X-Message-Number: 19348
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 21:23:33 -0700
From: "John Grigg" <>
Subject: The influence of religion on society

Mark Walker wrote:
Actually Xena stands up to the gods that send plagues and famines 
instead of worshiping them, so I think Xena is on a much higher 
moral plain than the human pawns and bootlickers in the Revelation to St. John.
  Also, you make it sound as though fighting with swords is primitive. 
Our airline pilots and stewardesses aren't even allowed to have 
swords, so I guess they're living in a world more primitive than Xena's...
  Actually, as usual, your points are well taken.

The Book of Revelation is about how God pours out his righteous wrath on a 
"dysfunctional" world which refuses to change for the better.  A world filled 
with violence, crime and injustice caused by humans to humans.  Whether in life 
or death by execution, Revelation shows how God will look out for those who 
choose him over the viciousness of the age.  

I think Xena would really like the two prophets who for a time are untouchable 
as they go about preaching repentance to the wicked! lol  It will also be quite 
a story for CNN!

As for the poor flight attendants(we don't call them stewardesses anymore!), I 
would rather keep them out of the fight if at all possible.  We should in my 
opinion simply have at least FOUR plainclothed air marshals or military 
policemen on each and every flight.  It worked for Israel! 

David Stodolsky wrote:
The internal effect of anti-terrorism legislation is the crushing of
peaceful dissent, making terrorist attacks more likely, which justifies
more repressive legislation, etc. Human rights, and particularly
information rights, are being eliminated on a grand scale.

This is a nightmarish downward spiral which also greatly worries me!!  I often 
wonder to what extent it will go, and whether the public will have the spine to 
stand up to it.  I just have a feeling we will forever be dealing with "shadowy 
boogymen" who the gov't will claim must be stopped by the "realistic" curtailing
of freedom.  I am afraid people would much rather have security than liberty.

Mark Plus wrote:
People aren't lining up to buy the latest installment in a series of 
optimistic novels about a Transhuman future titled "Leapt Ahead."  

Damien Broderick should write this series! : )  It will wind up right next to 
the Harry Potter books he hates(if he gets really lucky!).

you continue:
At the 
very least, the diversion of resources towards the charlatans and cranks who 
promote supernatural doomsday beliefs has some measurable consequences.

The authors of the series do not deserve to be called "charlatans and cranks".  
I do agree that the books will have an effect on the United States, but it may 
be hard to actually measure it.  While you certainly have the right to say 
within certain bounds whatever you want here(as is the case for all of us), I 
just feel stirring the pot to start contention between 
transhumanists/cryonicists against mainstream religion is not always the way to 
go in trying to build bridges.  Cryonet after all is read by not just the 
hardcore cryonicist.

I will admit rather ironically that in time certain evangelical authors and 
publishers will target transhumanism, and to a lesser extent probably cryonics.
These very authors and publishers had a field day with Mormons, secular 
humanism, etc., and it is only a matter of time before in full earnestness(and 
the desire for a best seller!) they turn their guns on us.  

Robert Ankerberg is among the sharpest of them in both intellect and 
professionalism, and his widely seen tv show holds panel discussions and 
sometimes even debates.  My church has been one of his favorite topics! lol  I 
would actually like to see in time Dr. Jerry Lemler, David Pizer, Max More or 
Robert Ettinger pay him a visit.  Later, a videotape would immortalize the 
event, and be made available for tv viewers and Christian bookstores to buy.  
Talk about getting cryonics memes out by any way necessary!    

Oh, and I didn't even mention Bob Larson!  He is the king of "shock Christian" 
radio talk. LOL!  Bob likes to provoke people, so it would take a very in 
control person to deal with him properly.  I will admit he has really turned 
around some young lives that were on the edge of total destruction due to drugs 
and abuse.  His method is to make sure evangelical people in their area get with
them so that they are actually given longterm help.

you continue:
I do hope this sort of cultural obsession fades in a few years.  I'm 
especially worried that such beliefs might impair the judgment of key 
figures in the U.S. government when it comes to policy and war-making in the 
Middle East.  

This cultural obsession may ebb and flow over the next few decades, but it will 
if anything only gain momentum over the next decade or two.  And it is only a 
matter of time before the "Left Behind" twelve hour miniseries comes out!  

Actually, according to some interpretations of the Bible, you will get your wish
on this "obsession" fading, but with it being replaced by a mania for a beloved
world "savior" who will in the end be known as the AntiChrist.  I just hope we 
both live long enough to see how things actually develop.  I don't want to miss 
all the excitement while in a dewar!  Mark, I want you to have a front-row seat 
view of everything, too. : )        

I forget the author's name, but I remember a political columnist writing how he 
was worried an evangelical Christian U.S. President might be more prone to veer 
us into a nuclear war since it just might in his/her mind be the fulfillment of 
scriptural prophecy anyway!  A very scary thought.  I don't expect a madman in 
the White House, but instead a person who is trying to do the right thing, but 
influenced by his/her upbringing.   

you continue:
Optimism about a human-controlled destiny is consistent with 
Americans' real values regarding risk-taking, novelty and achievement, and I 
look forward to the resurgence of this tradition.

I like to think of our "destiny" as a human-controlled, yet God influenced 
journey(if we will allow it) which will ultimately lead to a better world, but 
possibly not until we have gone through some very hard times as a nation and 
planet.  I am not one of those people who believe all bad things are simply 
God's will and that we should just shrug our shoulders and not try to change 
things for the better ourselves.  And Christian organizations such as 
WORLDVISION are examples of this. 

I would like everyone on the list to be at least aware of the viewpoint of 
Biblical prophecy, just in case in turns out to be true, which I believe it is.
The Mormon viewpoint expands on the evangelical one most people are familiar 
with.  One of these days I will explain regarding what Latter-day Saints 
believe.  The Mormon church is a rapidly growing power so it is worth knowing 

Finally Mark, what I think you need is a little "Anders Sandberg" optimism in 
your life! : )  Now he is a person who inspires me with his balance of 
intelligence, education, wisdom and positiveness.

I just want to say I care about you folks.

best wishes,


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