Warning! Controversial Thread: " Artist defiantly draws Prophet Mohammed"

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by tripwire45, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Fergal, it sounds to me (and correct me if I'm wrong) that since we believers are not able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is the Word of the Almighty, related in a supernatural way to the human writers, that you refuse to believe that it has any validity...at least in a literal sense (of course books like Song of Songs are poetic and thus allegorical...otherwise we'd have to believe that Solomon was *only* writing about a woman's breasts). There's a famous passage from the Talmud about two great Torah teachers...Shammai and Hillel who lived at or about the time of Jesus.
    Source: http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/ahavas-yisroel/08.htm

    If you are really interested in investigating the Bible, you've been provided with enough resources in this thread to start your own inquiry to prove to yourself (and to anyone else) the Bible's validity one way or the other. This is a very involved and time consuming subject and no one including me has the time and probably not the scholarship sufficient to answer your questions. As Hillel intimated to the man with the query "Here's your starting point. Study it for yourself".

    It's not up to us to "prove" why we believe what we believe. We have already stated that the root of our belief is faith. Almost no one comes to faith through studying alone (though two examples of such have been cited). Most people come to faith because we have a yearning in our Souls to know our place in the Universe and our relationship with our Creator. Human beings don't bring other human beings to Christ (despite what some churches preach), only G-d brings man to salvation. If you close your heart, that's your choice and not even G-d, let alone Freddy, Michael, and me) will (or in our cases can) get through that barrier. The first step is always yours and is between you and Him. Like I said, we've played "Hillel" to your "questionner". That's all we can do.
     
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  2. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I'd only like to add one thing to this.

    There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that the Bible itself is true. The prophecies can be proven, the history that the Bible gives has been scoffed at many times, but has been proven true by archaeologists time after time. Take Jericho for example. For a long, long time, no one but Christians believed the city of Jericho existed, but archaeologists have found it, and found the evidence of the collapse of its walls at one time.

    Another example would be the city of Tyre. It was once one of the largest, richest seaports in existence, but God said it would be destroyed and never rebuilt because of the wickedness that existed there. It never has never been rebuilt. It no longer exists.
     
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  3. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Perhaps Trip, but I am not without a relationship to the Divine. I do have a relationship with the Gods, its different from your relationship, but I do still have it. I Don't believe in the bible as the word of god, but it sounds... I dont know, it just doesnt sit right. Its a book, written by men, and copied many times. I just dont buy into it.

    Mike, I may not be a Christian any longer, but I was. And Im talking about what I believed then, not now (Although it still forms part of my belief system).

    And on that note, I'm going to call it quits on this thread. Its all been very interesting and, for the most part very informative (and unusually polite for a discussion on religion), but I feel we're going round in circles now. I, and others, dont believe what you believe. You dont believe what we believe. Neither of us can prove either way (and we've all admitted so - always a good start), so it comes down to the 'I believe' element. This is, unfortunately, something that, as we agree, cant be disputed since its a faith based on no information/solid fact (thats what makes it a belief).

    Its also a massive deviation from the thread as a whole.

    I do have a parting question though. Not really anything to do with the thread but more on religion in general. When I discuss matters such as this with people of a religious bent, they usually end up wanting to part ways on a prayer. I'm a polite enough guy, and am quite happy to let them do so. After all, it cant do me any harm now, can it? But how would you react if I wanted to issue a prayer to Hecate? Would you let me do it? Or would you (and I've had this before) adamantly refuse?

    Part of the problem with todays society is tolerance, there are too many people (although usually in the minority as a whole - but then, even one is too many in my book) who are intolerant of other religions. Who would adamantly refuse to allow someone from a different faith to issue a prayer to their gods as they wish to do to their own (too many theys!!!!). If everyone allowed themselves to be tolerant enough to let this (small) thing take place, how much different would the world be? Its a small thing, but small things can have large effects.
     
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  4. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Since you mentioned having a parting question, I assume this means you'll be around for the parting answer. I too have a question relative to your stated belief in the Greek goddess Hecate. If you believe the Bible is man-made and thus suspect, what source of information do you use to support a belief in Hecate?

    I have to admit, I'd feel really uncomfortable. To me, Hecate is completely man-made and idolatry is strictly forbidden to me. Participating in a prayer to an idol is against my belief system so I'd likely bow out at that point.

    Being "intolerant" is often used as a way of saying that believers are "bad" in some sense or at least not as loving or compassionate as non-believers. It's also a way of holding someone "socially hostage" since we all want to be thought well of by others. However, it also comes down to what you believe. Will you stand by your convictions, regardless of what men think or cave in for the sake of tolerance and political correctness? The dictionary definition of tolerance is basically "putting up with something, even though you don't like it"...sort of like "pain tolerance". The "new tolerance" seems to really mean accepting some person or situation (or at least pretending you do).

    In the Bible, Peter told the corrupt legal and religious authorities of his day that "we must obey G-d, not men". That's incumbant on any of us who say they believe in the G-d of the Bible and it's a test. Do we really believe and live out our convictions, even if others critisize us for it?
     
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  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Ok. Yes I'm still here. Ill answer your question since you were so kind as to answer mine.

    Firstly, Im an ecclectic Pagan. I believe in all pantheons of gods (my belief on the gods is actually fairly more complex than that, but we'll leave it at that for now). It boils down to faith again I suppose. My entire belief system is founded from listening/debating others about various subjects and, if it feels right to me, incorporating it into my beliefs. I actually choose to worship none of the gods (although Im more drawn to the Celtic pantheon than others), but I respect all of them, and do so in all my dealings with them. Based on reading various texts that discuss their aspects (including some that approach it from a historical viewpoint, rather than a worshippers), I get an idea of what the god in question holds power over, etc. After that, anything I build up is based solely on my interactions with them, and I do interact with them (although admittedly not as much as I maybe should do, my magical works have taken a back seat on the past few years). Again, I apply the principals that I applied to the bible. I dont trust the words per se, but look to the meanings behind them. And I ultimately make the judgement as to whether it feels right to me, just, ultimately, as you do with your faith. If it didnt feel right, you wouldnt believe it. Maybe that feeling comes from hearing god, or the gods, etc, maybe its just that its right for you. Maybe its just a convenient lie we each find for ourselves. Who knows.

    There are schools of thought amongst Practitioners, that none of the gods exist, that they all exist as Archetypes within our subconscious mind. My thinking tends to fluctuate somewhere in between most of the time. I personally think they are a combination of archetypes within us, and entities of their own accord (the whole, everyone carries part of god/the gods within them idea).

    On the subject of you not being comfortable with it, I fully appreciate that. I can understand it, and its partly why I dont always offer. All I ask, is that you follow the sentiment that is mirrored in both an example you gave before, and a tenet from the magical circles:

    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor"
    "Do Unto others as you would have done unto you"

    If you are not comfortable receiving a prayer from another of a different religion, dont do it to others of a different religion. Nothing annoys me more (and im not necessarily including you guys in this) than people who are so adamant in their belief that they insist on issuing a prayer ("I'll pray for you"), but are unwilling to receive one themselves - even though my praying doesnt affect your belief, and you are not guilty of it, you are merely allowing someone else to practice their faith. Personally, I think all prayers are positive energy. If Im injured, and you want to pray for my recovery, or that of my family, etc. By all means, its all positive energy at the end of the day, and more than welcome.

    And that, ultimately, is what I mean by tolerance. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
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  6. mrlogic0

    mrlogic0 Bit Poster

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    Hi - I'm back after a few days off. Peace!

    I say let all peoples of the world get on with each other and respect our differences (I said 'respect' not 'tolerate', which to me is a negative word as in "I don't like it/him/her but I will put up with it").

    I will here quote a short surah (chapter) of the Qur'an:

    Al-Kafiroun (the Unbelievers)

    Say: "O Unbelievers!
    I worship not that which you worship,
    Nor will you worship that which I worship
    And I will not worship that which you worship
    Nor will you worship that which I worship
    To you be your religion and to me my religion."


    To me this means we (both believers and unbelievers) will not agree so why don't we just agree to disagree and let it be.

    Note: Unbelievers are any people who do not believe in the One God (monotheism) and include atheists.

    Let us respect each other and make the Earth a better place.

    Another point I would like to make is with the word "Fundamentalist". To me, fundamentalist means going back to the basics (fundamentals) and with regard to Islam (literally 'peace') this means try to carry out the basic tenets of this wonderful way of life. I try to follow the Five Pillars of Islam:

    1. Shahada - believe in the Oneness of God (Allah) and believe in His Messenger Muhammed (PBUH)

    2. Salaat - perform the 5 daily prayers

    3. Zakaat - pay the 'poor-due' (charity/giving to the poor/sharing one's wealth)

    4. Saum - fast in the holy month of Ramadaan

    5. Haj - perform the Pilgrimage (to Makkah) if one can afford it

    I have always been taught to be friendly and respectful to everyone. I have/had many Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and atheist/agnostic friends. To me religion does not really come into it - I look at the person, not what s/he believes in.


    PS - one of you guys would like to get your hands on a copy of the Qur'an. I'll see what I can do, however, I am trying to get a copy of an excellent book called 'The Meanings of the Qur'an'. I have an old copy but trying to get some more as this book gets to the 'gist' of the Holy Qur'an.
     
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  7. BosonMichael
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    Sure, you can pray to whomever or whatever you want - I can't stop you from praying. However, I cannot take part in that prayer with you because it is directly against my belief system to pray to anything or anyone other than God.

    I can "tolerate"... but I don't have to "advocate" or "participate".

    Similarly, if I had asked to pray, you can choose to participate or not... that is your choice.
     
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  8. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Mr Logic, do you believe that the west should be subject to Sharia law? The original topic of this thread was about someone defiantly drawing the Mohammed. Now am I right in saying that under Sharia law this is a big no no...if you follow this law then the "peace" element of Islam seems to go out the window as we now see this guys life is being threatened.
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Fergal,

    To tell the truth, I don't know what I'd say, or do. I've never had it happen, and never thought about the possibility before. To be sure, there would be a definite sense of unease on my part. But, as Paul talked about in the NT, just because food was offered to idols didn't mean that a believer couldn't eat it. It was irrelevant to the believer, because the offering made was irrelevant to the believer. I don't believe any God but one exists, so if you offered a prayer to something that doesn't exist should I care? I'm not too sure I should. The other aspect of it to me would be: would my refusal to respect your prayer being offered from the good intentions of your heart cause you to think less of God than my acceptance of your request?

    I don't believe in eating certain types of meat, but one time I was repairing a walk-in cooler for Chinese restaurant and the owner was so grateful he insisted that he serve me my lunch and supper for free as it was a job that took a long time. The meal ended up consisting of meats that I didn't feel it is right for me to eat, but I accepted, and ate, the meals he offered simply because of the spirit the food was offered in. To refuse him would have been extremely rude, and I doubt he would have understood. He could speak very little English, and I would have had a very hard time trying to communicate with him, so I ended up respecting his offer. His offer came from the best of intentions, and from a grateful heart, and I believe God accepts the same thing from everyone even when our "offering" isn't exactly what He would expect it to be, but we did it with all of our heart, and did it out of respect and love for Him.

    It's one thing if we know what God asks of us and we refuse to respond, or insist in responding in a manner that God says He won't accept. It's another thing altogether when we respond incorrectly because of ignorance, but with the right motives, as Christianity is ultimately about love for God, and love for our fellow man. For the Christian, the latter can't really exist without the former.
     
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  10. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    Apart from once again completely misquoting me - you really took a course in evolution? And you still manage to so completely not have a clue how it works? That is really quite an achievement.
     
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  11. geezer

    geezer New Member

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    I was raised as a Catholic but found the ways very rigid and didn't really help in practical matters with relation to prayer and later discovered spiritual warfare. Yes, just as Jesus did, we too can fight against the enemy and I have seen it in action - my wife was only healed by prayer for instance when doctors could do nothing and I heard word-for-word my prayer for healing for her a a much later date about an issue causing her distress for some time, come from a Christian minister visiting our church at that time; the exact description was repeated seconds after I prayed the exact same thing.

    Fergal, seems that you look for proof and in the days of Jesus he gathered large amounts of followers performing miracles. There are people who experience miracles these days too but a great source of information regarding Christianity would be the late Derek Prince (Derek Prince Ministries) who has a lot of great information and eductational books/leaflets which may be interesting for you. He didn't start out as a Christian but his story is truely remarkable and what he said about the bible.
     
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  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Nope. Once again you miss you have missed my point. I never even claimed that all of evolution was blind chance or random. It is, however, based upon mutations that happen completely randomly. No evolutionist that I've ever talked to, or books that I've read ever dispute that fact. The fact that you keep claiming that I'm saying something I'm not is pretty funny.
     
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  13. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    I'm glad you entertain yourself so much. I didn't miss your point, because you didn't make one - except to misquote me yet again. And I never claimed anything - so there's another misquote: Are you going for some kind of record?
     
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  14. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Fergal, I hope I'm not taking you too far out of context but it sounds like what you are saying is that your beliefs are based on what "feels right" to you. That is, the entire basis of your faith has to do with your internal and subjective intellectual and emotional states. Let me ask this. Is there any part of your faith that you feel uncomfortable about but adhere to anyway because you know it serves a higher moral truth than what people could construct on their own?

    I say all this, and I'm not trying to be insulting, because people are always trying to created G-d in their image. Ten seconds after Moses brought the stone tablets down from Sinai, I don't doubt that the Children of Israel were trying to interpret them in a way that they could "feel right" about, but not necessarily in a way that was intended by the Creator.

    I know that faith by its very nature, is a subjective experience so I suppose Freddy, Michael, and I could be said to believe because it "feels right for us". The difference I think is that we accept a higher moral authority, even when as mere human beings, we don't always understand His workings. Sure, there are some liberal churches and synagogues that bend the meaning of the Bible so that it's more politically correct and in step with Western thought, but those who are honest students of the Bible (and in Matthew 28, Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples (students) of all nations...not converts) and who study the Bible and its larger context come to accept what are sometimes hard truths about us, G-d, and our role in His universe. I just don't see a lot of substance in how you describe your faith. It seems like a discussion of various ancient Roman, Greek, and other pagan gods that has no more substance to me than fog.

    All that said, I want to thank you for expressing your beliefs and your faith. I know what it is to take that kind of risk and I'm sure you understood that I was unlikely to attribute a lot of authority to concepts such as Celtic pantheons and others. Thank you for being willing to let us know how you see things.

    Hopefully, you don't see what I've just said as violating the above quote since we are both expressing our points of view and why we hold them.

    Thanks for going into these details, mrlogic0. I really appreciate the insight. While reading your post, I thought of the 13 Principles of Faith authored by the famous Jewish sage Ramban that is the basis for the Jewish theology:
    I believe that Christians would hold to the same principles or at least the majority of them and would particularly adhere to the 12th principle of having faith in the Messiah's coming.

    There's so much more in the posts that have been created since I last peeked in that deserves comment, but I'll stop here...at least for now. Thanks again for opening up here, gang. This thread has sometimes been a little rough around the edges but a lot of good discussion has come out of it, too.
     
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  15. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Oh by the way everyone, it is understood that we aren't going to agree with each other but that said, please try to respect each other and leave any sarcasm out of the thread. If you need to have a more "frank" conversation, you can always PM, email or IM each other. Thanks. :)
     
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  16. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    You're right Trip, I knew you were going to see it that way. Anyone who doesnt believe it tends to think much the same. Theres not really any part of my faith that doesnt feel comfortable. My logic is that, if its not the truth for me, then it doesnt feel right.

    That said, there are higher authorities. I believe in Karma, and the threefold law of return (Whatever you do will be returned to you threefold). In this regard, those who do good are rewarded, and those who do 'bad', are not. There are nefarious ways to circumvent this to some extent, but those sort of actions usually end up with much higher comeback.

    Perhaps that seems to you to be wrong, and I dont doubt that it does. I suppose you could consider it like this then: I believe that we are all in charge of our own destiny, and that there is no heaven (theres a summerland, and reincarnation). There is no-one saying what is right or wrong but ourselves. BUT, we all pay the price of our actions. Its not actually quite as simple as that, but that will do as a rough overview.

    Freddy, I have to say that I have to commend your attitude with regards to other people. Not many people (and I can think of people within Paganism who are just as guilty of this) are able to take the view that, it has no effect on them, so thats fine. And ultimately, thats all I'm asking for. If I'm wrong, then the prayer I issue will, at worst, have no effect. At best, it will be 'intercepted' by your god who may choose to honour it, since it relates to one of his believers. And if theres any punishment to be had for the prayer from your God, its certainly not going to go to you, who sat there thinking, "well, the belief is rubbish, but the sentiment is good".

    (Cough, ok ok, Last post, I promise)
     
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  17. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Whats Franks email address trip as i haven't seen it posted yet :biggrin
     
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  18. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Then according to your beliefs, the universe isn't based on an absolute morality but one that each individual constructs for themselves. If so, why believe in "gods" at all if in fact each person is in control?
    Ok, now I'm officially confused. If we are all in charge of our own destinies, then how does Karma come in? There would have to be some larger cosmic mechanism in place that "administers" Karma, either some unintelligent "balancing act" such as "yin and yang" or an intelligent supernatural force measuring the balance and returning reward or punishment for human deeds. Also, if no one is determining what is right or wrong but ourselves, then what role could Karma play unless it rewards us for what we do that is consistent with our concept of "right" and punishing us for what we do that is consistent with our concept of "wrong". You're right in that it gives a person a huge amount of control over what happens to us. All we have to do is behave in accordance to what we personally believe is right (regardless of what others may think or feel). and we'll be constantly rewarded. You'd have to be crazy to deliberately do what you would personally think of as wrong, knowing that you are being punished by your own standards (as opposed to those established by a higher power).

    The problem I see (if I'm understanding you correctly) is that each person is going to determine "right" and "wrong" for themselves in at least a slightly different way from the next person. Sometimes that "right" and "wrong" is determined in radically different ways. Sociopaths who commit violent crimes such as rape and murder don't have the internal moral structure to empathize with their victims and as far as anyone can tell, they believe that what they've done is "right" for them. I know you've previously agreed with the sentiment of "Don't do to others what you wouldn't have done to you", but this isn't entirely consistent with your understandings or beliefs. While you as an individual may not believe it's right to harm another, that's not true for everyone.

    Either there is a larger power determining what's right or wrong or there isn't. If there is, then we will all ultimately be held accountable to that single moral standard. If not, then we might as well live in chaos with no laws, ethics, or moral because it's "every man for himself". You can't have it both ways.
    That's too bad, actually. While we don't agree with each other, I have learned quite a lot and would be interested in trying to understand more about your understanding of how things work in the universe. I enjoy debates of this kind as long as the parties are not taking pot shots at each other and can present their views without "personalizing conflict". Thanks for the insights, mate.

    @ThomasMc...Hardy har har. :biggrin
     
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  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks, Fergal.

    I don't even know that I think your belief is "rubbish". I think you're extremely mistaken, and believe in something false, but every human being has implanted inside them a longing for God. And, there are powerful forces on this earth that cause people to try to fill that need in some way other than God. So, a belief in something larger than, and outside of, a person's self is hardly "rubbish" to me as I believe God placed the longing in your heart for something like that to begin with. That I believe you've filled it the wrong way to me is no different than that you've made a mistake in any other part of your life. How can I condemn you for that? I'd be very hypocritical to condemn you for your choice when I have made very similar choices in my lifetime.

    I think this is one thing people mistake about me. I may tear their logic apart, or belief system apart, but it's very rarely personal. I do the same to my own belief systems, and I am very critical of my own decision making process too. I also never take offense at someone trying to destroy my line of thinking, if they attack the logic rather than me, because it offers me the opportunity to fill in any holes I may have in what I believe. I guess I just assume that most other people would be the same way, and are not going to take offense at what I welcome. I would hate to go through life living on incorrect assumptions. I'd much rather think things through and understand exactly why, and what, I believe.
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    Yep... same here. I challenge things I believe to be incorrect because I expect to be challenged when I am incorrect.
     
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