Flutterby™! : 15 oops er Ten Commandments trial opens (Mel Brooks drops a tablet)

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

15 oops er Ten Commandments trial opens (Mel Brooks drops a tablet)

2002-04-30 18:19:56+00 by ziffle 19 comments

Displays of the Ten Commandments in three Hamilton County court buildings are not religious but are secular reminders for citizens to obey the law, county attorneys told a federal judge yesterday.


A local TV show had a debate/discussion about this one pro one against - both were religious 'scholars'

Ever wonder what they mean when they say 'Dr.' such and such - what did the study?

Since there are no gods, you have to aks yourself if they are all nuts.

But since the 10 Commandments are not religious, I guess we are ok.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Technology and Culture Law Television Chattanooga Community ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-04-30 21:25:31+00 by: Dan Lyke

So did Mark ever get those "I Support The 10 Amendments" bumper stickers printed up? And, reiterating my comments about "Fillin' Finley", I guess economic growth is on nobody's radar, huh?

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 00:18:44+00 by: markpasc

Sure didn't. My parents would disown me (but really I completely forgot about it since I've not done anything like that before--I was even looking at Sticker Nation recently, but since I'd put two or three weeks from today "in the not-too-distant future," hopefully they would be irrelevant by the time they got here, assuming they'd even be legible as bumper stickers).

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 02:12:42+00 by: mkelley

I personally thought the whole things was humorous, I know who did the commercials and the best ones were billboards that were in the same style as the "God" billboards:Black background and white text all saying a message that ended like "Be There at 7pm - God". I thought about calling my old salesperson up at Eller Media to see if I could place some alternate boards in the same style. "Take the 10 Commandments Down - God"

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 08:10:58+00 by: Jack

There are gods. Whether they exist outside the minds of their believers is unimportant. Of course the Ten Commandments don't belong in Tennessee courtrooms, but insulting anyone whose personal experience of the divine != NULL doesn't strengthen your case.

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 14:46:23+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

"The Best Way To Pray"


"Some people claim that if they remain very quiet during prayer they can hear God's voice speaking softly in their heads. We don't recommend that. The human mind can be very deceptive; most especially to its owner."

"If you are hearing God's voice in your head; that could be very serious"

"Typically, when we speak; no one replies. Psychologically, that is uncomfortable; and sometimes it makes me feel like I have an imaginary playmate rather than a real-life friend on the other end. But the Bible assures me God is there even though I cannot detect His [her?] presence with any of my natural senses."

"There is a colony of gremlins studying Hegel on Venus"


"do yourself a favor, and take a new challenge. Order one of these books and check it out. If in fact your god is so real, what do you have to lose?"

Reason is the faculty which... identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses. Reason integrates man's perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions, thus raising man's knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach. The method which reason employs in this process is logic—and logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. —Ayn Rand "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World," in Philosophy, Who Needs It? p. 62.

#Comment made: 2002-05-01 15:41:18+00 by: Shawn

"do yourself a favor, and take a new challenge. Order one of these books and check it out. If in fact your god is so real, what do you have to lose?"

Ah, but see - that's the insidiousness of the system. God is omnipotent, but he also gave us free will and turned us loose on the universe. So he won't save us or protect us from evil - we have to do that ourselves. Organized religion is, IMO, full of this kind of derriere protection.

Jack: But it's sooo much fun ;-)

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 07:19:21+00 by: Jack

raising man's knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach

I prefer to reserve judgment until results such as Kanzi's are demonstrated scientific and reproducible or otherwise. You may of course accept Rand's assertion as a postulate, and you can even call me nuts for considering what is an obvious contradiction within your paradigm. But from my paradigm, it is unproven, and you are taking it on faith.

It is a practical necessity to assign p=1 to some number of unproven hypotheses rather than making Bayesian inferences all the time. Rand and ziffle have a different postulate set from mine. I find them non-Euclidean. I realize they are not self-contradictory and I did read Rand before being drop-kicked into an existence with which Objectivism is inconsistent.

Dreams are not reality, but REM sleep is healthful. Tomography shows spiritual experiences correspond with activity in one area of the brain (OAA) in believers of different faiths. I don't care whether my spritual experiences exist outside my head. Days my brain isn't working and I make no progress programming follow nights I had no opportunity to hike or hikes intruded upon by Babylon with p<.01 to be independent over the sample when I took notes. I won't claim it's a reproducible result like a purveyor of some religion. Maybe Objectivists can't have spiritual experiences. I won't claim their brains are deficient either.

I'm not commenting to convince ziffle mysticism is compatible with rational behavior, nor to provoke a holywar. Dan said he wanted flutterby to be more of a community, but ziffle crusading on the front page makes it feel like a private club. I think some people here want a place apart from those who reject their philosophy, enjoy insulting them, and would be glad to drive them away. flutterby is not important enough to me to piss into the wind here. Just important enough for me to gauge the reaction after saying my piece.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 14:47:44+00 by: ziffle

In the last 6 days there have been 26 posts, of which 4 are mine: DNA and Legos (education), Bimbo-babwe (politics), 10 Commandments (Epistemology) , and Cry For Me (econommics and politics) .

Topics from others include eating mice, ridicule of drug use, expensive art, rounding up the homeless, insurance for the mentally ill, how to make your own pornography, pedophilia[Wiki], art on cars, and National Masturbation month.

Do any of these offend?

We all have our own hot spots - sometimes we only react to our own hot spots, and some would say that when we find ourselves reacting, we should look at why. I find eating mice to be aweful and did not read the post.

Integrating our emotions and our intellect is a major task.

There appears to be no complete uniformity of opinion on any topic in Flutterby, and maybe thats what Dan wants. I certainly do not want you to leave.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 16:47:28+00 by: Pete

ziffle, you're the only one who sounds like they're trying to pick a fight. Nobody else is interested in using Flutterby to separate the infidels from the annointed ones.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 20:57:13+00 by: ziffle

Well we all have our sore points -- the comment "backwood Libertarian nuts" does not particularly thrill me, but I don't think anyone is trying to start a fight, nor do I think anyone is trying to separate the Libertarian nuts from the other nuts.

#Comment made: 2002-05-02 21:55:43+00 by: Shawn

Pete; and I don't see ziffle trying to do this either. I pretty closely share his(?) views on religion and regularly ridicule it - both on and off flutterby ("Those damn christians" is a common refrain around my office - specifically referring to the ones we share a building with). But I also enjoy sparring with the faithful on the topic, and learning about how religion works. How else could I reasonably justify my decision to poo-poo it if I don't know/understand it?

I'm not looking to drive anybody away (and I don't think ziffle is either). But the flipside is that I'm not going to tiptoe around expressing my own beliefs. I have just as much right to say "there is no god" as a former aunt has to use the phrase "bless you" in place of "thank you" and as a generic greeting/departure. Just as I see cars with jesus-fish eating the darwin-fish (yeah, there's a non-violent/adversarial image), I can sport a "guns don't kill people, religions do" bumper sticker.

And feel free to ridicule and poke holes in my own secular paganism belief structure. I fully expect and welcome it. Although I'm secure in my belief, it still makes me think - which, IMO is a very good thing.

Hating the idea is not the same as hating the wo/man.

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 00:29:04+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Dan has been quiet, but the Dan I remember gathered people around him of varying beliefs and ideas. He even tolerates me, and over the years Dan and his friends have made me THINK hard about things. Sometimes I slowly change my mind because of it. The original lunchtime rules were loosely: "discuss anything and everything, but don't take it personally (unless it was really really meant to be)". I hope that applies to Flutterby. He's given us the keys to make this a unique place on the 'net, and enough rope to hang ourselves with them.

and if we all agree on everything, this become a very boring place.

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 01:17:46+00 by: John Anderson

> and if we all agree on everything, this become a very boring place.

I heartily concur! 8^)=

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 01:24:40+00 by: Larry Burton

I've got fairly strong Christian beliefs and no one here has offended me yet. I've shaken my head a few times but I've not been offended. ;-)

Ziffle's insistance that only the irrational believe in a god is his opinion and I understand where it comes from. I disagree with him on that topic but there are topics that we do agree on and overall our discussions on religion has only reinforced my beliefs and strengthened my faith. Not because he forms his arguments poorly but because he forces me to dig deep into myself and see my beliefs from a different perspective and see where I have been wrong. He helped me to rip out the weak timbers in my beliefs and the core structure still stood. I appreciate him for that.

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 01:58:15+00 by: topspin

meuon, I was thinking the same thing. I recall Dan rollerblading through UTC and occasionally dropping by the student center to try to lure Keevah and I to chia lunch by telling us about the diversity and strong discussions.

I expect Flutterby to be more diverse, more challenging, and yes, sometimes more chafing than chia 'cause the circle's larger now.

Perhaps the chattanooga folks here have an advantage because we've been blessed with lively, abrasive discussions and situations with each other (including some with ziffle at chia, as I recall.)

It's a big ol' lunch table ya'll.... if you don't like the discussion at one end, try the other end, but please don't leave the table.

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 03:02:09+00 by: Pete

I don't care about ziffle's opinions on the supernatural. My trepidation comes from having found uniformly low value in encounters with anyone espousing Rand.

I routinely seek out challenges to my beliefs, but over time one learns to distinguish fertile ground from exhausted soil.

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 19:37:48+00 by: mkelley

I remember hearing ages ago about the chia lunches. meuon/topspin are they still going on?

#Comment made: 2002-05-03 20:30:48+00 by: Larry Burton

It's slowed down. I was there today by myself but, yeah, they are still going on. I expect to have company next Friday.

#Comment made: 2002-05-04 02:20:00+00 by: ebradway

An update: the Federal Court stated that the Ten Commandments needed to be removed from the courthouse. But the ACLU must not have found a defendant in the juvenile court because they are staying up there for now...