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Why don’t atheists just shut up and stay home?

This question was asked by an audience member at about 116:20 in the Hitchens v Turek debate posted yesterday: “If there is no god, why do you spend your whole life trying to convince people that there isn’t? Why won’t you just stay home?”

The audience member who posed this question was clearly on the side of Turek through the debate — applauding him heartily, crossing his arms and giving not a whit of applause when Hitchens spoke. It could be that he said “why WOULDN’T you just stay home”, he was not miked and the question was slightly unclear. However, I strongly suspect it was posed as an imperative as above, and if it wasn’t, I also suspect the questioner would not take offense at this characterization.

In a moment of synchronicity, @josefjohann tweeted thusly:

I think the twitter #atheism crowd is doing it for sport. we won’t save the world, we prob. won’t change minds. so what does it accomplish?

At the same time as Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshbaum flog their book on the book circuit wherein they accuse “New Atheists” of being too outspoken, a British debate show called The Big Question talks about atheism as being an intolerant belief system, and the atheists who show up to defend their lack of faith are often drowned out even by the host who’s obviously made up his mind as to the topic of the show prior to a single atheist speaking.

While we’re being told not to speak up, the scientific advances that have been made in the name of reason and rationality are being co-opted right under our noses. An ostensibly ex-atheist Christian by the name of Dr. Andrew Parker, a biologist at Oxford University, who evidently works on the side for the Templeton Foundation (a religious organization that offers prizes to theists who write papers that support the bible and sound sciencey enough to fool the general populace), wrote a book claiming that the Bible is scientifically accurate — in an effort to post-hoc fit everything we’ve learned about the universe into the Biblical framework, claiming that Bible has been right about all these scientific discoveries all along, if you only look at each verse sideways and squint real hard. One of the examples Dr. Parker gives is that the phrase, “let there be light”, refers to the evolution of the eye. That’s right, there’s only light if you can see, so that’s when God designed the eye. You have to ignore the fact that, apparently, eyes would have to have evolved long before land animals were created. Before plants, even, in fact. Right there in Parker’s explanation of Genesis being scientifically accurate, God would have to have done things in the wrong order for his hypothesis to be correct. It’s shameful.

In the States, evangelical Christians like Francis Collins are appointed to positions of influence over scientific matters, and when atheists demand that the separation of church and state is honoured, and/or Collins refused the position of head of the NIH, theists claim that our opposition to him is entirely due to him being a Christian.

Children die while their parents pray over their prostrate bodies rather than taking them to hospitals where medical science can save their lives. And when they are convicted of negligence, the fact that they were doing what their religion prescribes, apparently absolves them of any sin from their direct actions killing their children, and they get a slap on the wrist at worst.

So in the face of how prevalent religion is in our society, in the face of how much power and benefit they confer their own, why don’t we atheists just go home, sit down, and shut up about our beliefs, while the religious folks go about their business of running our countries in a theocratic manner? Why don’t we just allow everyone to believe in their God and proselytize and witness and convert (and even grade one another on how many they manage to convert!), while we kick our feet up and enjoy our godless solitude from the privacy of our own homes? Why not stay, so to speak, “in the closet“?

I can’t answer for all of us, but I can answer for myself.

Religious folks, despite already being in the majority, fight daily to push their religions further into the public sphere, to push back the separation of church and state that most democracies wisely build in. They have TV shows and radio shows where they are free to talk about their deities. They talk trash about atheists, telling people that they are incapable of morals, that they are incapable of love, that they are as bad as Stalin or Pol Pot or Mao Tse Tung. They do so both in the privacy of their own homes, as is their right, and they do so from the pulpits of their congregations, as is their right. Their smears may be wrong, pig-headed, and discriminatory, but they have the right to say them. But these smears go unchallenged if atheists are silent.

We atheists have been silent for a very long time; our voices are understandably rusty. For every encroachment into our personal space — for every incentive that discriminates against faithless — for every demand that people be allowed to share their love of God with others — we are being told to shut up, to stay silent, to dare not demand the same right to share our love of reason, our love of logic and our love of science. We do not speak up to evangelize atheism, for that is antithetical to our position, and we have bigger issues presently — buffering an outright attack on us by the religious.

Your right to swing your fist ends at the point of my nose, yet when your fists connect with the noses of atheists we are told to accept it and dare not swing back. I am tired of being a punching bag. I am tired of being told that I am immoral, that I am evil, that I am an abomination against society.

That is why I do not merely allow people to preach their faith on my doorstep without an answer. And that is why, when I AM at home, I reserve the right to occasionally shut the door on their faces. And that is why when I am NOT at home, I reserve the right to counter people’s vociferous shouting or unfair double standards or ridiculous pandering or antiscientific nonsense with my voice — rusty though it may be. I reserve the right to scream out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!

My voice is the only weapon I have against this encroachment and viral spread of religion and antiscientific thinking. And short of death, my voice will not be silenced.

Comments

  1. says

    Damn straight! I heartily agree, even if it is coming from an canuckistanian. I’m reading “The Family” now and it’s making me even more willing to get out there and tell them (the theist fucktards) to shove it up their collective arses.

  2. says

    You contradict yourself on so many levels that your argument that Christians contradict negates itself. I am not speaking from a angry tone either, so I respectfully reply here. I am a Christian who loves science because I am Christian, knowing the God who created it. Your comment about evolution and genesis is not a very accurate depiction of Christians because we do not accept evolution as a fact because it isn’t. In fact, evolution is a blind faith tacked with very observant behaviors in the natural world twisted to fit your story of how everything came to be. Christian Scientists and/or Creationists (if you prefer) make extremely good arguments of how the Bible and science co-exist perfectly. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that. Atheists like to take a verse and use it against us without reading the entire Bible. Everything goes together, nothing contradicts. When you look at the context, everything makes sense; and I don’t have to squint my eyes and read it sideways, sir. A person who believes that evolution is the natural process by which all living organisms came to be by means of random mutation, must consequently believe life is meaningless, therefore the child who died because of negligence really isn’t of any importance at all now is it Mr. Atheist?

    Much Love,
    Daniel Maldonado

  3. says

    May I respectfully add that you shouldn’t compile all people who believe in God in the same category of “religious.” I am not sure what “religious” people you are encountering on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis—but I can assure you that me and you could sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss matters pertaining to both of our views very peacefully. My goal when I speak to people about Jesus is never to convert, but only to let them know, God does the rest. Was I told by my church to do this? No, in fact, I don’t care if anyone knows I do it. Jesus told me to spread His good news, so I fully intend to do so. He also told me to love those who do not believe, everyone has a chance to come to God. But God, according to the free will intended for us, gave you the choice to choose your belief system. If you so choose to be an atheist by all means, do it—my intentions could only be pictured this way—I am a poor man showing another poor man where to eat. My life is filled with joy, peace, and love because of God. The Bible says the rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous alike, so Christians are all subject to the same hardship. But let me tell you a secret new friend, the bible says all of us are unrighteous and evil. So me and you are exactly the same! Heres the difference: I believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for me, and I love Him with my whole being—His blood washes all of the abominations I commit and have committed. I am no better than in that we are both in this world, a part of the human condition.

    When you believe and ask for God to show you, suddenly you eyes open up. In my opinion, Atheists have the floor right now and God is being taken out of EVERYTHING. Do you blame people for standing up for their beliefs? Sure, people go overboard, but remember the secret? We are all human and all imperfect—even Christians. So next time you have a Christian not loving you and screaming at you instead, send them my way and we’ll have a talk. For now, hopefully you know I don’t look down on you at all, and would rather enjoy having nice conversations about this in the future.

    Much Love again,

    Daniel Maldonado

  4. says

    I’m afraid I have to rewrite an entire paragraph for clarity (and grammar). Jodi stumbled on it just now, and when Jodi can’t get something, there’s definitely something wrong with it. So, I therefore do not blame Daniel M for completely misunderstanding my point.

    The original paragraph:

    Meanwhile, Christians who claim to have once been atheist, who meanwhile work for the Templeton Foundation, write books claiming that the Bible is scientifically accurate — post-hoc explaining that the Bible has been right about all the scientific discoveries all along, if you only look at each verse sideways and squint real hard. Also, you have to ignore the fact that, apparently, with “let there be light” meaning eyes evolved, eyes would have to have evolved long before land animals were created. Before plants, even, in fact. Right there in his explanation of Genesis being scientifically accurate, God would have to have done things in the wrong order for his hypothesis to be correct. It’s shameful.

    has been replaced with:

    While we’re being told not to speak up, the scientific advances that have been made in the name of reason and rationality are being co-opted right under our noses. An ostensibly ex-atheist Christian by the name of Dr. Andrew Parker, a biologist at Oxford University, who evidently works on the side for the Templeton Foundation (a religious organization that offers prizes to theists who write papers that support the bible and sound sciencey enough to fool the general populace), wrote a book claiming that the Bible is scientifically accurate — in an effort to post-hoc fit everything we’ve learned about the universe into the Biblical framework, claiming that Bible has been right about all these scientific discoveries all along, if you only look at each verse sideways and squint real hard. One of the examples Dr. Parker gives is that the phrase, “let there be light”, refers to the evolution of the eye. That’s right, there’s only light if you can see, so that’s when God designed the eye. You have to ignore the fact that, apparently, eyes would have to have evolved long before land animals were created. Before plants, even, in fact. Right there in Parker’s explanation of Genesis being scientifically accurate, God would have to have done things in the wrong order for his hypothesis to be correct. It’s shameful.

    I hope you understand now, Daniel, that you were actually arguing against Dr. Palmer’s concept of the Bible, and not mine. I have no illusions that I know the Bible “better” than you, nor that I can point out any contradictions that you haven’t already explained away. I likewise have no doubts that we could have a coffee and a great conversation together. However, I have to point out that you have sought me out to tell me the “good news” (which is neither good nor new) about Jesus, thus proselytizing on my doorstep, as though I haven’t already heard it a thousand times. Also, your sentence:

    In fact, evolution is a blind faith tacked with very observant behaviors in the natural world twisted to fit your story of how everything came to be.

    – smacks of projection to the nth degree.

    Beyond that, nothing you could tell me about your world-view-by-revelation would surprise me, or come off as having been a secret at all. Having sparred with dozens of theists of numerous religious stripes, agnostics, and atheists alike, including a number of total nutters who believe crazy timecube-like crap, I’ve probably heard just about every trope that there is, with regard to the standard stuff trotted out in every stick-and-carrot religion.

    I swear, I’m going to have to post a sign in the banner that says “hey theists, before you try to witness to me, please read this, this, this, and this. Then maybe you’ll understand me a little better and can debate my actual beliefs rather than what you think I believe.”

    Enjoy your stay, but please do try to catch up before you try to argue my points. They build on one another, and there’s a lot of history you’re completely missing. Oh, and do try to click the links — I only had to rewrite that paragraph to explain the contents of the link, where the paragraph was really just meant to bridge from one example to the next. If you’d have clicked the link, you’d have seen that I was describing a theist’s attempt at shoehorning the sum of human scientific progress into the biblical framework, evolution included.

  5. Clifton says

    I don’t understand how one’s believing that evolution exists must mean that one also must believe life is meaningless.

    I used to be a Christian. Hell, I even used to teach in a Baptist sunday school.
    Then I started thinking for myself.
    And I said to myself, “Self, why would Satan, the epitome of evil, punish people for eternity for being evil? Shouldn’t an evil person live like a king in hell?”
    And then I took a comparative religion course tought by an Anglican priest. This priest admitted that a lot of stuff in the Bible likely didn’t happen. Pointed us to biblical scholars to said the same thing. No virgin birth, no walking on water, etc. His reasoning was that by knowing the stuff in the Bible that wasn’t true, our faith in Jesus should be stronger. I felt that if I had to be outright lied to as an impressionable youth in order to catch my attention, it probably wasn’t that credible.
    Then I started thinking about the Bible, and how if God actually existed, he was actually a bit of a dick. For example, “Hey, kill your son for me… psyche!”
    Even found a video with a guy pointing out all the sins that God Himself had committed. That’s posted by the Lousy One earlier in the blog.
    Then just today, I was thinking. Why would God go through all the trouble of releasing all the plagues on Egypt, only to let the Jews wander in the desert for a few decades without so much as a rough map? The Jews worshipped Him! Why would he just not allow the Jews to escape peacefully? Did the first borns in every Egyptian family really have to die? Obviously he must get His kicks by fucking with all of humanity.

    And why does God hate gays so much? I had a gay dog. My dog and I never really discussed if he had chosen to be gay, or if it was just an instinct. If I had to guess, though, I’d say it was probably instinct. Odie wasn’t much of a thinker. If he saw a steak, or a potato, or a carrot, or chicken, or a lump of shit, or a cock, he acted on it. Odie was very alergic to chicken, but ate it anyway. If he were a thinker, I would imagine Odie would have been more discerning about his diet. Odie leads me to believe that homesexuality is probably natural. And just like it is with humans, just because Odie was gay, didn’t mean he’d try to fuck every other male dog. Nor did he molest puppies. He was just a pretty good dog. Hopefully God let him into doggie heaven.

    Now, on to Jesus. I won’t say Jesus never existed. He did. By all accounts, he was a pretty good guy. He was never divine until some Romans said he was. He wasn’t Nordic. As that Anglican priest said, Jesus was probably 4 feet tall and covered in flies. I believe Jesus was a charismatic early minister who knew how to put on a show. If the New Testament were written recently, the Messiah would be Billy Graham.

    That is all I have time for tonight. In closing, here is some comedy.

  6. says

    I am sorry to hear that you “used” to be a Christian and that you have other “Christians” doubt their own faith. They obviously didn’t get enough information to make an important decision about their faith. The fact that anybody who was in the “religious” body made comments like that doesn’t give me a run for my money since I study these arguments you present constantly. As is the common question, “If God exists, then why does He allow evil?” All the questions you present all derive from your human understanding of life. You said you didn’t understand why believing in evolution means life is meaningless. Its quiet simple really.

    Evolution is random. It is said that all life formed over billions of years through two different processes: mutation and natural selection. Both mutation and natural selection exist in todays world. We can both observe it and study it. Because we can observe and analyze these two things, we assume it’s a credible way to determine whether all complex life forms came to be by these two means. 1. I have never seen a mutation add any genetic information to the DNA, it only negates (opposite of “evolution”) 2. I have never seen or studied anything now or in history mutating and being selected naturally to have changed into something NOT of its kind. I.E. A cat to dog, bird to reptile. 3. There are gaps in the “fossil record” that evolutionists refuse to address. 4. The sun is degrading in heat, which would mean millions of years back, it would’ve been to hot to sustain life. 5. Our ways of “aging” things is based on assumption not fact. The bible never stated that one day, “Elephants were created and they stayed that away until forever…,” instead the bible states that every creating living organism propagates after its own kind. So if we had Mammoths at one time, it was possible that they would reproduce and down the genetic line changes would occur and you would have the dominant species now, the elephants. But they remain in the same family, always.

    Okay, okay, what is my point? That I haven’t even begun to discuss the vast amounts of studies from geneticists, geologists, all types of scientists that believe in the Creation story and back it with logical evidence and scientific analysis. So let me wrap this up based on what you originally said…

    First, a evolutionist must assume that all things that came about is random. When you are an atheist and an evolutionist you believe there is nothing created nor a creator. You don’t agree with God’s commandments obviously by what you write. You think that its unjustified, yet you yourself want people to abide by laws set by the government that were inspired through biblical principles if not the humans innate sense of justice (which the bible says all humans have believer or non believer). So you want God not to exist but you want a higher authority to exist to keep things peaceful? That seems rather hypocritical don’t you think?

    The fact that you ask the question, “Shouldn’t an evil person live like a king in hell,” proves to me you do not have an understanding of biblical principles let alone all spiritual matters pertaining to it. You taught at a Baptist Sunday school but you ask questions like this? My guess is your heart was never in it in the first place. Okay, my mind is twirling because of all the contradictions. You say God is a “mean,” so you agree that good and evil exist. The only reason why when someone is murdered it’s looked down upon is because its WRONG. What Atheist in history has ever concluded this? What atheistic writer, philosopher, thinker ever created a basis for moral standard. If I am here by chance, life means nothing, i don’t have rules. I get to do whatever I want because I am just a consequential part of evolution. Why should I have any moral responsibility when I have no one or nothing to answer to?

    The biblical reference your talking about when you mentions God telling someone to kill his son, is God telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Since you don’t study the Bible, from your point of view, it sounds just as bad as I put it. But you haven’t even begun to understand all of the spiritual implications of that event. For example, the fact that that very event was a prophecy of Jesus dying on the cross. God sending His Son to be sacrificed on a hill while carrying a wooden cross on his back. Abraham sending his son up a hill with wood on his back for the altar to be sacrificed.

    People always question God’s reasoning for things as if He is a man. Like He has to give us an answer to everything He does. God does things in such a way not to inflict our free will. And God does not by any means hate gays. He loves all of the sinners who have departed from His ways. But when you break the law, like murder, you go to jail. The judge may be compassionate for your cause, but your measured by the law not the judges own heart. So he sends you to the slammer. But here is how the whole salvation through Jesus thing works. The person defending you is the judges son and he tells his dad that its paid for, free to go. Gays are no exception. Have you even studied history and seen the effect of homosexuality on society? The health issues should be reason alone to be concerned about this issue. The Bible does not disagree we have “beastly” passions (read romans) but it calls us to deny them. Just because I want to have sex with whatever beautiful girl walks my way (as instinct would tell me) doesn’t mean it would be healthy for me relationally, physically, or morally. So let me ask you a question? If it was “natural” and “instinct” for a person to rape a little girl does that make it okay? According to your own logic it does. God exists and the sooner you ask for forgiveness and ask Him to show you, the better. Then you will see for yourself that the Christian life isn’t about being some fanatic. It’s about a deep and intimate relationship with the God who loves you and the God who created all things.

    I don’t care what the anglican priest said, it means nothing. Jesus’ life isn’t just accounted for in the New Testament but in separate texts not having to do with the Bible. The fact that you think Jesus was a guy who knew how to put on a show, shows me once again you are not well informed about everything that happened prior to His birth and after. I would assume that you haven’t read the Bible with diligent reverence and with a studious attitude. I am amazed the amount of judgement that gets passed to Christians from people who simply don’t know anything about our faith. On top of that, the media puts a spot light on priests and pastors who are in scandals and all of the atheists eat it up and say, “See, told you believing in God is stupid.”

    The fact that there isn’t an atheistic group out there or even a secular charity organization that has done more for the world in every aspect than Christian organizations, that fact is undeniable. Atheists are glorified now not prosecuted. Christians are being killed all around the world for believing in Jesus from governments who are atheistic and naturalistic in their beliefs.

    I will be praying for you brother, that you would come back to the faith. The grass is greener over here. But when it’s your time, its your time.

    Much Love,
    Daniel Maldonado

  7. Jodi says

    Wow.

    Then you will see for yourself that the Christian life isn’t about being some fanatic.

    This comes at the end of a wholly fanatical post.
    That one pretty much had every ‘it’s-already-been-refuted’ point in the book. And a bit of ‘Jesus loves you, you horrid atheist’ to boot.

    Stephanie, I don’t think I’ve told you lately that I love you and you’re my hero.

  8. says

    In reply to jthibeault:

    I assume you’ve heard it all which is why there is nothing I can say or do to change you. I am not going to be the one to change you any how, so I really am not trying to evangelize. I expect you will quote books and authors of books that make Christians look bad without properly doing research on the subject from all points of view. Or maybe you have and you just don’t care what the Christian says because it all sounds the same to you. Jesus spoke about this actually. The sower with the seed and the seed being the Word of God. Sow it on rocky hard ground it will never grow. Some people, perhaps yourself, have a heart where the seed falls on it and it just lays there on the surface, never really getting a chance to be planted to grow. I see it all the time and likewise hear it all the time. Only God (the being you hate or refuse to believe in) can soften that heart of yours, until then have fun being an atheist. If your own child is kidnapped and exposed to things unspeakable, let them know that it’s all part of that mans instinct and since life doesn’t mean anything since we are all random…don’t worry about it. I am sure you’ll tell them that.

    -Daniel Maldonado

  9. Jodi says

    As if things like this don’t classify as attack:

    If your own child is kidnapped and exposed to things unspeakable, let them know that it’s all part of that mans instinct and since life doesn’t mean anything since we are all random…don’t worry about it. I am sure you’ll tell them that.

    You construct a strawman of our argument, attack it, and act innocent.
    Get a life.

  10. says

    You certainly are a particularly vociferous proselytizer, who stands at my doorstep to preach stuff that has been debunked time and again. You are exemplar of the very person I rage about. You believe that atheists “hate God” when we in fact do not even accept the premise that there IS a God, and so you come to an atheist’s blog to claim you do not wish to witness about Jesus, while simultaneously doing exactly that. You say that it is a valid choice to come around to reason and rationality, then you claim that this must obviously be because these people were never “true Scotsmen” to begin with. You do the “information” thing, the “where does morality come from” thing, and the “we’re the persecuted ones” thing, each one so named a “thing” because they’ve all been done to death.

    And yet here I am, planning on rebutting. Sigh.

    I have never seen a mutation add any genetic information to the DNA, it only negates (opposite of “evolution”)

    I haven’t seen a mutation at all, personally, since I’m not capable of seeing the genetic code with my bare eyes and I don’t have access to a controlled environment with lab equipment. That said, I refer you to Youtube science poster extraordinaire, cdk007:

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I14KTshLUkg

    I have never seen or studied anything now or in history mutating and being selected naturally to have changed into something NOT of its kind. I.E. A cat to dog, bird to reptile.

    GTFO with your crocoduck bullshit. The theory of evolution doesn’t predict this at all, it predicts gradual change within species, with each intermediary step being a fully viable species unto itself. If a cat suddenly gave birth to a dog, that’d be evidence of a creator who loves to fuck with us humans who think we’re so smart. I now refer you to DonExodus2 (a theist who believes in evolution — or, at least, he was a theist while he posted this, not sure now):
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4GdZOlPrX8

    Or perhaps AronRa, regarding Ida, a basal form for all mammals:
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4d-eshn3fc

    If I am here by chance, life means nothing, i don’t have rules. I get to do whatever I want because I am just a consequential part of evolution. Why should I have any moral responsibility when I have no one or nothing to answer to?

    Don’t even start with this, seriously. Please. I just got done fighting with Zdenny over exactly this, and I honestly don’t know why you folks consider this argument even viable when faced with the evidence that atheists, and folks who don’t believe in your god or the universal love of Jesus or the 10 Commandments somehow doesn’t devolve into raping and pillaging and self-destruction. We evolved to have social coherence because those populations where rape and pillage and murder within the society are unstable and die out. They are selected against. Social coherence is selected for.

    Let’s explain morality from a naturalistic standpoint. See if you follow.

    Good is defined as an action that is objectively the best course of action for three things, in descending order of importance: a) humankind as a whole, b) your local society or the groups to which you belong, and c) your personal being. This “objective good” is not a subjective good imposed by God. It is merely what is the best course of action to preserve those three things. Sometimes to do good you have to sacrifice C to benefit A, e.g. the archetypal one guy saves the world (this is comic book, or bible, stuff — you know, fantasy), or even just eliminating a serial killer from your midst. And sometimes, people are born with a mistaken sense of this order, thinking that C is more important than A or B, causing psychopathic or sociopathic behaviours.

    Evil is defined as something that is objectively detrimental to, in diminishing order again, a) humankind as a whole, b) your local society or social groups, and c) your personal being. However, to the individual, C will often get inflated priority due to our sense of self preservation. A cataclysm like a meteor headed for Earth could wipe out the planet and would obviously be viewed as a great evil, when in actuality it is a thoroughly neutral event with no agency behind it. A person like Hitler or Stalin who, regardless of his belief systems, decides to wipe out huge tracts of humankind thus weakening our gene pool and harming our future ability to survive, is considered objectively evil. A person who molests children who cannot otherwise defend themselves is objectively evil. A person who rapes people, causing untold trauma to women and hurting them physically as well as mentally, is objectively evil. Wars are objectively evil, though they might be fought to stop genocides, which are objectively greater evil.

    Do you see how it works? No need for a sky daddy.

    And I get the feeling I’m doing a lot of work for nothing. I suspect you came from Zdenny’s blog to begin with, so you’re probably thoroughly inculcated in these beliefs of yours, and absolutely nothing I say would ever change your opinion of people like me who are both good, and atheist. And this is sad, because you’re the one who suggested coffee. I don’t do coffee with people who have absolutely no idea how to be moral without someone imposing morality.

  11. says

    I was making a concise point based on the information provided above. I am not attacking your argument but building on mine. If you think of it as an attack, I would love to see you respond to that comment. Your beliefs are empty morally, which is what I am trying to point out. Do you think I would ever wish those things on someone’s children? So to jthibeault, no offense intended.

  12. says

    Some people, perhaps yourself, have a heart where the seed falls on it and it just lays there on the surface, never really getting a chance to be planted to grow.

    And I see it as a weed, that grows unbidden and chokes out the vibrant life from an area. That I am unable to grow this weed, or that it started to grow in me but eventually withered and died in the sunlight of science, is a good thing, in my mind. A bad thing in yours, since you obviously have a desire for everyone to think like you.

  13. says

    Your beliefs are empty morally, which is what I am trying to point out. Do you think I would ever wish those things on someone’s children? So to jthibeault, no offense intended.

    You’re talking to my fiancee here, buddy. Watch yourself. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, genuinely best people I know. If she is empty morally, then humanity is a lost cause and you should stop with the preaching and get on with the rapture-ing.

  14. Jodi says

    I think “Your beliefs are empty morally,” fits into the category of attack. You just can’t seem to see that atheists ARE in fact, moral. I work in a vineyard where it’s my job to make sure the vines grow grapes. I found a birds nest in the vines today, with three small eggs. These birds will probably hatch and grow up to eat the grapes I work hard to grow and protect. Other co-workers, and probably even my boss might have removed the nest to get rid of the birds, but I chose to leave it safely nestled in the vines, and I worked around it. What made me make this choice? It wasn’t god. I just like birds. You probably can’t accept that people do good things without god, but whatever. There you have it.

  15. says

    No, Daniel, because you’re making a big show of praying for Clifton, as though that somehow makes you superior. If you want to pray for him, do it privately, without boasting. Better yet, note that the Bible tells you to pray for your own improvement, not that of anyone else.

    If your own child is kidnapped and exposed to things unspeakable, let them know that it’s all part of that mans instinct and since life doesn’t mean anything since we are all random…don’t worry about it. I am sure you’ll tell them that.

    Is there some reason it would make it better for the child to hear that a deity had singled them out for this? “Well, kid, it happened to you because the big guy thought you should get the unspeakable treatment.” Ew.

  16. says

    Per Jodi’s anecdote: sometimes our built-in senses of good and evil are extended past their usual borders of humankind. For some people, they are extended way past — e.g. PETA. For some, they only go as far as human self-interest, e.g. Sarah Palin’s crusade against wildlife and intent to drill baby drill no matter what the damage to the rest of the Earth. For most of us, a cute baby animal sets off the same evolutionary triggers that demand that we take care of our babies — the ones that make us consider babies cute, despite them being objectively hideous little troll-like things that do nothing but shit and vomit and eat, sometimes all at the same time. None of us are immune to these sets of programming. Just as you are not immune to the part of us that tries to detect agency in any event just in case that rustling bush happens to be a jaguar — you see a universe and suspect there must have been a supernatural agent that caused it, and instead of looking at the evidence and drawing your conclusions, you look for evidence that supports your chosen conclusion and ignore all other evidence to the contrary.

    We’re going to bed now. I expect by the time you post again, you’ll have at least read half the links/videos I posted, in this original post and in my rebuttals. You sound foolish otherwise and you cover a lot of ground that has only recently been covered.

  17. says

    jthibeault:

    I could likewise post numerous sources where people go back and forth about evolution and fossil records and this or that being debunked. Don’t fool your supporters here. Just because in a one liner you said, “All of those arguments have been debunked” doesn’t make it true. Do you proper research buddy. I never insisted that a cat one day bore a dog. I understand the theory of evolution fully which is why I believe it’s ridiculous. Irreversible complexity is an argument your probably familiar with but won’t address it fully because you don’t see it as a flaw in your theory.

    Since you had a similar discussion with Zdenny, I don’t want to type away with no effect, so let’s end it here unless we want to talk about something specific. The fact that you can observe sociological events and make some sort premise about why we make a moral choice is not very compelling. Self preservation is a basic instinct and not accredited as some discovery from a prominent sociologist. The Bible speaks of our need to self preserve constantly. Of course our decisions are based on that. But you not getting it still. I am laughing because everything you said about morality is all a direct cause for the innate sense for good and self preservation already determined to be given by God in the bible.

  18. says

    “Is there some reason it would make it better for the child to hear that a deity had singled them out for this? “Well, kid, it happened to you because the big guy thought you should get the unspeakable treatment.” Ew.”

    That is a whole different conversation you probably wouldn’t even enter.

    Jodi: Good job for saving the birds. I would’ve done the same. In fact, I wouldn’t of even looked up and asked God to do it. Because it’s built into me. Did I confuse you otherwise?

  19. says

    Irreversible complexity is an argument your probably familiar with but won’t address it fully because you don’t see it as a flaw in your theory.

    You mean irreducible complexity. And you’d be wrong about it being a flaw.
    Ken Miller, a theist biology professor:
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_HVrjKcvrU

    And another cdk007:
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZdCxk0CnN4

    Or basically, just go read The Blind Watchmaker.

    But you not getting it still. I am laughing because everything you said about morality is all a direct cause for the innate sense for good and self preservation already determined to be given by God in the bible.

    Well isn’t that convenient. I show you a naturalistic cause for something and you say “haha that’s just God’s way”.

    I’m going to bed for real now. Please, either end this as you suggest, or read the links and watch the videos so you can catch up to where the rest of us are now… I welcome you to try to come up with a novel argument, as I do love debating theology with people who are as well versed in our side of the debate as in their own.

  20. Clifton says

    “You don’t agree with God’s commandments obviously by what you write. You think that its unjustified, yet you yourself want people to abide by laws set by the government that were inspired through biblical principles if not the humans innate sense of justice (which the bible says all humans have believer or non believer). So you want God not to exist but you want a higher authority to exist to keep things peaceful? That seems rather hypocritical don’t you think?”

    I don’t WANT God to not exist. I don’t BELIEVE He exists based on everything I’ve read/experienced/whatever. I don’t disagree that there are some pretty good rules to live by in the bible. However, the existence of these rules doesn’t prove that God exists. Take a look at any culture that had never heard of God and you’ll find that murder/theft etc, isn’t encouraged.

    I haven’t asked the “Why does God allow evil?” question since I was about 10. What I asked in the previous post was, “Why would God go through all the trouble to help the Chosen People escape slavery if he was only going to let them get lost in the desert for a generation?”

    Anyone can write a book and claim its proof of god, or the one true path, or whatever. Just because some guy put pen to paper 2000 years ago, doesn’t mean its true. If that were the case, we’d still be worshipping Roman and Greek gods. Instead, we have Christianity because an emperor needed something to unite his crumbling empire before he died, and we have Christmas because Christianity co-opted all the pagan holidays to enhance its popularity.

    Maybe someday a President will convert to Scientology and future generations will sing the praises of L. Ron Hubbard.

  21. Clifton says

    It should be noted that I (or anyone else here, for that matter) dislike Christians. There’s a difference between disliking and not sharing the same beliefs. My own mother is a devout Christian. I love her. I wouldn’t love her more if she didn’t believe in god. Most of the people I know are Christians. I can’t dislike a Christian for believing in God anymore than I can dislike a kid for believing in Santa. For the record, I’m also Asantaist.

  22. says

    Damn, I’m late to the party. Oh, well, you get my $2.50. You’re wasting your (digital) breath, Jason. Fuckhead won’t get it. It goes way beyond facts, way beyond any sort of rational experience. These delusional fuckwits believe in a sick and twisted philosophy that allows them to act superior to we peons, all the while spraining their elbows patting themselves on the back at how humble they are. Because they submit to the authority of the allmighty, their precious baby jesus. And here’s the kicker, here’s where it ceases to be comprehensible to me at all: since material success and political power can’t come without the approval of their voyeuristic boogey-man, anything they do to gain power and enforce their very human will on the rest of us poor schlubs is okie-dokie, because they did it for god, not themselves. It’s a twisted form of megalomaniacalism that absolves them of all personal responsibility for the atrocities they either perpetrate or allow to happen because, shucks, if god didn’t want me in power, I wouldn’t be in power. Ain’t it convenient that jesus hates the same people and things that you do?

    To get back on topic, this dipshit, however much he denies it, is absolutely holding himself morally superior to us. His personal jesus said it was alright. We’re just poor little lost sheep, or soil to bear seeds. He’s incapable of seeing us as individuals with reason and meaning and (gasp) love, all of which we have independent of the sky daddy he faps to. Unless we want to willingly give up reason, meaning and love and instead claim that goddidit.

    Fuck off, Danny. I’m done being nice, I’m done trying to explain things. You’ve had a chance to be rational, to have a reasonable discourse and instead all you’ve done is piss all over some very good people. Not because you’re a bad person, no. Jesus told you to do it.

    Bottom line: IF there is a god and IF the god is the one you proclaim, I sure am glad I’m going to hell, ’cause I couldn’t stand to spend eternity in the presence of such a self-involved capricious prick.

  23. says

    I’m beginning to very much dislike them, Clifton. Because no matter how tame they seem, no matter how live-and-let-live, they would be perfectly content to participate in the theocracy that is attempting to be thrust upon us. The simple fact is that they think they’re right and the rest of us are going to hell. Poor unfortunate souls. I don’t need the pity of some fucking holier-than-thou assholes who want to “save” me.

  24. says

    Daniel M said:

    Your beliefs are empty morally, which is what I am trying to point out.

    Daniel, please excuse the language I am bout to use, but I feel it necessary.

    You’re a fucking god-bot troll who has his head up his ass when it comes to anything “factual”. Bigoted ass-hats like yourself make me want to vomit from all the vile hatred you spew, while coating it with words like “peace” and “love”.

    Yes, I’ve seen your posts elsewhere. You make me sick.

  25. says

    Dan J, your comments got included in the blockquote. You’re going to hell for that. I only tell you this because I love you. Peace out. ;-)

    Admin note: Not any more. He has an all-powerful, all-loving deity watching out for him on this blog.

  26. says

    Dan J, your comments got included in the blockquote. You’re going to hell for that. I only tell you this because I love you. Peace out.

    Now I really am laughing!!

  27. says

    And I quit smoking about 46 hours ago, so you know what kind of mood I’m in about now. (Actually, it hasn’t been that bad, but I’m rather easily provoked at the moment.)

  28. says

    Admin note: Daniel copy-pasta’d the entire body of the Answers in Genesis post here, including comments and notes suggesting his own laziness. I changed this post to a link for fear of someone accusing me of copyright violation.

  29. says

    You’re not seriously using Behe, are you?!? C’mon, you’re gonna have to do better than that. Do you feel better having cut-and-pasted a novel? There’s a legal objection that pops into my head: asked and answered. There is no controversy with evolution other than in the delusional minds of the likes of you and Behe and the rest of your AiG crowd. Do you honestly think you’re making any headway with this crowd, quoting that many, many, many, many times debunked crap?

  30. says

    The “irreducible complexity” bullshit has been thoroughly refuted by competent biologists. Please don’t bring up hacks like Behe unless you honestly want to be laughed at.

    And you’re still a bigoted asshat. :P

  31. says

    How many fallacies does it take to get to the center of a creationists argument?

    * Ad Hominem
    * Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
    * Appeal to Authority
    * Appeal to Belief
    * Appeal to Common Practice
    * Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
    * Appeal to Emotion
    * Appeal to Fear
    * Appeal to Flattery
    * Appeal to Novelty
    * Appeal to Pity
    * Appeal to Popularity
    * Appeal to Ridicule
    * Appeal to Spite
    * Appeal to Tradition
    * Bandwagon
    * Begging the Question
    * Biased Sample
    * Burden of Proof
    * Circumstantial Ad Hominem
    * Composition
    * Confusing Cause and Effect
    * Division
    * False Dilemma
    * Gambler’s Fallacy
    * Genetic Fallacy
    * Guilt By Association
    * Hasty Generalization
    * Ignoring A Common Cause
    * Middle Ground
    * Misleading Vividness
    * Personal Attack
    * Poisoning the Well
    * Post Hoc
    * Questionable Cause
    * Red Herring
    * Relativist Fallacy
    * Slippery Slope
    * Special Pleading
    * Spotlight
    * Straw Man
    * Two Wrongs Make A Right

    Of course, when it’s creationists, I like to make a little mistake and say “phalluses” instead of “fallacies”, only because it upsets some of them.

  32. says

    I copy and pasted a source that I read that presents an argument that sorry to say, hasn’t been debunked. The debate goes back and forth and hasn’t been concluded. By the way you all act it would seem I can prove my point rather easily.

    For the record, I don’t have a holier than thou attitude and I do not believe I am better than anyone here. But, even when I say that you have no reason to believe. It’s easy to sit behind your computer and type whatever you want to the person on the other side. It’s equally easier to attack them—which I am used to of course.

    All of you have wonderful lives—this is obviously not my first venture online speaking with atheists who 1. Like to discuss 2. like to attack. Cheers.

  33. says

    I can’t manage to get your list to show up properly, Dan, I’m assuming because UL and OL both have CSS attached to them. So, I’m editing it back down to straight text with asterisks for list dots.

    I’m especially amused by AiG’s answer to evolution-supporters’ explanation as to how the bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex, and how each intermediary stage in the hypothesized chain of evolution could be a functional, useful adaptation:

    Again, the foregoing has the distinctive flavour of storytelling. In any case, we once again see a huge leap in reasoning from the observed very small phenotypic changes all the way to the hoped-for emergence of totally new structures and functions.

    Another case of projection. “Your hypothesis has not been directly confirmed, therefore GOD DID IT”. If that isn’t the biggest case of storytelling of all, I don’t know what could even qualify. We offered several different naturalistic paths that the evolution of the bacterial flagellum could have taken, however we don’t have the means to go back in time and watch that specific adaptation. All we know right now, from evidence before us, is that other bacteria have adaptations similar to the intermediary stages we have proposed. And all we know right now, is that for every unresolvable mystery (e.g. “how do rainbows know to rearrange themselves in the correct order”, “where does lightning come from”, etc.) that creationists have put forth as evidence of God, has turned out thus far to be not-God, so the chances are pretty good that this one will turn out to be not-God as well.

    I suspect you haven’t even watched the videos, have you? You’re one, so maybe you can answer me: why do cdesign proponentsists filter out and ignore all scientifically derived information that contradicts their chosen belief systems? And why do they always come to MY blog to preach at ME, then when they get rightly and soundly rebuked, they cry “attack” and “persecution”?

    If you want to make the positive assertion that God exists, it’s up to you to provide direct proof of God, not merely “Science Can’t Possibly Explain This, Therefore God”. Direct proof, please. No more of this misdirection.

    (Besides, it’s actually “science can’t explain this YET” in every single case that’s ever been brought forward.)

  34. says

    Huh. Looks like Daniel is the one who doesn’t want to have the conversation about why he’d want us to tell kids that a deity had chosen them for crappy treatment. Can’t find anything to cut and paste for that?

  35. says

    I suspect he recognizes it as a losing argument. Though circumstantial evidence suggests he doesn’t always recognize every losing argument he engages in…

  36. says

    I think I figured out why Daniel copy-pasta’ed that mess from AiG. I read some of his blog. It’s painful.

    Daniel: Please, get your feet on the street and head to a nearby college. I don’t care if it’s a community college, a big university, or whatever. Sign up for a writing class. Sign up for some basic grammar and punctuation instruction. If you honestly intend to write for an audience (as opposed to just yourself and a few friends), you need this instruction. I’m not saying this to be mean or anything, but in order to be helpful in some way.

    I still don’t see why people like Daniel waste so much of their time repeating the words of people like Behe. His premises have been refuted by competent experts in the sciences. He’s old news, and he’s a two-bit hack. We don’t want to hear anything more about him until he comes up with some empirical evidence for something that he can get published in a leading peer-reviewed science journal. (Note: Chick Tracts do not count!)

    Look back on history. Countless events over the millennia have been explained away by high priests/witch doctors/clergymen/shamen/etc. as actions of the gods (or other supernatural agents).

    Why does it rain? Tlaloc allows the rains to fall after being appeased by sacrifices in times of drought. Atmospheric water vapor condenses into droplets heavy enough to fall from the sky, often reaching the ground.

    Why does the sun rise and set? Helios drives the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean to return to the East each night. The apparent westward revolution of Sun around the earth after rising out of the horizon is due to the Earth’s eastward rotation, a counter-clockwise revolution when viewed from above the North Pole. This illusion is so convincing that most cultures have had mythologies and religions built around the geocentric model.

    Do you see where I’m going with this? God™ didn’t have a hand in it (whatever it is) because God™ doesn’t exist.

    Not a single time in history that I know of (please give me evidence of one if you know of it) has a supernatural explanation for actual events led to a greater understanding of our universe.

    I’ll end with a quote from a paper by Barbara Forrest (someone Mooney likes to trot out when defending accommodation):

    This means that we are saying–again, tentatively rather than categorically–that we do not live in a supernaturally governed cosmos, and every expansion of scientific understanding, especially the understanding of human existence, e.g., of consciousness and the origin of life, solidifies and confirms this denial.   Science, because of its reliance upon methodological naturalism, lends no support to belief in the supernatural. Consequently, philosophical naturalism, because of its own grounding in methodological naturalism, has no room for it either. While for the supernaturalist, this absence may be the chief complaint against both science and methodological naturalism, for the philosophical naturalist, it is the source of the greatest confidence in both.

  37. says

    I think I would have more respect for a tribe worshiping a volcano god. At least their god can actually do something. There’s something tangible there. I’m starting to lose the distinction between xians (belief based on a 1600 year old fiction novel) and the $cientologists (belief based on a 50 year old fiction novel).

  38. Jodi says

    I’ve had a really bad day (almost got into a big crash on the highway going to work, and got stung by a bee while at work) but reading all of your comments is really helping.
    Cyberlizard, Dan, Stephanie, Clifton, Jason (:P) you all rock. Seriously rock. It makes me happy that there are people like you guys in the world, gives me a shred of hope for the planet.

    Things I learnt today: Arguing with creationists is like getting drunk, fun and tasty at first but not worth it in the long run.

  39. says

    Holy fucking christ, you got you a live fucking loon here, one who, like Denny, cannot comprehend what an offensive piece of shit he is…

    Daniel –

    They obviously didn’t get enough information to make an important decision about their faith.

    If your own child is kidnapped and exposed to things unspeakable, let them know that it’s all part of that mans instinct and since life doesn’t mean anything since we are all random…don’t worry about it. I am sure you’ll tell them that.

    Go fuck yourself, you sick fucking twat…Seriously, lets play a game of hide and go fuck yourself – you hide first…

    Now if you’ll all excuse me, the sweetest 20 month old in the world is chewing on my ear…

  40. says

    A sizable portion of the “tone” of that post can be attributed to the fact that I’m on my third day without a cigarette, and I’ve had copious amounts of sugar and caffeine today.

  41. Daniel M says

    DuWayne : And your 20 month year old is a completely meaningless part of life because of how random life is. Thats not my view buddy, so don’t get all mad and act like I am trying to say that I agree with that view. No, instead I am insisting that your 20 month old is one of the most precious and beautiful things a human can create and an incredible design from a God who loves her. And before you suggest that I think you think this of your daughter, I am not. I am suggesting that your love for her is no mistake and that your support for the theory of evolution would negate that love because there is no basis for it logically.
    “This is a random world, which by chance happen to be, and through a series of random mutations and natural selection. Through brutal death and survival of the fittest, we came to be from small infinitesimal changes over billions of years beating all of the mathematical probabilities which say that this is near impossible. But my sweet daughter is full of purpose and life because I say so and thats all that matters. But I am not being hypocritical because life is random and purposeless. ”

    Seriously give me the most compelling evidence that evolution is the process by which all biological things came to be. Your best evidence please. Serious request.

  42. says

    That’s not my fucking view either, you sick fuck. That is your assumption based on fucking ignorance about love. My sons are most certainly not meaningless in the least – that is not and never has been my view. Nor are they are designed by any gods.

    And I am not going to play your stupid fucking games – I have better things to do with my life than spend it arguing about the origins of life. I know how that one plays out…I make an argument based on evidence – you move the goalposts, I refute every argument down the line and you start full circle at the beginning and run through them all again.

    I have better things to do, than beat myself up trying to convince you of something that you are simply not going to believe. You are obviously happy to wallow in ignorance – why the fuck would I have any desire to try to fight such profoundly powerful willful ignorance?

  43. says

    Walking with Cavemen Episode 3 – Savage Family
    part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhAoFeRODQc
    part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIEnPI0oyr4
    part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_pCzP5AB_Y

    This isn’t an attempt to show you the evidence for evolution. This is merely an explanation of how relationships and love came to evolve. If you want the evidence for evolution, I’d suggest you click on some of the links in this thread. Or go to http://www.talkorigins.org and search for the specific things you are having trouble understanding.

    As for love of children, it is easily explained — animals that do not love and protect their children die out when their children are neglected. When humans neglect their children, not only do their own genetic lines get ended, but they are punished and stigmatized and/or removed from society, thus harming their ability to propagate their genetic lines as well.

  44. says

    And just to be clear about why I think you’re a sick fuck, it’s due to your pornographic fascination with the ideas you have about atheists and their children. Your imagining someone doing horrible things to a child and a parent just not caring. While there are sick fucking people out there who have little or no compunctions about the reprehensible abuse of their own children, there are few people who can so gleefully imagine and describe people like that.

    That you can, indicates you are sick fucking excuse for a human being.

  45. says

    Hey Daniel, why is it that you moderated my comment on your blog so that only you can read it, then you reply to my comment on your own blog, but still allow no one to see my comment? It makes it look as though you’re talking to yourself.

    Daniel said:

    Seriously give me the most compelling evidence that evolution is the process by which all biological things came to be. Your best evidence please. Serious request.

    Daniel, you are being rather ignorant when you ask questions like that. Notice I said “ignorant”, not “unintelligent”. That simply means that you haven’t learned or understood a few things.

    The theory of evolution explains the diversity of the life on our planet, not its origins. To engage in a discussion of the origins of life on our planet, you must ask someone about abiogenesis. People who believe in the literal biblical interpretation of the universe frequently make this mistake, but rarely admit that it’s a mistake, even when it’s pointed out to them.

  46. sinned34 says

    Sorry to jump in late, but I just wanted to comment on something Jason stated much earlier in the discussion:

    A person who rapes people, causing untold trauma to women and hurting them physically as well as mentally, is objectively evil.

    According to Deuteronomy 22:28-29, a rapist isn’t really objectively evil, but rather could be considered a future husband. At least, if he’s raping a virgin female.

    Carry on!

  47. says

    Yeah, sinned, but that’s in the Old Testament, which “good Christians” pretty well uniformly say “we take it back, that wasn’t really seriously part of our religion anyway”.

  48. says

    Ita funny when you say Christians supposedly say it wasnt part of our religion. The fact that you make that comment proves you know nothing of the Christian faith and the difference from the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Your ignorance in the area of Christianity and how it relates to the old testament makes me wonder how you can present an argument like that without properly understanding the reason we dont stone people for certain sins. Every sin, including lying, is deserving of death. The reason we dont do it is becuz of jesus.

  49. says

    Every sin, including lying, is deserving of death. The reason we dont do it is becuz of jesus.

    That sounds a little bit extreme, Daniel. If I were to say something like, “I’d like to bang that Mary Magdalene. I get the impression she was pretty hot. Do you think she charged more than one or two drachmas?” then I deserve being put to death?

    You’re still picking and choosing what you want to follow and what you don’t want to follow. You’re a homophobe, so you follow the part about a man not bing with another man, but you really like bacon, so that proscription against unclean animals really doesn’t fit your lifestyle, so you’re going to ignore that part.

    You’re still a fucking hypocrite, Daniel.

  50. says

    You don’t get it Dan, talk back to your folks – doesn’t matter if you are an adult – fucking die for it…

    The problem that I have, is not the whole notion that this is not what Christians believe now. My problem is, that they worship a god who claims to be the same, yesterday, today and forever – yet he changed his mind about how this all should work and used to be a homicidal, genocidal, infanticidal maniac, who commanded his people to commit these same acts and throw some rape and incest into the mix. And these rules for which the punishment is death – that only counts if you’re a fucking peon. If you’re – I don’t know, king, you can pretty much do as you wish.

    But hey, what’s a little hypocrisy among Christians?

  51. sinned34 says

    Hmm, just a few hundred years ago, people in the West were still getting murdered by Christians for breaking “Old Covenant” commandments. When exactly did this “New Covenant” actually begin?

    Daniel, I’m fully aware that many (but certainly not all) Christian sects no longer consider the Old Testament punishments for sin valid, but I want to hear you justify God’s order that rape victims should be forced to marry their rapists. Does that really strike you as the demands of an all-loving God of Justice?

  52. says

    Daniel, oh Daniel. Didn’t you read Exodus? (specifically 31:16-17 and 12:14-17) The First Covenant is eternal, and will never be replaced or added to.

    I guess you didn’t get God™’s memorandum about that one.

  53. says

    Since you insist, lets deal with the rape issue. First, before you woo everyone here into thinking God suggested a woman who is raped must marry her rapist, you must understand the Bible in it’s entirety. We are so familiar with rape now that we insist on reading things in a perspective that identifies with our paranoia with such things. But, when you understand the Bible you need not have any sort of subjective perspective to correctly interpret it; it’s self explanatory. Let’s first examine the text in question. Deut. 22:28-29
    “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

    Wow! It doesn’t say rape! Of course not, in fact the word you are insisting is rape is translated “lay hold on her” which can be cross referenced with the same law in Exodus (which Moses is reiterating here in Deuteronomy which means “Second Law”) 22:16
    “If a man ENTICES a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife.”

    So you are clearly mistaken on this verse and you have skewed its purpose and idea to make it sound like God insisted the ridiculous. So please, lets move on.

    Dan J, good job, the First covenant IS ETERNAL. What did Jesus say? Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

    We are not under Old Testament law, but under the law of Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Law perfectly and when his disciple asked as follows: Matthew 22:31-40 “36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?

    Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’(Deut 6:5) This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ ”

    Pay close attention to the last verse. Jesus fulfilled the law, ultimately with His blood sacrifice, and His command was the two greatest commandments which all the law hang on. We fulfill the law COMPLETELY through Christ. For example: Galatians 3:13 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us”

    Christ is in me and I in Him; Him fulfilling the law completely and perfectly I am fulfilling it also. Not because I am perfect, because as you well know I am not, but because like the Bible says: Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”

    So when people bring up this argument about how Christians like my self are hypocrites because the Old Testament says one thing and we don’t do it, I simply smile. I give them the benefit of the doubt because they don’t know the fullness of wisdom from God to see these things inside of the Bible because they simply don’t read it.

    God’s plan never intended for the Old Law to be upheld for ALL people forever the way they used too. Instead, the burden of the law was lifted by Christ who bore that burden for us, hence the blood sacrifice on the cross. Also to elaborate, read Romans 7:7-28 to give you an idea as well.

    All laws in the OT served different purposes one showing people how to obey God, another showing how to atone for sins, and the other to make the Israelites distinct from other cultures around them. On top of that there are all of the obvious culturally beneficial reasons for certain laws in regards to health and community. One being STD’s and other diseases. For example, not having sex with animals or staying a virgin before you are married. Homosexuality is obviously not a natural form of human behavior (even though they are forcing it to be) and everyone instinctively knows it. Do i really need to go through the statistics of homosexuality and it’s negative effect on society? They are thousands of secular psychiatrists who support the idea that homosexuality has a negative effect on a societies health over all.

    Overall a person who objectively reads the Bible with a pre conceived idea that it’s just a bunch of spiritual junk meant for idiots; when they open it up and read a random verse without thoroughly studying the Bible, what do you think they are going to get out of it?

  54. says

    Daniel mentioned (emphasis mine):

    Homosexuality is obviously not a natural form of human behavior (even though they are forcing it to be) and everyone instinctively knows it.

    What evidence do you have for this statement? Same-sex couplings have been noted in many different species from around the world, not just in humans.

    Do i really need to go through the statistics of homosexuality and it’s negative effect on society?

    Yes, please do.

    They are thousands of secular psychiatrists who support the idea that homosexuality has a negative effect on a societies health over all.

    Please provide evidence to back up this assertion.

  55. says

    So you are clearly mistaken on this verse and you have skewed its purpose and idea to make it sound like God insisted the ridiculous.

    Wrong. Women during the bronze age were chattel. The passage that you are trying to spin as being punishment for seducing a virgin is in fact actually talking about paying a 50 shekel fine to the father for having despoiled a girl that otherwise would have provided him with a sizeable dowry when he married her off; if a woman is not a virgin, it’s nearly impossible to marry her off properly. So, God in this passage punishes the rapist by demanding both that he pay restitution to the father, and that he restore the family’s honor by marrying the girl. The surrounding verses most certainly also deal with rape, because they use the same that you misinterpret to mean seduction. It prescribes different punishments for whether it happens in the town or in the country; in town, it is presumed that if the girl was raped and nobody stopped it, it is because she didn’t cry out loud enough, and therefore she should be stoned to death too as it was obviously an affair that she was okay with. (Imagine if she had had her mouth covered, or was knocked unconscious, or was being strangled so she couldn’t cry out until after the deed — she’d still be killed. Too bad, victim of rape — you now get to also be a victim of murder!)

    Your reading of Deuteronomy is at odds with pretty well every interpretation by every religious person from either Judaism or Christianity. You are whitewashing your own bible so you can feel better about believing in such distasteful and disgusting proscriptions.

    the First covenant IS ETERNAL

    God’s plan never intended for the Old Law to be upheld for ALL people forever the way they used too.

    what

    It’s eternal but the blood-sacrifice-by-proxy means we don’t have to follow it any more. But it’s eternal. No srsly. So don’t do the things that the first covenant says are un-kosher, and do the things that the first covenant demands:

    Deuteronomy 5-26 is composed of two distinct addresses. The first, in chapters 5-11, forms a second introduction, expanding on the Ethical Decalogue given at Mount Sinai. The second, in chapters 12-26, is the Deuteronomic Code, a series of mitzvot (commands), forming extensive laws, admonitions, and injunctions to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by the God of Israel. The laws include (listed here in no particular order):
    * The worship of God must remain pure, uninfluenced by neighbouring cultures and their ‘idolatrous’ religious practices. The death penalty is prescribed for conversion from Yahwism and for proselytisation.
    * The death penalty is also prescribed for males who are guilty of all of the following: disobeying their parents, profligacy and drunkenness.
    * Certain Dietary principles are enjoined.
    * The law of rape prescribes various conditions and penalties, depending on whether the girl is engaged to be married or not, and whether the rape occurs in town or in the country. (Deuteronomy 22)
    * A Tithe for the Levites and charity for the poor.
    * A regular Jubilee Year during which all debts are cancelled.
    * Slavery can last no more than 6 years if the individual purchased is “thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman.”
    * Yahwistic religious festivals—including Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot—are to be part of Israel’s worship
    * The offices of Judge, King, Kohen (temple priest), and Prophet are instituted
    * A ban against Asherah next to altars dedicated to God, and the erection of sacred stones
    * A ban against children either being immolated or passing through fire (the text is ambiguous as to which is meant), divination, sorcery, witchcraft, spellcasting, and necromancy
    * A ban preventing blemished animals from becoming sacrifices at the Temple
    * Naming of three cities of refuge where those accused of manslaughter may flee from the avenger of blood.
    * Exemptions from military service for the newly betrothed, newly married, owners of new houses, planters of new vineyards, and anyone afraid of fighting.
    * The peace terms to be offered to non-Israelites before battle – the terms being that they are to become slaves
    * The Amalekites to be utterly destroyed
    * An order for parents to take a stubborn and rebellious son before the town elders to be stoned.
    * A ban on the destruction of fruit trees, the mothers of newly-born birds, and beasts of burden which have fallen over, or are lost
    * Rules which regulate marriage, and Levirate Marriage, and allow divorce.
    * Purity laws which prohibit the mixing of fabrics, of crops, of beasts of burden under the same yoke, and transvestitism.
    * The use of Tzitzit (tassels on garments)
    * Prohibition against people from Ammon, Moab, or who are of illegitimate birth, and their descendants for ten generations, from entering the assembly; the same restriction upon those who are castrated (but not their descendants)
    * Regulations for ritual cleanliness, general hygiene, and the treatment of Tzaraath
    * A ban on religious prostitution
    * Regulations for slavery, servitude, vows, debt, usury, and permissible objects for securing loans
    * Prohibition against wives making a groin attack on their husband’s adversary.

    Your religion is a mishmash of obsessive-compulsive habits and misogynistic and homophobic prescriptions and protection of the people in power at the time. It is not about STDs, because the people of the time had no idea what disease was except as some kind of divinie punishment by God; though the side effects of some of these laws may actually have helped bronze-age tribes avoid these diseases, they were passed down by men who thought the disease was a punishment as a matter of non-experimental observation. They saw someone who got sick off seafood so they banned seafood and said God said so because a guy got sick once. They saw that sometimes sleeping with a prostitute resulted in your dick getting boils and such, so they said “God says don’t stick it there”. Likewise with homosexuality, they saw a gay guy get sick and said “God says don’t put it in poopers”. And they started stoning to death anyone they saw breaking any of these post-hoc laws. Some of these laws are beneficial to your tribe’s survival, but it is merely a happy happenstance, not because of any kind of divinely inspired knowledge.

    These laws were written by men. The fact that there’s a book proves only that men wrote a book, not that the book was divinely inspired. If you want to try to prove that these laws are worth following, first you have to prove they were NOT written by mere men, but by men divinely inspired by God. And to do that, you’d first have to prove an interventionist God’s existence.

  56. says

    They are thousands of secular psychiatrists who support the idea that homosexuality has a negative effect on a societies health over all.

    Name one. Not one who also happens to be religious, though there are few enough even in that category. Name one psychiatrist, or even a psychotherapist – hell, name one person who qualifies for full APA membership (i.e. anyone who works in any aspect of psychology, including neurology) who is not religious, who actually believes that. You might note that the DSM was changed, two years before I was born, to reflect that homosexuality is not a mental illness and that attempts to “cure” homosexuality are actually damaging to the individual.

    And guess what? You can’t even present evidence that homosexuality has negatively affected society either. The damage that is caused to society, is directly related to the attitude society has had about it. And as that attitude of society’s has declined, so have the related problems.

    So when people bring up this argument about how Christians like my self are hypocrites because the Old Testament says one thing and we don’t do it, I simply smile. I give them the benefit of the doubt because they don’t know the fullness of wisdom from God to see these things inside of the Bible because they simply don’t read it.

    I’m glad you smile, shows you for the sick fuck you are. Because regardless of any changes in your god’s ways of doing things, you worship a genocidal maniac. One who condoned all sorts of atrocities and committed many directly.

  57. says

    Since you insist, lets deal with the rape issue. First, before you woo everyone here into thinking God suggested a woman who is raped must marry her rapist, you must understand the Bible in it’s entirety.

    Courtier’s Reply.

    Everything after that is the semantic gymnastics of a desperate liar.

  58. says

    Courtier’s Reply.

    Ohhh, that’s GOOD. I’m adding that to my argument repertoire. Why the hell DO we have to read all the latest fashion magazines’ reviews of the emperor’s new clothes, before we’re allowed to point out the emperor’s dangly bits are clearly on display?

    And this is omitting the fact that I have read both the King James version cover to cover, and at least skimmed the Old Testament.

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