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Letter from hell!

Over on GodTube, Pharyngula has pointed out this video of a letter by a kid in hell.

Yes, it’s a dramatic reading of a fictional young unbeliever about to get tortured forever. As Martin likes to put it: “Torture porn.”

You know, we frequently use the words “tortured forever” on the AE TV show. As in: “The central doctrine of Christianity is that you must freely worship God or else be tortured forever.” Frequently, we are criticized by kinder, gentler Christians for being melodramatic. Silly atheist, they say — nobody really believes in a god who tortures people forever. Hell is a metaphor. Read some C.S. Lewis.

No, actually I’m fairly certain that a great many mainstream Christians believe what’s in the video. That when I die, I’m going to be missing from this “book of life” and then roughed up by angelic thugs who proceed to hurl me into a quite literal lake of fire — in a world that’s “crystal clear, even more real than my life on earth.”

What I don’t get is this. Based on the sound effects and the spooky fonts, this video is clearly intended to be disturbing, and it’s targeted at Christians. But why should Christians be disturbed? Sure, maybe they should have done more to help their friend who is now in hell. But in the end, the friend was sent to hell because he deserved it. If he didn’t deserve it, then God, being merciful and all-powerful, wouldn’t have put him there. So shouldn’t a True Christian™ be celebrating the torment that his friend is now experiencing?

Comments

  1. says

    Christian portrayals of Hell serve two purposes: A). To convince Christian that they aren’t Christian enough. (sort of a “we saw the lip service, but put your money where your mouth is” statement) B). To terrorize those who are getting close to the fence (those who have their doubts, drink and party often and would later have a family, quit drinking, start going back to Church, and describe the process as a “conversion”) into quickly abandoning their rebellious phase.

  2. says

    I’ve discussed hell several times with different believers, and I’ve seen several different ‘rationalizations.’Of course, there is the obvious that you mentioned: people in hell deserve to be there.There is the C.S. Lewis type: People are in Hell because they rejected god. It was their choice.I’ve also heard, ‘God is simply so holy that unless you are made holy by him, you cannot be in his presence. Nothing unholy can be in his presence.’It’s just so crazy.

  3. says

    It’s funny how most Fundamentalist Christians would acknowledge (if not proclaim) that all non-believers will go to Hell for eternal torment. But ask a group of assorted Fundamentalists to define “believer” and what it takes to get there. You will find that they are actually all going to hell too…

  4. says

    Wait a minute… According to the bible the dead know nothing. They’ll just be in the ground until the second coming of Jesus when he resurrects everybody and then judges them at the big “This is your Life” party.Can’t these people get their own mythology straight? Wait, I guess I answered my own question. That’s why we have thousands of denominations that all claim to follow the one true word of god..

  5. says

    >>Yes, it’s a dramatic reading of a fictional young unbeliever about to get tortured forever. As Martin likes to put it: “Torture porn.”<<I like the part where he’s supposedly being dragged away by demons to be cast into the lake of fire, and yet is somehow still writing the letter! I imagine him turning to one of the demons and saying, “Hold on, I have to mail a letter. Do you have a stamp?”As they said in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Perhaps he was dictating.”

  6. says

    Average atheist,You didn’t get the biblical teaching right. Yes, there is an intermediate state for the dead, but the unbelieving dead go to a place of torment before the big wrap-up and throwing into the lake of fire at the Big End.And we don’t celebrate people going to eternal torment; we mourn it. We’re not happy about it b/c it’s a terrible thing and it’s unnatural, but it’s the fallen and screwed-up state of affairs.You ask about “God, being merciful and all-powerful, wouldn’t have put him there.” That’s what Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection were for. But those who reject it, there’s nothing left for them. Peace,Rhology

  7. Martin says

    So God “sacrificed” Himself to Himself in order to make Himself less mad at humanity for a mistake He made. And that makes it acceptable for Him to torture people for eternity simply for not worshiping Him to His satisfaction, or for doubting His existence which He chooses not to reveal unambiguously. God’s kind of a dick, eh? Lucky for everyone He isn’t real, and that your bleak and nihilistic belief system isn’t either.

  8. says

    Rhology: >> We’re not happy about it b/c >> it’s a terrible thing and it’s >> unnatural, but it’s the fallen >> and screwed-up state of affairs.With all due respect, the screwed-up state of affairs is a system created by an omni-benevolent being. Even if you take into account freewill and the devil,the devil had no free will, and was subservient to God, and man simply has no control over the structure of the afterlife.>> You ask about “God, being >> merciful and all-powerful, >> wouldn’t have put him there.” >> That’s what Jesus’ death on the >> cross and resurrection were for. In what way? If jesus is god, then why did he have to die? He was following his own rules, which he could have changed. So, what did a human sacrifice accomplish, in a literal sense? >> But those who reject it, there’s >> nothing left for them.Why is __it__ a mystery? I could randomly poison portions of the food supply and then say “everyone who died, chose what they ate. They chose their fate, so it is fair”. But it really isn’t. Chice means having some way of understanding what your actions mean. If god were real, then he allowed his existence to be so well obfuscated, that it is more of a gamble than a choice.Of course there is the choice to either act based on a respect for other human beings, or to follow religious doctrine.

  9. says

    Hi Martin,I think it’s important to remember that we have to critique a worldview from the inside, b/c a HUGE part of the biblical worldview is unintelligible, bizarre, and incoherent from the POV of a non-biblical worldview. Same thing for the converse; imagine if I said, “God is real. Your argument is just stupid!” That kind of thing. So, with that in mind, remember that the Bible teaches that God is a Trinity. The Son, Who took on human form, was sacrificed as a substitute for sinful man. It’s not proper to say He sacrificed Himself to Himself.As for the eternal burning in hell thing, biblically, people are are evil, rebellious, and dark. We hate the good and love evil. In sending unrepentant people away from Him to hell, God gives them what they want. As an added bonus, His justice is satisfied against evildoers including Hitler, Stalin, etc. And I don’t see how it could fairly be said that my worldview is nihilistic. Everyone will live on forever in one of two places.Peace,Rhology

  10. says

    Rhology: Are you now claiming that Christianity is actually polytheistic because of the teaching of the trinity?Isn’t it true that while they are each of the trinity is treated as seperate, they are also seen as one? It’s contradictory, but when it comes right down to it, here are your options:a) Christianity is polytheistic and god and jesus are completely seperate beingsorb) It is proper to say that god sacrificed himself to himself.Some have explained the trinity to mean that each member of it is a ‘different aspect’ of god. It doesn’t matter. They are still the same.

  11. says

    Rhology>> As for the eternal burning in >> hell thing, biblically, people >> are are evil, rebellious, and >> dark. The Bible was written in a barbaric time. I will grant you that people in those days believed some atrocious things, but it is not because it was part of their nature. It is because people had only the most rudimentary civilization, and little knowledge of morality, or enforcement of law. I would never say they “love evil”, however. They were greedy, intolerant, unenlightened, and living in desperate circumstances.>> In sending unrepentant people >> away from Him to hell, God gives >> them what they want. If God gives them what they want, then why is it made out to be a horror story? This would only make sense if hell were nothing more than living in a community of like-minded individuals. In which case, there would be multiple hells. This argument wouldn’t hold up for a God who said things like “You didn’t believe in me. For that, I’ll put you with similar people; i.e. rapists, murderers, people who use curse-words, and Nazis”>> As an added bonus, His justice >> is satisfied against evildoers >> including Hitler, Stalin, etc.Huh? What do you mean by “satisfied against evildoers”? >> And I don’t see how it could >> fairly be said that my worldview>> is nihilistic. I, personally, wouldn’t say “nihilistic”, but Christianity does try to redefine morality as obedience to an unknowable being. One of the traits of nihilism is that there is no morality, and strongly fundamentalist philosophy does undermine the notion of morality by defining it as an arbitrary trait.>> Everyone will live on forever in>> one of two places.Why couldn’t God just let these people die? Keeping someone alive for all eternity, so they can be tortured forever does not sound as optimistic as that last statement made it sound.

  12. says

    Howdy,back for more clarification. :-Dthe screwed-up state of affairs is a system created by an omni-benevolent being.1) Man is responsible for the fall of man and the world, not God.2) “Omni-benevolent” doesn’t really describe the God of the Bible. Benevolent towards the repentant, certainly. He’s benevolent to an extent to the unrepentant, but not omni.the devil had no free willOh? What’s your argument for that?If jesus is god, then why did he have to die?He didn’t HAVE to, but He planned to from eternity past, in order to save His people from their sin.He was following his own rules, which he could have changed.No, His law flows out of Who He is. He can’t change them.what did a human sacrifice accomplish, in a literal sense?It was not a simple human sacrifice. It was the God-man, Jesus Christ, sacrificing Himself to save people. I could randomly poison portions of the food supply and then say “everyone who died, chose what they ate. They chose their fate, so it is fair”.In your scenario, the people wouldn’t have known that there was poison in their food. It’s not analogous in an important way.Chice (sic) means having some way of understanding what your actions mean.What is your argument that people don’t have some understanding?If god were real, then he allowed his existence to be so well obfuscatedGod has said that He has made His existence known to everyone. there is the choice to either act based on a respect for other human beings, or to follow religious doctrine. 1) They are not logically mutually exclusive.2) One might well argue that the biblical system leads to much better human rights in general than many atheistic systems of morality have in the past.3) In an atheistic worldview, there is no foundational reason to respect people or not to. There’s just personal preference.Peace,Rhology

  13. says

    Hi Thomas,The Bible was written in a barbaric time…B/c this modern world is so much better in every respect, clearly. This is a variation of the “the ancients were complete imbeciles” argument. Tell you what – answer me this to substantiate this assertion:1) Give me 3 examples of barbarism in the Bible. 2) Give a brief explanation of the context to demonstrate that you understand what you’re saying.3) (and most difficult) Explain what standard you use to measure “barbarity”. I’ll also note that you said this in response to my iterating the biblical doctrine of the depravity of man. 1) Do you disagree? Is man intrinsically good?2) By what standard do you, as an atheist, judge that?3) Are people way better today than the barbaric ancients were?why is it made out to be a horror story? B/c what people want, with their evil desires, is horrible. We were made to live with God forever. We were NOT made to live by ourselves, and to be away from God, though we desire it, is horrible and full of torment.if hell were nothing more than living in a community of like-minded individuals. In which case, there would be multiple hells. I don’t see how that follows. You’re assuming without proof that people aren’t like-minded as a whole, insofar as they have rebellious attitudes against God.I’ll put you with similar people; i.e. rapists, murderers, people who use curse-words, and Nazis” All of which are sinful actions, demonstrating that we prefer sin to being with God.What do you mean by “satisfied against evildoers”? Sorry for not being clear.I mean that His justice is satisfied by judging as evil those evildoers. They get their just desserts, what they deserve. The evil they wreaked will be punished. Christianity does try to redefine morality as obedience to an unknowable being.THat might be someone’s caricature of Christianity, but it’s not the biblical presentation of God.God can be known, certainly. Not exhaustively, but to a great depth. What’s more, the Savior adopts us as His children though we were rebels and enemies. It’s wonderful! He sends His Spirit to reside in our hearts, knows us intimately and gives of Himself to be known.strongly fundamentalist philosophy does undermine the notion of morality by defining it as an arbitrary trait. To the extent that it does (and I don’t grant that it does), it’s not biblical, but I defend the biblical faith.Biblically, God’s law flows out of Who He is. it’s not arbitrary, not subject to change. It’s how God is. Why couldn’t God just let these people die?1) That’s not what He wanted to do, primarily.2) His justice is not satisfied thus against sin.3) It glorifies Him as infinitely holy, that sin is punished to an infinite degree.4) It glorifies the sacrifice of the Savior, that He is so great and is of such worth that His sacrifice rescues vile sinners like us from even sthg as horrible as an eternal torment.Etc.Josh,Are you now claiming that Christianity is actually polytheistic because of the teaching of the trinity? No, and I apologise if I wasn’t clear.I’m just expressing the biblical and Nicene doctrine of the Trinity.Isn’t it true that while they are each of the trinity is treated as seperate, they are also seen as one? I’ll try to help clarify.They are one essence, 3 persons. That would be contradictory if I said they were 1 person and 3 persons, or 1 essence and 3 essences, but that’s not what we say.They are one what, 3 whos. They are one homoousios, 3 hypostases (to use the original expression in Greek).Some have explained the trinity to mean that each member of it is a ‘different aspect’ of god.That’s the ancient heresy known as “modalism”, espoused by TD Jakes and Oneness Pentecostals today. It is neither the historically Christian nor biblical view.Hope that helps.Peace,Rhology

  14. Martin says

    Rhology, thanks for arguing! My responses:I think it’s important to remember that we have to critique a worldview from the inside, b/c a HUGE part of the biblical worldview is unintelligible, bizarre, and incoherent from the POV of a non-biblical worldview.You said it.Same thing for the converse; imagine if I said, “God is real. Your argument is just stupid!”Then I would invite you to meet your burden of proof, as the believer, and present your evidence that your god is, in fact, real. Points taken off for committing the “shifting the burden” fallacy and trying to claim that atheists bear the same burden to prove god does not exist. Basic rule of thumb: it is not the skeptic’s job to prove to the believer that the invisible unicorn in the room isn’t real, it’s the believer’s job to prove that it is.So, with that in mind, remember that the Bible teaches that God is a Trinity. The Son, Who took on human form, was sacrificed as a substitute for sinful man. It’s not proper to say He sacrificed Himself to Himself.Without any credible evidence this being even exists, there is little reason for me to find this statement relevant, or even interesting. You might as well be describing the various incarnations of Zeus, Shiva, or Thor. Understanding a belief system like this from “the inside,” as you put it, convinces me of nothing other than that a lot of people entertain a rather elaborately contructed delusion about imaginary beings. Another axiom: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Quoting from the Bible as a way of trying to prove or even lend veracity to the Bible is a tautology. What actual evidence can you bring to bear regarding this magic three-in-one deity?As for the eternal burning in hell thing, biblically, people are are evil, rebellious, and dark. We hate the good and love evil.Well, speak for yourself. I think most people’s lives are a mixture of good and bad. Unless we have some manner of sick pathology, people generally try to get along and when they do bad things and make mistakes, they either learn lessons, or, failing that, find themselves sanctioned and ostracized by their societies, either in prison or otherwise. I know that’s a far more nuanced view of people than the black-and-white ideas you’ve been fed by Christianity. But experience tells me it’s more accurate.In sending unrepentant people away from Him to hell, God gives them what they want.Horseshit. Who “wants” to be tortured for all eternity? Setting aside the examples of really really bad people (why was Hitler the only Christian you listed? there must be more…), Christianity essentially states — and I was a churchgoing Christian for many years, so I do know whereof I speak — that all one must do to merit this eternal torture is simply not belong to the Christian faith. In other words, a person who lives his or her life as a decent and productive citizen; is active in the community; never runs afoul of the law; contributes to the well-being of that community through charitable work, political activism and other means; is successful in business and raises a closely knit family; leaves behind an admirable legacy for others to follow…this individual is still condemned to the lake of fire if, during that entire lifetime, he does not at some point go into a Christian church and do the altar call.So this is why atheists reject Christianity’s claim that its moral authority is remotely valid. Christianity doesn’t define “good” or “evil” based upon what a person actually does in life. Getting through the pearly gates is all just about belonging to the Jesus Fan Club. And while I’m sure you have an impressively mounted theological argument as to why I’ve got that all wrong, I think you’ll find the vast majority of rank-and-file Christians, the ones filling the pews on Sundays and listening to Rush on the weekdays, do believe that’s exactly how it works. Which is why guys like Pat Robertson and Benny Hinn and Tom DeLay and Ann Coulter can wear the mantle of self-righteousness without a speck of irony. You talk about “unrepentant” people, but the most egregious examples in America today that I see of grossly unrepentant, morally reprehensible behavior are coming from those who trumpet their Christianity from the rooftops. So they may be hypocrites. But the point is that if Christianity really were this redeeming force for Truth and moral righteousness in the world, you would expect to see those people being better human beings. Conversely, you would expect to see all the world’s most prominent atheists — Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Jodie Foster — getting their butts hauled off in police cars more frequently than Lindsay Lohan because they just couldn’t stop themselves from committing evil deeds. And you don’t. How about that!So what does religion have to do with a person hating good and loving evil? Nothing much, except perhaps to say that one is more likely to exhibit those behaviors the more religious one actually is. Rather than providing people with sound moral precepts for life, Christianity — and most religions in general, to be fair — just gives people the justifications they need to do the things they were predisposed to do in the first place. Dawkins pointed this out eloquently in a recent essay: that religion changes for people the very definition of “good”. The 9/11 terrorists, or the crazed “pro-lifers” who’ve gunned down abortion doctors, truly believed in their heart of hearts that they were being as good as it is possible for any person to be.And I don’t see how it could fairly be said that my worldview is nihilistic.Because you consider eternal torture morally acceptable. Even if we aren’t just talking about non-Christians, but actual evildoers, the fact remains: Hitler and Stalin and any number of medieval popes committed a finite number of crimes. To offer infinite punishment for finite crimes is a moral atrocity, as it’s a punishment that exists without consideration for any rehabilitative or redemptive goal. Thus, your God’s punishment is infinitely worse than the worst crimes committed by the worst human being who ever lived. Your God is therefore infinitely more evil. QED.Everyone will live on forever in one of two places.I assume you’re no different than any other apologist or theologian in all history for having no evidence for this claim. So consider it dismissed.

  15. says

    Rhology wrote:> Rhology has left a new comment on the post “Letter from hell!”:>> Hi Thomas,>> The Bible was written in a barbaric time…>> B/c this modern world is so much better in every respect, clearly.Well, we no longer have slavery. women are no longer considered property and we know genocide to be wrong. In those respects, the modern world is much better.> This is a variation of the “the ancients were complete imbeciles” argument.I wouldn’t say “complete imbeciles”, but, in the past 5,000-2,000 year we have learned a great deal about nearly everything.> Tell you what – answer me this to substantiate this assertion:> 1) Give me 3 examples of barbarism in the Bible.Leviticus. how many does that count as? Seriously, I don’t have time to be bringing up specific passages, but there are several which have endorsed genocide, the giving of women as property, and slavery. There is also the tendency toward death as a punishment for everything.> 2) Give a brief explanation of the context to demonstrate that you understand what you’re saying.> 3) (and most difficult) Explain what standard you use to measure “barbarity”.>An abhorrent lack of respect for other people, and/or acts of retribution that are far worse than the original act. The second commandment begins with a threat that God will punish your children, your grandchildren, and you great-grandchildren as vengeance. Joshua committing Genocide at Jericho is an example. God told him to kill every man, woman, and child, simply because the supposedly real god felt threatened by competition from a false god.As for the retribution part, well, killing a man for gathering firewood on Sunday. Killing forty two children because they made fun of a bald guy. Throwing atheists, jews, murderers, and rapists in the same hell. Ok. Maybe that last one was unfair, considering how that the old-testament concept of hell was not the same as the christian concept, but the point is that nobody on earth, not even the most extreme of people, would dare enforce the bible as it is written. Doing so would require us to start burning people alive and publicly stoning people.> I’ll also note that you said this in response to my iterating the biblical doctrine of the depravity of man.> 1) Do you disagree? Is man intrinsically good?Not 100%, but we are social beings with an innate dislike of seeing others, especially those we can relate to, suffering. So, to answer your question, we are complex. We need laws and law-enforcement, but we also desire to see good done. We are like alcoholics who know what we want, but need help finding the self-control to achieve that goal.I know I am harping on the slavery thing, but, since the Bible regulates slavery, and never denounces it, then how did we get rid of it? During the civil war, abolitionists used the Bible to justify abolition, while confederates used it to justify slavery, but, ultimately the abolitionists won out. Where did they get their ideas from? If we were predisposed to evil and nothing else, then slavery would continue today.> 2) By what standard do you, as an atheist, judge that?It all comes back to respect. They may have done what was necessary to survive, given the circumstances they lived in, but there is such a thing as right and wrong. It may not be an objective standard. It may be something people often disagree on, but what it comes down to is this:people have rights. We have formed a society to protect those rights. The golden rule is the basis for morality, and one does not need religion to understand it.> 3) Are people way better today than the barbaric ancients were?>I don’t know. If a man is dragged into the center of a tribe and stoned to death, simply for being different, or for having a moment of weakness, then how do you judge those who participate, or just watch, simply because they lacked the insight to question what they had been taught? I would say that such a person was misguided, but not necessarily evil. As for today, we are more open about sex, but are there any other examples of us being worse than the israelites? I have heard Christians say, so many times, that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, but there usually is no hard evidence. It usually amounts to “sex and the city”, “will and grace”, “baby daddy”, and street crime. But, if you ask how much street crime per capita there is here, verses in more secular nations, or vs previous times, most people have no idea.> why is it made out to be a horror story?>> B/c what people want, with their evil desires, is horrible. assumption. Different people have different desires. Are you horrible? Do you desire horrible things? I don’t know you, but I would guess the answer is “no”.> We were made to live with God forever. Another assumption, but why would god make us so that we _must_ live with him, but we have such difficulty doing what is necessary. He sounds like a toy-maker who intentionally designs a defective toy (if you believe we are inherently evil), just to curse it.> We were NOT made to live by ourselves, and to be away from God, though we desire it, is horrible and full of torment.>You know, I have to admit that there are some good things about Church. I have gone to a unitarian universalist church in the past, and, although this isn’t exactly what you were saying, I feel that there is something to be said for having a sense of community and the satisfaction of helping others. As for the part about living away from God, no, I have lived away from God for fiteen years. It isn’t bad. The torture would suck, but that is quite a bit different from “being away from god”.Sorry, but I had to throw in a joke there. The reason I mention Church is because, I would agree if you defined God as “good”, and nothing else. We have a basic desire to feel needed, and if we live a life of just sitting around contributing nothing to society, then misery is a natural consequence.> if hell were nothing more than living in a community of like-minded individuals. In which case, there would be multiple hells.>> I don’t see how that follows. You’re assuming without proof that people aren’t like-minded as a whole, insofar as they have rebellious attitudes against God.People aren’t like-minded as a whole. There is a difference between a murderer and a Buddhist. One kills people and the other has done nothing wrong, unless you count being taught to believe the wrong religion. To lump them all together is offensive.> I’ll put you with similar people; i.e. rapists, murderers, people who use curse-words, and Nazis”>> All of which are sinful actions, demonstrating that we prefer sin to being with God.>> What do you mean by “satisfied against evildoers”?>> Sorry for not being clear.> I mean that His justice is satisfied by judging as evil those evildoers. They get their just desserts, what they deserve. The evil they wreaked will be punished.>I may be getting repetitive, but hell is a place of infinite torment. Who deserves that? The Buddhist I mentioned earlier? It sounds like you are saying that all people are wretched despicable beings who deserve to be tortured forever, (with maybe the exception of those who pray to the right god.)> Christianity does try to redefine morality as obedience to an unknowable being.>> THat might be someone’s caricature of Christianity, but it’s not the biblical presentation of God.> God can be known, certainly. Not exhaustively, but to a great depth. What’s more, the Savior adopts us as His children though we were rebels and enemies. It’s wonderful! He sends His Spirit to reside in our hearts, knows us intimately and gives of Himself to be known.>Well, I disagree with the sentiment, but time is running short. My problem with religion is that the
    re are problems in the world that are being hindered by it. People are dying of aids in Africa, but religious groups want to keep them ignorant of condom-use. People are opposed to gay rights for religious reasons, and people sometimes oppose global warming measures because they are convinced that god will save us.> strongly fundamentalist philosophy does undermine the notion of morality by defining it as an arbitrary trait.>> To the extent that it does (and I don’t grant that it does), it’s not biblical, but I defend the biblical faith.> Biblically, God’s law flows out of Who He is. it’s not arbitrary, not subject to change. It’s how God is.>> Why couldn’t God just let these people die?>> 1) That’s not what He wanted to do, primarily> 2) His justice is not satisfied thus against sin.> 3) It glorifies Him as infinitely holy, that sin is punished to an infinite degree.> 4) It glorifies the sacrifice of the Savior, that He is so great and is of such worth that His sacrifice rescues vile sinners like us from even sthg as horrible as an eternal torment.So god is saving us from the horrible things he could do to us. That sounds like mafia logic.

  16. says

    Howdy guys,Martin Wagner said:present your evidence that your god is, in fact, real. Here’s a start.it is not the skeptic’s job to prove to the believer that the invisible unicorn in the room isn’t real, it’s the believer’s job to prove that it is.1) You also express a positive worldview and thus have to prove it.2) You’re begging the question b/c from my worldview, everyone knows that the God of the Bible (TGOTB) exists.3) Nevertheless, see above.Understanding a belief system like this from “the inside,” as you put it, convinces me of nothing other than that a lot of people entertain a rather elaborately contructed delusion about imaginary beingsBut it’s the only valid way to critique it. Similarly, I don’t just quote the Bible to argue against atheism with you. That’s the exact same thing – arguing from within MY worldview against yours.extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.begging the question that this is valid.I think most people’s lives are a mixture of good and bad. You as an atheist have no basis for judging what is good or bad. THus, what you mean is “I think most people’s lives match up in large part with my general set of personal preferences but in many ways don’t.” But I’d love to know how you justify the claim (if you make it) that your preferences are a larger good that anyone other than you OUGHT TO hold to.Who “wants” to be tortured for all eternity?Those who go to hell do.why was Hitler the only Christian you listed?Hitler wasn’t a Christian.all one must do to merit this eternal torture is simply not belong to the Christian faith.That’s putting the cart before the horse.Look at it this way – everyone is drowning. Why? B/c they’re in the water (their own sin). The water will kill them. If they reject the only lifeboat that is circulating to save them, they’ll die b/c of the water (their sin). So the sin is the primary cause.a person who lives his or her life as a decent and productive citizenBegging the question. Everyone is a sinner and rebel against God. Drowning. It doesn’t matter how it appears to you.Christianity doesn’t define “good” or “evil” based upon what a person actually does in life.1) Yes it does. If someone is perfect, then they’re good. 2) Only Jesus happened to fufill that, so He was good.3) You seem to be critical of Christianity for this. But you have no basis for judging this belief good or evil. 4) On one level at least I prefer a worldview that can at least tell between good and evil for some reason other than “I prefer it this way” and “I don’t prefer it that way”.the vast majority of rank-and-file Christians, the ones filling the pews on Sundays and listening to Rush on the weekdays, do believe that’s exactly how it works. Why would it matter what “most Christians” believe? It could be a hodgepodge of whatever since people in general are not reliable.I’m arguing for the biblical worldview, just FYI.but the most egregious examples in America today that I see of grossly unrepentant, morally reprehensible behavior are coming from those who trumpet their ChristianitySo you don’t prefer it that way? So what? Maybe Joe Blow does. Your claims are of equal weight, aren’t they?I don’t argue against atheism based on what atheists do and act like b/c it’s silly. I’m sure we can both agree that human beings are weird, often irrational, and inconsistent. I prefer to talk about what’s true and what’s not.what does religion have to do with a person hating good and loving evil?“Religion”? Not much.Christianity, however, since it is the revelation of the all-good God, makes a huge difference. Because you consider eternal torture morally acceptable.1) that’s not nihilistic, friend. You should prolly look for another term.2) Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that eternal torture is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?Thomas said:we no longer have slavery. women are no longer considered property and we know genocide to be wrong. In those respects, the modern world is much better.1) Biblically, women are not property either.2) Genocide in general is not morally acceptable biblically. 3) God has the right to end anyone’s life when He wants.4) Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that genocide is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?I wouldn’t say “complete imbeciles”, but, in the past 5,000-2,000 year we have learned a great deal about nearly everything.But previously you said:It is because people had only the most rudimentary civilization, and little knowledge of morality, or enforcement of law… They were greedy, intolerant, unenlightened, and living in desperate circumstances.Looks to me like you’re already moving your goalposts.Now, in this section I am going to lump together all the question-begging moral judgments you made. Take this as a section of similar thought.Leviticus. how many does that count as? What’s the example? You don’t have time? Yet somehow you have time to type a longish response to me? OK.There is also the tendency toward death as a punishment for everything.1) Not even atheists agree on whether capital punishment is right or wrong.2) Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that capital punishment is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?An abhorrent lack of respect for other people, and/or acts of retribution that are far worse than the original act. So what? Maybe I prefer it that way.Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that this is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?See, you’re basing a large part of your argument on tendentious and question-begging assertions of a morality by which you can judge things right and wrong. I’m asking you to justify it. If you can’t, your entire argument up to this point is so much garbage.I invite you to see how another atheist recently fared when trying to deal with this.but we are social beings with an innate dislike of seeing others, especially those we can relate to, suffering. True, but some people like to INFLICT suffering. Shoot, some like to cut themselves and self-flagellate. Why should I believe one is morally preferable to the other?It all comes back to respect. but why?people have rights. Why should anyone care?Where do those rights come from?The golden rule is the basis for morality, and one does not need religion to understand it.They need something other than atheism to justify and ground it, though.To lump them all together is offensive.One kills people and the other has done nothing wrong, unless you count being taught to believe the wrong religion. Why?hell is a place of infinite torment. Who deserves that? The Buddhist I mentioned earlier?1) Yes, all are sinners before God. No one seeks after God – who’d want to go to be with a God Whom they hate?2) Can
    you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that this is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?It sounds like you are saying that all people are wretched despicable beings who deserve to be tortured foreverCorrect.My problem with religion is that there are problems in the world that are being hindered by it.1) Hindered by your own personal standards. Begging the question.2) Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that this is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?People are dying of aids in Africa, but religious groups want to keep them ignorant of condom-use.1) B/c abstinence is far better.2) By and large they don’t use the condoms anyway. That’s based on statistical analysis.3) Can you give me one good reason to believe, on atheism, that this is NOT morally acceptable? That a rejection of its morality is based on sthg more than personal preference?These are all similar thoughts, so please go ahead and justify the way you justify making moral judgments – “right”, “wrong”, “moral”, etc.————————-since the Bible regulates slavery, and never denounces it, then how did we get rid of it?In England the committed Christian Wilberforce spearheaded the end and interdiction of the slave trade.Again you’re basing your arguments on what people do. I don’t see a good reason to do so, since either way there are always counterexamples.If we were predisposed to evil and nothing elsethat’s one part of the biblical idea but you left out a big chunk. God has also set eternity in the hearts of men. He has written the law on their hearts, so that they instinctively know some of what the moral law demands.Also He has revealed HImself in many ways and taught what is good. It usually amounts to “sex and the city”, “will and grace”, “baby daddy”, and street crimeTrue, and this can be partly traced to many Christians’ preoccupation with eschatology – they think the End is right around the corner. I don’t.That said, with more technology and more options, more varied opportunity for sin is presented (and accepted).Are you horrible? Do you desire horrible things?Yes to both.No disrespect intended, but you have either never been around many people who espoused a biblical worldview or you didn’t absorb it. We have to understand our depravity, our drowning state, before we will accept a Savior. You don’t take Tylenol when your head feels fine.but why would god make us so that we _must_ live with him, but we have such difficulty doing what is necessary. Again, this is basic Christian doctrine. Not trying to be critical; you’ll be fine if you don’t pretend to know what you’re talking about when it comes to Christianity or the Bible. God DID make Adam and Eve to be with Him. But they fell and sinned. Thus God provided a Savior.He sounds like a toy-maker who intentionally designs a defective toy (if you believe we are inherently evil), just to curse it.We were created good but we have sought out many devices and have fallen of our own choice.So god is saving us from the horrible things he could do to us. That sounds like mafia logic.Except when God does so, we deserve the horrible things.Peace,Rhology

  17. Martin says

    Rhology: Ah. I had the feeling you were a presuppositionalist. Well, without having so much time at my disposal, I can say that the Kalam argument (at least as argued by Craig) fails because it makes some a priori assumptions that cannot be adequately defended. Craig assumes that if he can prove the syllogism that 1) everything that begins to exist had a cause, 2) the universe began to exist, therefore 3) the universe had a cause, then the conclusion automatically leads to the Biblical God. But it doesn’t. And Craig is also stuck with the problem of explaining his God’s existence, whether or not God had a beginning, and, if not, how he could possibly know that either way. So I’m afraid Kalam is a nice try, but a mess overall. 1) You also express a positive worldview and thus have to prove it.What is this positive worldview that I express? Not sure what you’re referring to here and think you’re most likely misunderstanding something I wrote.2) You’re begging the question b/c from my worldview, everyone knows that the God of the Bible (TGOTB) exists.No, you believe that God exists. There’s a difference. It’s quite common for believers to confuse belief with knowledge, because in my experience they don’t understand how knowledge is acquired, and have a hazy idea of what constitutes credible evidence for a claim.That’s the exact same thing – arguing from within MY worldview against yours.Except your “worldview” (really an empty term, because “worldviews” are really irrelevant to how people acquire knowledge, and are too often influenced by beliefs and ideologies) and mine aren’t on an even playing field. You’re making the usual theistic mistake of false equivalency, essentially trying to argue that your belief is no more or less rational than my nonbelief. But this isn’t true, because you’re the one arguing for the invisible unicorn in the living room, and I’m the one simply saying I don’t believe he’s there due to insufficient evidence.>>extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.<<begging the question that this is valid.What do you mean by this? Okay, I’ll explain. If a friend of yours tells you he had a ham sandwich for lunch yesterday, that’s not a particularly extraordinary claim, not out of the realm of normal human experience, so you’d not have much reason to demand a huge battery of evidence before finding it credible. On the other hand, if your friend told you that last night he rode a winged hippopotamus to Mars and spoke with a three-headed alien who gave him a million dollars, in all likelihood you’d find that a pretty extraordinary claim, and would be less inclined to believe him unless he made with a great deal of really compelling evidence to back it up. Uh, wouldn’t you? So yes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, except, perhaps, to pathologically credulous nitwits or the clinically insane.You as an atheist have no basis for judging what is good or bad. THus, what you mean is “I think most people’s lives match up in large part with my general set of personal preferences but in many ways don’t.”Oh, I’m stung! What makes you think atheists have no basis for judging what is good or bad? (Apart from ignorance, that is?) I’ll tell you. You’ve been indoctrinated into thinking moral precepts come only from your God, and nowhere else, and that the only reason to behave morally is to please this God and avoid punishment. In other words, Christian “morality” is motivated by self interest as well as a desire to swell the ranks of the converted, and not on anything like altruism.I suspect that, since you made the above statement with a straight face, you’re not smart enough to have thought it through, so I’ll hold your hand. If it’s true that I only go by my “personal preferences” to judge right or wrong, where do you think I derive those preferences from?I’ll give you a minute. Think hard.Okay, here’s the answer. I am a higher thinking being, and one of the things I am capable of doing is observing and comprehending the consequences of actions. This is a process called reason. So if an action has a beneficial consequence, I understand it as a good thing, and if it has a destructive consequence, I can understand it as bad. Also, there’s the little matter of humanity being a social species, in which group cooperation has proved essential to our species success. So yes, in a sense, I do use my “personal preferences” to judge right and wrong, but one key point has totally sailed right over your head: these preferences are not invented whole cloth out of a social vacuum. They are rooted in shared experiences and observations with other members of my species, and thus, far from having no basis, come from real world experience that has proven most effective in the survival of our species. What you call my “personal preferences” are in fact shared with just about anyone, derived from millennia of human interaction.But you’re unacquainted with all of these concepts, because of your Christian indoctrination. God — the guy who sends bears to slaughter children, orders his armies to gang-rape 36,000 women, and has young girls get their father drunk so he’ll get them pregnant — simply handed Charlton Heston a set of tablets on a mountain, and that’s where we get “right and wrong” from. Anything like reason and intellect and empathy have nothing to do with it, and moral behavior is all in the interests of just not making God mad. People cannot think for themselves, and even if they could, they’d have no basis to determine right from wrong, because that comes from God and no actual people can understand it without his help.I’ve never understood why Christians prefer to think about morality in the confused and deeply misanthropic way they do. But you do have my sympathies.But I’d love to know how you justify the claim (if you make it) that your preferences are a larger good that anyone other than you OUGHT TO hold to.Everyone else, except perhaps for religious terrorists and psychotic serial killers, already does hold to them. Mine are the essential ethical precepts humanity as a species has developed all down its history. They’re nothing special.Hitler wasn’t a Christian.Well, I’m willing to entertain the possibility that, like Ted Haggard, he may have been entirely hypocritical on that point, when he proudly proclaimed his Catholicism for all to hear, and wrote in Mein Kampf that in “defending” himself against the Jews he was doing “the Lord’s work.” But why, if Heinrich Himmler had no problem renouncing Christianity for all of his weird occult beliefs, wouldn’t Hitler have done it? He didn’t need Christianity as a shield against his megalomaniacal nature. And what about all the Catholic clergy who worked hand in hand with him? While Hitler himself might have been dishonest about his beliefs, that doesn’t excuse the thousands of Nazi soldiers and officers who kept their faith, justified their slaughter of the Jews on the grounds that they killed Jesus (which they got right from Luther), and wore state-issued belt buckles with the phrase “God Is With Us.” As much as you might want to try to absolve all Christians throughout history for any bad deeds, believing as you do that you understand right and wrong and non-Christians don’t, I’m afraid reality isn’t going to flatter your self-flattering illusions so readily.Why would it matter what “most Christians” believe? It could be a hodgepodge of whatever since people in general are not reliable.I’m arguing for the biblical worldview, just FYI.I hosted the TV show for four years, and I couldn’t count for you the number of Christian callers who made statements entirely at odds with one another, all of whom proudly boasting theirs was the “Biblical worldview.” Anyway, I’m boggled that you’d so casually dismiss the importance of wha
    t most Christians believe! What does it matter? Well gee, rho. If most Christians are believing the Bible incorrectly, aren’t they risking eternal hell? If they claim to be Christians, and yet espouse non-Biblical or even contra-Biblical views, might not that piss off God? If what a person believes, in your “worldview,” determines whether or not they spend eternity in Heaven or Hell, is that not important? How can you do an about-face and glibly imply that it’s no big deal if most of the people who subscribe to your religion are doing it wrong? You’re puzzling me. It’s almost sounding as if you don’t take your beliefs as seriously as you think you do. Or, more likely, you don’t really care in the end what happens to “most Christians” as long as the pearly gates open to you. Eh, oh morally superior one?>>Christianity doesn’t define “good” or “evil” based upon what a person actually does in life.<<1) Yes it does. If someone is perfect, then they’re good.What!?!? Only if they’re “perfect”? Well, who the hell’s perfect? Oh, I get it! That’s the point, isn’t it? This is the ugly misanthropy at Christianity’s core, and another reason atheists in general dismiss it as any kind of a moral (let alone healthy) belief system. Christianity relies on compliance through one ugly doctrine: You suck. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you’re never good enough. You’re not even “good” at all! And even when you become Christian, you’re still not “good,” just “forgiven.”I cannot see, with such a despicable doctrine informing its notion of morals, how Christianity can be considered anything other than utterly beneath contempt by anyone with a shred of respect for reason and human dignity. This religion doesn’t seek to elevate anyone. It simply seeks to subjugate, first by demolishing individual self-esteem, then enforcing compliance through fear by always keeping the convert afraid that their innate, incurably evil nature has them always on the brink of losing their ticket to Heaven. My stomach turns just thinking about it.2) Only Jesus happened to fufill that, so He was good.3) You seem to be critical of Christianity for this. But you have no basis for judging this belief good or evil.As I explained above, I do, but you cannot comprehend my basis because you have swallowed the dogma you gave as example 1) above. Once you’ve bought hook line and sinker into the notion that human nature is bad to a barely redeemable level, I can understand how you wouldn’t accept the idea that people can use their minds to comprehend, as well as practice, empathy, love, and kindness. Christianity has successfully isolated you from anything resembling empathy or philanthropy. Again, you have my sympathies.4) On one level at least I prefer a worldview that can at least tell between good and evil for some reason other than “I prefer it this way” and “I don’t prefer it that way”.Well, as I explained above, under naturalistic, secular understanding of morality and ethics, these are not just random choices that people pull out of their butts. They do have a real world basis. But these reasons are rooted in, well, reason. And if your reliance on that has been compromised, you’re at a pitiable disadvantage.Honestly, rhology, I don’t expect you to appreciate this, but from where I’m standing Christianity has screwed you up something awful!I’ll reply to the rest of your points later. Out of time now.

  18. Martin says

    I have a direct question for Rhology. Since you are of the opinion you have “a worldview that can at least tell between good and evil for some reason other than ‘I prefer it this way’ and ‘I don’t prefer it that way’,” I’d like to know this:Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you come upon a man who’s lying in the gutter, bleeding to death from a stab wound. In your “worldview”…1) Is what happened to this man a good or evil thing, and…2) How do you come by that decision?

  19. says

    No time for the first comment at the moment, Martin, but the 2nd one…1) I don’t know. More information?My worldview doesn’t render anyone omniscient; it just enables us to consistently apply the labels “objectively right” or “objectively wrong” to Issue X, whereas the atheistic worldview does not provide for that.2) I’d run the circumstances thru the Bible.Peace,Rhology

  20. says

    RhologyWhat world are you living in? It seems that you have managed to convince yourself that everybody deserves to be tortured forever, because you have applied a made-up word to them (“sin”). You don’t even care that it makes no sense because “it is your worldview”. You make untrue claims “the claim that everyone knows god exists” and act like it’s ok, because the truth is relative “in your worldview”. Does it matter to you the slightest bit that your thoughts are so disconnected from reality? You say that genocide is “generally” unacceptable under the Bible (you know, with an exception or two), and then claim that it is an objective method of deciding right from wrong. But the objective system is this: Are they human? Then they deserve anything you can do to them, and you deserve anything anybody else can do to you. Yet you somehow claim to have morals.Where is the objectivity? It is all at the whim of an imaginary being who lives in your head?As for the comment about people being primitive 5,000 years ago, there is no inconsistency. I’m sure they were very smart for their time, but the people who came after them learned from them, and from others who had the same idea in different areas of the world. They then thought about it, and came up with more fully thought-out versions of those ideas. They didn’t come from a burning bush, but neither did yours.

  21. says

    Martin,You’re making value judgment after value judgment on morality here; that is the majority of your arguments against my position so far.You make statements expressing your outrage: “What kind of world are you living in?” “The God of the Bible orders genocide – that’s horrible”, “being human is the standard” etc.What I’ve been asking you to do is to take a step back. Yes, you FEEL that those things are wrong, you FEEL outrage over them. But *why*? What is the justification for these value judgments, for calling these things wrong? Aren’t they all based on your own personal preference? Isn’t it true that you have no way to call anythg “bad” beyond a statement equivalent to “I don’t like it”? In which case, another person could say “Well, I like it” and there is no recourse except your attempts to force the other person to follow your preference.Contrast this with the biblical worldview, where there are clear standards, commands from the Creator God, and assurance that unrepentant evildoers will be punished for their evil, assurance that all sin will be punished, and an offer of salvation thru a Savior. So I’d be interested in knowing how you justify these value judgments you’re making. What do you base them on?Peace,Rhology

  22. Martin says

    1) I don’t know. More information?There’s a guy lying in the gutter, bleeding to death from a stab wound. That’s all the information you get. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?My worldview doesn’t render anyone omniscient; it just enables us to consistently apply the labels “objectively right” or “objectively wrong” to Issue X, whereas the atheistic worldview does not provide for that.Then why isn’t this vaunted worldview of yours allowing you to apply these labels to this situation? This morally superior system you use suddenly isn’t impressing me much (not that it did). Why, for instance, do you think you have to be omniscient to figure out whether it’s good or bad for someone to be stabbed to death? You’re not applying anything to anything here. You’re simply dodging having to make a moral judgment in the first place.And what, pray tell, do you mean by affixing the term “objectively” to the notions of right and wrong? I’ve heard Christians do this before, yet when pressed for definitions or clarification, I usually get a bunch of waffling rhetoric. Apparently, your worldview tells you that there’s a classification of right and wrong that is “objective” in nature, and thus differs from other notions of right and wrong, which, presumably, aren’t. So rather than supporting the concept of moral absolutes, your worldview allows for a relativist morality, since there are situations that are “objectively right” or “objectively wrong,” and then there are other situations. Those other situations must exist, otherwise there would be no need to introduce the modifier “objectively” into the discussion at all.So when you tell me that atheism don’t allow “consistent” applications of the notions of “objectively right” and “objectively wrong” to a situation, and then in the same breath admit that you can’t make up your mind whether it’s right or wrong for someone to have been fatally stabbed, then the irony here is that, if I were to accept what you say at face value, I’d have to say this lack is more of a liability for your theistic moral worldview, rather than one for atheists’ secular morality. After all, we could at least answer the question.The reason I’m not giving you more information about the stabbing is that I’m trying to put you in a real world situation, where, most often, you don’t have all the answers and must make a moral judgment based on what knowledge you do have. You aren’t always presented with the luxury of being comfortably able to assess the rightness or wrongness of an event with perfect objectivity and complete consistency. For one thing, it may happen that, once you obtain more facts, your judgments may have to be amended, which shoots to hell the convenience of a one-size-fits-all moral checklist to apply to every situation you might face. But often, you may never get those facts, or there may be no more facts to get — still you need to assess the situation based on what you do have. No one is omniscient, so that complaint is just a dodge. A lack of omniscience doesn’t absolve people of having to make difficult and troubling decisions. What you want is a world free from any and all moral ambiguities, where everything fits into easy-to-grasp, black-and-white categories of right and wrong that you can “objectively” assess in a twinkle without having to think all that hard or be troubled by uncertainties. That’s not our world, though.

  23. says

    Martin,There’s a guy lying in the gutter, bleeding to death from a stab wound. That’s all the information you get. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?I have no idea. I need more information. If I were an atheist and if I wanted to be consistent, I’d say, “It doesn’t matter, there is no right nor wrong.” Why, for instance, do you think you have to be omniscient to figure out whether it’s good or bad for someone to be stabbed to death?But who is he? Who did it? Why? How? What led up to it?I’d expect to hear this kind of bullying “argument” from a 16 year old, but this is a bit surprising. You’re trying a cheap trap tactic. Best of luck with that.I’ve heard Christians do this before, yet when pressed for definitions or clarification, I usually get a bunch of waffling rhetoric.Tell you what, I will be taking the atheistic worldview onto myself and then testing what you are saying about these moral statements. Are your statements consistent w/ your worldview? So far, the answer is no. Where morality begins and ends w/ the individual w/ no higher absolute authority to give the law (as it were), then that’s where morality begins and ends. You might (or at minimum, other atheists I know would and have) claim that morality is a construct of society, but that simply backs the problem up one step while incurring a new problem. Who says that society is the basis of morality? You? Why should I accept your authority for that? Society says so? Why should I accept “society’s” word for that? For that matter, where and when did “society” decree the same?I am proud to present the Christian worldview as a much more reasonable and fitting (not to mention existentially satisfying) alternative to the atheistic one. On Christianity, the omnipotent and omniscient Creator of the Universe, Jesus, gives directives so that we His creations might know firmly what is right and what is wrong. He gives them out of love so that we might be like Him, the best and brightest being, so that we can be the most fulfilled, useful, and purposeful people we can be. Maybe best of all, when we protest against injustice, like “that’s not fair!” or “you’re wrong to do that!” we are not being inconsistent. If we have indeed been acted against in a way that violates God’s law, then we are both consistent AND correct to say “that’s not fair.” And there is a way to tell the difference, on Christianity.Best of all, though we have these directives, though we don’t always agree on these directives, and though we often do not follow them, Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross to take on Himself these sins and to offer His purity to all those who will believe in Him and love Him as Savior and as Lord. He does this b/c of His great love and generosity.Those other situations must exist, otherwise there would be no need to introduce the modifier “objectively” into the discussion at all.I use that world to contrast the atheistic “that’s wrong,” with the Christian “that’s wrong”.You aren’t always presented with the luxury of being comfortably able to assess the rightness or wrongness of an event with perfect objectivity and complete consistency.1) the Bible speaks to that too.2) That’s not the case here where you could easily present more detail in this thought experiment but choose not to, probably for a rhetorical reason.3) Even with all the information one could want, an atheist cannot say “that’s morally wrong, period,” and remain consistent. Saying that borrows from a theistic worldview.Peace,Rhology

  24. Martin says

    You’re making value judgment after value judgment on morality here; that is the majority of your arguments against my position so far.Yes, that’s right. Morality is all abut making value judgments, whether you do it from a theistic or secular perspective.You make statements expressing your outrage: “What kind of world are you living in?” “The God of the Bible orders genocide – that’s horrible”, “being human is the standard” etc.Actually, those are quotes from Thomas, but I can understand his disapproval of what you’re saying. Still, I’ll let him answer for himself.What I’ve been asking you to do is to take a step back. Yes, you FEEL that those things are wrong, you FEEL outrage over them. But *why*? What is the justification for these value judgments, for calling these things wrong?One thing that I find always interesting about Christians who try to take the “morality is impossible without God” stance is that fairly simple situations (even when moral situations are complex beneath the surface, as in my prior example, in most situations people are likely to experience on an average day, ambiguity is minimal) suddenly become enormously difficult for them. Why this kind of thing should be rocket science to you guys is bizarre to me.My justification is simply practical. I am a member of a species of social animal with traits common to that species, one of which is empathy for others and an ability to comprehend the consequences of actions and assess their positive or negative attributes. Yes, there is an aspect of “feeling” to it, for it repulses me to confront situations in which people are hurting other people. But that’s part of the empathy factor. You seem to be suggesting that “feeling” that something is right or wrong is insufficient justification, and while that’s not all there is to it, how a situation makes one feel is a major element of how we make moral judgments. In a lot of cases it plays as much a role as assessing the situation intellectually.Empathically, I can put myself in the shoes of a victim, and understand how horrible it would be to be victimized in such a way. Again, it ain’t rocket science, dude. It’s just your human nature. You seem to be suggesting that you wouldn’t be able to empathize with a victim, and wouldn’t be able to understand whether what happened to them was right or wrong without God always hovering over you, tapping you on the shoulder to tell you which it is. If that is in fact what you are suggesting, it doesn’t say much that’s flattering about this “worldview” you’re trying to tell us is so morally superior, since thinking for yourself isn’t a factor in it.Aren’t they all based on your own personal preference? Isn’t it true that you have no way to call anythg “bad” beyond a statement equivalent to “I don’t like it”? In which case, another person could say “Well, I like it” and there is no recourse except your attempts to force the other person to follow your preference.You must have completely ignored my earlier response, or, reading it, spectacularly failed to understand it. (I’ll guess the latter.) As I stated then, these aren’t “personal preferences” I’ve made with no referent in reality. They are shared values common to our species as a whole. The overwhelming majority of people share these “preferences” that you think I’m just making up for myself, because we live together socially and have developed laws and moral guidelines to aid us in the long-term success of that society. Yes, every once in a while you get people who decide they “prefer” to go the other way. Guess where most of those people end up? Usually dead or in prison, because, as you’ve pointed out, those of us in humanity’s majority have decided that’s what they deserve for going against what we collectively understand as the common good. In other words, when a court of law sentences a murderer, they are, as you state, “forcing” him to accept the “preferences” we all live under in a society where peace and cooperation have been found to be the appropriate norms.Your questions reveal there is a great deal you do not understand at a very rudimentary level about human nature, and I would suggest this comes directly from accepting a misanthropic religious “worldview” that states all people are irredeemably evil without exception. Far from providing the capacity for sound moral judgment, this has been an element throughout Christianity’s history that has facilitated atrocity. Whether you’re talking about medieval popes initiating pogroms against Jews, or modern day bigots promoting hate against blacks or other races, or gays and lesbians, the notion of sin has done less to bring peace and harmony to the human race than it has created in many of its adherents an “us against them” mentality in which people who consider themselves the only ones capable of good morals have been responsible for the most despicable behaviors. An interesting recent article touches on this very point.Contrast this with the biblical worldview, where there are clear standards, commands from the Creator God, and assurance that unrepentant evildoers will be punished for their evil, assurance that all sin will be punished, and an offer of salvation thru a Savior.Sounds exactly like the kind of simplistic, intractable and inflexible dogmatic thinking that allows people to justify conveniently labeling anyone they don’t like “sinners” and “unrepentant evildoers” and hurting them with impunity “in the Lord’s name.” And what of these “commands” from the “creator God”? That a rapist can get away with his crime by buying his victim from her father for 50 shekels? That one should be put to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, or eating shellfish, or having sex with his wife when she’s on her period? Thanks, but I’d rather live by a moral code based in reality. The Biblical worldview sounds barbaric at best and deeply immoral at worst, with no real notion of justice.So I’d be interested in knowing how you justify these value judgments you’re making. What do you base them on?Once more with feeling: reason, empathy, and living in the real world, rho. Come visit sometime.

  25. Martin says

    If I were an atheist and if I wanted to be consistent, I’d say, “It doesn’t matter, there is no right nor wrong.”Except that isn’t the atheist view, as you’ve been repeatedly told. So here you’re either being intentionally ignorant, or you’re just trying to convince us you’re less intelligent than you already are. So let’s have no more of this crap about how atheists don’t think there’s any right or wrong, okay? You’ve been corrected repeatedly, so any further repetition on this stupid theme will just tell me you’re just trolling at this point. Okay? You ought to know better than to be this obtuse at this point in the discussion, so do your best and try to rise above your stereotypes and brainwashing. This isn’t doing you credit.But who is he? Who did it? Why? How? What led up to it?I’d expect to hear this kind of bullying “argument” from a 16 year old, but this is a bit surprising. You’re trying a cheap trap tactic. Best of luck with that.No, I’m trying to get you to think outside the box of your simple-minded, black-and-white religious programming. Resenting that, you lash out at me angrily. That’s revealing.As I stated: in the real world, many moral situations are not simply black-and-white. One has to make decisions what what information you have. If you think my example is a “trap,” I hope you never find yourself confronting this kind of circumstance for real. It’ll floor you.Where morality begins and ends w/ the individual w/ no higher absolute authority to give the law (as it were), then that’s where morality begins and ends. You might (or at minimum, other atheists I know would and have) claim that morality is a construct of society, but that simply backs the problem up one step while incurring a new problem. Who says that society is the basis of morality? You? Why should I accept your authority for that? Society says so? Why should I accept “society’s” word for that? For that matter, where and when did “society” decree the same?You are free to reject notions of morality and ethics as agreed upon by the society you live in, rho, if you don’t mind being ostracized and subject to sanctions by that society. Clearly it upsets you greatly to think that moral precepts might be things derived by people all the years down human civilization. You’d rather have a “higher authority” simply tell you how to think about what’s right or wrong so you don’t have to think about it yourself. If you actually consider this “existentially satisfying,” hey, more power to you. I and other atheists generally think of it as infantalizing and intellectually deficient, but that’s because we think engaging your mind is a good thing.I can turn your anguished questions back upon you: if God is this “higher authority” you wish to claim is the source of superior moral guidelines, then “who says?” The Bible? Can this God’s existence even be proved? And if so, why should I accept a being who sends bears to massacre children for making fun of a bald man — a moral atrocity, in my “preference” — as the one from whom to accept moral precepts? And, if God is the source of human moral precepts, then where did he get these precepts from? Are we just going by God’s “personal preferences”? Or are there actual reasons why God declares certain things to be good and holy and others to be bad and sinful? Did God make these assessments simply because he’s God and what he says goes? Do we obey God’s moral laws simply because he’s the biggest, baddest bully in the universe and will punish us if we don’t? Is morality just about slavish submission to divine authoritarianism, or are there practical reasons that certain things may be judged right vs. wrong? And if the answer is “both,” then why do we need the authoritarianism in the first place?So no, I don’t see what’s so superior or consistent about your worldview here. You’re rejecting all of humanity’s input into its own affairs in favor of the dictates of some divine lawgiver who, if his own holy book is any guide, often gives commands that are morally reprehensible to say the least, and for whose existence we have not a shred of credible evidence anyway. It’s baffling.I am proud to present the Christian worldview as a much more reasonable and fitting (not to mention existentially satisfying) alternative to the atheistic one.You have not succeeded. We find your Christian worldview to be entirely deficient to assess moral judgments in anything resembling the real world. As you go on to say:He gives them out of love so that we might be like Him, the best and brightest being, so that we can be the most fulfilled, useful, and purposeful people we can be.There is your problem. Religious morality is about pleasing a god, while secular morality is about getting along with your fellow humans. When one subscribes to the former “worldview,” one finds incidents (and not just in Christianity) of people engaging in the worst behavior imaginable because they firmly believe they’re doing what they must to gain favor with their God. The 9/11 terrorists, the Klansmen who burn Christian crosses to terrorize black people, the fanatics who drag gay men out onto lonely roads to beat them to death, or who gun down abortion providers to show how “pro-life” they are — all these people think they’re being as “good” as it is possible for a person to be, because they’re doing God’s will. Reasonable and fitting? I don’t see it.Even with all the information one could want, an atheist cannot say “that’s morally wrong, period,” and remain consistent. Saying that borrows from a theistic worldview.One of the mistakes inherent in your theistic worldview is to think moral judgments will always be consistent.

  26. says

    > You’re making value judgment after > value judgment on morality here; > that is the majority of your > arguments against my position so > far.> What is the justification for these> value judgments, for calling these > things wrong? The justification is that the foundation of human society is respect for other human beings. The formation of what we refer to as rights. The basis of this is common consensus, combined with the Kantian concept that you base your actions on what would be fair and reasonable, if you could not show yourself, or those with whom you are affiliated, preferential treatment.> Aren’t they all based on your own> personal preference?That and the preference of the victim, and the necessity to sustain society. I, personally do not agree with anything that can be seen as a victim-less crime, because it does not violate anyone’s preference or harm society.> Contrast this with the biblical > worldview, where there are clear > standards, So no two Christians disagree on moral issues? > commands from the Creator God, Relayed by his loyal followers, Robertson, Fallwell, Koresh, Bin Ladin, and, of course Phelps. Seriously, how can your opinion about what God wants be any less fallible than the many writers, translators, and interpretors that have had a hand in the Bible, or than you, yourself?> and assurance that unrepentant > evildoers will be punished for > their evil, assurance that all > sin will be punished, Wouldn’t it be better to help them? I don’t care if they are punished. If they can be repaired, and guided to fix the problems they cause, then that would be a much more elegant solution. Besides, the desire for revenge: Isn’t that blood lust?> and an offer of salvation thru a > Savior.But he is offering to save us from himself. That isn’t salvation. That is a thinly veiled threat.Also, I wanted to ask you about something. You keep saying, essentially that man is scum, and deserves to be tortured for eternity, but you once said something about the Bible bringing you peace or happiness. How can you be peaceful or happy if you believe that you deserve infinite suffering, and have that threat hanging over your head?

  27. Steve says

    Empathy, sympathy, being conscientious, having compassion…Gee, I have no idea where we atheists get our morals from. If you don’t possess those qualities and need to convince yourself that some invisible SuperJesus is going to punish you, in order to keep you from raping and killing people, then you’re, plain and simply, a monster.

  28. says

    Rhology’s repeated invocation of “personal preferences” reminds me of the movie “The Princess Bride”, where Vazzini (I think that is how it is spelled) keeps exclaiming “Inconceivable” and finally Inigo the Spaniard says “I notice you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”Rhology equates an atheist’s moral outlook as being on the same level as “I think I will have chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream sundae today instead of rainbow sprinkles.” But it should go without saying that the values upon which we base our conduct have a level of intense commitment to them, unlike mere trivial preferences that we can change at whim. As an atheist, I don’t construct my morality around “I would prefer this or prefer that.” It stems from a recognition that actions have consequences. As a result, I refrain from doing some things that I would prefer to do. The funny thing is that Rhology constantly claims that atheists have no standard by which to argue that raping children is wrong, and yet I doubt he can point to a single atheist he has ever encountered either personally or in the blogosphere who has ever argued in favor of child rape. If atheists have no moral compass to guide us, then why aren’t we advocating in favor of raping children? If he could point to any of us who were advocating such a thing, he might have a point. But of course he can’t, and so he doesn’t.

  29. says

    Even with all the information one could want, an atheist cannot say “that’s morally wrong, period,” and remain consistent.I surely can. I declare that the following things are morally wrong:1. Wearing sweat pants in public if you are older than ten years of age.2. Listening to an album by Lindsay Lohan.3. Driving a Toyota Prius without wearing black socks.4. Saying “Scrotum” on a Saturday.5. Enjoying professional wrestling, ironically or otherwise.6. Giving your next-door neighbor (right or left side) a gift basket full of half-eaten prunes unless you first spraypaint his (or her) house mauve.7. Using British spelling (thanks, Conservapedia!).8. Writing a short story or novel that involves a character named Billy. Screenplays are permissible.9. Eating a cheeseburger while attempting to whistle “Oh Susannah.”10. Turning left.All of these things are morally wrong, always an everywhere, regardless of situation or extenuating circumstances, and they shall be properly punished by death.You can’t tell me I’m wrong because I have defined the above infractions as “objectively morally wrong” and therefore you have no basis for judgement, as I have also declared myself the lawgiver. This is my worldview, and you must think about it from the inside. You must assume that I am right and go from there. After all, I know some people who agree with me here and know that I am right.See, I can make an arbitrary list of shit and define it into “objective” moral wrongness, too. Doesn’t take an invisible sky friend. My moral system has more weight, even, because people don’t have to spout empty words and faulty arguments to try to define me into existence or argue that I must be necessary for some reason even though there is (and can’t be, according to some!) not a whit of physical evidence for my existence. All they have to do is drive to my house, knock on the door, and hope I’m wearing pants.

  30. Steve says

    Letting a child die because of one’s religion, when a simple medical procedure could save his or her life, is also morally wrong.

  31. says

    Much of what you all have written here has been attacking a strawman. Have fun with that; maybe somebody will come along who will even be interested in defending it, but not me. I corrected you in that post you mention.But some things have been said here that are not based on a strawman, so I’ll get to those, but I don’t know if it’ll be before the holidays are over.Peace,Rhology

  32. says

    Ironically, Rho- you’ve done nothing but consistantly and repeatedly attacking a strawman (the caricature of an athiest) with a stick of smug self righteousness.I think you’re choosing to ignore reasonable rebuttals and label them as strawmen.But that’s just me.

  33. says

    Spaja,There’s a difference between rebutting what one thinks the logical conclusion of a position is and attacking a strawman.How have I done the latter and not the former? Substantiate your claim, quote me. Best of luck.Peace,Rhology

  34. says

    Martin,Reading thru now, gonna respond as I can.You said:One of the mistakes inherent in your theistic worldview is to think moral judgments will always be consistent.Do you realise the morass into which this statement could lead you? I’d like to give you a chance to explain yourself, b/c this prima facie dismantles anything you might say even further than merely being an atheist does. So, please elucidate, thanks.Peace,Rhology

  35. says

    >Rhology said:>That’s putting the cart before the horse.>Look at it this way – everyone is >drowning. Why? B/c they’re in the water >(their own sin). The water will kill >them. If they reject the only lifeboat >that is circulating to save them, they’ll >die b/c of the water (their sin). So the >sin is the primary cause.So why are they drowning again? They were either A) put there by God, or B) (the ever apologetic) Adam and Eve’s Sin put them there.If it’s choice “A”, are we to respect a being that creates us in an environment that we’re likely not able to survive?If it’s choice “B”, then how can anyone say that God is a fair being? Think about it, If you were a God, and you saw Adam or Eve drown (forget teaching them to swim on their own, as that’d be akin to saving one’s self without further assistance from the almighty), would you say to yourself “Well, since Adam (or Eve) drowned, I’ll see to it that everyone created after this is born in a drowning state”What possible reason would you have for making that statement?

  36. says

    Hi FourTwenty,This from someone who might’ve been stoned when he wrote his comment. Oh well.They’re drowning b/c Adam’s sin is imputed to all men. It’s in Romans 5.But instead of complain that all men are born drowning (or dead, is a better way to say it), rejoice b/c God has graciously and generously provided a Savior, Jesus Christ.Please, repent and trust Him as your Savior and your Master. It’s better over here. The part about the Savior is in Romans 5 too.As for my reason for saying that, it’s b/c the Bible says it.Peace,Rhology

  37. says

    >Hi FourTwenty,>This from someone who might’ve been>stoned when he wrote his comment. Oh>well.Ha ha, you’re a riot. I wasn’t then, but I am now, if it makes some sort of difference to you.>They’re drowning b/c Adam’s sin is>imputed to all men.Which I’ve asserted in “B”>It’s in Romans 5. >But instead of complain that all men>are born drowning (or dead, is a better>way to say it), rejoice b/c God has>graciously and generously provided a>Savior, Jesus Christ.Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Even if said God existed, you feel that a being that threw me out to drown and “graciously” offers me a lifesaver, I’m supposed to thank it? Actually, you don’t even get “thrown out” sometime in your life, you’re placed to die before you even have an opinion of anything.I think that people being placed to drown, as punishment for something that they didn’t do, something worth complaining about.>Please, repent and trust Him as your>Savior and your Master. It’s better>over here. The part about the Savior is>in Romans 5 too.Over where exactly?>As for my reason for saying that, it’s>b/c the Bible says it.So you’d be up for using the logic that if someone drowns, anyone that comes from their offspring should be born in conditions to drown? The Bileble didn’t say that specific scenario, but that’s definitely the logic it uses.

  38. says

    Hi FourTwenty,Hmm, not sure how seriously to take your statements if you’re stoned, including the one indicating that you’re stoned. I’m supposed to thank it?1) Well, yes. 2) If you’d been in Adam’s place you’d’ve done the same thing. 3) You confirm Adam’s sin in your own personally-performed sin every day many times.4) Fine, don’t thank God for the Savior. It’s like shooting yourself in the head to punish the guy who’s trying to hand you a winning lottery ticket.I think that people being placed to drown, as punishment for something that they didn’t do, something worth complaining about.Hopefully you don’t agree, then, with the moral statements made by Thomas, Martin Wagner, Tommy, and Ben in this thread. If you do, I’ll take this complaint at its face value – your own person, null and void when applied to anyone else. Over where exactly?Being a child of God rather than an enemy.you’d be up for using the logic that if someone drowns, anyone that comes from their offspring should be born in conditions to drown?If someone drowns, they’re dead, right? They don’t have offspring then. But this is a spiritual statement anyway. And yes, the spiritually dead man’s offspring are spiritually dead. But look on the ‘bright’ side – I’ve been made spiritually alive by God, thank God. But my daughter is spiritually dead. THe difference is that instead of whining that she’s dead, I’ll have the joy to know that I ONCE was dead but now live and that she can have the same blessing and privilege because of God’s generosity.Peace,Rhology

  39. says

    >Hmm, not sure how seriously to take>your statements if you’re stoned,>including the one indicating that>you’re stoned.I was stoned last night, who cares. You can’t take a guy seriously, even if he’s making points, just because he’s under the influence? I’m taking a guess that you’ve never experienced being stoned.Heck, even your Bible can be read as to enjoy marijuana. I know many Xians who justify themselves with this verse.1:29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.>>I’m supposed to thank it?>1) Well, yes.You thank the guy who puts you in the water to drown, and the only way of escape is to apologize to him for everything you’ve done wrong… sounds like an mean spirited move if you ask me.If I were to place you in the same situation, would you apologize your heart out to me *and mean it*?>2) If you’d been in Adam’s place>you’d have done the same thing.That’s not your place to say, but you’re probably right. I would have asked God his reasoning on not eating the fruit first, but if I didn’t get a reasonable answer, then yeah, I would have done it.>3) You confirm Adam’s sin in your own>personally-performed sin every day many>times.My only sins are not loving a fictitious God, and sometimes I work on the sabbath, both unreasonable rules that I still haven’t heard explained from the big guy as to why I shouldn’t. I invited Him to debate a long time ago, you know. He didn’t show.>4) Fine, don’t thank God for the>Savior. It’s like shooting yourself in>the head to punish the guy who’s trying>to hand you a winning lottery ticket.There’s a difference, your God is willing to punish people for eternity, just because they don’t want or need the lottery ticket. If He’s willing to torture me just because I disagree with him on a few things, He’s probably not that cool of a guy anyways.>Hopefully you don’t agree, then, with>the moral statements made by Thomas,>Martin Wagner, Tommy, and Ben in this>thread. If you do, I’ll take this>complaint at its face value – your own>person, null and void when applied to>anyone else.I’m not sure which statements in particular you’re referring to, as it’s quite a long thread and people have spoken many times.>Being a child of God rather than an>enemy.I just don’t believe in Him. If He exists, I don’t know it, and I have no proof. He’s the one that allegedly wants to punish me without even explaining the reasons of why he needs my love so much. An infinite being could do this very easily, if it wanted to. Sounds like more reason to not believe He exists in the first place.>If someone drowns, they’re dead, right?>They don’t have offspring then.>But this is a spiritual statement>anyway.Yes, but you know what I mean.>And yes, the spiritually dead>man’s offspring are spiritually dead.I could read the bible and find that out. What I’m asking is “why”? The logic behind it doesn’t make sense. If you don’t care, that’s fine, but I do. Maybe I hold my supposed supreme beings to a higher standard, one that includes logic.>THe difference is>that instead of whining that she’s>dead, I’ll have the joy to know that I>ONCE was dead but now live and that she>can have the same blessing and>privilege because of God’s generosity.I’m not thanking the person who’s set up the rules that the only way out is Him. Just as I don’t thank every John and Jane down the street who was “gracious” enough to not kill me.I do have a nit pick with something else you’ve said in the thread though.>I think it’s important to remember that>we have to critique a worldview from>the inside, b/c a HUGE part of the>biblical worldview is unintelligible,>bizarre, and incoherent from the POV of>a non-biblical worldview…You go on to explain yourself with>You’re begging the question b/c from my>worldview, everyone knows that the God>of the Bible (TGOTB) exists.Let’s assume that my world view is “My dad created the universe”. This obviously doesn’t make sense to you, but, according to what you’ve said, you CAN NOT critique my world view, because you’re not a part of it.Even if part of my worldview was to scream at old ladies, you have no right to critique it, because you’re not a part of it. The only people who would have the right to critique it are a part of the worldview, so they obviously agree with it.Doesn’t that just sound like free reign to do whatever I wanted without consequence? I don’t even have to offer proof of my and my dad’s claims because “from my worldview, everyone knows that [my dad created the universe]”According to your logic, no one needs proof of anything, they can just claim something to be true, and it is.

  40. says

    Hi 420,I’m taking a guess that you’ve never experienced being stoned.Good guess. ;-)I know many Xians who justify themselves with this verse.Haha, that’s so ludicrous as to be funny.They must’ve missed the multiple proscriptions against intoxication in their desperation to justify their behavior.to you it shall be for meat.I didn’t realise you ate the happy grass. I thought you lit it on fire and breathed the offput.You thank the guy who puts you in the water to drownYou haven’t made a case that God is the one who put you there, you’ve just assumed it.I’ll admit there are times I’m ticked off at Adam. But it makes me more thankful for the Savior. And of course it reminds me that I’m a pretty bad guy myself and don’t deserve any mercy from God, especially not at the cost of the painful death of Jesus.That’s not your place to say, but you’re probably rightThe Bible says it. I’m not really producing too many original ideas in this convo.I would have asked God his reasoning on not eating the fruit firstExcept He’d already told you if you’re Adam. You’re gonna ask Him to repeat Himself? if I didn’t get a reasonable answer, then yeah, I would have done it.Reason flows out of Who God is. There is no reasonable ANYthing without God’s character backing it up, so yeah it would’ve been reasonable.OTOH, there’s no guarantee that your sinful mind would’ve accepted it as *satisfactory* since you wouldn’t be likely to accept a limitation on what you want to do. It’s a problem for everyone.My only sins are not loving a fictitious God,Not according to the Bible. But OK, you’re a sinner; your argument about drowning is more or less moot now since you agree you confirm YOUR OWN DROWNING by your actions.I invited Him to debate a long time ago, you know. He didn’t show.I’ll be happy to step in for Him. What was your proposed thesis?There are several theses on the table for you, BTW; are you planning to take any of them?your God is willing to punish people for eternity, just because they don’t want or need the lottery ticket1) Oh, they need it. 2) It’s not for rejecting the ticket that they go to hell, it’s for sinning against His holy law. If you’re going to criticise, at least aim your gun right.3) And you’ve already agreed any moral judgment you could make is nothing more than personal preference, so I see no reason to treat your disgruntlement about Hell as anythg more than a preference for one flavor of ice cream over another.I’m not sure which statements in particular you’re referring toThey’re all over the place and basically boil down to “Christianity can’t be true b/c God is such a mean guy.”An infinite being could do this very easily, if it wanted to.He will if you don’t repent. PLease repent.And if He’s infinite, then He’s also pretty patient. And merciful.What I’m asking is “why”?Why are they dead? It was the judgment of God for breaking His law and eating the fruit. Remember, God said the penalty is death; they died spiritually when they ate it.Maybe I hold my supposed supreme beings to a higher standard, one that includes logic.that’s just empty talk. You can’t justify using logic as an atheist. Anytime you use logic, you assume a standard of intelligibility and only a theistic God (which you reject) can provide the basis and justification for that.This obviously doesn’t make sense to you, but, according to what you’ve said, you CAN NOT critique my world view, because you’re not a part of it.You completely misunderstand me, but that’s OK. What I mean is that we take on the other’s worldview and its implications for the sake of argument.Thus I wouldn’t say “The Bible says your dad didn’t create the universe, so he didn’t. End of story. Booyeah.” that’s exactly the same thing atheists do when they say “God is so mean He couldn’t exist” or “Evolution proves God is not real”. It’s just as valid.So let me take on your statement for the sake of argument.If your dad created the universe, that must mean he has his existence outside of space. Is that the case?If not, we’re done here.That’s how that goes.According to your logic,Since you completely misunderstood what I am saying, the rest of your post is meaningless.Let me know about any one of the 3 things I’ve challenged you on already.1) the link to God existing2) the link to the Bible’s infallibility and 5 “contradictions”3) justifying logic as an atheistPeace,Rhology

  41. says

    >Haha, that’s so ludicrous as to be>funny.>They must’ve missed the multiple>proscriptions against intoxication in>their desperation to justify their>behavior.Exactly. People get what they want out of the Bible, pick and choose verses that suit their needs.>I didn’t realise you ate the happy>grass. I thought you lit it on fire and>breathed the offput.You can eat it, lots of people cook with it.>You haven’t made a case that God is the>one who put you there, you’ve just>assumed it.Adam (or Eve) may have been the person who caused the fall into sin, but God actually put us there.>And of course>it reminds me that I’m a pretty bad guy>myself and don’t deserve any mercy from>God, especially not at the cost of the>painful death of Jesus.I don’t know, I think of myself as a pretty good person. I wish you liked yourself enough to say the same.>Except He’d already told you if you’re>Adam. You’re gonna ask Him to repeat>Himself?His reasoning? I missed that. I’ve read the rule, I missed the reasoning.>Reason flows out of Who God is. There>is no reasonable ANYthing without God’s>character backing it up, so yeah it>would’ve been reasonable.Proof?>OTOH, there’s no guarantee that your>sinful mind would’ve accepted it as>*satisfactory* since you wouldn’t be>likely to accept a limitation on what>you want to do. It’s a problem for>everyone.God can’t convince a person that his way is better? Doesn’t sound all knowing or all powerful if he can’t even reason with someone.>Not according to the Bible.>But OK, you’re a sinner; your argument>about drowning is more or less moot now>since you agree you confirm YOUR OWN>DROWNING by your actions.I’m only humouring you anyways. I’m not drowning at all. I feel fine, I’m no where near water, and my lungs are clear.So, I’m not sinning, I’m not in danger, and I have no reason to think that I am.>I’ll be happy to step in for Him. What>was your proposed thesis?>There are several theses on the table>for you, BTW; are you planning to take>any of them?Well, I’d just ask Him questions as to why He does things in certain ways, but just by showing up, He’d already exceed any of my expectations.>2) It’s not for rejecting the ticket>that they go to hell, it’s for sinning>against His holy law. If you’re going >to criticise, at least aim your gun>right.Essentially, it’s a lottery I HAVE to play. I didn’t even want to play in the first place.>3) And you’ve already agreed any moral>judgment you could make is nothing more>than personal preference, so I see no>reason to treat your disgruntlement>about Hell as anythg more than a>preference for one flavor of ice cream>over another.When did I do such a thing? I told you my dad was the creator of the universe and he’s given me my rules, and I abide by them>They’re all over the place and>basically boil down to “Christianity>can’t be true b/c God is such a mean>guy.”I’ll agee with them.>He will if you don’t repent. PLease>repent.>And if He’s infinite, then He’s also>pretty patient. And merciful.I’m not infinite, unfortunately.>Why are they dead?No, why does God punish everyone for the sin of one man?>that’s just empty talk. You can’t>justify using logic as an atheist.>Anytime you use logic, you assume a>standard of intelligibility and only a>theistic God (which you reject) can>provide the basis and justification for>that.Well I believe in my dad now. So I now have a place to gather logic from.>that’s exactly the same thing atheists>do when they say “God is so mean He>couldn’t exist” or “Evolution proves>God is not real”. It’s just as valid.The concept of a creator can not be disproven with our means. Evolution does not disprove a God of sorts. It just disproves genesis as the way it is told. God being mean doesn’t disprove that he exists, we just state that if your God is the one that exists (if there is any) then *I* think he’s a mean guy.>So let me take on your statement for>the sake of argument.>If your dad created the universe, that>must mean he has his existence outside>of space. Is that the case?>If not, we’re done here.that’s what he says, yes.>Let me know about any one of the 3 >things I’ve challenged you on already.Sorry, what do you want to know?>1) the link to God existingYour God doesn’t exist, my dad said so.>2) the link to the Bible’s>infallibility and 5 “contradictions”I don’t read much of the bible anymore, my dad says it’s useless, so I’ll only bring up one. My dad likes to bring up the story in judges 1:19. He says he could’ve kicked the butts of the people in the valley, because he’s all powerful.3) justifying logic as an atheistI’m not an atheist, nor was I ever. I *was* agnostic, but now I know my dad is the center of logic, so what he says is right. I’m not stupid anymore.

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    Hi 420,Maybe some people cherry pick out of the Bible, but it doesn’t follow that everyone does. I don’t.You are in the position now of complaining that God even made you. He didn’t make you exactly the way you’d like and now you’re crying about it. This is the attitude one would expect from a 5-yr old. Grownups deal with it.You can *think* of yourself as a good person, but that doesn’t change anything. Remember, you have no way to make any moral judgment on good or bad one way or the other. You’re contradicting yourself, and you’re borrowing from my worldview to do it.The reasoning I refer to from God is His decree. He is good; what He commands is good by definition. He is logical; what He commands is logical by definition. His explanation is where the buck stops; He may or may not go further into Why. In this case, He did. He said “you’ll die if you eat it, and it’s morally wrong (ie, sinful), so don’t eat it.”You want proof for that? Read the post I linked to most recently. Then present an alternate, serious idea for the justification for logic and intelligibility, and don’t beg the question.Now, you’re making stuff up when you say your dad is the creator of all things. I don’t want to waste time arguing against an ad hoc made-up worldview. If we were to replace “The God of the Bible” w/ your dad in the original (ie, not minimalist, but where He is the answer to everythg) way you propose, then we have no problem at all.We have a being who goes by the name “my dad” but who is actually omni-present, -potent, -scient, self-reveals thru the Bible, created the universe, and is the grounds for all logic, rationality, induction, and morality.Sounds suspiciously like The God of the Bible, w/ a name borrowed from blasphemous skeptics.Only God doesn’t like to go by the name “420’s dad”; He prefers YHWH or Jesus. So in what way does your dad differ substantially from the God of the Bible?Agnostic or atheist, the same questions really apply.Peace,Rhology

  43. says

    >You can *think* of yourself as a good>person, but that doesn’t changeanything.>Remember, you have no way to make any>moral judgment on good or bad one way>the other. You’re contradicting yourself,>and you’re borrowing from my worldview to>do it.Technically, it’s not my thoughts that define my goodness, I’m just following the good laws that my dad laid out. But, maybe by chance, I happen to have the exact same views and reasonings on all things as my dad does.And I’m not borrowing from your world view. There may be similarities, but that doesn’t mean I’m taking them from yours. My reason for not murdering people is completely different then yours.>The reasoning I refer to from God is>His decree. He is good; what He>commands is good by definition. He is>logical; what He commands is logical by>definition. His explanation is where>the buck stopsWhat definition of “good” are you using? His? You’ve already established that I can’t define what I do as good, but you make an exception for another being. why the distinction?>He may or may not go further into Why. >In this case, He did. He said “you’ll>die if you eat it, and it’s morally >wrong (ie, sinful), so don’t eat it.”Yeah, but why is it morally wrong? Telling someone that something is wrong isn’t an explanation at all, not without the reasoning behind it.>Now, you’re making stuff up when you>say your dad is the creator of all>thingsAre you calling me a liar?>I don’t want to waste time arguing>against an ad hoc made-up worldview.Yours is the made up one, my dad said so. If I can waste time arguing against a view that I believe is made up, thereby taking less>If we were to replace “The God of the>Bible” w/ your dad in the original (ie,>not minimalist, but where He is the>answer to everythg) way you propose,>then we have no problem at all.My dad claims to be the most knowing, not all knowing, the most powerful, not all powerful. He has some serious problems with your Bible, so we can’t just inject my dad into the Bible, he thinks that book is silly.>Only God doesn’t like to go by the name>”420’s dad”; He prefers YHWH or Jesus.>So in what way does your dad differ >substantially from the God of the>Bible?He hates when people call him Jesus, or words without vowels. He doesn’t hold it against them tho, but it is a pet peeve.He doesn’t require worship, for one. He said that since it was his choice to create things, it was obviously something he wanted to do, so why would he impart worship on his own creations? It seems silly to him.He doesn’t infinitely punish people for a finite amount of “sins”, he gives people a universal set of perfect rules, rather than rules that change for time periods. He doesn’t make exceptions to rules for himself, meaning he’s not a hypocrite. There’s no sabbath to obey, because he’s more powerful than your God, so he didn’t need to rest. It also didn’t take him 7 days, it was an instant creation of the universe… a big bang if you will.Those are a few.

  44. says

    420,Very clever. You’re in trouble though.First a few things to clean up.What definition of “good” are you using? His?Since His is the only possible definition, yes.Yeah, but why is it morally wrong?The fundamental reason is b/c it is against God’s character; it is sinful. That is where the buck stops. There is nothing more foundational than this.Are you calling me a liar?Yes, b/c your claims about your dad are incoherent and you know it.If your dad laid out good laws, he sounds like the God of the Bible (TGOTB). I’ll note where your claims about your dad coincide with that of TGOTB and critique where they don’t.My reason for not murdering people is completely different then yoursIf it’s not that your dad told you, then that’s definitely different than TGOTB.1) Do you consider murder morally wrong?2) If so, does that flow out of your dad’s character?3) If not, are humans made in your dad’s image?4) If so and it flows out of your dad’s character, it is inconsistent to claim that murder could be wrong for another reason given what you’ve said about your dad elswhere.Yours is the made up one, my dad said so.1) Does your dad self-reveal?2) If so, how?3) If not, you know nothing and your claims are worthless.4) Given that he must self-reveal, how does he do so?My dad claims to be the most knowing, not all knowing, the most powerful, not all powerful. (emph mine)OK so your dad is not all-powerful nor all knowing.What power does he lack? What knowledge does he lack? And how does he know he lacks that knowledge? Did he create everything? If he did, how can he lack knowledge about it? He said that since it was his choice to create things, it was obviously something he wanted to do, so why would he impart worship on his own creations?Does he want any respect at all from his creations?How does he say morality should be based?He doesn’t infinitely punish people for a finite amount of “sins”Inconsistency. Sin against an infinitely holy God is an infinite debt.But maybe your dad is not all-holy. Is he?he gives people a universal set of perfect rules, rather than rules that change for time periods.You answer my question here. Your “dad” is not god since he is illogical. Here you have a choice:1) Correct your claimor2) Refuse your claim to be a reliable messenger of your dad.If #1, you are not reliable anyway since you got it wrong; how can I trust what you say? Same for #2.An illogical god is not a real one. Thanks for playing; hopefully you can see the problem of making up your own deity. The real one doesn’t like that much.If you answer, I *might* respond but since your point is dead in the water, it would seem my work here is done unless you digress. Digression will also be taken as an abandonment of the argument; there will be little incentive for me or anyone to take up the challenge of someone who makes up “religions” on the fly just to try to make someone else look stupid, only to be left looking stupid himself.Peace,Rhology

  45. says

    >Since His is the only possible>definition, yesSo basically, you’re not defining what “good” is, you’re trusting someone else to do it. hey, that’s cool, i do it too, but my dad’s version of good is different than what your alleged god defines as good.>The fundamental reason is b/c it is>against God’s character; it is sinful.>That is where the buck stops. There is>nothing more foundational than this.So we have nothing more than the Euthyphro dilemma Basically you’re saying that things are good and bad based on God’s personal preference (or his character).>Yes, b/c your claims about your dad are>incoherent and you know it.If I may quote…”I think it’s important to remember that we have to critique a worldview from the inside, b/c a HUGE part of [my worldview] is unintelligible, bizarre, and incoherent from the POV of a [different] worldview.”You are in no place to judgee what you think is incoherent because it’s just your personal preference. Now if you join me and believe, then your critiques will probably disappear.>1) Do you consider murder morally>wrong?Yes, in most cases (self defence being an exception)>2) If so, does that flow out of your>dad’s character?That’s what he says>3) If not, are humans made in your>dad’s image?Nope, he only looks like a human right now so it’s less shocking. It’s much easier to think you’re talking to person than the most mighty.>4) If so and it flows out of your dad’s >character, it is inconsistent to claim >that murder could be wrong for another >reason given what you’ve said about >your dad elswhere.My dad believes that you have the right to your own body. Given this, we can easily come to the conclusion that murder is wrong. So yes, my reasoning is different than yours.>1) Does your dad self-reveal?I’ll say yes to this, because I see him every day. Before continuing with your questions, what do you mean by “self-reveal”?>What power does he lack?power to do the impossible, like making a donut bigger than he can eat. He tried it once, he tells me. He had a tummy ache for days.>What knowledge does he lack?He doesn’t know the future, he doesn’t know the position of every atom and molecule of the universe, he doesn’t know our thoughts.>And how does he know he lacks that >knowledge?Yep.>Did he create everything?From my understanding, yes.>If he did, >how can he lack knowledge>about it? He just set things in motion. If someone has kids, do they know everything about their kids? No. They may know a lot, but not “everything”.>Does he want any respect at all from>his creations?He doesn’t care, either way, really. He doesn’t go out of his way to make everyone like him, or command it, if that’s what you’re asking. he doesn’t hold it against anyone if they don’t like him either.>How does he say morality should be>based?The rights of the individual, mostly.>Inconsistency. Sin against an>infinitely holy God is an infinite>debt.>But maybe your dad is not all-holy. Is>he?My dad doesn’t claim holiness of any sort. he claims goodness. And it’s not inconsistant. By your reasoning, stealing a chocolate bar from the richest person in the world would carry a much bigger fine than stealing a chocolate bar from a poor child.And if that doesn’t work for you, just replace “richest” with kindest, or even holiest, and “poor” with meanest, or unholiest.In either case, the offence was the same, so it gives the same punishment.>You answer my question here. Your “dad”>is not god since he is illogical.You haven’t even shown how. You just state it. How is a universal set of perfect rules illogical? Would you like to explain yourself before going off on a huge run of words based on a statement you make with no backing?>..the challenge of someone who makes up>”religions” on the fly just to try to>make someone else look stupid, only to>be left looking stupid himself.I fail to see how I look stupid. And my intent isn’t to make you look stupid, I just want you to realize that my dad’s ways are better. Forgive me for trying to reach out to someone.

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    420,Your “defense” of your “position” has proven your position is internally inconsistent, so rationally there is no obligation to hold to it. It’s the same for atheism and any other worldview than Christianity for that matter. That’s why I’ve remained a Christian.Here’s another example of a self-defeating tenet of your made-up ad hoc “position”: He tried it once, he tells me. He had a tummy ache for days.You’re obviously making a joke for effect, but I can’t take seriously a message from someone who claims to be a messenger of the Creator and yet who is telling me that this Creator DID INDEED DO the impossible once, and suffered the consequences. Either that or you lied about it, in which case I won’t trust your message either.Now, on to your questions about TGOTB…you’re not defining what “good” is, you’re trusting someone else to do itIf I defined what good is, it would carry no more weight than I myself do. I would be in the same position as an atheist, unable to call anything good or bad, able only to apply labels of “I like” and “I don’t like”. And there’s no way to apply an overreaching difference to “I don’t like vanilla ice cream,” and “I don’t like raping little girls.”I *recognise* this and understand that good flows out of God’s character. Therefore, I trust Him for it; it’s a faith based on the truth.we have nothing more than the Euthyphro dilemmaMy position answers the dilemma b/c morally good values are WHO GOD IS, rather than being good simply by arbitrary fiat. He can’t violate the good any more than He can cease to exist. You are in no place to judgee what you think is incoherent because it’s just your personal preferenceYou’re confused; that’s what I say to the atheist.My personal preference it may be, but it’s not MERELY my personal preference. It so happens that I have aligned my preference with the truth that flows out of God, Who is the foundation for morality, reason, and intelligibility. There is no further appeal to base those things.Peace,Rhology

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    >Your “defense” of your “position” has>proven your position is internally>inconsistent, so rationally there is no>obligation to hold to it. It’s the same>for atheism and any other worldview>than Christianity for that matter.>That’s why I’ve remained a Christian.Again, you’re just stating, and not showing any reasoning here.>You’re obviously making a joke for>effect, but I can’t take seriously a>message from someone who claims to be a>messenger of the Creator and yet who is>telling me that this Creator DID INDEED>DO the impossible once, and suffered>the consequences.My dad has a sense of humour, what can i say? And, can you show me where I said that my dad succeeded in the impossible? I’ve said no such thing. My exact words were “He tried it once, he tells me. He had a tummy ache for days“. Show me how this infers that he successfully made a donut bigger than he could eat. You can’t, because I didn’t say anything of the sort. You’re just looking for, and perhaps making up, reasons not to take my arguments seriously>Either that or you lied about it, in>which case I won’t trust your message>either.Comprehension classes are recommended, as you’ve made assumptions on my statements that weren’t true.>If I defined what good is, it would>carry no more weight than I myself>do….I’ve taken no issue with this, my passage was just an attempt to make sure I wasn’t putting words in your mouth. Directly following what you’ve quoted, I’d written “hey, that’s cool, I do it too”>I *recognise* this and understand>that good flows out of God’s character.>Therefore, I trust Him for it; it’s a>faith based on the truth.Just out of curiosity, if you have no opinion on what is good and leave your trust in someone else’s definition, then how can you can you recognize goodness of any sort, if you have no basis for comparison? More clearly, how can you understand that good flows out of God’s character if you have no idea of what good is, beyond any personal preference (and what God tells you is good, which any being can do)?Yes, I’m begging the question.>My position answers the dilemma b/c>morally good values are WHO GOD IS,>rather than being good simply by>arbitrary fiat. He can’t violate the>good any more than He can cease to>exist.That’s strange, because, as you’ve said, God defines what good is. It’s HIS definition.I quote from another post:>Since His is the only possible definition [of good], yes.If he defines bludgeoning rats with rocks as “good”, then it is. If says that it’s bad for us to do it, but ok for him to do it, and defines that as “good”, then according to Him, it is.So God can justify doing anything He wants, because it’s his definition, correct? He can’t violate the “good” but what does that mean if He defines the “good” in the first place?>You’re confused; that’s what I say to >the atheist.>My personal preference it may be, but >it’s not MERELY my personal preference.I know that’s what you say to the atheist. But since you don’t believe in my dad, you may as well be an atheist. Your God doesn’t exist (because my dad said so), so in fact it IS just your own opinion. You may share it with many other people (…somewhat. 2 billion Xians yet so many versions of what’s acceptable, obviously appealing to their own interests rather than an actual God).>It so happens that I have aligned my>preference with the truth that flows>out of God, Who is the foundation for>morality, reason, and intelligibility.>There is no further appeal to base>those things.In your passage, just replace “God” with “my dad” and you have my viewpoint.And the page you linked to is about the FSM and its relevancy to Intelligent Design. It makes mistakes on interpreting the parody (like saying he has a form, when the creator of the parody clearly states that this is not the case) and relies on the assumption of arguments that “if true” state that the creator has certain traits that the FSM doesn’t fulfil. but since they can’t and don’t prove the arguments, their “proof” is moot.

  48. says

    Hi 420,if you have no opinion on what is good and leave your trust in someone else’s definition, then how can you can you recognize goodness of any sort, if you have no basis for comparison?That’s just the thing, I compare it to the ultimate good. It just so happens that my opinion of what is good lines up with the fact of what the ultimate good is.Now one might ask YOU: As an atheist, since you have nothing to compare to to define “good” and “bad”, how do you know beyond personal preference the difference?And as we’ve of course seen, you don’t know.how can you understand that good flows out of God’s character if you have no idea of what good isI would never say that I have no idea of what good is. God is the ultimate good, that’s how I know.You may not like it, you may call it circular. Getting down to ultimate questions like this will always lead to charges of “circularity”, since the buck stopped there. There’s nothing further to appeal to.It’s a far sight better than not having any idea how to call sthg good or bad beyond I like it and I don’t like it.That’s strange, because, as you’ve said, God defines what good is. It’s HIS definition.Which flows out of His character, His identity one might say.If he defines bludgeoning rats with rocks as “good”, then it is. You’re trying to force the Euthyphrean dilemma on me thru imposing a strawman on me, apparently implying that the *correct* formulation of my position solves the dilemma. I agree.If says that it’s bad for us to do it, but ok for him to do it, and defines that as “good”, then according to Him, it is.It’s a totally different question, however, to ask whether it’s permissible for me to do sthg that God is permitted to do.God has not permitted me to kill anyone whenever I deem their crime too great. God, however, since He sees and knows all, and since all have broken the law and are capital criminals, is fully justified killing anyone He wants at any time. Me not murdering (ie, unlawfully taking someone’s life) and God killing are both good.So God can justify doing anything He wants, because it’s his definition, correct? Strawman, again implying that my actual position does solve the dilemma you’d like to pin on me. The admissions are gratifying, thank you.He can’t violate the “good” but what does that mean if He defines the “good” in the first place?It means that His actions do not violate His character.Peace,Rhologys

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    >That’s just the thing, I compare it to>the ultimate good.So, how do you know, or why do you trust, that God is the ultimate good?>It just so happens that my opinion of>what is good lines up with the fact of>what the ultimate good is.But MY DAD is the ultimate good. My view lines up perfectly with his. We obviously disagree, but my dad’s word is true, so you must be in the wrong.>Now one might ask YOU: As an atheist,Stop right there. I am NOT an atheist. I’ve already stated that I never have been an atheist. The rest of your question is void because it’s a strawman, and only applies to someone who is an atheist, and I’ve already stated that I am not. I get my views from my dad, the initial creator.>I would never say that I have no idea>of what good is. God is the ultimate>good, that’s how I know.Again, you can’t recognize goodness beyond your own personal preferences. How can you say that your personal preferences on what “ultimate good” is are better than another man’s preferences? You’ve already stated that an atheist can’t recognize goodness beyond preference, what gives you this power of recognition?>You may not like it, you may call it>circular.I don’t call it circular, it IS circular.>Getting down to ultimate questions like>this will always lead to charges of>”circularity”, since the buck stopped>there. There’s nothing further to>appeal to.The bucks stops there… so your argument is essentially “And that’s THAT”. No need for debate, the buck stops here everyone! You’d figure that ultimate questions have ultimate answers, but we find nothing of the sort, the buck stops here!>It’s a far sight better than not having>any idea how to call sthg good or bad>beyond I like it and I don’t like it.How or why? Using reasons like this let you appeal to a false God rather than the true one, being my dad.>Which flows out of His character, His>identity one might say.One might also say it’s just His personal preference.>You’re trying to force the Euthyphrean>dilemma on me thru imposing a strawman>on me, apparently implying that the >*correct* formulation of my position>solves the dilemma. I agree.I’m not trying to pin anything on you. I’m taking three statements that you’ve made and devising a scenario from them.a)God is Goodb)God defines good (based on what “flows out of him”, or his character [or personal preferences])c)God can only do good because it’s his character.How is it a straw man to make a scenario based on beliefs that you’ve admitted are yours? And if I may ask you to part with your thoughts, what’s the correct formulation of your position that solves your dilemma?>It’s a totally different question,>however, to ask whether it’s>permissible for me to do sthg that God>is permitted to do.I never asked anything, I’d just stated a scenario. I didn’t imply that God doesn’t, or shouldn’t, get special privileges based on his definition of goodness.>Strawman, again implying that my actual>position does solve the dilemma you’d>like to pin on me. The admissions are>gratifying, thank you.A strawman is a statement about someone that doesn’t represent their beliefs. What I’ve done is ask a question. Claiming “strawman” to any simple question that you might not want to answer is either a lie, or disingenuous at best. I called your previous question a strawman, because your question asserted atheism on my part. My question makes no implications on your views. If you believe it does, point out the strawman, instead of simply stating “strawman”. So I’ll ask again:Can God justify doing anything He wants, because it’s his definition of good? Why or why not.>It means that His actions do not>violate His character.In your opinion, does does God define goodness from his character, or does He model his character from his definition of goodness?

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    Hi 420,Sorry, ice storm yesterday and Internet was down all day. Ugh.I trust God is the ultimate good b/c:1) there’s no other option that works2) we DO know, after all, on some level that some things are good and some are bad3) God told me He is.you can’t recognize goodness beyond your own personal preferences.Where’s the argument for this? I’ve written many lines describing the foundation beyond my personal preference.I didn’t write the Bible. I conform to it.How can you say that your personal preferences on what “ultimate good” is are better than another man’s preferences?I don’t say that. I say that that which undergirds my personal preferences (since I prefer to follow the Bible) is better than your personal preference b/c mine reflect the absolute standard of goodness whereas yours are based on nothing more than personal preference, which begins and ends with you and is also liable to be changed at any moment based on your whim.I don’t call it circular, it IS circular.Which is what I was saying. And which is irrelevant, since this is a question of ultimate foundations. All such questions are circular since they deal with the foundations of reasoning.The bucks stops there… so your argument is essentially “And that’s THAT”. 1) All such arguments do so.2) This is far better than “I said so, b/c I said so. And that’s THAT.” One might also say it’s just His personal preference.1) It’s not MERELY His personal preference; it’s also a reflection of His character.2) And therefore of reality. Of how things really are, good and bad.a)God is Goodb)God defines good (based on what “flows out of him”, or his character [or personal preferences])c)God can only do good because it’s his character.Be careful with b), but you’re pretty much on the money here, so kudos to you.How is it a straw man to make a scenario based on beliefs that you’ve admitted are yours?B/c your critiques so far have not reflected your statement of b) that you made here. You need to reformulate your critiques and try again.I didn’t imply that God doesn’t, or shouldn’t, get special privileges based on his definition of goodness.Critics of the Bible do so all the time, so I was just heading you off at the pass. But if you weren’t going to go there, it’s cool, just don’t worry about it.Claiming “strawman” to any simple question that you might not want to answer is either a lie, or disingenuous at best. I claim strawman when you base questions on a false formulation from you of my beliefs. God’s desires and actions never diverge, so yes, God can and does do anything He wants. And it’s always good.God defines goodness by His character. Or better said, “good” = “that which aligns with God’s character”. Peace,Rhology

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    >Sorry, ice storm yesterday and Internet>was down all day. Ugh.No Worries Bro.>I trust God is the ultimate good b/c:>1) there’s no other option that worksDid you try them all?>2) we DO know, after all, on some level>that some things are good and some are>badWhat level can you know that some thing are good and some things are bad, besides personal preference.>3) God told me He is.That’s not a good reason at all, because my Dad said so as well, so we’re at a stalemate. How do we know who is right?>Where’s the argument for this? I’ve>written many lines describing the>foundation beyond my personal>preference.>I didn’t write the Bible. I conform to>it.Care to copy and paste your argument? I believed your argument was essentially that men cannot decide what is good or bad beyond personal or societal preference. If there’s more to your argument, I’ve missed it. You’ve given me three rebuttals on the top and I’m taking issue with them all. The best you have is trust.>I say that that which undergirds my>personal preferences (since I prefer to>follow the Bible) is better than your>personal preference b/c mine reflect>the absolute standard of goodness>whereas yours are based on nothing more>than personal preference, which begins>and ends with you and is also liable to>be changed at any moment based on your>whim.Again, I need to know how you decide that the Bible is the absolute standard of goodness.>Which is what I was saying.>And which is irrelevant, since this is>a question of ultimate foundations. All>such questions are circular since they>deal with the foundations of reasoning.>1) All such arguments do so.>2) This is far better than “I said so,>b/c I said so. And that’s THAT.” So how is this any better than a secular believer who states that they want the right to live, and everyone they know wants the right to live. When pressed with the question of “Why do you value “sruvival so much? Why is it the basis of your morality” is answered with “We have given ourselves these rights because we want them, and that’s that”>1) It’s not MERELY His personal>preference; it’s also a reflection of>His character.>2) And therefore of reality. Of how>things really are, good and badMost people’s preferences are based upon their character, so can we say that goodness is defined merely by His preferences and character?>B/c your critiques so far have not>reflected your statement of b) that you>made here.>You need to reformulate your critiques>and try again.To recap (so we don’t have to keep scrolling up)My scenario:–If he defines bludgeoning rats with rocks as “good”, then it is. If says that it’s bad for us to do it, but ok for him to do it, and defines that as “good”, then according to Him, it is.–Was based on these 3 principles that you said you’d believed in:a)God is Goodb)God defines good (based on what “flows out of him”, or his character [or preferences])c)God can only do good because it’s his character.Interestingly, you claim a strawman argument against my “if” statements. And if that’s not enough, at the end of your latest post you state:”God’s desires and actions never diverge, so yes, God can and does do anything He wants. And it’s always good.“Which is the exact conclusion I was alluding to. So how can it be a strawman if you agree with the conclusion? You’ve just stated that anything that God does is good, by His definition of good alone.

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    420,Internet’s back up, that’s good! Did you try them all?In thought experiments, I’ve tried a whole bunch of them, yes. I’m always willing to put another to the test, though. That’s what I did with your “dad”, for example.What level can you know that some thing are good and some things are bad, besides personal preference.By comparing it to the unmoving standard, the fixed point of reference, and judging it by the criteria He has revealed.Now, please answer your own question.my Dad said so as well, so we’re at a stalemate. How do we know who is right?You’ll notice I’m not dealing with your “dad” anymore since the ad hoc worldview you’ve built around that rhetorical device has been shown to contain a logical inconsistency.That’s one way to know who’s right.Care to copy and paste your argument?My case is made here.So how is this any better than a secular believer who states that they want the right to live, and everyone they know wants the right to live.B/c reality doesn’t start and stop with a HUMAN. I see no reason not to carry out my own will even if it conflicts with another person’s, even leads them to harm or death or loss, in an atheist worldview.“We have given ourselves these rights because we want them, and that’s that”Fine, then I as another human take them away and don’t care about them.Might now makes right, it would appear. And there’s no GOOD nor BAD. There just is that struggle.In the biblical worldview, the might that IS right is the definition of goodness. His power is arrayed against evil. And there’s a way to tell the difference.so can we say that goodness is defined merely by His preferences and character?By His character, yes, I’d say that’s correct. I don’t know about “merely”, though. Which is the exact conclusion I was alluding to.Your “if” statements imply a few things that made me call strawman:1) that God might change His mind, inside time, about applying “good” and “bad” to Action X (which He doesn’t do)2) that what He “defines” as good is therefore good (it’s not that He *defines* them as good, it’s that good flows out of His character and therefore that which conforms to His character is good)Peace,Rhology

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    >In thought experiments, I’ve tried a>whole bunch of them, yes. I’m always>willing to put another to the test,>though.>That’s what I did with your “dad”, for>example.You don’t even know all of my dad’s views and rules, so how could you put the worldview to the test? And even still, what did you find lacking?>By comparing it to the unmoving >standard, the fixed point of reference, >and judging it by the criteria He has >revealed.It may be a fixed point reference, but in order to decide whether that point is good or bad, you must judge it with your own personal preferences. If you judge it with someone else’s preferences or criteria, then we come to the same conclusions as before, anything can be defined as good. So far all I’ve seen is statements that he is good because (basically) He says he is, but that is very circular logic that can be used by anyone.>Now, please answer your own question.When, or if, I get a decent one from you, I’ll do so. >You’ll notice I’m not dealing with your>”dad” anymore since the ad hoc>worldview you’ve built around that>rhetorical device has been shown to>contain a logical inconsistency.>That’s one way to know who’s right.You haven’t shown me any inconsistency, and I can even give you evidence that my dad is real. I haven’t asked for evidence of yours, for the sake of discussion.>My case is made here.More of the same, I’ve read it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but you’ve made pretty much the same arguments you have here, and the most important question I have of “how do you know that God is good” isn’t answered without using the same sweeping assumptions you’re using here. If there’s a part in specific you’d like me to address, please post it.>B/c reality doesn’t start and stop with>a HUMAN.Right, *reality* is a supernatural invisible not-part-of-the-universe-but-outside-it daddy.>I see no reason not to carry out my own >will even if it conflicts with another >person’s, even leads them to harm or >death or loss, in an atheist worldview.Really? I’m not defending an atheist’s worldview, but am I reading that right? Empathy or punishment don’t enter your mind? I can say the same thing about your worldview, it’s just a risk one would be willing to take.>Fine, then I as another human take them>away and don’t care about them.>Might now makes right, it would appear.>And there’s no GOOD nor BAD. There just>is that struggle.You ignore theirs, they punish you.You ignore God’s, He punishes you.Explain the difference?>In the biblical worldview, the might>that IS right is the definition of>goodness. His power is arrayed against>evil. And there’s a way to tell the>difference.Come again? How do we know he is against evil and, further, only evil? If it’s any form of “he told us so; he is good because it’s his character; he is the ultimate good;” yadda yadda don’t waste your keystrokes.>By His character, yes, I’d say that’s>correct.>I don’t know about “merely”, though.If not merely. then what would you add? Goodness is defined by His preferences, His character, and ___(blank)___>Your “if” statements imply a few things>that made me call strawman:>1) that God might change His mind,>inside time, about applying “good” and>”bad” to Action X (which He doesn’t do)Wouldn’t that mean that we are still bound by old testament laws?>2) that what He “defines” as good is>therefore good (it’s not that He>*defines* them as good, it’s that good>flows out of His character and>therefore that which conforms to His>character is good)Then change my entire argument by replacing “define” and any derivatives, to a grammatically appropriate version of “it’s in His character”, the argument is essentially the same.

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    Hi 420,You don’t even know all of my dad’s views and rules, so how could you put the worldview to the test? And even still, what did you find lacking?What you told me was enough. And I already explained myself. I trust the reader to have seen what I said and your lack of response to it.It may be a fixed point reference, but in order to decide whether that point is good or bad, you must judge it with your own personal preferences.I have no reason to trust my own personal preferences to do that. I’d end up like you in that case. One can’t compare the standard of comparison to sthg that is not a standard of comparison. Why is this so hard to grasp?So far all I’ve seen is statements that he is good because (basically) He says he is, but that is very circular logic that can be used by anyone.But not successfully. An example is the “my dad” example. All but the God of the Bible collapse into internal inconsistencies upon examination.When, or if, I get a decent one from you, I’ll do so. That’s just a pitiful concession from you. Duly noted.Right, *reality* is a supernatural invisible not-part-of-the-universe-but-outside-it daddy.Strawman. The statement “The God of the Bible exists” is a true statement, corresponding to reality. God and His creation form reality. What’s your alternative?Empathy or punishment don’t enter your mind? I can say the same thing about your worldview, it’s just a risk one would be willing to take.1) What if empathy or punishment DIDN’T enter my mind? How would an atheist judge that to be evil?2) Many societies reward behavior that our society would punish. That’s no standard.3) How could one say the same about my worldview, given how I’ve explained how it has an objective basis for morality? that’s just a throwaway statement with no merit. What’s the argument?You ignore theirs, they punish you.You ignore God’s, He punishes you.Yes, but with God we can be sure that He punishes JUSTLY. Do you need me to link to my “Comparing atheistic preferences…” post AGAIN? I’m not going to rewrite it.then what would you add? His character and nature, essence. Wouldn’t that mean that we are still bound by old testament laws?1) Which ones?2) Why would it mean that?Then change my entire argument by replacing “define” and any derivatives, to a grammatically appropriate version of “it’s in His character”, the argument is essentially the same. Not at all, for now morality is not arbitrary, not based on a whim. It’s unchangeable since God’s character is unchangeable. The Euthyphrean dilemma is thus solved, as are all silly assertions that God could “change His mind and send Christians to hell if He wanted to”. Peace,Rhology

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    >What you told me was enough. And I>already explained myself. I trust the>reader to have seen what I said and your>lack of response to it.Please point me to how my dad’s worldview fails, as I believe that I’ve defended my viewpoint.>I have no reason to trust my own>personal preferences to do that. I’d>end up like you in that case.>One can’t compare the standard of>comparison to sthg that is not a>standard of comparison. Why is this so>hard to grasp?Who put God as the standard… Himself? Convenient. Were still at square one.We only have two ways to decide if God is Gooda) Trust God’s word that He is goodb) Use some sort of reasoning to determine his goodness.If you see a third option, or don’t see a problem with either of these options, let me know.>But not successfully. An example is the>”my dad” example. All but the God of>the Bible collapse into internal>inconsistencies upon examination.Again, I’d love to see the inconsistencies of my worldview.>That’s just a pitiful concession from >you. Duly noted.Le Gasp! I just don’t want you stealing my answer. get over it.>>Right, *reality* is a supernatural >>invisible >>not-part-of-the-universe-but-outside-it >>daddy.>Strawman. Really? Are you saying that God isn’t one or any of these things? I’m pretty sure these are all attributes of tgotb. You love the word strawman :)>The statement “The God of the Bible>exists” is a true statement,>corresponding to reality.>God and His creation form reality.>What’s your alternative?The statement is not true. My dad said so, and he created the universe.>1) What if empathy or punishment DIDN’T>enter my mind? How would an atheist>judge that to be evil?That’s an IF. I asked if *YOU* would have felt empathy, or feared some sort of punishement. And I’m not here to defend an atheist’s view, I’m here to show you mine.>Yes, but with God we can be sure that>He punishes JUSTLY.We’re back to the “how do we know” dilemma, replacing “good” with “just”.>Do you need me to link to my “Comparing>atheistic preferences…” post AGAIN?>I’m not going to rewrite it.I already read that article and found it to be lacking, as you made the exact same statements as you have in here, just in greater detail.>His character and nature, essence.all basically the same thing>1) Which ones?>2) Why would it mean that [we should>still be bound under OT law?Any of them, take your pick.And it would mean we should still be bound under OT law because if we aren’t, God has changed His reasoning, something you’re saying God can’t do. It poses a further problem, because if we aren’t bound by OT law, it shows that God is willing to give us arbitrary laws at best, or immoral laws at worst.>Not at all, for now morality is not >arbitrary, not based on a whim. It’s >unchangeable since God’s character is >unchangeable. The Euthyphrean dilemma >is thus solved, as are all silly >assertions that God could “change His >mind and send Christians to hell if He >wanted to”.How so? If it was God’s nature to change his mind (see above) then God changing his mind would still be considered good, since the definition of good is modelled after his character.

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    Hi 420,Please point me to how my dad’s worldview fails, as I believe that I’ve defended my viewpoint.Done it. You never responded to my points.1) >Inconsistency. Sin against an>infinitely holy God is an infinite>debt.>But maybe your dad is not all-holy. Is>he?My dad doesn’t claim holiness of any sort. he claims goodness. And it’s not inconsistant. By your reasoning, stealing a chocolate bar from the richest person in the world would carry a much bigger fine than stealing a chocolate bar from a poor child.2) From here:>What knowledge does he lack?He doesn’t know the future, he doesn’t know the position of every atom and molecule of the universe, he doesn’t know our thoughts.>And how does he know he lacks that >knowledge?Yep.>Did he create everything?From my understanding, yes.>If he did, >how can he lack knowledge>about it?He just set things in motion. If someone has kids, do they know everything about their kids? No. They may know a lot, but not “everything”.—/—Your position is just finite godism and falls prey to the stock refutations. What holds the universe together?3) >Inconsistency. Sin against an>infinitely holy God is an infinite>debt.>But maybe your dad is not all-holy. Is>he?My dad doesn’t claim holiness of any sort. he claims goodness. And it’s not inconsistant. By your reasoning, stealing a chocolate bar from the richest person in the world would carry a much bigger fine than stealing a chocolate bar from a poor child.—-/—-If he is infinitely good, it’s the exact same thing as “holiness”. But somehow any breaking of infinite goodness is not an infinite transgression.And then you try to tell me that 14/infinity < 1,000,000/infinity. That's not very impressive thinking, but you can be forgiven b/c it's clearly all ad hoc.Fine, I’ll give you another chance to unstick yourself. a) Trust God’s word that He is goodThat’s correct.We have to appeal to a fixed standard of reference. What do you suggest as an alternative? We’ve seen it, I don’t know why I’m asking. “The rights of the individual” – begging the question.”Empathy” – why?”My dad says it’s no good”. – It’s the same as what I’m saying, but it’s appealing to a made-up worldview rather than one that is rationally defensible.You love the word strawmanNot as much as you like setting them up apparently.That’s an IF. I asked if *YOU* would have felt empathy, or feared some sort of punishementI have no idea. I also can’t speculate on what a square circle would sound like.Any of them, take your pick.No, I’ll take God’s pick if that’s OK.OT laws are civil, ceremonial, and moral.Civil = applicable for the Israelite theocracy.Ceremonial = fulfilled in Christ.Moral = applicable today.the punishments for breaking them vary – you have to check the context. And you read the OT in light of the NT.if we aren’t, God has changed His reasoningHis plan INCLUDES the fulfilment of the ceremonial laws in the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He planned it all along.because if we aren’t bound by OT law, it shows that God is willing to give us arbitrary laws at best, or immoral laws at worst.1) You still have no way to tell me an objective basis for judging anythg “immoral”.2) I’ve explained at least 3 times why God’s laws are not arbitrary. Respond to the points or concede already.3) We are bound by SOME OT Law.4) Even if we were bound by all of them, you’d still make the same complaint.5) we are bound by all NT Law, which is no less God’s Law than OT Law.If it was God’s nature to change his mind (see above) then God changing his mind would still be considered goodSince it’s not His nature to do so, I don’t know how to answer the question.Speculating about what the world would be like if, say, the law of non-contradiction weren’t in effect is impossible. Like this.Peace,Rhology

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    I made a detailed post yesterday which I thought was on the baord, but for some reason it’s invisible now, so forgive me if I’m a little brief.>And how does he know he lacks that>knowledge?I’d read this wrong before, without the “how”, but the question baffles me now. How does anyone know they lack knowledge about anything? Because they don’t know. I’m not sure what you mean.>Your position is just finite godism and>falls prey to the stock refutations.Le Gasp! Not finite Godism!>What holds the universe together?The laws of physics, I think.>If he is infinitely good, it’s the >exact same thing as “holiness”. But >somehow any breaking of infinite >goodness is not an infinite >transgression.Right, that “somehow” is simply a different view on the way people should be punished. My dad doesn’t believes that the basis of punishment is the nature of the crime and the intention behind it, not the status of the person it was committed against. An exception would be children and the mentally disabled, because they can be easier to take advantage of than most people.>And then you try to tell me that>14/infinity < 1,000,000/infinity.>That’s not very impressive thinking,>but you can be forgiven b/c it’s>clearly all ad hoc.>Fine, I’ll give you another chance to>unstick yourself. I’ll use your favourite word and claim a strawman here, because I’d never suggested anything of the sort. Therefore I don’t need forgiveness for this non-occurring incident.Nor do I need a chance to unstick myself.>That’s correct.>We have to appeal to a fixed standard >of reference. What do you suggest as an >alternative?>We’ve seen it, I don’t know why I’m>asking. Hmmm, tough question. Oh yeah, my dad.>”The rights of the individual” ->begging the question.What question do you beg?>”Empathy” – why?Why what?>Not as much as you like setting>[strawmen] up apparently.For my comment to be a strawman, you must think god doesn’t possess at least one of these attributes.a)Supernaturalb)invisiblec)outside the universeSo which one(s) do you disagree with?>OT laws are civil, ceremonial, and >moral.>Civil = applicable for the Israelite >theocracy.>Ceremonial = fulfilled in Christ.>Moral = applicable today.Deuteronomy 22:10Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.this is civil, fulfilled in christ, and applicable today? how about this one?Deuteronomy 23:1He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.Maybe you can make sense out of this, but I certainly can’t.>The punishments for breaking them vary- >you have to check the context. And you>read the OT in light of the NT.I thought before that you said breaking infinite goodness deserves infinite punishment, and now you’re telling me that the punishments can vary, which are two conflicting ideas. That was your argument, but I suspect it will change now.>His plan INCLUDES the fulfilment of the>ceremonial laws in the Lamb of God,>Jesus Christ. He planned it all along.He planned what all along, that Adam would sin and He’d need to kill his son and for people to believe in that for salvation? Sounds….. far fetched, like jack and the beanstalk. Can you why I’m sceptical of this?>1) You still have no way to tell me an >objective basis for judging anythg >”immoral”.Every time you mention it, I’ll tell you “my dad”. But the odd thing is, you don’t have an objective way either. You can only trust that you know what good is.>2) I’ve explained at least 3 times why>God’s laws are not arbitrary. Respond>to the points or concede already.Um, we’re still discussing that.>3) We are bound by SOME OT Law.But not all, because God doesn’t change… oh wait.>4) Even if we were bound by all of>them, you’d still make the same>complaint.You caught me, laws can only be arbitrary if they’ve changed at some point. If they haven’t changed, then it’d only be my personal preference that they’re arbitrary, but since they have changed, I *KNOW* that God can lay arbitrary laws.>Since it’s not His nature to do so,..I won’t bother responding here because we’ve moved that conversation up ni the chain a bit, so it’d be redundant to address this.

  58. says

    Hi 420,Thanks for your patience. Been busy, I hope you understand.And any further response from me might be long in coming given the upcoming celebration of Christ’s birth. Please be patient – this is an engrossing conversation and I count it worthwhile to give it more time! I made a detailed post yesterday which I thought was on the baordOh man, I hate that! I always write out my comments on Notepad and save them before posting. It’s a failsafe… you might try it. It’s a lesson learned the hard way, like yours. :-(How does anyone know they lack knowledge about anything? Because they don’t know.I know I lack knowledge about chemistry. Etc.Not finite Godism!No argument was offered to resolve this problem.This is one of the problems with the Dad worldview.The laws of physics, I think.Not your dad?Are these laws, then, greater than him?My dad doesn’t believes that the basis of punishment is the nature of the crime and the intention behind it, not the status of the person it was committed against.Then he doesn’t understand what INFINITE holiness is and what laws of morality are.>And then you try to tell me that 14/infinity < 1,000,000/infinity. That's not very impressive thinking, but you can be forgiven b/c it's clearly all ad hoc.I’ll use your favourite word and claim a strawman hereExplain how it’s a strawman. I always do. And then resolve the problem, if you please.Oh yeah, my dad.OK, so please describe your dad’s relationship to moral law.What question do you beg?That would be you begging the question.You claim some kind of self-existent rights of the indiv. But whence do they come? On what are they based?Why what?Why base my actions on empathy for fellow humans? Give me a good reason, one that goes beyond YOU, b/c if it’s just YOU then I can just as easily see why any statement you make is overturned by ME. Unless there’s some standard beyond us.which one do you disagree with?No, I mean your original statement:>>Right, *reality* is a supernatural >>invisible >>not-part-of-the-universe-but-outside-it >>daddy.”God” is not synonymous with “reality”.this is civil, fulfilled in christ, and applicable today?1) Did I say that civil laws are fulfilled in Christ? No.2) Yes, this is civil. No, not applicable today.Deuteronomy 23:1Wow, did it really say “wounded in the stones”? Ha, I’ll have to check the KJV. Sometimes it can be unintentionally pretty funny!It’s referring to someone who’s been emasculated – they couldn’t enter the inner assembly of Israelite men for worship in the OT. Ceremonial, yes.I thought before that you said breaking infinite goodness deserves infinite punishmentIt does, I was referring to earthly punishment, but I wasn’t clear enough.However, a man whose sins are forgiven by God may be held liable on earth for a murder he committed and be justifiably executed for his crime.He planned what all along, that Adam would sin and He’d need to kill his son and for people to believe in that for salvation?Right except for the “kill his son” part. Jesus is God and it was His plan to sacrifice Himself all along.But the odd thing is, you don’t have an objective way either. You can only trust that you know what good is.Naked assertions do not make an argument. Define how it’s not objective.But not all, because God doesn’t change… oh wait.Wait about what?”God never changes” does not equal “God never does different things in time and space”. You’ve committed a category error.but since they have changed,I *KNOW* that God can lay arbitrary laws.Just b/c sthg changes doesn’t mean it’s necessarily arbitrary. that’s a non sequitur.Wow, two classic fallacies in as many paragraphs! You’re on a roll.The BASIS of a law makes it arbitrary or not.Peace,Rhology

  59. says

    Nobody want to terrorize you. We are talking about the truth and facts described in the bible, but you are so fool that instead of saying. Is it hell real? You talk and talk and talk. What would you do if I warn you saying this: Hey, my friend, at the corner is somebody waiting for you, because he wants to kill you.An intelligent person would answer, Thank you very much, my friend, but a foolish person like you would say: Do you want to terrorize me and then he or she will be dead and without knowing Jesus he goes to HELL…and you are right, you are not going to have the time to write a letter

  60. Martin says

    Actually, Ivan, if you were to warn me that someone is waiting down the street to kill me, I’d say, “Really? Where? Show me.” See, that’s the difference. A real killer is something you could provide evidence for. But your god, hell, heaven…all these supernatural and magical entities you guys talk about…well, it’s harder to produce concrete evidence like that, isn’t it? The problem is Christians just want us to believe without having to provide concrete evidence, and whenever we ask for some, you get all offended. But why should that be unreasonable of us?

  61. says

    you see Martin how wrong is your answer. I said he wants to kill you und you would say:I’d say, “Really? Where? Show me.” See, that’s what I am talking about. Martin, if I show you the killer, it is to late for you. Run, run from the killer!!! You have still the time, Run to Jesus he wants to protect you, saving your soul and spirit. Dont run to the religion, Run to the lord allmighty. The heaven is going to be plenty of SINNERS that repent, and Hell is going to be full of “good people” who rejected Jesus as personal savior and lord. I dont have religion, I have a personal savior Jesuschrist who died because of my sins to give me and everyone who believes in him eternal life. Jesus said I am the way ,the truth and the life, NOBODY goes to the Father WITHOUT ME(Jesuschrist) John 14:6God bless you, Martin!!!Jesus is waiting for you, run to him!!!

  62. Martin says

    As usual, a whole lot of claims with no evidence to support them, and a major appeal to emotion, especially fear. Like most believers who simply do not comprehend reason, you just insist I should just believe you and that you don’t have to prove anything you say. Your approach to life and the things you choose to believe is completely anti-intellectual, so much so that attempting to explain it to you is pointless. By all means, continue to make your own choices based on irrational fears. But unless you can convince the rest of us with evidence there are things we need to fear that only running to your deity of choice will solve, then your posts only make you sound hysterical. (I’ll give you a helpful hint: Bible quotes are not evidence.)

  63. says

    dear Necio,necio in spanish, my mother tongue, means a person who says It doesn`t exist god.That`s why I call you Necio(in english senseless, fool, in german Dumm, doof, in french fou, insense)Proverbs 1:7 describes you very well:”…7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction…”I�m not afraid of my Lord, He is my Savior…my elsdest brother and my Father; of course you don`t understand this, because you are LOST. Martin, you are not going to write a letter in the lake of fire, you are going to suffer for ever and I known that you are so foolish that you wait �till yot get there to understand that you need Jesus to be saved, but IT is going to be late for you. Repent and run to Jesus…HE IS STILL WAITING FOR YOU!!!Jesus LOVES YOU and Martin I AM NOT AFRAID, I repeat it for you: I AM NOT AFRAID, because Jesus is my savior and LORD

  64. says

    Iván,Debes saber que este Martin tiene problemas con la razón. No sabe como sabe cosas ni quiere saber la fundación. Pero Dios puede trabajar en muchas maneras y especialemente en la presentación del Evangelio de Jesús. Quiero darte aliento en lo que haces; es también mi consejo que estudies un poco lo que creen los ateos para mejorar tu testigo. Gracia y paz,Rhology

  65. says

    hola rhology, I know very well what the unbelievers think, because I was one of them 14 years ago and since then I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ my personal Savior and Lord. Thank you for your encouraging words. I bless you in the Name of the Lord Jesuschrist…I have some questions for you: where are you going to be after your death?Are you saved? I hope you answer them very clearly.Grace and peace for you tooIván

  66. says

    Yes, I have been saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. I will spend eternity with Him in heaven. I thank God because it is by His unmerited gift, not because of anything I’ve done or can do.Parece que te veré allí, hermano.

  67. Martin says

    Let it never be said that kooks of a feather don’t flock together. Ivan posts wild-eyed, dribbling lunacy (with ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation points!!!!! because, you know, those things make what you’re saying more true) about lakes of fire and threats of eternal suffering and all the usual childish scaremongering Christianity has to fall back on to compensate for its lack of rational arguments or evidence…and of course, those of us who are just a teensy bit skeptical and prefer a little more backup for such claims are the ones who have a “problem with reason.”Welcome to the black-is-white world of religious madness, kids!By all means, you guys, don’t ever change! Where else can we get such fantastic free entertainment? Honestly, watching a hippopotamus try to ride a unicycle isn’t as funny as watching fundamentalist Christians try to think.

  68. says

    with ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation points!!!!! because, you know, those things make what you’re saying more true) Well, English isn’t Iván’s 1st language.And my brain hurt so much from the exchange that anyone can read in this very combox that I had to take a whole 3 months off before coming back to it! I mean, just look at my blog, how it’s sat dormant all that time, and… oh. Maybe not.

  69. says

    Apocalipsis, revelation Chapter 20 “…10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire…”God bless you

  70. says

    I´m written in the book of life!!!Glory to my Lord and my Savior Jesuschrist.This is all what matters.Everything else is just talk and talk…bla…bla…blaAre you written in the BOOK OF LIFE? To be written in this Book, you need only to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Do you want to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior? pray this :God I don´t known you, but I want to believe in you.I believe That you send Jesus to die in the cross in order to forgive my sins.I recognize that I AM A SINNER and in this moment I ask you for your FORGIVENESS forgive me all my sinns!!! In this moment I accept Jesus as my Personal Lord and SAVIOR and I believe that now my name is written in the BOOK OF LIFE for ever. Thank you My God. In the Name of JesuschristAmen.”…16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life…” John 3:16God bless you all!!!!!!!!

  71. says

    rhology,now I have read your answer to my question.Yes my brother our names are written in the book of life that´s why we are going to meet in Heaven. I bless you in the Name of The Lord and Savior Jesuschrist.if we don´t known each other here on earth, we are going to see us in THE ETERNITY WITH JESUS

  72. says

    Wow, you two sound like you're trying so hard to convince both yourselves and each other that the nonsense you're both spewing is anything but that- nonsense.

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