iThink: "...I warn you that you might find that Jeffersons view on where inalienable rights originate a little unsettling considering that they seem to contradict the majority view of this thread."
Thomas Jefferson: "Religion. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty and singularity of opinion. Indulge them on any other subject rather than that of religion. On the other hand, shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of Reason than of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine, first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then, as you would Livy or Tacitus. For example, in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood for several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus, we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, etc. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the laws of Nature. You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, Of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended and reversed the laws of Nature at will, and ascended bodily into heaven; and, 2, Of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out with pretensions to divinity; ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offense by whipping, and the second by exile, or death in furea.... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you will feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, and that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement: if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven; and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but uprightness, of the decision."
Aug. 10, 1787, a letter from Jefferson to his nephew and ward, Peter Carr.
This is again unsurprising. As I stated, the ideals and beliefs of Jefferson are quite deep and passionate. He has always argued his points without apology and with full force. I would be happy to duel quotes with you (actually I LOVE dueling quotes
), but I couldn't help but notice that you are replying only to the easiest of the questions. Why avoid the other far more important questions raised by your post? This seems odd to me (you argue side points and leave the main points unanswered). A good example was my counter arguement to your arguement about posting "Facts".
And again we have the presentation issue. In your last post you said that you thought that we/I would find the information "little unsettling", why? Nothing presented so far has phased anyone here from what I can see. And in an earlier post you said "...offensive to others is someone elses religious views" when all of us have differing views of religion and do not seem to be taking offension to any one else's views. Throughout your responce you have tried to employ a tactic of implying what our motive are or what our reactions are going to be. This tactic is used by many to get people to fight perseptions of them selves rather than the arguments at hand. Lets stick to the actual arguments here, and respond to the major points rather than the minor ones.