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Faces of discrimination
October 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Shining light on Emory school's past anti-Semitism prompts healing – and, for one man, questions

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) – Sixteen years after Susan Shulman Tessel lost her father, she sat on a Southern college campus Wednesday night and couldn't stop thinking about him. Surrounded by hundreds in a packed ballroom, she cried because he was missing. He should have been there with her and her mother. He deserved to be.

The late Irving Shulman was the only Jewish man to enter Emory University’s School of Dentistry in 1948. That was the same year someone else came to the school: the newly appointed dean, John E. Buhler.

After one academic year, Shulman flunked out. Buhler stayed on for 13 years, leading what some Jewish students would refer to as a “reign of terror.” Between 1948 and 1961, when Buhler left, 65% of Jewish students either failed out or were forced to repeat up to two years of coursework in the four-year program.

Those who lasted often paid. There were insults from professors such as “dirty Jew,” accusations by faculty of cheating and questions from the dean like, “Why do you Jews want to be dentists? You don't have it in your hands.”

Tessel's dad earned the distinction of being the first who failed.

Irving Shulman's widow, Irma Shulman-Weiner, and daughter Susan Shulman Tessel came to Emory last week because he couldn't.

His daughter, who lives in New York, heard him tell stories about the constant reminders of how awful he was. His molds of teeth  which he was so proud of  would either get crushed by hands or grades. Convinced he wasn't being treated fairly, a non-Jewish classmate agreed to turn in one of Shulman's molds under his name. Shulman's handiwork earned that student an A-minus.

“At least he knew he didn't make it up,” Tessel said.

Her late father gave up his dentistry dream and moved on to pharmacy school. But, she said, being at Emory last week would have helped him make sense of what had transpired. That's when 19 former Jewish dental students who had experienced that era came together and finally received the apology and recognition they had never thought possible.

“He didn't have the benefit of knowing he wasn't alone."

'A fraternity of silence'

Three years after Shulman was dubbed a failure at the end of his first academic year, Perry Brickman got his surprise letter from the dean telling him the same. Unlike Shulman, though, he had never been told he wasn't doing well.

Stunned. Embarrassed. Brickman was both. But he wasn't beaten down enough to give up on dentistry and was accepted to the dental school at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated fourth in his class. He would go on to have a 43-year career as a respected oral surgeon in Atlanta. He knew he was no failure. He also knew he wasn't alone. He was one of four Jewish men who entered the school in 1951; two years later they were all gone.

Brickman, 79, wasn't one to bring up the past. In 2000, he went to a reunion of his Jewish fraternity brothers from their Emory undergrad days. It turned out eight of the men in the room had been scarred by the same dental program, but it's not something they talked about. Brickman's wife, Shirley, would later start calling the former dental students “a fraternity of silence.”

It would be years before that would change.

In 2006, Emory University celebrated its 30th anniversary of Jewish studies. Eric Goldstein, a Jewish history professor, set up the exhibit to coincide with the event. He called it, “Jews of Emory: Faces of a Changing University.”

Most of the exhibit was a celebration of the campus’ Jewish life, Goldstein said, but a small section jumped out at Brickman.

He stared at statistics, a bar graph that illustrated what happened at the dental school between 1948 and 1961. The image had been featured in a chapter of “Some of My Best Friends...,” a book published by the Anti-Defamation League in the early 1960s. Like a skyscraper among short buildings, he said, the bar showing the numbers of Jews who failed out of the school or repeated coursework towered above all others. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

The visual highlighted what Brickman always suspected about the dental school leadership and how that period was handled at Emory: “I wasn't a failure. They were a failure.”

He knew there were stories behind those numbers  not just of those who hadn't made it but also of those who did. Between the statistics and a conversation with a still-burdened classmate, Brickman set out on a path to find them all.

Making waves

A month before one man got his degree, he was forced to stand before the dean and assembled faculty for an hourlong dressing down. Later, one of the professors pulled the student aside and apologized, saying he had a wife and children to think about and had no choice but to play along.

Another said the day he got his diploma he felt like he'd been released from prison. A third repeated what a professor used to call him, "my little black sheep,” and then, bothered by the memory, muttered under his breath, “son of a bitch.”

These men said they were the "lucky" ones; the ones who actually made it through to earn degrees from the school. The 39 Jews who Brickman said enrolled during the Buhler era were all men; few women attended the school back then. Of that bunch, a dozen flunked out. Only three of those 12 became dentists. At least 15 of the Jewish dental students who lasted were forced to repeat coursework – and in some cases a year or two of study.

Art Burns, 80, of Jacksonville, Florida, flunked out in 1953 but went on to be first in his class at Temple University's dental school. The retired orthodontist recalled later bumping into the Emory dean in an Army base dental lab. Buhler looked at him and said, “Burns, I'd recognize that nose anywhere.”

Another who didn't fail – but who Buhler insisted didn't have the hands for dentistry – found himself being asked to treat dental school faculty throughout his senior year. Crowns, restorations, fillings. You name it, Ronald Goldstein did it.

“I must have had good enough hands for them,” said Goldstein, 78, of Atlanta, who lectures around the world, is considered a pioneer in his field and wrote the first comprehensive textbook on cosmetic dentistry.

The men were accepted to the school because admissions were handled by the broader university and not the dental school alone, said history professor Goldstein (no relation to Ronald). While quotas worked against Jews in many institutions at the time, the Emory dental school story was unique in that these students faced discrimination after they arrived.

Art Burns, with his wife, Olly, and daughter Marlēn, failed out of Emory's dental school but was first in his class of 131 students at Temple University.

The issues were talked about in small circles, but they weren’t discussed loudly.

What student would announce he'd flunked? What parents would talk about such news, especially in a community that put such emphasis on academic achievement? And this was Emory, a hometown liberal arts jewel many local Jews attended; who would criticize – or believe criticism about – such a place?

Beyond these hangups was the worry about backlash that permeated Atlanta's Jewish community. It was rooted in fears born of history and reality – Atlanta's infamous lynching of Leo Frank in 1913, the ongoing activity of the Ku Klux Klan, the 1958 bombing of the city's most prominent synagogue. Israel was still a fledgling nation. This was also the immediate post-Holocaust era, a time when Jewish people in America were just starting to understand the magnitude of what had happened abroad, said Deborah Lauter, the Anti-Defamation League's civil rights director.

“It was a real period of insecurity for the Jewish community, and that didn’t really shift 'til 1967,” after the Six-Day War between Israel and its neighbors, she said. “With a war victory came a newfound confidence of Jewish people.”

But a small handful of Atlanta Jews refused to let go of what was happening at the dental school. Art Levin, 95, paid attention to every snippet. Then the Southeast regional director of the ADL, Levin was determined to make Emory own up to and deal with the dental school's anti-Jewish bias. He collected graduation programs, which included lists of students in all four years, and studied how the Jewish surnames disappeared or were held back while their classmates moved ahead. He nurtured contacts who helped get him inside information from the registrar's office to back up his calculations. He wanted to make the case not by outing any victims but by presenting irrefutable facts.

When the local Jewish Community Relations Council wanted to tone down pressure on the university, Levin's response, as he stated in an Emory-commissioned documentary that premiered Wednesday evening: “Screw that. This guy has been torturing students for 10 years.”

Photos: Faces of discrimination

Levin, at the time, was “villified” by segments of the Jewish community for making waves, said ADL’s Lauter, a former Atlanta resident who, like Levin, did a stint as the organization's Southeast regional director. “But that's why we're here for people who face discrimination. Sometimes ADL has to be the tough guy. We take no prisoners in the fight against anti-Semitism.”

While Levin takes great satisfaction in knowing the story is finally getting public acknowledgement, Lauter said it's “bittersweet” for him. “He did feel stung by the whole experience." In 1962, after nine years in his position, he left the world of Jewish community work.

Levin, who now lives in Florida and is hard of hearing, was not able to be interviewed for this story.

A form devised by Buhler, which at the top asked students to check a box – Caucasian, Jewish or other (Emory was not racially integrated at the time) – ended up being his downfall, many say. The university president, S. Walter Martin, had been dismissive of the concerns Levin and some others raised. So when Martin was out of town, Levin brought a copy of the form to Judson “Jake” Ward, the dean of faculty, and Ward grew incensed. He marched down to see Buhler, who resigned soon after.

Emory's president still refused to acknowledge what had been going on and wrote off Buhler’s resignation as coincidental. Martin even insisted to local press, Goldstein said, that Buhler could have stayed at the dental school as long as he wanted.

With the dean gone, Atlanta's Jewish community essentially closed the book and put it away.

Not the man he knew

That book only recently opened for the former dean's son.

A sister-in-law sent John E. Buhler Jr., 65, a copy of a recent story in the The New York Times about the episode. What he read “caught me completely off guard,” he said. “I was completely unaware of that situation.”

He was a kid when his father landed at Emory and always believed politics in academia prompted his departure, nothing more. Everything he ever knew about his father, who died on Easter Sunday in 1976, belied what is being discussed now.

The former dean of Emory's dental school, John E. Buhler, was a different man to Jewish students than he was to his son.

The younger Buhler, a retired oral surgeon living in Huntington, Indiana, said he grew up with a man who cared about “helping kids stay in school and not throwing them out of school.” When he got into the field himself, he proudly watched how former students sought out his father at conferences, showering him with gratitude. One even boasted that he had named his child after Buhler.

“It just sort of blows me away. … He did so many positive things for dentistry and students,” the younger Buhler said. “It's hard to believe.”

Trying to make sense of it all, Buhler Jr.'s daughter sent her father an article that appeared in The Spartanburg Herald in South Carolina in 1964. It was written soon after the older Buhler assumed the dean’s post at the new dental school of what was then known as the Medical College of South Carolina – and after the Jewish community there weighed in with concerns about past anti-Semitism, demanding his appointment be rescinded.

The 1964 article quoted the chairman of the Medical College's board of trustees defending Buhler, saying he was recommended for the new position after a committee concluded the Emory charges were “not as serious as painted at one time."

The former dean's namesake doesn't remember his father ever saying a derogatory word about Jewish people. In fact, he's quick to point out that when the family lived in Atlanta, some of his parents' closest friends were Jewish.

These sorts of claims get former students like Brickman, who led the charge to humanize the dental school’s history, riled up. He has collected too many stories and seen too many documents, including incriminating notes written by Buhler himself, to call the former dean anything but an anti-Semite.

But for Buhler Jr., none of this adds up. Really, how can it?

“If this situation did exist, it was certainly out of character of the man I knew,” he wrote CNN the morning after the Emory event. “If indeed these events did occur, I feel badly for the individuals involved. Last night’s event might have made them feel better but didn't compensate for their injury.”

I am sorry. We are sorry.’

Facing its history is something Emory isn’t afraid to do.

In 2011, it issued a statement of regret for the school's involvement with slavery. The Southern institution once had slave laborers on campus and faculty members who owned slaves.

Earlier this year, Emory fessed up to fudging data to boost its ranking.

Meantime, the university boasts a Center for Ethics, campus dialogues on matters like race, sexuality and gender, and has long-proven its support for Jewish studies and community. It has 20 full-time faculty members dedicated to the field, including world-renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt.

The school seemed ripe for the resurfacing of the dental school's history, which is why Goldstein, the Jewish history professor, placed a call last spring to Gary Hauk, Emory's vice president and deputy to the president. He said he had a friend Hauk needed to meet.

With testimonies he had recorded with his Flip camera, Brickman showed Hauk videos of men in their 70s and 80s, their negative Emory dental school experience still etched in their faces and emotions. Hauk didn't need convincing that something needed to be done.

A documentary incorporating Brickman's footage was commissioned, resulting in “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory's Dental School History.” A plan was developed to invite the former students, their families and their widows to come together on campus for an apology that was half a century overdue.

What had happened to them at the dental school, which closed in the early 1990s for unrelated reasons, had never been formally acknowledged. It was time.

Blue ribbons were strung along aisles to reserve seats for the special guests, who first met privately with Emory President James W. Wagner. The men, some of whom hadn't returned to Emory since the day they left, arrived with family members from all over the country. Many went on to become great successes in dentistry. Those who gave up that dream excelled as physicians, lawyers, CPAs and computer experts. One man who flunked out tried his hand at painting, wanting to prove he had the manual skills the dean said he lacked; he won art show awards.

The experience had been a guarded secret for some – a chapter in life they hid from parents, friends, future spouses and their children. One woman in attendance said she had only learned the day before that her father failed out of Emory. For other former students, their time at Emory haunted them. One of their daughters – who refused even years later to apply to Emory when she went to dental school – dubbed herself and others like her “children of survivors,” a term often linked to the Holocaust. An 18-year-old man, who is gay and faced plenty of bullying, realized he could relate to the grandfather sitting next to him in new ways.

Widows and children of deceased former students showed up for those who didn't live long enough to see this day. One man, who was young when his father died, came to hear stories no one else in his life could tell.

All around them, as they took their seats, the ballroom filled. A standing-room-only crowd of hundreds came out to recognize them. Here, any shame from the past was lifted. Instead, these men were the picture of courage and worthy of respect – and that long-awaited apology.

“Institutions – universities – are as fallible as the human beings who populate them, and like individuals, universities need to remind themselves frequently of the principles they want to live by,” President Wagner said. “The discrimination against Jewish dental students undermined the academic integrity of the dental school and ultimately of Emory. … I am sorry. We are sorry.”

The night, which would end with a special dinner for this no-longer-silent fraternity, included a tribute to Brickman, who was called to the stage.

Norman Trieger traveled last week from New York to hear Emory's apology for and acknowledgement of past anti-Semitism. On Saturday, he passed away.

His wife, surrounded by family, clung to a tissue and dabbed her eyes. A daughter clutched her mother’s hand. A son looked up at his dad and beamed.

Brickman never did this for the Emory History Maker medal Wagner strung around his neck. Nor did he do this for the citation read to honor his work.

For him, this was a journey of discovery - one he took with the faces behind the numbers. With him that night were these men and their families, as well as the university he still loved.

Throughout the evening, and long after dinner ended, he saw tears, camaraderie, even laughter from some of the very men he feared were no longer capable of smiling.

All of this, he hoped, signaled what mattered most: Healing.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Discrimination • Education • Judaism • Prejudice

soundoff (1,537 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things .

    October 15, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but everything you have ever asserted regarding atheism and prayer is unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 15, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~...

      October 15, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  2. bigfoot

    As we all know, racism is alive and well as evidenced by these boards. It has come a long way but not near enough.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  3. Ironicus

    t

    October 15, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Ironicus L. Po

      Don't worry folks. I'm just fiddling with my name again. I see everyone disappeared. Oh, well.

      October 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • 6 new and improved names for you!!!!

      Iflingus Poo

      STOP JUGGLEMENT OF CHILDREN , Human be flatulent of hindu wobbly mime of hindu macarena, tuba horny ism , DENIAL OF WAFFLES ABSOLUTE THOR!

      Atheist is not healthy for rocks and other things that have no health

      realimitationbuckyballscratcher

      Johnny "Achmed" Blammo

      Chad (must get a lobotomy to use this name)

      October 15, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Everyone disappears

      The tone of the posts on this board is very negative. There are too many posts that are insulting, aggressive, bigoted and undereducated. Are you surprised that the anti-religion caucus has succeeded....not in changing anyone's mind – just in changing posting habits and encouraging discussions to go to boards populated and moderated by adults.

      October 15, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  4. Hey Achmed Jr, meet your Dog Dad, singing ":Jingle Bombs"

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wskT6YfVB6E&w=640&h=390]

    October 15, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  5. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    What is a Universe? What is a Multi-verse?

    Where did it / they come from?

    Why?

    What chance is there that we can understand?

    Did we make it?

    All we know is what we perceive. Which can be proven not to be what other organisms perceive.

    Can we agree that we know nothing about anything?

    Can we agree that language hinders rather that helps?

    October 15, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • realbuckyball

      No

      October 15, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No, we can't. Here's why.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFD01r6ersw&w=640&h=390]

      October 15, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      "No" what Bucky? What can you claim to know about the fabric of reality. How many dimensions are there? What does the word "dimension" even mean? Humans made it up! Is the soup of the universe parallel to our computing logic? Is it completely foreign and incompressible to an organism such as us? Are there infinite realities? Do we even understand anything about what "reality" is?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @bucky

      Everything is relative.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Perhaps. Language helps. What is your alternative ? Today.
      I agree we exist "in between". (Dangling in the tournefortia).
      However. I see no evidence that consciousness arises from anything other than molecular complexity. When and if I see evidence, (which is ONLY organized by language), for something else, I will be happy to look at it. n

      October 15, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Ironicus L. Po

      In a continuum, everything is indeed relative to everything else. Even with time dilation, relativity remains relavant. lol

      October 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  6. realbuckyball

    As you can see, he weaseled out. I will not be letting this go. Chad....yes or no ? Accept the challenge, or agree you are biased.

    Yes or no Chad.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  7. realbuckyball

    In the Ehrman debate he waved his magic wand over that equation for the proof of the resurrection. Then he called it Bart's Blunder. In fact it was Criag's crap. If you slow down the tape, you will see the numerator, AND the denominator are actually "0", (zero). O/O = O. He lied. And he knew it.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • LC

      Criag's little equations rely on the audience accepting miracles as fact just because they appear in print in the Gospels. He forgets that lots of ancients exaggerated, which is where we get myths.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  8. Hypatia

    Delightful xians and their contnual hate. Their god would be so proud.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Ting

      Yes he is proud of them. He taught them well with his "good" book.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      To be fair, anti Semitism isn't a solely Christian endeavor.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  9. Bob

    Disgusting. And the worst part is, like the failed Auto industry executives, the guilty parties are long gone and can't be punished.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      And the one after them have nothing to do with their hinduism, illegality, but being bombarded with bombs of hinduism discrimination by hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, with life style of hindu's, racist by faith.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      Hello Achmed Jr!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  10. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    You think I am here. I think you are there. I do not know. I have no proof.

    The very fabric of reality is not even remotely understood by you or me.

    What is it made of?

    What is smaller than the smallest known quantity?

    What being in this or any universe is equipped to understand what reality is?

    October 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Universe has no power of it's own, because universe is dependent on it's truth absolute GOD, to exist just like you, to live by hypothesis is way of hindu's, ignorant, but not the one who recognizes light, truth absolute GOD on first sight. not with eyes, but reach of his sight.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  11. realbuckyball

    See Reification Fallacy
    There exists nothing in human brains which can be discussed, or communicated which is not 100% dependent on human language systems. The concepts "god", "truth", "faith", "love", are all examples of the Reification Fallacy.
    There exists no coherent definition of any god. Incoherent definitions, (such as the angry Biblical god who required his son to die to appease himself) are eminently refutable, (a-theism, or the dismissal of ridiculous definitions). However, Igtheism, until a coherent definition is seen, more accurately describes the position of many a-theists.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Nothing can be proven beyond the existence of the self. No perception felt by the mind can be regarded as truly verifiable, and so its existence is not certain. Hence, nothing outside the mind of the observer can be rationally confirmed.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      No need to get into hinduism, corruption of truth absolute, religion's, handy work of hindu criminal
      king's and their hindu crook prophet's, fortune teller's, Truth absolute GOD, exist's, but hindu's, ignorant's are unable to recognize "HIM", buried under the fog of hinduism, ignorance.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Solipsism, my old friend.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • STOP HEAVENSENT OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      No need to get into pure of heart when repenting because Jesus knows if you are not sincere.
      King's and their hindu crook prophet's, for when you leave this earth and meet Jesus and won't be eligible for 1000 years of summer school exist's, but hindu's, ignorant's are unable to see His truth whether I write it in street language or scripture form.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      human exist by understanding, nothing else, to understand, one has to learn truth absolute of a matter, if one is not able to understand truth absolute of a matter, reason is none other than, shortage of education, knowledge, and most of hindu Atheist , ignorant secular's have nothing in their head but a brain, barren of knowledge of truth absolute GOD.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Not entirely true. I can send an atomic clock up in an airliner, (or watch a GPS system), and the clock will come back with a different time. Thus I can know, that Relativity is true, as I can, an one time, observe 2 different clock, which proves that spacetime exists OUTSIDE my brain ? No ?

      October 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @Rational Libertarian

      The Universe ceases to exist at the moment of your death. Likewise, the Universe springs into existence at the moment of comprehension. “Reality” is personal. It is not universal. What I believe, is true. What I perceive, is real. The reason physics becomes unrecognizable as we get close to death is because we realize at that point that WE are the God we seek. We create our reality only to destroy it and start again for all of eternity.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Nah. We do not experience the totality of Reality. The universe was here before us, and will be after us.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It's not Solipsim. I do not deny that things exist outside my brain.
      I'm saying that abstract concepts do not actually "exist".
      That is different. And it's also different to try to say that abstract concepts, ("god") exists *in relation* to another abstract concept, ("reification squared"). That would mean that there exists a "standard" (in Reality), to *compare* or "relate", the two concepts. (That means the god cannot be the creator of the standard). (See Euthyphro's Dilemma).

      October 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • NCL

      If classes (not quite the same thing as "abstract concepts") don't exist, how is true or false speech possible? How is your "reification fallacy" exempt from non-existence. If it doesn't exist how can it be true or false or even articulable?

      October 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You reference a statement *using language*, to a PRIOR experience, which is real. There is a "constructed, (cognitive) standard", but it depends 100 % on language, and experience.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      @realbuckyball

      None of us know anything. Language? A dream.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Stick your hand on the stove, and then tell me that. :)

      October 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • NCL

      If I understand you correctly you're claiming that experience is purely physical or material rather than noetic. So language somehow creates concepts out of the raw material of unintelligible experience.

      If this were true how do you explain the difference between the way a human experiences something, for example music, and the way a lower animal experiences it? Physically the experience is the same, but the animal only experiences sound whereas the human experiences the noetic properties of the sound (beauty, boringness, jazziness, etc.) which he can then articulate in silent thought or in speech.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      If by "noetic", you mean a level beyond the physical, YES I am claiming that. Two Chemists last week got Nobels for work that demonstrates how cells interact with their environment. However it works, (and we don't know how yet), it's entirely dependent on an undamaged molecular physical structure.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • NCL

      You seemed to be claiming that what you call univerals are constructed by language rather than articulated by language, which view will break down pretty quickly when you think about it. For one thing it should make newly discovered universal (or newly constructed according to you) incommunicable.

      Noetic means that which is thinkable but not strictly speaking perceptible (a perfect distinction is probably only possible in speech). Most notably classes or universals as well as numbers.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      What is a Unviverse? What is a Multi-verse?

      Where did it / they come from?

      Why?

      What chance is there that we can understand?

      Did we make it?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Ling Po

      There is no such thing as free will. No such thing as self-awareness. And no such thing as choice.
      All we have are the illusions of such things. You may take the illusion for the reality, but it remains an illusion.
      Your brain is limited by physiology, limited by chemistry and physics. It is impossible to act outside of these limitations.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I am saying the universal could not be constructed without the use of language.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • NCL

      Ling Po-

      Is mathematics real?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Yes. Mr. Po is precisely correct. The question of where the universe came from is irrelevant. "We don't know" is all we have now.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Is it Dr. Po ?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • NCL

      Bucky-

      To articulate or to express something that exists noetically is not the same as to construct it. Language is constructed in the sense that one could assign an infinite number of words to designate, for example the number 2. But that the number 2 means the same thing regardless of what language you choose to express it in seems to demonstrate that universals are not themselves constructed.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Ling Po

      @realbuckyball
      You seem enamored of language. Yet we communicate so badly. What about ideograms? Abstracts?
      Perhaps you should include a disclaimer pointing out that human beings have limitations in this area to be more accurate.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I fail to see why 'I don't know' is being equated to solipsism.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Ling Po

      @realbuckyball
      My apologies if I took the name of someone else. I am not a doctor. If you like I can change my name. It is an alias anyway.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Not to me it doesn't. The fact that we LEARN about things that we can count, by designating "two" of them as "2", does not mean "2" *exists". It's an organizational feature in language. Language is 100 % dependent on atomic/molecular motion.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Oh, not at all Po. I like that name ! I thought perhaps we had met.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Oops. I meant Ling ...

      October 15, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • NCL

      Bucky-

      What does it mean to learn about twoness? How would you teach a child for example the meaning of two.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Ling Po

      @realbuckyball
      You should say "what we consider to be language depends solely upon physics".

      @NCL
      Math is an actual abstract system that can be used many ways by many different things. It is a real system of dealing with quantifiable abstracts. Why would you ask such a silly question, anyway?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Hold up two fingers. The baby's brain would learn that when you hold up 2 fingers, and say the word 2, that's what he should associate the word two with. BUT it could or would not happen it the baby's brain atoms were not moving in molecular systems, in organized ways. It's reducible to molecules.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Ling Po

      @realbuckyball
      Yes, we have met many times. I am Ironicus. I am just slumming today. Send me an email, care of Godzilla, and we could argue like fools over physics. Without a quantum theory of gravity, many of your assumptions fail at key points. lol

      October 15, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • realbuckyball

      which as Ling says, happens secondary to Physics.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • realbuckyball

      remind me who is Godzilla ? (Yeah I slum over here too) ;(

      October 15, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • NCL

      Ling-

      I misunderstood you. I thought you were saying that our knowledge is determined by physical experience alone.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • NCL

      Bucky -

      When you say "that's what he learns to associate 2 with", I assume you mean something like the image of your two fingers? So let's say you teach him in this manner with fingers, pencils, things like that.

      How does he learn to count the twoness of things he has never seen and that don't resemble fingers? Or more precisely, what is it that he has learned when he has obtained such knowledge?

      October 15, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Ling Po

      @NCL
      We are talking about knowledge now? I thought we were talking about language. ???

      @realbuckyball
      My second post as Godzilla on your wordpress blog has my email. I am just trolling for someone to argue with, with an eye to learning things I do not know, of which are a great many.
      And physics is all that we have. Multi-dimensional physics, to be exact. But why this focus on language? It causes the most misunderstandings, wouldn't you agree? lol

      October 15, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • NCL

      Ling -

      The argument had been proposed that universals are merely linguistic constructions, rather than noetic beings or classes that are expressed linguistically.One consequence of this position is that mathematics is not real or true (numbers being universals). This would further make the mathematical sciences illusory, and in fact any sort of science or knowledge.

      I thought something similar was suggested by your comment that knowledge is materially determined.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • realbuckyball

      The baby does not learn "twoness" from one instance of two objects in his environment. When he has seen 2 objects, a few times, he associates two objects, with language, (the word) "two", and then he associates the multiple experiences, and conflates them, and that's what he calls "twoness". The "twoness" does not exist outside his experience. His experience creates the "twoness".

      October 15, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • NCL

      bucky -

      But what is this twoness that he creates (to use your term)? What is it that is the same for two pencils, two fingers, or two sides of a coin?

      And if he creates the twoness of, for example, his left and right hand together, could he also create them as three? I don't mean call them "three", but create in them the same threeness that you and I speak of when we use the word "three".

      October 15, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Ironicus L. Po

      @NCL
      Sorry, I was being facetious. Try looking at it this way: -we are animals, with animal brains, animal instincts, often distorted from our ancestors, and we also have animal desires, also distorted, and so on and so on.....because our brains have evolved from smaller, less able brains.
      Much of what we experience has more roots in our primate brains than if we just had some sort of generic brain. We don't. We have clunky, erratic, yet versatile, organic primate brains.
      Evolution does not work in any particular direction. We are not "better" than bonobo monkeys just because we can handle complicated abstract concepts. There is no "better". Teaching a child the various possible meanings of "two", is not a guaranteed thing. The brain changes throughout childhood and beyond. Solipsism is a delusion. We can only function as we are able according to our biological limitations.
      If we had mental telepathy, what language would we use then? But we don't. We are animals. Primates.
      As to your "materially determined", yes, what we consider to be "knowledge" is determined by the multi-dimensional physics of our space-time continuum. I don't like words like "materially" because it is too easy to misunderstand what is meant.

      October 15, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      '2Cr 12:3-4 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.'

      October 15, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • NCL

      bucky and po -

      It looks like my posts may no longer be showing up. Anyway I think I'm done for the night so I would like to leave you with this...

      If you want to get an understanding for the in my opinion decisive case against physicalism you should look into phenomenology or just Greek idealism, Husserl on the one hand and Aristotle's Metaphysics and any of Plato on the other (Aristotle being more immediately accessible from the modern point of view).

      There are actually no philosophers that take the literally physicalist view that you two seem to take. Descartes starts off this track in speculative way but that position culminates in Kantian idealism, which in my opinion is then refuted by phenomenology/Aristotle/Plato. There were some some Anglo-Americans who believe that the noetic or ideal should be in principle groundable in physics but as far as I know that position has devolved into postmodernist relativism (you may have heard of Richard Rorty).

      tl;dr, modern science is derivative from idealism (meaning simply a rigorous analysis of everyday experience), which necessarily presupposes it for even its most basic concepts (e.g. the number 2). It may seem mind-blowing to a science but it's more accurate to say that science is an illusion (actual an abstract model) than everyday experience is.

      October 15, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Ironicus L. Po

      @NCL
      Did I not say we all have the illusion of self-awareness? And the illusion of self-will and choice as well?
      I was not trying to be confusing, although it is hard to speak clearly of these things.
      If we exist as individual "consciousnesses" that are illusory in scope, then, yes, even knowledge is an illusion of sorts, but only in an exclusionary context. Within the context of our illusions of self-awareness, our "knowledge" has a very firm basis that is nevertheless unfortunately subject to our organic limitations.
      Philosophy is often cheap sophistry dressed up as something supposedly profound. But it is mostly empty of logic for all that.

      October 15, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • realbuckyball

      The baby could call twoness threeness, but it learns from it's enviroment that what others call twoness is two objects. It's learned.

      October 15, 2012 at 4:58 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I totally disagree. There is no "3" out there. "Three" is learned language, personally, then confirmed and corrected by socialization. Idealism is dualism, and there is not a shred of evidence for it.

      Consciousness is high-speed data coming in, from huge numbers of directions, (all the senses) and high speed referencing, (too fast to notice), of memory banks. It's data referencing memory. There are other inputs TO consciousness which get triggered by the input, (fear etc), but if there is no memory there is no consciousness, and if there is no data input, you are unconscious, (asleep), or dead.

      October 15, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I actually could care less about whether there are Philosophers who agree or not. Unless theyy know some Neuro-chemistry, and Physics, and Biology, (which is unlikely), they don't even belong in the room for the discussion.

      October 15, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Reality is not intuitively apprehendable. Relativity, Dirac, and Heisenberg have proven that. Unless Philosophers experiment, (hahaha), they have no hope of discovering truth.

      What we need is a "new construction". or "new synthesis". In 2012, no one without education in Quantum Physics, Biology, History, Math, probability Theory, Chaos Theory, Theology, Biblical Studies, Economics, Chemistry, and Linguistics can hope to function at the forefront of human knowledge. Who among all the PhD's in this country today can do that ? Very few. Maybe it's too much ? Maybe it won't be possible until we are part machines ? I see Philosophy as mental masturbation. Certainly Idealism is. It's the Greeks trying to explain things, just like religion does with "evil" and "sin". There are better explanations.

      October 15, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Reality is not intuitively apprehendable. Relativity, Dirac, and Heisenberg have proven that. Unless Philosophers experiment, (haha, they have no hope of discovering truth.

      What we need is a "new construction". or "new synthesis". In 2012, no one without education in Quantum Physics, Biology, History, Math, probability Theory, Chaos Theory, Theology, Biblical Studies, Economics, Chemistry, and Linguistics can hope to function at the forefront of human knowledge. Who among all the PhD's in this country today can do that ? Very few. Maybe it's too much ? Maybe it won't be possible until we are part machines ? I see Philosophy as mental masturbation. Certainly Idealism is. It's the Greeks trying to explain things, just like religion does with "evil" and "sin". There are better explanations.

      October 15, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • realbuckyball

      should be "cannot hope"

      October 15, 2012 at 5:21 am |
  12. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Who was on the cross? according to book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism, bible, Jesus transfigured in to some one else on front of his dispels, At time of arrest, Jesus smiled on Judas, and Judas smiled in in kind and Jesus kissed him on cheek, Jesus transfigured in to Judas and Judas transfigured in to Jesus, Than, who was on the cross, Judas, or Jesus? Judas, hindu ignorant follower of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism, Christians pray to as their god. From Gospel of Bearnabsie.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • STOP HEAVENSENT OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears according to book of hindu Mithra ism, blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth At time of arrest, Jesus statistics prove that the more devout someone is, the higher IQ they have Jesus’ wisdom is roaring it's ugly head throughout the world. Judas, hindu ignorant follower of you atheists steal my handle to post your evil will Christians pray to as their god. What part of Jesus' truth is clarity and satan's lies are confusion do you not comprehend?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  13. STOP HEAVENSENT OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    No one can shed Liar against His truth, but Tommie Tom, no matter how much you will like to be mini gods yourselves, I know from Moe Curly of the 3 stooges that nothing works, to claim defiance of Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us, wait till, logic?? I don't require a single shred to define my beliefs and you will have no way out, Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom end of choice to hind, Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds. If you have any doubts about end of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians ask anyone with a test from God. Do you have what it takes to pass?

    October 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, copy cat.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Do not mean to.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • STOP HEAVENSENT OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      Did mean to.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      If you think so?

      October 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      it is getting confusing who is the real son of Achmed the terrorist. Achmed Jr please raise your hand.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  14. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    @Anybody know how to read?

    I want you to know that I am a big fan of yours. Your attention to detail, succinct and witty replies and overall religious acumen makes your posts "must" reading.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  15. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Tom, Tom, the Other One

    No one can shed truth absolute, but obey truth absolute GOD, no matter how much you will like to be truth absolute GOD, your self, to claim defiance of hinduism, is absurdity of hindu's, ignorant's, wait till, time to departure will come, and you will have no way out, but fall to truth absolute of your death, end of choice to hind, defy truth absolute GOD. If you have any doubt's about truth absolute being essence of existence, ask any one with a little knowledge of Quantum physics.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mairsie dotes and does eat oats and little lambsey divie. A kiddle eat ivy too. You moron.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • AvdBergism source of filthyRanierBraendleinism

      To wit,

      NO DOGS!

      October 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  16. This is where your God is now.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzhwWw8tqxE&w=640&h=390]

    October 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Meatwad

      I like the part where God makes a bunny shadow ya'll. I wanna get a bunny but I don't have no damn money.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      If you promise to feed him, properly, I'll let Fluffy visit.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Stupid squirrels!

      October 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Meatwad

      Oh man I want to feed fluffy but I ain't got no damn nuts cuz I'm a meatball.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

      is that my ALLAH, Al, the, LA, Limited, H, height pocking finger? BAS'T,ARD, lair.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  17. realbuckyball

    The creation account contradict each other.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Meatwad

      I like T.V. but that contradicts my dislike for that damn electricity.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  18. STOP MURDER OF CHILDREN , Human be aware of hindu filthy dog's of hindu Atheism, self center ism , DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD.

    Mennoknight

    You were borne long time ago, before dinosaurs, time to grow up and smell my fa rt, stink of Mullahs ism, criminal self center, goon ism, secularism, Sunni, criminal goon you make your man GAWD is nothing else but a Mango shake, criminal trickster, on the way to find, hell, so will you be for taking a Islam criminal, goon as your GAWD. visit How.You.Met.My.Mother.com to save your hereafter, Mullah, ignorant borne again..

    October 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • God&Jesusinmyheart

      Man you gotta shut your piehole. Cursing is a sure sign of a limited vocabulary and brain damage. Not to mention coming from the empty end of the gene pool.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  19. realbuckyball

    There are 2 creation accounts in Genesis. They do not agree.
    Judas' death is not consistent. In one he hanged, in one his gut split.
    In Matthew 500 zombies also rose. No one says anything about seeing them, The temple curtain was rent, and "rocks split". Where are they. There was an earthquake, which NO one recorded, even while recording EVERY other known one. (They missed the one on Good Friday also). Jesus dies on different days in different gospels. Different people arrive 1st at the tomb. Mark's gospel originally HAD no resurrection. Moses knew about "kings" before there was a kingdom. Moses talks about his own death ad burial. Moses talks from the WRONG side of the Jordan River. Moses says "to this day, there has arisen in Israel", ie LOOKING back, which HE could not have done, As in the 1st video above the Pauline ideas are NOT consistent, and contradict themselves, The Temple cleansing was at the beginning of the ministry in one gospel, at the end in another, the denial of peter is different. In the Farewell Discourse, in John the disciples ask him "where are you going" and LATER he says "no one asks where am I going", (short attention span ??), why did god not know what kind of mate to make Adam, and "none proved to be a suitable mate" ?? (?? did he make him try bestiality ??), Is Yahweh "known" or "unknown", (he forgot he already told them) Exodus 6:3, there WAS no town of Nazareth, (it was ONLY a graveyard..archaeologically proven ), the voice at the baptism says different things, the daughter of Jarius...dead or alive..take your pick, where was Jesus the day after his baptism, (contradiction), who id for Jesus and who is against him , (Matthew 12:30, or Mark 9 :40), did Jesus talk at his trial, depends on which gospel...Matthew quotes the WRONG Prophet, (Matthew 27:9-10), Matthew says it's Jeremiah, ..it's really Zechariah, when was the temple curtain torn,...Jesus alive, or after he died...depends. Shall I start down the list in Paul ?

    October 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      There was a car accident where a man told the coppers a dark colored car cut him off and it was dark and that's all he knew. While taking the report a woman stepped up and told the officer she was a witness to a recklessly driven dark brown car with a male driver heading west. Bucky sees a contradiction.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Apparently the same god that created 600 se'xtillion stars, can't be bothered to see to it, his book is clear to humans.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anybody, do you EVER use that head of yours for anything besides a stand for your toupee?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      I'd also point out that the god of the book of Genesis, named El, is a completely different god than the one who lived in a shrub (don't look at me, I didn't make it up) on Mt Sinai, named Yahweh. So Christians and Jews worship two different gods. Three if you count Jesus. Four if you count the sun god Amen-Ra, in whose name they end prayers.

      October 15, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  20. Boulderdash Gentile

    Questions, "Why do atheists and godless folk verbally denounce and ridicule God and believers in God? What's the point in ridiculing Godly Believers? Where;s the gain in such abusive language?"

    October 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Two things here. ONE: Not all atheists belittle religious folks, but when we do it is often because they deserve it for saying something so outrageous that to NOT say anything would be a crime.

      I do NOT hate people of faith or their god for that matter. I simply do not believe in ANY god or gods, and until one or more comes down and presents some kind of evidence for their existence, I'll be an atheist.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Would you ridicule someone who said there is a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto ?
      There is as much evidence for god, as there i for that.
      Does that answer your question ?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They don't denounce all believers, only those azzwipes whose inflated egos need skewering.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Agreed Bucky and Tom....

      October 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How can you not belittle somebody who believes in infanticide obsessed deities and their magic carpenter son who is also his own dad?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And yet, RL, you apparently see my posts as dreck.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Yep, complete crap.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good. Verification that I am correct.

      October 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Glad to know we're on opposite sides, RL. I wouldn't have it any other way.

      October 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Good to know. Also, can you see how easy it is to be on opposing sides and still be amiable?

      October 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Ridicule is merited when people believe in the insane. You yourself would probably have no problem mocking an adult who thought Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat was real... Would you let such a person around your children? Would you let them handle an important task in which you needed to trust their logic?
      Chances are that you would shun this person and hope that their insanity wasn't contagious.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.