Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Truth for Youth has Arrived!

Today I received my copy of The Truth For Youth in the mail. TTFY is a New Testament Bible (God's Word Version) plus almost 100 pages of manga style comics dealing with subjects like sex, rock music, evolution, and more. It's interspersed with ads for other Revival Fires* products and a coupon that you can send in if you decide to get saved. At first glance this book seems to be the ultimate commercialization of the bible, geared specifically for teenagers. At second glance? I agree with my first glance.



The comics are of special interest to me. When I was young my parents bought Chick comics for me in lieu of more worldly comic books. The artistic style of comics in TTFY is a little better than Alberto, but not much.

The first story in the comic section was about safe sex and condoms in particular. The story is about a cheerleader (stereotypical skinny blonde) who is looking to have sex with the football quarterback (stereotypical beefcake white teen). The condom factoids are told by a high school nerd named Stats (stereotypical asian intellectual). The quaterback is being proselytized by the running back (stereotypical black high school athlete), and the cheerleader is also being hounded by another cheerleader (a steretypical stereotype of a stereotype).

The asian intellectual in the story has these statistics to consider.
Er -- Yes -- Well, Actually condoms have a 15% failure rate and 13% of unmarried teens get pregnant in the first year they use condoms for contraception!

The problem I have with these statistics is that they're not true. The 15% failure rate is typical use. IOW, this is the failure rate if the condoms are not used properly or consistantly. Same with the 13% pregnancy rate. What would you think the pregnancy rate would be if condoms weren't used at all? I don't know, but I'm sure it's much worse than 13% - 15%. The perfect use failure and pregnancy rate for condoms is 2%. That's a big difference! If a condom is used properly and every time, only 2 in 100 girls will get pregnant! Talk about twisting statistics.Click here for condom statistics.

At the end of the story we see a copy of TTFY get passed around the football field (pun intended).

The first comic is so full of stereotypes that I had a hard time finishing it. Just leafing through the rest revealed all kinds of stereotypes.

This book is basically a new testament bible (translated into very simple modern english) pasted in the back of a badly written 100 page Chick Tract wannabe. Revival Fires ministries are trying to recruit teenagers to pass this book out at public schools. I hope the kids do pass this thing out because it is ridiculous. I have three teen age nephews and I can imagine every one of them laughing at the caricarture of teen life that's depicted in this book.

A parting question for my christian detractors to think about. Do you like it that your holy book is included in the back of a second rate comic book?

* Warning: loud gospel music plays when page is loaded.

88 comments:

Stephen said...

This is the reason I didn't get one of these, even though I got the offer as well. This book is a lame attempt at compromising the gospel in order to "blend in" with worldly fare. Fails terribly.

Robert Madewell said...

Here's something that's interesting. The particular translation that is used in this book is trademarked and there are instructions as to how to properly quote this version of the New Testament. They even limit how many times you can reference this version. (500)

This is a commercial bible! No joke!

Robert Madewell said...

Here's the EULA for the bible that's in TTFY.


GOD'S WORD SERIES™ and its associated logo are trademarks of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society.

Based on GOD'S WORD, Copyright 1995 God's Word to the Nations Bible Society, International rights secured. All rights reserved.

You will be pleased to know that a portion of the purchase price of this special New Testament of the Bible has been provided to God's Word to the Nations Bible Society to help in the fulfillment of its mission of translating, publishing, and distributing Christ's life-saving message throughout the world.

Up to 500 scriptural verses may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book of the Bible is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to 25% of the text of the product in which they are quoted.

If the quotation is used in a product that is not for sale, the designation - GOD'S WORD - must always appear following each quotation.

If the quotation is used in a product that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used: "Scripture is taken from God's Word to the Nations Bible Society."


A bible with an End User Lisence Agreement? That's a first for me.

Stephen said...

Really, aside from the "Authorized Version" all Bibles are licensed in some way like that.

Leo said...

Do you really believe most teenagers will fall under the category of "perfect use?"

What's wrong with abstinence until marriage?

Robert Madewell said...

Do you really believe most teenagers will fall under the category of "perfect use?"

No, that's the point. Typical use implies that the condom wasn't used every time. In that case, they might as well not have used them at all. You can't blame a condom for not working if it was not used at all (or not properly). Which brings up your next point.

"What's wrong with abstinence until marriage?"

Nothing! But again that's assuming perfect use. Perfect use of abstinence is 100% effective and has a 0% failure rate. However typical use is much different. Do you really believe most teenagers will fall under the category of "perfect use" of abstinence? Of course not! Abstinence only works if you are abstinent. Sadly, most teens will not wait until marriage. That's why abstinence only sex education is such a failure. The kids are only told to not to "do it", but are not given the information that will help them if they do "do it".

IMO, proper education is the key. You can give the kids information without condoning promiscuous behaviour. Keeping kids ignorant of their reproductive tract is not going to work.

GCT said...

"What's wrong with abstinence until marriage?"

What I object to is 2 things:

1) Abstinence only education. It does not work, as has been empirically shown. Yet, many will push for it regardless (because of number 2)

2) The idea that anything other than abstinence before marriage is "sinful" or immoral. There is nothing wrong with two consenting adults that want to have sex. I tend to think that that extends to some people who are not yet of adult age as well, as I don't automatically equate age to maturity level. Before anyone tries to jump on me, I'm not advocating pedophilia or anything like that, but if 2 17 year olds want to have sex, is that really so bad? It may or may not be. There are probably 17 year olds that are more together and ready to handle it than some 20-somethings that I've known.

Stephen said...

"There is nothing wrong with two consenting adults that want to have sex."

Except the fact that a child may be conceived (even if they use contraception, because nothing other than abstinence is 100% effective. Would it not be immoral to bring a child into this world with two parents who haven't made a pledge to stay together for at least the upbringing of that child?

Robert Madewell said...

"Except the fact that a child may be conceived (even if they use contraception, because nothing other than abstinence is 100% effective. Would it not be immoral to bring a child into this world with two parents who haven't made a pledge to stay together for at least the upbringing of that child?"

Well the only thing that's 100% effective at preventing automobile accidents is to stay at home and lock the doors. Do you stay at home and lock the doors so that you won't accidently kill someone? Even though, it's a tiny, tiny chance that you will kill someone with your car?

Come on, life is full of chances. Stuff happens and not all of it is good. Following your logic, the only good thing to do would be to lock myself up for the rest of my life.

Stephen said...

Getting in a car accident is not good, but you can't compare it to bringing a child into the world. How dare you take that chance if you don't have a spouse and are prepared to raise that child.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"Getting in a car accident is not good, but you can't compare it to bringing a child into the world."

You've missed the point. It's not just getting into a car accident, but also getting into a car accident and taking someone else's life, perhaps even someone who has brought a child into the world. There's a chance that this could happen. How dare you get behind the wheel if you aren't prepared to kill someone by accident.

The fact of the matter is that birth control is extremely effective when used properly. And, what right do you have to intervene in the rights and actions of grown adults that don't affect you? I think a worse thing is people like you who guilt others into your way of thinking which results in unwanted children being brought into the world.

Stephen said...

"And, what right do you have to intervene in the rights and actions of grown adults that don't affect you?"

I have none. I'm not in favor of "outlawing" premarital sex. I simply disagreed that no harm was done by two unmarried people fornicating. This shouldn't be legislated though.

GCT said...

"I simply disagreed that no harm was done by two unmarried people fornicating."

I'm still wondering what harm is done. What you've mentioned is potential harm, and argued that one should not take the chance. By that logic though, one should not take the chance anytime potential harm could happen, hence one should not drive.

Stephen said...

This is just my opinion, but the potential harm of bringing a child into the world without parents is more severe than other potential harms. I would think the odds of a child being brought into the world this way and not having capable parents is greater than the odds of not only having an accident, but the other car happening to have two parents in it, and those two parents to for some reason be travelling either without their child, or to have the child there, and the parents die but the child not.

Of course, this was just the "potential harm" that sprung to mind immediately when this subject was brought up, but I think you also have pretty high odds that these noncommitted partners would be young folks, not yet secure in their own personalities, let alone the dynamics of a serious relationship, and the introduction of sex to the equation just complicates matters further.

Again, this is just my opinion.

GCT said...

"This is just my opinion, but the potential harm of bringing a child into the world without parents is more severe than other potential harms."

More severe than the death of someone?

What is the threshold of amount of potential harm and probability of such that should prevent someone from doing something?

"Of course, this was just the "potential harm" that sprung to mind immediately when this subject was brought up, but I think you also have pretty high odds that these noncommitted partners would be young folks, not yet secure in their own personalities, let alone the dynamics of a serious relationship, and the introduction of sex to the equation just complicates matters further."

Or it helps clarify matters. You can't know that. And besides, people make mistakes all the time about other things. Again, we can't say that one shouldn't do things that may lead to mistakes that may cause emotional hurt.

Stephen said...

"What is the threshold of amount of potential harm and probability of such that should prevent someone from doing something?"

That's a decision that we all make constantly. It's not like this is a new issue. Companies hire people for just such an assessment. You do this every day. I'm certain there are things you do in your life to avoid potential harm, and there are things you do that could cause potential harm, but you do them anyway, because you deem it an acceptable risk.

Yes, driving can be dangerous. That's why we restrict people under the age of 15 from doing it. Similarly, why would it be so odd to try to talk people under the age of 15 (I would say 18 even) from engaging in sex?

You see, we DO restrict driving because of the risk already.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"You do this every day. I'm certain there are things you do in your life to avoid potential harm, and there are things you do that could cause potential harm, but you do them anyway, because you deem it an acceptable risk."

Yes, that is all correct. You were saying, however, that no one should have pre-marital sex, because the risks are too high. Obviously, you've found some sort of threshold by which risk is too high not just for you, but for everyone. So, what is it?

"Yes, driving can be dangerous. That's why we restrict people under the age of 15 from doing it. Similarly, why would it be so odd to try to talk people under the age of 15 (I would say 18 even) from engaging in sex?"

But we don't say that no one should drive, which would be the analogous counterpoint to your assertions that no one should have pre-marital sex.

Actually, thinking more about it, you shouldn't have a problem with people having pre-marital sex so long as one or both of them are unable to produce children. It would also appear that you would say that married couples should not have sex unless they are looking to bring a child into the world.

Leo said...

We say that no unlicensed driver can drive. Same as saying "un-marriage licensed" people shouldn't have sex.

GCT said...

"We say that no unlicensed driver can drive. Same as saying "un-marriage licensed" people shouldn't have sex."

Marriage licenses aren't issued with tests on how to have sex or instructions (or how to be married for that matter). Actually, thinking about it, there's a risk that a marriage will end in divorce, which could be traumatic for any kids involved. By the risk assessment that is being pushed here, people shouldn't get married since there's a risk of hurting potential off-spring as a result of the marriage dissolving.

Leo said...

Actually you're right that marriage can very likely end in divorce. So why do we do it? Because we are human, and "being rational" would many times stand in the way of our happiness. Are you married GCT? In love at all? Do you plan on getting married? Seems to me that someone clinging to ration the way you do couldn't in good conscience do any of these things. Or are there things in your life that you know exist despite studies, and odds. A man enters into a marriage knowing odds are it won't last. But does he expect himself to fall to those odds? Nope.

You spend all your time here arguing that we cannot abandon logic for anything, but then do it in your own life many times a day. Logic is great, and even necessary in many circumstances, but without faith you would never enjoy your life. Faith that you will make it across the street without getting hit by a car. Faith that you won't be struck by lightning when you run from your house to your car or vice versa. Faith that when you admit you care for someone they aren't going to recompense you with ridicule. You are a man of faith, GCT. You've got chosen to not use it towards God.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Actually you're right that marriage can very likely end in divorce."

So, based on the above argument of risk reduction, one shouldn't get married.

"So why do we do it? Because we are human, and "being rational" would many times stand in the way of our happiness."

We also have sex because we are human. Claiming that we should only have sex for reproduction is denying our humanity.

"Are you married GCT? In love at all? Do you plan on getting married? Seems to me that someone clinging to ration the way you do couldn't in good conscience do any of these things."

And, you would be wrong.

"Or are there things in your life that you know exist despite studies, and odds."

No, there is nothing that I can know despite empirical evidence to the opposite. That you think your beliefs can trump empirical evidence is disturbing...and has nothing to do with whether one can feel love or other emotions or act on them.

"A man enters into a marriage knowing odds are it won't last. But does he expect himself to fall to those odds? Nope."

Superficially speaking, yes. But, remember, you're digging your own hole here, since it was Stephen's argument (one you seem to have taken up the mantle for) that we should avoid the risk of babies by not having sex. If we extend that argument to marriage, then we should avoid marrying due to the risk of divorce. You're shooting your own argument in the foot here.

"You spend all your time here arguing that we cannot abandon logic for anything, but then do it in your own life many times a day."

No, I never argued that. Stop putting words in my mouth.

"Logic is great, and even necessary in many circumstances, but without faith you would never enjoy your life."

Depends on what you mean by "faith," doesn't it? I don't need faith in a god to enjoy my life.

"Faith that you will make it across the street without getting hit by a car. Faith that you won't be struck by lightning when you run from your house to your car or vice versa. Faith that when you admit you care for someone they aren't going to recompense you with ridicule. You are a man of faith, GCT. You've got chosen to not use it towards God."

You're conflating the term faith with different definitions and doing a bait and switch. Faith that I won't get hit by a car is based on solid empirical evidence based on years and years of actual data and study. This type of "faith" is vastly different than the "faith" that you have in your belief towards god. So different, we should use different words. The faith you have towards god is not based on anything empirical or validly measured.

Also, if you feel fit to chastize me for not having faith in your god, what's to stop others from doing the same to you in regards to their god? How about leprechauns, unicorns, faeries, ghosts, goblins, etc? What about celestial teapots? There's a reason that we hold certain things to be true while others are strictly matters of faith. We hold it true that it's unlikely that one will get hit by a car so long as one follows the proper procedure of first checking that a car is on the road and approaching, because we have evidence that this is so. Without evidence for god, the two positions are not at all equal.

Finally, I'll note that you've tried to escape the actual argument at the end in an attempt to simply proselytize.

Leo said...

LOL, the only reason I'm here to argue ANYTHING is to proselytize. Do you think I honestly care about the alcohol in noodles, or signs on the side of buses? I'm here to convince you to not go to Hell. That's it. My only purpose on here. Everything else is gravy.

Leo said...

Also, I'm curious:

"No, I never argued that. Stop putting words in my mouth."

So what will you set aside logic for in your life? I'm curious.

GCT said...

"LOL, the only reason I'm here to argue ANYTHING is to proselytize."

What I mean is that the first thing you do is basically say, "Believe as I do."

I say, "Why."

You try to make up some reasons.

I say, "Those reasons all fail because of X, Y, and Z."

You say, "Believe as I do."

I say, "Why should I? All your reasons were faulty."

You say, "Believe as I do, just because you should."

That's what I'm pointing out.

"So what will you set aside logic for in your life? I'm curious."

I don't logically sit around and analyze everything in my day to day life. No one does. Regarding discussions such as this, however, we certainly should, and regarding what we believe we should. You should be able to logically answer why it is you believe in god. That's what we've been discussing. To extrapolate that to I make it a point to sit down and logically analyze everything is over-reaching.

GCT said...

BTW Leo, how do you know that what you are claiming is true? That if I believe as you do that I won't go to hell? How do you know that Allah isn't the one true god and that you aren't also on your way to hell?

Leo said...

Be a little intellectually honest here GCT. You know as well as I do that there's more evidence for the Christian God and Jesus Christ than there is for any other claimed deity.

Robert Madewell said...

What about Zoroaster, Leo? There's actually as much evidence for the existence of Zoroaster as there is for Jesus. There's even more evidence that Buddha existed. However, I don't think Zoroaster and Buddha are actually considered Gods in the same way as Jesus. So, maybe they don't count.

Just between us and the internet, I kinda accept that Jesus existed. Though he was just a man, and the legends grew after his death. Like any hero.

Leo said...

You are probably in the majority within your beliefs Robert. Most scholars deem it downright ignorant to deny Jesus existed at all.

ethinethin said...

Even if jesus really did exist, do you realize there is more reliable historical information about the prophet muhammad, swt?

I don't see how anyone could say there's more evidence for christianity than for islam, and I'm not kidding when I say that.

GCT said...

"Be a little intellectually honest here GCT. You know as well as I do that there's more evidence for the Christian God and Jesus Christ than there is for any other claimed deity."

I don't know that that's true at all. If you wish to make that claim, then I suggest you back it up. As others have pointed out, we have more evidence that Mohammed existed than Jesus did, and we certainly have very little evidence that even if Jesus existed that he said and/or did the things attributed to him in the Bible. We certainly don't have any evidence that Yahweh exists.

Leo said...

Mohammed didn't claim to be God. Even if he existed, his life was of no consequence to your salvation.

Robert Madewell said...

"Even if he (Muhammed) existed, his life was of no consequence to your salvation."

Millions of muslims would disagree with you there. Even though Muhammed didn't claim to be God or GOd's son, muslims still believe that Muhammed is essential to salvation. Now to my question. What makes you sure that they are wrong and you are right? IOW, what is the difference really?

ethinethin said...

This wasn't directed at me, but...
What makes you sure that they are wrong and you are right?

The obvious answer is the anthropological one: culture is learned. If this guy was born in a muslim culture, he would probably be claiming that islam is the only way to salvation, backed up by more evidence, etc.

It goes back to an earlier post of yours, Robert: theists don't realize they belong to only one of the thousands of virtually identical theistic religions that have existed in the last few millennia.

To the extremely delusional, when they hear god's voice, they know it's truly god, but when they're told someone of a different religion hears god's voice, it must be the devil (while the other person would make the exact same claim).

Anyway, that's my opinion. I'm sure Leo has some holy spirit to be spewing...

Leo said...

This has already been covered on this blog. Christianity is unique in many aspects.

ethinethin said...

No it hasn't. We asked you for evidence and you gave us a lot of waffle (since you "evidently" don't know what constitutes evidence).

Leo said...

Aside from Christianity, every other religion is a set of instructions on how to be good enough for God. Christianity is the ONLY religion that says, "You CANNOT be good enough for God." It's the only religion that has a Savior.

People want to believe that humans can be good on their own. That's why all other religions depend on the individual to obtain salvation, rather than dependence on a Savior, such as the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Robert Madewell said...

Leo said, "Aside from Christianity, every other religion is a set of instructions on how to be good enough for God. Christianity is the ONLY religion that says, "You CANNOT be good enough for God." It's the only religion that has a Savior."

But, isn't "asking Jesus into your heart" doing something good enough for God? Isn't that an initiation rite? Sounds like one to me.

Robert Madewell said...

"Robert: theists don't realize they belong to only one of the thousands of virtually identical theistic religions that have existed in the last few millennia."

I know! Boy, do I know. I keep repeating that because, maybe, someone will actually think about it. Maybe, someone will do a little research on their own and find this out like I did. Maybe, maybe not.

ethinethin said...

That's why all other religions depend on the individual to obtain salvation

As I pointed out last time, this is not true. You are willfully ignorant about other religions and I highly doubt you've ever read any religious text from a religion besides christianity.

ethinethin said...

I know! Boy, do I know. I keep repeating that because, maybe, someone will actually think about it.

Maybe it'd make a good comic. Two theists of different religions standing next to each other saying the exact same things about their own religion and the other person's religion.

Robert Madewell said...

ethinethin, look at this cartoon.

Leo said...

"But, isn't "asking Jesus into your heart" doing something good enough for God?"

That isn't a "work." No more than believing the Sun is hot is a work.

Ok, ethinethin, what other religion has a savior, and says that normal man cannot make it to Heaven on their own?

Time to put up or shut up.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Mohammed didn't claim to be God."

And, this makes it less true because?

"Even if he existed, his life was of no consequence to your salvation."

That's what you are trying to show. You can't simply assert it.

"Aside from Christianity, every other religion is a set of instructions on how to be good enough for God. Christianity is the ONLY religion that says, "You CANNOT be good enough for God." It's the only religion that has a Savior."

Obviously hateful rhetoric...but that's another discussion.

Leo, even if this were true, how does it make Xianity more likely than any other religion? Simply pointing out a unique feature of a religion doesn't make it true.

"That isn't a "work." No more than believing the Sun is hot is a work."

Do you think that belief is a choice?

Leo said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I've read this discussion on this blog before. We're speaking of "belief in" as "placing your assurance in," not as in "confidence of existence."

Let me save your keyboard from wearing out the "Z" anymore, and say it for you, "Can you belief in Zeus for a day?" I don't believe in his existence, but if I made no other plans for my salvation, and made Zeus my only plan, my only way of entering Heaven and avoiding eternal damnation, then yes, I would be believing on Zeus as my savior.

Of course, I would go to Hell because Zeus isn't real, but I would be putting my belief in Him.

Maybe I can explain it in another way. Let's say there's a roulette (sp?) table and they put a place on the table to bet that isn't really on the wheel. Even though you knew it would never come up, you could choose to put all your chips on that number. This would be "believing on" that number to win you money. Obviously it would be stupid, and you would lose all your money, but you could choose to put your trust in, or your belief on that number.

I hope this clears it up. Not sure I explained it any better than it's previously been said, but it's the best way I can think to put it.

Leo said...

*Can you believe, not belief.

GCT said...

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."

Then your own argument that belief is not a work is incorrect.

"Let me save your keyboard from wearing out the "Z" anymore, and say it for you, "Can you belief in Zeus for a day?" I don't believe in his existence, but if I made no other plans for my salvation, and made Zeus my only plan, my only way of entering Heaven and avoiding eternal damnation, then yes, I would be believing on Zeus as my savior.

Of course, I would go to Hell because Zeus isn't real, but I would be putting my belief in Him."

IOW, no you can't choose to believe in Zeus for a day.

"Maybe I can explain it in another way. Let's say there's a roulette (sp?) table and they put a place on the table to bet that isn't really on the wheel. Even though you knew it would never come up, you could choose to put all your chips on that number. This would be "believing on" that number to win you money."

No it wouldn't. The belief that you have in god, that god is real, exists, does stuff, etc. is something that you can't hold for Zeus, or for winning on a roulette spin that can not happen. You're verifying that with your words, your protests to the contrary. You can't decide to believe in Zeus for a day anymore than you can and did simply choose to believe in Yahweh. You simply do believe, there is no choice in it. You can choose to ignore all the counter evidence and continue in your irrational beliefs, but the beliefs themselves are not chosen.

Leo said...

Still you mistake the two kinds of belief. I've even mislead about it in my previous posts. You are correct to call that out.

However, I reiterate that my last post is the most accurate representation. The Bible says that even demons believe in Jesus as a man, and even as the son of God. The reason they are not saved by that belief is that it is "belief in" and not "belief on" Christ.

Leo said...

And the answer to your question was "Yes, I could believe in Zeus for a day" however I won't.

ethinethin said...

Ok, ethinethin, what other religion has a savior, and says that normal man cannot make it to Heaven on their own?

Time to put up or shut up.


I will now quote what you said earlier. The bold emphasis will be my own, however:

That's why all other religions depend on the individual to obtain salvation

Okay, Leo. It's quiz time. I'm going to ask you four things and I want you address each point. Don't quote half of this message in an attempt to keep your spin machine going.

1. Have you ever read a religious holy book besides the bible? I'm talking about books that other religious cultures hold sacred. I'm not talking about snippets of quotes taken out of context as quoted by christians (as previously pointed out to me by Stephen, I took a snippet of old testament mentioning of god doing a magic trick and tried to apply my biological knowledge to it, so it was out of context and clearly misinterpreted), such as christians mining quotes from the Koran making muslims seem radically violent when similar quotes could be taken out of context of the bible. I'm talking about sitting down and reading the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tipitaka, or any others.

2. Acknowledge that you recognize that the point in which you were incorrect in the above quoted text is that not all other religion necessarily require salvation -- there are several which have no life after death or where salvation is not required. Even in mormonism, a branch of christianity (no true scotsman coming up), salvation is not necessary during life to avoid eternity in hell. Please acknowledge your error as demonstrated, without moving the goalpost to support your view.

3. Even if your statement was true, which it is demonstrably not, why would this be considered evidence that christianity is the one true religion(tm)? You made the assertion that such a salvation mechanism is evidence that it is true. Back up this assertion. Examples: How do we know humans are not worthy to be in god's presence? Why would an omnipotent god create us imperfectly and then require an ad hoc salvation system? Why is this more plausible than religion X, Y, and Z?

4. Likewise, your brand of christianity is not the only one that uses the savior mechanism -- there are eastern orthodox, roman catholicism, anglicans, mormons, christian scientists, jehovah's witnesses, seventh day adventists -- all of these recognize that christ died for the sins of humanity like so much Spock (Wrath of Khan was more entertaining than the new testament). Wouldn't you consider most of the people in these "not true christians(tm) / cults" to be bound for hell?

Please, Leo, answer each of these points individually or I will assume you have conceded the unasnwered points to me. Indulge me, even if you feel like you've addressed them before (which you haven't).

You need to debate honestly.

I am tired of you ignoring statements that you cannot refute or moving the goalposts to continue "fighting the good fight" when you are refuted. Every time you do this, it reveals either your intellectual dishonesty, intellectual laziness, or both.

GCT said...

"Still you mistake the two kinds of belief...The reason they are not saved by that belief is that it is "belief in" and not "belief on" Christ."

Yay, we are making stuff up now.

"However, I reiterate that my last post is the most accurate representation. The Bible says that even demons believe in Jesus as a man, and even as the son of God."

Demons that come from the Xian mythology? I'm sure that they would. This, however, answers nothing.

"And the answer to your question was "Yes, I could believe in Zeus for a day" however I won't."

And, you went on to explain why you won't, which basically said that you won't because Zeus is not the one true god and that you can't not believe in your god. IOW, you can't believe in Zeus for a day.

Leo said...

ethinethin, you have way too much time on your hands. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go into detail about every "point" you brought up, but I will try to do the best I can with these last moments of my work day.

"1. Have you ever read a religious holy book besides the bible?"

I've read the Koran cover to cover. Others I own and have read large chunks, but no, not the entire book. I typically when researching a religion will go to the website of the headquarters of that particular sect and read (completely) their doctrinal stance. Typically they have it quoted with "scriptures" they use to come to those beliefs.

"2. Acknowledge that you recognize that the point in which you were incorrect in the above quoted text is that not all other religion necessarily require salvation"

Acknowledge that you recognize? Isn't that redundant? Anyway, I will concede that "all" was too large a statement. A vast majority do, but not all. BTW, Mormons rely on books outside the Bible as scripture which contradict the Bible directly, so no, they are not true Christians (tm) (c)

Being like Christ is a qualifier for being a Christian, and so the "no true Scotsman" argument really doesn't apply. If you said "They believe in God so they aren't a real atheist" I could not call you on the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, because not believing in God is a qualifier of being an atheist. This is a false argument in this type of discussion that gets thrown around by atheists way too much. They don't even understand it.

"3. Even if your statement was true, which it is demonstrably not, why would this be considered evidence that christianity is the one true religion(tm)?"

Because we have not ever seen a perfect person, even by the world's standards, so belief that an individual can obtain a state of perfection without an outside force (God) is irrational. (Props to GCT. He loves that word.)

"4. Likewise, your brand of christianity is not the only one that uses the savior mechanism -- there are eastern orthodox, roman catholicism, anglicans, mormons, christian scientists, jehovah's witnesses, seventh day adventists"

All of which are self-proclaimed christian faiths, no matter how misled on some aspects.

I may come back to this later if I have time.

----------------------------------
GCT - The point was that even beings that we know from the Bible could believe in, but not rely on Jesus.

"that you can't not believe in your god"

I never said that. I choose not to believe in another God, but certainly I could renounce my faith, quit living as a Christian, do what I want and put all my money on Zeus. Again, don't mistake "won't" for "can't."

ethinethin said...

ethinethin, you have way too much time on your hands. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go into detail about every "point" you brought up, but I will try to do the best I can with these last moments of my work day.

I appreciate you dedicating your limited time to something other than jesus worship, thank you. It is important for you to address each of the points, since far too often you only reply to a portion of a reply and then later claim ignorance of the other points, such as when you claimed you had already presented evidence, but did not apparently read our responses to it.

I've read the Koran cover to cover. Others I own and have read large chunks, but no, not the entire book. I typically when researching a religion will go to the website of the headquarters of that particular sect and read (completely) their doctrinal stance. Typically they have it quoted with "scriptures" they use to come to those beliefs.

I guess it is admirable that you have sought out information on the other religions, if you really have, but your previous statements still show a startling ignorance of religions outside of the big three.


Acknowledge that you recognize? Isn't that redundant?

I suppose so.

Anyway, I will concede that "all" was too large a statement. A vast majority do, but not all.

Doesn't this, then, contradict the point you were making? If the point was that christianity is the only religion that requires a godly catalyst for salvation beyond doing good works is evidence that christianity is the one true religion, that is. We've seen that salvation is not even part of the creed in many religions.

BTW, Mormons rely on books outside the Bible as scripture which contradict the Bible directly, so no, they are not true Christians (tm) (c)

Being like Christ is a qualifier for being a Christian, and so the "no true Scotsman" argument really doesn't apply. If you said "They believe in God so they aren't a real atheist" I could not call you on the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, because not believing in God is a qualifier of being an atheist. This is a false argument in this type of discussion that gets thrown around by atheists way too much. They don't even understand it.


I understand the fallacy and when it shouldn't be applied -- I made a post on GCT's blog awhile back and declared someone wasn't a scientist or something, which I preemptively defended -- since the example in question did not follow the scientific method. It was not redefinition.

Many mormons believe themselves to be like christ. They follow the teachings of christ and supplement the gospel with their own (obviously fabricated) books. Though there are millions of them. To declare they are not christians is redefining what it means to be a christian. You're narrowing it further and further down.

However that was not the point. The point was that they are a religion where belief in christ during life is not necessary for salvation. In fact, to them, acceptance of christ can come thousands of years after death to the worst people who ever lived. The reason I pointed this out is that it's simply another example that contradicts your point of evidence that christianity is the one true religion that's a little closer to home than the buddhists.

ethinethin said...

Because we have not ever seen a perfect person, even by the world's standards, so belief that an individual can obtain a state of perfection without an outside force (God) is irrational. (Props to GCT. He loves that word.)

And perhaps it's irrational to believe that a perfect person can exist even with an outside force. Even the state of perfection is highly subjective. In everything, there can be imperfection (even at the molecular level). Biology shows us, for example, that imperfect cell replication can lead to variation (which can be beneficial or harmful).

To express this as simply as possibe, there is no reason to assume that there is any state of perfection attainable for humans. Sure, christianity tells a good story about one way we could achieve it (and other religions tell other ways), but your original assertion is unsupported by this statement.

All of which are self-proclaimed christian faiths, no matter how misled on some aspects.

Exactly my point, as they are seen as different religions and have different doctrines on salvation, hell, heaven, etc.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Because we have not ever seen a perfect person, even by the world's standards, so belief that an individual can obtain a state of perfection without an outside force (God) is irrational. (Props to GCT. He loves that word.)"

You seem to have trouble with the concept of evidence. You claim that your religion is the true one because it claims that you have to rely on god for salvation. As evidence of this you are claiming that no one is perfect? How does that constitute evidence for your claim that Xianity is true? Bear in mind that you have to have a logical connection between the two in order to claim that evidence is being provided. What it looks like is this:

1. No one is perfect
2. Xianity claims no is perfect
3. Therefore, god exists and Xianity is the true religion.

Yet, there's no reason to go from 2 to 3, because many religions and non-religious readily recognize both 1 and 2. This, in no way, leads inexoribly to the idea that god exists or that Xianity is the only way to get to a salvation that may or may not exist.

"GCT - The point was that even beings that we know from the Bible could believe in, but not rely on Jesus."

It's very possible that one can believe that Jesus existed, was the son of god, and not follow him, but so what? What does this prove? It has nothing to do with whether belief is a choice or not.

"I never said that. I choose not to believe in another God, but certainly I could renounce my faith, quit living as a Christian, do what I want and put all my money on Zeus. Again, don't mistake "won't" for "can't.""

I believe you are the one who is confusing things. You claimed that you could choose to believe in Zeus for a day, and then gave me a whole lot of excuses for why you couldn't.

ethinethin said...

It seems like Leo bent over backward to express that belief is a choice. It's either extreme stupidity or extreme dishonesty.

Leo, if you went to the zoo and saw the elephants, and someone said they were kittens (small, light, fluffy, cute and playful), is there any way (besides deluding yourself to the point of psychological disorder) into believing they are kittens?

This is how christianity is to me. I see the elephant of the universe and christians are trying to tell me it's a kitten.

Robert Madewell said...

Ethinethin, I like that analogy.

Leo said...

You still missed the point ethin. This is the most ridiculous straw man, and it's not even the creationists using it. One last attempt at an analogy you can understand:

When I say "Do you believe in the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl this year," am I asking if you believe they exist? No. Same thing as asking someone to believe in Jesus. Not asking for belief of existence, but placing your faith in Him.

ethinethin said...

But it isn't a strawman because I literally don't believe that Jesus (as the son of god) existed and I literally do not believe that he continues to exist.

There's simply no convincing, reliable, corroborating evidence that he existed and continues to exist.

Scholars may assert that the character is based on a real man who really lived, but that is far from convincing evidence that he was the son of god and that the stories of the gospel are true.

GCT said...

Leo,
You're missing the point here.

You can't simply re-define the word "believe" and expect us to go along with it. You also can't simply act as if this solves your dilemmas, because it doesn't (and yes, they are plural).

Leo said...

"re-define the word "believe""

I am not re-defining anything.

From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: be·lief
Pronunciation: \bə-ˈlēf\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe
Date: 12th century
1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2 : something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

GCT said...

Right, as in if you said something and I claimed that I "believe" you. This is not what you are trying to make it out to be in the case of belief in jesus/god/Zeus. Your argument consists of claiming that we believe jesus exists, but think he's a liar...or that you can believe Zeus exists if you want but it would conflict with your belief that Jesus exists and that he's telling you the truth when he tells you that Zeus doesn't exist at your dinner parties, so you wouldn't believe that Zeus exists or is telling the truth. Either way, "placing your faith" in Jesus is not what is meant by the definition you've given from MW (even though MW is very religious oriented).

And, I'll note once again that you're ignoring the dilemmas/problems that are brought up by this and refusing to address them.

ethinethin said...

How am I supposed to believe on something I don't believe in, Leo?

You're drawing from one of the dictionary definitions of "believe" to try and negate our points, but arguing semantics has simply exposed a new contradiction.

It's very unlikely that jesus exists. I have never seen any evidence, as I have pointed out to you a half a dozen times. Knowing this, how am I supposed to turn around and "believe on" him?

Leo said...

"even though MW is very religious oriented"

Ah yes, the conspiracy continues. Watch out for black helicopters.

ethinethin said...

Leo, how come you pick one thing out of our posts and reply to that, instead of the points we bring up?

Is it because you cannot possibly address every point we raise and reconcile it with your faith? That would essentially be dishonesty on your part.

I mentioned this in another post. Why should we listen to your "witnessing" when you don't even present your views in an honest manner? Why are you even here when all you do is damage your side?

GCT said...

"Ah yes, the conspiracy continues. Watch out for black helicopters."

Um, check out who runs/owns it...

And, besides, note that it still supports my contention and not your's. So, no one is talking about black helicopters or conspiracies...and I thought you said you were an expert at understanding English?

Leo said...

Most of your points are unfounded, and therefore I ignore them. I reply to those I find the most ridiculous.

GCT said...

You mean the parts where we've pointed out that your theology is inconsistent, full of holes, and contradictory? Yeah, I do have to admit though that it is pretty ridiculous of us to respond. It's ridiculous that we have to respond to such obvious inanity.

ethinethin said...

Leo, you're a clown. I feel sorry for the people who look up to you.

Leo said...

People look up to me?

ethinethin said...

Didn't you say you were a pastor? Or was that another lie?

Leo said...

I said I was a minister. I am not a pastor.

ethinethin said...

Oh, right. Whatever (means the same thing to me). So the people of your congregation don't look up to you, then?

Leo said...

I hope not. I'm as fallible a man as anyone. I hope they trust in God and His Word. I just remind them what it says.

btw, ministers have many different duties. Not all ministers are preachers, and not all preachers are pastors.

ethinethin said...

So, fuck, what you're saying is they look down on you? They pity you and hold you as an example, for their children, of how not to act? This is my hope, of course, but we both know this isn't true.

Leo said...

There is such thing as neither looking up to, or down on, another person. Sorry you haven't had this experience in life.

ethinethin said...

Not with people in leadership positions. That's why they call them leadership positions, you dishonest scumbag.

Leo said...

Church organization works very much this way. A pastor is not someone of a higher stature in any way. Neither is he someone of a lower stature. God is "not a respector of persons" and therefore, we are all to view one another as equals. Some are called to particular ministries, and others may be called to serve quietly in another capacity. However, both parties are equal "joint heirs" of salvation by grace. No "totem pole" mentality as you find in secular organizations.

Don't accuse people of dishonesty just because you don't understand their position.

ethinethin said...

So you would then consider yourself a role-model to no-one?

Leo said...

To my son, yes. However, I'd hope that those in the church would use Jesus as their role-model. Man will just let you down.

ethinethin said...

Then:

Leo, you're a clown. I feel sorry for your son.

Leo said...

Another shining example of the "moral atheist."

GCT said...

Because the abuse you throw our way isn't a shining example of the moral Xian?

ethinethin said...

Leo said...
Most of your points are unfounded, and therefore I ignore them. I reply to those I find the most ridiculous.

Leo said...
Another shining example of the "moral atheist."

Leo, why are you still here? Who do you think you're reaching with your haughty and dishonest arguments? Do you honestly believe you're converting anyone?

Michael Mock said...

Having just read through this entire comments thread (clearly I have too much time on my hands), I am now very confused.

Leo said: "Christianity is unique in many aspects."

Was this meant to answer the question about why a disinterested observer should consider Christian beliefs more valid than those of any other religion? If so, I'm really not seeing the connection. Yes, Christianity is different from other religions. So what?

Leo later said: "Because we have not ever seen a perfect person, even by the world's standards, so belief that an individual can obtain a state of perfection without an outside force (God) is irrational."

I'm now confused by the apparent connection between salvation and perfection. I'm assuming that this wasn't meant to imply that one needs to be perfect in order to be saved... was it? What was your point here? I seem to be missing it.

Leo said...

Screw you guys, I'm goin' home.

Leo said...

Just for the record, I see that there is someone enjoying using my name and making posts that make no sense.

GCT said...

Leo,
If that is the case (and I'm not convinced that it is) then I'm sorry that someone is doing that, because apart from the fact that you don't need help looking foolish, it's wrong to intentionally put words in someone else's mouth.

So, if someone is doing this, I'm asking that person to stop.

Michael Mock said...

Seconded. Impersonating someone else is not cool and not helpful, so if anyone is doing so, please stop now.