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Thread: Miss California

  1. #31
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    This concludes today's lecture on Judaism.
    More!

  2. #32
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    This concludes today's lecture on Judaism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    More!
    I agree

    I find it really interesting to hear about different religions. I wonder how people (and young people at that!) can know so much when it seemingly requires an encyclopeadic knowledge of a vast quantity of texts! It would be like studying full time for a degree in addition to everythig else you have to do!

    Ant

  3. #33
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I find it really interesting to hear about different religions. I wonder how people (and young people at that!) can know so much when it seemingly requires an encyclopeadic knowledge of a vast quantity of texts! It would be like studying full time for a degree in addition to everythig else you have to do!
    Well, I for one am Jewish, so it's not like I had to look anything up. But I knew Ptichka would do a better job explaining than I could.

  4. #34
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I just find it quite fascinating (growing up in an atheist society, I am learning about my religious heritage as I go along). In truth, all the rules, especially the ones from the Leviticus and Deuteronomy, are quite obscure to say the least! However, I believe that in their totality they teach us something essential - that in a civilized society there are laws that govern how we have to behave to one another, and that we all, from illegal immigrant up through the president, have to live by it.

    At the same time, it is quite amazing how many rules are still relevant. For example, my friends and I were recently discussing a potential moral dilemma. Say a friend asks you to keep some money for him, and you get robbed. Do you have to reimburse your friend? Well, apparently Judaism has answered this question centuries ago - yes if you received anything for keeping the money, no if you did it for nothing

  5. #35
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I think it's easier to know so much about your religion when you either grow up with it... but most religions also encourage daily meditation and study... so yeah... it's not that hard... and they have degrees for them too

  6. #36
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I think it's easier to know so much about your religion when you either grow up with it... but most religions also encourage daily meditation and study... so yeah... it's not that hard... and they have degrees for them too
    Yeah, the whole daily study and meditation part I never got. E.g. if someone is like really Christian - helping others is a priority, right? So when I had all those lessons before my confirmation, that was 2 hours a week over 2 years + an exam - I always thought that it was an immense waste of time. I totally rocked those lessons and the exam, but what good did it do? Why not let the kids work those two hours a week in a senior citizen's home, an orphange, with disadvantaged youth or anything like that? They learn a lot more about life then, and if they want, about God and Jesus.

    What good does it do for the World, for other people if you study the Bible / Koran / Thora like an hour a day - but don't do anything selfless or helpful? And some of those oh-so-believing Christians / Muslims start spewing nonsense around, about "real" marriage, and God's laws etc. Take the Pope, a highly intelligent man, fluent in Latin, good pianist, spent his entire life learning and reading about Jesus and God - and what does he these days? Says that there shouldn't be any condoms distributed in Africa. Hurray! What a freaking waste of time, energy and resources. And all those evangelical organisations in the US, in other countries, waste all that money and energy on stupid campaigns that protest something that actually would never affect them.

    Even if I did think that I have a problem with stuff like gay marriage (which I don't), as a good Christian (which I am not) wouldn't it be better to make a priority list, like:
    1. End all wars
    2. Cure all diseases
    3. Help all the orphaned children
    4. End domestic violence
    5. Help disadvantaged people all over the world
    6. Save the environment
    4783. Develop floors with an ecological automatical cleaning device, so vacuuming will be outdated
    11985. Try to rebreed Dinosaurs (creatures of god, after all)
    19873689906. Get gay marriage banned


    What I would like to see from lots of religious people in the world: read the important parts of your scriptures, and not some outdated footnote and stick to the basic rules, like altruism. Less talk - more meaningful altruistic action.
    Last edited by Medusa; 05-01-2009 at 10:49 AM.

  7. #37
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I have never thought that the state belonged in the marriage business at all, but since it has chosen to do so, the distinctions are not meaningless.

    Favoring marriage is embedded in the tax code, not to mention a huge number of other statutes.

    For example, some companies extend health coverage to spouses of employees, but not to significant others of employees. If gay marriage is enacted, those spouses who were previously not coverd would have health insurance.

    So gay marriage is not just about love, or a piece of paper. It's about money, and the law.

  8. #38
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Medusa - I think you're advocating an almost medieval approach to religion. Commoners were not suppose to understand the word of G-d, but to blindly follow the directives they got from the clergy. In fact, it was considered dangerous to allow commoners to read Bible for themselves (Judaism is different in that all males are obliged to read the Torah).

    Study and meditation provide a path to enlightenment. Meditation provides us with a way to examine ourselves, be honest with ourselves about ourselves. Study allows us to internalize the morals of the religion. In theory, the person who engages in both those pursuits will have internalized inherent morality and act accordingly, whereas someone without that benefit would only perform good acts out of fear of retribution in this world or the next.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Doris - if both heterosexual and homosexual couples formed "civil unions" as opposed to "marriages", than the difference between the two would indeed become meaningless. While I agree that in a perfect world there would be no need for legally-defined marriages (however you want to call them), I wouldn't advocate it just yet in our society. The truth is that there have been numerous studies showing how marriages benefit society; it appears that people (especially men) indeed start acting more responsibly with that piece of paper.

  9. #39
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    Medusa - I think you're advocating an almost medieval approach to religion. Commoners were not suppose to understand the word of G-d, but to blindly follow the directives they got from the clergy. In fact, it was considered dangerous to allow commoners to read Bible for themselves (Judaism is different in that all males are obliged to read the Torah).

    Study and meditation provide a path to enlightenment. Meditation provides us with a way to examine ourselves, be honest with ourselves about ourselves. Study allows us to internalize the morals of the religion. In theory, the person who engages in both those pursuits will have internalized inherent morality and act accordingly, whereas someone without that benefit would only perform good acts out of fear of retribution in this world or the next.
    I only understood about half of that. But I don't think that people should perform good out of fear of retribution, but out of compassion, out of empathy. But do I need to study the Bible / Thora / Koran to incorporate that into my life? I think it's something everyone who grew up in a not too poor and loving environment has: compassion, love, empathy, sense of honesty, sense of justice. Nobody should be compassionate or helpful because the Bible / Thora or the clergy says so (the clergy never really did that by the way, e.g. the crusades...). It is human nature.

  10. #40
    Custom Title DragonPhoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    But I don't think that people should perform good out of fear of retribution, but out of compassion, out of empathy.

    Nobody should be compassionate or helpful because the Bible / Thora or the clergy says so (the clergy never really did that by the way, e.g. the crusades...).
    Completely agree. People should be compassionate or helpful because they want to be compassionate or helpful, not because they are told to.
    Last edited by DragonPhoenix; 05-01-2009 at 02:08 PM.

  11. #41
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    Doris - if both heterosexual and homosexual couples formed "civil unions" as opposed to "marriages", than the difference between the two would indeed become meaningless. .
    Yes, exactly.

    I don't think this business of having gays getting lesser advantages and services is right. Either gay marriage or the government out of the marriage business satisfies a need for equality for all.

    Relgious marriages can meet the 'keep the guys from straying' needs. I would think that having God involved would be more sobering than the justice of the peace in any case. Do you know whether any studies have shown whether religious marriages are more effective than civil in the straying department. If they are the same, is it the threat of the financial debacle of a divorce that is the actual deterrent?

  12. #42
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    The topic was supposed to be about Miss California.

    It's irrelevant what you or I think about gay marriage. The truth is that a majority of Californians voted not to allow gay marriage right now. That means that Miss California's position wasn't radical or unusual. On the contrary, it represents the MAJORITY OPINION. Her answer was also phrased nicely so as not to offend people. For her political beliefs to make her lose the competition, or even to affect the results, is not only disgusting but essentially a criminal act. She has been discriminated against for her beliefs, that is unconstitutional. And I guarantee you that if there were some kind of situation where someone was FOR gay marriage, and THAT made them lose the competition or hinder their chance, you'd have mobs of angry screaming protesters in the streets.

    In conclusion:
    - The panel was terminally stupid for even asking that question
    - Any judge swayed by some beauty pageant contestant's opposing political beliefs should be permanently banned from judging
    - Perez Hilton should crawl back until the slimy rock he came from

    and lastly:

    - Pageants are stupid.

  13. #43
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    At the same time, it is quite amazing how many rules are still relevant. For example, my friends and I were recently discussing a potential moral dilemma. Say a friend asks you to keep some money for him, and you get robbed. Do you have to reimburse your friend? Well, apparently Judaism has answered this question centuries ago - yes if you received anything for keeping the money, no if you did it for nothing
    Do you agree with this answer? Does the "something" that you received for keeping the money have to have monetary worth? Could it be along the lines of "your friend's trust" instead?

    Do the same conditions apply if one of the parties is a bank rather than of an individual?

    Would it be regarded as extra-virtuous if the person who was robbed decided that, even though the law does not require it, I want to give you your money back out of my own pocket?

    (I am sure the Talmud has considered every possible variation on this theme. )
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-01-2009 at 06:26 PM.

  14. #44
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Do you agree with this answer? Does the "something" that you received for keeping the money have to have monetary worth? Could it be along the lines of "your friend's trust" instead?
    Well, one thing we discovered when we started discussing it that there is really no right and wrong answer. The Judaic answer seems to at least make sense to me - if you keep the money as a favor, than he friend should trust you as well and know that if you lost it with no fault of your own, then that's that, and it's no different from if the friend himself was robbed. If, however, you get something for this service, than a contract with a certain "insurance" is implied.
    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Relgious marriages can meet the 'keep the guys from straying' needs. I would think that having God involved would be more sobering than the justice of the peace in any case. Do you know whether any studies have shown whether religious marriages are more effective than civil in the straying department. If they are the same, is it the threat of the financial debacle of a divorce that is the actual deterrent?
    First of all, even assuming that you hypothesis is correct, what about atheists who may not want a religious marriage?

    I don't know of any studies like that because I think it's too difficult to keep track of religious marriages - far more so than of civil ones. And no, it's not the thread of "financial debacle". Somehow, there is something in our culture that is very ingrained that says that the fact that you're married means you ought to be more responsible.
    Last edited by Ptichka; 05-02-2009 at 12:54 PM.

  15. #45
    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    More!
    I love learning about Judaism and jewish culture. Keep it comin'.

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