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Nov 19 2012

Lutheran Citations

I’m going to use this forum to address a criticism made against me on YouTube.  I don’t think it warrants a video response, but neither can I properly convey my defense in comment blocks limited to 500 characters or less; especially when YouTube doesn’t allow them to be sorted and read in order, and they’ll all be difficult to find or read in sequence mere moments after posting.  I think it is much more appropriate in this case to rebut those charges here.

Whenever I’ve made any significant error on the web, be it on videos, blogs, or whatever, one of my peers would usually point it out to me early on, and I would make the necessary corrections.  For example, I once posted a quote erroneously attributed to Philip Johnson, and then retracted it immediately upon word that it wasn’t said *by* him but *about* him.  When I get something wrong, I admit it.

Yet it seems my credibility is under attack by some YouTuber who actually thinks he has something worth crowing about.  In the comments on his channel, I see allegations that I am a definitely dishonest coward, deliberately lying in order to further my ‘agenda’.  Sadly this is how theists typically react whenever they disagree with me.

I haven’t actually seen either of the videos this guy has made about me.  At this point, I’m still more than a month behind on a couple thousand comments and personal messages I’m still trying to catch up on.  I usually can’t spare the time to watch the videos I want to see, much less listening to people gripe about mere opinions.  If there was any substance to it, someone I trust would have made me aware of it by now, and that didn’t happen.  So I figured there was no legitimate complaint; just a matter of interpretation.  Now that I found his script against me on his blog, I see that I was right.  He just wants to believe that some once-respectable historic theologian was more reasonable than I think he could have been.

My challenger’s whole complaint against me is limited to this:  I cited a quote popularly attributed to Martin Luther, (the 16th century founder of Protestant Christianity) for which the original source was never posted.  That’s it, that’s my alleged ‘lie’.

Now in fairness, I have used a different quote –again from Luther- which also had no discernible source, and I stopped using that one, because I couldn’t verify anywhere else he ever said that.  Ironically that quote was him purportedly defending the tactic of lying to further a religious agenda.  That quote is also considered questionable, because it is out-of-character for Luther, not like anything else he ever said.  However the quote I am being criticized for now is typical of the sentiments Luther is known to have repeated in identified works.

“Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads…”

So I am accused of misrepresenting Luther, as if he didn’t really say that unless I can prove that he did.  Funny how the burden of proof shifts depending on whether one is arguing for faith vs any other topic.  Much of my challenger’s accusations stem from a misunderstanding of what he thinks my interpretation is, and whether Luther thought that means that no illness could ever have a natural cause.  That’s not quite how I read it, but that’s not the real issue.

I must admit I don’t know the origin of this particular quote either, but at least I can show where Luther *did* say this, (albeit paraphrased) in another identified work, specifically his ‘Table Talks’.  My accuser claims to have read that, and yet he somehow missed this:

DLXXXIII.
“It was asked : Can good Christians and God-fearing people also undergo witchcraft?  Luther replied: Yes; for our bodies are always exposed to the attacks of Satan.  The maladies I suffer are not natural, but devil’s spells.

Notice that Luther says that none of his own maladies are natural; they’re all caused by witchcraft.

DCCLXXXIII.
“The physicians in sickness consider only of what natural causes the malady proceeds, and this they cure, or not, with their physic. But they see not that often the devil casts a sickness upon one without any natural causes. A higher physic must be required to resist the devil’s diseases; namely, faith and prayer, which physic may be fetched out of God’s Word.”  

Notice that Luther says some diseases are devils’ work, but that physicians attempt to heal these infirmities as though they proceeded from natural causes.  My critic says that Luther permits that demonic diseases could still have natural causes.  Here we see that is not always the case –if it ever is.  Here Luther is clearly denying that there is anything natural about these illnesses.  This directly contradicts my challenger’s criticism of me.

DLXXIV.
“Many devils are in woods» in waters, in wildernesses, and in dark pooly places, ready to hurt and prejudice people; some are also in the thick black clouds, which cause hail, lightnings, and thunderings, and poison the air, the pastures and grounds. When these things happen^ then the philosophers and physicians say, it is natural, ascribing it to the planets, and showing I know not what reasons for such misfortunes and plagues as Ensue«”

Notice that Luther allows for many instances wherein demons may establish themselves into their victims.

DXCVII.
“I maintain that Satan produces all the maladies which afflict mankind, for he is the prince of death. St Peter speaks of Christ as healing all that are oppressed of the devil.  He not only cured those who were possessed, but he restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, strength to the paralytic; therefore I think all grave infirmities are blows and strokes of the devil,”

Notice that Luther says that *all* diseases –specifically including the lame, the blind, and the dumb, are essentially curses, spells, and hexes –not stemming from natural causes.

Luther also repeatedly makes reference to “ignorant blockheads”, although in his ‘Table Talk’, he only used that label when referring to papal authorities.  He did say doctors were ignorant though.  In the same paragraph my antagonist cited, Luther criticized medical science as ‘fanciful theories’ in which he has no faith; because he noted that different healers gave different prescriptions for the same maladies.  He said medicine could be replaced with a good diet and an early bed time, and he said that graveyards are filled with those who followed their doctors’ advice.  Luther appears to believe that natural medicine CAN work on natural bodies, but only in accordance with prayer.  Otherwise they’re guilty of homicide.  Obviously Luther’s love of medical science wasn’t as great as my challenger prefers to believe.

The last time this particular antagonist questioned my credibility, it was about yet another quote from Martin Luther’s ‘Table Talks’, but as I understand it, that time it was a quote that the entire Protestant Christian community seems perfectly accepting of –despite the implications which only seem obvious to rationalists.

CCCLIII.
reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but^^ — more frequently than not — struggles against the Divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.

Years ago, I read quite a lot of Luther’s ravings -especially from his sermons themselves.  From those I wrote a scathing report of him.  I could do the same for Calvin too.  These men both made careers out of pig-headed comments like these.

So I have obviously NOT misrepresented Luther’s position either on the subject of faith over reason, nor on the matter of spells and hexes vs medical science –despite how some critics claim to have ‘corrected’ me on either point.  Luther was himself an ignorant blockhead and deserves no apology from me.

On a final note, I have specific criteria required before I accuse someone of lying: (1) They have to be wrong, (2) they have to know that they’re wrong, and (3) there should be an apparent attempt to deceive someone.  If you accuse someone of lying, and they’re not, -either because they’re innocently mistaken, or especially when they’re right, then it’s rather like sinking the cue along with the 8-ball.  It means you blew it, because a false accusation is nearly as bad as the lie itself.  One shouldn’t make that accusation so readily.

59 comments

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  1. 1
    TheTexanCanadian

    I love that you didn’t list the name of your accuser. Good for you.

    1. 1.1
      Raymond

      That’s because AronRa is clearly a class act and not the best example of a ‘classless society’ as his accuser is. But what sux, is honest aboveboard folks, or scientists, like AronRa have to deal with the dishonest, disengenuous, and foolish tactics of creationists’ dreck that will spew anything as they have no respect for truth or the facts. But Xians particularly are historically notorious for inserting lies about their Xian religion into official histories written by true scholars who are dedicated historians who seek the story as close to the truth as they can get it. I know most humans are all filled with their own hidden biases no matter how they try to be on the side of justice and truth, but, for example, just as men who are aware of their sexist thoughts, they don’t always have to see the world through that particular bias, but can strive to correct, or to at least be aware they do have a bias that may color what their views are.
      Given a belief in god or in truth, I will go with truth at every turn, as truth is indeed timeless, and though facts do change, truth never does, god also changes depending on those who believe in god, as over 30,000 Xian sects can be attested to, therefore contrary to Xian dogma that god is unchanging, timeless and compassionate, give me a person who is for truth over a god any time, and I will show you someone who is truly a part of timelessness, unchanging, and knows compassion.
      BTW, they’ll most likely be an atheist.:-)

    2. 1.2
      The Anti Atheist

      But he linked to his “accuser”.

      Passive Agressive behavior of an aging hippie with Low T.

  2. 2
    Reedstilt

    I posted this on the youtube video as well:

    ‘Found a source for you: “The history of the supernatural in all ages and nations, Vol II” by William Howitt, 1863. You can find the book on Google Books; the quotation is on page 73. Howitt’s citation appears to be “Tischreden 212,” though I haven’t confirmed that yet.’

    1. 2.1
      reedstilt

      And to follow up: I think I’ve tracked it down to a letter written by Luther on July 14th, 1528 to Wenzel Link, but so far I haven’t found a version of the letter translated in this specific way. Instead, the versions I’ve found say this:

      “My opinion of lunatics is, that all idiots and insane persons are possessed by the devils [...]. Physicians may attribute such things to natural causes, and sometimes partly cure them by medicine, but they are ignorant of the power of devils.”

      The letter goes on to list the deaf, dumb, and lame as also having their afflictions arising from satanic torment.

      1. retepvosnul

        Do you have a link to the original non translated text of the letter? I could look how accurately the translation matches the original.

        1. reedstilt

          As of yet, no. Patient Zero for the quotation in English appears to be Jules Michelet’s “The Life of Luther” from 1846 (at least that’s the earliest I’ve been able to find so far, and the quote shows up in a few other works at the same time–one of which specific cites Michelet). It’s on p. 321 of Michelet’s 1846 edition, which you can find on Google Books. His sources are described in a footnote on page X, though I’m unsure which is being used for this particular letter.

          That book did give me the date for the letter, and I found a English translation of a letter for that date in “Luther’s Correspondence and Other Contemporary Letters, Volume 2″ from 1918. That’s the one I quoted above. The citation there appears to be “Luthers Briefwechsel, bearbietet von E.L. Enders, vi, 298.” I haven’t tracked that down yet.

          1. retepvosnul

            In “die Briefe” that particular letter is printed in German, but nothing that remotely looks like the translations is present there.
            I’ll search through the rest of them.

        2. Folies d'Espagne

          You can find the original non-translated latin by googling:

          Dr. Martin Luthers Briefe, sendschreiben und bedenken volume 3

          It will be the second search item, a googlebook. Put the number 347 in the “search inside”" slot, hit it, and then click on the “Page 347″ link.

          1. retepvosnul

            That seems much better.
            Time to get out the old Latin dictionary and grammar rulebook.

            Dammit, I’m a archaeologist in marine and pre-history, not the classic Mediterranean!

  3. 3
    Kevin

    Of course, ironically, Luther was probably right about avoiding the advice of the doctors of the day.

    But the belief that illness was a manifestation of demons was quite common back then. Heck, the entire book of Matthew is the story of demon-hunting Jesus curing everyone in the Middle East with his magic juju. It’s better than Ghostbusters.

    So, I’m wondering just what your critic is trying to imply. That Luther knew that the common cold was caused by a virus? That the Black Death was caused by a bacterium? That tuberculosis was caused by a mycobacterium?

    Not unless he had a time machine that went 350 years into the future, he didn’t.

    1. 3.1
      Raymond

      Pastors and priests were attributing illnesses like smallpox to ‘demons who lurk just below the clouds ready to pounce on the unsuspecting evil wicked sinners and to instill penance from god.’ I don’t remember where I copied that actual quote from(I have a file listing quotes I find from time to time in what I read), but it was in relation to the church being against inoculation from smallpox(thankfully folks didn’t buy into that demon idea for illness and allowed inoculations which brought the death rate from smallpox down to 2-3% from a generational steady statistical rate of 25% dead). Some in the church was even against bathing due to their claim of it being from the devil, and would never wash their clothes even(many of them suffered from boils, mange, and other skin diseases from bad hygiene alone).
      Many who bothered to bathe daily, and wash their clothes, were actually persecuted by pastors and the leaders in the church.
      Btw, we can thank that godless Princess Caroline of Brunswick for the start to eradicating smallpox through her inoculation advocacy. On her deathbed she also refused church leaders to visit her, but there were those in gov’t who felt the people should not know of her sacrilege against Xianity, religion, and the church.

    2. 3.2
      Sassafras

      It’s better than Ghostbusters.

      You take that back! >:C

  4. 4
    Psychopomp Gecko

    What it amounts to is that theists like to think that any one potential mistake, even if it’s a period in the wrong place, invalidates the arguments of their critics. Darn grammar nazis, marching all over youtube with their “Gott Mit Uns” belt buckles.

    Doesn’t matter how much else of what you said is true, doesn’t matter if the argument is just one of a hundred that shows them to be wrong, they’ve decided that period is what makes you wrong.

    Similar to biblical views on women, in fact. *rimshot*

  5. 5
    thecartesiantheist

    I responded on my blog.

    1. 5.1
      Iana

      Cartesian
      Fuck off.
      You are a cheap whore troll.
      Go suck someone else’s cock.
      ,

  6. 6
    reynoldhall

    Well, looks like the “Cartesian Theist” didn’t care for your response too much.

    1. 6.1
      aronra

      Who cares? His first response was just to complain that I didn’t link to his video. Then he drags the conversation back to his blog. I get the impression that he is only interested in generating internet traffic. I’m not gonna give it to him.

      1. reynoldhall

        Now that I think about it, it’s probably a good idea.

        Too bad I didn’t notice that he’d already posted before I linked to his site.

        Meh, it won’t happen again.

      2. thecartesiantheist

        Your “impression” is, of course, a perfect ad hominem response as you are, no doubt, aware. You really think I’m after the calibre of “traffic” a dialogue with you will bring me?! By the way, if that really was my intention it’s not a very good one since it has not given me many extra views on my blog or my YT account. Perhaps you’re not quite the celebrity you imagine yourself to be? Just saying. It would be nice if you could at least admit I did not claim you were deliberately lying. All the best.

        1. thecartesiantheist

          By the way if you don’t want to send any more “traffic” my way just come and post on my blog. Hardly anyone goes there. It’ll be nice and quiet I promise.

          1. aronra

            There is no need for us to have a ‘dialogue’. Troll somebody else. As I said, there is no point in arguing over mere matters of opinion, and I don’t have time to waste on that. We’ve already both said our peice. However appropriate my response was compared to however unwarranted your challenge was, and however defensible either of our perspectives are, I will leave open for discussion by whoever cares to.

          2. aronra

            Your snarky comment, (being the first notice I saw indicating that any citation was ever requested) was posted to an children’s charity video on an unrelated account. The inappropriate placement of your comment either implies that you thought I was trying to avoid you, (which could hardly be the case, and why would I?) wherein you wanted to imply that I was being dishonest, (because why else would you behave that way?) or you were simply being an inconsiderate ass, or all three.

            Since you said you had read ‘Table Talks’ yet somehow not only missed the important references, but didn’t catch the relevance in the quotes you listed, then it is not surprising that you overlook or don’t understand these things, but I will remind you that I did already explain that I found those accusations in the comments of your video, not in the video itself. Perhaps you could try reading for comprehension -unless my first guess is correct, and you’re just trying to be an ass. If that was your goal, congratulations. However if that was not your intent, then you should seek advice on how to improve your communication skills.

        2. aronra

          As I said in my post, there were accusations against my honesty in the comments to your video, not the video itself. Obviously I was referring to your viewers. However as I sift through the last month of unread comments and emails, I’m finding plenty of snarky comments from you like,

          “It’s a shame you don’t show up when you’re being called out to provide evidence for quotations you have cited from Christians eh?!”

          As if. Yeah, no one reading that would think you were questioning my integrity, would they? BTW, that note, posted to another account for children’s toy charity, was the first notice I saw that you even asked for a citation for any quote. That’s what directed me to your blog in the first place.

          If you’re not hurting for internet traffic, then there was no reason to complain about me not linking to your video; and there’s no reason to drag this conversation out just to take it back to your blog. If your position had any substance, then you would be able to show it here in (I think) a more diverse venue.

          1. thecartesiantheist

            Since when did “snarky” comments = a declaration that I was accusing you of knowingly lying to people? It looked like you were going to completely ignore a perfectly reasonable request for evidence. I think that would probably get you snarky (that’s a great word by the way) too? However, what you have just demonstrated is that I did not accuse you of deliberate lying (and yet this blog makes so very much of that)- because you cannot quote me of doing any such thing. Even though you cannot do so you won’t back down from that false accusation. I think that’s a real shame.

            As for my response video that is not about the traffic. After all – who is coming if sent from your video? Most likely your supporters who will vote my video down probably without even watching it. So I have little to gain from that. Even so this is an ad hominem attack on your part which I’m quite surprised at since you say you love reason. It is about letting the audience know that a reply exists. I could just post it as a video response to some video which gets millions more views than yours do if this was really my intention!

            I have given you an option of where we can talk together and hardly anyone will notice (back on my blog) but you appear not to want that. So I’m stuck really. You are making any dialogue impossible. Would you like me to copy and paste my blog response here then? If I do will I get accused of attention seeking though?!

          2. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

            Since when did “snarky” comments = a declaration that I was accusing you of knowingly lying to people?

            So, that’s all you’ve got? A snarky comment? All this seems quite out of proportion to something as content-free as a bit of snark. Why are you still pursing this then?

            It looked like you were going to completely ignore a perfectly reasonable request for evidence.

            Because everyone in the universe is paying attention to your words, wherever they may be found. We have tracking software so we don’t miss a thing in the great conversation between everyone else and you. Aaron Ra is obviously just being a dick by going out of his way to ignore you.

            However, what you have just demonstrated is that I did not accuse you of deliberate lying (and yet this blog makes so very much of that)- because you cannot quote me of doing any such thing. Even though you cannot do so you won’t back down from that false accusation. I think that’s a real shame.

            What was your point, then? I mean, aside from not knowing what an ad hominem is, and that “attack” isn’t part of the phrase. (But you do get credit for your verson of “ad hominem attack” being applied in a somewhat novel fashion. What’s the consolation prize for people who don’t win any internets but merit some mention?)

            I have given you an option of where we can talk together and hardly anyone will notice

            You’re missing the point, it has nothing to do with anyone noticing. Or was that another poor attempt at snark?

            (back on my blog) but you appear not to want that.

            Aaron has already responded to you in blogspace. You need to move the conversation he’s already finished with elsewhere why, exactly?

            So I’m stuck really.

            Indeed.

            You are making any dialogue impossible.

            No, that would be you. Why don’t you make an actual counter-argument right here, while you’re already typing away?

            Would you like me to copy and paste my blog response here then?

            You could. It’s what you should have done in the first place.

            If I do will I get accused of attention seeking though?!

            Because no one is thinking that now, after several content-free meta posts here, when you could have just made the damn case for your original point from the start.

        3. Iana

          Cartesian
          Fuck off.
          You are a cheap whore troll.
          Go suck someone else’s cock…

  7. 7
    aronra

    Why would I back down from an accusation I never made?

    1. 7.1
      thecartesiantheist

      Perhaps you would therefore like to explain who you were accusing of calling you a liar if it was not me since you finished with this little sermonette:

      “On a final note, I have specific criteria required before I accuse someone of lying: (1) They have to be wrong, (2) they have to know that they’re wrong, and (3) there should be an apparent attempt to deceive someone. If you accuse someone of lying, and they’re not, -either because they’re innocently mistaken, or especially when they’re right, then it’s rather like sinking the cue along with the 8-ball. It means you blew it, because a false accusation is nearly as bad as the lie itself. One shouldn’t make that accusation so readily.”

      Who was the “you” in “you blew it”? If it’s other people and not me then there’s no point in having it at the end of this blog which was a response to me. So you’re admitting then that I did not blow it but other people who accused you of lying. Therefore no false accusation was made against you by myself and you cannot write my response off for this reason. Now you have made your ending paragraph look very odd by suggesting it was about other people and not me. Why would someone do that and fail to make it clear who they were responding to? Anyway… now is your chance to clarify.

      1. Raymond

        Though you may not be looking for traffic, you’re definitely looking for attention. Your tired, old, irrelevant theists bullshit has been refuted, debunked, and shown to be virtually worthless by so many, even folks who lived 200 years ago, but you shitheads keep beating the same tired old drum.
        If your prized ancient book of which Xianity is based had anything valid or new to say, then why is it the last thing written in your WhollyBabble, or Xian Buy-Bull was in 98 AD/CE?Have any of you YEC shithead Xians not noticed that knowledge of the world has grown exponentially, not just linearly, while you guys plead on behalf of an ad ignoratum argument for ignorance as you talk about how science changes whereas the Buy-Bull is unchanging. Do you also go by last week’s weather report before taking a trip?
        Go soak your head until you can come up with something new to say. You have nothing to say, all the while arrogantly thinking your religion holds the high moral ground, which in fact it does not.
        Watch youtuber user videos by Evid3nc3 and learn a little about your own Xian religion.

        1. thecartesiantheist

          Whether one is or is not looking for attention is beside the point. It’s not relevant to truth who has the most noble intentions. If you’re suggesting that the atheist celebrities online do not crave attention in any way whatsoever then I would suggest you’re being highly selective in your criticisms. Also, I would have to be pretty desperate for attention to be seeking it via popularist-level atheists such as those whom frequent these sites. I would also not be posting back on this thread right now either if that was my primary desire since my blog is not getting much more attention as a result of this exchange!

          I would love to know who you are pointing to with the reference to 200 years ago?

          Your next fallacy is called argumentum ad novitatem.

          I have watched many of the videos done by Evid3nc3 and find them to be overly simplistic. Certainly the uneducated fundie atheist will find much comfort in them but they don’t really do any damage to classical theism. I also have a video up explaining why his epistemology fails if you are interested.

          1. Iana

            Cartesian
            Fuck off.
            You are a cheap whore troll.
            Go suck someone else’s cock.

      2. Iana

        Cartesian
        Fuck off.
        You are a cheap whore troll.
        Go suck someone else’s cock.
        !

  8. 8
    Jaspers

    Hi there, You must have done an excellent task. I will undeniably digg them and me personally recommend to be able to my friends. I am just confident they are benefited from this great site.

  9. 9
    Justin

    The comment battles are almost as fun as the posts.

  10. 10
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    On a complete aside, I always love the “graveyards are full of…” argument. The graveyards are indeed full of people who (insert anything significant numbers of people have been doing for a few decades or more).

  11. 11
    thecartesiantheist

    It appears that the request for AronRa to provide a citation for a quote he used has caused him to feel very insecure. In his reply to me on his ‘Free Thought Bog’ (or ‘blog’ – don’t laugh – they mean well by the title) he begins by stating how willing he is to admit when he has made a mistake. He then writes:

    “…it seems my credibility is under attack by some YouTuber who actually thinks he has something worth crowing about. In the comments on his channel, I see allegations that I am a definitely dishonest coward, deliberately lying in order to further my ‘agenda’.”

    I’m not sure how being asked to provide a citation is an attack on his credibility as such. Whilst implying that he might be a coward I have not actually said that he was “deliberately lying”. At no point in my previous blog post did I do such a thing and neither did I do so on my YT video. Curious that he would immediately go on the defensive to such a degree.

    Still, it might be AronRa’s penchant for second-hand sources which led him to such a conclusion since he then admits:

    “I haven’t actually seen either of the videos this guy has made about me.”

    Fortunately he then found my blog and appears to suggest he read my response there.

    He then says some very odd things about who has the burden of proof when quoting people. He says:

    “So I am accused of misrepresenting Luther, as if he didn’t really say that unless I can prove that he did. Funny how the burden of proof shifts depending on whether one is arguing for faith vs any other topic.”

    Sorry to have to be the one to break it to AronRa but this is how genuine scholarship works. If you claim a quotation was made by someone you bear the burden of proof to demonstrate they actually said it. Even if a quote is in keeping with what the author said elsewhere one must be able to provide a citation. Even when the quote is found in secondary sources it’s authenticity would still be dubious. So it is good practice to make your citations and make them clearly for all to check. What is the alternative? Taking AronRa’s word for it? Is that what he would prefer?

    He then cites some passages in Luther which he appears to think establish the same idea as the dubious quotation. Unfortunately they do no such thing! The dubious quote has Luther sounding like he thought there was no natural element to illness and that all physicians are useless. None of the citations AronRa makes from credible sources say those things. Instead what they do say is that Luther thought there was a spiritual element to illness which can sometimes be quite direct and even when it is not it is ultimately behind the phenomena of illness. These genuine quotes also point to the fact that Luther was quite torn on the issue of medical treatment. He bestows great praise on doctors whilst also sounding extremely cautious about some of their practices (which I will note in a moment was a pretty sensible position to take given the century he lived in).

    AronRa then goes on to demonstrate he did not read the quotes I gave from Luther fairly. He says:

    “In the same paragraph my antagonist cited, Luther criticized medical science as ‘fanciful theories’ in which he has no faith; because he noted that different healers gave different prescriptions for the same maladies.”

    Does AronRa know what ‘medical science’ was claiming at the beginning of the 16th century?

    Many historians of medical science have documented how it was common for doctors, in Luther’s time, to not even touch an ill patient in diagnosis. They were also reliant on ancient Greek wisdom for their techniques (which is one thing Luther wonders about). Medicine was dependent upon the wisdom of Galen and Avicenna the Persian from his work ‘The Canon of Medicine’. People frequently died at the hands of physicians who practiced anesthesia by striking the skull with a wooden hammer! Perhaps AronRa is upset that Luther was not more impressed by blood-letting? The phrase ‘medical science’ is anachronistic to the early 16th century and yet AronRa appears completely unaware of this. He also appears completely oblivious to the Christian doctors of the 16th century who helped to change things for the better. [Which could be an idea for another blog in the future I think.]

    AronRa says:

    “He said medicine could be replaced with a good diet and an early bed time, and he said that graveyards are filled with those who followed their doctors’ advice.”

    Well that is because the graveyards were full of people who went to the 16th century doctor or took their advice!! Also Luther did not say that medicine could be replaced with a good diet and plenty of sleep but rather Luther noted, from his own experience, that this advice had served him well in both avoiding and recovering from an illness. This advice remains quite sound to this day.

    AronRa fails to even engage with, or acknowledge the existence of, quotes which upset his narrow reading of Luther. Passages such as:

    “I do not deny that medicine is a gift of God, nor do I refuse to acknowledge science in the skill of many physicians.”

    “Able, cautious, and experienced physicians, are gifts of God.”

    are simply ignored by him.

    He then finishes his overly defensive blog by then returning to the made up accusation of lying. All in all an even more disappointing response than I could have imagined he were possible of. Even now I don’t accuse him of being a liar. I would prefer to suggest that he’s too ignorant of theology to be a liar.

    1. 11.1
      Iana

      Cartesian
      Fuck off.
      You are a cheap whore troll.
      Go suck someone else’s cock.

      1. thecartesiantheist

        Charming!

    2. 11.2
      aronra

      Like many apologists, CT’s perspective is maintained by pretending, like where he pretends that I must be ‘insecure’. As I already explained in my opening post, I have no need to be, because CT’s criticism is unwarranted. He also ignores repeated points which refute his position. For example, he keeps ignoring where I said that others had posted in his comments accusations that I was allegedly lying. He keeps demanding that I show where he said that himself. Neither does he understand that I know where the burden of proof is, and where the irony is whenever a theist makes that demand of me, and does not apply that standard to himself. The rest of his criticisms are -as I said- misunderstandings about what he thinks I’m thinking. There’s no point in trying to correct him on those things when his position depends on jumping to the wrongest possible conclusions and remaining obtuse in their defense. That’s why he imagines there is such a thing as a ‘correct’ theology. Sorry CT, but there is no truth in your cherished beliefs at all.

      1. thecartesiantheist

        Well here’s the rub then Aron. This supposed reply blog to me was largely not even a reply to me at all but rather to comments made by others who caused you offense. Your final note of this blog is you outlining what you consider the criteria necessary for someone to be accused of lying. Apparently this was not aimed at me at all and yet you spend no time making this clear to the reader!

        At the beginning of the blog you began with “Yet it seems my credibility is under attack by some YouTuber…” Notice the use of the singular and how the context makes it clear that this is me. By the end, according to you now, the finale of you blog reply is a note of conduct aimed not at me but other people writing on the video threads!!

        Therefore when you conclude with “It means you blew it…” we should read that as being ‘you’ plural which = all the people who accused you of lying but not me!

        See how utterly confusing and ambiguous your use of language was? According to you, now at least, I did not actually blow it. So why even have that as your ending? Why did you not make it clear you were reprimanding other people but not me? The AronRa-fan-boys certainly have misread it too judging by the criticisms being leveled against me.

        Anyway, despite how incredibly convoluted this reading of your blog now is, I accept your assurances that you did not intend to accuse me of any such thing. It’s a shame you could not have communicated it better than you actually did. It’s a shame you won’t be able to correct the misunderstandings you created amongst your groupies!

        “Neither does he understand that I know where the burden of proof is, and where the irony is whenever a theist makes that demand of me, and does not apply that standard to himself.” AronRa

        Well I think I know where the burden lies when someone claims that a person said something. And when there is no reference provided the burden is on the person making it to provide good evidence that they did say it. How you cannot see that is beyond me. All real academics accept that as the method by which quotations are made and taken seriously. No-one in academia takes a quotation seriously which is not sufficiently sourced. Perhaps you should talk to some academics about this?

        If I claimed – “AronRa has said that, and I quote verbatim, ‘I am convinced that Christian theism is actually quite rational.’” who has the burden of proof? According to you I should be able to say that it’s true until you demonstrate you did not say it! And how are you ever going to be able to do that conclusively? See the obvious problem?

        Also, in regard to that last quote of yours, I DID apply that standard of evidence to myself since I have sourced ALL the quotations I made of Luther so you can check them. So it is patently wrong of you to suggest I did not meet the criteria I was applying to you. Now you really are making yourself look quite a fool with such accusations. Everyone who can read can see I applied the same measure to myself.

        You have still managed to miss the point that my original question had nothing to do with the intent of your use of the Luther quote but it was a request for you to provide good evidence that Luther actually said it. That you have still, to this moment, not managed to sends a very clear message to any critical thinker.

        As for this piece of hyperbole:

        “Sorry CT, but there is no truth in your cherished beliefs at all.”

        I would like to see the evidence supporting it. It’s an incredibly bold claim. You’re claiming you can demonstrate there is no truth whatsoever in my cherished beliefs. Firstly I’m not entirely sure you know what my cherished beliefs are since you’re preoccupied with American fundamentalist Christianity – so it’s rather weird someone would claim to know there is no truth in a set of beliefs they don’t know very well at all. Certainly presumptuous at the very least! But also you should not be able to support this incredibly bold claim which has been stated as if it were a fact and I have serious doubts you can do that.

        In fact, given your disdain for philosophy, I seriously doubt you have a half-decent working epistemology going for you in order to talk about knowing ‘truth’ at all.

  12. 12
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    “I would prefer to suggest that he’s too ignorant of theology to be a liar.”

    Wonderful.

    Which theology* would that be, then?

    Show me some theologians who agree with one another on all any aspects of theology, if you can. Perhaps I’ll think that there might be something worth learning. Until then, I would regard ignorance of a theology as being on a par with ignorance of the finer points of the mating habits of hippogryphs.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    *Theology, being the study of the imaginary attributes of imaginary beings, is a waste of intellect, time and energy.

    1. 12.1
      thecartesiantheist

      “Show me some theologians who agree with one another on all any aspects of theology, if you can.”

      Sure thing. All Christian theologians agree that God exists. Which century would you like? Let’s begin with the 20th:

      Greg Bahnsen (1948–1995)
      Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988)
      Karl Barth (1886–1968)
      Louis Berkhof (1873–1957)
      Marie-Émile Boismard (1916–2004)
      Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)
      Edgar S. Brightman (1884—1953)
      F.F. Bruce (1910–1990)
      Emil Brunner (1889–1966)
      Rudolf Karl Bultmann (1884–1976)
      G. B. Caird (1917–1984)
      Gordon Clark (1902–1985)
      Edmund Clowney (1917–2005)
      John B. Cobb (1925– )
      James Hal Cone (1938- )
      Yves Congar (1904–1995)
      Oscar Cullmann (1902–1999)
      Dorothy Day (1897—1980)
      Ignacio Ellacuria (1930–1989)
      Avery Dulles (1918–2008)
      Frederic William Farrar (1831–1903)
      Paul S. Fiddes (1947-)
      Peter Taylor Forsyth (1842–1921)
      Hans Wilhelm Frei (1922–1988)
      Justo Gonzalez (1937- )
      J. Kenneth Grider (1921- )
      Gustavo Gutiérrez (1928– )
      Georgia Harkness (1891–1974)
      Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930)
      Carl F. H. Henry (1913–2003)
      Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977)
      Leonard Hodgson (1889–1969)
      Anthony A. Hoekema (1913–1988)
      Heinrich Julius Holtzmann (1832–1910)
      E. Stanley Jones (1884–1973)
      Meredith G. Kline (1922–2007)
      Albert C. Knudson (1873–1953)
      Kosuke Koyama (1929–2009)
      Hans Küng (1928– )
      Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)
      C. S. Lewis (1898 -1963)
      John F. MacArthur (1939-)
      J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937)
      John Macquarrie (1919-)
      Martin E. Marty (1928- )
      Thomas Merton (1915–1968)
      Johann Baptist Metz (1928– )
      John Murray (1898–1975)
      Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)
      H. Richard Niebuhr (1894–1962)
      Anders Nygren (1890–1978)
      Rudolf Otto (1869–1937)
      Albert C. Outler (1908–1989)
      J. I. Packer (1926- )
      Karl Rahner (1904–1984)
      Dorothy Sayers (1893–1957)
      Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984)
      Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
      Fulton Sheen (1895–1979)
      Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843–1919)
      Frank Stagg (1911–2001)
      John Stott (1921-2011)
      Thomas F. Torrance (1913–2007)
      A. W. Tozer (1897–1963)
      Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987)
      Nikolaj Velimirović (1880–1956)
      Geerhardus Vos (1862–1949)
      John Walvoord (1910–2002)
      B. B. Warfield (1851–1921)

      Do you need to be reminded that agreement is not a good requirement for truth though? It leads to a logical fallacy which you might like to look up.

      Of course you view theology that way. No doubt you’ve been fed that view by some Dawkinsian popularist who has a penchant for doing bad theology. The funny thing is that is never appears to stop such people from doing theology themselves. :)

      1. Owlmirror

        All Christian theologians agree that God exists.

        That is, they presuppose that God exists.

        Do you need to be reminded that agreement is not a good requirement for truth though? It leads to a logical fallacy which you might like to look up.

        Odd that you should agree that theology is logical fallacy.

        No doubt you’ve been fed that view by some Dawkinsian popularist who has a penchant for doing bad theology.

        What’s the distinction between good and bad theology? Bad theology assumes its conclusions, and good theology avoids conclusions?

        1. thecartesiantheist

          Owl, Tigger merely asked for something they agreed on since his argument was that they don’t agree on anything at all. I have demonstrated that to be false. ‘Theology’ is not a logical fallacy and you won’t find any such fallacy in logic at all so I did not agree with that at all. I was suggesting he not fall for an argument from popularity as he was flirting with. Well one way of doing bad theology would be to strawman certain theological positions. So, for example, if someone were trying to discredit a theologian by misrepresenting his position on medical care – that would be both an ad hominem and a strawman attack on that theologian. If they then went further and got that person’s theology wrong [for example the way Dawkins does of Aquinas in 'The God Delusion'] then it would be said of that person that they are doing bad theology. Perhaps instead of writing a popularist book on the subject they should have taken a lecture or two from professional theologians so to at least get the arguments of the opposition right. Don’t you agree that’s an important thing?

          1. Elitistb

            “Sure thing. All Christian theologians agree that God exists.”

            I would say they all agree that *A* god exists. The characteristics, capabilities, and performance of that god appear to be fairly unique to each and every one of those separate theologians, such that it is debatable whether they are speaking of the same god.

          2. thecartesiantheist

            @Elitistb,

            Not at all. There are clear themes which belong only to those theologians who can call themselves Christian. The revelation of Jesus as God in the flesh is one such theme.

            Of course there have been different models of how that manifestation is to be understood but even then there is a clear consensus in the Trinitarian model as espoused by early church councils. So there are some huge areas of consensus amongst any theologians within the Christian tradition.

            As for their differences of opinion that is, after all, a good sign of people working out how to rationally understand their doctrine rather than having it handed to them on a silver platter so I hardly think it’s a massive criticism and perhaps is more of a compliment to a process of thinking which is a very rich tradition in Christian history.

          3. Owlmirror

            Owl, Tigger merely asked for something they agreed on since his argument was that they don’t agree on anything at all. I have demonstrated that to be false.

            Only in the most degenerate sense.

            Would you argue that all of the theologians you list would agree on what God is and what God wants?

            ‘Theology’ is not a logical fallacy and you won’t find any such fallacy in logic

            Of course theology is a logical fallacy, beccause all theology is based on logical fallacies.

            I was suggesting he not fall for an argument from popularity

            That is one of many fallacies that believers fall for, true.

            If they then went further and got that person’s theology wrong [for example the way Dawkins does of Aquinas in 'The God Delusion']

            What, exactly, did Dawkins get wrong? I am looking at “The God Delusion”; please reference the exact mistake or mistakes that Dawkins made regarding Aquinas, and explain why they are mistakes.

            Perhaps instead of writing a popularist book on the subject they should have taken a lecture or two from professional theologians so to at least get the arguments of the opposition right.

            Why isn’t reading what Aquinas wrote sufficient?

  13. 13
    Justin

    “So I am accused of misrepresenting Luther, as if he didn’t really say that unless I can prove that he did. Funny how the burden of proof shifts depending on whether one is arguing for faith vs any other topic.”

    This made me do a spit-take. I am pretty sure its your B.O.P. to show that the quote you provided is valid.

    right?

  14. 14
    thecartesiantheist

    “Since you said you had read ‘Table Talks’ yet somehow not only missed the important references, but didn’t catch the relevance in the quotes you listed, then it is not surprising that you overlook or don’t understand these things, but I will remind you that I did already explain that I found those accusations in the comments of your video, not in the video itself. Perhaps you could try reading for comprehension -unless my first guess is correct, and you’re just trying to be an ass. If that was your goal, congratulations. However if that was not your intent, then you should seek advice on how to improve your communication skills.” AronRa

    I think, by contrast, what has been demonstrated here is that you seem to think you’re above being questioned [at least in some areas]. My blog notes some of the most significant passages from ‘Table Talk’ including references which you either were not aware existed yourself or which you knew existed and chose to not make people aware of since they would contradict the tone of the spurious quote you settled on [which the observant reading of this blog will notice you have still failed to establish]. I’m interested to know which methodology you are bringing to your demonization quest of Luther? I mean, have you read his stuff well enough to know you are cherry picking him out of context or is it that you simply don’t know his writings well enough to comment and are merely relying on carefully chosen quotations found on popularist, atheist, quote-mining websites? Either way it’s not good.

    You’re write of “communication skills” and yet how ironic is it that you were accusing me of saying something I did not actually say but rather of how it made you feel? This is becoming thematic for you. Rather than pay attention to the matter at hand you emphasize how insulted you felt at being questioned. Perhaps if you could be slightly less defensive for five minutes you would notice that you still have not answered the original question. You certainly play a good enough game of smoke and mirrors to fool most ‘freethinkers’ around here though and, let’s face it, that’s all you need to do right? ;)

  15. 15
    dogrun81

    Disclaimer: I have not read all of Luther’s writings and do not claim to know his personal beliefs.

    On the substance of Luther’s quotes (and speaking from a purely logical standpoint), I don’t think finding a natural cause for an ailment necessarily defeats a claim that demons are responsible. One could logically have a supernatural source using a natural process. I guess that would be a sort of ultimate cause for a disease(and you could nitpick and say that that just pushes the problem up a level)

    Speaking purely hypothetically and logically, one man could kill another man, where the man is the “natural” source for the death, but a demon causes the man to act. Or if the man acted “naturally” from a mental illness, the demon caused or directed the illness in that manner. And so on and so on.

  16. 16
    cornelll

    AronRa not only needs to stay our of ‘philosophical matters’, but ‘theological matters’ as well.

    He obviously cannot ‘bite the bullet’ here and admit to a mistake, which is typical amongst the ‘naturedidit’ crowd, so I’m not surprised here by his ad-hominem which is clearly pathetic.

    Aronra says “Then he drags the conversation back to his blog. I get the impression that he is only interested in generating internet traffic. I’m not gonna give it to him.”

    Common sense translates this as:

    Aronra -”I’m not going to respond, because I can’t answer objections from ‘non-fundy’ Christians, so I’m going to accuse Thecartesiantheist of looking for internet traffic and stick with answering ‘fundy’ Christian arguments so I can stay in my comfort zone”

    QED

    1. 16.1
      aronra

      What do you think I should admit to that I haven’t already? I did already admit that I had used a quote attributed to Martin Luther which I later concluded that he evidently never actually said. Your friend didn’t discover that error; I did, and I stopped using it at that time. I also admitted that I couldn’t find the source for the quote you’re criticizing me for, but I did show where Martin Luther actually did say all of that, albeit not phrased as cited. So what “bullet” do you imagine I need to bite?

      Conversely, I should point out the following quotations for comparison:

      “It cannot be emphasized too strong or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (attributed to Patrick Henry)

      “The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.” (attributed to Herbert Hoover)

      “The Bible is the source of liberty” (attributed to Thomas Jefferson)

      All these quotes are spurious, yet are presented as authentic by the Bible study program in the Lubbock Texas ISD. So while I will correct myself -even without prompting, it seems that Theists will typically not concede or correct their mistakes, even when they result in misleading students. After all, that is the intent, is it not?

  17. 17
    cornelll

    @Aron

    you say “What do you think I should admit to that I haven’t already? I did already admit that I had used a quote attributed to Martin Luther which I later concluded that he evidently never actually said. Your friend didn’t discover that error; I did, and I stopped using it at that time. I also admitted that I couldn’t find the source for the quote you’re criticizing me for, but I did show where Martin Luther actually did say all of that, albeit not phrased as cited. So what “bullet” do you imagine I need to bite?”

    So, what was the point of saying this then?

    you said earlier “Then he drags the conversation back to his blog. I get the impression that he is only interested in generating internet traffic. I’m not gonna give it to him.”

    Why not just start everything off with what you told me here? Why not just simply admit the mistake and move on? By you making claims on his character is an obvious ‘poisoning of the well’ that was uncalled for and unsupported as you offered NO evidence for that assertion.

    Then you accuse him as being a troll

    “There is no need for us to have a ‘dialogue’. Troll somebody else.”

    So now we live in a time where if a Theist disagrees with an atheist, he is automatically a troll, what a COP-OUT’. The only evidence for why someone is a troll is because they disagree. I see the SAME attitude coming from one of your buddies on this blog that goes by the name Mcmanhattan. God forbid anyone ever disagrees with an atheist. This type of hand-waving done on your part just shows that you don’t hold to the principle of charity.

    “All these quotes are spurious, yet are presented as authentic by the Bible study program in the Lubbock Texas ISD. So while I will correct myself -even without prompting, it seems that Theists will typically not concede or correct their mistakes, even when they result in misleading students. After all, that is the intent, is it not?”

    Lubbock Texas ISD, wow very impressive brother.

    http://www.lubbockisd.org/

    Well most, if not all my Biblical study, and systematic Theology material comes from scholarly sources published by Cambridge, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford etc. These are where the big boys reside, so when I want to study Theology, and Bible scholarship I either ask one of their students or find a list that has recommendations. If Lubbock compares good with this list, then you have a point, if not then I’ll just respond with, so what? Are they YEC’s too?

    http://www.divinity.cam.ac.uk/

    http://www.theology.ox.ac.uk/

    As far as Luther goes, (who is just one theologian) have you looked at this?

    http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Companion-Martin-Companions-Religion/dp/0521816483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359216405&sr=8-1&keywords=cambridge+companion+to+luther

    1. 17.1
      cornelll

      ^I don’t want to make it sound like I’m ultimately dismissing non-scholary sources either. I think one can learn X from popular level books, though I believe scholarly sources have an obvious edge.

      I also don’t want to make it sound like I openly dismiss something just because it was written by a modern day YEC either, as it could be the case that I agree with a YEC on other issues besides the interpretation of Genesis 1. (ie: Inclusivism)

      Lastly, When I said this “God forbid anyone ever disagrees with an atheist.”

      I don’t take it mean ‘all atheists’, so I just wanted to post this for clarity purposes as I can see someone easily misinterpreting that.

      ty

    2. 17.2
      aronra

      It seems that you and your friend are both trying to incite some trivial fight with no apparent substance in either of your positions. Both of you appear to misunderstanding things on purpose to that end. That is trolling, and I’m not the only one who noticed that’s what you’re doing. I don’t like re-explaining what I have already re-explained -to people who are being deliberately obtuse and intentionally antagonistic.

      Despite your accusations, I am correct about Christian traditions being borrowed from earlier religions in neighboring regions. I think that is the mainstream consensus among Biblical scholars, historians, archaeologists, and so on.

      So you accused me of refusing to say what I had already publicly announced, and you demanded definitions that i had already published as well.

      You accused me of ‘sloppy thinking’ because YOU misunderstood my question and mistook it for a statement.

      You accused me of ‘playing the philosopher’ when what I really said was that I don’t care about philosophy.

      You lied about me again when you accused me of claiming to be a Lutheran scholar. You also accused me of misrepresenting Luther -when I have already shown that he really did say what I said he did. I don’t expect you to apologize for any of this, because you’re only trolling with no sincerity in your position.

      Note that this is not what all theists do, only a few in fact. Most of the conversations I have with theists, they comport themselves better than you do. They avoid certain questions because they’re afraid of certain truths, and they’re typically confused because they’re been lied to for so long, and their concepts of logic are exactly reverse of what they should be. But the none the less they’re usually sincere in their position no matter how misguided they may be. So your generalization of me, (that I think every theist is a troll) is another accusation that will not apply.

      Then you puff up your chest like a grown-up because you studied mythology with the ‘big boys’ -as if there was any such thing as a theologian who could prove that any of their religious beliefs are actually correct. See, you were wrong about me again, when you imagined that I might not be able to answer the questions and challenges of non-fundy theologians.

      What was it you said about assumptions with no support? What was it you said about an HONEST quest for truth?

      In another fit of irony -or projection- you also said that “Every atheist has to deal with NIHILISM, as pretending life has ‘meaning’ and ‘value’ is just emotional wishful thinking.” But you’re summarizing Christianity, not atheism.

      Finally you also alleged that theists are somehow more truthful than atheists, because we allegedly won’t admit when we’re wrong, even if that means nothing more than citing a popular reference that turned out to be spurious. When will you admit your errors there? I’ve already proven you were wrong about atheists in that regard. Now I need to prove that you’re wrong about religious biases too.

      You also completely missed the point I made with my reference to the Bible study program in Lubbock Texas. I am NOT an historian, and you were wrong for saying that I ever became one. But the independent school district I mentioned are actually teaching spurious quotes as HISTORY in public school classrooms. Yet where you have no tolerance for me, you’ll make excuses for them, or move the goal posts by saying that they’re not really in the wrong unless they cite your favorite schools of magic and mysticism. Hypocrisy much? Way to miss the point – on purpose, like a troll.

      I’ve already wasted more time on you today than you ever deserved. So don’t expect me to waste any more time on your posts.

      1. cornelll

        Part 2

        you say “Then you puff up your chest like a grown-up because you studied mythology with the ‘big boys’ -as if there was any such thing as a theologian who could prove that any of their religious beliefs are actually correct. See, you were wrong about me again, when you imagined that I might not be able to answer the questions and challenges of non-fundy theologians.”

        Actually I’m just exposing your ignorance to ‘scholarly’ sources. Quite frankly I find it very hard for you in your position to back up the statement that theologians never prove any of their religious beliefs when given the fact that you never look anything scholarly, hence you stay in your comfort zone. I highly doubt you’ve ever read ‘Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology’ or anything from Alexander Pruss, Richard Swinburne, Timothy Mcgrew, Brian Leftow, Edward Feser, Peter Van Inwagen, Charles Taliaferro, Linda Zagzebski, William Alston, George Bealer, or Greg Ganssle just to name a few.

        So I wasn’t wrong, because all you do is support your statements with bare assertions and a bit of ‘emotional’ reasoning. Now, Where exactly are these blogs of yours that address these non-fundy arguments? Where? All I see is constant attention on YEC’s? Until I see this I’m going to label you as the liar here.

        you say “What was it you said about assumptions with no support? What was it you said about an HONEST quest for truth? ”

        Ah yes Aronra the philosopher returns here with is philosophical statements, because ‘truth’ is important, right? Something that science cannot account for as it has absolutely NO SAY on whether or not truth matters, in fact it is PHILOSOPHY that answers this question.

        you say “In another fit of irony -or projection- you also said that “Every atheist has to deal with NIHILISM, as pretending life has ‘meaning’ and ‘value’ is just emotional wishful thinking.” But you’re summarizing Christianity, not atheism. ”

        Oh yes, and this is supported by the fact that atheist philosophers such as Neitzsche, Camus, and Sarte all argued for why Nihilism makes the most sense right? Notice how you don’t even list anything to support your statement, Though I am proud of you, since you’ve finally listed something that I actually stand by, well here let me teach you something.

        “There is but only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”

        “Hence the intelligence…tells me in its way that this world is absurd. Its contrary, blind reason, may well claim that all is clear…But despite so many pretentious centuries and over the heads of so many eloquent and persuasive men, I know that is false”

        - Albert Camus ‘Myth of sisyphus

        “I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.”

        - Fredrick Nietzche ‘Will to Power’

        “Being is without reason, without cause, and without necessity”

        ‘Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings’ By Jean Paul Sartre, Stephen Priest

        Theism + a religion that holds to the afterlife entails that the world HAS a purpose, and JUSTICE. A godless universe equates to us living a meaningless, purposeless, valueless existence as the universe doesn’t care whether or not we live or die. There is NO JUSTICE, as life ends at the grave with no rewards for good deeds and no punishment for evil acts. Beautiful isn’t it Aronra? It appears that the unconscious universe doesn’t really care about your views on ‘religion’ being X

        If God does not exist, then prudential reason and moral reason can and often do come into conflict, in which case there is no reason to act morally rather than in one’s self-interest.

        William Provine asserts, ‘Modern science directly implies that there … is no ultimate meaning for humans’.

        William Provine, ‘Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics,’ MBL Science 3 (1988), 28

        Everything you do in life, is ultimate MEANINGLESS Aronra, just a subjective thinking that results in nothing more than conglomerations of matter shifting in the way of A, rather than shifting in the way of B.

        “The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.”

        (Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269

        You are not special, you have no ultimate goal to fulfill, just death.

        So if you want to keep talking about Nihilism, I’m just getting warmed up. I’m inclined to agree with Albert Camus on the fact that every atheist who holds to naturalism is indeed a rebel to Nihilism.

        you say “Finally you also alleged that theists are somehow more truthful than atheists, because we allegedly won’t admit when we’re wrong, even if that means nothing more than citing a popular reference that turned out to be spurious. When will you admit your errors there? I’ve already proven you were wrong about atheists in that regard. Now I need to prove that you’re wrong about religious biases too.”

        I never said that, please back up your statements with some evidence. I have no where said ANYTHING about whether or not Theists were more truthful than atheists, in fact I have no opinion on that subject, other than I see lying happening on both sides, hence HUMANS are liars.

        Now what I DID say was that secularists need to put more blame on themselves, which I think is pretty fair. So I don’t need to prove anything about religious people not being biased, because I never said they weren’t biased, again you build another strawman out of desperation. Please pick the straw out of your teeth.

        you say “You also completely missed the point I made with my reference to the Bible study program in Lubbock Texas. I am NOT an historian, and you were wrong for saying that I ever became one. But the independent school district I mentioned are actually teaching spurious quotes as HISTORY in public school classrooms. Yet where you have no tolerance for me, you’ll make excuses for them, or move the goal posts by saying that they’re not really in the wrong unless they cite your favorite schools of magic and mysticism. Hypocrisy much? Way to miss the point – on purpose, like a troll. ”

        And you completely missed my point I made in response which was ‘so what’. Since when does Lubbock Texas account for every Theist in the world? Since when did I say Theists were incapable of ‘quote-mining’? Since when do they fully represent what I stand for? Now if you actually got my point, you would notice that I was hoping you’d quote something from scholar that came from one of the bigger schools that taught theology. I’m not impressed with a high school in Texas, you might be, but that’s because you feel comfortable taking on claims from fundies. The only ‘magic’ I see is from ‘naturedidit’

        Just say ‘naturedidit’ and every answer can be made.

        Moral value came about from valueless matter, how do we explain that? Just say ‘naturedidit’

        How does ‘rationality’ come about from a process that is concerned shaping our brains for ‘survival’ rather than ‘truth’, how do we trust our cognitive faculties? Well just say ‘naturedidit’

        Impressive Aronra! Now I’m sold on the fact that ‘reason’ didn’t come about from a ‘reasonable’ mind.

        Lastly, virtually whole arsenal consists of strawmen, and this is ironic as you finish off with this:

        You say “I’ve already wasted more time on you today than you ever deserved. So don’t expect me to waste any more time on your posts”

        For the most part you haven’t even addressed my posts anyways, so nothing really changes here.

        All you do is a typical distort the character, caricature his claims, and walk around as if you know what you’re talking about.

  18. 18
    cornelll

    “It seems that you and your friend are both trying to incite some trivial fight with no apparent substance in either of your positions. Both of you appear to misunderstanding things on purpose to that end. That is trolling, and I’m not the only one who noticed that’s what you’re doing. I don’t like re-explaining what I have already re-explained -to people who are being deliberately obtuse and intentionally antagonistic. ”

    If you consider this topic to be ‘trivial’ then ultimately your Lutheran lectures are indeed ‘trivial’ as well. The substance is clear, you basically say you removed the quote, but then say it definitely came from Luther, well from what ‘source’ are you stating this came from luther. What you say, makes absolutely no sense.

    You also said earlier “So I am accused of misrepresenting Luther, as if he didn’t really say that unless I can prove that he did. Funny how the burden of proof shifts depending on whether one is arguing for faith vs any other topic.”

    First off let’s look over what the burden of proof entails:

    The burden of proof (latin: onus probandi), falls under the maxim `necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit’ or, “the necessity of proof lies with he who complains”. The burden of proof usually lies with the party making the new claim, in terms of law. You are making the claim that Luther said X

    So if someone makes a bold claim, it isn’t another person’s responsibility to disprove it, but rather the responsibility of the person making the claim. You need to back up this source with a credible scholar.

    Right now your source is known to be suspect

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Martin_Luther

    We need something more, perhaps a credible lutheran scholar or Theologian instead of the numerous atheist sites that come up everytime one puts this quote into a search field.

    So you haven’t fixed anything, instead you just make the problem worse by trusting gimpy sources.

    Aronra says “Despite your accusations, I am correct about Christian traditions being borrowed from earlier religions in neighboring regions. I think that is the mainstream consensus among Biblical scholars, historians, archaeologists, and so on.”

    This is pretty vague response, too which I could just say, so what? Which traditions? I can concede to the fact that the Christmas tree was taken from paganism, but that actually has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Christianity is true or false.

    If you are speaking of the credibility of the resurrection being tied into, let’s say Easter, then I’d like to ask how many scholarly sources you’ve read defending the resurrection? Here is one of many

    http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/yama.html

    I’d really like to see how many scholarly books you’ve read from credible authorities that go against your view?

    Have you looked at scholars such as N.T Wright, Ben Witherington III, James Dunn, Luke T Johnson, D.A Carson, Craig Keener? Or do you just stick with the folks from the Jesus Seminar? I personally looked at both sides, and I find Bart Erhman and Gerd ludemann to give the best cases against my position, though they still come up short.

    “So you accused me of refusing to say what I had already publicly announced, and you demanded definitions that i had already published as well.”

    Publishing something against an objection doesn’t automatically entail that you’ve refuted the objection. Your source still stands as ‘suspect’.

    “You lied about me again when you accused me of claiming to be a Lutheran scholar. You also accused me of misrepresenting Luther -when I have already shown that he really did say what I said he did. I don’t expect you to apologize for any of this, because you’re only trolling with no sincerity in your position.”

    And where exactly did I genuinely assert that you were in fact a Lutheran scholar? And my accusation of misrepresenting Luther still stands. Your sources are absolutely suspect, why don’t you list me a credible Lutheran scholar who stands to the quote and the case will be settled?

    Again you also resort to name calling, as if calling me a troll, magically makes it the case that I am troll. Well Aronra disagreement does not entail trolling, so perhaps you should learn something from a prominent biologist.

    Richard Dawkins alternate commandment

    “8.Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.”

    “You accused me of ‘sloppy thinking’ because YOU misunderstood my question and mistook it for a statement.”

    I’m a bit lost here, what question are you talking about?

    “You accused me of ‘playing the philosopher’ when what I really said was that I don’t care about philosophy.”

    Well obviously you care enough about philosophy to make a philosophical statement pertaining to morality when you bring up cases about religious people being nasty to homosexuals, that in itself that pertains to philosophy. Philosophy is unavioidable and underpins your science as well , Atheist philosopher Stephen Law writes:

    “Philosophy is about conceptual investigation and clarification. Philosophers make conceptual discoveries. I have illustrated how they tackle conceptual puzzles – puzzles that the scientific method just isn’t equipped to solve.

    They also probe what we take for granted, our common sense assumptions, sometimes with dramatic results. Philosophers may reveal that what we believe has quite shocking unacknowledged consequences, for example.

    This can lead to important breakthroughs. Particularly in moral philosophy. Many of the most important developments over the last couple of hundreds years or so have come about because of philosophical reflection – questioning of, and thinking through the consequences of, some of our most basic moral assumptions and principles.”

    Source:

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2012/02/magadalen-college-last-night-think-week.html

    Obviously you partake in this when you constantly boo hoo religion, as if some genuine purpose exists in the universe that you think we ‘ought’ to strive for. So your are being inconsistent here, and trying to have your cake and eat it too. Don’t make so many moral complaints if you don’t care about philosophy.

    you say “Note that this is not what all theists do, only a few in fact. Most of the conversations I have with theists, they comport themselves better than you do. They avoid certain questions because they’re afraid of certain truths, and they’re typically confused because they’re been lied to for so long, and their concepts of logic are exactly reverse of what they should be. But the none the less they’re usually sincere in their position no matter how misguided they may be. So your generalization of me, (that I think every theist is a troll) is another accusation that will not apply.”

    Most of the conversations you’ve had with what? You mean Fundy Bible belt Christians, that’s all you ever talk about, so I’m not impressed. There is a video with you in the reason rally that has you arguing against a fundy who is using arugments that Kent Hovind used regarding a statement that says ‘if we evolved from monkey’s, why are there still monkeys’. WOW what a challenge!

    I personally don’t avoid any questions, because I don’t see what ‘truth’ I’m supposed to be afraid of. Again all you do is play devil’s advocate to fundy Bible-Belt theology and this is because YOU FEAR taking on Theists who reside in academia. Take a shot at something from Nicholas Wolterstroff if you are so SINCERE.

    Also I never said that I thought you held to the position that every Theist is a troll, so that is a blatant strawman. I don’t know if you have problems with reading comprehension, but how about you READ WHAT I SAY, INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU WANT IT TO SAY, so you can set-up a strawman.

    Part 1

  19. 19
    htc phone

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