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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Mrs. Powell is the Devil (Page 11)

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Author Topic: Mrs. Powell is the Devil
beverly
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Glen, you say that Tom has chosen a definition to tick people off, and then call all religions conspiracies? [No No]

What, exactly, is your definition of a conspiracy? I know what the dictionary definition is, and it ain't pretty.

Under conspiracy all it said was a group conspiring together. Then look under conspire:

Main Entry: con·spire
Pronunciation: k&n-'spIr
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): con·spired; con·spir·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French conspirer, from Latin conspirare to be in harmony, conspire, from com- + spirare to breathe
transitive senses : PLOT, CONTRIVE
intransitive senses
1 a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement b : SCHEME
2 : to act in harmony toward a common end <circumstances conspired to defeat his efforts>

It uses such terms as "unlawful" and "wrongful act". The second definition, while not negative, does not apply to this situation.

What were you thinking in using that term?

Do you think that the leaders of all churches do not believe their own doctrine? That they are purposely deceiving their followers? That is a pretty disparaging point of view, and one that I must call you on. You claim to have knowledge of deceit in ALL religions. If that isn't sweeping, I don't know what is.

You may personally think that there is no God and that all theists are delusional or misguided, but to claim that they are being deliberately led astray.... Wow. That takes the cake.

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TMedina
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Oh, sweet Beverly - I think Glen was being sarcastic when he said all religions were conspiracies.

They conspired to build churches, teach their children moral lessons and so on.

I'm going out on a crucifix here and guess he belives the building of churches and teaching young people moral values to be a good thing.

Likewise, we could accuse Sister Theresa of conspiring to do good deeds, etc. [Big Grin]

-Trevor

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beverly
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Sarcastic?

*scratches head*

*blinks*

OK

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mr_porteiro_head
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I didn't find anything wrong with him saying that.
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TMedina
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Did you understand what I was getting at, or am I being deliberately obtuse again?

-Trevor

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TMedina
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That's my point.

Ok, I'll backtrack - Beverly chastised him for calling religions "conspiracies".

Having read his post, he alleged that religions "conspire" to do good works, build churches, teach moral values, etc.

He was using the word "conspire" in a sarcastic sense, as one normally doesn't conspire to do good deeds.

I think Bev didn't catch his sarcasm. And I'm not doing a good job of illustrating it. [Big Grin]

-Trevor

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beverly
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No, it didn't even occur to me that he might be making a joke. If he was, I apologize. If he wasn't, I stand by what I said above.
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TMedina
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Pssst!

I'm conspiring to tell dirty jokes?

What's the difference between Michael Jackson and acne?

-Trevor

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beverly
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Ewwww, I don't think I want to know.

>.<

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mr_porteiro_head
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Bev, I think you are just jumping up and down because the word conspiracy sounds evil to you.

But if you look at what he actually said, ignoring any negative connotations, it complimentary, and not offensive at all. So we conspire to teach a specific morality to our children? Guilty as charged.

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beverly
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<--- Schemes in evil glee how to teach son not to hit sister
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TMedina
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You're a braver man than I am, Mr. Head.

Could you hear her all the way in your office? [Big Grin]

-Trevor

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TMedina
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Teach the sister to hit back.

That does wonders for dissuading brothers from hitting. [Big Grin]

-Trevor

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beverly
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We already talked about it before he posted. [Big Grin]

Besides, we just have that sort of relationship. If he disagrees with me, he is not afraid to boldly say so and I to him.

[ September 03, 2004, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: beverly ]

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TMedina
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Ah brave and wise. [Big Grin]

-Trevor

Edit: I notice that was an edited afterthought, Bev. [Big Grin]

[ September 03, 2004, 12:46 AM: Message edited by: TMedina ]

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beverly
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Yeah, it was. I just couldn't quite think how to put it. Porter and I have an unusual relationship. We don't get mad at each other for being candid. I don't expect him to defend me if he thinks I am wrong. We both value honesty and try to be completely upfront with each other. Porter does tend to be far more curt than I though. But I hold my own. [Big Grin]

I just wasn't sure how to articulate that briefly. [Smile]

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mr_porteiro_head
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That doesn't seem odd to me at all.
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beverly
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Oh, yeah, sure. Disagree with me. [Razz]
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beverly
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The fact is, many men "walk on eggshells" around their significant other. There seems to be a general feeling that women are more likely to get irrationally offended at a word than a man. Though, sometimes it goes the other way too.

Porter says what he thinks--there isn't much filter between thought and spoken word. That's the way he is. I don't let it bother me. I used to, but after 6+ years, you understand each other's "style". I actually love the fact that I always know he is telling me the truth. That is the very heart of sincerity.

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mr_porteiro_head
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No woman that needs to have people walk on eggshells for her ever made it past a first date with me. [Dont Know]

edit: Not because of lack of interest on my part, but because they were never interested in me once they got to know me.

[ September 03, 2004, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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PSI Teleport
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quote:
Teach the sister to hit back.
This was the tactic in my extended family growing up. The rule was, if you hit someone they get to hit you back, and if they won't, the adult in charge gets to do it.

Many a fight ended with the aggressor pleading with the victim: "Hit me! Hit me! Please! Please hit me."

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mr_porteiro_head
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[ROFL]
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Glenn Arnold
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Tom:

If your post about correcting someone's definition is directed toward me (I can't tell) I was not correcting your definition, merely explaining my interpretation of what I think you are saying. And yes, I realized after I posted it that there were nine more pages I didn't know were there (I had read to the bottom of the page and hit the reply button).

TMedina:

I'm not sure sarcastic is the correct word to use, but yes, you got the gist of it. Perhaps "ironic" is a better term.

beverly:

Your definition #2 is what I had in mind. Religions work together to accomplish things.

One of those things is evangelism, which, from the atheist viewpoint is not a good thing. Suddenly perspective turns what religions would call a "good work" into something more insidious.

So perhaps another definition of "fundamentalist" would be: Someone who believes that since his/her viewpoint is fundamentally correct, s/he is justified in ramming it down everyone else's throat.

Most religions preach tolerance of some sort, and many are actively working to reconcile, or to establish interfaith relationships, yet they still function under the assumption that the truth of God is fundamentally correct. Even the word "interfaith" leaves atheists out of the equation.

An example of how this works out is that after 9/11, there were many community gatherings, vigils, support groups, etc. intended to provide individuals with the opportunity to feel the healing comfort of being part of a larger community that was sharing the same pain and confusion. Yet the invitiation to attend these vigils invariably said: "Members of all religions are welcome to attend." It didn't occur to these people that their invitation specifically excludes atheists. And we were hurting too.

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TMedina
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I don't know how many athiests would have attended - for those of us who don't believe in a Supreme Being, any notion of praying to a figment of undigested beef would not have helped ease the pain.

And the idea that any such support group would have involved some notion of religious overtones would have kept athiests away, even if the support group didn't have any intention of holding a prayer service or similar ritual.

So, to clarify, I can't fault the religions involved as they were kind enough to make their invitations open to "all faiths" - any athiest not attending would have done so out as much a misguided notion of what would be offered as much as what might actually have been offered.

It's the same reason why I don't attend functions sponsored by religious organizations. I either don't want to be sermonized to, or I feel like I'm attending under false pretenses and I don't care for the "thief in the night" feeling.

-Trevor

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Dagonee
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quote:
Yet the invitiation to attend these vigils invariably said: "Members of all religions are welcome to attend." It didn't occur to these people that their invitation specifically excludes atheists. And we were hurting too.
Goes back to the "Is atheism a religion?" question.

I think the answer is contextual, and in this context it clearly is.

Dagonee

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Glenn Arnold
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Vera

quote:
Tom is right. I'm a weak athiest; I think it's possible a god could exsist, but there is no evidence and it's a bit like believeing in unicorns or fairies. Also, until a few years ago I would have called myself an athiest without a second though because athiest=someone who didn't believe in god. It is only in recent years that I've heard athiesm redefined as active denial, and so had to redefine myself as an agnostic. In a way this kind of annoys me, and I can't help but think this redefinition is an attempt on the part of the religious to redefine athiesm to make it easier to argue against.
My feeling on this is that you shouldn't have to redefine yourself at all. "Active denial" is an accusation made of atheists by theists. Bear in mind, Noah Webster was a Calvinist minister. His original definition of atheist was:

1. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God, or supreme intelligent being. An atheist was formerly disqualified as a witness, and in England could not qualify for membership in the House of Commons.
2. A godless person; one who lives immorally, as if disbelieving in God.

Definition #2 isn't so much a definition as an insult. Even his first definition assumes the existence of God, which is unnecessary for the purposes of defining atheism.

One of the things about atheism is that since we are defined by what we aren't, there really is no motivation to get together and "do atheist stuff." Hence, we don't "conspire" much.

However, the overwhelming pressure exerted by religion acts as a motivating force, and atheists do react to it by getting together and commiserating. As a result, newsgroups such as alt.atheism, and websites such as infidels.org are among the most heavily trafficked on the internet.

If you go there, you will find that the atheist community is rather adamant that the definition of atheist is: "One who lacks belief in a god or gods."

I for one get pretty ticked when someone tells me that this definition is wrong, and Webster's is right. Theists have no business telling me what I believe.

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Dagonee
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Actually, they're not telling you what you believe. They're saying what a word in the English language mean. Language is developed by the community at large, and a word is not the exclusive domain of those who lay claim to it.

Dagonee

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Glenn Arnold
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Trevor:

This was a pretty hot topic on alt.atheism at the time. Bear in mind, most of these groupings weren't billed as "Prayer vigils." Many were sponsored by fire departments or schools, and were just intended to fill a void, since the general feeling at the time was some kind of empty, painful helplessness. We all wanted to feel like we were doing something about it, but there was nothing to do. So yes, a lot of atheists felt left out of these events.

It would have been easy enough simply to say: "Everyone is welcome to attend." But none of the atheists I was in contact with at the time saw any such invitation.

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Glenn Arnold
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Dagonee:

I know southerners who insist that the "n-word" is merely a word that identifies black people.

As far as the english language is concerned, in the word atheism the prefix "a" simply means "not." An atheist is simply "not a theist."

The reason this is important is that we have to live with it as an accusation. Most atheists are "in the closet" so to speak. Some even go to church, since it keeps peace in the family. To insist that we "deny" god is putting words in our mouth. It's unnecessary, and inaccurate.

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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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I have nothing of importance to add to this, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed following along with the debate. [Smile]
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pooka
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Hmm. In the revived spirit of Hatrack I think this thread is really inappropriate.
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Dagonee
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How so?
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BannaOj
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Well the title for one. Is comparing Mrs. Powell to the Devil any better than comparing George W. Bush to Hitler?

I mean in terms of absolute moral depravity you've got to hand it to the Devil every time.

AJ

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BannaOj
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And as I made it clear early on in the thread, I think Mrs. Powell's fear for her husbands life is pretty legit. I say that having a significant other who is multi-racial, and having seen some of the crap they have to deal with.

AJ

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mr_porteiro_head
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Comparing sombody to the devil is over-the-top enough that it manages to not be as offensive as comparing somebody to Hitler, who was just a human, after all.
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Scott R
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Um. . . let's not get carried away.

One of the two threads was using hyperbole. The other was trying to make a realistic comparison.

Unless you're all being sarcastic. . .

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BannaOj
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But who is judging what's "over the top"? The argument could easily be made that the Bush-Hitler thing was just as over the top.

AJ

Especially when there are people out there that believe in a literal Devil but deny the Holocaust.

[ September 08, 2004, 05:46 PM: Message edited by: BannaOj ]

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saxon75
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Besides, everyone knows that women are the devil.
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BannaOj
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Well how was the Bush-Hitler thread NOT hyperbole?

Did the person actually mean it as a truly legit comparison? I think that Rabbit made it clear from the beginning that it was.

AJ

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Scott R
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Except that the initial poster on this thread made it clear that he/she doesn't REALLY think Mrs. Powell is the devil.

Anyway-- it's true that Colin Powell's wife will not let him run for president.

It is not true that George Bush said some of the things that were credited to him in That Other Thread.

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TomDavidson
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"It is not true that George Bush said some of the things that were credited to him in That Other Thread."

It's more technically accurate to say that we aren't sure that George Bush said some of those things. He may well have said them; if he didn't say them, some conservative preachers are lying. Ergo, the quotes are flimsy and deceptive but not proven inaccurate.

[ September 08, 2004, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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BannaOj
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Considering that Rabbit referenced the Al Gore/Unibomber thread in her first post, I think it was obvious it was hyperbole.

(obviously hyperbole can be offensive, but that's exactly my point)

AJ

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Sara Sasse
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Scott, I'm confused. (I promise, not trolling -- honest questions).

Would it have been tolerable to compare the statements of Bush Jr to the statements of Hitler, provided that there was sufficient substantiation that each, indeed, did make the claims attributed to him?

Would it have been tolerable to compare the statements of Bush Jr to those of the Unabomber or Stalin, provided that there was sufficient substantiation that each, indeed, did make the claims attributed to him?

Would it have been tolerable to title a thread "Bush Jr is the Devil," even if there was joking around afterward?

I confess to being very confused. I find inaccuracy always to be distressing, and I was quite distressed to find that the real transcripts of Bush Jr's 2003 State of the Union did not include the quotes attributed to him (as noted by Kristine Card), despite the fact that this inaccuracy is blazoned across the net.

But I don't understand the above distinctions, if they are being made.

[Edit: "okay" -> "tolerable"]

[ September 08, 2004, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: Sara Sasse ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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As someone who didn't get a chance to read that Gore/Unibomber thread, I was not aware that it was supposed to be hyperbole.

Actually, I'm still not entirely convinced.

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Dagonee
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So at worst this thread title is unacceptable, not the initial post nor the discussion of that post.

They've changed thread titles before while leaving the post ("Good...OSC...").

There was no way to salvage the locked thread.

Dagonee

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BannaOj
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m_p_h, just a curious question, bear with me here. Do you know Rabbit's religious affilation?

AJ

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beverly
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Can the mods not unlock a thread once it is locked? Like deleted threads?

For the record, I am of the opinion that the locking was not necessary. But that is neither here nor there. My reason for thinking that is because while some might buy into such a silly comparison, I think few, if any, on Hatrack would. I don't think the discussion was a lost cause or unproductive.

But I can understand that our mods found it extremely offensive and repugnant and therefore locked it. It may have been a decision made in the passion of the moment--and even so I wouldn't fault them for it. It is their right, and the price I pay to be here. I am a child trying to obey the rules in my friend's house for the priviledge of playing there.

[ September 08, 2004, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: beverly ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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No, I know nothing about Rabbit's personal life.
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BannaOj
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Well I find one of the ironies of all of this m_p_h is that Rabbit is decidedly and devoutly LDS from everything I know. And I bet you would have given her more of a pass had you known. It's just human nature.

AJ

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Scott R
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Why would anyone give anyone a 'pass' just because they belong to the same religion?

(I knew that Rabbit was LDS, btw.)

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