Open thread for episode 23.05: Tracie & Matt


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  1. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Hey everyone, long time AXP watcher and blog lurker but first time poster. Glad to see the blog is still going strong after all this time. Let’s just hope Kafei doesn’t poison this thread like the last one!

  2. t90bb says

    I love Brojo,,,,,,,,what an interesting style of argumentation. He makes what he thinks is a point, the hosts absolutely destroy him to the point I think he might just hang up, and after they stop, he starts with.”yea, and………..” LOL

    Hes rehearsing his next statement while the hosts respond lol. Its not a sincere effort to dialogue. Hes a poor man EF (aka Gary Milne aka Dork Dawkinz) who himself is a one trick pony just like our old friend Oreospaz.

    This “Since you dont have abosolute knowledge” you cany know anything. AANNddddddddd……Since You cant know anything your argumentation against their presuppositions dont count….therefore they win .!!

    Unfortunately….their claim that their basis for truth is absolute is a claim they cannot justify other than presupposing it. And using the Bible as written evidence from God to support Gods existence is begging the question as pointed out by Thomas from Holy Kool Aid today.

  3. t90bb says

    2. EF and Brojo are the Laurel and Hardy of apologetics! Add Oreo and we have the three Stooges. That is all.

  4. iquilt6 says

    Related to the question “Is there anything that one can’t accept on faith alone”, is there anything a believer doesn’t see as a sign from god (lower case “g” is intentional)? My highly religious neighbor once told me that she and her daughter were at the mall and in a hurry, so they prayed and shortly thereafter they got a great parking space close to the entrance. So god has time to find people a good parking space but not to end human suffering? What a jerky god.

  5. Lamont Cranston says

    Wiggle Puppy says in #3:

    Why is that idiot from Talk Heathen not welcome to call TAE when Matt is on?

    Are you referring to EF who wasted over and hour asking the same question over and over and continually refusing to understand a clear answer, then continually misrepresenting what he was told over and over. There’s an hour of my life I’d like to have back.

    I can suspect why Matt might waste little if any time with someone like EF.

    I really wish there was a 20 or 30 minute limit on callers on both shows. If they can’t get to the point or address an issue in less than that, they definitely need to go away and rethink whatever they are trying to say (assuming what they are trying to do is not just wasting people’s time). Then when they say, “Can I ask one more question?” the answer should be, “Sure you can when you call in next next time.”

    The only exception to the time limit should be if you are dealing with a caller that is in some kind of crisis situation.

    Lamont Cranston

  6. t90bb says

    When one is too frightened by life without absolute certainty…..they can create or adhere to any of the thousands of deities and insist that it anchors them to absolute truth and knowledge! Problem solved stupid atheists!

  7. says

    In regards to the discussion about ‘thought crimes’, something to note is the distinction between desires and decisions. It’s one thing if a person who wants money considers the idea of robbing a bank, but rejects the idea because they don’t want to harm other people or damage social cooperation. Or if someone is sexually attracted to children, but doesn’t want to harm them, and so rejects the idea of doing so. It’s another thing if someone would do those things as soon as an opportune moment to do so without facing reprisals came up.
     
    This is something the caller was clearly confused about, among many other things. It’s important to distinguish between desires a person has and decisions a person would make, even though both are only in the mind up until the situation where the person can carry out a decision. There is an obvious correlation between what a person desires and what they decide to do, but competing values that a person is trying to fulfill constrain their decisions just as much as constant supervision and the threat of force would. So if a person wants money, but also values other people and wants to ensure their livelihoods, this constrains the options that they consider acceptable in order to acquire money.
     
    If you have access to information about what a person would decide to do in such a situation, you should act on that information, even though the person hasn’t done anything yet. This sort of thing is considered in regards to how likely someone is to re-offend when determining whether to grant them parole, for instance. To the extent that we can determine what a person would do, we can avoid putting them in situations where we know they will cause harm.
     
    This particular caller didn’t sound like they were honest or sensible enough to acknowledge the point, but it would be useful to point that sort of distinction out for listeners with similar conflation of ideas who aren’t approaching the topic in bad faith.

  8. says

    Just a heads up to you all, that I have spoken to several others about possible bans at this blog. However, “frustrating to argue with” seems to be one where I’m over-ruled. The basic thought is that as long as someone is engaging the person in a serious back-and-forth, they are clearly “contributing” to the conversation. I am just giving you all a heads up that if you find someone to be unwilling or unable to engage in productive conversation, the best response is no response. As long as the person is expressing in a way that isn’t abusive, and is sincere–even if they are frustrating–they probably won’t be blocked. My advice to the regulars is to stop engaging–self-police–if you find someone to be a person you would rather not engage. Just fyi. Thanks.

  9. Heretical Ryan says

    Brojo, if you happen to read this, why are you calling an atheist show to try and rationalize your homophobia?

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @heicart #9:

    As long as the person is expressing in a way that isn’t abusive

     
    “Another good reason to kick assholes out of your club: keeping an asshole around tells people you’re a club for assholes.” –@leeflower

  11. Ian Butler says

    I am disappointed by the standards for banning. A couple of theists or trolls with time on their hands can effectivity ruin a blog like this by posting incessantly. It’s the embodiment of the Yogi Berra quote, “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.’

    I’ve been careful not to respond to over posters, hopefully we all can do so from here out.

  12. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    In general, my bar for what would constitute a banning is rather high. If it wasn’t for the odd theist (or in other cases someone claiming not to be a theist but still making silly arguments), this blog would be rather droll. Engaging with people who think differently is largely the reason I became a fan of the show in the first place and why I’ve occasionally piped up here.
    The trouble, for me, is when the person’s arguments have been laid bare and they just keep repeating the same nonsense and refuse to acknowledge the points that have been made to counter them. At that point, one is simply preaching, and what they’re contributing is neither interesting or useful.
    However, even then I’m not sure what I feel would really necessitate a banning. Ye’ve got some who come on here and drone on about utter nonsense, but for me personally rather than engaging its easier to just ignore them and skim past to see if anything anyone else says actually does interest me. In the past few threads we’ve had certain people become somewhat juvenile and belligerent, but some of these topics DO become a bit heated so I’m not sure that really calls for the “heave ho” either. In other threads recently we’ve had people try to hijack the topics away from anything relevant to the show, and while irritating, ignoring their posts takes care of them just as easily.
    So in essence, I support a rather sparse use of the ban hammer around here in the interest of keeping conversations open. That said, I’ll admit I’ve noticed a palpable uptick in the amount of bullshit argumentation around here of late which has been annoying.
    The episode itself was fun though. I’ll admit some relief they said Darth Dawkins/EF/A Dude/whatever wasn’t welcome to call since he seems completely incapable of and uninterested in anything approaching a healthy exchange.

  13. John David Balla says

    I’ll take some responsibility for letting Kafei get under my skin and giving him more than too many opportunities to engage sincerely. And based on the number of posts last week (over 300) I wasn’t the only one who took the bait. Interesting how I tend to respond fairly rationally even though my reaction is uncomfortably emotional. I think that’s a part of why I remained engaged with him for so long. I was determined to be fair and also get through to him and I guess I wasn’t going to stop until that happened, and it never did. There are indeed some emotional trapping worth some self-examination as I try to salvage what was otherwise unproductive.

    As an aside, this blog (if you can even call it that) is at least 20 years obsolete. I’m amazed that no one seems to complain. Being that it’s a single thread makes basic communication unwieldy and difficult to follow along. If you want to participate you better be prepared to work through this arcane configuration. That said, there’s nothing wrong that can’t be fixed (easily) with WordPress.

  14. Monocle Smile says

    Brojo is a troll and will hopefully be ignored when he inevitably calls in every other week. What a waste of oxygen.

    @JDB
    I think you convincingly sunk Kafei’s battleship on the last thread and I thank you for participating, given your unique background.

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Tracie
    I thought we had a rule against preaching. I guess it’s arguable whether Kafei counts as preaching, but I think it’s quite arguable that he’s not engaging in good faith, and that he’s just preaching. However, I understand that some others disagree. I’ll also try to not engage.

    PS:
    Can you tell Ronald Kyle to take a chill pill please, and stop with the needless personal insults please, and stop with the excessive preaching by providing Bible quotes please? I never asked for him to be banned. Just think he needs to be a more chill and friendly.

  16. John David Balla says

    @EnlightenmenntLiberal #17
    I think there is an objective way to establish and enforce rules of engagement. Here’s some draft language.

    ESTABLISH RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:
    1) Claims are to be supported with evidence, not mere assertion. Such bald assertions are considered “preaching” and are in violation of the rules of this site.
    2) When responding to direct questions or concerns addressed to them, all participants are to acknowledge and respond in kind. Failure to respond directly by, for instance, changing the topic, is considered acting in bad faith and as such is in violation of the spirit of this agreement. Repeat offenders are subject to being banned from the site.
    3) Members aspire to be “honorable” debaters, and as such, are motivated to acknowledge a well-reasoned point by an adversary. Failure to acknowledge such occasions, especially when they become obvious, is considered dishonorable conduct that demonstrated bad faith engagement. Repeat offenders are subject to being banned from the site.
    4) Don’t be a jerk.

  17. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    EL #17:

    To Tracie
    […] Can you tell Ronald Kyle to take a chill pill please, and stop with the needless personal insults please

     
    Comment: 23.04 – Ronald Kyle #328
    Whining how his “aggressive debunking” isn’t appreciated by “the cockroach and pinworm infestations”: Pinworm Money (Paul Money), “Cockroach SS Nazi” (indianajones), and “house slave” (Ian Butler).
     
    23.04 #169 (to EnlightenmentLiberal):

    trying to mount your high jackass you have fallen and conked your noggin way too many times you vapid dimwit. You are a worthless tiresome wretch who doesn’t know what civility means. […] you ignorant pissant […] if you were not an ignoramus you would have known that

     
    23.04 #170 (to EL):

    Señor Grand Inquisitor…your despotic screeches of excommunication for anyone who proves your ignorance are just an indication of your benighted closeminded arrogance and smallness of personality… you are a worthless knave.

     
    23.04 #176 (to EL):

    Oh well Señor Torquemada I guess strawmanning is yet another of your ignorant traits […] you pathetic dimwitted despot

     
    23.04 #209:

    Do not apologize to cockroaches […] in this guy’s case he is only ASPIRING to rise up from his dwelling at the cesspool bottom to join those fully formed scum

     
    23.04 #289:

    I was calling a cockroach it was the piece of fetid fecal matter for brains [indianajones] he is in fact of the same ilk as the […] SS Nazi weasel in that film

     
    23.04 #303 (to Paul Money):

    pinworm poking its nasty pernicious “head” out of the tribal alpha-dogs’ nether regions…. pathetic scum!!

     
    23.02 #299 (to CA7746):

    the 1st century coprolith you have in lieu of brains […] debunking your fairy tales and exposing the vandalism and lies of your ilk OreoZionist

     
    22.52 #304:

    this is a forum made by some of the most aggressive atheists and it is for doing precisely that

     
    22.52 #318 (to CA7746):

    your annoyance is an indication that what is left of your gray cells are panging with Cognitive Dissonance… GOAL!!!

     
    22.52 #323 (to paxoll):

    you pathetic imbecile […] transparent pathetic hypocritical fool […] your Cognitive Dissonance pangs have caused you to abandon your modicum of sanity to revert back to being a defender of Christianity, which you despite being an atheist […] cannot help but feel offended when it is effectively debunked

  18. John David Balla says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746 #20
    I would add ad hominem attacks to the list of rules of engagement violations.

  19. Ronald Kyle says

    To Tracie
     
    What do you call a person who says this @#163 EmlightenmentLiberal says (January 31, 2019 at 3:41 pm )

    Ronald Kyle We sometimes ban persistent theists who only preach and who don’t properly respond to counter-arguments. The mods would probably do the same thing for you too.

     
    And then he LIES a barefaced unashamed lie and says this
     
    @#17 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I never asked for him to be banned

     
    What do you call a now proven liar who starts a fight and calls people profanities
     
    @#163 EmlightenmentLiberal says (January 31, 2019 at 3:41 pm )

    To Ronald Kyle … Dipshit.

    and then runs to mother to complain because the person whom he started a fight with and attacked first gave him back more than he dished out?
     
    Also what do you call a proven liar who thinks it is “preaching” to debunk hardcore lying theists with bible verses showing their lies and errors? What do you call it when the proven liar objects to debunking lying Christian fanatics using their own bible and then GANGS UP with others to launch a campaign of repeated GOADING jabs to stop the atheist debunker from effectively debunking the lies of those theists???
     
    What do you call a proven liar who deliberately equivocates atheists with the very theists they are actively debunking while the proven liar is goading and obstructing the atheist?
     
    @#163 EmlightenmentLiberal says (January 31, 2019 at 3:41 pm )

    Ronald Kyle
    God, you’re as bad as Kafei. You just get stuck in a loop where you start preaching and stop listening, just like Kafei.

     
    Is it not a very common lie amongst theists to try to equivocate science with faith and to equate atheists with the religious
     
    So we have here a proven liar by his very own words, who avers to being an atheist but betrays his true nature by exploiting the very same lies and pretenses and machinations that the nastiest of theists utilise.
     
    He objects to using bible verses to debunk theists because he does not like to see his bible exposed for the lies it is while he is pretending to be an atheist using the very same machinations and ruses and lies and fallacies as the theists.
     
    And now we have this proven liar trying his damnest to
    silence and gag the effective atheist while his cronies work hard to dilute and defang this forum and convert it into a lovey dovey love fest by COMMANDING atheists on this forum to be nice and respectful and not use so much proof and effective debunking or else they will be ganged upon. Then they turn around and beg theists to hang around and promise them that they will work hard to ban those nasty atheists who do not want to love them.
     
    If it is not intentional on this proven liar’s behalf to be a scheming liar, he sure has done his darnest to appear to be one.

  20. Ronald Kyle says

    @John David Balla “I would add ad hominem attacks”

    What about telling someone that he is OCD manic depressive and frequently popping up to tell him to take chill bills and then calling him dipshit and all sorts of other names and slurs? Can the recipient of such vile attacks respond in kind or not?

    And when he responds in kind they pretend that they did not start it and that he was only responding back to their attacks and then they start complaining that he attacked them.

    These are not actions of “honorable debaters”… these are actions of a GANG of thugs who have coordinated each other to make life miserable for a new member atheist who is doing an effective job exposing the lies of theists using their own bible.

    I wonder why the hell do they object so much to using bible verses to debunk the lying claims of hardcore fanatic theists??? I am sure those thugs are not “honest debaters”!!!

  21. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Ronald Kyle
    That wasn’t asking you to be banned. That was a warning that if you keep up this behavior, you will might (probably) be banned. English grammar – please learn it.

  22. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Ronald Kyle #23:

    Can the recipient […] respond in kind or not?

     

    cockroaches

  23. Ronald Kyle says

    @#24 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    That wasn’t asking you to be banned. That was a warning that if you keep up this behavior, you will might (probably) be banned.

    Ah… so threatening with banning unless I obey your commands and kowtow to you is not calling for banning…. wow … with every post you prove your nasty dissembling nature.
     

    English grammar – please learn it.

    The toenail clippings I discarded in the garbage 50 years ago know more English grammar than you and your entire kin and kith can hope to learn let aloneacquire.
     
    Pretending that threats of banning are not shrieks for banning is yet another proof of your lying nature.
     

    As John David Balla said… you are not an “honorable debater”… here is another proof of your dishonesty… you attack people and call them names and demean them and then run to mummy to complain that the people you attacked defended themselves and then command from your mummy to go shut them up…
     
    @#123 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 31, 2019 at 4:14 am

    To Ronald Kyle…You are a pisspoor reader. Take that chip off your shoulder, simmer down a moment, and try to read what the other person is saying instead of just skimming for something to attack.

  24. Ronald Kyle says

    @#24 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    English grammar – please learn it.

    I forgot to point out that this kind of attack is very typical of apologists and nasty theists when they lose the debate and thus need to resort to this kind of shenanigans to divert away attention from the fact that they have been exposed and demolished as lying dishonest apologists.

  25. RationalismRules says

    Oh for fucks sake Ronald! EL doesn’t have the power to ban you, so he can’t possibly have the power to threaten you with banning. The most he could do is threaten to ask for you to be banned …he hasn’t even done that.

    You’re not making sense at the moment. Time to take a break, perhaps?

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Ronald Kyle
    When all you see is a conspiracy of lying religious trolls, that limits your available options. I’m not sure if you were serious when you earlier implied that there’s a conspiracy against you. I suggest an alternative: The rest of us find some of your behavior to be over-the-top and annoying and needlessly harsh.

    That was not a threat per se. I have no ability to carry out that threat. I am in no way associated with the Atheist Experience blog, its crew, etc. I’m just some random guy. I have no power to ban you. It wasn’t a threat. It was an observation, and a polite suggestion to improve your behavior to avoid that possible unfortunate outcome.

    Also, my “dipshit” comment might have been uncalled for. However, there is still a very large difference in the scale of abuse that you are directing to practically everyone else here, vs the abuse that you have received.

    Finally, probably most of us don’t appreciate anyone, atheist or theist, publishing walls of Bible quotes in their posts as stand-alone arguments in the way that you did to another poster. A lot of us have an “allergic reaction” to seeing wall of Bible quotes like that, used in that fashion.

  27. Ronald Kyle says

    @#17 EnlightenmentLiberal says February 4, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Can you tell Ronald Kyle to take a chill pill please, and stop with the needless personal insults please

    Hahaha… yet another telltale testimonial to your hypocritical nature.
     
    Hypocritical self-righteousness and reserving to yourself rights that you deny others is yet another indication of your theistic nature.
     

    @#525 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 15, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Well, motherfucker, I haven’t had that experience, and I’m asking you t explain your motherfucking self…. I don’t know, motherfucker, and that’s why I’m asking you that same question.

    @#139 EnlightenmentLiberal says December 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Oreo is demented, or just a troll.

    @#166 EnlightenmentLiberal says December 26, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I can’t tell if he’s trolling or merely if his head is so far up his ass.

    @#325 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 11, 2019 at 6:39 am

    … to the scumbag Jordan Peterson as though Peterson was a respectable expert.

    @#331 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 3, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Ronald Kyle Come on good sir or maam. This is pretty over the top. Take a chill pill.

  28. Ronald Kyle says

    @#29 EnlightenmentLibera

    That was not a threat per se. I have no ability to carry out that threat.

    You knew that I am new here and that I did not know that you are just a pissant talking haughty… I assumed from all the tribal members and butlers sniffing up your derrière that you must be an alpha member of the tribe… and the way you came to their defenses when they lost their arguments, indicated that you are a doting alpha too.
     
    So for all intents and purposes you were trying to intimidate a new member who had no way of knowing whether or not your threats are empty cock-posturing, to make me kowtow to your tribal alpha status…. well you failed…. I am not one for tribalism nor am I easily intimidated or bullied by bullies… impotent ones or otherwise
     
    So please piss off and stop telling me what to do and how to do my debating… whether you like it or not is your problem… imposing your standards on people is another indication of your theistic nature.
     
    I am not saying you or your tribal butlers are theists… but you behave like theists in all the ways you conduct yourselves… self-righteousness… despotism… hypocrisy… imposing your way on people… lying …. lying about your lying… TRIBALISM… standing together even if you are wrong…. fabricating fake statistics to bolster your lies… getting an allergy when I attack Christian doctrine… misrepresenting… equivocating… wafting red-herrings… etc. etc.

  29. buddyward says

    Between Kafei, Oreoman, and the bickering between atheists here, I think I am going to take a little break from this blog and come back later when discussions have become more sensible. Good luck.

  30. Ronald Kyle says

    @#31 Monocle Smile says

    Ronald Kyle could use some professional help. I mean, most of us could, but seriously

    I won’t need help if vile scum would stop doing things like this for no reason at all without me having ever even interacted with them let alone attacked them in any way…..
     
    @#288 Monocle Smile says January 18, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Okay, I think we’ve had enough of Ronald Kyle’s cartoonish ranting, too.

    @#279 StonedRanger says January 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    …And Ronald Kyle frothing at the mouth …

    BUT… I am getting help right here and now with the pleasure I am getting by seeing how much I am getting under your skins by making you confront your hypocritical nature… it is very therapeutic to see how you guys scurry to the aid of your herd members and proving to all (including yourselves) the extent of your tribalism and thus irrationality.

  31. t90bb says

    34. Buddy dont go. We are gonna work through this. Take a couple days and please come back. I enjoy your contribution. I agree things are umm..messy. I know I can do better.

  32. t90bb says

    Let me make a suggestion. Lets get back to the show on Sunday……..there was a lot there to discuss.

  33. Ronald Kyle says

    @#29 EmlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, my “dipshit” comment might have been uncalled for

    What about these
     
    @#163 EmlightenmentLiberal says (January 31, 2019 at 3:41 pm )

    Ronald Kyle …God, you’re as bad as Kafei. You just get stuck in a loop where you start preaching and stop listening, just like Kafei.

    @#123 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 31, 2019 at 4:14 am

    To Ronald Kyle… You are a pisspoor reader. Take that chip off your shoulder, simmer down a moment, and try to read what the other person is saying instead of just skimming for something to attack.

    All because I argued with you about your error in reasoning and your despotic attempts at telling me that I am not allowed to even mention NOMA which seems to give you an alergic reaction too.

     
    And how about this attack
     
    @#331 EnlightenmentLiberal says January 3, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Ronald Kyle Come on good sir or maam. This is pretty over the top. Take a chill pill.

    Telling me that I am crazy and need to take pills to calm down all in defense of one of your tribal members who was calling me manic depresice and OCD and in need of medication….
     
    @#308 paxoll says January 2, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Ok Ronald, think you need to take your “Paxill” now.

    @#320 paxoll says January 3, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Ronald… you have demonstrated some very peculiar behavior here that seems very angry, manic, ocd, and borderline in one way or another…

    all because I proved his subconscious attempts at defending Christianity and Christians from the cold hard truths that I exposed about their insane tenets.
     

    @#29 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Finally, probably most of us don’t appreciate anyone, atheist or theist, publishing walls of Bible quotes in their posts as stand-alone arguments in the way that you did to another poster. A lot of us have an “allergic reaction” to seeing wall of Bible quotes like that, used in that fashion.

    Well… I am sad for you being so sensitive and allergy prone… but that does not mean that you can appoint yourself as the alpha member of the “most of us” and “a lot of us” tribe and start despotically telling me to shut up and maligning me with slurs and profanity and then equivocate me with a crazy theist when you are the one who is in fact acting like a despotic theist.
     
    And lies like the below do not help your case… exaggerating and misrepresenting reality because you are suffering from an allergic reaction to FACTS is another trait of theist.
     
    @#29 EnlightenmentLiberal says

    publishing walls of Bible quotes in their posts as stand-alone arguments in the way that you did to another poster

  34. paxoll says

    Lol

    @#308 paxoll says January 2, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Ok Ronald, think you need to take your “Paxill” now.

    @#320 paxoll says January 3, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Ronald… you have demonstrated some very peculiar behavior here that seems very angry, manic, ocd, and borderline in one way or another…

    all because I proved his subconscious attempts at defending Christianity and Christians from the cold hard truths that I exposed about their insane tenets.

    Apparently I missed some diagnoses. I really think you need to stop posting for a while and look into getting some professional therapy before coming back.

  35. indianajones says

    Is it possible that this blog has attracted the attention of a troll farm? Of the sort that likes to influence elections I mean. I don;t want to overstate it, but those guys are all over the place for relatively trivial things like this blog, of course, as well At the risk of playing into their hands by responding, I present the following evidence:

    Using just enough facts to be able to distort them and making up superficially plausible ones otherwise
    Derailing any other sort of discourse with sheer volume
    Immunity to any sort of reasonable objection
    Sowing dissent and dissension in order to drown out any sort of reasonable voices to the point where those voices give up

    And so on. Sky Captain, a little help here please? I am sure you have finger tip access to a better definition.

    The point is that the policy as explained by Tracie if I am correct, whilst admirable, will be utterly ineffective. My troll farm hunting Jiu Jitsu is woefully inadequate. Noting that, I consider it to be a threat (and it is a threat) that should at least be taken seriously. And investigated.

    Those suggesting professional help may be, just may be, giving far too much benefit of the doubt here. It may be more sinister.

  36. RationalismRules says

    @IJ #40
    I can’t see what the point would be. As I understand it, the objective of troll farm attacks is to sow discord, particularly around political issues. None of Kafei, Oreo or Shiningone have succeeded in getting us to argue amongst ourselves any more than we always do, so if that was their objective they have failed abysmally. Also, the only political point raised by any of them was Shiningone’s abortive abortion argument.

    For myself, I’m pretty convinced that Kafei is a drug-addled true believer, Oreo is a philosophy-addled true believer, and Shiningone is a Shiningexample of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    (I don’t think RK’s issues come from a troll farm.)

  37. indianajones says

    eh, ya probably right RR, I just see a lot of anything but talking about the show happening here, the parallells seemed strong.

  38. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Kafei is definitely a true believer. I skimmed through the RatSkep threads he posted and it perfectly mirrors what we’ve seen here (make absurd claims, avoid directly responding to criticisms, copy-paste from a few canned responses, link-bomb). He seems to be avoiding honest discussion as a way to protect his beliefs, but once you get him off his script you get a glimpse of what’s really lurking underneath his evangelizing for fringe psilocybin research and Jordan Peterson apologetics (panpsychism, panexperientialism and other Chopra/Sheldrake variety woo). We’ve gotten all we’re gonna get out of him. FWIW RatSkep finally banned him after thousands of posts on multiple threads that ultimately went nowhere and just clogged bandwidth.

  39. t90bb says

    I dont think a troll farm per se…..but I do think the brojo discord server has been attacking the show and the blog….I think Brojo. EF, oreo, and possibly others come from there. I think its great and hope they stick around. Brings new energy here.
    RK in not a troll…hes a good guy that like me gets carried away sometimes. I love his enthusiasm. Kafei is another story…hes just lost in space. I actually feel bad for him.

  40. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @t90bb #44
    Brojo is definitely an EF/Darth Dawkins flunky. He spam posts links to a discord server they both use in YouTube comments on videos where either of them appear. His YouTube channel is BroJoSavedByGrace (I think). I haven’t gone to the server but I’m sure it’s a total mess. Regardless, I’m not sure Oreo is one of them.

  41. John David Balla says

    @t90bn #44
    Those are my suspicions too. I’d recommend a deeper discussion between TH and AXP about this apparently coordinated attack. I know TH has a much more tolerant policy than AXP on this, which is why we see repeat incoherent ramblings from Robert NYC and dishonest, scripted blather from EF designed to be of the “bull in a China shop” kind. And now there’s Kafei (unfortunately, another time-waster) on the blog. So I agree with t90bb, there are plenty of red flags, and at this point, I do expect more of the same. Right now, between Robert and EF alone, that’s the lion’s share of the show. For me, these two are often so disturbing in both style and substance that I turn off the show.

  42. Ian Butler says

    Can anyone here explain what Shaun did to get banned that Ronald Kyle hasn’t done yet? Because in my observation RK is Shaun with a bad case of ‘roid rage. He makes athiests look like anti-social jerks, which hurts our cause and makes this forum a toxic place. If he is allowed to continue in this way I may need to follow buddy out the door, as I’m not a glutton for punishment.

  43. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #44:

    RK in not a troll…hes a good guy that like me gets carried away sometimes.

     
    Comment: 23.04 – Ronald Kyle #209:

    @t90bb
    Do not apologize to cockroaches […] in this guy’s case he is only ASPIRING to rise up from his dwelling at the cesspool bottom to join those fully formed scum

  44. StonedRanger says

    So my two cents here. I havent posted in a while because of the shitstorm the blog has become in the last month or so. If all the mods think that oreo, kafei, RK are just frustrating to argue, I can only assume they havent read the blog in the last month. Saying those folks are frustrating to argue with is like saying fighting war is slightly unpleasant. These people are just arguing to argue, they dont care about making valid points or having any kind of real discussion. The constant verbal abuse we are getting from people like RK, calling everyone who disagrees with him a theist, the walls of text… Really? Just frustrating to argue with? Ive seen people hungup on the show over way less poor behavior. You say you dont want you tube comments well, you got your wish, cause they are all here now. I will read the blog, but this will be my last post because FUCK THOSE GUYS. The message Im getting is that mods dont care about the people who come here and keep your blog clean and alive. You want the assholes who have been coming here lately you can have em. They are not adding one bit of value to what youre trying to do. In fact quite the opposite. They, along with the mods not giving a shit (as demonstrated by their lack of coming to the blog) have made this blog user unfriendly. Thanks to tracie for coming as often as she does, but the rest of the mods who NEVER come to the blog should not have a damn thing to say about how its run. Worse than an absentee landlord you are.

  45. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @StonedRanger #49
    I agree that the problem of dishonest arguers taking over threads is negatively impacting the blog, although as a new poster I’m not sure how much my opinion is worth. I sent an email to the show about possibly taking over as an active mod for this blog so it receives enough attention to keep conversation productive and the main personalities can focus on other things. I would love to see extra threads not directly related to episodes like the old days and for the rules to be enforced enough that regulars aren’t scared away by trolls. If anyone at the show is still monitoring this thread (@heicart), feel free to respond here or to my email if you think I could help.

  46. Shiningone says

    I absolutely agree StonedRanger. The way this blog is run is fucking disgusting. It is dominated by utterly childish people who constantly ridicule, slander and abuse, with others condoning it. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the presenters of The Atheist Experience allow it to continue. It reflects on THEM, publicly. Because they call this there ‘official blog’. Several people here would of been hung up on immediately if they called into the show. It’s just a shame that they don’t give the same amount of discernment here as they do on the show. This is the ONLY way the tens of thousands of people who watch the show can get in communication with them apart from email. Yet they don’t even show up. They don’t even care what ARSEHOLES appear on here. I for one will NOT be returning.

  47. Monocle Smile says

    Pretty sure nobody will miss Shiningone.

    This is the ONLY way the tens of thousands of people who watch the show can get in communication with them apart from email

    The implication is ludicrous. If I were a volunteer on a podcast, there’s no way in hell I’d give out my personal information. Listeners would be lucky to get an email address, and it would probably be a generic email for all podcast participants. Nobody is owed the contact info for anyone associated with the show.

  48. Monocle Smile says

    Wow. Calm down, Pacino.
    The connotation of your post that I quoted seemed to be disappointment that there aren’t more ways to contact the AXP hosts and that their absence here is thus a failing on their part. That’s what I found ludicrous. Maybe try being a better communicator tone down the histrionics.

    I believe some of the hosts are involved in the official FB group or the page, so I’m not sure what you claim is true anyway.

  49. John David Balla says

    With the additional evidence generated over the past 12 hours or so, I have adjusted my position proportionately. I will no longer participate here and will actively discourage others from doing for reasons that are beyond obvious.

    The AXP FB page is much more functional and is closely moderated. That said, this so-called blog has become a complete mess and a blemish on the ACA’s reputation. To paraphrase Howard Dean, “There is a cancer on the [ACA]”. Hopefully, remedial action will be thorough and swift. Good luck with that!

  50. Shiningone says

    NO it was not, you fucking liar! You knew damn well what the connotation of my post was and it was about fucking miscreants like you, who bullshit and lie!
    If you did think my post was about having more ways of communicating you would of not spent you entire fucking post about the secrecy of personal details.

    Here is their FUCKING EMAIL if you feel the need to use it.

    tv@atheist-community.org

    Nothing much ludicrous about THAT now is there !

  51. Monocle Smile says

    *facepalm*
    Honestly, I’m thinking about going the same way as JDB and buddyward if cleanup on aisle 5 isn’t happening. This is worse than Pharyngula. It’s really approaching youtube comment section levels of sewage.

  52. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Shiningone #51:

    I cannot understand why the presenters of The Atheist Experience allow it to continue. […] they call this [their] ‘official blog’ […] This is the ONLY way the tens of thousands of people who watch the show can get in communication with them apart from email. Yet they don’t even show up.

     
    @Monocle Smile #54:

    The connotation of your post that I quoted seemed to be disappointment that there aren’t more ways to contact the AXP hosts

    Your interpretation was not obvious to me at first, but I can see it. Especially considering the earlier attempts to address hosts via comments.
     
    Comments: Axp 23.03 – Shiningone #235:

    I originally came here in the hope that we could discuss the show with the presenters. Seeing as they call it their “official blog”.

  53. t90bb says

    Geez the drama…….we hit a rough patch fellas. We can get through this. I did not know Shuan got banned. I think about him from time to time and wondered where he went. I liked him.

    The smoke will clear…..and I hope to see most of you back….

  54. Shiningone says

    The connotation of my post as EVERYONE who reads it will realise is about arse holes like him who keep distorting everything everyone says and offers nothing but cheap petty insults.
    Like..”Calm down, Pacino”. and then proceeds to insinuate something that was minor in the post as the most significant.

  55. t90bb says

    I hope I dont distract from all the drama….but would you guys mind if I discussed an aspect of the shows this week???

    Cant remember if it was TH or TAE

    The guy that called that recently had brain surgery. He said he was reading the Bible and it helped. He kept repeating that all the holy scriptures interpreted properly are positive. I found his call rather sad. He almost sounded like he was pleading with the hosts and was fighting tears.
    Thats the thing about faith and religion. People find hope there. And that is meaningful. I cannot get there but some do. Its one of the pros of faith. Having something to look forward to can be very meaningful. Funny thing is…I actually look forward to non existence. I will live each day to the fullest in full acceptance that I will cease to be. And thats ok. I seemed to miss nothing before I was born. I assume the same after I die. Am I totally odd?? Do others feel that way as well??? I feel like my life has meaning and purpose and I mostly enjoy it…..but I am ok with it being temporal. The universe will limp on without me.

  56. t90bb says

    BTW I dont see this infatuation with discussing the show with the presenters (hosts). I love them all, but they are just people man. There are people here willing to honestly engage. The hosts volunteer mostly. They have lives too. When they stop in I think its awesome. When Tracie actually responded here to something I said once I was pretty star struck I admit. I admire all of them. They have no obligation to engage here. I feel fortunate we get we get several hour a week from them as it is.

    Im not sure what the answer is here. But we will find it. Appointing a couple mods with some stated standards would help. I would also like to see if we can bring Shaun back. No way he deserved a perm banning.

  57. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #60:

    I did not know Shuan got banned.

     
    Comment: Axp 22.38 – Shaun #96

    Yes there are rules for engaging on the blog. They are enforced by moderators. I am posting here and have not been banned. Therefore what I write is within the rules.
     
    So therefore, anyone else who is simply another contributor to the blog telling me what I can and can’t do is like a civilian trying to pull me over on the freeway and book me for speeding.

     
    Comment: Axp 22.38 – heicart #97:

    Actually, Shaun, I have put in to have you banned […] The reason isn’t just that you’re contributing next to nothing, except complaining about the blog and being an ass in general. It’s that you lied/misrepresented this blog in your early comments. There is no shame in misremembering an event or conversation. But there is shame in having it [pointed] out, and simply digging in and repeating the error–showing it was most likely a deliberate misrepresentation. When people continued to point out your error/lie, you simply insulted them, rather than accept responsibility and offer any sort of ownership or correction. I actually am not a tone troll. I put up with a lot of snark, and really don’t care, as long as the person is contributing cogent points or interesting perspectives. But the moment a person is dishonest, and it’s pointed out directly to them, and they repeatedly ignore or defend their dishonesty, that’s a bridge too far.
     
    The blog has to have basic rules of engagement that include *honest* dialog. It isn’t the only metric, but if we simply allow anyone to come here and say things that are untrue, and then continue to repeat those same untruths, not out of ignorance or incapacity to understand–but simply because they don’t care if what they say is actually true or a lie–that impedes any real productive conversation.

  58. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #63:

    I would also like to see if we can bring Shaun back. No way he deserved a perm banning.

    You really should read the 22.38 thread then.

  59. t90bb says

    64, Sky thanks I missed that

    WE had a mini mutiny a couple years ago over PC. I think that proly happened during that time period. I have no idea if Shaun has any interest in returning, but bans for those type of infractions surely should not be indefinate. If dishonesty was the basis for banning we agnostic atheists would mostly just sit and talk amoungst ourselves lol. There are very few intellectually honest gnostic theists or HARD atheists for that matter.

    Anyways I miss the guy. LOL

  60. t90bb says

    65..Sky….

    Maybe I was not around the board during that period. I will assume he did something worse than I thought. I dont have the time to look it up right now. Sorry I guess I was speaking in ignorance of the event that led to the action. My bad.

  61. RationalismRules says

    @t90bb #68

    There are very few intellectually honest gnostic theists or HARD atheists for that matter.

    Hard atheism is simply the position “I believe no gods exist”. It’s no more intellectually dishonest than hard a-fairy-ism, or hard a-HarryPotter-ism.

    Gnostic atheism I could probably agree on. Perhaps that’s why gnostic atheists are rare (in my experience, anyway). There was a new poster here a couple of months back who designated themself a gnostic atheist. I asked how they got to ‘knowledge’ that no gods exist, but didn’t get a response.

  62. RationalismRules says

    I revise my earlier post #41. I am now convinced that Shiningone is a troll. That manufactured outrage stinks of troll, as do the repeated (and thereby self-refuting) “I won’t be back” statements.

  63. G. Shelley says

    On the Euryphro dilemma, Craig’s answer is basically that it isn’t a problem because it is circular.
    God’s nature is good, so he can only command things that are good, and we can always therefore use God as a basis for judging good.

  64. t90bb says

    68…..hard atheism meaning gnostic atheism…..sorry I was unclear. Thanks for responding. I know a few gnostic atheists…..isnt aaron ra a gnostic atheist btw?? (or claims to be)?? I could be wrong. I am agnostic on the validity of my claim lol. haa

  65. t90bb says

    69….I have long been suspect of Mr. Shiningone. I suspect he came here hoping to mix it up with hosts since he is too fearful to call the show. He put Matt on notice in his opening post in fact. Whatever he is here for so be it. Its a shame we will never know for sure since he, per his own statements, has left and will not be back………..(wanna bet?)

  66. RationalismRules says

    @t90bb #62

    Thats the thing about faith and religion. People find hope there. And that is meaningful.

    The problem is that that hope comes in a package with a whole slew of negative aspects.

    You can find individual positive characteristics in just about any movement, however abhorrent it is in every other way…
    eg. “that’s the thing about white supremacist movement, it gives people self-affirmation and a sense of purpose, and the marches are good exercise.”
     

    He kept repeating that all the holy scriptures interpreted properly are positive.

    That’s one of the negative parts of the package – the tendency to wilful denial. My mom used to be very fond of the saying “there are none so blind as those who will not see”. I always found it deeply ironic, she thought she was talking about non-believers, but the saying perfectly summed up her own approach to anything negative in her religion.

  67. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #70:

    isnt aaron ra a gnostic atheist btw??

     
    Article: AronRa – You’re either Theist or a-Theist; There is no ‘agnostic’ 3rd option!

    I used to define myself as an agnostic atheist, but I don’t think that’s quite true anymore. An argument from my friend, Cristina Rad (regarding undetectable elves living in her butt) finally convinced me that I am a gnostic atheist. While I do still say it is impossible to ‘know’ anything that can never be indicated nor vindicated, verified nor falsified, I think I can adhere to the rules of scientific logic and still honestly say that I know there is no god.
     
    * One way I can know there is no god is that the most common concept of God is defined by its being miraculous, meaning that defies the laws of physics and is thus physically impossible – by definition.
    * Also that it exists beyond our reality, meaning that it is not a part of this reality, meaning that it is not real – again, by definition.
    * Otherwise if the god in question is inextricably tied to the supposedly infallible doctrines which we can prove are not factually accurate -about anything – then that disproves the deity along with the dogma.
    […]
    I know there is no god the same way that I know there is no herd of wildebeest stampeding through my sock drawer
    […]
    Not only is there no evidence of any of these preposterous things, but everything ever claimed about any of them are at least the empty assertions of incredulous people, or they’re fraudulent fibs conjured by imaginative but obviously not entirely honest people.
    […]
    everything we know about anything could turn upside-down if there were such things. That’s how it is with God. If such a thing were real, nothing in the universe would make any sense anymore.

  68. Lamont Cranston says

    t90bb says in #62

    Thats the thing about faith and religion. People find hope there. And that is meaningful. I cannot get there but some do. Its one of the pros of faith. Having something to look forward to can be very meaningful.

    I think this is true. Many “want to believe” or “do believe” because they see a potential benefit related to belief even if they are not convinced that the belief is true. The same can be said for people taking a placebo and wanting it to help them bad enough that they actually do get a benefit despite the total lack of benefit from the placebo itself.

    Our minds seem to be very good at helping us through a variety of physical and mental trials when we have hope that help is possible. The same thing probably works for some people with regard to 12 step programs.

    However, once having seen the man behind the curtain, the hope that the Wizard of Oz can really help can be gone, Then we are stuck with having to deal with reality without appealing to an invisible magician for help.

    I’ll admit that believing in magic might seem easier, but dealing honestly with reality is often more profitable and productive in the long run. It also leaves us with actually trying to do something to be helpful rather than just praying for someone who is in real need. It’s like, “Get off your damn knees, and grab a shovel and help me dig,” during a calamity.

    That guy that is dealing with the aftermath of brain surgery may very well need hope right now more than anything else. He needs the belief that things can and will get better. It is often noted that those with a hopeful outlook do better recovering from trauma than those feeling hopeless. The fact is that things actually can get better and it will be more attributed to his hopeful outlook than it will be to the intervention of a god. However, as with 12 step groups, if it helps it helps however it manages to do so.

    In that respect I have no problem with those who believe in the existence of a god, though I do not. My issue with them is when their belief is used to restrain my rights and actions or to attack me in some way (it’s like their right to believe ends at my nose).

    Lamont Cranston

  69. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #74:

    I’ll admit that believing in magic might seem easier, but dealing honestly with reality is often more profitable and productive in the long run.

    Reminds me of a TED talk where, IIRC, a guy spoke of a train system that needed ideas for improvement. He said engineers proposed an expensive retrofit to shorten travel time. He suggested serving champagne. The customers loved it, didn’t care how long the ride was, and it was way cheaper. He thought it was better capitalism to manipulate their experience to accept the existing circumstances than to genuinely improve the infrastructure.

  70. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain #73

    I know there is no god the same way that I know there is no herd of wildebeest stampeding through my sock drawer

    AronRa makes many fine arguments. This is not one of them…

    It’s easy to confirm the lack of stampeding wildebeest by simply looking in the sock drawer. There is no equivalent for god(s), in part because no-one is placing them in such an unambiguous location.
     
    The best way I’ve found to say it is “I have the same confidence that no gods exist as I have that no fairies exist, and for largely the same reasons”.

  71. Monocle Smile says

    @RR
    Eh, I guess it really depends on what one means by “god.” In that same talk, Aron likely sets an admittedly restrictive definition of god, and his statements make much more sense in that light.

  72. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Monocle Smile #77:

    Aron likely sets an admittedly restrictive definition of god

     
    AronRa (same article):

    That also depends on what a god is, because a lot of people will deny they’re atheists on the grounds that they believe there’s “something”, but they don’t say what that something is. I think we all believe that; even me
    […]
    My area of special interest is in the systematic classification of life-forms. […] We cannot redefine divinity so as to exclude most of the ancient gods traditionally worshiped by millions of people for thousands of years. […] if we categorize the whole pantheon correctly and collectively, then deities can all be summarily defined as magical anthropomorphic immortals, and this includes YHWH.
     
    So if you believe there’s ‘something’. Fine. Do you believe that something is a magical anthropomorphic immortal? If not, then you’re still an atheist.
    […]
    Indeed most of us who “believe there’s something” seem to have higher expectations of what that ‘something’ is than theists ever express for their god. What theists worship generally fits the essential description of djinni, and that puts the bar pretty low for everyone trying to view the whole uber-galactic cosmological scope.

  73. RationalismRules says

    @MS
    Ok, looking at it from a different angle I now see it could be making an entirely different point to how I interpreted it. He doesn’t need to look in the sock drawer in order to determine that there aren’t wildebeest stampeding through it, because there can’t be, based on how we define wildebeest and sock drawers. Is that his point? That makes more sense to me.

  74. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @RationalismRules #79:

    He doesn’t need to look in the sock drawer in order to determine that there aren’t wildebeest stampeding through it, because there can’t be, based on how we define wildebeest and sock drawers. Is that his point?

    I think so.

  75. Lamont Cranston says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says in #75:

    @Lamont Cranston #74:

    I’ll admit that believing in magic might seem easier, but dealing honestly with reality is often more profitable and productive in the long run.

    Reminds me of a TED talk where, IIRC, a guy spoke of a train system that needed ideas for improvement. He said engineers proposed an expensive retrofit to shorten travel time. He suggested serving champagne. The customers loved it, didn’t care how long the ride was, and it was way cheaper. He thought it was better capitalism to manipulate their experience to accept the existing circumstances than to genuinely improve the infrastructure.

    Precisely. The short term magic is the champagne (religious experience) approach which makes the problem “seem” to go away and actually does work in the short term. However, without the real improvements the train system (reality) will continue to degrade and ultimately become non-functional. Then no matter how much champagne (religious experience) is present there won’t be anyone riding the train (reality). You might then have a bar (church) where people temporarily feel better (then worse), but the bar (church) will not get people where they want to go (destination of the train that no longer functions).

    Belief in a short term magic solution can sometimes get you through a rough spot, but it doesn’t address the real long term problem. However, short term answers can sometimes provide the brief respite (hope) that is needed until a real long term solution is available (hope, until reality comes through). In the above analogy this would be serving champagne until the the train improvements can be brought on line.

    I am not advocating for religion. I am just recognizing that it doesn’t go away because it does sometimes fill a short term need. It keeps the riders using the train (living life) until the real improvements can be realized.

    Lamont Cranston

  76. says

    So, I went and asked another mod to come and check the points for/against bans–since other mods, comparatively, consider I have maybe a too-quick trigger finger. I was just scrolling up to see if they’d visited or posted, and haven’t even gotten that far, when I see this:

    #51 ” I for one will NOT be returning.”

    Returns to post at 53, 56, 58, and 61.

  77. says

    At G Shelly:

    >On the Euryphro dilemma, Craig’s answer is basically that it isn’t a problem because it is circular.
    God’s nature is good, so he can only command things that are good, and we can always therefore use God as a basis for judging good.

    The problem is that doesn’t get a person out of the dilemma. We still are left asking how we know god’s character is good? Is it good because it’s god or due to independent metrics? If it’s good because of independent metrics, then we can access the good without the god.

    In other words, if god says to commit genocide, and Craig says that is “good”–how does he know? If he can demonstrate it’s good by pointing to metrics for “good” that exist independent of god, then it’s good because it’s good, not because of god. If he can’t see how it’s good, then he’s simply saying “I believe it’s good, because I believe god has to be good”–which amounts to “It’s good because god said it, and I really have no way to tell if it’s good for any other reason.”

    It doesn’t really get out of the dilemma.

  78. Monocle Smile says

    @heicart
    I agree. Craig’s answer addresses a different question that nobody asked. It’s also a weaselly attempt to define something instead of demonstrating…like defining god as existing and using that to prove that god exists.

    Also, I find it silly that other mods think you have a quick trigger finger. IMO, forums lose good contributors due to high volumes of trash, not overly strict moderation.

  79. Ronald Kyle says

    @#84 heicart says

    We still are left asking how we know god’s character is good?

    In fact by all social standards of almost all societies, we know for sure that the fictive character YHWH in the Torah fairy tales is extremely not good.
     
    This “god” genocided the entire human race including todlers and infants and unborn babies and the whole of the fauna and flora on earth… and whom did he choose to let survive? Not innocent children or infants or sucklings… no… this “god” chose a drunkard and his three children and their wives… one of those children apparently (arguably) buggered his father while in a drunken stupor.
     
    So YHWH chose some particularly nasty characters to be his chosen to survive genocide of the entire human race.
     
    But it does not stop there… this “god” goes on to trick a poor dupe to leave his kin and kith to go treking as an illegal immigrant in lands filled to the rim with its indigenous inhabitants, promising him that the land is a land of plenty that was flowing honey and milk.
     
    But what happens? The land turns out to be prone to droughts and famines so very much that this Sumerian illegal immigrant had to flee the land this YHWH tricked him to go to with false promises.
     
    But the trickery does not stop there either… this pernicious trickster did not lift a finger to help the Sumerian illegal immigrant survive the famines plaguing this land of supposed plenty… If this YHWH had an ounce of goodness he would have at least made sure that the Sumerian dupe did not need to trek all the way past the river Nile and further 1000 more Kilometers south to ostensibly to escape the famine and drought when the River Delta had all he needed but instead he kept travelling all the way 1000 Km south to then have to pimp his wife and receive riches in payment for her “beauty” from the Pharaoh.
     
    This “god” could have whisked the Sumerian cowardly pimp to Florida or New York or Calofornia (e.g. Napa Vallley) or even Hawaii … but no YHWH elected to watch while the Sumerian coward kept on lying and tricking kings telling them his wife was his sister and those kings could not resist her 70/90 years old beauty and paying him with (anachronistic) Camels and slave girls and slave boys and other riches for her “services”.
     

    Genesis 20:12-12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

     
    And the disgusting nastiness of this “god” does not even stop there… the Sumerian pimp’s son took up the family pimping business and he too pimped his wife to kings while trying to escape even more famines plaguing this land of alleged plenty.
     
    And the evilness of this YHWH keeps on coming time after time throughout the Torah and the Tanakh and even the New Tall tales where this “god” proceeds to rape and commit adultery with a 13 years old married girl to make for himself an ill begotten bastard son whom he made with the express design of eventually making a human blood sacrifice of him.
     
    By any standards of any SANE society, this YHW would have been considerd a DEVIL not a god… but over 3.8 billion morons living in the 21st century (e.g. W. Craig) believe that this DEVIL is their sky daddy.

  80. John Iacoletti says

    A reminder about the working guidelines here:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/moderation-policy/

    I’m also in agreement with what Tracie said in #9. We’re not going to block somebody just because you find them frustrating to argue with. They probably find you frustrating to argue with too.

    Moderation at the blog is not as heavy-handed as the Facebook group (that could change, should it become necessary), but namecalling is not ok, preaching is not ok, being a jerk is not ok. If something is going on that you think requires more scrutiny, feel free to email me at john@atheist-community.org instead of just assuming that you get to respond in kind. That’s only going to get you in trouble too. We expect you to act like adults.

    Consider yourselves warned, Ronald Kyle and Shiningone.

    Carry on.

  81. Lamont Cranston says

    heicart says in #83

    I was just scrolling up to see if they’d visited or posted, and haven’t even gotten that far, when I see this:

    #51 ” I for one will NOT be returning.”

    Returns to post at 53, 56, 58, and 61.

    🙂 That’s life

    Having been one who has posted on various internet forums for over 25 years, I’ve gotten used to just about everything. Most of the forums I have frequented were totally unmoderated, some were religious “alt” newsgroups that were notorious for their flame wars.

    With that experience behind me, I do find it rather unfortunate that in this venue there is no good way for a user to filter, ignore, or block postings by any other particular user. That feature has preserved my sanity on a couple of occasions. In Usenet newsgroups that was critical because of the volume of spam such groups received daily.

    Best of luck on addressing the concerns.

    Lamont Cranston

  82. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #88:

    to filter, ignore, or block postings by any other particular user

     
    Browser Extension: Killfile

    (for Chrome & Firefox) designed to provide functionality like the usenet killfile to the comments sections of certain blogs. With it, readers can decide that they would rather never see comments from certain individuals, and hide those comments from view.
     
    It is not intended as a replacement for comment moderation, but merely as a personal measure an individual reader can take for their own peace of mind.

    When you hover over a comment, a “[hush]” link appears beside its author.
     
    Pay no attention to its icon up by the url bar; the extension has no special menu.

  83. Ronald Kyle says

    @#84 heicart says

    On the Euryphro dilemma, … and we can always therefore use God as a basis for judging good.

    An example of how people who follow the celestial slave monger YHWH have their standards of good and evil totally warped and reversed is the fairy tale of Esau and Jacob.
     
    Ask any Christian, Muslim or Jew why YHWH (a.k.a. Allah) preferred Jacob over Esau… their answer would be immediate without thinking that Esau was a bad guy.
     
    But if one reads the fairy tale of Genesis, one can see clearly that Jacob was a cheating huckstering cowardly stingy extortionist charlatan. While Esau is represented in the fable as manly, good provider, generous forgiving and welcoming and brotherly. Not a single bad word was written in the fable about Esau, while all sorts of nasty actions and characteristics were attributed to Jacob.
     
    When I point this fact out to faith heads they at first deny the truth of the above paragraph, but when they fail to produce one verse ascribing a bad characteristic or action to Esau, they resort to: “He sold his birthright for a bowl of soup”.
     
    When I tell them that they are forgetting that Jacob refused to give food to his hungry brother and instead of being a good loving brother he denied him food until Esau supposedly got so desperate that he had no choice but to acquiesce to the EXTORTION of the nasty hateful Jacob, they stare at me with dropped jaws and goggled eyes.
     
    I then point out that Esau was according to the fable a manly mighty hunter while Jacob is described as an effeminate weakling always dwelling in the women’s tents. Thus Esau could have clobbered Jacob and taken all the food he wanted. But Esau demonstrated being a nice civilised person and opted to take his mingy nasty brother’s extortion for the stupidity they are and humored him and just took the more peaceful path.
     
    But, despite all those details from the fairy tales… they still walk away convinced by their previous brainwashing that Esau was the bad one and Jacob was the good one because YHWH preferred the nasty lying cheating extortionist mingy Jacob over the good Esau.
     
    And thus we can see that humanity is vitiated to no end by this delusion of a celestial ethnic cleansing DEVIL insanely believed to be a loving benevolent sky daddy.

  84. Lamont Cranston says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says in #90:

    Browser Extension: Killfile

    Thanks. That is not an extension I had come across before and it works quite well. I tried an add-on for Chrome recently that just didn’t work on my system for some reason, but this works easily.

    Lamont Cranston

  85. Lamont Cranston says

    EnlightenmentLiberal says in #89:

    Lamont. I could write a bad greasemonkey script for you if that would help.

    I appreciate the offer, but the extension for Firefox that SkyCaptain pointed out does the trick. 🙂

    Lamont Cranston

  86. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    SkyCaptain’s solution is superior. I feel silly not suggesting an already-made solution.

  87. ConstantReader says

    Brojo was allowed too much time. He was entertaining in a manic-panic kind of way.

    *
    It wasn’t hard to predict the fall of the “second” temple since the Gospel of Luke was likely written after the temple fell.

    *

    Y’all children need to play nice.

    :-]

  88. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain #90
    You just made my day!

    I’m going to go back to those earlier threads just for the pleasure of blocking Kafei and Oreo and watching all their garbage posts vanish!

  89. masonjiles says

    *takes a deep breath*
    I’m kind of putting myself out there on this one, but here goes. Something was said on the show tonight that made me feel comfortable enough to reach out and finally say something. I am an atheist, and a hebephile. I am sexually and romantically attracted to young adolescent boys. I have known this since I was 15 and every day is a struggle for me to balance my self esteem in a (arguably justified) hostile world. Every time me and my kind are mentioned it is with contempt and scorn. To state the obvious, having zero romantic or sexual outlet (outside masturbation) takes its toll on you over the years. When I was 12 or 13, the age range I am now attracted to, I remember simply thinking I was gay, but even that took place in a small, religious, conservative, southern baptist town. I won’t waste time retelling what that was like: it just plain sucked.
    *
    Anyway, it has just been decade after decade of depression. I graduated college and am trying to get into graduate school but I’m pretty sure I am not going to get in as the majority have already sent me rejections. I am about to lose my job because I am spinning out of control and lashed out at work. At home, sometimes I get angry and throw/break something or slap myself in the face. For the past year I have been smoking weed and now I am starting to mix alcohol in just to feel something. I have tried therapy but ultimately, being medicated so that other people can feel better about my existence isn’t exactly what I want; I have no interest in an augmented life.The past few years have torn away every passion I have left and to be honest I am sort of at my wits end in regards to having zero support. I have been watching The Atheist Experience for about 10 years now, and I have to believe there is a rational community out there that knows we suffer almost invisibly to others. Please save your therapy recommendations – I know it works. But I also know that it is *not* enough to just have therapy and medication; you’re still alone. I am also self aware enough to say that I am not suicidal, I just wouldn’t mind *not* waking up tomorrow…whether that is better or worse is another discussion, but I don’t want people thinking I’m THAT close to the edge or anything. Reaching out is also a double edged sword as I obviously can’t live openly out – the list of consequences for that are far too long to post – but I have taken steps to protect myself in that regard.
    .*
    I guess I am not too sure what I expect to hear back or what to get out of all of this, or if I even expect this comment to post as it is sort of…deep, to say the very least. But if my situation is too burdensome, I have familiarized myself with that reality.
    *
    Thanks,
    -MJ

  90. t90bb says

    99….MJ!

    Welcome! so glad you posted. Please be a part of our little family here.

    Deep stuff. I dont think we are responsible for what we are attracted to. There is nothing I am gonna tell you that has probably not been suggested. Since you feel physically and romantically cut off it seems critical to find things/activities that you feel passionate about. Especially things that tend toward goals greater than just yourself.

    Just a thought here but your situation may not be much different than others. Lots of us as we grow older remain attracted to younger people. But these younger are mostly “out of our league.” Because of this some loose interest in love/sex altogether and we find interest in other things.

    Sounds over simplistic I know. A lot of us get/are lonely.

    I dont think you should feel at all ashamed by what you are attracted to. Sexuality is very complex and mysterious. The things some people find arousing are so diverse and literally bizarre!! But its all good. As long as we respect others and enter into consensual legal situations then thats cool. Your situation, if I understand it is “unique” in that the attraction is to minors which prohibits you from fulfilling physical desires.

    Rather than trying to find a magic bullet..working on keeping a rich and robust lifestyle might be helpful. Continued therapy, medication for depression, exercise, communing with others, finding time to play (outside of sex). Isolating is dangerous for those of us that have suffer/suffered depression.

    I know most of what I wrote is obvious and you have probably rolled your eyes several times. Although the circumstances are not exactly the same I can say I identify with aspects of your predicament.

    I am absolutely thrilled you posted this! Please come be a part of this blog! We all need each other!. You are a new friend to me and I appreciate that!!!

  91. Ian Butler says

    Mj’s comments make me appreciate that Matt was careful to separate being attracted to minors from acting on that impulse. Many fail to recognize the distinction, but the difference is enormous.

    Matt also pointed out that there are asexual relationships that focus on the other parts of being together, which is a reminder that not having sex doesn’t have to mean being alone.

  92. paxoll says

    Stop being an ass at work. It is self defeating. Getting fired will hurt your future prospects of getting work, and not having income will hurt your ability to apply to graduate schools. There is no excuse to being an ass if that is going to hurt yourself. If this is an impulse control issue, then you really need drugs and therapy regardless of your depression and sexual solitude. If you want to go to grad school, and I think college is always a good choice for people who feel isolated, then you need to figure out what is preventing you from getting in and work on getting around those obstacles. Go to your old school and talk with someone in the career/counseling center on how to improve your application.
     
    As for the sexual attraction part. Sex is like dessert. It is nice, but wholly unimportant. Everyone has different preferences but the stimulation is all the same. Arousal is quite trainable and why people end up fucking whatever is available, but the mental training, therapy, drugs are the most important part so you stop feeling bad or guilty over thoughts. Many gay men/women have loved and been in sexually satisfying relationships with straight people and suffered horribly over their thoughts, and for these people the biggest improvement in their lives when they come out is not the relationship and sex, but the freedom of guilt. Everyone lives with sexual restraint, your “kind” is the same kind as everyone else in one way or another. You know how many of my friends know about my kinks and sex life? Zero. Its wholly unimportant, those that do, do it because they want validation. If you have a good sense that what you are doing is right, you don’t need validation.

  93. indianajones says

    @99 That sucks. I would say become a light house keeper, or an astronaut or something where you can never be put in a situation of temptation. Also, look for advice somewhere that specialises in stuff like this, not an Atheist forum.

  94. t90bb says

    103 paxoll says..; “As for the sexual attraction part. Sex is like dessert. It is nice, but wholly unimportant.”

    I happen to personally agree….but thats totally a matter of opinion. At best we can say “for me……….”

    I know people that have left what they admit to be decent and mostly satisfying relationships over sex or lack thereof. We are all different yet similar at the same time. There are lots of people that do not put a high priority on sex. Some people are born blind and will never see. Some malformed and will never walk. Finding meaning outside of sex is possible I think.

    Admittedly being attracted to minors and knowing that attraction cannot ever be fulfilled while at the same time feeling some level of shame for your attraction (and possibly your same sex attraction) is a double whammy
    .
    The fact that you were willing to express your feelings here is an amazing accomplishment and must have been satisfying..

    Life can be hard for all of us….it is for me. Thats why I have some sympathy for those that allow themselves to slip into the world of imagination (religion).

    So MJ….I grew up in a very religious environment….throughout my adolescence I knew I was different and dealt with same sex attraction. My family was so closed off to the world I didnt even know there was such thing as being “gay”……I was so ashamed i suppressed my sexuality altogether until I was like 25. My young adulthood could or should have been some of the greatest years of my life but all I did was play defense to prevent others from getting inside my head and discovering who I really was. I would like to proudly say I “came out” but in actually I was discovered and confronted by my family. It was the worst and best day of my life. Becoming authentic (reasonably so, lol) was an incredibly wonderful process. It opened the door to sort through my honest beliefs about God and religion.

    I bet things are about to get better for you friend. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Your post inspired my buddy. Good for you.

  95. t90bb says

    103….Indiana….really? did you really?

    This certainly is not a therapy group but when someone basically cries out for help…….. One of the great things about secular humanism is the fact that we realize or believe we are all in it for ourselves and each other. I agree this is not the ideal place to discuss such matters and I have no intention of allowing it to take over the thread….but c’mon dude. wow

    I am still scratching my head on 103….(was he trying to be funny?). If not how lucky I am to not know him.

  96. Monocle Smile says

    @t90bb
    Indianajones buried the lede there, and I agree with his second statement.

    MJ posted due to the hosts’ position during Brojo’s call, which was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air. After a second read, MJ didn’t post for help or advice, really, so I’m more okay with MJ than I am with the callers who want to talk about or are dealing with mental illness or other things that require therapy or counseling.

  97. Lamont Cranston says

    I went back and re-read MJ’s post a couple of times and the following is the basis for what I am about to say…

    masonjiles says in #99

    *takes a deep breath*
    I’m kind of putting myself out there on this one, but here goes. Something was said on the show tonight that made me feel comfortable enough to reach out and finally say something. I am an atheist, and a hebephile. I am sexually and romantically attracted to young adolescent boys.

    Forgive me if I am wrong, Mason, but I think what Mason is trying to do is reveal who he is to people who he knows are not like him, but who might be willing to try and understand without being judgemental, shaming, or flippant about his situation. Like anyone with less common sexual feelings, these can lead to serious negative internal feelings and severe feelings of loneliness and isolation.

    Mason, as you probably already know, research suggests your feelings are most likely due to an atypical brain development that starts before birth. You are sort of stuck with those feelings as seems to be the case with all the rest of us. Those feelings are not something you chose or decided to feel any more than mine are. However, there can sometimes be a degree of success in managing the feelings, but that’s not what you came here for. At the same time I am sure you know that you can never act on those feelings because the recipient can never psychologically nor legally consent. All in all you, and many others, are stuck in a lousy situation.

    You will receive no shaming from me for being born the way God made you. Yes, I am kidding about God. I don’t believe there is one, but that’s another story. The fact is shaming you for your feelings makes about as much sense as shaming someone for being born with any significant birth difference (hair color, skin color, missing body part, or genetic mental condition).

    If you want to hang out here and participate, I would say welcome and join the fray (not that I have any authority, I’m new here myself). With regard to sexual feelings and gender identity I have friends, family and acquaintances that are all over the map and find that having them for friends and family have nothing to do with any of that stuff. What is important to me is how they treat other people.

    For what it’s worth…

    Lamont Cranston

  98. indianajones says

    To clarify a bit then. Get the help you need, although you specifically asked not to be given that advice. The cold hard reality is that if you give in to this temptation, society in general will isolate you. Jail. And under that circumstance, the help you can get will be sub-optimal if not entirely absent, Better to avoid the temptation while still getting the help needed yourself before the choice is removed from you by force.

  99. Ian Butler says

    This is a perfectly appropriate place for this discussion, and a welcome change from the abortion and veganism threads.

    Sure it takes out of our comfort zones, heck, I’m a little uncomfortable commenting on this under my own name, but the leading edge of human rights should make us uncomfortable. Gay and trans acceptance have come a long way, hopefully someday society will be able to accept this group, so long as they never act on their urges.

    Atheists are better equipped than theists to see beyond indoctrination and instinct, seeing things from a secular rather than religion based morality allows us to evaluate situations more honestly. If MJ can’t be open with us then who?

    Matt has looked deeply into secular morality, his words to brojo were clear headed and a great starting point for a real discussion, and MJ has given us a real world example to discuss, hopefully we will all be the better for it.

  100. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ian Butler #109:

    the leading edge of human rights should make us uncomfortable. Gay and trans acceptance have come a long way

    Be very, very careful if ever mentioning *philias and LGBTQ. TERFs, 4chan, and mainstream conservatives put a lot of effort into promoting an association (snopes link of one example) to undermine that progress. Transphobes especially these days, though that’s recycled anti-gay rhetoric from the past. Another example from gaters.

  101. t90bb says

    108…indiana

    Better. Sorry for the emotional reaction earlier. Avoiding situations that elicit needless temptation is rather practical advise,,,,I just felt isolating to a light tower or outer space was a tad extreme. Thanks for the clarification. One again, apologies;

  102. Lamont Cranston says

    Ian Butler says in #101

    Mj’s comments make me appreciate that Matt was careful to separate being attracted to minors from acting on that impulse. Many fail to recognize the distinction, but the difference is enormous.

    At least there is a distinction unless one subscribes to the “thought crime” approach in Christianity where you are guilty of sin and are going to Hell just for having thoughts as supposedly taught by Jesus. Of course that whole idea of thought crime is really about manipulation and control over people.

    Yet another good reason for rejecting the nonsensical teachings in the Bible. Any God who would send a person to Hell for all eternity for having a thought is no God at all. Maybe he is just the kind of God who has need of a starship (Star Trek reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYW_lPlekiQ ).

    Lamont Cranston

  103. Ian Butler says

    Believing in no God or the wrong God is the ultimate thought crime according to the Bible, punishable by eternal torture.

  104. RationalismRules says

    @Lamont Cranston

    Any God who would send a person to Hell for all eternity for having a thought is no God at all.

    Hmm. I think you’ve unintentionally let the ‘God is good’ idea infiltrate your argument. Not only is acting cruelly and capriciously not a disqualifier for ‘god-ness’, it’s a defining characteristic of many gods (including Yahweh).

  105. masonjiles says

    @t90bb\#100, 104, 105: Thank you for your thoughtful replies, I tend not to eyeroll at sincerity 🙂 I really like to travel, and going somewhere new, very soon, is something I am considering doing. I know that with the graduate school situation I could very well be sitting around waiting for more bad news. I also know with all that is going on, I don’t need to sit around and sulk if it plays out that way. Alternatively, if I nailed an interview at a school, I would be traveling somewhere new anyway, and have already set aside the funds for that. I appreciate your ability to understand the “double whammy” dilemma I outlined; it seemed like no matter how much I grew up and changed, it was always into some new taboo. I sincerely never even thought about people growing old and maintaining their attractions to the younger, but that makes perfect sense and is certainly something I can relate to. I guess the only true distinction is that when I was younger and considered myself to be gay, I was unable to express myself, and again as I got older and discovered yet another affection I could not express; surely there must be some comfort for the elderly who once got that opportunity. I go back and fourth with feeling shame mostly just due to how my kind are feared. Internally I acknowledge that it is not my fault and I did not choose to be this way. In finding my way into some community, I hope to give a perspective that offers something unique. You spoke of slipping into imagination, there is a reason why video games are my main hobby. Words can’t give justice to the relief being someone else can give you. I resonate the most with Link from The Legend of Zelda. Especially from the game “Ocarina of Time.” It’s a classic game on the surface, but I always found the sorrowful story it told about a lost childhood to be particularly beautiful. And in general its just nice to be someone who doesn’t have to prove that they are a good person. Again, thanks for the warm welcome and I look forward to future discussions.
    *
    @Ian Butler\#101, 109: I too appreciate Matt’s words. And I agree that this is a perfect of a place as any to reach out, ESPECIALLY after one of the main faces of this community basically reached out and said “we know you’re out there.” I couldn’t agree more with your words: “If MJ can’t be open with us then who?” because this is exactly what I was thinking and, coupled with Matt’s comments, is why I even reached out.. If the most reasonable community I know of can’t welcome me…who ever will? Of course there will always be those to just don’t get it. Thank you for your replies.
    *
    @paxoll\#102: Did I strike you as a particular self-unaware person? If so, let me correct that. After trimming the fat/nonsense off the comment there are a few things I’d like to touch base on: (A) Like the others point out, I did not ask for advice, but I did, specifically, say don’t waste your time recommending therapy as I’m already a subscriber. Somehow you managed to give both: advice, and the redundant recommendation. (B) It’s real easy to tell someone that thing they have never had is unimportant. Conveniently, MOST people are able to express themselves romantically and sexually and do. If it’s sooooooo unimportant/not that great why all the fuss? Long story short, your comment is dismissive and, my my, is that an underhanded accusation I smell?:
    >
    “You know how many of my friends know about my kinks and sex life? Zero. Its wholly unimportant, those that do, do it because they want validation. If you have a good sense that what you are doing is right, you don’t need validation.”
    >
    Another convenient little narrative you set up here because if in fact I do need validation that must mean I’m up to no good. Advice for advice: practice perspective taking, and consider reading each comment carefully.. I don’t expect anyone to understand fully unless they’ve lived it, but somehow you’ve fallen lower than not understanding; you appear to lack basic understanding of the complexity and diversity of humans. Do not project your “validation is secretly guilt” mantra onto me. But on the off chance a modicum of sincerity existed in there, and for the others, I’ll clarify that the work incident is not serious enough to warrant medication and was only verbal and my own boss thought it was completely warranted as it involved someone harassing me at work; I do not have to sit and take personal insults from anyone. However, HR makes the final call.
    *
    @indianajones\#103, 108: I’ll come right out and say I’m already not a fan and if I were to be forming a “welcome party” for someone new I don’t think I would bring you. But your ignorance provides a perfect opportunity to teach. While it is true that in many ways I feel isolated from the rest of the world, internally I know we are all the same. Have any of you ever worked around someone you are attracted to? The answer is probably yes, and I have as well. I volunteered for 4 years at a youth program (but only maybe 25% of time was I working with teens) and I never had an issue. You want to know why? Because I’m a respectful human being and I have a work ethic. I did not sign up to volunteer to get my rocks off. I have worked with individuals I can recall as being attractive and none of it mattered at all because I was there to serve. I also worked in the food industry and would occasionally see someone I found attractive – I didn’t have to suddenly run to the bathroom to relieve myself or breath into a paper bag and relax – I am just like everyone else in that there is a time and place for everything. I have never had an issue separating my personal life and my work with teens. With that said, I don’t need a reminder from you, or anyone really, to remind me of the consequences of giving into temptation. I know just how real those consequences are, certainly more than you do. I have a lifetime track record of restraint in this area. I just cannot pretend that the restraint doesn’t wear on me, because it does. The only thing I am having trouble managing these days is my anxiety and anger and I freely admit that.
    >
    You know I’ve been watching the second season of the Punisher (which I love), and there is a character on there I want to use: Arthur, and old man who ran a boys home. Basically, Arthur made the rounds and molested every boy in his home. He makes comments that many of the boys wanted it and he hurts boys who do not. It is characters like these that get to be the face and the example for the rest of us. The truth? This man is a freaking monster and a complete insult to everything that I stand for. You see, I buy in to all of the scientific findings regarding sexual abuse and adolescent decision making, and I know minors are not fit to consent to sex and, in general, we want our youth to delay sex as long as possible because we want them to make the best and most well informed decisions with the most-formed brain possible. Anyway, this man uses the guise of a foster home as his personal brothel, an act of hypocrisy beyond redemption. He does not get to represent me. I have no problem controlling me and mine. The most important question you need to ask yourself is “Do I routinely remind the average heterosexual person that there are consequences for having sex with an under-aged girl?” You probably don’t and thus you highlight another problem: You don’t extend admitted hebephiles the same benefit of the doubt you would the average person. There is an automatic assumption made that we can’t control ourselves. You’ve no idea the frustration involved when everyone else gets to construct the narrative. Even the scientific literature on the behavior and tendencies of hebephiles have it wrong. And as a result, I get stuck convincing everyone that I’m a good person, and I really, *REALLY* hate that.
    *
    @Monocle Smile\#106: Thank you for the warm welcome and for noticing that I did not ask for advice 🙂 If nothing else, I hope to reduce the amount of ignorance regarding people with attractions to minors.
    *
    @Lamont Cranston\#107: You were correct about the point of me reaching out. I thank you for the warm welcome. As I mention above, yeah I don’t need any reminders of the consequences. Forgive me if I am defensive around that point but as I also explain above, there is baggage anchored to those reminders. However, you did mention it in a respectful manner which is all I can ask for as an alternative.
    *
    -MJ

  106. indianajones says

    Eye rolling ignorance. Fair enough, I’ve never had occasion to walk a mile in your particular shoes before. I was trying to look at it from your perspective and self preservation was the first thing that occurred to me. I got it wrong and I apologise. I certainly did not want to be un-welcoming but i was and that’s on me.

    Best of luck with the anxiety and anger.

  107. Lamont Cranston says

    RationalismRules says in #115:

    @Lamont Cranston

    Any God who would send a person to Hell for all eternity for having a thought is no God at all.

    Hmm. I think you’ve unintentionally let the ‘God is good’ idea infiltrate your argument. Not only is acting cruelly and capriciously not a disqualifier for ‘god-ness’, it’s a defining characteristic of many gods (including Yahweh).

    True. I should have qualified it as a God in the sense portrayed by most religions.

    I made the case once that it would be harder to argue against the existence of a malevolent God, since that is way more consistent with both reality and what is actually said in most religious texts.

    A malevolent God might well portray him/her/its self vaguely different to various groups of people in a mutually exclusive way so as to inspire animosity, hatred, war and genocide. A malevolent God would convince people to pray and worship to indicate that he/she/it would listen and grant things while doing either nothing or the exact opposite of what was asked. Then once in a while do just a few good things to get people to still believe it works. A malevolent God would indeed watch rape rather than doing something to stop it (as Traci suggested). A malevolent God would delight in the pain and suffering of things like childhood cancer. A malevolent God would indeed tell people not to eat certain foods while telling them how to acquire slaves and mistreat them without killing them. A malevolent God would even purposely contradict himself in instructions he gives to people to thoroughly confuse them (thou shalt not kill, then go kill all those people every man woman and child).

    Who actually told the truth in Genesis? God or the serpent?

    Does the God of the Christian Bible sometimes put you in mind of a little kid who has fun frying ants with a magnifying glass?

    Of course none of these things are evidence that there actually is a malevolent God, but it would sure make people have to work harder to try to prove that he/she/it does not exist.

    In a sense I am surprised that more people do not believe in a malevolent God under the circumstances. I think, all things considered, this is a sign that with respect to a God people work really hard at trying to believe what they want to believe in order to feel better.

    Lamont Cranston

  108. Ian Butler says

    Let me share some of my personal story on this topic. I grew up in redneck country in a time and place where gays were considered inherently evil. Heck, I even stopped listening to Elton John because I learned he was gay! Then I moved to SF at the age of 19 and was exposed to out of the closet gays for the first time and quickly realized they were just regular people like everyone else. So far so good.

    At this point, after deciding that my upbringing was BS, I met a talented musician who was attracted to young boys, and unlike MJ, he acted on that attraction. He explained to me that it was ok, and me, having learned that my upbringing about sexuality was biased and wrong, well I didn’t have the tools to know otherwise. And he was such a talented musician I could ignore the nagging suspicion that it was wrong. (No he didn’t hit on me because I was already too old.)

    Well I eventually figured out the distinction of informed consent and realized that a minor is emotionally and legally unable to give that consent. It seems obvious now, but I had to figure it out for myself, because all I was ever taught was that gays and child molesters are bad, and I somehow had to learn which of those things was true.

    A parallel is the way marijuana has been treated the same as meth and heroin. Once a kid tries marijuana and learns it’s not so bad, it’s easy to assume meth must not be so bad either, and by the time they figure it out their teeth are gone.

    Religious indoctrination has led us to lump gays, child molesters and those who are attracted to minors but don’t act on that urge all together. Brojo’s ignorant comments were a perfect example of the sloppy thinking that leads to.

    The me too movement has finally led society to have an honest conversation about consent, and the legalization of gay marriage has somewhat normalized homosexuality.

    Hopefully the next generation of kids won’t have to figure out for themselves the basic principle that the key to appropriate sexuality is informed consent between adults. But they ain’t gonna find it in the Bible!

  109. paxoll says

    @Mason
    Lets see. You pop on the blog to say you are one of the people Matt mentions in the video. You go on to say that you are clinically depressed, you are self medicating with recreational drugs more and more, you are sabotaging your career, and blame everything on societies attitude toward your “hebephilila”.
     

    Did I strike you as a particular self-unaware person?

    No you didn’t strike me as not self aware, nor unintelligent. What should be inferred from your comment? Do you need sympathy? Assuming you are not “self-unaware, nor unintelligent, I was not going to aid you in any self pity.
     

    I am sort of at my wits end in regards to having zero support

    Please save your therapy recommendations

    So you express your problems, and then say you don’t want to get help dealing with the obvious underlying pathology causing all of your problems. What did you want? Want someone to say “hey, I work in admissions at a university, send me your application and I’ll sneak it into the accepted pile”? If you are self aware and intelligent you know other people are dealing with the same problems, and many are dealing with worse problems. Do you want to hear mine? Like the smoker or the overweight patient, I expect you “know” the things you are doing wrong or right regarding your mental health, there is not much anyone can tell you that you don’t already know, if you are bringing the topic up it seems you are doing so because you need to hear those things.
     

    Conveniently, MOST people are able to express themselves romantically and sexually and do. If it’s sooooooo unimportant/not that great why all the fuss? Long story short, your comment is dismissive and, my my, is that an underhanded accusation I smell?:

    In order to be romantically attracted to someone, you actually have to know the person. When you are sexually attracted to someone, you impose on them a personality and behavior that you find romantically attractive. You then go out on “dates” or some such to see if they are romantically anything like what you wanted them to be. People have pretty well defined ideas of what they are romantically attracted to and it doesn’t take long to realize most people do not fit that and the romantic interest falls away and they “break up”. That romantic attraction never actually existed. It was invented in the mind of the person because of the sexual attraction. When you can identify what you actually find romantically attractive you should be able to recognize those characteristics in anyone, young/old, white/black, male/female. The only difference between my best friend and my girlfriend is I want to have sex with my girlfriend.

    It’s real easy to tell someone that thing they have never had is unimportant

    Why would I assume you have never had sex? When I was young I was only attracted to short blond women (possibly my own hebephilia) that didn’t stop me from sexual experiences with people that were not short blond women. Lastly on this topic, the “fuss” is the same bullshit of why a diamond is so expensive, why people are hostile to people in your circumstance, and why the vast majority of people believe in a “god”, it is a lack of self awareness and intellectual laziness, so why would you want to jump on board with that?
     
    (sidenote for T90bb)

    but thats totally a matter of opinion. At best we can say “for me

    Yes, I think we can also recognize it as being a fairly shallow attribute, not as shallow as hair color, but not anywhere as significant as kindness or imagination. If someone gave up a good relationship because of sex, I would see that just mildly more rational than giving up a good relationship because of the person’s hair style. If someone values sex, I can’t say that it is a bad or wrong value to have, I can point out how that value is inconsistent with other values or how that value will be hard to obtain when you are old or have an accident that removes that physical capability. )
     

    Another convenient little narrative you set up here because if in fact I do need validation that must mean I’m up to no good.

    a poor interpretation of what I said with the context. I didn’t really expect anything less and have been expecting backlash from any number of people here, who are reading to respond and not understand. I made a whole point about homosexuals having been through this because of their own mental construct of what they were feeling as wrong. That the biggest benefit they have coming out is not actually the “coming out” part but the mental unburdening of guilt they give up. Validation is needed when you are unsure if you are right or wrong, you need others to validate your feelings. That is a big reason we ALL post on forums. We 1) want to help others come to better reasoning and feel better about that reasoning, and 2) we want to test our own reasoning to validate it.
     
    Let me clear up my position toward you. You are in a situation that is really tough, especially when you are young, especially when you are isolated both by your problem and by your geography. Glad you are in therapy. There is a lot of good and bad therapists and with your problem I would expect you to be seeing a full doctor for both therapy and medicine if that is possible where you live. Your situation is also not special, unique, or particularly difficult to deal with. Out of the millions of people with your problem, we only care about the ones that commit criminal acts, so when someone brings this problem up in conversation the only rational inference is that this person needs validation of some kind, that their thinking or actions are correct. So if this inference is wrong, what type of response did you want that couldn’t be twisted into a patronizing insult to your intelligence, or self-awareness?

  110. t90bb says

    I guess I dont really get it. The fact that someone could want or need “validation” or encouragement or just fuckin kindness seems to be mocked or painted with selfishness or self centeredness.

    and then the same people claim they come to blogs like this in part to “validate their thinking”….hence VALIDATION.

    There have been really dark times in my life…and I have needed validation, encouragement, and kindness. And guess what?? I found it and it probably saved my life. I am so grateful for people who freely gave. Not enable mind you. I recognize there is a difference.

    I never got the impression MJ came here for self pity. Had he come here and post for months and months about nothing more than his struggles…my attitude would change pretty quick.

    I am not saying there is right or wrong here. Some of us are clearly more analytical than others. Some are more loving and compassionate. Thats just life. There is even fair debate as to whether the analytical approach is more loving.

    Some of us might thing MJ deserves a warm smile a pat on the back and ear to listen for a minute. Others have a different approach. What bugs me is that some seem to see his effort here as an annoyance.

    I am on record as saying I am proud of MJ. What he did took some pretty strong guts. You dont do that unless you want to change and have a desire to improve your life.

    In the post above we had someone say

    “your problem in not special, unique, or particularly difficult to deal with”…..(whaaat WUDDDDDDDD??!!) .right after saying he suggests therapy and medication, lol. Things you need therapy and medication over are generally difficult to deal with or such help wouldn’t be necessary. I have been on the board for several years and have heard some mind boggling claims. To me that statement ranks right up there with the most absurd,

    I’d prefer to frame it as “this is possible to overcome”.

    I said my piece and I wont be addressing this again. Hang in there MJ. I really hope you stick around. There is a place for you and I hope you join our little community.

  111. paxoll says

    I didn’t say validation was a bad thing, I said I didn’t think that was what he was fishing for with his post. Hence why I said it is a major reason we post.

    I am not saying there is right or wrong here. Some of us are clearly more analytical than others. Some are more loving and compassionate. Thats just life. There is even fair debate as to whether the analytical approach is more loving.

    This is exactly why I said

    what type of response did you want that couldn’t be twisted into a patronizing insult to your intelligence, or self-awareness?

     

    “your problem in not special, unique, or particularly difficult to deal with”…..(whaaat WUDDDDDDDD??!!) .right after saying he suggests therapy and medication,

    Yes you are correct, it was ridiculous on not just the level that I had JUST said that it was “tough”, but also because it requires help, and even beyond that everyone has a different challenge to anything so what may be easy for one person is incredibly difficult for another. I apologize for that statement. What I meant was; you have a problem that virtually everyone has to one extent or another and many people have the exact same problem. (you feel isolated, but just like atheists who feel they are alone, there really is many out there). Just like many people have the same problem, the way to overcome the problem or not define yourself by this problem is out there and achievable.
     
    Sorry my communication got lazy at the end of my post. I don’t mind discussing problem not related to religion and atheism, but I really dislike having my good intention reply be twisted and misrepresented. This is a forum primarily about rational responses to religion related claims, if someone is looking for a hug and not a rational response, than just ask for a hug.

  112. t90bb says

    123….all good points pax……thanks for taking the time to clarify. I just re upped my pax fan club membership. smiles. I love this community.

  113. RationalismRules says

    @Lamont Cranston #118

    Does the God of the Christian Bible sometimes put you in mind of a little kid who has fun frying ants with a magnifying glass?

    Constantly. But here’s the thing: I think that is a much more reasonable view of a god relative to humanity than any of the versions that claim it ‘cares’ about us. If a universe-creating god existed it would be so fundamentally different from us, on such a completely different plane, that it would be to us as the child is to the ants. The Abrahamic notion of god as some sort of greatly-augmented version of ourselves makes no sense. (If you had the power to create other living things, would you make a whole lot of less-powerful clones of yourself? What would be the point?)

    As it happens I’m currently attempting to wipe out an entire ant colony that has taken up residence in my house (not with a magnifying glass, you’ll be happy to hear). I’m sure that from the ants’ perspective my actions must seem cruel and personal, but the reality is I just don’t care about them, and they are inconveniencing me (they keep getting into my light switches – very annoying!). I would think that a god’s relationship to humans would be similar to my relationship to ants. They exist, they’re interesting to observe when I’m sufficiently bored, but I’ll happily wipe out the entire population if it inconveniences me in the slightest.

  114. Lamont Cranston says

    t90bb says in #122

    Lamont 118……heres one of my favorites…

    Many thanks. Now it is one of mine as well.

    Lamont Cranston

  115. nemoeac says

    My first time posting – so apologies if this is the wrong place for a general question/observation that is not specifically about this weeks episode. I’ve been binge watching The Atheist Experience for about the last 4 months – and also some Talk Heathen, Mr Atheist, Rachel Oates as well as many Hitchens, some Dawkens, some Harris and a lot of Aron Ra content.

    Maybe I just haven’t stumbled across it yet – but I wonder why I’ve never seen any of those people challenge the “sacrifice” that Jesus made for us. Sure – Matt mocks the claim by saying god sent god to earth to sacrifice himself to god so that god would forgive us for breaking the rules that god made – which is a great response – but, I have a slightly different angle of attack for the crucifixion of Jesus…

    The christians love to go on and on about what a wonderful sacrifice Jesus/God made for us by dying on the cross for our sins. What bullshit! I don’t believe the story for a second – but suppose it were true (for the sake of argument) – I submit that the death of Jesus was in NO WAY a sacrifice!

    God/Jesus would have KNOWN full well that Heaven exists and what a wonderful place it is to exist in and spend eternity in. So what was Jesus giving up by allowing himself to be killed? Heaven is better than Earth and he was homesick – so he actually abandoned us to go someplace better, right? Sounds like more of a cop out than a sacrifice. A sacrifice for US would have been to renounce Heaven and walk the earth for many centuries – healing the sick, helping the poor and manufacturing wine. Jesus died for me? lol That’s very weak sauce!
    This is so obvious that I can’t believe Jesus was ever revered by anyone for these actions undertaken due to selfish motives.

  116. masonjiles says

    @paxoll: “Your situation is also not special, unique, or particularly difficult to deal with”
    *
    I’ll be honest, the later apology didn’t really do anything for me; not that my satisfaction is the point of apologizing. I have seen behavior similar to yours before: You say provocative and combative things, knowing how people react, (and you even admit to anticipating this) and then when they react the way you know they will, you try to circle back and explain to us how *we* got it all wrong, *our* reaction is somehow what is ridiculous. Like you admit later, the only issue is the words you chose. The words you choose ultimately pull for certain responses. You clarify your statement and in it say equally repulsive things. So now you’ve had TWO attempts, and have still failed to communicate your good intentions. With that said, you’re either someone who just sucks at communicating, or it really is just me not getting it, and if so – fine, I’ll just accept that and move on, you can skip the rest of this paragraph and we don’t have to revisit it. No matter the case, I’m not going to dive into anyone’s comment looking for good intentions; it’s either clearly there or it’s not. The words you choose to speak/write is YOUR job to figure out; make it so it is not a jigsaw for us to figure out after the fact. Don’t be sorry, be better. For example, while you did not explicitly say “validation is bad” in your first comment, you clearly imply that if it I seek validation, I must not “have a good sense that what (I am) doing is right.” We did not misunderstand that: YOU arranged the sentence that way, and we read it correctly. It is entirely on you. Absolutely NO ONE twisted that statement, you need to make sure that is crystal clear. I can already think of a dozen better ways to communicate what you claim you are trying to say there. Oh and yeah I most certainly don’t want your pity or sympathy, both as a general rule and because I’d likely struggle to be convinced of its sincerity. I’m going to try giving you the benefit of the doubt, but in all of your responses you’re still looking to give some kind of answer or solution and I never asked for one. Now that I am a member of this community, can I politely ask you to stay away from the next hesitant newcomer? There are others far better equipped to hold up both the pillars of empathy and rational thought, others who can read and assess an extended olive branch without inflicting their own need to always pitch a solution. I just happen to be a no-bullshit & no-nonsense type of guy with a backbone, but if the next hebephile who comes through that door happens to be of a different personality, I don’t want your admittedly lazy responses to run them off.
    *
    Lets not attempt to define my pain out of existence; you’re not going to convince me that I do not find someone romantically attractive when I explicitly say that I do; I know what the word means and what it implies. Also, it is folly to diminish the importance of meaningful sexual experiences one can have with whom they are attracted to. Maybe I did not explicitly say this, and if this is the root of ANY confusion I sincerely apologize: I don’t just ‘prefer’ adolescent boys over men. By the time I was 18, I learned that is ALL I am attracted to. Because we’ve lived so long with the same categories of attraction, people forget that just because it has the same genitalia doesn’t mean I want it at all. Men do not fulfill me. So YES, I have had ‘sex’ with another grown man, and it did nothing for me. When I was growing up and initially thought I was simply gay, I was either too young to have the means, or was too busy dodging a particular social pressure to ever get a chance. I guess what I should have said I never had was “fulfilling” sexual experiences. Again – I own any confusion for not elaborating. It may be far too much to ask for you to understand how much that truthfully sucks. But anyone who has loved and lost knows what it’s like to feel emotionally cut off; the thing is, I don’t get to move on and try again, I don’t get to try at all. I just get to be here in my head with these feelings that are as real as the keyboard I’m typing on – sit here and dream about another place or time where things could have been different. To have a sexuality with zero utility in the modern world blows. I keep reminding people of how crappy it is because that is not changing. This is something unique to people with my attractions that want to live a morally upstanding life: the pain and emptiness in this particular area is NEVER going to improve. The best we can ever hope is to find fulfillment in other areas. Yet, so much fulfillment I see in my friends and family come from their ability to find someone to build a life with and start a family. Those things aren’t on the table for me either, so I’m stuck searching every corner of the world for ways to care and stay connected; all of which is challenging given several other variables including mental health. Understanding this giant web is paramount if we’re ever going to have an inclusive community and mental health system that really want to see people with attractions to minors living productive lives. The “it gets better” campaign doesn’t work here.
    *
    I came here simply to join the community; I don’t expect anything in return. Not hugs, not advice, just acceptance if you can even call it that – I just want to exist here, give my 2 cents, be open about my struggles when it is applicable (like when introducing myself), and just talk; talk to someone other than a therapist getting paid to do it. And after this initial introduction, I hadn’t planned on talking about my specific situation too much, again, unless applicable. Please do not read my introduction and think that is all I came here to say or discuss; I do not approach everything in my life with “suffering hebephile” goggles on. Not that anyone was thinking that, but I just wanted to clarify that I don’t intend to derail every discussion and make it about me and my struggles. I just saw this episode as a golden opportunity to say hello,

  117. RationalismRules says

    @nemoeac
    There is also the point that Jesus was only actually dead for three days, and that many of us just-plain-decent humans would happily give up a long weekend to death if by doing so we could achieve something of great significance to the world like a cure for cancer or world peace. If lots of non-son-of-god people would happily make the same choice then it can hardly be considered a sacrifice of such mythical proportions, can it? Definitely a Good Thing, but pretty much a Good Thing that any decent person would do in that situation.
    I’ve heard Matt make this point on the show a few times.

    Also, I bet Don has covered the sacrifice angle in one of his ‘failure’ series. Dont know how you’d go about finding it though.

    FWIW the counter-apologetic to both this and your point is that Jesus didn’t know he was going to be resurrected. “why hast thou forsaken me?” etc etc. Hard to see how that works when at all other times they’ll tell you that Jesus IS God, but that’s Xtianity for you.

  118. nemoeac says

    @RationalismRules

    Thanks for your reply – but I don’t think that the counter-apologetic you ended with would actually apply to my scenario. Did he not preach about the Kingdom of Heaven? So without a resurrection – he knew he was going someplace better. The “why hast thou forsaken me” quote would seem to indicate that he expected that he would not have had to die on the cross at all – like he was expecting a last minute pardon from the governor or something.

    How do the folks that believe Jesus=God explain away that forsaken quote? It seems like pretty indisputable evidence from their infallible textbook that Jesus and God were not the same person at all.

    As for giving up a long weekend to death for the achievement of something beneficial is concerned – don’t forget this wasn’t just any long weekend – it was Easter Weekend! So I presume he missed out on a nice family dinner. (obviously just kidding in this last paragraph)

  119. Honey Tone says

    nemoeac @ #130:

    Coming to an atheist blog looking for a “solid” apologetic about some aspect of Xianity seems self-defeating to me. This is a question better directed to a church. Nonetheless, here’s the Catholic Answers version of a response:

    “Do Jesus’ words from the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” mean that God the Father abandoned his Son even though, as God, he could have helped him?”

    “If someone were to say, “I pledge allegiance to the flag” or “Our Father who art in heaven,” most people could either finish the quotation or prayer or at least understand the ideas being expressed. That is because certain quotations in our culture, whether secular or religious, are known and even memorized because of their importance.

    This was true of the psalms in Jesus time. He needed only to say the first line, and most Jews would have known the rest, or at least the message.

    “Jesus was quoting Psalm 22, a messianic psalm that vividly describes the agony the suffering servant would endure. God the Father did not abandon his Son in his Son’s suffering but allowed him in his humanity to experience the sense of divine abandonment that humans often feel during times of need, and especially when in sin. Just as we often feel that God has abandoned us when we are suffering (even though this isn’t the case), so the Son of God in his humanity experienced that.aspect of human suffering as well. He died for our sins, and the weight of those sins—and thus the feeling of abandonment—must have been exceedingly heavy at that point.

    “By quoting this psalm, Jesus shows that he is the fulfillment of that prophecy and that he will be vindicated, which is evident in the psalm’s triumphant ending.”

    There you go: somebody 50 to 100 years after the facts wrote a story and put these words into the mouth of a particular literary character so that “prophecy” could be “fulfilled.”

    I went to CA only because I’m an ex Catholic. I’m sure other Xian organization have other answers.

    Why is this an issue for you? There is nothing other than texts approved by Xians to suggest that any part of this happened at all, much less that the words and their implications have any connection to a reality.

  120. nemoeac says

    HoneyTone @ #131

    I didn’t come here looking for an apologetic – solid or otherwise. I came here (#127) to post a thought I had about the Jesus “sacrifice” that is purported to have been done for me/us because even if the incident were true, it did not seem like it was any kind of sacrifice at all if he were actually God or God’s son. I posted it here on an atheist blog because I was interested in what other atheists thought of the incident and my take on it. As I said in my post, I hadn’t heard that angle covered during any of the AXP episodes I had watched and I wondered if it was a valid observation or if I had missed something that invalidated it.

    RationalismRules (in #129) kindly took the time to do that and #130 was my reply to him/her and a continuation of the conversation started in #127. His/her response included a counter-apologetic that they thought applied. In my response IN #130, I meant to point out that I did NOT think it applied but accidentally omitted the word NOT (and thereby said the opposite of what I intended.)

    When I went on to ask how the apologetics countered that quotation, I wasn’t really expecting the entire explanation – I was more or less just re-stating the quotation so that I had context to assert that the quote itself was evidence that Jesus and God are not the same entity.

    As I stated in 127, I’m new here. Is it customary to have to justify every question I ask and any response I post as to why I chose to do so on an atheist blog?

  121. RationalismRules says

    @nemoeac

    I don’t think that the counter-apologetic you ended with would actually apply to my scenario. Did he not preach about the Kingdom of Heaven? So without a resurrection – he knew he was going someplace better.

    Fair point. I think their argument would be that he didn’t know he was going to be resurrected and elevated immediately, so although he would have thought he was going to be ultimately welcomed into heaven along with everyone else, he was willingly sacrificing his earthly life.

    But that’s still silly, because even giving up 40-50 years of earthly life shouldn’t be that much of a sacrifice when you believe you’re heading for an eternity in paradise. Of course, the reality is that even Xtians who absolutely believe in heaven still make every attempt to prolong their earthly lives (ie. modern medicine), which makes no sense. I enjoy pointing this out in YouTube arguments – I’ve yet to get a response, they tend to stop responding at that point.
     

    How do the folks that believe Jesus=God explain away that forsaken quote? It seems like pretty indisputable evidence from their infallible textbook that Jesus and God were not the same person at all.

    I’m going to go with Honey Tone’s quote on this. My upbringing was fundie, not Catholic, and I don’t remember ever having it satisfactorily explained how Jesus could both be God and be the Son of God at the same time, or how he could be God without knowing it, which was apparently the case when he was being a human.

    Right now I’m not sufficiently interested to dive into current apologetics on the point. Anyway, chances are Sky Captain will do the legwork for us (hint, hint 😉 )
     
    BTW, welcome to the blog, and it’s fine to bring up matters that aren’t directly related to the week’s show as there is no general discussion space, and good conversation tends to be valued whether or not it’s sparked by the show. I try to keep my OT posts for times when the show hasn’t yielded much discussion, but that’s a personal choice.

  122. Ronald Kyle says

    @#130 Nemoeac

    he expected that he would not have had to die on the cross at all

    Well no… the bastard son of the celestial slave monger repeated many times that he would be killed and then three days later would be resurrected (Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:21-23, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:21-22). So the apologetic some use that he did not know he would be resurrected fails.

    Mark 9:21-22 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

     
    And in Matthew 27:62:64 we have the Sanhedrin demanding that they needed the tomb guarded so that the charlatan Christians would not be able to fake Jesus’ resurrection according to what he went around saying he would do.
     
    The ill begotten son of the celestial ethnic cleanser also alluded to his impending resurrection many times using the allegory that he could rebuild the temple (his body) three days after the Jews would destroy it. (Matthew 26:61, Mark 14:58, John 2:19-21)
     
    The illegitimate son of the celestial fraudulent real-estate peddler also used the fable of Jonah and the Whale to allege that he would be in the tomb for three days and then rise again. (Matthew 12:39-40, Matthew 16:4)
     
    So as you can see the New Tall tales (NT) most definitely claims that the mythical Jesus knew full well that he was going to get killed and then three days get resurrected.

  123. Ronald Kyle says

    @#132 Nemoeac

    to assert that the quote itself was evidence that Jesus and God are not the same entity

    Christianity wants desperately to avoid the very blatantly obvious fact that it is a polytheism and that they worship Three Gods.
     
    Thus they contorted and wriggled the insanity of the trinity.
     
    There are numerous proofs from the New Tall tales that Jesus was not YHWH.
     
    Also there are blatantly obvious proofs from the fables themselves that Jesus did indeed claim divinity too and thus was a blasphemer.
     
    But despite all this Christians still want to desperately maintain that they are a monotheism discarding all the proofs from their own fairy tales that they are a paganism by all standards.

  124. Ian Butler says

    It’s Schroedinger’s Jesus, a God when he needs to be a God and a man when he needs to be a man, at the same time! (And the holy Spirit when that doesn’t cover everything and you still want to be a monotheistic religion.) Sure it makes no sense, that’s why you should let your pastor do all the thinking for you, you could hurt your brainbox. As a sign at a nearby church put it, “pray before you overthink.”

    New topic:
    I’ve noticed some here are quick to jump on a post in a way that seems like they actually just misinterpreted what they are responding to. This could be reduced if we remain mindful of the rhetorical axiom called the “principle of charity”. I don’t recall if this has come up on the show recently, but wiki describes it thusly:

    “In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker’s statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation.”

    So if there is an interpretation of a post that is problematic and another that is reasonable, it’s best to respond to the reasonable interpretation. Therefore, before criticising something, take a minute to re-read it to see if you are criticising the actual intent or a wrong interpretation of the intent.

  125. Ronald Kyle says

    @#133 RationalismRules says

    I think their argument would be that he didn’t know he was going to be resurrected and elevated immediately,

     
    That too would fail… the Mythical Jesus told one of the two people that were allegedly crucified alongside him that he would be on that same day with him in paradise.

    Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

     
    @#133 RationalismRules says

    so although he would have thought he was going to be ultimately welcomed into heaven along with everyone else,

    This too fails since in the fairy tales the character Jesus says that he goes first to prepare the mansions of heaven and then he will return again to receive everyone finally.
     

    John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

  126. Lamont Cranston says

    nemoeac says in #132

    As I stated in 127, I’m new here. Is it customary to have to justify every question I ask and any response I post as to why I chose to do so on an atheist blog?

    I don’t think it is customary. However, there have been some first time posters the last few weeks that have tied the blog up with floods of stuff. As a result, I think people are a little on edge lately. I saw nothing wrong with asking the question you asked, nor any need for justifying why you asked it here. I caught on that there was some confusion with a missing “not” in your posting. It kind of sucks that there is no way to edit a post to correct things like that once they are posted. I make mistakes in my writing all the time and it is not unusual for me to notice I have said something incorrectly AFTER I have posted. 🙁

    Lamont Cranston

  127. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @RationalismRules #133:

    I don’t remember ever having it satisfactorily explained how Jesus could both be God and be the Son of God at the same time, or how he could be God without knowing it
    […]
    Anyway, chances are Sky Captain will do the legwork for us (hint, hint 😉 )

    There’s a new arrival, and by way of introduction, and I’m summoned to explain the trinity!? XD
     
    Short answer: it’s nonsense.
    Really.
    You’ll learn nothing by reading further.
     
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Trinitarianism in the Church Fathers

    Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity or not is a subject for debate. […] The view that the Son was ‘of the essence of the Father, God of God…very God of very God’ was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Homoousion

    Sabellius […] considered the Father and the Son to be “one substance”, meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were “one essential Person”, though operating as different faces, roles, or modes.
     
    This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian Creed, which holds the Father and Son to be distinct yet also coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial divine persons.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Athanasian Creed

    The Shield of the Trinity, a visual representation of the doctrine of the Trinity, derived from the Athanasian Creed. The Latin reads:
    * The Father is God, The Son is God, The Holy Spirit is God;
    * God is the Father, God is the Son, God is the Holy Spirit;
    * The Father is not the Son, The Son is not the Father, The Father is not the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is not the Father, The Son is not the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is not the Son.”
    […]
    While ascribing the divine attributes and divinity to each person of the Trinity, thus avoiding subordinationism, the first half of the Athanasian Creed also stresses the unity of the three persons in the one Godhead, thus avoiding a theology of tritheism.
     
    Furthermore, although one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other. For the Father is neither made nor begotten; the Son is not made but is begotten from the Father; the Holy Spirit is neither made nor begotten but proceeds from the Father – Western churches include “and the Son” (filioque), a concept which Eastern and Oriental Orthodox reject.

     
    Oh, and then there’s long tedious bickering over filioque and whatever the heck “procession of the Holy Spirit” means…
     
     
    I once heard a quaint analogy likening the trinity arguments to “salt mixed in water” vs “salt mixed with pepper”. It was an aside, related second hand, in a secular history lecture on Byzantium, I think. Presenter relayed it, shrugged, and said something like, “I don’t get it either. They thought it was a big deal at the time.”

  128. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    See also…
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Eucharistic theology

    Transubstantiation – The substance (fundamental reality) of the bread and wine is changed in a way beyond human comprehension into that of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, but the accidents (physical traits, including chemical properties) of the bread and wine remain. This view is taught by the Roman Catholic Church
    […]
    Definitive change – Eastern Orthodox Christians generally prefer not to be tied down by the specifics of the defined doctrine of transubstantiation, though they all agree with the definition’s conclusion about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They prefer simply to use the term “change”
    […]
    Objective reality, silence about technicalities – the view of all the ancient Churches of the East, as well as of many Anglicans and Methodists. While they agree that in the sacrament the bread and the wine are really and truly changed into the body and the blood of Christ, and while they have at times employed the terminology of “substance” to explain what is changed, they usually avoid this language, considering it redolent of scholasticism, as presenting speculative metaphysics as doctrine, and as scrutinizing excessively the manner in which the mystical transformation takes place.

     
    Repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show. I should really just relax.” -MST3K Mantra

  129. RationalismRules says

    @Ronald Kyle
    Yep, you’re right. I’ve gone and forgotten all the verses that indicate that he did have some foreknowledge of the ‘plan’, all of which add support for Nemoeac’s original point.

    It turns out that my 40+ year-old memories of my indoctrination are no longer reliable. Surprisingly, I’m perfectly fine with that!

  130. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I’ve always enjoyed this interpretation
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Docetism

    the doctrine that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.
    […]
    Docetism was unequivocally rejected at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Orthodox Tewahedo, and many other Christian denominations
    […]
    In one version, as in Marcionism, Christ was so divine that he could not have been human, since God lacked a material body, which therefore could not physically suffer. Jesus only appeared to be a flesh-and-blood man; his body was a phantasm.
     
    Other groups who were accused of docetism held that Jesus was a man in the flesh, but Christ was a separate entity who entered Jesus’s body in the form of a dove at his baptism, empowered him to perform miracles, and abandoned him upon his death on the cross.

  131. RationalismRules says

    @Sky Captain

    There’s a new arrival, and by way of introduction, and I’m summoned to explain the trinity!?

    ..and I didn’t even have to say your name three times!
     
    Thanks for the references. You’ve confirmed that particular memory of mine, that there wasn’t any decent explanation. Still isn’t, I see.
     
    The Transubstantiation point is hilarious:

    The substance (fundamental reality) of the bread and wine is changed in a way beyond human comprehension into that of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, but the accidents (physical traits, including chemical properties) of the bread and wine remain.

    So the ‘physical traits’ which of course are the only aspects that we can actually observe, are not the ‘fundamental reality’, and apparently are ultimately irrelevant. What a pathetic miracle!

    Matt should add this trick into his magic show:
    “I shall now transform this tiger into a cabbage. TA-DAH!
    ..Yes, I know it still looks like a tiger, but, trust me, its ‘fundamental reality’ is now Cabbage, not Tiger.”
    (… OWWWW! Why is this cabbage chewing my leg off?)

  132. RationalismRules says

    @Sky Captain

    the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality

    Well of course, because it turns out he was actually made of bread and wine.

  133. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    And then of course there’s the Muslim version!
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Islamic views on Jesus’ death, Substitution

    Unlike the Christian view of the death of Jesus, most Muslims believe he was raised to Heaven without being put on the cross and God created a resemblance to appear exactly like Jesus who was crucified instead of Jesus.
    […]
    The identity of the substitute has been a source of great interest among Muslims. One proposal is that God used one of Jesus’ enemies. […] The second proposal is that Jesus asked for someone to volunteer to be crucified instead of him.

  134. Ronald Kyle says

    @#139 SkyCaptain says

    Short answer: it’s nonsense….. Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia)….

    It is indeed nonsense …. nevetheless… Christians killed each other over one letter of the greek alphabet concenrning this issue.
     
    Homoiousios vs. Homoousios …. notice the one letter i between the two o’s.
     
    The proto-catholics/orthodox/etc. sects adopted the version without the i and thus made heretical an entire group of other Christians and promptly proceeded to persecute and pursue them to route them out (and vice versa) in the name of their ill begotten son of a celestial slave monger.
     
    Arianism (Homoiousios) and Catholics (Homoousios) kept persecuting and battling each other back and forth for the next 350 years since the council of Nicea… and not a single whimper from Jesus or his deadbeat daddy to explain the matter and thus avoid all those centuries of persecution… it is as if they were not real and humans were just doing what they do best… kill and persecute other humans and justify it to themselves with one excuse or another… hmmm… could it be!!!

  135. Ronald Kyle says

    @#145 SkyCaptain says

    And then of course there’s the Muslim version

     
    Well… Muhammad (if he indeed existed as one person) was a brigand and a charlatan who plagiarized the Quran from the Torah, the Talmud and very early Christian fables.
     
    If anything the Quranic view of Jesus stems from Nazarene and/or Ebionite early Christian heresies. In my opinion it was most likely a mixture of the two… maybe a bit of Nestorianism influence too.
     
    The Ebionites who accepted Jesus as a human prophet of Judaism were known to have existed throughout the western part of the Arabia peninsula. But the Quran avers the virgin birth and special status of Jesus as resulting from Allah (a.k.a. YHWH) giving Mary a blow job. This is more akin to the Nazarene beliefs. The Quran also states that in addition to the Tanakh the Gospels (= Injeel) is also the word of Allah given to Jesus…. much like the Nazarenes did.

  136. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #146:

    humans were just doing what they do best… kill and persecute other humans and justify it to themselves with one excuse or another… hmmm… could it be!!!

    You give humans too much credit.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Glycon

    an ancient snake god. […] Lucian claimed Glycon was created in the mid-2nd century by the Greek prophet Alexander of Abonoteichos. Lucian was ill-disposed toward the cult, calling Alexander a false prophet and accusing the whole enterprise of being a hoax: Glycon himself was supposedly a hand puppet.
    […]
    At least initially, the cult did not worship an abstraction or a spirit of a snake but an actual, physical serpent that was said to embody the god […] with the features of a man on its face, including long blond hair.
    […]
    As with previous Macedonian snake cults, the focus of worship at the temple was on fertility. Barren women would bring offerings to Glycon in hopes of becoming pregnant. According to Lucian, Alexander had less magical ways of causing pregnancy among his flock as well.
    […]
    As the cult had an established popularity with the lower social strata, and later several important Roman functionaries and officials were counted among the believers in Glycon and the prophecies of Alexander, including the Emperor at the time, Marcus Aurelius. Such endorsement by the ruling classes coupled with pre existing superstitions of serpents as possessing healing powers, the cult of Glycon likely found no shortage of converts and adherents in new areas of the Roman world.
    […]
    While the cult gradually lost followers after the death of its leader in c.170, it survived for at least a hundred years thereafter […] Some evidence indicates the cult survived into the 4th century.

  137. Honey Tone says

    nemoeac @ 132″

    Is it customary to have to justify every question I ask and any response I post as to why I chose to do so on an atheist blog?

    As Lamont Cranston said in 138, there is a little edginess around here due to trolls, But, my question asking why the forsaken quote is important to you was meant to be neutral, one atheist to (most likely) another. Maybe you ran across this in your reading/research and it piqued your curiosity or puzzled you, maybe it relates to an argument with a believer, maybe you’re trying to sharpen your debating skills. (Maybe you’re a Xian troll waiting to sneak in some preaching, eh? In which case, please, I beg you, just tell us now.)

    Seeing the wide ranging posts that followed makes me wonder if you received any helpful responses. If you take a look at all of the quotes (the 7 sayings) attributed to JC while nailed to the plus sign (not all of which are reported in all 4 gospels), you can’t help but be confused about who/what he was supposed to be and his relationship with the big guy in the sky.

    I guess most Xians will tell you JC’s entirely human and entirely divine at the same time. Being charitable to them, there’s something to be said for the idea of creating a god character who volunteers to become human so that common folk can relate to him. He feels pain and suffers and dies just like we do. He experiences depression and near despair just like us. He doesn’t act the superman, he is appears helpless before the power of the state, he feels for his mother, etc.. Just a regular guy. Who died to save us all.

    ‘Cept: He’s saving us from the eternal punishment he – in his other, fatherly form – made for friggin’ all of us. A guy who turned water into wine, magically made a handful of food feed 5,000, cured sickness and disease, withered a fig tree because he was pissed at it, extracted demons from a possessed persons, infected some other guy’s herd of pigs with them and then destroyed the herd, and took a 3-day vacation after his “passion”, etc., etc., etc., with all the miracle stuff.

    You’re trying to make sense of the senseless. As Compulsory said above: it’s just a show. In my view, it’s just a story. The NT books got written over the course of @ 100 years, by different people in different places. They didn’t have an overall story editor. They should have.

    Look, nemo, the Xians have had a couple thousand years to reconcile and explain all the contradictory crap in their scriptures. And, as yet, they can’t without ultimately telling people to just “have faith.” After, of course, trying to root out, suppress and kill “heretics” and then still fracturing themselves into literally thousands of subgroups.

    For Two. Thousand. Years.

    If you’re really trying to understand how a believer can hold opposing, nonsensical beliefs, you’re banging your head against a wall. They just do. Because belief fulfills some deep need(s) in them. And the people to whom they look up and with whom they associate similarly just do. Believers gonna believe.

    Which is why I think if you want to understand how some Xian folk can reconcile your version of the implications of the forsaken quote, you need to ask them, go a few levels deep, and figure it out. Then report back. 🙂

  138. Ronald Kyle says

    @#149 Honey Tone says

    if you want to understand how some Xian folk can reconcile

     
    Well… what Christian folk think or not is one issue, but in the long run is a useless pursuit since it is just as varied and meaningless as when one goes to fanfic websites to see them argue and wrangle about the finer intricacies of what Obi-Wan Kenobi would have done had he been placed in something or another whatever.
     
    If one decides to go back to REALITY instead… one would realize that the Gospels are propaganda literature. Fairy tales written with the express purpose of conveying “subtle” hidden mysteries for the inner circle of the cult while the rifraf cult members were not meant to understand any of it.
     

    Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
     
    Mark 4:11-12 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

     
    It is very possible that after 2000 years of hiding the mystery stupidity that even the inner circle members of nowadays have lost any unadulterated understanding of the real insanities of the propaganda fairy tales.
     
    So asking rifraf is utterly pointless by design in the first place and even asking “experts” of today would be pointless too since they are no more than the rifraf and most likely they too see but see not; and hear but hear not, neither do they understand.
     

    The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.―Thomas Paine

  139. justthinkin says

    In the beginning God created the Void.
    God then thought that didn’t amount to anything.
    So God thought I can do better than that and created the foundations for a universe.
    Yup God thought that’s better, my work is done and willed it self out of existence.
    Because God can do those kind of things.

  140. nemoeac says

    I’m not receiving notifications about new posts to this thread. Not sure if the function is broken or if messages are being rejected as spam – but I wasn’t aware of how many replies I had received until coming back to this thread on a whim.

    Thanks to everyone who replied. I’m not sure that I needed the level of detail I received – but I did read every word of it and appreciate the time you all took to respond.

    @Honey Tone: I assure you that I am not a Xtian troll – but that’s also exactly what a troll would say – so I guess you’ll just have to take it on faith (lol) that I am a genuine atheist asking sincere questions. I wasn’t asking because I’m in some sort of discussion with anybody currently – but was just looking for a confirmation that my observations were valid or close to valid in anticipation of future conversations. I haven’t exactly been a closet atheist – but a I also haven’t been outspoken about it. Very few people have ever asked me directly what my beliefs are and I’ve never felt inclined to offer them up unsolicited or to actively correct/confront someone preaching their own beliefs. I was mostly content to just let their statements pass with an eye roll or a muttered “Ok. You’re free to believe whatever you want.” and to those who did question my beliefs, I always dodged the question and answered “I was raised Anglican but don’t go to church anymore”. I’m sure what they heard was “I’m Anglican”. But I guess I’m preparing myself to become more vocal about my lack of belief since as I get older, I care much less about what other people think of me and the nonsense that religious people spew as truth/fact bothers me more and more.

    So Thank You again to RationalRules, SkyCaptain, RonaldKyle and HoneyTone for their replies and insights (and anyone else that replied and I didn’t mention…)

  141. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I would suggest the work of Richard Carrier on this topic, and specifically his book “On The Historicity Of Jesus”. It’s fringe in academia, but IMHO it’s still scholarly (and it was printed by a reputable Bible studies university press after peer review), and even if it’s not correct, there’s still lots to learn by reading it and reading rebuttals to it, if you’re interested in this sort of thing.

  142. says

    >As with previous Macedonian snake cults, the focus of worship at the temple was on fertility. Barren women would bring offerings to Glycon in hopes of becoming pregnant.

    On a completely unrelated note, I just watched a film on Netflix about the Snake Goddess. And one sidebar story was a woman who had multiple miscarriages. Her mother consistently paid devotions to the Snake Goddess. Finally she was heard and her daughter was able to successfully conceive and bear a child.

    I know whenever I see a snake, the first thing I think of is babies, right? 😉

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