Date sent: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 07:35:45 -0700 (PDT)

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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Toby: >> Explain who among the poor has been more cruel than Stalin, Hitler, and some of our oriental "liberators" in China and Camobia. These men are not exceptions they were aided willingly by other educated and wealthy and men.

Roger: >a) These particular people and their moments in history fall into the "community under stress" catagory. (see ruthless leaders)

Please, Tom; these men were selfish narcissists, they created the worst of the stress,

b) These people are symbols of cruelty (just as Einstien is a symbol of science). Being a symbol means that what they are portrayed as is altered a bit to match points people want to make about what they symbolize, and this means that in this discussion we have to be clear: are we talking about Hitler, Stalin, etc., the symbols, or the real people?

The real people: do you doubt that they were willing mass murderers? That they supported, willingly, torture including mass starvation?

c) For the majority of cruelty and injustice in the world, think of the collection of soldiers that were Jesus' torturers. Suppose that those people had the education and opportunity to spend their days as computer programmers in a modern office instead of being prison guards in a filthy prison. How many would opt for being guards, versus how many would opt for something that on a day-to-day basis was a lot more fulfilling?

Ah, so technology is the route away from cruelty? On-line action and cubby holes would have reduced the cruelty of Roman guards and jackboot stalinists and ss?

I suspect most would opt for programming positions, but one or two would say, "No. I'll put up with the filth because I really enjoy whipping the piss out of someone every couple of months." If most of those guards would opt for programming then the average cruelty and injustice in the world declines.

I can't agree, some people like cruelty, not all the romans in the Passion were cruel.

Further, those guards who do switch to programming will eventually look upon the holdouts as "real wierdos", and reduce their roles in the community. That's why prosperity reduces cruelty and injustice.

But it doesn't: mass murder has increased in the twentieth century, Africa, Asia, Balkans Mideast?

> Q? is man basically good or evil in conflict or tabula rasa?

The good-evil axis is an external perspective on a person's actions. Very few people wake up in the morning, yawn, stretch, and think, "Ah... what a great day to do evil!"

Hitler did, Stalin did, Sadam & sons do, and other terrorists. These guys don't think they are good, they label US the Satan as propoganda, they don't believe it.

More common is the thought, "Hmmm good day for making omlets. I'm going to have to break some eggs!"

So, from my point of view, the good-evil axis is a purely human invention.

So you don't think evil exists? Stalin, Saddam just regular guys thinking about breakfast? How did they get from there to mass murder?

For me, what is more general purpose as a way of judging actions is the cooperator-defector axis. I judge actions from a cooperator-defector perspective, not a good-evil perspective.

>> Yeah. He was getting real uncomfortable right after supper. I wanted to offer him a Pepto Bismo.

> I guess I don't see your point, see if you can reword this question.

My point is that in the movie portrayal, Jesus goes through these huge mood swings. I'm saying that the real Jesus would have been more consistent, because what is happening is no surprise (and foreseen for years), and there is the underlying relief of knowing that while what is coming is going to be very painful, the end of that pain is also very near. (It's not a big point... just a style issue.)

He was the son of God. He wasn't sent to teach apathy or purpose without emotion, he wasn't Spock, it is, afterall , called the Passion (the root word and purpose was sacrafice, not stoicism, that is a human divice.)

> Not quite, his human body is resurrected, heaven is physical. Yes after the sacrafice, humans have a gate to heaven. (of course, JC was and is sinless, remember alpha omega)

Whoops! another hot button of mine -- the physical body... but I'll pass on that for now.

> A question comes to mind as I write this. How can Jesus be truly human and truly sinless at the same time?

Adam and Eve would be hard to call human in their sinless state -- they knew nothing. I'll ask again, how could Jesus live anything like a normal human life -- know things -- and remain sinless?

RE: A&E why couldn't they be human before the fall?

re: JC knowledge is not sin.

> that is -- what do you really think about God, life-after-death

This is not argumento. This is understanding -- I like to check up on my understanding of these issues every so often.

Personally, I feel there is no life after death. The total of what we are is what we experience while we are alive -- when we die, it all goes away. The total of what we pass on to following generations is our genes and our ideas that other people pick up and use.

There is no sentient God, only the basic forces of the universe.

We don't need supernatural to explain what happens, just better understanding of natural.

But those of your ilk end up being cruel leaders; no check on power and power corrupts that's philsophy not bible. Since you don't think there are good and evil, only power is left. Leaves your philosphy power-oreinted, since knowledge, information, money -- whatever secures power -- will aggregate in the ambitious and unscrupulous and corrupt. So, we have bigger and "better" purges and totalitarian leaders. The jackboots are always there, they just get more efficient.

What is marvelous is how, given enough space and time, those very simple forces can produce such a subtle outcome as life, and human beings. But that's all it took -- space and time -- there is no "intelligent designer" required.

Whoa, way off the mark there, Einstein is among many who recognize the need for intelligent (and benevolent) design. You're sliding into a vocal but reducing minority who think time is all that is needed.

Life really is marvelous! The more I understand it, the more amazed I am at how well adapted it is to this earthly environment. (which is why taking an earthly body to heaven is another hot point for me -- if the heavenly environment is not identical to the Earthly environment, our bodies will be ill-suited to it. By identical, I mean complete with gravity, air, food, hot and cold, and bacteria and mosquitos... the works.)

I don't agree, it is physical, but not mosquitos -- except. I guess for those who want them.

Humans are part of the life continuum.

but there is a beginning and end, so it isn't a continuum.

Humans are not distinct from other life in having "souls" or anything of that nature. Which means that any references to things such as heaven or afterlife, have to apply to all animals and plants, too.

How do you know there is no soul?

There can be differences in degree, but not in absence or presence. What makes humans distinct are those physical and intellectual features that we think of as distinctively human: high intelligence, tool use and language use are the basic "distinctivenesses" -- but once again, these are differences of degree, not absence or presence.

more on the pure evolutionary bit later, but for now -- why is the history of life one of diminishing species rather than increasing diversity? (even up to say 1700 or 1000 AD) why has evolution stopped, or slowed?

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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