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Old 25th March 2020, 12:20 PM   #41
rockinkt
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
This is a review of John H. Arnold's book Belief and Unbelief in Medieval Europe (2005):




So much for the idea that "ordinary folk just didn't have a chance to make up their own minds, about what particular brand of tosh they had to believe."

If I could have Kindled the book, I would be quoting from it by now ...

Logical fallacies such as appealing to authority do not help your cause.
Neither does hand-waving away specific questions like you did when I asked you about naming a non-religious based superstition of the Dark Ages.

I'll check back in a month or so and see if you came up with any cogent arguments.
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Old 25th March 2020, 01:39 PM   #42
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Any nonce can miss a point. It takes an expert marksman to miss the point this effectively.



Yes dann unerringly manages to miss the point in a spectacular way. Gets somewhat tedious trying to centre his attention time after time.
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Old 26th March 2020, 01:50 AM   #43
dann
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Originally Posted by rockinkt View Post
Logical fallacies such as appealing to authority do not help your cause.
Neither does hand-waving away specific questions like you did when I asked you about naming a non-religious based superstition of the Dark Ages.

I'll check back in a month or so and see if you came up with any cogent arguments.

So let's forget that
1) I don't claim that something is true because some authority says it's true,
2) the OP refers to a different book by a different author,
3) you ignore the arguments I've presented against your ideas so far,
4) you don't appreciate cogent arguments when they contradict you,
and finally,
5), worst of all, you seem to forget that Christians were always terribly upset by other people’s superstitions, which they wouldn’t have been if those superstitions didn’t exist. I can recommend almost all plays by Shakespeare if you would like to hear references to the superstitions of his contemporaries, but let me mention just a couple of medieval superstitions that you really ought to be familiar with. That you need to ask me to point them out to you is embarrassing: astrology, ghost, nisse, elf, mermaid. And a couple more: spilling salt, changelings, the bride’s garter

In the future, you should google your own questions. Flaunting one's ignorance is not an argument.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th March 2020, 08:31 AM   #44
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Have you heard the good news?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
"There have always been people who simply did not accept what others tried to force them to believe. This was so in ancient times, in the Middle Ages and in every period of human history. It suffices to check the data to be convinced. It is too bad that it took us so long to do just that."

I'm just a little surprised that this message doesn't make the atheists around here rejoice at the top of their lungs!
Why is it so important to them to deny this truth and instead insist that Christians and other believers just can't help themselves?
Why do they make up fairy tales about "overwhelming evidence showing how folk are forced to follow the religion they were brought up with"?
Why are they so blind to the fact that people choose to go to church on Sundays and aren't forced to do so by the Salvation Army at gunpoint?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:35 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I'm just a little surprised that this message doesn't make the atheists around here rejoice at the top of their lungs!
Why is it so important to them to deny this truth and instead insist that Christians and other believers just can't help themselves?
Why do they make up fairy tales about "overwhelming evidence showing how folk are forced to follow the religion they were brought up with"?
Why are they so blind to the fact that people choose to go to church on Sundays and aren't forced to do so by the Salvation Army at gunpoint?
And if you did not go, for whatever reason, the mob would come by and burn your house down with you inside.
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:30 AM   #46
dann
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Fascinating! How often did that occur?
Tell us more - and back it up with a couple of facts, please.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th March 2020, 01:48 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Fascinating! How often did that occur?
Tell us more - and back it up with a couple of facts, please.

If you would take the trouble to read "A History of Christianity" by Diarmaid MacCulloch, you would get a lot of facts. The book has 80 pages of notes, giving references to other reputable works at the end. No doubt there are other works of similar repute you could refer to, instead of whatever fiction novels or cartoons you get your insight from.
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Old 27th March 2020, 05:35 PM   #48
dann
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So you also don't have any. I'm not surprised.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th March 2020, 04:40 AM   #49
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This does raise an interesting question: is it better to live under a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious practice (including no such practice) but in a culture that constantly probes for and stigmatizes unconventional beliefs or disbeliefs; or in a society like, say, ancient Rome where no one gives a **** about what you believe (or even what you publicly proclaim) as long as you show up at the temple and go through the motions?
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Old 28th March 2020, 10:50 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
This does raise an interesting question: is it better to live under a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious practice (including no such practice) but in a culture that constantly probes for and stigmatizes unconventional beliefs or disbeliefs;

Why would a society with a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious practice probe for and stigmatize unconventional beliefs/disbeliefs? Are you thinking of religious communities in present day USA? What is the meaning of "including no such practice"? Do you mean the freedom to abstain from any kind of religious practice?

Quote:
or in a society like, say, ancient Rome where no one gives a **** about what you believe (or even what you publicly proclaim) as long as you show up at the temple and go through the motions?

How much of your time would it take up to go through the motions in your imaginary society? (A lot of irreligious people go through the motions every Sunday because their community or family does give a ****.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th March 2020, 01:09 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why would a society with a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious practice probe for and stigmatize unconventional beliefs/disbeliefs?

Doesn't matter. It's part of the hypothetical comparison I'm suggesting for discussion.

Quote:
Are you thinking of religious communities in present day USA?

The possibility of living in such a community within the USA is part of the inspiration for my framing of the question, but it still doesn't matter.

Quote:
What is the meaning of "including no such practice"? Do you mean the freedom to abstain from any kind of religious practice?

Yes.

Quote:
How much of your time would it take up to go through the motions in your imaginary society? (A lot of irreligious people go through the motions every Sunday because their community or family does give a ****.)

Well, let's see. I spent about ten hours a day (counting homework), five days a week, nine months of the year, for twelve years, going through the motions of our public education system. Being consistently several years ahead of my grade on every subject, I had to do my learning outside of that time, while still going through the motions of following along every class lesson and doing every assignment. No one seemed to think that was in any way objectionable. So let's say, comparable to that, cut in half, but more evenly spread over a lifetime. I'll give you a choice of half an hour a day, or 3-1/2 hours every Sunday.
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Old 28th March 2020, 02:01 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
And if you did not go, for whatever reason, the mob would come by and burn your house down with you inside.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Fascinating! How often did that occur?
Tell us more - and back it up with a couple of facts, please.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you would take the trouble to read "A History of Christianity" by Diarmaid MacCulloch, you would get a lot of facts. The book has 80 pages of notes, giving references to other reputable works at the end. No doubt there are other works of similar repute you could refer to, instead of whatever fiction novels or cartoons you get your insight from.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you also don't have any. I'm not surprised.

I think you would not be impressed by anything less, than interviews with a number of folk hundreds of years ago dann. Not having time machine, this I cannot provide unfortunately. Well researched historical literature, blended with a good measure of common sense, tells the story quite vividly. Not impressed by this approach? We are on different wave lengths I think.
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Old 29th March 2020, 12:04 AM   #53
dann
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think you would not be impressed by anything less, than interviews with a number of folk hundreds of years ago dann.

What you think I might be impressed by is pretty uninteresting when you haven't provided anything at all.

Quote:
Not having time machine, this I cannot provide unfortunately.

And now you also free yourself from having to provide anything at all by inventing a condition for doing so that's impossible. Way to go!

Quote:
Well researched historical literature, blended with a good measure of common sense, tells the story quite vividly. Not impressed by this approach? We are on different wave lengths I think.

We are definitely on different wavelengths. You prefer to believe something that is obviously wrong. I don't. You claim that there's "overwhelming evidence showing how folk are forced to follow the religion they were brought up with," which isn't something that you need a timemachine and interviews with medieval peasants to prove. All you need to do is present your alleged evidence and your alleged "well researched historical literature", and so far you haven't managed to come up with a single quotation even though you claim you've been reading a great big book about it. And then there's the alleged "good measure of common sense," of which you've also provided none whatsoever.
People obviously aren't forced to follow the religion they were brought up with, so you'll have to come up with another way to explain why so many of them nevertheless do. And why so many of them don't.
And that is not very difficult to do once you give up your favorite fantasy of them being forced to do so.

And then there's this and this.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th March 2020, 12:16 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ordinary folk just didn't have a chance to make up their own minds, about what particular brand of tosh they had to believe. As schism followed schism throughout its history, the Clergy who where true to the favoured version at the time, told them what to believe - and they had absolute power.
What a load of tosh!

History of religious pluralism
Quote:
Middle Ages

After the breakdown of the Roman Empire in the west, in western Europe the population was a huge, diverse mix... some Christians, some pagans, and some who subscribed to some elements of both. In the German tradition, the chief of the tribe was also religious leader... There were very frequent instances of parallel pagan and Christian religion, but tolerance of old or new religion was up to the personal preference of the local lord...

In the high Middle Ages, the worldly powers clashed with the power of the pope on the matter of deciding about religious questions - while the details varied by country, the overall result was that the Roman Catholic Church was able to, for a short time, exercise control over the religious practices of countries, even against that Ruler's will.
The truth is, the lust for power has always been political, not religious. Rulers took up a particular religion because it was politically advantageous, not because they were forced to believe it. And back then, as today, no ruler lasted long without the support of ordinary folk. In fact Christianity had to be bent into a pretzel to accommodate their beliefs, not the other way around.

To see what I mean, just compare the teachings of Jesus to what 'Christianity' became in the Middle Ages. 'Ordinary folk' have always believed what they wanted to, and the Church had to tailor its practices to suit their superstitious beliefs. Take the Turin Shroud for example - Catholic authorities knew it was a fraud, but they didn't dare try to stop people from venerating it. Holy 'relics', saints, pagan festivals, impressive buildings full of idols - all non-Christian stuff that had to be incorporated to keep 'ordinary folk' happy.
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Old 29th March 2020, 01:14 AM   #55
dann
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
What a load of tosh!

You know that you are not allowed to say that without a timemachine, don't you?!

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Holy 'relics', saints, pagan festivals, impressive buildings full of idols - all non-Christian stuff that had to be incorporated to keep 'ordinary folk' happy.

Christianity never managed to take away our and .
They are still very much a part of Scandinavian , and we don't respond lightly to zealous Christians trying to demonize our :

Quote:
En præst i Løkken har hængt en nisse op i en galge på gavlen af Løkken Frikirke. Nisser er dæmoner, mener præsten. Nu får han trusler af folk.
Præst hængte nisse i galge (DR.dk, Dec. 8, 2010)
A preacher in the town of Løkken hanged a nisse in a noose outside his church. Nisser are demons, the preacher thinks. Now he receives threats from people.
Preacher strung up a in a noose

For Christmas, we decorate the interiors of our homes with kravlenisser. The Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary?! No, hardly anybody does that.

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ETA: From the article about the nisse-lynching preacher:
Quote:
Præsten Jon Knudsen hader nisser. Han mener, at nissen er et ondt væsen. Så han har hængt en nisse op i en galge, der er anbragt på gavlen af den kirke, han er præst i. Det er en frikirke, der ligger i Løkken i Vendsyssel.
Men det er sognebørnene ikke spor glade for.
Lige siden Jon Knudsen hængte nissen, har han modtaget trusler. I et enkelt tilfælde har truslerne været så alvorlige, at præsten har meldt det til politiet.
En kendt modstander af nisser
- Vi har fået vagt-beredskab ved kirken. Det har været nødvendigt for at undgå hærværk, siger Jon Knudsen.
(...)
- Min påstand er, at en nisse er en dæmon. Og den skal forsages aktivt. Det gjorde kirken også i starten, da Norden blev kristen, siger Jon Knudsen.
Han kan bestemt ikke lide, at nisseriet bliver mere og mere rettet mod børn.
- Mit spørgsmål lyder: Hvem skal erobre vores børns hjerter. Nisse-afguder eller Jesus?
The preacher Jon Knudsen hates nisser. He thinks that nisser are evil creatures. So he strung up a nisse in a gallows placed on gable of the church where he is a preacher. It is a free church [i.e. not part of the state church of Denmark] in the town of Løkken in the Vendsyssel region.
But the parishioners aren't pleased at all.
Ever since Jon Knudsen strung up the nisse, he has been receiving threats. In one case the threats were so serious that the preacher reported it to the police.
Well-known as a nisse adversary
Guards have been placed at the church. It was necessary in order to prevent vandalism.
(...)
- My claim is that nisser are demons. And they must be renounced actively. The church did so in the beginning when Scandinavia was Christianized, Jon Knudsen says.
He definitely does not approve of nisser being targeted more and more at children.
- My question is: Who will conquer the hearts of our children? Nisse idols or Jesus?


There's no doubt about it: The already won, and I look forward to seeing him take on the , too.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 29th March 2020, 04:03 AM   #56
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The days when people were free to be religious or not are rapidly passing. What one may do or say in the name of their religion is increasingly becoming restricted. Even what a preacher says in the pulpit may be subject to legal sanctions thanks to various "religious discrimination" acts. At this rate, atheism may yet become compulsory.

So no, I am not glad to be living in these times.
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Old 29th March 2020, 04:25 AM   #57
dann
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The days when people were free to be religious or not are rapidly passing. What one may do or say in the name of their religion is increasingly becoming restricted. Even what a preacher says in the pulpit may be subject to legal sanctions thanks to various "religious discrimination" acts. At this rate, atheism may yet become compulsory.

So no, I am not glad to be living in these times.

Is that the reason why the USA has a Christian fundamentalist as veep and why the list of atheists in politics and law in the USA is so short?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th March 2020, 04:42 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The days when people were free to be religious or not are rapidly passing. What one may do or say in the name of their religion is increasingly becoming restricted. Even what a preacher says in the pulpit may be subject to legal sanctions thanks to various "religious discrimination" acts. At this rate, atheism may yet become compulsory.

So no, I am not glad to be living in these times.
I presume you can back this up with, y'know, evidence?

It certainly doesn't resemble much I recognise. The only restrictions I know of on so-called religious speech are if that speech becomes discriminatory, encouraging violence against others or is "hate speech".
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Old 29th March 2020, 05:06 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The days when people were free to be religious or not are rapidly passing. What one may do or say in the name of their religion is increasingly becoming restricted. Even what a preacher says in the pulpit may be subject to legal sanctions thanks to various "religious discrimination" acts. At this rate, atheism may yet become compulsory.

So no, I am not glad to be living in these times.
In what alternate universe does this take place?

The only countries where what is said on the pulpit is restricted are those with with state religions.
Try being a jehova's witness in Russia for instance.
Or not the right kind of religion in the Middle East.
Non-Hindu in India at the moment
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Old 29th March 2020, 06:24 AM   #60
dann
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
In what alternate universe does this take place?

The only countries where what is said on the pulpit is restricted are those with with state religions.
Try being a jehova's witness in Russia for instance.
Or not the right kind of religion in the Middle East.
Non-Hindu in India at the moment

I don't think that's true. In Denmark, we have a kind of (rather secularized) state religion, Folkekirken (Wikipedia). It does annoy the hell out of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs when a vicar states that he doesn't believe in God or a life everlasting (Wikipedia), but that is what it takes to get reprimanded.

I think that American preachers are more restricted than that ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 29th March 2020, 01:08 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't think that's true. In Denmark, we have a kind of (rather secularized) state religion, Folkekirken (Wikipedia). It does annoy the hell out of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs when a vicar states that he doesn't believe in God or a life everlasting (Wikipedia), but that is what it takes to get reprimanded.

I think that American preachers are more restricted than that ...
In Denmark you do not have churches manipulating government policy. Your situation is not everyone else's situation. Stop pretending it is. That is dishonest.
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Old 29th March 2020, 01:24 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
In Denmark you do not have churches manipulating government policy. Your situation is not everyone else's situation. Stop pretending it is. That is dishonest.
How did you come up with the idea that I am pretending that the situation in Denmark is "everyone else's situation"???
Not only do I write explicitly that I am talking about Denmark, I also include two links to Wikipedia, one about the Danish Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, the other one about the Danish vicar Thorkild Grosbøll.
Didn't you notice? Or do you just pretend that you didn't notice? (Which would be dishonest!)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 31st March 2020, 10:37 PM   #63
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
What a load of tosh!

History of religious pluralism

The truth is, the lust for power has always been political, not religious. Rulers took up a particular religion because it was politically advantageous, not because they were forced to believe it. And back then, as today, no ruler lasted long without the support of ordinary folk. In fact Christianity had to be bent into a pretzel to accommodate their beliefs, not the other way around.

To see what I mean, just compare the teachings of Jesus to what 'Christianity' became in the Middle Ages. 'Ordinary folk' have always believed what they wanted to, and the Church had to tailor its practices to suit their superstitious beliefs. Take the Turin Shroud for example - Catholic authorities knew it was a fraud, but they didn't dare try to stop people from venerating it. Holy 'relics', saints, pagan festivals, impressive buildings full of idols - all non-Christian stuff that had to be incorporated to keep 'ordinary folk' happy.

What a load of tosh you say! What load of convoluted crap you are uttering is what I say. You lift something out of wiki and put your own slanted meaning on it, which in no way contradicts what I am proposing.

Do you really want us to take seriously, the idea that the "ordinary folk" wanted to believe the Turin Shroud was authentic, although the Catholic authorities knew it was fake? You're making this up as you go along.
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Old 1st April 2020, 03:41 AM   #64
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I wish that you would resort to Wiki now and then instead of relying on your biased imagination, Thor2. Then you might actually learn something about the real world that could help you understand what religion and believers actually are.

Here's what you could have learned about religion, and in particular about the way that Catholicism handles 'miracles' if you had not been obsessed with your idea that religion is something that some bad guys force (it's your word for it, right?!) upon innocent people who would much rather believe something else, but can't:

1) Yes, the "ordinary folk" love a good miracle! In fact, they come up with them all the time (or do you think that discoveries of Jesus's image in a cinnamon bun or the Virgin Mary's in the stains on a wall left by a damaged drainpipe is something that the Pope came up with?).

2) The official Catholic Church also isn't adverse to a good miracle, but unlike the naïve believers it finds itself in at dilemma: On the one hand, it would like to let its followers enjoy their little miracles; they strengthen their faith, which is good for the believers themselves as well as for the Church, right?! Well ....., both yes and no, because on the other hand, a lot of those alleged miracles may turn out to be very embarrassing for the Church as well as for the believers when they are exposed as rather obvious frauds. (And we atheists enjoy reminding them, don't we?! )

3) So what is a church to do in this situation? It has an actual commission, whose sole purpose is to make decisions about miracles: The Science of Miracles: How the Vatican Decides (LiveScience, July 9, 2013)

A weeping figurine of the Madonna or a bleeding statue of Jesus may strengthen the faith of believers, but when the tears turn out to have been fed to the figuring by means of a hose and when the blood of Christ turns out to be ketchup, that may shake the conviction of people in the congregation who aren't as firm believers in the miracles of the Savior as they ought to be.

So regular Catholics don't get to decide whether something is a miracle or not. The Miracle Commission does! And, boy, has it got its job cut out for it:

Quote:
Toward that end, a Vatican-appointed Miracle Commission sifts through hundreds or even thousands of miraculous claims. Typically, the commissions are composed of theologians and scientific experts.
Nearly all, or "99.9 percent of these are medical miracles," O'Neill said. "They need to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete healing. Doctors have to say, 'We don't have any natural explanation of what happened,'" O'Neill said.

And why would 99.9% be alleged medical miracles? one might ask.
The most obvious reason is that they are so easy to come by and so difficult to disprove (as well as prove, but that isn't really necessary when it's a question of faith!). Whenever somebody has been declared terminally ill and recovers, there's a good chance that you can turn it into a miracle! So if somebody has been misdiagnosed with a terminal illness and it turns out that there was nothing terminal about it at all, there's a good chance that a Catholic miracle has occurred.
Or better still: the cases of spontaneous remission that even MDs call miraculous:
Cancer: The mysterious miracle cases inspiring doctors (BBC, March 6, 2015)

However, one more thing is absolutely essential for this to be declared a miracle. Any old miraculously disappearing cancer won't do! It has to happen to somebody who's a good Catholic (or at least Christian). So in spite of my Catholic birth certificate, if I were diagnosed with terminal cancer and it spontaneously went into remission, I would not have been miraculously cured unless, in my hour of need, I had renounced my secular beliefs and returned to the Mother Church for salvation.

And that is what this is all about: Even though the Pope and the rest of his voluntary celibates would love to let their congregation rejoice in their hundreds or even thousands of miraculous claims, it would also spare them the disappointment of having the same claims unceremoniously exposed as fraudulent. It knows that they want to believe and doesn't want to make it harder for them than it already is ...

Let me stress again that this is the dialectical way of thinking about the relationship between church and congregation so it's not for you at all. You can continue to believe that all miracles are invented by evil absolute rulers and forced upon the defenseless believers who are inherently unable to think beyond the stories that they were told as children.
The faith that comforts you and brings you bliss.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 1st April 2020, 02:34 PM   #65
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The only thing missing in your extensive post ^ dann is a point. Mind you this is fairly consistent in your scribblings, making it hard to find an argument or point to address.

It may be an idea for you to try and concentrate on what I am saying, and address my arguments, rather than produce this stream of drivel that addresses nothing, as far as I can see.

I am saying that in years gone by, ordinary folk who were overwhelmingly illiterate, had their religion served up to them by the clergy. The clergy who were literate, and seen as the root of knowledge.

That there may have been a few extraordinary ordinary folk, who did buck the trend and stray doesn't alter this fact. You can find this sort of information by reading informative, well researched publications.

Your endorsement of Roger Ramjets critique of my argument, by quoting something from wiki that in no way challenges my argument, just illustrates how fuzzy your thinking is.
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Old 1st April 2020, 02:52 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't think that's true. In Denmark, we have a kind of (rather secularized) state religion, Folkekirken (Wikipedia). It does annoy the hell out of the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs when a vicar states that he doesn't believe in God or a life everlasting (Wikipedia), but that is what it takes to get reprimanded.

I think that American preachers are more restricted than that ...
You think wrong. The US has nothing like Denmark's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs. There is no government agency with authority to reprimand religious speakers for their religious beliefs.

If what you say about Denmark is true, then Danish preachers are definitely far more restricted than American preachers.
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Old 1st April 2020, 04:23 PM   #67
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In fact the US First Amendment prohibits the establishment of religion, so there can really be no government agency officially in charge of religious affairs. We in Australia have a similar clause in our Constitution.
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Old 1st April 2020, 09:17 PM   #68
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You think wrong. The US has nothing like Denmark's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs. There is no https://hifisalsa.dk/artikler/debat/id/8812/.

If what you say about Denmark is true, then Danish preachers are definitely far more restricted than American preachers.

No, that is why I never claimed that the USA has something "like Denmark's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs" or that this is what restricts American preachers. So feel free to celebrate the lack of government restrictions for your U.S. American preachers.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st April 2020, 09:29 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, that is why I never claimed that the USA has something "like Denmark's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs" or that this is what restricts American preachers. So feel free to celebrate the lack of government restrictions for your U.S. American preachers.
"Regulation" is a dirty word in American politics, especially when it impacts their "freedoms".
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Old 1st April 2020, 09:37 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I am saying that in years gone by, ordinary folk who were overwhelmingly illiterate, had their religion served up to them by the clergy. The clergy who were literate, and seen as the root of knowledge.

That ordinary folk had their religion served up to them by the clergy isn't different from today. The preacher preaches and the congregation listens. Unfortunately, that was not what what you claied. Your claim was that:
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ordinary folk just didn't have a chance to make up their own minds, about what particular brand of tosh they had to believe. As schism followed schism throughout its history, [/hilite]the Clergy[/hilite] who where true to the favoured version at the time, told them what to believe - and they had absolute power.

But feel free to pretend that you never said that.
However, when you now say:
Quote:
That there may have been a few extraordinary ordinary folk, who did buck the trend and stray doesn't alter this fact.
Then you seem to acknowledge that they did actually stand a chance and that the clergy did not have absolute power. Claiming that there were only "a few" and that they were "extraordinary ordinary folk" doesn't make the power of the clergy any more absolute, which I guess that you've discovered by now even though you insist on denying it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st April 2020, 09:41 PM   #71
dann
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
"Regulation" is a dirty word in American politics, especially when it impacts their "freedoms".

Yes, you wouldn't want to see guys like this regulated, would you?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st April 2020, 09:50 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, you wouldn't want to see guys like this regulated, would you?
Hate speech has always been an exception to the right to free speech, and Fred Phelps, being a lawyer himself, always knew exactly where the line was, and toed it very precisely.

But Pat Robertson can say this with impunity...

Quote:
Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.
And this...

Quote:
I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate—this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.
And this...

Quote:
(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
Where's the Supreme Court here? Nowhere, because Robertson is free to say these things. In very few other developed countries would a religious leader feel that he can say things like this without fear of consequences.

source
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Old 2nd April 2020, 03:39 PM   #73
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You don't hear radicalized, fundamentalist hatespeech like that from preachers in Denmark. Not because they are not allowed to do so, but because nothing drives them to come up with insane nonsense like this.
See these two posts about the common sense exhibited by Danish preachers in the present situation:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4#post13042264
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...3#post13042813
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd April 2020, 04:10 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, that is why I never claimed that the USA has something "like Denmark's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs" or that this is what restricts American preachers. So feel free to celebrate the lack of government restrictions for your U.S. American preachers.
You claimed that American preachers have more restrictions than Danish preachers. This is simply not true. Danish preachers are restricted by an actual government agency that oversees them and regulates their expressions of belief. No similar system of government restriction exists in the US. Nor does any similar level of restriction exist.

Are you retracting the claim that American preachers are more restricted than Danish preachers?
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Old 2nd April 2020, 04:24 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That ordinary folk had their religion served up to them by the clergy isn't different from today. The preacher preaches and the congregation listens. Unfortunately, that was not what what you claied. Your claim was that:



But feel free to pretend that you never said that.
However, when you now say:

Then you seem to acknowledge that they did actually stand a chance and that the clergy did not have absolute power. Claiming that there were only "a few" and that they were "extraordinary ordinary folk" doesn't make the power of the clergy any more absolute, which I guess that you've discovered by now even though you insist on denying it.

This is getting beyond ridiculous dann.

The way it has played out is that following a stupid assertion in the beginning, you have continued to deny the oh so obvious evidence, contradicting your assertion. You offer vague, wishy washy, claims in support of the insupportable.

Here is something for you from wiki:

Quote:
Christianization (or Christianisation) is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Often the conversion of the ruler was followed by the compulsory[citation needed] baptism of his subjects, often resulting in genocide and ethnic cleansing of whole nations such as the Old Prussians. Some were evangelization by monks or priests, organic growth within an already partly Christianized society, or by campaigns against paganism such as the conversion of pagan temples into Christian churches or the condemnation of pagan gods and practices. There is a long history of connecting Christianization and colonialism.[1] A strategy for Christianization was Interpretatio Christiana – the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism (evangelism) based on the Great Commission.
But those folk could all just thumb their noses at the Christianisers couldn't they.

Just in Australia the census reveals that those who don't identify with a religion have grown from 0.4% to over 30% in the last 100 years. But I suppose you would have us believe this is all nonsense, and rationalists were thick on the ground 100 years ago, in spite of this.
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Old 2nd April 2020, 04:30 PM   #76
theprestige
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You don't hear radicalized, fundamentalist hatespeech like that from preachers in Denmark. Not because they are not allowed to do so, but because nothing drives them to come up with insane nonsense like this.
Maybe they're also not allowed to?

https://www.politico.eu/article/denm...gration-imams/

https://english.elpais.com/elpais/20...03_162080.html

https://globalfreedomofexpression.co...te-speech-law/
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Old 2nd April 2020, 07:22 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you also don't have any. I'm not surprised.
Clearly, he wasn't looking. The Crusades were an attempt to enforce the Catholic Church's rule over Eastern Europe as well as over the Muslims.

If you were a peasant and you spoke out against the church, you might have been ignored, but if they thought you were a problem, you could easily be arrested, tortured and executed. It's unlikely they would bother to even write your name down before they executed you.

But history shows lots of people executed for heresy.
Ramihrdus of Cambrai (1076 or 1077) (lynched)
Peter of Bruys († 1130) (lynched)
Gerard Segarelli († 1300)
Fra Dolcino († 1307) (never tried by Catholic Church), Italy
Marguerite Porete († 1310), Paris, France
Botulf Botulfsson († 1311), the only known person executed for heresy in Sweden
Jacques de Molay (1243–1314), burned after conviction by a tribunal under the control of King Philip IV of France, Paris, France
Geoffroi de Charney († 1314), burned with Jacques de Molay above, Paris, France.
Guilhèm Belibasta († 1321), last Cathar, Villerouge-Termenès, France
Cecco d'Ascoli († 1327), Florence, Italy
Na Prous Boneta († 1328)
William Sawtre († 1401), Smithfield, London, England
John Badby († 1410), Smithfield, London, England
Jan Hus (1371–1415), Constance, Germany
Jerome of Prague (1365–1416)
William Taylor († 1423), Smithfield, London, England
Joan of Arc (1412–1431), Trial of Joan of Arc, Rouen, France
Thomas Bagley († 1431), Smithfield, London, England
Pavel Kravař († 1433)
Joan Boughton († 1494), Smithfield, London, England
Girolamo Savonarola, Domenico da Pascia, and Silvestro Maruffi(† 1498), Florence, Italy (hanged and then burned)
Ipswich Martyrs († 1515–1558)
Jean Vallière († 1523)
Jan de Bakker († 1525), 1st martyr in the Northern Netherland
Wendelmoet Claesdochter († 1527), 1st Dutch woman charged and burned for the accusation of heresy
Michael Sattler († 1527), Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany
Patrick Hamilton († 1528), St Andrews, Scotland
Balthasar Hubmaier (1485–1528), Vienna, Austria
George Blaurock (1491–1529), Klausen, Tyrol
Thomas Hitton († 1530), Maidstone, England
Richard Bayfield († 1531), Smithfield, England
Thomas Benet († 1531), Exeter, England
Thomas Bilney († 1531), Norwich, England
Joan Bocher († 1531), Smithfield, England
Solomon Molcho († 1532), Mantua
Thomas Harding († 1532), Chesham, England
James Bainham († 1532), Smithfield, England
John Frith (1503–1533), Smithfield, England
William Tyndale (1490–1536), Belgium
Jakob Hutter († 1536), Innsbruck, Tyrol
Aefgen Listincx († 1538), Münster, Germany
John Forest († 1538), Smithfield, England
Katarzyna Weiglowa († 1538), Poland
Francisco de San Roman († 1540), Spain
Étienne Dolet (1509–1546), Paris, France
Henry Filmer († 1543), Windsor, England
Robert Testwood († 1543), Windsor, England
Anthony Pearson († 1543), Windsor, England
Maria van Beckum († 1544)
Ursula van Beckum († 1544)
Colchester Martyrs († 1545 to 1558), 26 people, Colchester, England
George Wishart (1513–1546), St Andrews, Scotland
John Hooper († 1555), Gloucester, England
John Rogers († 1555), London, England
Canterbury Martyrs († 1555–1558), c.40 people, Canterbury, England
Laurence Saunders, (1519–1555), Coventry, England
Rowland Taylor († 1555), Hadleigh, Suffolk, England
Cornelius Bongey, († 1555), Coventry, England
Dirick Carver, († 1555), Lewes, England
Robert Ferrar († 1555), Carmarthen, Wales
William Flower († 1555), Westminster, England
Patrick Pakingham († 1555), Uxbridge, England
Hugh Latimer (1485–1555), Oxford, England
Robert Samuel († 1555), Ipswich, England
Nicholas Ridley (1500–1555), Oxford, England
John Bradford († 1555), London, England
John Cardmaker († 1555), Smithfield, London, England
Robert Glover († 1555), Hertford, England
Thomas Hawkes († 1555), Coggeshall, England
Thomas Tomkins († 1555), Smithfield, London, England
Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556), Oxford, England
Stratford Martyrs († 1556), 11 men and 2 women, Stratford, London, England
Guernsey Martyrs († 1556), 3 women, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Joan Waste († 1556), Derby, England
Bartlet Green († 1556), Smithfield, London, England
John Hullier († 1556), Cambridge, England
John Forman († 1556), East Grinstead, England
Pomponio Algerio († 1556) Boiled in oil, Rome
Alexander Gooch and Alice Driver († 1558), Ipswich, England
Augustino de Cazalla († 1559), Valladolid, Spain
Carlos de Seso († 1559), Valladolid, Spain
María de Bohórquez († 1559)
Pietro Carnesecchi († 1567) Florence, Italy
Leonor de Cisneros († 1568), Valladolid, Spain
Dirk Willems († 1569), Netherlands
Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), Rome, Italy
Fulgenzio Manfredi (1560 ca. - 1610) Rome, Italy
Lucilio Vanini (Giulio Cesare Vanini) (1585–1619), Toulouse, France
Caterina Tarongí († 1691)
Kimpa Vita (1684–1706), Angola
Maria Barbara Carillo (1625–1721), Madrid, Spain
Gertrude Cordovana († 1724), Palermo, Italy[6]
Ana de Castro († 1736)
Abraham ben Abraham († 1749), Vilna, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
María de los Dolores López († 1781), Seville, Spain
Karina a.k.a. Mikolaevna († 1781), Kyiv, Ukraine

Robert Barnes († 1540), Smithfield, London, England
Thomas Gerrard († 1540), Smithfield, England
Anne Askew (1521–1546), Smithfield, England
John Lascelles († 1546), Smithfield, England
John Adams († 1546), Smithfield, England
Joan Bocher († 1550), Smithfield, England
George van Parris († 1551), Smithfield, England
Matthew Hamont († 1579), Norwich, England
Francis Kett († 1589), Norwich, England
Bartholomew Legate (1575–1612), Smithfield, England
Edward Wightman (1566–1612), relapsed heretic, Lichfield, England
Michael Servetus (1511–1553), Geneva, Switzerland
Stephen Cotton († 1558),[7] Brentford, England
Nicolas Antoine[8] (1602–1632), Geneva, Switzerland
Basil the Physician († 1118), by Emperor Alexius I Comnenus; heresy
Avvakum Petrovich (1620–1682)
Quirinus Kuhlmann († 1689)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ed_as_heretics

Keep in mind that Christian doctrine states that Thou shall not suffer a witch to live. Pagans and non-believers were often accused of witchcraft.
It has been estimated that tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies over several hundred years. Although it is not possible to ascertain the exact number, modern scholars estimate around 40,000–50,000.[A] Common methods of execution for convicted witches were hanging, drowning and burning. Burning was often favoured, particularly in Europe, as it was considered a more painful way to die.[5] Prosecutors in the American colonies generally preferred hanging in cases of witchcraft.[5]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...for_witchcraft

The Inquisitions that took place for three centuries ending in the 1500s were barbarous. And while Thomas Aquinas suggested a freedom of conscience reform it did not extend to former believers. Apostasy was a crime in many Christian areas. It was one thing to simply be a non-believer, it was another to be a heretic.
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Old 4th April 2020, 09:44 AM   #78
dann
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
If you were a peasant and you spoke out against the church, you might have been ignored, but if they thought you were a problem, you could easily be arrested, tortured and executed. It's unlikely they would bother to even write your name down before they executed you.

But history shows lots of people executed for heresy.

[Very long list deleted, dann]

The Inquisitions that took place for three centuries ending in the 1500s were barbarous. And while Thomas Aquinas suggested a freedom of conscience reform it did not extend to former believers. Apostasy was a crime in many Christian areas. It was one thing to simply be a non-believer, it was another to be a heretic.

I don't doubt any of it:

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Is that what your book says?
Ordinary people could always make up their own minds about what to believe. They may have had to pretend to believe whatever the rulers wanted them to believe, but if those beliefs didn't cater to some kind of need of their own, they would just be going through the motions.
Church leaders were never unaware of this fact, and it always annoyed the hell out of them!
A book about religion that doesn't include this isn't worth reading.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th April 2020, 09:52 AM   #79
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You claimed that American preachers have more restrictions than Danish preachers. This is simply not true. Danish preachers are restricted by an actual government agency that oversees them and regulates their expressions of belief. No similar system of government restriction exists in the US. Nor does any similar level of restriction exist.

Are you retracting the claim that American preachers are more restricted than Danish preachers?

No, I never claimed that they were government restrictions. Americans seem to be extremely fond of hate speech, and that is the one freedom that right-wingers seem to appreciate more than anything else, and no U.S. government institution seems to restrict it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 4th April 2020, 10:11 AM   #80
dann
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is getting beyond ridiculous dann.

The way it has played out is that following a stupid assertion in the beginning, you have continued to deny the oh so obvious evidence, contradicting your assertion. You offer vague, wishy washy, claims in support of the insupportable.

Here is something for you from wiki:

But those folk could all just thumb their noses at the Christianisers couldn't they.

Just in Australia the census reveals that those who don't identify with a religion have grown from 0.4% to over 30% in the last 100 years. But I suppose you would have us believe this is all nonsense, and rationalists were thick on the ground 100 years ago, in spite of this.

Have you ever considered at least trying to make do without strawmen? All you would have needed to do to prove your point would have been to come up with one single quotation from me where I claimed that "those folk could all just thumb their noses at the Christianisers." So why don't you?

And when you go searching for that quotation, you should also keep an eye out for a quotation from me where I claim that religion is on the rise in Australia. Again, you won't be able to find any, but it would be worth a try, wouldn't it? Otherwise, it will become apparent to everybody still reading this thread that your strategy is to present facts that disprove things I've never said.

It seems to be impossible for you to distinguish between somebody who's religious and somebody who criticizes your entirely false ideas about religion.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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