X-Message-Number: 20188
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 17:41:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dani Kollin <>
Subject: Mr. Dee's challenge - I give up what round

Mr. Dee,

Not to belabor the point but what the heck.

You said,  If you think that secular movements ALSO
contain a specific irrational belief which facilitates
atrocities, please describe that specific belief.  
And further that Eytan s points did not meet your

With regards to Stalin and Hitler, I think Eytan did a
pretty good job of describing those despots irrational
beliefs. Though you seemed to have dismissed those out
of hand.  With regards to China it seems pretty
obvious. There s a clearly irrational belief in
community over individuality to the point of rendering
a single individual s life meaningless. And hence a
facilitation of atrocities that has resulted in
millions of deaths. That those deaths are not a result
of  physical imperfections  but rather simple
inconvenience (boys earn more money) is beside the
point. Dead is dead and murder is murder. That s an
atrocity in my book.
It s amazing to me how you manage to ignore that
rather salient fact.  And then you have the audacity
to ask   Do you honestly believe that raising a child
destined to starve to death is really more moral? 
Hmmm than murdering her at birth?  Uh, yeah. At least
she s got a fighting chance if she s breathing
(American and European adoption being one of them).
And by the way my daughter s adopted. I shudder to
think how she would have fared in your dystopic

Re: Washington s views on religion, and speaking of
shoddy scholarship, I took the liberty of visiting the
site, earlyamerica.com, to which you directed me.
Wahsington's farewell address was not a  fraud  as you
claimed but rather a collaboration. A collaboration, I
might ad that Washington ultimately had the final
approval of. In fact this is what your site had to say
about his farewell address:

 The result, rewritten again by Washington in a final
version, and admittedly a collaborative effort,
nonetheless embodies the thoughts, ideas and
principles of the retiring president. 

The site then goes on to say that among other ideas,
Washington's farewell address stresses the importance
of religion and morality giving the following quote
from the address:

 "Where is the security for property, for reputation,
for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert
the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation
in Courts of Justice?

Re: Socrates' Euthyphro:  I found this snippet you
might be interested in.


 As for his [Socrates ] other religious beliefs, it
appears clear that like most of his contemporaries, he
put faith in the oracle of Apollo at Delphi (see
Plato, Apology 20e ff.; Xenophon, Apology 14), as well
as in a number of other modes of divination (see
Plato, Apology 33c; Xenophon, Apology 12; Memorabilia
1.1.9). He is also portrayed as somewhat passively
accepting the mythical accounts of nature and natural
phenomena. In Plato's Apology, for example, he
dismisses Anaxagoras's view that the sun and moon are
not gods as "absurd" (26d-e). Even when such accounts
struck his intellectual contemporaries as unlikely,
Socrates is shown to regard as vain and pointless the
attempt to provide naturalistic explanations of the
traditional myths - he says that those who do this
reveal a "bumpkinish kind of wisdom" (Phaedrus 229e).
He did have his doubts about myths portraying the gods
as immoral, but even these he could not bring himself
to deny outright (Euthyphro 6a-b). 

Oh and Mr. Dee since you were kind enough to suggest a
children s book on secular morality for Eytan, I m
taking the liberty of suggesting a children s book on
Religious morality for you: 
So What Does God Have to Do With Who I Am? by Joey

By all means Mr. Dee, continue to live in your glass
house.  Eytan and I will cease the throwing of stones
made out of inconvenient, or as you would say, non-
applicable facts.  

Dani Kollin

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