Friday, September 11, 2009

Yet Another Depiction of Hell

Here's a new typical depiction of Hell from The Truth for Youth.

Click on photo to read the actual comic at their website.

Again, is this necessary? Do you need to scare the ***t out of someone needlessly to get him/her to conform?

204 comments:

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Robert Madewell said...

This story is actually the personal testimony of Tim Todd.

One of the things I think is funny is that the youthful depiction of Todd (the boy in hell) is blonde and later in the story he is depicted as an adult and he's now a brunette! Hmmm. Hair color for men, maybe.

There was a time when I was actually up for a paid position at a certain church I was attending. I was turned down for the position because I didn't have a testimony. WTH? I really didn't understand what they meant by that at first. Then I realized and I was horrified. The reason I was turned down for the job was because I had not been bad enough. I didn't have a story about being a drunk and doing drugs and banging bunches of hoes. Instead my story was that my Dad is a minister and I was saved at age 12 or so. That's it. Because I was raised as a christian and lived a fairly uneventful life, I was turned down. Wow!

Now before you guys get a "that's it" moment, I was still a christian for about 10 years after that. That's not what made me an atheist. However, it sure was an eye-opener.

It does seem that the "best" ministers always have some kind of "I was bad" story.

Stephen said...

"The reason I was turned down for the job was because I had not been bad enough."

It's possible these folks felt that way, but is that what they said? I've heard of similar situations, but usually because a person really didn't seem to grasp the gravity of their salvation, and therefore had a very lackluster explanation of it. Not an excuse to hold them back from serving the Lord in some capacity. I'm not really for paying positions in a church, with the exception of the pastor, and even that should be not too much.

It took quite some time before I really think I understood that I was sincerely on my way to Hell without Jesus. I knew the words to say, but hadn't truly felt that conviction for my past sins, or the true gratitude that Jesus deserves for paying my sin debt.

I, like you Robert, never did drugs, drank a bit but not in excess, and wasn't really an awful person in any way. I had friends from school who got in church and got saved later in life, and because they had done worse things, they better understood the difference. I guess you could say the "new creature" was much more different from the old.

Robert Madewell said...

Stephen, it just seems to me that so called "testimonies" are just really pissing contests to see who has been the baddest and that Jesus has brought the farthest.

I was the most qualified for the position. The guy that they hired quit after a few months. By that time, I was attending another church, which turned out for the best anyways. Things probably would have turned out quite different if I had a tattoo or two (The guy that was hired had plenty.)

LOL! If I was to re-convert they'd probably hire me because I could say "I was an atheist!" Fat chance.

As a matter of fact, Lee Strobel has a video about second generation christians and testimonies. Very interesting.

Stephen said...

There's a great man of God who has quite a testimony (Greg Locke). You should listen to him tell about it on sermonaudio.com. The interesting part is where he talks about how his testimony is not something others should revere in any way. Very much along the lines of what we're talking about.

Temaskian said...

I was going to say that yes, hell is necessary for some folks to toe the line. Although it's outdated. The modern methods would be seduction of young minds through music... and glossy bibles.

But then I read your comment, and you reminded me of what I felt when I was a Christian. I wished I had a "bad" testimony too! I too, had the feeling that my testimony was not bad enough, not spectacular enough. It's a wierd world, the world of churchianity.

Robert Madewell said...

I don't know Stephen, I can hardly grimace through 5 mins of sermon anymore. I'll think about it.

Did you notice that I actually link to a minister on Sermonaudio? Look on my sidebar under podcasts. Download him! I'd like to see my dad on the top downloaded sermons at that site. Wouldn't that be cool?

Robert Madewell said...

Isn't that weird, Tamaskian, that a religion that reveres a "holy", chaste, and temperate life should hold the worst past behaviour in high regard? Sounds like some more inspiration for a blog post.

Temaskian said...

Exactly what I was thinking. ;-P

Robert Madewell said...

Stephen, could you paste a url to that particular sermon for me? Locke has 134 sermons. I have no idea which one you want me to listen to.

I looked for the Lee Strobel video I mentioned and I wasn't finding it. Sorry.

Stephen said...

I thought it was just titled "My Testimony" but I can't seem to find it right now. I did find this one: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=57091452431 that I found extremely interesting. It gets into the difference between Levitical Law and the Ten Commandments Moses got. Very specific. Not "preachy."

Stephen said...

Did you know about this Robert: http://pulltheplugonatheism.com/art15.shtml

Just found it while searching for info about your father.

BTW, your front page doesn't load very fast, even on my high speed connection. Something makes it hang.

Robert Madewell said...

Yes, Stephen I did know about that. Ray even quotes me (but doesn't credit me) in the Lead an Atheist book. Ray doesn't get it and making fun of my name wasn't classy at all. Though, he probably thought it was an internet handle, I do used my real name. I was just calling him out on a blanket statement he made about all atheists.

Stephen said...

I don't think his goal was to poke fun at your name. He was pointing out the irony that someone who doesn't realize he was "made" has the name "made well"

Robert Madewell said...

Ha Ha Ha, yeah like I've never heard that kind of joke before!

Ray still doesn't get it. Just because something caused/made the universe doesn't mean that something must be a 'who'. It could as easily be a 'what'. I don't know enough to say one way or another and I certainly don't know enough to say that nothing made everything. That was my point. Ray took one sentence out of a 500 word comment, wrote a whole article based on it, and didn't address anything else I commented about. Have you noticed that I don't comment on Ray's blog anymore?

There's one thing I do respect Ray Comfort for. He allows (somewhat) open comments on his blog. It's rare to find a christian blogger that allows comments at all (look at Ken Ham's blog and Prophetic Observer). Let alone a christian blogger that won't delete any comment he disagrees with (Kirby's Serv da Lerd). Ray's (and Eric Hovind's) rule about capitalization is silly to some, but tolerable.

Stephen said...

Robert, is there another blogroll module that doesn't scroll that might now slow down your page so much? It's locked my browser up twice.

ethinethin said...

It's a sign from god, don't hang out with those dirty atheists (or spend your tithe money on a newer computer).

Grace said...

Robert,

I don't think people need to be scared into the kingdom. This certainly wasn't the case for me.

IMO, it is often the outwardly moral, and righteous folks who need God even more than those who are down, and out, involved in some socially unacceptable sin.

God meets us where we're at.

Before coming to faith, I was a much less sensitive, and compassionate person. I judged that if I were able to pull myself up by my own bootstraps, so to speak, why couldn't everyone else.

When I realized the truth of my own brokenness as well, and the deep love of God in Christ, the intrinsic worth of all of us, I became more open to others at the sametime.

My faith has been a huge motivator for me to go into the human service field, and to work as a counselor/social worker. I want to make a postive difference in the world.

ethinethin said...

Grace,

Why do christians so often use the doctrine of hell to spread their message if it is not vital to their message?

Robert Madewell said...

I've had problems with my blog restarting my DSL router for some reason. Maybe it's doing that to you. I think I may have solved the problem. I don't think it was the blogroll, I removed the archive and it hasn't restarted my router since. I have no idea why that should have made a difference, but I think it did.

Robert Madewell said...

Grace, what Ethinethin said.

That's been my question all along.

Stephen said...

I would say it IS vital to the message. It's not the primary reason you should be saved, but absolutely is A reason.

I mean, if you believe God sent his only begotten son to die for you, shouldn't you DESIRE to live for Him? Isn't that the least you could do? I wish the "threat" of Hell wasn't necessary for anyone to come to Jesus, but for some reason, some people need that kind of motivation.

Similar to how I wouldn't kill someone because it's wrong and morally reprehensible. Some folks out there would do it, but are afraid of jail.

Robert Madewell said...

"I wish the 'threat' of Hell wasn't necessary for anyone to come to Jesus, but for some reason, some people need that kind of motivation."

And other people find the Threat of Hell to be hideously brutal and atrocious. To me, The Threat of Hell is an unofficial proof against the bible being inspired by God. Because, The Threat of Hell is exactly something that humans would come up with to use to control other people and to force them emotionally to conform. The Threat of Hell is most certainly used that way.

So if God is real and everybody should know it, why would it be necessary to use The Threat of Hell?

If The Threat of Hell is necessary to keep people from murdering each other, it's plainly not working. Just like The Threat of Jail isn't keeping gangsters from capping each other off.

Stephen said...

"The Threat of Hell is exactly something that humans would come up with to use to control other people and to force them emotionally to conform."

Why do you think that I, who have used the "threat" (really a statement of fact) would do so on here. How would that be useful to me if my desire was to control people. If you got saved and went to church where you are, how would that benefit me in any way here halfway across the country? I want you to get saved to help YOU. I would gain nothing by it. It actually has just caused me to be ostracized and disliked here.

Robert Madewell said...

Well Stephen, I'm not talking sbout you specifically. However, if I was to "get saved" and join a local church, would I not be expected to change my beliefs somehow and conform to how the other church members act? Of course! Me conforming would benefit the church I was attending because I'd shell out 10% of my earnings. Of course, they want me to conform and they'll use the threat of Hell and the fear of death to get it.

It's all about conformity. Everybody must believe alike, dress alike, act alike, and talk alike. All religion is like that, including yours.

It goes so far that some religious people are actually offended when someone doesn't talk like them, dess like them, believe like them or act like them. That's when I say they need to 'Get over it!".

Grace said...

Ethinethin, and Robert,

All Christians are not the same.

Before coming to Christ, I think a person does need to have a certain awarenesss of their own fallenness, brokenness, how we are alienated from God, and from each other. We can't fix ourselves by ourselves.

Of course, Christians believe there is a paradox here, we are also fearfully, and wonderfully made, so to speak, in the image, and likeness of God.. A blessing!!

But, I think for people to come to faith, or to present the "good news," simply as a fire escape reflects to me a spiritual immaturity, and lack of discernment.

I feel it also shows a certain lack of trust in God, as if He can't reach people with His love. They have to be "scared straight."

For some, it is also probably about control.

My opinion, guys..As I say, not all Christians will agree.

Stephen said...

Robert, you have a horribly jaded view of Christianity. I do go to a very conservative, old-school type church. However, there are people saved and going to Heaven who go to very contemporary churches with a different style of dress, different musical styles, instrumentation, a more polished pastor who is a flawless public speaker, etc.

I do not expect you to conform to my exact style of church, dress, etc. People do change, but it's not because of the other people at the church usually. It typically is out of their own convictions once they've realized they live to serve their Creator. Obviously there will be some similarities because we all get our beliefs and morals from the same God, and the same book.

Robert, I honestly would only want you to get saved so you don't spend eternity in Hell. What you do once saved is between you and God. I believe you'd want to change some things about your life, but as I said it's up to you. That's why the Bible says to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Robert Madewell said...

Stephen, here is a link to a local to me bible college's student handbook. Read through that and then tell me that they aren't putting an emphasis on conformity. The college controls every facet of the students life including the type of church that the student can attend.

http://www.bbc.edu/docs/2009Student_Handbook.pdf

I stand by my statement. It's all about conformity. I know that not all christian believe the same, but when someone join a church or is saved they are expected to conform to a varying degree.

Temaskian said...

Stephen,

I think the changes that a person would want to make to one's life would happen regardless of whether he's christian or an atheist. In a sense it's all part of 'growing up'.

Changing to 'please God' is just a convenient reason.

GCT said...

Grace,
"My opinion, guys..As I say, not all Christians will agree."

Undeed, they don't. So, how do you tell which stance is correct? How do I tell which is correct?

GCT said...

Stephen,
At the risk of upsetting you further, you know, because I might conform to your biases somehow without meaning to...

"People do change, but it's not because of the other people at the church usually. It typically is out of their own convictions once they've realized they live to serve their Creator."

This is not borne out by the evidence. Xians do not lead more moral lives than non-Xians on the average.

"Robert, I honestly would only want you to get saved so you don't spend eternity in Hell. What you do once saved is between you and God."

Really? This seems like a tacit admission that god is not interested in whether we behave morally or not, just whether we believe the correct thing. It seems that god is more concerned with policing thought crime than with how we actually live our lives.

"I mean, if you believe God sent his only begotten son to die for you, shouldn't you DESIRE to live for Him? Isn't that the least you could do?"

To paraphrase Monty Python, "I didn't vote for him." Why should I revere a god that slates me for hell through no fault of my own and then puts his son through some meaningless theatrics in order to do what he should have the common decency (morality) to do in the first place? Why would I want anything to do with such an evil and convoluted god?

Stephen said...

"Really? This seems like a tacit admission that god is not interested in whether we behave morally or not, just whether we believe the correct thing. It seems that god is more concerned with policing thought crime than with how we actually live our lives."

I didn't say God wasn't interested. I said I wasn't concerned about it. God will make a change in your life. However, I'm saying that it falls under God's part of the job and not mine. Mine is to spread the gospel, and introduce folks to Christ. What they do from there on, is a mix of theirs and God's responsibility.

And God did not slate you for Hell through no fault of your own. He made the rules, they've existed for many centuries, and you've broken them. It doesn't matter if you voted for the president or not. If he makes a law, and you break it, you will face the punishment. After all, whether you voted for him or not, he's still the president, and his say matters more than yours.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"I didn't say God wasn't interested. I said I wasn't concerned about it."

You aren't concerned about it? I find that hard to believe.

"God will make a change in your life."

Oh he will? Doesn't that violate the free will that he supposedly holds sacrosanct?

"However, I'm saying that it falls under God's part of the job and not mine."

Considering that you can't force others to be moral, this is probably a good stance in some ways.

"Mine is to spread the gospel, and introduce folks to Christ."

How is that your job though? When someone introduced you to christ, did that become your job? If so, isn't the counter to what you stated above?

"And God did not slate you for Hell through no fault of your own."

Oh really? Am I responsible for original sin? Yet, I was born with it. Am I responsible for being born human and unable to go through life without breaking any rules? The moment I was conceived I was slated for hell until and unless god decides to step in and "save" me (why else call it "saving?") In god's court, we are guilty until given leniency from the judge.

"He made the rules, they've existed for many centuries, and you've broken them."

Which rules have I broken please, and why does it matter so much that I deserve eternal torment/torture in hell? Does might make right? Why does god get to set up immoral laws and codes and then enforce them?

"It doesn't matter if you voted for the president or not. If he makes a law, and you break it, you will face the punishment."

The President doesn't make laws, Congress does, but I see what you are getting at. The problem is that all this is happening in our names without any of us getting a say-so. The analogy fails because I live in a society where I do get a say-so, and even though sometimes things don't go my way, I still can vote. god's system is a totalitarian one where no one gets a vote.

"After all, whether you voted for him or not, he's still the president, and his say matters more than yours."

Practically, yes, but again, this doesn't match god's system at all. god is a tyrant that demands that everyone follow his way or he literally tortures you for eternity. This is less like a democracy and more like a dictatorship.

Stephen said...

You are correct that it's not a democracy, and is a dictatorship. I doubt many Christians would argue with that fact.

About your first point, When I say it doesn't concern me, I mean it. If you get saved, I can tell you now that you will want to change. Never met someone who didn't. As a matter of fact, that conviction usually CAUSES them to desire salvation.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"You are correct that it's not a democracy, and is a dictatorship. I doubt many Christians would argue with that fact."

Then why do you feel that it is morally justified? Do you think that any other dictatorship is justified?

"About your first point, When I say it doesn't concern me, I mean it. If you get saved, I can tell you now that you will want to change. Never met someone who didn't. As a matter of fact, that conviction usually CAUSES them to desire salvation."

Please clarify:

People want to change after they are saved or before? What causes this want to change? What evidence do you have for this change, considering that we don't see Xians being any more moral on the average than any other group?

Stephen said...

I obviously can only speak for what I have seen personally. I haven't done any study on national morality, and it's hard to imagine either side would do an unbiased study themselves.

In my church, I have only seen 2 people in my entire time there who I would say didn't have a change in their life, but those same people appeared to me to have been pressured into "converting" so I'm not sure they honestly, in their heart, accepted Jesus. They could have, but only they and God know that. Not my place to judge their salvation.

From my own experience, and that of other Christians I've spoken with over the years, I can tell you this much. Typically, what causes someone to get saved is when it actually dawns on them that A) they have a creator and B) they have been living in a way that does not honor that creator in any way. They desire to change, and realize that it's only with the power of God in their life they are going to be able to do so. I'm sure you will argue this point, but from my own experience, I can say that I tried changing certain things in my life many times to no avail, but with Christ in my life, I actually was able to let those things go and it didn't even seem that difficult.

Once a person has realized the two things I've mentioned, they "get saved," and then typically have a desire to dig into God's word so they can learn more about God, and how he wants them to live. So they begin to change based on that new knowledge.

About your question, "Do you think that any other dictatorship is justified?" Yes I do. My home is a dictatorship in a way. My wife and I are the dictators, and our children are expected to obey the rules we have set. As for dictator driven governments, I don't consider that the same thing, simply because the dictator wasn't born with God-given authority over the people he governs. God is our creator, which is a much different relationship than a governmental one.

GCT said...

"I obviously can only speak for what I have seen personally. I haven't done any study on national morality, and it's hard to imagine either side would do an unbiased study themselves."

And do you think your personal anecdotes aren't biased?

"In my church, I have only seen 2 people in my entire time there who I would say didn't have a change in their life, but those same people appeared to me to have been pressured into "converting" so I'm not sure they honestly, in their heart, accepted Jesus."

So, are you saying that everyone in your church is a very moral person, more moral than the average atheist (or any atheist - minus the 2 that you mentioned)?

"Typically, what causes someone to get saved is when it actually dawns on them that A) they have a creator and B) they have been living in a way that does not honor that creator in any way. They desire to change, and realize that it's only with the power of God in their life they are going to be able to do so."

It's amazing how people can change when they really want to. They have the power, they do it, but then they give the credit to god. That's rather sad, actually.

"About your question, "Do you think that any other dictatorship is justified?" Yes I do. My home is a dictatorship in a way. My wife and I are the dictators, and our children are expected to obey the rules we have set."

And, I would assume that your rules are set up so that your children learn things, like responsibility, how to live on their own, etc. god's dictatorship is set up in a punitive sense, that we either submit and obey or we be tortured. I'm sure you don't cast your children out for eating the last cookie when you told them not to, or torture them (for any length of time, let alone eternity) for not making their bed. In that sense, your house is not a dictatorship.

"...the dictator wasn't born with God-given authority over the people he governs. God is our creator, which is a much different relationship than a governmental one."

I disagree with what you seem to be implying here. god does not have carte blanche to do with us as he wills. He is not justified to torture us simply because he is god. As I implied in a previous comment, might does not make right. god, by creating us, has taken on a moral responsibility to us, much as a parent takes on a moral responsibility to their child. We find it reprehensible if a parent mistreats his/her child, so why turn a blind eye to a god that mistreats humans? It's inconsistent and doesn't make moral sense.

Grace said...

GCT,

You have an obviously intelligent, thinking mind. Study the synoptic gospels, and early church history. Modern day fundamentalism is a fairly recent development in church history.

God will honor your sincere questioning, and will show you truth, GCT. Jesus says that whoever searches for truth will find it.

I want to hasten to say that even Scripture states, "That we see through a glass darkly, and only know in part.."

No one has absolute knowledge, and can supply every answer out there. I think it reflects intellectual arrogance to suppose that we can.

Faith will not become absolute empirical sight in this life, GCT. But, it's certainly more than an irrational leap into the dark.

Have you read any stuff by NT Wright, an Anglican bishop, and scholar?

Stephen said...

"And do you think your personal anecdotes aren't biased?"

I never said that. Of course they are.

"So, are you saying that everyone in your church is a very moral person,"

Yes I am.

"more moral than the average atheist (or any atheist - minus the 2 that you mentioned)?"

Than the average? I would say yes, but again, I can only speak from personal experience. I only know about 4 people personally that would claim to be atheist (and one is really an agnostic I believe) so I can only judge based on that. Although from online experiences, I'd still say yes.

"They have the power, they do it, but then they give the credit to god."

Do you not think I would have much rather kept the credit, and gone on living without a care in the world about what the Bible says? Certainly there have been sacrifices because of my faith, but I definitely traded up.

As far as whether or not my house is a dictatorship, I'm sure we'll never agree, but yes I do punish my children when they disobey, and if they rejected me as an aware adult enough times, I'd eventually let them out from under my protective wings.

I would say two things about your last point. First off, yes, God does have free reign to do with us as he wishes. Who imposes obligation on him? If He is the almighty creator, designer of morals, ethics, etc, who is to tell him what is right or wrong? There is no authority above him. You cannot impose human morals on a supernatural God.

In addition to that, let me say that I think God does treat us morally. The "eternal torture" you bring up so often is not his intention for you. He has given you enough evidence (even if you don't find it testable) and messengers such as myself to tell you how to avoid Hell. If you choose to reject either, or both of these things, then you are choosing Hell for yourself. If you don't believe that's moral, then I refer you to the above paragraph.

Remember, as I said in another thread (or maybe it was this one, I'm too lazy to look), What goal could I have for being here aside from truly loving you and not wanting you to go to Hell. It's not like if you convert then I'm out of my responsibility because there are still millions who need the gospel. It's not like I'm popular here, and am tickling your ears to gain some applause. Heck, there's not even another Christian on here who is loving each statement I make. I am here only in the desire to see you, and the other atheists, agnostics, etc. here accept God, and reap the benefits thereof, not the least of which is avoidance of eternal damnation.

ethinethin said...

I do punish my children when they disobey

Is this punishment permanent and irreversible? No.

GCT said...

Grace,
"You have an obviously intelligent, thinking mind."

Thank you, although I think you're the only Xian here who thinks so.

"Modern day fundamentalism is a fairly recent development in church history."

That depends on what you mean by "fundamentalism." Certainly pieces of it are not recent (like adherence to literal interpretations of the Bible or zealous - to the point of violence - support for Xianity). I would say that peaceful co-existence is a new thing for Xianity.

"God will honor your sincere questioning, and will show you truth, GCT. Jesus says that whoever searches for truth will find it."

Well, as I have said before, god knows what it would take to convince me, so if he exists and wants me to believe, he knows what to do.

"I want to hasten to say that even Scripture states, "That we see through a glass darkly, and only know in part.."

No one has absolute knowledge, and can supply every answer out there. I think it reflects intellectual arrogance to suppose that we can."

I agree. This, however, cuts both ways. We can't very well conclude that god is good, that he wants the best for us and simply dismiss all the bad things that happen, evil, natural evil, etc. as things that we don't fully understand. If we can't understand, then we can't proclaim that god is good.

"But, it's certainly more than an irrational leap into the dark."

No offense, but I disagree. Faith is the belief in things that are unevidenced, and therefore is irrational by definition.

"Have you read any stuff by NT Wright, an Anglican bishop, and scholar?"

I have read some things, although I couldn't tell you what. I've never read any of his books, only stuff I've seen online. Is there something in particular that you had in mind?

GCT said...

"Of course they are."

As long as you are aware of that.

"Yes I am."

I'm sure that people thought Ted Haggard was moral too.

"Than the average? I would say yes, but again, I can only speak from personal experience."

If that were true, one would expect a preponderance of morality in majority Xian countries, yet this is not what we see. Secular countries, like Northern European ones are just as moral if not more on the whole than the US.

"Do you not think I would have much rather kept the credit, and gone on living without a care in the world about what the Bible says?"

People do all kinds of things for what they believe and what they are conditioned and willing to accept.

"As far as whether or not my house is a dictatorship, I'm sure we'll never agree, but yes I do punish my children when they disobey..."

Again, the punishment is meant as a rehabilitation/learning tool, however, which is a far cry from using it for control and to enforce obedience.

"First off, yes, God does have free reign to do with us as he wishes..."

You've run head first into Euthyphro's dilemma. I suggest you look it up. In effect, what you are saying here is that god is not held to any moral standard, meaning that morality is not absolute and god can make up the rules as he goes along. Murder is only bad because god said it was bad, and if god changed his mind tomorrow, then it would be good.

"In addition to that, let me say that I think God does treat us morally."

I'm sure those who were killed in the flood would disagree. Those who are afflicted with malaria, dengue fever, ebola, etc. would probably disagree. It is simply not moral to threaten others with eternal hell fire.

"The "eternal torture" you bring up so often is not his intention for you."

Then it won't happen, because nothing can happen apart from god's plan, right? So, if anyone ends up in hell, it must have been god's plan from the start. Therefore, if anyone is in hell, then god did intend it.

"He has given you enough evidence (even if you don't find it testable) and messengers such as myself to tell you how to avoid Hell."

That's simply not so. god knows how much evidence I need and has not provided it, else I would believe.

"If you choose to reject either, or both of these things, then you are choosing Hell for yourself."

This makes no sense anyway. Why would god send me to hell for being unable to correctly interpret factual matters and not based on my character or moral fiber? Is this just? Would you find it equally just if god gave us all a math exam after death and those who fail go to hell?

"If you don't believe that's moral, then I refer you to the above paragraph."

I don't, and I don't see that might makes right. No matter how mighty god is, he has no right to treat us in an immoral fashion or to hold himself above moral behavior.

"What goal could I have for being here aside from truly loving you and not wanting you to go to Hell."

You'll probably not like this, but a big potential motivator is that you want the feeling of having others convinced by you or having others that believe as you do for self validation.

"I am here only in the desire to see you, and the other atheists, agnostics, etc. here accept God, and reap the benefits thereof, not the least of which is avoidance of eternal damnation."

That may very well be. You may be here solely out of concern for our well-being. The problem I have with this is that you aren't using the right approach. You need to learn your audience better. If you want us to believe, you should iron out the difficulties of your own position, like those mentioned above (why is god more concerned with belief than morality for instance) and also look for ways of providing actual evidence for the existence of this god and then why we should worship an entity that is a self-confessed genocidal deity.

Stephen said...

"Then it won't happen, because nothing can happen apart from god's plan, right?"

This is where I say, "He gives us free will, and we can reject following his plan" and then you say, "Omnimax blah blah blah." I've had this discussion before. If you reject the idea of free will, then yes, you will see God as immoral.

Also, it is possible to give someone sufficient proof of something and them still reject it. Sufficiency in this case is defined by the giver, not the receiver. I'm sure you feel there are people you have given sufficient proof of macro-evolution to that have rejected it still.

I will concede that you could be correct some folks may evangelize for some sort of validation. Quite honestly, I don't need it. Really to be a Christian is many times to turn down validation. I've conceded that my family will never fully accept me because of my beliefs. I would love to have some sort of validation from them, but I'm not getting it. I hate it, but not because I can't live without the validation. I hate it because they are plotting the same course you are, and will end up the same place if they don't come to repentance.

I agree that I do not speak to you in terms you require to believe, which is why you still don't believe. The problem here is that God sets the terms. You can meet him on his terms, or not. It's an individual choice.

I would like to stop for today with one last point: There is bad news, that you will right now see as good news probably. God says in the Bible that it's possible to reject Him to a point where he turns you over to a reprobate mind. Basically he'll stop presenting to you the gospel, and let you remain in that heart-hardened state. I don't know what the "magic number" is or how many times he'll try to bring you to Him that you'll refuse before he gives up. I do know that it would be a horrible thing as a young man to reject God so much you live your whole life without him. I imagine you'll stand at that great white throne of judgment and say, "I softened up with age, if only you would have kept knocking Lord I would have believed!" But as I heard a burdened preacher once say, "Jesus is a gentleman." He won't break down the door. He'll stand and knock, and at some point, if you refuse to answer, he'll move on. Don't miss out on your chance at forgiveness, righteousness, and a place in Heaven. I'm leaving. Maybe another will come in my place, maybe not. You've rejected one more chance at salvation.

ethinethin said...

But as I heard a burdened preacher once say, "Jesus is a gentleman." He won't break down the door. He'll stand and knock, and at some point, if you refuse to answer, he'll move on.

He won't move on before burning you in hell forever.

Grace said...

GCT, I've heard that his fairly recent book, "Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense," is quite good.

Also, I would like to know what everyone here thinks relating to the implication of the anthropic principle, and the existence of God?

Leo said...

Epinephrine, he was at the door with a ticket out of the fire. Don't blame him if you wouldn't take it.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"This is where I say, "He gives us free will, and we can reject following his plan" and then you say, "Omnimax blah blah blah.""

Free will is impossible, which I can show, but even if we did accept free will, it doens't help your argument. Our free will is able to upset god's plan? Then god is not omnimax or perfect. In order to save god, you've thrown out his supposed attributes. Also, why create hell if he doesn't intend for anyone to ever go there? It makes no sense.

"Also, it is possible to give someone sufficient proof of something and them still reject it."

Proof or evidence? I expect that you mean the latter.

"Sufficiency in this case is defined by the giver, not the receiver."

Not really. We could charge the recalcitrant receiver with being unreasonable, but it's still up to the receiver what is needed in order to believe.

"I'm sure you feel there are people you have given sufficient proof of macro-evolution to that have rejected it still."

And, that's apples and oranges. No one who is not completely ignorant can deny that we do have evidence that leads us to the conclusion that evolution is at least supported. The same can not be said of god. There is no evidence for god, because all attempts at producing evidence for god rely on logical fallacy (begging the question, circular logic, etc.) You can't rationally get there from here, and you can't provide evidence (a rational endeavor) for an irrational idea.

"I will concede that you could be correct some folks may evangelize for some sort of validation. Quite honestly, I don't need it."

Everyone needs validation.

"Really to be a Christian is many times to turn down validation."

That's strange to hear a Xian say, except for the fact that so many Xians have this notion that they are somehow looked down upon in our society, which is completely opposite of the truth. If anything, we have this blind and uncritical acceptance of Xianity = good.

"I hate it because they are plotting the same course you are, and will end up the same place if they don't come to repentance."

I'm sorry you feel that way about your family. And, not to be a dick, but it sounds like you don't accept them either.

"I agree that I do not speak to you in terms you require to believe, which is why you still don't believe. The problem here is that God sets the terms."

Which is backward and doesn't work. Why do god's plans tend to not work?

"You can meet him on his terms, or not. It's an individual choice."

You mean that I can meet him on his demands or I can be tortured for eternity. How loving.

"I do know that it would be a horrible thing as a young man to reject God so much you live your whole life without him."

You don't know that at all. You don't know that god exists, so how can you possibly know that it's horrible to live without a being that may or may not exist?

"I imagine you'll stand at that great white throne of judgment and say, "I softened up with age, if only you would have kept knocking Lord I would have believed!""

Actually, I would probably be really effing scared that the genocidal maniac was going to torture me for not having my facts right, as I pointed out in my last comment. I notice that you didn't even try to answer whether it is moral or not, or anything about the dilemma you put yourself in over divine command ethics. I would hope that I would have the courage to ask whether the Bible is true and then to condemn this god for all the terrible attrocities that it has committed.

"Don't miss out on your chance at forgiveness, righteousness, and a place in Heaven. I'm leaving. Maybe another will come in my place, maybe not. You've rejected one more chance at salvation."

Proselytizing. Why am I not surprised? You can't offer any evidence for god or any rational reason to believe, so you try to scare me into it? Shouldn't you also believe in Allah. If Allah is the one true god, then you are on the path to hell.

GCT said...

Leo,
Perhaps you'd be willing to tell us why god is more concerned with whether we correctly discern the factual matter of god's existence or non-existence than with whether we live moral lives or not.

GCT said...

Grace,
"GCT, I've heard that his fairly recent book, "Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense," is quite good."

But, you haven't read it? That seems dangerous, doesn't it?

"Also, I would like to know what everyone here thinks relating to the implication of the anthropic principle, and the existence of God?"

Nothing. The anthropic principle merely says that we are here, so the conditions that allow for us to be here must also exist. There's no need to invoke god. I don't think that's what you were getting at though, so perhaps you could clarify?

ethinethin said...

Actually the anthropic principle can be expressed in simpler terms: the laws of nature must be such that the universe can exist as it does.

It's not a very useful scientific principle (and has been credited with aiding only one scientific discovery; information here).

To me, it's more of a tautology: the universe exists, so the conditions of a universe existing must be true.

A lot of people try to dress it up as more than what it is (involving the existence of humans and the specific idea that if there were no humans to observe the universe, it would not exist) and bring god into it, but that stuff seems like a faulty premise to me.

Leo, Jesus was at the door giving me a ticket out of hell?

This is really silly, unless you're saying hell existed before god or something... that it is an area outside of his power, that the best he can do is offer salvation from it, rather than destroy it.

Well, it's not too silly. I've heard you christians blaming the devil for all the ills in the world, implying all the way that god is powerless to stop the devil.

I guess your religious beliefs, like all works of fiction, need to have some sort of conflict. Superman wouldn't be as interesting if he didn't have Lex Luthor to keep him in check.

Either way, I'm not convinced. The existence of hell (infinite punishment for finite crime) cannot logically be reconciled with a benevolent, loving god.

He's all powerful and all knowing, right? Wouldn't he find a way to give us free will without inflicting eternal punishment on those who do not come to him?

Leo said...

You obviously don't understand how much God hates wickedness.

ethinethin said...

God hates? You sound like Fred Phelps.

Robert Madewell said...

Speaking of Fred Phelps ...

He got it wrong! God doesn't hate fags. God hates figs!

And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19

Leo said...

Just one example for time's sake.

Romans 9:13

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

ethinethin said...

That's odd. Jacob wasn't a character of upstanding moral fiber (taking advantage of his brother and deceiving his father).

Of course I haven't heard the lengthy apologetic about how this behavior was moral in the eyes of the lord. Have at it, you crazy christian!

GCT said...

Leo,
"You obviously don't understand how much God hates wickedness."

Neither do you.

Not only can you not defend this stance (since you can't show that god does hate wickedness) it doesn't fit your story. Is it wicked to incorrectly interpret facts and believe that god does not exist? This is what god cares about, not wickedness. god cares more about whether you believe in him than whether you've acted morally.

Leo said...

"since you can't show that god does hate wickedness"

Really?

Psalm 7:11
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.


Then there's Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This says that we are created for the expressed purpose of good works. Not that this is what saves your soul from Hell, but this is your purpose while on this earth.

God does care about whether or not you believe the fact that his son died for your sins, and if you are a denier of that, he has no desire to spend eternity with you. I mean, can you imagine if your child died to save another and then those people completely denied that it happened, and claimed they were saved by their own actions and your son wasn't even there? Would you not be angry?

God does still care about good works. Many places in the bible it tells you to perform good works. It simply says that it is not those good works which determines your eternal home.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Psalm 7:11
God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day."

You're conflating terms here. What is described as "wickedness" in the Bible is not what we are referring to here. You're also taking the writings of man which may or may not (you don't know) accurately describe what god really wants...and even if he stated he wants such and such, it doesn't mean he wasn't lying. IOW, it's completely circular, so no, you can't show what you claim to show.

This is especially so when you actually take the whole Bible into account. If god hated wickedness, then he would not command genocides, for instance.

"God does care about whether or not you believe the fact that his son died for your sins, and if you are a denier of that, he has no desire to spend eternity with you."

So, he doesn't desire that all be saved? Is that what you really meant to say here?

"I mean, can you imagine if your child died to save another and then those people completely denied that it happened, and claimed they were saved by their own actions and your son wasn't even there? Would you not be angry?"

Would I torture them? Would I provide evidence that their account was false if it were in my power? Would I claim that I love them and then torture them? If it really were a case of ignorance on their part or pure inability to discern factual matters, would I claim that it's a moral failing of theirs? If I were god, would I get angry at anything? Analogy fail.

"God does still care about good works. Many places in the bible it tells you to perform good works. It simply says that it is not those good works which determines your eternal home."

Then god, ultimately doesn't care, does he? It seems it's more important for you to believe the right thing than to abstain from murder, rape, genocide, or any other immoral behavior. The people that god would rather spend eternity with are those that simply believe the right thing rather than those that do what is right. Is this what you would consider moral?

Leo said...

Those so-called "genocides" were eliminating wickedness.

"So, he doesn't desire that all be saved? Is that what you really meant to say here?"

He desires that nobody would deny Jesus. If they wouldn't do that, nobody would go to Hell.

You do understand that God has created a way that nobody would have to go to Hell, right? You refuse that way, and demand that God give you evidence before you'll take the way out. That's not his fault.

You're misunderstanding why the emphasis on accepting Jesus. Until you accept Jesus, and are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, you are of a fleshly nature and thereby are not usually going to be able to please God because you'll follow the desires of your own flesh. He stresses salvation because once you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, that spirit will guide you in doing good works, and knowing which are good and which are not. It's not that it's more important; it's that you can't put the cart before the horse. First do A) get saved, then you can B) perform good works in the full knowledge that you are doing God's will.

Robert Madewell said...

"... you are of a fleshly nature and thereby are not usually going to be able to please God because you'll follow the desires of your own flesh."

Nice of him to create us that way, then blame us for being that way.

Oh yeah! It's because of the sin. The sin that our remote ancestor started by eating the wrong kind of fruit. Of course, God can't be appeased by anything short of killing something innocent, so he had to kill himself to appease himself for something that he caused in the first place.

I'll tell you what. I didn't eat that fruit. I am no more responsible for something that my 500XGreat Grandmother did than I am for my 5XGreat Grandfather being a being a pirate. Well that's my opinion anyways.

Leo said...

So if we removed the original sin, you haven't lied, cheated, stolen, etc. ever in your life?

Don't act as though aside from original sin you would be sinless, because that would be a lie.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Those so-called "genocides" were eliminating wickedness."

Wow, you're defending genocide and you think that's a moral stance? What wickedness were the babies (born and unborn) guilty of? How can you possibly defend genocide? How can you possibly think it possible that god couldn't have thought of a more peaceful way to have his will be done - one that didn't require the Israelis to share in the blood-fest?

"He desires that nobody would deny Jesus. If they wouldn't do that, nobody would go to Hell."

So, once again it's all about what we believe, not what we do with ourselves. He's policing thought crime, and at that it's being done on whether we can correctly discern the so-called evidence laid before us. I don't see the evidence, so I do not believe (if you think belief is a choice, then try to believe in Zeus for a day). IOW, it's like I was saying, it's morally no better than if he gave a math test to everyone that died and tortured those who fail for eternity.

"You do understand that God has created a way that nobody would have to go to Hell, right? You refuse that way, and demand that God give you evidence before you'll take the way out."

No, I don't understand that. Why should I go to hell unless I can pass his math test? Why does believing that Jesus died for me matter so much, and what did it actually do for me? Why should I not want evidence before I simply believe something? If I'm to believe things without evidence, why shouldn't I also believe in leprechauns, faeries, unicorns, etc?

"That's not his fault."

Actually, it is.

"You're misunderstanding why the emphasis on accepting Jesus. Until you accept Jesus, and are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, you are of a fleshly nature and thereby are not usually going to be able to please God because you'll follow the desires of your own flesh."

I've seen this argument before. It leads to you telling me that no matter what I do, god doesn't look favorably upon it unless I'm saved. This leads to a situation where god is so morally clueless that he thinks that an atheist rushing into a burning building to save someone is less moral than a Xian sitting down on the curb and praying that the people make it out alive.

"It's not that it's more important; it's that you can't put the cart before the horse."

No, actually it is that it's more important. god stresses belief and obedience over morality and his actions (as reported by you) seem to back that up.

"So if we removed the original sin, you haven't lied, cheated, stolen, etc. ever in your life?

Don't act as though aside from original sin you would be sinless, because that would be a lie."

Why do you think it impossible for humans to live without sinning? Why do you think it fair for god to condemn us for this? This is just an example of us being condemned for being human. IOW, god has decided that we are all deserving of eternal torture unless we are convinced to decide the right thing (which generally happens for youth that are brought up in Xian households...hmmmm). How moral is it to create a race of beings that are inherently slated for eternal torture from the start? If you want to cry free will, it won't help your argument, because I'll ask you why you think free will requires us to commit evil but can't allow us not to, which you won't be able to answer, and it will only point out the inconsistency of your position. (Free tip for ya.)

Robert Madewell said...

Leo, the original sin thing is what most christians I know site as the reason that humans need to accept Jusus. We are sinful because our remote ancestor ate a forbidden berry after talking to a snake. At least that's the story I've been told. That little event they say is what nessecitates killing something just so God can get a little blood. The individual sins are just a side effect, no?

Leo said...

No. Even if Adam and Eve had not sinned, their children could have. As long as free will exists, man can choose to do something contrary to God. All Adam and Eve's sin did was cause what is said in Genesis 3:14-24. Your own sin is what has separated you from God.

GCT-"I'll ask you why you think free will requires us to commit evil"

When did I say that? Stop putting words in my mouth.

Robert Madewell said...

"No. Even if Adam and Eve had not sinned, their children could have."

Actually, I'd say that your position is different than most fundamentalists. IOW, Humans are doomed because somebody would have sinned and consigned everybody else to hell?

Most fundamentalists I know of claim that the sin nature was inherited through Eve.

Are you saying that humans naturally had the sin nature and Eve didn't actually have to sin for it to be passed along to the next generation? In that case God must have created humans with the sin nature. That would not be the position of most fundamentalists I know.

Leo said...

It did happen because of Eve, but what I'm saying is that she was able to sin because of free will. Had she chosen to ignore the serpent, he would have gone after the next person he thought was weak enough to listen.

Her sin was the begining, but it probably would have begun with someone else if not with her.

Robert Madewell said...

Sure Leo,

I'll just point out that you'll have lots of fundie pastors protesting that idea. They won't want to equate free-will with sin-nature. They'd rather blame the sin-nature on Eve and The Serpent than on God. They'd say that God created us with free-will, but not with a sin-nature.

By the way, I see your point and it kind of makes sense (if you were to actually believe in sin-nature and God). I'm just pointing out that it's not a common belief that sin-nature and free-will are the same thing. Though to me (after some thought), it sounds reasonable.

Leo said...

<---Fundy minister LOL

GCT said...

Leo,
"When did I say that? Stop putting words in my mouth."

Do you really not understand conditional statements? Let me explain. I said that IF you make argument X, then I will counter with argument Y. It was a preview of a potential argument that you might be tempted to make. Now, if you can show where I claimed that you actually said that or made that argument and wasn't simply predicting what you might say, then you can chastize me for putting words in your mouth. But, since that's not the case, it simply makes you look silly for not being able to read for comprehension.

"It did happen because of Eve, but what I'm saying is that she was able to sin because of free will."

So, I will ask the question now, can any human have free will and not sin? (You might answer that Jesus did this, but you also claim Jesus is god, so it doesn't really count. I'm looking to find out if you think it is possible for any non-divine human to have free will and not sin. Think carefully, because if you answer "No" then you trying to chastize me for "putting words in your mouth" will look even sillier.)

Leo said...

"Jesus is god, so it doesn't really count." Really? That's not what the Bible says. In Hebrews 4:15 it says,

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

Jesus could have sinned. He is part of the godhead, but the only part that would have been capable of sin. All he was guaranteed was no original sin because of the "immaculate conception."

Is it possible for a normal human man not to sin? Possibly. Original sin would still apply, but theoretically it's capable that if that were removed, he could go through his life without sin. Likely? No. I wouldn't eliminate the possibility though.

Obviously I haven't done this. I have had a multitude of sins in my life. Even now, I feel like I commit sins of inaction. I don't lie, cheat, steal, take the Lord's name in vain, etc., but I've neglected the nudging of the Holy Spirit on occasion, or not studying as much as I should.

The great thing about God's salvation is that he doesn't tell you to clean up and then come to him. He wants you to come to him just as you are, sin and all. He helps us to work out those things afterward, because without the Holy Spirit, you'd be hard-pressed to avoid sin.

ethinethin said...

The great thing about God's salvation is that he doesn't tell you to clean up and then come to him. He wants you to come to him just as you are, sin and all.

I thought you said god hates wickedness. Which one is it? He hates wickedness and does not want any near him in heaven, or he wants you to come to him as you are, wickedness and all?

Robert Madewell said...

Leo? Are you local to me? (If so, email me and we can meet.)

GCT said...

Leo,
"Jesus could have sinned. He is part of the godhead, but the only part that would have been capable of sin. All he was guaranteed was no original sin because of the "immaculate conception.""

So, how does that fit in with your next sentence where you specify a "normal" person. Jesus was not a normal human, hence not what I was asking about.

"Is it possible for a normal human man not to sin? Possibly. Original sin would still apply, but theoretically it's capable that if that were removed, he could go through his life without sin."

So, why does one need Jesus if one can go through life without sinning? Also, why would god put original sin on all of us for the "sins" of the original two people? Is that fair, just, or moral?

"Obviously I haven't done this. I have had a multitude of sins in my life. Even now, I feel like I commit sins of inaction. I don't lie, cheat, steal, take the Lord's name in vain, etc., but I've neglected the nudging of the Holy Spirit on occasion, or not studying as much as I should."

As bad as you think you are, you've at least never committed genocide like your god has.

"The great thing about God's salvation is that he doesn't tell you to clean up and then come to him. He wants you to come to him just as you are, sin and all. He helps us to work out those things afterward, because without the Holy Spirit, you'd be hard-pressed to avoid sin."

As ethin points out, I thought he hated wickedness?

Leo said...

Now you're really reaching. I would not desire to live with a drug-addict, homeless person, with horrible body odor from not bathing. However, if they truly desired help and I were able to offer it, I'd bring them in. I'd clean them up, get them fed, try to help them quit their drug habit, maybe get a job interview for them even. That act doesn't contradict my first of "I would not desire to live with...."

You see wickedness and sin are not always the same thing. Purposeful contradiction of God's Word is wickedness. Sin is any violation of His Word. The sins I listed myself as having were not wicked acts. They were violations of God's Word. Both bad, but different. Every person in Heaven, aside from the angels and godhead will be people who have had sin in their life.

Leo said...

Robert, I am not local. I would definitely meet to talk if that were possible. You can probably tell by my IP where I'm located.

Leo is not my real name by the way.

Robert Madewell said...

I didn't look at the IPs. I'm not sure you can do that on blogger.

I just had a suspicion. It was wrong. I have had a few anonymous commentors from a local church here before. They usually give me a clue in something they say. (I think Debbie and at least one of the anonymouses are local. I could be wrong.)

Sorry, I was mistaken.

BTW, I do use my real name. I am what I am and I'll never hide it again.

Leo said...

Oh. Well I'm glad there are local people who care enough to enter the discussion.

Robert Madewell said...

Leo, it's kind of annoying, because they'd rather post rude comments anonymously, than to set with me and talk in person. Maybe, they're too afraid of finding out that I'm really a pretty nice guy.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Now you're really reaching."

Which part?

"That act doesn't contradict my first of "I would not desire to live with....""

OK, but you said that he wants it, meaning he does desire. So, I fail to see how your argument is relevant.

"You see wickedness and sin are not always the same thing. Purposeful contradiction of God's Word is wickedness. Sin is any violation of His Word."

So, you're saying that wickedness is intentional sin, correct? But, I thought that we were sinful due to free will. If we are sinning without even knowing it, then how is that just or fair to punish us for it, since the rules are not anywhere for us to discover, are they? If we use our free will to sin, then isn't all sin based on a free choice wickedness by your own definition?

GCT said...

Robert,
They are probably too afraid that you'll practice Santeria on them or something! 'Athiests (sic) are with the devil!'

Robert Madewell said...

"Athiests (sic) are with the devil!"

Oh Yeah! I'm athier than you. I'm the athiest!

Leo said...

I'm surprised you don't consider yourself a non-theist rather than an atheist Robert. From what I can tell, you don't believe in God, but you are not "a-" or "against" theists.

ethinethin said...

Leo, the "a" in atheism comes from the greek root meaning "without" as in "without god" or "godless".

DERP!

GCT said...

D'oh!

Robert Madewell said...

non-theist is just a broad term that includes atheists. It also includes deists, pantheists, agnostics, and many more.

Leo said...

Still wouldn't be an accurate depiction, because we all have a god. Yours is mother nature. You give nature all the credit for everything that's ever happened, instead of attributing it to God. You view nature as unconquerable, eternal, and the force behind everything in the world. That is a god.

ethinethin said...

"Praise Jesus, atheists are just like us!"

Leo said...

Tell me it's not true. Do you not see nature as eternal, and the reason we all exist?

GCT said...

Leo,
We do not see nature as a god.

First off, god are supernatural, nature by definition is not.

Second, nature is not the "reason" we are here, at least not in the sense that I think you mean. We are here simply because of random variation and natural selection. There is no plan behind it. We were not destined to happen or anything like that. We simply are here.

Nature (or the universe) is a completely impersonal brute fact. What we see around us seems to exist (we could be boltzmann brains I suppose) and so we act as if reality is real. Nothing more.

Now, there are some pagan religions that have (and still do) worship nature (or Mother Nature), and you would be correct to say that they are religious, but claiming that atheists are religious is like claiming that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Leo said...

"random variation and natural selection."

"Natural" = Nature

ethinethin said...

Swing and a miss, Leo.

GCT said...

Leo,
You seem to not understand what "natural selection" entails. I'm sure that ethin could explain better, since (s)he is a practicing biologist I believe, but never-the-less, here goes.

Just because it has the word, "Natural," in it does not mean that nature is physically selecting. It's a process of better suited individuals are more able to propagate their lineage and pass on their genes. It's a "selection" in the sense that the better fit individuals are the ones that are "selected" to pass on their genetic material. This has nothing to do with worshipping nature, it's simply an observation about how nature works. Don't mix up scientific observation about how things actually work with teleology, worship, or any silly superstition.

Leo said...

So who is initiating the change, if not nature?

ethinethin said...

Since I'm sure that you are not actually interested in the actual technicalities of evolution and are more interested in building some elaborate apologetic, I am not going to explain the finer points of evolution to you (why bother?).

I will point out that it is an inappropriate question to ask "who is guiding natural selection?" since it is an undirected process. It is also inappropriate to refer to nature as a god-like entity or driving force.

To infer that we worship nature as a god is highly inappropriate as well.

I know the only reason you're even here, Leo, is because you think there's a chance that Robert is going to convert back to christianity, and that maybe you'll be the one to do it, but do you really think you're helping your cause by lying, debating dishonestly, and stating false premises?

It's like the whole "a - theist" thing you brought up. You clearly made an error because you're uneducated and don't know what words mean. When this was pointed out, you moved the goalpost to "Still wouldn't be an accurate depiction, because we all have a god."

Now, I'll let you cherry pick one line out of my entire reply here and ignore the rest of my valid points, you brainless oaf.

Leo said...

Ok.

"To infer that we worship nature as a god is highly inappropriate as well."

Yes, that's why we have "earth day" and the "green" movement, right?

ethinethin said...

And those things have exactly what to do with me and what to do with worshiping? Do you honestly believe there's some kind of secular nature cult that I am a part of, just because I'm a biologist?

GCT said...

Leo,
"So who is initiating the change, if not nature?"

Nobody. That's part of how religions got started, is that it's hard for people to think of things in a non-teleological way sometimes, so we personify. You think that someone has to do these things for nature to happen. Yet, this is not how it works.

Is there someone initiating a change of state when an object falls? No, it's just the impersonal forces of gravity at work for just one example. Why should it be any different with evolution?

"Yes, that's why we have "earth day" and the "green" movement, right?"

We have those things because we realize how important the Earth is to our survival. Without the Earth, we all dead.

Leo said...

If it is impersonal, and undirected, why would we feel a need to designate a holiday for it? We don't have "blood day" but we "all be dead" without it too.

"Do you honestly believe there's some kind of secular nature cult that I am a part of, just because I'm a biologist?"

No, not because you're a biologist because many biologists disagree with you about evolution and the big bang.

It is the unscientifically founded beliefs like these you hold so dear which shows you are relying on faith to determine the answers.

GCT said...

"If it is impersonal, and undirected, why would we feel a need to designate a holiday for it? We don't have "blood day" but we "all be dead" without it too."

Um, maybe because we aren't destroying our blood and making it inhospitable to us? Are you really that incapable of understanding this?

"No, not because you're a biologist because many biologists disagree with you about evolution and the big bang."

How many is "many?" The vast majority of biologists accept evolution. There is no controversy, except that drummed up by creationists that determine their conclusions (that goddidit) and then try to twist the facts in order to fit their pre-conceived conclusions, which is not how science works.

"It is the unscientifically founded beliefs like these you hold so dear which shows you are relying on faith to determine the answers."

Which beliefs would those be again? What faith does one have to rely on to reject your god?

Grace said...

Ethinethin,

Didn't realize you were a biologist. What is your speciality?

Also, interested to know if you've read anything by Dr. Francis Collins?

Hey, the presiding bishop of my church is a marine biologist.

Piskies love science. :)

Leo said...

"Which beliefs would those be again? What faith does one have to rely on to reject your god?"

1. The belief that there was at one time nothing in existence, and then there was suddenly something.

2. The belief that this "something" could go from "dead" to living.

3. The belief that morals come from somewhere other than God.

4. The belief that man is the result of a completely undirected process, and therefore accidentally existing at all.

That's enough for now. Maybe more later.

ethinethin said...

No, not because you're a biologist because many biologists disagree with you about evolution and the big bang.

No, sorry. This is false. Modern biology does not make sense without the context of evolution. It's the grand unifying theory of all modern biology. That list that the creationists circulate of "scientists who don't believe in evolution" is a huge lie. If you don't believe me, look up "Project Steve" to see how ridiculous it is.

I will also point out that the big bang is not part of biology, duh, but cosmology, and there is a lot of evidence to support it: that is, we know the universe is expanding, can demonstrate it, and know it has been for as long as it's been around.

It is the unscientifically founded beliefs like these you hold so dear which shows you are relying on faith to determine the answers.

You don't even know what science is. You show your ignorance:

1. The belief that there was at one time nothing in existence, and then there was suddenly something.

This is not a scientific belief, but a straw man created by creationists. It also sums up your own cosmological beliefs: creation ex nihilo, that god created everything from nothing. Scientifically, we know matter cannot be destroyed or created from nothing.

2. The belief that this "something" could go from "dead" to living.

Such as a lightning bolt hitting a mud puddle, like Ben Stein says? Evolution does not say anything about how life began, by the way, rather, evolution explains the diversity and unity of life on earth. As for the beginnings of life, it is a little more complicated than going from "dead" to "living", but I would be willing to bet a week's salary that you don't even know how to define what "living" even means.

3. The belief that morals come from somewhere other than God.

This is observable in nature. The best example I ever saw was piranhas during a feeding frenzy. They are all quite ferocious while eating meat, but they are quite careful and gentle with each other, making sure not to eat each other. Unless you've found some kind of aquatic bible, the piranhas are certainly not pious, fundamentalist christians, yet they stick to their own, time-tested moral code.

4. The belief that man is the result of a completely undirected process, and therefore accidentally existing at all.

Undirected does not mean accidental.

ethinethin said...

Didn't realize you were a biologist. What is your speciality?

Cell biology.

Also, interested to know if you've read anything by Dr. Francis Collins?

I've read about the human genome project but I don't know how much of the stuff I've read is written by Collins. I've read transcripts of his speeches and find him giving credit to god too unscientific for my tastes.

GCT said...

Leo,
Ethin already answered these, but I'll give you my viewpoint as well in case it helps you understand why you are wrong.

"1. The belief that there was at one time nothing in existence, and then there was suddenly something."

This is not a viewpoint that I hold, or anyone I know. No one seems to be claiming that something came from nothing, except for creationists. What we are talking about is the existence of something (called a "singularity) that was suddenly expanded converting energy to mass (as we know can happen) and becoming what we now know as the universe. This is not a faith position, but one that we have ample evidence for, although we do have some gaps in our knowledge about "before" the first Planck time.

"2. The belief that this "something" could go from "dead" to living."

We already know that organic materials can and do self-assemble. From here, it's not a stretch to think that this could have continued to happen until "life" came about. It's not a faith position, however, in that it's what we have the best evidence for.

"3. The belief that morals come from somewhere other than God."

Lots of moral systems (as well as morals observed in animals) are not dependent upon god. There's no reason to believe that morality must come from god. This is not a faith position. In fact, you are claiming that morality must come from a supernatural entity, which is a faith position, because you have no evidence for it. Noting that you can not support your claim does not mean I am putting forth my own faith position or positive claim.

"4. The belief that man is the result of a completely undirected process, and therefore accidentally existing at all."

The best evidence we have indicates that random mutations and natural selection have resulted in the appearance of man. You are trying to make an argument from probability (clumsily at that) but it fails. What are the odds of getting a royal flush dealt in poker? Are they more or less than getting any other specific hand where the 5 cards are specified in terms of number and suit?

But, once again, there's no faith position entailed in what you are claiming here.

"That's enough for now. Maybe more later."

Well, you've tried 4 different ones and none of them actually support your contentions. You might want to dig down and get those other ones out now.

Leo said...

"From here, it's not a stretch to think that this could have continued to happen until "life" came about. It's not a faith position, however, in that it's what we have the best evidence for."

What evidence do you have that it has happened until "life" came about? You have zero "evidence."

I only have a sec, but I also wanted to address the "piranha morals." You must remember that the piranha's strength is in numbers and therefore it would be in their own best interest not to kill one another. This is not a moral decision, but rather a decision based on logic. An animal's use of logic is not the same as an outward exhibition of morals.

Oh, and btw, I was not saying the big bang was within the field of biology. I was saying that your belief in those two things is why I believe nature is your god, and NOT because you were a biologist.

ethinethin said...

What evidence do you have that it has happened until "life" came about? You have zero "evidence."

Not very familiar with organic chemistry, are you Leo?

I was saying that your belief in those two things is why I believe nature is your god, and NOT because you were a biologist.

Good, then I'm glad we could clear that up, that I do not worship nature. I'm skeptical of all things presented to me, Leo, but there's so much evidence of the big bang that there is no doubt that it happened (is currently happening, actually, the "big bang" is a bit of a misnomer because there was no "bang", but rather an expansion that continues to happen to this day).

Evolution, too, of course.

The fact that you seem to think it's some sort of grand conspiracy by the scientists of the world to present lies as fact shows that you don't understand how science works.

It's the theory of evolution, no longer a hypothesis. It has survived the tests.

An animal's use of logic is not the same as an outward exhibition of morals.

Evolutionarily it is. Human morals developed in a similar way, in some of our earliest ancestors (at least as far back as the first hominoids, when living as a social group was so important to the small, fragile animals).

I wouldn't use the term "logic" for referring to actions of a fish, though, since their brains are not developed enough to really classify it as logic. It's not an accident they evolved to ignore each other during the feeding frenzy; they wouldn't be here today if they hadn't.

Leo said...

So now you're saying that it's not morals the fish are exhibiting???

Make up your mind.

ethinethin said...

It is a basic form of morals, I never said it wasn't. I just said it wasn't "logic". I quote myself:

Evolutionarily it is. Human morals developed in a similar way

It may not be as complex as human morals, but it serves the same evolutionary purpose (preservation of the species).

Grace said...

What does everyone think concerning the observation that natural selection alone is unable to explain "high altruism?"

What causes humans to engage in behavior that confers no reciprocal or genetic advantage, like "love your enemies..." or to help people who hate us, and would do us harm if possible??

GCT said...

"What evidence do you have that it has happened until "life" came about? You have zero "evidence.""

Um, no, we have more evidence than "zero." I suggest you look into this a bit. We know that organic molecules self-assemble and also that they can undergo changes to increase complexity, for instance. This, right there, is more than zero evidence.

Of course, where is the evidence for your position? You do realize that you're relying on a god of the gaps logical fallacy don't you?

"You must remember that the piranha's strength is in numbers and therefore it would be in their own best interest not to kill one another. This is not a moral decision, but rather a decision based on logic. An animal's use of logic is not the same as an outward exhibition of morals."

So, animals sit down and reason out what would be best for them? It is an exhibition of morals, only a very rudimentary one. Morality is an evolved trait. If you want an example closer to us, take a look at this.

GCT said...

Grace,
"What does everyone think concerning the observation that natural selection alone is unable to explain "high altruism?""

Frankly, I don't think much of the argument, because it's a strawman. Evolution does not work on natural selection alone. And, it's not an observation either. It's an assertion made by creationists to try and claim that evolution is false. The link I just provided to Leo goes to a post on my blog where I included a snippet from something Sam Harris wrote. In it, he points out some observed and documented behavior from animals that show that morality is something that has every indication of having evolutionary roots.

"What causes humans to engage in behavior that confers no reciprocal or genetic advantage, like "love your enemies..." or to help people who hate us, and would do us harm if possible??"

The same that causes other animals to do the same. Monkeys will go on hunger strikes and starve themselves to keep other monkeys from receiving harmful shocks.

Also, one could argue that reciprocal advantage is gained in helping the society, as the person lives in that society.

ethinethin said...

Also, one could argue that reciprocal advantage is gained in helping the society, as the person lives in that society.

Indeed. Preservation of the species is not always a selfish act. For example, baboon males help raise infants that are not their own offspring.

Grace said...

Thanks guys. Can see what you're sayin. But, not sure this is fully addressing the issue.

Do non-human primates actually love their enemies, or feel led to purposefully help a species, or another animal that is clearly intent on doing them harm?

I mean where does this impulse come from? Why do we even think we ought to do this at all? It seems purely crazy on the surface.

GCT said...

Grace,
"Thanks guys. Can see what you're sayin. But, not sure this is fully addressing the issue."

I don't see why not. Tracing the roots of morality through our evolution gives us a ready answer as to why we have morality, all flavors of it.

"Do non-human primates actually love their enemies, or feel led to purposefully help a species, or another animal that is clearly intent on doing them harm?"

We know that some animals have been known to perform interspecies nursing and care and raise babies that are not their own.

"I mean where does this impulse come from? Why do we even think we ought to do this at all? It seems purely crazy on the surface."

What impulse? I don't believe that we do feel an impulse to help those that we've identified as in some "outgroup" labeled as "enemy." It's something that we've come to think is a good thing based on reason and logic. Still this does nothing to refute natural processes for morality or support the idea of god or god-given morality. To assert that this somehow supports god would be god of the gaps fallacious thinking.

Leo said...

"We know that some animals have been known to perform interspecies nursing and care and raise babies that are not their own."

This is not an answer for Grace's question at all. She is speaking of an active enemy. Not just someone outside of our circle of friends, or even outside our own family, but rather someone who desires to and attempts to do us harm.

I also think you have incorrectly connected acts to preserve a species with acts of morality. "Preservation of the species" is doing something to acheive a purpose. "Morality" is doing something simply because it's right, whether anything is acheived by it or not.

These two things are non-related.

ethinethin said...

I also think you have incorrectly connected acts to preserve a species with acts of morality. "Preservation of the species" is doing something to acheive a purpose. "Morality" is doing something simply because it's right, whether anything is acheived by it or not.

These two things are non-related.


Then how do you explain that a male baboon will care for an infant if he is not its father (indeed, even if its father is his greatest rival)?

We observe that male baboons will get close to a mother and infant in hopes that he will get a chance to mate with the mother. However, we also observe that the male will take care of the infant even if the mother dies.

He has no chance to mate with the mother, yet he takes care of the infant, even though it isn't his. This can easily be called "doing something simply because it's right" as you said, and these are baboons, distant cousins from humans on the tree of life, not even apes.

In many ways, comparing primate society with human society is like comparing apples to oranges, but even so, you can observe the beginnings of morality in the more basic societal structure, just as you can observe the beginnings of language in the way they communicate.

I would never say that monkeys can speak, but there is much to be learned from how they communicate in comparison to the way we communicate, such as the heavy use of non-verbal signals. Baboons are really amazing in this respect: their range of expressiveness can convey very specific ideas with just posture or the "look" they give each other (baboons communicate a lot with eyebrow movement).

Comparison of what we call "human morality" (which can be subjective and cultural) to the behaviors of non-human primates is the same way.

GCT said...

"This is not an answer for Grace's question at all. She is speaking of an active enemy. Not just someone outside of our circle of friends, or even outside our own family, but rather someone who desires to and attempts to do us harm."

Enemy is animal-speak is other species quite often. Either way, the basis of it is found in the socialization of animals around us. We are products of our societal nature - we are social animals. We have instituted rules through our societies that dictate how we should treat others. These rules themselves are based on our shared evolutionary heritage (and not based on supernatural agents).

"I also think you have incorrectly connected acts to preserve a species with acts of morality. "Preservation of the species" is doing something to acheive a purpose. "Morality" is doing something simply because it's right, whether anything is acheived by it or not.

These two things are non-related."

Actually, they are highly related. The reason that we don't kill others unfettered is because we recognize that it is damaging to society and we reason that we have no recourse to stop others from doing the same. We don't kill others because it would be wrong to do so, but "wrong" in this instance means harmful to society and ourselves.

Again, I'm wondering though, even if you were to win the argument that morality has no known evolutionary component, how does this support your idea that god is behind it? This is all god of the gaps fallacy. Even if we don't know how morality came to be, it doesn't give you license to simply claim that goddidit.

Leo said...

"This can easily be called "doing something simply because it's right...'"

Or because the new "father" will have one more male loyal to him.

ethinethin said...

Or because the new "father" will have one more male loyal to him.

Completely wrong. The infant can be male or female, and the infant's biological father in these cases (usually the dominant male) is more interested in dominance struggles than with its own child.

If the child itself is male, it will not be loyal to the father, as male baboons leave their packs upon reaching adolescence.

I recommend the article "What are Friends For?" by Barbara Smuts that deals with exactly this.

GCT said...

Leo,
Let me suggest that you actually take some time to learn about the things that you say are wrong (like evolution) before you start claiming they are wrong.

Leo said...

This argument has nothing to do with evolution. Where did that come from?

ethinethin said...

Because the emergence of morals is very likely due to adaptive traits.

GCT said...

That, and our shared evolutionary history points us in the direction of figuring out where our concepts of morality actually come from. (Hint: it aint from some white, bearded dude that commits and orders genocide, orders rape, kills children for making fun of baldness, etc.)

Grace said...

Granted we have to be careful about the whole "God of the gaps," fallacy.

But, do you think it possible to also sucumb to a kind of "atheism of the gaps?"

Why do we suppose that because there seems to be no known explanation as of yet, that there is definitely a natural explanation that is surely forthcoming?

Hey, see you guys in a couple of days..Guess we'll have to table this, and agree to disagree for now.

ethinethin said...

Why do we suppose that because there seems to be no known explanation as of yet, that there is definitely a natural explanation that is surely forthcoming?

Because we live in the real, natural world. Supernatural answers have never increased knowledge, only comfort of the people who soothe themselves with them. They are not answers but intellectual dead ends.

Since every observation I have made in my life has lead me to conclude that I live in the real world, I will continue to look for real solutions.

Leo said...

"some white, bearded dude that commits and orders genocide, orders rape, kills children for making fun of baldness, etc"

Not sure why you'd think God is white, bearded, or orders any rape anywhere in the Bible. There are places where ungodly men have offered their virgin daughters to be raped, but those men are also never mentioned again in the Bible because they did such horrible things.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Not sure why you'd think God is white, bearded, or orders any rape anywhere in the Bible."

White and bearded is the anglo conception of god, just as Jesus is painted with blonde hair.

As for rape, gee, I don't know, maybe because it's in the Bible.

"There are places where ungodly men have offered their virgin daughters to be raped, but those men are also never mentioned again in the Bible because they did such horrible things."

I'm not sure why you seem to be unfamiliar with the story of Lot, but there you have it. A minister that doesn't know the story of Lot.

GCT said...

Grace,
"But, do you think it possible to also sucumb to a kind of "atheism of the gaps?""

Maybe, but it's very difficult. The only evidence that we have is that the natural world is all there is. The only explanations we've gleaned have come from observation of the natural world and have involved natural processes. We've never found any sort of supernatural anything nor ever used the supernatural to explain anything.

"Why do we suppose that because there seems to be no known explanation as of yet, that there is definitely a natural explanation that is surely forthcoming?"

I don't. I know that all previous explanations have been natural, but I'm not assured that there will be an explanation at all. If we do find one though, the odds are vastly stacked in favor of there being a natural explanation.

Leo said...

Lot's actions were not condoned by God.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Lot's actions were not condoned by God."

Um, wrong. I suggest you read the story again. After he does that, the angels still help him to escape the city. In fact Genesis 19:29 reads:

"29And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt."

This refers to the deal that Abraham makes with god. god wanted to raze the whole place regardless of how many righteous people lived there and Abraham convinces him to allow the righteous to live. Lot is clearly identified here as the righteous person that god agreed to save. You are clearly in error here.

Leo said...

Again you horribly misunderstand the word of God. He did not save Lot because he was righteous. He saved Lot because Abraham desired such. It doesn't say "God remembered his covenant with Abraham." It says, "God remembered Abraham." He saved Lot because He loved Abraham.

GCT said...

"Again you horribly misunderstand the word of God. He did not save Lot because he was righteous. He saved Lot because Abraham desired such. It doesn't say "God remembered his covenant with Abraham." It says, "God remembered Abraham." He saved Lot because He loved Abraham."

You're making stuff up that simply isn't there. There's no rebuke of Lot's actions. Abraham never asks god to save Lot. god agrees not to destroy the righteous people there, which ends up being Lot according to the story. The reason that there's no outcry over offering his daughters is because Biblically speaking, women are property of men. I'm sorry that you are ashamed of this (I think you are, which is why you are trying to make excuses for it) but that's the truth behind it. The Bible was written by men in a time when many men felt that women were property. It is not divinely inspired by your god - and if it were, you'd have to admit that god seems to see women as property too. Why do you defend such actions and ideas?

Leo said...

So why do you suppose after Lot's foolish mistakes he vanishes from the story? God saved him for Abraham's sake, but Lot was never much of a winner. Lot and Abraham are a contrast. Abraham was the servant who loved the Lord and was always desiring to serve Him. Lot was the servant who supposedly loved the Lord, but took the wrong turn at almost every opportunity. Lot is never painted as the hero. He chose to pitch his tent towards Sodom and was in danger because of it. Because he lived a poor testimony he couldn't even convince most of his own family to leave before God destroyed the place.

As for the Bible being so evil in regards to how we treat women, I submit this:

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

GCT said...

Leo,
"God saved him for Abraham's sake, but Lot was never much of a winner."

So you keep asserting but not backing up. You are sort of right though. Your moral god was going to wipe out all the inhabitants whether they were good or evil until Abraham convinced him not to. So, in that sense, the fact that god saved anyone means that he did it for Abraham's sake, but Abraham never specifically mentions Lot. The angels go down in search of someone that is worthy of being saved from the destruction and they find Lot and save him. I don't know what story you are reading, but the moral is that Lot was righteous and was saved because he was not evil like the other inhabitants of the cities.

As for Ephesians 5, it's funny that you should leave out the three passages just before you started to quote:

"22(AV)Wives, (AW)be subject to your own husbands, (AX)as to the Lord.
23For (AY)the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the (AZ)head of the church, He Himself (BA)being the Savior of the body.

24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."

Wow Leo, new rock bottom for you. You got schooled on rape in the Bible. You're being schooled on Lot. And, now you've been reduced to quote mining from the Bible the one passage that might be taken to mean that women have some status in Biblical society, amidst a sea of misogyny. Let's not forget that women must obey their husbands in all respects. They must be covered and silent in church. They are still bought and sold by the time of the NT. They have no recourse against a husband that beats them or whatever else he might do to them.

Face it, the Bible is a relic of a long ago past. It was written by men, men who lived in a patriarchal society, and their writings reflect that. It's not divine, and it doesn't contain absolute morality. It's simply a relic, one that we have moved beyond and should toss on the scrap heap of history, the same way we toss other antiquated ideas.

Leo said...

"You got schooled on rape in the Bible. You're being schooled on Lot. And, now you've been reduced to quote mining from the Bible the one passage that might be taken to mean that women have some status in Biblical society, amidst a sea of misogyny."

First off, you have not "schooled" anyone on anything in the Bible in the time that I've been here. If anything, you've so horribly misunderstood that it's been a great demonstration how the natural man can't discern the things of the spirit.

Righteousness does not equal someone who never sins or does things wrong. Righteousness simply means that a person admits they are a sinner, and need God's grace to forgive them and wash them of that sin. Lot was righteous before God because he placed his trust in him. Obviously, by the way he is dropped like a hot potato in scripture, we can see that God wasn't too pleased with his actions. Read Lot's history. He was a horrible example of a Christian, however, he did place his trust in the Lord. Many "saved" folks don't act like "Christians." The two words are not necessarily synonymous. "Saved" simply means you've admitted you are a sinner in need of God's grace. A "Christian" is someone who acts Christ-like. It literally means "little Christ."


As for what I posted, it was not quote mining. I absolutely stand by everything in that passage. You were going out of your way to show how horrible the Bible is to women, and I was simply showing that there was another side. If men treated their wives with honor, respect, sacrificing their own lusts in favor of pleasing their spouse, women would have no issue living in subjection to them. I treat my wife like a queen. She certainly doesn't feel like I'm some sort of lord over her. Yes, many people, even many in my own "camp" so-to-speak have twisted these verses to put their wives into a sort of slavery to them, but the Bible does not instruct men to act this way.

Brett Harvest said...

Leo said..
"He did not save Lot because he was righteous."

then GCT explained that God did save Lot because he was righteous, so Leo redefined what righteousness means without regarding his own error.

It's very sad that you are so clueless, Leo. Sad that an atheist knows more about the bible than a believer, and the atheists aren't contradicting themselves every post, while the believer does.

God bless.

Brett Harvest said...

Leo said...
"Read Lot's history. He was a horrible example of a Christian, however, he did place his trust in the Lord."

Lot was a bad example of a Christian? Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, one should think so!

God bless.

Leo said...

I was comparing Lot with the Christian of today. I'm saying that he is like many today who are saved, but not Christ-like in their actions.

You are correct to point out my previous statement. I should not have said he didn't save him because he was righteous. I should have said he didn't save Lot because he did right in the eyes of the Lord. By God's definition of righteous, he was righteous because he made atonement for his sins, even if he did them again.

GCT said...

Leo,
"First off, you have not "schooled" anyone on anything in the Bible in the time that I've been here."

Yeah, because rape never occurs or is ordered by god and his chosen people, right? Whatev...

"If anything, you've so horribly misunderstood that it's been a great demonstration how the natural man can't discern the things of the spirit."

Um, yeah, including you? Oh, yeah that's right, you think you're different and special and that you have infallible, special knowledge of what god was thinking when he penned the Bible.

"Obviously, by the way he is dropped like a hot potato in scripture, we can see that God wasn't too pleased with his actions."

There's no indication that this is the case and every indication that you are making stuff up. Oh, and the reason that he's not more included in the story is because the story is about Abraham.

"As for what I posted, it was not quote mining. I absolutely stand by everything in that passage. You were going out of your way to show how horrible the Bible is to women, and I was simply showing that there was another side."

I don't have to go out of my way, it drips from just about every page. The Bible is misogynistic, period. You've pulled one quote amidst a sea of misogyny and you think that makes up for it? Further, you omitted the part just before it where it commands women to be subservient to men. Nice.

"If men treated their wives with honor, respect, sacrificing their own lusts in favor of pleasing their spouse, women would have no issue living in subjection to them."

Sorry, but that's twisted and wrong. No one should be subservient to anyone else. I don't care how nice you think you are, if you believe that your wife should submit to you in all things, then you are sexist.

GCT said...

Brett,
I don't know you or what you believe, but thank you for being impartial.

Leo said...

"Yeah, because rape never occurs or is ordered by god"

An example please of rape being ordered by God?

GCT said...

Leo,
"An example please of rape being ordered by God?"

That's already been provided to you. He had his emissaries tell the troops to "take" all the virgin girls for themselves. Don't try and be coy.

Leo said...

LOL, to "take" didn't mean to rape! They literally took these women with them. Granted many would end up as wives whom they wed, but that wouldn't qualify as rape anyway.

GCT said...

"LOL, to "take" didn't mean to rape! They literally took these women with them. Granted many would end up as wives whom they wed, but that wouldn't qualify as rape anyway."

How naive of you Leo. Yes, they "took" them as in rape and or slavery. There's a reason that they specified only "taking" the virgins. Further, forced marriage with the sex forced upon them later would indeed be rape. Do you think it impossible to rape one's own wife? It's not. You may argue that these women weren't forced into marriage, but that doesn't make sense. Why would a woman marry the person that killed her family and forcibly dragged her off to be his bride? Face it, it was rape and pillage sanctified by god.

ethinethin said...

Well, women are property anyway. What difference does it make?

Leo said...

These women were taken as part of the conquering people. Again, this was not rape.

GCT said...

Leo,
Please stop denying the painfully obvious. When some army invades a town and decimates all the inhabitants except the virgins, takes those virgins away as forced wives and or has their way with them, that is rape. Plain and simple. You are making excuses for rape. You are trying to explain away rape as not really happening by semantics, and failing at it. What happened back then was what happened at the time. Armies would plunder and take what they wanted, including the women. Women were regarded as property. This is the basis that the writers of the Bible were working from. It's not a book from god, it's a book written by men - men who were a product of their time and culture. I would hope that with our ability to use hindsight and our advanced knowledge that some of us would be able to see the moral issues that plagued that time and reject it. Apparently that doesn't hold for you, however.

Leo said...

Stop reading more into it than is there. Through your eyes, this must have happened. Unfortunately we are given no such indication. Sex is mentioned many times in the Bible. If that was the intention here, it would say so. It doesn't, because it wasn't.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Stop reading more into it than is there."

I don't need to, you've already admitted that they dragged them off to be their wives. You claim that they can then rape those "wives" and it isn't rape, but that simply is not so, and I think you know it.

Also, why not read into the meaning. You were more than willing to do that in regards to the word "day" and now you claim that since it doesn't use the actual word "rape" that there was none and we can't read into the meaning? Make up your mind will ya?

"Through your eyes, this must have happened."

No, it need not have happened, but the Bible indicates that it did. I'm sure that there's a lot of BS in the stories. What probably happened is what usually happened back then. Tribes would fight against each other, the victorious one would take the women as spoils of victory. They would then use the women as they saw fit, either sexually or as slaves.

"Unfortunately we are given no such indication."

Sorry, but the words that the men are allowed to "take" the women are pretty clear.

"Sex is mentioned many times in the Bible. If that was the intention here, it would say so."

This is a rather weak argument from the guy that fought against the word "day" meaning "day." I guess that means that god is a liar because Adam and Eve didn't die on the day they ate the fruit.

"It doesn't, because it wasn't."

I'm sorry that you can't see your god for what he is, but what else would you expect from a self-confessed genocidal maniac? This is a god that has killed entire tribes and cultures, including the youngest children. This god was also so upset at those tribes that he commanded the slaughter of all their livestock and the salting of the Earth! This is a god that isn't content to allow human suffering during life, but must also mandate that some people will suffer for eternity after they are dead. Why do you defend such heinous actions? What could you possibly find moral in those actions that would make you want to say that they are good or defend them?

GCT said...

You know, it occurs to me that Leo's defense that rape didn't occur is to claim that it was only kidnapping and forced marriage. Way to go Leo (and god).

Leo said...

'You were more than willing to do that in regards to the word "day"'

Are you still fighting against this? I did not have to make day out to be anything "day" isn't. I even gave you the modern definition including both ways of use. Day was used for two of it's definitions. Nothing read into, nothing added. Day = day both times. It's like me saying you "turned right on red because it was the right thing to do." Both times right = right, just two different definitions. No "reading into it" necessary. You're embarassing yourself here. Let it go.

So if Israel defeated the enemy and took everything in the camp as theirs, should they have left the women there to starve to death?

ethinethin said...

So if Israel defeated the enemy and took everything in the camp as theirs, should they have left the women there to starve to death?

"Rape or death!?"

Personally I think they should have dashed the virgins upon the rocks. It would have been entirely consistent with Israelite war ethics.

GCT said...

Leo,
"I did not have to make day out to be anything "day" isn't. I even gave you the modern definition including both ways of use."

And, you intentionally mis-applied those definitions when the context did not fit. IOW, you aren't reading it plainly, and you aren't reading the words literally except when you want to. When "day" doesn't work, you simply change the meaning and claim that you have to read into it. When "take" works literally for you because it avoids the implications of rape, then you ignore the idea of reading into it to get the actual meaning. What I'm showing here is both that the Israelites were instructed to rape the women (or at least given free reign to do so) and that you are trying to have it both ways. You are trying to interpret the Bible in the best light no matter what and are forced to be inconsistent to do so.

"You're embarassing yourself here."

Do I get to call you mean-spirited now?

"So if Israel defeated the enemy and took everything in the camp as theirs, should they have left the women there to starve to death?"

Gee, here's a thought, how about not engaging in mass murder to begin with. How about not taking the women as forced wives and rape victims. If they wanted to care for the women, they would not have killed their families and then turned around and raped them for good measure.

Leo said...

Show me how I changed the meaning of the word day. It has different definitions. Can you not grasp that? I even linked you to a secular dictionary that listed both definitions. What more do you want? You're fighting an imaginary battle here.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Show me how I changed the meaning of the word day."

By not reading it in context and inserting any definition that you can.

"The day that you eat the fruit, you will die."

Let's see, the era that you eat the fruit you will die? No, that doesn't work. The age that you eat the fruit, you will die. No, that doesn't work either. The generational time that you eat the fruit you will die. Nope, that's not working either. Geez, I wonder why none of these work. I mean, Leo said that they do, which explains why god wasn't wrong, but none of those translations makes sense.

"It has different definitions. Can you not grasp that?"

I do grasp that and I also grasp context, which you evidently don't.

"You're fighting an imaginary battle here."

No, I'm not. You are fighting a battle to excuse rape and genocide however. Do you really not think that rape and genocide are bad things?

Leo said...

Again, there was no rape. As for genocide, no man has the vision alone to excuse performing such an act. We don't know that a people will or won't change in the next generation. However, if you are acting on the word of an omniscient God who knows the end from the beginning, and knows that a certain people will never get past their evil ways, then yes, I can completely understand why it happened.

GCT said...

"Again, there was no rape."

Keep telling yourself that. And, keep telling yourself that forced marriage followed by forced sex isn't rape, simply because the women were forced into marriage in order to make it "legit." Oh, what a tangled web of relative morality you Xians weave.

"As for genocide, no man has the vision alone to excuse performing such an act. We don't know that a people will or won't change in the next generation. However, if you are acting on the word of an omniscient God who knows the end from the beginning, and knows that a certain people will never get past their evil ways, then yes, I can completely understand why it happened."

Wow, more relative morality.

So, you can understand why a supposedly perfect god that can literally do anything couldn't find a better way to deal with man's evil than by having his minions completely wipe out other races/tribes/cultures? Really? He couldn't find a better way that didn't lead to rape? Really?

And, you can't play the ignorance card either. You can't claim that we don't have enough information to judge god's actions, and then turn around and judge god's actions as good. You can't have it both ways. Either we do have enough information to judge god's actions, and we could find him either good or evil, or we don't have enough information and we can't claim that god is good or evil until we get more information.

Leo said...

"And, you can't play the ignorance card either. You can't claim that we don't have enough information to judge god's actions, and then turn around and judge god's actions as good."

I did not say that. What I said was that no man could commit "genocide" rightfully because he doesn't know that the people being wiped out would never improve. God CAN see that far ahead, and therefore has the right to make such a call.

GCT said...

Leo,
"I did not say that. What I said was that no man could commit "genocide" rightfully because he doesn't know that the people being wiped out would never improve. God CAN see that far ahead, and therefore has the right to make such a call."

Sorry, but you are basically saying what I claimed.

The issue is whether god is justified in committing genocide. You're claiming that we can't know all the facts, but that god does, so therefore god is justified. Unless you think that the very fact of having that knowledge allows god to do anything he wants and be justified (a dubious proposition) then you are claiming that we don't have enough information and that we know enough to say that god is good.

You can't have it both ways. If we don't know enough to say whether genocide is merited (I'm hard pressed to think of a situation where it would be, especially for an omni-max god) then we can't very well turn around and claim that it was since god did it. It's assuming your conclusion.

Leo said...

While you still are misrepresenting my statement, I'll jump over to your point just for the sake of a discussion. We have enough information that God is good from the entirety of his actions. To take one action out of context and say he is not is a dishonest conclusion.

GCT said...

Leo,
"While you still are misrepresenting my statement..."

I'm doing nothing of the sort. You are trying to have it both ways.

"We have enough information that God is good from the entirety of his actions."

Only if you throw out the instances of genocide and other evil things...by claiming that we don't have enough information to judge god as being evil. You're reasoning in a circular manner as well. You claim that god is good by his actions. Any evil actions are not actually evil because god is good, and we know that is so by his actions.

"To take one action out of context and say he is not is a dishonest conclusion."

OK, first off, let's get it straight who is actually doing this. You are the one taking one action (many actually) and simply tossing them out as if they don't count in favor of your pre-conceived conclusion. Secondly, I've already pointed out your logically fallacious argumentation.

Thirdly, isn't god supposed to be all good, and not just "mostly" good?

Let's say a serial killer is also a philanthropist, helps soup kitchens, raises orphans, kisses his mother, etc. Would you claim that that person is good from the entirety of his actions and simply hand-wave away the serial killing? What if the person was like Dexter of the tv show and only killed as a vigilante? Would that make it OK? I mean, I'm sure Saddam Hussein was a nice guy to his friends as was probably every dictator in history. This doesn't make them good people, just as god sometimes answering a prayer doesn't make up for genocide, rape, torture, murder, germs and diseases, natural evil, etc.

ethinethin said...

To take one action out of context and say he is not is a dishonest conclusion.

Since when talking about god, you deal in absolutes, this is simply false. Either God is all-good or he isn't.

If he has committed one action that is not good, then he is not all-good.

An all-powerful god commanding his subjects to completely eradicate another culture, instead of using his infinite power in a more humane and constructive manner, is not good.

These were people, not monsters.

Leo said...

Did you miss the "out of context" part? I am in no way saying ANY of his actions were not good. The things He did were all for good. He was protecting and furthering His chosen people. That's why we still have Jewish people, and you've never run into a Hittite.

GCT said...

Leo,
You're still relying on circular logic and assuming your conclusion. You're also ignoring the whole part about god being omnipotent and omniscient and not being able to figure out a better way than to have his "chosen people" (as an aside, why choose some people over others from the outset as god did, if god supposedly loves us all and is omni-benevolent? Just the act of choosing some over others shows that god is not omni-benevolent...) slaughter a whole other ethnic/cultural group. For no other entity would you grant such excesses, which means that you are also engaging in special pleading.

Oh, the contortions you apologists must go through to defend the indefensible.

Leo said...

omni-benevolence is only an attribute you give to God. God is angry with the wicked and will indeed punish them, or if necessary completely remove them as a stumbling block.

GCT said...

Leo,
"omni-benevolence is only an attribute you give to God. God is angry with the wicked and will indeed punish them, or if necessary completely remove them as a stumbling block."

So, you reject the idea of an omni-max god? Interesting. Why do you then go to such great lengths to defend god's actions as good? You have no need if you jettison the idea that god is omni-good. Of course, why should we worship such a being? Why should we not oppose the vicious tyrant that orders rape, genocide, etc.?

Leo said...

Omni-good and omni-benevolent are not synonyms. Biblically "good" = the will of God, or perfect righteousness. This definition of "good" is why I say even the actions that humanly would be wrong because of our narrow scope are okay if they are done to preserve a level of righteousness. Omni-Benevolent can be taken to = working for the good of all. Romans 8:38 does not say that he does this. It says He does it for those who love Him and follow his commandments.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Omni-good and omni-benevolent are not synonyms. Biblically "good" = the will of God, or perfect righteousness. This definition of "good" is why I say even the actions that humanly would be wrong because of our narrow scope are okay if they are done to preserve a level of righteousness. Omni-Benevolent can be taken to = working for the good of all. Romans 8:38 does not say that he does this. It says He does it for those who love Him and follow his commandments."

So, god is not omni-benevolent, check. god does not love us all, check. You don't see a problem with this? You think a god that exhibits these traits is worthy of worship? Why, because he has power?

But, let's look at it more closely, shall we. You've already jettisoned the idea of the omni-max god (which is at odds with most Xians, so are you or are they the True Xians?) You're now getting rid of absolute morality as well. god can do whatever he wants, and you label it as "good" by definition no matter the moral implications. This is relative morality, which is always refreshing when it comes from a Xian.

In addition, with your re-definition of words, you nullify the idea of "good." I suggest you use a different word. What god does is what god does...call it godactions. When we talk about "good" we are talking about things that are moral, helpful, etc. You can not claim that god is good using the regular definition of the word.

Also, to look closer at something you said:
"This definition of "good" is why I say even the actions that humanly would be wrong because of our narrow scope are okay if they are done to preserve a level of righteousness."

Righteousness in this sense is circularly defined as whatever god wants. So, what is good is whatever god wants, which is righteous, and it is righteous because it is good, meaning that it accords with god's will. You're making a useless tautology that does not get your god off the hook for committing evil.

Either that, or you are still assuming your conclusions that god only acts in the interest of good. Therefore if we see something as evil, it is because we don't have enough information to draw conclusions of evil from god's actions, which is what I originally pointed out that you so vehemently objected to.

So, to summarize, you are either not really excusing god's actions and hiding behind semantics, conflation, and re-definition of words, which causes tautologies and circular logic, or you are assuming your conclusions and trying to have it both ways. Not a good day for you, is it?

Leo said...

LOL! You are amusing. Really, great with your words, shoulda been a lawyer. Reminds me of Johnny Cochran. OJ was still guilty though, whether or not someone quick with words could get him past a jury.

I have no "redefined" anything. You just live in a bubble where every word can only have one definition, and you are the only one who knows what the "correct" definition is. Reminds me of what you accuse "True Christians" of doing.

Biblically, "good" = righteous. God is our measuring stick for what is righteous. It is impossible for him to do anything that is not righteous. This is not circular reasoning. It is saying that the Well is where water (and only water) comes from, and therefore, if anything comes from the well, it is inherently water. Pure logic. Totally rational.

GCT said...

Leo,
I'm the one who is laughing, because you really have no clue, do you?

"Biblically, "good" = righteous. God is our measuring stick for what is righteous."

Why? Because the Bible says so. And, you don't see the circularity in that?

What does it mean to be "righteous" anyway? You've made a tautology (sorry for using words you don't understand, but there are resources you can use to look them up) that doesn't explain anything. "Righteous," the way you've defined it means what god wants/does. Then, you've re-defined "good" to be the same thing. But, this is not the same meaning for "good" as we've been discussing, as in "not evil." When god slaughters indiscriminately, this is rather evil, especially since it is not in self-defense and it is not used as a last resort (meaning it does not fit the criteria of just war - and even if it did, there are limits as to how much damage one should inflict and still remain just). You are playing word games in order to convince yourself and others that this is somehow OK. It is not, and you should not be defending such actions. Face it, you have no way of arguing for god's actions here except to commit logical fallacies and conflate words.

Leo said...

GCT - "Why? Because the Bible says so. And, you don't see the circularity in that?"

First off, the Bible has been proven true by fulfilled prophecy, archeology, astronomy, biology, etc. On top of these things, I have a personal relationship with God that I can rely on as well. We've been through these things before, and you are willfully ignorant of them.

Secondly, why do you believe in anything you learned in school that you haven't actually studied for yourself? Because your textbooks say so. Of course, your teachers verified it, but only because they studied textbooks that say so as well. You are guilty of the same thing you try to assign to other people. The only difference is, if you believe the things in the textbook, you don't have to change your life. If you believe the things in the Bible, you've got to change habits, behaviors, and your whole way of thinking. And you're not willing to do that.

GCT said...

Leo,
"First off, the Bible has been proven true by fulfilled prophecy, archeology, astronomy, biology, etc."

OK, now I know you're joking. Genesis is way off. Exodus never happened. We have scant evidence of the existence of Jesus, which means it's far from proven. Prophecy? Really? You mean the ones where people wrote Jesus's character after the fact to claim that he fulfilled prophecy and still got some wrong? So, I know you're joking. Even if the historical things were true, that's not necessarily indicative that your interpretation that god is good is correct or that god was telling the truth.

"On top of these things, I have a personal relationship with God that I can rely on as well."

And, how do you know that? What you should be saying here is that you believe you have a personal relationship with a god figure, but you aren't sure of that and can't admit it as evidence. For all you know, you may be talking to a completely different supernatural being, like Satan, who is leading you away from the True god Allah.

"We've been through these things before, and you are willfully ignorant of them."

We have? I don't recall. If we did, I'm sure I brought up the same objections. So, I'm sure you had answers to them then, what were they again?

"Secondly, why do you believe in anything you learned in school that you haven't actually studied for yourself?"

Um, what I learned in school is what I've studied?

"Because your textbooks say so."

And because we have verifiable evidence and reasons to believe that those things are so. Take physics for example. Drop something and measure the acceleration and lo and behold, it matches what the physics textbook says. There is no analogous procedure for religion.

"Of course, your teachers verified it, but only because they studied textbooks that say so as well."

And because those textbooks are based on evidence.

"You are guilty of the same thing you try to assign to other people."

Without evidence for your position, this is blatantly incorrect.

"The only difference is, if you believe the things in the textbook, you don't have to change your life."

That and that the things in the textbook are backed by evidence.

"If you believe the things in the Bible, you've got to change habits, behaviors, and your whole way of thinking. And you're not willing to do that."

If I believe that god committed genocide, what do I have to change? Regardless, are you seriously making the argument that god is good and justified in committing genocide because you believe I would have to be a better person if I believed in the Bible? (This also begs the question of better how and in what way? I don't think giving up reason, logic, and evidential thinking would be an improvement, for one.)

Leo said...

Physics is not what I was speaking of, and you know it. History would be the closest comparison. How do you know people with no living ancestors lived??

GCT said...

Leo,
So, we are going to talk about a new topic now? Are you giving up on trying to apologize for god's many genocides?

If you want to talk about history, then so be it. How do we know that Abraham Lincoln lived or was president, etc? Well, it's because we have evidence of it. We have documents that he's written, we have historical accounts of his actions, and we have corroborating reports.

How about Caesar? Again, we have corroborating reports, etc. In short, we have evidence.

For god? We have a single, uncorroborated source that is rife with error and reads like any other myth.

ethinethin said...

First off, the Bible has been proven true by ... biology

How so?

ethinethin said...

A longer reply, though I would still like to hear how biology has been used to "prove" the bible true (especially since "proof" is a mathematical concept rather than a scientific one).

First off, the Bible has been proven true by fulfilled prophecy, archeology, astronomy, biology, etc.

Fulfilled prophecy is kind of a mixed bag. There's a lot of prophecies in the bible. Some of them could be interpreted to have come true, others not. Some people read their horoscopes every day and believe it is a kind of fulfilled prophecy. Some people point out a few Nostradamus prophecies that came true, but neglect the multitude of those which did not. It's so subjective, I don't think any scholar would use fulfilled prophecy within the same book to prove the legitimacy of the book.

Archeology has, in fact, shown much evidence that the bible is not 100% accurate. There's been teams and teams of archeologists in Israel that have found no conclusive evidence. You could stretch this to be anthropology, of which archeology is a subfield, which consistently shows how various cultures have come to be. In nearly all post-agricultural states, the first leaders have been religious leaders. I think the prominence of so many pre-Judaism religions would cast doubt on the religion of the bible being "the true religion", far from "proving" it.

Astronomy has shown that, rather than being the center of the universe, orbited by the sun and that "night light" the moon, that the universe is a really big place and earth is just a very, tiny blip compared to the whole place. Furthermore, astronomy shows that the universe is in the neighborhood of 13.7 billion years old, far from the "biblical literalism" of guessing how long each generation lived.

Biology has shown that man was not specifically created by god as is, but evolved from millions of years of development as early mammals, hominoids, hominids. The "order" of organisms created presented in genesis is very, very shoddy and not very accurate according to biology. We know this from tons of evidence, primarily geological dating of the fossil record, but genetic evidence has confirmed this -- if there was ever a discovery that could have shown evolution to be unviable, it would have been the discovery of DNA; fortunately it confirmed and strengthened the theory.

Leo said...

Did I apologize? I would never apologize for God's actions. If He did it, it was right. Not because of his power, but because of his omniscience.

If you want a lesson in the evidence proving the Bible's veracity, check out The Bible Proof Book

Leo said...

Oops. Add pdf to the end of that address for the book.

GCT said...

Leo,
"Did I apologize? I would never apologize for God's actions."

Most people would at least find genocide and rape to be distasteful, but apparently you revel in them. You are a scary individual.

"If He did it, it was right."

So you assert, but none of your arguments have been at all compelling. You've been reduced to simply asserting, as you've just done. I'm sorry, but I don't accept your relative morality, and I don't accept that god is right for committing genocide and rape simply because.

"Not because of his power, but because of his omniscience."

So, simply because he's omniscient that gives him free license to do anything he wants and have you call it "good?" I fail to see how perfect knowledge gives anyone the right to act immorally, and further the right to have those acts labelled as moral.

Leo said...

Ok. We disagree. Isn't that where we started?

GCT said...

Leo,
"Ok. We disagree. Isn't that where we started?"

We disagree indeed. I don't support genocide, you do. I think it's horrible, you don't. I think rape is horrible, you don't. Sure, we can disagree, but I'm left feeling like you are an immoral monster and I don't want to meet you in a deserted alleyway, especiallly not if you are coming from a prayer meeting or church or something.

Anonymous said...

I think for any human being to commit "genocide" is horrible. They have neither the authority nor the evidence that it's necessary. Only God would have such a right.

As for rape, there is no evidence that God condoned rape despite your attempts. I agree that rape is a horrible, deplorable thing.

Did you know GCT that you fulfill prophecy by calling God evil?

GCT said...

"I think for any human being to commit "genocide" is horrible. They have neither the authority nor the evidence that it's necessary. Only God would have such a right."

How does anyone or anything have that "right?" That's despicable.

"As for rape, there is no evidence that God condoned rape despite your attempts. I agree that rape is a horrible, deplorable thing."

Sorry, but when you can actually argue against the many instances that I brought to the table, then you can claim such. Until then, the only evidence is what is written in your holy book, and you and Leo saying, "Nuh uh," simply doesn't cut it.

"Did you know GCT that you fulfill prophecy by calling God evil?"

Did you know that I don't actually think god is evil?

Leo said...

You just called him despicable. I would think that qualifies.

GCT said...

Leo,
I'm sorry that you don't understand the idea of speaking in hypotheticals, but simply because I argue that the god you believe in would be despicable if he existed, it does not mean that I think he actually exists.

Further, I didn't say that god was despicable, but that the idea that some god would have the right to commit genocide at will is despicable (please work on those reading comprehension skills).

If your god existed, he would indeed be evil, but since he doesn't exist...

Anonymous said...

Well God does exist, so you need to decide what you REALLY think of him. You'll get the chance to tell him. If you think you will tell him off, and then be some martyr for a cause, think again. Those who are sympathetic with your misguided thoughts will be in no position to even see it happen, or ever know about it.

GCT said...

Anon,
"Well God does exist..."

Evidence pls. The truth is you have no idea whether this is so or not. And, if you really examine the evidence that we do have, it doesn't point towards your god, but rather casts his existence is major doubt.

"If you think you will tell him off, and then be some martyr for a cause, think again."

I would hope that I would have the fortitude to stand up to god's tyranny, sadism, and evil, but I would probably be rather scared of a genocidal maniac that has no qualms with torturing people for eternity (which indicates a truly sick mind).

"Those who are sympathetic with your misguided thoughts will be in no position to even see it happen, or ever know about it."

Which makes it easier for god to carry out his evil. That's why people who try to abuse others often do it behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

God has no reason to fear anyone, so that would not even make sense.

GCT said...

More indicators that it's all made up.

Anonymous said...

No, it was only your assertion that God judged you one on one so others wouldn't see. Me disproving your assertion says nothing about God.

GCT said...

First of all, you didn't disprove anything, you simply asserted. Secondly, it's not even true. If god wanted us to love him so that he can twist the knife even harder after we die, then it would be even harder to do so if we knew what he was really up to, hence, he has to keep it secret. See how easy it is to make stuff up?

This simply points towards a human origin of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

You are out of your mind. That post made no sense.

Anonymous said...

Once again proof that the atheists are immoral.

GCT said...

"You are out of your mind. That post made no sense."

Which part, the part where I came up with a plausible reason why god would want to hide his true motives from you? Or was it the part where I mentioned what is the more likely scenario (that men wrote the Bible, not god)?

"Once again proof that the atheists are immoral."

Morality has nothing to do with this, except to point out that your god seems to not know what morality is.

Anonymous said...

"Which part, the part where I came up with a plausible reason why god would want to hide his true motives from you?"

God has no reason to hide anything from his people. After all, our opinion of Him wouldn't change His plans, only maybe accomplish them in a different way.

The "immoral" comment was not mine. I assume somebody is being clever again.

GCT said...

"God has no reason to hide anything from his people."

Um, yeah he does. If he wants us to love him so that the hurt is that much worse when he turns around and tortures us, then he would have to hide this from us so that we wouldn't turn from him in disgust. IOW, he would have to hide it in order to get what he wants. I see no reason to accept your assertion as any more valid than the one I just put forth.

"After all, our opinion of Him wouldn't change His plans, only maybe accomplish them in a different way."

Unless his plans are predicated on what we know. Again, I see no reason to take your assertions as any more valid than any other assertion as to the nature of god and what he wants/doesn't want. If we look at the evidence of god's actions, it would actually support my contentions a little better, in fact, since if god is as you say, then he would have nothing to hide, but would be hiding anyway. Curious.

Anonymous said...

You are off your rocker. Your assertion can't contradict the Bible, or there's no point in furthering a discussion. Without the Bible man cannot know the nature of God, or even how to be saved. If you're gonna throw it out, you cannot make any assumption about the Christian God.

GCT said...

"Your assertion can't contradict the Bible, or there's no point in furthering a discussion."

IOW, the question of whether god is legit as is commonly interpreted (rightly or wrongly) from the Bible must be settled by using the interpretation in question. Nice circular reasoning.

"Without the Bible man cannot know the nature of God, or even how to be saved. If you're gonna throw it out, you cannot make any assumption about the Christian God."

Ha ha ha. Even with the Bible you have no idea about the nature of god or even if this god exists. Do you think that the Bible is accurate if Hinduism is the correct religion? Or how about whether Bible is accurate if god is lying to you and really is a sick, sadistic SOB that loves to torture people, especially those that love him, for the extra sadistic kick.

Anonymous said...

GCT said, "Do you think that the Bible is accurate if Hinduism is the correct religion?"

Not a problem. Hinduism is not. There is but one true God and that is the God of the Bible. You can posit what you will, but one day you will indeed answer to the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Check mate, atheists.

GCT said...

"Not a problem. Hinduism is not. There is but one true God and that is the God of the Bible. You can posit what you will, but one day you will indeed answer to the Lord."

At the risk of conversing with Poe...

Me: How do you know that the Bible is correct?
Anon: Because it is. Now I shall issue a threat on behalf of god.

I hope we can all see why that's not at all compelling.

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