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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » "I Pledge Allegiance..." (Page 8)

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Author Topic: "I Pledge Allegiance..."
Enders Star
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I completly agree suntranafs. I am not forced to say it but we are forced to stand. Isn't it interesting that shildren have to do this. Do they even understand?
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Glenn Arnold
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http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=10196

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/nation/3568704.htm

These URLs will probably wrap, so check that the entire address is valid.

Yes, students are often required both to stand and to recite the pledge, despite a Supreme Court Ruling Prior to the addition of "under God" in 1954 that declared the pledge to be optional. The suit was brought by the Jehova's Witnesses.

I know when I was a kid if someone was slow to stand up, the teachers always said: "Stand up, Stand up, we HAVE to recite the pledge". Not once was I informed that it is optional.

As far as "requiring children to swear loyalty to the government". Yes, Jon Boy, I agree with you whole heartedly. Also Suntranafs. Students are of course, being taught, and most people agree that teaching loyalty or patriotism is a good thing, but in my opinion, children should not be required to recite meaningless words when they are too young to understand them, simply as a mode of indoctrination.

Obviously there are those who disagree. The big difference is that even the first amendment does not give children the right to disobey the teacher, and recitation is a standard method of pedagogy. So for those who argue that the pledge should be required (God or no God) I will say that I disagree, but that without a better legal precedent, that is merely my opinion.


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suntranafs
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"in my opinion, children should not be required to recite meaningless words when they are too young to understand them"
Hooo boy. Do I ever resent that remark. Or rather, I resent it retroactively for myself two or three years ago.

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Nick
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The words of the pledge they take are only meaningless if they don't understand what they are saying.
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Akma
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Since the conversation seems to have confined itself, I'll jump in. I speak from experience that I didn't know what the pledge actually meant until I was far enough into my life to care enough o figure it out. I was one of the people who simply didn't say under god. Others saying it didnít offend me, they have just enough right of religious diversity in having religion that I don't.

In repose to banning it5, or explaining it: why bother? It takes up a total of 2 minutes a day that kids spend sleeping anyway. The last thing we want is to have to listen to the intellect of a child confined into a grown manís body that was my principal actually spend MORE time talking to us. Itís not like weíd listen anyways. Iím just telling how it was, thereís no point in changing anything about it.


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suntranafs
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Wow, that's a really bad attitude. There's the begining and the end of the world's problems, if you ask me.
Then, nobody DID ask me

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Reed Richards
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I always understood what I was saying.
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Glenn Arnold
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Actually, lack of understanding is another reason to remove "under God" from the pledge. I never made the association when I was a child, between "one nation" and "indivisible." Placing "under God" between the two words left "indivisible" hanging out on it's own with no point of reference.

Likewise, "... and to the republic, for which it stands" became clear eventually, but the statement is disjointed. It would have made much more sense simply to pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America: One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

If I were going to add "under God" (which I wouldn't), it would be at the end.

As long as I'm fantasizing, I would rewrite it as a ceremony: "Please face the flag and pledge allegiance (to our country)." The flag is a point of reference, not what we are pledging allegiance to. "place your hand over your heart" (added ceremony)

I'm unclear as to the comments about my statement about meaningless words. Yes, I meant that unless we understand the words, they are meaningless. Suntranafs, what happened two or three years ago?

I would suggest that the pledge be something of a rite of passage. Children are too young to serve their country in any real capacity. What does it mean for a kindergartner to pledge allegiance to the flag? However, by about 6th grade, I would think the average student should have enough social studies behind them to understand the meaning of what they are saying, and the idea that as adults, they may be called upon by circumstance to serve their country in some capacity. So about 6th grade is where I would begin asking them to recite it. Kind of like confirmation.


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Steel
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Whoa.

You blow me away, Glenn.

You assault the Pledge as it is; a set of words, to you, meaningless, which instill the foundation of patriotism in children.

You suggest that rather than an optional expresion of support for our country at a young age, an indoctrination ceremony for older children. A Confirmation.

As long as we're re-writing our pledge, why not take a look at some other American fundamentals?

Picture: Beautiful Arnold-America!

We pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America: One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Maybe Under God.

The Anthem of Arnold-America: "America, America, Over All."

Who performs this indoctrination ceremony, this solemn pledge? Why, Arnold Youth, an organization reaching out to the youth of our nation. The boys aren't just saying words... why stop with the pledge? Why, Arnold Youth is like a Boy Scouts for today's world. Camping trips, badges for reaching goals, the whole deal; what makes Arnold Youth so revolutionary, so appealing an idea is that the goals are different. Arnold Youth prepares young boys (and girls) for the rigors of today's world; no knot-tying and granny-helping for these boys. These boys smile when they get their first Covert-Ops badge. High Explosives, Lethal Combat; why, these kids are ready to serve when their country calls. When their Republic calls. Good old Uncle Arnold.

Because, in sixth grade, these boys are ready. They're ready to pledge allegiance to their country. To serve her, heart and soul. They understand what they're saying. At that age, they understand their commitment to Arnold-America.

To the Republic.

Under God?


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Reed Richards
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You never know what will set Steel off on the war path.

In all seriousness, the pledge itself was written as a document for devoted Communists. What made it American was "Under God".

If you want to talk about history, let's look at that.

In Abyss's first post, he mentioned that "Under God" was added to seperate us from the Russians. Given, the Russians are buddy-buddy with us now, but Communism is still bad. Communism is still wrong. Aren't we accepting the faceless, Godless aspect of Socialism if we reject the portion of the pledge that was put in to show that we don't accept it?


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Glenn Arnold
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Steel, read the post. I specifically stated that what I meant by meaningless words was that to children who are too young to understand the words, they are meaningless.

Then I suggested that they not be required to recite the words until they had enough background to understand what they are saying.

Then I suggested a rewording that clarifies the meaning, rather than the disjointed form that the pledge now takes. I also suggested that the pledge be to our country rather than to a piece of cloth that represents our country, which is the meaning of the pledge as it now stands.

As far as an indoctrination goes, that is exactly what it is now. What I suggest is that children be released from that indoctrination until they are old enough to confirm that they beleive what they are being asked to say.

"We pledge allegiance to the Republic of the United States of America: One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Maybe Under God."

Yep. And I didn't think of it until you put it on the page, but putting "under god" at the end allows it to be optional, just as "so help me God is optional in the presidential oath of office.

"The Anthem of Arnold-America: "America, America, Over All."

No way. Where'd you get that idea? My irony meter just blew a fuse.


"Because, in sixth grade, these boys are ready. They're ready to pledge allegiance to their country. To serve her, heart and soul. They understand what they're saying. At that age, they understand their commitment to Arnold-America."

Ok then smart guy, when will they be ready? Are you suggesting doing away with the pledge entirely? Fine with me. Regardless, I think it makes sense to understand what we are talking about, which you obviously didn't take time to do when you read my post.

Reed: America was founded as a secular nation, long before communism was even codified. Adding "under God" is just one step in a long line of attempts to introduce religion into our government. By no means was adding "under God" the only thing that makes it an American pledge.


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Enders Star
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Suntran I feel there is no end to world problems
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TomDavidson
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"Aren't we accepting the faceless, Godless aspect of Socialism if we reject the portion of the pledge that was put in to show that we don't accept it?"

No.


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suntranafs
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TomDavidson says something inteligent, Makes Headlines! You guys, when you say that it's religous, or, it's socialist, you're off the mark. It's a tradition, that's all, now get over it. And speaking it every single day in school as patriotism in a bottle is a bunch of crap.


P.S. Why do you feel that way, Ender's Star? Not that you might not be right .


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Steel
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Thank you for your opinion, Tom. Is that all you have, or do you feel like backing that up?
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Steel
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"Okay, smart guy, when will they be ready?"

Well, the official stance is that by age eighteen people are ready to go to war.

The real issue behind your statement that they ARE old enough is the discrepancy as to when children become adults. You point to about the sixth grade. 12 years old?

I would argue about the same. However, practically no one is willing to give 12-year-olds voting rights. I, personally, would not be willing to give voting rights to 12-year-olds.


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TomDavidson
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"Thank you for your opinion, Tom. Is that all you have, or do you feel like backing that up?"

Sure, although it amounts to just pointing out the obvious: failing to promote something does not constitute an endorsement of its competition.


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Bokonon
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Steel, Tom is correct from a purely logical standpoint.

A stance on the pledge says nothing about one's stance on the tenets of socialism.

If Pledge as stands = yes, then Socialism is bad = yes is a valid _logical_ statement.

However,

If Pledge as stands = NO, then Socialism is bad can logically be true OR false.

If you assume the first statement as fact, you STILL can't, logically, in the case of believing the pledge should be changed, make a statement either way.

And if you just ASSUME changing the pledge equals accepting socialism, then YOU have to prove causation, or at least a strong correlation.

Put another way, just because I dislike Buicks, doesn't mean I like Toyotas. Maybe I like Audis instead?

--
This is completely aside from any historical argument about the pledge.

(While it is true the pledge [in a form never recognized by the US govt., mind you] was written by a socialist, the reason it was written was so that a friend of his could use it for the patriotic, and capitalistic, purpose of selling lots of USA flags to schools through his magazine.)

-Bok


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Glenn Arnold
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Steel:

I didn't say that children would be old enough to "do their duty" at 6th grade, I said that children would be likely to understand what they are saying, and could make their own decision about saying it. That's what confirmation means. They sure don't understand what the pledge means when they are in kindergarten.

Rereading your post (and mine) it seems you equate "serving your country" with war. Have you ever heard the expression "civil duty?" This can mean anything from reporting a crime, to serving on the school board, to paying your taxes, to running for government office. I consider being a school teacher doing my civil duty, since recruiting teachers has been declared an national priority.

If you're hung up on war, that's not my problem.


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Steel
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Glenn Arnold, the root of all civic duties is war. Bottom line. Allow me to explain with a simple question.

Why does government exist?

Well, the government has many obligations in todays world. But in the past, say, why would government have been invented?

Why, for the same reason everything else has: war... and peace. Imagine one tribe, organized, and violent. Raiding other villages, stealing food, raping women. What are the rest of the people, organizationally challenged, going to do about the gang thats raping their women and stealing the fruits of their long labours? Why, they have to form a united front. Join a tribe for protection. Group together.

The cheif obligation of the government is to protect it's people from outside forces.

And what of the stalkers of the night, the theives and rapists and murders who walk within the tribe?

The next obligation of government is to protect the people from each other. From murder, theft, and rape from within the community.

And consider the Cheiftain. What of the Cheiftain who taxes too heavily, thusly stealing from the people? The Cheiftain who puts to death innocent people, without a hearing, thusly murdering the people? The Cheiftain who orders the villager's wives to come to his bed, and thusly himself is raping the people?

The third, least considered obligation of government is to protect the people from itself, the government.

These are the governmental obligations, and the community's obligations. All other obligations are variants thereof.

If a twelve year old is old enough to become a full-fledged member of the community, to have a say in government, he is bound to protect the community as well.

In my school and in my community there are people who are frightened of war with Iraq, because they fear the draft. They say that they will move to Canada. I beleive them. I also pity them.

I do not approve of the war Bush has proposed, and I don't like his reasons.

But if and when they start to draft, I won't wait for them to call my name. I'll volunteer. Because being part of a country, being part of a community, means that you have to give back as much as you get.

America has given me so much, Glenn, and I beleive it has given you a lot too. We have an obligation. I won't stop my neighbors from moving to Canada with their tails between their legs, and I won't try to stop you.

But I sure as hell won't write.


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TomDavidson
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I think you're being more than a little jingoistic, Steel. One of the great things about no longer living in human prehistory is that we can contribute to our communitites in ways that don't necessitate killing each other.

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Glenn Arnold
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Steel:

Do you believe that children should be taught to say the pledge?


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Steel
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I feel an impending logical trap, but yes, yes I do.
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Glenn Arnold
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At what age?
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Bokonon
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Oh well, I guess my comment won't be answered... Is that because you agree Steel? Somehow, I doubt that, and would like to see your argument.

-Bok


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Steel
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Bokonon, while reading your argument, I find little to reply to. Perhaps you could clarify...?

Glenn Arnold. At any age. If they do not understand it when they are taught it, they will come to understand it, and if they disagree, no longer be required to say it. If they retroactively resent having been forced to say it, they are similar to men who resent their parents for having them circumcised when they were young.

Pledging allegiance doesn't hurt young people. It has a capacity to hurt old people, but only stupid ones.


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Nick
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I have but one question: Why do you want the Pledge changed or removed?
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TomDavidson
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Steel, I can't help pointing out the flaw in your argument: if saying a Pledge could in any way HELP young people -- which is, after all, really the only reason we should require it of them -- then it would certainly, depending on wording, also have the potential to harm.

----

Nick, I want the Pledge changed to reflect the fact that this is not, in actuality, a country under any God.


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Nick
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Tom,
So you are one of the few that want it changed for that reason. Most of the ignorant atheists whining about it want it changed because they are atheists who want God out of the country. In my opinion, those bigoted atheiests have animosity toward religion. I think the Pledge doesn't infringe on anybody's rights as it is, but I also think it doesn't fit for every American. Not all Americans believe in God. My point is, most of the people who most want this removed are bigoted, atheist, religion haters in my opinion. You however, seem to have a legitimate reason to change it.

EDIT: I didn't address who that post was to!

[This message has been edited by Nick (edited February 10, 2003).]


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Glenn Arnold
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Nick: Atheists don't want God out of the country. Atheists can't want God out of anything, because we don't believe in God.

Your comment is roughly equivalent to me saying that you want the invisible car out of your living room. Do you believe there is an invisible car in your living room? Do you want it removed?

As far as bigoted atheists having animosity toward religion, I wonder where you get such ideas. There are belligerent atheists, of course, in much the same way as there are belligerent fast-food restaurant managers, warehouse employees, toll collectors, etc. But being an atheist does not make one belligerent.

There are of course, belligerent theists as well. Does being a theist make one belligerent? Is that why Christians hate Jews, or Muslims? Or why Protestants hate Catholics? My experience is that most people would like to try to get along with each other. There is no religious requirement for this. Hatred exists in all walks of life. It does not require a certain state of religious belief, for hatred to exist.

Now as far as atheists wanting the pledge returned to its original wording, that is simply a matter of not wanting to be forced (or coerced) to say something that we don't believe is true. We would no more want the pledge to say "one nation with no God" than you would.

It simply isn't appropriate to put a comment on the existence of God into a pledge to a country that is supposed to represent its entire population, when roughly 14% of americans don't beleive in God. There's also this little problem with the constitution, you see.


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Nick
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Ok, atheists want any religion of any form(which they have no belief in whatsoever) completely removed from the Pledge. Better? My point is, they want the WORD God out of the Pledge.
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Nick
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Also, in my experience, most of the atheists I know are belligerent and ignorant. Don't take this personally. Never did I say ALL atheists. I said the belligerent ones.
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Nick
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I understand your point about not wanting to say "under God" in the Pledge. I don't think you are a bigot or have any animosity toward theistic beliefs. I don't have animosity against atheistic beliefs. I have animosity toward belligerent, ignorant atheists. You are not one of those. I just wanted to know why you want "under God" removed from the pledge.
If you really want to get into it, then answer this: Why is evolution taught to children in school? I would say at least 14% don't believe it but are forced to learn and accept it. I think a lot of atheists(not all) forget the clause: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

[This message has been edited by Nick (edited February 10, 2003).]


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TomDavidson
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"Why is evolution taught to children in school?"

Because unlike the existence of God, there's firm scientific evidence that suggests the truth of evolution.

If you want to teach God in schools, first do me a favor and provide some proof of God's existence.


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Glenn Arnold
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It always mystifies me why evolution is such a lightning rod for controversy. Why not math? Or astronomy?

As is well documented, Charles Darwin planned to study for the ministry, until he was offered the opportunity to sail around the world on the Beagle. Having learned about evolution (he did not originate the concept) he codified his theory of natural selection, and started a series of observations and experiments in evolution which kept him busy for the rest of his life. Still, he maintained his belief in God.

Most theists accept evolution as fact. Yet a relatively small but vocal group would have us beleive that belief in evolution destroys faith in God. And somehow, this always is brought back to atheists. As though we somehow started a vast conspiracy of disinformation.

Why do we teach evolution in schools? Because it is the foundation of biological science, which has been shown in millions of experiments and observations, to work. Because it has been used as a tool throughout history, to breed useful crops and livestock. Because it promises an understanding of human physiology which will allow medical discoveries, which have cured and will cure the most insufferable diseases, and improve the quality of life for all mankind. Is that a good enough reason?


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Glenn Arnold
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Steel:

On what grounds do you accuse me of supporting indoctrination?

You are suggesting that children be taught to recite a pledge before they are capable of understanding it. If they grow to disagree, ONLY THEN they are entitled not to say it? This is exactly what indoctrination means: get them while they are too young to understand, and maybe they won't question it when they get old enough to think critically.

BTW, the root(s) of all civic duties is food, shelter and clothing. (or if you prefer, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) War is fought over these, not the other way around. A good government seeks to avoid war, which destroys life, rather than supporting it.


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Nick
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I don't think that God should be taught in public schools. I never said that. I think that the THEORY(not proven yet) of evolution should not be forced on students. I was just giving you another point of view, not trying to stir up a theological debate.
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Bokonon
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Steel, do you then agree that not wanting the pledge, AS IS, does not logically imply that someone expressing this belief also wants socialism and atheism? That's all I'm getting at, since you seemed to propose there was a logical connection between the two. Or was that just empty rhetoric to distract people?

-Bok


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Glenn Arnold
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Nick:

One of the major sticking points in the controversy over evolution, is the definition of the word theory. THE theory of evolution (mutation, and natural selection), is considered a scientifically proven fact. "Evolutionary theory," is a set of behaviors that govern evolution, and is fleshed out remarkably well, but not yet fully examined, because it is very complex.

Think of it like this: The term "Music Theory" describes a set of physical relationships which can be used as a tool with which a composer can make music. Both harmonics and rhythms are mathematically defined, or proven to be true. They are not "guesses," yet they are called "theory." There is also number theory, probability theory,and set theory (math), digital theory (computer science), economic theory, game theory, etc.

Likewise, anyone can use evolutionary theory to develop (for example) a yellow rose from a red one. Or breed a short beaked pigeon. Or a miniature version of your favorite breed of dog. Follow the rules of evolutionary theory, and it works.


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Nick
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Ok, let me rephrase. Evolution is not proven yet. The mutation of a species is not proven yet(outside of viral adaption, which is totally different). You keep twisting my words.
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Jon Boy
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In my biology classes in the past, I remember that the teachers made sure to point out that evolution isn't a scientific law or anything like that. It's just a theory, and though it still has holes, there's lots of evidence to support it. That's why we haven't replaced it with a new theory.
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Nick
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And the evidence they have is not unrefutable. You're lucky you got such nice biology teachers. All of mine taught that evolution is the only explanation for life.
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TomDavidson
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"All of mine taught that evolution is the only explanation for life."

Really? *blink* How did they put that?


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Nick
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They said that all theists were wrong. They said that all of life evolved from that one special molecule that had the peculiar ability to split and make an identical copy of itself. Primordial ooze>Bacteria>Spyrogyra ect all the way to man.
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TomDavidson
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Nick, would you please tell me which school you attended? It sounds like you had some incredibly bad biology teachers -- or else really misunderstood them -- since what you've quoted here isn't even necessarily a piece of evolutionary theory.

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Nick
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I won't name schools or districts, but in north California. And yes, most of my teachers were awful. One of my biology teachers was ok though.

[This message has been edited by Nick (edited February 12, 2003).]


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Jon Boy
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Geez. I thought that teachers weren't supposed to make any comments about whether religious beliefs were true or not. I always thought it was that kind of stuff that got teachers fired.
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Nick
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Teachers are supposed to get fired for that kind of thing but mine didn't.
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Steel
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"...Because unlike the existence of God, there's firm scientific evidence that suggests the truth of evolution..."

Bull. There is a lot of evidence that supports evolution, but it is no more frim than the evidence that supports God. I am not an atheist, but you are not a prophet. The existence of some form of a higher power is far more conclusive and well documented than evolution. You simply choose to beleive the "scholars" who document evolution over the ones who document God.

Don't get me wrong: I think evolution is a natural process, and should be taught in schools right along side, say, volcanic eruptions or chemical processes. The problem I had was with your defense of it; a bigoted stance that has a tendency to offend.

I think evolution is true, but I do not pretend to know that it is true.

On a friendlier note... Bokonon, it was really just a conversation starter. But since you asked, yes, I feel that there is definently a connection between amending the pledge and accepting atheistic Communism; We put it in to clearly demonstrate the differences between free capitalism and oppresive Communism. "We set ourselves apart, then, as a nation that accepted ALL religions, that allowed for ALL worship, a safe haven for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, a nation of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Have we changed our minds?"

To repeal it now would be to consent to Communism, to say " *sigh* We were wrong, maybe Stalin was right. Sorry about that, Russia, China, North Korea, we didn't know what we were thinking."

We can't allow that agreement, that consent, that foothold for Communism.


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Steel
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Sorry if I'm replying to old news; I've been out for a while.
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