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Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:13 pm
by browneyedgirl
Back on topic now. :roll:

The USA&Iran have had talks&even though not much progress was made, at least they did talk.
So, maybe Armageddon was stalled alittle while longer. :)

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:14 pm
by TimoTolkki
NeonVomit wrote:
TimoTolkki wrote:
NeonVomit wrote:I do wish you'd realise that quotes from the bible have very little meaning to those who do not take it literally or indeed believe anything from it at all. You might as well be quoting from the last issue of Hello! magazine...
I´m sorry to say, but to me it gives the whole subject almost a comic tone.
At least that´s what it did to me. I don´t even wanna start talking about that.
I do respect everybody´s beliefs and if someone thinks the Bible is the thing, then it´s more than cool for me and I have to be honest here, it does have many things in there that are and have been valuable for me. For example what is written about love. But all the predestination/temple stuff..not for me man:)
The reason I have this attitude to the bible is very simple.

When doing academic research, one is always meant to be critical of sources of information. Who wrote the book? When? What were their aims? Why did they write it?

For the bible, none of this supporting information exists. Therefore, I cannot view it as a reliable source of information, especially considering that it has been edited, re-edited and changed for the benefit of whoever was in charge at the time.

Is the bible the Word of God? Who is in a position to say that it is?
Like Einstein said, religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame. Many of the Bible´s accounts are provable, but of course it is a collection of writings from a very long period of time. I don´t think a true spirituality comes from, in my opinion, authoritarian books like the Bible, but from self examination and stopping in the middle of everyday madness and rush and in turning the attention to little details. In silence our own voice begins to grow.
So yeah, I don´t think you need the Bible to become spiritual. I don´t think you need any books. And my opinion is that "God" has nothing to do with the Bible.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:29 pm
by browneyedgirl
Well, opinions are like assholes.....:)

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:53 pm
by miditek
NeonVomit wrote:When doing academic research, one is always meant to be critical of sources of information. Who wrote the book? When? What were their aims? Why did they write it?


The problem here is that you've probably never had religious classes of any sort, unless you had them in primary school, or otherwise, what could possibly be an alternative source for the rhetorical questions?

If you'd had secondary or undergraduate level training, you'd realize that the Bible was written at different times, and by many different authors, all of which were inspired by God, and to bring His message to His people. It's really that simple. Even a secular academic type would tell you that- that's what one could expect in the coursework, as well as what instructors would be looking for as answers on any exam.

There are also people that take classes such as this because they are compulsory- depending on where they go to school.

I'm not Catholic, but when my father sent me to a Catholic school, I had to take an hour of Catholicism every day, and I learned a lot more about the church itself than I thought I would, even though I did not agree with certain doctrines.

There are fully accredited universities that do award undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in theology and biblical studies. So if you want to discredit the Bible as a source that is used for academic research, then perhaps I should introduce you to a business associate that has a dual PhD in New Testament Studies as well as the Greek language itself.

Dr. D. Wilson is the men's ministry coordinator for a local counseling service (and a non-profit organization at that) a a client that I provide IT consulting services and support to.

Also, Dr. Irv Resnick, whom I had the pleasure of briefly speaking to at a conference on the Holocaust, is the chairman of Jewish studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, here in my city. We don't see people protesting and foaming at the mouth because of the courses that he teaches here. Unlike English, his courses are strictly optional, and typically are for divinities students or those that are considering seminary.

In fact, there are a huge number of people out there that would never have earned their degrees without having the Bible, the Torah, or the Talmud as a source of reference. There are entire universities here in the States for Christian as well as Rabbinical studies.

So before throwing the academic slant at Christians or Jews, try to realize that some of the best and brightest university graduates out there are believers.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:01 pm
by miditek
TimoTolkki wrote:Like Einstein said, religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame.


That's an interesting quote that I'm not sure I heard before. Einstein was also quoted as saying; "God doesn't play dice"

Also, is it mere coincidence that the Third Reich deported Einstein, and that Hitler had once said, "I have no need for Jewish psychics." Einstein went on to become instrumental in helping on the Manhattan Project much later.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:36 pm
by NeonVomit
miditek wrote: The problem here is that you've probably never had religious classes of any sort, unless you had them in primary school, or otherwise, what could possibly be an alternative source for the rhetorical questions?


I attended an evangelist church every Sunday until the age of 16. I also attended mandatory religious instruction classes in both primary and secondary school until that same age (yay for state religion).
If you'd had secondary or undergraduate level training, you'd realize that the Bible was written at different times, and by many different authors, all of which were inspired by God, and to bring His message to His people. It's really that simple. Even a secular academic type would tell you that- that's what one could expect in the coursework, as well as what instructors would be looking for as answers on any exam.


I am very aware that the bible was written by different people at different times, edited by different people at different times who had different ideas. I've studied it in quite a bit of detail, along with other religious texts. That is precisely why I do not find it a reliable source. Why else do you think there are entire courses of higher education study aimed at religious texts? (I am quite aware of these courses, I have friends who are currently studying those exact subjects at my university which has a strong tradition in those fields). It is because so many people put so much stock into that confused, tangled, twisted little book that does contain much wisdom, but also quite a lot of rubbish that is totally irrelevant in today's world and society. Now, deciding which is which is the problem...

Also, if God's message is to be channeled through the medium of (imperfect) man, then how can we rely on it? How can we expect radically different people at different points in history to produce coherent writing that show a common picture? Why is the vengeful God of the Old Testament who flooded the world and destroyed cities so different from the God in the New Testament if they're meant to be the same God? If the bible is meant to be a guide for modern living, then why does the book of Leviticus condemn homosexuality so verhemently and give very precise instructions on the treatment of slaves? Maybe you can understand why I don't see the bible as an answer-all for all of life's issues.
So before throwing the academic slant at Christians or Jews, try to realize that some of the best and brightest university graduates out there are believers.
Some of my lecturers are quite religious and I respect them immensely. My parents are very religious, are two of the most frighteningly intelligent people I've ever encountered and are both very well educated (both hold Master's degrees and my mum is working on a PhD). They are a bit disappointed that I do not share their views, but as well-educated people they are glad that I think for myself and come to my own conclusions. As I've stated before, I will not judge anyone on their religious beliefs. Religious extremists are, unfailingly, people with severe character flaws in my opinion.

Case in point, as Timo quoted, Einstein held strong beliefs, and was one of the greatest minds of modern times.

People who totally dismiss any idea of any sort of higher intelligence out of hand are themselves 'religious' in a way - they believe something for which there is no difinitive proof (i.e. the non-existance of a God). Agnosticim is therefore for me the most natural choice.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 3:47 pm
by TimoTolkki
miditek wrote:
TimoTolkki wrote:Like Einstein said, religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame.

Code: Select all

That's an interesting quote that I'm not sure I heard before. Einstein was also quoted as saying; [i]"God doesn't play dice" [/i]
I believe it was "God doesn´t play dice with Universe"
Einstein went on to become instrumental in helping on the Manhattan Project much later.
Something that he deeply regretted afterwards according to his memoirs.

Here is something else about Einstein´s personal beliefs:

In 1929, Einstein told Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

I think this is called Pantheism. Einstein saw God as "Nature".

Einstein defined his religious views in a letter he wrote in response to those who claimed that he worshipped a Judeo-Christian god: "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:34 pm
by miditek
TimoTolkki wrote:Like Einstein said, religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame.


Never heard that particular quote, but then again, you learn something new every day...
That's an interesting quote that I'm not sure I heard before. Einstein was also quoted as saying; "God doesn't play dice"
TimoTolkki wrote:I believe it was "God doesn´t play dice with Universe"


I think that the author of the book that I quoted that from, (Rick Warren's 'Purpose Driven Life')
may have truncated that quote, leaving off the 'with the Universe' part that you quoted. So you're probably right on that one.
Einstein went on to become instrumental in helping on the Manhattan Project much later.
TimoTolkki wrote:Something that he deeply regretted afterwards according to his memoirs.


I could see that- he probably felt responsible somehow for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
However, the Germans would have made far more destructive use of those weapons, if Einstein had stayed and if he had cooperated with the SS- I realize that both are pretty big "ifs".

However, it was Tojo, not Roosevelt, that launched the war, and refused to surrender, even when defeat was only a matter of time. Japan treated the Chinese, Vietnamese (then known as Indochina), and not to mention American POW's with great brutality. Dropping the bombs was President Truman's call, and I personally feel he made the right decision, although I am quite sure that he agonized over it.

If you look at what happened at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal, etc., an invasion of the Japanese home island would most likely have killed many more Japanese and Americans than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Even the incendiary raids over Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bombs did. Fortunately, we've buried the hatchet with Japan, and they seem to be doing rather well these days.
TimoTolkki wrote:Here is something else about Einstein´s personal beliefs:

In 1929, Einstein told Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

I think this is called Pantheism. Einstein saw God as "Nature".


Pantheism seems to be an accurate description here although my impression of the definition actually includes a Creator, but that creation is essentially an equal to the Creator. I don't have the biblical verse bookmarked, but Christian theologians often cite it to warn their believers about falling into the trap of worshiping creation itself, as opposed to the Creator. Have you studied theology before? You seem to be fairly well versed in many aspects of it.
TimoTolkki wrote:Einstein defined his religious views in a letter he wrote in response to those who claimed that he worshipped a Judeo-Christian god: "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
Well there we have it. Was this letter published from his memoirs, or perhaps a biography later on?
I was always under the impression that while he was not what I would call a practicing Jew, I'd always thought that Einstein was at least a nominal monotheist, so I guess I was wrong on that count.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:09 pm
by TimoTolkki
I could see that- he probably felt responsible somehow for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
However, the Germans would have made far more destructive use of those weapons, if Einstein had stayed and if he had cooperated with the SS- I realize that both are pretty big "ifs".
That is very true.
However, it was Tojo, not Roosevelt, that launched the war, and refused to surrender, even when defeat was only a matter of time. Japan treated the Chinese, Vietnamese (then known as Indochina), and not to mention American POW's with great brutality. Dropping the bombs was President Truman's call, and I personally feel he made the right decision, although I am quite sure that he agonized over it.
If you look at what happened at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal, etc., an invasion of the Japanese home island would most likely have killed many more Japanese and Americans than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


True as well. There are some speculations that the massive bombings of the Japanese cities (Tokyo became virtually nonexistent) already convinced the emperor to an unconditional surrender and that the bombs were dropped out of test reasons. I was in the war museum today and the original plan was to drop the Nagasaki bomb to Kyoto where I am now.
Have you studied theology before? You seem to be fairly well versed in many aspects of it.


Just on my own, and thought a lot.

Here are some other quotes from Einstein:

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once".

"Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

'In countries where conscription exists, the true pacifist must refuse military duty. In countries where compulsory military service does not exist, true pacifists must publicly declare that they will not take up arms in any circumstances.... The timid may say, "What's the use? We'll be sent to prison." To them I say: even if only two per cent announced their refusal to fight, governments would be powerless - they would not dare send such a huge number to prison.' Badges marked '2%' soon began to appear on young Americans' jacket lapels."

'When men are engaged in war and conquest,' said Einstein, 'the tools of science become as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a child.' The fate of mankind, he said, depends entirely on our sense of morality."

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

"You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time."

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind"

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:46 pm
by miditek
miditek wrote:The problem here is that you've probably never had religious classes of any sort, unless you had them in primary school, or otherwise, what could possibly be an alternative source for the rhetorical questions?

NeonVomit wrote:I attended an evangelist church every Sunday until the age of 16. I also attended mandatory religious instruction classes in both primary and secondary school until that same age (yay for state religion).


That's great! So at the very least, you do comprehend all of this stuff on an academic level, even if you don't subscribe to the God as a Deity thing, which is completely understandable. And all this time I thought that you were a completely Godless, atheistic infidel, that had never even opened a Bible or a Torah! :lol:

The people that irritate me the most are those that have no clue about Christian, Jewish, or Muslim theology, and then act as if they can speak with some sort of authoritative opinion in an attempt to debunk a concept that they have not a clue about!
If you'd had secondary or undergraduate level training, you'd realize that the Bible was written at different times, and by many different authors, all of which were inspired by God, and to bring His message to His people. It's really that simple. Even a secular academic type would tell you that- that's what one could expect in the coursework, as well as what instructors would be looking for as answers on any exam.

NeonVomit wrote:I am very aware that the bible was written by different people at different times, edited by different people at different times who had different ideas. I've studied it in quite a bit of detail, along with other religious texts. That is precisely why I do not find it a reliable source.


Hey, at least you've read and heard both sides of the story, as it were, before coming to your current decision. If that's how you choose to believe, then that is your privilege, and no one, not a minister, nor a rabbi, or an imam should tell you how or what to believe otherwise.
NeonVomit wrote:Why else do you think there are entire courses of higher education study aimed at religious texts?


My impression is that university level courses are there for those that are considering going to seminary, or to a related field, such as counseling, or even teaching. UGA (the University of Georgia) is now offering biblical classes as a secular academic elective, and the news story read that many university students that were not raised in a Christian or Jewish home feel "left out" because they never had any religious training while growing up, and really don't have the foggiest idea of what their non-secular friends are saying in everyday conversation.
NeonVomit wrote:(I am quite aware of these courses, I have friends who are currently studying those exact subjects at my university which has a strong tradition in those fields).
I am a bit confused here, but am sure that you can clarify this for me. Are your friends taking these classes as part of a secular on non-secular track?
For example, are some of them preparing for seminary, or do they just need extra electives to graduate?
NeonVomit wrote:It is because so many people put so much stock into that confused, tangled, twisted little book that does contain much wisdom, but also quite a lot of rubbish that is totally irrelevant in today's world and society. Now, deciding which is which is the problem...


Some of the greatest men in history put a great deal of faith in that book. Churchill and Roosevelt were indeed, "God-fearing men", while Hitler and Stalin (despite the latter's degree in theology from the University of Tiblisi) were not. Yet another coincidence?
NeonVomit wrote:Also, if God's message is to be channeled through the medium of (imperfect) man, then how can we rely on it? How can we expect radically different people at different points in history to produce coherent writing that show a common picture?


If you try to reconcile this via traditional scientific methods or other academic devices, the argument falls flat on it's face, and you'll end up driving yourself nuts thinking about it eventually.

However, let's assume that God is real, that He is omnipotent, and that he can utilize His power (the concept of Divine Providence, although the term is not mentioned specifically in the Bible), even through us frail and imperfect human beings to achieve His goals.

I think if you'll look back at the historical aspects of the Bible, you'll see that God used many misfits to get his point across. Noah had a drinking problem, for example. David committed the sins of adultery and murder. Solomon fell into idolatry. Ezekiel had moments where his faith foundered, as did Thomas. St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was a rabid Christian-hating and murderous member of the Sanhedrin, but he too changed on the road to Damascus.

In short, if you're looking to find the answers in the imperfections and eccentricities of the messengers, then you're missing the entire point (even from an academic standpoint). Focusing on God, accepting His authority, and acknowledging that His word as the ultimate and final say can and will open many doors to those that seek Him.

Essentially, using mortal concepts to explain the supernatural is a losing proposition. God has written that He will hide the truth from the unbeliever, and that any attempts to pigeonhole Him will fail. It is impossible to understand any of this without first knowing God.
NeonVomit wrote:Why is the vengeful God of the Old Testament who flooded the world and destroyed cities so different from the God in the New Testament if they're meant to be the same God?


Oh, God calmed down somewhat in the NT, after His heart was broken during the Crucifixion, there is no doubt about that. However, if you'll pay close attention to certain passages in Matthew, as well as the entire Book of Revelation, I think that God is saving the real punishment (to be applied on a global, rather than national or regional basis) for the time of tribulation, Armageddon, and Judgment Day itself.
NeonVomit wrote:If the bible is meant to be a guide for modern living, then why does the book of Leviticus condemn homosexuality so vehemently and give very precise instructions on the treatment of slaves?


Leviticus is not the only book that speaks out against homosexuality as an abomination. The book of Romans also contains admonitions from Paul regarding this type of behavior. My opinion is that God's law and His word do not change based upon current trends and fads in society.

We have the choice to engage or not engage in this type of activity. In the age of AIDS, one does have to wonder what anyone is thinking by engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior, whether or not it is homosexual or heterosexual.

Regarding slavery, it amazes me that people want to complain about the slavery of the past, while giving little or no attention to the slavery of the present.

World: Americas US sex slave ring smashed

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/426514.stm

and there are other instances of this very vile practice going on in Eastern Europe, Turkey, and even with children staffing the brothels in SE Asia. Why complain about ancient biblical interpretations of how ancient slaves should have been treated when lives and souls are being utterly destroyed at this very moment? Slavery is indeed alive and well in this world.
NeonVomit wrote: Maybe you can understand why I don't see the bible as an answer-all for all of life's issues.


Of course I can understand, and even empathize with you on this. The Bible itself is a great roadmap to how we are supposed to live, but guess what? Take God out of the equation and out of your life, and a stack of Bibles in fifty different languages won't do a person a bit of good! Any serious Christian will tell you that only a personal relationship with God will allow anyone to truly understand any of this stuff!
So before throwing the academic slant at Christians or Jews, try to realize that some of the best and brightest university graduates out there are believers.
NeonVomit wrote:Some of my lecturers are quite religious and I respect them immensely. My parents are very religious, are two of the most frighteningly intelligent people I've ever encountered and are both very well educated (both hold Master's degrees and my mum is working on a PhD).


That's great! It's good to see that you have a mix of both secular and religious people that you admire, and I think that having both types of people in your life is a very healthy thing to have. It is also good that you seem to be close to your parents. Many people are not, but the worst case is for a child to have parents that are not good/not bad, but indifferent. To me, that's the worst.
NeonVomit wrote:They are a bit disappointed that I do not share their views, but as well-educated people they are glad that I think for myself and come to my own conclusions. As I've stated before, I will not judge anyone on their religious beliefs. Religious extremists are, unfailingly, people with severe character flaws in my opinion.


Well, I think that the important thing is that your parents and you do function as a family unit, that they love you and support you, and that they have encouraged you to think for yourself.

I have a Catholic friend that is married to a Jewish girl, and they have three kids, which presents an obvious dilemma. Their solution is that the kids go to Temple on Saturday, and to Mass on Sunday, and once they reach the age of accountability, they will be allowed to make a choice on religion. Mom will not get angry if the son chooses to be Catholic, and Dad will not be angry if the girls choose to be Jewish. By the way, all of the kids have already had their Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitvahs, and are probably still not closer to a decision one way or the other, as of this writing.

Regarding extremists, there are religious extremists, such as al-Sadr, and there are secular extremists, such as Stalin and Hitler. My question is, aren't the victims of one or the other just as dead? Did one suffer more than the other due to a presence of or a lack of religion?

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:29 pm
by TimoTolkki
I challenge all of you who thinks that Bible is mostly an authoritarian, nonsense book and meant to "keep people in the line with fear" to read the following modern day "Bibles" that not only explain the universe, but give far more merciful view of humanity and our place in the Universe. You won´t find Armageddons or punishments or original sins in there, but a loving Universal Intelligence that has no dogmas. It is time we move ahead in the evolution in spirituality and thank "God" it´s happening too. More and more people resign from the church and start making true, personal relationships with the Source and forget all the "liturgies" and "rules".

I can really highly recommend:

Neal Donald Walsch: Conversations with God I-III
Dan Millman: No ordinary moments
M Scott Peck: Road Less Travelled

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:26 am
by NeonVomit
miditek wrote:I can't be bothered to requote anymore
As I've said before, I don't talk about stuff without knowing about them beforehand. I think you'll find most extremists do not actually know that much about their own religion. In fact, many blindly religious people I have met (i.e. unlike my parents who made informed decisions on their paths) do not actually know much about the bible or indeed their own faith, which is kind of funny and sad at the same time.

The university situation here works a bit differntly than it does in America. My friends are doing a BA in Theology and Religious Studies. So you take it as it is presented, the lecturers include a Catholic priest, a rabbi, an imam and non-aligned scholars along with a lot of study of oriental religions. As the course progresses, you choose your modules to focus more on what you would like to learn, or keep it general. One of my friends wants to become a religious instruction teacher at a school, the other wants to learn more about the universe and himself (he's waaaay out there, dude 8) )

It works in the same way my music course worked: I started off with a general grounding in harmony, history, performance, analytical studies and music technology amongst other things such as orchestral studies. I took a more musicological and orchestrally-based path than a performance based one. Anyway it's all a bit complicated and I can't be bothered to think very much at this strange hour of the night.

Anyway. At least you can see where I'm coming from now! I dislike ignorance and intolerance. I am also very much for learning as much as you can about people who see things differently and believe different things. So for me to critisize religion in general without actually knowing anything about it would be... weak.

As for Hitler and Stalin, sure they were 'secular' dictators. Secular dictators who built their own 'religions' around themselves, those of National Socialism and Communism, and both were portrayed as 'gods' within those 'religions'. How secular were they really if they had godlike-status and their own cults of personality? Wasn't Christianity/Islam/whatever simply replaced with something else in those cases?

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:31 am
by NeonVomit
TimoTolkki wrote:I challenge all of you who thinks that Bible is mostly an authoritarian, nonsense book and meant to "keep people in the line with fear" to read the following modern day "Bibles" that not only explain the universe, but give far more merciful view of humanity and our place in the Universe. You won´t find Armageddons or punishments or original sins in there, but a loving Universal Intelligence that has no dogmas. It is time we move ahead in the evolution in spirituality and thank "God" it´s happening too. More and more people resign from the church and start making true, personal relationships with the Source and forget all the "liturgies" and "rules".

I can really highly recommend:

Neal Donald Walsch: Conversations with God I-III
Dan Millman: No ordinary moments
M Scott Peck: Road Less Travelled
I've read M Scott Peck's book and I agree, it is a very enlightening piece of writing, some bits were a bit hard for me to understand as Peck writes from quite a psychiatrical perspective and a few things went over my head but I followed it better than I thought I would. However I did read it about 4 years ago, perhaps I should dig it out and go over it again now...

And I've always believed religion should be a very private, personal matter which is why organised religions aren't something I've ever been overly fond of.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:17 am
by TimoTolkki
I've read M Scott Peck's book and I agree, it is a very enlightening piece of writing, some bits were a bit hard for me to understand as Peck writes from quite a psychiatrical perspective and a few things went over my head but I followed it better than I thought I would. However I did read it about 4 years ago, perhaps I should dig it out and go over it again now...
Yeah, it is a bit hard. He was a psychiatrist (died last year), but RLT has
interesting case histories that show the complexity of human system.
Peck was a Christian btw and luckily for me, only at the end of his book
he goes on his "Christianity trip", which didnt bother me actually, since the rest of the book is so great and I have read a lot of Christian books and I also agree that Christianity has many great great values.
And I've always believed religion should be a very private, personal matter which is why organised religions aren't something I've ever been overly fond of.
I think it very much is. One of the most private ones. That´s why dislike those who sell their beliefs and think they hold the absolute truth about everything.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:35 am
by miditek
If you look at what happened at Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal, etc., an invasion of the Japanese home island would most likely have killed many more Japanese and Americans than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

TimoTolkki wrote:True as well. There are some speculations that the massive bombings of the Japanese cities (Tokyo became virtually nonexistent) already convinced the emperor to an unconditional surrender and that the bombs were dropped out of test reasons.


Testing the weapon militarily over an open city is one theory that I don't recall hearing or reading about previously. Another theory that comes to mind is that it was meant to be a not so subtle political signal to Stalin as well.

Regarding Tokyo being essentially non-existent, that is quite true. From the US strategic viewpoint, this was an example of the law of diminishing returns, as bombs eventually ceased to fall on buildings, and into craters and debris.
TimoTolkki wrote:I was in the war museum today and the original plan was to drop the Nagasaki bomb to Kyoto where I am now.


Were the exhibits you saw interesting? I'm quite sure that it is a fascinating, although possibly somber, place. Also, I was not aware that Kyoto was the original target. I'm wondering, did the exhibits elaborate on the reasoning behind the change of targeted cities?
Have you studied theology before? You seem to be fairly well versed in many aspects of it.

TimoTolkki wrote:Just on my own, and thought a lot.


The references you'd made to Constantine almost led me to believe that you were (culturally speaking) Russian Orthodox! :lol:
TimoTolkki wrote:Here are some other quotes from Einstein:


I liked Einstein a great deal, and there is certainly some wisdom in his words, even if I don't agree with some of his opinions. He had an incredible intellect, and an off-beat personality.

Here's a quote from Churchill's memoirs that I've always enjoyed:

Churchill, of course, was dismissed as Prime Minister shortly after V-E Day. He was grumbling about this to his wife when;

Clementine Churchill: "Darling, just look at this as being a blessing in disguise!"

Winston Churchill: "If this is a blessing, then it is indeed most thoroughly disguised!"

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:42 am
by Jaakko
Timo, about challenging people... I really need a serious kick on the butt for creativity, how about we all have a lil challenge: writing an actual book with some seriously considerable points backed up by proven data instead of this pretty fruitless online babble... and the one to release such a book first gets to buy a dinner for everyone else (if the book sells and there's some royalties to share for humanity's sake).

Seriously Timo, you said something about possibly writing a book (autobiography or something like that) some years ago, many of us would probably really like to read that, instead of these sometimes a bit meandering and baseless opinions you shoot out here every couple years. I'm sure those books you recommend are really great, but challenging all us people to read them to get your point is like trying to convince die-hard christians to read some Darwin. It just ain't gonna happen. We're all conditioned in that sense, arguing with us is useless and you know that, since many years ago. You got your life sorted out, and you know the best thing you can do about the internet communities is to stay out of them. No offense, but you are sometimes way too sensitive about totally randomly said things. I can't tell you to take it easy, you take it your way. So don't take it at all, isn't that pretty much the only option for YOUR peace of mind man?

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 7:15 am
by TimoTolkki
instead of this pretty fruitless online babble...
Then why do you read this "fruitless online babble"?
I quite enjoy this and there are many very sharp minds here with
different viewpoints and as long as it remains civilized, we all can maybe
learn something out of it.
Seriously Timo, you said something about possibly writing a book (autobiography or something like that) some years ago, many of us would probably really like to read that, instead of these sometimes a bit meandering and baseless opinions you shoot out here every couple years.
That possible book would most likely be full of "meandering and baseless opinions", or as you call them.
I'm sure those books you recommend are really great, but challenging all us people to read them to get your point is like trying to convince die-hard christians to read some Darwin. It just ain't gonna happen.
I´m not trying to convince anything about anything. I´m simply writing my opinions in an internet forum, just like everybody else here.
We're all conditioned in that sense, arguing with us is useless and you know that, since many years ago.
I am always careful with sentences that start with "we" or include "us".
There are many minds here that are not conditioned at all.
You got your life sorted out, and you know the best thing you can do about the internet communities is to stay out of them. No offense, but you are sometimes way too sensitive about totally randomly said things. I can't tell you to take it easy, you take it your way. So don't take it at all, isn't that pretty much the only option for YOUR peace of mind man?
This is maybe 4th or 5th time you are writing the same thing. It is very interesting suggestion to "stay out from internet communities" and what
lies behind that. There is a definitive undertone of being pissed off about both me being here and about the things I write.
So if metaphysical "babblings" and the like don´t interest you or make you pissed off, why don´t you stay out from internet communities?? I guess that´s healthy for you in that case.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:00 am
by Jaakko
I'm not pissed off thank you very much, and for most of the time I, like you, stay out of this place. I have some other forums I go to, where the discussion is mostly technical and about stuff that can be mathematically proven, thus cannot be misunderstood. I'm only here because through this forum I've met some very interesting people and somehow I still keep the door open for old time's sake. But let's keep it at that, I have nothing more to say about this subject, peace be with you.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:06 am
by TimoTolkki
Jaakko wrote:I'm not pissed off thank you very much, and for most of the time I, like you, stay out of this place. I have some other forums I go to, where the discussion is mostly technical and about stuff that can be mathematically proven, thus cannot be misunderstood. I'm only here because through this forum I've met some very interesting people and somehow I still keep the door open for old time's sake. But let's keep it at that, I have nothing more to say about this subject, peace be with you.
Peace be with you too. About spiritual things, all I can say that the existence of higher force cannot be proven the way many other things can be proven.
And certainly not with mathematics, although some scientists say that "God must be a mathematician". I believe in freedom to choose what you see is best for yourself. I´m not saying that everybody should be "spiritual" and I´m certainly not all the time sitting in the corner in lotus position. But I am actively participating to discussions and mainly through my music I try to influence people towards what I think is better world.
I wish you well in everything you do.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:13 am
by Jaakko
Shit. I said I'm not gonna participate to this discussion anymore, but I do have to say one thing: spirituality, unity within all existence, genuine love for the one and only entity we all and this whole world is... I don't need that explained to me, I feel it every day. We may give it different names, some call it God, I can't name it, it's everything. The nature itself which I'm just a cell of just like you and everyone else. A human ego is just a product of that, one experiment in long chain of mostly failed experiments to build and maintain balance within that unity. We don't really disagree on anything, we just have very different approaches to the idea (one of us sees a problem, other one sees a seed of progress).

You ever read Hegel? His ideas are pretty hilarious, but deep down inside, I am totally positive about change, progress and the direction everything we are and do is leading to, and that's where I have to say Hegel was probably pretty much on the right track. I don't know if it's gonna take 100, 1000, 10 000 or a million fucking years but some day this kind of arguments will indeed be laughed at. People will understand and we're building the road for them right now.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:22 am
by JensJohansson
TimoTolkki wrote:I was in the war museum today and the original plan was to drop the Nagasaki bomb to Kyoto where I am now.
Kyoto is fortunate,
fortunate and full of palaces,
winged roofs,
stairs like musical scales.
Aged but flirtatious,
stony but alive,
wooden,
but growing from sky to earth,
Kyoto is a city
whose beauty moves you to tears.

I mean the real tears
of a certain gentleman,
a connoisseur, lover of antiquities,
who at a key moment
from behind a green table,
exclaimed that after all
there are so many inferior cities
and burst out sobbing
in his seat.

That’s how Kyoto, far lovelier
than Hiroshima, was saved.

But this is ancient history.
I can’t dwell on it forever
or keep asking endlessly,
what’s next, what’s next.

Day to day I trust in permanence,
in history’s prospects.
How can I sink my teeth into apples
in a constant state of terror.

Now and then I hear about some Prometheus
wearing his fire helmet,
enjoying his grandkids.

While writing these lines
I wonder
what in them will come to sound
ridiculous and when.

Fear strikes me
only at times.
On the road.
In a strange city.

With garden-variety brick walls,
a tower, old and ordinary,
stucco peeling under slapdash moldings,
cracker-box housing projects,
nothing,
a helpless little tree.

What would he do here,
that tenderhearted gentleman,
the connoisseur, lover of antiquities.

Plaster god, have mercy on him.
Heave a sigh, oh classic,
from the depths of your mass-produced bust.

Only now and then,
in a city, one of many.
In a hotel room
overlooking the gutter
with a cat howling like a baby
under the stars.

In a city with lots of people,
many more than you’ll find painted
on jugs, cups, saucers, and silk screens.

In a city about which I know
this one thing:
it’s not Kyoto,
not Kyoto for sure.

-Wieslawa Szymborska

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:25 pm
by NeonVomit
TimoTolkki wrote: I quite enjoy this and there are many very sharp minds here with
different viewpoints and as long as it remains civilized, we all can maybe
learn something out of it.
What can I say, you have intelligent fans :lol: :D 'Listen to Stratovarius and you'll become smarter' :lol:

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:59 pm
by miditek
NeonVomit wrote:As for Hitler and Stalin, sure they were 'secular' dictators. Secular dictators who built their own 'religions' around themselves, those of National Socialism and Communism, and both were portrayed as 'gods' within those 'religions'. How secular were they really if they had godlike-status and their own cults of personality? Wasn't Christianity/Islam/whatever simply replaced with something else in those cases?
I can understand where you might refer to National Socialism and Communism as being a type of religion, although I considered both to essentially be political cults. I think that your description of both systems as being a replacement for religion as being a bit more accurate.

The Nazis and the Communists, with all the vast and nefarious mechanisms of the prototypical modern police state, did their best to stamp out religion altogether, as they considered it to be in direct conflict with their ideology, and as such, a threat to their grip on power.

Now as far as Islam is concerned, you have a totally different machine altogether. We are now seeing the rise of totalitarian theocratic states that do not consider religion (or their own brand of it, at least) to be the enemy, but as a means to not only achieve power, but also to expand upon it.

The mullahs are clever enough to have figured out that they could never stamp out religion altogether, so now they have twisted and distorted it to suit their own ends. And by this, I certainly don't mean Islam, but what has been twisted is the original tenets of Judaism and Christianity into a genocidal and warped world view that has been "rebranded", so to speak, as Islam, and what we're seeing now is really not that different than the old "Der Wurlt Juden" stuff that was coming from Dr. Goebbels about 65-70 years ago.

While the common thread here may be the hatred of Israel, in the end, their hatred of the Jews, while taking on a religious overtone, is simply recycled and repackaged Nazi propaganda since the first rule of maintaining a totalitarian regime is that the state always needs an enemy to justify its excesses against the masses. While the Jews provide a very traditional and convenient scapegoat, Christians and Islamic apostates (or essentially everyone else in the Middle East that are not Jews or Christians that happen to disagree with the mullahs), are also being included in the ongoing dragnets.

Just last week in Lebanon the al-Fatah Islam commander was reported by the Telegraph UK to have said that his group is ready to "blow up every place in Lebanon." That fight is between the Lebanese army (and thus, in my opinion, the Lebanese people) and Fatah al-Islam, and has very little to do with Israel in the direct sense.

My point is that if you take classic Hitlerian totalitarianism and then mix it with radical Islam, then you have an unprecedentedly volatile mix (along with the threat of these states having nuclear weapons) that threatens to consume the entire world.
If we begin to see suicide bombers dragging around suitcase nukes (of the 1.0 KT variety), then the show's over.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:07 pm
by vanustrato
Ok ok..
you have very interesting opinions but I don't see progress here.

So in my opinion God exist..he Always was here and he is the point of the existence of everything, now I can introduce the science, together we can find many answers...

So we can find to God inside us...very inside...is not a bad idea to do a travel inside us, for this is a good idea meditation etc...

Is my summary about all this :D

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:31 pm
by miditek
TimoTolkki wrote:I can really highly recommend:

Neal Donald Walsch: Conversations with God I-III
Dan Millman: No ordinary moments
M Scott Peck: Road Less Traveled
I read Peck's "Road" when I was in my mid-twenties, which almost seems like a lifetime ago now. He was a undoubtedly a great writer, and most likely a brilliant physician. Also read his follow-up, the lesser known, but still good "People of the Lie".

Here's a book recommendation for anyone that may be interested:

C.S. Lewis- "The Screwtape Letters" (fiction)

"It is funny how mortals always picture us (demons) as putting things into their minds: when in reality, our best work is done by keeping things out." - 'Screwtape', in a letter to his nephew 'Wormwood'

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:21 pm
by Carcass
What's the definition of spiritual? I never figured that out. Someone who rejects materialism? Who thinks independently? Doesn't listen to authorities? Doesn't drive a car? Beats me... guess there are as many definitions as there are spiritual people.

I used to think it's the same as being religious, but then I met this guy who's boyfriend was not religious, but spiritual. When I asked what that means, he couldn't answer. :? They were by the way from Maryland, bless them.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:27 pm
by Carcass
miditek wrote:The mullahs are clever enough to have figured out that they could never stamp out religion altogether, so now they have twisted and distorted it to suit their own ends. And by this, I certainly don't mean Islam, but what has been twisted is the original tenets of Judaism and Christianity into a genocidal and warped world view that has been "rebranded", so to speak, as Islam, and what we're seeing now is really not that different than the old "Der Wurlt Juden" stuff that was coming from Dr. Goebbels about 65-70 years ago.
Ouch! Did I get you right, are you saying that Islam is a twisted and racist form of Christianity and Judaism? That Islam is just one form of Fascism? My goodness...

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:18 am
by miditek
Carcass wrote:
miditek wrote:The mullahs are clever enough to have figured out that they could never stamp out religion altogether, so now they have twisted and distorted it to suit their own ends. And by this, I certainly don't mean Islam, but what has been twisted is the original tenets of Judaism and Christianity into a genocidal and warped world view that has been "rebranded", so to speak, as Islam, and what we're seeing now is really not that different than the old "Der Wurlt Juden" stuff that was coming from Dr. Goebbels about 65-70 years ago.
Ouch! Did I get you right, are you saying that Islam is a twisted and racist form of Christianity and Judaism? That Islam is just one form of Fascism? My goodness...
If you've ever studied Islam, you'll see that there are a lot of similarities to it, and to both Judaism as well as Christianity. The (Jewish) columnist Thomas Friedman, who has spent a great deal of time in the Middle East, once used a software release metaphor to describe how his Arab friends viewed the world's three major monotheistic religions:

Judaism = God 1.0
Christianity = God 2.0
Islam = God 3.0

and that Islam was the only true and perfect religion , and that the newest "release" makes the other two versions obsolete.

The Muslims believe in Jesus (Isa in Arabic), but believe that he was a prophet, and do not accept him as Diety. With that, I have no problem, and they can believe as they wish. However, let's dig just a little deeper beneath the surface of Islam, and we'll start with Sharia- which is the Islamic legal system.

The Muslims believe that King David did exist, but that he was a prophet, and not the King of Israel. In fact every single major biblical character is listed in the Koran, but with their Arabic name (not a big deal there), and then completely changing their MO (Modus Operandi).

Homosexuality is punishable by death. (Yes, I know that you're going to say that both Christianity specifies the same penalty, but due to the New Covenant, we prefer to let God handle this issue. Christians do not execute homosexuals.)

Stealing is punishable by amputation. This is practiced in many parts of the world. The only reason why this practice is not condemned by other countries is ostensibly due to the fact that amputations are not permitted as a punishment in the US legal system.

Adultery and/or fornication is punishable by death via stoning and/or, by hanging. A girl can be raped, and can still be sentenced to death.

Would you allow your sister to be circumcised? If you lived in Egypt, then chances are there would be little choice.

Sharia is essentially descended from Mosaic Law, and the penalties are still practiced in many countries today. One reason why Christians do not practice this penalty is due to Christ's command to forgive, although this does not provide absolution or atonement for the sins, as only Christ through God can do that. Christians are still expected to obey civil laws, and the secular penalties for the crimes of murder, theft, etc., apply to them as well.

Some of these crimes violate God's laws, but may not violate civil laws, such as the sin of adultery. Christians believe that practitioners of adultery- people that make it a lifestyle without remorse will pay on Judgement Day, while the nearest imam or mullah would command (and get!) both parties to be stoned or hanged.

Q. Would you like to see your sister mutilated via
female circumcision?

Q. Would you like to be beaten by the religious
police for having a Leo DiCaprio style hairdo?

Q. Would you like to be beaten by the religious
police for consuming alcohol or having your
piety questioned due to the length of (or a
lack of) your beard?

So for a primer course in Sharia, here's a wiki link that will explain this and a lot more for you.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Sharia is really only a sideshow though up to all of the other problems. The mullahs continuously stir up hatred towards Israel, and thus deflect where the real criticism should be going for stagnant economies, lack of human rights, lack of progress, and a whole host of other social ills.

Meanwhile, as they are awash in oil revenues, the Mullahs seek to arm every major terrorist group in the world, and have launched attacks in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Africa against innocent people- Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Ahmandinejad's "fiery" (as the media loves to say, and is the only adjective that seems to come to their minds when describing his speeches) speeches sound as if they were almost pulled out of the Nuremberg rallies themselves.

If Iran is actually not a fascist theocracy, please feel free to add any description that you like to this discussion. @NeonVomit has posted many times about his experiences living in Saudi Arabia, which in turn, is a country that I would describe as a fascist monarchical theocracy. Or in other words, it's not the good old USA where you can essentially say or do anything that you like, within the bounds of the law.

So if you want to play apologist for the mullahs, then I'm all ears if you wish to post your arguments in their defense, and I'll certainly be glad to examine them, and I certainly won't attack you if I disagree with your assessment. In fact, I'm quite sure that it will make for an interesting read.

At the end of the day, all three religions are very, very, similar in concept, but the doctrinal sleights of hand by the Mullahs have indeed twisted God's original words, and the end result, imo, is really little more than thinly disguised Satan worship.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 2:47 am
by NeonVomit
miditek wrote: So if you want to play apologist for the mullahs, then I'm all ears if you wish to post your arguments in their defense, and I'll certainly be glad to examine them, and I certainly won't attack you if I disagree with your assessment.
But that's the thing, you seem to see anyone who doesn't share your views as an apologist for radical Islam. The whole 'you're with us or against us' mindset is terribly flawed.

Re: IRAN'S Nuclear Capability

Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 3:54 am
by TimoTolkki
NeonVomit wrote:
miditek wrote: So if you want to play apologist for the mullahs, then I'm all ears if you wish to post your arguments in their defense, and I'll certainly be glad to examine them, and I certainly won't attack you if I disagree with your assessment.
But that's the thing, you seem to see anyone who doesn't share your views as an apologist for radical Islam. The whole 'you're with us or against us' mindset is terribly flawed.
I don´t think that all those radical things Miditek described are really being practiced in a modern Islam. That evolves too. I have also a bit of a problem with his "Israel has enough firepower to blow the entire ..etc" mentality. I don´t know exactly where his hatred for Islam comes from, but I hope it´s not "support our troops" type.
I think that most Islamic people are as peace loving as most people are.
Extreme Christians, or extreme whatever ideologists are as easy to manipulate than Muslims.
The fact is that there are 1,4 Billion Muslims in the world and if we want to achieve any kind of peace with them, then there must be compromises, also from the American side. It´s pretty easy to see that the so called nonsensical "war against terrorism" is not what it seems. Most superpowers want to spread their influence at all costs. USA is doing so, The Russians are doing so, everybody is doing so. All this nonsense for what? USA is paying heavy price at the moment in Iraq for a supposed cause of "free the Iraqi people and establish democracy". You cannot establish democracy by force, that´s for sure.
I am still saying that our only hope is to establish a council, this is what Einstein saw as the only possibility knowing the collective destructiveness of the human race, that has enough power to control the situation and is not corrupted. That thought is of course, utopistic. But in my opinion, USA should still face the consequences from the international community of invading Iraq without the mandate from UN and without proof of weapons of mass destruction or alleged links to Al Qaeda. That was a blatant violation of international laws and can in my opinion be compared to Nazi regime as well, that saw its right to invade any country without any reason other than "lebensraum".