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  #41  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:39 AM
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I understand all that. It still sounds like making a profit of THE LORD. Which seems just a wee bit blasphemous.
True, but people have been making a profit on "The Lord" since the concept of "the lord" came out I imagine.

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Actually, it's like saying, "We know you're starving, but here's a toy to play with, because you'll like it." It's nice and fun, but it doesn't really do much good in the grand scheme of things, when the starving child dies of malnutrition. But at least the child was entertained for a bit.
Umm.. Ok. So there are starving and dying children out there, so should all people forgo donations to the SPCA and Toys for Tots and instead donate only to charities that give food and other necessities to people instead until that problem is fixed? Cause to me its the same deal only on a worldwide (or at least nationwide) scale.

-MB
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  #42  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:52 AM
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True, but people have been making a profit on "The Lord" since the concept of "the lord" came out I imagine.
I agree. Which is why the whole overturning tables in the temple story came to mind.

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Umm.. Ok. So there are starving and dying children out there, so should all people forgo donations to the SPCA and Toys for Tots and instead donate only to charities that give food and other necessities to people instead until that problem is fixed?
No, what I'm saying is that it makes little sense to give people circuses when they don't have bread. Toys are nice, but without food, they're dead.

Ultimately, people are free to give to the charities of their choice. But, as I and AnglRdr have said many times ... priorities, people. In post-Katrina New Orleans, people may have needed Bibles for spiritual peace, but they needed houses and clean water to survive.
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  #43  
Old 25 September 2007, 05:02 AM
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Canuckistan to take up your hijack, outside of the Katrina scenario, why do you have a problem with a book publisher charging for Bibles? They typeset it, they run the presses, they have staff and overhead costs, they have to buy ink, paper and binding materials and pay for handling and distribution. Why should you not have to pay for a copy of this book, just like you would any other?

Sure the Bible's out of copyright, and they don't have to worry about paying royalties, but that could apply to many historical works which I would still have to purchase if I wanted my own copy.

Not being snarky, just wondering why selling Bibles is an odd concept.
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  #44  
Old 25 September 2007, 05:02 AM
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Ultimately, people are free to give to the charities of their choice. But, as I and AnglRdr have said many times ... priorities, people. In post-Katrina New Orleans, people may have needed Bibles for spiritual peace, but they needed houses and clean water to survive.
But this is true on a national and global scale too and yet people still give to these charities that provide non-essential things all the time.


I get what you are saying, but I think that there are simply different groups providing different things to people, some provide money, some provide medical care, some provide food, water, shelter, and yes, some provide things that make people feel better.

Unless you also condemn the SCPA for helping the various animals that were in trouble in Katrina, not to mention all the other non food/shelter/water related charities.

Part of me just thinks that this is only being argued because they were bibles, I don't recall people condmning the SPCA and other charities.

-MB
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  #45  
Old 25 September 2007, 05:21 AM
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Angelrdr,
With your give more, then give more, then give some more, then give bibles attitude you must have given away half your salary to support them...Good for you!

If it had been me I wouldn't have had much use from a bible but I will NOT fault anyone for giving no matter what it was!
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  #46  
Old 25 September 2007, 06:40 AM
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Part of me just thinks that this is only being argued because they were bibles, I don't recall people condmning the SPCA and other charities.

-MB
part of me is starting to suspect that too.

canuckistan
your reasoning is still not addressing the point I keep (trying to) hammer home: that this does not have to be an exclusive gig. You talk about "prioritizing" but that is only necessary when you're dealing with exclusive things. If there were only one "aid dispenser" - one outlet dispensing aid to the victims - and it could only dispense one type of aid to one person at a time, then yes, that would be a situation where we would have to prioritise, and in that situation even I would agree with you that spiritual comfort would come second string to the basic necessities of immediate life. As I've quoted before, salvation army founder william booth was fond of saying that no one can hear about jesus on an empty stomach.

But post katrina was not that situation. There is not a single exclusive aid dispenser, but rather there are hundreds and thousands of them, all of which can dispense different types of aid to all different types of people all at the same time. People were being given food by food providers. People were being given water by water providers. And people were being given shelter by shelter providers. If the bible providers come in also and give bibles, that action does not in the slightest detract from - or in any way deprioritise - the actions of the other providers. This is why your priority argument is just making no sense to me, and why your continued hammering of it is starting to make me suspect raw anti-religious bias.

Again, with a crisis the size and scope of katrina there simply is no singularity or exclusivity with which you can evaluate the aid priorities even if you wanted to. You say they should wait till people have houses before giving them bibles. Fine, but how would that actually work? Thousands of people need houses and they cannot all be built at once. It will take years to build all the houses that need to be built, and by the time the last house is built and the last person needing a house has received one - and thus, by your standard, it is now appropriate for the ible providers to donate their bibles - the very first person to have a house built would have been sitting there in their house for years, wondering where the nfbsk their bible was. See what I mean? A person may need food and water before they can accept spiritual comfort, but given the vast number of victims, there's no reason to make any one victim wait until food and water has been given to absolutely every other victim before he can receive his spiritual comfort as well. If we did that, then that first guy would be waiting for quite a long time! And when we have spiritual providers otherwise unengaged who can practice their service without detracting from the others, well then there's just no reason for that.

The final problem with your argument is the scope. Why confine it to katrina? Why new orleans? Even if all the food, water and shelter that needed to be given in new orleans was given, there would still be gobs of those same needs in many other parts of the world. By your standard, how could thomas nelson justify donating bibles to new orleans when there was still starvation and homelessness in africa? If I were to accept your standard that no spiritual comfort can be provided untill all the basic necessities were provided first, and if I were to accept that in a non-racist and non-elitist manner, then I would have to apply it to the entire world, and if I did that, then I would be literally telling thomas nelson that they couldn't donate their bibles until after we had solved world poverty, world hunger, and world drought. If I said that, well, the richard dawkins of the world would be quite happy because they would well recognise that what I was really saying was that nelson would never be free to donate their bibles! But that, that would just be raw anti-religion, and I'm still hoping that's not what you're expressing, knowingly or otherwise.
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  #47  
Old 25 September 2007, 07:05 AM
Salamander Salamander is offline
 
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Just a simple question... do we actually know for sure that the delivery of the Bibles hampered the delivery of food, clothing and other more earthly items?

Were all roads, storage and areas in NO used to 100% capacity to deliver relief materials? I'd find it a little bit hard to believe that it would have been. This would tend to suggest that there was certainly room for anything... Bibles, skimpy mags, manga comics... to be sent without stopping food and/or clothing.

If the system was at 100% capacity then that obviously changes things.
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  #48  
Old 25 September 2007, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickey Blue View Post
Part of me just thinks that this is only being argued because they were bibles, I don't recall people condmning the SPCA and other charities.


And part of me would like to think people are defending this course of action only because it was Bibles. That is, if it were actually video games, they'd be saying, "But what about the food?!?"

I'd like to think that. But I'm giving people here the benefit of the doubt.
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  #49  
Old 25 September 2007, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Not being snarky, just wondering why selling Bibles is an odd concept.
I thought about that later, and recouping costs is certainly acceptable, IMO. Profiting off the Bible, OTOH, shouldn't be. Not if it's the true Way to God.
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  #50  
Old 25 September 2007, 02:50 PM
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callee, without quoting your entire post (for length reasons), I shall reply.

Personally, I do believe that providing food to starving people in Africa should take priority over Bibles. This isn't racism; it is fact.

Why is it anti-religious bias to say that if these people truly wanted to help, they should have donated food, time or money instead of Bibles? It makes no difference that there were a plethora of relief givers; all that means is that those who gave out Bibles were much less effective in their aid than rebuilding homes, providing food, and so on. Just because people might think that the Bible is a resource in a time of crisis, doesn't make it so.

And finally, callee: under no circucumstances accuse me of an anti-religion bias. I am an atheist; I disagree with the Bible. That is why I think other forms of aid necessarily take priority. That much is true. But you seem to be thinking that my argument is based on some sort of bias. It is not. It is based in reality. It seems silly to me to provide a book in times of crisis.

I could very easily accuse you of being biased for religion. But I won't do that. I'll simply chalk it up to a difference of opinion. The next time you accuse of of a bias like this, though, simply because I disagree with you ... let's just say that I won't post the answer here (to comply with the civility rule), but I will reply very harshly. Understood?
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  #51  
Old 25 September 2007, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Canuckistan View Post


And part of me would like to think people are defending this course of action only because it was Bibles. That is, if it were actually video games, they'd be saying, "But what about the food?!?"

I'd like to think that. But I'm giving people here the benefit of the doubt.
But I at least have already stated that I think video games and Bibles were both useful donations, at least in the little slice of post-Katrina that I lived in at the time. The refugees in Houston HAD water and food and shelter. The infrastructure for getting food and water and shelter to New Orleans was very much a work in progress. Giving magazines, books, video games, Bibles, teddy bears, coloring books and all manner of creature comforts to the poor folks living in a deserted football stadium wondering whether their missing family had survived-that was valuable even though other people still didn't have water and food. Also, the people in the Astrodome needed maxi pads and deoderant, and people donated those things while other folks were still living without running water. The problem was huge enough that people could all help in the way they knew how and had the resources to help quickly, and there was enough trouble left over for anyone else who wanted to help to pitch in.
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  #52  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:03 PM
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Giving magazines, books, video games, Bibles, teddy bears, coloring books and all manner of creature comforts to the poor folks living in a deserted football stadium wondering whether their missing family had survived-that was valuable even though other people still didn't have water and food.
But that wasn't the point of the Bible. From Kathy's links, it's quite clear that the Bible was delivered to provide an answer to these people. And that would be much less effective than actual aid. It won't provide answers that they haven't already heard before. It just seems silly to me.

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Also, the people in the Astrodome needed maxi pads and deoderant, and people donated those things while other folks were still living without running water.
Not in the same league. A much better case can be made for these things than for entertainment.
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  #53  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:09 PM
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And finally, callee: under no circucumstances accuse me of an anti-religion bias. I am an atheist; I disagree with the Bible. That is why I think other forms of aid necessarily take priority. That much is true. But you seem to be thinking that my argument is based on some sort of bias. It is not. It is based in reality. It seems silly to me to provide a book in times of crisis.

I could very easily accuse you of being biased for religion. But I won't do that. I'll simply chalk it up to a difference of opinion. The next time you accuse of of a bias like this, though, simply because I disagree with you ... let's just say that I won't post the answer here (to comply with the civility rule), but I will reply very harshly. Understood?
Given your last line, the wisest conclusion I could come to would be that this exchange has ended any hope of productivity and it would be smart of me to sign off, but - to be honest - I have to much ego to allow myself to be dressed down like that in public and not get in at least one last word, so here it is:

How is that not bias? A bias is any conclusion related to the question which you hold before hand and affects how you answer. You admit fully - as I already knew - that you are an atheist and "disagree" with the bible. How could the opinion held beforehand that the bible is fundamentally wrong not affect how one answers the question of whether bible donations are important in a time of crisis?

You would have to be a fool not to let your premise of bible-disagreement keep you from concluding that bibles are unimportant in such a crisis. That is, what sensible person would consider it important to give needy people a book they think is fundamentally flawed?

You begin with the premise that the bible is a disagreeable book that describes a god who doesn't exist, and once you begin with that premise the laws of common sense force you to conclude that the katrina bible donators were, at best, misguided. You must conclude that way, because you are not a fool.

And yet, that is - by any definition I know - a text book example of a bias at work.

But to be fair, the equal but opposite effect is occuring in me. I do believe - for all its flaws - that the bible is a fundamentally helpful book, and in a time of crisis only slightly less important than food and water. Since I start with that premise I cannot help but conclude that the katrina donators were doing a great thing.

Again, I cannot see how that is anything but bias at work, even if it is my own.

Going back to the personal, I like you very much, and last time we met I thought we got along well, and I can't imagine how I could ever have harsh words for you, but I do think that if you think you are unaffected by biases that you are fooling yourself. As much as you and I can think of eachother as swell guys and as much as we can get along fine over a beer or PM, there are some issues about which you and I begin with fundamentally different premises (or biases if you will), premises that necessarily contradict and will necessarily lead to disagreement 100% of the time. (I mean, really, I think think there's I giant god up in the sky, you don't, that pretty much resets the whole game board doesn't it?) The kind of liberalism to which I adhere is one that is dedicated to getting along while acklowledging such differences, not ignoring them or claiming they don't exist.


There, ego expressed, feel free to reply but I best not.
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  #54  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:22 PM
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callee, check your PM box.

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You begin with the premise that the bible is a disagreeable book that describes a god who doesn't exist, and once you begin with that premise the laws of common sense force you to conclude that the katrina bible donators were, at best, misguided. You must conclude that way, because you are not a fool.

And yet, that is - by any definition I know - a text book example of a bias at work.
But is it an anti-religious bias? Or is it based in fact? Can we even agree on the definition of those terms?

Suffice it to say, we are not going to agree on this one. If I'm biased, so are you (and everyone else here, I add quickly). Let's just go for the drink I mentioned to woodness earlier in the thread.

Last edited by Canuckistan; 25 September 2007 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Context.
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  #55  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:39 PM
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Sure the Bible's out of copyright, and they don't have to worry about paying royalties, but that could apply to many historical works which I would still have to purchase if I wanted my own copy.
Actually, most translations (except for the KJV and other early translations) are still in copyright. Even if you have a KJV or similar, the notes and commentaries are still in copyright.
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  #56  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by callee View Post
But to be fair, the equal but opposite effect is occuring in me. I do believe - for all its flaws - that the bible is a fundamentally helpful book, and in a time of crisis only slightly less important than food and water. Since I start with that premise I cannot help but conclude that the katrina donators were doing a great thing.
Only *slightly* less helpful than food or water? Really? I mean, I think the Bible is helpful for a lot of people in a lot of situations, but ranking it slightly below food and water is, IMO, blowing its importance out of proportion.
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  #57  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:14 PM
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Only *slightly* less helpful than food or water? Really? I mean, I think the Bible is helpful for a lot of people in a lot of situations, but ranking it slightly below food and water is, IMO, blowing its importance out of proportion.
"Scriptum est non in pane solo vivet homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei." - Jesus H. Christ
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  #58  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Canuckistan View Post
But that wasn't the point of the Bible. From Kathy's links, it's quite clear that the Bible was delivered to provide an answer to these people. And that would be much less effective than actual aid. It won't provide answers that they haven't already heard before. It just seems silly to me.
Answers in a time of turmoil are not comforting, like a teddy bear to a child? I disagree. And why wouldn't people who believe the Bible provides answers provide Bibles to people searching for answers? And in a population that is overwhelmingly Christian, how are they wrong to assume the Bible would be a good tool to provide asnwers to these people?

Kathy's link also pointed out that Bibles were an item that was actually being requested by the victims. In the Astrodome, they had food and water, a place to sleep, access to medical care. They needed those things that are less about survival and more about comfort. Their physical needs were covered, and they began to ask for relief for their emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Toys, books, Bibles, these were all valuable items for these people. Therefore, they were useful donations. Nelson did not force the Bibles on any particular refugees, everyone was free to get one if it had value to them, and skip it if not.
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  #59  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kismet View Post
Answers in a time of turmoil are not comforting, like a teddy bear to a child? I disagree. And why wouldn't people who believe the Bible provides answers provide Bibles to people searching for answers? And in a population that is overwhelmingly Christian, how are they wrong to assume the Bible would be a good tool to provide asnwers to these people?
Why would anyone make that assumption? It might give them the answers they wanted, but why would anyone assume the Bible would provide good answers?

Quote:
Kathy's link also pointed out that Bibles were an item that was actually being requested by the victims. In the Astrodome, they had food and water, a place to sleep, access to medical care. They needed those things that are less about survival and more about comfort.
A lot of other people didn't have these things covered.

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Their physical needs were covered,
Debatable.

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and they began to ask for relief for their emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Toys, books, Bibles, these were all valuable items for these people. Therefore, they were useful donations.
Suffice it to say again, we disagree on this one.

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"Scriptum est non in pane solo vivet homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei." - Jesus H. Christ
Talk about a biased source.
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  #60  
Old 25 September 2007, 04:32 PM
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"Scriptum est non in pane solo vivet homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei." - Jesus H. Christ
He didn't speak Latin, nor do I. Care to translate?
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