Australians denying science!


I have been informed that the courts in Australia are making anti-biological rulings. This is horrible news.

Now they are even making rulings on biology, and in a new case, informing us that they can also trump reality.

Oh, my.

We have just been informed by our enlightened justices that biology no longer exists, but is simply a social construct.

I am outraged!

Biology is now simply a matter of judicial decree.

This abuse of good science must end!

After all, biology does not exist anyway. We just make these things up to suit our fancies.

No!

So the courts can now determine whether reality exists or not. Those are certainly some sweeping powers. Of course these activist judges have been playing God for quite some time now.

This abuse of biology and science is terrible. So, Bill Muehlenberg, defender of science, what exactly have these wicked activist judges done in defiance of all evidence?

A Sydneysider has won a High Court case to be recognised as gender-neutral. Norrie, who was born male but underwent gender reassignment to become a woman, identifies neither as male or female and has taken legal action against NSW’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to be granted a non-specific certificate.

Norrie stopped taking hormones after surgery, preferring to live as neither male nor female. Counsel for Norrie said it is the register’s purpose to record the truth. “Norrie’s sex remained ambiguous so that it would be to record misinformation in the register to classify her as male or female,” a judgment summary reads. Sitting in Canberra on Wednesday, the bench unanimously found in favour of Norrie.

What? Well, that was a bit of a damp squib.

Sorry, Bill, biologically, that is a perfectly reasonable decision. Sex is complex, and gender layers another unfathomably difficult welter of complexity on top of that, so, speaking as a biologist, I have to say there is nothing in the science to defend your black and white, absolutist, rigidly binary view of human behavior. Men aren’t all one way, and women aren’t all another way, with the empty set between them. The court wasn’t being ‘activist’ or defying the science, but actually making a rather sensible decision in accord with reality. Norrie would know better than you or a judge that they don’t fit neatly into your limited and limiting pigeonholes.

But hey, Bill, you have another problem. It’s very kind of you to rush to defend ‘science’ (or rather, your unfortunately ill-informed version of it), but if you’re so enamored of it that you wield it as a shield and bulwark to defend your personal bigotry against homosexuals and transgendered people, how come you’re also attacking evolutionary biology?

The entire framework of Darwin’s theory leads inevitably to the gas chambers and the concentration camps. The biologically inferior had to be exterminated in order for humanity to survive and flourish. “If one society crushes another, that is not wrong. That is not even a shame. That is natural selection at work.”

And outright advocating creationism (and bad theology, too)?

The Judeo-Christian worldview is unique among the religions and philosophies of the world in affirming that human beings are made in the image of God. It is the uniqueness of humans that sets these two religions apart from all others.

And then to also be a climate change denialist…tsk, tsk.

But this makes sense, since the warmists and their media stooges really have embraced a new religion here. The religion of climate change requires as much faith – if not more – than most other religions. It is an article of faith to believe the warming hysteria, and anyone who dares to question it is branded a heretic and an apostate.

Evolution and anthropogenic climate change are actual facts, Bill; why do you think your twisted views trump reality, and that you can pretend biology and the science of our environment no longer exist? When it suits you, that is.

It’s sweet that science has become the assumed default standard of truth, but it’s not so cool that wingnuts seek to appropriate it to defend clearly anti-scientific positions.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s worth noting that the ruling is favourable towards the intersex community as well — as far as I know, OII, the chief lobby group in Australia, weren’t hugely in favour of Norrie using the status of intersex people as a lever in the argument of hir case, but fortunately the High Court made the right decision in the end. I dare say if Muehlenberg knew the facts about intersex conditions it might break his brain even further.

    Really PZ, where do you find these gibbering fools?

  2. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    A Sydneysider has won a High Court case to be recognised as gender-neutral.

    The thought of fighting for and winning said recognition simultaneously terrifies me into nausea and thrills me to tears. Even though I desperately want it, I still can’t fathom having the courage to be one of today’s pioneers for recognition of non-binary identities. Perhaps it will be an easier journey for others to follow, thanks to Norrie.

  3. Athywren says

    Nice! If they ever get around to getting rid of those demonic spiders of theirs, I might have to go move to Australia. Either that, or hope for the UK to make similarly reasonable decisions… we did just allow same sex marriages though, so I doubt we’re due for another sensible decision for another 50 years or so – quotas, you understand.

  4. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Aaaw! Isabella Rossellini has just finished her tour of Green Porno down here – a fascinating glimpse into sex and gender in the natural world. Maybe Bill missed it? Poor poppet.

    @Athywren: Our spiders are not demonic! They are just large and cuddly!

  5. Athywren says

    @gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet

    Are you in league with them? I will not be lured in! I will not become prey to your evil masters!!
    *runs away, screaming*

  6. gardengnome says

    Bill who? Just another evil bigot not worthy of this attention.

    By the way, Meatpuppet;

    Cuddly my arse! They’re almost feline in their dastardly malevolence.

  7. Louis says

    Transmisogyny, creationism, scientific ignorance, climate change denial, and genocidal fetishism all in one guy?

    Impressive. Most impressive. The Farce is strong with this one.

    Louis

  8. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Transmisogyny, creationism, scientific ignorance, climate change denial, and genocidal fetishism all in one guy?

    Pffft…! I bet he quotes Darwin’s Black Box too… I have seen this type before.
    And…
    Australians are comforted by the soft pitter-pat of giant spiders on the ceiling above their beds as they sleep at night. It’s just they way we are…

  9. awakeinmo says

    I’m just a regular ol girl-type of girl, and I can’t imagine how much courage it must take to fight for something as basic as one’s own identity. Good on ya, Norrie.

  10. says

    It used to be necessary for the state to know the gender of a citizen since there were different sets of civil rights for men and for women. AFAIK, that’s no longer the case so why why have this information at all?

  11. azhael says

    Ugh…this is what happens when all people know about biology is that horses pair up with mares, roosters with hens, etc….If all you know about the natural world can be found in a child´s book, you know fuck all about biology and you should not be allowed to refer to it at all. I hope an hermaphroditic nudibranch traumatically fertilises his spleen.

  12. Trickster Goddess says

    It is an article of faith to believe the warming hysteria, and anyone who dares to question it is branded a heretic and an apostate.

    Always with the projection, these guys.

    As a Christian Bill must surely believe that faith is a supreme virtue. Therefore, if believing in global warming takes more faith than believing in God, then it must be truer than God. Right?

  13. says

    Gee, another yahoo who (mis)uses science when convenient and ignores it when not. Where have I seen that before? Oh right, all over the place.

  14. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Are they (he?) just trying to exemplify the nickname of “Down Undah”??
    Or trying to get Ham to come back, by being more extremely ~everything~ than even Ham can carryoff in Murrika?

    How fractally wrong can this guy be? I had to stop at “The entire framework of Darwin’s theory leads inevitably to the gas chambers and the concentration camps.” [Does Godwin’s Law not apply because he didn’t say the N*z word; while totally describing what the N*z’s did? Regardless; he loses, due to Godwin’s Law. Inevitably!!]
    To preech to the choir: He’s got that backwards. Genocidists inevitably try to justify their actions by spouting, “I’m just doing evolution’s natural process’. Declaring biology to be ‘Not A Science’ won’t stop the genocidists from their genocidal ways.

  15. anubisprime says

    The irony seems to occur considering that the ancestors of the climate change deniers of today, were quite probably the same dingbats wading up to their knees in water waving Noah goodbye in the pouring rain and scoffing about ‘warmists and their media stooges’

    Jus’ sayin’

    j

  16. Snoof says

    Australians are comforted by the soft pitter-pat of giant spiders on the ceiling above their beds as they sleep at night. It’s just they way we are…

    Well, yeah. They’re our only allies in the eternal war against the insects.

  17. Pteryxx says

    SBS News:

    Lawyers for the Registry argued that unacceptable confusion would flow from the acceptance of more than two gender categories, and that the purpose of a reaffirmation procedure is to assist a person to be considered a member of the opposite sex.

    Norrie stopped taking hormones after surgery, preferring to live as neither male nor female.

    Dogs and cats! Living together! Unacceptable confusion!

    Counsel for Norrie said it is the register’s purpose to record the truth.

    “Norrie’s sex remained ambiguous so that it would be to record misinformation in the register to classify her as male or female,” a judgment summary reads.

    Sitting in Canberra on Wednesday, the bench unanimously found in favour of Norrie.

    To record the truth.

    I think I have an internet in my eye… *snif*

  18. tsig says

    It’s true, Australasian spiders are cuddly, it’s just that it’s you they want to cuddle.

  19. weatherwax says

    #4: “If they ever get around to getting rid of those demonic spiders of theirs, I might have to go move to Australia.”

    But the spiders are the only thing keeping out the snakes, the jellyfish, the sharks, and above all else, the tiny, beautiful, but deadly blue-ringed octopus.

  20. shelly says

    The US got Ken Ham, we got Bill Muehlenberg. I was probably one of those trans-Pacific nutter exchange programs. (I’m not sure how we ended up with Meryl Dorey as well. Perhaps she was in exchange for Rupert Murdoch.)

    I see that Muehlenberg is a regular contributor to Quadrant. The magazine has always veered strongly to the right, but now it seems have gone off the rails completely. Muehlenberg’s uninformed rantings no doubt fit in perfectly.

  21. weatherwax says

    #12 azhael: ” I hope an hermaphroditic nudibranch traumatically fertilises his spleen.”

    Better yet, show him a pair of banana slugs. When he figures the out the one that loses the fight and gets its penis eaten off has to be the female, he’ll never leave his house again.

  22. shelly says

    Oh dear. That’s an unfortunate typo in my previous comment (#20). That’ll teach me to snark.

  23. Rich Woods says

    The entire framework of Darwin’s theory leads inevitably to the gas chambers and the concentration camps.

    And the entire framework of Newton’s Laws of Motion and Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation leads inevitably to people being chucked off cliffs.

    @Athywren #6:

    Are you in league with them? I will not be lured in! I will not become prey to your evil masters!!

  24. twas brillig (stevem) says

    “Norrie’s sex remained ambiguous so that it would be to record misinformation in the register to classify her them as male or female,” a judgment summary reads.

    FTFY. [Nota Bene: “Them” IS a singular]

  25. Rich Woods says

    D’oh! “Einstein’s” survived the flaky editing process left running in a barely used portion of my brain.

  26. Athywren says

    @Nick Gotts, 23
    Your link got tangled up – likely by one of those damned spiders!
    It’s still in there, but here it is again for ease of access.

  27. Athywren says

    @twas brillig, 25
    “Zir” or “zem” also work. As do, “zhim,” “mer,” “ver,” “xem,” and several others, depending on a person’s tastes. There probably should be some attempt to standardise it…

  28. ck says

    Rich Woods wrote:

    And the entire framework of Newton’s Laws of Motion and Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation leads inevitably to people being chucked off cliffs.

    Einstein’s theory also requires you to simultaneously throw the entire earth at the person you’re chucking off cliffs. Fortunately, this happens automatically. And how could you talk about throwing someone to their death and not use the awesome word “defenestration”?

  29. Athywren says

    Chucking someone off a cliff through a window is far more badass, it has to be said.

  30. Rey Fox says

    Transmisogyny, creationism, scientific ignorance, climate change denial, and genocidal fetishism all in one guy?

    It’s a popular package deal.

  31. says

    I tend to agree with Kevin Alexander @#11. I really don’t see why gender is actually a required box on these documents anymore, but if it’s going to be, then the court made exactly the right decision for exactly the right reasons: the register’s purpose is to record the truth, Norrie knows the truth about their identity better than anyone else, thus what Norrie says about their identity should be what’s recorded on there.

  32. Al Dente says

    Other than the spiders, the snakes, the crocodiles, the sharks, the jellyfish, the stonefish, the octopuses, the cone snails, and the giant centipedes, Australian wildlife is reasonably harmless. Sure, the occasional dingo will eat the occasional baby, but that sort of thing rarely happens. You should be more concerned with hitting a kangaroo with your car or being stung by a bull ant than having your brain eaten by a drop bear.

  33. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    “Zir” or “zem” also work. As do, “zhim,” “mer,” “ver,” “xem,” and several others, depending on a person’s tastes. There probably should be some attempt to standardise it…

    I’m reminded of this xkcd…

  34. unclefrogy says

    as has been noted I too am struck by the attraction to the use of rational and scientific arguments by people who are essentially irrational people who base their life of belief in the assertions of some authority they prefer even if it only themselves.
    It is most puzzling. It is as if some part of them knows what they want to believe to be true is not true. That science and reason make them sound absurd so they try to use the language of reason and science to “prove” what they believe is in fact real regardless of any objective evidence to the contrary.
    uncle frogy

  35. says

    To preech to the choir: He’s got that backwards. Genocidists inevitably try to justify their actions by spouting, “I’m just doing evolution’s natural process’. Declaring biology to be ‘Not A Science’ won’t stop the genocidists from their genocidal ways.

    It’s handy for sanitizing religious motivations in an attempt to reframe the issue as something ‘sensible’ like hygene for a species, rather than finding excuses to kill the people their god wants to kill. Who happen to be exactly the same people they want to kill.

    Of course, even without the formal theory of evolution, genocidal maniacs are fond of using livestock metaphors that run on artificial selection. They’re also fond of disease metaphors, describing the targeted group as an infection. Guess that means Pasteurization leads to genocide, too.

    The real lesson: Dehumanization is what makes genocide easy. We’re talking about people, not livestock or pathogens.

  36. says

    Bronze Dog

    Dehumanization is what makes genocide easy. We’re talking about people, not livestock or pathogens.

    As Granny Weatherwax puts it:

    “And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”

    “It’s a lot more complicated than that “”

    “No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”

    “Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes “”

    “But they starts with thinking about people as things . . . ”

  37. says

    I love how everything is a religion except for religion, and how faith is a dirty word when applied to anything other than Judeo-Christianity. Whatever that is.

  38. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    I do have to point out that parts of this decision are still very problematic. Norrie’s surgical status and the lack of hormone therapy after surgery shouldn’t have had an impact on the decision, but they did. Doctors testified that Norrie “has no gonads” now and atypical hormone levels as an argument for why gender neutral identification should be allowed. Even in the court’s decision, physical ambiguity is cited.

    In essence, putting oneself through major surgeries, being surgically sterilized and then taking the attendant health risks of eschewing HRT now sans gonads was required for this. Not everyone who identifies outside the binary is capable of those steps and not everyone wants to take those steps.

    So even with this little victory, there’s a hell of a lot of ground still to cover.

  39. says

    To preech to the choir: He’s got that backwards. Genocidists inevitably try to justify their actions by spouting, “I’m just doing evolution’s natural process’. Declaring biology to be ‘Not A Science’ won’t stop the genocidists from their genocidal ways.

    I think we need to play a bit more offense on this. The Holocaust was carried out by people who were overwhelmingly Christian, Hitler received early and fanatical support from a prominent faction of the Protestant Church, both the Protestant and Catholic churches eventually lent their support to Hitler, and anti-semitism had been baked into German culture by centuries of church teachings and sanctioned violence.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that “Christianity” caused the Holocaust. But in terms of contributing influence, it deserves about a thousand times more blame than the theory evolution possibly could. Jibber-jabber about the non-existent religion of Judeo-Christianity with its supposed tolerance and respect for human life is absurd and historically ignorant, given that it is within the framework of the Christian West that the Holocaust and numerous earlier pogroms were carried out.

  40. zmidponk says

    The entire framework of Darwin’s theory leads inevitably to the gas chambers and the concentration camps. The biologically inferior had to be exterminated in order for humanity to survive and flourish. “If one society crushes another, that is not wrong. That is not even a shame. That is natural selection at work.”

    I’m no expert on the subject, so feel free to correct me, but, according to my understanding of evolution, this is actually pretty much the opposite of the truth. If the ‘Aryan race’ was truly superior, in evolutionary terms (which would mean it would actually need to exist, for a start), the Nazis actually didn’t need to go to the bother of setting up concentration camps and trying to exterminate the inferior races – the ‘Aryan race’ would supplant them in a purely natural and organic manner. This means that, even if the Nazis were basing their efforts on evolutionary theory (an entirely unproven assertion), the very fact they had to go to all that effort to try and make this happen really kind of shows that the ‘Aryan race’ is not the superior race they thought it was.

  41. says

    I’m very happy for Norrie, but I wish they hadn’t had to go through so much. I also wish that it was the norm to put GN [gender neutral] on birth certificates, to be changed at later date, if the person wants to change it.

  42. says

    My medical record software is possibly unintentionally relatively progressive and has U as an option for gender. I discovered this yesterday and it made me unaccountably happy.

  43. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Inaji @ 43: Agreed. There are a lot of assumptions tied up in automatically stamping a gender identification on an infant’s external genitals. …er, metaphorically speaking.

    sayamika @ 44: Excellent! I have genealogy software that does the same thing, along with allowing people with any combination of genders to be listed as married or as parents together. It makes me happy.

  44. David Marjanović says

    I hope an hermaphroditic nudibranch traumatically fertilises his spleen.

    Not much time to be traumatized then. When your spleen is injured, you can have immediate emergency surgery to cut the whole thing out, or you can bleed to death very quickly. There’s open circulation in there, it’s basically a single blood vessel.

    Regardless; he loses, due to Godwin’s Law. Inevitably!!

    Godwin’s Law doesn’t say anyone loses. It says that, as a discussion on teh intarwebz progresses, the probability that someone will make a comparison to the Nazis/Hitler approaches 1.

  45. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    It also says that once the conversation reaches that point, further discussion is useless.

  46. says

    @Mellow Monkey, Inaji – technically Norrie didn’t “have to” do all that. The fact that Norrie had already chosen to do that supplied the data that was used to argue their case. The key judgement is that now “Neither” is considered a valid choice for sex/gender on official government forms. This will be fun at work!

    I’m not too concerned about the judgement using “her”. I knew Norrie a decade back, though we’ve lost touch now, and at the time she preferred the female pronouns. It’s entirely possible that Norrie has changed opinions, but back then she/zie/they was not worried by any or all usages.

    Now, if only we had legal gay marriage, we wouldn’t even need to specify sex outside medical contexts. *sigh*

  47. Athywren says

    If the ‘Aryan race’ was truly superior, in evolutionary terms (which would mean it would actually need to exist, for a start), the Nazis actually didn’t need to go to the bother of setting up concentration camps and trying to exterminate the inferior races – the ‘Aryan race’ would supplant them in a purely natural and organic manner.

    Also not an expert over here – biology is too big and close and wet and squishy for my taste – but surely it’s also a bad thing to exterminate “lesser” races regardless of whether the “superior” race would supplant them, as the loss of that entire section of the genepool could include a vital adaptation that would save the lives of billions of the “superior” race in years to come? Of course, getting that adaptation into the “superior” race would require a dilution of their “pure” genes (again, misunderstanding evolution) with the “inferior” stock, but at least it wouldn’t involve the loss of the entire species based on catching what could be the equivalent of a cold at some distant point in the future.

    So, really, it seems to me that rather than being an inevitable consequence of understanding evolution, genocide is shown to be both unnecessary and incredibly foolish and short-sighted by that understanding. Teaching evolution properly should actually reduce genocides, surely?

  48. theignored says

    Well, I posted on that idiot’s blog where he’s whining about “political correctness”:
    billmuehlenberg.com/2014/04/04/how-pc-moonbattery-harms-children-and-society

    Quote me:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Bill said:
    “These mealy-mouthed wimps make life miserable for everyone, and in fact are putting us all at risk. And this mollycoddling starts when we are quite young. Children are being cocooned from real life, whether because of over-zealous parents, or PC-bound bureaucrats.”
    That includes those superstitious fanatics who are trying to get creationism into schools while science gets short thrift, all because if “god didn’t make them” then they’re not “special anymore”.

    Yeah, that PC crap has to go.

    Right afterwards I posted this:

    Even worse are the religious maniacs who openly admit that if “god” told them to kill children, then it would be immoral to NOT kill children!

    If anything has a potential to harm children, that would be it, right there!

    ex) http://www.jasonlisle.com/2012/11/09/deep-time-the-god-of-our-age/comment-page-2/#comment-7376

    Lisle says, quoting me at first:
    “Remember Joseph saying that it would be immoral to NOT kill a baby if god commanded it?”

    [Dr. Lisle: Joseph is right. What God commands is necessarily right. Any other definition of morality is ultimately arbitrary and therefore logically unjustified.]

  49. says

    Alethea:

    The fact that Norrie had already chosen to do that supplied the data that was used to argue their case.

    I meant having to argue a case. That shouldn’t be necessary. In an ideal world and all that…

  50. says

    @chigau, I think it’s funny. My thongs are made of rubber because I’m an Aussie! Also the soot sprite tabi socks I bought at the Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo work well with them.

    I’ve been away and had trouble logging in, so lurking not posting. Nice to be back and thanks for the hello!

  51. chigau (違う) says

    Alethea
    I’m going to Tokyo in September.
    Studio Ghibli Museum is at the top of my list.
    (if I can escape our exxxtremely organized Japanese hosts)

  52. raven says

    The Judeo-Christian worldview is unique among the religions and philosophies of the world in affirming that human beings are made in the image of God.

    Cthulhu, is this guy dumb or what?

    1. This isn’t even remotely true. Among many others, the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians had humanoid gods and goddesses. Anyone who watches Thor movies or reads Marvel Thor comic books should know this.

    We even have pictures and statues of them.

    2. Which xian god? There are quite a few.

    The modern intellectuals xian god is an abstract, invisible being hiding behind the Big Bang and hoping we don’t discover the Multiverse. It is tired of moving whenever we close one of the gaps.

  53. Athywren says

    @theignored

    Joseph is right. What God commands is necessarily right. Any other definition of morality is ultimately arbitrary and therefore logically unjustified.

    Wow, yeah, this Dr Lisle doesn’t seem to understand logical justification.. or morality. This, quoted later in your comment (or is he responding within your comment? Its unclear…) makes it pretty clear that morality is irrelevant to him:

    Punishment and reward is not the basis of morality. God is the basis for morality. But since God is righteous, He does punish sin and rewards obedience.

    Morality is obedience, immorality is sin, or disobedience, and those are accurate because morality is defined by God, and his righteousness is proven by the fact that he rewards and punishes according to the morality that he defined.
    Yeah, I’m going to go with ugh. Morality is irrelevant in that framework, it’s just obedience. Save a life when you’re told to save a life. Help a stranded caravan when you’re told to help a stranded caravan. Murder a stranger when you’re told to murder a stranger. Slaughter an entire nation when you’re told to slaughter an entire nation. Obedience is only moral when the commands are moral, and God, at least as far as the character is represented in the bible, has shown himself to be perfectly capable of immorality and of commanding immorality.

  54. Athywren says

    Oh, dear, sweet monkey god! I accidentally read that deep time post of Dr Lisle’s, may the chickens reimburse my wasted neurons.

    In our modern “educated” world, people often look back at the silliness of the Greek, Roman, or Babylonian gods, as if we are far too sophisticated for such primitive nonsense. But that just isn’t the case.

    This, in a post arguing for a monotheistic god, arguing that “several billion years” = “God,” and a silly one at that – primitive nonsense even – despite the fact that the passage of time is not a conscious, wilful entity capable of breaking the laws of physics.
    The Greek, Roman and Babylonian pantheons may have been silly, primitive nonsense, but at least they have some internal consistency, since their pettiness and contradictions are explained by the fact that they’re imperfect and varied beings, what’s Yahweh’s excuse? Supposedly, he is one perfect being, yet his stories and personality contradict themselves, and he spends most of his free time obsessing over what people are doing with their genitals – cutting them, not cutting them, using them for purely procreative reasons, using them for pleasure in all the wrong ways (as if it wasn’t bad enough to use them for pleasure at all!!).
    I cannot believe the blinkered thought required to dismiss older religions as silliness, while accepting wholeheartedly the nonsense in the bible.
    He’s right, we’re not too sophisticated for such primitive nonsense. He just thinks the nonsense is in believing that stuff is old, rather than that it was poofed out of nothing a few thousand generations ago.
    Why do I do these things to myself? I think I sprained my brain.

  55. leskimopie says

    Coincidentally just saw this quote on twitter: Our culture isn’t becoming more intelligent; idiots are just saying “science” more.

  56. says

    @chigau: it is important to book months ahead; the museum is ALWAYS full to capacity. You will need your passport details. There’s separate bookings for Japanese & foreigners. It’s actually quite small, but gorgeous.

  57. theignored says

    To Athywren at #59:

    5 April 2014 at 8:20 pm

    (or is he responding within your comment? Its unclear…)
    He responds within the comments. His responses are all in that purple font. It’s kind of annoying for some reason.

  58. rorschach says

    You are talking about a country that recently abolished the science ministry, and has a man as Minister for Women, so what do you expect? There are more Muehlenbergs where this one crawled out from.

  59. theignored says

    Speaking of which, yep: Neither of my comments seems to have made it through. Fundies are hypocrites when it comes to free speech issues, it seems.

  60. chaoticinflation says

    @Athywren

    what’s Yahweh’s excuse? Supposedly, he is one perfect being, yet his stories and personality contradict themselves,

    The core attributes of his stories are true and the attributes of his personality are consistent

    he spends most of his free time

    Most of his time? I think you’re projecting and you’re the one spending most of your time thinking about sex. Case in point see next line

    obsessing over what people are doing with their genitals – cutting them, not cutting them, using them for purely procreative reasons, using them for pleasure in all the wrong ways (as if it wasn’t bad enough to use them for pleasure at all!!).

    God forbid someone tell you where you cannot stick your penis. That would just be awful.

  61. says

    chaoticinflation #67

    God forbid someone tell you where you cannot stick your penis. That would just be awful.

    Telling consenting adults what they can or cannot do with their genitals is rude and obnoxious. Threatening them with punishment if they don’t do as you say is most definitely awful. Doing either (or both) is certainly incongruous with the notion of a loving and wise creator, as is much of what’s described in the bible.

    Either we take the bible seriously and reject the notion of a loving god or we accept the obvious fact: That the bible is not the word of god, but simply a mish-mash of ideas of a diverse group of people who were neither particularly wise or pleasant.

    The simple fact is that I can easily imagine a god much wiser, more loving and in every aspect greater than the person described in the bible. It’s downright trivial to do so. The only way to escape this obvious conclusion is by appeal to some variant of the “mysterious ways” argument, which leads you inevitably into circular arguments.

    I.e. either “good” is defined in the usual sense (caring and kind, to the best of your ability), in which case the biblical god doesn’t fit the bill, or “good” is defined according to god’s nature, in which case saying “god is good” is a tautology with no informational content at all. This same problem tends to pop up with regard to all god’s suppose traits.

  62. chaoticinflation says

    @LykeX

    Telling consenting adults what they can or cannot do with their genitals is rude and obnoxious.

    I take it you’re fine with incest then?

    Threatening them with punishment if they don’t do as you say is most definitely awful.
    Doing either (or both) is certainly incongruous with the notion of a loving and wise creator, as is much of what’s described in the bible.

    So a loving, wise parent can’t punish his/her child for not living up to certain codes of conduct they set?

    The simple fact is that I can easily imagine a god much wiser, more loving and in every aspect greater than the person described in the bible. It’s downright trivial to do so. The only way to escape this obvious conclusion is by appeal to some variant of the “mysterious ways” argument, which leads you inevitably into circular arguments.

    I.e. either “good” is defined in the usual sense (caring and kind, to the best of your ability), in which case the biblical god doesn’t fit the bill, or “good” is defined according to god’s nature, in which case saying “god is good” is a tautology with no informational content at all. This same problem tends to pop up with regard to all god’s suppose traits.

    All you’ve given me is your subjective ideas about what wisdom and loving are. Come up with some kind of objective definition and we’ll see if we agree and if your definition agrees with what Christians say about God. Being caring doesn’t mean God doesn’t punish wrongdoers.
    Of course , under your definition “Water is H2O” is a tautology just as “God is the standard of morality” is, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true or useful to know.

  63. says

    chaoticinflation #69

    I take it you’re fine with incest then?

    If between consenting adults, yes. If one party is being manipulated, threatened or otherwise forced, or if they’re unable to give meaningful consent, that’s another matter.

    So a loving, wise parent can’t punish his/her child for not living up to certain codes of conduct they set?

    Assuming that the “child” is an adult and what they’re doing isn’t violating anyone else’s rights; no. You can’t punish people for a difference of opinion and still claim to be wise and loving.

    All you’ve given me is your subjective ideas about what wisdom and loving are. Come up with some kind of objective definition…

    No. I’m not going to be pulled into your bullshit. By the common dictionary definitions of “loving” or “good”, god clearly doesn’t measure up. If a human being did what god is described as doing, we’d call them a monster.
    This is neither tricky or controversial. After all, if god was obviously loving, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. The subject only pops up because you want to claim god as good, while also affirming that he does things that are clearly in contradiction of such qualities.

    You’re the one who are apparently going by a very different definition of these terms. It’s up to you to explain what definition you’re using and how that still makes “god is good a meaningful statement.

    Of course , under your definition “Water is H2O” is a tautology just as “God is the standard of morality” is, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true or useful to know.

    This is just plain nonsense. If you want to claim god as the definition of what’s good, that’s not the problem. The problem is that you want to do this while also preserving the original definition of “good”. I’d like you to pick one definition and then we’ll go from there. either one is fine with me, just stick to one.

    Maybe it’ll help if we start being more explicit. I offer this suggestion:
    Good1: decent, kind, just
    Good2: in accordance with god’s nature

    Now we have two statements:
    God is good1
    God is good2

    The second statement is obviously necessarily true, but doesn’t really tell us much. After all, if god had the moral character of Hitler, that statement would still be entirely true. It’s really quite uninteresting. The first statement is the interesting one and it’s also the one that I’m disputing. If we take the bible seriously, there’s no way we can defend calling that god good1. He’s clearly not.

  64. chaoticinflation says

    @LykeX

    Assuming that the “child” is an adult and what they’re doing isn’t violating anyone else’s rights; no. You can’t punish people for a difference of opinion and still claim to be wise and loving.

    So for example lets say this child is a legal adult in whatever country he lives in. He lives on his parents property and they have rule about no pornography that he violates. Do they have the authority to punish him?

    No. I’m not going to be pulled into your bullshit. By the common dictionary definitions of “loving” or “good”, god clearly doesn’t measure up. If a human being did what god is described as doing, we’d call them a monster.
    This is neither tricky or controversial. After all, if god was obviously loving, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. The subject only pops up because you want to claim god as good, while also affirming that he does things that are clearly in contradiction of such qualities.

    You’re the one who are apparently going by a very different definition of these terms. It’s up to you to explain what definition you’re using and how that still makes “god is good a meaningful statement.

    Re: your “if a human being did” is assuming a human being has the proper authority to give instructions and punish someone. To use a secular example I don’t have the authority to punish someone for speeding , but a police officer has that authority. Some people have more authority in certain areas than others. If God exists he would be the greatest authority for setting rules and punishment.
    Re: dictionary definitions
    They can be overly broad and vague and culturally biased sometimes and I’m sure you’re reading your own views into them. I would use stuff in Pilch and Malina’s Handbook of biblical social values to find out what the biblical authors meant by the terms from social and cultural anthropology of the ANE
    For loving

    … our culture is centered on the individual, whereas ancient Biblical society (and 70% of societies today) are group-centered. What is good for the group is what is paramount. Hence when the NT speaks of agape it refers to the “value of group attachment and group bonding” [Malina and Neyrey, Portraits of Paul, 196]. Agape is not an exchange on a personal level and “will have little to do with feelings of affection, sentiments of fondness, and warm, glowing affinity.” It is a gift that puts the group first.

    http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatlove.php

    For merciful

    Pilch and Malina note that in an ancient context, “mercy” is better rendered as “gratitude” or “steadfast love.”….a natural facet of the client-patron relationship in which there is a relationship of “ongoing reciprocity,” in which “those toward whom one has such a debt are equally obliged to maintain the relationship by further favors…” The blind men honored Jesus as the “son of David” and expected their recognition of him to be repaid with favor.

    http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatmercy.php

    Good1: decent, kind, just
    Good2: in accordance with god’s nature

    Now we have two statements:
    God is good1
    God is good2

    Can’t we have both? God is the definition of good and by looking at God and his actions we see teh example of someone who is perfectly loving and perfectly merciful and perfectly just.

  65. says

    chaoticinflation #71

    So for example lets say this child is a legal adult in whatever country he lives in. He lives on his parents property and they have rule about no pornography that he violates. Do they have the authority to punish him?

    Not beyond the authority they’d have over anyone living on their property; they can ask them to leave.
    Is this an important point for you? I’m happy to leave it and focus on the rest.

    If God exists he would be the greatest authority for setting rules and punishment.

    Why?

    I would use stuff in Pilch and Malina’s Handbook of biblical social values to find out what the biblical authors meant by the terms from social and cultural anthropology of the ANE

    Why would I care? I’m not interested in a cultural study about what various people at various times meant by this or that. It’s a complete red herring. I’m not talking to a person living in biblical times, nor are we discussing history. We’re talking about what people today are claiming about god today. Let’s stick to that.

    For that matter, I’m not terribly interested in a detailed discussion of the definition of “good”. What I mentioned previously (kind, decent, just) is perfectly adequate for my purpose. I’m not interested in a university-level philosophy discussion on the nature of good and evil.
    I’m talking about completely down to earth matters, such as “genocide is bad” and “being nice to other is good”. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated that that, unless you’re trying to wiggle out of the inevitable conclusion that the biblical god is a vicious bastard.

    The point that I feel is important (because it so often constitutes a stumbling block in these discussions) is this one:

    Can’t we have both? God is the definition of good and by looking at God and his actions we see teh example of someone who is perfectly loving and perfectly merciful and perfectly just.

    We can have both, but you can’t switch between the definition during an argument. I you do that, you’re committing an equivocation fallacy.

    The problem here is that if you go by definition 2 (good is whatever is consistent with god’s nature), then god could be the biggest asshole in the universe and still be considered “good2″. Any action taken by god is consistent with being good2.
    On the other hand, if you go by definition 1, then you’re necessarily not using god as the standard. I.e. if god were to do something that wasn’t good1, then he could be reasonably criticized for that, even while being perfectly good2.

    In my experience, these discussions always boil down to people using different definitions, so I’m going to have to insist that you stop using the term “good” and instead use “good1″ and “good2″ (or another set of equivalent terms, if you have a suggestion). Feel free to claim that god is both, but explicitly claim both good1 and good2. You can have both peanut butter and chocolate, just keep them separate.

    On a side note, it’s my impression that theists arguing this point often end up confusing themselves. By mixing the definitions, you also mix the concepts in your own mind. It quickly becomes difficult to even recognize the difference between two concepts, simply because you’re using the same term for them.
    I’m reminded of a discussion with a creationist who was unable to recognize that there was any difference between creation ex nihilo and “creating” something from existing materials. He was using “create” for both activities and somehow this resulted in short circuit in his brain. The discussion died because he simply didn’t get that there was any difference.

    So, sorry for being annoying, but I really have to insist on keeping these concepts strictly separate. I don’t think there’s any point in discussing this subject without a clear, explicit distinction on this point.

  66. says

    Myself:

    I.e. if god were to do something that wasn’t good1, then he could be reasonably criticized for that, even while being perfectly good2.

    To be clear, it doesn’t matter whether god would actually do it. I’m talking purely about hypothetical actions, here.

  67. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    if god were to do something that wasn’t good1, then he could be reasonably criticized for that, even while being perfectly good2.

    Late to the party and probably just quibbling, but how can something be perfectly good if that something has just done something that is not good?

  68. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #71

    Re: your “if a human being did” is assuming a human being has the proper authority to give instructions and punish someone. To use a secular example I don’t have the authority to punish someone for speeding , but a police officer has that authority. Some people have more authority in certain areas than others. If God exists he would be the greatest authority for setting rules and punishment.

    Genocide is A-OK, so long as you have the correct authorisation. Got it.

  69. says

    Thumper #74

    how can something be perfectly good if that something has just done something that is not good?

    It can if you’re going by two distinct definitions of the word “good”, which is the point of the numbers. My comment #70 explains how I use these terms.

  70. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Late to the party and probably just quibbling, but how can something be perfectly good if that something has just done something that is not good?

    Euthyphro dilemma

  71. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @LykeX

    Yep, read the comments now, and understand the numbers. As you say though, Good2 is an entirely useless and ridiculously arbitrary definition of “good” that defies the commonly understood definition.

  72. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @Rev.

    Ah, thank you :) it’s good to know the proper term for a thing.

  73. chaoticinflation says

    @LykeX

    I would say that God is , the standard of morality . Just like water is H2O. Loving , merciful , just are properties of God. They are exemplified by him. If you’re trying to say there must be some other external standard to judge God. I don’t agree. If you are saying there are definition of love , mercy etc (lie pnes I just quoted) that we can agree are exemplified by God, then yes.

    I’m talking about completely down to earth matters, such as “genocide is bad” and “being nice to other is good”. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated that that, unless you’re trying to wiggle out of the inevitable conclusion that the biblical god is a vicious bastard.

    I think what you’re confusing here is relevant authority and moral duties. Certain people do not have the authority to do certain things. If for example God is the creator and sustainer of life , he has no moral duties to sustain anyone’s life longer than he wants to. If God is the ultimate authority , he has the right to give what punishment he decides to sinners.

  74. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper
    You should read the part on the wiki response where its a false dilemma.

  75. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation

    #81

    It’s wrong because it violates the Golden Rule. Before we get into whether or not it is objectively wrong, I’d like you to define the term, to make sure we’re on the same page.

    #82

    I read that bit, and it’s not an answer at all.

    God neither conforms to nor invents the moral order. Rather His very nature is the standard for value.

    What does that even mean? They’re just avoiding the question.

  76. says

    If you are saying there are definition of love , mercy etc (lie pnes I just quoted) that we can agree are exemplified by God, then yes.

    Except you seem to want to switch away from the most common definitions. In any normal sense, god is not loving. I’m sure you can come up with definitions that allow you to call god loving, merciful, etc and still make that fit the bible, but that’s not what anyone else is talking about.

    I’m actually okay with you using another set of definitions, I just want you to be as clear as possible about what those are and admit that they’re not the same as what everybody else means when they say “good”. My problem isn’t the definitions, but the equivocation.

    Anyway, let’s cut through some of the bullshit:
    Is there any act, which, if god did it, he would stop being good? E.g. if god needlessly caused pain to someone, despite having every opportunity to avoid it, would you agree that such a god was not good?

    If there is, then you are in fact judging god’s actions in accordance to a standard which is, at least in principle, external to god.

    You may say that god is perfectly following that standard as the perfect example of a good being, but the standard can be understood without direct reference to god and only once such a standard is established can we start the discussion of whether god actually follows it perfectly, as you claim he does.

    I’m fine with you claiming that the standard is perfectly exemplified by god, but I want you do articulate the standard without reference to god because otherwise, it’s impossible to even discuss whether or not god is actually good.

    And just for the record, I completely disagree with this:

    If for example God is the creator and sustainer of life , he has no moral duties to sustain anyone’s life longer than he wants to.

    I don’t accept that any degree of authority lifts essential moral duties. Moral duties may differ according to ability to follow them, but that principle means that greater ability results in greater duties, not lesser duties.
    I.e. you can be excused for not doing the greatest good if it’s not possible for you to do so. However, the greatest good must necessarily always be possible for god. Therefore, god is morally required to achieve the greatest good. Failure to do so is a moral failure.

  77. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper
    Its an an answer , because the question is wrong. Its a false dilemma.

  78. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    In support of LykeX’s final point:

    If for example God is the creator and sustainer of life , he has no moral duties to sustain anyone’s life longer than he wants to.

    “If for example a father is the creator and sustainer of his child’s life, in so far as he provides the food and shelter upon which this helpless child depends, he has no moral duty to sustain said child’s life longer than he wants to.”

    Phrased this way, I think the immorality of such a proposition becomes obvious.

  79. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #85

    You realise you have not proven anything, right? You’ve just asserted that it is in fact a false dilemma. On what basis is it a false dilemma? Please explain.

    You have also failed to answer my other question. Could you please define “objectively wrong” so I can answer the question you posed in comment #81?

  80. Nick Gotts says

    chaoticinflation,

    To be sure we understand your viewpoint, please answer the following question. Suppose you were convinced God had commanded you to take part in genocide, would you do so? If you credit the Bible, this is exactly what God repeatedly commanded people to do, and subsequently punished them if they did not. Please don’t wriggle out of answering, or insist on anyone answering other questions first – that will just indicate that you are not here arguing honestly.

  81. chaoticinflation says

    @LykeX

    I wanted to distinguish, because Americans/Western Europeans have highly inidividualistic and sentimental/emotional notions of love .

    Is there any act, which, if god did it, he would stop being good? E.g. if god needlessly caused pain to someone, despite having every opportunity to avoid it, would you agree that such a god was not good?

    If you mean needlessly as in he didn’t have a morally sufficient reason for allowing this suffering , then that would be wrong.
    But God couldn’t do that , because by definition he would be the paradigm of good. It would be like saying , if a circle had corners it would be a square circle. But that’s impossible , cause it wouldn’t be a circle.

  82. says

    @89
    chaoticinflation

    But God couldn’t do that , because by definition he would be the paradigm of good.

    tell me, why do you think that your word game (defining “good” as “godliness”) is anything other than laughable?

    why would anyone accept such a silly arbitrary definition?

  83. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper
    objective=Wrong independently of human opinions or conventions or preferences.
    Re False dilemma
    God’s commands are not arbitrary and there are no standards external to God, so we don’t have to choose which horn of the dilemma. Rather God’s commands flow from his nature , which is wholly good.
    To quote a Christian philosopher
    “Oobjective moral values are rooted in God. God’s own holy and perfectly good nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are measured. God’s moral nature is what Plato called the “Good.” He is the locus and source of moral value. He is by nature loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth.”

  84. says

    @92

    LOL! quoting WLC.

    you think that gets out of the dilemma of arbitraryness? funny.

    look, when defining the words “good” and “moral” etc. if you simply define those as what god is like, then yes that is completely arbitrary. It’s just however he happens to be. There is no way around this.

    and WLC will always say “kind” and nice shit like that…and then defend god on genocide.

    You’ve got nothing.

  85. Nick Gotts says

    Another question for chaoticinflation:

    How do you think you know that God’s nature is wholly good?

  86. chaoticinflation says

    @Nick Gotts
    To your 2 questions
    1) I don’t think God would ever command genocide. As Paul Copan and Matt Flanagan have shown, correct exegesis shows that God did not command genocide in the bible.
    2)God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and is it greater to be morally perfect than morally inferior.

  87. omnicrom says

    1) I don’t think God would ever command genocide.

    Possible, god usually does his killing himself, or sends an angel to do his dirty work. See also Noah’s flood.

    By the way thank you for dodging the question and proving you are arguing in bad faith (ha ha). The question you were asked is “would you commit genocide on god’s command?”, not “would god command you to?”. People asked you to put your faith where you mouth is, so again I’ll ask with Nick Gotts: If god told you to commit Genocide would you?

    Also where do you get your definition of god? My definition of the concept of a god doesn’t require them to be morally perfect.

  88. says

    @95
    chaoticinflation

    2)God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and is it greater to be morally perfect than morally inferior.

    Greater to be what? Greater to be “morally perfect”? But you define morally perfect as whatever god happens to be like. So god is by definition however god happens to be like, thanks for that wisdom /sarcasm.

    But worse than this, you were asked an epistemological question: how do you know? But you answered with an ontological answer. So how do you know that some actual thing fits that ontological category?

  89. chaoticinflation says

    @brianpansky
    I define morality the same way everyone else does a set of priciples/standards about right and wrong. what I am saying is the ontological foundation of morality is God.
    I know God is wholly good and morally perfect , because I contemplated the ontological concept of God and realised that the definition would entail he was morally perfect. Are you asking how I know that God exists?

  90. chaoticinflation says

    To clarify , you’re conflating moral semantics and moral ontology.
    To quote the same philosopher I quoted earlier
    “As I have pointed out elsewhere, we must clearly distinguish between moral semantics and moral ontology. Moral semantics asks about the meaning of moral terms. Moral ontology asks about the reality of moral values and duties. The claim that objective moral values are grounded in God is a claim about moral ontology, not about moral semantics. The theist does not make any claim that “good” is somehow to be defined in theistic terms, e.g., “belonging to God’s nature.” The theist may thus fully embrace Moore’s view about “good” being a primitive term, not to be defined in terms of something else. Your friend has clearly conflated moral semantics and moral ontology.”

  91. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If you mean needlessly as in he didn’t have a morally sufficient reason for allowing this suffering , then that would be wrong.

    You realize what a circular bit of nonsense this is, right?

  92. chaoticinflation says

    @
    I’ll clarify my position with a few quotes from this Christian philosopher who has written a lot about morality and ethics.
    About the definition of good. I’m not making any claims about the definition of good. Those are moral semantic claims. As Dr. Craig writes

    The claim that objective moral values are grounded in God is a claim about moral ontology, not about moral semantics. The theist does not make any claim that “good” is somehow to be defined in theistic terms, e.g., “belonging to God’s nature.”

    Also, to clarify my point about the ontology of God.

    Second, as the greatest conceivable being, God must be morally perfect. For it is better to be morally perfect than to be morally flawed. …. That is why, as Oxford philosopher Peter Millican points out, there cannot be an evil God. We can imagine an evil creator-designer of the universe in an atheistic world (an evil god), but such a being would be neither worthy of worship nor maximally great and therefore not God. I should add as well that it is greater to be the paradigm of goodness than merely conform to that paradigm, so that God must be goodness itself.

  93. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinfluence #92

    objective=Wrong independently of human opinions or conventions or preferences.

    In that case, no; the very idea is a nonsense. It is widely acknowledged, even by theists, that the Golden Rule is the most basic moral rule, and indeed it is one which holds true the world over, regardless of culture. “Do unto others how you would have them do unto you”, “Don’t treat others how you wouldn’t want to be treated”, however you phrase it the Golden Rule is entirely dependant upon human preferences. And the reason genocide is immoral is because you wouldn’t want someone committing genocide upon you.

    Re False dilemma
    God’s commands are not arbitrary[1] and there are no standards external to God[2], so we don’t have to choose which horn of the dilemma. Rather God’s commands flow from his nature , which is wholly good[3].
    To quote a Christian philosopher[4]
    “Oobjective[sic] moral values are rooted in God. God’s own holy and perfectly good nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are measured. God’s moral nature is what Plato called the “Good.” He is the locus and source of moral value. He is by nature loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth[5].”

    1- “Don’t wear clothes of mixed fibres” isn’t arbitrary?
    2- Demonstrably untrue; indeed by your own initial example. God commands genocide multiple times in the Bible, and yet the vast majority of people concede that genocide is wrong. Indeed, Jesus later quotes the Golden Rule, by which dictate genocide certainly is wrong.
    3- Is this you using that entirely meaningless second definition of “good”, as numbered by LykeX earlier? God’s nature, presuming that God’s commands are a reflection of his nature, is demonstrably not good in the normal sense of the word.

    Again, you haven’t at all demonstrated that it isn’t a false dliemma. You have merely declared it not to be, and refused to acknowledge the problem.
    4- The Appeal to Authority will not get you very far here. Further, who is the quote by? brianpansky seems to recognise it, and believes it to be William Lane Craig. Is that the case? Knowing the origin of a quote is essential to analysing it’s truthfulness, and therefore it’s usefulness.
    5- A quick glance through the Bible will show you that this sentence is demonstrably untrue. The best that can be said is that God is capable of being “loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth”; there’s certainly no evidence that he is the embodiment of such values. He’s as fickle, capricious and contradictory in his emotions and actions as any mortal being.

  94. omnicrom says

    I define morality the same way everyone else does a set of priciples/standards about right and wrong. what I am saying is the ontological foundation of morality is God.

    Apparently you don’t define morality the same way me, and likely others on this blog, do. We can define morality in a way that doesn’t require an ontological foundation in your god, and indeed can find working models of morality that castigate your god.

    I know God is wholly good and morally perfect , because I contemplated the ontological concept of God and realised that the definition would entail he was morally perfect. Are you asking how I know that God exists?

    Genuine physical evidence of your god’s existence would be nice yes. Remember that the bible doesn’t count, and means of defining your god into existence are ephemeral and thoroughly unconvincing and will be dismissed summarily. If your evidence of your god’s existence is just “God is the greatest imaginable thing, therefore he has to exist” you might as well quit now.

    William Lane Craig

    At least WLC was honest about his bankrupt morality. When asked if he’d kill on god’s order he said yes. Can you do the same chaoticinflation? Will you put your mouth where you claim your morals are and say whether or not you’d do the same? If your god commanded you to kill would you?

  95. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    To clarify , you’re conflating moral semantics and moral ontology.

    …what you just said is “you’re conflating the meaning of morality with the nature of morality”. Have you ever come across the Argument from Gibberish?

    To quote the same philosopher overly credulous, lying Christian apologist I quoted earlier

    FTFY.

  96. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    As fun as this has been, I’m late for something. I’ll be back tomorrow, try not to break the chew toy while I’m gone, people.

    Tatty-bye.

  97. says

    @98,99
    chaoticinflation

    Please note that I don’t know exactly which of my posts you are attempting to respond to, and you are supposed to indicate that.

    Now, perhaps I have confused semantics with ontology. But you really can’t get out of this by being pedantic, you said:

    I would say that God is , the standard of morality

    so I can simply rephrase my previous objection:

    for the standard of “good” and “moral” etc. if the standard is simply set as what god is like, then yes that is completely arbitrary. It’s just however he happens to be. There is no way around this.

  98. Rey Fox says

    Is Kroos Control back?

    He is by nature loving, generous, just, faithful, kind, and so forth.

    I’ve read the Bible. He ain’t.

  99. Rey Fox says

    Oh, and just to get things back on topic, does God prescribe rigid sex/gender roles, despite his well-documented propensity for creating humans at all points on a sex/gender spectrum?

  100. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper
    I agree the Golden rule is valuable. But why are we obligated to follow it? Is it just another human convention , like what side of the road to drive on?
    1. Nope it isn’t arbitrary. See the section on Interpretation. It ties in with the general stuff in the bible on ritual purity too. Just because you can’t understand a custom doesn’t mean its arbitrary
    2) As I linked above, Paul Copan and matt Flanagan have shpwn that God did not command genocide and those who conclude that he did are performing faulty exegesis
    3) No I’m fine with either definition.
    If there’s a third option , its not a dilemma by definition.
    4)To quote

    On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

    https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Appeal_to_authority.html
    It is Dr. Wlliam Lane Craig , who is an expert on philosophy of religion and theistic metaethics.
    5)I glanced through and I think the sentence is true.

  101. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I know God is wholly good and morally perfect , because I contemplated the ontological concept of God and realized […whatever…]

    Cogito ergo est?

    Methinks I’m not the only one around here with scanty Latin.

  102. chaoticinflation says

    @Rey Fox 108
    IDk what happened.
    I just responded to this guy who was upset God had moral rules that restricted his illicit sexual activities.
    I wasn’t talking about gender roles.

  103. chaoticinflation says

    @brianpansky

    for the standard of “good” and “moral” etc. if the standard is simply set as what god is like, then yes that is completely arbitrary. It’s just however he happens to be. There is no way around this.

    What do you mean by arbitrary?
    The dictionary says “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction”. I don’t think God’s holy nature fits this definition.

  104. omnicrom says

    I agree the Golden rule is valuable. But why are we obligated to follow it? Is it just another human convention , like what side of the road to drive on?

    Do you only drive on one side of the road chaoticinflation? Why or why not?

    1. Nope it isn’t arbitrary. See the section on Interpretation. It ties in with the general stuff in the bible on ritual purity too. Just because you can’t understand a custom doesn’t mean its arbitrary

    Do you follow this commandment? Why or why not?

    2) As I linked above, Paul Copan and matt Flanagan have shpwn that God did not command genocide and those who conclude that he did are performing faulty exegesis

    If we’re citing our sources rationalwiki has this list of all the people killed by your god. The bible says that it’s god killed many thousands of people. Is this genocide? Why or why not?

    3) No I’m fine with either definition.
    If there’s a third option , its not a dilemma by definition.

    You seem to be saying here that you have no trouble believing that your god is both ALWAYS even from a secular perspective and goodness always comes from your god’s standards. Is this true? If not why?

    It is Dr. Wlliam Lane Craig , who is an expert on philosophy of religion and theistic metaethics.

    You seem to be waving WLC as though he has any authority here. He doesn’t. He is technically correct, but importantly I must ask do you accept that WLC can be wrong? Do you accept your view of what the bible could be wrong? If the answer is no than it is an appeal to authority.

    5)I glanced through and I think the sentence is true.

    I assume by “the sentence” you mean how thumper said that god CAN be kind, but can also be capricious, cruel, and fickle?

  105. Rey Fox says

    Well, that’s what the OP is about, is all I’m saying. It’s entirely possible that this whole big tangent would be better suited for the Thunderdome.

  106. omnicrom says

    I just responded to this guy who was upset God had moral rules that restricted his illicit sexual activities.I wasn’t talking about gender roles.

    Who exactly are you talking about? I ask because it doesn’t seem to correspond to any person either in this thread or in Thunderdome.

    I don’t think God’s holy nature fits this definition.

    What do you mean by this sentence?

  107. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation, #111:

    IDk what happened.

    I just responded to this guy who was upset God had moral rules that restricted his illicit sexual activities.

    1. Athywren said nothing of the sort in comment #60, which was the only comment quoted in your first comment #67.
    2. please provide your definition of “illicit”.
    3. on second thought, don’t.

    I just responded to this guy …
    I wasn’t talking about gender roles.

    And thus you are both refuted and mocked by your own words. But by all means, keep providing us with amusing examples of oblivious denial.

  108. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation, #112

    Quoting brianpansky: for the standard of “good” and “moral” etc. if the standard is simply set as what god is like, then yes that is completely arbitrary. It’s just however he happens to be. There is no way around this.

    What do you mean by arbitrary?
    The dictionary says “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction”. I don’t think God’s holy nature fits this definition.

    LOL.

    Have you ever read any three authors on God’s holy nature?

  109. Amphiox says

    Ah yes, biblical exegesis = arbitrarily re-interpreting the bible whenever it says something you don’t like in order to convince yourself it is saying something you do like = bible fanon.

  110. consciousness razor says

    Thumper, #102:

    objective=Wrong independently of human opinions or conventions or preferences.

    In that case, no; the very idea is a nonsense. It is widely acknowledged, even by theists, that the Golden Rule is the most basic moral rule, and indeed it is one which holds true the world over, regardless of culture. “Do unto others how you would have them do unto you”, “Don’t treat others how you wouldn’t want to be treated”, however you phrase it the Golden Rule is entirely dependant upon human preferences. And the reason genocide is immoral is because you wouldn’t want someone committing genocide upon you.

    Of course, if it’s understood to be independent of any particular individual’s subjective state, then that isn’t nonsense. But independent of all of our subjective states, taken collectively? Yes, that’s just absurd.

    Note that a god is a single, individual subject. A god is not an objective state of affairs independent of itself. Theists actually want an authority to dictate what’s right or wrong (which turns out to be themselves, since there isn’t a god) and claim it can deliver “ultimate” justice to make everything better in the end (which is also false); but even if there is a god it can’t constitute objectivity. But they dishonestly treat these as interchangeable, whenever it’s convenient to lie about their opposition.

    I should quibble that it isn’t “the most basic moral rule.” Theists might like to think so. I think that “do unto others as they would have you do to them” is generally better. The difference is about respecting people and taking a pluralistic approach. You shouldn’t expect everyone to have your own preferences, because they in fact don’t. If you want to do something which they wouldn’t want done to them, then that doesn’t imply you should do it to them. Simply because it matches your own desires or interests doesn’t mean it’s doing what’s best for them or for anybody else. You would think that a god, if it had anything worthwhile to say to us about it, would’ve spent the time to put some more thought into this kind of thing before telling us a bunch of garbage.

  111. Rob Grigjanis says

    chaoticinflation @109:

    It is Dr. Wlliam Lane Craig , who is an expert on philosophy of religion and theistic metaethics.

    We’ve also been told he is an expert in the philosophy of time, which resulted in much hilarity in this thread.

  112. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @consciousness razor

    I should quibble that it isn’t “the most basic moral rule.” Theists might like to think so. I think that “do unto others as they would have you do to them” is generally better. The difference is about respecting people and taking a pluralistic approach.

    And it gets rid of the unfortunate conundrum for non-switching masochists (and non-switching sadists).

  113. Nick Gotts says

    chaoticinflation@95,
    I see you are not arguing honestly, since you refuse to answer my very simple question. Giving a straight answer does not require that you think it plausible that God would ever command genocide, so we can reasonably conclude that you have some dishonest reason for refusing to answer.

    But with regard to whether God ever would command genocide, I am currently unable to connect to the link you gave to Matt Flanagan*, but the language of the Book of Joshua is absolutely clear: Joshua repeatedly carries out the complete annihilation of whole peoples and all the inhabitants of cities – which is genocide – and it is made abundantly clear that this is by God’s command. Moreover it is obvious from real and recent events that if he exists, God at least permits genocide to happen, despite – being omnipotent – being able to prevent it. If any human being had the power to prevent genocide and failed to do so, we would consider them accomplices to that evil, and hence, condemn them as evil themselves. So God, if he exists, is clearly evil. Why do you worship evil, chaoticinflation?

    God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and is it greater to be morally perfect than morally inferior.

    The ontological argument? Srsly? How do you think you know such a being exists, when there is abundant evidence – in the existence of evil and suffering which an omnipotent and benevolent being would not permit – that it does not?

    The dictionary says “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction”. I don’t think God’s holy nature fits this definition.

    Hilarious. Your whole point has been to claim that good is simply what a particular individual – God, in this case – wills or judges.

    *Has anyone else managed this? If so, is it possible to summarise Flanagan’s argument?

  114. chaoticinflation says

    @Nick Gotts 122
    1) I would probably be convinced I was mistaken or misinterpreting God , because I find it highly unlikely God would command genocide
    What would you do if what ever metaethical theory you hold to convinced you , you needed to commit genocide?
    The site might be down for a little now , but Flanagan goes through the relevant passages and shows they are using hyperbolic language and those who conclude it is genocide are using faulty exegesis.

    God at least permits genocide to happen, despite – being omnipotent – being able to prevent it. If any human being had the power to prevent genocide and failed to do so, we would consider them accomplices to that evil, and hence, condemn them as evil themselves. So God, if he exists, is clearly evil. Why do you worship evil, chaoticinflation?

    God may have morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil we are not aware of.

    Hilarious. Your whole point has been to claim that good is simply what a particular individual – God, in this case – wills or judges.

    but God’s will is not arbitrary. If flows from his perfectly good , just and holy nature.

  115. chaoticinflation says

    @Rob Grigjanis
    He’s an expert in many fields.

    @brianpansky
    Well , no. God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and as such he is morally perfect. He could never be anything other than morally perfect.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would probably be convinced I was mistaken or misinterpreting God , because I find it highly unlikely God would command genocide

    Then read your babble, its there in black and white, your imaginary deity commanding genocide, sexual slavery, slavery, and other sordid things. You can’t deny it, since a lot of us here have read the babble….

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He could never be anything other than morally perfect.

    Well, it’s a good thing it doesn’t exist, and you are scarce with real physical evidence as to its existence, backing up the null hypothesis of non-existence.

  118. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation

    God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and as such he is …

    described using the masculine pronoun.

    But chaoticinflation

    wasn’t talking about gender roles.

  119. says

    chaoticinflation:

    What would you do if what ever metaethical theory you hold to convinced you , you needed to commit genocide?

    I’m not Nick Gotts, but I’d reject any metaethical theory that calls for genocide. Just as theists should reject the idea that the bible is a source of morality.

    Well , no. God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and as such he is morally perfect. He could never be anything other than morally perfect.

    Is your imagination that limited?
    I can easily conceive of a being who is morally superior to the god of the bible.
    Hell, the vast majority of humanity is morally superior to the biblical god (last I checked, most humans haven’t committed or endorsed global genocide)

    BTW, you’ve got a really strange definition of “morally perfect”. Your “morally perfect” deity supports rape, slavery, and torture. It also slaughtered virtually every living thing on the planet. It also allows suffering to continue to exist. It also condemns humans to an eternity of torment and torture for finite sins.
    The deity you believe in is not morally perfect. It is pure evil.

  120. says

    @125
    chaoticinflation

    Well , no. God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and as such he is morally perfect. He could never be anything other than morally perfect.

    Then a standard of morality must be independent of this entity, and it simply conforms perfectly to the standard.

  121. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke 129

    I’m mostly refering to God as him out of convention. God isn’t male or female.

  122. says

    chaoticinflation:

    God isn’t male or female

    Then stop giving it a gender.
    Although, come to think of it, how do you know that your deity isn’t male or female? According to your mythology, weren’t humans created in the image of god?

  123. Amphiox says

    Well , no. God is by definition , the greatest conceivable being and as such he is morally perfect. He could never be anything other than morally perfect.

    You don’t even realize that by saying this you are admitting that the concept of moral perfection was defined FIRST, and God was then created AFTER to fit that already predefined concept?

  124. chaoticinflation says

    @Tony!TFQS

    Then stop giving it a gender.
    Although, come to think of it, how do you know that your deity isn’t male or female? According to your mythology, weren’t humans created in the image of god?

    That’s what theologians have said. I just use him out of convention. I don’t mean God is male.
    That phrase “image of God” means they were just given authority by God to rule over the Earth . It doesn’t mean we look like him. To use a parallel from another ANE text, Tutankhamen for example means “the living image of Amun”. It meant he was given authority by Amun to rule over Egypt.

  125. Amphiox says

    What would you do if what ever metaethical theory you hold to convinced you , you needed to commit genocide?

    I would do exactly the same thing that most theists do when confronted with the fact that the god of their bible frequently commands genocide.

    I would reject that theory and not commit genocide, the same way most theists reject the parts of their bible wherein their god commands genocide, and not commit genocide.

    Or I would reinterpret that metaethical theory so that it no longer commands genocide, the same way most theists will use “exegesis” to reinterpret their bible so that it no longer appears to command genocide.

    And that is the fundamental truth that you refuse to accept concerning humans and moral judgments. It all comes from within our brains. It is an evolved instinct, arising through the process of evolution, out of which individuals REASON out their moral choices. All else is post-hoc justifications. Some do not want to admit or accept that reality, and hide it behind the empty word “god”. Some choose not to do so.

  126. chaoticinflation says

    @Amphiox

    You don’t even realize that by saying this you are admitting that the concept of moral perfection was defined FIRST, and God was then created AFTER to fit that already predefined concept?

    I distinguished between moral semantics and moral ontology.
    How/when morality was defined is a semantic question. It doesn’t matter when we defined morality. What matters is what is this standard. The Standard is God’s morally perfect nature.

  127. Amphiox says

    That phrase “image of God” means they were just given authority by God to rule over the Earth . It doesn’t mean we look like him.

    In no interpretation of the english language does the definition of the word “image” EVER mean anything close to “given authority by X to rule over Y”.

    In other words this is yet another example of something you arbitrarily make up in your head so that you don’t have to admit to yourself the internal inconsistencies of your bible.

  128. Amphiox says

    I distinguished between moral semantics and moral ontology.

    In practical reality there is no useful distinction between semantics and ontology. In real life either something is or it isn’t. Such distinctions themselves are arbitrary constructs humans imagined because our brains have evolved in a manner in which we find such distinctions practically useful for the grasping of concepts.

    It matters only within our own internal mental landscapes and no where else.

    How/when morality was defined is a semantic question. It doesn’t matter when we defined morality.

    Intellectually dishonest evasion. WHEN and how morality is defined is the WHOLE POINT of this debate. It’s the ONLY thing that matters.

    What matters is what is this standard. The Standard is God’s morally perfect nature.

    Once more this very statement is an admission that in fact the standard for morality was created first, and “god” was merely a justification added post-hoc.

  129. chaoticinflation says

    @Amphiox 140

    In no interpretation of the english language does the definition of the word “image” EVER mean anything close to “given authority by X to rule over Y”.

    Too bad the bible was written in Hebrew then. I even cited a parrallel example from another Ancient Near East language to show how image was used in this way.

  130. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation

    I’m mostly refering to God as him out of convention. God isn’t male or female.

    1. Male.
    2. Female.

    3. “I wasn’t talking about gender roles.”

    Funny how the first time you are supposed to be talking about gender roles, you aren’t.

    Hmm, this puts me in mind of something, but I can’t remember what.

    But while we’re on that quote, let’s add:
    4. So you’re perfectly willing to knowingly say something false out of adherence to tradition even when there’s a mountain of evidence that that very false thing has been damaging to half of humanity?

    I’m learning more about your morality all the time.

    God’s will is not arbitrary. If flows from his perfectly good, just and holy nature.

    My will is not arbitrary. It flows from my perfectly crippled, queer, and womanly nature.

    Gosh, there’s that something tickling my brain again…

  131. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation, #139:

    It doesn’t matter when we defined morality. What matters is what is this standard. The Standard is God’s morally perfect nature.

    1. What do you mean, we…?
    2. Good to have you acknowledge that humans define morality.

    Gosh, there’s that something again. I just can’t put my cursor on it….

  132. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke 143
    (I totally get your username now!)
    4. Its not false , its just convention. Like sometimes people use ‘he’ as a gender-neutral pronoun. It not false. Its convention. And it hasn’t been damaging to humanity. Its just how people write things.

  133. omnicrom says

    Too bad the bible was written in Hebrew then. I even cited a parrallel example from another Ancient Near East language to show how image was used in this way.

    Funny, many Jewish mystics did genuinely comprehend the Abrahamic god as gendered and with parts of it that represented both man and woman. There’s a whole mystical belief about how there was a proto-Adam who was both male and female at once in god’s image, and was later split into man and woman also mirroring god. This is based on readings of the ancient hebrew BTW. Do you agree or disagree with this particular belief? Why? What makes your belief more or less true than their beliefs?

    Also if your god isn’t male or female why not call your god an “it”?

  134. says

    It’s so adorable when Christianists try to pretend that the Bible doesn’t say what it says in order to pretend that Yahweh, as described in the Bible, isn’t an evil, tyrannical, childish, petty megalomaniacal asshole.

  135. says

    And it [assigning God the male gender] hasn’t been damaging to humanity.

    –chaoticinflation #145

    How unsurprising, this particular Christianist doesn’t consider women to be part of humanity.

  136. omnicrom says

    Like sometimes people use ‘he’ as a gender-neutral pronoun.

    Doing this is implying that the default gender is male. If you don’t get why this might be a problem for 51% of humanity then how on Earth can you hope to sway us with your intellect in other matters?

    It not false. Its convention. And it hasn’t been damaging to humanity.

    Because no convention has ever been damaging to humanity?

    Its just how people write things.

    The question is not how “people” write things, its how YOU write things chaoticinflation.

  137. Amphiox says

    And it [assigning God the male gender] hasn’t been damaging to humanity.

    Only someone who either

    1) knows nothing about history
    2) knows nothing about religion or god
    3) doesn’t consider harm to women to be “damage”
    4) doesn’t know what “damage” even means
    5) doesn’t consider women to be human

    can say the above with a straight face.

    Which one of these are you, chaoticinflation?

  138. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke
    I’ve distinguished between semantics and ontology several times here. How something is defined is a semantic claim. The nature of something’s existence is an ontological claim.
    Say we agree morality is defined as a set of rules of conduct for right and wrong. That’s just a semantic definition. It tell us nothing of the nature of morality , whether morality exits , whether it is grounded in God.

  139. Amphiox says

    It is not as if there are EXPLICIT New Testament passages that justified the oppression of women and the enforcement of unequal and harmful gender roles using the explicit justification that god was male.

  140. Amphiox says

    I’ve distinguished between semantics and ontology several times here. How something is defined is a semantic claim. The nature of something’s existence is an ontological claim.

    And again, your sad attempts to make this distinction as if it somehow mattered in practical terms to the heart of this discussion is simply a transparent attempt by you to evade the important question and to steer the debate away from a direction in which you already know that you will lose.

  141. omnicrom says

    Of course there weren’t Amphiox, reading the bible and noting the horrid parts is “incorrect exegesis” because someone said so.

  142. Amphiox says

    It’s just uncanny, isn’t it, omnicrom, how biblical exegesis always seems to line up so well with “whatever it is that particular writer already believed was right beforehand”?

  143. chaoticinflation says

    @omnicron

    Funny, many Jewish mystics did genuinely comprehend the Abrahamic god as gendered and with parts of it that represented both man and woman. There’s a whole mystical belief about how there was a proto-Adam who was both male and female at once in god’s image, and was later split into man and woman also mirroring god. This is based on readings of the ancient hebrew BTW. Do you agree or disagree with this particular belief? Why? What makes your belief more or less true than their beliefs?

    Also if your god isn’t male or female why not call your god an “it”?

    In order
    1. I withhold judgement
    2. Not really enough evidence to say either way
    3.same as 2.

    ‘It’ just seems impersonal. I’m really just following conventions.

    @ SallyStrange/omnicron/Amphiox
    I think its just an artifact of language. There are some languages where the default pronoun is feminine or neutral from what I’ve heard.
    I meant that the convention of referring to God with a certain pronoun never hurt anyone.
    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

  144. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation

    I totally get your username now!

    Cool!!! We’re getting somewhere!!!

    But your #145?

    Its not false , its just convention. Like sometimes people use ‘he’ as a gender-neutral pronoun. It not false.

    So, God’s not a he, but saying god’s a he is not saying something false out of adherence to tradition, because it’s a convention?

    I don’t see how it refutes the first half of point 4 of my #143.

    So you’re perfectly willing to knowingly say something false out of adherence to tradition …

    Are you just trying to draw a distinction between convention and tradition?

    and as for the second half:

    even when there’s a mountain of evidence that that very false thing has been damaging to half of humanity?

    Go.
    Read.
    Now.

  145. says

    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

    So, you’re an obvious liar. Why should I pay any attention to what you say? Isn’t it a sin to lie? Bad Christian. Bad witness.

  146. omnicrom says

    In order
    1. I withhold judgement
    2. Not really enough evidence to say either way
    3.same as 2.

    This particular Jewish belief has at least as much evidence as your ontological frippery.

    I’m really just following conventions.

    Unthinkingly. And that’s the problem.

    I think its just an artifact of language. There are some languages where the default pronoun is feminine or neutral from what I’ve heard.

    You’ve heard? From where? Got any actual information? And since we’re communicating in English how does this matter?

    I meant that the convention of referring to God with a certain pronoun never hurt anyone.
    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

    This is thunderously, ignorantly, monsterously incorrect, but I’m sure with the right exegesis the raging misogyny inflicted by Christianity can be explained away.

  147. says

    chaoticinflation:

    4. Its not false , its just convention. Like sometimes people use ‘he’ as a gender-neutral pronoun. It not false. Its convention. And it hasn’t been damaging to humanity. Its just how people write things.

    Is your god male? How do you know?
    Is your god female? How do you know?
    Is your god neither? How do you know?

    Also, I happen to think “convention” is damaging to humanity. It discounts women. Like other patriarchal conventions, it treats the men as if they’re the default. They ain’t.

  148. Amphiox says

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_God_in_Christianity

    Though Church teaching, in line with its Doctors, holds that God has no literal sex because he has no body (a prerequisite of sex),[11][12] classical and scriptural understanding states that God should be referred to (in most contexts) as masculine by analogy. It justifies this by pointing to God’s relationship with the world as begetter of the world and revelation (i.e. analogous to an active instead of feminine receptive role in sexual intercourse).[13]

    Note the sequence. Moral/ethical judgment FIRST, then “God” shoehorned in afterwards post-hoc.

    As it always is with god.

  149. Amphiox says

    Also, I happen to think “convention” is damaging to humanity. It discounts women. Like other patriarchal conventions, it treats the men as if they’re the default. They ain’t.

    If you go by biology, the female is the default in mammals…. You have to actively turn certain genes on to make a male.

  150. says

    chaoticinflation:

    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

    Why not go find out whether the church has historically said god is male, rather than guessing?

  151. omnicrom says

    Why not go find out whether the church has historically said god is male, rather than guessing?

    My guess is the same reason chaoticinflation doesn’t admit to whether or not they would kill babies on their god’s orders, it would hurt their argument. I suspect chaoticinflation knows vaguely of the misogynistic traditions of Christianity, but keeps themselves deliberately ignorant of the details so as to not have to account for the raging anti-women hatred of the church. If they knew that the church did indeed privilege men over women and justified it with “god has a penis” they couldn’t plausibly the rampant sexism in Christianity.

    Of course this all assumes that chaoticinflation is not merely bearing false witness, which is very probable.

  152. twas brillig (stevem) says

    chaoticinflation:

    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

    So Catholicism isn’t Christian? </snark>
    meaning: the Catholic Church has always referred to God as “Father”. E.G.: “Our Father, who art in heaven, …”
    So can “Father” refer to a “non male”?

  153. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange
    The historic Christian church has taught that God has no gender.If you’d like to present evidence that they taught that God was of the male sex , I’d be happy to accept that. The only ‘Christian’ group I’ve seen who teaches God has a sex and is male is Mormonism.

    Amphiox’s link proves my point “Though Church teaching, in line with its Doctors, holds that God has no literal sex because he has no body ”
    @ twas brillig
    As you see from Amphiox’s link, it is just an analogy. God is not literally male.

  154. says

    chaoticinflation:

    As you see from Amphiox’s link, it is just an analogy. God is not literally male

    Aside from the fact that the point of Amphiox’s link flew over your head*, if your deity is not male, stop referring to IT as male.

    *church teachings may state that god has no gender, but god is supposed to be referred to as male bc his relationship to the world is akin to that of a man, not a woman. They’re trying to have it both ways.
    Also, “Father, son, holy ghost…”.

  155. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!

    Also, I happen to think [this] “convention” is damaging to humanity. It discounts women. Like other patriarchal conventions, it treats the men as if they’re the default. They ain’t.

    Sure, I’m with you. But don’t critique chaoticinflation on

    I don’t think the Christian church has historically said that God is male so that’s wrong

    Yeah. See, for like, 2000 years the church has maintained that Jesus was intersex or trans somehow. Maybe a hijra. It’s totally RCC doctrine, which is why you can find it on he internet! [You can’t put anything on the internet if God doesn’t want you to, duh!]

    Which of course is why no clergy would ever say anything like:

    You can’t blaspheme God and use freedom of speech as an excuse for that

    for depicting god as something other than a really-real manly-man.

    On the other hand, there are unfortunate implications for chaoticinflation’s theory of non-harm. From transchristians.org:

    let us consider other mundane aspects of Jesus we rarely think about.

    Jesus’ race: Jesus was physically born of Mary, a pure-blood Jew but spiritually born of the Holy Spirit who, not being a descendant of Israel, was not Jewish. Jesus’ ethnicity: Jesus was conceived in Nazareth but also in Heaven. Jesus’s economic class: we know Jesus was physically poor, not only being raised by a carpenter unable to get a hotel room, but also because when Mary takes him to the Temple, she sacrifices two doves, the sacrifice of a poor person, but Jesus, the whole world being created through him and Son of the Kind of the Universe, was wealthy beyond imagination. … Jesus’ genes: received, we can assume, Jewish, XX genes from Mary but we have no idea what genes Jesus received from the Holy Spirit.

    They then describe the point of all this in the next para:

    We could go on and on and we clearly see that Jesus is the joining of two, seemingly opposite and impossible qualities.

    Yep. I’m sure that this traditional exegesis of Jesus as union of opposites – Maximally Great God with Jew, Supremely Good God with Woman – had no impact on any real life events.

    Not at all.

  156. says

    Which is it? Is the convention of referring to Yahweh as exclusively male a meaningless tradition, or is it an analogy? Of it’,!s an analogy, what is it an analogy for?

  157. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke

    If you can’t see the clear theological distinction , between saying God does not have a gender and saying when he took human form at a particular point in the past , he had a male body , I don’t know what to say to you. It is no more sexist to say Jesus of Nazareth had a male body than to say Appolonius of Tyana or Tertullian were male.

    You seem to now to revert to fundamentalist atheist tactics of long refuted arguments that have been refuted and quote-mining Eusebius.

    @SallyStrange
    Using ‘father’ is just an analogy for God’s relationship to us.

  158. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange
    Yahweh is not exclusively male. Some analogies used are female. They’re just analogies and say nothing about God’ gender.

  159. anteprepro says

    God isn’t male! He is just referred to as a He because it’s fun to pretend that the default gender is Male! Also, please ignore the whole “Holy Father” thing. Just a coincidental metaphor analogy simile allegory! And the whole fact that “The Son” of the Trinity was a human being who also happened to have a penis? Also a coincidence metaphor! And please ignore that Adam was made first and Eve was made out of Adam-meat, lest you poke around too much and start pondering WHY people might go assuming that Default is Male.

    Also: OBJECTIVE MORALS THEREFORE JEEBUS!

    Also also: BILLCRAIG!!

    It’s Sophisticated Theology Christmas!!!

  160. anteprepro says

    Some analogies used are female.

    Cite. Them.

    Almost all of the analogies are male. Because even if they Sophisticate their way out of flat-out claiming that God has a Ghost Penis, they STILL desperately need to work male supremacy into their theology. Because otherwise people might go actually going around imagining their fictional overlord isn’t effectively male! What kind of Leader would that be for people abiding by millennia old patriarchal mythologies!? That’s cosmic anarchy, I tells ya!

  161. anteprepro says

    If you can’t see the clear theological distinction , between saying God does not have a gender and saying when he took human form at a particular point in the past , he had a male body , I don’t know what to say to you

    “Clear Theological Distinction”: Oxymoron of the day!

  162. chaoticinflation says

    I will stress some people in the church may have done sexist things. But Christianity is not sexist

  163. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange
    I answered this already. Its an analogy for god’s relationship to us.

  164. says

    chaoticinflation:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/analogy

    1
    : inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others
    2
    a : resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike : similarity
    b : comparison based on such resemblance
    3
    : correspondence between the members of pairs or sets of linguistic forms that serves as a basis for the creation of another form
    4
    : correspondence in function between anatomical parts of different structure and origin — compare homology

    You appear to have some confusion about what an analogy is.
    I hope this helps.
    If your deity doesn’t have a gender, why draw an analogy between it and women or men?

    Using ‘father’ is just an analogy for God’s relationship to us

    Us?
    You, perhaps. Christians in general, perhaps.
    Me, though? I don’t have a relationship with an imaginary being (if I did, it would be with a much cooler deity, not the vile biblical god).

  165. anteprepro says

    chaoticinflation 179:

    But Christianity is not sexist

    180 on the term Father:

    Its an analogy for god’s relationship to us.

    Do you have any foot left to shoot at this point?

  166. anteprepro says

    “God is genderless entity that created all life! Which is like…um…a father. Definitely a father. No better word for an older authority figure that generates life! None that I can think of at all!”

  167. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation, #173:

    Eusebius willing to lie for Christ refuted? Ummmm, your link doesn’t mention Eusebius. Did you think I can’t read?
    Quote mining? Let’s read the bang up conclusion of your link to something actually relevant to analyzing Eusebius:

    The alternative — that Eusebius advocates lying — is not in the text and can only be put there by the translating with “a judicious laxity” of Gibbon (T.R.Glover, Loeb Tertullian, p.xi). The words of Eusebius have to be played down, and words not quoted by him from the passage by Plato emphasised. In short, the allegation is itself a malicious falsehood.

    Yeah. If one is to conclude Eusebius advocates lying rather than advocating midrash, “ΨΕΥΔΟΣ”/”Pseudos” must be distorted with “judicious laxity” and the reader must find certain passages more revealing than others, and those passages have to be ones found less revealing than others by the objective Roger Pearse. Because Roger Pearse has looked at the writings of people who translated the original Greek and they say that while lie is the more common translation (and the more common use of the word at the time and in the location where Eusebius wrote), some people translate it “fiction”. Conclusive proof that the quote Pearse believes is probably genuine cannot implicate Eusebius, even when used in combination with other evidence that Carrier has compiled.

    Huh?

    So I’m relying on refuted argument because someone wrote a promo-blurb about a talk titled “Hitler’s Christianity” where the name “Eusebius” isn’t even found?

    And I’m quote mining because I’m joking around with Tony! about Eusebius when the evidence that he believed in lying and manipulated the Josephus text is peer reviewed and strong, but doesn’t manage to convince Roger Pearse?

    You have a very odd sense of what constitutes good argument.

  168. consciousness razor says

    A god is the greatest conceivable being, therefore He has the greatest conceivable penis. (Metaphorically, of course….. and I’m not sure which god it is, but probably one of them.) But could a god’s metaphorical penis be so metaphorically great that even he couldn’t metaphorically jerk it off?

    But hold on a second….. why isn’t conceivability itself the greatest conceivable thing? Could you conceive of anything more conceivable?

  169. Amphiox says

    Using ‘father’ is just an analogy for God’s relationship to us

    It is a DELIBERATE decision to use that analogy.

    There are other analogies. “Mother”. “Parent”. Etc.

    It was a DELIBERATE decision NOT to use these other analogies.

    And that is the very DEFINITION of sexist.

  170. Amphiox says

    But Christianity is not sexist

    Christ is depicted as male. Sexist.
    By Christian tradition, there were no female apostles. Sexist.
    Christ chose a male, Peter, to be the founder of his church. Sexist.
    Mary was not asked for consent to be Jesus’ mother. She was told, and expected to obey. Sexist.

    I could go on and on.

    It may be true that early Christianity was not quite as sexist as the general Roman culture that pervaded at the time of its inception, but seeing as that Roman culture was one of the most misogynist of all time, that is a low, low bar.

  171. Amphiox says

    Aside from the fact that the point of Amphiox’s link flew over your head*, if your deity is not male, stop referring to IT as male.

    I made that post suspecting our troll would misinterpret it. Which he did like clockwork.

  172. says

    @186

    I can conceive of the most real poisonous pink non-terrestrial that can be conceived.

    perhaps I could also conceive of the most real poisonous pink non-terrestrial which is more conceivable than all else that can be conceived. Surely it would be more real and more conceivable than all else if it were real and more conceivable than all else than if it were not. huh?

  173. Amphiox says

    It is no more sexist to say Jesus of Nazareth had a male body than to say Appolonius of Tyana or Tertullian were male.

    This argument is only valid if one presupposes that Jesus of Nazareth was an actual historical person.

    We do not accept that presupposition here.

  174. anteprepro says

    So with the multiple tektonics cites and the “Hitler’s Christianity” plug, it’s clear:

    chaoticinflation is a J.P. Holding fanborl.

    The people who saw the parallels to Kroos Control nailed it. We get yet another brainless apologist who is going to be nothing more than a spout through which they can spew out their favorite recycled arguments from their Hero of Handwringing.

  175. says

    I answered this already. Its an analogy for god’s relationship to us.

    Right, I missed that. Sorry, I was reading on my phone.

    As others have pointed out, it was a deliberate choice to analogize God’s relationship to Christians (not me, no thanks) by making an analogy to a male parent instead of a female parent.

    This choice has been used and is still used to justify all kinds of sexist malarkey, from the prohibition on the ordination of women to reasons for women to submit to marital rape.

    Christianity is clearly sexist.

    I don’t know why you’re pretending otherwise. It’s like you recognize there’s something wrong with sexism… but that couldn’t possibly be, since Yahweh is the ultimate arbiter of morality and Yahweh never had a problem with sexism.

  176. consciousness razor says

    huh?

    Yes.

    Surely it would be more real and more conceivable than all else if it were real and more conceivable than all else than if it were not.

    Surely, I’m not so sure about that. Not if I can conceive of a more real conceivable thing if it were not real, which is also more conceivable if it were real. I will call it “Bob,” and that makes it seem pretty real to me. I mean, yours doesn’t even have a name. But conceivably, I could conceive of conceivability, which is real (I suppose) and might be even more conceivable than that. So this may be a moot point.

  177. Rob Grigjanis says

    chaoticinflation @125: You seem to need things spelled out for you. My point was that, in the linked thread @120, Craig’s supposed expertise in the philosophy of time was definitively demolished. Saying that Craig is an expert in anything doesn’t carry much weight here. If you were to say he makes a killer omelette, I would doubt it.

  178. anteprepro says

    SallyStrange:

    As others have pointed out, it was a deliberate choice to analogize God’s relationship to Christians (not me, no thanks) by making an analogy to a male parent instead of a female parent.

    This choice has been used and is still used to justify all kinds of sexist malarkey, from the prohibition on the ordination of women to reasons for women to submit to marital rape.

    Other aspects, for the benefit of our Wise Christianist Educator:
    Eve is the REAL original sinner and is made from a rib and is supposed to be subservient to Adam.
    Paul reaffirms that wives need to submit and also says that they need to shut up in church.
    Daughters aren’t given names and their births aren’t noted in Genesis generally. Also: lot of daughter selling.
    Rape is treated as a property crime and women treated as spoils of war.
    Virginity obsession and stigmatizing of periods.
    Virtually every important character in the Bible is male, including God Made Flesh himself.

    But of course, that’s just Objective Biblical Morality, for ya.

  179. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke

    Ummmm, your link doesn’t mention Eusebius

    Yes it does. You’re quoting it.
    Did you happen to miss the point where it was possible Eusebius didn’t write the chapter summaries?
    Or where he points out that context lends support to the “fictions” translation and that Gibbons mistranslated the second portion of the quote and contradicts Eusebius’ stated views elsewhere and he addresses carrier’s objections.
    And you missed the point where Carrier actually argued that the insertion into the Josephus passage was an accidental interpolation and he does not say it was the result of lying. Seems like you’re intent to misrepresent Carrier’s paper as well as Eusebius.( Even if Carrier’s paper is peer-reviewed , he is very much in the minority of scholars like this. having something peer-reviewed doesn’t mean its automatically true)
    The Hitler’s Christianity thing was in response to your link about the Holocaust.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yahweh is not exclusively male.

    Since Yahweh only exists in your delusional mind, prove that with solid and conclusive physical evidence. Or you are nothing but a loudmouth mental masturbator. Checkmate.

  181. consciousness razor says

    And you missed the point where Carrier actually argued that the insertion into the Josephus passage was an accidental interpolation and he does not say it was the result of lying.

    It’s nevertheless not reliable. Irrelevant much?

    ( Even if Carrier’s paper is peer-reviewed , he is very much in the minority of scholars like this. having something peer-reviewed doesn’t mean its automatically true)

    My understanding is that he’s not in the minority about Josephus. This is false. Of course, the number of scholars doesn’t mean it’s automatically true either. So you’ve got nothing?

  182. chaoticinflation says

    @sallystrange
    Your conclusion does not follow .
    Certainly some people in the church have done bad things like marital rape but that doesn’t mean Christianity is sexist. Some people who identify as secular humanist have said and done sexist things as well , but that does not imply the whole movement is sexist.
    There are places like Isaiah 49:15 and Isaiah 66:13 where theanalogy of mother is used as well.

    Lets step away from biblical interpetation for a bit.
    What’s your objective standard of morality? How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    @Rob Grigjanis
    So you posting a link and saying you disagreed with Craig’s thing on special relativity refutes all all his peer-reviewed publications/books and his position in the field? Can I disagree with something Pz said on his site and claim he’s not an expert in biology anymore and his research is wrong?

  183. anteprepro says

    ( Even if Carrier’s paper is peer-reviewed , he is very much in the minority of scholars like this. having something peer-reviewed doesn’t mean its automatically true)

    Ironic coming from the person who bleated out a cite for Billycraig and also flailed a weak defense for the argument from authority.

    The Hitler’s Christianity thing was in response to your link about the Holocaust.

    Then way to be incompetent, because that point wasn’t clear at all! You never made it obvious what exactly you were addressing. That’s why you either use quotes or explain yourself clearer. Good work.

    Also: the “refutation” was bullshit. Just conveniently brushed all of the devout Christian Nazis and German anti-semitism under the rug in order to quibble about Hitler and about how Positive Christianity isn’t really Christianity. Weak fucking tea.

  184. chaoticinflation says

    @Consciousness Razor

    My understanding is that he’s not in the minority about Josephus.

    Louis Feldman , who is the foremost authority on Josephus studies says the authenticity of the passage with James “has been almost universally acknowledged.”

    I’m not claiming Carrier is wrong and I’m not really arguing for the authenticity .Crip Dyke was claiming Eusebius was lying and claimed Carrier’s paper where he alleges an accidental interpolation in the Jamesian Josepus passage was evidence of this.
    She’s really wrong.

  185. anteprepro says

    Certainly some people in the church have done bad things like marital rape but that doesn’t mean Christianity is sexist.

    Way to miss the fucking point. It’s not a very artful dodge.

    Sally Strange at 193 again:

    As others have pointed out, it was a deliberate choice to analogize God’s relationship to Christians (not me, no thanks) by making an analogy to a male parent instead of a female parent.

    The sexism is canonical. It is entrenched in the Bible itself. It isn’t exclusive to what individual Christians have said and done, but those are definitely symptoms of it.

    What’s your objective standard of morality?

    What is yours, shitweasel? You are the one claiming that objective standards exist. Where do you get them? How? How do you know it is objective? What’s your method?

    So you posting a link and saying you disagreed with Craig’s thing on special relativity refutes all all his peer-reviewed publications/books and his position in the field?

    It certainly shows he is not quite the Super Expert you make him out to be.

  186. consciousness razor says

    Lets step away from biblical interpetation for a bit.

    How about forever? It certainly hasn’t done you any good so far. So I think that would be a win-win.

    What’s your objective standard of morality? How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    You still haven’t addressed my comment #119.

    The thing is, you already started this conversation once in this thread. Are you actually going to have a conversation about anything, or just start and end them whenever they’re convenient to you?

  187. chaoticinflation says

    @antepropo

    chaoticinflation is a J.P. Holding fanborl.

    You’re just upset because he refuted all your skeptical canards and exposes the poor scholarship of skeptics like you.

  188. Amphiox says

    What’s your objective standard of morality? How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    Why do you seem so obsessed with sticking the pointless word “objective” in front of “morality” as if that is a necessary or even meaningful thing to do?

  189. says

    Your conclusion does not follow .
    Certainly some people in the church have done bad things like marital rape but that doesn’t mean Christianity is sexist.

    That “some people in the church have done bad things” is not the reason Christianity is sexist. The reason Christianity is sexist is that people in the church can a.) do bad, sexist things and b.) convincingly argue that they are doing these bad, sexist things (e.g. forcing rape victims to marry their rapists) because the Bible commands it. That Christianity is sexist is evident in the fact that the Christians who are the least sexist are also the ones who take the most liberties regarding literal vs. metaphorical interpretations of the Bible.

    Some people who identify as secular humanist have said and done sexist things as well , but that does not imply the whole movement is sexist.

    Certainly atheists and secularists can be raging misogynists as well (can they ever! ugh), but at least they don’t have the excuse of “God An unassailable, objective authority says women are sinful and inferior” to back up their bigotry.

    There are places like Isaiah 49:15 and Isaiah 66:13 where theanalogy of mother is used as well.

    So? That doesn’t erase the fact that since its inception, Christianity, which sprang from a remarkably sexist culture, has been spreading and perpetuating those same sexist mores wherever it has expanded. The experience of Native Americans with Christians is an object lesson there.

    Lets step away from biblical interpetation for a bit.
    What’s your objective standard of morality? How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    I don’t see the need for morality to be objective. Morality is like money and language and art–it’s a thing invented by humans for humans. Like money and language and art, it’s whatever we generally agree it to be. As such, it differs in particulars from region to region and changes over time. Morality is intersubjective. People who long for an objective morality are, in my view, intellectually lazy cowards who fear taking responsibility for creating meaning in their own lives.

  190. Rob Grigjanis says

    chaoticinflation @200: ‘Disagreement’ has nothing to do with it. Read the thread. You might learn something. Like his misunderstanding/misrepresentation of special relativity, and the BGV theorem.

  191. says

    P.S.

    How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    Goes back to the bit of my post that you ignored before, to wit:

    Christianity is clearly sexist.

    I don’t know why you’re pretending otherwise. It’s like you recognize there’s something wrong with sexism… but that couldn’t possibly be, since Yahweh is the ultimate arbiter of morality and Yahweh never had a problem with sexism.

    The Bible never condemns sexism, so why is it that you seem so uncomfortable with it? What exactly is wrong with being sexist, according to you?

  192. anteprepro says

    Why can’t the trolls ever notice the second “e” in my nym? I don’t actually care, it’s just that it is a strange pattern.

    chooticinftion

    You’re just upset because he refuted all your skeptical canards and exposes the poor scholarship of skeptics like you.

    I’m really just upset that you are utterly lacking in originality and independent thought. If I wanted someone to regurgitate JP Holding at me, I’d prefer to just go read his shit directly, rather than have someone come here and read someone else’s shit at us and pretend it’s a real debate.

  193. Amphiox says

    What is the practical difference between an “objective” standard of morality whose objectivity cannot ever be verified and a subjective standard of morality?

  194. anteprepro says

    Amphiox

    What is the practical difference between an “objective” standard of morality whose objectivity cannot ever be verified and a subjective standard of morality?

    My tentative answer on the subject: An unwarranted sense of confidence and smug superiority.

  195. consciousness razor says

    What is the practical difference between an “objective” standard of morality whose objectivity cannot ever be verified and a subjective standard of morality?

    One is real and unverifiable. The other is whatever you personally think it is. Just like it says on the box.

  196. Amphiox says

    One is real and unverifiable. The other is whatever you personally think it is. Just like it says on the box.

    That is a definitional difference, not a practical difference.

    Practical, as in having a real world impact such that a moral judgment based on one turns out to be observably different than a moral judgment based on the other.

  197. says

    Kroos Controlchaoticinflation:

    What’s your objective standard of morality? How do you know things like sexism are objectively wrong?

    1. You are presupposing that objective morality exists. You’ll need to provide evidence that it exists.
    Once you’ve done that, please explain how one can learn what these objective morals are.

  198. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @consciousness razor:
    To be fair to chaoticinflation, we weren’t talking so much about the reliability of Josephus as the willingness of Eusebius to lie.

    On the other hand, chaotic inflation seems not to have noticed that I addressed that comment to Tony! and was using it for a laugh, not an argument. I’m not arguing so much that Eusebius *did* lie as that chaoticinflation’s insistence that “my arguments [even when they aren’t arguments, but overheard jokes] are ‘fundamentalist atheist tactics’ that amount to dishonesty” is misguided at best. My positions are not refuted and I didn’t quote mine – especially since I didn’t quote Eusebius at all (Quotations: how the fuck do they work?)

    [NB: Quotes used to set off a long clause for easier reading, not because CI used those exact words]

    @chaoticinflation

    Certainly some people in the church have done bad things like marital rape but that doesn’t mean Christianity is sexist.

    And many of the specific churches of Christianity, indeed all of the major ones, promulgated dogma forbidding women from occupying clerical positions in those churches. These include, not least, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, RCC, and Anglican, to name of few of the smaller and more obscure ones that have promulgated a view that women as a class are not sufficiently Christ-like to occupy positions of authority or influence over men.

    But I’m sure that no one was ever hurt by that at all.

    Eusebius willing to lie for Christ refuted? Ummmm, your link doesn’t mention Eusebius. Did you think I can’t read?

    Yes it does. You’re quoting it.

    I’m obviously referring to your use of the word “refuted” which was dropped in without any context in a comment that was otherwise about Eusebius and sexism. Jews and the Shoah were nowhere mentioned in that comment. If you read for comprehension, I’m saying that link does nothing to “refute” anything about Eusebius as that link doesn’t mention Eusebius. And I’m correct about that.

    As for the possibility that the link refutes the idea that anti-Jewish theology had an effect on the Holocaust, well, it’s a promo blurb for a talk and doesn’t include the content of the talk. Even if a refutation existed and was produced by that person, it certainly doesn’t exist at your link. It’s a promo blurb. May I remind you: promo blurb? Vague on content? So why are you citing this thing in relationship to any argument at all? Much less asserting that there’s a “refutation” of anything at that link other than a refutation of the idea that no Christians have ever given a talk on the topic of whether or not Hitler was Christian.

    And Eusebius?

    Did you happen to miss the point where it was possible Eusebius didn’t write the chapter summaries?

    No.

    Did you happen to miss the point where your own source concluded that they were, in fact, likely written by Eusebius because the authors of the challenges to that hadn’t gone back to the earliest available Greek documents the way Richard Carrier, who argues in opposite, had in fact done?

    The way it was phrased was a little weird. I wasn’t sure if Roger Pearse was saying that he accepted that the chapter headings were by Eusebius or if he was saying that he accepted that it was likely enough he would accept them as genuine merely for the purposes of the argument. Either way, the possibility of something not being by Eusebius is of no import to me, since I made no argumentary assertions about Eusebius. But if you want to argue whether or not Eusebius advocated “white lies” for the benefit of individuals, if that were needed to save those individuals’ purported souls, relying on a source who concedes that they are likely but not certainly genuine isn’t helping your case a whole lot. All it requires is that I admit that I could be wrong. And that’s no skin off my nose. A lot can happen in over 1700 years.

    And you missed the point where Carrier actually argued that the insertion into the Josephus passage was an accidental interpolation and he does not say it was the result of lying. Seems like you’re intent to misrepresent Carrier’s paper as well as Eusebius.

    No. You asserted I’m engaged in quote mining – an inherently dishonest tactic. Carrier and those who peer reviewed him believed that it was a legitimate and reasonable interpretation of the passage as a whole, represented but not limited to the quote.

    As for the honesty of the Josephus passage, Carrier argues he does not have to prove that Eusebius’ dishonesty (to the extent that it exists) is responsible for the language to prove that an interpolation is the likeliest scenario. He doesn’t argue that Eusebius was an honest and reliable reporter of fact when it came to Christianity – which would be relevant to our current discussion.

    But, finally, let’s just agree together, shall we, that quote mining – whatever your definition – has to involve actual quotes or purported quotes. Since my post contained no quote of Eusebius, it would be really fucking nice if you would retract the accusation.

    Thank you.

  199. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange
    Yahweh does not hate women. He loves us all. There are lots of places where skeptics perform eisegesis and not meaningful exegesis to allege sexism in the bible. There are answers to all these passages .

    I’m uncomfortable with sexism because it is a violation of our objective moral duties to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. God does have a problem with treating people immorally.

    Why do you have a problem with sexism ?
    Could we just say it was the intersubjective morality of the time period the bible took place in? If they’re oppressing women in Afganistan or performing gential mutailation in Africa , isn’t it just part of their intersubjective morality?

    @Rob Grigjanis
    Vilenkin has actually corresponded with Craig and said that he represented the BGV accurately although he disagrees with Craig about God.

  200. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke
    Well it was more the source you linked who quote-mined Eusebus , but I guess I’ll retract it.

  201. consciousness razor says

    That is a definitional difference, not a practical difference.
    Practical, as in having a real world impact such that a moral judgment based on one turns out to be observably different than a moral judgment based on the other.

    Well, to start with, I don’t think it is unverifiable. That’s an assumption you made. But we could go with that.

    -Suppose you personally believe murder is good.
    -It’s objectively true that murder is bad.
    -It can’t be “verified” that you believe something false.
    -You may or may not murder people, even if you believe it’s good. I don’t know what you’ll do. Suppose you do murder someone.
    -Therefore…. what exactly did you expect to show? Nobody is harmed if you personally believe murder is good? We can’t “verify” that people are harmed? We can’t “verify” that harm to people has anything whatsoever to do with morality? Is everything “practical” supposed to be “verified”? Are there no problems with verificationism itself that you should already know about? Exactly which kind of sophistry are we supposed to use right now?

  202. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Crip Dyke was claiming Eusebius was lying

    No. I shared a joke with a friend at Eusebius’ expense, which you read. I don’t mind that you read it. It was public. No violation at all. But stop fucking pretending that I made a claim.

    and claimed Carrier’s paper where he alleges an accidental interpolation in the Jamesian Josepus passage was evidence of this

    No. I claimed that Carrier argues – in peer reviewed papers and in other places – that Eusebius was willing to be dishonest as Carrier analyzed the various arguments for the reliability of the passage. He has analyzed various arguments. He’s not willing to concede Eusebius is reliable. He thinks it’s a very reasonable thing to believe that Eusebius was willing to tell white lies. Finally – and this is the only thing that really matters here – he shows how the chapter title fits in contextually with the content of the chapter.

    To accuse me of quote mining, you have to show that I quoted someone and that the quote changes meaning dramatically when in context.

    1. I didn’t quote anyone.
    2. The Eusebius chapter heading does not appear to change meaning in context – in fact both your source and Carrier believe that it doesn’t change its meaning in context, but that’s in large part because they disagree about the larger intent of the whole passage – which Carrier has read in the earliest available Greek and Roger Pearse hasn’t.

    I’m refuting the charge of quote mining. Prove one and two – or even just show that Carrier doesn’t support my argument that the chapter heading doesn’t change meaning in context, which would at least give you reason to critique my rebuttal even if it did nothing to prove the original charge – and stop lying about what I’ve claimed, asserted, or argued, or just state up front that you, yourself, are willing to lie about clearly communicated ideas. At least then I would know how to treat your comments.

  203. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I posted my #220 before I saw your #218.

    Thank you for your honest retraction.

  204. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yahweh does not hate women. He loves us all.

    Yahweh loves nothing, as it doesn’t exist. Everything you say about Yahweh is your own personal view, and meaningless, as there is absolutely no evidence to back up your delusional lack of critical and skeptical thinking.

  205. anteprepro says

    Krootic Inflatrol

    Yahweh does not hate women. He loves us all.

    He just loves men more. But since God’s love doesn’t preclude genocide, maybe they shouldn’t particularly care…

    There are answers to all these passages .

    Yes, I’m sure there are “answers” in the sense that some scholar will flap their gums at length for about two hours over every chapter and verse, and the true believers will walk away feeling affirmed while everyone will else will get the firm impression that if this same level of “answer” was applied to EVERY passage of the Bible, there wouldn’t be much Bible left to “believe in”.

    I’m uncomfortable with sexism because it is a violation of our objective moral duties to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    That’s great. Yet it is perfectly consistent with sexist Biblical standards regarding the relationship of husband and wife. Congratulations on using cafeteria Christianity to mesh with modern secular morality though! Great work.

    Vilenkin has actually corresponded with Craig and said that he represented the BGV accurately although he disagrees with Craig about God.

    This came up before and I don’t remember how it resolved, though I do remember it wasn’t pretty!

    Link please?

  206. anteprepro says

    219 consciousness razor

    Exactly which kind of sophistry are we supposed to use right now?

    Dash of irony right there. It seems that sophistry is all we can expect when we get into these inevitable pissing contests that are ultimately quibbles about what “objective” is and what it entails. Such a fucking bother.

  207. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    chaoticinflation wrote:

    God does have a problem with treating people immorally

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Sure he does.

  208. consciousness razor says

    Dash of irony right there. It seems that sophistry is all we can expect when we get into these inevitable pissing contests that are ultimately quibbles about what “objective” is and what it entails. Such a fucking bother.

    I’m not feeling the irony. Don’t put it on me when other people say the same inane bullshit over and over and refuse to understand simple concepts.

  209. Rob Grigjanis says

    chaoticinflation @217:

    Vilenkin has actually corresponded with Craig and said that he represented the BGV accurately although he disagrees with Craig about God.

    Citation? To quote Arthur C. Clarke when he was asked whether the Loch Ness monster could be a giant sea otter, “I think not“.

    I then asked Vilenkin, “Does your theorem prove that the universe must have had a beginning?” He immediately replied.

    No. But it proves that the expansion of the universe must have had a beginning. You can evade the theorem by postulating that the universe was contracting prior to some time.

    Read the whole thing. Always recommended to avoid conformation bias.

  210. chaoticinflation says

    @Rob G
    That’s only a partial citation.
    the whole letter is in the link above^

  211. says

    Yahweh does not hate women. He loves us all.

    1. How do you know Yahweh exists?
    2. How do you know what its feelings about women are?
    3. When are you going to stop lying and start referring to your god with gender-neutral pronouns? Or, alternatively, alternate 50-50 between using masculine and feminine pronouns?

    There are lots of places where skeptics perform eisegesis and not meaningful exegesis to allege sexism in the bible. There are answers to all these passages .

    Thousands of years of pretty intense woman-hatred by Christian institutions and Christian individuals were just people incorrectly interpreting the Bible, huh? Whoops. Too bad “Yahweh” is such a shitty communicator.

    I’m uncomfortable with sexism because it is a violation of our objective moral duties to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    So, you don’t need the Bible to understand sexism is wrong. This makes sense, because it seems that very few people, historically, have read the Bible and as a result concluded that sexism is wrong. If people had been reading the Bible 500 years ago and saying, “Hey, we should treat women more fairly” as a result of reading the Bible, then I’d say you had a case for the Bible not being sexist. And, you still haven’t REMOTELY made the case for the Bible condemning sexism.

    God does have a problem with treating people immorally.

    Now you’re lying again.

    Why do you have a problem with sexism ?

    I have a problem with unfair treatment generally.

    Could we just say it was the intersubjective morality of the time period the bible took place in? If they’re oppressing women in Afganistan or performing gential mutailation in Africa , isn’t it just part of their intersubjective morality?

    Blah blah moral relativism blah blah. Just because my morality isn’t objective doesn’t mean there aren’t objective aspects to it. For instance, it’s an objective fact that women suffer more when they have fewer rights. I don’t like people suffering. Why? Because of my brain, because of evolution, because of the fact that humans’ evolutionary success hinges on group cooperation. Fair treatment for all is more rationally justifiable than any alternatives. But that’s post-hoc rationalization that fills in the gut reaction humans–and apparently other mammals–experience upon witnessing unfairness or suffering.

    Don’t get too excited about it, though. My post-hoc rationalizations beat the pants off your post-hoc rationalizations.

  212. anteprepro says

    consciousness razor:

    I’m not feeling the irony. Don’t put it on me when other people say the same inane bullshit over and over and refuse to understand simple concepts.

    I see. You’ve argued about this several times with Amphiox specifically then, I take it?

    As for Kroatic, looks like it wasn’t hard to predict the source after all.

    Materials from that letter for those who aren’t familiar with it:

    My letter was in response to Lawrence’s email asking whether or not I thought the BGV theorem *definitively* rules out a universe with no beginning. The gist of my answer was that there is no such thing as “definitive ruling out” in science. I would say the theorem makes a plausible case that there was a beginning. But there are always caveats….

    Whatever it’s worth, my view is that the BGV theorem does not say anything about the existence of God one way or the other. In particular, the beginning of the universe could be a natural event, described by quantum cosmology….

    The question of whether or not the universe had a beginning assumes a classical spacetime, in which the notions of time and causality can be defined. On very small time and length scales, quantum fluctuations in the structure of spacetime could be so large that these classical concepts become totally inapplicable. Then we do not really have a language to describe what is happening, because all our physics concepts are deeply rooted in the concepts of space and time. This is what I mean when I say that we do not even know what the right questions are.

    But if the fluctuations are not so wild as to invalidate classical spacetime, the BGV theorem is immune to any possible modifications of Einstein’s equations which may be caused by quantum effects.

    So…I wound up quoting basically the entire letter. The one part I left out was the part that Craig seizes on to because it is Vilenkin saying that Craig is portraying the BGV accurately or something. Everything above? Basically undermining Craig’s entire Kalam argument. Whoops.

  213. anteprepro says

    chaotic inflation, no, Rob’s quote ISN’T a part of the whole letter. It’s Krauss’s account of his discussion with Vilenkin.

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Craig quotes Vilenkin’s letter here in the answers section

    That has nothing to do with the lack of existence of your imaginary deity, where only physical evidence does the trick. Not fuckwitted theologian’s mere wankery.

  215. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange
    1)I looked at the evidence and concluded that
    2) From reading and performing proper exegesis on the bible
    3) I’ll just use ‘he’. Its just convention

    Blah blah moral relativism blah blah. Just because my morality isn’t objective doesn’t mean there aren’t objective aspects to it. For instance, it’s an objective fact that women suffer more when they have fewer rights. I don’t like people suffering. Why? Because of my brain, because of evolution, because of the fact that humans’ evolutionary success hinges on group cooperation. Fair treatment for all is more rationally justifiable than any alternatives. But that’s post-hoc rationalization that fills in the gut reaction humans–and apparently other mammals–experience upon witnessing unfairness or suffering.

    Don’t get too excited about it, though. My post-hoc rationalizations beat the pants off your post-hoc rationalizations.

    But evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment. For example a Christian philosopher once pointed otu that lions will murder the cub of other lions to get an evolutionary advantage. Animals will engage in forcible copulation to spread their genes.
    Also note that someone who is behaving immorally is just flouting convention , not following the herd.
    And maybe it is a gut reaction but as countless interviews with Holocaust perpetrators , people who carried out genocide in Rwanda and other areas , people can be pretty good at ignoring their gut reactions. What makes them wrong?

  216. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    SallyStrange wrote:

    Thousands of years of pretty intense woman-hatred by Christian institutions and Christian individuals were just people incorrectly interpreting the Bible, huh? Whoops. Too bad “Yahweh” is such a shitty communicator.

    And yet it made itself very clear that it doesn’t want people picking up sticks on a Sunday. What funny priorities this god has.

  217. Rob Grigjanis says

    chaoticinflation @230: Your link has the following from Vilenkin:

    I think you represented what I wrote about the BGV theorem in my papers and to you personally very accurately. This is not to say that you represented my views as to what this implies regarding the existence of God. Which is OK, since I have no special expertise to issue such judgements. Whatever it’s worth, my view is that the BGV theorem does not say anything about the existence of God one way or the other. In particular, the beginning of the universe could be a natural event, described by quantum cosmology.

    My bolding, since you seem to have ignored this humble, but rather significant, statement. Especially the second sentence. It takes matters beyond the realm of mere opinion.

    Craig is a hack, as his article on the Twin ‘Paradox’ demonstrates.

  218. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment.

    This is a fuckwitted argument. Humans care about fair treatment though. In fact, evolution of social animals favors fair treatment, as those who cooperated with the tribe stayed alive, compared to those didn’t and were were thrown out.

  219. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    chaoticinflation wrote:

    1)I looked at the evidence and concluded that

    You need to learn the difference between ‘evidence’ and ‘assertion’.

  220. anteprepro says

    1)I looked at the evidence and concluded that
    2) From reading and performing proper exegesis on the bible
    3) I’ll just use ‘he’. Its just convention

    1. What is that evidence? As far as we have been able to tell, your evidence is shitty and your conclusion is a “leap of faith”, illogical and wishful thinking at its finest.
    2. “Proper exegesis”? Are you familiar with the No True Scotsman fallacy? What distinguishes proper and improper exegesis?
    3. Do you ever wonder WHY that is the convention?

    But evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment.

    No, because evolution doesn’t care about anything, because it isn’t an entity. People care about not running afoul of natural selection though. Which is why we have societies. Because if it weren’t people working together, we would probably be dead by now. WE are the source of fair treatment, no evolution. Evolution is just the force that makes it so that we are fucking ourselves over if we are so unfair that society crumbles.

    And maybe it is a gut reaction but as countless interviews with Holocaust perpetrators , people who carried out genocide in Rwanda and other areas , people can be pretty good at ignoring their gut reactions. What makes them wrong?

    “What makes the Christian Nazis committing genocide wrong?” says the Christian with the objective morality tome that describes their objectively good God committing and condoning genocide.

    I notice that whenever you Objective Moralists barge in, you are never able to actually to make a case for your own ideology. You just simply assume that any moral standards proves that Aetheric Objective Morality must be the case. Not completely subjective morality, ergo Objective Morals are Platonic Ideals that rain down from the Baby Jesus Himself. Are you genuinely this confused on the subject? Do you genuinely not understand how morality can exist without being magical pseudoentities spawned by a Space Ghost? Or are you just playing bullshit games like your apologetics tutors taught you?

  221. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I defended chaoticinflation before when people thought that whether the Josephus passage was reliable was the point of the discussion and not whether i had quote mined Eusebius.

    I’ll defend chaoticinflation again now. CI said:

    God does have a problem with treating people immorally.

    To which SallyStrange in #231 rudely replied:

    Now you’re lying again.

    I think that’s completely unfair. My ex-best friend had a serious problem with drinking alcohol and I see quite a lot of parallels with a god who struggles to be good while occasionally committing genocides. You may think that the God of the Christian Bible doesn’t have a problem with treating people immorally, but I side with those like chaoticinflation who believe that killing a bunch of males in order to slice off their heathen foreskins so as to buy a woman for your bride is a pretty immoral thing for a god to inspire a follower to do.

    Thanks, chaoticinflation, for being honest enough to own up to your god’s compulsive inhumanity.

  222. Rey Fox says

    But evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment.

    Neither does gravity.

    What distinguishes proper and improper exegesis?

    Well, if True Believers do it, it’s exegesis. If not, it’s eisegesis.

  223. omnicrom says

    2) From reading and performing proper exegesis on the bible

    Are you going to actually outline what makes an exegesis proper? Because at this point pulling the “improper exegesis” card seems to be your magic bullet explanation for literally everything you don’t like in your own holy book. Sexism in the bible? Improper exegesis. God calling people to commit genocide? Improper exegesis. Actual understanding of the harms inflicted by religion? Improper exegesis.

  224. says

    chaoticinflation:

    Yahweh does not hate women. He loves us all. There are lots of places where skeptics perform eisegesis and not meaningful exegesis to allege sexism in the bible. There are answers to all these passages .

    Gosh, I thought the following passages were examples of sexism and misogyny in the bible:

    City Rape
    If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. — Deuteronomy 22:23-24
    Country Rape
    But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. … For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. — Deuteronomy 22:25-27
    Of an unbetrothed virgin
    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. — Deuteronomy 22:28-29
    Of prisoners of war
    And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. — Numbers 31:15-18
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/rape.html

    I guess all the people who read those passages and concluded that the biblical god is a sexist, misogynistic shitstain interpreted them incorrectly. What’s the proper way to interpret them?

  225. Amphiox says

    But evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment.

    Irrelevant.

    All that matters is that evolution can create brains that care about fair treatment.

    Evolution also creates brains that do not care about fair treatment, but that too is irrelevant.

  226. says

    The hive mind strikes again. Yes, evolution doesn’t care about fair treatment–I care about fair treatment. And since it’s only us chickens up in here, that’s enough of a reason. Welcome to moral adulthood. You choose. You take responsibility.

  227. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Debating with chaoticinflation is like being on a fucking merry go round. You get on, go merrily on your way, going up and down with all the lights and noises and bright colours and cheesy music and other distractions, and it feels like you’re going somewhere but then you pass the same point you got on at and realise that you’re just going round in circles.

  228. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange 246
    Ok. But that’s just your opinion.
    Hitler had a certain opinion. So did Pol Pot. Is there some sort of objective standard of morality we can use to compare opinions and see who’s opinion is right and who is wrong? Or is everyone’s opinion equally valid.

    You choose. You take responsibility.

    So I take it you believe in free will and moral responsibility? A lot of skeptics tend to deny those.

  229. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is there some sort of objective standard of morality we can use to compare opinions and see who’s opinion is right and who is wrong? Or is everyone’s opinion equally valid.

    Any opinions based on imaginary deities are WRONG. Outcomes need to be looked at, which derive general principals. Just as humans have done for millennia without any need of your imaginary deity.

  230. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #248

    Hitler had a certain opinion. So did Pol Pot.

    Both violated the Golden Rule.

    So I take it you believe in free will and moral responsibility? A lot of skeptics tend to deny those.

    They do? News to me.

  231. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    So I take it you believe in free will and moral responsibility? A lot of skeptics tend to deny those.

    Citation needed. And by “citation” I don’t mean another godbot making the same claim.

  232. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    So I take it you believe in free will and moral responsibility? A lot of skeptics tend to deny those.

    Free will I’ll give you, but moral responsibility?

    Do tell. “A lot” is a nebulous term as is “moral responsibility”.

    Do you happen to have something that backs up both of those?

  233. chaoticinflation says

    @omnicrom 243
    Its really just basic principles for interpeting a text and finding the meaning. Knowing what genre the text is from, recognizing if the text is using figures of speech like metaphors or euphemisms , knowing the social and cultural context of the text , what the probable intent of the author was , are all valuable parts of exegesis.

  234. Nick Gotts says

    Is there some sort of objective standard of morality we can use to compare opinions and see who’s opinion is right and who is wrong? Or is everyone’s opinion equally valid. – chaoticinflation@248

    A typical false dichotomy. No, there is no objective standard of morality, but we can rationally criticise and debate moral judgements, in terms of (for example) their internal consistency, and the consequences of adopting them. It is not the case that everyone’s opinion is equally valid, as some opinions may be given without thought – for example, simply parroting some authority – while others are based on relevant expertise and careful consideration of counter-arguments.

  235. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Its really just basic principles for interpeting a text and finding the meaning.

    Basic principles are if it mentions a deity, since deities don’t exist, it is mythology/fiction. Your book of morals is a book of mythology/fiction.

  236. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @chaoticinflation #254

    omnicrom wasn’t asking you for a definition of “exegesis,” they were asking you to demonstrate that your favored exegesis is the proper one.

  237. chaoticinflation says

    @omnicron 243
    I think many skeptics are ignorant of these factors when they look at the text and thus come up with faulty eisegesis

  238. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think many skeptics are ignorant of these factors when they look at the text and thus come up with faulty eisegesis

    No, you are the ignorant one for trying to explain away your imaginary deities lack of morals. You can’t read text for what it is. It’s your problem, not ours. You deal with it elsewhere, not here.

  239. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I think many skeptics are ignorant of these factors when they look at the text and thus come up with faulty eisegesis

    Cogito ergo est, to coin a phrase. ;)

  240. chaoticinflation says

    @Nick Gotts

    A typical false dichotomy. No, there is no objective standard of morality, but we can rationally criticise and debate moral judgements, in terms of (for example) their internal consistency, and the consequences of adopting them.

    Pete Haas pointed out the Nazi ethic which resulted in genocide was entirely internally consistent. Why should we value consistency anyway? For something to be objectively true it must be internally consistent , but you’re saying they’re not true.
    And of course the appeal to consquences doesn’t get you anywhere. What makes one set of moral consequences morally better than the other? What kind of moral standard can we use? Hitler thought exterminating the Jews was a good moral consequence in his opinion.

    It is not the case that everyone’s opinion is equally valid, as some opinions may be given without thought – for example, simply parroting some authority – while others are based on relevant expertise and careful consideration of counter-arguments.

    But that is the genetic fallacy. The origin of someone’s belief/opinion does not make it false. What makes it false is an objective standard of truth.

    @SallyStrange

    Well you’d have to accept that people who commit genital mutilation , rape , sexist discrimination aren’t really doing anything wrong. They just have a difference of opinion with you.
    You didn’t respond to my stuff asking your views on free will and moral responsbility.

    @Rev
    As for skeptics who deny free will and moral responsibilty I can think of Dawkins off the top of my head

    But doesn’t a truly scientific, mechanistic view of the nervous system make nonsense of the very idea of responsibility, whether diminished or not? Any crime, however heinous, is in principle to be blamed on antecedent conditions acting through the accused’s physiology, heredity and environment. Don’t judicial hearings to decide questions of blame or diminished responsibility make as little sense for a faulty man as for a Fawlty car?

    http://edge.org/q2006/q06_9.html
    He concludes that responsibility is just a fiction created by evolution that we should grow out of .
    I’ve heard many skeptics make claims like this about free will and ,moral responsibility. I’ll see what other stuff I can find. I’m surprised you never heard about this stuff.

  241. Amphiox says

    Its really just basic principles for interpeting a text and finding the meaning.

    = “if I don’t like what the text literally says, I can pretend it says something else”

    Knowing what genre the text is from,

    In the bible’s, the genre is fiction. Some parts are historical fiction. Some parts are science fiction. Some parts are poetic fiction. Some parts are mythic fiction.

    But it’s all fiction.

    recognizing if the text is using figures of speech like metaphors or euphemisms

    = “if I don’t like what the text literally says, I can pretend it says something else”

    knowing the social and cultural context of the text

    = “here I admit that the bible doesn’t actually contain any standard for objective morality but am too intellectually cowardly to actually say those words”

    what the probable intent of the author was

    = “here I admit that the bible is an invention of human beings for the servicing of specific agendas but am too intellectually cowardly to actually say those words”

    are all valuable parts of exegesis.

    The practical, functional difference between exegesis and fanfiction? Fanfiction writers are honest enough to admit that they are doing fiction.

  242. Nick Gotts says

    chaoticinflation@122,

    I would probably be convinced I was mistaken or misinterpreting God , because I find it highly unlikely God would command genocide

    No, I asked what you would do if you believed that God was commanding you to commit genocide. You are still wriggling out of an honest answer.

    What would you do if what ever metaethical theory you hold to convinced you , you needed to commit genocide?

    I would conclude that my metaethical theory must be wrong.

    The site might be down for a little now , but Flanagan goes through the relevant passages and shows they are using hyperbolic language and those who conclude it is genocide are using faulty exegesis.

    Bullshit. The language is absolutely clear and specific. I’ve read the cached page you linked to @128 and in fact, you’re clearly being dishonest when you claim that Flanagan has shown that it is not to be taken literally. He says:

    While it is true that taken in isolation and interpreted in a strict literal fashion the book of Joshua does appear to state that God commanded Genocide, I contend that when the text is read in its literary and textual context this conclusion is far from evident and is, in fact, rather questionable.

    So he is only claiming to cast doubt on the literal interpretation by showing that other parts of the Bible are inconsistent with all Canaanites having been killed (but I note that they are not inconsistent with the specific acts of genocide recorded, and that genocide does not imply that literally everyone of a specific ethnic group was killed – we refer to the Rwandan genocide even though the great majority of Tutsis in Rwanda survived it), not to have shown that it is wrong. Your favourite Christian philosopher, William Lane Craig, insists that the accounts of genocide are to be taken literally, and that God had the right to command genocide. What’s perhaps most interesting here is that Flanagan, and you, have to deny the plain language of the text in favour of your “moral intuition” that genocide is wrong. But clearly, that intuition cannot derive from the Bible, since God himself is shown committing genocide as well as ordering it (the flood, the slaughter of the firstborn, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah…), and Jesus threatens the same to cities which have rejected his followers.

    God at least permits genocide to happen, despite – being omnipotent – being able to prevent it. If any human being had the power to prevent genocide and failed to do so, we would consider them accomplices to that evil, and hence, condemn them as evil themselves. So God, if he exists, is clearly evil. Why do you worship evil, chaoticinflation?

    God may have morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil we are not aware of.

    You would not accept such an excuse from any human being who permitted genocide. You don’t suggest any such reason, nor ask yourself why, if there were such a reason, God has not made clear what it is. What a disgusting moral coward you are, chaoticinflation!

    Hilarious. Your whole point has been to claim that good is simply what a particular individual – God, in this case – wills or judges.

    but God’s will is not arbitrary. If flows from his perfectly good , just and holy nature.

    But you have not given any argument for believing in that nature – you have just dogmatically asserted it.

  243. Amphiox says

    But that is the genetic fallacy.

    No it is not.

    That you could even say this with a straight face suggests that you do not even understand what the term “genetic fallacy” even means.

  244. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @263 chaoticinflation

    Dawkins is arguing against retributive justice in that article and for a more rehabilitative approach. It’s not that we haven’t heard of it, it’s that he’s not saying what you think he’s saying.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You didn’t respond to my stuff asking your views on free will and moral responsbility.

    Irrelevant until you drop your presupposition that your imaginary deity exists, and has anything to do with good morals…

  246. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange

    “Faulty exegesis”–aka when you look at the words that are written and accept their meaning at face value

    Not necessarily , but sometimes this is how its comes about. No one looks at any ancient text without understanding the relevant factors I pointed out and sees themselves as qualified to criticize it. But some ignorant skeptics like to do that to the bible.

  247. chaoticinflation says

    @Seven of Mine
    In the part I quoted he pretty clearly says his views on neuroscience preclude the concept of responsibility.
    I don’t know what his views on justice are , but he clearly does not believe in moral responsibility.

  248. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not necessarily , but sometimes this is how its comes about.

    We should apply exegesis to everything you write. Every time you mention, Yahweh, substitute Yogi Bear. Every time you mention perfect morality, write in bullshit sophistry. Every time you mention morals, substitute bullshit sophistry. In fact, substituting bullshit sophistry for anything you say just saves time….

  249. Amphiox says

    but God’s will is not arbitrary

    Then God does not have free will.

    If flows from his perfectly good , just and holy nature.

    Now THIS, ironically, is an exact analog to the argument you pulled from Dawkins, applied to God. And this is also a correct example of a genetic fallacy.

    It is also an admission that God is not omnipotent.

    It is also an admission that you are NOT using God as an ultimate standard of goodness or morality, but that there is an external standard to which you are comparing God and judging, on your own arbitrary whim, that he conforms to “perfectly”.

    Thanks for conceding the whole argument.

    You can go away now.

  250. Amphiox says

    In the part I quoted he pretty clearly says his views on neuroscience preclude the concept of responsibility.
    I don’t know what his views on justice are , but he clearly does not believe in moral responsibility.

    You obviously have not applied proper exegesis to Dawkins’ writings.

    In particular you have disregarded the social and cultural context of that quote and the probably intent of the author.

    For one thing, that quote was one solicited/requested from the author by a third party as a “dangerous idea”. In other words, all the authors of all those quotes were specifically asked to brainstorm up controversial ideas.

    And if this is the extent of your competence in the application of exegesis to writing in general, then I see little credibility in any of your claims about the bible, either.

  251. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I don’t know what his views on justice are , but he clearly does not believe in moral responsibility.

    He states his views on justice IN THE ARTICLE from which you cherry picked that quote.

    Good grief.

  252. chaoticinflation says

    @Seven of mine

    That’s not the relevant point. He clearly says that he thinks neuroscience precludes moral responsibility.

  253. chaoticinflation says

    @seven of mine
    He never says anything about taking a “rehabilitative approach” in the article , so you’re clearly reading that into the article. That’s what I was referring to.

  254. Nick Gotts says

    chaoticinflation@263,

    Pete Haas pointed out the Nazi ethic which resulted in genocide was entirely internally consistent.

    Peter Haas may have claimed this, but you don’t get to assert that he “pointed it out” without either giving his argument for it, or linking to it.

    Why should we value consistency anyway? For something to be objectively true it must be internally consistent , but you’re saying they’re not true.

    I’m saying “true” and “false” are not applicable to moral judgements, because there are no facts which could make them so. (Parenthetically: this does not mean that facts are irrelevant in assessing moral judgments. For example, they may be based on factual beliefs that are false, as those of the Nazis certainly were – there is no world Jewish conspiracy, for example.) But consistency does apply to them: if a moral injunction is internally inconsistent, it cannot be followed, and so is useless as a guide to conduct.

    And of course the appeal to consquences doesn’t get you anywhere. What makes one set of moral consequences morally better than the other? What kind of moral standard can we use? Hitler thought exterminating the Jews was a good moral consequence in his opinion.

    We can use the moral standard of respect for the internests and wishes of other people – and more broadly, other sentient beings. If you need a justification for that, then you’re clearly a psychopath, like your genocidal god. I’m not, so I don’t. I’m prepared to take responsibility for my own moral judgments, without the need to insist that they are “objective”.

    It is not the case that everyone’s opinion is equally valid, as some opinions may be given without thought – for example, simply parroting some authority – while others are based on relevant expertise and careful consideration of counter-arguments.

    But that is the genetic fallacy. The origin of someone’s belief/opinion does not make it false. What makes it false is an objective standard of truth.

    Do make some effort to understand the position you are arguing against. Of course opinions given without thought are not necessarily false, but that’s not what I said (and in the case of moral judgments, “true” and “false” are not even applicable in my metaethical theory). You claimed that the only options were either an objective standard of morality, or that all opinions on moral issues are equally valid. I pointed out ways in which, without an objective moral standard, all such opinions are not equally valid – one of them being the expertise and careful consideration of objections that lie behind them. Got it yet?

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He clearly says that he thinks neuroscience precludes moral responsibility.

    Ah, but your imaginary deity has no moral responsibility, just you making excuses for the bad behavior of your delusion….

  256. Nick Gotts says

    No one looks at any ancient text without understanding the relevant factors I pointed out and sees themselves as qualified to criticize it. – chaoticinflation@269

    But of course, they are allowed to accept it as a comprehensive guide to the nature of reality and ethics, without any such understanding – as the overwhelming majority of those who accept the Bible as an authority have always done.

  257. chaoticinflation says

    @Amphiox 264
    Translation
    =I’m too lazy to research the relevant historical and literary factors , so I’m going to be a fundamentalist atheist and claim my fundaliteral approach is the truth!

  258. Nick Gotts says

    Further to #280, it’s amusing that in #269 you assert that opinions based on expertise and careful study are more valid than those which are not – a point you were quite unable to see when I made it.

  259. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    He never says anything about taking a “rehabilitative approach” in the article , so you’re clearly reading that into the article. That’s what I was referring to.

    He talks about fixing the problem that causes the person to commit the crime. That’s what “rehabilitation” means. Jesus.

    @Crip Dyke

    I meant that as a reference to your 140. I wasn’t trying to claim credit for myself. I should have made it more obvious. My bad.

  260. Nick Gotts says

    And further again, the difficulty when it comes to Biblical exegesis is that those supposedly most expert at it – theologians and Biblical shcolars – differ fundamentally about what just about any passage in it means. To repeat the example I gave earlier, one of your favourite authorities – Craig – disagrees with you about the genocides recounted in Joshua – but the genral failure of exegesists to agree is one of the main reasons why there are tens of thousands of squabbling Christian denominations. This failure is wholly unsurprising to anyone who recognises the Bible for what it is – a compendium of myth, poetry, ancient law and custom, proto-history, etc., written by many hands, edited by many more, cobbled together in its current form as the end result of violent feuding among competing factions in the early church – and therefore unsurprisingly, chock-full of inconsistencies and absurdities. But it ought to give pause to anyone who beliefves it is the inspired word of God.

  261. chaoticinflation says

    @seven of mine

    All I was saying is that Dawkins does not believe in free will and moral responsibility.
    Are you disagreeing? stop diverting.

  262. Amphiox says

    He clearly says that he thinks neuroscience precludes moral responsibility.

    Replace “neuroscience” with “god’s plan” and the issue of absolute ultimate moral responsibility remains the same.

    An omniscient, omnipotent creator god who is also the ultimate objective source of all morality precludes human moral responsibility completely. Every evil thing any human has ever done is done because that is the way god made him or her, and was done according to god’s ultimate plan. And clearly, god, as the PERFECT, all-powerful, moral being, would not have allowed that evil to occur if it did not, in the end, serve a greater ultimate good, all part of his plan, which we humans simply cannot guess at.

    The reality is, there is no absolute ultimate moral responsibility in BOTH the theistic AND the atheistic worldviews. Human moral responsibility is ALWAYS RELATIVE. The only difference is that atheists are honest enough to admit this reality, whereas theists of your particular ilk are not.

    the relevant historical and literary factors

    = an admission that god is not an objective standard of morality, nor should he be held accountable for his actions or words. He is a deity of his times and thus should be afforded the proper charity in judgment.

    Note the hypocrisy of how you insist of applying these things to your bible, but refuse to do so with Richard Dawkins.

  263. Amphiox says

    All I was saying is that Dawkins does not believe in free will and moral responsibility.

    Dawkins makes an argument that ABSOLUTE free will nor ABSOLUTE moral responsibility do not exist for humans.

    And he is right. Neither of those things exist for humans in practical reality.

    And you continue to hypocritically ignore the cultural and historical context, and relevant literary factors (ie Dawkins long known and established habit in his writing of presenting thought experiments to his readers in order to provoke them into thinking about a subject) that apply to that quote.

  264. Amphiox says

    He clearly says that he thinks neuroscience precludes moral responsibility.

    About as clearly as god approves of genocide and misogyny in your bible.

  265. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    [off topic]@seven of mine

    Oops. My bad as well. I had meant it as a light hearted “Gee, great minds…” thing. If you’re worried about credit, i’ve failed to communicate the fun. (I’ve never been a fan of emoticons, but I should probably make use of them a bit more often… )

    I liked the phrase, but drooL knows that Latin’s been around long enough, and Descartes wrote long enough ago, that I couldn’t have been the *first* person to coin it.
    [/off topic]

    @SallyStrange:

    You know who else had opinions?

    HITLER.

    Oh, crap! I can’t even do parody right. Quick, whose worse than Hitler?

  266. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m too lazy to research the relevant historical and literary factors , so I’m going to be a fundamentalist atheist and claim my fundaliteral approach is the truth!

    Translation: I’m too stupid to consider that my deity doesn’t exist and is just a mythical being like Zeus or Thor.

  267. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Quick, whose worse than Hitler?

    Richard Dawkins? Hitler may have been a mass murdering racist Pope-lover who dabbled in the occult, but at least he wasn’t rude about faith!

  268. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation

    I have a general question. Let’s say there is a god, and they are the source of all morality… how do you know it’s your God?

    What if you’ve been worshipping at the wrong alter all these years? Norse hell is a pretty nasty place. At least your hell’s warm.

  269. Amphiox says

    fundaliteral approach is the truth

    Our poor troll, blinkered by his rigid absolutist and authoritarian thinking, completely misses the point.

    If you need exegesis to interpret the bible, then you are applying SUBJECTIVE judgment to the bible in order to extract moral “truth” from the document. That means the bible is NOT a source for objective morality.

    The morality derived from the bible is SUBJECTIVE because it is extracted through a SUBJECTIVE process, ie exegesis.

    The more he babbles about exegesis, the more he concedes the point.

  270. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Weed(less) Monkey & Thumper:

    D’oh, I walked into that one. But permit me to translate:

    Theobot: Hey, Hitler! You look like a godless queer!

    Hitler: In my opinion, pink is much too strong and vibrant a color for the effeminate.

    Theobot: Wow. I fear for Germany, with leadership like yours. Other countries will see you as weak and invade.

    Hitler: In my opinion, I am continuing the work of Jesus, another ” ‘Aryan fighter’ who struggled against Jewry”. Surely nothing will go wrong for Germany.

    Theobot: Oh, yeah? You know who else had opinions? SallyStrange.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  271. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper

    I have a general question. Let’s say there is a god, and they are the source of all morality… how do you know it’s your God?

    What if you’ve been worshipping at the wrong alter all these years? Norse hell is a pretty nasty place. At least your hell’s warm.

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

    What evidence? Your deity doesn’t exist, and you can’t provide conclusive physical to back that claim. Without a deity, Xianity is a meaningless mass of bullshit.

  273. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

    How so?

  274. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #296

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

    I’m curious. Let’s stick with Norse, since I’ve used it already; what makes you think that Christianity is more likely to be true than the Norse religion? Why is Yahweh more likely to be real than Odin?

  275. anteprepro says

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

    1. I sincerely doubt that if live in the Western world that you did so without bias and had equal access and gave equal consideration to all religious beliefs.
    2. Hilarious that it seems like you didn’t seriously consider that NONE of them are right. The “strongest” evidence for a religion is like having the “most logical” pseudoscience.

  276. chaoticinflation says

    @thumper
    I don’t think it would be overly productive to discuss religions here though. If you don’t even think there’s a God , then it wouldn’t make sense to try to discuss this. It would be like us arguing what color Bill’s hair is , and you disagree that Bill ever existed.
    There’s lots of great Christian resources on other religions though , if you ever did come around to God.

  277. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I don’t think it would be overly productive to discuss religions here though. If

    weaseling

  278. Rey Fox says

    Ok. But that’s just your opinion.

    So’s yours. You don’t have any “get out of opinon free” card.

    (I’ll overlook the blaspheming of St. Dude, you’re welcome)

    No, there is no objective standard of morality, but we can rationally criticise and debate moral judgements, in terms of (for example) their internal consistency, and the consequences of adopting them.

    And it’s damn more useful to do this with actual philosophy than some moldy old book of mythology.

  279. Rey Fox says

    I don’t think it would be overly productive to discuss religions here though.

    Yeah, it’s much more productive to repeatedly claim that we have no morals because we don’t have some carved in stone Holy Text* that states out the Objective Morals of the Creator of Everything who will Fuck You Up Big Time if you disagree.

    * That requires extensive exegesis to truly decipher.

  280. Amphiox says

    I don’t think it would be overly productive to discuss religions here though.

    = “I don’t want to answer the question, because I can’t without admitting that my whole argument is wrong, but I’m too intellectually dishonest to admit it.”

  281. says

    Well you’d have to accept that people who commit genital mutilation , rape , sexist discrimination aren’t really doing anything wrong. They just have a difference of opinion with you.

    Actually I don’t have to do that at all. Yes, Hitler “just” has a difference of opinion with me about whether genocide is OK. That doesn’t mean I have to accept that he wasn’t really doing anything wrong when he systematically murdered millions of people. It’s my opinion that murder and genocide are wrong. (Even if you proved to me that Yahweh existed and was responsible for my existence, that wouldn’t change my “difference of opinion” with Yahweh about genocide.) Feel free to make a counter-argument if you think my opinion is invalid.

    You didn’t respond to my stuff asking your views on free will and moral responsbility.

    I’m not a philosopher and I don’t care to be one. From what I understand about free will, we don’t have “contra-causal” free will which means that if you’re confronted with the same situation and the same information you simply cannot choose other than what you chose before. However, we never encounter the exact same situation with the exact same information so it’s a moot point as far as actual behavior is concerned. I think we have free will, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, that is limited by circumstances. (A supporting piece of data for this is people who have lost their short-term memories–I heard a story about a woman who’d lost her memory of the previous few weeks, and kept on looping around every few minutes to that same memory starting point, i.e. waking up in a hospital and seeing her doctor and her mother there. Every few minutes, her memory would reset, and at that point, she would ask the exact same set of questions, even down to changes in her tone of voice and inflection. So she sort of was experiencing the same situation with the same information, and voila! She reacted the same every single time.)

    Moral responsibility, obviously, I just talked about it so it’s kind of silly to ask if I believe in it yes? Like morality, free will, and just about everything else that matters, it’s not absolute and can be qualified or limited by circumstances.

    You don’t really have a point, do you?

  282. Amphiox says

    If you don’t even think there’s a God , then it wouldn’t make sense to try to discuss this. It would be like us arguing what color Bill’s hair is , and you disagree that Bill ever existed.

    YOU’RE the one who barged in trying to make the argument that Bill’s hair color is red and the fact that it is red proves that Bill existed. And now that it is obvious you’re losing the argument badly, you want to run away from it? How pathetic.

    There’s lots of great Christian resources on other religions though

    Why should anyone trust the objectivity and accuracy of such sources over the direct sources from that other religion?

  283. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #301

    I don’t think it would be overly productive to discuss religions here though.

    So you’re refusing to answer my question? Gotcha. Because, I suspect, you don’t have an answer.

    How am I ever going to “come around to God” if his followers can’t even answer basic questions like that?

    What if I meet someone who follows the Norse religion, and they can answer that question? Yahweh’s down a follower, and it’ll be your fault.

  284. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Though, to be fair, anteprepro, thumper, and chaoticinflation, that really is more of a Thunderdome discussion. Declining to answer it here is fine, but if chaotic inflation won’t follow to TD, that would be weird.

    To be fairer, this has been thoroughly OT for a while now, and I’ve participated in that. But maybe it is time, if we’re going all the way to “which god is real/best” that we keep that tradition TD topic there.

  285. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There’s lots of great Christian resources on other religions though , if you ever did come around to God.

    This is a statement of pure proselytization. Your deity doesn’t exist, never did, so there is nothing to come around to.

    Xianity is nothing but random noise based on two fallacies: their deity exists, and their babble isn’t a book of mythology/fiction.

  286. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper

    So you’re refusing to answer my question? Gotcha. Because, I suspect, you don’t have an answer.

    How am I ever going to “come around to God” if his followers can’t even answer basic questions like that?

    What if I meet someone who follows the Norse religion, and they can answer that question? Yahweh’s down a follower, and it’ll be your fault.

    We can and we have been answering for over a thousand years. Do you think Christians have never written responses to other religions?
    If you examine the claims made about Odin (with proper exegesis and all that) , you conclude he’s a finite being who was born in the past and will die (or already died depending on when you date Ragnarok). He’s not the sort of being that can be the eternal ground of being or eternal standard of morality so he’s very different and the evidence Christians present for God is very different.

    I don’t see why you’d bring this up except to shift the topic , since I don’t think you enter the possibility of Odin

    @SallyStrange
    I’m trying to show the implications of your views.

    Then if people behave immorally , they’re just following their opinions. You can’t really criticise anyone else , cause that’s your opinion. There’s no binding moral standard or law people neeed to live up to. Those guys who perform genocide or other crimes against humanity are following their opinions.

    And of course if you deny free will that means no-one could have chose to do otherwise under the circumstances. That rapist , he couldn’t have chosen to ask for consent instead. Those guys who enagaged in genital mutilation , could not have chosen to stop. Hitler couldn’t have chosen not to genocide the Jews.
    And you’ve never explained , how are we responsible for something if we could not have chosen to do otherwise?

  287. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation

    they’re just following their opinions. You can’t really criticise anyone else , cause that’s your opinion.

    you’ve never been exposed to art critics, music critics, food critics…umm, I guess I should just “critics” eh?…have you?

  288. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you examine the claims made about Odin (with proper exegesis and all that) , you conclude he’s a finite being who was born in the past and will die (or already died depending on when you date Ragnarok). He’s not the sort of being that can be the eternal ground of being or eternal standard of morality so he’s very different and the evidence Christians present for God is very different.

    Actually they are both the same. Nice stories/myths, but absolutely no conclusive physical evidence to demonstrate the existence of either deity. Both are imaginary.
    QED

  289. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    chaoticinflation,
    The argument that only a deity could define an “objective” morality represents a tremendous failing of imagination. All social animals have a “morality”–even ants, bees, and certainly social mammals. Humans are social mammals whose survival depended on the ability to cooperate in a social group. Actions that ran counter to that threatened group survival. You can even use game theory to derive something very like the Golden Rule. What is more, this view not only explains why a particular morality prevails, but also the likelihood of deviance from that standard and what happens when such deviation occurs.

    “GODDIDIT” is not a particularly informative answer. What is more, when you have your deity carving his commandments in stone, how do you explain the changes in moral views over time. The bible explicitly justifies slavery, rape, incest, genocide, etc. How do you explain how we have come to reject these?

  290. chaoticinflation says

    @a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Some animals have conventions that they follow and herd instincts, but that isn’t morality in the sense we’re talking about.
    As I pointed out , when lions kill the cubs of a competing male or when a dog forcibly copulates with another dog it is not objectively wrong or immoral.
    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.
    For example atheist philosopher of biology Michael Ruse say, “The position of the modern evolutionist … is that humans have an awareness of morality … because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. … Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. … Nevertheless, … such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, … and any deeper meaning is illusory.”

    Re: not informative -your opinion of an answer does not have much to do with its truth value.
    As for changes is moral views , I think there are good explanation for that and there are many common principles that are shared across cultures anyway.
    Re: the bible says , we had a lengthy discussion on exegesis here.I linked matt flanagan earlier .Matt Flanagan has a tonne of great posts onOld testament ethics , that address your objections. Matt really good about looking at the relevant historical and socio-cultural background of teh biblical writers to put these verses in context.

  291. says

    I’m trying to show the implications of your views.

    You don’t seem to be trying very hard.

    Then if people behave immorally , they’re just following their opinions. You can’t really criticise anyone else , cause that’s your opinion.

    Again, why is it that I can’t criticize them?

    There’s no binding moral standard

    Sure there is. It’s just not objective. The binding factor is society. Which is, in reality, far more effective a binding agent than your belief in a supernatural rule-maker.

    or law people neeed to live up to.

    LOL, now you’re really reaching. Yes, actually laws do still exist even if there’s no Supreme Sky Daddy making rules.

    Those guys who perform genocide or other crimes against humanity are following their opinions.

    And so are the rest of us when we band together to stop them.

    And of course if you deny free will that means no-one could have chose to do otherwise under the circumstances.

    I didn’t deny free will in general. You’re not even reading, you’re just a stimulus-response robot. Input trigger words, such as “I don’t think free will is absolute,” or “I don’t think contra-causal free will exists,” and spit out pre-programmed schpiel regarding scare tactics about the consequences of denying free will.

    That rapist , he couldn’t have chosen to ask for consent instead. Those guys who enagaged in genital mutilation , could not have chosen to stop. Hitler couldn’t have chosen not to genocide the Jews.

    See, you’re not even reading. No, if you somehow invented a time machine and erased a rapist’s memories and put him back in the same situation where he chose to rape someone, he literally could not choose to do otherwise. That’s what I mean when I say I don’t believe in contra-causal free will. That the philosophy stuff that I’m not super interested in anyway. In terms of practical implications for everyday behavior, that means nothing. And the fact that I believe our ability to choose freely is limited by more prosaic factors such as brain chemistry which may be linked to genetics or traumatic childhood experiences doesn’t mean that I believe we have no ability to make choices.

    And you’ve never explained , how are we responsible for something if we could not have chosen to do otherwise?

    Let me know when you start actually reading instead of spitting out pre-programmed responses.

  292. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Chaoticinflation,

    Ah, so the Bibble is the literal word of “God”…except when it’s not? And who decides when it’s literally true and when it’s not? Does it ever bother you that the people who do the deciding choose precisely those passages that seem to support their prejudices and bigotry?

  293. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.

    Unevidenced assertion, typical of your lies and bullshit. But evolution does help social animals stay social, like humans.

    your opinion of an answer does not have much to do with its truth value.

    Any time your presuppose an imaginary deity or base morals upon said phantasm, your truth is not there. It can’t be. That deity doesn’t exist. Your whole argument is just so much sophistry to pretend your deity exists. Your opinion of your answer has nothing to due with the truthfulness of your statements. Just your delusional belief system.

  294. says

    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.

    “most people” do all kinds of convenient things.

    YOU cannot seem to deal with the fact that it is YOU who longs for objective morality, not us. That’s your requirement. And nobody is proposing that evolution itself is the foundation for ethics and morality, but our evolutionary heritage that predisposes us to invent such things.

    Tell me, do you get agitated at art exhibits because there’s no objective standard by which to judge the paintings or sculptures or whatever? You have to come up with your own judgment about the value of the artworks. Why is it so hard to imagine that it is not only okay, but necessary to do the same thing with moral judgments? Does it bother you that the worth of money is an artifact of mutual agreement among humans rather than an absolute decree from some supreme ruler?

  295. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @chaoticinflation

    Re: not informative -your opinion of an answer does not have much to do with its truth value.

    You say the above and then in the very next sentence:

    As for changes is moral views , I think there are good explanation for that and there are many common principles that are shared across cultures anyway.

    you expect us to accept a claim as fact with no justification except that you think it.

    You’re absurd.

  296. chaoticinflation says

    @SallyStrange

    Again, why is it that I can’t criticize them?

    because that would be tantamount to cricising someone for liking chocolate ice cream. You’re criticising an opinion. they’re not wrong. Your criticism holds no weight.

    The binding factor is society.

    But as we all know something societies endorse things like oppression of women , that are wrong.

    I didn’t deny free will in general. You’re not even reading, you’re just a stimulus-response robot. Input trigger words, such as “I don’t think free will is absolute,” or “I don’t think contra-causal free will exists,” and spit out pre-programmed schpiel regarding scare tactics about the consequences of denying free will.

    Could you stop equivocating. Could people choose to do otherwise? I’m typing now. Could I have chosen to do something else under the circumstances or is it all predetermined? If I spouted abuse at you , could I have chosen to do otherwise?

    In terms of practical implications for everyday behavior, that means nothing. And the fact that I believe our ability to choose freely is limited by more prosaic factors such as brain chemistry which may be linked to genetics or traumatic childhood experiences doesn’t mean that I believe we have no ability to make choices.

    1. It means everything. If we can’t choose to do otherwise, is that a real ‘choice’ ? How can we be held responsible for the ‘choices’ we do take if there were no other options in the circumstances?
    I live consistenly with my worldview. I believe some actions are just objectively wrong and some actions are good. I believe people can freely choose their actions and they are responsible for the choices they do make.

    YOU cannot seem to deal with the fact that it is YOU who longs for objective morality, not us. That’s your requirement. And nobody is proposing that evolution itself is the foundation for ethics and morality, but our evolutionary heritage that predisposes us to invent such things.

    Tell me, do you get agitated at art exhibits because there’s no objective standard by which to judge the paintings or sculptures or whatever? You have to come up with your own judgment about the value of the artworks. Why is it so hard to imagine that it is not only okay, but necessary to do the same thing with moral judgments? Does it bother you that the worth of money is an artifact of mutual agreement among humans rather than an absolute decree from some supreme ruler?

    I do believe in the objectivity of aesthetics , but to take your view (on aesthetics) it wouldn’t bother me.
    Claiming I don’t like Picasso’s work is different from a claim like “the Holocaust was wrong” . Money has no value . Its a piece of paper that you can burn. But it seems to me that humans do have value and at least some things are really wrong and when I think about things like the genocide in Rwanda , I realize they are moral abominations , no matter what someone’s opinions on the subject might be. It doesn’t seem to be a convention , like money is a convention. At least to me.

    @ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ah, so the Bibble is the literal word of “God”…except when it’s not? And who decides when it’s literally true and when it’s not? Does it ever bother you that the people who do the deciding choose precisely those passages that seem to support their prejudices and bigotry?

    I don’t know what you mean. I think the bible is the word of God. To interpet the text we use exegesis as we would with any other ancient text. Of course , as with many ancient texts it contains figures of speech , metaphors , parables , proverbs …etc that are not to be taken literally and parts that are literal and we use exegesis to uncover the meaning. I’ve actually literally never heard anyone cite those verses on genocide aside from internet skeptics.

  297. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Of course , as with many ancient texts it contains figures of speech , metaphors , parables , proverbs …etc that are not to be taken literally and parts that are literal and we use exegesis to uncover the meaning.

    And you check your accuracy how exactly?

  298. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ chaoticinflation

    because that would be tantamount to cricising someone for liking chocolate ice cream.

    “opinion” and “preference” are not synonyms.

  299. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I’ve actually literally never heard anyone cite those verses on genocide aside from internet skeptics.

    And you think this is indicative of what, exactly?

  300. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think the bible is the word of God.

    No, it is a book of mythology/fiction, designed to hold the Jewish tribes together. Why would a true deity use mere humans with an agenda (keep the tribe together with a common history/mythology) to write something down, when it could carve those words into a mountain and with divine will, keep it from crumbling? That would also be conclusive evidence of its existence….

  301. consciousness razor says

    chaoticinflation, #276:

    He clearly says that he thinks neuroscience precludes moral responsibility.

    #285:

    All I was saying is that Dawkins does not believe in free will and moral responsibility.

    So? Contra-causal free will doesn’t exist, so “ultimate” responsibility doesn’t exist. These are technical terms with precise meanings.

    There’s no “you” which is the “ultimate” causal origin of your actions: things other than you cause you to act. That does not mean you don’t act. It doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for your actions. People do make choices and they are responsible for those choices. So people talking about this aren’t saying what you think they’re saying. Or if you find someone who is making such a claim (that we don’t choose and aren’t responsible, in the “ordinary” sense), they’re as confused as you are. If you want to demonstrate that Dawkins is confused, I don’t give a fuck. In fact, given his history, I wouldn’t be surprised by that at all.

  302. Amphiox says

    Of course , as with many ancient texts it contains figures of speech , metaphors , parables , proverbs …etc that are not to be taken literally and parts that are literal and we use exegesis to uncover the meaning.

    Unfortunately for you, the parts in your bible wherein your god directly commands genocide are the parts that are supposed to be HISTORICAL. They are NOT figures of speech, or metaphors, or parables, or proverbs. They are quite explicitly in the part of the bible that IS claimed to be literal.

    Thank you for conceding the argument, again.

  303. Amphiox says

    I’ve actually literally never heard anyone cite those verses on genocide aside from internet skeptics.

    None so deaf as he who will not listen.

    The reason those verses are not cited is simple. No one actually uses the bible as a source for objective morality, even those theists like you who pretend to. EVERYONE makes their own SUBJECTIVE moral decisions, and have SUBJECTIVELY decided that those verses of the bible that command genocide are NOT moral and therefore not worthy of being cited.

    It is the result of human beings judging the bible’s morality, finding it wanting, and rejecting it.

  304. consciousness razor says

    I believe people can freely choose their actions and they are responsible for the choices they do make.

    Do you have a reason for acting a certain way, when you “freely choose”? Does anything at all motivate you to act a certain way? Not even what you claim to know about your god’s nature or commandments?

    Why would you think it’s true that you’re “responsible,” if and only if nothing whatsoever caused you to make one choice or another? You’re effectively claiming that choices (good or bad or otherwise) must be entirely arbitrary, irrational and founded on nothing at all, or else we haven’t “really” made a choice. Contra-causal free will is not even false. It’s incoherent bullshit.

    So skip the bullshit. If you want to demonstrate there’s a soul, go right ahead. Where’s the evidence of a soul? How does it interact with our brains? We have brains, but for whatever reason you think what they do isn’t enough, so there must be some effect to look at if there is a soul. Yet physicists will tell you there is no such effect. They’ve looked very, very hard: there’s nothing other than physical forces. There’s no funny business happening anywhere, including inside of our own heads. But if you think you have some evidence that physics as we understand it is wrong, you’d need some truly amazing fucking evidence that blows modern physics out of the water. But you don’t even have a little bit. You’ve got nothing.

  305. Amphiox says

    But it seems to me that humans do have value and at least some things are really wrong and when I think about things like the genocide in Rwanda , I realize they are moral abominations , no matter what someone’s opinions on the subject might be. It doesn’t seem to be a convention , like money is a convention. At least to me.

    That’s because you like all humans have a set of evolved moral instincts that the vast majority of humans share, as a result of our shared evolutionary history. It has nothing whatsoever to do with god.

    Indeed, replace Hutu and Tutsi with Israelite and Amalekite (or any other of a vast and long list of others) and the Rwandan situation is DIRECTLY analogous to multiple instances of god-sanctioned genocide described in the HISTORICAL, supposedly literally accurate, portions of your bible.

    And indeed divine command theory was explicitly used as a justification by some of the perpetrators for the Rwandan genocide.

    http://faculty.vassar.edu/tilongma/Church&Genocide.html

    Talk of “objective” morality is a prelude to atrocity. Once you convince yourself that you are “objectively” morally right and the other guy is “objectively” morally wrong, you can easily justify doing all kinds of horrible things to him, because, after all he is “objectively” in the wrong and you are “objectively” right.

    Indeed the only moral course is to consider all moral judgments subjective, and open to the possibility of human error, to remain humble in your own human oral imperfection and to be willing to change your subjective mind.

    Your aversion to genocide is not objective. It is subjective, as is the same aversion to genocide in most humans. It is all subjective.

    And it is a GOOD thing that it is subjective.

  306. says

    chaoticinflation @322:

    I believe some actions are just objectively wrong…

    Let me guess “killing babies for fun” 
    I wonder which passage of the bible one could find this rule.
    I also wonder why its ok for god to kill babies in a fit of rage but not for fun. Clearly yahweh is ok with baby killing for the “correct” reasons.

  307. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Chaoticinflation,
    Who is to decide what is metaphor, what real and what a product of the prejudice of the scribe? The Bible reflects the moral code of preliterate, Bronze-Age shepherds, who condoned slavery, considered women and children property and justified mass slaughter as long as it benefited them. How odd that of all the peoples on the globe, the deity chose these people and his morality coincided so precisely with theirs.

    To see the morality in the Bible as in any way consistent with the morality espoused by liberal democratic societies requires an exercise in very selective reading of the Bible. And Vladimir Putin can select just as well as any other leader.

    You seem to think that the only sanction for morality would be divine. What about that which works for the social species and allows it to survive and thrive over the long haul?

  308. consciousness razor says

    Indeed the only moral course is to consider all moral judgments subjective, and open to the possibility of human error, to remain humble in your own human oral imperfection and to be willing to change your subjective mind.

    Your aversion to genocide is not objective. It is subjective, as is the same aversion to genocide in most humans. It is all subjective.

    And it is a GOOD thing that it is subjective.

    You’re conflating epistemology and ontology. Yes, we’re subjects. We have perspectives and consciously experience things. We each do that individually. That’s what subjectivity is. That’s what we are: subjects. It doesn’t mean anything about uncertainty or error; likewise, objectivity isn’t about dogmatism or absolutism.

    Think about it this way. Scientific facts are objective. It’s about features of the world in general, not features of any particular individual’s experience of the world. However, that is not to say that subjective experience itself (my awareness of the color red, for example) is not some actual, observable feature of the world that can be expressed in objective terms — subjects are physical objects like any other, “obeying” all the same physical laws and made of the same physical stuff.

    Anyway, when we say things like “science is objective,” we’re not saying it isn’t open to the possibility of error. It might well be wrong. You just have to keep doing science, to improve upon it. I get that you’re responding to a theist who has bizarre ideas about a god and divine command theory and so on, but if you’re going to talk about “objective morality” per se, then you’re not just talking about some theist’s weird nonsense. It’s entirely independent of that. They’ll bring bullshitters like William Lane Craig into the fray, and your first clue should be that WLC has all the philosophical respectability of a used car salesman who believes in unicorns. People like him aren’t in any way representative of ethical philosophers generally, even if WLC is very pompous and loud, so the way bullshitters like him distort the issues isn’t a good guide to how we really ought to be thinking about them.

    Instead, think of “objectivity” as the same kind of concept that you would use when talking about science. Then you can consistently talk about objectivity, and you can show the theist’s divine command bullshit isn’t objective, as I already tried to explain up there somewhere, because right from the very beginning it’s identified with a particular subject (a god). Point this out, and the best they can do is look at you really stupidly. Or change the subject. This is very straightforward. It’s not complicating the argument by bringing in all sorts of other baggage about evolution or culture or Pol Pot or whatever the fuck. They are simply being inconsistent in their very first premise: that a god is a subject and not a subject. That can’t be right.

  309. says

    They are simply being inconsistent in their very first premise: that a god is a subject and not a subject. That can’t be right.

    That’s just the bad exegesis talking.

    Err… moving to the Thunderdome now. Any further responses will be there.

  310. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chaoticinflation

    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.

    Now we’re getting close to the topic of the OP.

    So I must ask,

    1. since most people recognize the non-existence of the Christian god and thus the impossibility of the Christian god’s ability to provide an objective foundation (or any other kind of foundation) for any kind of ethics, when will you concede that your god has no role to play in morality?

    2. if you want to concede that you are not here refuting the Christian god’s existence and place in morality, and thus that you’re previous statement was simply appealing to numbers and that such an argumentum ad populum has no place is a reasoned discussion intended to get us closer to the truth, why did you use that argument in the first place? Should we be concerned that you are not, in fact, interested in reasonable discussion intended to get us closer to the truth?

    3. You keep basing your argument on the assumption that if morality isn’t objective, it’s not morality. Isn’t the fact that you prepend the word “objective” proof itself that the meaning of morality has to be substantially changed to fit this presumption? How do you justify going back and forth with “objective morality” and just plain old “morality” as if they were, in fact, the same thing?

  311. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do you justify going back and forth with “objective morality” and just plain old “morality” as if they were, in fact, the same thing?

    Well, we all know the typical bait and switch is waiting where is deity (deist type) is needed for morality, and suddenly with smoke and mirrors the genocidal Yahweh is the perfect deity guiding absolute morality….Been there, seen that, YAWN…

  312. Amphiox says

    I believe some actions are just objectively wrong…

    Your belief is subjective. Just putting the word “objective” into it doesn’t actually make it so.

    But then, in reality, the presence or absence of that word “objective” actually makes no practical difference whatsoever. A waste of letters.

  313. Amphiox says

    How do you justify going back and forth with “objective morality” and just plain old “morality” as if they were, in fact, the same thing?

    For all practical purposes they ARE the same thing, as, in the practical realm of actually making moral judgments and acting on them, there is no way to distinguish between the two.

    And that which cannot be distinguished from one another are functionally the same. One may as well waste time counting the number of angels dancing on the heads of imaginary pins.

  314. Amphiox says

    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.

    Neither can a god whose very existence is unverifiable.

    And that is the truth that you are too cowardly to admit. There is NO thing in this universe that can provide a demonstrably objective foundation for any kind of ethics. All human ethics are subjective, either openly so, or a subjective GUESS about an objective morality whose very existence is not verifiable in any way whatsoever.

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Amphiox:

    Neither can a god whose very existence is unverifiable.

    And that is the truth that you are too cowardly to admit.

    QFMFT.

  316. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #312

    Response in the Thunderdome! *insert evil laughter*.

  317. chaoticinflation says

    @a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Chaoticinflation,
    Who is to decide what is metaphor, what real and what a product of the prejudice of the scribe?

    We perform exegesis mostly and research the relevant historical and literary factors , as we do with most other texts.

    The Bible reflects the moral code of preliterate, Bronze-Age shepherds, who condoned slavery, considered women and children property and justified mass slaughter as long as it benefited them. How odd that of all the peoples on the globe, the deity chose these people and his morality coincided so precisely with theirs.

    I think you’ve been reading too many GNU atheist books
    There’s a lot of discussion on Old testament ethics in Christianity and those passages will require careful exegesis and measured answers.
    Questions like what moral ideals the biblical authors point to must be examined in the text and not assumed.
    I linked to Matt Flanagan and he has a discussion of a lot of that under the “old Testament ethics” tag on his site. Paul Copan has written a lot about this topic in a book. An excerpt from his book is here
    I can’t answer everything but if there’s one specific passage you’d like to cite and give your interpretation of it and why you think it is immoral , I could probably answer it.

    You seem to think that the only sanction for morality would be divine. What about that which works for the social species and allows it to survive and thrive over the long haul?

    We can talk about what conditions will cause bacteria or mosquitoes to survive. But what what makes humans more valuable than mosquitoes? You’re just being species-ist

  318. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We perform exegesis ostly and research the relevant historical and literary factors , as we do with most other texts.

    In other words, you twist the original meanings to make them what you want to hear. Typical of godbots. Can’t prove their deity, it can’t be bad, we must lie and bullshit to maintain our delusions.

    I think you’ve been reading too many GNU atheist books

    Who gives a shit what a fuckwitted delusional fool like thinks. Or, rather doesn’t. You aren’t an expert on anything for us to listen to. You are an ignorant delusional fool who can’t prove its deity isn’t imaginary. But you sure do mentally wank about it. But, it is like talking about Harry Potter being real. Nothing but blather.

    Questions like what moral ideals the biblical authors point to must be examined in the text and not assumed.

    Since you assume they say nothing bad, and will revise translations to make sure that happens, your honesty and integrity isn’t it doubt. It, like your deity, doesn’t exist.

  319. says

    Can’t we have both? God is the definition of good and by looking at God and his actions we see teh example of someone who is perfectly loving and perfectly merciful and perfectly just.

    That point only makes sense if this “God” you speak of were objectively verifiable, as to both its existence and its exact nature. But he/she/it/they/ isn’t, so your assertion is meaningless and empty.

  320. says

    most people recognize evolution cannot provide an objective foundation for any kind of ethics.

    That’s a flat-out lie: we base our ethics on observation of the consequences of actions, and those actions that have consistently beneficial consequences are labelled “good” and those having consistently harmful consequences are labelled “bad.” That’s the objective foundation for our ethics, and I have yet to meet a single supporter of evolution who fails to grasp it. The only people I see denying this are creationists and other religious bigots.

  321. says

    I think you’ve been reading too many GNU atheist books

    I don’t have to read even one such book to know that the Bible is, at best, a hopeless muddle of folktales and rules of behavior from various eras, some still good and useful, most obsolete and worse than useless. What book did I read to see that? Just the Bible itself.

  322. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Religion:

    It shits on trans* people.

    Even in australia.

    Discuss.

  323. Amphiox says

    But what what makes humans more valuable than mosquitoes?

    Humans are more valuable to humans than mosquitos, and humans EVOLVED to value other humans more than mosquitos because doing so helped them survive as a species.

    It is subjective and relative, as is everything else.

  324. Useless says

    “The Judeo-Christian worldview is unique among the religions and philosophies of the world in affirming that human beings are made in the image of God. It is the uniqueness of humans that sets these two religions apart from all others.”

    Hell yes, humans are unique. “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4

    We are the only mammals to have feathers in our wings! …But I’ll bet that’s just one more fact that biologists will dispute, showing again why biology can’t be a science.