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YouTube Censorship

YouTube has become one of the largest websites on the internet. It gives people a voice and allows for the free flow of ideas. This is one of the main reasons why atheism dominates YouTube so much. But there are some concerns in regard to censorship.

While I understand YouTube’s concerns in dealing with copyright issues and even pornographic content (because even I don’t want YouTube to become Chat Roulette) I think YouTube need a better system of checks and balances to prevent people from flagging videos that they simply don’t agree with as some how a violation of YouTube terms of service.

Here to explain the issue better is Dusty Smith:


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  • Bessie

    One can emulate the heroics and follow the wisdom of The Doctor while being completely certain that he’s a fictional character on a popular TV show. If you help the downtrodden to the degree demanded by the written words of Christ, does it matter if it actually happened?

  • Android Hamiltron

    the author is ignoring entire fields of literary criticism, historical scholarship, linguistics, and archaeology that provide the context for interpreting biblical passages. biblical interpretation is not arbitrary, nor as simple as a scale of ‘metaphor’ on one end and ‘literal’ on the other. in the christian denominations that require their leaders to be educated, ministers generally have access to this information.

    the type of christian belief you describe is known to scholars, theologians, and christian leaders as ‘moralistic therapeutic deism’ and it is a phenomenon that has been studied for almost a decade now. their attachment to christian churches is a matter of social utility and this is of great concern to christian academics.

    Judaism is the religion of Jewish culture, which practiced mostly by people who are ethically Jewish. Christianity is not an ethnicity and only sometimes a culture. there is a very different set of relationships among identity, culture, and religion going on with Jews than with the moralistic therapeutic deists.a Jewish humanist group would be more comparable to an African-American atheist group in the south.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      What the commenter seems to be ignoring is all those Christians who take aspects of the Bible such as creation, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, and Revelations literally and all the scholarship justifying their beliefs. It isn’t just arbitrary, you have to look at the context of what God was trying to do in those situations. Of course this commenter would like to just pretend that these Christians don’t exist or that they are some small minority of believers but that fact is that they have their own scholars and pseudo-intellectuals that they are trying to pass off as actual academics. Guess what? Religious scholars are not really scholars in the same sense as actual academic scholars. They are only scholars in relation to their bullshit.

      As for the comparison between humanistic Jews and humanistic Christians, my point still stands. Obviously Jews and Christians are difference, but they could be similar in this way if Christians are willing to admit that God is a metaphor.

      • Android Hamiltron

        you’re saying that because creationist literalist nutjobs exist, therefore all biblical scholarship is meaningless, which is illogical and untrue. the bible is literally a series of documents from ancient history, and it has been analyzed as such by crazy and sane people alike, with many different beliefs, for many years. to dismiss the quality body of research that has been done on the books of the bible is ignorant. it’s like dismissing all of astronomy as valid study because Velikovsky was wrong.

        • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

          No, that’s not what I said at all. I didn’t say that because there are Bible literalists that therefore all biblical scholarship is meaningless and I certainly didn’t call anyone a “nutjob.”

          What I did say was that Biblical scholarship is merely scholarship in fiction. Can we still learn from fiction? Of course. But at the end of the day it is still fiction. The fact that biblical literalists exist and can justify their beliefs is important because they have just as much claim to “Truth” than biblical metaphoricalists do. Both claim to have scholarship to justify their positions, but at the end of the day the Bible remains fictional regardless of how much they try to cloak their beliefs in academia.

          The Bible isn’t a series of ancient documents, it is a series of ancient fictional stories. What I am asking is for Christians who already take many aspects of the Bible metaphorically to take the principle characters metaphorically too. I think Christians can still retain their religious identity without believing in ridiculous fictional stories and characters as literal truth.

          • Android Hamiltron

            i don’t think it’s accurate to reduce the bible to fiction and then dismiss it. Paul’s letters are political. Psalms is poetry. Genesis is mythology (which is related to fiction, but serves different cultural purposes). Job is a philosophical treatise. the back half of the torah is law.

            i am an atheist, and close with several grad students at an extremely liberal methodist seminary. in my experience, if humanist views are to take hold in christianity, christians must embrace a contextual approach to the bible.

            the value of a human creation (the bible) rests in the human(s) who created it. this is a very basic humanist position, and is antithetical to your positivist notion that value is dictated by truth.

            • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

              I don’t know what you are reading, but it clearly isn’t what I wrote. This is the second time that you have ignored what I said and claimed that I said the exact opposite of what I actually did say. The Bible is fiction. That is a fact. That doesn’t mean that it is valueless, but that this must be considered when discussing its value. That is the whole point of my post here. My entire argument here has been that one can reject the truth-value of the Bible and still retain a Christian identity and gain value from that. So when you claim that I write off all value of the Bible because it is fiction, I just don’t know where you got that from.

  • jonnyb

    It can actually be a useful metaphor in circumstances where I am trying to envision the perfect goodness or love we strive for from our imperfect being. My Christian background is useful to me when I feel spiritually weak and cannot see myself well. Even when I cannot see myself being perfectly good or loving it helps to have this vision of what it would look like. The vision softens my heart and gives me confidence in my values.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      I envision Batman, but to each your own I guess…

  • Deliberatus

    That 5th collum is the UU church. it is done already.

  • Dickie P.

    Even though the manifestations of Gods by
    an essence-based prospective are metaphoric, it does not follow that the
    sub-conscious forces that are the bases of the metaphors are fantasy. They are real. It is troubling that so called
    rational perspectives cannot perceive this. The attack by so called rational
    perspectives on God is as absurd as those who believe that Gods exist according
    to the supporting dogma. Can’t anybody perceive
    the metaphors as they exist?

  • John

    Let’s use Aesop’s fables as an example. A race between a tortoise and a hare never took place, but the message Aesop was trying to convey was that slow and steady wins the race. Now, was Aesop himself a metaphor? No, he was using a story to convey a message. Same deal with the bible. God is not a metaphor, but the stories he tells us through Jesus sometimes are.

  • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

    I’m having trouble wrapping my head around a metaphorical Messiah. He has to save some designated chosen people from something, right?

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Again, it kind of depends on what you mean my Messiah. Within Judaism, the idea of a Messiah wasn’t that of a “son of God,” but rather just a hero. There were in fact many Messiahs within ancient Judaism. However, over time that concept changed to mean a singular figure/savior. But that’s if we take the term literally.

    What I am suggesting is that it might be possible to take even that metaphorically. One need not believe that Anakin Skywalker was a real person in order to believe that he was the chosen one within the story. So maybe someone could claim that the character of Jesus was the Messiah within the story and still acknowledge that Jesus was a fictional character. Keep in mind, I am not saying I hold this belief, simply that it is a belief that could justify the view of an atheist Christian. My point is that once a Christian accepts that some aspect of the Bible not obviously meant as a metaphor is to be viewed as a metaphor, then it is only a matter of degrees. There is no reasonable objection for someone to come along and claim that even the concept of God could be a metaphor. To reject this possibility would be to reject the Christian identity of pretty much every Christian.

    My argument here is that if a Christian is willing to claim that various parts of the Bible must be interpreted as a metaphor, then why should they stop there? Why not go that extra step and interpret God and Jesus as metaphors as well?

  • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

    Some things are obviously composed to be taken as metaphors (e.g. most parables, possibly the apocalypses) while other passages are clearly composed to be taken literally (e.g. Paul’s claim of apostolic authority as the result of visionary revelation) but it strikes me as equally absurd to try to take *ALL* of the scriptures metaphorically just as it is to try to take them all literally.

    There may be a scholarly case to be made that the entire Gospel of Mark was intended as devotional fiction, however, and that would go a really long way.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    I’m not talking about the parts that are obviously supposed to be taken metaphorically. I’m talking specifically about the claims made by many liberal Christians that most of the Bible is to be taken metaphorically and comparing that to the claims made by most fundamentalists that most of the Bible should be taken literally. My point is that it seems pretty arbitrary and since each Christian has their own justification for their diametrically opposing views, why not take it that extra step?