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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mailvox: four erroneous arguments

Ann Morgan appears to have no idea that she's in completely over her head here. Her anti-Christian reasoning is specious and rests on a foundation of ignorance and error.
Christianity generally fails when one or more of a few things happen:

1. Those who claim something is 'sinful' cannot give any reason why it is, other than 'Because God says so'. In the absence of actual proof of God, functionally, that statement is no different than 'Because I say so'.

2. A person is promised various rewards during their life for being 'good', only to have the promise broken, and the rewards either not given out at all, or given to those who were not good. Sooner or later, they will conclude that the promise of an afterlife is just one more promise that is going to be broken.

3. The wealth earned by a person believing in Christian ethics ends up in the hands of those promoting the Christian ethics. At some point they are going to conclude that the entire business of Christianity is a con, to trick them out of their wealth.

4. The promise of 'forgiveness' sounds nice, but the way it functions is that people who harm others and their society their whole lives, get to repent at the end of their lives and go to heaven. This will end up in some sort of 'tragedy of the commons'. If you don't want the commons overgrazed, you need to be vigilant about those who are overgrazing it; allowing them to overgraze it for years, ruin the commons for everyone else while getting fat cattle for themselves, then tell them everything will be fine because they 'repent' is a recipe for disaster.
Even her introduction is false.  Christianity does not, and cannot, fail on the basis of any of these points.

  1. There is no other reason than "God says so".  In the absence of God, sin does not exist.  This is hardly philosophical or theological news.  However, makes the basic error of confusing an objective statement with a subjective one.  For example, it makes no difference whether the Magna Carta exists or not, the statement that "the Magna Carta says you must do X" is materially different than "I say you must do X".  This should be completely obvious, since when the Christian says "God says Y is a sin" and cites a document that existed before he was born, that statement cannot possibly be considered equal to "because I say so" whether God exists or not.
  2. This is irrelevant.  The Bible says that all are fallen and no one is good, save God.  Her argument is based on a false premise and indicates her ignorance concerning Christian theology.  Luke 18:19: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."
  3. This is observably false, as evidenced by the fact of billions of Christians who have not, in fact, concluded that the entire business of Christianity is a con.  It would be a poor con that settles for ten percent when the federal government takes, on average, twice that.
  4. This is logically fallacious because it rests on a false assumption.  The fact is that there are relatively few deathbed conversions and there are billions of Christians who do not wait to repent of their sins.  Ergo, no tragedy of the commons. Let reason be silent when experience gainsays its conclusions.

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219 Comments:

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Anonymous C.S. Loony August 06, 2013 4:06 PM  

"The wealth earned by a person believing in Christian ethics ends up in the hands of those promoting the Christian ethics."

Fancy that, ethics based on serving others ends up enriching those doing the serving. Must be that weird thing we used to have called "the economy." In our post-christian future, the whole division of labor thing will be outlawed.

Anonymous Josh August 06, 2013 4:07 PM  

Were do you find these people?

Has r/atheism linked to this blog recently?

Anonymous Josh August 06, 2013 4:09 PM  

Must be that weird thing we used to have called "the economy." In our post-christian future, the whole division of labor thing will be outlawed.

If it wasn't hobbled and hamstrung by christianity, science would have already created the replicator and we'd all be living in a past scarcity economy like in Star Trek.

Anonymous C.S. Loony August 06, 2013 4:10 PM  

"The promise of 'forgiveness' sounds nice, but the way it functions is that people who harm others and their society their whole lives, get to repent at the end of their lives and go to heaven. This will end up in some sort of 'tragedy of the commons."

Hmmmm.... if one where scientific minded, you could probably test this theory by looking at murder rates of various christian/non-christian societies. But I hear that science jazz is hard work.

Anonymous Thursdaythe12th August 06, 2013 4:16 PM  

"However, makes the basic error of confusing an objective statement with a subjective one"

She?

Anonymous DrTorch August 06, 2013 4:17 PM  

Your response to #1 is correct, but I don't think you get at the spirit of what she's saying. Of course that is my inferrence of what she wrote, and it's written so badly that it resembles a HS freshman essay.

I think she's saying that Christians can't explain why they believe some things are morally wrong. Of course she says they can't explain that about anything, which is demonstrably untrue. So I suspect she has in mind a set of actions that traditional Christianity labels as "sin", most likely they involve sex.

I find this interesting b/c I realized 25 years ago that people who didn't believe in the Christian God wouldn't respond well to "it's in the Bible," so I looked for more empirical reasons to support why accepting the Bible's label as "sin" makes sense. And it turns out, that one can find a good answer for most any of them.

And this blog provides many good responses when that question is asked about most any area of the Bible, tying together restrictions or commands to individual and societal well-being. But in the end, you have to have a mind interested in truth, and that 2 Cor 4:4 tells us that's not the case for many, including Ms. Morgan.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 06, 2013 4:17 PM  

I still have yet to see any atheist or agnostic define what is evil and what is good. They have been constantly attacking our own moral assertions while failing to even bother to explain how their moral assertions are better.

Anonymous move zig August 06, 2013 4:19 PM  

I just watched George Carlin's version of ten commandments...man did he ever do some reaching in that bit. Freaking atrocious but similar to the logic this one is using, I think.

Anonymous Sigyn August 06, 2013 4:22 PM  

C.S., that sounds very scientific, until you remember how the people who keep those kinds of records also tend to lump "Hispanic" under "white".

Anyway, she keeps forgetting the first question: "Is it true?" Not "Does it satisfy my immediate needs?" or "Can someone misrepresent it?" or "Is this going to result in a land of eyeless, toothless people?" Her insistence that there is "no proof" in the face of volumes and libraries of it is nothing more than an evasion of that first, all-important question, so the rest is to be expected.

Granted, this is from some hours back and she's had some answers since then, but where it stood last she responded was what I describe.

Blogger JartStar August 06, 2013 4:24 PM  

Right now she's just parroting some of the more spurious but seemingly complicated arguments from a typical skeptic website. The real questions are: When her objections are answered what will her response be? Will she seek to remedy her ignorance of basic Christian theology or blithely charge on?

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 4:24 PM  

The deathbed conversions are extremely risky; the risk is if you believe that Baptism does remit sins, do you want to wait so long to have them remitted? What if you forget? Seems like a crazy and hedonist risk/reward analysis:

1. Risk: Everything
2. Reward: Some temporal pleasures

In all, it underestimates the 'pleasures forevermore' that are at the right hand of God. It is probably also based on a very naive understanding of human nature, particularly human nature functioning outside of the Spirit of God:

"Now, St Paul in his letter to the Romans says that there is always that heteros nomos, that other law, working in our members, so there is no autonomy at all to human beings. If we are under the law of the Holy Spirit and life, then we’re free, and we are able to be self-determinate, we have exousia and we can act. But if not, we’re not just human, we’re actually in the hands of evil powers. The other heteros nomos is the nomos tis harmartia kai thanatou, the law of sin and death. So there’s always this other law working in our members. Our Eastern Christian tradition would say that there is no “reason alone” or philosophy which you can first adopt, and then build theology upon it, to be sanctioned by the church and blessed by the Magisterium, and then guided by when it happens to be wrong. You can’t have it both ways."

-Fr. Thomas Hopko

VD,

I agree about 'sin' - sin means 'hamartia' which is to fall short. Falling short of the glory of God is sin, and by definition that's impossible without God.

Anonymous Nah August 06, 2013 4:25 PM  

Regarding 4, such people take the big chance that they will be struck down before they have a chance to do their deathbed repentance. Many people die instantly and unexpectedly... others sink into a coma long before they actually expire.

And one also has to question the ability of a person who has wallowed in evil his entire life to make a sincere repentance and thus qualify for absolution.

Anonymous Josh August 06, 2013 4:30 PM  

The real questions are: When her objections are answered what will her response be? Will she seek to remedy her ignorance of basic Christian theology or blithely charge on?

Actually isn't the real question when will she become a hooker or a cam girl?

Anonymous Josh August 06, 2013 4:33 PM  

The atheist/rational/humanist morality that various champions of atheism have presented here in the past tends to be "basically Christian morality but you can have all the sex you want with whomever or whatever you want, except kids"

Anonymous Sigyn August 06, 2013 4:37 PM  

The atheist/rational/humanist morality that various champions of atheism have presented here in the past tends to be "basically Christian morality but you can have all the sex you want with whomever or whatever you want, except kids"

Well, you know, everyone wants to pick and choose, including a lot of "Christians" who should know better.

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 4:37 PM  

@Josh

Yep! Really if you look at late Western European culture from about the late 19th century an on, it's mostly an obsession with adultery and fornication that forms the notion of pleasure. I don't know if it's just sex or if it is merely forbidden sex -- but it's a real phenomenon.

Anonymous Carlotta August 06, 2013 4:38 PM  

I just wish for once someone attempting to take on Christianity had taken the time to actually read the Bible. Sheesh, I could do a takedown of my own religion better then this. Doesnt anyone take pride in their beliefs anymore?

Though Ann, you have come to the right place if you can withstand truth and I want you for a Sister in Christ. You have been called out. Lets see what you do witgit.

Anonymous Adsignatos D. August 06, 2013 4:39 PM  

And one also has to question the ability of a person who has wallowed in evil his entire life to make a sincere repentance and thus qualify for absolution.

Indeed. If a person rejects God repeatedly and uses other people for their own selfish ends, their "heart" gets hardened over time and the capacity to legitimately turn to God shrinks.

And the key phrase here is sincere repentance. Chanting some words or saying the Lord's prayer isn't an automatic ticket into Heaven. In fact, Scripture indicates that there will be people who live their lives thinking they are doing the will of God (but who are really evildoers), but the Lord will tell them, "I never knew you".

Anonymous MrGreenMan August 06, 2013 4:39 PM  

@DrTorch

It's funny because we know also - the natural man knows in his gut, especially for the more egregious ones, that his sins are wrong, and he knows he is filthy (like those people who refer to themselves as "secular traditionalists", they rely on General Revelation), or he has so seared his conscience that he cannot ever see that he is filthy. (I remember knowing a guy who had done this, attended a Catholic Church, yet never came to any personal repentance; he was a sociopath; he could have random sex with two different women from his wife, before and after Church, and still take communion, as it meant nothing to him beyond the show.)

--

#4 shows that she has not gotten beyond the Sunday school guide to Christianity. For, what do we know will be the distinguishing mark of the saints? Perseverance and patience. Sure, one can only have Christ preached to you on your deathbed, and, being struck at the last hour, convert, but this whole "plan to turn it all around" is a cartoon Gospel of works and agreeing to be good that is nowhere found in the Gospel. He who is filthy will be filthy still without being seized by the Spirit, convicted of his sins, and genuinely repenting.

It sure is easy to attack a theology that doesn't exist. Does she honestly think men would volunteer to be marched off to die for Jesus Christ - singing hymns of praise and talking about how happy they were that they could lay down their lives for a friend who had already freed them from the bondage of sin - for refusing to worship Domitian or Kim Il Sung or some other idol or emperor, if they could coast until the last minute, indulge in everything in life, and then say a little prayer and eat a cracker in the final hour?

Anonymous Carlotta August 06, 2013 4:39 PM  

With it auto correct has it out for me ahhhhhhh

Anonymous Stephen J. August 06, 2013 4:40 PM  

In addition to the point already noted about #1, it should also be noted that there are very few acts or behaviours (in fact, I'm having trouble thinking of a single example myself) deemed sinful by Christianity that do not also have objectively measurable harmful effects, whether socially, psychologically or physically, to their enactors or their subjects. Sometimes that harm may only become evident over a sufficiently long period or in a sufficiently large degree, but the harm is there.

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 4:41 PM  

Also on the first point, I guess what she's saying is she doesn't trust Christians to tell her what God says. Now, Christians try to rigorously quote the scripture as a way to get around the fact that yes, on their own they don't present an authority on the utterances of God. So then I guess she's just saying that she doesn't really trust the scriptures to be an authority on what God says.

In that case what can you say? But it's not 'Because I say so' like she claims, but 'because the scriptures says so.' If she doubts their authority that's another thing. Christians in general don't claim any authority other than the ability to recite the commands they have received. If only Adam and Eve had done as much.

Anonymous JamesV August 06, 2013 4:47 PM  

1. Those who claim murder, rape and incest are evil cannot give any reason why it is, other than 'because it just is' or 'because most people believe it is'. In the absence of actual proof of some greater binding objective morality, that statement is no different than 'because I say so.'

Anonymous What Would Lodi Do? August 06, 2013 4:51 PM  

...you can have all the sex you want with whomever or whatever you want, except kids...

For now. Though we can't really say why exactly.

Anonymous Gx1080 August 06, 2013 4:52 PM  

You know, if atheists just admited that they are leftists above all, and their moral code is pretty much the Communist Manifesto, then they wouldn't look like a fish outside the water everytime that someone argues objective morality.

But then, that would unmask the fedora owners are beings as repulsive on the inside as they are on the outside, so is not likely anytime soon.

Anonymous Stephen J. August 06, 2013 4:54 PM  

Out of curiosity, what did Ms. Morgan mean when she says "Christianity generally *fails*"? Does she mean "people wind up ceasing to practice it in large numbers" or does she mean "its metaphysical reasoning is inadequate to explain the phenomena it claims to explain", or something else?

It also strikes me that #2, #3 and #4 are really just individual elaborations of the one major complaint Christianity has always had a difficult time answering, because the answer *is* difficult: the Problem of Pain. Why believe in a just afterlife when there is no justice in this life? Why believe rich, comfortable Christians who make money off preaching the spiritual value of poverty and suffering? Why believe in a mercy that seems to come so cheaply?

It is an emotional reaction founded on the natural outrage felt by creatures aware of justice in an unjust world (and if we are nothing more than natural by-products of this unjust world, then explaining how we *know* it is unjust has always been atheism's Achilles heel, to my mind), which is why it is so difficult for the logically consistent but rather dispassionate answers of theodicy to gain traction against it, and why faith is so vital to being Christian even when one's reason has been adequately convinced.

Anonymous MrGreenMan August 06, 2013 4:54 PM  

#4 would also appear to fall under the statement from Jesus that there will be some that will come to him, and will say, "Lord, Lord", but, knowing that they played this game of delayed confession to maximize their sinful natures, they would be cast aside as never having given a true confession.

If we believe Irenaeus on the matter, these are most likely practicing a form of the Nicolaitan heresy, which the Lord specifically says will be punished.

I do think #2 is a good criticism of the sham preaching of men like Joel Oesteen and the Prosperity Gospel. Again, turning to the good book, we'll see that we're promised only a few things in this life: as they hated the Lord, so will his sheep be hated. As they slew the Lord, so too will his sheep be slain. There is no Lexus and no 5,000 sq ft home in the promises made by the Lord to his followers; knowing that the promises of the OT were to a specific people, at a specific time, for temporal wealth, and they were fulfilled, we are not even promised by the bizarre interpretation of "Israel" a plot of land.

#3 This seems to be more of an indictment of bad church structure and not having a council of elders, because I know at our little church, we pay a median household income to the pastors, and we give away more than that amount directly to missionaries as support payments that just barely keep them in food and shelter. Further, we know that, although we are to provide for the needs of leaders and elders of the congregation, they are to work, and they are to carry their weight as much as possible, as Paul has some very strong admonitions on this... he who does not work, does not eat and all that.

I think her primary critique is more of the late-night television preacher, the prosperity Gospel huckster, the cartoon Christianity, and the traveling salvation man. Points #2, #3, and #4 appear to be directly handled by the written word in the Bible.

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 4:54 PM  

James

There are some attempts to use neurology and some appeals to philosophy, as well as some to the Pattern of the Tao (though none will call it for what it is)

But ultimately these people are choosing willy-nilly what to appeal to which among human actions is most indicative of simple self-will and 'appeal to authority' in the rubber-stamp sense.

Anonymous Sigyn August 06, 2013 4:59 PM  

For now. Though we can't really say why exactly.

Eesh, this reminds me of a link a friend of mine sent me to a discussion of whether bestiality was wrong (it was some kind of online game roleplaying discussion board). On the side of "wrong" was a large group of atheists whose sole argument was, "Because we said so and because it's gross." They grew increasingly angry at the ONE person on the other side, who was saying things like, "How do you know the animal isn't consenting? Why should I care what you think? What if I could convince a majority that it was okay? How about even a large minority? Aren't you just forcing your beliefs on me?"

Seriously.

It was both disturbing and hilarious. I've lately wondered if this person was an Ilk.

Anonymous Porky August 06, 2013 5:03 PM  

It's ok, Ann. I used to be stupid myself.

Anonymous Thomas August 06, 2013 5:18 PM  

[Statism] fails when one or more of a few things happen:

1. Those who claim something is 'wrong' cannot give any reason why it is, other than 'Because [the State] says so'.

2. A person is promised various rewards during their life for being '[a hard-working and responsible citizen]', only to have the promise broken, and the rewards either not given out at all, or given to those who were not [hard-working and responsible]. Sooner or later, [such a person] will conclude that [hard work] and the promise of [its reward] is just one more promise that is going to be broken.

3. The wealth earned by a person believing in [State power] ends up in the hands of those promoting [State power]. At some point they are going to conclude that the entire business of [government] is a con, to trick them out of their wealth.

4. The [concept] of '[socialism]' sounds nice, but the way it functions is that people who [don't work] get to [live] at the [expense of others their entire] lives. This will end up in [the]... 'tragedy of the commons'....



Just playing around a little.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 5:19 PM  

1. I can offer a rational explanation for why any sin is a sin (based on reason from the Tao). That does not mean that I can break through the assumptions - that we have a different set of postulates. If you are given to hyperbole in a negative curvature, triangles sum to less than 180. I can argue the Euclidean 180, but can't prove the basis.

2. There is no getting around divine justice in the Catholic faith. That is why there is the doctrine of Purgatory. The alternatives are that no matter how bad we are or how much evil we commit, there is NO temporal justice, it will disappear when we die. That violates Ann's idea of justice, and properly so. The alternative is that we will carry our sin into heaven. We will have all the cancerous boils as Luther put it, but covered up with a white robe. That is even a more horrible thought. If we are not saints and are still attached to sin - or have not atoned to satisfy the temporal debt, we need purgatory.

I compliment Ann at least in having the resolve to fight. She at least puts up arguments which have some meat to them and continues to battle even when knocked down. Most of the opponents here don't, either disappearing or dissolving into a troll like Phony. Fortitude can be misplaced but is still a virtue.

Anonymous Ain August 06, 2013 5:21 PM  

Vox: "4. This is logically fallacious because it rests on a false assumption. The fact is that there are relatively few deathbed conversions and there are billions of Christians who do not wait to repent of their sins. Ergo, no tragedy of the commons. Let reason be silent when experience gainsays its conclusions."

This is also answered nicely by the parable in Matthew 20. There will *never* be enough workers to harvest the fields, so that the owner was even hiring people into the 11th hour. Also noticeable is that Ann Morgan's "recipe for disaster" hasn't yet ended in a disaster.

Anonymous Noah B. August 06, 2013 5:22 PM  

The atheist/rational/humanist morality that various champions of atheism have presented here in the past tends to be "basically Christian morality but you can have all the sex you want with whomever or whatever you want, except kids"

When you can rationalize infanticide, you can rationalize anything.

Anonymous Garuda1 August 06, 2013 5:22 PM  

I'm mildly surprised that these same, oft-debunked atheist claims about Christianity are still kicking around this blog. Do they not know against whom they debate?

I would love to hear how this woman responds, as I still haven't given up hoping for a more amusing class of troll.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 5:26 PM  

To add, the "promises" are not broken. There are a lot of false promises - you can just click on some ads or watch infomercials. Some promise Obama will pay your mortgage off or some such thing - is Obama obligated to honor a promise he never made? Does God have such obligations? Do not think "Christians" who use the Lord's name in vain will not end up in hell.

The wealth earned by a person believing in Christian Ethics cannot be relevant because "Christian Ethics" says all belongs to the Lord, and you should live with your wealth in your hands open to those who need it. Yet it is up to you - in the case in Acts, Ananias and Sapphira could have kept the land or 100% of the proceeds without sinning. Their sin was lying to the holy spirit in saying they were donating all the money but holding back 5%

Anonymous Beau August 06, 2013 5:31 PM  

2. A person is promised various rewards during their life for being 'good', only to have the promise broken, and the rewards either not given out at all, or given to those who were not good.

Obviously Ann Morgan has never understood Jesus' discourse on the two men praying in the Temple; or, Jesus' initial conversation with Peter, or Paul's letter to the Ephesians, or the very definition of the Gospel, Romans 1:16-18. She would rather cling to her own early experience and impressions than critically examine authentic Bible teachings. It's easier to remain a victim.

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 5:33 PM  

@tz

'caveat emptor' applies to all such use of money. In our church we typically make yearly pledges, and we also as a congregation have the chance to review the budget and vote on it once a year. Wealth is given by God to be used, not hoarded; my view always has been that the money is going to be used somehow, it is better that I use it responsibly now than have it get stolen by the state when I die.

Her accusations might level better against Christendom, that is, Christian civilization. But that no longer really exists.

Blogger River Cocytus August 06, 2013 5:36 PM  

@beau

She is not totally wrong, but she misses the other half of the problem. To do good in the sense of checking off a list of good deeds cannot bring back the dead from life. The problem is not bad men but dead men. Certainly men being bad leads to men being dead, but men being good cannot make the dead men live again. Only God can make the dead live again, therefore one's primary concern is death and not morality or ethics. One wishes to transcend death, including the early death that life in sin is.

Goodness is still rewarded in the life to come, but rewards mean nothing to dead men. Book of life comes first.

Anonymous alabamarob August 06, 2013 5:40 PM  

On Point 1 could we logically turn this back on the author? If - in their opinion - sin cannot exist because God says so because we cannot see God and experience Him as we do all else in our lives; then can we conclude that their pet charity, their favorite spin on morality cannot exist either? I mean I experience life and catergorize my comings and goings differently than anyone else alive, and the authors take is tantamount to 'I say so' when dealing in matters of morality and ethics. I wonder what authority they subscribe to for their ethos. Can that authority be scientifically vetted, can they point to the underlying principle in cold hard facts that does not ultimately come down to because 'I said so'? As VD and many others have said apart from a Creator God morality is whatever I say and noone - not even this enlightened author - can have any say in what I do and what my worlview allows in matters of morality, ethics, charity etc. Without Him and His commandments, precepts and Laws I am a complete 100% free agent.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 5:43 PM  

Oh, and as to #4, again Catholics recommend frequent confession. At least once a month. Once a week is better. Most canonized saints were weekly penitents.

It is not repentance when there is no sorrow, firm purpose of amendment, or restoration and compensation to the victim (even in most orthodox Protestant circles).

When no true repentance is present - even fear of hell (imperfect contrition) - there IS NO FORGIVENESS.

If I have a problem with Ann, it is much like what Bishop Fulton Sheen said:

There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.

I would extend it to the entire spectrum of Christianity. She cherry picks (or whatever the inverse would be) the worst nonsense of every denomination or behavior - even strongly and strictly and continually condemned words and deeds, and sets that up as a caricature of Christianity, and attacks that.

That those things are evil, we agree on. That those things are Christian, she has neither demonstrated nor defended. If I can find one or even a group of women who spout nonsense, woudl she object if I forced her to defend herself as not being a stupid irrational bitch because of the composite of women who were stupid, irrational, and bitches, often all three?

Probably not. I invite Ann to not try to fight meta-Christianity or fallen or false Christians, but to fight actual Christianity. Does she find anything wrong in "Mere Christianity" by Lewis. Or his other works?

Anonymous ApolloK August 06, 2013 5:49 PM  

If it wasn't hobbled and hamstrung by christianity, science would have already created the replicator

If not for a supernatural force (aka God) keeping the universe in order there would be no foundation for inductive reasoning, ergo no foundation for science. Because logic.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 5:52 PM  

One subtle point on sin. God asks for obedience, but in order to obey, we must know what is obedience or disobedience. If you are doing something which is wrong but not THAT it is wrong, you cannot be disobeying.

That is why the Tao. We know (from our consciences if nothing else) what is objectively right and wrong. It doesn't give reasons why, but the reasons can be discerned with reason itself.

At some point we must accept the Tao or reject it and rationalize our own evil. This rejection of reason is why those who do not accept the existence of God can still be guilty of disobedience. They cannot (with few exceptions) claim ignorance.

But it is also why there can be salvation for those who deny Christ with their words, but obey him with their deeds. This is a very narrow exception, and I only mention it because it is in the Catechism. They may be ignorant of Christ but knowledgeable about Sin and avoid and repent of it far more and better than those who claim Christ.

Anonymous Myrddin August 06, 2013 5:53 PM  

Her accusations might level better against Christendom, that is, Christian civilization. But that no longer really exists.

No, they really wouldn't.

Her accusations, like most I've encountered, work relatively well if you invent a religion that is not Christianity, but shares with it a vague Theism and the concept of forgiveness (without bothering with that nasty business of all of us needing forgiveness).

A lot of objections work that way. For instance: the Bible promises that everyone will be satisfied that God has acted justly in the end. Therefore, the Problem of Evil is not a Christian problem, and never has been. "But, but," says the PoE apologist, "That's cheap! It's not fair to simply declare the problem away like that!" Maybe it isn't. The fact remains, the problem does not apply to the religion in question.

Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 5:54 PM  

There is a huge piece of Ann's argument being ignored here and that is how it always returns to sex, the same predictable phenomenon that I have encountered with feminists. The stumbling block to accepting Christianity, always appears to come back to sex. They reject Christianity, the good and the bad, all of it, because, abortion, homosexuality, resistance to traditional marriage, birth control, etc. Christianity becomes an inconvenience to those moralities.

You attempt to communicate with Ann on a level of reasoning, of gentle intellectual humiliation. Perhaps you know what you are doing. As an always Doubting Thomas, I suspect not. However, I also suspect yes, having met game.

I am working on trying to frame the sexual feminist arguments against Christianity in a language women will understand. I have made some progress. As I said before, it must be done in a way that sneaks under their intellectual radar, because that is where the woman-logic lives and you cannot do battle with woman-logic. You will hurt yourself. Game is one way to bypass this barrier, but I must communicate it with words and banality.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 5:55 PM  

@Josh If it wasn't hobbled and hamstrung by christianity, science would have already created the replicator and we'd all be living in a past scarcity economy like in Star Trek.

The Jesuits were and are some of the greatest (actual) scientists. Gregor Mendel was a monk.

But what would power the replicators? Scientists have turned lead into gold, but only a few atoms. Even Star Trek talks of "transporter credits" and limits on the replicator (Janeway's "there's coffee in that nebula").

Blogger Markku August 06, 2013 5:56 PM  

Anyone who plans for deathbed conversion will probably find that repentance eludes him on that deathbed. After such lifetime of cynicism, they won't be able to bring themselves to being sorry for what they did.

God is not mocked.

Anonymous rubbermallet August 06, 2013 5:57 PM  

Josh has made me laugh twice in this thread.

Blogger JCclimber August 06, 2013 6:02 PM  

1. demonstrably stupid point.

2. Which rewards does she refer to? Wealth? Where is worldly wealth promised in the Bible? Blessings are promised, not wealth. Wealth is most often a curse, not a blessing. Those churchianity fanatics who think they'll get rich pretending to be christians will be surprised on judgement day.

3. Don't know about others, but the tithe and offerings I pay are ALWAYS more than repaid with increased income and lower expenses by God. And I also know to the penny exactly where all those tithes and offerings go, I assume all other christians do the same due diligence before giving.

4. I don't believe in deathbed repentance, because how can someone repent (turn around and go the other way) when they are dying? They aren't going anywhere. A deathbed confession doesn't buy your way into heaven (sorry catholics). That said, we know the saints will be judging how God carried out justice when they have a chance to examine "the books", and will vindicate God's judgment in each case.

Anonymous Susan August 06, 2013 6:04 PM  

@yttik

I don't know how long you have been reading here, but there have been many great discussions here about woman-logic. They refer to it as the "hamster wheel" that drives feminist minds.

You are right though. You can't really win a battle with it, but poking fun at it is very amusing. Woman-logic is like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 6:05 PM  

@Yttik

I am working on trying to frame the sexual feminist arguments against Christianity in a language women will understand. I have made some progress. As I said before, it must be done in a way that sneaks under their intellectual radar, because that is where the woman-logic lives and you cannot do battle with woman-logic. You will hurt yourself. Game is one way to bypass this barrier, but I must communicate it with words and banality.

I note it is easy to state things in a form anyone CAN understand but not one that they WILL understand. Is Molech a hamster?

Oh, and I will not hurt myself fighting against "woman-logic" which is as oxymoronic as the moronic feminists that hold to it. There is a greater audience - and "the great cloud of witnesses", and although I'm not as good as Vox, and somewhat more subtle, but I can be a cruelty artist too. It is easy to be cruel. The artist part is much harder, especially when you direct it at conversion and not for its own sake.

And words and banality will be rejected from anything beta or below if you are going the Game angle (see my most recent post at CH).

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 6:07 PM  

Deathbed conversions when at the moment your bedfellow is a whore (including merely hypergamous) are disingenuous.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 6:08 PM  

Correction, most recent comment to the recent post at CH.

Anonymous Dan in Tx August 06, 2013 6:16 PM  

JCclimber's take above on point #4 falls in line with one of my pet peeves.

Repentance does not simply mean saying I'm sorry. Repentance is action. Repentance is the act of doing something different. Granted, this can often be a struggle that takes place over a period of time but it is something you DO not simply something you say. Saying I'm sorry and I believe in Jesus is NOT a magical incantation that God must follow. Do people think that a being that is able to create the entire universe on one hand can then turn around and be so stupid as to fall for a silly little childish game of I'll do what I want and then throw out the magical I'm sorry incantation right at the end and all will be good?

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 06, 2013 6:16 PM  

Vox wrote: **For example, it makes no difference whether the Magna Carta exists or not, the statement that "the Magna Carta says you must do X" is materially different than "I say you must do X".**

Vox, first of all, I'm not sure what you mean by 'materially different', but the question of whether or not the "Magna Carta" exists makes a great deal of difference as to whether the statements are functionally different.

If we lived in a universe where there was either no Magna Carta, or there was no proof of it's existence and what it said, you could claim 'The Magna Carta says you should brush your teeth with grape soda', and absent proof of the Magna Carta and what it actually said, that statement is really not any functionally different than your saying "*I* think that you should brush your teeth with grape soda."

Now, I think most of us can agree that the bible exists, and what it says (at least at the current moment, it has been altered a great deal in the past). However, your basis for morality is not "The Bible says so", but rather "God says so." And there is no proof of God's existence and what he said, the way there is proof of the existence of the bible, and the Magna Carta (and what they said, respectively).

Absent that proof, I have no way of knowing if you are picking and choosing what you want out of the bible to get others to do what you prefer, or are honestly following it, but the existence of God was simply invented by people living thousands of years ago. In which case the "because I say so" becomes instead "because people living thousands of years ago say so".

Mind you, there are very good reasons to think that God exists, but no proof. And it's hard to tell what God wants. Obedience without judgement is a recipe for disaster in all sorts of ways. To use the example you gave, that if you were a farmer, you would tell your children not to burn up the kitchen, or pee on the floor, or beware of imposters. The latter requires moral discernment, and as for the first two, suppose someone tells your kids to flood the house?

You seem very intelligent, so I am sure you can understand what I am getting at. Ethics are extremely complex, probably nearly as complex as the Mandelbrot set, and there is not enough time in a human life to learn in a robot-like manner what is the correct thing to do or not do under every possible scenario that could occur.

For instance, take something a farmer might tell his children, such as not destroying apple trees in his orchard. Makes sense and sounds like a good idea. Except what happens if the apple tree gets some sort of infectious blight? The best thing to do could range from either treating it with a powder, to chopping down the tree immediately, to burning down every single tree in your orchard, because they are probably all infected, and it's too late to save them, but burning them all might just save the other orchards in your area.

Of course, in ten years, if a cure for "Apple Plague X" is invented, the right thing to do might change from 'burn down the whole orchard' to 'spray all the trees with Brand X cure'.

Then again, if Al Gore's climate change boogeyman comes to pass, the right thing to do might be to chop down all the apple trees and plant oranges.

Anonymous Ciconia August 06, 2013 6:19 PM  

The very fact that you're using logic to prop up your religious beliefs is proof your logic is faulty.

Anonymous Beau August 06, 2013 6:23 PM  

And it's hard to tell what God wants.

Especially if your ears are stopped up or your heart is hardened.

Still, God simply said through Micah, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

Anonymous LES August 06, 2013 6:24 PM  

The Old Testament was about morality and obeying God's laws for our benefit, not His.
Jesus and the New Testament is about Identity. It is not about who has the best moral standard
or how closely a person can keep it. Christianity is about becoming awakened to our true identity
as spiritual beings created by a loving God. Then by loving God and loving one another we find ourselves living closer to the moral standard God has given to us. But you cannot love God if you refuse to believe that He is.

Anonymous Stickwick August 06, 2013 6:27 PM  

Ann Morgan: Now, I think most of us can agree that the bible exists ...

Out of curiosity, is there a reason you don't capitalize the word 'Bible'? You capitalize other words where appropriate, so this seems deliberate.

Ciconia: The very fact that you're using logic to prop up your religious beliefs is proof your logic is faulty.

The Cluemeter's reading zero on this one.

Anonymous Koppernicus August 06, 2013 6:28 PM  

JCclimber, it is not for us to set limits to God's mercy. The message of the parable of the workers is that God will give salvation to all who serve him, regardless of whether they started early in life, in the middle, or at the very end.

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 6:29 PM  

I'm not sure what you mean by 'materially different', but the question of whether or not the "Magna Carta" exists makes a great deal of difference as to whether the statements are functionally different.

No, they don't. As long as I didn't personally invent the claims supposedly in the possibly non-existent Magna Carta, they are functionally different. You clearly don't understand the difference between subjective and objective. As long as I didn't invent it, you cannot possibly claim I am making a subjective assertion. This is not a difficult concept.

Now, I think most of us can agree that the bible exists, and what it says (at least at the current moment, it has been altered a great deal in the past). However, your basis for morality is not "The Bible says so", but rather "God says so." And there is no proof of God's existence and what he said, the way there is proof of the existence of the bible, and the Magna Carta (and what they said, respectively).

As I said, you're ignorant. The basis for Christian morality is "God said so through the Bible". That's some nice tap-dancing there, but all you accomplished is to step on a few of the shattered pieces of your argument. Your "functionally identical" argument is a non-starter.

Obedience without judgement is a recipe for disaster in all sorts of ways.

No, it is not. It completely depends upon who is being obeyed. And you have provided zero proof of that baseless assertion anyhow.

You seem very intelligent, so I am sure you can understand what I am getting at.

I do. And I've shown that you're incorrect. You, on the other hand, don't seem to grasp that you not only have no case at all, but that you don't have even a solid grasp on what you're attempting to criticize.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 06, 2013 6:32 PM  

Someone here asked me what I regard as good or evil. It's complicated, but I'll offer a list of a few of the major points of what I regard as good and evil:

1. It is evil to initiate force or fraud (or to delegate or threaten their use) against other people or their property.

2. Any action which has, as the only basis for it, the recognition of the ability of a living creature to feel pain, and then inflicting that pain with no other purpose in mind, or deliberately increasing the necessary pain when there is a different purpose, is evil.

3. It is morally acceptable to inflict a small amount of evil (either in terms of degree and/ or the number of people affected) if and only if the following is true:

A. It is absolutely necessary (and not simply the cutest or most convenient way) to prevent a greater amount of evil (in terms of degree or the number of people affected). Preventing evil in this case is defined strictly as *preventing* a negative, NEVER gaining a positive (such as food, pleasure, etc).

B. The people who would be saved from the negative in clause A are not, themselves, responsible for creating that negative.

4. It is evil to demand to benefit from a system that you are not willing to participate in yourself, ahead of those who have participated in it.

5. It is morally good, but not an obligation to save people or property from evil. Depending on the circumstances, I may or may not regard someone as a complete scumbag for failing to save people from evil. For instance, I would not fault someone for being too frightened to go into a burning house to save a baby. But I would fault them if they were an Olympic class swimmer and simply sat counting their toes and watching while a baby drowned in a small swimming pool.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 06, 2013 6:39 PM  

Vox Day wrote: **The basis for Christian morality is "God said so through the Bible".**

I understand that, but I have not seen any proof that what is written in the Bible is actually what God said, versus being invented by human beings who lived thousands of years ago. Nor have I seen any proof that God actually exists. If you want me to consider Christianity to have a greater moral validity than other ethical systems than you need to provide that proof (on both counts, it's entirely possible God exists, but did not say what the bible says he did).

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 6:47 PM  

I understand that, but I have not seen any proof that what is written in the Bible is actually what God said, versus being invented by human beings who lived thousands of years ago. Nor have I seen any proof that God actually exists. If you want me to consider Christianity to have a greater moral validity than other ethical systems than you need to provide that proof (on both counts, it's entirely possible God exists, but did not say what the bible says he did).

I don't care what you want. You presented some arguments. I showed you that those arguments were factually wrong, irrelevant, and logically fallacious. I don't want you to do anything; Christianity has greater moral validity than other ethical systems because it is objective, coherent, and has sound logical basis for its universal warrant.

As you have forced me to repeatedly point out, you simply do not know what you are talking about. All you have managed to do is first demonstrate your ignorance, then demonstrate your foolishness in repeatedly attempting to defend positions that are completely indefensible.

Now you're reduced to talking about what you have seen and what you want, both of which are matters of total indifference to me and most of the other 7 billion people on the planet. And meanwhile, you still haven't admitted that every single one of the arguments you presented that I have addressed were incorrect.

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 6:53 PM  

It's complicated, but I'll offer a list of a few of the major points of what I regard as good and evil:

It's not complicated. You've got nothing except what you like and what you don't like. No warrant to apply to anyone else, no basis for your opinions, no evidence, no coherence, and no objective basis.

You don't seem to understand that we've seen much smarter, much more educated people than you try to create an alternative moral system and fail. Try all you like, but you will not succeed. But the more you sincerely try, the greater appreciation for the Christian moral system you will develop; even life-long agnostics have expressed their admiration for it.

Hence the statement that if God did not exist, Man would have to invent Him. Because without God's Game, God's Rules, there are no rules.

Look, it's not that hard. Imagine there is no NFL or NCAA. Now, what are "the rules of American football"? Once you think that matter through, you will perhaps begin to understand the basics of the problem.

Anonymous Azimus August 06, 2013 6:54 PM  

Ann Morgan: However, your basis for morality is not "The Bible says so", but rather "God says so." And there is no proof of God's existence and what he said, the way there is proof of the existence of the bible, and the Magna Carta (and what they said, respectively).

Would prophesying the future interest you as a proof that the Bible is the legitimate Word of God? Because the Bible has that in spades, unique among "Holy Books". And not just prophesying the future Incarnation - the Bible predicts not only Alexander the Great, but that he would rule the world, even going into detail on the exact way he would destroy the city of Tyre. There's tons more. Look it up!

Blogger Phoenician August 06, 2013 6:59 PM  

There is no other reason than "God says so". In the absence of God, sin does not exist. This is hardly philosophical or theological news. However, makes the basic error of confusing an objective statement with a subjective one. For example, it makes no difference whether the Magna Carta exists or not, the statement that "the Magna Carta says you must do X" is materially different than "I say you must do X". This should be completely obvious, since when the Christian says "God says Y is a sin" and cites a document that existed before he was born, that statement cannot possibly be considered equal to "because I say so" whether God exists or not.

Except, of course you dipshit, the Magna Carta can be shown to exist. That's the whole point.

The Invisible Pink Unicorn says you're a dipshit. There - now that your dipshittedness has been established by reference to a deity, it's not just a subjective opinion, and you must concede that you are objectively a dipshit.

The IPU says so. Therefore you are objectively a dipshit - based on your own standard of "evidence".

Anonymous Noah B. August 06, 2013 7:00 PM  

The Bible provides far more insight into the world and the nature of man than practically any doctoral degree in social sciences seems to convey. If it was invented by human beings who lived thousands of years ago, then at the very least, the writing of it was a remarkable feat, and it's proven itself to be an astounding collection of wisdom that one discards at their own peril.

Anonymous Noah B. August 06, 2013 7:03 PM  

"The IPU says so."

So you fantasize about pink unicorns? And all this time I figured you liked little boys.

Anonymous Porky August 06, 2013 7:05 PM  

"2. Any action which has, as the only basis for it, the recognition of the ability of a living creature to feel pain, and then inflicting that pain with no other purpose in mind...is evil."

All I want to know is...can I still eat human fetuses wrapped in gold leaf?

Anonymous ApolloK August 06, 2013 7:18 PM  

"dipshit" is so trite. I don't know German grammar but you could use something like "Kot Eintauchen" instead? So much more nihil chic. Yeah.

Anonymous ApolloK August 06, 2013 7:21 PM  

"2. Any action which has, as the only basis for it, the recognition of the ability of a living creature to feel pain, and then inflicting that pain with no other purpose in mind...is evil."

All I want to know is...can I still eat human fetuses wrapped in gold leaf?


You must an anesthetize them first.

Anonymous Susan August 06, 2013 7:22 PM  

OT:

Did you guys know that Elmore Leonard had a stroke last week? A couple of the books he wrote were 3:10 to Yuma and Get Shorty. One of his researchers said he is improving.

I have noticed you guys mention these two movies from time to time so I thought I would post this.

Anonymous alabamarob August 06, 2013 7:24 PM  

Ann I ain't no genius but I have a question. Above you noted some of the tennants of your 'faith', those things you find evil. On what basis is this code of conduct based? Seems to me these are all subjective and may appeal to many persons, but I think it evident from History and human conduct that not all people will agree, therfore it is not universal. In particular what caught y eye were ponts 3 & 4. There are greater than 50% of the US population who are not participating in the system by paying taxes and participatig in the economy. Yet they have no trouble, no qualms demanding the benefits and claim I owe them. And they find it acceptable to inflict an evil(#3)on me as a tax paying small business owner. I can only produce so much but the gimme crowd grows and the demand get larger and larger. My point being your ethics work for you but you cannot force others to abide by your code and you will not ever meet them to judge them by your standards.

Now I can't debate as well as Vox by a looooonngg shot but I don't get it. But to the Bible it's simple. The code of conduct does not change with the whims of the created. It remains as firm, unchanging and infallible as the Creator. His world, His rules, nuff said. And I will meet God one day and I will be judged on His standards - not mine or yours, His.

Anonymous Porky August 06, 2013 7:26 PM  

For instance, I would not fault someone for being too frightened to go into a burning house to save a baby. But I would fault them if they were an Olympic class swimmer and simply sat counting their toes and watching while a baby drowned in a small swimming pool.

On my baby farm we raise them for food and only slaughter them using the most humane methods. Free-range, mostly. Organic feeds and no hormones or other additives.


Anonymous David August 06, 2013 7:27 PM  

Totally whiffed over Phonycian's head that no Christian today wrote the Bible. While the invisible pink unicorn that is Phonycian's alter ego is indeed made up by him, making it the equivalent of Phonycian saying "Because I say so".

Blogger Penrose August 06, 2013 7:29 PM  

All of you, each and every one, asserts the certainty of your belief. You are a True Believer in the one true faith and you shout without reserve your knowledge of God and what God wants. And yet all of you, each and every one, cannot explain neither the mysteries of God nor of the cosmos. None of you are as certain as you appear. Your faith is never as great as you would like me to believe. At best you are agnostic like me or perhaps a secular Christian. Someone who believes the bible was written some wisdom in it that can benefit others but is parable (like Jesus told, remember?) an allegory for recording ancient wisdom. The Bible is important there is no doubt. It's place in historical and cultural significance is absolute. But is it the true, literal, one and only word of God? It is impossible to know with any certainty and only fools or false prophets asserts otherwise.

Anonymous Noah B. August 06, 2013 7:30 PM  

I forget where I heard this -- and I'm not sure it's true -- but supposedly in Africa, it's common for food to be labeled with pictures of the ingredients since the literacy rate is pretty low. So when baby food was introduced there, it was not a big seller.

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 7:33 PM  

Except, of course you dipshit, the Magna Carta can be shown to exist. That's the whole point.

No, it's not. Phony, Ann isn't up to debating with me and she's significantly ahead of you. Since the actual existence of the Magna Carta is confusing you, substitute Pliny the Elder's History of the German Wars if you wish.

You don't understand that the fact that something that may or may not exist is irrelevant here. The only thing that matters is that the person appealing to the moral system did not invent it ex nihilo. Where he got it from does not matter so long as it was not original to him.

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 7:36 PM  

Totally whiffed over Phonycian's head that no Christian today wrote the Bible. While the invisible pink unicorn that is Phonycian's alter ego is indeed made up by him, making it the equivalent of Phonycian saying "Because I say so".

(nods) Precisely. That's why Phony is so amusing. He prances around cluelessly, observably fails to understand the discussion everyone else is having, and then tries to strike a superior pose after demonstrating that it went over his head.

Stick to trying to put the books in alphabetical order, my little librarian friend.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 7:38 PM  

@Ann Morgan

Now, I think most of us can agree that the bible exists, and what it says (at least at the current moment, it has been altered a great deal in the past). However, your basis for morality is not "The Bible says so", but rather "God says so." And there is no proof of God's existence and what he said, the way there is proof of the existence of the bible, and the Magna Carta (and what they said, respectively).

Wrong on most points. The Bible has NOT been altered as archeological evidence proves. If you wish to argue, please state the case or cite evidence. The Bible is closer to the original text than any other document of the era.

If you believe the Bible is the revelation of God, then the record of what God said is in the Bible, so it is isn't "The Bible says so", but "The Bible says that God says so".

There are many proofs of God's existence. Aquinas had 5. That does not mean you accept them, but because you deny the proof is either correct or adequate does not mean that proofs don't exist. You have not stated what you would consider an acceptable proof. Or is it a matter of "faith" and belief to you that God does not exist?

Speaking of proof, Prove the existence of God was simply invented by people living thousands of years ago., or can you even cite evidence?

And it's hard to tell what God wants - No culture had problems. It is hard to DO what God wants, but it is easy to KNOW what God wants.

You seem very intelligent, so I am sure you can understand what I am getting at. Ethics are extremely complex, probably nearly as complex as the Mandelbrot set, and there is not enough time in a human life to learn in a robot-like manner what is the correct thing to do or not do under every possible scenario that could occur.

Agreed, though most things are clearly good or evil - the Mandelbrot set or any fractal has sections which are immediately either one or zero. But circumstances can create a fractal border.

As to obedience without judgement, I would suggest spending two weeks running a daycare with toddlers.

2. Any action which has, as the only basis for it, the recognition of the ability of a living creature to feel pain, and then inflicting that pain with no other purpose in mind, or deliberately increasing the necessary pain when there is a different purpose, is evil.

Deprivation of pleasure is pain. The case of not inflicting pain on someone else but thus inflicting it upon myself - what is evil?

3. It is morally acceptable to inflict a small amount of evil (either in terms of degree and/ or the number of people affected) if and only if the following is true:

Ah, so close to the Tao. Almost the principle of "Double Effect". But it isn't whether the evil is small, but only if it is both unintended and unavoidable. Your A. states the latter.

5. It is morally good, but not an obligation to save people or property from evil. It is an obligation if you can do so with minimal cost. You are otherwise materially cooperating with said evil. I don't have to kill someone, merely stand around while someone else does, but the effect (including benefit to myself) would be the same. In the example you give, it is not merely being frightened, but there would be actual risk, you and the baby might be killed.

I have not seen any proof that what is written in the Bible is actually what God said, versus being invented by human beings who lived thousands of years ago. Nor have I seen any proof that God actually exists.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 7:39 PM  

@Ann Morgan

What is your criteria or threshold for "proof"? If you believe that Julius Caesar exists on what basis? How is he not in invention? If you do, would you accept God (or Jesus as the Son of God) exists on the same basis? Or do you have a different standard of proof BECAUSE one was emperor, and the other was "the son of God"?

I or many here can provide no end of proofs, but if you won't accept them as proofs on the basis you would accept anything else you can't immediately demonstrate as a "proof" because of what they prove, you are not asking for proof, you are asking for something else.

I would also note there are few things in the bible that were actual quotes from God. Also it would be easier to establish the credibility of the Bible as historic text - and then BECAUSE it states God exists to simply believe it. Jesus said many things and did miracles and forgave sins. You cannot credibly accept his morality but then consider him psychopathic for the latter two.


Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 7:39 PM  

"Obedience without judgement is a recipe for disaster in all sorts of ways."

And Vox responds,
"No, it is not. It completely depends upon who is being obeyed. And you have provided zero proof of that baseless assertion anyhow."

That really is the nature of the beast. Both Ann and I are desperately trying to seek the answer to that question, in completely different ways. Who is worthy of our obedience? In order to follow, we must be sure you are worthy of following. It may seem obvious to some that the answer is simple, but it is not. Ann is not yet sure Christianity is worthy of her following and I'm not yet convinced I can, even in theory, scrap the power of the State and the System in favor of trusting mens honor.

"And you have provided zero proof of that baseless assertion anyhow."

In my journey, Ann, this has been helpful. Everyday I appear to have less and less "proof" that obedience without judgment is a recipe for disaster. It's okay to have an open mind, it turns out that your brains do not actually fall out.

Blogger Penrose August 06, 2013 7:49 PM  

Gandhi is quoted as saying, "I see so little of Christ in Christians," and my time spent around those of the faith have lead me to believe the same. We are all sinful, I get it. We all fall short of the glory of God, so I've heard. But at what point does one abandon their ideology as impractical if not impossible? Where is the stopgap? Where is the limit? What evidence could sway your belief? If the answers is nothing.

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried," said G.K. Chesterton. Wise words and yet I can hear a marxist saying the same thing. This time Stalin will have a hat and a cell phone and True Believers instead of those of fakers of the past. But what other doctrine has had milenia to perfect itself and failed? Marx couldn't alter human behavior in several decades either with immense power so it's little surprise that the teachings of the bible have failed. And while a humility contest is the ultimate in oxymorons, I have to ask a question. Our world of the mysterious, the complex, and the uncanny has few if any answers to most of the great questions, and yet those of faith portend to know them outright without any doubt and with little evidence. If we our to keep faith in Christ then why not phrase our answers to the most profound questions with the most profound humility? I don't know if there is a God. I don't know if the Bible is real. I don't know what happens when we die.

Blogger Brad Andrews August 06, 2013 7:51 PM  

#4 also doesn't account that getting into Heaven is not the sole goal. It is the main separator, but we will be rewarded for our actions. I would rather be in with no rewards that out, but I would also rather be in with rewards rather than in with none.

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 8:00 PM  

That reminds me, Ann. I remembered to check back here:

http://voxday.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/daring-to-judge-god.html?showComment=1375833571186#c2287000833841755937

Feel free to continue at you leisure.

Anonymous VD August 06, 2013 8:02 PM  

Both Ann and I are desperately trying to seek the answer to that question, in completely different ways. Who is worthy of our obedience? In order to follow, we must be sure you are worthy of following.

And therein lies your mistake. You are attempting to elevate yourself above that which you would follow. You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision. It's a particularly female form of pride.

Anonymous Roundtine August 06, 2013 8:04 PM  

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried," said G.K. Chesterton. Wise words and yet I can hear a marxist saying the same thing. This time Stalin will have a hat and a cell phone and True Believers instead of those of fakers of the past.

If you're comparing a top-down enforced political system, then Christianity wins. You can run off a list of nations founded or ruled by men who governed by Christian principles and saw great success, while there is no success for Marxism.

Anonymous Stickwick August 06, 2013 8:04 PM  

Our world of the mysterious, the complex, and the uncanny has few if any answers to most of the great questions, and yet those of faith portend to know them outright without any doubt and with little evidence.

What are the great questions, Penrose? And who amongst the great Christian thinkers purports to know them outright without doubt and with little evidence?

I don't know if there is a God. I don't know if the Bible is real. I don't know what happens when we die.

These are all honest positions (although you probably meant you don't know if the Bible is true, as it most certainly is real).

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 8:18 PM  

yttik feminizes:

That really is the nature of the beast. Both Ann and I are desperately trying to seek the answer to that question, in completely different ways. Who is worthy of our obedience? In order to follow, we must be sure you are worthy of following. It may seem obvious to some that the answer is simple, but it is not. Ann is not yet sure Christianity is worthy of her following and I'm not yet convinced I can, even in theory, scrap the power of the State and the System in favor of trusting mens honor.

Which men are you talking about? Christianity is not about trusting "men" (or the Pope or Pastor or what have you), but trusting Christ.

The Person.

An actual living being.

Blogger Penrose August 06, 2013 8:18 PM  

If you're comparing a top-down enforced political system, then Christianity wins. You can run off a list of nations founded or ruled by men who governed by Christian principles and saw great success, while there is no success for Marxism.

The same can be said of socialist ideals especially if we say that communism is advanced socialism. Is Sweden socialist or communist, for example. At some point the two will be different in name only. Then there is the problem of governing by Christian principles. There is no concise definition of what those are and never have been.

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 8:20 PM  

PS

I do not think Ann is sufficiently desperate to understand but has demonstrated more to be enamored with the shiny bauble of her own intellectual game.

Blogger Penrose August 06, 2013 8:22 PM  

What are the great questions, Penrose? And who amongst the great Christian thinkers purports to know them outright without doubt and with little evidence?

Is God real? What happens when we die? Where did we come from? Why do we exist?

Those are the big questions, the ones philosophers have been trying to answer since the Greeks and Egyptians. Maybe a few others that I don't know.

To be fair, my time among the atheists soured me to their lack of belief more than it did the Christians. Their worship of evolution and peer review borders on the religious. Christians are arrogant but overall more enjoyable than atheists. Except the women. No sex.

Anonymous sprach von Teufelhunden August 06, 2013 8:31 PM  

Tell you what Ann. You appear to be enamored with science and certain "proof texts." Here's a challenge for ya. Read the novel The Facade. If you are a Stargate series fan, then Dr. Daniel Jackson has met his match. You can get back with me, when you think you have something relevant to discuss.

As a precursor, I suggest you read this review by said author, and note how he deals with this so-called "Collins Elite." Also note how those in the forum discussion get dealt with, when posing stupid assertions. You think Vox is a cruelty artists? You have yet to meet Dr. Michael Heiser.

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 8:34 PM  

Penrose points out: Then there is the problem of governing by Christian principles. There is no concise definition of what those are and never have been.

Never have been? Its there in black and white, or red, in some versions of the King James. "Worship no other God but God and love thy neighbor as yourself. What's so difficult?

Maybe you just weren't paying attention that day.

Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 8:35 PM  

"And therein lies your mistake. You are attempting to elevate yourself above that which you would follow. You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision. It's a particularly female form of pride."

Oh, well that's just lovely information to receive. And it certainly helps explain why feminism and reliance on the State, rather than men, came about.

I can accept that premise in terms of God. Obviously I am not qualified to judge God. I can accept it in terms of my husband, because I have been married long enough to see the evidence. But accept it politically and when it comes to men in general? Well, that's just not looking so good at the moment.

Anonymous Myrddin August 06, 2013 8:42 PM  

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried," said G.K. Chesterton. Wise words and yet I can hear a marxist saying the same thing.

If you've read Chesterton, you'd know that was exactly the point he was making at the moment. He even used Marxism as an example. The first problem with any moral system is the fact that humans are incapable of obeying moral systems.

People should read the books they're quoting. And that applies to those Christians who toss about that quote out of context as well. It costs nothing for a Kindle copy, and it's a joy to read.

But what other doctrine has had milenia to perfect itself and failed? Marx couldn't alter human behavior in several decades either with immense power so it's little surprise that the teachings of the bible have failed.

Even if the comparison between Christian and non-Christian cultures were not so stark as to make this ridiculous on its face, there is the teensy little question of whether you are arguing against the actual religion.

In point of fact, Christianity doesn't make Earthly utopia either its goal or touchstone. It does not claim it will make Heaven on Earth until after everyone has been removed and the planet has been blasted to its foundations. Our circumstances are not to be redeemed -- rather, we are to be redeemed from our circumstances.

The teachings of the Bible haven't failed. You are giving them a objective they never claimed to pursue, and then wondering that they do not achieve it.

...yet those of faith portend to know them outright without any doubt and with little evidence.

That's whole the point of revealed religion. Only God can know. Therefore, we can safely discount that which does not claim to be from God. As for 'little evidence', it's only 'little' if you adopt an arbitrary standard against which very little can stand, including most of human history.

If we our to keep faith in Christ then why not phrase our answers to the most profound questions with the most profound humility? I don't know if there is a God. I don't know if the Bible is real. I don't know what happens when we die.

Because I am certain, and it would not be humility to pretend I were not. It would be deceit. It would be damaging to the faith of those who look up to me. It would be kowtowing to people who confuse certitude with arrogance (and take thus take pride in how certain they are in their lack of certitude).

The spirit of the postmodern age is to take pride in how you aren't like those arrogant absolutists. To try and ostracize people for being ostracizers. It is hypocritical in the extreme by definition: the standard itself breaks the standard. And trying to bend to it out of a sense of humility will only get your head chopped off, as its proponents react with the totalitarian finality they claim to decry.

It literally goes without saying that every human could be wrong about anything, and is almost certainly wrong about something. It should go without saying that I do not believe to be true anything I believe is likely to be false.

Prefixing every single statement with "I could be wrong, but..." is not profound humility. It is pointless. Everybody knows you could be wrong. Everybody also knows that everybody knows you could be wrong. Pretending you don't actually believe whatever it is you believe is just social posturing. Worse, it is social posturing that signals to the masters of social posturing that they have power over you. That for you, truth is less important than social standing.

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 8:44 PM  

Penrose complains: Christians are arrogant but overall more enjoyable than atheists. Except the women. No sex.

Well, Penrose, their is always mother mary and her five sisters.

Maybe well you are so engaged, you will find your place in the universe.

Anonymous Stickwick August 06, 2013 8:48 PM  

Is God real? What happens when we die? Where did we come from? Why do we exist?

Those are the big questions, the ones philosophers have been trying to answer since the Greeks and Egyptians. Maybe a few others that I don't know.


Those are reasonable examples of Great Questions. Now, part of your claim was that those of faith purport to outright know the answers to these questions without doubt and with little evidence. Please name some great Christian thinkers who held such a view and why you believe they did.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 06, 2013 8:49 PM  

Vox wrote: ** The only thing that matters is that the person appealing to the moral system did not invent it ex nihilo. Where he got it from does not matter so long as it was not original to him.**

Vox, that's nonsense. To use the example given of the Magic Pink Unicorn, suppose my grandfather told me that the Magic Pink Unicorn wanted everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. So I then tell you that the Magic Pink Unicorn wants everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. Why is this valid, simply because my grandfather invented the Magic Pink Unicorn rather than my inventing it myself?

Vox wrote: **I don't care what you want. You presented some arguments. I showed you that those arguments were factually wrong, irrelevant, and logically fallacious. I don't want you to do anything; Christianity has greater moral validity than other ethical systems because it is objective, coherent, and has sound logical basis for its universal warrant.**

If I ask you for proof of your claims that Christian ethics are mandated by God, which would consist first of proving that God exists, and secondly proving that he said what the bible claims he said, telling me that you don't care what I want is not proof of your claims.

The fact that Christianity a moral system that may (according to you) work well, is not proof that it was mandated by God. There's a lot of things human beings do well, some by design, some by accident, some by trial and error.

Let me ask you some questions, and be honest and answer them without doing google research:

1. In your opinion, is God responsible in some ultimate sense for designing the world?

2. Is God opposed to all homosexuality?

3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 'yes' in your opinion, do you feel that God would put anything into the world (other than inventions by human beings) which had no purpose other to make homosexuality easier or more pleasant?

Anonymous Porky August 06, 2013 8:53 PM  

If God doesn't want us to eat babies why did he make them so tender and juicy?

Blogger JohnG August 06, 2013 9:03 PM  

@Penrose - if you screw something up bad enough, sometimes He'll let you know on no uncertain terms that you need to quit doing what you're doing.

Anonymous Pequod August 06, 2013 9:05 PM  

I do wish you all would stop using the pink unicorn thing.

There are numerous revelations which are every bit as verifiable and accepted as that of Saul or Moses. Mohammed, and the markedly more thorough moral system of Islam. Joseph Smith,Mormonism, and the stunning success that religion seems to bring. Simply compare Detroit or Birmingham to Salt Lake City.

The pink unicorn is not helping.

Blogger JohnG August 06, 2013 9:11 PM  

I see a lot of this from a former preacher's kid I know (he's not a kid now, 40'something), got into drugs, went to jail, has a shitty life. So now Christianity is all BS and whatever the social ethic that's out there today (hedonism) is so superior to Christianity, because the bible supports slavery and incest! He apparently wasn't paying much attention while under the tutelage. It always amuses me to see American "atheists" that cling desperately to Judeo-Christian morality (and then can't explain why).

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 9:15 PM  

I had a good guffaw. At least Ann makes an attempt at defending her points - she can't go from her opinion down to objectivity but won't admit subjectivity but at least tries.

Phony, by comparison, There is no comparison. Ann at least shows evidence of a brain, or at least is a much higher level automaton. She has not yet to my knowledge resorted to ad hominem or the rest of the nonsense. She is getting a bit tedious but at least she is still trying and doing so without resorting to something other than reason - she may not be punching very well or properly, but she is still punching.

The union of amalgamated trolls should pull Phoney's journeyman card.

@Porky - should it be Long Porky?

@Phony, how can something be both invisible and pink? You are transparently an idiot.

@Penrose

@Penrose All of you, each and every one, asserts the certainty of your belief. You are a True Believer in the one true faith and you shout without reserve your knowledge of God and what God wants.

Belief cannot be certain, otherwise it would not be belief, i.e. "Faith".

I'm hardly sure what God wants past a clear boundary. But certainty in morality is like certainty in science. I know God does not wish me to murder, steal, or commit adultery. When I find something lost where it would be difficult to return to the owner, it is the edge of the fractal and I am uncertain. But equally I accept physics - Newtonian mechanics and Einstein, Faraday and the rest as settled. I don't accept "we're all going to die" global warming, but if you want true believers go there.

And yet all of you, each and every one, cannot explain neither the mysteries of God nor of the cosmos.

Neither can you, neither can anyone. What caused the "big bang"? How did life come into existence? That's why they're "mysteries"

None of you are as certain as you appear.

I am only certain of God's mercy. If I'm wrong I'm certain that God will correct me as necessary.

But is it the true, literal, one and only word of God?

It claims as much. If it is not, then it is a lie and should not be trusted as any liar. You cannot hope to pick out the lies from the truth. Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins (you have to be the offended party to do so). He also performed miracles - assuming you believe it. But if you don't, why do you believe the moral teaching?

Anonymous Bobby Trosclair August 06, 2013 9:24 PM  

"2. A person is promised various rewards during their life for being 'good', only to have the promise broken, and the rewards either not given out at all, or given to those who were not good. Sooner or later, they will conclude that the promise of an afterlife is just one more promise that is going to be broken."

One is not promised rewards for being good (actually, martyrdom is a likely outcome), but people who follow the life that Christ ordered generally seem to be happier and healthier, whatever their economic position in life, and to contribute more to others' wellbeing. While that's not the purpose of why we are supposed to do live by Christian precepts, it is often a side-benefit. This is not a surprise, as His burden is easy and His yoke is light, as promised.

It is also not a surprise to find the opposite in those who don't follow Christian teachings - that atheists have, statistically, a far higher incidence of obesity, higher rates of divorce, of substance abuse, of suicide, of stress-related illnesses, of clinical depression, and so forth. Unhealthy social behaviors, which include the sex acts championed by many atheists, tend to have their own cost to the well-being of the organism.

Gallup just announced today that "Smoking in the U.S. is highly correlated with religiosity, with those who never attend church almost three times as likely to smoke as those who attend weekly. This relationship holds even when controlling for demographic characteristics associated with smoking and church attendance."

http://www.gallup.com/poll/163856/strong-link-church-attendance-smoking.aspx

Anonymous Porky August 06, 2013 9:38 PM  

@Porky - should it be Long Porky?

Tastes similar. Squeals less too.

Ann says it's ok.

Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 9:40 PM  

"You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision."

So than how do you morally cope with the fact that you are toying with the intellect of those who don't even have the wherewithal to make their own decisions? Is there some method to your madness, something you hope to accomplish, or is this simply pointless cruelty?

Needless to say, in spite of all the evidence in front of me, all the logic that points to my conclusions, and all the feelings that are screaming at me that you are a fraud, I refuse to accept it. Why? Because the one thing I can say with conviction and unwavering truth is that God is good.

If you wanted to relieve me of that belief too, Vox, I bet you probably could, which kind of proves your point doesn't it? I am unqualified to know who is worthy. And if you did do it, you would leave me floating in the universe untethered to anything at all, not even able to cling to the one last belief I have left after encountering you.

You know why I believe in God? Because if you choose to be so cruel, I would suffer for a while, but I would change my very nature to find my way back to God if necessary, because inside of me there is a built in fail safe that always brings me home. I've met it several times.

Blogger tz August 06, 2013 9:43 PM  

OK, no pink unicorns. Purple unicorns are better.

@Yttik I'm not yet convinced I can, even in theory, scrap the power of the State and the System in favor of trusting mens honor.

You can't trust Men's honor. Period. However you ought to trust the power of the state even less - is it not made up of men?

@Penrose

Gandhi is quoted as saying, "I see so little of Christ in Christians," and my time spent around those of the faith have lead me to believe the same. We are all sinful, I get it. We all fall short of the glory of God, so I've heard. But at what point does one abandon their ideology as impractical if not impossible? Ghandi was not alive to see Blessed Theresa of Calcutta. If you look at old wrecks, you won't have the right conception of a car.

You abandon the ideology not because it is impractical or impossible, but because you don't want to practice what it preaches (e.g. chastity) or the claim that it is possible for you to achieve it if you believe, trust, and persevere. If you wish to sin, it is impossible. If you wish to be righteous it will be painful.

VD: You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision.

Or to put it more succinctly, by saying YOU have the AUTHORITY to decide who to obey, you merely say that you will only obey yourself. For when there is a conflict, you can decide you should not obey God but yourself. If God exists, and/or has appointed legitimate authorities, they MUST be obeyed because they are or derive their authority from God.

@Ann - I'll let Vox give his but I'll venture my view:

1. In your opinion, is God responsible in some ultimate sense for designing the world?
2. Is God opposed to all homosexuality?
3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 'yes' in your opinion, do you feel that God would put anything into the world (other than inventions by human beings) which had no purpose other to make homosexuality easier or more pleasant?

God is DIRECTLY responsible for the world, its creation and design.
He is opposed to all homosexuality.
So yes and yes, so for 3.
You beg the question by saying "no purpose other". You've not cited a specific example, but homosexuality itself is a perversion - something which is designed for a good end being misused and violating the purpose for which it was created (Note: I consider contraception an equal abomination). And you beg a second question - "easier"? In what way? In the original creation or the fallen world. Evil is much easier in the fallen world. Satan has to do very little now instead of the subtle seduction of Eve. "More pleasant"? Short or long term? For whom? Even if the pleasure causes damage elsewhere (externalities - like pollution where my benefits are concentrated but the damage is dispersed so hurts everyone but only a little - until it accumulates).

But to assume your point, God may place things that were not originally intended to make things easier or more pleasant but have that effect only in the fallen world among sinful men. Or he may permit them to be placed there as a test as he did with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Not all things which are easy and pleasant are good.

You cannot base any morality worthy of the name on what is easy or pleasant. If you would not allow your own constructs to be attacked on that basis - you would still assert you must do what is right even if it is difficult and painful - then you shouldn't demand some standard of God which you cannot yourself defend.

Anonymous CKK August 06, 2013 9:45 PM  

Semi-Related:

Barney Frank Comes Out as An Atheist : http://www.examiner.com/article/barney-frank-comes-out-of-the-closet-as-an-atheist


Friday August 2, former US Congressman Barney Frank appeared on HBO’s Real Time: With Bill Maher. During the “Overtime” segment which takes place online after the show ends, Frank came out of the closet as an atheist.


Blogger tz August 06, 2013 9:46 PM  

@Yttik, see August 06, 2013 9:43 PM supra, but I will quote for convenience:

VD: You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision.

Or to put it more succinctly, by saying YOU have the AUTHORITY to decide who to obey, you merely say that you will only obey yourself. For when there is a conflict, you can decide you should not obey God but yourself. If God exists, and/or has appointed legitimate authorities, they MUST be obeyed because they are or derive their authority from God.


Also my earlier comment where you would put the state over men, yet who runs the state if not men (though I would mean it to even include women - or do you trust women more than men)? Why should you put more faith in a collective which can concentrate power and thus be more unchallenged in its corruption?

Blogger JohnG August 06, 2013 9:53 PM  

@TZ - I think that people that have reason to be sure then have to get past the fact that God doesn't do magic genie bottle (which might be counterintuitive, but some people dismiss God because he doesn't drop a load of gold bricks in their back yards on request, others get a prayer answered and all is good, but the next prayer doesn't get answered - or not the one that they want...and then they start to wonder. Maybe its an expectation management piece also?).

I would also give some leeway on the translation bit. There's the Apocrypha - so there was at least two committees saying what should and shouldn't have been put in there. I remember a debate on the King James version vs the NIV where Elijah sent bears to kill some youths, one translation said it was "children," the other said "youths" (like teenagers big enough to throw rocks and club an old man to death) - so of course some smug atheists will say "your god has bears eat children" - So I think that the knowledge is imperfect. But the central tenets are pretty basic and don't require a scholars knowledge (in fact Matt 11:25 is pretty good on this).

Anonymous Credo in Unum Deum August 06, 2013 10:01 PM  

A person is promised various rewards during their life for being 'good', only to have the promise broken...

If you're in Christianity for the money, you've missed the point.

You're not going to get rewards in this life for being a Christian. Jesus doesn't promise you that. Jesus Christ wasn't nailed to a Cross so that you could have a fat 401K, or drive a brand new car, or have a big house. He died on the Cross so that you could get into Heaven. Jesus Christ says to take up your Cross and follow Him.

If you're not being persecuted, you're doing it wrong.

If you're following a "Health and Wealth" pastor, RUN. Your soul is in mortal danger. Jesus Christ came to Earth, founded His ONE Church, and has set things up so that your soul will get to Heaven. That is what counts in the end, literally.

There is also no such thing as "Christianity". Jesus Christ is either who he claims to be, or he is not. If He is who He says He is, than "Christianity" cannot exist. If He is who He says He is than there is only His Church, and everything else is a heresy of one flavor or another.

If He is not who He says he is, than anything goes.

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 10:03 PM  

Suppose you were a person that only argued by posing hypothetical questions of your own construction where you control all the variables thus framing the answer?

Would you keep doing that even though it was shown to be a facade hypothesis?

Anonymous ABCD August 06, 2013 10:28 PM  

yttik said: "I can accept that premise in terms of God. Obviously I am not qualified to judge God. I can accept it in terms of my husband, because I have been married long enough to see the evidence. But accept it politically and when it comes to men in general? Well, that's just not looking so good at the moment."

Why would you assume you should be obedient to politicians or men in general? You are called to obey your husband. You are called to obey God. The others are irrelevant to you.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 10:30 PM  

JamesV:

The reason why atheists feel that murder, theft, and rape are wrong is because no one in their right mind wants to be subjected to them.

Even the dimmest bulb in the pack can figure out that if you allow other to do these things, you will probably be on the receiving end of such bad attention at some point.

You do not need to be a Christian to see why expecting good behavior from others and doing so yourself is simply intelligent policy. Many other non-Christian cultures have figured this out as well.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 10:32 PM  

Arg, typos, sorry.

"subjected to this", and "allow others".

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 10:36 PM  


The reason why atheists feel that murder, theft, and rape are wrong is because no one in their right mind wants to be subjected to them.

Even the dimmest bulb in the pack can figure out that if you allow other to do these things, you will probably be on the receiving end of such bad attention at some point.

You do not need to be a Christian to see why expecting good behavior from others and doing so yourself is simply intelligent policy. Many other non-Christian cultures have figured this out as well.


I like the part where you said 'morality is about doing good things'.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 10:41 PM  

Exactly where did I say that, Mudz?

What we are having here is a difference of opinion about what "good" is, I think.

"Good", in my opinion, is not initiating harmful acts upon others. Again, if I expect other to not initiate harm upon me, then I had obviously best not initiate harm on others myself.

This seems rather self-evident to me.

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 10:54 PM  

So if I drug you, or hypnotise you into being someone's sex toy, and liking it, that's okay?

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 10:59 PM  

Exactly where did I say that, Mudz?

Nowhere. I was just amusing because that was the endgame of your comment.

1) Atheists think these things are wrong, because no-one (in their 'right' mind, presupposing that only certain opinions are 'correct') likes them.

2) You shouldn't do things you wouldn't want done to you.

3) You don't need to be a Christian to know why it's good to be good.

So your criteria for morality is that it should be stuff everyone agrees is good, and wants to happen. 'Everyone should do good things.'

Self-evident. Perhaps. If you have no other authority to appeal to. But not useful when people disagree on 'what is good'. Some people think that violence is a perfectly legitimate morality for asserting one's place in a group.

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 11:02 PM  

What would be fun, is to see how you determine who has the 'correct' opinion, in order to meet the condition of your first statement.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat August 06, 2013 11:09 PM  

Let me ask you some questions, and be honest and answer them without doing google research:

1. In your opinion, is God responsible in some ultimate sense for designing the world?

2. Is God opposed to all homosexuality?

3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 'yes' in your opinion, do you feel that God would put anything into the world (other than inventions by human beings) which had no purpose other to make homosexuality easier or more pleasant?


1: God originally designed the universe, and called it very good. Then, Adam and Eve sinned, and "all creation groans in the pains of childbirth" because "creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God."

If we try to use nature to determine morality, then rape and murder would be considered situationally justified.

2: I will go further than this. Paul suggests celibacy. If that's not possible, one man and one woman are to marry, to avoid the fires of Hell. The modern concept of serial monogamy, with sleeping together, and especially having kids together first, outside of wedlock are just right out.

3. Mu. God clearly created the ability to make wine and beer, since it's trivial to make each (and rather hard to make and keep "unleaded" grape juice). Nonetheless, drunkenness is in opposition to God's will. Heterosexual sexual urges are natural, but Jesus makes clear that lusting after a woman not your wife is morally equivalent to adultery.

Homosexual sexual urges may be caused by sexual abuse, or by issues with brain chemistry, or by any other number of physical issues. Just because it's a "natural" urge doesn't alter whether or not the urge is sinful.

Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 11:09 PM  

"You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision."

Actually I can and I just have, because if I had not had the wherewithal to reasonably decide who is or is not worthy of my obedience, I would currently be floating in the universe, completely at Vox's mercy right now.

If I did not have the wherewithal to pass judgement and determine who was worthy, I would still be a feminist.

Anonymous Shutup, Barney August 06, 2013 11:10 PM  



Shutup, Barney. Nobody cares. Just bite your pillow, spread 'em, and shutup.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 11:10 PM  

Mudz: Do you understand what initiation of force is? This includes rape via hypnotism and drugs in order to remove consent.

And, yes there are people who think random violence is OK. We call these people barbarians. Civilized people slap them down when they start initiating force against others.

And no, not everyone agrees on what is right.

However, I am part of that group that thinks that people should be left alone if they offer no first harm to others, and I am willing to band together with others who feel the same, and use countervailing force to prevent barbaric idiots from harming me and others who feel the same way I do.

Christianity does not have a monopoly on the Golden Rule, Mudz.

Anonymous Carlotta August 06, 2013 11:12 PM  

Wow. Beau comes out swinging. Love his comments usually but today they are superb. I seriously look forward to shaking your hand one day Sir

Ann you write way too much. You cannot distract or obfuscate by doing that.

OT Apparently Jay Z has officially and publically warned the USA that the stuff is about to hit the fan.

Anonymous zen0 August 06, 2013 11:17 PM  

Kristophr tries to obsfuscate:

Christianity does not have a monopoly on the Golden Rule, Mudz.

The Golden Rule is the secular version of the whole doctrine, leaves out the first 50%

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 11:26 PM  

No obfuscation here.

Other civilizations have figured out the Golden Rule on their own, with no Judeo-Christian revelation required.

Trust based civilizations absolutely require adherence to the golden rule. Once it is ignored, trust between individuals goes away, and that civilization falls to the level of barbarism, where everyone is only out for themselves and their relatives, and initiating force becomes the norm.

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 11:27 PM  

Do you understand what initiation of force is? This includes rape via hypnotism and drugs in order to remove consent.

Sop it's 'consent' not 'harm' that is the condition?

If if I love getting the crap kicked out of me, I should do it to you?

And, yes there are people who think random violence is OK. We call these people barbarians. Civilized people slap them down when they start initiating force against others.

Uh-huh, and how do you determine that they are barbarians. What objective measure of morality do you to determine why your opinion is superior to theirs?

Are you just advocating 'might makes right'?

You can use violence if they 'initiate force' against others? What, like subliminal messaging? Forcing their

Hahaha. 'Some people believe random violence is ok. So we beat them down.'

I guess it's ok, and long as it's not 'random' right? Thing is, nobody's violence is random.

However, I am part of that group that thinks that people should be left alone if they offer no first harm to others, and I am willing to band together with others who feel the same, and use countervailing force to prevent barbaric idiots from harming me and others who feel the same way I do.

So it's just a tribal thing? Good is what 'us people' believe in, and not what 'you people' believe in.

It seems less like a morality, and more just like a gang.

Christianity does not have a monopoly on the Golden Rule, Mudz.

That was kind of what amused me too. You were co-opting the 'golden rule' from Christianity, but left out the rest. The basis of morality itself. Why Jesus had the authority to say that in the first place.

Why is the 'golden rule' a good thing? Why not just do whatever you have to to get ahead. Why care about other people at all? You'll never be them, so if you can get away with something that hurts them and benefits you, why not do it?

Anonymous Anonymous August 06, 2013 11:27 PM  

Pearls before swine Vox...

Anonymous Carlotta August 06, 2013 11:28 PM  

Penrose we dont say we dont know because we do know and are commanded to proclaim the truth. You just dont like the truth and prefer to take your chances with a fake quote from Ghandi. Give me a break, do a little reseach on him and you will realize how stupid that was.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 11:35 PM  

Mudz:

You know full well that others do not like getting beat up, so you do not have consent. If you want to beat others up and be beaten by others, go join Fight Club.

You know full well that there are differences in cultures, and that we, in this culture consider initiating force to be wrong. We simply disagree about why it is wrong. I think that allowing barbs to commit harm is stupid, wasteful, and a bad idea that can eventually cause harm to me.

You feel that God will punish you for this.

I don't need God to make me behave in a civilized manner.

Trust based civilizations are always stronger than barbs as long as they remain trust based. And yes, we will beat the barbs down for initiating the use of force on those who are harmless.

And no, this is not a tribal thing. It is what trust-based civilization requires. Without it, we fall to barbarism.

And I repeat, the "Golden Rule", is not a Judeo-Christian-only invention. All other civilizations have invented it. If you cannot trust your neighbor, then you cannot have a civilization.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat August 06, 2013 11:39 PM  

2) You shouldn't do things you wouldn't want done to you.

Why not?

I'm ravenous, but I'm broke. Why shouldn't I steal an apple or a piece of bread to eat?

I like a life of crime, so I take stuff from people who are insured or rich enough to absorb the loss. If I have made no damage or very little damage, why is what I'm doing wrong?

As I've pointed out here before, if you can't justify your moral system to a sociopath, then all you are doing is expressing a preference. Preferences are not morals.

Anonymous Mudz August 06, 2013 11:44 PM  

You know full well that others do not like getting beat up, so you do not have consent. If you want to beat others up and be beaten by others, go join Fight Club.

Exactly, there you go. So you're just saying it's a matter of opinion. If people like being beaten up, then I can beat them up.

That's pretty useless isn't it?

You're just saying 'don't do things people don't want you to'. Why should I listen to you? My philosophy might be, 'if people don't want you to do it, definitely do it'.


You know full well that there are differences in cultures, and that we, in this culture consider initiating force to be wrong. We simply disagree about why it is wrong. I think that allowing barbs to commit harm is stupid, wasteful, and a bad idea that can eventually cause harm to me.


Right, so it's the right thing to do because we all agree it is.

You feel that God will punish you for this.

I don't need God to make me behave in a civilized manner.


That really depends on what you believe to be a 'civilised manner'. Perhaps you don't. Perhaps all you need is to live in a group of civilised people, and mimic them.

That is irrelevant to the concept of determining what is civilised, or what is right in the first place.

Trust based civilizations are always stronger than barbs as long as they remain trust based. And yes, we will beat the barbs down for initiating the use of force on those who are harmless.

Still haven't shown me how you differentiate between the two. And who's 'harmless'. You'll go to war with them if they kill bunnies?

And no, this is not a tribal thing. It is what trust-based civilization requires. Without it, we fall to barbarism.

Why?

And what is barbarism?

What is the distinction you're making between a tribe and a civilisation, that makes the moral argument any different than a 'we believe it, therefore it's good'.



Copying a good idea, is not inventing it. Nor would I care.

Why is having a civilisation 'good'? What's wrong with a family just living off the land in the country somewhere?


You seem to be arguing what you think is useful to acheive the sort of civilisation you like, but you're providing no basis for determining why it's good in the first place, other than you like it.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 11:49 PM  

We all individually determine what is of value to each of us, Mudz.

Yes. I like civilization, and will defend it. That is enough for me.

I am of that set of folks that feels that trust based civilization has value. I don't need an outside agency to determine this for me.


Unfortunately, a lot of people do not consider trust to be of value. They are destroying this civilization as a result. It is on the precipice now, and one good push by the barbs may destroy it. It may be centuries before the Western ideal of liberty and responsibility rises again.

Blogger Kristophr August 06, 2013 11:51 PM  

As for why civilization has value ... well, if we all just lived in huts like barbarians since the dawn of time, we would be living like Papua New Guniea highlanders, with late neolithic tech, low lifespans, and constantly killing and eating those strangers who live on the other side of the hill.

I don't suppose you really are advocating this lifestyle choice?

Anonymous alabamarob August 06, 2013 11:57 PM  

Ann and Penrose you're correct to a degree. I am convinced of my faith, and of man's sinfulness and our need for Christ. But I still have questions, I am still searching the Scriptures for answers. I acknowldege I cannot absolutely prove the existence of God. I am sure of my position but occasionally have doubts about some particulars. But Faith is a life-long marathon not a fast sprint and as with anything worth believing in and giving your life to I am not going to easily ditch my beliefs for one seeming hiccup or inconsistency. I will question my God and His Word - and God is big enough to handle my questions if I truly seek His answer; and so far His truths ring more true than any man-made philosophy.

On the flip side of that coin neither can you prove any other theory for life, existence and morality. You have faith in your system, your good works and man centered philopsophies. And I have faith in the God of the Bible and His Word on life, existence and morality - my system so to speak. The Bible says we must choose and I have. It is the one thing in my life that makes the most sense and explains life... and death.

I wonder - are you really seeking God or are you playing at games to boost your ego and intellectual power. (I am making no judgement, just wondering). If it is about you, God may provide the answer but in your pride the danger is you'll miss it. If it is about God He WILL answer - but the deal is but you have to choose to bend your life to His will. No more doing it your way. The Bible says God seeks the lost sinner, God does the calling - we cannot come to Him on our own. Is He drawing you to Himself? If He is calling please do not delay. If the Christians here are right the choice to ignore God has eternal consequences - if the atheist is right ignoring God is no biggie and has only temporal consequences. (That isn't theoligical I know but doesn't it summarize the question and answer part?). Is God calling you, has He shown Himself, then quit answering the question with another question. If He has provided the answer, trust Him choose Him.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat August 07, 2013 12:07 AM  

And no, this is not a tribal thing. It is what trust-based civilization requires. Without it, we fall to barbarism.

To be fair, you have it exactly backwards. Civilizations develop when people grow into big enough a group to support a class that can violate the "do no harm to others" enough to exert power. Only communes have participants who obey the rules 100% voluntarily. A civilization has to have a big man with a club who will do bad things to you when you don't follow the rules.

Again, a God-based society can justify giving the sword to Caesar: God ordains it. Without God, society is just empowering government to act by might.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 12:12 AM  

We all individually determine what is of value to each of us, Mudz.

Yes. I like civilization, and will defend it. That is enough for me.

I am of that set of folks that feels that trust based civilization has value. I don't need an outside agency to determine this for me.


In one sense, yes we all determine what we personally 'value' (which doesn't change if something actually is good or not). The question is how? What criteria and rules do we operate by?


In the Christian system, the authority derives from God. In yours, the authority doesn't exist, it's just what you agree on.

You haven't even provided standards of agreement.

You haven't even explained how you determine what is 'civilised' as opposed to 'barbaric' other than 'I don't like it'.

So obviously, you can base your morality on what you like. But I think your system is essentially non-existent, therefore useless, since there doesn't even appear to be any rules or even useful definitions, and it can only ever apply locally and conditionally, meaning that as soon as people disagree with it, it has no moral force. Which is, I think, undesirable in a moral system.

Anonymous zen0 August 07, 2013 12:13 AM  

Jay Teros August 06, 2013 11:27 PM

Pearls before swine Vox...


You assume the swine do not appreciate the gesture.

You, of course, are above that sort of thing.

Pip,pip, cheerio, old chap.

Anonymous zen0 August 07, 2013 12:16 AM  

Kristophr dutifully ejaculates:

We all individually determine what is of value to each of us, Mudz.

Yes. I like civilization, and will defend it. That is enough for me.


Does your civiliztion support abortion, Kristophr?

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 12:18 AM  

As for why civilization has value ... well, if we all just lived in huts like barbarians since the dawn of time, we would be living like Papua New Guniea highlanders, with late neolithic tech, low lifespans, and constantly killing and eating those strangers who live on the other side of the hill.

I don't suppose you really are advocating this lifestyle choice?


That's badly framed. That's not the absence of civilisation by definition. What's wrong with living in a hut? Aren't we just living in somewhat more comfortable huts?

I would object to it because I believe that killing is morally wrong. That's because I have a morality, that applies regardless of locale and culture.

Why would you object to it? According to your cultural relativity system, there's nothing wrong with it.

It's not really a moral question. You're just asking me if I'd want to live like that or not. Nope.

Anonymous JRL August 07, 2013 12:24 AM  

I like the part where she said Vox has to be honest and can't use google.

:)

Dammit Vox, won't you be honest for once.

Anonymous bobo August 07, 2013 12:41 AM  

I think it was A.W. Tozer who said, "No one has intellectual problems with the Bible. They just have moral problems with the Bible."

In "searching" for the truth of God's existance & the veracity of the Bible (while on the couch watching reruns of Will & Grace), they - somehow - miss in plain sight the strange coincidence that what we see in the Scriptures concerning the world, human nature, evil, etc., happens to more-or-less perfectly align with what we readily observe in the world around us.

Does that make the Bible necessarily true? No, but since it's plainly more accurate than anything else mankind has come across, it's what's called "the smart bet".

Anonymous Toby Temple August 07, 2013 1:05 AM  

Vox, that's nonsense. To use the example given of the Magic Pink Unicorn, suppose my grandfather told me that the Magic Pink Unicorn wanted everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. So I then tell you that the Magic Pink Unicorn wants everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. Why is this valid, simply because my grandfather invented the Magic Pink Unicorn rather than my inventing it myself?

Valid? When did we talk about validity? Nice tap dance there, Ann.

It is objective because it did not come from you. However, when speaking of your grandfather , it is now subjective since it is clearly his own opinion.

Christian morality is objective since all of us Christians get it from one source, the Bible. The need to prove that the Christian morality in the Bible came from God does not change that fact.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 1:14 AM  

4. The promise of 'forgiveness' sounds nice, but the way it functions is that people who harm others and their society their whole lives, get to repent at the end of their lives and go to heaven. This will end up in some sort of 'tragedy of the commons'. If you don't want the commons overgrazed, you need to be vigilant about those who are overgrazing it; allowing them to overgraze it for years, ruin the commons for everyone else while getting fat cattle for themselves, then tell them everything will be fine because they 'repent' is a recipe for disaster.

Assuming that a person achieves repentance after a life-time of evil (and you think it's bad for evil people to become good?), you're missing a big part of the equation, in that God compensates those who suffer.

There's a nice big list, actually.

"Happy are those are those who mourn, since they will be comforted."

"Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, since the kingdom of heavens belongs to them."

"Happy are you when people repraoch you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you."

Etc.


You say 'repent', implying that the repentance isn't genuine. Which means they won't be rewarded. So what's the issue?

Everyone 'gets' to repent at any point in their lives. But the repentance has to be real, it's not just saying the right words. Gods searches the hearts of men.

Blogger buzzardist August 07, 2013 2:30 AM  

1. In your opinion, is God responsible in some ultimate sense for designing the world?

2. Is God opposed to all homosexuality?

3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 'yes' in your opinion, do you feel that God would put anything into the world (other than inventions by human beings) which had no purpose other to make homosexuality easier or more pleasant?


What Ann is gesturing toward here is essentially the classic problem of evil question. If God created everything in the universe, then didn't God also create evil/sin/suffering?

1) Yes, God created the universe and everything in it. However, God did not create a world of automatons. Were God to create a world like this, it would be like a child playing with Lego blocks. God could create some very complex designs, but they would move only in the manner designed, never deviating from their basic mechanical/chemical form. Why would God want this? The design would be boring, and it would bring little satisfaction. On the other hand, a highly complex world of creatures with free will who can break free from their programming is much more fascinating. If those creatures rebel from their creator, it is highly disappointing. If those creatures will remain loyal and obedient to their creator, it's highly satisfying. The risks are considerable, but the rewards of such a world are great. And this is the kind of world God created.

2) Yes, homosexuality is a perversion of nature. Whether it is a choice that people make, a genetic abnormality, a gestational abnormality, or something else, it is not what our bodies were designed for.

3) No, God didn't create anything in particular to make homosexual behavior more pleasant or satisfying. God did create plenty of enticements for sexual behavior, and these can be fulfilled in positive ways. However, humans rebelled, and sin has damaged our natural design. God made humans sufficient to avoid sin, but we messed up, and now our natures, right down to our DNA, are corrupted. We focus our desires in abnormal, unhealthy manners. God didn't need to create any particular enticements to homosexuality. Our normal sexual desires, when twisted, are more than enough to produce every deviant behavior imaginable, plus some.

Anonymous VD August 07, 2013 3:31 AM  

But accept it politically and when it comes to men in general? Well, that's just not looking so good at the moment.

Yes, and due to your pride, you'd likely find yourself living in grass huts and being raped periodically before questioning the wisdom of simply accepting the historical reality.

Needless to say, in spite of all the evidence in front of me, all the logic that points to my conclusions, and all the feelings that are screaming at me that you are a fraud, I refuse to accept it.

That's just your female pride talking; notice the passive-aggression in your statement. As a general rule, if your feelings are telling you something, you should conclude the opposite. And there isn't any logic pointing to your conclusions, yttik. You've shown you don't have any capacity for it.

Vox, that's nonsense. To use the example given of the Magic Pink Unicorn, suppose my grandfather told me that the Magic Pink Unicorn wanted everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. So I then tell you that the Magic Pink Unicorn wants everyone to brush their teeth with grape soda. Why is this valid, simply because my grandfather invented the Magic Pink Unicorn rather than my inventing it myself?

It's not nonsense at all, Ann, you're simply moving the goalposts. No one said anything about anything being VALID, you said the equivalent of your citation of your grandfather's Magic Pink Unicorn was FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL with what you said. It may or may not be valid, but it is not functionally identical. The former is an objective standard; anyone who heard your grandfather talk about the Magic Pink Unicorn would say the same thing. The latter is a subjective one; you can say whatever you want.

Notice that you've now demonstrated you don't know the difference between subjective and objective, and you don't have the intellectual integrity to admit that you were proven wrong but tried to move the goalposts instead.

As I said, you are in well over your head here.

Anonymous VD August 07, 2013 3:50 AM  

1. In your opinion, is God responsible in some ultimate sense for designing the world?

Yes.

2. Is God opposed to all homosexuality?

Definitely all male homosexual actions. It is less clear concerning female homosexuality, but this does not appear to be regarded as a positive thing.

3. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 'yes' in your opinion, do you feel that God would put anything into the world (other than inventions by human beings) which had no purpose other to make homosexuality easier or more pleasant?

This is a logically fallacious question. God did not put everything into the world. But my answer, which I will provide anyhow, is that I don't know. God clearly makes a habit of testing people, so I see no reason why He definitely would not do such a thing.

Now I have a question for you, Ann. What is your least favorite thing about Paris?

Anonymous Carlotta August 07, 2013 4:14 AM  

@ Kristophr name five civizations that have done what you claim.

Anonymous Carlotta August 07, 2013 4:20 AM  

So Ann appears to think she is going to check mate Vox by bringing up a prostate.

Let me get the bowls of popcorn. Ok salt and butter, who needs em?

Anonymous TheExpat August 07, 2013 4:28 AM  

But accept it politically and when it comes to men in general? Well, that's just not looking so good at the moment.

And yet it's still better than the alternative.

Anonymous The CronoLink August 07, 2013 5:43 AM  

@Carlotta

Lots of butter, please

Anonymous Anonymous August 07, 2013 6:03 AM  

Fine. I got what I wanted. I'll go stand in the corner now and try to pout about it more quietly. Thank you.

"As a general rule, if your feelings are telling you something, you should conclude the opposite."

So it seems. Sorry about the mess. I have been programmed to "trust your feelings" for many years. I always knew there was a lie hidden in there.

I am oddly grateful for being completely humiliated and annihilated, so thank you for your time.

Anonymous Carlotta August 07, 2013 7:43 AM  

@ TCL
Ok, here is your. Careful it is hot :)

Oh good, I see there is lots of entertainment about. You know yttik, SD gave you some really good advice over at AG. You might want to take it. Here, I added m &m candies to your bowl of popcorn.

Anonymous Peter Garstig August 07, 2013 8:09 AM  

I am oddly grateful for being completely humiliated and annihilated.

Don't fantasize. You were not.

Anonymous Anonymous August 07, 2013 8:57 AM  

"You know yttik, SD gave you some really good advice over at AG. You might want to take it. Here, I added m &m candies to your bowl of popcorn."

Yes, yes she did. It would be logical to take it, but as I have just discovered, I am a creature of nature and therefore incapable of logic.

"Don't fantasize. You were not."
Not annihilated for real, as obviously, I am still standing, reasonably intact.

Game well played, gentlemen. Well played, indeed. You win, I lose. And as you probably already know, I will learn absolutely nothing from this experience, since I am rather pathetically incapable of much self awareness. I do however, get the part about, "this feels good, and this doesn't." I get that part well.

You do realize of course, that I can't even stand in the corner and quietly pout of my own volition? Of course I can't, it's not in my nature.

Discovering the nature of my nature is not quite as pathetic as I make it sound. It does have it's rewards.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 9:12 AM  

tz wrote: ** God is DIRECTLY responsible for the world, its creation and design.
He is opposed to all homosexuality.
So yes and yes, so for 3.
You beg the question by saying "no purpose other". You've not cited a specific example, but homosexuality itself is a perversion - something which is designed for a good end being misused and violating the purpose for which it was created (Note: I consider contraception an equal abomination).**

tz, a couple of bits of information about the natural world:

1. Male organgutans have the ability to turn their penis inside out, creating a cavity to enable other male orangutans to have sex with them. This ability has no other purpose than to facilitate gay sex.

2. There are animals which, if not getting enough to eat, will re-absorb embryoes in the early stages of pregancy, for the nutrients. Which is basically the equivalent of an abortion.

The natural world is stranger than you can suppose. Also more disgusting. Read sometime about a parasite called the 'tongue eating louse'.

Now, if you want to argue that God is opposed to a particular act often performed by *human* homosexuals, because it is pretty much of a disaster, healthwise, you would have a much better case. But that act is no less of a health disaster when performed by a heterosexual man on a woman.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 9:24 AM  

VD wrote **"And therein lies your mistake. You are attempting to elevate yourself above that which you would follow. You cannot reasonably decide who is and who is not worthy of your obedience because you do not have the wherewithal to make that decision. It's a particularly female form of pride."**

So, your position is, as a woman I cannot reasonably decide who to follow or who is or is not worthy of my obedience (despite having a 166 IQ).

So, if a man comes up to me and tells me that God wants me to set a nursery school full of preschoolers on fire, even though my judgement tells me that is a really evil idea, since I, being a woman, cannot reasonably decide whether God would actually want me to do that or not, or whether the man is worthy of obedience or not, rather than do something disobedient dictated by my judgement and conscience, such as warn the preschoolers to run away, or call the police on my cell phone, I should instead be blindly obedient, do what that man wants me to do, and burn them all.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 9:32 AM  

Pequod wrote: **There are numerous revelations which are every bit as verifiable and accepted as that of Saul or Moses. Mohammed, and the markedly more thorough moral system of Islam. Joseph Smith,Mormonism, and the stunning success that religion seems to bring. Simply compare Detroit or Birmingham to Salt Lake City.**

In terms of longevity, the most successful culture would by far be that of the Australian Aborigines. Which has lasted for at least 50,000 years. The very distant second would be the pyramid builders in ancient Egypt, who reigned for 5,000 years.

Anonymous Stickwick August 07, 2013 9:33 AM  

You do realize of course, that I can't even stand in the corner and quietly pout of my own volition? Of course I can't, it's not in my nature.

Apparently yttik's nature is to turn nearly every thread into a vehicle for his/her/its narcissistic stream-of-consciousness rambling.

Is anyone seriously buying this anymore? I have to disagree with Vox when he said that this possible-incarnation of Tad is less annoying than previous ones. At least Tad could marginally stick to the topic. Which leads me to think this isn't Tad at all. In fact ... has anyone noticed a distinct lack of Loki around here lately?

Anonymous Peter Garstig August 07, 2013 9:35 AM  

Game well played, gentlemen. Well played, indeed. You win, I lose.

And here it is again: the child.

Being subordinate and/or submissive does not free you from any responsibility. No matter how deep you think you will and want to bow, as an adult, you are responsible for your soul.

You know that, but you try to avoid it at all cost, even if it means to deny your very existence.

Anonymous Josh August 07, 2013 9:44 AM  

I have to disagree with Vox when he said that this possible-incarnation of Tad is less annoying than previous ones.

It has exceeded Asher levels of annoyance.

Anonymous Peter Garstig August 07, 2013 9:45 AM  

I have to disagree with Vox when he said that this possible-incarnation of Tad is less annoying than previous ones. At least Tad could marginally stick to the topic.

Not sure about that. Narcissists are easily spotted and ignored. Aspies like Tad have a tendency to suck you in with some valid arguments. They simply waste more of your time. At least that's what's happening to me.

has anyone noticed a distinct lack of Loki around here lately?

Lol. I wouldn't be surprised...

Anonymous rubbermallet August 07, 2013 9:49 AM  

Hey guys seriously don't google this.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 9:51 AM  

A few comments on other things written in this thread:

1. Regarding the prophecies in the bible, it is logically erroneous to conclude that because the bible appears to have several accurate prophecies, it is therefore 100% the word of God. There are other possibilities that must be considered:

A. Prophecy is BS, what appears to be prophecy is either lucky coincidence, interpreting a past 'prophecy' to fit current events, or was actually written after the event, but claimed to have been written before.

B. Prophecy exists, but it is an innate ability in some human beings, and not necessarily from God. For instance, consider the book "Futility" by Morgan Robertson. http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/ships/id230.html

C. Prophecy exists, and comes only from God, and the bible contains such prophecies, but other parts of the bible are not accurate and/or do not come from God.
---------------------------------------------------
2. Regarding the question of someone who sarcastically asked whether they should eat a gold covered human fetus:

A. That question is likely covered under one of the things I regard as evil. If you believe that the fetus is capable of feeling pain, and your only goal is to hurt the fetus, that is evil. If you don't believe that the fetus can feel pain, but your only goal is to shock or offend other people, that also falls under that category.

Cannibalism is actually one of those things that can sometimes get ethically complicated, in certain situations. I've been forced to conclude that cannibalism qua cannibalism is not necessarily evil. The reason why is that the survivors of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains are not evil. Neither was their cannibalism evil.

Now, the cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer (my cousin actually almost ended up being one of his victims) is evil, but the reason he is evil is actually NOT necessarily his cannibalism. Though that also would be evil if he was doing it with the thought in mind of either shocking people, or gloating over how shocked they would be if they knew what he was doing, or thinking that he was somehow hurting or offending his dead victims. But the thing that actually definitely makes Jeffrey Dahmer evil is not cannibalism, but murder. Dahmer murdered the people he ate. The people eaten by the survivors of the aforementioned plane crash died either from the plane crash, or a later avalanche.

Anonymous Stickwick August 07, 2013 9:53 AM  

Let's not let our litter-box denizen distract from the real point of this thread, which is ...

So, your position is, as a woman I cannot reasonably decide who to follow or who is or is not worthy of my obedience (despite having a 166 IQ).

??? Is this what happens when you combine a bonafide high IQ and a lot of estrogen or did she get "166" from an Internet IQ quiz?

Anonymous Stickwick August 07, 2013 9:58 AM  

But the thing that actually definitely makes Jeffrey Dahmer evil is not cannibalism, but murder.

Do you realize that Dahmer recognized what he did as evil only after he converted to Christianity? He understood what you do not: without God, morality is subjective, and there is no reason to refrain from indulging in every desire one has, regardless of whether a lot of other people find it perverse or abhorrent.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 10:28 AM  

Hahaha, I knew Ann was trying to set one up for an Animal World swing. While you're at it Ann, why don't you talk about bisexual squids, or head-eating spiders, or asexual plants? You know, all those other irrational organisms that God wasn't talking to.

If in nature an organism is naturally designed as a species to facilitate gay sex or any other sort of thing, then quite obviously it is not a perversion of that design for it to do so.

God may or may not like homosexuality in animals, but I certainly don't see in the bible where He has expressed such a prohibition to them. On the other hand, He has done so to us. So it's pure speculation.

Male organgutans have the ability to turn their penis inside out, creating a cavity to enable other male orangutans to have sex with them. This ability has no other purpose than to facilitate gay sex.

Or keeping the genitals warm. You know the human penis retracts too? Obviously not as far, but then, we wear clothes.

Orangutans, like most animals, are horny, and stupid. They see a hole, they try to fuck it. It's not really some inner, deeply misunderstoof sexual character manifesting itself in their interpersonal relationships. They just want to put their penis to use.

So, your position is, as a woman I cannot reasonably decide who to follow or who is or is not worthy of my obedience (despite having a 166 IQ).

Your appeals to intelligence are always amusing.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 10:32 AM  

Regarding the prophecies in the bible, it is logically erroneous to conclude that because the bible appears to have several accurate prophecies, it is therefore 100% the word of God.

But it certainly confirms the accuracy of those prophecies, and therefore it is not illogical to suppose that the source of those prophecies are also properly identified.

Whether the bible is '100% the word of God' (in whatever sense you mean that) doesn't change that it would be containing what verifiably appears to be genuine divine prophecy. You can take that as you like.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 10:37 AM  

Is anyone seriously buying this anymore? I have to disagree with Vox when he said that this possible-incarnation of Tad is less annoying than previous ones. At least Tad could marginally stick to the topic. Which leads me to think this isn't Tad at all. In fact ... has anyone noticed a distinct lack of Loki around here lately?

To be honest, I've been giving Ann the Tad eye. The similarity isn't complete, but she's triggered my spidey sense a couple of times, leading me to wonder if he hasn't listened to feedback and upgraded his game. One never knows...

#it'sallconnected>.>

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 10:39 AM  

My alternative theory (that I'm still largely favouring) is that disingenuity is just something endemic to certain creatures.

Anonymous Mudz August 07, 2013 10:41 AM  

But I've mentioned before that my ability to remember internet personalities is unreliable.

Anonymous alabamarob August 07, 2013 10:55 AM  

I like the prophecy quotes above. A few prophecies came true, really? I believe over 1000 on Christ were fulfilled. And the O.T. books where those were contained can be historically verified as being written before the time of Christ. No backdating there. You can question the deity of Christ if you want, but there are historically verifiable aspects with which you must agree as they are not in dispute by even the harshest of critics. Example: Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, He was of the line of David, a descendant of Abraham - facts not in dispute by Christianities critic - Islam. He was executed on a cross, a method of execution not even dreamed of in the O.T. Books - that would be a Roman thing and Rome did not yet exist as an Empire then. And there are others. Like I said His deity may be in question by the scoffers but His historicity is not, as evidenced by the last 2000 years of their efforts to silence this one man. They wouldn't go to so much trouble if He didn't present some challenge to their authority. And there is some misunderstanding about prophecy - more often than not it dealt with more immediate events - within a hundred or so years and the rarity was long reaching 'fortune telling' most associatewith prophecy. So they were verifiable events, verified by those who heard them so that God and only God could claim credit for the event taking place as prophecied. AS is the case for us moderns, God knew we would re-interpret, forget or modify what His prophets sad given a long enough time span. So there were more than a few prophecies fulfilled and later generations could testify that things were as they were 'predicted' verifying God as the One in control of events.

As to historical accuracy of the Bible one of my favorites is the Hittites. Scholars scoffed at the mention of this people in the O.T since THEY could find no record of them in their historical literature. Seems this was for them a holy grail kind of dealio as proof of the human nature and fallibility of the Bible. It was the nail in the coffin for them regarding the Bible as the Word of God. It was the gotcha moment, sit down and shut up you are absolutely wrong moment for scholars. But lo and behold they did find evidence of the Hittites and they were not a myth of some crazy God worshippers. And this is not the only incident, there are many cases of scholars doubting the veracity of Scriptue only to see that the Bible is more accurate than they -- after they catch up with their 'research'.

My point being when faced with man's flawed track record of explaining the world, human nature, history etc. I will choose the Bible's more impressive accuracy that has stood the test of time.

And I ask as another earlier. Why do you not capitalize the word Bible? In school I was taught you capitalize all works of literature - books, magazines, articles etc. Is there contempt in that deviation from convention? Just curious.

Anonymous rubbermallet August 07, 2013 11:09 AM  

One would assume that a person with a 166 IQ would not have to even put forth that information but that we'd be able to surmise it from their arguments that they were rather intelligent. Somehow "orangutans have penis to penis sex so the God of the Bible is demonstrably false" is falling short of what I'd expect from a genius.



Anonymous VD August 07, 2013 11:23 AM  

So, your position is, as a woman I cannot reasonably decide who to follow or who is or is not worthy of my obedience (despite having a 166 IQ).

Yes. Obviously. Your performance here is a perfect example of why not. Intelligence is merely intellectual firepower. The smart individual who lacks wisdom is even less able to make their own decisions than the average individual.

If you have a 166 IQ and still can't distinguish between subjective or objective, I wouldn't trust you to be able to pick out the color of your own tennis shoes.

Look at how easily I've smashed apart your arguments without even needing to pay any particular attention to them. You have rendered your IQ useless; it's like running Windows 3.0 on a new model desktop computer in order to play Solitaire. A well-aimed .50 caliber rifle is far more devastating than a 220mm artillery piece pointed in the wrong direction.

Anonymous VD August 07, 2013 11:26 AM  

So, if a man comes up to me and tells me that God wants me to set a nursery school full of preschoolers on fire, even though my judgement tells me that is a really evil idea, since I, being a woman, cannot reasonably decide whether God would actually want me to do that or not, or whether the man is worthy of obedience or not, rather than do something disobedient dictated by my judgement and conscience, such as warn the preschoolers to run away, or call the police on my cell phone, I should instead be blindly obedient, do what that man wants me to do, and burn them all.

Yes, Ann, that's precisely what I'm saying. All women have to obey Frank, the crazy homeless guy on the corner, and buy him booze whenever he wants it. Note that a lack of reading comprehension is not indicative of high intelligence.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 August 07, 2013 11:27 AM  

(despite having a 166 IQ)

Well sure, but what's that in Celsius?

Anonymous rubbermallet August 07, 2013 11:32 AM  

[b]Look at how easily I've smashed apart your arguments without even needing to pay any particular attention to them.[/b]

or without googling them.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 August 07, 2013 11:40 AM  

be honest and answer them without doing google research

And fill in the circles completely with a #2 pencil.
Otherwise the ScanTron won't scan.

Seriously, don't Google #2 pencil.
Just don't.

Anonymous Stickwick August 07, 2013 11:50 AM  

To be honest, I've been giving Ann the Tad eye. The similarity isn't complete, but she's triggered my spidey sense a couple of times, leading me to wonder if he hasn't listened to feedback and upgraded his game. One never knows...

You may be right, Mudz. The emphasis on homosexuality as sin is rather familiar, as is the aspie mode of debate.

Anonymous Daniel August 07, 2013 12:03 PM  

Dahmer's argument (prior to his claimed conversion) was basically: if everything is natural, then who owns me? If I own me, then I will do what I want.

After the arrest, he said something along the lines of: we came from slime, we are materially no different from slime, so how can it be wrong to provide the means to change someone back into slime?

These are not quotes, just to be clear, but I'm confident in my interpretation of his meaning.

Ann, do you support Jeffrey Dahmer's thoughtful approach to the seduction, imprisonment, torture, zombification, murder, dismemberment, eating of and disintigration of his so-called "victims?"

I'll have more intellectual respect for you if you do.

Anonymous Sigyn August 07, 2013 12:03 PM  

has anyone noticed a distinct lack of Loki around here lately?

Lol. I wouldn't be surprised...


((He had a new contract start up in earnest this week, and last month they begged him to do some part-time "patching" work for them in advance. The "lack of Loki" is primarily because he comes home from family-support too drained to give trolling 100%.

((I'd rather have him around all the time than money, but there is debt, and our farm isn't up and running yet. It's what he does, and it takes the time it takes. At least his assistant is a man this time, or else I'd be jealous!))

Anonymous Anonymous August 07, 2013 1:08 PM  

Give it up, Ann. Vox is correct. I just put myself into a weakened state so I could try and get a glimpse of how somebody like Vox, with his intelligence, perceives women. It was an extremely foolish thing to do. I caught a glimpse of what my reality as a woman might look like to a man like Vox. For a tiny second having that much personal awareness of my own condition was like being in hell. You know I speak the truth Vox, because the moment it happened, I started praying to God to give me my ignorance back, wrap me back in the safety of my nature, my happy place, my bubble. I now understand that men and women are different creatures, with brains designed for different purposes. My brain, the brain of an intuitive, emotional creature, was simply not designed to compartmentalize and process like a man's. It would have been exceedingly cruel for God to do that to women. Having the self awareness of my own condition for even a second in time, was the most awful thing I've ever done to myself in my life.

Ann questions Christianity, I question Creation itself. I'm not sure which one of us is more stupid. I Ann, am at least extremely grateful I have a strong faith in God that helps pull me out in times of trouble. Give it up, because you don't even have that to hang onto.

Anonymous Sigyn August 07, 2013 2:24 PM  

yttik, your attempts to agree and amplify are getting downright silly. You're not helping your position that women are capable of cool-headed reason by being an attention-seeking drama queen.

Anonymous Ronald Potato August 07, 2013 2:37 PM  

How can God know He is God, if even a super-intelligent woman cannot know the difference between Good and Evil?

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 07, 2013 4:54 PM  

4) Is particularly instructive. Because atheo-leftists are casual liars and scummy cadgers with not a whit of sincerity in them, they believe that everyone is exactly the same as they are - the sort who would live a life of indulgence and sin without a second thought believing that all they have to do is say "I'm sorry" at the end, and they get into the land of milk and honey. Because they constantly look for ways to game the system at the expense of sincere and honest people, they assume that that's what everyone else is up to as well. Beyond the sheer ignorance of how Christianity works that's on display here (I guess that's what happens when you get your theological knowledge from playing Bioshock Infinite), it's a real window into who atheo-leftists really are and how they really think.

Anonymous For your own good August 07, 2013 5:00 PM  

Yttik, he is very happily married. Calm the heck down. You are beginning to come off like Scalzi's dress wearing alter.

Blogger tz August 07, 2013 6:11 PM  

@yttik

Fine. I got what I wanted. I'll go stand in the corner now and try to pout about it more quietly. Thank you.

"As a general rule, if your feelings are telling you something, you should conclude the opposite."

So it seems. Sorry about the mess. I have been programmed to "trust your feelings" for many years. I always knew there was a lie hidden in there.

I am oddly grateful for being completely humiliated and annihilated, so thank you for your time.


Don't let the door hit you on the way out. You can choose to stay rational and ask honest questions in an honest manner, or get emotional, irrational, and snarky.

If you cannot defend your positions, they may not be wrong, but are weak. Might there be arguments? Perhaps. But instead of making them, you merely show how offended you are.

If you have been programmed to trust your feelings, as opposed to your reason, consider these threads as a failed attempt at deprogramming. No one here can force you to dethrone emotion so that reason can govern. But anyone who comes here enslaved to an emotional chimp on their shoulder will be completely humiliated and annihilated. And I don't see that as a bad thing - they won't be banned (if they don't turn into full trolls), they won't be respected, they may be engaged as long as it seems entertaining, useful, or hopeful. But "Mock and thou shall be mocked". With far greater force as reason can shred emotion.

Anonymous Carlotta August 07, 2013 6:21 PM  

That was really nice tz. Swallowing the red pill is a process and not a one time event. Stop flouncing away and thinking someone will chase you yttik. Stay or go but learn and contribute if you stay and stop taking a deserved butt kicking so personally. That is the whole point of coming here, to get slapped around.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 6:25 PM  

VD wrote: **If you have a 166 IQ and still can't distinguish between subjective or objective, I wouldn't trust you to be able to pick out the color of your own tennis shoes.**

Claiming God exists, but being unable to provide proof, and when asked to provide proof responding: "I don't care what you want" doesn't indicate a high ability to distinguish between subjective or objective, either.

Subjective: In my personal subjective opinion, I believe that God exists, and that words written in a book are proof of his existence.

Objective: Here is a 3000 year old tablet just dug up in Israel, engraved with the ten commandments, and composed entirely of a completely stable isotope of a transuranic element....

What if I tried to sell you some invisible tennis shoes that you couldn't smell, taste, touch, or hear, and provide as evidence of what good shoes they are, testimonials by people who are long since dead. Then if you ask me for proof that the shoes are actually there, I'll just tell you that I don't care what you want. But that the shoes exist anyways, so you have to buy and wear them, even if you would rather have the pair of Dr. Scholl's that you can actually see.

Blogger tz August 07, 2013 6:33 PM  

@Ann - the natural world is not stranger than I suppose, because I don't put limits. I didn't know you were an Orangutan either.

You may have missed BOTH my comments about obedience and authority. I pointed out that if you are the one choosing when and which (lesser) authority to obey, then you are setting yourself up as a greater, and ultimately the only authority. You cannot follow if you second guess and must agree to ever step and reserve the right to follow a different path if you don't like the step you would have to take next. That is neither obedience nor authority. (I'm trying to figure out how to make this more clear - this is the classic "Non Serviam!" - Satan did not say he would not do anything God asked, only that he would decide for himself which commandments to obey or not). People with 166 IQs can often be wrong where those in double digits right.

Let me put it this way, if it was shown to you that there was an authority which was clearly right and greater in every instance you could test, would you simply agree to obey it or would you then insist on testing each command and only follow each command individually only after subjecting it to a thorough analysis and reserving the right to reject any gray areas (it can't be obedience in this form)?

As to Sex - the Catholic church (and many protestant churches) are perfectly consistent on the issue of sex. They demand whether you are man or woman, and whether you are attracted to men, women, children, or some combination that you must control yourself and not engage in sex without being married, and only as an act of love (open to life) and not as an act of lust - giving not taking, respecting, not using. It calls equally for a husband of a beautiful wife to control himself as it does for a gay man that wants to probe the edge of pederasty.

As to the Bible and Prophecy - Prophecy is merely a category of Miracle (that is another C.S. Lewis book I suggest you read). If you cannot be open that there are things outside the physical world and nature as you perceive, it does not mean that those things don't exist, only that you will find any explanation, even some more bizarre than you claim believers follow, for something which is a clear violation of the physical laws. If you assume prophecy/miracles cannot happen - it is an assumption and a belief, not an observation or fact - you are beyond reasoning on the subject.

As Stickwick points out:

Let's not let our litter-box denizen distract from the real point of this thread, which is ...

"So, your position is, as a woman I cannot reasonably decide who to follow or who is or is not worthy of my obedience (despite having a 166 IQ)".

??? Is this what happens when you combine a bonafide high IQ and a lot of estrogen or did she get "166" from an Internet IQ quiz?


Your brain might have a 166 IQ, but your ovaries and uterus are probably in the single digits. Which organ is controlling your thinking?

You cripple your intelligence by refusing to go past some point where you have a pet belief which you will not challenge or allow to be challenged. So you even avoid giving the best arguments though you come very close. You are trying to stay on the edge of sophistry - though you don't perceive it as that, neither admitting full moral relativism, or being faced with the alternative of God and the Tao. I appreciate your balancing act. I wonder how long you can stay on that edge. I suspect your 166 IQ is nagging you like a conscience would in that it refuses to be used for illogic and rationalization beyond a point.


Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 6:41 PM  

Daniel wrote: **Dahmer's argument (prior to his claimed conversion) was basically: if everything is natural, then who owns me? If I own me, then I will do what I want.**

Logical flaw. If he owns himself, and he is a human being, then other human beings also own themselves. So he cannot *morally* do 'what he wants' if it infringes on other human being's ownership of themselves, any more than two objects can *physically* occupy the same space. Thinking he can is irrational, it would be like equating himself to an object and then believing that he was somehow special and the only object in the universe made of matter that actually took up space.

Now, if he wanted to argue that nobody owned themselves, so you couldn't infringe on other people's non-existent ownership of themselves, that would make more logical sense. But it would also imply that he did not own himself, so other people could just as well do what they wanted to him. Most people don't like to accept THAT particular premise.

**After the arrest, he said something along the lines of: we came from slime, we are materially no different from slime, so how can it be wrong to provide the means to change someone back into slime?**

Also nonsense. The structure and arrangement of materials (whether they be electronics components, atoms, or subatomic particles) makes a very great difference in their function and value. If Dahmer thinks that human beings are equivalent to slime, because we happen to be made out of the same sorts of atoms, then he should have no problem using a rock instead of a pillow, and drinking liquid draino instead of milk, since after all, all of the above are made out of identical protons, neutrons, and electrons.

Anonymous Stickwick August 07, 2013 6:57 PM  

That's it. Either "Ann" is playing the world's most obtuse devil's advocate, or the 166 IQ is B.S. (pulled out of thin air or s/he got it from an Internet quiz).

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 07, 2013 6:59 PM  

tz wrote: **Let me put it this way, if it was shown to you that there was an authority which was clearly right and greater in every instance you could test, would you simply agree to obey it or would you then insist on testing each command and only follow each command individually only after subjecting it to a thorough analysis and reserving the right to reject any gray areas (it can't be obedience in this form)?**

The latter. The reason why is that simply because an authority has been greater than me in the past, in every instance which I was able to test, that does not necessarily mean that it will always be right in the future, or in situations which I currently lack the ability to test. A good case in point is Newtonian physics. They worked perfectly under every situation which people were capable of testing for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, they break down under conditions of high speeds and high gravity. Humans were not able to perform tests (or observations) under those conditions for a very long time after Newton came up with them. As it is, Einstein describes physics more perfectly than Newton does. And that also doesn't mean that Einstein might not be wrong about some things, but we haven't figured out which ones or why as of yet.

My experience has been, people who actually believe they are right do not mind others questioning or testing what they have to say. Particularly if the person doing the testing obeys them under circumstances where a job needs to be done in a hurry, and investigates the matter later on their own time. In fact, they are often glad if someone discovers them to be wrong, so they can correct an error in their thinking.

If they use violence and demand unquestioning obedience and that their statements never be questioned at any point in time, they are generally hiding the fact that they are wrong about something.

Blogger tz August 07, 2013 7:04 PM  

@Ann Morgan - you are not demanding "proof" God exists, you are demanding a specific miracle. (Note: transuranic element that old would have decayed significantly given the half-lives of the isotopes, so are you asking for it to be both 3000 years old, made of something with a short half life, yet not decaying - sort of like "the burning bush" which was on-fire but not consumed?).

Note in this you are demanding God personally reveal himself to you in the way you want (and would likely change and simply be an infinite series of "but now show me this...").

There are many proofs, but you have already stated you won't accept them so it is pointless to try to demonstrate them - it would be a waste of time. The Tao is a proof. Complexity (abiogenesis - you could even do the math yourself!) is a proof. Other existent miracles (healings like at Lourdes, the Shroud of Turin) are proofs. I would note all are objective, not subjective. The list can be made longer.

But you will not give reasons why you don't accept them, but dismiss them out of hand, at best citing some shallow atheist source. So your dismissal is subjective.

So you've set up something of a straw man. At best you claim you will only believe if there is a specific, objective X, yet there is no evidence God has done X, or will do X to prove his existence, though there are no shortage of other things he has done. So the request for "proof" is dishonest.

But to use your "invisible shoe" example, there are many Christians here including me and Vox. What you are saying is you won't believe unless you can see the shoe. But when we walk across the beach, the footprints have zig-zag and circle patterns of running shoes. When we dip our feet into the ocean they don't get wet. Things will "stick" as if they are between the laces and the tongue. You ask for proof the shoes are "actually there", and we can point to any of these things, but then you will say it must be some kind of conjuring trick, illusion, or something else.

And I don't care what you want with a single exception. I only care if you are honestly seeking the truth - whatever it is. For me, it is an edge case - you don't seem so convinced of your thoughts that you will reject the truth but also don't seem to be ready to reject untruths you hold dear and tight.

It is also as if the proof was embedded in a cave up a mountain, yet you are not willing to climb and demand that I go there with mining equipment, extract it and bring it to you on a silver platter - and then you will say it is faked instead of looking at it to see if it is proof or not.

Blogger tz August 07, 2013 7:17 PM  

@Ann the authority I'm suggesting you accept is not a man, but God himself. That you would obey perfection, not something fallen. Not the bible, but God, personally.

You would put your imperfect 166 IQ - which I think you admit frequently draws wrong conclusions (often from wrong data) ahead of perfect knowledge and truth.

But you are not merely putting your IQ above, you are putting your IQ filtered through your emotions. A man who is less emotional with a lower IQ can see things more clearly than one who is more intelligent but lets their feelings rule.

This is what is meant by (truly) accepting Jesus as your personal Savior. That you will submit to God himself and obey him. That you trust him to reveal to you what you need, and show patience or mercy when you are unsure or confused, or when you fall. We are to act like little children because he is infinitely greater and we are like children to him.

If you had to care for a toddler with an IQ of (what in an adult would be around) 60 that insisted on doing what he or she wanted, "I want candy" and would not submit to your authority and obey generally on the exact same basis - the toddler couldn't be sure that you, with your 166 IQ "knows" she would just get an upset stomach, doesn't know about "money", and throws a tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants, would you cheer her independence? The toddler can think she is smart too.

Blogger tz August 07, 2013 7:22 PM  

You do not have to pray with certainty, but you must pray. "God, if you are all good and wise, I will follow and obey, but reveal yourself to me, let me know you are there in any way you want".

That is an honest prayer. Not "let there be a candy under my pillow", or let lightening strike that tree, or even "only if my view on abortion is in agreement".

It has to be honestly all or none. But that is only the first step. What will be revealed is your need for repentance and a savior - a personal relationship, personal contrition, and personal salvation, but he will provide that.

But in all cases you must honestly want it.

Anonymous AXCrom August 07, 2013 7:52 PM  

Ann Morgan says, "My experience has been, people who actually believe they are right do not mind others questioning or testing what they have to say."

Despite your 166 IQ, I would not permit you to pack my parachute if you have to question every instruction given to you to see if it meets your standards. I'll stick with what the Jumpmaster says, even if his IQ is less than mine.

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