Comments

  1. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    The mental contortions these callers need to perform to make sense of the bible will never stop amazing me. As a former Catholic I think they got something right when they placed a barrier in between the laity and the bible. It’s a lot easier to control the message and massage away/outright deny the major inconsistencies when you’re the only one with access to the source material.

  2. favog says

    Matt, I have to correct you on something very important.

    Thor’s axe is named “Stormbreaker”. “Stormbringer” is Elric’s sword. (And oh, how I would love an Elric movie. Watching the Christians freak out over a protagonist who slaughters opponents while screaming “Blood and souls! Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch!” would be one of the most fun things. Ever.)

  3. Ronald Kyle says

    @#1 AtheistNotAgnostic
     
    Do you know what is the most effective way to become an atheist? Reading this book… it is the best debunker for the bible.
     
    @#1 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    As a former Catholic I think they got something right when they placed a barrier in between the laity and the bible. It’s a lot easier to control the message and massage away/outright deny the major inconsistencies when you’re the only one with access to the source material.

    I am so glad you said that. Some Catholics vehemently deny that the Church has ever held the policy of denying even owning a bible to the riffraff and have prohibited its translation into languages people could actually understand on pain of death by burning on the stake.
     
    In the New Tall tales (NT) the ill begotten son of a celestial salve monger repeatedly told his 12 hobos that he deliberately befuddled and misled the plebeians by using parables gobbledygook and reserved the “real” teachings of the mystery for the inner echelons of the cult.
     
    Pope Innocent III understood this hucksterism quite well and expressed his full support for it in very clearly words when he said in 1199 CE [(Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum 770-771]:

    The mysteries of the faith are not to be explained rashly to anyone. Usually in fact, they cannot be understood by everyone but only by those who are qualified to understand them with informed intelligence. The depth of the divine Scriptures is such that not only the illiterate and uninitiated have difficulty understanding them, but also the educated and the gifted

     

  4. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @#3 RK:
    You’re spot on. Looking back on my (moderate) Catholic upbringing after hearing of all these other atheists escaping different denominations, I can see why many of those denominations don’t think Catholics are “real” Christians. I don’t remember a bible ever being opened in any of my Sunday school classes. Hell, I didn’t even know John 3:16!

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #3:

    the Church […] prohibited its translation into languages people could actually understand on pain of death by burning on the stake.

    You’ve been called on this once already.
    That pope quote was addressed in the link.

  6. Paul Money says

    The “slavery was a form of indentured servitude” is alive and well in the USA. The Governor of Virginia yesterday, “400 years has passed since the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores”.
    Disgraceful ignorance, should resign, but won’t.

  7. walker says

    Paul Money, in the goveners defense the first africans brought to Virginia were indentured servents who were let go after a period of years. A court case changed it to slavery for life. Obviously cant guarantee things would have been different without that cade, but it does make me wonder.

  8. bluestar says

    Since discovering TAE about 18 mos ago, I have always been amazed by the theist callers of various stripes trying to make a case for the existence of god. Of course this god is always the one they happen to believe in. Mike from CA. takes an approach often not seen. He realizes he is standing with a premise that cannot be proved, hence his faith and that the atheists are similar to him…in the same boat but rowing in an opposite direction. Folks like Mike I believe feel the need to demonstrate the ‘faith’ of the atheist when actually no faith at all exists. Other callers like Andrew in OH try to demonstrate the proof of (his) god’s existence by re-writing history. When I stopped believing in the christian religion one of the primary events that led me was an intense study of the bible and realizing there is nothing but the fingerprints of men all over it. I took on a mythicist position ala Carrier or Price. I was content as an agnostic atheist but being the history buff that I am led me to a few years of study of the works of the leading biblical and NT scholars. I have changed my position and disagree with mythicists now, but now I am even more convinced that the Divine Jesus story is a created one. Andrew should look into some of these works. The bottom line: Based on the limited sources we have to work with, over the last century or so biblical historians have presented not with certainty, but a very likely picture of how this all came about. Many, like Ehrman, are no longer believers but some are. Believing in god or a religion is strictly a theological concept. Trying to make it a historical event is futile as all historical evidence points to a different conclusion. I would ask people like Mike and Andrew to stop trying to make a case and just believe in their religion and accept that it is just faith.

  9. Ian Butler says

    It was a great show for seeing the myraid variety of thistic faulty thinking. Not sure what some of their points even were, atheism is a dishonest position? That guy never began to support his premise, but it was entertaining and illustrative.

    All theist callers, no one went on too long, and several bad arguments to dissect, TAE at it’s best.

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @walker #7:

    in the goveners defense the first africans brought to Virginia were indentured servents who were let go after a period of years. A court case changed it to slavery for life.

     
    Article: Snopes – Northam ‘Indentured Servant’ Remark Challenged

    During an interview Sunday on CBS, Northam said the “first indentured servants from Africa” arrived in 1619. Interviewer Gayle King interjected, saying, “also known as slavery.” Northam replied “yes.”
     
    Davidson College professor Michael Guasco confirms that some historians did use the term in the 1970s to 1990s to describe the small group of Africans who arrived because a few of them became free decades later. But he says historians have since confirmed through records that these first Africans in Virginia arrived as slaves and that most remained enslaved.

  11. Honey Tone says

    Ian Butler @#9

    Not sure what some of their points even were, atheism is a dishonest position? That guy never began to support his premise, but it was entertaining and illustrative.

    I interpreted that caller’s premise, at least with regards to evidence, exactly as a charge of dishonesty, in that he thinks atheists, by deliberately ignoring and/or undervalueing both faith and what he considers to be circumstantial evidence for the existence of his god, essentially are asserting a claim that atheists can know what could be evidence for god. That we don’t just disbelieve a theistic claim, we effectively assert that a particular kind of evidence presented is in fact not evidence for their claim. I suppose that to him, if you admit some value to faith and combine it with evidence that could go either way, then belief in his god is …, I don’t know, justified? Reasonable? Proof that theists are better than comic book fans?

    His premise is correct, of course, because theists don’t make falsifiable claims. So, atheists don’t accept that either any piece of evidence or the totality of the evidence presented supports their god claim. For atheists, Combining bad or weak evidence and arguments with the wishful thinking that is faith only makes things worse, not better.

  12. Ronald Kyle says

    @#4 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Hell, I didn’t even know John 3:16

    Yup… and this verse is an illustration of why the church does not want people to be able to read the bible. Because they then might go and have the impudence of reading this verse just before it
     

    John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

    Which if one has actually read the bible at all knows that it is utterly belied by yet another verse in the very bible itself.
     

    2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

     
    And if perchance one might read the next verse and understand it, one might comprehend part of the “mystery” which is that Jesus is nothing but a manufactured IDOL much like Moses’ bronze statue of a SERPENT that had the magical properties of saving lives from the poison of actual serpents by just looking at it.
     

    John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

    Numbers 21:6-8 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died…. the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

  13. Ronald Kyle says

    @#5 Sky Captain says

    You’ve been called on this once already.

    And what you do not comprehend is that your “call” in fact proves my point nicely.
     

    … pope quote was addressed in the link.

    Yes… thanks very much because the assertions and facts written there also perfectly support my point.
     
    So I thank you for bolstering my point that the church never meant for the riffraff to ever own or understand the bible and that the church only ever intended for the bible to be a mysterious TALISMAN exploited by the inner circle cult leaders for the purposes of bamboozling the sheep.

  14. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #13:

    the church only ever intended for the bible to be a mysterious TALISMAN

    Repeatedly lying to make that point is counterproductive.
     
    Comment: 22.52 – Ronald Kyle #306:

    the church prevented the translation of the bible and used to BURN ALIVE anyone who tried to do so.

    Comment: 23.06 – Ronald Kyle #3:

    the Church […] prohibited its translation into languages people could actually understand on pain of death by burning on the stake.

    It was not policy that mere *translation* would result in *burning the translator alive*, which has been explained to you twice now.

  15. Ronald Kyle says

    @#4 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    I don’t remember a bible ever being opened in any of my Sunday school classes

    They do not want to encourage the habit of anyone actually reading the bible. Because if one does, one might happen upon this verse
     

    2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin

    Then one might then start to wonder… if the above is the formula for redemption and salvation as given by the very sky despot himself… then why on earth was there any need for all that farcical melodrama in the New Tall tales (NT) of rape and adultery with a 13 years old girl so as to impregnate her with a third of TRIUNE god and then sit inside her for 9 months twiddling his thumbs and then ooze out from between her legs to YET AGAIN do nothing for thirty more years and then go entice 12 men away from their work and their obligation to provide for and protect their families so as to go hoboing about with him having naked feet washing orgies and then help him annoy some fanatics so as to induce them to give him a weekend of BDSM so as to achieve (and fail to do so) what he has already explained how to achieve without any raping or adultery with a little girl and without any BDSM or torture or bloodshed or HUMAN BLOOD sacrifice???
     
    And the pathetic idiocy of it all is that even in the NT we have Christianity admitting that it was a pointless human blood sacrifice in the first place…
     

    ? Luke 16:29-31 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them… but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent… he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    As you can see, the bible is the only thing one needs to understand that Christianity is an insanity.
     
    I have yet to be given a coherent sane response by any upper echelon cult leader from any version of the cult’s numerous branches, to the question of why would a god who purportedly said the words in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and who allegedly knew the words of Luke 16:29-31 feel the need for all that rape and committing adultery with a 13 years old girl and the farcical hoax of a weekend of BDSM with muscly men in domineering uniforms???

  16. Ronald Kyle says

    @#14 Sky Captain says  

    Repeatedly lying to make that point is counterproductive

    I am glad you understand this concept… so please stop doing so.
     
    Your quotations of apologetics are belied by the facts of history and will remain to be so regardless of how much expurgation and contortions of history Christian casuists might wriggle and writhe.

  17. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Bible translations in the Middle Ages

    In the early Middle Ages, anyone who could read at all could often read Latin […] A number of pre-reformation Old English Bible translations survive, as do many instances of glosses in the vernacular, especially in the Gospels and the Psalms.
    […]
    There is no evidence of any official decision to universally disallow translations [from 1200] until [1545], at which time the Reformation threatened the Catholic Church
    […]
    in the absence of viable heresies, a variety of translations and vernacular adaptations flourished between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries with no documented institutional opposition at all.

  18. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Thank you CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain, for doing that. Otherwise I would have to.

  19. Ronald Kyle says

    @#17 Sky Captain says

    “There is no evidence of any official decision to universally disallow translations [from 1200] until [1545], at which time the Reformation threatened the Catholic Church”

    🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂
     
    Thanks for that… it illustrates perfectly the flimflam apologetics you are quoting so fervently in defense of the Catholic Church.
     
    Buyer: Has this 15 years old car had any accidents?
    Used Car Salesman:There is no evidence of any official records of accidents involving this car [from 2008] until [2015]

  20. Honey Tone says

    AthistNotAgnostic @ #1:

    As a former Catholic I think they got something right when they placed a barrier in between the laity and the bible.

    If you’re referring to the Vulgate Bible being in Latin as a barrier, that’s an unfair exaggeration. The original gospels were in Greek and the Old Testament books were in Aramaic and Hebrew (I think). Getting all that stuff translated into Latin, a common language of Western Europe, was a benefit for the literate portion of the population in the West. Latin remained the common language of the literate for centuries after the fall of Rome.

    Still, the bible and/or parts of it were translated into, for instance, Old English, Old French, Syrian, and eastern European languages, before the printing press arrived. You also have to keep in mind that making a “book” of the bible wasn’t exactly an easy process before the printing press. For instance, you might first have to make your own paper, ink and writing implements.

    It’s a lot easier to control the message and massage away/outright deny the major inconsistencies when you’re the only one with access to the source material.

    Except they didn’t control access to the source material or the message, judging by the numerous and continuous heresies that developed and the conventions the church called to hash out their “official” beliefs. Hell, the Church had to create the Inquisition offices in the early 1200s to fight off dissent and heresies.

    In point of fact, it’s bad when folks don’t have access to the source material, and it’s bad when they do have access.

    That’s because the source material is BS.

  21. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Honey Tone #20
    I wasn’t speaking exclusively about translations. The CC’s hierarchical structure sets up the priests and cardinals as the sole interpreters of the bible. You’re not encouraged to study the bible in groups like in protestant denominations. The CC sets its traditions and the words of the pope as equal to the bible, minimizing its importance. There’s no biblical foundation for the whole church hierarchy, so the basically just say “we’re the vicars of christ on earth!” and hand-wave the concerns away. My point is I was really surprised how unique the CC is once I left and learned more about other denominations through the atheist/skeptic community.

  22. Ian Butler says

    Ronald Kyle, when presented with clear evidence that your assertion is untrue, the intellecually honest response is, “thanks!”

  23. indianajones says

    I agree with you Ian. I, would like to note the very slight, baby steps being taken here, type improvement though. However small and faltering the progress may be.

  24. Ronald Kyle says

    @#22 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    You’re not encouraged to study the bible in groups like in protestant denominations.

    In fact the whole bible study farce is not at all bible study… it is more of a bible indoctrination… the point of it is so that the sheep don’t go read the bible willy-nilly all by themselves but rather to sit and be told what it “really” means and what parts are important to read and thus giving the sheep the illusion that they know anything about the bible.
     

    @#22 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    My point is I was really surprised how unique the CC is once I left and learned more about other denominations through the atheist/skeptic community.

    Not at all… The CC is not unique in telling the sheep that they must defer to the shepherds. This is in fact the standard in most cults… even the ones who think that they are not like that.
     
    Judaism expects people to learn how to read and chant the Torah but yet only well trained Rabbis can explicate and exegete the Torah and the Talmud.
     
    The Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, etc. churches are similar to the CC with archbishops being the supreme authorities.
     
    The Anglican Church and the Methodists also are similar in that aspect in that the authority of the bishops trumps any layperson’s possible interpretation of the scripture.
     
    Sola Scriptura and anyone can read the bible and decide for themselves what it means was started by the the Lollardy and a little later full out and successfully by the reformation movement (protestants) and was a protestation to the CC’s control over the sheep and claiming authority in all things theological AND political too.

    Some think it is an affront to piety if the sacred books are translated into French or English. But….I would like Scripture translated into every language. Christ wants his philosophy to be propagated as widely as possible. He died for all; he wants to be known by all. It will serve this end if either the books of Christ are translated into all the languages of the nations, or if rulers take care that the three languages to which especially divine wisdom has been entrusted are known by all peoples. — Martin Luther

     
    But this was an initial backlash and just like most revolutions, they are started by the bourgeoise classes and/or upper middle classes of educated intellectuals leading the sheep to topple and change the status quo and remove the incumbent powers. But once the revolutions are won, things slowly start going back to normal with the sheep still the sheep and the revolutions’ leaders replacing the old powers and exerting almost the same abuses they fought against.
     
    Martin Luther even wrote Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants to justify the massacres of the peasant rebels who were riled up by his own rebellion against the Pope and CC.
     

    The relationship between the Protestant Reformation and the Peasants’ War has long been a subject of debate. A traditional understanding in this matter is that the Peasants’ Revolt stemmed from Martin Luther’s doctrine of spiritual freedom and the application of his ideas as religious justification for social and political upheaval. It is true that Luther offered useful tools to the peasants: his focus on Sola Scriptura put emphasis upon the priesthood of all believers…. Furthermore, Luther’s attacks on the Roman Catholic church can be said to have inspired various groups to raise arms in revolution. Peasants related to Luther’s appeals against the clergy and ideas about Christian freedom, and wished to ‘wreak vengeance upon all their oppressors’…. More powerful members of society, including burghers and lesser nobility sought to break the power of the clergy, escape the clutches of Rome, and find monetary gains in the confiscation of church property…. When pressure built around these revolutionary ideas, Luther had to choose a side, and he joined with the burghers, nobility, and princes…Luther goes so far as to justify the actions of the Princes against the peasants, even when it involves acts of violence. He feels that they [the peasants] can be punished by the lords on the basis that they have “become faithless, perjured, disobedient, rebellious, murderers, robbers, and blasphemers, whom even a heathen ruler has the right and authority to punish”. He even venerates those who fight against the peasants, stating that “anyone who is killed fighting on the side of the rulers may be a true martyr in the eyes of God”.

     
    Martin Luther says (in the above book)

    The peasants have taken upon themselves the burden of three terrible sins against God and man; by this they have merited death in body and soul… they have sworn to be true and faithful, submissive and obedient, to their rulers… now deliberately and violently breaking this oath… they are starting a rebellion, and are violently robbing and plundering monasteries and castles which are not theirs… they have doubly deserved death in body and soul as highwaymen and murderers… they cloak this terrible and horrible sin with the gospel… thus they become the worst blasphemers of God and slanderers of his holy name”

  25. Ronald Kyle says

    @#26 bluestar says

    Ron Kyle, Certified Religion Conspiracy Theorist

    Wow… I am very honored… your statement is exactly like when fanatical theists are so dumbfounded and affronted by science debunking their cults that they start calling it just a theory.

  26. Honey Tone says

    Ronald Kyle @ #21

    Have a look at this chart … also have a look at this comparison between translations.

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m familiar with that Wiki page. I was just being late night lazy to make a point about the accessibility of scriptures. Modern society is so used to rampant literacy and having fingertip access to pretty much all of mankind’s knowledge that we forget just how hard it was to acquire, preserve and communicate information in the near past, not to mention centuries ago.

    When I was a kid having the Encyclopedia Britannica at home meant I could write a last-minute paper without trudging down to the library (which, of course, was uphill both ways in the snow), and feeling so superior to those who only had a set of World Books.

  27. Honey Tone says

    AtheistNotAgnostic #22:

    Sorry, I guess I let subsequent posts color my reading of your original post.

    I still find it disingenuous to say that the CC “placed” barriers between the bible and the laity. I think it was a more natural, organic process since for the longest time, at best only 40-50% of any given population was literate to some degree. The gospels and the letters of Paul and Peter and the rest were being read (and interpreted) to them anyway. It’s not that hard to see a tradition of “interpreters” of god’s word grow out of that. They were, and are, as necessary to society as bureaucrats, lawyers and teachers. Which is to say, it would be nice if we didn’t need them, but… .

    I agree with Ronald Kyle’s statement in #25:

    In fact the whole bible study farce is not at all bible study… it is more of a bible indoctrination… the point of it is so that the sheep don’t go read the bible willy-nilly all by themselves but rather to sit and be told what it “really” means and what parts are important to read and thus giving the sheep the illusion that they know anything about the bible.

    Your CC experiences with the bible are very different from mine. I spent kindergarten through 12th grade in midwest and west coast Catholic schools. We did a lot of bible reading and study in “religion class.” Required to have my own in 9th grade, and it’s still with me today. Confraternity version, copyright 1963, with the imprimatur of Francis Cardinal Spellman – that way, you KNOW it’s official!

    As for whether there is biblical support for the CC’s hierarchy… . I don’t give a crap. Let the Xians fight that out among themselves, along with the thousands of other minute differences they detect in the “one, true Word of God” and which causes them to splinter into tens of thousands of subgroups. When they’ve resolved it, when they have figured out just exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, they can let us know.

  28. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Honey Tone #29
    I agree that my characterization of the “barrier” was suboptimal. I don’t think there was some smoke-filled back room where early church leaders decided to keep the bible out of the hands of the laity. You’re right that it’s far more likely that this just happened naturally. I was raised in a very moderate, Northeast Catholic family that didn’t own a bible and sent me to public school so I think I’m overgeneralizing a bit too much. Good catch. This is why I started posting here after lurking for years, to sharpen my understanding.

  29. Ian Butler says

    I was raised traditional Catholic and although we had a family Bible I never saw anyone reading it. The important thing was to go to church on Sunday and “keep holy the Lord’s day” (an important component of not going to hell), where we heard carefully selected scripture and were told what it meant. One scripture, for instance, was interpreted to mean that venerial diseases were created by God to punish us for having sex.

    I learned years later from my Baptist raised wife that Catholics aren’t considered real Christians by her family, I was already an atheist then but still felt a little insulted, like being told my childhood baseball team sucked!

    But none of them agree on anything, my mom eventually joined an offshoot of the Catholic church called the Order of Fatima, who believe Catholics aren’t Catholicing hard enough, (at least since Satan’s hippies took over in Vatican II) and they will probably splinter off in due time as well.

    Meanwhile, the scientific consensus in countless areas gets stronger and stronger …

  30. Ronald Kyle says

    @#30 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    I don’t think there was some smoke-filled back room where early church leaders decided to keep the bible out of the hands of the laity

    I am not sure how much smoking the bishops who convened in rooms (back ones or not) did, but it seems that they were indeed in the habit of convening councils in rooms with bishops conspiring deciding to do things. And on a few occasions they also decided to do this
     
    The Council of Toulouse (1229)

    “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old and the New Testament; unless anyone from the motives of devotion should wish to have the Psalter or the Breviary for divine offices or the hours of the blessed Virgin; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books

     
    Second Church Council at Tarragon 1234

    Canon two of this second Council of Tarragona also restated the cannon of the Council of Toulouse held two years before. “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days, so that they may be burned…

  31. Ronald Kyle says

    @#28 Honey Tone says

    Modern society is so used to rampant literacy and having fingertip access to pretty much all of mankind’s knowledge that we forget just how hard it was to acquire, preserve and communicate information in the near past, not to mention centuries ago.

    Indeed!! Also the expense as well as the time-cost of actually reading it when most people even if they were lucky to know how to read, were too busy trying to make ends meet. Which leaves only the most wealthy and idol in luxury who could afford knowledge, and only if they were not too busy trying to pay the debts they accumulated to pay for their luxuriating by taxing their serfs into the ground.

     
    @#28 Honey Tone says

    When I was a kid having the Encyclopedia Britannica at home meant I could write a last-minute paper without trudging down to the library (which, of course, was uphill both ways in the snow), and feeling so superior to those who only had a set of World Books.

    Hahaha… indeed… but I was lucky… my schooling was in a boarding school and we had a great library and it was only a 15 minutes’ walk from my dorms … although 100 years ago the fog and cold where my school was pierced to one’s bones and summers seemed to last about 1 month.

  32. Ronald Kyle says

    @#30 AtheistNotAgnostic says

    Northeast Catholic family that didn’t own a bible

     
    Consider this statement by Martin Luther

    Thirty years ago, no one read the Bible, and it was unknown to all. The prophets were not spoken of and were considered impossible to understand. And when I was twenty years old, I had never seen a Bible. I thought that the Gospels or Epistles could be found only in the postils [lectionaries] for the Sunday readings. Then I found a Bible in the library, when I first went into the monastery, and I began to read, re-read and read it many times over and reread the Bible many times, to the great wonderment of Doctor Staupitz…

    And what was the result of this educated man eventually reading the bible for himself?

  33. RationalismRules says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic #30

    I was raised in a very moderate, Northeast Catholic family that didn’t own a bible

    On first reading this was mind-boggling to me. I was raised in a fundie family, where every member, and indeed, every person I knew, had their own personal bible. The idea of a Xtian-identifying family that doesn’t even own a single bible in the entire household is a completely new one for me. (I obviously still have lots to learn about the Catholic Church)

    (Interesting thought: crucifixes seem to be pretty much obligatory for Catholics. Are they more obligatory than the bible itself?)

  34. RationalismRules says

    Since the thread is not terribly busy, here’s an excellent dissection of how an event that was definitely not miraculous became a Catholic Miracle with just a little time and a series of factual distortions:
    https://youtu.be/siCEByV9F7Y
    (if you don’t already know Potholer54, you can thank me later)

  35. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Context for #32…
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Council of Toulouse

    The Council was called by the local bishop to address the perceived threat from the rapid growth of the Albigensian movement in 13th century southern France. The council resolved that a search in each parish was to be made for heretics (Albigensian and Cathar) and that if found their houses should be destroyed and that non-Latin translations of the bible be destroyed. and likewise for other unauthorised copies.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Bible translations in the Middle Ages

    some specific translations were condemned, and regional bans were imposed during the Albigensian Crusade: Toulouse in 1229, Taragona in 1234 and Beziers in 1246. […] with the Cathars in mind as well as the Waldensians, who continued to preach using their own translations

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Albigensian Crusade

    (1209–1229) a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism

  36. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @RR #35
    Catholics in my area varied widely in dedication to the religion. Mine family was definitely more on the lax side (my mother isn’t religious at all by virtue of having a barely-believing Catholic father and a cultural Jew mother) but my siblings and I went to Sunday school and got confirmed. Some Catholics in my area are true “holy rollers” that sing along at mass, follow all of the minor rules and have the Catholic guilt big-time but lots were like me. I never grew up with any understanding of the bible’s contents beyond vague messages and a few gospel readings from mass. The crucifix is definitely big for Catholics, especially Italians like myself. Everyone (but me and a few other super-lax Catholics) had the necklace. My father had a crucifix up in his closet (my mother wouldn’t let him put it anywhere else).

  37. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    When I visited someone in a Catholic hospital, there was a cross in every room. Statue of a dying guy promising an afterlife didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
     
    On the way out, it amused me to see pagan Asclepius on their ambulance outside. 😀
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Asclepius

    a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion […] The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
    […]
    Asclepius became so proficient as a healer that he […] was therefore able to evade death and to bring others back to life from the brink of death and beyond.

  38. Ronald Kyle says

     
    A more rational perspective on #37
     
    Shyster defense lawyer: Your honor… my client is only a mass murderer sporadically and on a localized scale in one area at a time.
     
    Judge: So are you then admitting that your client is guilty?
     
    Shyster defense lawyer: No your honor… my client only killed people he decided were not worthy of living… you can hardly call that guilty can you now?
     
    Judge:Clerk… make sure this shyster is disbarred immediately.

  39. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Ronald Kyle #13:

    my point that the church never meant for the riffraff to ever own or understand the bible

     
    Ronald Kyle #41:

    only [“never”] sporadically and on a localized scale in one area at a time.

  40. Ronald Kyle says

    @Sky Captain #42
     
    Why did you deliberately leave out the Shyster Defense Lawyer: part of the second quotation?
     
    Do you realize that by doing that, you have deliberately fabricated a misleading false quotation and underhandedly made it look like something I said?
     
    Do you often attribute fabricated false and misleading quotations to your debaters?

  41. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #43:

    Why did you deliberately leave out the Shyster Defense Lawyer

    You were forced to accept the fact that the bans were “sporadic and localized” as a premise for your courtroom farce, which undermines the universal point you’ve been asserting. For the purpose of illustrating the contradiction, it was irrelevant that you projected your own failure onto a fictional lawyer.

  42. Ronald Kyle says

    @#44 Sky Captain says

    you projected your own failure onto a fictional lawyer

     
    🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤣😂… ok… I see I have to explain the very simple allegory which seems to have befuddled you thoroughly.
     
    I projected your apologetics in defense of the Catholic Church’s crimes onto the shyster lawyer’s admittance of his client’s guilt albeit unwittingly… get that … YOUR APOLOGETICS are the ones projected unto the shyster lawyer’s words.

     
    @#44 Sky Captain says

    You were forced to accept the fact that the bans were

     

    🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️😂🤣😂🤣… By likening your apologetics to the shyster lawyer’s admittance of his client’s guilt, I was not accepting them… I was ridiculing them and highlighting how they are a tacit admittance of guilt. Far from accepting your apologetics, I was parodying their ridiculous level of unwitting acceptance of guilt.
     
    The courtroom scene is an allegory to your apologetics as the shyster lawyer’s defense by which he unwittingly admits and proves the guilt of his client while thinking that he was making valid exonerations for his client’s crimes.
     
    And your attempt at misrepresenting my post and making it look like I was saying something I was not, is yet more casuistry that is a further proof of failure.

  43. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ronald Kyle #45:

    I was not accepting [that the bans were “sporadic and localized”]

    Okay then.

  44. Ronald Kyle says

    @Sky Captain
     
    I am going to ignore the above (post #47) further strawmanning and misleading, because I want to ask you about something less boring.
     
    Now that you have thoroughly established yourself as a tenacious and indefatigable apologist and casuist for the Catholic Church, I am really interested to see what are your apologetics for the conundrum I posed in post #15 above.
     
    I am sure that as an atheist Catholic apologist you might have a uniquely fascinating apologetic angle on

    why would a god who purportedly said the words in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and who allegedly knew the words of Luke 16:29-31 feel the need for all that rape and committing adultery with a 13 years old girl and the farcical hoax of a weekend of BDSM with muscly men in domineering uniforms???

    I am constantly in search for someone who might adequately resolve the above quandary… and as an atheist Catholic apologist you might offer an amusing attempt.

  45. Ian Butler says

    Can we all agree that attempting to be as accurate and truthful as possible doesn’t make one an “apologist?”

    RK’s use of the term is like if someone claimed Hitler raped babies, and someone else said, no there is no evidence that he did that, and then was accused of being a Hitler apologist.

    Fun fact: false claims can be made about bad things. Correcting those claims doesn’t mean defending bad things. Not sure what fallacy that would fall under, but it definitely is one.

  46. indianajones says

    It might be poisoning the well, which is a form of Ad Hominem. I think, in the case you mention Ian it would be something like: You are defending the CC/Hitler against lies told about him/them. Therefore you are a Hitler/CC apologist (Ad Hominem kicks in). Noting that Hitler/CC are indefensible, anything you say in their defence, no matter how true, is rubbish and therefore so is your argument. The poisoning kicking in at the defending part and being effective only if the reader/intended target fails to notice the untrue part. Something like that.

  47. twarren1111 says

    I miss oreoman1987. Aren’t we good enough anymore?

    And @favog, thanks for correcting Matt’s mistake; I was soooooooo embarrassed!

  48. Ronald Kyle says

    @#49 Ian Butler says

    and someone else said, no there is no evidence that he did that

    Except that is NOT what is being said… the baby rape denier started off denying the rape but then started wrangling that only sporadic raping occurred, only in certain places and only babies that were deemed deserving of being raped.
     
    I hope that you can comprehend that a person who starts off as a rape denier should then shut up when evidence is presented for the fact that “hitler” indeed did just that.
     
    And if the rape denier then starts arguing that it was only a few babies on sporadic occasions in isolated places and only babies who deserved to be raped… then the rape denier becomes an irrational pathetic apologist for “hitler’s” crimes.
     
    I hope you are capable of fathoming that

    Hitler did not rape babies

    is not the same as

    Hitler sporadically raped a few babies in certain places and only the ones deemed to deserve it

    And I hope that you can comprehend that anyone who starts out being a rape denier and then starts to argue about the number of babies raped and places where they were and why they were raped, is nothing but a “hitler” apologist.

  49. indianajones says

    To put it another way, and sorry for double post. Suppose I am a fan of prompt trains, and I am btw. Fascists are also famous for that and also for making it happen. Poisoning the well fallacy would have me being a fan of fascism because I like prompt trains, Calling out as bullshit the claim of an evil that the CC did not commit would have me, or more particularly Sky Captain, being a fan of the CC. Thus poisoning anything else I/Sky Captain had to say. But I/Sky Captain can be fans of prompt trains and calling out bullshit without being fans of either Hitler or the CC quite happily. Of course.

  50. Ronald Kyle says

    @#50 indianajones says

    the untrue part

    I think you might have missed the facts presented in post #32 that prove that is very true.
     
    And I am also going to add this additional tidbit just in case you missed before
     
    Pope Innocent III expressed his full support for the “baby rape” in very clear words when he said in 1199 CE [(Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum 770-771]:

    The mysteries of the faith are not to be explained rashly to anyone. Usually in fact, they cannot be understood by everyone but only by those who are qualified to understand them with informed intelligence. The depth of the divine Scriptures is such that not only the illiterate and uninitiated have difficulty understanding them, but also the educated and the gifted

  51. Ian Butler says

    Looking back, it appears it was being burned at the stake for translating the Bible was the debunked claim. The goalposts appear to have been moved.

  52. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @indianajones #53:

    Suppose I am a fan of prompt trains, and I am btw. Fascists are also famous for that and also for making it happen.
    […]
    I/Sky Captain can be fans of prompt trains and calling out bullshit without being fans of either Hitler or the CC quite happily.

    Indeed.
     
    Article: Snopes – Mussolini and On Time Trains

    One of the best ways to gain the support of the people you want to lead is to do something of benefit to them. Failing that, the next best thing is to convince them that you have done something of benefit to them, even though you really haven’t. […] Thus was born the myth of fascist efficiency, with the train as its symbol.
    […]
    The Italian railway system had fallen into a rather sad state during World War I, and it did improve a good deal during the 1920s, but Mussolini was disingenuous in taking credit for the changes: much of the repair work had been performed before Mussolini

  53. Honey Tone says

    AtheistNotAgnostic @ #38

    Like you, I’m Italian. My dad was a shrug-your-shoulders kind of guy when it came to religion, probably the result of barely surviving for 2 years in a German POW camp during WW2. My mom was a sporadic Catholic – she churched for weddings, funerals, Christmas and Easter. I don’t think she ever did all of the Holy Days of Obligation.

    As a kid, I ate up the ritual and showmanship of the CC, so much so that I became an altar boy. The bells and smells, the dresses and hats, the solemn processions through the church during Holy Week services, the reverential tone of the Latin liturgy, the statuary and the stained glass, and especially the pipe organ-driven music. Christmas mass was always a glorious sound when the congregation joined the choir on Angels We Have Heard On High. I still smile to this day when I hear it being sung.

    Unfortunately for the CC, this sort of dinner-and-a-show approach to religion didn’t make me a believer in their god/theology. Once I stopped being an impressionable youngster, and as we studied increasingly sophisticated literature and philosophy in high school, I began to realize there wasn’t any there there.

  54. Honey Tone says

    RationalismRules @ #35

    I obviously still have lots to learn about the Catholic Church

    Yeah…, no. Please don’t waste your time. There’s something like 1.3 billion “Catholics” in the world and over 50 million in the USA. There’s bound to be a w-i-d-e range of experiences and practices between and among them. Every local Catholic church has its hard core, true believer types, and the rest are of varying levels of allegiance and practice.

    I’m sure that’s also true of fundie churches, although you might have a higher percentage of true believers. Fundies may have more personal bibles or encourage more bible reading among their congregants, but I doubt their knowledge and understanding of what they read is any deeper than that of any lax Catholic. Hell, AXP demonstrates the shallowness of it all every week!

    Interesting thought: crucifixes seem to be pretty much obligatory for Catholics. Are they more obligatory than the bible itself?

    They are not obligatory at all, but they are an easy icon to suggest the presence of god and remind us all of the sacrifice made and salvation that awaits. It’s an icon that been around, um, a long time and somewhat revered. You might recall that Catholics have built somewhat impressive churches and cathedrals in that shape.

    Catholics like their stuff, and there’s a large enough number of them to justify profitable production and distribution of all sorts of things. And Catholic kids get at least 3 big religious ceremonies by the time they’re 13: baby baptism, first communion and confirmation. They need churchy things to give as gifts: bibles, rosaries, scapulars, missals, pictures and statutes of saints and popes, crosses as necklaces, etc.

    And, a lot of the stuff, if properly blessed or otherwise approved by the right church guys and worn or used in just the right way, comes with some sort spiritual benefit or indulgence for your soul or the soul of some dead person. I frankly don’t know how “legal” the indulgence stuff still is – I just haven’t paid much attention to that particular BS for years – but it’s out there and marketed. Yeah, 600 years after Luther.

  55. Ronald Kyle says

    @#58 Honey Tone says

    dinner-and-a-show approach to religion

    👏👏👏 I LOVE this phrase… hehehe… perfect 👌👌👌
     

    …The bells and smells, the dresses and hats, the solemn processions through the church during Holy Week services, the reverential tone of the Latin liturgy, the statuary and the stained glass, and especially the pipe organ-driven music. Christmas mass was always a glorious sound when the congregation joined the choir on Angels We Have Heard On High. I still smile to this day when I hear it being sung.

    Indeed!!… Catholic and Orthodox liturgies are really special … nothing comes close in other religions … Anglican may be not a too distant second.
     
    Although… the bells … the bells … those damned bells on Sunday mornings always drove me bonkers.
     

    studied increasingly sophisticated literature and philosophy in high school, I began to realize

    I have many a time seriously pondered over the phrase … “ignorance is bliss”… but nah… I love science much more than any bliss.

  56. Honey Tone says

    Sorry, everyone, I effed up # 59. The hazards of trying to multitask at my age.

    Since I don’t know how to edit it to correct the problems, here’s what it should have been:

    RationalismRules @ #35

    I obviously still have lots to learn about the Catholic Church

    Yeah…, no. Please don’t waste your time. There’s something like 1.3 billion “Catholics” in the world and over 50 million in the USA. There’s bound to be a w-i-d-e range of experiences and practices between and among them. Every local Catholic church has its hard core, true believer types, and the rest are of varying levels of allegiance and practice.

    I’m sure that’s also true of fundie churches, although you might have a higher percentage of true believers. Fundies may have more personal bibles or encourage more bible reading among their congregants, but I doubt their knowledge and understanding of what they read is any deeper than that of any lax Catholic. Hell, AXP demonstrates the shallowness of it all every week!

    Interesting thought: crucifixes seem to be pretty much obligatory for Catholics. Are they more obligatory than the bible itself?

    They are not obligatory at all, but they are an easy icon to suggest the presence of god and remind us all of the sacrifice made and salvation that awaits. It’s an icon that been around, um, a long time and somewhat revered. You might recall that Catholics have built somewhat impressive churches and cathedrals in that shape.

    Catholics like their stuff, and there’s a large enough number of them to justify profitable production and distribution of all sorts of things. And Catholic kids get at least 3 big religious ceremonies by the time they’re 13: baby baptism, first communion and confirmation. They need churchy things to give as gifts: bibles, rosaries, scapulars, missals, pictures and statutes of saints and popes, crosses as necklaces, etc.

    And, a lot of the stuff, if properly blessed or otherwise approved by the right church guys and worn or used in just the right way, comes with some sort spiritual benefit or indulgence for your soul or the soul of some dead person. I frankly don’t know how “legal” the indulgence stuff still is – I just haven’t paid much attention to that particular BS for years – but it’s out there and marketed. Yeah, 600 years after Luther.

  57. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Honey Tone #58
    Ha, that’s funny because I always thought the pomp of it all was so stupid. Made everything take so much longer than it had to! I’ll admit I find church architecture, especially in Europe, to be beautiful and awe-inspiring but other than that the goofy robes and other unnecessarily ornate artifacts struck me as a huge waste.
    #61
    Couldn’t agree more. The word “Catholic” has as much meaning as when a US voter self-describes as “moderate”, none at all.

  58. Honey Tone says

    Ronald Kyle @ #60

    Indeed!!… Catholic and Orthodox liturgies are really special … nothing comes close in other religions … Anglican may be not a too distant second.

    I remember the first time I went to an Eastern Orthodox service (maybe Greek?) thinking: these folks are way too ostentatious. Pot/kettle, eh?

    Anglican services make RCs feel comfortable – now, of course, that they are a couple hundred years removed from having to build priest holes.

  59. Honey Tone says

    AtheistNotAgnostic #62

    Hey, what can I say? I was an impressionable child. LOL

    For me, the length of services paled before the effing torture of all the required kneeling. What pain! To find out that many other Xians didn’t kneel was mind blowing, and it definitely helped break me away from the RC religious craziness.

  60. Ronald Kyle says

    @#63 Honey Tone says

    Pot/kettle, eh?

    Hahaha… indeed!!
     
    @#64 Honey Tone says

    To find out that many other Xians didn’t kneel was mind blowing

    If you want a mind boggling experience… go to a Church of God service.

  61. RationalismRules says

    @Honey Tone #61

    Catholics like their stuff, and there’s a large enough number of them to justify profitable production and distribution of all sorts of things … a lot of the stuff, if properly blessed or otherwise approved by the right church guys and worn or used in just the right way, comes with some sort spiritual benefit or indulgence for your soul … it’s out there and marketed.

    One of the funnier moments from the first series of Blackadder:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyF7YmHYhYc
     

    I obviously still have lots to learn about the Catholic Church

    Yeah…, no. Please don’t waste your time.

    Rest assured, I won’t be. It was really just an acknowledgement that I actually know a lot less than I thought I did. I know that I know very little about Islam (for example), but I thought I knew a fair bit about Catholicism. Now that I’m actually thinking about it, most of that ‘knowledge’ probably comes from popular culture mixed with assumptions based on what I know from other Xtian sects. It’s good to be reminded from time to time how little one actually knows – helps to restore perspective.

  62. nemoeac says

    What is it that makes indoctrination work on some children but not others? From as far back as I can remember, my parents dragged me to (Anglican) church every Sunday where I attended Sunday school in the basement while they attended the main service upstairs. I always used to complain about having to go and my Dad would always attempt to guilt me by saying “God gave you the whole week – why you can’t give him ONE hour???”

    But right from the very first Sunday school class that I can remember (around 6-7 years old), I looked around at my fellow students and incredulously wondered if they *really* believed any of this and could not understand how the Sunday school teacher could be saying ANY of this crap with a straight face. It all seemed so far-fetched (and still does) – but this was at a time in which I think I still (at least partly) believed in Santa.

    Now that I’m in my 50’s, I can see on FaceBook that many of my fellow students from that same Sunday school class have remained active and devoted much of their lives to the Church – so presumably, I have my answer. Yes – many of them were “buying it”. So that kind of rules out the “quality of instruction” as a significant factor and I’m left wondering why it didn’t work on me when I was told the same stories as everyone else and placed in an environment where I was surrounded by believers.

    On a related topic – I have a 14 year old that has only ever been in a church once (for his grandmothers funeral) – but some of his schoolmates are religious and I want to ensure that I’ve given him all the tools that he needs – to resist indoctrination into Christianity or any other cult. Can any of you folks suggest a good way to teach a 14 year old critical thinking skills and skepticism? Are there resources out there that would be targeted to his age group?

    Thanks in advance for any that take the time to respond…

  63. says

    meanwhile …

    Senate kills death penalty repeal bill

    CHEYENNE — The effort to end the death penalty in Wyoming was unable to get past conservative opposition Thursday in the state Senate.

    … One of the Senate co-sponsors, Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, laid out the arguments for HB 145 during a floor debate Thursday, focusing on the financial cost for the state, the moral issues with giving government that much power over its citizens and the real possibility of executing an innocent person.

    … Many opponents of the bill focused their arguments on the need for Wyoming to seek the death penalty to ensure justice is being done for victims and their families. But some arguments against HB 145 centered around the religious component of the death penalty.

    “The greatest man who ever lived died via the death penalty for you and for me,” said Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne. “Governments were instituted to execute justice. If it wasn’t for Jesus dying via the death penalty, we would all have no hope.”

    just don’t ask sen. hutchings what’s so frightening about sharia law.

  64. Honey Tone says

    nemoeac #68:

    Father of 2 boys here, both of whom are skeptics and independent thinkers.

    The best tool to teach your 14-year old is you. Demonstrate critical thinking and respectful and mature skepticism. Model the behavior you want to impart to him in everything you do, whether he’s around or not. Kids soak that up.

    Begin to treat him as peer as he develops his independence and his own ideas about the world and the people in it. Challenge him (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly) to explore his own reasoning.

    And leave him room to grow and to make his own (not too serious, hopefully) mistakes. You’re not trying to make a clone, you’re trying to mentor someone into productive, happy adulthood.

    If you’ve been doing it up until now, keep it up. It’s even more critical now that the legal age of majority is looming closer. 4 years goes by awfully fast, and you’ll see stunning changes. Enjoy it.

  65. nemoeac says

    Honey Tone #70

    Thanks for your reply. All good advice and I’m already doing much of that – but since I only have him 1 night per week and a couple of full weeks each summer – I was looking for a way to do more. His mother is moderately superstitious but fortunately not religious so I don’t need to worry too much about indoctrination at home.

    I guess what I was hoping for was some sort of book of logic puzzles that were fun to do, while at the same time maybe teaching how to identify and avoid logical fallacies. Someone who has never encountered an “argument from authority” or “from incredulity”, “special pleading”, etc might not recognize them as fallacies and indeed give those arguments too much weight in their own determinations.

  66. Ronald Kyle says

    @#71 nemoeac says

    book of logic puzzles that were fun to do

    Here is a puzzle you can use to teach him how to catch a charlatan at work… if he can figure out what is wrong with this statement then he is already able to think logically… if not then you could spend some time trying to coax him into working it out for himself… do not tell him the solution… maybe apply analogies to it in situations he might already be familiar with from say movies…

    ‘Twas grace that taught My heart to fear And grace my Fears relieved

  67. says

    #2 favog
    I loved your comment about Elric and Stormbringer.

    ” (And oh, how I would love an Elric movie. Watching the Christians freak out over a protagonist who slaughters opponents while screaming “Blood and souls! Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch!” would be one of the most fun things. Ever.)”

    And I would definitely crowdfund to get that movie made!

  68. Ian Butler says

    I highly recommend the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, both the weekly podcast and the recently released book. Also Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

  69. Drew Thomason says

    Is there any comprehensive guide of non-religious coping stragities to help make the transition from theist to atheist not so damn terrifying and overwhelming?

  70. nemoeac says

    @73 Ronald Kyle
    @75 Ian Butler

    Thank you for the book reccomendations. I’ve just ordered all 4 of them and the first two will arrive tomorrow. Now I just need to find a way to convince a 14 year who would rather spend all of his free time playing Rainbow Six – that he needs to carve out some time to read these 4 books…

  71. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @nemoeac #68:

    What is it that makes indoctrination work on some children but not others?

    You may benefit from a game I recommended in the 23.07 thread.
     

    the tools that he needs – to resist indoctrination into Christianity or any other cult

    Frankly, diversifying entertainment to cultivate empathy for marginalized people and foreign cultures would do more to make religion unpalatable, along with other harmful movements. “If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.” It’s a tough sell when the in-group exceptionalism / out-group dehumanization tactic is laughable or abhorrent.
     
    Song: WKUK – Aren’t You Lucky (1:08)
     
    Ultimately fostering a strong sense of self – like with intrinsically motivated hobbies – is protective against having a new social identity imposed externally. Young children haven’t developed one yet. Adults may become vulnerable when their lives / social-networks get upended by crisis / migration. Immersion in new a peer group brings new norms, for better or for worse.

  72. indianajones says

    @Neomac Ian Butler beat me to it with the Skeptics Guide (I have the book too) but I have something else. Throw your kid a party with their friends and hand out cameras and frisbees. Get them to go to a footy oval on a sunny day and get them to take the best UFO photo’s they can.

    Nothing like example to make points.

  73. nemoeac says

    @#73 Ronald Kyle

    One of the books you recommended just arrived, “The Fallacy Detective” and I read through the first chapter before passing it on to my son and found that the book was written “by Christians for Christians”.

    Was this book recommendation a joke or a mistake – or do they actually cover the fallacies honestly without much religious undertone?

    Has anyone else on this thread read this book? Do you all agree that it’s a good book for helping to teach a young teen how to recognize fallacies and bad reasoning? These seem to be skills that many Christians lack and others actively avoid so forgive me for questioning how they would Christians would be the right teachers or even capable of addressing the topic honestly…

    I know – the best way to find out would be to read the entire book myself – but I have a couple of other books on my list ahead of this one so I thought I’d take a shortcut and ask about it here. Is the book written accurately and honestly enough that the fact the authors are Christian is a complete non-issue? Or do they make unfair excuses or exceptions for religious beliefs throughout?

  74. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @nemoeac #80:

    Was this book recommendation a joke or a mistake

    He has a history of antisocial behavior.
     
    Book: Amazon – The Fallacy Detective

    [Authors] Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, brothers from Iowa who advocate homeschooling and create educational materials from a Christian worldview.
    […]
    Publisher: Christian Logic

     
    Review: GoodReads – The Fallacy Detective

    The Fallacy Detective is written primarily for homeschoolers, especially Christian homeschoolers.
    […]
    The book is a mix of hits and misses, good logic with weak examples, unintended fallacies offered up as good logic, great examples mixed up with examples that aren’t. The book would be useful for anyone looking for an easy to understand treatment of the major formal and informal fallacies and would be an introduction tool for helping children (or adults) to think critically.
    […]
    However, the authors occasionally insert Bible references, depending upon on Christian faith as examples of good logic or as proof that something is true. Faith’s apologists often commit these easy to fall into errors. But any faith based religion is, by the very nature of that “faith,” not legitimate logic or philosophy. When the authors say, “the Bible says …” or “this isn’t true because the Bible says …” they commit a logical fallacy trying to counter a logical fallacy.

     
    Another review there says it misleadingly characterizes evolution.

  75. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @nemoeac #80:
    The Thinking Toolbox was by the same authors.
     
     
    Reviews: GoodReads – An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
     
    The top reviews (ranked most liked) suggest it would be suboptimal for your purpose… though not due to deliberate misinformation as with the other two books. This author identifies as a humanist.

  76. nemoeac says

    @SkyCaptain #81,82

    Thanks. Yeah – I’ve flipped through it and it definitely has a huge Christian slant to everything as well as being (intentionally?) unclear in certain areas and uses poor examples throughout.

    It does have several Calvin and Hobbes comics strewn throughout – which as far as I can tell – seems to be its only redeeming feature. I’m glad I took a look at it first before asking my son to read it! Thanks for the insights about it and the other books…

  77. dontpanicdent says

    @nemoeac #83

    I took the tour of those books on Amazon and the Bible quote at the beginning of “The Fallacy Detective” bothered me too. After reading the quote and understanding its intent, combined with no other observable occurrences, I figured the authors included it just for the wider appeal (book sales) and maybe to also get good information to Christian families as well. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. After learning about the publisher and the mixed reviews related to this (thank you, SkyCaptain!!) and that “The Thinking Toolbox” had the same authors, it then put me on guard, like you.

    The books may still be a good introduction to how logic works, though, for two reasons: 1) They are quite engaging and challenging and informative about what branches of logic they’re examining and upfront about themselves and 2) Not all Christians or Christian authors are dishonest, as much as we might believe they are; given the apologetics and debates we are immersed in, we’re often guilty of our own fallacies of generalization and guilty-by-association conflations. I’d put it down to if Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein had a biblical quote at the beginning of one of their books when it provided context or insight (cherry-picking) and not necessarily a reflection of a belief system or the fundamentals of the material. Maybe, it’s just a tool to facilitate understanding and to sell books to the wider audience.

    Since you know what’s best for your kid, you might give those two books half a chance and go through them yourself as soon as you can find the time to make sure you’re still protecting them okay. (I get a lot of extra reading time on the toilet, myself, if that helps.) Besides, a review like that can’t hurt anyone and it won’t take a lot of time to proof them to your satisfaction. Shucks, since you spent the money on them, might as well see how useful they actually are before burning them, right? : )

    Still don’t know if RK was trying to burn you, but I doubt it. He’s often bombastic and overly blunt, but he really is an honest person. He values his “street cred” here and elsewhere more than playing games, as far as I’ve seen, which is healthy, so you might ease your mind on that score. When he helps, I think he’s really helping. Thank goodness for SkyCaptain coming through with his research again, though, eh?

    Would you, please, pass on what you learn of these books in the weeks to come?

    Cheers.

  78. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @dontpanicdent #84:

    he really is an honest person. He values his “street cred” here and elsewhere more than playing games

    Responding to threats to one’s “street cred” by well-poisoning that the authors are all crypto-theists/apologists is not honest. Doing so frequently, throughout the first months since arrival, to the regulars on an atheist blog, who’ve had years of familiarity with each other, is antithetical to earning acceptance. He persisted even after being informed that the behavior is counterproductive.
     
    Personal growth is possible, but I don’t think your characterization fits. Note that I’m focusing on behavior, whatever his values/goals are. If he wants to be honest, to be accepted, he can do better.

  79. nemoeac says

    @dontpanicdent #84

    Thanks for your comments. If I decide to read it, I’ll let you know what I think of it in more detail – but after flipping through it and read I’d just a few pages, I can say that the religious content is far more than simply a foreword or dedication at the beginning of the book as you suggest. There are biblical quotes strewn throughout. I also noticed at least one opinion-based answer to an exercise question which was supposed to be teaching logic. I don’t think that particular question was a good one to include and I’m pretty sure I disagree with their answer to that particular scenario.

    As far as RK goes, I will withhold my own personal judgement for now and give him the benefit of the doubt that this recommendation was an honest mistake. I guess it’s partly my fault too for jumping the gun and ordering it based on a single recommendation without doing any of my own reserarch to confirm its suitability. I should have known better and this serves as a good reminder to do that more and as a lesson in itself! 🙂

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