Open thread for episode #946: Matt and Don


Don talks about a hypothetical Christian detector and how its possible uses. The idea came from Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush’s call for only accepting Syrian immigrants who happen to be Christian.

Comments

  1. Monocle Smile says

    Wow, Brent in Baton Rouge needs to find a philosophy 101 crash course and then brush up on some counter-apologetics. It’s like he’s never spoken to an atheist before. He really, really doesn’t seem to understand that the existence of a god doesn’t fix any of the problems he brought up. In fact, if the god of the bible is the one that exists, then we have every reason to think the problems he raised are even bigger problems, because that god is capable of fucking with our heads whenever he wants. I’m glad Brent

    Okay, I hope John from the UK starts posting in this thread instead of the misfire in the thanksgiving thread, because I’d really like to know what in the shit he was prattling on about. He just plain doesn’t get it. If there was a course in school called “getting it,” he would fail it and then also fail the remedial course over the summer. His whole “There’s no evidence except nutty bullshit I pulled half from the bible and have from my butthole because god doesn’t work that way” made me laugh uproariously. John, Matt didn’t hang up because he “didn’t like” your proof. He hung up because for the second week in a row, you were dishonest.

  2. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Dear Monocle Smile, I rhink i will call next week to finish my point and also i would like to talk about how humans were not designed to go to heaven and also that the soul, which is us, dies when we die.

    What would you like to discuss my friend ? I would like you to explain the belief that amino acids can turn into 3D protein printers by chance and that you have no proof for such a belief.

    🙂

  3. says

    ludvig: i believe that objective morality exists and cannot exist without a god.
    matt: how can it exist with a god?
    ludvig: but i don’t have to account for that.
    matt: if you’re not interested in accounting for what you believe, i’m not interested in continuing the discussion.
    ludvig: that’s reasonable.

    most folk who won’t demonstrate their beliefs will simply preach (if you let them), ala ray comfort, turning the discussion or debate into just another opportunity to deliver a sermon. but ludwig was nice enough to acknowledge matt’s objections.

    also too — doesn’t ludvig sound like the original Chekov from star trek?

    also too two — don, with that chuckle of his, gets my vote for the official ed mcmahon of axp.

  4. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Humans were not designed to go to heaven. God could of made them to exist in heaven without experiencing life as a human, just as energy creatures have not ever been humans.

    Christendom is designed as a tool to deceive humanity, God will use the UN to destroy it very soon.

  5. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Also Matt, look up Dr Glidden, copper is the pigmentation in hair. It is interesting. (I know it is off topic, but our health is important, and i regard you as my dear fellow human.)

  6. Patrick67 says

    @#2, #6, #7:

    I hate to be so blunt about this John, but having listened to you twice on APX and seeing your comments on two threads on the blog, I still don’t have one iota of an idea what you are talking about. Nothing that you have said makes any sense to me. It is all a crock of woo to the nth degree. You keep saying you will make a point, but I haven’t seen anything from you that remotely resembles a point.

    Everything you have brought up reminds me of a very lonely person who only exists within his own mind. I hear similar stuff when speaking with folks who are having mental problems and are heavily into alcohol or drugs. It’s all incoherent and jumps all over the place. You can’t stick to one subject and just ramble all over the place.

    I’m sorry to say it John but I think you need help, perhaps even some medical intervention. It may be just my opinion but something is terribly out of wack with your thought processes. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but something in the way you process ideas is a couple of bubbles out of plumb.

  7. Conversion Tube says

    Dunning Kruger effect.

    The amount of effort it would take to even begin to have a discussion with John is just too much.

  8. Conversion Tube says

    One more thing

    If health is important, why not learn what Evolution is, since it sits at the foundation of modern medicine.

    Then when you look back at “Humans were not designed to ….” You will think, wait a second, that’s not even how it happened.

  9. Oz 3 says

    Did Garth of Izar suffer from Dunning Kruger Effect, or something else? Whatever he had appears to be that which JohnFromLondonUK is stricken, although I don’t remember Garth saying “should of” when “should have” was appropriate.

  10. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Dear Conversion Tube.. Thank you for your message. I will be talking about evolution with Matt next week.

  11. adamah says

    In another thread, JohnFromLONDONuk said:

    God told Eve she would die if she ate, before, so that she could make a decision.

    Yes, but she still lacked WISDOM at that point, which is required to exercise sound decision-making.

    Before she ate the fruit, Eve had a diminished capacity to make ANY sound moral decision, much less one which doomed her offspring to death!

    JWs typically say A&E existed in a child-like state before they ate the forbidden fruit, but I’d refine it by saying they existed in a condition which required blind unthinking obedience to God, since they lacked the capacity to make sound moral decisions (they lacked wisdom, a requirement to make independent moral decisions).

    Before eating the wisdom-bestowing fruit, they actually existed as “perfect”, that is, if by perfect, you mean perfect fools.

    The Genesis account only begs the question: what kind of a sadistic God created the 1st human pair, only to set them up to fail?

    Sounds a lot like entrapment to me, if God is reasonably expecting fools to make any other than a foolish decision….

    Google “paradox of Adam and Eve” as there’s a comprehensive article on the topic written by yours truly (including a mention of how the JW’s New World Translation deliberately mishandles the translation to bury the evidence).

  12. ironchops says

    To piggyback on the statement “…if God is reasonably expecting fools to make any other than a foolish decision….”
    Why would a god that loves us so much ask us to make a decision that will affect our eternal life while we are in the sinful state we are in at present? That would be like asking a child to make a complicated adult decision, or asking a really drunk person to make any good decision at all.

  13. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Dear Ironchops,

    God will bring the dead back to life to live forever on paradise Earth.

    They will then be able to make an informed decision as to serve God or not.

  14. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    They will then be able to make an informed decision as to serve God or not.

    Universal reconciliationist. Cool.

    What do believe about Jesus and his death and resurrection? Did it have any salvation effect? What does that mean when no one is going to hell or being annihilated (annihilationism)?

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Wait… actually, I posted too soon.

    To John:
    And if they choose not to serve god? Are they still still cool to hang out on Earth and have a good time for eternity? Or then do they go to a place of eternal suffering?

  16. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    17. Hi.= E.L…….Those who choose not to serve God during the 1000 years, they will be removed from the Earth via the 2nd death of Gehenna.

    The vast majority of humankind is in and will go to hell just as Jesus went to hell for part of 3 days. Jesus also went to the Abyss as an energy creature (Rom10:7).

    Hell is a place of non existence whereby they will be brought back to life as themselves. They are not aware of time nor anything in hell.

    Jesus proved that the human design is perfect.

    All of this is about settling the issue of universal sovereignty, which i will explain to Matt next week if he gives me the chance.

    🙂

  17. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Hi Matt. It was lovely to chat with you, i understand that time was not on our side.

    Would it be oh to chat about the soul next week. Animals are also living souls.

    Do you agree that life from chance is a belief ?

    Anyways…… I look forward to another chat with you next Sunday, remember that it is not about winning an argument, but rather to learn the truth.

    The truth is like a lion, it can defend itself.

    The greatest friend of truth is time, hence God has allowed time for the issue of sovereignty to be resolved.

    Saran rules this system via false religion, including the corrupt Christendom, also Satan uses the symbiotic entity of government and commerce. Apples are free and the land was divided up before we were born. We are salves in this system.

    God;s government will remove human governments soon. (Dan 2:44)

    It is nice ro chat with you all. I am sorry that Christendom has mucked alot of you up.

    The new system is coming soon. Look out for the UN being used to destroy religion.

    🙂
    .

  18. Esquilax says

    John @comment 18:

    John, what the bible tells you is the claim, it isn’t justification for itself. Without some indication that the claim is true in an objective sense- not that the bible is true, since a book with a hundred true things in it can still be wrong on its 101st claim, but that the claim itself is true- then simply pointing to the source of the claim itself doesn’t help you. “It says so in a book,” no matter what the book is, means nothing until the point where what it says in the book can be demonstrated to have real world accuracy.

    So, the bible is the source of the claim you believe, but how did you determine that that claim is at all true?

  19. Russell Glasser says

    Uh, John:
    1. Matt rarely reads this blog, so leaving him a message here is a very unlikely way to get his attention.
    2. I don’t know whether you are guaranteed to have your call taken a third time on the show. You might; I haven’t listened to your calls myself, so I don’t know how fed up or bored Matt was with you at the end. But we don’t usually let one caller monopolize the show week after week after week. You are only our guest as long as the conversation is of interest to the hosts and viewers.
    3. I have to be honest with you: what I have heard of your calls so far, and reinforced by your blog comments, basically makes you sound like a serious crackpot. Sometimes crackpots are funny and therefore enjoyable for listeners. But I wouldn’t want you to have any illusions that you are somehow making progress with these conversations.

  20. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Hi Russell.

    Yes that is fine, i understand your point. We will have to wait and see.

    I have my opinions on people with the belief that life can come about by chance. People have such beliefs, but beliefs count for nothing, there is only one truth. I used to have such beliefs too.

    🙂

  21. scorpy1 says

    Matt: “I am not here to serve as a therapist for your sophistry.”
    John: “I will be talking about evolution with Matt next week.”

    Observation:
    * Subject displays a continued inability to answer questions as explicitly stated, resorting to non sequiturs to avoid dealing with his fractured understanding of the world.
    * Subject has a deep narcissistic need for attention bordering on obsession; cannot understand why people around him sigh or consider him a crank.
    Treatment Suggested: plonk

  22. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    21. Hi Scorpy1…I am not looking for my own glory.

    Matt is a nice chap. I like talking to him.

    The subject of God and His purposes for mankind is one of the most important, hence we do it.

  23. adamah says

    Yeah, John is preaching JW doctrinal points.

    John, please re-read post #4 carefully, noting that the AXP show is about engaging in a questioning conversation in ‘good faith’ to find truths, and it’s most definitely NOT serving as your platform to drone on and parrot your pre-canned JW memes.

    You seemingly refuse to engage in conversation in ‘good faith’ by refusing to answer direct questions (ironic, no? A believer who lacks ‘good faith’).

    If you continue to make unsupported claims and then refuse to explain HOW you’ve come to these numerous unsupported conclusions, then Matt nailed it on your 1st call: you’re simply a sloppy lazy thinker who doesn’t actually care about the truthfulness of what you believe, as much as you care about how your beliefs make you feel.

  24. adamah says

    John, I’ll give you one last chance to engage, asking you a simple question:

    In your own words, what does the phrase ‘free will’ mean?

  25. sm1ddy says

    Why are Matt and Don so outraged that Christian refugees might be prioritised over others?
    I thought when nations take in refugees, they should prioritise the most vulnerable and marginalised groups. Certainly Christians in Syria, that are particularly vulnerable to groups like ISIS, would be a quick win in that regard?

  26. adamah says

    Sm1ddy said:

    I thought when nations take in refugees, they should prioritise the most vulnerable and marginalised groups.

    Oh, you mean like atheists, perhaps? Religious extremist groups behead us, too, and even in the US, there’s no group more marginalized than atheists. 😉

  27. Monocle Smile says

    @sm1ddy
    Well, it seems like you’re misinformed on both ends here.
    Firstly, the outrage is due to advocation of exclusively taking Christian refugees. It is not about prioritization and I’m unsure how you drew that conclusion.
    Secondly, you are incorrect about who is vulnerable in Syria. ISIS kills more muslims than they kill any other group, and intentionally so. Western media likes to ignore both this fact and the divides between different Islamic sects.

  28. says

    JohnFromLONDONuk says
    November 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    23. Hi. Fulfilled prophecy is the proof.

    Tracie and Matt already showed you that this claim was rubbish. I don’t know who will be hosting next week, but if it is either of them again I’m sure they’ll be quite unhappy unless you can actually point to a specific prophecy that has now been fulfilled.

  29. sm1ddy says

    @adamah
    Yes, atheists should be prioritised as well.

    @Monocle Smile
    My bad, in Australia (where I am from) the discussion has been to prioritise Christians. It sounds like the US debate might be a bit different.

    It makes sense that ISIS will kill more Muslims since they are in the Middle East, meaning that there are many more Muslims to kill. That doesn’t mean, however, that it is safer to be a Muslim than a Christian in Syria.

  30. Esquilax says

    John @comment 24:

    23. Hi. Fulfilled prophecy is the proof.

    As I already said in the comment you were responding to here, no, no it’s not. Even assuming that there are fulfilled prophecies in the bible- which I don’t accept, but will grant for the sake of argument- that does not necessarily entail that every other claim in the bible is true too. A book can easily have ninety nine true claims, and one false claim, in it: the false claim doesn’t suddenly become true just because other claims contained within the book are true. Nor would one be rationally justified in accepting the unproven claim as true, when all the evidence contradicts it, merely because of other true claims within the source.

    What you need is evidence that the specific claim you’re making is true, and “these other, unrelated claims are true, due to causes I’m not able to isolate and am just assuming are divine,” is not that evidence.

  31. says

    @John #40

    If they don’t take your call on TAE, you should just make a video explaining your beliefs and post it on YouTube. And give us a link to it, here on this blog. And you should review all the videos from other JWs on YouTube first, so you can explain where your beliefs differ from, or coincide with other people. I would watch that.

  32. adamah says

    Sm1ddy said:

    That doesn’t mean, however, that it is safer to be a Muslim than a Christian in Syria.

    True, at least if you’re a member of the ‘wrong’ Muslim sect at whichever moment.

    But according to your logic, Muslims of BOTH sects (Shia and Sunni) would have to be given priority, since that’s the whole point of the war in Syria: it’s a struggle for sectarian control.

    http://www.cfr.org/peace-conflict-and-human-rights/sunni-shia-divide/p33176#!/?cid=otr-marketing_url-sunni_shia_infoguide

    Sm1ddy said:

    It sounds like the US debate might be a bit different.

    Aside from the patent absurdity of any politician suggesting it’s possible in 2015 to accurately determine a person’s heart-felt religious beliefs (!), I suspect Don’s amusement is driven by understanding that Cruz’s suggestion of offering only Xians refuge is simply pandering to HIS potential Xian voter bloc in the U.S.

    Some GOP candidates (like Cruz) court the Xian fundamentalist voter like crazy, making absurd impractical suggestions which don’t even have to make any kind of practical sense in the real World.

    However, the impracticality of his ideas is not his concern: Cruz is simply using the pretense as an opportunity to demonstrate his support of Xianity, a move that’s virtually guaranteed to earn the favor of Xian GOP voters.

    His ideas don’t even have to make any gobsmacking sense, since as JohnFromLONDONuk demonstrates so well in this thread, rationality and practicality are considered as an after-thought, where one’s conclusions are allowed to lead the premises, without having any supportive evidence to justify the conclusions.

  33. corwyn says

    @24 John,

    Let’s consider a hypothetical situation. You have a granddaughter to whom you wish to transmit a very important idea, you think this idea is true, and she will get it nowhere else if she doesn’t get it from you, and it could well save her life. However, the only remaining interaction you will have with her, is a book you are creating to giver her, that will contain 100 absolutely true prophesies. Do you feel a temptation to include your truth in your book of prophesies? I am not asking if you would do it, but would you feel the temptation.

  34. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    44. Hi. Text is an inferior form of communication. The proof is deliberately difficult.

  35. corwyn says

    @44

    I’m sorry, I just finished listening to the show. In it, you *admit* that the bible could still contain the prophesies, and the genesis account could be false. Therefore, the prophesies can not be evidence for the genesis account. Evidence is solely that which has a *different likelihood* depending on weather the hypothesis is true. If a bible having prophesies weather or not it contains a true genesis account or a false one, are equally likely, then we have no way of differentiating those two possibilities.

    p.s. Matt did NOT hang up on you. The show was over. and really the conversation was over. You *admitted* that your proof was flawed.

  36. KiwiDaveo says

    As John From London has now admitted that he is a Jehovah Witnesses I would suggest he not be allowed more airtime to preach to people via AXP which clearly what he is doing. JPs have a requirement to preform a minimum amount of proselytizing, standard commitment to ministry work is 840 hours a year. (Works out to about 16 hours a week). Failure to do this, involves eventual exclusion from the faith, which often involves disconnection from loved ones who are JPs. http://ex-jw.com/jehovahs-witnesses/changes-challenges-facing-watchtower
    Hence the door knocking at peoples houses, but as this has proved to very poor in getting people to join and is unpopular with members (having doors slammed in you face and constant abuse not being good for your ego even if it done to save mankind apparently), they have recently turned to different techniques, setting up stalls at railway stations being a major one (which members like as they just have to stand there quietly for their hours then go home) and increasingly via the internet. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/14/jehovahs-witnesses-evangelism-church-god-armageddon
    John is basically using AXP to log his hours of “witnessing” which has the advantage of being able to be done in his warm house.(Standing around Railway stations in the British cold and wet winter for hours or slogging round people houses in same weather being his alternative).
    As the EX-JW site article makes clear JWs are monitored in their conmmunication (its why they are always at least two of them – John probably has someone monitoring his activity on AXP when he is doing it- or its reviewed afterwards) and aren’t allowed to engaged in open dialogue with “outsiders” so John won’t honestly engage in a honest discussion of his personal beliefs if they differ from official JW beliefs (which are odd, even for christianity, they have predicted the end of the world 11 specific times since the groups founding in the mid 19th century, the last being in 1975). If John was for example was to admit a personal doubt he faces the real possibility of being cutoff from loved ones who remain within the cult. It also explains his odd discussion technique, as JW discourages conventional education, so they are at sea when logical points are made at them, even if they stay very polite throughout the whole thing (another rule they have to follow).
    If John was brought up in the faith I have a lot sympathy for him as he is really trapped by the way the cult operates. If he has doubts or slightly deviates from a narrow set of strictures he risks losing loved ones, and likely his employment (JWs tend to only work in JW owned businesses). As he likely to have limited skills to live in the non-JW world, leaving the cult means being alone and poor.

  37. corwyn says

    All JWs are in agreement because there is only one truth.

    Then why do you need meetings and trainings?

  38. says

    Concerning the bit about Christians being able to just “know” other Christians: I get a call, there’s a dinner party desperately needing a violinist at a university in Virginia. I answer the call knowing very little about the gig. I don’t find out until I’m walking into the gate of the residence that the university is Regent University, the dinner is for Pat Robertson, and the dinner is at his home. So I’m an atheist playing fiddle directly in front of Pat Robertson at his home for his closest friends and family. I’d say they missed the mark on that one!

  39. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John.
    I am open-mined. I am a skeptic. I conform my beliefs to the evidence. Part of that philosophical position is being able to name hypothetical evidence, which if found, would convince oneself that one is mistaken on a position. I am willing to state hypothetical evidence that, if you present it to me, I would admit that I was wrong, and that the Christian god is real, and JWs have it right. Can you do the same? Can you conceive of the possibility that you are wrong? What evidence would it take to convince you that you are wrong about JW?

  40. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    48. Hi. You are an exJW. Your comment is full of lies.

    I used to be an atheist.

    I am allowed to speak to anyone i want to. I like speaking to people about God and i am not forced to.

    If you do not want to listen to me on the show, then that is fine with me.

    If they want to ban me from the show, then that is up to them, we will have to wait and see.

    🙂

  41. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    53. As you know, to prove a negative is impossible.

    You can learn the truth, once you know it, you cannot unlearn it.

  42. corwyn says

    @52:

    All JWs are in agreement because there is only one truth.

    Then why do you need meetings and trainings?

    So that we can learn the truth.

    So you AREN’T all in agreement about what it is.

  43. KiwiDaveo says

    54.

    John
    The reply was interesting. For the record I’ve never been a JW. I was brought up as a liberal Roman Catholic and practiced till my early 20s. I’ve been an atheist for about the last 15 years. That you assume it seemly because I link to a ex-JW website (as well as a mainstream press one) says more about your beliefs than mine. Its a classic cultist move. An Ex member is an enemy who opposes the one true faith. Admit it you didn’t even read the links did you?

    You need to reread my post, as nowhere do I propose you are banded, just prevented from preaching JW doctrine, which what you clearly were/are doing. I personally think you will be unable to engage in a genuine dialog, but if you can do so then go ahead.
    By the way, good idea on using this blog to rack up the hours, keeps you out of those awful British winters. Coldest winter I spent anywhere was living through a British winter.

  44. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    57. There is only one truth, beliefs count for nothing.

    We must all learn the truth.

  45. adamah says

    Oh, the sweet irony of John citing “fulfilled prophecies” as his main criteria for concluding JW’s have ‘the truth’.

    For by that very same criteria, Jonn should be shopping for a new religion right about now, looking for one that didn’t predict Armageddon to occur circa 1975!

    As a kid raised in the JW’s (but never baptized), I remember reading this kind of stuff in their official literature, circa 1969: the article was called “What Future for the Young?”:

    “If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the “last days” in 1914, Jesus foretold: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”-Matt. 24:34. Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers.

    If you are in high school and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone!”

    Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15

    I ignored the advice, and went to college to earn a doctorate (I’m now a retired physician).

    And like it or not, I AM growing old in “this system of things”, and fully expect to die at an old age!

    And speaking of the “last generation” doctrine (based on Jesus’ words in Matt 24:34), the Watchtower ran a cover on May 15th 1984 which showed a group of elderly JWs, boldly proclaiming that the JW generation of 1914 “was the generation that would not die”, but instead would survive Armageddon to gain eternal life.

    Here’s the cover:

    https://orthocath.wordpress.com/tag/personal/

    Of course, as the article above explains, the individuals shown HAVE since died, and not surprisingly, still no Armageddon….

    The Governing Body of JW’s (who supposedly serve as God’s sole channel of communication with humanity, akin to the Pope) has since modified the ‘last generation’ teaching, excusing their failed prophecies by claiming to have received “new light” from Jehovah (a JW euphemism that translates as ‘we’re back-peddling as fast as we can’). They’ve since moved to a more-complicated ‘overlapping generation’ doctrine in an attempt to sweep their prior predictive failure(s).

    (I’m reminded of the t-shirt, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.” Anyone who’s not taken a college course in economics (i.e. the majority of JWs) is going to be unaware that ‘overlapping generations’ is not a novel concept from God, but an idea borrowed from economist Irving Fisher who devised the model in 1930.)

    Of course, I don’t expect any of this to have any sway on John: whether he realizes or admits it, the JW’s have him by the tender bits, since he faces the very-real threat of being shunned by his JW family members if disfellowshipped for failing to follow the official JW party line.

    (Heck, I must be a prophet, too, since I’m able to predict that outcome, and I didn’t even use the Bible to do it! 🙂

    Sometimes ignorance (and burying one’s head in the sand to avoid uncomfortable truths) IS bliss, esp. if one’s goal is to avoid a painful case of cognitive dissonance that comes from using independent thinking and not merely going with group-think.

  46. Kudlak says

    JohnFromLONDONuk
    Regarding Genesis 3:15, do you know how popular snakes have become as pets? For the prophesy to work humans would have to have a natural enmity, or hatred of snakes, but that just isn’t so. Children have to be taught to dislike snakes, right?

  47. Ethan Myerson says

    Regarding John From London’s assertions in #20, I gotta say to me that sounds 100% like this:

  48. Y Ddraig Goch says

    @ Jehovah, re your #55.

    You wrote ‘[a]s you know, to prove a negative is impossible’.

    It seems many, myself included, would simply like you to answer a direct question regarding your ability to prove ‘a POSITIVE is POSSIBLE’, i.e. your (as yet, unsubstantiated) assertion that your god exists.

    You, rather childishly, imho, have not come anywhere close to that and, I suspect, that is simply because you have no idea where to start or, indeed, how to construct a competent argument.

    I also find your ‘WHEN I’m on next Sunday’ arrogance contemptible, and I hope that you are duly ignored/not invited to contribute in future, at least until you can do everyone – your god included – the courtesy of actually answering a question. Though I am loathe to advocate a ‘no-platform’ situation (because this is where you will undoubtedly first leap) I feel you are not worthy of an open, constructive and adult discussion. Ultimately, you seem to have far too much to say about absolutely nothing at all.

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    53. As you know, to prove a negative is impossible.

    In the meaning that you seem to mean, I don’t know that.

    You can learn the truth, once you know it, you cannot unlearn it.

    In the meaning that you seem to mean, I disagree. No one can know “the truth”. The best we can do is make probaiblistic judgments about what is likely to be true based on the aviable evidence. Anyone who claims to know “the truth” beyond all possible doubt and future revision is a close-minded fool.

  50. Patrick67 says

    @Monocle Smile #56

    I also looked up Genesis 3:15 earlier today and came to pretty much the same conclusion as you. I did a little more research on it and I found out that certain Xian doctrine makes a claim that this verse is the first biblical prophecy of a messiah.

    And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.
    — Genesis 3:15

    From the New World Translation

    In other translations the term seed is used instead of offspring. According to some Xian belief, the woman’s seed or offspring represents the coming messiah. I won’t try to explain more here but will leave a link to Wikipedia to a short discussion on the Judaic, Catholic, and the Lutheran/Xian interpretations of that verse. If I understand it correctly, the Judaic interpretation would be similar to my own: Bad talking snake royally screws over Woman and Mankind because god gets pissed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_of_the_woman

  51. corwyn says

    And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel. [Genesis 3:15]

    The ONLY way this could possibly be prophesy is if you could show evidence that snakes were at some point NOT viewed with the enmity that they currently enjoy. Since both the statement and the situation (i.e. enmity) were both present at the time it was *written down*, it could only EVER be an explanation.

    For it even to be a prophesy *while it is being spoken* would require that this god’s word was not deed (i.e. when he says it is is true at that exact moment).

  52. adamah says

    Corwyn, the account is from the Torah, found in the book of Genesis, a Hebrew word which is translated as “origin(s)”.

    In that regard, the book of Genesis attempts to offer the origins or roots of many things, including the Earth, humankind and animals (the creationist model), but also how different languages came to be (eg Tower of Babel), and how the Israelites came to be God’s “chosen people”.

    The ‘enmity’ element (or natural fear of reptiles) is likely the original Hebrew interpretation of Genesis 3:15, whereas some Xians took it to a whole new level by eisegetically massaging the passage to fit Xian doctrine by claiming it foreshadows Jesus as the ‘seed’ which overcame the Devil (serpent) by delivering a crushing blow to Satan’s plan for challenging God’s sovereignty. So that’s the “fulfilled prophecy” JWs typically refer to.

    When one is willing to engage in wholesale interpretation, the sky’s the limit, only tempered by the outer limits of one’s overactive imagination….

  53. Albert Guilmont says

    Where can be found the meme Matt was speaking about on time stamp 01:14:00 ? (the Christian quiz…)

  54. adamah says

    Correction: ‘Genesis’ is Greek, not Hebrew (duh: the same prefix is found in ‘genealogy’, ‘genetics’, etc).

    The Hebrew word translated into Greek as ‘Genesis’ is ‘Bereshit’, and means the same thing, namely, the roots or origins of life, physical phenomena (eg rainbows), and cultural practices (eg slavery, where Noah gave birth to the institution by cursing one grand-child to serve as a slave to the other blessed offspring).

  55. corwyn says

    @71

    ‘Bearshit’ sounds about right. Apologies.

    *I* choose to interpret that passage as “Selma Hayek will come to my house to re-enact the scene with the snake from “from dusk til dawn”. Makes more sense than theirs, at least mine has a woman and a snake.

  56. Yaro says

    John,

    Genesis 3:15 is a sexist passage and a blatant falsehood that women hate snakes. It’s about as far from a fulfilled prophecy as you can get. All you have to do is meet a single woman who likes snakes to show the Bible is full of crap.

  57. Vox Cantoris says

    At about five minutes, Don says that picketing/protesting planned parenthood is terrorism. Did I hear that right?

  58. corwyn says

    @75: Yaro:

    And how much more sexist (not to mention herpeist) is it to pretend that a passage about a woman and a snake is _actually_ about a man and a defrocked angel?

  59. adamah says

    It recently occurred to me that the desire to ascertain another’s ‘true beliefs’ is not new: we need only look back to the Salem Witch Trials of 17th Century, where ‘dunking’ was used to determine if someone was practicing witchcraft or Devil worship (suspects were thrown into the nearest body of water to see if they float).

    http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/7-bizarre-witch-trial-tests

    ‘Dunking’ wasn’t invented in Salem: recordings of similar practices stretch back to the Middle Ages, or even back to ancient Egypt.

    So in suggesting it’s even possible to determine who a “true Xian” is, I wonder if Donald Trump and Cruz are suggesting a modern-day application of the same illogical methods used in the Salem witch-hunt trials?

  60. Vox Cantoris says

    @Monocle

    He spoke of picketers and protestors not arsonists and gunmen. If he had said arson and shooting at people is terror I would certainly agree.

  61. StonedRanger says

    Vox, its picketers and protestors that are doing these things. Did you not read the story in the link Monocle provided? It wasn’t even an abortion clinic where those things were happening. They aren’t protesting to show how wonderful they are. The picketers carry signs with pictures of aborted fetuses. They yell and scream at the women who go to these clinics and they don’t care why youre there. Many of these clinics have to have escorts for their clients because of all the crap these people do to people trying to go about their legal way. You should go see a demonstration like that that goes on for years. Terrorist is an apt description.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @Vox
    StonedRanger hit the nail on the head. Furthermore, your comment reminds me of the “criminals don’t obey laws, so gun control shouldn’t exist” nonsense. This logic leads to the conclusion that we shouldn’t have ANY laws because the people who break them wouldn’t follow them in the first place and the rest of us would. That’s kindergarten garbage. You can’t just describe someone as a “criminal” meaning “someone who doesn’t obey laws” and have that be the end of it. Every criminal was once not a criminal. Similarly, you seem to think that picketers and protestors can’t also be arsonists and gunmen. Good job not following the link.

  63. vox cantoris says

    @Stoned, @Monocle

    I certainly disagree with those kind of tactics, and killing people is “objectively” wrong. What tactics of protest would you accept as reasonable?

  64. vox cantoris says

    @Monocle
    “Furthermore, your comment reminds me of the “criminals don’t obey laws, so gun control shouldn’t exist” nonsense. This logic leads to the conclusion that we shouldn’t have ANY laws because the people who break them wouldn’t follow them in the first place and the rest of us would. That’s kindergarten garbage. You can’t just describe someone as a “criminal” meaning “someone who doesn’t obey laws” and have that be the end of it. Every criminal was once not a criminal. Similarly, you seem to think that picketers and protestors can’t also be arsonists and gunmen.”

    My sum total of sentences in two posts was four. I did follow the link.
    I just want to know if you feel protest, and public gatherings, as a form of expression of speech and thought should be outlawed since all of them appear to result in violence now.
    I can accept that as a solution if it applies to all protest, everywhere.

  65. Monocle Smile says

    Vox, do we really need to have this discussion? I find the answers to be obvious.
    What do you mean “against abortion?” Because personally, I’d love it if abortions never happened. That doesn’t affect my pro-choice stance at all. High abortion rate is a symptom of other societal problems that should be alleviated instead. What kind of person calls themselves a humanist who wants to ban abortion while doing jack shit about the causes?

  66. StonedRanger says

    To answer your loaded question vox, I don’t understand how your question applies to what we were talking about? I don’t think that protest should be disallowed as long as they aren’t harassing anyone. No shouting, blocking doorways, spitting on people, following them home and posting their addresses, as that sort of thing goes beyond protest. But none of these protests are being done in the name of free speech or as an expression of speech and thought. So what that has to do with anything is anyone’s guess. And even if they were as long as that’s all they were doing then they can protest til they are blue in the face. Following the link is not reading and understanding the story.

  67. KiwiDaveo says

    Reply to 84.
    Vox you are are aware of the Bodily autonomy argument for right of women to have an abortion?
    I’ve never seen convincing counter from either religious or humanist source.

  68. vox cantoris says

    @Monocle
    Of course, I await the scientific evidence that any of “societies problems” are really problems or simply a complex form of evolution like Ayn Rand would say.