Are Atheists Morally Superior To Theists?

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posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by papabryant
 


At the very least it's constructed out of fear and denying basic human rights.

How are basic human rights being denied? Marriage is not a "basic human right" but a social contract of which the law has little to say about outside joint property issues. Adoption of children? If studies show children thrive best in married male-female households.... (although your point does make sense when it's adoption of family members after a tragedy - family trumps sexuality issues). Housing? What about the right of free association?

When government funds are involved, then to deny services to gays and lesbians IS illegal discrimination. But in a free society, the right to associate with whomever you wish, and the right not to be forced against your will to associate with those you don't like is sacrosanct. Its one thing to go voluntarily, but you wouldn't like it if you were FORCED to attend Catholic Mass or noontime prayer at a Mosque. If you don't want to associate with those events, or those who participate in those events, you shouldn't have to. Or visa versa, which is why the Jim Crow laws were immoral.

Where you have a good point though, IMHO, is at time of death. When a person is dying, they should be surrounded by whomever gives them comfort, be that wife or gay lover. ANY debate stops to show comfort to the dying.


The hard science backed by oil companies or hard science done by scientists?


Nooooooo, scientist are scientists, and human. As such they can be biased or not biased. Their research either stands up or it doesn't, regardless of who pays the bills. This notion that certain lines of scholarship are, by default, illegitimate allows the misuse of data on all sides.

The fact is that we have been in a cooling trend worldwide for the past 10 years, when we've been told the Earth was burning up. We are being asked to act before we know the true nature of the environmental threat. That is a dangerous thing.

At the first Earth Day celebration in San Francisco, a climatologist named D.S. Halesy presented data from computer models about the rise in CFC's worldwide. He stated they were evidence of a soon worldwide catastrophy.

At the third Earth Day, Dr. Halesy presented those EXACT same models.

At both speeches, he called for all of us to go rural - sans electric lights, sewerage processing, most modern medicines and gas engines -- EXCEPT for the scientists, who would continue to have access to all of these things for continuing "research". Scientists would lead society, making laws and allocating resources for all of society.

The term "global warming" came out of Dr. Halesy's speach at the third Earth Day. But its funny, at the First Earth Day he was speaking of a new Ice Age.

Forgive me if I don't trust Dr. Halesy. Or his heirs.


I believe Jesus said something about vanity and bragging about one's works.


Then its a good thing I wasn't bragging, but pointing out one objective method of judging altruism, now isn't it?



[edit on 14-12-2008 by papabryant]




posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by FSBlueApocalypse

Originally posted by Xtrozero

Originally posted by FSBlueApocalypse

What part?


This part...
"open to learning and tolerant"
An Atheist is on the extreme other end of religious zealous, and extremism either way is a bad thing.
Atheists are as crazy and intolerant as the religious zealous are.


What the.....

I don't know what atheists you know, but I've never felt like running into a church or mosque with dynamite strapped to me. Perhaps you misunderstand that atheists simply want our views to be out and public as any religion. Granted you have your FANATICAL atheists who do things like try to ban religious displays, but the vast majority simply want to be accepted into the norm.


Why do you want your views out in public, or why even care...

I do not believe in Santa Claws and those who do I really do not care if they believe or not. I also play the game with my kids to not spoil the magical fun of it all, but there really isn’t deep thought on my part since I do not have any belief in him.

One thing that I always wondered about is why should you care?

I don't know any religious people who feel the need to strap on a bomb either.

But if you count up all the evil acts in the world that are based on religious reasons and counted up all the evil acts that are not based on religion you would see that the vast majority have nothing to do with religion at all.

So the question is whether the world would be better off with or without religion.

As an Atheist what do you use as a moral compass? What would be interesting is if all those who happen to be in jail were asked whether their lack of morals were based on religion or non religion…




[edit on 14-12-2008 by Xtrozero]



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by Lucid Lunacy
reply to post by Xtrozero
 


And so would this be true on the micro scale? Do individual people with zero religion have complete lack of value for life


I would say non-religious person has a much harder time finding a moral compass to follow than a religious person does.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero

I would say non-religious person has a much harder time finding a moral compass to follow than a religious person does.


Mind if I ask what brings you to that conclusion?



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Originally posted by Xtrozero

I would say non-religious person has a much harder time finding a moral compass to follow than a religious person does.


Mind if I ask what brings you to that conclusion?


Morality is learned, and there aren’t too many establishments other than religion that teaches this at a fundamental level starting at a very early age. Also, religion normally institutes heavy repercussions for evil actions that non-religious people do not have.

The funny part is that many people who later in life choosed to be non-religious were brought up with the morals of religion, and so their fundamental morals are religious based, and continue to steer them throughout their lives even when they are now an Atheist.



[edit on 14-12-2008 by Xtrozero]



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero


Morality is learned, and there aren’t too many establishments other than religion that teaches this at a fundamental level starting at a very early age. Also, religion normally institutes heavy repercussions for evil actions that non-religious people do not have.


Let me ask you something.

Who was the first person to tell you "no?" Who first scolded you for doing something wrong? Who first taught you a lesson about right and wrong?



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Originally posted by Xtrozero


Morality is learned, and there aren’t too many establishments other than religion that teaches this at a fundamental level starting at a very early age. Also, religion normally institutes heavy repercussions for evil actions that non-religious people do not have.


Let me ask you something.

Who was the first person to tell you "no?" Who first scolded you for doing something wrong? Who first taught you a lesson about right and wrong?


This is like the chicken or the egg scenario.

Let me ask you what is right or wrong? Since right and wrong has been blurred throughout our history it is kind of hard to figureout.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero
This is like the chicken or the egg scenario.


Huh? How so? I can recall. It was my mother. My mother was the first person to tell me no. She was the one to teach me that hitting my sister was wrong. Why do you think it is impossible to answer who first taught you to behave properly?


Let me ask you what is right or wrong? Since right and wrong has been blurred throughout our history it is kind of hard to figureout.


Now you know that it clearly subjective where as my question was an honest question to you about your life. If you do not remember, fine but do not pretend it is some existential impossibility to imagine who first taught you discipline.

p.s. i am not trying to set you up or trick you into a fight. I thought your post raised an interesting question and was hoping you would help me explore it. If you want to assume I am playing some other game and using word tricks, then nevermind, forget I said a thing.

[edit on 14-12-2008 by angel of lightangelo]



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Originally posted by Xtrozero
This is like the chicken or the egg scenario.


Huh? How so? I can recall. It was my mother. My mother was the first person to tell me no. She was the one to teach me that hitting my sister was wrong. Why do you think it is impossible to answer who first taught you to behave properly?


As in who came first...your mom was your first but who taught her? Your grandmother...chicken or the egg... I’m not trying to be an antagonist, but was your mother, grandmother, great grandmother etc religious? Your morals as an Atheist can be all based on religious ones since we pass our morals down to our children...or lack of.

But there is another side to it all in people do not always follow their upbringing. Satanist live a life that is not so much evil as it is to do what they want, evil or good. This is based on that they feel there are no consequences to their actions, and so they do what they want to who they want when they want….

Most Atheists that I know who live a life of good morals have mostly received their morals through self educational awareness and personal choice later in life than earlier. These are the ones that feel that morals from religion are not needed, or does more harm than good, but they are truly the minority of the non-religious. Are they good people, yes? There is no question there, but as I have said before the human race is not very nice, and a large number who feel there is no higher consequences for their actions tend to treat life very cheaply.

We see this more at the macro level. The greatest atrocities of the human race have happen where religion was not a factor and in the worst cases religion was banned by the government. The communist revolution by Russia and China are two great examples of this and these two just also happen to also be the worst atrocities the world has ever known.



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero

As in who came first...your mom was your first but who taught her? Your grandmother...chicken or the egg... I’m not trying to be an antagonist, ......


Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down buddy. I have no idea why you are running off on that tangent but that is not at all what I am getting at. I simply asked you a question. You specifically, who told you, the person reading this, not to do bad things?

Stop thinking about alterior motives and other such sneakiness. It is just a question that you can answer. I could care less who told them and them and them and them. I am asking you who told you to be good. Can you answer that?



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Originally posted by Xtrozero

As in who came first...your mom was your first but who taught her? Your grandmother...chicken or the egg... I’m not trying to be an antagonist, ......


Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down buddy. I have no idea why you are running off on that tangent but that is not at all what I am getting at. I simply asked you a question. You specifically, who told you, the person reading this, not to do bad things?

Stop thinking about alterior motives and other such sneakiness. It is just a question that you can answer. I could care less who told them and them and them and them. I am asking you who told you to be good. Can you answer that?



Ok...who taught me? My parents... their morals were based on religion....

Sorry if you did not understand what I was getting at.

You see the age old question is whether the chicken or the egg came first. You suggest your parents taught you, but from what moral compass did they follow to teach you? And if you say a non-religious one then I would ask who taught them? And the answer would be their parents, so on and so on.

At some point morals are based on something...



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 01:38 AM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero
Why do you want your views out in public, or why even care...

I do not believe in Santa Claws and those who do I really do not care if they believe or not. I also play the game with my kids to not spoil the magical fun of it all, but there really isn’t deep thought on my part since I do not have any belief in him.

One thing that I always wondered about is why should you care?

I don't know any religious people who feel the need to strap on a bomb either.

But if you count up all the evil acts in the world that are based on religious reasons and counted up all the evil acts that are not based on religion you would see that the vast majority have nothing to do with religion at all.

So the question is whether the world would be better off with or without religion.

As an Atheist what do you use as a moral compass? What would be interesting is if all those who happen to be in jail were asked whether their lack of morals were based on religion or non religion…
[edit on 14-12-2008 by Xtrozero]


Why do I want my views out in public? I have every right to, just as any Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc has a right to put theres out.

I don't really get where your going with Santa Claus. That's a figure 99.99% of the adult population believes to be fictional, where as almost 90% of Americans believe in some deity.

Better question, when was the last time an atheist suicide bombed something in the name of atheism?

I base my morals on how I was raised and how I see a situation and react to it. Considering atheists are disproportionately the smallest group in prisons, you should ask prisoners that.



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 02:24 AM
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reply to post by Pericle
 


If you are very religious, as in you follow a religion very strictly which was given to you by society, then you are in the first, thesis, stage.

If you are sick of religion and do not believe in any form of God then you are in the antithesis stage. This will help you reach the sinthesis one.

While you are in the antithesis stage, you might experience a very profound experience where you will feel/know God, at this moment you move in the sinthesis stage, where God is totaly different from the one in the thesis stage.

And does this same process also apply to belief in Hegelian dialectics, or are we allowed to remain agnostic on that score?



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 03:18 AM
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Doing What Comes Naturally


Originally posted by Xtrozero
I would say non-religious person has a much harder time finding a moral compass to follow than a religious person does. Morality is learned, and there aren’t too many establishments other than religion that teaches this at a fundamental level starting at a very early age.

Morality is, indeed partly learned. So is flying - for birds.

What we call morality is a codified elaboration of a set of responses common to all higher social species: parental protective instinct, kin-selective altruism, differential consideration for others based on degree of real or perceived kinship, primitive concepts of fairness and exchange and the principle of 'do as you would be done by'. It is as natural to human beings as flying is to birds.

How are the moral instincts developed and shaped in human beings? As you say, through a process of learning. Who is the teacher? Surely not religion. Long before a child can have any religious conception at all, it has already learnt the bases of morality. It has learnt not to soil itself or play with its own excrement. It has learnt that it must obey its parents. It has learnt that it is wrong to tell lies and take what does not belong to it. It has learnt that violence against other human beings is wrong. One could go on in this vein for some time; clearly the early development of morality has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

Religion, with its injunctions and proscriptions, enters the picture late in life. Whatever the religion, many of its tenets will reinforce common morality. However - again, whatever the religion - certainly additional tenets of 'morality' will be imposed. These have to do, essentially, with securing the social and political ascendancy of the faith and its officials. This ascendancy is intended to be total - unlike temporal powers, ecclesiastical ones never recognize any limits to their authority, not even inside a person's head. Thus the basic immorality of all religions.

Religion quite clearly has its uses; it may even (it is quite likely) procure survival and reproductive advantages for its adherents. But eating excrement, as any dung-beetle will tell you, also has its selective advantages. Goulash de merde sacerdotal, anyone?



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero



Ok...who taught me? My parents...


thank you, man I really did not think I would have to ask you the same simple question 3 times before you understood it. I gathered from your earlier posts that you were more astute than that but, sigh, let's see.


their morals were based on religion....


You just cannot answer a question can you? You are so busy planning the rest of the argument that you have now assumed 3 times the wrong thing about what I was asking. Stop, take a xanax, and just relax.


Sorry if you did not understand what I was getting at.


Nice! I asked you a question 3 times and each time you got confused by my fancy short words and such. So now that you did get the question (sort of, added that other crap for no reason) you then go on to pass it off as if I did not understand you. That is a cute tactic. Does it really make you seem smarter to the readers?


You see the age old question is whether the chicken or the egg came first. You suggest your parents taught you, but from what moral compass did they follow to teach you?


Ummm...no. Just no. You may be stuck in that quandry but that is your mentality and I am sorry for you for it.


And if you say a non-religious one then I would ask who taught them? And the answer would be their parents, so on and so on.

At some point morals are based on something...


Sure it is, logic.

I can fix your little chicken and egg problem for you quite easily. The problem is that since I had to ask who taught you "no" 3 times just to get that through, my hope that you will grasp this is saddly fading.

As a little boy, I had a toy. I loved having it. Someone came and took it away from me. That sucked. I did not like that feeling at all.
I also inherently like people, i just do. I like them to be happy around me, not upset at my presence. Following so far?
Ok, well I learned from this that taking things from people makes them feel badly. I do not want to make people feel badly so I will not take their things.
My grandpa died. I missed him. Lesson - people get sad when people die so don't kill anyone cuz someone somewhere loves them.

I tried to simplify it as much as I can since, well you know, but I hope you can catch the drift.

As societies developed and evolved, they went through similar processes and that is how most of our laws actually came about. Sorry, not based on god, the bible, the ten commandments, none of the crap Billy Graham told ya. There is no complete set of statutes pertaining to "honor thy mother and father" or "have no other gods before me." I know, it is dissappointing to learn.

Anyway, sorry about that side trip there. See, all it takes is a little empathy and human interaction and viola! I know, who taught me empathy right? Maybe some people are just born to understand that what they percieve as bad may be a shared experience so it is then easy to imagine other's suffering as a shared experience, but that is just me. I guess I was born morally supperior to you? I mean, I could figure out on my own not to do bad things and you are stuck talking about chickens and eggs, caught in some moebius strip of when and where were morals first handed down from the heavens.

I never needed a god to tell me that stealing makes people lose things they want or need and i have no right to.

[edit on 15-12-2008 by angel of lightangelo]



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by angel of Xtrozero

At some point morals are based on something...




Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Sure it is, logic.


maybe sincere reasoning.....logic can only weight situations as most rational, It does not look at the emotional people that have the ability to manipulate a situation.

Take one's say over the "lie" for example. is lying wrong? lying is very rational at times, and can save a great deal of trouble, but a lie exposed often results in an entire worse scenario than the original "truth".



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by juveous
Take one's say over the "lie" for example. is lying wrong? lying is very rational at times, and can save a great deal of trouble, but a lie exposed often results in an entire worse scenario than the original "truth".



Sure, if you are short sighted. If you think far enough ahead, that lie will hurt someone. That lie would not be rational at all to tell if you thought it through all the way. Just like I rationalized being hit hurts. I dont like hurting. I will not hit people. Tada! Logic! If I tell this lie, what are the possibilities, will they catch me cuz of this? I better cover that with another lie, and so on and so forth. Hmm, that is alot of lying to people, does not seem rational to me at all.

I guess as an atheist it is just easier to rationalize good behavior. Sorry but logic can most certainly include emotions. I get hit, it hurts, i feel bad. That sucks, I conclude logically that getting hit is no fun so hitting others will make them hurt too.

I dunno, maybe you need to flesh out your point a little better.



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Doing What Comes Naturally

How are the moral instincts developed and shaped in human beings? As you say, through a process of learning. Who is the teacher? Surely not religion. Long before a child can have any religious conception at all, it has already learnt the bases of morality. It has learnt not to soil itself or play with its own excrement. It has learnt that it must obey its parents. It has learnt that it is wrong to tell lies and take what does not belong to it. It has learnt that violence against other human beings is wrong. One could go on in this vein for some time; clearly the early development of morality has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.


Are you sure? All this is learned in a non-religious based society? I disagree with you on this one. A child doesn’t learn to not poop as a moral event, but as their first thing in life they have control over…it called the anal retentive stage. …no morals there.

Why is it moral to not tell lies, steal, kill etc.? What is it that set these things in a moral light in a non-religious world? I agree they learn to obey their parents, but they could just as easily be teaching them to do immoral actions. What determines that violence is wrong?

You ever hear of the killing field in Cambodia? In a very short time Pol Pot the leader of the Khmer Rouge regime decided his morals needed to be put into place and he had everyone with an education above a typical farmer killed.

In a few short years the morals of that country were to have children torture people to death, and when I say torture to death that is what they did, at over 2 million killed.

Your little example has religious morals all over it, so you need to focus on what a society does when all framework of religion is removed….not very pretty…

/quote]
Religion, with its injunctions and proscriptions, enters the picture late in life. Whatever the religion, many of its tenets will reinforce common morality. However - again, whatever the religion - certainly additional tenets of 'morality' will be imposed. These have to do, essentially, with securing the social and political ascendancy of the faith and its officials. This ascendancy is intended to be total - unlike temporal powers, ecclesiastical ones never recognize any limits to their authority, not even inside a person's head. Thus the basic immorality of all religions.

People will use whatever leverage they can find to control people. Religion is a great leverage and many have used it for nonreligious purposes all in the name of religion, but when you compare it to a non-religion leverage such as nationalism there are big difference.

Both can cause great hardships, but religion is still based on fundamental morals that it sooner or later finds it way back too even with those who consistently trying to change those morals. Nationalism has no moral foundation and so it can be anything, and that anything is normally really bad. 200+ plus million bad when you look at China and Russia with 100s of million persecuted on top of the 200 plus million who died. At lease with religion there tends to be a safety stopper that reset morals at some point where there isn’t any such thing in other cases.



Religion quite clearly has its uses; it may even (it is quite likely) procure survival and reproductive advantages for its adherents. But eating excrement, as any dung-beetle will tell you, also has its selective advantages. Goulash de merde sacerdotal, anyone?



Not sure what you are tying to say here....sorry

[edit on 15-12-2008 by Xtrozero]



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo

Sure it is, logic.

I can fix your little chicken and egg problem for you quite easily. The problem is that since I had to ask who taught you "no" 3 times just to get that through, my hope that you will grasp this is saddly fading.


First, can we dispense with this parent to child attitude you seem to want to use on me…please?

Second, we are debating the OP posts and for you to ask me one simple question and want one simple answer we are going to be here a long time…and I would need to ask you to get to your point for your question has little relevance in how you presented it.



As a little boy, I had a toy. I loved having it. Someone came and took it away from me. That sucked. I did not like that feeling at all.
I also inherently like people, i just do. I like them to be happy around me, not upset at my presence.


This would of been a nice start to your question



Following so far?


No...I'm a dimwit, but please continue.




Ok, well I learned from this that taking things from people makes them feel badly. I do not want to make people feel badly so I will not take their things.
My grandpa died. I missed him. Lesson - people get sad when people die so don't kill anyone cuz someone somewhere loves them.

I tried to simplify it as much as I can since, well you know, but I hope you can catch the drift.


That little boy who took your toy got a totally different perspective didn't he? He learned that he can take what he wants anytime he wants.

Can I ask you a simple question? Of all the crimes in America this last year do you feel that religion was used as a motivator for those crimes, and do you think those who committed the crimes are very religious, or most likely not religious at all?




As societies developed and evolved, they went through similar processes and that is how most of our laws actually came about. Sorry, not based on god, the bible, the ten commandments, none of the crap Billy Graham told ya. There is no complete set of statutes pertaining to "honor thy mother and father" or "have no other gods before me." I know, it is dissappointing to learn.

Anyway, sorry about that side trip there. See, all it takes is a little empathy and human interaction and viola! I know, who taught me empathy right? Maybe some people are just born to understand that what they percieve as bad may be a shared experience so it is then easy to imagine other's suffering as a shared experience, but that is just me. I guess I was born morally supperior to you? I mean, I could figure out on my own not to do bad things and you are stuck talking about chickens and eggs, caught in some moebius strip of when and where were morals first handed down from the heavens.


Well you got that superior attitude thing going...(is your empathy working right now?)


I think you fail to understand my point in that you, I, we just do not figure things out…sorry that is not how it all works. Society has molded you to what you are today, and your personal observations and experiences throughout your life have been heavily influenced by society’s morality even though you may feel you came about your morals on your own.

Case in point, I can give 100s of examples of many other societies that have totally different views on whether killing, stealing etc are moral or not. Killing in a number of places is what defines you as a man and not a boy so it is a great thing to do. Cheating and stealing in other places is all part of the culture. Just go to some countries and you will see that the person with the biggest bribe is the one who wins in court.

Most religions are totally against all this and so their teachings are based on fundamentally good morals. This presents a moral compass that religious societies can follow and teach generation after generation. I’m sure you can give examples of where religion has gone wrong in both teachings and action, but as I said earlier non-religious societies have always been extreme in their lack of morals than religious ones.





[edit on 15-12-2008 by Xtrozero]



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero
First, can we dispense with this parent to child attitude you seem to want to use on me…please?

Second, we are debating the OP posts and for you to ask me one simple question and want one simple answer we are going to be here a long time…and I would need to ask you to get to your point for your question has little relevance in how you presented it.



This would of been a nice start to your question


I am sorry. Asking you who taught you right from wrong was really that confusing to you? You could have benefitted from having my entire point spelled out for you in order to tell me who taught you right from wrong?

Anyone else have this much trouble answering who taught them right from wrong or am I so rare?





 
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