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What bound matter, if any, would you choose to be sworn in?

by Dan McC / January 24, 2009 1:05 AM PST

There's been a little hubbub about swearings in and the use, or lack of bibles.

What publication/document/whatever would you choose to have your hand on as you were being sworn in as President of the united states? And why?


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Me? A current ed. of "The Journal of Evolutionary Biology"
by Dan McC / January 24, 2009 1:11 AM PST

I figure people are going to be totally berserk about having an atheist President so they might as well get their money's worth.


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Since the purpose of an oath
by Steven Haninger / January 24, 2009 2:14 AM PST

is a promise that carries punishment upon reneging on it, then I will guess your swearing on an evolutionary document would need to carry such as well. So maybe your forfeiture would be a return to a lower life form?? Devil

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Good one!
by drpruner / January 24, 2009 5:59 AM PST
"... so help me Darwin."
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(NT) Memoirs of Robert E. Lee
by James Denison / January 24, 2009 1:41 AM PST
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The Bible
by Kiddpeat / January 24, 2009 2:49 AM PST

is the historically accepted book ensuring that truth is spoken.

An atheist should swear on his or her head. There is nothing higher than that for an atheist. Everything else is meaningless to the atheist. If the atheist is correct, even his own head is meaningless.

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Why should a head be meaningless ...
by Kees Bakker / January 24, 2009 3:29 AM PST
In reply to: The Bible

if there's no God? And why should it have meaning if there is one? I fail to see the relation between my (or your) head and God.


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Tne answer is quite simple.
by Kiddpeat / January 24, 2009 6:55 AM PST

If there is no God, there is no meaning at all. I'll leave it to you to think that one through, but I'm surprised that a European would ask the question.

If there is a God, then He is eternal and everything with which He is involved has meaning. You may also need to think that one through.

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If there is no God, there is no meaning at all.
by Josh K / January 24, 2009 6:59 AM PST

Why not? Even people who don't believe in God are interested in knowing how we got here, how old and big the universe is, how we can leave the world better than we found it, etc. All those things have meaning.

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An interesting thought experiment:
by Kees Bakker / January 24, 2009 7:42 PM PST

a non-eternal god. Greeks, for example, had their gods born (Zeus was a son of Kronos, if I remember well). So it's reasonable to assume they could die also. In fact, Zeus hasn't been seen for quite a while.


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I wouldn't singlie out Zeus.
by Dan McC / January 24, 2009 10:20 PM PST

No gods have been seen.


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(NT) Except Clapton, of course ;-)
by Josh K / January 25, 2009 12:34 AM PST
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(NT) Of course!
by Dan McC / January 25, 2009 1:46 AM PST
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Great, Dan! Now we'll have to give Dragon equal time
by drpruner / January 25, 2009 8:13 AM PST

for Hera! Happy

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(NT) All gods deserve equal time.
by Dan McC / January 25, 2009 10:02 AM PST
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Your opinions on
by Dan McC / January 24, 2009 7:06 AM PST
In reply to: The Bible

atheism reveal more about you and your ignorance of the topic than they reveal about atheism.


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Do animals have meaning in their lives?
by James Denison / January 25, 2009 1:52 AM PST
In reply to: The Bible

Maybe the sin is questioning life itself, since it is a "gift".

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The Bible says they're
by drpruner / January 25, 2009 7:02 AM PST

"instinctively wise" and are subject to man, for work or food. That's the meaning Jehovah gave them.
"Sin" means missing a mark or standard; animals always obey their own standard for behavior. The human standard comes from Jehovah.

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Dan, I am disappointed that you
by Angeline Booher / January 24, 2009 3:08 AM PST

.... chose to make this post. It in effect continues the previous thread. Also, with your capitalization choices, you are needling and baiting some others from another thread.

When I swear an Oath, my right hand is raised to God.

I would choose the Bible for my left hand. But there are times when a Bible, OR ANY OTHER PUBLICATION OR ITEM is not used.

Like in a court to swear to tell the truth. (Some can choose to "affirm".)

Like when taking the Oath of military service.

So you see the question you raised is not as simple as you infer.

Speakeasy Moderator

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as you noted
by oldie and goody / January 24, 2009 3:51 AM PST

this post is itself a violation, so why isn't it locked?

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You're correct about the "affirmation."
by drpruner / January 24, 2009 6:04 AM PST

And a Bible isn't necessary. Usually it's enough for the courts that the oath taker is aware of the penalty for perjury (or treason, in the case of a head of state).

Side note: Some recent terrorist trial witnesses have been Muslim. What did they use, I wonder?

One possibility:
"Are you a Person of the Book?"
"Yes, I am."
"OK, then ..."

"Do you worship the God of Abraham?"
"Yes, I do."

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(NT) A bible is used in courts in NJ.
by Dan McC / January 24, 2009 7:03 AM PST
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Since the thread has not been locked....
by Josh K / January 24, 2009 7:02 AM PST

...I guess I'll answer the question. I have a Bible that my grandmother gave to my mother as a wedding present. It's bound in metal. It's small (only around 5x7 or something) so the print is pretty tiny but it has a lot of sentimental value to me. I suppose I'd use that -- not that I'd ever be crazy enough to run for President Wink

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No Torah scroll?
by James Denison / January 25, 2009 1:40 AM PST

That made me wonder, what do they use for "swearing in" in Israel?

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(NT) plain old simple bible
by jonah jones / January 25, 2009 1:48 AM PST
In reply to: No Torah scroll?
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(NT) Interesting. I never knew that.
by James Denison / January 25, 2009 1:53 AM PST
In reply to: plain old simple bible
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The Torah....
by Josh K / January 25, 2009 10:36 PM PST

...is the first five books of the Bible. The scrolls are hand-written and treated with great reverence. However, what Jews call "The Bible" is what Christians call "The Old Testament." Or as I say to my (non-Jewish) wife, my Bible is just like yours, just lighter. Happy

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(NT) Ahh. We have one with the "Upgrade" in it.
by James Denison / January 25, 2009 11:58 PM PST
In reply to: The Torah....
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(NT) Very funny exchange, guys. :-)
by drpruner / January 26, 2009 1:42 PM PST
In reply to: The Torah....
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just for 'trivia' sake
by jonah jones / January 25, 2009 10:52 PM PST

in the courts they have a choice of 3 books to swear on,
a bible, a koran, and a 'tanach'


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That's what I was wondering elsewhere.
by drpruner / January 26, 2009 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: just for 'trivia' sake

What about N. American courts? Plenty Muslims over here. Jews, too (although not so many obeservant ones AFAIK).

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