Pharyngula

Retraction

I earlier accused Vox Day of arguing that “murdering toddlers in the name of Jesus is defensible.”

He has since informed me that I have misinterpreted him.

Vox answers that offing two-year olds at the direct and 100-percent confirmed command of the Almighty is the moral act. Jesus never entered into it one way or another, let alone a self-motivated or (presumably) delusional act justified post facto by an exculpatory invocation of Jesus Christ’s name.

I had no idea that Vox was an adherent of the Arian heresy, but OK. It makes, of course, a huge difference in the moral status of the butchery of toddlers if it is done at God’s command (thumbs up!) vs. Jesus’s orders (no, no, no…although it does rather put a sinister twist on his command to “suffer the little children to come to me,” doesn’t it?). And getting an order to murder small children from God would never be a delusional or self-motivated act.

All clear on that, everyone? You have to get a note from God (not Jesus, that wimp) first, and then you can go on your killing spree.

Comments

  1. #1 Stanton
    February 14, 2007

    And this is supposed to make us respect him a little more HOW?

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    February 14, 2007

    Snicker!

    Why, PZ, I thought you were an atheist. Why are you talking about theological issues — like the heresy of Arius — you obviously don’t have the background to understand. It’s like. . . it’s like. . . it’s like you’re mocking the Emperor’s clothes without having picked up a needle!

  3. #3 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    Vox Day=David Koresh

  4. #4 Simple Country Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    How is the command confirmed? Is this merely a matter of the recipient reciting, even paraphrasing, the command back to the commander? Or does one require the order to be a written one with a confirming endorsement from the second in command? And who can endorse the order?

  5. #5 daenku32
    February 14, 2007

    Ah. Well of course, how could we have been so shortsighted and knee jerky.

  6. #6 Rey Fox
    February 14, 2007

    Oh, and is it a lackey writing there or is Teddy Boy really referring to himself or his alter ego in the third person? Just back away slowly, don’t make eye contact…

  7. #7 Monado
    February 14, 2007

    That’ll teach you to quote more accurately, I hope.

    Speaking of accuracy, here’s a hopeful sign: my pal and fellow blogger LotStreetWiz found a link to a site that has scientists on call so that celebrities can check their science before sounding off on miracle cures and the like.

  8. #8 coturnix
    February 14, 2007

    I wonder how God’s stationery looks like. And signature.

  9. #9 PZ Myers
    February 14, 2007

    Yes, that is Vox Day referring to himself in the third person.

    If he refers to himself in the third person and starts capitalizing the pronoun, I suggest that everyone lock up their children.

  10. #10 Orac
    February 14, 2007

    Here’s the most hilarious thing in that post.

    There is a significant difference between the two concepts. If I molest a parakeet, I can claim that I am doing so in Pharyngurl’s name on the basis of his writings on the evolutionary relationship between homo sapiens and aprosmictus erythropterus without Pharyngurl having any idea that anyone is pestering the poultry, much less harboring responsibility for telling me to do it.

    To Vox, evolutionary biology implies having sex with parakeets.

  11. #11 Tat
    February 14, 2007

    Murder of Children
    Jesus@heaven.god

    Kill your children.

    Re: Murder of Children
    God@heaven.god

    Concerning the prior email from Jesus, he’s correct and the order stands as if it came from Me.

    Confirmation
    Webmaster@heaven.god

    This is simply to confirm that God actually sent the preceding correspondence.

    Thank you for your time.

  12. #12 Carlie
    February 14, 2007

    I’m really glad he cleared that up, because otherwise people might think he was crazy or something.

  13. #13 BlueIndependent
    February 14, 2007

    Why converse with him using that insipid pen name? Whenever “Vox” comes by looking for a fight, just call him Ted, or Mr. Beale. He’s pretentious enough without us giving him the gratitude of using his false name.

  14. #14 gordonsowner
    February 14, 2007

    Isn’t there some argument, proof of transitivity by trinity, or something, that says that orders from God are from Jesus, and vice versa?

    Sure, they split hairs when they are on the defensive (although, like everybody else, i don’t see how this is helping), but when not defending, tout the triune nature of God!

    Seriously, following religious argument is like playing Mornington Crescent.

  15. #15 Chris
    February 14, 2007

    Well, it does seem that you’re misunderstanding him a little. I think he’s saying that if you’re SURE the command comes from God, it’s ok, but if you only THINK it comes from God, you’d better not kill anyone just yet.

    That still makes him an amoral son-of-a-bitch, though. If you can’t repudiate God when he orders you to murder children, then you’re a psychopath who relies on God’s judgment because you don’t have any of your own – a path which is incredibly dangerous even if you *do* have complete and accurate knowledge about God. (Just ask Jephthah, the guy who wasn’t quite as lucky as Abraham.)

    Since nobody *does* have 100% certain knowledge about God (although they may pretend otherwise), the real situation is even worse – you’re making moral decisions based on what you *think* God would want you to do, when you don’t even know whether or not God is good at all (having abandoned any attempt to establish standards for goodness and compare God to them) nor whether or not your ideas about his wishes are accurate.

  16. #16 Beren
    February 14, 2007

    So… the message consists of the following:
    1) Incontravertible proof that the sender is the almighty creator of the universe
    2) A non-ambiguous order to slaughter children

    I guess his point is that it’s possible that Jesus exists but is a less significant deity than he’d have you believe. (Which imaginary figure does Jesus whisper prayers to? :p)

    So, fine. The original fault still applies, of course: the message doesn’t contain proof that killing children is a necessary or morally valid action. He’s claiming that the creator of the universe has the right to order the annihiliation of any portion of that universe. Spread the news! Microsoft can order the deletion of all copies of Windows off of your computers! All parents can kill their children! If Harrison Ford or Stephen Spielberg ordered you to destroy your Indiana Jones DVDs, the only moral act would be to destroy them!

    It’s a silly thought exercise from the beginning, probably made for shock value. And it’s flawed: creation does not necessarily imply the right to destroy, and no reason is given as to why it should.

  17. #17 Dymphna
    February 14, 2007

    He’s claiming that the creator of the universe has the right to order the annihiliation of any portion of that universe.

    This is what he’s claiming, but he’s not alone in it: Kierkegaard called it the “teleological suspension of the ethical”, the idea that God is free to disregard the laws that He himself created. God is the sole creator and arbiter of morality, so, basically, He gets to do whatever He wants, regardless of whether it contradicts what he’s set down for the rest of us lower beings. God is unique in enjoying this freedom — so Microsoft, parents and George W. Bush can’t flagrantly ignore ethical laws, unless, of course, they have a signed and notarized note from God himself that it is His will that they do so. Vox isn’t saying anything new. And he obviously hasn’t put the thought into it that Kierkegaard did. Of course, Kierkegaard was a bit of a nut, but Vox certainly has him beat there, since he appears to be both mindless AND crazy. Very, very disturbing.

  18. #18 junk science
    February 14, 2007

    And this is supposed to make us respect him a little more HOW?

    Well, he’s basically admitting he would never kill toddlers because he doesn’t have the balls to act out his sociopathy “the direct and 100-percent confirmed command of the Almighty” would be impossible to verify objectively, because “the Almighty” doesn’t actually exist outside the minds of those who believe in it. So he’s letting us know he can be safely ignored.

  19. #19 Matt
    February 14, 2007

    I think Vox is getting unfairly singled out for admitting to the logical conclusion required by his faith. Anyone who follows traditional Christian doctrine and doesn’t hold the same position as Vox is conceding the absurdity of their own religion.

    On a number of occasions I’ve heard religious folks discussion how hard it would be to follow the example of Abraham who intended to sacrifice his son to God. But they never indicate that it was the wrong thing to do, or that perhaps Abraham had lost his mind, or that they would refuse to do it.

    I imagine most of these people would not actually go through with it, which may be the case for Vox as well, but he’s not unique in his belief that, at least in theory, ANYTHING God says is, um, gospel.

  20. #20 Narc
    February 14, 2007

    The obvious question, as others above have pointed out, how do you determine the order comes 100% from the Almighty? And if so which Almighty? I’m guessing if Osama bin Laden showed up on Vox’s doorstep saying “I have orders, 100% from the Almighty, to bump you off”, Vox is not going to lie down on the altar waiting for the sacrificial knife.

    It’s that whole “faith” thing again. My faith is 100% correct. Yours is nonsense.

  21. #21 The Aardvark
    February 14, 2007

    He’s pretentious enough without us giving him the gratitude of using his false name–BlueIndependent

    I’m fascinated that “BlueIndependent” is YOUR “true” name!

  22. #22 arghous
    February 14, 2007

    You’ll off two-year olds and you’ll like it!

  23. #23 The Aardvark
    February 14, 2007

    The REALLY funny part is that this “thought experiment” was put forth by one Jefferson, an apparent atheist on the blog.
    HI-larious!

  24. #24 The Aardvark
    February 14, 2007

    What credentials did Rocky list?
    Oh, wait, he offered facts that ran counter to the mainstream.
    Pretty darn arrogant, there, Rock…

  25. #25 Carlie
    February 14, 2007

    What is unique is the new convenant created between God and Abraham when God said stop

    Wouldn’t it have made more sense as a moral story then if Abraham had offered the sacrifice first and God said “Um, no thanks, I don’t work that way”? The way it’s written, it’s not as much of an example of how God differs from the other gods than it’s an example that he’s a sadistic bastard, putting Abraham and Isaac through hell for a day before pulling an Aston Kutcher punk’d on them.

  26. #26 Stanton
    February 14, 2007

    So, in otherwords, Rocky, if I got it into my head that God told me to become a serial killer in order to send as many toddlers to Heaven by burning them alive in my backyard, it’s okay to do so because I think that God told me to do so?

    I just want to know, because what Thomas Beale is saying is that he wants to broadcast the idea that his obedience to God is such that he’s more than willing to disregard all ideals and laws in order to prove his obedience, even if it means making him into a soulless monster.

  27. #27 dh
    February 14, 2007

    Carlie, et all..

    Can you provide some background on what other traditions and practices were common at the time of Abraham. Namely, what other beliefs led to child sacrifice?

    This is, in my experience, not a trivial thing to substantiate.

  28. #28 Matt
    February 14, 2007

    You don’t understand the story of Abraham.Says you. The cultural context of the story of Abraham is meaningless when the majority of Christians are unaware of it and do not incorporate it into their belief. The only salient point is that they believe that God can demand any action and that they are obliged to follow his commandments without question.

  29. #29 Sarcastro
    February 14, 2007

    It’s interesting how atheists and those completely unschooled in Biblical history, apologetics, and interpretation on this site offer funny little quips on God, His character, His logic, and His relationship with His followers.

    No, what’s interesting is the absurd assumption that an atheist can have no knowledge of Biblical history, interpretation or apologetics. I’m an atheist and I’ve got a degree in classical history. I guarantee your ass I know more about Biblical history than 99% of the Christians in this country.

    Yet at the same time ayone who has zero training in say biochemistry, archeology, mathematics etc. is laughed at they purport some insight into the validity of findings in those fields that may/may not support evolutionary science.

    False dichotomy. Science is not theology. Science expects results. And archaeology has little to nothing to do with evolution. Paleontology does.

    You can’t have it both way folks.

    Watch me.

    Learn something about what you are commenting or or shut up, or allow all voices to be heard on all topics.

    Your right to be heard is not a right not to be ridiculed because what you said is stupid.

    All one asks is consistency, which seems rare on the side that doesn’t salute the flag.

    All we ask for is intellectual rigor, which seems rare on the side that respects the flag but not the Constitution. But seriously, your desire for consistency is a desire to put theology on the same footing as science and, IMHO, that does a disservice to both science and faith.

    But what do I know? I’ve only studied, in depth, the mytho-historical basis of western civilization. I don’t have the all high and mighty qualifications in apologetics and theology that you can only get by forfeiting all rational thought.

  30. #30 Krystalline Apostate
    February 14, 2007

    dh:
    Can you provide some background on what other traditions and practices were common at the time of Abraham. Namely, what other beliefs led to child sacrifice?
    I can, & I’m an atheist! Oh, a flag-salutin’ 1 at that!
    Molech was actually a common cult in the times – the idol was actually a furnace. Men & women would chop off their naughty bits, & toss their infants into the fire.

    Rocky:
    What is unique is the new covenant created between God and Abraham when God said stop, defining a relationship with Him as unique to other Gods.
    What’s even UNIQUER, was this:
    Gen. 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
    Which reads (to me at least) that old Abe’s deity made a whole lotta promises about taking care of Isaac & HIS kids.
    Oh, wait: little voice in the head contradicting itself years later? Hmmmmm…maybe not so unique after all.

  31. #31 Another Rocky
    February 14, 2007

    I see there is another Rocky! I now need to change my screen name, as this guy is an idiot! God, or his version of god, is a sadistic nutcase. Reading the old testament, I notice god allows killing anyone in the way of the his chosen people taking their land. Criminal in the exteeme.
    Signing off as Rocky, don’t want to be confused with the nutcase above!

  32. #32 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    In fact, when I talk to Christians, I almost always find that I know more about the Bible than they do.

    Not me! I know more about the Bible and Physics than you.

  33. #33 Blake Stacey
    February 14, 2007

    Robert Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, chapter 4:

    Since fundamentalists insist the Bible is the revealed word of God and without error, you would think they’d have read it. But you’d often be wrong. I gave a listing of the sixty-six books in the King James Bible to a large sample of parents and asked them, “How many of these have you read, from beginning to end? (Example, if you have read parts of the Book of Genesis, but not all of it, that does not count.)” Nineteen percent of the Christian High fundamentalists said they had never read any of the books from beginning to end, which was neatly counterbalanced by twenty percent (but only twenty percent) who said they had read all sixty-six. (I tip my hat to anyone who put her head down and plowed through the first nine chapters of Chronicles I. Look it up.)

    On the average, the high fundamentalists said they had read about twenty of the books in the Bible–about a third of what’s there. So they may insist that the Bible is totally accurate in all that it teaches, but most of them have never read a lot of what they’re so sure of. They are likely, again, merely repeating something they were told while growing up, or accepted when they “got religion.” Most of them literally don’t know all that they’re talking about. (But they are Biblical scholars compared to others: Most of the non-fundamentalist parents had not read even one chapter.)

    This explains the results of a multiple-choice “Bible Quiz” I gave university students once. It was a very easy test in which I just asked which book in the Bible contains a famous story or quote. It was so easy because most of the possible answers I served up would be ridiculous to anyone who knew the Bible even superficially.

    For example, where in the Bible would one find the passage, “In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then the angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified…to you is born this day in the city of David a savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord”? The Gospel of Luke, The Book of Jeremiah, the Psalms, or Genesis? Since the last three are found in the Old Testament, and almost everyone who goes to a Christian church on Christmas hears this passage during the reading from the Gospels, the answer is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

    How about this one: Is the story of Samson and Delilah in Exodus, the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts of the Apostles, or Judges? (Most students thought Samson was writ up in Acts, maybe because he was an action-hero.) The other questions involved the location of, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life,” and who said, “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…If I have all faith as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing…And now faith, hope and love abide, these three: and the greatest of these is love.”

    The sample as a whole barely scored above chance on my four-question quiz, which makes sense when you recall that most of their parents had not even read one book in the Bible. But what surprised me no end was how poorly the fundamentalist students did: overall they got only a 60%. They did best on that much-advertised quotation from John 3:16–which three-fourths of the fundamentalists got right. But all of the questions were so easy, why didn’t they get an A+ instead of a D or an F?

    The answer appears to be that, while they may tell everyone the Bible contains God’s revealed truth to humanity, so everyone should read the Good Book, in truth they–like an awful lot of their parents–don’t know what’s in it because they haven’t read much of it either.

    I’ve also asked parents who do read the Bible how they decide what to read. Most fundamentalists said they read selected passages, which often were selected for them by their church, a Bible study group, the editor of a book of devotional readings, and so on. Very few bother to read all the infallible truth they say God has revealed. If you only get into heaven if you’ve been devoted enough to read the whole Bible, there’ll apparently be no line-up before St. Peter.

  34. #34 Xocolotl
    February 14, 2007

    Rocky #30, would you happen to know where I could find a source for that? Children are (at least prior to the industrial revolution) too economically valuable to sacrifice–you really need to keep them , especially in a pastoral society. I’d be interested to know what could lead to child sacrifice becoming acceptable. Maybe prolonged starvation?

  35. #35 grendelkhan
    February 14, 2007

    Please, please, please never let this tool drop acid. He might end up pulling an Andrea Yates and explaining very calmly in court that it was an obvious choice, and to not slice up those toddlers would have been simply immoral. Also, he’d try and use hoity-toity ancient Greek philosophy to throw a mustache on his insanity.

    What really gets me are the doe-eyed insistences that folks who prefer to rely on their innate moral sense are immoral because they could be convinced of anything–because they don’t have the unshakeable moral center rooted in listening to whatever voices pop into your head.

    See, I can’t even quote it without sounding snarky. I’m absolutely flabbergasted. Aren’t they supposed to weasel around this point? Delve into impressive- yet dull-sounding defenses of the finer theological points involved? Start talking about millions of abortions because they can’t tell the difference between a week-old fetus and a newborn? Say something about Stalin? Anything but admit you’d kill the babies–sheesh!

  36. #36 Another Rocky
    February 14, 2007

    Dorid, I personally don’t think the answer is any different that modern ethnic cleansing, it is and always has been killing for god to take someone’s land, women, water rights, etc, etc. Just an easy justification. It is bad enough that the old testament Hebrew’s think that hearing voices in their heads justify killing innocent persons. But modern people still use this retarded rational to kill each other for god. Orcinus recently had a great piece on intolerance of other peoples, and how religion was used over and over to justify killing anyone who is the “other” that needs to be controlled/eliminated.
    Dawkins is right, religion is a dangerous fallacy.

  37. #37 Another Rocky
    February 14, 2007

    Dorid, I personally don’t think the answer is any different that modern ethnic cleansing, it is and always has been killing for god to take someone’s land, women, water rights, etc, etc. Just an easy justification. It is bad enough that the old testament Hebrew’s think that hearing voices in their heads justify killing innocent persons. But modern people still use this retarded rational to kill each other for god. Orcinus recently had a great piece on intolerance of other peoples, and how religion was used over and over to justify killing anyone who is the “other” that needs to be controlled/eliminated.
    Dawkins is right, religion is a dangerous fallacy.

  38. #38 AR
    February 14, 2007

    Double post, sorry!

  39. #39 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    In Hannah Arendt’s book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, the philosopher describes how Nazi executioners endured the horrible acts they performed.

    The difference is the reality not the childish question posed for a “thought” excersise. The question was posed to Vox by an Atheist. Guess ya’ll wasn’t told that? The answer to the question was a simple answer to a stupid question as God has not comanded such atrocity to the Christian. We live under the new covenant and Jesus is God’s Word and the Word is Jesus.

    The problem that atheist have is they read the Bible like a literary work, The Christian should read it like it is a person, and that person is Jesus, the Christ.

  40. #40 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    Umm… yeah… whatever.

    The god of the bible never killed innocents?

    Take the crazy somewhere else.

  41. #41 windy
    February 14, 2007

    Can you provide some background on what other traditions and practices were common at the time of Abraham. Namely, what other beliefs led to child sacrifice?

    The belief that Jehovah craved the sweet savour of burnt animal offerings might offer a hint?

  42. #42 stogoe
    February 14, 2007

    I’m so sorry we’re treating you with disdain, ‘the physicist’, but we’re just a little tired out from the eighty thousand times we’ve refuted your exact same arguments in the past year. Forgive us if we’re a little testy about some of the stupider canards.

  43. #43 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    I’m so sorry we’re treating you with disdain, ‘the physicist’, but we’re just a little tired out from the eighty thousand times we’ve refuted your exact same arguments in the past year. Forgive us if we’re a little testy about some of the stupider canards.

    I must be missing something, no one here has ever refuted “My Arguments”. Unless “Whatever” is a valid argument over here.

  44. #44 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    I’m superior to your god.

    I exist.

    I remember a story in the bible about something called passover, where the first born of egypt were exterminated by god.

  45. #45 John
    February 14, 2007

    I know I am feeding the troll, but I feel like it deserves a chance to prove it’s not a troll.

    The Physicist wrote:
    “The answer to the question was a simple answer to a stupid question as God has not comanded [sic] such atrocity to the Christian. We live under the new covenant and Jesus is God’s Word and the Word is Jesus.”

    The old testament is FULL of instances of god ordering that settlements be razed, or destroying them himself. Or are you arguing that the infants in Soddom were guilty of something? Or are you arguing that god commanded the ancient Jews to kill innocents, not Christians? If you are, why does that matter? It’s the same god, right? I am not trying to be flippant, I really want to understand your point of view about this. After all, you claim to know more about the bible and physics than the rest of us. This should be an easy one.

  46. #46 windy
    February 14, 2007

    The difference is the reality not the childish question posed for a “thought” excersise. The question was posed to Vox by an Atheist. Guess ya’ll wasn’t told that?

    It was frigging obvious that Vox answered a question/hypothetical from someone else. Why does it matter who asked the question? His answer was still reprehensible.

    But I guess this takes care of all those inane hypotheticals that Christians like to ask atheists! (Like why we don’t put our dead out with the trash) Thanks, Physicist!

  47. #47 Matt
    February 14, 2007

    I must be missing something, no one here has ever refuted “My Arguments”.

    Well, for instance you’re argument about the “problem” atheists have with how they read the bible…

    I don’t know about other atheists (we aren’t organized, ya know), but my problem is with how Christian’s read the bible. Some say it’s a literal retelling of historical events. Others say that such an interpretation is absurd and that the bible is clearly a work of allegory and metaphor. The first group thinks the second group is absurd. Other groups identify some portions as literal and others as allegorical. This is not an uncommon complaint, so I’m surprised that you think it’s never been addressed.

    Now you come along and happily declare that the bible needs to be “read like it is a person” and presume that our problem is that we haven’t been doing so. Has it not occurred to you that you’re just one more voice in the cacophony of Christian voices telling us (and each other) the correct way to consume their ancient texts?

  48. #48 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    I think he’s arguing that Jesus is God 2.0. The more compassionate all loving version.

    God 2.0 is different and would never ask someone to kill a 2 year old.

    But if he did, since whatever God 2.0 wants is moral…

    I’m better than God 2.0 too.

  49. #49 Tom Foss
    February 14, 2007

    The answer to the question was a simple answer to a stupid question as God has not comanded such atrocity to the Christian. We live under the new covenant and Jesus is God’s Word and the Word is Jesus.

    I see, so your way around this is the fact that most of the atrocities committed and ordered by God were from the OT, and were therefore asked of Jews, right? And if you want to get technical, most NT atrocities weren’t asked of Christians because there couldn’t be Christians until after Christ’s resurrection?

    So, tell me, did God change after forming the new covenant? Is God now the same God who once killed every living thing (minus one boatful) on Earth? The same God who ordered a man to impregnate his dead brother’s wife and then killed him for failing to go through with the act? Or did the “new covenant” wipe all that away?

    The problem that atheist have is they read the Bible like a literary work, The Christian should read it like it is a person, and that person is Jesus, the Christ.

    What the hell does this even mean? How do you read a person? Are you saying that the Bible isn’t literally true, but is somehow symbolically evocative of Jesus?

    Not that I think it’s either one, of course, I just want to hear the reasoning behind this. This particular flavor of insanity is new to me.

  50. #50 Jess Mills
    February 14, 2007

    It seems rather interesting to me that several posters on here are castigating fundamentalists for their lack of direct knowledge of the Bible, and yet have not read Vox Day’s actual post. Relying on someone else’s interpretation of the post is as faulty as the behavior you are ridiculing.

    Either that, or you are simply incapable of following a logic-based thought experiment to its natural conclusion. Regardless of whether you believe in God, the sanctity of Christ, the value of human life, or the wrongness of murder – if you do not like the conclusion Vox came to, you should first examine the requirements of the question!

    1) There has to be a God
    2) This is the Creator of ALL things
    3) He (or She or It) has to communicate with you
    4) There is NO DOUBT about the nature of this communication

    All objections raised so far are towards one of these points (and they do make for a ridiculously “straw-man” kind of argument). But those points are necessary for the question to be answered at all, much less in the way he did. To try to bring his “I’d kill the kids” into the real world without bringing those premises with you is pure B.S.

    I am indeed a regular reader here, and for the most part, I highly enjoy PZ’s writings. I am embarassed for him on this one, though, as it casts him in the same light that he so rightly condemns others for.

    Admitting you are wrong is tough, I know. But my respect for PZ is greatly lessened by this whole incident.

  51. #51 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    Well even if 1-4 are true, a moral person’s take would be… Sorry. Won’t do it.

    Why is that hard to understand? Vox is willing to kill 2 year olds if he was asked by god.

  52. #52 windy
    February 14, 2007

    The answer to the question was a simple answer to a stupid question as God has not comanded such atrocity to the Christian. We live under the new covenant and Jesus is God’s Word and the Word is Jesus.

    But Vox said we don’t have to listen to Jesus!

  53. #53 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    The old testament is FULL of instances of god ordering that settlements be razed, or destroying them himself. Or are you arguing that the infants in Soddom were guilty of something? Or are you arguing that god commanded the ancient Jews to kill innocents, not Christians? If you are, why does that matter? It’s the same god, right? I am not trying to be flippant, I really want to understand your point of view about this. After all, you claim to know more about the bible and physics than the rest of us. This should be an easy one.

    You are correct God killed all those people. Now maybe I can answer a couple questions that I have seen. The Bible with out the magisterium and the HS is just a book. I’m Catholic ya see, and I don’t pretend to interpret the Bible for myself. It has been interpreted by greater men than I, the doctors and fathers of the Church. This is how I know how to read the Bible, not because I want it to say something it doesn’t say that many self-interpreters do.

    As to your questions about how God killed all these Innocent people, there was always a reason, and you have to read it is Christ is the center of the book. All things point to Christ and his comming. Let’s just take the flood for example. God killed everyone but Noah and a few was this a bad thing?

    Absolutley not, the reasons stated is that they were evil and were trying to (the sons of God)keep jesus from coming by spoiling the genetic line, so he plastered them. There could be no salvation accept though Christ after the fall of Adam.

    He protected his investment. The Christian believes that God in his love came to save us. He could have made robots that always obeyed, but what would be the point, robots can’t love. God see’s the smallest acts of charity in the sinner and smiles, whether Christian or not, because when we do the things that are pleasing to him we become more like him.

    The flood was a foreshadowing of the sacrament of baptism, where water washes away sin and this was instituted by Christ himself. It is a cleansing from original sin and one of the keys to salvation. Salvation is what is important to God and those who love him. In the end when death chokes us from this life we will be given a final choice, and you get to choose, heaven or hell. Remember we choose, the gates of hell are locked from the inside as C.S Lewis says.

  54. #54 Ichthyic
    February 14, 2007

    To Vox, evolutionary biology implies having sex with parakeets.

    nawww, really he was just trying to find a good fit for himself.

    I bet he gets lots of those “male enhancement” emails.

  55. #55 Krystalline Apostate
    February 14, 2007

    Jess:
    Either that, or you are simply incapable of following a logic-based thought experiment to its natural conclusion. Regardless of whether you believe in God, the sanctity of Christ, the value of human life, or the wrongness of murder – if you do not like the conclusion Vox came to, you should first examine the requirements of the question!
    You’re kidding, right? All 4 of your points are a given.
    As the majority of folks here are atheists (I assume) – the supernatural is subtracted.
    Ergo, it becomes a matter of just how crazed the entire idea is.
    You may also want to re-read the post. PZ says:
    It makes, of course, a huge difference in the moral status of the butchery of toddlers if it is done at God’s command (thumbs up!) vs. Jesus’s orders (no, no, no…although it does rather put a sinister twist on his command to “suffer the little children to come to me,” doesn’t it?).
    I have to admit, I’m a little embarrassed for you.

  56. #56 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    I’ll be out for about an hour then I’ll check back.

  57. #57 Ichthyic
    February 14, 2007

    I am indeed a regular reader here, and for the most part, I highly enjoy PZ’s writings. I am embarassed for him on this one, though, as it casts him in the same light that he so rightly condemns others for.

    very nice bit of concern trolling.

    you might try:

    *tsk* *tsk*

    next time; more concise.

  58. #58 grendelkhan
    February 14, 2007

    Chinchillazilla: you’re tilting at windmills. The Physicist hasn’t just ceded his mental independence by picking a book to base his entire life on; he’s ceded more of his mental independence by declining to even read it himself, rather letting a pack of scam artists do it for him.

    So, it’s either “they had it coming”, “works in mysterious ways”, or possibly even “shut up! you’ll get yours some day!”.

  59. #59 Steve_C
    February 14, 2007

    I see posts like The P’s and just think… wow that’s alot to keep straight.
    He must love him some church. I find the concept of original sin funny too. Such a silly concept. You have to believe in Creationism for it all to function.

  60. #60 Pablo
    February 14, 2007

    Seems to me Vox Day has answered your critique on his blog.

  61. #61 Mike Haubrich
    February 14, 2007

    Rocky: “All one asks is consistency, which seems rare on the side that doesn’t salute the flag.”

    How can you salute the flag when you have yourself wrapped up so tightly in it?

  62. #62 Russell Blackford
    February 14, 2007

    I take it that all he’s trying to say is that he subscribes to the divine command theory of ethics. That’s bad enough, but I don’t see any reason to read it more uncharitably than that.

  63. #63 jre
    February 14, 2007

    If I molest a parakeet, I can claim that I am doing so in Pharyngurl’s name …

    Hmmm … Now, as I recall, a similar remark earned Box Turtle Ben Domenech the sobriquet he will now bear for the rest of his life.

    “…And that bridge,” said the young man. “Do you see that stone bridge? I built that with my bare hands, piling stones and spreading mortar. And do you think they call me Ben the bridge-builder? No, they do not. That is not my name.”

    The man threw back his whiskey, hiccuped, and roared …
    [transmission fades; see link]

    OK, here goes:

    “Parakeet Teddy Beale”

    I like the sound of that!

  64. #64 Jess Mills
    February 14, 2007

    To grendelkahn: Number 3 being possible and it actually happening are two separate things. It is possible that an alien civilization is using my brain waves to hatch a plot to destroy humanity. Somehow, though – I don’t really worry about it. It IS possible, though. And for number 4… Heh.

    As for my faith – well, if you look at the definition of faith and then the parameters of the question, you’ll see faith plays NO part of it. Which is also why the Abraham comparison is also rather moot. Abraham was capable of doubting it was God talking to him, or the wisdom thereof. In the parameters of the question as posed to Vox, no doubt was allowed.

    To Krystalline Apostate:

    Why are 1 – 4 a given? To the question? Yes, which leaves no real answer possible other Vox’s. To the people posting here? Hardly. Or over on Vox’s site, either.

    As far as whether Vox believes in 1 – 4; well, I’ve been reading his columns and occasionally his blog for several months, and he’s never given any indication that God talks to him.

    To ichthyic: I’ve been reading PZ’s blog with delight for somewhat over a year. Oddly, it was one of his columns that introduced me to Vox Day, over a column concerning rape. I remember thinking that no rational person could possibly take the position that PZ indicated Vox did. And sure enough, though rather controversial, Vox’s position on that subject too was completely misrepresented by PZ. I’m sure there’s a history there (between the two) that I am not privy to, but it seems kind of suspect.

    Oh well, I’m not going to quit reading either columnist, though my personal preferences run more to Phil Plait. And if that makes me a troll, well… We have a different definition then. And that’s okay. I doubt anything I say on here will change anybody’s mind anyway.

    To Pablo: I just revisited Vox’s blog, and he does indeed answer all these topics.

  65. #65 llewelly
    February 14, 2007

    The problem that atheist have is they read the Bible like a literary work, The Christian should read it like it is a person, and that person is Jesus, the Christ.

    I was raised LDS. I read the Bible like it was a person. I became convinced it was a crazy person.

  66. #66 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Exodus 12:29. Got kills all the firstborn in Egypt.

    Let me help you with this one and maybe you will start to see a pattern here. I’m not calling names.

    The Exodus was another fore shadowing of Christ. The first born were killed to save his people and amplified by the Passover; wherein The blood of a lamb =(Christ the Lam of God) smeared on the door posts = (the cross) the were charged then to eat the slaghtered lamb with unleaven bread =(the Body of Christ or the Eucharistic sacrament institued at the last supper)which by death passes over his children

    When you look at the shortness of this life and read the Bible in context, there is dozens of prophesies fullfilled in Christ, by metaphor and word.

    See, Isaiah says that he pierced and wounded for our transgression, this book was written hundreds of years before Crucifixion was invented. If you take all the prophesies and put them together the probability of this alone for one man, in a narrow window of time, born in the right place are astronomical. On this alone one should take pause.

  67. #67 rrt
    February 14, 2007

    Jess, either I’m misunderstanding YOU, or you’re missing the point. You say:

    “Why are 1 – 4 a given? To the question? Yes, which leaves no real answer possible other Vox’s.”

    Am I correct in rephrasing this to say that, assuming your propositions 1-4 are correct, there is no possible action other than to go ahead and commit the (generally recognized as) horrible act? Because if so, that’s where many of us disagree. We would refuse.

  68. #68 BlueIndependent
    February 14, 2007

    Rocky: “It’s interesting how atheists and those completely unschooled in Biblical history, apologetics, and interpretation on this site offer funny little quips on God, His character, His logic, and His relationship with His followers. Yet at the same time ayone who has zero training in say biochemistry, archeology, mathematics etc. is laughed at they purport some insight into the validity of findings in those fields that may/may not support evolutionary science. You can’t have it both way folks. Learn something about what you are commenting or or shut up, or allow all voices to be heard on all topics. All one asks is consistency, which seems rare on the side that doesn’t salute the flag.

    All one asks is consistency? You’re an easy sell apparently. I tend to want to be consistently on the right side of an issue, not simply consistent. The republicans are consistent for sure…consistently wrong. But consistency is not the way of things in a changing world, and never has been. I detect the “morale relativism” charge in your tone. Please spare me.

    You may be surprised to know many of the atheists here grew up in religious households and attended church and private schools early in their life. In fact PZ is one such individual. How is he NOT qualified to comment on the Bible? Can you prove he missed all the requisite Bible training as a child? I’d like to see your answer to this one.

    Secondly, anyone without training in the sciences appropriate to this blog should expect to get their butts handed to them if they start talking in certainties that are based on misconceptions (many of which disseminated by even more ignorant Sunday morning preachers). I don’t go into my doctor’s office and start lecturing him about how to treat me based on a TV commercial, or to a physicist and tell him how I think things are and expect them to write everything down and get to work on it after reading a Stephen Hawking book. You betray any level of intelligence you wanted to put forth on this blog with such a vapid argument.

    As for your assumption that we don’t salute the flag, I would ask you to back up your highly dubious claim without using minority scenarios. Putting on a set of iron testicles from behind a keyboard is real easy. Why not just admit you don’t like dissenting opinions based on fact? There’s all kinds of Middle Eastern countries that could use unquestioning followers.

    Lastly, when you ask a question, listen to the answer. You do not seem genuine in your inquiries about evolution, and only seem to want to reaffirm yourself, instead of listening to the answer to your challenge. This is what kills me about arrogant bloggers on here coming in like they own intelligence because the Bible gives them their orders. Either you’re going to ask a question to get an answer to a begging question, or your just here to spew some BS groupthink. If you’re not going to give credence to an answer that happens to shoot your preconceptions down, don’t expect to get treated well. A kid in grade school doesn’t get away with a mouth like that, and you shouldn’t as an adult.

  69. #69 windy
    February 14, 2007

    Let’s just take the flood for example. God killed everyone but Noah and a few was this a bad thing? Absolutley not, the reasons stated is that they were evil and were trying to (the sons of God)keep jesus from coming by spoiling the genetic line, so he plastered them.

    Oh, that’s all right then! They were spoiling genetic lines so they had to die. Hmm, sounds kind of familiar…

  70. #70 Stephen Wells
    February 14, 2007

    So, “Physicist”, regardless of whether the Exodus is a foreshadowing of Christ or not- did it actually take place? That is, are you trying to show that there wasn’t a literal slaughter of the firstborn, just a _story_ about it? Or are you saying that it did occur, with accompanying mass deaths, and that this _event_ is also a foreshadowing?

  71. #71 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Stephen, oh no I’m not saying this didn’t occur. The metaphor I am speaking of is Christs coming, all these things did occur.

  72. #72 Stephen Wells
    February 14, 2007

    So you believe an event involving mass slaughter took place, by God’s direct action, but that that’s perfectly morally OK?

    Ugh.

  73. #73 Jason
    February 14, 2007

    The Physicist,

    As to your questions about how God killed all these Innocent people, there was always a reason, and you have to read it is Christ is the center of the book. All things point to Christ and his comming. Let’s just take the flood for example. God killed everyone but Noah and a few was this a bad thing? Absolutley not, the reasons stated is that they were evil and were trying to (the sons of God)keep jesus from coming by spoiling the genetic line, so he plastered them.

    What, even the babies and little children? Even the animals? They were all “evil” too, were they?

    The Christian believes that God in his love came to save us. He could have made robots that always obeyed, but what would be the point, robots can’t love.

    So if you’re “saved” and go to Heaven when you die, do you become a “robot,” incapable of love, or do you retain the capacity to choose “evil” through “free will?” If the latter, how can Heaven be perfect if it contains evil?

  74. #74 Chris
    February 14, 2007

    Can you provide some background on what other traditions and practices were common at the time of Abraham. Namely, what other beliefs led to child sacrifice?
    I can, & I’m an atheist! Oh, a flag-salutin’ 1 at that!
    Molech was actually a common cult in the times – the idol was actually a furnace. Men & women would chop off their naughty bits, & toss their infants into the fire.

    And we know this, because the Hebrews were kind enough to record the details for us and document in detail exactly what their hated enemies were doing. Of course we can take them at their word about it!

    Do you really think that propaganda wasn’t invented until the 20th century?

    Like cannibalism, child sacrifice is always something that the Scary People from the Other Tribe do… unlike cannibalism there isn’t even the weak evidence of parasites that may have spread through the practice (or could have spread in some other way, so we don’t really know).

  75. #75 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    What, even the babies and little children? Even the animals? They were all “evil” too, were they?

    My dear Jason you have heard but not understood, these little ones that were “killed” died in the flesh and God gave them eternal life. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirit, the words of Jesus.

    So if you’re “saved” and go to Heaven when you die, do you become a “robot,” incapable of love, or do you retain the capacity to choose “evil” through “free will?” If the latter, how can Heaven be perfect if it contains evil?

    You make the choice where you want to go. Do you want to serve God, or do you want to serve yourself, it is your choice. The theological question as to free will in heaven is answered by a simple yes, I will serve, otherwise you will not. Will you on earth serve your parents when they are older, will you be charitable in your community. It is not a hard question just a hard saying.

  76. #76 Anton Mates
    February 14, 2007

    To Vox, evolutionary biology implies having sex with parakeets.

    Be fair: To Vox, everything implies having sex with parakeets.

    “Parakeet Teddy.” Heh.

  77. #77 Carlie
    February 14, 2007

    My dear Jason you have heard but not understood, these little ones that were “killed” died in the flesh and God gave them eternal life. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirit, the words of Jesus.

    Wait, wait, wait. Now we’re back to killing babies is ok, because they were below the age of reason and therefore went to Heaven, so therefore killing children is better for them than letting them live because if they age, they will begin to commit sins and be doomed to hell. That would mean all pregnant women should get abortions, or failing that should commit infanticide, to ensure that their precious children make it into Heaven. Right?

  78. #78 Jason
    February 14, 2007

    The Physicist,

    My dear Jason you have heard but not understood, these little ones that were “killed” died in the flesh and God gave them eternal life.

    So the slaughter of every innocent child and baby on the planet (not to mention all the animals) except the few that Noah saved isn’t really a bad thing, because they got eternal life? Is that what you’re saying? I somehow doubt you’d feel that way if it were your own child that were killed.

    The theological question as to free will in heaven is answered by a simple yes, I will serve, otherwise you will not. Will you on earth serve your parents when they are older, will you be charitable in your community. It is not a hard question just a hard saying.

    This is not responsive to my question. You claimed that if we didn’t have the ability to disobey God, we’d just be “robots,” incapable of love. So if we die and go to Heaven, do we become loveless “robots,” or do we retain our ability to disobey God?

  79. #79 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Wait, wait, wait. Now we’re back to killing babies is ok, because they were below the age of reason and therefore went to Heaven, so therefore killing children is better for them than letting them live because if they age, they will begin to commit sins and be doomed to hell. That would mean all pregnant women should get abortions, or failing that should commit infanticide, to ensure that their precious children make it into Heaven. Right?

    Carlie, I don’t know if you meant this as a joke, I however know that you were being sarcastic. No one is doomed to hell as I told you. Christ came to save us from death. The Old Testament prefigures all of this. Your idea of life is what you see, while your idea of morality is what you feel; both of which are inconguent with God who we cannot fully understand until we meet him.

  80. #80 Carlie
    February 14, 2007

    I’m not joking. That was one thing I could never quite understand, how people who were supposed to be looking forward to the next life were so scared of it – opposing the right to choose to die, always being the ones who threw themselves most after any medical practice to cheat death, always being much more sad at funerals than nontheists. Either death is a release and you look forward to it no matter what, or it’s not. I don’t understand that middle ground they claim to hold. And it’s not for lack of exposure or knowledge; I used to be a fundamentalist evangelical Southern Baptist. I memorized the Romans Road and the ABCs of Salvation and the little blue tracts, went to people’s houses and tried to convert them, taught Bible studies and small groups and VBS, went to church three times a week and then some. And now that I look at it critically, it just doesn’t make sense. Any of it. Especially the parts about slaughtering innocents but that’s OK because God said it was.

  81. #81 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    That’s alright Carlie, you seem to be a person of love. Don’t worry, God has a plan for you and he will not discard you like a piece of trash. I love you too.

  82. #82 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Remember Carlie, Thomas could not believe either.

  83. #83 windy
    February 14, 2007

    Do you want to serve God…
    When you kneel before God..

    You know, if all that kneeling and serving and kowtowing to someone gets you off, I hope you find an understanding partner right here on Earth.

  84. #84 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Jason

    I have answered your questions in detail, they will not change.

  85. #85 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    You know, if all that kneeling and serving and kowtowing to someone gets you off, I hope you find an understanding partner right here on Earth.

    Windy, I tell you truth, you are free to reject it.

  86. #86 llewelly
    February 14, 2007

    No one who enters heaven does so without love, there is no lying to God. No one who enters hell does not do it by choice.

    Do you know why the Mormons believe in ‘Outer Darkness’ and not Hell?
    Their engineers and construction workers couldn’t believe anyone would choose, of their own free agency, to sin so much as to be sent to Hell.
    So they didn’t bother to implement that part of the design …

  87. #87 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    No you haven’t. You said that they are the “wrong questions” and ignored them. I can only assume you have no answers to them. You don’t seem to have thought through your theology very carefully.

    Yes, so you say. Let me answer your question with one. Do you believe you can lie to the God of the Bible without him knowing it? If you answer no, then your question is answered that they will serve by free will. If you answer yes, then you do not believe the Bible. Either way your question is answered, you either believe or don’t, you either will or won’t.

  88. #88 rrt
    February 14, 2007

    We’ve seen “I’ve already answered that so I’m not going to answer it” before, Physicist. Just FYI.

    Regarding Thomas: Sir, how were Thomas’ (alleged) circumstances remotely similar to what we have today? He had material evidence! Why would you even mention that here?

  89. #89 Krystalline Apostate
    February 14, 2007

    Physicist:

    See, Isaiah says that he pierced and wounded for our transgression, this book was written hundreds of years before Crucifixion was invented.

    Ummm…noooo…that was Psalms.

    If you take all the prophesies and put them together the probability of this alone for one man, in a narrow window of time, born in the right place are astronomical. On this alone one should take pause.

    See, w/the wild use of allegory, you can make the wholly bibble SAY ANYTHING YOU LIKE.
    Oh, also if you pull shit outta context too…I could (probably) easily juxtapose 5-7 verses to prove that the bibble predicted JFK’s assassination, Obama’s run for the presidency, or the day chicken soup was created.
    It’s a maddening set of documents, all rightie. Microsoft writes better operator’s manuals, fer cryin’ out loud.

  90. #90 John
    February 14, 2007

    Physicist,
    I would like to ask a couple of related follow up questions. Unfortunately, I have to ramble a bit to set the questions up. Please be patient.
    If I understand mainstream Christian dogma correctly, everyone is damned for the sins of Adam and Eve. This original sin is the source of all the trouble, right? Christianity claims that the sacrifice of Jesus is the only way to atone for this sinful state. It further requires that one accept Jesus as your personal savior. Admittedly, Christian Universalists would disagree about that last bit.

    Your above statements about the fate of infants murdered by god don’t seem to allow for original sin. If someone dies before they have a chance to accept Jesus, they still have all that original sin dragging them into hell, right? The Catholics used to have limbo as their out–virtuous pagans and infants wouldn’t be actively tortured, just denied the presence of god.

    So if I understand original sin correctly, all those infants are damned.

    Of course, I may be mistaken. After all, I am not a Christian and never have been. But, if I am mistaken, all those infants get into heaven. This creates a bit of problem for you though. As a good Christian, you want to maximize the number of people going to heaven. If dead infants go to heaven, it seems the most pragmatic choice is to kill as many infants as possible. I am not being sarcastic or trying to offend you or any other Christians here. Could you please explain how your theology resolves this paradox?

  91. #91 llewelly
    February 14, 2007

    Do you believe you can lie to the God of the Bible without him knowing it?

    Fortunately that God doesn’t exist. If it did, the behavior described in the Bible is so insane and mercurial there would be realistic hope it would judge one’s actions in a predictable fashion.

  92. #92 windy
    February 14, 2007

    Do you believe you can lie to the God of the Bible without him knowing it? If you answer no, then your question is answered that they will serve by free will.

    And after the revolution, all the workers will be free to choose, but they *will* choose Marxism.

    Interesting argument though… so why doesn’t it work the same on Earth? People can’t lie to God without him knowing it, so why don’t they all serve him “by free will” now?

  93. #93 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Of course, I may be mistaken. After all, I am not a Christian and never have been. But, if I am mistaken, all those infants get into heaven. This creates a bit of problem for you though. As a good Christian, you want to maximize the number of people going to heaven. If dead infants go to heaven, it seems the most pragmatic choice is to kill as many infants as possible. I am not being sarcastic or trying to offend you or any other Christians here. Could you please explain how your theology resolves this paradox?

    You are not offending me these are actually excellent questions. Hoo Raaah or what ever the marines say. God’s plan is not dependat on us about who lives or dies. Ya see, maybe I could come hear as the son of a poor worker and help God by talking to you. He is the author of life, why would you want to discedit that if you believed. He made me for you, and he made you for me.

  94. #94 Jason
    February 14, 2007

    The Physicist,

    Windy has gotten to the point of one of my earlier questions. Presumably, you do not believe that those in Heaven are “robots.” You believe that they possess the “free will” needed to “disobey” God, but that they always choose to obey God. So the question is, if one can have free will but always choose good (i.e., always choose to obey God), why didn’t God create us mortals in that way? If the inhabitants of Heaven can have free will but always choose good, why can’t we? For that matter, why didn’t God create us such that more of us choose good more often? Why didn’t he create us to be more like Gandhi and less like Hitler?

  95. #95 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Another obvious question: How can anyone be truly happy in Heaven knowing that others, including perhaps their own loved ones, are suffering in Hell?

    You puzzle me, how can a man be happy about the choices of his daughter or son. They are independent beings with free will, they chose, it is not too difficult. Life on earth is not so much different, Anna Nichole Smith chose death or was murdered because of her choices. It is about choice.

  96. #96 Kseniya
    February 14, 2007

    So you’re pro-choice?

  97. #97 NelC
    February 14, 2007

    Physicist, you say I can choose to serve God, or choose to serve myself. Actually, I could choose to serve Vishnu, or Zeus, or Crow, or Bigfellahimbelongsky, all of whom ask me to serve them in different ways. Or I could choose to not serve any of these entities, but still honour my father and mother, and do a bunch of other things that your bible and my conscience tell me are honorable.

    You are arrogant. Your way is not the only way, and you just make yourself ridiculous with your contorted logic.

  98. #98 Kseniya
    February 14, 2007

    Jason. Because exercise of Free Will is the most important act in the Universe. God wills that we have Free Will. Those who suffer in Hell do so for the best of all possible reasons.

    With that in mind, if He showed up and told me to go out and kill every child under the age of 2 that I could find, I’d tell him to go fuck himself.

  99. #99 John
    February 14, 2007

    Physicist, you did not answer my question in a way I can understand.
    Perhaps I should be clearer about the sort of answers that I find intelligible.

    I asked about god’s murder of infants. Either (1) they are damned to hell because of original sin, or (2) they get a free pass and move on to Heaven.

    Which is it? Option 1 or 2?

    If you choose 1, I don’t think further discussion would be productive. It is unlikely that you could convince me that a deity who would commit such acts is worthy of worship.

    If you choose option 2, why aren’t you murdering infants? Even if the murder of infants would damn you to hell, surely ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.’

    To be honest, I am not expecting a straight answer out of you. So far you have come across as arrogant and self righteous. Perhaps you are not a troll, but are genuinely trying to witness to a bunch of heathens. But your attitude, and your inability or unwillingness to answer simple questions ensures that you will accomplish nothing here.

  100. #100 Jason
    February 14, 2007

    Kseniya,

    Jason. Because exercise of Free Will is the most important act in the Universe. God wills that we have Free Will. Those who suffer in Hell do so for the best of all possible reasons.

    Well, that’s one answer. I wonder if it would be The Physicist’s answer. I can think of several problems with it. I know you’re playing Devil’s Advocate. I’d like to know what The Physicist’s answer is.

  101. #101 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    It’s interesting how atheists and those completely unschooled in Biblical history, apologetics, and interpretation on this site offer funny little quips on God, His character, His logic, and His relationship with His followers.

    Aside from the sheer stupidity of this comment as it can be said of any follower of any other religion as well such as ‘It’s interesting how jews and those completely unschooled in Islamic history and so on’ it has been my observation and experience that atheists and agnostic know the bible better than 90+% of the claimed believers I know and have known.

    And to say you know of Gods logic is simply silly, if he gave us reason surely it must at least greater than our own correct?

  102. #102 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    Whats interesting is that according to Physicist here Jesus is notthe only way to Heaven. Apparently there is a 2 tiered system:

    these little ones that were “killed” died in the flesh and God gave them eternal life.

    So the drowning and suffering they experienced where harmless blips. Well this is silly since there was no world wide flood. Likewise by your own statements you show that Jesus isn’t the only way to Heaven. This is also along with making a pretty excellent case for aborting any and all future human beings so they maybe sent to Heaven. What greater hero to you can there everbe than someone who would sacrifice themselves to end the potential lives of millions of the unborn so they may go to eternal bliss.

    And:

    Because none believed he could do any miracles, therefore free will is necessary for salvation. He cannot save you unless you choose

    Not only do you think Jesus unnecessary to get into Heaven but you also think his death was meaningless without a work onyour part. So what exactly did he do when he diedon the cross? He either removed the worlds sins or he didn’t. It’s either or.

  103. #103 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    And to say you know of Gods logic is simply silly, if he gave us reason surely it must at least greater than our own correct?

    I have made no such claim, quite the opposite in fact. It is what I have been saying. You say you know the Bible better than me, did you not know that the passover was the prefiguration of the last supper or did you know that the flood was the prefiguration of baptism. I have told you both and have paraphased the bible throughout, you offer nothing but a claim that you know more.

    The fact is, you don’t understand what the Bible means and I even wonder if you know what it says.

  104. #104 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Whats interesting is that according to Physicist here Jesus is notthe only way to Heaven. Apparently there is a 2 tiered system:

    My dear friend,you have some serious reading comprehension problems. I said Christ is the center of the Bible, that his coming was fortold, and that people died so the prefiguration and lineage would be secured and was chastised for it.

    Now you guys need to get on the same page and learn what the meaning of words are.

  105. #105 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    Hahahaha, thats funny. 1. I never said anything about my own biblical knowledge all though I would hazard a guess I know it better than you. But in reality who cares? Why worship a book.

    2. I said if you had read properly that in my experience atheists and agnostics know the bible better than the majority of believers. The vast majority of the previous categories emerge from religion.

    and more funnies:

    did you not know that the passover was the prefiguration of the last supper or did you know that the flood was the prefiguration of baptism

    You speak as if you have some reliable accurate answer. Of course no ones knows the flood was the prefiguration of baptism because it’s a made up mythological story typically thought to represent redemption in some crude way. If it had actually occurred it would be the worst tragedy in history and nothing positive couldbe said about it.

    But it’s a fictional story so you can believe it to be whatever you’d like just don’t pretend you have some real knowledge of anything. You don’t and can’t.

  106. #106 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    I said Christ is the center of the Bible, that his coming was fortold, and that people died so the prefiguration and lineage would be secured and was chastised for it.

    Not a wit of which matters to the fact that you said the babies went to Heaven. They didn’t believe in Jesus. Therefore he can’t be the only way. This is simple stuff.

    It is not I or others who have comprehension problems. You simply are blind to the serious flaws in your case.

  107. #107 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Hahahaha, thats funny. 1. I never said anything about my own biblical knowledge all though I would hazard a guess I know it better than you. But in reality who cares? Why worship a book.

    Once again you are incorrect, Christianity is not a religion of the book. I Told you that The Bible without the magisterium and the Holy spirit is just a book. So when you say you know more about the Bible than me and offer no proof of the claim you talk to the wind.

  108. #108 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Not a wit of which matters to the fact that you said the babies went to Heaven. They didn’t believe in Jesus. Therefore he can’t be the only way. This is simple stuff.

    Do you not know that the Bible says that Jesus descended to the place of the dead, the holding tank and set them free? They got their choice, why do you think he was in the tomb 3 days and why do you think he told the thief on the cross, that today you shall see me in paradise. None were saved accept by the Christ.

  109. #109 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Devil’s advocate or not that is twisted. Even as a former follower, I could not for any reason justify, even after trying to do so when pinned down by those who did not believe, the concept that hell was good. Or necessary. Except to scare people with. And so I took my kids somewhere not so scary as what I experienced as a kid…. and then eventually stopped going.

    Fear Factor- this apparently should have been the name of a religious program.

    The fear of hell is not a religious thing the fear of God isw the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says so, once again, do you people read the Bible?

  110. #110 Jason
    February 14, 2007

    Okay, Physicist, you’ve convinced me that trying to have a constructive dialogue with you is a waste of time. You consistently ignore my requests to clarify and explain your beliefs and instead respond with nonsequiturs and digressions that have nothing to do with the questions I am asking you. Your beliefs about Heaven, Hell, free will, salvation, human nature, obedience to God and so on seem to me an incoherent mess. I suspect that on some level you realize this, hence all the evasion and doubletalk.

  111. #111 Tom Foss
    February 14, 2007

    The fear of hell is not a religious thing the fear of God isw the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says so, once again, do you people read the Bible?

    Do you? I mean, you’ve already admitted that you don’t, you only listen to what “better men” have told you about the Bible. But I’d be being charitable if I said “50% of what you say is not from the Bible.” Show me the textual evidence for God’s fear of genetic pollution. Show me where the word “limbo” appears anywhere in the Biblical text. Show me where the Bible says “Jesus descended to the place of the dead, the holding tank and set them free.”

    As for your “prefigurations,” I’m not even sure where to begin. You accuse us of mistakenly reading the Bible like a literary work, then lay out all the places where, just like a literary work, major events were foreshadowed and recurring themes appear. You act as if there is some objective standard for saying “this was symbolic of this later event happening.” No, I don’t think the Passover “prefigured” the Last Supper, because the Last Supper was a fucking Passover dinner. That’s like saying “Christ’s birth prefigures Christmas”! Really? No shit.

    Again, any event can be viewed as a prophecy after the ‘prophesied’ event has occurred. Just check out the works of Nostradamus. You still haven’t shown that “wounded” and “bruised” can only possibly be referring to Christ.

  112. #112 Stanton
    February 14, 2007

    How is a fear of God a good thing?
    Doesn’t the Bible also say that “love casteth out fear”?

  113. #113 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Puh-leez. The magisterium? All the precepts of the religion are founded in the book. All of them.

    Once again you are wrong, you then void apostolic tradition without which salvation would not be possible. Do you think John 6:54 is not founded in this tradition for the living and those who would want to live either by desire or practice? your ignorance of the Bible and its meaning are obvious.

    Look here bub, the fictional worldwide flood occurred 1000′s of years before Jesus walked the Earth. The kids went to Heaven by your own words. Now you say they went to a ‘holding tank’ where a 3 year old was given a choice to come back to life and play with his toys or suffer.

    Look here my friend the Bible is clear about this try reading it. I did not say when I said they did. I proposed the the question would you rather die that you might live forever, or would you rather live that you might die. It is your choice, for all must die to themselves to enter the kingdom of heaven. Once again, I must ask have you read the Bible.

  114. #114 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    How is a fear of God a good thing?
    Doesn’t the Bible also say that “love casteth out fear”?

    Words mean things, I wrote the fear of God is the BEGINNING of wisdom, not the end.

    Do you people read the bible? Do you people read the bible? It’s like a parrot. Sadly you haven’t discovered for yourself yet that millions have poured over the book and come no closer to discovering it’s divine meaning than when they started. But persist in your delusion if you like.

    And as I told you Christianity is not a religion of the book. You have not understood.

  115. #115 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    Once again you are wrong, you then void apostolic tradition without which salvation would not be possible. Do you think John 6:54 is not founded in this tradition for the living and those who would want to live either by desire or practice? your ignorance of the Bible and its meaning are obvious

    Haha, you are a fun one. Once again I am wrong? You haven’t proven anyone,let alone me, wrong about anything on this entire thread. I would say your ignorance of the bible is pretty clear. You seem to want believe what others tell you rather than reading it and attempting to understand it for yourself. It’s a book for goodness sakes. You can read yes?

    Look here my friend the Bible is clear about this try reading it. I did not say when I said they did. I proposed the the question would you rather die that you might live forever, or would you rather live that you might die. It is your choice, for all must die to themselves to enter the kingdom of heaven. Once again, I must ask have you read the Bible.

    Yes I have which is why I think your totally full of crap. Since you just feel the need to repeat the same question over and over again can you at please answer some of the questions posed to you. Your bleet about ‘have you read the bible’ is tiresome and unproductive.

    Your paragraph above illustrates my point. It isabsolutely meaningless as a response. It’s simple really when did 3 year olds make the choice and please show us in the bible where it says they did? C’mon you know the bible better then everyone so tell us where the dead made the choice in the text? Or are you adding to the bible and we know what the good book says about adding to it’s words.

    So again clearly in your view Jesus isn’t the only way to Heaven. Just admit it.

  116. #116 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    And as I told you Christianity is not a religion of the book. You have not understood.

    And apparently neither does anyone else save for you. It is a religion whose precepts emerge directly from a book supposedly inspired by God. This is simply undeniable.

  117. #117 The Physicist
    February 14, 2007

    Well my legs hurt from diabetic neuropathy and I am tired, if you wish I shall return tomorrow, otherwise silence is golden. Good night and happy Valentines day.

  118. #118 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    I’m done on this thread but perhaps another in the future. Have a good evening physicist. I do hope you feel better.

  119. #119 Tommykey
    February 14, 2007

    Physicist, the Bible is not the word of God, the God of the Bible does not exist, the Jews were not the chosen people of the creator of the universe, Jesus was not born from a virgin and he did not rise from the dead. Get your head out of the mental prison of the Bible.

    Just live your life and be a good person, and that’s all there is to it.

  120. #120 Stanton
    February 14, 2007

    Words mean things, I wrote the fear of God is the BEGINNING of wisdom, not the end.
    Then why do so many Christians emphasize how much God is angry with everyone, like the way Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said that the 9/11 bombings were God’s way of punishing the US because it happens to be illegal to burn non-Christians at the stake?

    And as I told you Christianity is not a religion of the book. You have not understood.

    Then how come so many Christians insist that all those who don’t agree with their particular interpretation of the Bible, such as the idea that the Book of Genesis is word-for-word literally true, will be forever damned? Please explain to me why this is so?

  121. #121 Uber
    February 14, 2007

    NO!, it precepts arise from a person, not a book. The religion of the book is Islam.

    Islam aside your wrong and right here. The religion arises from the stories as written in a book. The stories present the precepts of an individual. We have nothing from this individual at all. Therefore all we have is a book of stories that represent him.

    It’s impossible for the religion not to be based on the book in some way shape or form. We have nothing else intellectually.

  122. #122 autumn
    February 14, 2007

    Yo, P.,
    If Jesus descended to hell after dying on the cross, his words to the repentant thief are very interesting.
    Was Jesus telling the thief hell is paradise?

  123. #123 Azkyroth
    February 15, 2007

    I have made no such claim, quite the opposite in fact. It is what I have been saying. You say you know the Bible better than me, did you not know that the passover was the prefiguration of the last supper or did you know that the flood was the prefiguration of baptism. I have told you both and have paraphased the bible throughout, you offer nothing but a claim that you know more.

    Where in the Bible does it say that?

    The fact is, you don’t understand what the Bible means and I even wonder if you know what it says.

    What evidence do you offer that your idea of what it means is correct?

    What evidence, in fact, do you offer for ANY of your claims?

  124. #124 Krystalline Apostate
    February 15, 2007

    Physicist:

    The flood was a foreshadowing of the sacrament of baptism, where water washes away sin and this was instituted by Christ himself. It is a cleansing from original sin and one of the keys to salvation.

    So 1st in macrocosm, 2nd in microcosm?
    So all those people & creatures that were allegedly drowned in the ‘allegorical’ flood were all symbolic? Whew. That’s a relief.

    Well my legs hurt from diabetic neuropathy

    Sounds like nobody’s listening to your prayers, I think.

  125. #125 Loren Petrich
    February 15, 2007

    I wonder if Vox Day is trolling, like when he claimed that women do not deserve the right to vote and that women are fascism-lovers.

  126. #126 raiko
    February 15, 2007

    I’m afraid you’re all misunderstanding ‘The Physicist’ here. He’s only saying that God is love, and Jesus is God, and the only way to love and salvation is through Jesus. His refusal to actually answer your questions stems from the fact that he believes everything (logical inconsistencies, dubious philosophizing, literal mistakes) you point out is irrelevant compared to the previous sentence.

    Then again, you could change “God” and “Jesus” to “Vishnu” or “Allah” or whatever, and it would still not necessarily be true (nor make much sense, for that matter). It would just sound nice, particularly if the deity being professed is the same one as yours.

    Of course, ‘The Physicist’ does profess to be Catholic. Since the Catholic church has officially declared evolution to be true, I have to ask, do you believe in evolution Mr. P.? And if the Pope should suddenly declare tomorrow that it isn’t, would you suddenly disbelieve it (despite the scientific evidence)?

    As you say, the Catholic faith isn’t just about the Bible. So what happens when say passages in the Bible contradict a papal edict? What if a papal edict should contradict one of the “more intelligent” men which you profess to receive your interpretations of the Bible from? Which would you follow?

  127. #127 Dorid
    February 15, 2007

    “‘And as I told you Christianity is not a religion of the book. You have not understood.’
    And apparently neither does anyone else save for you. It is a religion whose precepts emerge directly from a book supposedly inspired by God. This is simply undeniable.
    “(#153)

    um… I understand. Not that I AGREE mind you. One of the problems here is that it seems people think all Christians believe the same things. Obviously we have Chistians of different denominations here, talking about vastly different things. First, Physicist is obviously NOT protestant, at least not Calvinist, in that he’s pretty free with discussing free will, and the Tradition behind the Bible. I’d say Catholic, because I think someone Orthodox would have pointed out what I’m about to say: that the Scripture is not the source of the Church, but the Church the source of the scripture. That being said, Roman an Eastern Orthodox Catholics do NOT rely on Solo Scriptura, or any literal interpretation of the Bible, but believe that the Bible is the inspired teachings of the church… or more specifically, the set of writings that most closely represent the faith of the church, and those which are most useful in teaching the faith. Kinda the text book for Christianity 101.

    Unlike some modern American Protestants of various denominations (and so called non-denominational Christians) The Bible doesn’t contain ALL of the faith, so arguing from the Bible is like trying to argue all of a science from an introductory text book. All the information just isn’t there, just enough to get you started. In order to get ALL the information, you have to go to the “experts”, which would be the bishops (or council of bishops) or the patriarch/pope.

    I kinda think the reason the arguement with Physicist (at least) is breaking down, is because he’s being argued at with the assumption that he IS taking the Bible as the only source of revelation… and for him it isn’t.

    Now, the basic problem with arguing with a Catholic or Orthodox Christian is that “I don’t know, it’s a mystery of the Church” or “Because the Church says so” or “it’s part of the Canon” is an acceptible answer, because those are considered sources of divine revelation.

    The other thing is that there is a lot of sloppy language going on…This is kinda typified in the statement someone made that said Passover WAS the last supper and not prefiguring… which isn’t accurate. Passover refers to a commemoration of the First Passover, when the Spirit of God PASSED OVER Egypt killing the first born sons, and how the faithful were spared this by an act of faith (the blood of the lamb) Now, whether or not this is complete fiction or truth is one argument, but if you are going to argue from the standpoint of Scripture OR Roman Catholic faith, it makes more sense to understand the very specific meanings behind the words.

    The term “an iota of difference”… There’s a reason this originated in theological discussion.

  128. #128 Puddy Katz
    February 15, 2007

    First time here. Having read this it strikes me that
    “The Physician” writes as if he were G.K. Chesterton.
    But really, Physician it’s not the 19th century. For him it all gets back to the Magisterium and the Church. He chooses to believe THAT first of all, and then can fit, or believe he can fit, or work himself up into trying to believe he can fit, all the contradictions and odds and ends of the Judeo-Christian texts into some system that he believes makes sense (i.e. what the Church teaches although one can’t quite grasp or represent fully that system and it is evolving itself, one can,nonetheless, convince oneself that in principle, it makes sense, that the Church can somehow “get it right”). The big point in his thesis is that all the odds and ends of that tradition and all its “seeming contraditions” if understood rightly point to the “God of Love”. And why might I believe such a claim? Well, because the Magisterium says so. But it doesn’t make sense as pointing to the “God of love” unless you accept the overall teaching authority of the Church, and why, oh why, Physician, should I?
    And then, Chesterton like, the argument gets all wooly and personal and emotional. Why it is because, you see, deep down I must know that I have been faced with a particular choice from such a God, the “God of Love” which is at the center of it all because the Magisterium teaches that, and since this is the center of the Magisterium’s teaching I must gain a new respect for the authority of the Church if I contemplate the seriousness and the need and emotional coloring of that interior choice to believe or not believe. Bullocks at the end, as I said, all mushy and emotional and irrational.
    Sermons are not logical treatises and all Christians in the end, including the Catholic ones, come down to exortations and appeals to emotions. This particular set of slippery arguments, reason and emotions mixed, has had centuries to develop and been worked up by very smart men and women. Nonetheless Physician,if I may borrow a trick from you, let me say that deep in your heart you know its just a way to stave off your own fear of death.

  129. #129 Interrobang
    February 15, 2007

    The Physicist, good Catholic he, was referencing the “harrowing Hell” story, which appears nowhere in the Bible. It’s an addition to the Apostles Creed, probably from somewhere around the year 1000. Medieval writers absolutely loved the story, which is how I’m familiar with it. (Unsurprisingly, it’s very similar to the story of Persephone. Funny how a lot of these Biblical narratives occur in earlier cultures with female protagonists, isn’t it?) Next he’ll be trying to tell us that significant elements of Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno both appear in the Bible.

  130. #130 Azkyroth
    February 15, 2007

    Dorid:

    I kinda think the reason the arguement with Physicist (at least) is breaking down, is because he’s being argued at with the assumption that he IS taking the Bible as the only source of revelation… and for him it isn’t.

    Two points:

    First, he waited for some time before announcing himself a Catholic, as I recall. At that point the argument was already well underway.

    Second, when people revealed that they did not already share his bizarre and contorted ideas about the events surrounding the alleged actions of his god in our world, and Jesus in particular, he responded by openly questioning our claims to have read the Bible. This implies that he thinks the Bible is the direct source of THOSE Revelations, at least, and therefore anyone reading it would receive the same interpretation he’s been spoon-fed by the priests. He repeatedly implies that his claims about the significance of the flood, what Jesus did after the crucifixion, etc. are derived from passages in the Bible; given this, it’s entirely reasonable to ask him to find the source in the Bible for those claims, or to admit that they are derived ex rectum presbyteri rather than ex libris (someone correct the Latin, willya?) rather than pretending that they should be perfectly obvious to anyone who has read the Bible (which is how Protestantism got started, oddly enough).

  131. #131 Shmuel
    February 15, 2007

    Ahh, the smell of Christian fundamentalists and Christian atheists engaged in theological disputation in the morning.

  132. #132 wrg
    February 15, 2007

    So-Called Physicist: “So when you say you know more about the Bible than me and offer no proof of the claim you talk to the wind.”

    I’d say that applies no matter what you say to “The Physicist”. You’re addressing a bag of hot air, full of talking points but with no substantive consideration to back any of it up. Ask a question, and you’ll always get an exhortation to believe instead of any answer to your question.

  133. #133 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    The other thing is that there is a lot of sloppy language going on…This is kinda typified in the statement someone made that said Passover WAS the last supper and not prefiguring… which isn’t accurate. Passover refers to a commemoration of the First Passover, when the Spirit of God PASSED OVER Egypt killing the first born sons, and how the faithful were spared this by an act of faith (the blood of the lamb) Now, whether or not this is complete fiction or truth is one argument, but if you are going to argue from the standpoint of Scripture OR Roman Catholic faith, it makes more sense to understand the very specific meanings behind the words.

    The only problem here, then, is arguing that the First Passover is a prefiguration of the Last Supper, when in fact it appears to be a “prefiguration” of the whole crucifixion/resurrection thingy. The Last Supper was a Passover feast (or thereabouts, depending on which Gospel you read), making it literally “prefigured” by the First Passover, but the symbolic prefigured event–salvation through the blood of the lamb–would be the Crucifixion/Resurrection.

    But the whole “prefiguration” thing still stinks of backwards thinking to me. I could say that the Crucifixion was a prefiguration of the suffering of John Lennon, as described in the holy doctrine of “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” and it would be just as correct and well-supported. The Gospel writers were fully aware of the prophecies and language quirks of the OT; of course they were going to write in such a way as to evoke those connections. Just as John compared himself to Christ (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) in that song; he never had to say “I’m Jesus,” he just had to say he was being crucified, and we all got what he meant.

  134. #134 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Wow. Shmuel has a superiority complex.

    Nothing like the smell of a religious Jewish atheist puffing up his chest in the morning.

  135. #135 dorid
    February 15, 2007

    “But the whole “prefiguration” thing still stinks of backwards thinking to me. I could say that the Crucifixion was a prefiguration of the suffering of John Lennon, as described in the holy doctrine of “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” and it would be just as correct and well-supported”
    (#168)

    Tom, I agree with you totally on this. I was trying to clear up the difference in the Catholic viewpoint, which people seemed to have missed.

  136. #136 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve -

    I’m not a rube. I’ll liberal-athiest-humanist you under the table. You’re the rube for making baseless assumptions.

    PZ wrote a post that literally supported legalizing infanticide by mothers who felt unable to care for their children. Google it and stop hurling dimwitted insults.

  137. #137 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    PZ – That appears to be a distinction without a difference. You would make infanticide legal, no? Or did I misread you?

    Nature is full of gradations, and the law is full of bright lines. Life is hard that way. Is there another bright line you’d prefer to draw?

  138. #138 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve -

    If you think I’m drawing you into an abortion debate, I’m not. But I can understand why you might have assumed that. Pete.

  139. #139 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Yup. Went right where I thought it would.

  140. #140 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve, are you going to make a constructive response or something? Or just make unnamable predictions and then congratulate yourself when I fulfill them? Very bizarre.

    I thought it was interesting that PZ rightly opposes slaughtering children in the name of God but would tolerate it for reasons of parental convenience.

  141. #141 Kseniya
    February 15, 2007

    I wrote: “Those who suffer in Hell do so for the best of all possible reasons.”

    Yes, I was playing Devil’s Advocate, and yes, I was being ironic, because yes, it’s a twisted concept.

    We’ve written reams about this topic on two threads here on Pharyngula, and more on other boards, but IMO it really does boil down to this:

    Belief in God is optional. God insists it is so, by virtue of His having given us Free Will. Do any believers dispute that? This free will that enables us to disbelieve also enables us to disobey. Perhaps Vox Day would not disobey the order to kill all the little children, but he would always be free to disobey. This is what reveals his inner moral bankruptcy.

    The whole question also demonstrates (if not proves) moral relativism. Even if God has absolute moral authority, the fact that he can alter this “absolute” moral system on some unexplained whim of His own only shows that there are no absolutes – something most of us would probably agree on anyway.

    One more thing:

    One of the problems here is that it seems people think all Christians believe the same things.

    RIGHT! I’m surprised it took so long for someone to point that out.

    “There are no sects in geometry; one does not speak of a Euclidian, an Archimedean… When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.”

    “It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.”

  142. #142 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Kseniya -

    I admire your persistence, but trying to reason through religion is always fruitless and irritating. The bible is chock full of rules and commandments that are morally offensive, absurd, and mutually inconsistent. Believers pick and choose what they choose to obey. The things they pay attention to are usually less offensive than modern Western notions of morality – they don’t pluck out the eyes of disobedient children or whatever. Yet they claim that the bible is the inerrant truth. I mean, it’s impossible to have much intellectual integrity and even pretend to “follow” the bible.

    Further, discrete orders from God always take the form of voices in the head or imaginings, which means in practice that all you have to do is claim God told you X or Y and then go about murdering children.

    I can see that from the worldview of a Christian the christianity-is-relativistic argument would be a problem, but the whole thing is so absurd and believers so incapable of intellectual integrity that it’s all pearls before swine. They believe because it feels right to them and their parents told them so, and because of peer pressure (all their friends believe). That’s it.

  143. #143 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve -

    No, it’s not a question about abortion. I am not debating that. YOU are. Have at it if you wish.

    We are debating infanticide.

    And, yes, we are debating bright lines, because it’s kind of hard to write laws otherwise.

    Where would YOU draw the line? It’s all well and good (and easy…and lazy) to point and laugh and say, “How can you draw a line there? There’s no difference!” It’s hard because you’re right – there isn’t any difference. But if you want to have rule of law, then you simply have to draw a line.

    My point is that the motivations may be different, but both PZ and his foil would permit infanticide.

    Not abortion. Infanticide.

    Let’s see if you can stick to the point.

  144. #144 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve -

    Suggest you look up the definition of “infant” before asking questions about RU-486 and the like. Seriously.

  145. #145 Kseniya
    February 15, 2007

    Slippery Pete, I (mostly) agree.

    Fruitless and irritating, perhaps, but exposing contradictions and illogic isn’t entirely useless… is it?

    “…from the worldview of a Christian the christianity-is-relativistic argument would be a problem…”

    Yes, but the relativistic nature of it is demonstrated daily (or weekly – heh) at churches all over the world, for exactly the reasons you state.

  146. #146 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    I know what an infant is.

    Show me where PZ supports killing infants for convenience.

  147. #148 Kseniya
    February 15, 2007

    Oh, I’m not saying that many (or any) true believers will be swayed by a even a dazzling demonstration of a flawed human invention like logic, but for people on the fence (like… ummm… me?) it’s pretty powerful stuff. :-)

  148. #149 Stanton
    February 15, 2007

    Mr Pete, I’m curious, where did Prof Myers say that he condones or would promote infanticide under particular circumstances?
    If it’s this entry and its related entry, I’m afraid you’re mistaken, as he’s fisking Thomas Beale, aka “Vox Day,” for offering obedience to God as an excuse to engage in hypothetical psychopathic behavior.

  149. #150 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Kseniya -

    Yes, for people on the fence or for people who have been reared in those environments and didn’t necessarily embrace them with a lot of gusto. Like me. As soon as I was able to puzzle my way through the layers of absurdity, my “faith” (religious practice) evaporated completely. Or more accurately, I was forced to admit I never believed it to begin with.

  150. #151 Stanton
    February 15, 2007

    And after reading the link, how is favoring (keeping the) legalization of late-term abortion tantamount to saying that a person supports the killing of an infant?

  151. #152 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    “Way, way, way to the pro side. I’m in favor of voluntary late term abortions (where premature birth would impose severe economic hardship, for instance), and can even consider situations where infanticide is ethically tenable.”

  152. #153 Stanton
    February 15, 2007

    And, out of curiosity, why are you posting this particular grievance in this entry, rather than, say, in the original entry?

  153. #154 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    He does say where ethically tenable. I don’t have a problem with what he’s saying.

    PZ Myers — 04/08/04 at 06:14 PM
    This is not a black and white issue. There is no abrupt transition where you can say that it’s not human one minute, and human with all the associated rights and privileges thereto in the next (although pro-lifers try to portray it that simply). That’s why I say infanticide can be considered in some situations, but not all — an anencephalic child, for instance, should be humanely euthanized without a qualm.

    The significant discontinuity between newborn and fetus is that the newborn is acquiring independent sensations and building its personality. It’s not much of a personality, but we’re dealing with shades of gray here. If you’d rather not think of the conscious/unconscious distinction as significant, OK — we’ll err on the side of the mother’s rights, since we’re confident that she is conscious, aware, thinking, etc., and allow even later term abortions.

    And my little off-the-cuff triad of criteria does not mean that if an organism doesn’t meet one, you get to snuff it. If I were to become a quadriplegic, I’d lose autonomy, but not humanity. I’m saying that being human is much, much more than simply being an aggregation of cells; thought and history are much more important.

  154. #155 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Steve -

    Again, there’s nothing PZ says in that quote that I disagree with. Biologically, there’s little or no difference (so say the experts; I am not one). But legally you do have to draw a line. So, for the umpteenth time, my point is that laughing at the line-drawers is easy and fun, but lazy, unless you don’t want any laws at all.

    The onus is on you to offer a better alternative, another line. Or you can keep mocking.

  155. #156 rrt
    February 15, 2007

    Have to agree with Steve, here, Pete. It was pretty clear these were very different positions, and it’s weird that you’d bring it up without mentioning that fact.

  156. #157 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Tom Foss – Where did you read he’s talking about several malformations? If that’s the case, then I have no disagreement. But I never read that, and since PZ used the term infanticide himself, I have to assume he meant infanticide, not euthenasia. They are totally different things.

    When you write laws, you outlaw the general and then make exceptions for specifics. Come on guys, you know this. You ban murder but then make exceptions for self-defense, defense of others, war, etc. And you create degrees – first degree, second degree, etc. I get that, ok? No kidding. My point is, what criteria or lines do you use in the general? My question is perfectly clear, and if you don’t want to answer it just say so. Otherwise it’s all just lazy rock-throwing.

  157. #158 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Where did PZ talk about euthenasia, Stanton? He used the word infanticide. PZ is smarter than all of us combined. I’m sure he knows what the word means.

  158. #159 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    Tom Foss – Where did you read he’s talking about several malformations? If that’s the case, then I have no disagreement. But I never read that, and since PZ used the term infanticide himself, I have to assume he meant infanticide, not euthenasia. They are totally different things.

    Since infanticide, narrowly defined, is “killing infants,” then yes, he was right in saying it. But if you’ll look at his first comment in that very thread, he clarifies:

    This is not a black and white issue. There is no abrupt transition where you can say that it’s not human one minute, and human with all the associated rights and privileges thereto in the next (although pro-lifers try to portray it that simply). That’s why I say infanticide can be considered in some situations, but not all — an anencephalic child, for instance, should be humanely euthanized without a qualm.

    The significant discontinuity between newborn and fetus is that the newborn is acquiring independent sensations and building its personality. It’s not much of a personality, but we’re dealing with shades of gray here. If you’d rather not think of the conscious/unconscious distinction as significant, OK — we’ll err on the side of the mother’s rights, since we’re confident that she is conscious, aware, thinking, etc., and allow even later term abortions.

    And my little off-the-cuff triad of criteria does not mean that if an organism doesn’t meet one, you get to snuff it. If I were to become a quadriplegic, I’d lose autonomy, but not humanity. I’m saying that being human is much, much more than simply being an aggregation of cells; thought and history are much more important.

    Emphasis mine. As you can see, he is arguing for a case-by-case basis, and his example is precisely the one I thought of when I read the offending quotation.

    When you write laws, you outlaw the general and then make exceptions for specifics. Come on guys, you know this. You ban murder but then make exceptions for self-defense, defense of others, war, etc. And you create degrees – first degree, second degree, etc. I get that, ok? No kidding. My point is, what criteria or lines do you use in the general? My question is perfectly clear, and if you don’t want to answer it just say so.

    You weren’t allowing for “specifics” in your earlier posts. We can easily draw a legal line at birth–except in certain extreme situations. I can reasonably see drawing the line earlier, but any such division is arbitrary and will require the construction of exceptions.

  159. #160 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    He said it here…. one more time… last sentence.

    That’s why I say infanticide can be considered in

    some situations, but not all — an anencephalic

    child, for instance, should be humanely

    euthanized without a qualm.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  160. #161 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Ok, I did not see PZ’s lower comment referencing congenital defects. He gives it as a “for instance” but if that was the gist of his argument, I concede completely. However, I think the use of the word infanticide was misleading in the context of euthenasia.

  161. #162 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Also, I cannot find it now, but I distinctly recall PZ also giving the example of a mother who feels unable to care for her child. That would be the real deal – infanticide – and that’s what I had in mind.

  162. #163 Slippery Pete
    February 15, 2007

    Here it is:

    “As for infanticide, it has been a reality throughout human history. Women have made that difficult decision over and over again, not because they like killing babies, but out of necessity. I do not think a few million years of stressed and desperate mothers are guilty of an ethical lapse; they’ve done what was right and needful. Infanticide is a reasonable thing to do if 1) you have no other way to control fertility, and 2) you are so impoverished that the life of an infant must be balanced against your life and that of other members of your family. That is not an endorsement of infanticide, but a recognition of reality, and a refusal to damn people who have been compelled to make painful choices.”

    Well, I’m not going to quibble about the choices women made millions of years ago, but in the context of a modern liberal western state, I don’t think opposing infanticide is a difficult position to come to. He’s NOT talking about euthenasia here.

  163. #164 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Infanticide is technically the term for parents killing their child.
    Euthanizing your own child is infanticide.

    I read the post from 3 years ago. I don’t see any mention of a mother killing her child because she can’t afford to have one.

    He refers to a late term abortion where a premature birth and subsequent costly medical care are inevitable. That the mother should have the choice.

    You really need to tighten up on the language you use too… you’re acting as if PZ is very glib about the life of infants and those yet to be born. He isn’t. He’s being realistic.

  164. #165 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    Well, yes, he is talking about euthanasia. Killing a child humanely rather than have it suffer because you cannot provide for it? Infants cannot fend for themselves, and in a situation as PZ describes–where a parent must choose between her own life and the life of the child, either choice will inevitably lead to the child’s death. Such life-and-death decisions are not limited to the distant past, and nowhere does he discuss this within the context of a “modern liberal western state.” Where resources are scarce and feeding one mouth means starving others, such a choice may be difficult, but not ethically verboten.

  165. #166 Lynet
    February 15, 2007

    It has to be mentioned. This argument goes all the way back to Socrates, at least according to Plato:

    Euthyphro

    That’s the original piece of writing that inspired the question that the atheist asked Vox Day.

    It goes like this:

    Q:Are things moral because God says they are?

    If yes, how can we say that God is good? Surely that is a tautology, because we have defined ‘good’ to be whatever God says.
    We can therefore give God no particular credit for being good; he is good by definition.
    Moreover, God could presumably say that killing babies is good, whereupon it would in fact be good. This makes morality seem rather arbitrary.

    If on the other hand, you would like to say that God would never tell us to arbitrarily kill babies, because God is good, then you are claiming that there is a standard of goodness for God to adhere to. Thus, you claim that morality is separate from God. Fair enough – but in that case, it should be obvious why atheists can be moral…

    Many theists who confront this dilemma choose the first option, because they don’t like the idea that there is a standard of morality which is somehow greater than God.

    Vox Day is therefore simply saying that if God really decreed that we should kill babies, killing babies would not be a bad thing. Crazy, I know – but note that it is the definition of morality that leads to this disagreement. Surely it’s best to argue on that ground rather than muddying the waters with comments implying that Vox is likely to go and kill babies any time soon?

  166. #167 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Lynet we are arguing that Vox’s moral system is corrupt.

    We have a beef with is system of morals and end result being it would be prefectly “good” to kill 2 year olds if god asked him to.

    We’re not arguing that Vox is evil. He just fails to see where his morals are twisted.

  167. #168 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Man, looks like livened up the place. :)

  168. #169 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Keep pattin’ yourself on the back. If you feel it’s necessary.

  169. #170 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    Vox Day is therefore simply saying that if God really decreed that we should kill babies, killing babies would not be a bad thing. Crazy, I know – but note that it is the definition of morality that leads to this disagreement. Surely it’s best to argue on that ground rather than muddying the waters with comments implying that Vox is likely to go and kill babies any time soon?

    I think what we’re ultimately saying is that a person who actually believes that God’s word is automatically good is someone who is one hallucinatory command away from a massacre. I think we’re saying that, regardless of what some/most Christians may profess, they ultimately would not go infant-killing on God’s say-so. They recognize that such an action is wrong independent of divine command, and would sooner assume that they are schizophrenic than that they are being directly contacted by the Almighty.

    In other words, people behave morally independent of belief in God. If God were to come down tomorrow and say “it’s okay to kill your neighbor, go ahead,” it wouldn’t cause every Christian to do so. Whatever they may say they believe, most Christians behave morally for the same reason as everyone else: because society requires it. For anyone, even Parakeet Beale, to suggest otherwise, is absurd. If all that’s actually standing between you and murder is a leather-bound book, then you have greater problems than divine command theory.

    I’m not sure about Plato, but I know I’ve discussed the Euthyphro dilemma in Philosophy class, and that the ultimate conclusion was necessarily that God does not determine morality, because we can determine morality through logical arguments. If morality were based on the whims of capricious deities, we could not make logical arguments about it.

  170. #171 Kseniya
    February 15, 2007

    Interesting post, Lynet. And nice recap, Tom. I agree.

    As for the problem raised by T. Beale’s chosen internet handle – which implies that he presumes to speak for God – that is a matter best left to the theists. ;-)

  171. #172 Greg Laden
    February 15, 2007

    There is one way out of this, but you are not going o like it. You can do it with a note from Jesus but it has to be notarized by three apostles and submitted in triplicate, with the yellow form in God’s inbox, you keep the green form, and we’re not sure where the blue form goes.

  172. #173 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Sermons are not logical treatises and all Christians in the end, including the Catholic ones, come down to exortations and appeals to emotions. This particular set of slippery arguments, reason and emotions mixed, has had centuries to develop and been worked up by very smart men and women. Nonetheless Physician,if I may borrow a trick from you, let me say that deep in your heart you know its just a way to stave off your own fear of death.

    After reading through the comments, I think this one is the best, until we get to the part above. The answer to your question is that your question demonstrates it in not I who fears but thee who fears.

  173. #174 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Blue form goes to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  174. #175 Greg Laden
    February 15, 2007

    Steve: That was the old system. Now the Lady of Guadalupe just gets a monthly report as do all of the other New World Saints.

    The Blue form now goes to Saint Alfonso, Patron Saint of Pancakes.

  175. #176 Stephen Wells
    February 15, 2007

    There’s a big part of most religions that boils down to “when you die, you don’t really die.” This guy calling himself “The physicist” has insulated himself from his natural fear of death by means of this assurance.

    Note: in reality, when you die, all evidence is that you do in fact really die.

  176. #177 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Wow. He’s been reduced to “I know you are but what am I?”

  177. #178 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    If it wasn’t for suicide sending them into purgatory or whatever I would think they would all be happy to run themselves into the ground or constantly attempting heroic acts of bravery. That is If they truly didn’t fear death. But then again Catholics often view life as something to suffer through as a small price to pay to get into the great bingo room in the sky.

  178. #179 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    There’s a big part of most religions that boils down to “when you die, you don’t really die.” This guy calling himself “The physicist” has insulated himself from his natural fear of death by means of this assurance.

    And atheism destroys the firm hope, leaving us to lament in our own solitude. Which is better?

  179. #180 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    I’m glad I don’t all yu’r ejumacation.

  180. #181 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    I knew speaking in tongues was next.

  181. #182 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Physicist, I am still waiting for your answer about original sin. I want to know whether you believe infants are born with original sin, and thus damned until the accept Jesus, or not.
    It is such a simple question. Why can’t you answer it?

    Yes and No – and there is your simple answer.

  182. #183 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    To believe in original sin don’t you have to believe in the Creation/Adam and Eve myth too? That’s alot to admit.

  183. #184 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Suck it up Physicist. Enjoy this life, there’s no evidence there’s another one lined up waiting for you.

    Tell that to the people living in slavery or that have had whole families killed in Africa. Go offer them you comforting philosphy of life, tell them to suck it up.

  184. #185 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    I didn’t say this life was great for everyone… but deluding yourself with an afterlife doesn’t make the current one any better.

    I’m telling you to suck it up.

    Apparently is a prick for letting them suffer like that. If you believe in that sort of god.

  185. #186 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    Apparently god is a prick for letting them suffer like that.

    Overzealous editing.

  186. #187 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Just pointing out the logical fallacies to original sin.

    You aren’t a creationist are you?

    Ummm? I just said I was, now if you mean that the earth is only 6000 years old and not billions of years old then no, I’m not one of them.

  187. #188 Steve_C
    February 15, 2007

    I was talking about your examples of why people need to believe in an afterlife. Not original sin.

    So you believe in Adam and Eve, but the “they existed billions of years ago” version?
    And the fruit of knowledge sham?

  188. #189 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    So you believe in Adam and Eve, but the “they existed billions of years ago” version?
    And the fruit of knowledge sham?

    Logical fallacy of not understanding the Bible. The Bible does not claim that the world is 6000 years old. Nor does it claim that Adam and eve were created at the time the earth was created.

  189. #190 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    I was talking about your examples of why people need to believe in an afterlife. Not original sin. I know, that’s why I told you you do not understand orignal sin, that you claim is illogical.

  190. #191 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    I’ll check back got to run an errand.

  191. #192 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    Tell that to the people living in slavery or that have had whole families killed in Africa. Go offer them you comforting philosphy of life, tell them to suck it up.

    Tell them what, exactly? That they’re suffering now, but they’ll be living the good life after they die, so they shouldn’t worry? That their suffering could easily be cured by the omnipotent loving God who promises them this paradise, but isn’t because it’s all part of His plan? That after all this slavery and suffering, with no intervention from a loving God, they’ll be given the choice to eternally serve a God who never did anything for them, or to suffer for eternity as a part of his infinite mercy? That some believe their suffering will not be alleviated even in the next world unless they are Evangelical Christians?

    The greater hopelessness is on your side of the aisle, Physicist. And while we have no proof whatsoever that there is an afterlife, we can very easily prove that there is a world here and now. You can tell people to “suck it up,” to wait out the suffering for greater reward on the other side, and if there is no afterlife, all you’ve wasted is a human life. The rest of us will go about trying to make this world a paradise, so we don’t have to make unprovable promises to the needy. But don’t pretend it’s the atheists telling people to “suck it up,” not when you’re the one justifying God’s slaughter of innocents, not when you’re the one who believes in an omnipotent being who could cure all suffering with a wave of his hand, but doesn’t, and is still considered to be “loving” and “merciful.” “Suck it up, it’s God’s plan, and you can’t understand it, but if you stick by him despite all he’s done to you, he might let you into eternal servitude under him” is a hell of a lot less hopeful than “this is all you’ve got, do something about it.”

  192. #193 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    There is no original sin. There is no afterlife. It’s crap.

    So you say.

  193. #194 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    The rest of us will go about trying to make this world a paradise, so we don’t have to make unprovable promises to the needy.

    Yes, I have seen how those promises from the atheists have panned out.

  194. #195 Russell Blackford
    February 15, 2007

    I can’t think of any original sins, right now. I reckon I might go out and commit a few of the more traditional ones.

  195. #196 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Thank you Physicist.
    So, babies have original sin, but aren’t damned to hell automatically. So dead infants don’t go to hell.
    There is a reason I have kept hammering at this point.

    Yes I am waiting…

    If they go straight to heaven, it seems the most pragmatic course of action is to start killing infants. This ensures that they go to heaven. After all, if they grow up they will have lots of chances to sin.

    Oooh sorry, wrong answer, I’ll take God for 300.

    Well since your assumption about original sin was wrong, then your hypothesis is wrong as well.

  196. #197 The Physicist
    February 15, 2007

    Hm, yes, slightly better off than the Christian promises, I should say. After all, while you pray and wave incense over the ailing, while you sprinkle them with water to ensure they have a pleasant afterlife (if they so choose), us terrible secularists are giving them medicines, cleaning their water, providing them with light and shelter.

    Yes yes yes, tell me again how a sheeps bladders can be employed to stop earthquakes? List for me my dearest, how many of the hospitals were built by atheist’s and how many were built by Christians? Hrmm? never thought of that one have ya?

  197. #198 Tom Foss
    February 15, 2007

    Yes yes yes, tell me again how a sheeps bladders can be employed to stop earthquakes?

    Why, dear Physicist, the same way a prayer can. With about the same rate of success.

    Now tell me again how calling on God through the Lord’s Prayer may tell you the location of an earthquake with the same accuracy as, say, seismic detectors.

    List for me my dearest, how many of the hospitals were built by atheist’s and how many were built by Christians? Hrmm? never thought of that one have ya?

    I guarantee you that the ones built by atheists provide more comprehensive medical care than the ones built by the Pope’s followers. After all, no atheist doctor would refuse birth control.

    Now, tell me again dearest, how much of medicine was developed through a secular, atheistic system, and how much was developed through scriptural study and prayer? I’ll do you one better and open it up to all technology, not just medicine: how much was developed through the nontheistic, secular methodology of science, and how much was developed through the church and divine revelation?

    And tell me sweetly, which has been more beneficial for overpopulated, malnourished third-world nations: the scientific advances of medical care, clean running water, electricity, and the like, or missionaries bringing a religion that tells them not to use birth control, and that they will have better lives after they are dead?

    Truly stunning, the innovations of the Catholic church. I understand, though, that you’ve made some particularly creative advances in the field of torture. I’m sure the rack is a fine tool toward making this world a better place. Certainly far beyond anything developed by the godless.

  198. #199 JohnnieCanuck
    February 16, 2007

    There is something wrong with claiming that Christianity was a balm that made the misery of the slaves more tolerable.

    The slaveholders encouraged belief in a Heavenly reward that could be earned by suffering. They did it for only one reason. It sapped the will to rebel. Religion was a tool, like whips and shackles and used for the same purpose.

    Christianity helped keep the serfs under control in the feudal systems of the Middle Ages and adapted easily to the African slave trade in the Americas.

    How ironic that some of the most fervent Christians to this day are descendants of those slaves. The emancipation freed their bodies. Many have yet to free their minds.

  199. #200 Krystalline Apostate
    February 16, 2007

    Physicist:
    Well, this has been interesting.
    The problem that atheist have is they read the Bible like a literary work, The Christian should read it like it is a person, and that person is Jesus, the Christ.
    Sorry…it’s only a book. It’s really not even that good of a book. It’s a dark grimoire that claims the garb of light, that covers the cracked bodies & rivers of blood shed w/smiles & pretty words & promises of freedom from suffering never kept.
    & you keep referring to the Magisterium – do I sense an appeal to authority, ex cathedra? In nomine, domine, & all that folderol.
    Delusional madness is no less than that, even when presented w/a benign mien.

  200. #201 Azkyroth
    February 16, 2007

    The Physicist:

    I have made no such claim, quite the opposite in fact. It is what I have been saying. You say you know the Bible better than me, did you not know that the passover was the prefiguration of the last supper or did you know that the flood was the prefiguration of baptism. I have told you both and have paraphased the bible throughout, you offer nothing but a claim that you know more.

    Where in the Bible does it say that?

    The fact is, you don’t understand what the Bible means and I even wonder if you know what it says.

    What evidence do you offer that your idea of what it means is correct?

    What evidence, in fact, do you offer for ANY of your claims?

    Answer, please.

    In addition, you claim that various posters here “don’t understand original sin.” What is it that they don’t understand? How is the understanding they’re displaying faulty? What is the true significance, in the meaningful sense?

    And why are you being so evasive? Doesn’t 1Peter 3:15 say to always be ready to answer anyone concerning your faith? Or did the priests not spoon-feed you that one? (It’s fairly obvious you haven’t read much of the Bible yourself due to your apparent failure to realize that some of the assumptions you have that others fail to share, where you construe this fact as belying their claims to have read the Bible, are not in fact Biblical at all.)

  201. #202 windy
    February 16, 2007

    Physicist: Tell that to the people living in slavery or that have had whole families killed in Africa. Go offer them you comforting philosphy of life, tell them to suck it up.

    Many of the people currently living in slavery are animist or Muslim. Aren’t they going to Hell? How’s that comforting?

  202. #203 Galloway
    February 16, 2007

    Physicist: ” The Bible does not claim that the world is 6000 years old. Nor does it claim that Adam and eve were created at the time the earth was created”

    It sure does. According to your bible, the universe and everything in it were created in 6 days. (Gen 1:31). Trace the genealogy found in Matt 1:16 to come up with the 6000 year figure, give or take. I think this is where you say something like a creation day equals about 200000 years. Right?

  203. #204 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    He’s a pompous catholic… let him wither. His justification for his beliefs will not be moved. He’s just here to puff up his chest and call us stupid. He doesn’t even attempt debate.

    Donohue is probably a hero of his.

    Pass the onion dip I’m going to communion.

  204. #205 AC
    February 16, 2007

    And atheism destroys the firm hope, leaving us to lament in our own solitude. Which is better?

    I’ve posted on this subject before. What you fail to acknowledge is that solitary lamentation is only one result of losing the “firm hope” of a Christian afterlife. Furthermore, even for those who experience this result, it leads in multiple directions and has variable duration.

    So I would ask, how do you explain those who experience a period of solitary lamentation over their mortality, only to – well – get over it and proceed to live with passion and positivity?

  205. #206 GH
    February 16, 2007

    This is the big problem with Catholism, it pretends to have answers when it doesn’t and the followers of the religion give their minds over to other men to interpret what they should be reading for themselves. He was lost at the ‘magisterum’ as their isn’t any. The RCC has been shown to be wrong on so many of it’s ideas and doctrines that it is pointless to enter into arguments over it. Although I’m not even totally sure this fellow is Catholic unless I missed it.

    Just ignore him.

  206. #207 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    Still waiting for that list of hospitals built by atheists.

  207. #208 Blake Stacey
    February 16, 2007

    Tom Foss’s comment #261 is awesome.

  208. #209 Stephen Wells
    February 16, 2007

    Let’s not feed the troll, guys. He’s already said that our problem is that we haven’t read or understood the Bible, which he admits he also hasn’t read. With logic like that…

    Though a list of antibiotics discovered, vaccines developed and operations performed using only the power of prayer would be fun :)

  209. #210 Blake Stacey
    February 16, 2007

    Russell Blackford:

    I can’t think of any original sins, right now. I reckon I might go out and commit a few of the more traditional ones.

    Also awesome. What was it John Shade said in Pale Fire? Something like, “All of the seven deadly sins are peccadilloes, but without two of them, Lust and Sloth, poetry would never have been born.”

  210. #211 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    This is rich, it was theists that created the scientific method that the atheist claim as there’s, they just quit believing in God. Not all scientists are atheist my dearest, including me.

    As is usual, you miss my point. The scientific method is nontheistic. And while theists may have developed it, they certainly weren’t Christian monotheists (quite the contrary, they were vaguely polytheistic classical Greeks). So, while the majority of scientists are theists, actual theism has nothing whatsoever to do with the scientific method. Science is secular, atheistic, and universal. It does not require belief in any deities, it does not operate according to the whims of capricious gods. Whatever the beliefs of individual scientists, the accomplishments of science as a whole are nontheistic.

    Contrast those accomplishments with the innovations of a theistic system. The Catholic church has been around for such a long time, I have to imagine that they have something to show for it, if you can scoff so easily at the contributions of atheists and an atheistic system.

    You missunderstand the relationship between science and religion. as Einstein said: Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.

    An interesting quote, given the fact that Einstein was not religious, did not believe in a personal God, and certainly wasn’t Catholic. Perhaps instead of taking quotations out of context, you should read the articles that they come from. Here’s Einstein’s definition of “religion” from four paragraphs prior:

    It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content and the depth of the conviction concerning its overpowering meaningfulness, regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation. They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect.

    So tell me again, “Physicist”, how has your theistic system made the world a better place?

  211. #212 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Still waiting for that list of hospitals built by atheists.

    I’m sorry, I can’t in good conscience compare secular hospitals to Catholic ones. Catholic hospitals are in the habit (so to speak) of refusing basic medical care, which secular hospitals do not. Whatever the numbers might be, the greater comprehensiveness of the care at secular hospitals puts them on a very different level of operation.

    Now, if we want to call Catholic hospitals with their incomplete sort of care “Junior Hospitals,” or something which demonstrates their inefficacy when compared to real hospitals, then we’ll be getting someplace.

  212. #213 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    I’m sorry, I can’t in good conscience compare secular hospitals to Catholic ones. Catholic hospitals are in the habit (so to speak) of refusing basic medical care, which secular hospitals do not. Whatever the numbers might be, the greater comprehensiveness of the care at secular hospitals puts them on a very different level of operation.
    Now, if we want to call Catholic hospitals with their incomplete sort of care “Junior Hospitals,” or something which demonstrates their inefficacy when compared to real hospitals, then we’ll be getting someplace.

    “Junior hospitals” how so, because they won’t break God’s law and murder babies? But maybe your one who buys into the overpopulation lie. “Saying there are too many babies is like saying there are two many flowers” – Can’t remember who said it for sure.

    We just disagree folks, it is not personal to me, I don’t get mad when someone disagrees with me, so stop the troll nonsense.

    I have seen how secular society gives care in Texas, there is a law that allows hospitals to take someone off life support after ten days. If no other Hospital will take them then they get to die, and the person doesn’t have to be unconscious either. But you won’t read about it in the news papers, ’cause it is all done in the darkness, because evil can’t stand light.

    Ya see, I know this because I have a friend whose mother 66 was on life support (she couldn’t breath on her own) and was conscious and of course forced into Medicare. Two goons came in front of him a tried forcibly to remove the life support, he forcibly stopped them. The police came and made him stand there and watch them remove his mother, while she was biting on the tube, and then she flailed until she died.

    Have fun.

  213. #214 Uber
    February 16, 2007

    because they won’t break God’s law and murder babies?

    It wasn’t that long ago in this thread you where celebrating babies being killed and going to heaven. So again I must ask why would you object to babies being immediately sent to Heaven? What is wrong with abortion in the light of your ‘reasoning’? It’s the best possible outcome for the child.

    But maybe your one who buys into the overpopulation lie. “Saying there are too many babies is like saying there are two many flowers”

    good grief. It’s not others who have bought a lie.

    I know this because I have a friend whose mother 66 was on life support (she couldn’t breath on her own) and was conscious and of course forced into Medicare. Two goons came in front of him a tried forcibly to remove the life support, he forcibly stopped them. The police came and made him stand there and watch them remove his mother, while she was biting on the tube, and then she flailed until she died.

    I now think you are seriously deluded. Any atheist worth his salt would be for saving life. My question to you is that if you think that woman was going to Heaven again what was done wrong?

    The atheist position of ‘this is your only life’ would make the above a tragedy, your view really trivializes it as anything harmful in the big picture.

  214. #215 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    I now think you are seriously deluded. Any atheist worth his salt would be for saving life. My question to you is that if you think that woman was going to Heaven again what was done wrong?
    The atheist position of ‘this is your only life’ would make the above a tragedy, your view really trivializes it as anything harmful in the big picture.

    “Tho shall not kill” ever heard of that one? I think this should answer both your ignorant (not meant as an insult, you just don’t know) assumptions.

  215. #216 Uber
    February 16, 2007

    Nope never heard of it,:-)

    What is ignorant about you being consistent in your thinking?

    And it’s not an assumption. You argued previously that babies went to Heaven which excluded Jesus as being the only way there. Then now you are arguing that the same killing God did to prevent ‘bloodlines’ from being tainted or whatever you said made it ok is morally wrong when done by an abortion doctor.

    End result baby goes to Heaven correct or are you just incapable of seeing your own argument?

    I’m thinking your argument is pretty empty and to use your word ignorant.

  216. #217 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    Where in the Bible does it say that?
    The fact is, you don’t understand what the Bible means and I even wonder if you know what it says.

    What evidence do you offer that your idea of what it means is correct?

    What evidence, in fact, do you offer for ANY of your claims?

    Answer, please.

    fair enough, I will do the passover, give me some time to work it up

  217. #218 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    I am writing a book called “The Bible and the Catholic church”, I cover this in a chapter I have already written, and I thought I had a copy of it here at my work, I was wrong, when I get home a 6:00pm cst I’ll copy it and condense it and post it here, but it is a fair question and I wish to answer you, but I’m busy here at work. It should be up by 7:00 if nothing happens between now and then.

  218. #219 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    Isn’t Jesus dead? He isn’t smarter than me… he is deceased.
    Has kicked the bucket, bought the farm, no longer among the living.

    Was he smarter than me? Know way of knowing. The evidence of his ever existing is grossly exaggerated.

    I don’t know why we even bother with Physicist. You can’t confront him with his inconsistencies.

    He’s now finally getting to passover. Maybe he’ll get to Adam and Eve next week.

  219. #220 Uber
    February 16, 2007

    Quit reading things into what I say, I never said excluding Jesus. Jesus opened the doors to heaven and defeated death for once and for all times. Do you you think Jesus would cast into Hell someone who had not the ability to choose? Of course not he is God and way smarter than you

    Reading things into what you say? You said the babies went to Heaven. They didn’t believe in Jesus and now you say he wouldn’t send anyone who couldn’t choose to hell. This is elementary stuff. Therefore there are other ways to Heaven than through Jesus using your examples.

    And I guess God is way smarter than me it’s the men who want to speak in his name that I don’t think are.

    The fact is, you don’t understand what the Bible means and I even wonder if you know what it says.

    You clearly don’t know what the bible means and by your own admission haven’t read it.

    am writing a book called “The Bible and the Catholic church”,

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, that is just rich. The Catholic church, the organization that tried to prevent people from reading the bible and make people slaves to priests. The Catholic church that Protestant scholars have shown to be wrong on so much. The same church the last Pope appointed hundred of Saints. This organization filled with suppressed and active homosexuals who preach hypocritical piety all the while covering up the pedophilia of their own.

    A more detestable organization it would be hard to find. Fortunately the rank and file are not nearly as rotten as the hierachy itself.

  220. #221 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Hm…odd. Well, here goes again. Apparently it doesn’t like long posts, so I’ll do this in bits (sorry).

    “Junior hospitals” how so, because they won’t break God’s law and murder babies?

    Because they won’t provide birth control, actually. But yes, not providing abortions is right up there. Your God’s law also says that we shouldn’t put different kinds of fabric together, that we shouldn’t eat shellfish, and that we shouldn’t come into contact with menstruating women. Somehow, I doubt that those are concerns for any hospital. Why, then, do the Catholic ones pick the “murdering babies” law to obey?

    But maybe your one who buys into the overpopulation lie. “Saying there are too many babies is like saying there are two many flowers” – Can’t remember who said it for sure.

    That is among the most profoundly ignorant things I’ve ever read. No, I buy into the overpopulation evidence, and when one billion people are sharing India, that evidence is hard to ignore. This planet has limited space and limited resources, it cannot support an unlimited number of people. You don’t have to fucking feed flowers. When human babies become autotrophs, then you can make your glib little bumper-sticker statements about how many is too many. Until then, thousands of children are born with and dying of AIDS in Africa, in part because Catholic missionaries have convinced their countries and parents that birth control and prophylactics are sinful.

  221. #222 Carlie
    February 16, 2007

    Sure, he’ll do Passover? It’s the babies part that is at the crux of the original post, and the most damning to his morality, so he’s ignoring that bit. Sure, focus on literary parallels with passover instead. Easy way to dodge the real issue.

  222. #223 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Whoops, forgot a part. I really do apologize for the multi-post…I’m not sure why I’m having such trouble commenting.

    I have seen how secular society gives care in Texas, there is a law that allows hospitals to take someone off life support after ten days. If no other Hospital will take them then they get to die, and the person doesn’t have to be unconscious either. But you won’t read about it in the news papers, ’cause it is all done in the darkness, because evil can’t stand light.

    I’d hardly look at Texas as an example of a “secular society.” I’d like to see your references.

  223. #224 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Sigh, again, continued from above.

    How about the fraudulent Catholic anti-abortion organizations that advertise as abortion providers, then give patients the run-around until they can no longer legally seek abortion? Seems like that kind of evil makes it into the light just fine.
    Oh, and don’t get me started on pedophile priests and the church system which enables and protects them.

    By the way, “evil can’t stand light”? You’ve been reading too many Green Lantern comics.

  224. #225 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    You guys must think I have all the time in the world to answer you questions. Look, one at a time please, I said I would answer the passover question, and I will, now regarding the Babies that died. There Is not a certian answer to this question there are only possibilities, I believe they go to Heaven it doesn’t make me a Bad Catholic or illogical. Now decide on one question at a time and slow down.

    G. K. Chesterton noted that truth is not chronologically determined. The century of a teaching’s promulgation is not an argument for or against it. An old teaching is not necessarily truer for being old, and a new teaching is not necessarily truer for being new. Copernicus happened to be right, and Ptolemy wrong, about the motions of the planets, even though the former’s teaching was considered “novel.” Of course, it is as easy to point to older beliefs that are truer than their modern substitutes.

    Catechisms are not infallible documents. The Roman Catechism may have erred on the fate of unbaptized infants, and it may be that the new catechism, which offers no particular solution but just a generalized hope, is nevertheless closer to the right answer. It might be better to go with the “novel” teaching, which is more vague, and set aside the “traditional” teaching, which, some say, suggests a deficiency in God’s mercy.

    Where does that leave us? In limbo, so to speak. A Catholic may accept limbo, or he may reject it. He is not a better or worse Catholic for doing one or the other. But he does need to think through the problem–where do unbaptized infants go, and how does his solution, whatever it may be, square with God’s justice and mercy (both together, not just one taken separately)?

  225. #226 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    These are simple questions.

    Did god kill the first born of egypt on passover?

    Do you believe that original sin is passed down from Adam and Eve… genetically?
    Or just to mankind in general? Were they the actual first man and woman? A metaphor?

    Just say what you believe. It’s not difficult.

  226. #227 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Right…and where do infallibility, divine revelation, and your constant “read the Bible! You don’t understand it!” exhortations come in? If all the Catholic church has are guesses, then why do you oppose reading and interpreting the book for yourself? After all, if their doctrines are not infallible, then the Chesterton quotation applies equally well to those. Their interpretation is not more valid than mine or anyone else’s by virtue of being old, and their additional beliefs are, by your admission, fallible and subject to change. So why are they privileged, and how can you claim with certainty things like the Harrowing of Hell and genetic pollution which never appear in the Biblical text? Is it inerrant, or isn’t it?

  227. #228 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    Tom, you little mosquito buzzing around my ear, before this is over I going to smash you, but for now I do know this, that the Bible doesn’t directly answer the question of Limbo, I would not trust your interpretation of a book that is dead to you, ever. You Hate it, you are its enemy, so stop your nonsense.

  228. #229 Carlie
    February 16, 2007

    Ooo, a bug smashing! I’ll bring the popcorn.

  229. #230 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    On the beeleeverrrs can understand the book.

    Shhhhuunnnnn the unnnbeeleeverrr.

    Now here’s some nonsense.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q5im0Ssyyus

  230. #231 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    Ooh, threats of violence! And yet, still no answers.

    Nonsense coming from someone who cannot see rehtoric. You read stuff into what I have said claim it is what I said, then attack it as if you defeated what I have said. I said I believe the Babies go to heaven, but it is Gods business not mine.

    God did tell us everything and why would God (Jesus the Word) tell us what happens to Babies. When he said “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you”. Babies can’t read that, hear that or understand that. It wasn’t meant for them, it was meant for you.

  231. #232 Jason
    February 16, 2007

    I expect The Physicist will be sent to The Dungeon unless his conduct here improves.

  232. #233 Carlie
    February 16, 2007

    Whaa? When did he ever say that? Is that in one of those Catholic versions? None of the Last Suppers in the gospels has him saying “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you”. I just checked.

  233. #234 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    ONLY the believers can string the inconsistencies together and pretend it all makes comeplete sense.

    ONLY the believers can “understand” it.

  234. #235 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    Whaa? When did he ever say that? Is that in one of those Catholic versions? None of the Last Suppers in the gospels has him saying “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood there is no life in you”. I just checked.

    I thought ya’ll knew the Bible better than me?

    Here is the KJV, just to show you it is not just in the Catholic Bible.

    John chapter 6

    51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    52The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

    53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

  235. #236 Kseniya
    February 16, 2007

    Steve_C, this is just the thing to liven up those body-of-Christ wafers!!

  236. #237 Uber
    February 16, 2007

    There Is not a certian answer to this question there are only possibilities, I believe they go to Heaven it doesn’t make me a Bad Catholic or illogical.

    This just gets more and more funny. It wasn’t but a few posts ago that he was telling everyone one exactly what happened and insulting our reading ability. NOW we find out there are only possibilities. Oh and removing Jesus as a necessity certainly makes you a bad catholic and being catholic IMHO makes you illogical at least in regards to normal conversation.

    An old teaching is not necessarily truer for being old, and a new teaching is not necessarily truer for being new.

    This I agree with which is why the catholic reliance on tradition is pure crap.

    but for now I do know this, that the Bible doesn’t directly answer the question of Limbo

    Never addresses it at all because it’s made up. Pure fantasy.

    I would not trust your interpretation of a book that is dead to you, ever. You Hate it, you are its enemy, so stop your nonsense.

    What baloney! I see we are to the point of the discussion where now the book is somehow protected from being read by someone who doesn’t see it exactly their way. So you can understand Moby Dick if you’ve never seen a white whale.

    I said I believe the Babies go to heaven, but it is Gods business not mine.

    Yes, without believing in Jesus. Then you attacked people who have abortions when they are, according to you, doing the best thing possible for the babies. You have 2 different and contradictory stances that are plain to see.

    Babies can’t read that, hear that or understand that. It wasn’t meant for them, it was meant for you

    Ok granting your assertions then:

    1. babies get into heaven without believing in Jesus.

    2. There is nothing wrong with aborting babies at all as this sends them to Heaven. As a matter of fact you would be a great matyr for doing so. Self sacrifice to save millions.

  237. #238 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    OK, if I’m going to cause Blasphemy I’m out of here. If you people can’t have a modicum of respect for other peoples sincere beliefs then later.

  238. #239 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    But the flesh of the undead Jesus isn’t as fresh.

    Last supper flesh is better than the poorly preserved flesh of the resurrection.

    That stuff was walking the earth for 40 days after it escaped from the tomb.

    But if that’s all you have, the Zombie peanut butter is a nice pairing. Maybe a green apple garnish would complement it.

  239. #240 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    No dungeon neccessary!

  240. #241 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    Because it’s sincere doesn’t mean it deserves respect.
    You don’t seem to respect my sincere belief that it’s all crap.
    Believe all you want, I can tolerate it. Respect it? Not so much.

  241. #242 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    See what the God of the blog here has to say about babies.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2007/02/false-outrage-of-hypocrite.html

    Bye

  242. #243 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    See what the God of the blog here has to say about babies.

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2007/02/false-outrage-of-hypocrite.html

    Bye

    Sorry, one more. So we’re back to the “PZ is a hypocrite because he’s pro-abortion AND pro-euthanasia, but not pro-God-mandated slaughter of innocent healthy babies” argument? Yeah, Parakeet, that’s right. No one refuted that, not a hundred and fifty posts ago.

  243. #244 Kseniya
    February 16, 2007

    I’m with you, Tom.

  244. #245 kmarissa
    February 16, 2007

    Steve_C, it’s blasphemy if you COOK him. Eating him raw, however, is Divine (yum). Obviously, you don’t understand the Bible, or I wouldn’t have to explain this to you.

  245. #246 Steve_C
    February 16, 2007

    Sorry. I missed the chapter on Jesus sashimi versus ceviche.

  246. #247 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    Clearly, you guys never heard about the Bread Sea Scrolls. They found a lost book of the Bible: The Gospel of the Joy of Cooking.

    Chapter 3
    12: And the Lord said thou shalt preheat thy oven to three hundred threescore and fifteen degrees, for that is the holy temperature.
    13: Lo, and thou shalt baste thy savior’s flesh in a honey glaze, and it will be good.
    14: Yea, shalt thou place the meats into the oven and thou shalt cook until the flesh passeth for golden brown. Set thou no timer, for the day and the hour of the Lord’s preparation knoweth no man.
    15: Jesus cooked.
    16: For God so loved the world that he served his only begotten son, that whosoever eateth of him shall not famish, but be everlasting full.

  247. #248 windy
    February 16, 2007

    I am, however, still waiting for an answer to the baby paradox. If babies go straight to heaven, and letting them live all but condemns them to hell, why is it bad to take the blame upon yourself and give them the “go straight to heaven” card?

    To avoid the “killing them *before* you get the go-ahead from God is bad” defense, how about this:

    Over five thousand infants die each day from easily preventable diarrhea and dehydration. Should we try to save them? Doesn’t saving their lives mean that instead of going automatically to Heaven, they now have a substantial risk of going to Hell?

  248. #249 Azkyroth
    February 16, 2007

    The Physicist:

    “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” -Proverbs 16:18

  249. #250 Kseniya
    February 16, 2007

    You’re pathetic. “Smells death” – I smell a lying rat.

    You.

    I’m going to assume that everything you’ve said is a complete lie, because you refuse to back them up with anything but the hope of violent death for those with whom you disagree. We don’t want your “help”, we want to know if your life-support story is true or not. Given that your entire world-view is based on fiction, it’s probably safe to assume not.

    I am not “pro-abort” by the way. Go to hell. Not that you need my help getting there.

  250. #251 rrt
    February 16, 2007

    ….ooookayyy…I have no idea what that meant. Sorry. I get the feeling I missed a reference. Anyway, if you’re evading because you don’t know what I’m up to, then allow me to explain:

    There are news reports currently circulating of a court battle over a 66-year-old Texan woman who is about to be taken off life support. I thought it was an odd coincidence that you’d report a remarkably similar, yet apparently separate, anecdote a day after the media did. I also found your statement that the woman was conscious and fighting back to be dubious. At the least, I would expect it to generate substantial media attention. Assuming you didn’t cook up your anecdote, I intended to dig a bit further and see if you weren’t misrepresenting her condition ala Schiavo, or indeed to verify the possibility that this was an underreported genuine crime.

    Either way, if you’re going to present such an anecdote, you must reference it. If you can’t, for whatever reason, then you must not present it. Since you’ve already presented it, I ask you to back it up.

  251. #252 The Physicist
    February 16, 2007

    rrt

    Why would I tell you that considering what I am afraid he is going to do. Which I hope he does. And I hope all of them do it.

    But here is another now!

    http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/021507dntexendoflife.1798039.html

  252. #253 susannah
    February 16, 2007

    Blake Stacey wrote:
    “If you only get into heaven if you’ve been devoted enough to read the whole Bible, there’ll apparently be no line-up before St. Peter.”

    That’s for sure. I’m an atheist because I read and studied the whole Bible. So are many others like me.

    No line-up at all.

  253. #254 David Marjanovi?
    February 16, 2007

    The quotes are just in chronological order:

    Blue form goes to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Tonantzin! The Aztec goddess of flowers! :-)

    And atheism destroys the firm hope, leaving us to lament in our own solitude. Which is better?

    So, The Physicist, you admit that you only believe because you want to believe? Don’t you think this is the worst imaginable reason to believe?

    Yes and No – and there is your simple answer.

    “Simple answer”? Not maybe doublethink?

    Tell that to the people living in slavery or that have had whole families killed in Africa. Go offer them you comforting philosphy of life, tell them to suck it up.

    But suppose, just for the sake of the argument, that it’s true. Should we lie to people just to make them feel good? Are you maybe lying to yourself to make yourself feel good? Just asking…

    Science is secular, atheistic, and universal.

    It’s not really atheistic; apathetic agnosticism is more like it. Untestable ideas are simply ignored.

    I have seen how secular society gives care in Texas

    Not every atheist votes Libertarian, dude, nor the party of Grover Norquist. Not even in Texas.

    who killed Galileo

    Giordano Bruno, you mean. They didn’t do that with Galileo Galilei anymore.

    God’s justice and mercy (both together, not just one taken separately)

    “Justice exists only in hell. In heaven there’s mercy.”
    – Hanging in a Catholic parish in Austria. I don’t remember the author of the quote.

  254. #255 David Marjanovi?
    February 16, 2007

    The quotes are just in chronological order:

    Blue form goes to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Tonantzin! The Aztec goddess of flowers! :-)

    And atheism destroys the firm hope, leaving us to lament in our own solitude. Which is better?

    So, The Physicist, you admit that you only believe because you want to believe? Don’t you think this is the worst imaginable reason to believe?

    Yes and No – and there is your simple answer.

    “Simple answer”? Not maybe doublethink?

    Tell that to the people living in slavery or that have had whole families killed in Africa. Go offer them you comforting philosphy of life, tell them to suck it up.

    But suppose, just for the sake of the argument, that it’s true. Should we lie to people just to make them feel good? Are you maybe lying to yourself to make yourself feel good? Just asking…

    Science is secular, atheistic, and universal.

    It’s not really atheistic; apathetic agnosticism is more like it. Untestable ideas are simply ignored.

    I have seen how secular society gives care in Texas

    Not every atheist votes Libertarian, dude, nor the party of Grover Norquist. Not even in Texas.

    who killed Galileo

    Giordano Bruno, you mean. They didn’t do that with Galileo Galilei anymore.

    God’s justice and mercy (both together, not just one taken separately)

    “Justice exists only in hell. In heaven there’s mercy.”
    – Hanging in a Catholic parish in Austria. I don’t remember the author of the quote.

  255. #256 rrt
    February 16, 2007

    Physicist:

    It’s a funny thing: I don’t like being lied to (that your 66-year-old existed), I don’t like rhetorical games (“what I am afraid he is going to do”), and I don’t like “playing dumb” (acting as though you didn’t know I was referring to Rimmer.) I’ve had enough of you.

  256. #257 Stanton
    February 16, 2007

    The Physicist is undoubtedly one of those Christians who feel that it’s paramount to focus on the fear of God, rather than the love of God, and that his interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation, he’s also a concern troll.

  257. #258 Tom Foss
    February 16, 2007

    It’s not really atheistic; apathetic agnosticism is more like it. Untestable ideas are simply ignored.

    Atheistic in the most literal sense, in that science works without (or independent of) any deities.

    Wow, Physicist has really gotten nutty. Perhaps ’twas earwigs, and not mosquitoes, crawling about his ears.

  258. #259 Blake Stacey
    February 16, 2007

    Susannah:

    I’m glad you appreciated the line I quoted (“If you only get into heaven if you’ve been devoted enough to read the whole Bible, there’ll apparently be no line-up before St. Peter”). Just to make sure I’m not propagating a false impression, I took that from Robert Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians (which is a very good read!).

    See how humble I am, that I don’t even let a nice person attribute a clever quotation to me? When you’re as humble as I am, Goddammit, you can be proud!

  259. #260 The Physicist
    February 17, 2007

    One more thing before I leave. Let me give credit where credit is due and that is to Puddy Katz. What she said struck a chord with me and those who did not understand what she said, may I recomend GK Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”. What she/he (hard to tell any more) said is much more along the line of madness that exists between atheism, materialism and orthodoxy. You should all take a lesson from her. She has to have read Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” to say what she/he said.

    I recomend the madness, do what you will. And she did not devolve into insults, she just said the matter of fact, and I respect that.

  260. #261 Sean
    February 17, 2007

    The Physicist is undoubtedly one of those Christians who feel that it’s paramount to focus on the fear of God, rather than the love of God, and that his interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation, he’s also a concern troll.

    Ok. Metadiscussion starter.

    The definition of ‘concern troll’ I use must be considerably different than that used by Pharyngula regulars. Have been a might confused a couple times when it was thrown my way, and now I am plum lost how Physicist qualifies. What is your definition of the term?

  261. #262 Steve_C
    February 17, 2007

    FIle under useful tactics.

    When an annoying catholic comes to spout theology. Make jokes about communion and the “body” of christ.

    I would be happy to discuss the supposed “miracles” of the sacrement. Or the bizarre eat my body verses of the bible.

    But don’t you dare mock the loony beliefs.

  262. #263 Keith Douglas
    February 18, 2007

    gordonsowner: Christians claim that Jesus = God. The rest follows easily enough by the usual substitution rules for identity. (This is why PZ mentions the Arian heresy – because it denies the statement.)

    Dymphna: I don’t know about you, but Kierkegaard is also IMO one of the most consistent Christians there is, and illustrates (as you have pointed out) how horrendous it can be as a moral system. (This on top of all the ontological and epistemological failings, of course.)

    Blake Stacey: Amazing! You’ve done (basically) what I’ve wanted to do ever since running into fundies on my own, and confirmed my intuitions.

    I have seen lists of “Bible passages to read for certain events” – and they are usually at most a chapter. Not surprising that believers are so ignorant of their own documents.

    (I must confess I have never read all 66 books either. I have read all of the NT, but when reading Numbers in my read through the OT I practically fell asleep.)

    grendelkhan: Drop acid? Hell, I hope he never gets a slight bit drunk.

    Rey Fox: Of course, but these are the people who make a great ontologically significant pun – the logos bit in John 1 … so …

    Tom Foss: Plato (no atheist, for sure) seems to have held that goodness comes from The Form of the Good, which may be independent of God. This would be heretical to a Christian, but Christianity (not the Bible, I might add) emphasizes ex nihilo creation, where as Plato is clear that the Forms and the “receptacle of becoming” preexist the material universe and (possibly) many souls.

    Galloway: Except the “the deep”, of course …

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