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Saturday, November 17, 2012

He just wouldn't stay down

As the Alabama sheriff said, "he was reaching for something...."  I'm not quite sure what amuses me more, the idea that I am the slightest bit concerned about being fair, the idea that I have any concern whatsoever for what Ackroyd thinks, or that he appears to believe he can dig his way out of looking like an ignoramus with a double-digit IQ if he only tries a little harder.
On second thought, I do have a question.  There are four "demotivational" posters featuring individual atheists.  The Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins posters feature words none of them actually said.  Given that, was it fair of Vox to savage me as an "ignorant atheist" for not realizing the Dennett poster features words he did say--paraphrased? I think not.
Of course it was not only fair, but just, that I castigated poor little Ackroyd, accurately or not.  In the immortal words of Obadiah Hakeswill, "says so in the Scriptures".  If you are going to come in here arrogantly asserting your opinion about the stupidity of this and the idiocy of that and generally acting like a big dog, don't be surprised when you find yourself unexpectedly sad, wet, and stinking of urine.  I am the bigger dog.  I am an Award Winning Cruelty Artist.   I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face.  A minor character flaw, no doubt, but one concerning which everyone who comments here has been duly notified.

Furthermore, I was undeniably correct about the "ignorant" part.  Ackroyd was, by his own admission, completely ignorant of Dennett's writings.  And now, thanks to his unwise attempt at ex post facto self-defense, we can safely conclude that he is stupid as well, because after drawing attention to the abject stupidity of the phrase on the poster, tried to defend Dennett's incompetent argument advocating the intrinsic trustworthiness of science:

"In light of this, do the words on the poster convey Dennett's point accurately? Or would it be more fair to paraphrase him as saying "Science can be trusted, because it yields amazingly accurate results"? And isn't this in fact true--as far as it goes?"

Yes, they most certainly do.  No.  And no, because it demonstrably isn't true at all.  It repeats the very mistake Dennett made, which is the very reason the Dennett demotivator is both accurate and amusing.  Ackroyd still hasn't understood that Dennett's syllogism is faulty.  Not all sciences are created equal.  For example, physics yields amazingly accurate results.  Evolutionary biology, on the other hand, unquestionably does not and evolutionary biologists don't claim that it does.  In his book, Dennett tries a classic New Atheist bait-and-switch, asserting that since both physics and not-physics are called science, if physics yields amazingly accurate results, then not-physics should be trusted... even though not-physics doesn't produce any of the trust-inspiring results.  I could argue, every bit as reasonably as Dennett, that because theology is a science, "the queen of the sciences", in fact, it should also be trusted on the basis of the amazingly accurate results of physics.

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88 Comments:

Anonymous VryeDenker November 17, 2012 7:25 AM  

It is science!

Anonymous daddynichol November 17, 2012 7:42 AM  

The boy is playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun.

Anonymous Salt November 17, 2012 7:57 AM  

He wants his own poster.

Anonymous darrenl November 17, 2012 8:04 AM  

"Science can be trusted, because it yields amazingly accurate results"?

Even if we grant this as true...so what? Is his conclusion seriously that science is therefore the ONLY thing to be trusted. That, indeed would be fallacious thinking. It would be equivalent to saying that since metal detectors give us amazingly accurate results for finding metal, therefore they are the ONLY way of finding metal.

This guy needs to go back into the oven and bake a bit more.

Anonymous Pablo November 17, 2012 8:37 AM  

" I could argue, every bit as reasonably as Dennett, that because theology is a science, "the queen of the sciences", in fact, it should also be trusted on the basis of the amazingly accurate results of physics."

Vox, I hate to admit it, but sometimes I think I have an Electric Six magnitude crush on your brain.

Anonymous GrammarNazi November 17, 2012 8:42 AM  

Scriptures".

You have clearly been in Europe too long, the American rule is simple and clear -- periods and commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.

Anonymous Paradisum November 17, 2012 8:46 AM  

Couple of things come to mind:

1. Science doesn't "yield" anything. Scientists using a concept called empiricism combined with technology and lab assistants do. Stop the constant annoying reification of science and abuse of grammar. Science is not a god nor does it speak.

2. It was a comparison between branches of scientific inquiry and investigation. Not all branches are equal in strength and size.

3. This is another irratheist example of fighting while backing out the door: "It's not what he said when he meant what he said what he meant to mean what he said so you know what he meant to say and you didn't say what he meant to say, so you're mean. And that's why you're wrong. And I don't like mean people." (sticks tongue out)

Anonymous Anonymous November 17, 2012 8:51 AM  

that because theology is a science, "the queen of the sciences", in fact, it should also be trusted on the basis of the amazingly accurate results of physics.

That is very effective.

Use that one more often.



farmer Tom

Anonymous duckman November 17, 2012 8:52 AM  

Yeah, and the American rule is stupid. It should be the first thing to go in the new Republic of Texas.

Anonymous GrammarNazi November 17, 2012 9:02 AM  

"Yeah, and the American rule is stupid. It should be the first thing to go in the new Republic of Texas."

But until then, it IS the rule.

Anonymous aha! November 17, 2012 9:12 AM  

I am the bigger dog. I am an Award Winning Cruelty Artist. I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face.

Sounds like the kind of thing David Carradine would've been saying as he grabbed his cock and kicked the chair out from under himself.

Anonymous David of One November 17, 2012 9:18 AM  

Sheeessh!!!!

Vox! Vox Day!! Yeah, YOU!!!

Have you been savaging atheists again? Surely, there's been some discussion about savaging the savages of logic and reason ... and/or wannabe "men whom would be chimps".

Obviously Spacebunny wasn't in close proxiemty to distract you with a good book, language translation, a jar to open ... (fellow Ilk, use your imagination)

Father has provided you with the mental poweress to read and enjoy a great number of great books ... and even suffer some bad ones from the stupid. And what have you gone and done again? Savaging the wannabe chimps. Pity them and try ... really try not to savage so much.

Anonymous Steveo November 17, 2012 9:35 AM  

"He wants his own poster." - Salt

This is genius. Salt gets my vote for thread Captain.

Anonymous Daniel November 17, 2012 9:49 AM  

Ackroyd: I had the most absurd nightmare. I was poor and no one liked me. I lost my job, I lost my house, Penelope hated me and it was all because of this terrible, awful Cruelty Artist.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler November 17, 2012 10:13 AM  

Jacques Maritain, Introduction to Philosophy, Philosophy is the Queen of Sciences for it studies ALL things. Philosophy is the science of All for it studies metaphysics. Theology only studies its own religious revelation and nothing else.

It is Philosophy that is the Queen of the Sciences.

Anonymous Stilicho November 17, 2012 10:14 AM  

I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face.

KABO--knock a bitch out--could be a regular feature.

Anonymous cheddarman November 17, 2012 10:19 AM  

Brave brave Sir Akroyd bravely ran away!


Sincerely,

Cheddarman

Anonymous physphilmusic November 17, 2012 10:29 AM  

Discussing "science" with Gnu atheists is useless. By now, they've adopted such a wide definition of "science" that it is practically meaningless - science, for them, includes what we could term "common sense". So if you're calmly tracing your steps in order to remember where you dropped your keys, you're doing "science". Science is basically every form of logical thinking possible EXCEPT for anything related to religion or the supernatural.

Anonymous daddynichol November 17, 2012 10:39 AM  

"He wants his own poster." - Salt

Start with the photo of an a$$hole and go from there. Any a$$hole should work just fine.

Anonymous Kriston November 17, 2012 10:42 AM  

GrammarNazi November 17, 2012 8:42 AM

Scriptures".

You have clearly been in Europe too long, the American rule is simple and clear -- periods and commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.


This is only true if they changed the American rule in the past few years. I graduated in 1972 and the rule was inside the quotation marks if it completes the sentence, such as in 'he said', but outside the quotation when you are quoting a partial sentence as was the case here.

But then, teachers today don't seem to teach the difference between than and then correctly anymore either.

Anonymous Kickass November 17, 2012 10:42 AM  

Vox, real quick, Greenberg doesn't have a link up yet for your latest interview.

Also, is there any possiblity that you would answer one of his questions "Because I'm Vox Day Bitch!" just once.

Third, your October interview was much smoother and much more relaxed. You are improving. I have been listening to your interview/reading you for years. I would only suggest you throw a bit of thug spiced with cocky sigma in whenever your answers are questioned. It would just be good fun.

Good on you.

Sorry for the interruption.

Anonymous Kriston November 17, 2012 10:44 AM  

And the're has been changed to they're.

And the worst, they dropped the 'e' from potatoe.

Anonymous Kickass November 17, 2012 10:45 AM  

Shut up David and I second a new feature to the blog "Knock A Bitch Out!"

How vibrant and diverse you are becoming. Hard core, coming at ya from the streets of MN to the vineyard of I tal...eeeeee

Where is Jamie R, we need a rap song!

Anonymous Paradisum November 17, 2012 10:48 AM  

physphilmusic: By now, they've adopted such a wide definition of "science" that it is practically meaningless . . . Science is basically every form of logical thinking possible EXCEPT for anything related to religion or the supernatural.

Equally applicable to their use of evolution and their habit of exercising the Merry-Go-Round Principle: science = evolution = science.

Anonymous Daniel November 17, 2012 11:13 AM  

Wheeler, really? Even you ought to be ashamed. That one should have been in your wheelhouse, even, and you completely whiffed. Go research it just a little bit more.

Philosophy is Theology's handmaid.

Blogger IM2L844 November 17, 2012 11:42 AM  

Wheeler: "It is Philosophy that is the Queen of the Sciences."

Daniel: "Philosophy is Theology's handmaid."

Thales, Origen and Pascal walk into a bar...

Blogger IM2L844 November 17, 2012 1:33 PM  

periods and commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.

punctuation bah who needs it

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 17, 2012 2:30 PM  

"I am the bigger dog."

Well and good. So long as you admit to being a dog...

Blogger Spacebunny November 17, 2012 3:20 PM  

Ackroyd is continuing to cover himself in glory on the previous thread.

I don't see that I've insulted anyone specifically in the comment cited by Vox (unless he himself designed the "demotivational posters"--I reiterate that they are indeed blindingly stupid). I did not ask if I was treated fairly personally; I asked if he was fair in light of the fact that the words on the poster were paraphrased.

Anonymous buzzcut November 17, 2012 3:25 PM  

Vox - I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face.

And the pimp hand. Don't forget about the pimp hand.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 17, 2012 3:45 PM  

"I will cut a bitch with a smile on my face.

And the pimp hand. Don't forget about the pimp hand."

Um, maybe it's just me, but... don't you think that, uh, people who confess to a belief in God, and in Jesus Christ Our Lord, and in scripture and what-not, maybe ought to tread a bit more carefully when it comes to this sort of thing?

I'm not going to whack you as hard as I might have over it, which after all you might regret and I might find counterproductive. I'm just sayin'.............

Maybe a bit of reflection is in order here.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 17, 2012 3:46 PM  

"Ackroyd was, by his own admission, completely ignorant of Dennett's writings."

Uh, no. I said I hadn't read Breaking the Spell. That doesn't mean I am "completely ignorant" of Dennett's writings. Either your reading comprehension is faulty, or your application of logic is faulty.

I shall make no further defense of my remarks, except to note, as I did before, that, after all, I did make an effort to locate the source of the language used on the poster; not finding anything that tied it to anything Dennett said or wrote, it seemed logical to conclude it was on a par with that used on the other three.

As mediocre as my mind may be, I readily recognize that "if A is trusted, then B can be trusted" is faulty, though of course this depends on what exactly A and B are, and their relationship to one another. And in fact, science IS trusted--up to point--because biology and physics, for instance, yield impressive results. It seems to me the one branch of science that is doubted by many is because that one conflicts with particular religious beliefs.

Theology is not a science, of course (it wasn't listed by the AAAS last time I checked), but if one cares to think evolutionary biology is on a par with it, fine by me.

I don't think one can be both a Christian and a Cruelty Artist; presumably God will render a judgment when the time comes--assuming he exists.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 17, 2012 4:15 PM  

Salt: I'm sure someone could come up with posters of Falwell, Robertson, Franklyn Graham and Terry Jones, using things they actually said, quoted verbatim--assuming no one has.

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 4:18 PM  

presumably God will render a judgment when the time comes--assuming he exists.

So you don't believe in God? That's going to make a great ice breaker when you meet him.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 17, 2012 4:18 PM  

Darrenl: "Is his conclusion seriously that science is therefore the ONLY thing to be trusted."

I neither said nor implied anything of the sort.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 17, 2012 4:25 PM  

David of One: Note the quotation marks. It is Vox who described me as an ignorant atheist, rashly assuming I was in fact an atheist. I would think a member of Mensa would know better than to do that.

As I've pointed out to Vox, I'm an agnostic.

Blogger Spacebunny November 17, 2012 4:27 PM  

But still painfully ignorant.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 17, 2012 4:27 PM  

W. LindsyWheeler: "Theology only studies its own religious revelation and nothing else." Agreed.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 17, 2012 4:30 PM  

"Science can be trusted, because it yields amazingly accurate results"

Hmm, I think we can salvage this statement.

Statement.substr("because", "when");

"Science can be trusted when it yields amazingly accurate results."

What's the old saying? God is in the details? And the conjunctions. Especially the conjunctions.

Anonymous ackroyd November 17, 2012 4:33 PM  

Tom O.: I believe that such rewards and penalties there may be in the afterlife, if there is one, will be based on one's conduct, not one's beliefs.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 17, 2012 4:41 PM  

'Statement.substr("because", "when");

"Science can be trusted _when_ it yields amazingly accurate results."

What's the old saying? God is in the details? And the conjunctions.'

Wow, that's some amazingly faulty reasoning. I'm no fan of this Ackroyd guy, but I have to say, what you just wrote is ridiculous. Don't make me explain to you why, if you read it again yourself you ought to see it.

Now, on to Ackroyd...

"I believe that such rewards and penalties there may be in the afterlife, if there is one, will be based on one's conduct, not one's beliefs."

On the basis of what? You start with an "if", and then construct a moral cosmology of eternity? Based on what, your own preferences? What if I told you that your afterlife destiny was entirely based on whether or not you had ever eaten a goldfish? (I won't say whether that's good or bad.) How is that different from what you're proposing?

Anonymous Dorothy November 17, 2012 4:41 PM  

Tom O.: I believe that such rewards and penalties there may be in the afterlife, if there is one, will be based on one's conduct, not one's beliefs.

And you base this belief on what, exactly?

Anonymous Dorothy November 17, 2012 4:44 PM  

I like ackroyd.
She makes me feel intellectually superior.

A lot.

Anonymous Noah Webster November 17, 2012 4:50 PM  

Theology is not a science

Have you ever taken a systematics (theology) course? I thought so. [cue JDC] Seriously, do you understand the suffix ology? So I guess biology and geology are not sciences as well. Gee, no pathology? Yeah, we just love to abuse language. Let's talk about soteriology. Here's one for ya, pneumatology. Do you want more? You're all wet Ackroyd. Just go away, before you embarrass yourself further...

Anonymous Kickass November 17, 2012 4:53 PM  

SD, it is possible you are right. The irony is fun. Dont give us the pimp hand over it though.

Anonymous Williams Collins November 17, 2012 4:54 PM  

And, no, soteriology is NOT the study of Obama...

Anonymous Kickass November 17, 2012 4:56 PM  

Ackroyd, you are basing all of your arguments on you being in the position of power to make them true. You are making yourself a God. You are not, therefore you are ignorant.

Blogger Duke of Earl November 17, 2012 4:56 PM  

I believe that such rewards and penalties there may be in the afterlife, if there is one, will be based on one's conduct, not one's beliefs.

From a Christian perspective it is based on ones loyalties, not ones beliefs.

God is a ruler, with a kingdom. Those who are loyal to him come into his kingdom, those who are not are expelled from it.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 17, 2012 5:01 PM  

"Just go away, before you embarrass yourself further..."

I must object. Never tell anybody to shut up, or to just go away. It diminishes the value and purpose of discourse, and pre-empts the possibility of conversion.

Everybody can be talked to. ...Well, almost everybody.

"I am a reasonable man, but there's limits." -- Brendan Behan

Guess there's that. But in the case of Ackroyd, we ain't there yet. By all means, let him speak. It's important, for reasons people don't normally think about.

Anonymous Tom B November 17, 2012 5:07 PM  

"As mediocre as my mind may be, I readily recognize that "if A is trusted, then B can be trusted" is faulty, though of course this depends on what exactly A and B are, and their relationship to one another. And in fact, science IS trusted--up to point--because biology and physics, for instance, yield impressive results."

Making the same mistake, again. Biology has been demonstratably proven to be NOT trustworth in general, and evolutionary biology is a particularly egregious example of this (particularly given the number of frauds it has engendered).

"It seems to me the one branch of science that is doubted by many is because that one conflicts with particular religious beliefs."

Nooooo, its because of the inherant untrustworthiness of both the scientific endeavor and those who practice it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/01/tenfold-increase-science-paper-retracted-fraud

"Theology is not a science, of course (it wasn't listed by the AAAS last time I checked), but if one cares to think evolutionary biology is on a par with it, fine by me."

Its not on par, but far superior in terms of academic rigor and ethical conduct on the part of those who study it. And since when is the AAAS the final word on what science is? The entire university system was created for the training of Priests, who, up until the overstatement of Charles Darwin, were ALWAYS the most educated person in the community! Please read the work of James Hannan, a British historian who has catalogued the role of religion in the creation of the modern science.

"I don't think one can be both a Christian and a Cruelty Artist; presumably God will render a judgment when the time comes--assuming he exists."

Depends - is the cruelty based in Truth? Is its purpose to reveal Truth and protect those vulnerable to being led astray from it? If so, then God will not have a problem with it. After all, standing by while evil is committed and doing nothing to stop it is a bigger sin than using overwhelming action to stop the evil - if you had read your Bonhoeffer, you would know this.

Anonymous Tom B November 17, 2012 5:11 PM  

"And, no, soteriology is NOT the study of Obama..."

It will be soon....

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/31/campaign-for-obama-get-college-credit/

Anonymous The other skeptic November 17, 2012 5:23 PM  

Someone thinks Obamacare will drive out illegals and low-wage immigrants and thus shift the demographic away from Democrats.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 17, 2012 5:40 PM  

Don't make me explain to you why,

You've nothing to worry about Scobbie. Unlike Vox, I am not cruel, and would never ask you to attempt something you weren't capable of doing just to watch you embarrass yourself.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 17, 2012 6:21 PM  

@Jack Amok:

because != when.

"Science" != "body of practical human knowledege."

"Science" can be trusted BECAUSE it yields results" != "Science" can be trusted WHEN it yields results." [see under "body of practical human knowledge which existed before science" -- viz. what precisely are we trusting when we say we trust "science"? What on earth did Vitruvius, whose works are still standing to this day, know about "science"?]

Did the caps help? Shall I spell this out further for you?

Ultimately it's more a language problem than anything else, and if Wittgenstein had had his way, then we wouldn't be arguing. However... snideness is never an excuse, and therefore will not be excused.

It's a good thing you're not cruel, because that would be silly of you; but at least you're comical, and that's kinda fun. Can you do a good imitation of Honey Boo Boo? That might justify the time I've spent talking to you.

Anonymous Noah B. November 17, 2012 6:35 PM  

@Ackroyd

I found Vox's apparent attacks on science unsettling at first too until I really listened to what he was saying. I would encourage you to do the same.

Science is nothing more than a technique, useful in some situations, but not in others. As a technique, it is not inherently accurate. Any accuracy resulting from scientific techniques must result from the rigor and honesty applied by its practitioners. Like any other tool or technique, it is subject to being abused, misused, or manipulated. Most importantly, science is potentially useful only to eliminate bad ideas, not to generate interesting new ideas that may prove resilient against repeated future attempts to discredit them. The way that this kind of human creativity truly works remains mostly a mystery.

Anonymous Mordred and the Background Singers from Camelot November 17, 2012 7:08 PM  

Oh fie on goodness, fie!
Fie, fie, fie!
Oh, fie on goodness, fie!
Fie, fie, fie!

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 7:20 PM  

From a Christian perspective it is based on ones loyalties, not ones beliefs.

@ Duke of Earl,

Christ seems to think it is based on one's actions.

Matthew 7:21
21 ¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Anonymous broseph November 17, 2012 7:40 PM  

Depends - is the cruelty based in Truth? Is its purpose to reveal Truth and protect those vulnerable to being led astray from it? If so, then God will not have a problem with it. After all, standing by while evil is committed and doing nothing to stop it is a bigger sin than using overwhelming action to stop the evil - if you had read your Bonhoeffer, you would know this.

Oh give us a break. Ignorance is not inherently evil and Ackroyd is not threatening to release a tide of lies upon the world that will enslave men the world over and chain them to the devil. He's a person, like many, who perhaps hasn't been exposed to the more unsavory side of science-as-practiced, and probably hasn't made the finer distinctions between the hard sciences that are inherently more amenable to falsification and those that are not. What this asks of us is patience and forbearance, not wrath and cruelty. People here would rather ridicule and gloat than inform or reform, which not Christ-like in the least.

Anonymous Tom B November 17, 2012 7:57 PM  

Boy, did someone read more into that than I intended. I gave a hypothetical example of what tough love can be.

And what's more, since when would what I did describe be "not Christ-like"? Calling people vipers, and insulting the Pharasees with what amounted to the Ancient Near Eastern version of a "yo mama" joke (read John 8:1-8, that is what the writing in the dirt was) was something Christ did Himself, Sparky! The use of ridicule is a powerful tool for getting the Truth across, especially to those whose heart is hardening from belief in a False Gospel/anti-Christ like Science has become. Your way has produced the door-mat Christianity that Ackroyd is rejecting, bro(seph).

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 8:00 PM  

@Log: The key answer to your dilemma is what exactly is the will of his Father?

The answer of your question is found in the Gospel of John

"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:03 PM  

@Tom B

Christ did as his Father showed him (John 5:15, 30) - have the local trash-talkers likewise been called up to heaven to receive their blog-behavior directives from Christ?

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:04 PM  

@ Tom O.

Your response does not, in any fashion, exhaust the commandments which Christ gave his followers.

Anonymous broseph November 17, 2012 8:05 PM  

And what's more, since when would what I did describe be "not Christ-like"?

What did you do? Sorry princess, I wasn't paying attention to you, I was referring to Vox's method of snatching the ball from toddlers and spiking it in the endzone while doing the chicken dance to cheers and applause from the "Ilk".

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 8:25 PM  

Your response does not, in any fashion, exhaust the commandments which Christ gave his followers.

If someone does not follow the commandments, it means that he does not love Christ. However, we aren't saved by our love, but rather by our faith.

I was referring to Vox's method of snatching the ball from toddlers and spiking it in the endzone while doing the chicken dance to cheers and applause from the "Ilk".

So your idea of justice and goodness is having a stranger come into our blog, throw accusations and lies, and then let him overrun our discussion?

If you noticed anything, most open conservative forums quickly become overrun by liberal concern trolls, and discussion is impossible without having to also become an apologist. The purpose of Vox's harshness is to prevent that from happening here.

Anonymous broseph November 17, 2012 8:28 PM  

@Tom B

Sorry, read that wrong. Anyway, I don't see much ridicule in the verse you mentioned, it's more food for thought than anything.

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:33 PM  

@ Tom O.

If someone does not follow the commandments, it means that he does not love Christ. However, we aren't saved by our love, but rather by our faith.

Matt 19:16-26. Apparently, Christ thought we are saved by our actions, unless he had a special rule just for that one individual. Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), we can ignore that possibility.

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:37 PM  

And faith without works is no faith at all (James 2).

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 8:38 PM  

@Log: If you read that pericope carefully, you would notice that Christ explicitly states that it is impossible for anyone to be saved by his actions.

"When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Actions come from men. So salvation by action is salvation by man, which Jesus said is impossible. Therefore, if salvation exists, salvation must come from God

Anonymous broseph November 17, 2012 8:39 PM  

So your idea of justice and goodness is having a stranger come into our blog, throw accusations and lies, and then let him overrun our discussion?

You seem to think that creating a whole new post specifically to point him out and ridicule him is the same as preventing him from overrunning the discussion. I would disagree. No, there is more to it than simple defense.

Anonymous Meredith Dixon November 17, 2012 8:47 PM  

Kriston wrote, "This is only true if they changed the American rule in the past few years. I graduated in 1972...."

I suppose it depends on your definition of "the past few years." In 1829, Samuel Kirkham, in his *English Grammar in Familiar Lectures," unhesitatingly placed all end punctuation inside quotes. So, at a much later date, did my mother, who was teaching English in 1972.

Your rule does make more sense, but it is not the American rule.

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:49 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Log November 17, 2012 8:51 PM  

@ Tom O.

Salvation indeed comes from God, but not to those who say, and do nothing, but to those who do what God tells them to do (Matt 7:21), for those who do nothing have not got faith (James 2).

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 8:55 PM  

And faith without works is no faith at all (James 2).

The key to understanding this verse is Romans 14:23: "But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."

Here, the eating is not the important thing, but rather why the mans eats the way he eats. If he eats pork because his faith is strong, and accepts that God has made everything pure, then it is good for him to eat pork. On the other hand, if a man believes that pork is unclean, and abstains from it, then it is also good.

So the action itself isn't important, but how we act in accordance with our faith is. What James is saying is that those who do not act in accordance with their faith have a dead faith, just like someone who believes that eating pork is wrong, but continues to eat pork because he believes that God is mistaken. Or someone who believes that Jesus commands him to give away all of his riches, but refuses to do so because the world is so much more convenient. These actions are wrong, not because of the action themselves, but because what motivates them. Thus, faith without works is dead.

Anonymous Kriston November 17, 2012 9:02 PM  

Meredith Dixon November 17, 2012 8:47 PM

Kriston wrote, "This is only true if they changed the American rule in the past few years. I graduated in 1972...."

I suppose it depends on your definition of "the past few years." In 1829, Samuel Kirkham, in his *English Grammar in Familiar Lectures," unhesitatingly placed all end punctuation inside quotes. So, at a much later date, did my mother, who was teaching English in 1972.

Your rule does make more sense, but it is not the American rule.


OK, I'll not dispute that, but it was the way I was taught throughout school. If you always put the punctuation inside the quotes you were counted off here.

I will say that if you added the u to colour or neighbour it was allowed, but noted that it was not the American way.

Anonymous Kriston November 17, 2012 9:03 PM  

Stinking no edit mode!

was not the American way of spelling.

Anonymous Tom O. November 17, 2012 9:11 PM  

@broseph: You seem to think that creating a whole new post specifically to point him out and ridicule him is the same as preventing him from overrunning the discussion. I would disagree. No, there is more to it than simple defense.

The new post wasn't specifically created just to ridicule him or point him out. The new post was a followup which contained a comprehensive rebuttal as to why the argument was flawed, as opposed to the first post, which merely creates an adumbration of what is to come. The only line in this new post (and in the previous one!) that was insulting is this: "And now, thanks to his unwise attempt at ex post facto self-defense, we can safely conclude that he is stupid as well." However, Vox says this with a reason, and the reason behind it is expounded for another paragraph. So the purpose of Vox's post isn't to just ridicule him or shame him, but to dismantle his argument primarily, and then incidentally induce shame because of his woefully stupid argument.

As for whether or not shaming is necessary, yes, because shame is a very effective tool at regulating behavior. Shame is what allows this forum to be unmoderated (in the sense that anyone can post his comments without having to get his post "approved") and not overrun by trolls.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews November 18, 2012 12:55 AM  

God has judged all our sins, past, present and future. Some of you need to study what was laid on Jesus a bit more. Whether Vox is in sin is up to he and God to work out, but the price has already been paid even if it is sin!

Study the Scriptures a bit instead of just using them to be self righteous Pharisees.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 18, 2012 1:57 AM  

@Jack Amok:

Bees, as we readily observe, get very good "results": they build sturdy homes for themselves, they live successfully in a political community, they co-operate to produce a highly-desirable product for a living, and they seem to know an awful lot about navigation, flight, different kinds of botanicals, and the position of the sun.

So they must be "scientists". Right?

I await your answer eagerly, Herr Doktor-Professor-Direktor-Genius.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 18, 2012 2:18 AM  

because != when

Exactly, genius. That's the whole point. Science is reliable when and only when it produces accurate results. Orbital mechanics, for example. Climatology? Not so much.

So, don't you look like a damn fool now, getting all huffy thinking I was saying something stupid when instead it was just you falling behind.

Do try to keep up next time old chap.




Anonymous Kickass November 18, 2012 9:55 AM  

This is stupid. When a pick up game with old friends is played, the new guy doesn't come in and walk up to someone and smack them on the back of the head like I might. Or he will get a beat down.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 18, 2012 2:29 PM  

"So, don't you look like a damn fool now, getting all huffy thinking I was saying something stupid when instead it was just you falling behind."

Well heh heh, it's not a badly played reply --I'd be a stinge if I couldn't admit that much-- except that it happens to be wrong.

"Science is reliable when and only when it produces accurate results."

See, this is your problem. (Again I suspect that it is a language thing.) Science is science no matter what it does, right or wrong, reliable or not. Risking being wrong is sort of how it gets where it's going. We just don't have to bow to it, which is what liberals wish us to do. (I am old enough to recall a time when "infallible inevitable Marxist-Leninist dialectic" was "settled [social] science" among the bien-pensant class. The claim, as a debatable abstraction, would be fine, if they didn't happen to use it to murder people.) What we 'rely on' is engineering, which predates science but also is vastly augmented by it, at least in the sweet spots. The rest is just interesting plausible stuff that we may get around to looking at more closely, eventually. Ars longa, vita brevis, as Duran Duran once sang.

The problem arises when politics is involved. I don't care if climatologists stumble about for the next century, trying to figure out what, if anything, is going on and why. I _do_ care if climatologists tell me I must destroy my national economy in order to conform with their alleged findings -- but in that instance I suspect rather strongly that there is a cart/horse problem, and a "who is counting the votes" problem, and as that sort of evidence mounts, I no longer look to science as such, I begin to look to the sociology of "who becomes a climatologist, and why".

There's a charitable world in which I'd say, You originally spoke without sufficient clarity, then I replied without giving my reasons, and then we both escalated; maybe it's true. But banging around is part of what makes the internet fun. Huffy? Me? Not hardly.

Anonymous Ackroyd November 18, 2012 4:25 PM  

Yes, it would have made more sense to say that science can be trusted, when it yields accurate results. I'd add that it can be trusted in the sense that everything is subject to review and retest; errors are corrected and fraud, once uncovered, is punished (Jacob Bronowski somewhere wrote that some scientists have committed suicide after exposure).

I think theology should be considered a branch of metaphysics, the suffix notwithstanding.

I do not accept the Bible as authoritative in its pronouncements on the afterlife. I'm hardly making myself a god by feeling that it makes more sense to base rewards on behavior rather than beliefs.

It's been an interesting couple of days. Vox has had his fun with me, and I've had mine with Vox (it's not often I catch a Mensa member in an mistake, let alone three).

Farewell.

Anonymous Toby Temple November 18, 2012 9:12 PM  

Farewell, little pup.

Science is science no matter what it does, right or wrong, reliable or not.

So why did we invented the term pseudoscience then?

Anonymous Jack Amok November 19, 2012 12:28 AM  

Scoobie, a bit long-winded for a truce proposal, but I'll buy it. Fair enough.

Toby,

Science is science no matter what it does, right or wrong, reliable or not.

So why did we invented the term pseudoscience then?


Because pseudoscience pretends to be an objective search for the truth but is really nothing more than dogma or philosophy tarted up as science. Real science is about finding ways to test a hypothesis and discover something about our world as a result. Pseudoscience only pretends to do the test (or more recently, pretends to have already done the test) and just declares the hypothesis proven. Settled and all that.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 19, 2012 9:39 AM  

"a bit long-winded for a truce proposal"

Or maybe just trying to be clear! That can take some effort. Sometimes I think that while bantering is fun (and is sort of why we play), too much terseness is the source of too many bogus internet stoushes. Of course they can be very entertaining, which is good; and often they force people to tease out their thoughts into further detail (or long-windedness), but still. Terseness is very good in poetry, where it concentrates meaning (see Hopkins, famously). But in discourse it can lead to amusing confusion.

Nevertheless I appreciate your gracious sense of fair play. Grazie, etc.

One minor quibble, though: in passing, you referred to orbital mechanics almost as if it were self-evident, the simplest thing in the world. In reality it took about 6,000 years to figure it out right. That alone is worth a bit of contemplation.

Anonymous the bandit November 19, 2012 10:50 AM  

Ackroyd:
I did make an effort to locate the source of the language used on the poster

Ah. So all the complaint about paraphrasing is really about how it rendered you unable to use Google to appear more knowledgeable than you were.

You know, a simple effort to locate the source of the language would have been to just ask Vox (or even any of the Ilk) before tossing out accusations of stupidity....

Anonymous Jack Amok November 19, 2012 12:31 PM  

One minor quibble, though: in passing, you referred to orbital mechanics almost as if it were self-evident, the simplest thing in the world. In reality it took about 6,000 years to figure it out right. That alone is worth a bit of contemplation/

I didn't mean it was self-evident. I meant it yeilded accurate results, once we figured it out. We can trust the science involved in orbital mechanics because we can accurately predict where Jupiter will be in ten years. Climatology on the other hand can't predict the future climate. Hell, the East Anglia and Penn State debacles show it can't even tell us what the climate was like in the past when we have records.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 19, 2012 10:36 PM  

"Climatology on the other hand can't predict the future climate. Hell, the East Anglia and Penn State debacles show it can't even tell us what the climate was like in the past when we have records."

Well, then I vote that we give them 6,000 years to figure it out, and then come back and check up on how they're doing... it seems only fair. After all, in climate-history terms, das ist ein augenblick -- ja! ein auuuugenblick...

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