch Root wrote:

And science was built on the foolishness of Tyco Brache who was utterly wrong. Guilt By Association.

This isn't remotely a problem for anyone who has ever done an inductive proof or integrated over a discontinuity in math - at least not if they sit down and thing about it for any length of time. Baseless Argument.

The current theory found in the scientific community is full of unverifiable causes which are not testable. False Dichotomy.

One does not measure the merits of a system on the basis of that systems' bad practicioners. Ad Hominem.

This is not inherently a problem. It may be evidence both parties are onto something. Overstated.

You cannot seperate the practice of science from its epistemic roots. Bad Dualism.

Utter baloney. Do this though experiment: Say that the IDers were able to establish just their philosophical claims. Do you seriously believe this would have no consequence to the practice of science and its currently-held theories? More Bad Dualism.

Since every single one of your "problems" are artifical, overstated, or flatly bogus, you can "overcome" them by applying some small modicum of honesty to your internal discourse. There are problems with ID as currently proposed, but you haven't nailed a single one of them.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

Maybe I missed them, but could you briefly explain these problems?
Joe Barta
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Joe Barta wrote:

<Steps out of the Rhetorical Goo to get back On-Topic to the Off-Topic Topic>
Honesty compels me to stipulate that I am *not* an ID expert. I've done some reading in the area and have a POV, but this does not mean I know enough about it to speak authoritatively. So ... what follows is my *opinion* about its problems. Generally speaking, the problems have to do with their *method* (which is muddy) rather than their *content* (which needs further investigation):
1) ID makes proposals both in the Philosophy Of Science and the *practice* of Science. All well and good, but ...
2) It does not do a good job of separating the two. For example, Behe speaks on "irreducable complexity which ought to be purely a question of Science as we understand it. But, he then jumps to the conclusion that this implies a Designer. The first claim falls into the *practice* of Science, the second into the *metaphysics* of Science. Conflating these two areas muddies the waters and does a disservice to both disciplines. ID needs to pursue its claims in both courts separately and clearly.
3) The existing orthodox scientific community resists ID. There are lots of very good historical reasons for them to be suspicious. They demand that ID ahere to the time proven methodology of the Scientific Method. To the extent that there is evidenciary support for ID's claims, its proponents ought to be meeting the scientific community on *its* terms. That is, writing papers that contain falsifiable hypotheses and having them judged in the court of peer review. This is important even if that court is biased and married to its own foreordained conclusions because ID needs to show more *data* if it is to be taken seriously. Assume for a moment that ID had a valid point - even so, it takes years for sea changes like this to be embraced by the larger Scientific community. ID proponents seem reluctant to do this, either because they have no evidenciary support yet or they are worried that they will not be taken seriously. ID - if true - would rock the foundations of modern Science. Those who subscribe to it need to be willing to plead their case an inch at a time perhaps for years. They seem hesitant to do so.
4) The philosophical component of ID - that the matter/material/naturalist view of Science is fundamentally inadequate - is the cornerstone of everything they do. But again, their conflation of the practice of Science with its philosophy makes this point less clear than it should be. This single point is probably more imporant than all the "Science" they could ever bring to the table. They need to do a much better job of describing the limits of the existing philosophy of Science *AND* then showing why their proposal fills the void. Although I am not an IDer, I am most sympathetic to their argument here - I've thought for years that Science was unnecessarily blinding itself by avoiding metaphysics - but their arguments need more crispness, forcefulness, and thus exposure. (Just for the record, the harmonization of Epistemology and Metaphysics has troubled philosophers for centuries. It's a really hard problem, but that doesn't mean it ought not to be constantly attempted.)
5) The majority of IDers I've read are devout Theists in some particular religious tradition. I am too, and have no problem with this. HOWEVER, they need to realize that this means existing orthodox Science will be eternally (!) suspicious that they are really just literal Creationists in drag. (You've seen a lot of this in this very thread.) They need to be *much* clearer in saying that ID is about *authorship* first and foremost, not *mechanism*. In particular, macro-evolution's validity has nothing to do whatsoever with ID's merits one way or the other. An Author/God that can create a Universe in one "breath" can easily use evolutionary mechanisms to do so (or not). There are lots of valid criticisms to be made about macro-evolution, but ID needs to separate itself from this discussion until & unless it has demonstrated a case for its starting propositions. Many otherwise honorable and honest Scientists are put off when the see ID being used as a proxy to attack macro-evolutionary theory. I personally have a number of problems with that theory myself, but understand that these have nothing to do with the question of Authorship. IOW, theory *must* precede *practice* and they are trying to do both simultaneously. I applaud their vigor, but it undermines clarity and makes their case hard to read. (I have a complementary complaint about the Scientific establishment that is way too quick - IMO - to elevate relatively weaker inductive theories like macro-evolution to the same level of significance as theories that can actually be tested by experimental methods. This is why I keep saying that there is a lot more "Faith" in certain corners of Science than its practicioners like to acknowledge.)
Sidebar: When I have this conversation with my fellow Theists, particularly those in the school of so-called "literal innerant" Biblican interpretation, I have a parallel beef with them. The authority of the Biblical literature does not hinge on literalism. No innerantist actually takes every single Biblican passage literally. They acknowledge that there are vast passages of the text - e.g., The poetry of the Old Testament - that is metaphorical and symbolic. They miss the point that the Gensis account is about *Authorship* _not_ *Mechanism*. It is entirely possible to ascribe authority to the Genesis account without insisting that it is a literal description of the timeline. Yet, for some reason, literal interpretation of Genesis has become a litmus test for a significant portion of the Theist community much like evolution has become the litmus test for mainstream Science. In my view, both communities are missing the point by a mile. The theory of Authorship has nothing whatsoever to do with its mechanisms. Both communities thus miss the opportunity to see where they have important common ground. For instance, the Big Bang theory is widely believed to be a fairly reasonable explanation for the mechanics of the first femto-seconds of the birth of the Universe. But once you get away from the Science v. Creation argument (which is bogus anyway) you begin to see that the Big Bang "Science" is very much parallel and complementary to the idea that God breathed the Universe into existence in a "moment".
6) Political Note: Many IDers are falling into the trap of thinking that they need to fight their fight in the educational system we have today. They don't. The fundamental problem here is that education is *public*. In Western democracies that means such education is - by intent - entirely secular. Any hint of religiosity will be seen as an assault on the so-called "separation of Church & State" (wrongly, in my opinon, at least sometimes). Until they have a compelling case as to why their views really are "Science", they are going to continue to lose battles like the recent one in the PA courts. The *real* fight they ought to be undertaking is to show that "secularism" is itself a religion no different than any other and that "public" schools thus cannot avoid making a religious choice. Once they establish this, they can join with many of us who want to see "public" education abolished. It is an assault on Liberty and the choice of Free People. Education is the responsibility of parents, not government. By playing the game of the political collectivists who want the government to be the sole/primary instrument of educating the young, IDers miss the opportunity to fix the primary/foundational problem.
There are some brilliant people writing in the ID community. Some of their philosophers are first-rate thinkers. (I am not competent to judge their scientists' particular claims.) It's a shame that they are not heard better and more loudly. But *they* are the ones proposing a very big sea change in Science. It is thus incumbent on *them* to make their case compellingly.
I've had the great fortune to be educated by both Scientists and Theologians. It is a great tragedy that they cannot find more common ground. As a convinced Theist, I find it depressing that they seem not to be able to acknowledge that all Truth - Scientific, Theological & Moral - springs from a common Author.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:
[schnibble]
*boggle*
I've never shat a tapeworm into the bowl before... but I'm sure I'd feel the same looking at such an amazing adaptable parasite.
er
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Enoch Root wrote:

Truly...
http://www.ratemypoo.com /
Joe Barta
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

First let me say thank-you. I am thankful that there are such bright lights out there willing to share their views so eagerly and with such clarity. I now have a much clearer understanding of the issue.
That said, I have a few very minor comments to what you wrote...

"Innerant"... this word threw me. Until I knew what it meant, the phrase "literal innerant" was a complete mystery. It would seem that the correct spelling is "inerrant"...
inerrant (adj.) Incapable of erring; infallible. Containing no errors.
And for the benefit of other dummies like me, a "literal inerrant", in this context is one that takes the text of the Bible literally... that it is literally infallible. If the Bible says God created the universe in 6 days, then by golly that's all it took.

I believe I understand the reasons for your assertion. But I think this is one area where idealistic logic runs headfirst into the realistic illogic of dealing with masses of human beings.
I'd say that in a practical sense, collectively educating our youth is a MUCH better option all the way around than individually educating them. Of course, that said, I also think every parent ought to have the right to individually educate their children if they wish. But I'm perfectly happy to observe that those parents are in the extreme minority.

I'm still a little puzzled why there is the need to believe there is an "author". If an apple falls from a tree, we think in terms of "it just happened" and if we dig further we can find perfectly rational and understandable explanations as to why it occurred. We normally don't think in terms of someone "designing" that apple to fall.
I understand that this gets into the "philosophy of science" as you put it, but why even suggest that this philosophy might have an author? Thousands of years of religious teachings aside, where does the notion of "authorship" come from?
To me, all truth springs from nothing. It just is. If we don't understand something, it's because we simply don't understand it (yet) or are incapable of understanding it.
Or am I just restating the same thing in a different way?
Joe Barta
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Going even farther OT now... I've always thought this to be a particularly bizarre understanding of Genesis. The sun and the earth were not made, by this account, until the third or fourth "day" IIRC -- which makes it completely impossible that the first two days, at least, are literally "days" by the accepted meaning of the term.
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wrote:

Come on down south and try to make the fundamentalists believe that. Jerry and pals believe what they believe and they ain't agonna change.
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Joe Barta wrote:
<SNIP> > > That said, I have a few very minor comments to what you wrote... > <SNIP> >> >> Sidebar: When I have this conversation with my fellow Theists, >> particularly those in the school of so-called "literal >> innerant" > > > "Innerant"... this word threw me. Until I knew what it meant, the > phrase "literal innerant" was a complete mystery. It would seem that > the correct spelling is "inerrant"... > > inerrant (adj.) > Incapable of erring; infallible. > Containing no errors.
My apologies. It was late when I wrote the post and I didn't check spelling closely enough. You have both the spelling and the meaning correct.
> > And for the benefit of other dummies like me, a "literal inerrant", in > this context is one that takes the text of the Bible literally... that > it is literally infallible. If the Bible says God created the universe > in 6 days, then by golly that's all it took.
Just be careful. By, the "Bible", they mean the *autographs* - the original texts. Most all inerrantists agree that the texts have been corrupted to some degree over time because we no long have the originals, only copies. They thus heartily support activities like archaelogy, lingustics, and texual criticism as means to better understanding what the original texts contain. Pretty much all of them argue that such textual "corruption" is fairly minor and typically has little effect on the end meaning. So far, they've been largely vindicated (about the quality of the texts we have today) by this claim each time older and older texts are found that more-or-less confirm today's texts.
<SNIP>
> I'm still a little puzzled why there is the need to believe there is > an "author". If an apple falls from a tree, we think in terms of "it > just happened" and if we dig further we can find perfectly rational > and understandable explanations as to why it occurred. We normally > don't think in terms of someone "designing" that apple to fall. > > I understand that this gets into the "philosophy of science" as you > put it, but why even suggest that this philosophy might have an > author? Thousands of years of religious teachings aside, where does > the notion of "authorship" come from? > > To me, all truth springs from nothing. It just is. If we don't > understand something, it's because we simply don't understand it (yet) > or are incapable of understanding it. > > Or am I just restating the same thing in a different way?
"Truth" does not "spring from nothing". What is "True" always depends on your rules for acquiring knowledge (your epistemology). An apple falls from a tree and we can describe that by the laws of physics only because we have an agree-to play book about how physics is done. But that is a very small issue of mechanics. The more interesting question is how the Universe in which the tree exists ever came to be. How is it that the law of gravity operates as it does? Why was there a Big Bang and where did the matter and energy therein come from? These are not questions of mechanism, they are questions of First Cause...
Your question has no simple answer, nor is there any "proof" - see my earlier post about the non-provability of axiomatic starting points. All I can give you is *my* take on it. You may- or may not find it responsive. Note that I am not trying to convert you or sell you anything here, I am merely responding to your question in the only way I can. I am a Theist - someone who believes in an Author - for several reasons:
1) Step back from the detail of biology, physics, or any of modern science and look at the Whole Picture we see so far - The Universe taken as whole. I know of no example *within* that Universe we're looking at where Something comes from Nothing. All Somethings have a First Cause - another Something or Someone that brought them into being. It thus seems reasonable to infer that the Universe itself had a First Cause.
The fact that anything exists implies it came from somewhere/someone/somehow.
2) Assume that every bit of Science we currently posses is *precisely* correct and without error. That is, assume that the Science we have today at all levels of certainty is right on the money. Even if that were thecase, Science is unable to answer the basic question of First Cause: How did the Universe as a whole come to be? Science is limited to questions of mechanism, it cannot address *cause* or *meaning* (which is why the IDers believe the philosophy of Science is broken). IOW, not how does it *work*, but how did the whole business even come to be in existence. There are several possibilities:
a) The Universe is a magical place and we can't reliably know anything about it. (If true, then Science is pointless because it may well just all be an illusion.)
b) There are versions of a) above that claim that knowing the First Cause is mystical/magical, but that we can still reliably know things about the mechanics of how it works. This always struck me as the "giving up before you've started" plan. Understanding Mechanism without giving thought to Cause reduces all of us to mere machinery. There is ample evidence that humans particularly are considerably more than just machines. Try accounting for aesthetics, laughter, love, hate, creativity, and so in in purely mechanical terms. Contemporary Science is mired down in this purely mechanical view of all things and keeps trying to produce explanations that would account for exactly these kinds of things, and they generally fail.
A human being is more than just a collection of cells programmed by DNA in the same way that a Bach Motet is more than just notes on a page: The whole is somehow greater than the sum of the parts, and purely mechanistic explanations are laughably inadequate to circumscribe this. There is something profound and transcendent about being human that cannot be explained away because we understand the "gears and pulleys" that make us what we are physically.
Theologians will tell you that this transcendent character of humanity exists because we "made in God's image". I think that's as reasonable a hypothesis as any.
There is a transcendent component to human experience. This suggests that there is a source of that transcendence that is larger than just the mechanics of life.
(BTW, one of the great inconsistencies within today's Science community lies in this very area. If you argue that mankind is purely a machine, you have no basis for moral law of any kind. If I'm just a machine, then the best/strongest/most fit machine should survive. There ought never be any reason for laws against murder and mayhem, because these are just the "best machines" conquering other machines. You cannot deny trancendence in the matter of mankind's essential character on the one hand, but demand transcendant moral law on the other.
Sure, a bunch of "machines" can all get together and decide that having some sort of legal system is in their own self-interest as a matter of survival, but any notion of "right" or "wrong" is utterly inconsistent. Yet, you'll find precious few Scientists to agree that there is no such thing as morality, nor any need for it. They pretty much all have *some* moral code by which they abide - and for a lot more reason than purely utilitarian self-interest in most cases I've met. Similar examples exist in other areas - how is it that mere machines can enjoy art or music, exhibit strong emotions, and so on. The core answer to this is that Science itself may well have to limit itself to understanding humanity in purely mechanical terms - unless, of course, the IDers can finally make their case. But *Scientists* don't have to do that. Many consistent and thoughtful Scientists will tell you that they use Science only as a tool to undersand Mechanism, but they personally remain interested in Cause and human transcendent experience because they too grasp that the whole is larger than the sum of the parts.)
c) The Universe has always been eternally existent. (Very unlikely, given the current understanding of the Big Bang which fairly compellingly argues for an event that began the Universe.)
d) The Universe has an Author. Someone/something/somehow made the Universe come to be. If that Someone/something itself had an Author, we have to repeat the logic (The Author had an Author who had an Author ...). Eventually you come to one of two possibilities:
There is an infinite progression of Authors - the so-called "turtles all the way down" theory.
There is an Ultimate Author that transcends time and terminates the "stack of turtles".
I don't buy "turtles all the way down" because if true, it leaves the question open as to how there could be an infinite succession of Authors.
The Ultimate Author subcase here makes more intuitive sense to me:
The fact that anything exists implies that someone/something brought it into being _and_ that there is an Ultimate Author behind it all that transcends time, space, and all known laws of the this Universe and all other possibly existing Universes.
Have I proven my case? Nope. You never can prove your starting points. But at the very least, I hope you are convinced that there is a thoughtful and measured analysis that leads to Theism that is not in any way inferior to the analysis that leads to the development of any other knowledge system like Science.
More to the point, I hope you embrace the idea that to truly "know" things, you need *multiple kinds" of knowledge systems. It's not *just* Science, or Mathematics, or Logic, or Theology, or Existential Experience, or ... we need to become knowledgeable, we need them *all*. There have been two great tragedies in human intellectual development. The first was to *divide* knowledge systems and pit them against each other: Theology v. Science, Reason v. Experience, and so on. The second was the emergence of philosophies in the 20th Century that were *destructive* to knowledge. Deconstructionism and Post-Modernism are examples of worldviews that outright destroy knowledge by attempting to show that nothing can ever actually be known.
I hope this answers your question...
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On 2/13/2006 1:34 AM Tim Daneliuk mumbled something about the following: [ snipped the majority, just going to hit on one point here ]

Okay, so what is the First Cause for a god? Using your distinction above, all somethings (god is a something) have a first cause. So there is a first cause for god, where's the first cause for this something that created god? Where's the first cause for this something that created the something that created god? Where's the first cause for......?

Nope, see my question(s) above.
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"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never
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Odinn wrote:

Go back and reread 2c and 2d for my take on this.
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On 2/13/2006 8:55 AM Tim Daneliuk mumbled something about the following:

I did. It still doesn't match. You can't say you have to have a First Cause, then at some arbitrary point say it isn't needed. Either a First Cause is needed for everything, or the universe doesn't need a First Cause.
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Odinn wrote:

Either you have an infinite recursion of first causes or the recursion terminates. The point is that in either case they are *causal*, thereby leading to what we see today as the Universe. Absent something like this, how would explain that anything exists at all?
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On 2/14/2006 10:44 AM Tim Daneliuk mumbled something about the following:

I don't have to explain how anything exists at all. It doesn't matter how it came into existence, nor does it matter if it has always existed, it exists at the present. It's simple for me. I don't need some sort of creator for the universe to exist, it simply exists. I don't need some sort of mysticism to make my life meaningful.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

I've never agreed with this notion that somehow we humans are somehow "special" compared to any other life on the planet, or even to ANYTHING else anywhere.
Let's take it backwards... were Neandertals profound and trancendent? Whales? Dogs? Spiders? Earthworms? Amoebae? Bacteria? Organic molecules? Water molecules?
Certainly, some characteristics that define us as "human", such as creativity, love, hate, etc are either not present in "lower" animals or are present to a much less complex degree. I would argue that those characteristics that you use to place humans in a "special" category are nothing more than manifestations of our complexity.
Fast forward 100 million years and it's very likley that some future form of life may surpass human complexity and then humans will find themselves a "lower" animal.
All that said, if you are suggesting that there may be something "special" about "living things" in general, I would tend to agree with you... but I suspect that upon closer examination, the distinction between living and non-living may be less precise than we think.
Joe Barta
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So, you're a vegan?

I think you're being incredibly optimistic to think that we'll be around in 100 million years.
todd
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Amendment I of the Bill of Rights
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In fact, public schools are making a choice based on this l'il ole amendment - to not support a particular religion's philosophies. It doesn't make secularism into a religion.
Not all religions on this earth espouse this idea of ID and teaching ID would thus "favor" that particular religion's views.
Until ID can fit under our established precepts of "science", it ain't science. Science doesn't claim to know all, or always be right, but it does have rules (testability, etc.) and ID fails in every one of those rules. Therefore, it ain't science.
Really, you ought to be worrying about the rest of the amendment these days...
Renata
wrote:
-snip-

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Renata wrote:

You'll notice that this is a directive to *government* to keep its beak out of private matters - religion in this case. There is no complementary instruction for it to *prevent* citizens from expressing their religious views within institutions they *pay* for (say, for example, a school).

Secularism *most certainly* is a belief system no different in kind than any other religion. Every time a school chooses a secular agenda, it chooses an epistemology, a values system, and a particular point-of-view about the world in which we live. For example, so-called "multi-culturalism" is a secular values agenda in that it conciously make no distinctions between the moral "qualities" of different cultures.
I'm not arguing against secularism here. I'm arguing that you cannot make choices in a public school setting without embracing *some* values system and right now the schools have chosen secular values. This is as offensive to religious people as choosing Christian values and epistemology would be to an atheist. There is thus *no* way to run a publicly funded education program without violating the sensibilities of some significant portion of the population.

For the moment, (unless/until ID is established as legitimate Science) that's right. But espousing a purely matter/mechanical/naturalist view of knowledge is just as much a statement of belief. In both cases, these are inbound *assumptions* about how the world operates based on individual *belief*. You cannot argue against ID being permitted in the schools on the one hand and on the other defend the presence of materialist/naturalism on the other - its hypocritical. Either both belong in the school system (noting that, for the moment, ID ought not to be taught as "Science") or *neither* belongs in the school.
The root cause here is not ID or Scientific naturalism. The root cause problem is the fact that schools have been collectivized by means of government and can thus *never* satisfy the entire or even a significant percentage of the population's worldview.

I do. I worry about the 1st Amendment being violated by the politically- correct secularists who parade so-called moral "neutrality" and who hide behind code words like "sexual harrassment", "racism", and "hate speech" to restrict free expression. I worry about the 2nd Ammendment because it is under continuous assault by the drooling idiot Left. I worry about the 4th Amendment because it is under assault by every part of the political and cultural spectrum - the Right wants to peek in our windows, and the Left wants to confiscate private wealth. I worry about the neverending abuse of the Commerce Clause whereby government gives itself permission to intrude upon anything it feels like in some contrived claim to commerce.
Every single example I have cited here is really an example of one thing: The collectivization of our lives through government and the consequent erradication of the distinction between private and public matters.
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wrote:

Public schools are prelcuded from picking a particular religious leaning since all the kids may not espouse that leaning. EVen within the broad swath of those defined as "Chrisitan" there are sufficient differences, and that's before adding in the various other flavors of religion that exist on earth. Therefore, they chose a non-religious agenda.
What the folks hollering for the introduction of religion to public schools assume is that it will be their brand of religion that will prevail.
You want religion in school, there are private, religious institutions available, many of whom have a better overall education program than the public schools. Morals and such should be taught in the home.

Hardly individual belief. One has evidence, the other has none. ID, at the moment (and probably forever - you remember this thing called "faith") is indeed a presonal belief. Zero evidence and no way to prove any of it's concepts.

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