Pharyngula

More Catholic inanity

The pope’s ridicuolus and wrong stance on condoms has led to world-wide outrage, and the Vatican is going to be sent millions of condoms in response. I have an even better idea: if you’re Catholic, leave the church. Why you are following an ignorant, superstitious kook as a moral authority is mystifying to me.

In another weird story of the Catholic persecution complex, look what a Brazilian archbishop has to say:

“The Jews talk about six million people killed. But how many Catholics were victims of the Holocaust? They were 22 million in all,” Archbishop Dadeus Grings, from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, told advertising magazine Press & Advertising.

Hmm. About 3 million Catholics were killed by the Nazi regime in camps…but it wasn’t for being Catholic. It was for being Polish. I don’t know where this mysterious “22 million” number comes from — there were 42 million total civilian casualties in World War II. Is he trying to include every single dead Catholic as a direct victim of the Holocaust? Since by far the largest fraction of the casualties in that war were borne by the Soviet Union, shouldn’t we then be complaining that atheists were the true martyrs? (Not that I would, I think the reasoning of this archbishop is specious.)

Comments

  1. #1 Matthew Lee
    March 28, 2009

    One would hope that when the faithful see such a ridculous arbitrary figure, they would come to realize their “leaders” are most obviously being deliberately dishonest.

    Alas, I feel we,the faithless, care more about the sheep than the sheeperherds..No wait, I KNOW we care more then they do.

  2. #2 60613
    March 28, 2009

    I am apt to find the “reasoning” of any devoutly religious person to be specious. Except perhaps for Mother Theresa and (at some points) Martin Luther.

    I admit that I rather over do on this point. :)

  3. #3 Aquaria
    March 28, 2009

    Mother Teresa was a horrible person, denying pain medication to patients because it was ‘Christ-like’ to suffer.

    I bet her death wasn’t painful, although it deserved to be for all the suffering she caused her ‘patients.’

  4. #4 Alison S
    March 28, 2009

    I guess then that Hitler was counted as a Catholic holocaust victim.

    #2 What possible “reasoning” could you find in Mother Theresa who never met a vicious dictator she couldn’t cozy up to and who was really big on keeping people poor and suffering. Read Christopher Hitchens on the evil witch for a real eye-opener.

  5. #5 PZ Myers
    March 28, 2009

    And Martin Luther was a deranged anti-semite. Read The Jews and Their Lies for a real look at the founder of Protestantism.

  6. #6 Newfie
    March 28, 2009
  7. #7 recovering catholic
    March 28, 2009

    Again I am suffering from cognitive dissonance as to how someone like Ken Miller can possibly reconcile his excellent science with his evil religion…

  8. #8 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    penismartyr envy

  9. #9 Tomaz
    March 28, 2009

    Makes me feel ashamed for living in the same city (Porto Alegre) this fool does.

  10. #10 recovering catholic
    March 28, 2009

    Again I am suffering from cognitive dissonance as to how someone like Ken Miller can possibly reconcile his excellent science with his evil religion…

  11. #11 Jason
    March 28, 2009

    Fortunately I can say that my wife has finally stopped going to church. She was already what you might call a progressive catholic to start and was frequently aggravated by some of their most ridiculous claims. However, when the Vatican declared that anyone attempting to ordain a woman would be excommunicated that sent her over the edge. I understand that there are so many more egregious problems with the church but I am just grateful that something finally flipped that switch in her mind and she realized that she didn’t need to succumb to their presumed authority. I hope that with time other beliefs also fall by the wayside as she sees their irrationality but at least my christian wife is no longer ensnared by the church.

  12. #12 raven
    March 28, 2009

    And Martin Luther was a deranged anti-semite. Read The Jews and Their Lies for a real look at the founder of Protestantism.

    1. Martin Luther hated the Jews and proposed a Final Solution to eradicate them. At Niremburg, one defense of the perps was that they were just carrying out Luther’s plans.

    2. Luther also was a fervent believer in demons and the devil. He saw demons everywhere and claimed to talk with satan often.

    3. He didn’t much like women either. He said they were only good for childbearing and should be kept pregnant until they wear out and die.

    In Sunday school and secondary school, we got a rather white washed history of Luther and the Reformation. “Luther nailed some large number of thesis to a door and lots of people left the RCC.”

    The reality was a bit different. To some extent he was just a product of his time, but as a hero he is definitely a bit weak. He was right about the RCC as even they acknowledged. I think you can still buy Indulgences and human body parts with magical properties called Saints relicts, but the trade is way down. Anyone interested could check Ebay for current prices.

    And the Reformation wars lasted for 400 years and killed tens of millions.

  13. #13 MH
    March 28, 2009

    Since by far the largest fraction of the casualties in that war were borne by the Soviet Union, shouldn’t we then be complaining that atheists were the true martyrs?

    While it’s true that the Soviet Union was anti-theistic, it would be wrong to conclude that soviets were therefore atheists. If the U.S. became anti-theistic tomorrow, American theists wouldn’t stop believing in their gods.

  14. #14 Zeno
    March 28, 2009

    In case there’s not enough weirdness coming from the Catholic church and its apologists, the Catholic media in the U.S. have been babbling this week about the “orchestrated” campaign to concentrate negative attention on the pope’s condom statements and to ignore the “rapturous” reception accorded to the pontiff during his African sojourn. When it comes to conspiracy theorists, it’s difficult to beat the Catholic media. They can’t understand why international attention would focus on a dumb statement by one of the world’s leading religious figures (“Pope Screws Condom Facts”) at the expense of coverage of mundane events (“Dog Bites Man”, “Pope Conducts Mass”). It’s yet one more demonstration that Catholic media are a propaganda arm of the church, not an actual journalistic endeavor.

    I should work up a post on the subject this weekend. Some of the Catholic media quotes are pretty funny (or scary; both adjectives are correct).

  15. #15 becca
    March 28, 2009

    Again I am suffering from cognitive dissonance as to how someone like Ken Miller can possibly reconcile his excellent science with his evil religion…

    My comp. religion teacher and I have mixed it up a couple of times on the question of why people feel the need for God in their lives. She recommended that I read a book by Huston Smith called Why Religion Matters.

    his answer? wait for it…

    because Religion provides a “happy ending” when all Scientism (his word) can provide is an exploding sun and the probable heat death of the universe, which is sooooo depressing.

    when I want a happy ending, I’ll read a romance or a mystery story.

  16. #16 Sili
    March 28, 2009

    To give 60613 the benefit of doubt, perhaps they meant Martin Luther King.

  17. #17 Quidam
    March 28, 2009

    Hitler sounds a lot more like Martin Luther than the scientific atheist the Fundamentalists continually try to paint him as,

    I shall give you my sincere advice
    First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools…
    Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies…
    Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them…
    Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb…
    Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews…
    Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping…
    Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow…
    In brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule: if my counsel does not please you, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews. Martin Luther

    Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.Adolph Hitler

    Darwinism led?in a pretty much straight line?to Nazism and the Holocaust Ben Stein

    Yeah right. The straight line is a 6 lane autobahn paved by centuries of Christians.

  18. #18 Jerry O
    March 28, 2009

    I agree with the wholehearted condemnation of Catholic and papal authority on this issue and all others, but I think you have misread the Brazilian bishop’s statements. It appears to me he was saying that there were a total of 22 million Holocaust victims, of which a significant number were Catholic, not that there were 22 million Catholic victims. This is probably reasonably accurate, but still doesn’t justify demeaning or underestimating the Jewish experience of the period.

  19. #19 Dahan
    March 28, 2009

    I’m serious about this question. What is WITH Christians in general and Catholics in particular having such a huge persecution complex? I mean, I understand that it can help a group draw together, but is that all it really is?

  20. #20 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    Again I don’t understand – if no God and therefore no global definition of good and bad how can we rationally condemn even the Holocaust – it ends up just being our opinion versus the perpetrators’! Also any rational system has to start from some sort of axiom – look e.g. at mathematics. I still think the arguments for and against religion are a bit more complicated than the relatively easy shots against creationism etc that usually appear here. The above argument for religion as the axiom for rational morality goes back to Kant. Also I thought science was about keeping some sort of open mind, even in this case about religion…..

  21. #21 Jason
    March 28, 2009

    I’m with #13, the bulk of Soviet deaths would come from th Orthodox church, and claiming them as catholics is kind of like claiming dogs as cats.

    I also hope that #2 was talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and not Martin Luther the lunatic.

    Finally, this jackass bishop also claims that the Roma (gypsies) were exterminated in the Holocaust, which is wrong because there are plenty of Roma left now and there were the as well. The man is obviously insane or just a bad liar.

  22. #22 bootsy
    March 28, 2009

    Even if this arch-dipshit’s figures were accurate, there are a billion catholics in the world, and only 14 million jews. It’s not a numbers contest, but clearly there is a difference between attempting to destroy a minority and fighting with some of the few fair-minded members of a majority.

    Besides, there’s a lot of Nazi/catholic overlap, even if we discount Hitler’s catholicism. The Nazis tried to destroy other minorities that the catholics still do, like Gays. And that if anyone listened to the Nazi Pope (hopefully fewer will), there would be even more genocide going on due to AIDS.

  23. I’ve talked about the Catholics who were victims of the Holocaust. usually it is in response to those atheists who claim the event was entirely religious in nature and due to Christian anti-semitism. When you point out that in reality there were a large number of Christians and disabled people killed in camps too they tend to shut up

  24. #24 Rich
    March 28, 2009

    Someone should calculate how many people the Catholics have killed with their ‘no condoms’ policy.

  25. #26 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    Why Catholics who disagree don’t leave the church:
    A lot of people I’m close to are in this category and it varies. Often it’s just that they never cared enough about their religion to renounce it. Sometimes is probably about community. In other cases though, they genuinely think that while flawed, often wrong and somewhat corrupt the church has something special in it that is worth preserving: some privileged closeness God or whatever. I actually think this sort of position takes a lot less mental gymnastics than being a consistently “correct” catholic (if you think of some of the church doctrines, this isn’t saying much). If you think the church is Very Good but not perfect, then, when the church brass say you have to believe things you don’t, you can just assume it’s one of the imperfections and not hold against the Very Goodness.

    It’s not terribly rational, but it’s I think it’s a common human tendency to see a good “true” version of entity you care about behind the corrupt everyday version. People do with nationality all the time.

  26. #27 recovering catholic
    March 28, 2009

    Tom @20–

    I suggest you read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, especially chapter 6: “The Roots of Morality: Why Are We Good?”

    Many others have written about the inherent (genetic) tendency of most people to treat other people well, but Dawkins may be a good starting point for you.

  27. #28 bootsy
    March 28, 2009

    @20 Tom: Account for the fact that the same catholics who almost appear to be decrying the holocaust (it’s kind of hard to tell, actually) were the same ones who launched the Crusades. The same ‘god’ endorses genocide when it’s explicitly launched by his own believers?

    Clearly morality has evolved, and is no more ‘eternal’ or ‘absolute’ than anything else.

  28. #29 Tulse
    March 28, 2009

    Wait a minute, PZ…I’m not clear here…are you saying there is a Catholic leader saying something outrageous about the Holocaust? Certainly that can’t be true! Fortunately, even if it is, we know that this is just an isolated incident, right? The Church has always strongly opposed the Holocaust, and always supported Judaism.

    when I want a happy ending, I’ll read a romance or a mystery story

    When I want a happy ending, I get a full body massage…

  29. #30 Anon
    March 28, 2009

    About 3 million Catholics were killed by the Nazi regime in camps?but it wasn’t for being Catholic. It was for being Polish.

    Thank you so much for saying that. I never mention it because I don’t want to sound like I’m somehow trying to belittle the scale of the Jewish catastrophe. But many Polish gentiles lost nearly an entire generation of our families to Nazi (and also Soviet) torture and execution. Our parents grew up with scars and with few role-models. My dad remembers his dad being taken away at night. That sort of thing does real and lasting damage.

    Also, because both Nazis and Soviets made a systematic effort to destroy the intelligentsia, Polish universities were literally gutted. It didn’t matter if you were Jewish or gentile; it sufficed that you were Polish. Again: that sort of thing does lasting harm. Maybe Poland will be a less freaky — less conservative, less homophobic, less Catholic — contributor to the community of nations once the damage has healed. I’d give it another 50 years or so.

  30. #31 Kraes85
    March 28, 2009

    @Dahan #19:
    I think it’s because they really truely believe that the world is divided into Good and Evil and that the world is filled with Evil out to get them, God’s chosen, in particular. It doesn’t matter that they’re the dominant religious denomination, they interpret their collective life using only their myth. It’s not a rational choice made to keep the group together, although it has that effect.
    That’s also why they have to fight science. It introduces new ways for ordinary people to interpret their existence and it can kill group cohesion. When cohesion’s gone, religious beliefs go aswell.

  31. #32 faux mulder
    March 28, 2009

    give up catholicism? sorry, but i’m much too fond of the fine, hessian undergarments.

  32. #33 David
    March 28, 2009

    Hmm. And then there are the thousands (or millions?) of people whom the Roman Catholic Church killed or had killed: dissenters, “heretics”, witches, Jews, etc.

    Do I smell extreme hypocrisy?

  33. #34 JD
    March 28, 2009

    Dont be a wafer denialist PZ.

  34. #35 Tulse
    March 28, 2009

    The above argument for religion as the axiom for rational morality goes back to Kant.

    No, Kant’s argument was that the existence of god was necessary to ground morality, and not “religion”. You could get Kant’s position with a Deist god that doesn’t require the worship and ritual and ingroup-outgroup prejudice of religion. Kant’s view is extremely weak solace to those who argue that religion is necessary for morality.

  35. #36 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    No. 27 – So what happened to the genetic tendency towards good in 1930’s Nazism?

    No. 20 – Morality has almost certainly evolved but at each point there may still be a right and a wrong way to proceed. One argument for the religious view is that at least it looks for good acts to be meaningful. The alternative route suggests that good and bad may just be a matter of personal opinion and this leads to the question of how to decide whether the Holocaust perpetrators’ views are as valid as ours!

    I also find Richard Dawkins views somewhat contradictory. For someone who doesnt believe in a global moral code he spends a lot of time debating the morality of religion etc!

  36. #37 raven
    March 28, 2009

    There is a huge gulf between the celibate clergy and the laity in the RCC and has been for generations.

    In the USA, the priests and pope say one thing. The members smile and nod and do whatever they think is right. The leadership ignores that because if they excommunicated every catholic who used contraceptives, they would have no one left. No members=no money=no religion.

    It is the original Don’t ask, don’t tell.

    Some catholic friends are now attending a protestant church. Must mean something.

  37. #38 Tabby Lavalamp
    March 28, 2009

    Sili wrote:

    To give 60613 the benefit of doubt, perhaps they meant Martin Luther King.

    That would be an improvement, because at least King’s sexism wasn’t as rabid as Luther’s antisemitism.

  38. #39 Aquaria
    March 28, 2009

    if no God and therefore no global definition of good and bad how can we rationally condemn even the Holocaust

    Good grief, what an asinine statement. One can’t feel compassion for the deaths of huge swaths of people for such an arbitrary reason, with or without an imaginary sky friend? I feel just as much compassion for the Poles, the Gypsies, and the homosexuals killed during the Holocaust. There was no reason for any of them to die the way they did.

  39. #40 Ex-PFC Chuck
    March 28, 2009

    That Brazilian outrage was the last straw on the camel’s pope’s back in the view of my heretofore Catholic wife of nearly 43 years. She now says “I believe in God, but not the church.” Progress. All along she’s been “her own kind of Catholic” as she used to put it. For example, all three of our 30 something children have long since left the faith, and if she had a problem with that I never heard about it. Nor did they, as far as I know. But the martinet who recently mounted the St. Paul archbishop’s throne and, finally, the Brazilian thing, pushed her over the edge. To her eternal credit, she never tried to proselytize me. For that matter, neither did I her.

  40. #41 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    @Jerry O: It’s plausible that he meant 22 million to be all the victims (although 22 million Catholics is the more obvious reading of what PZ quoted; I’ll try to find the original).
    However he did say this:

    [M]orreram mais católicos do que judeus no holocausto, mas isso não aparece porque os judeus têm a propaganda do mundo

    Which is

    More Catholics than Jews died in the holocaust, but this doesn’t come out because the Jews have the world’s propaganda

    Also, since he’s thinks the absolute number of Catholics killed compared to Jews is the notable thing but that the proportion of Gypsies (Roma and Sinti) is, it’s hard to see that his intention isn’t to downplay the Jewish suffering. Basically, he’s a flat out Jew-hater.

  41. #42 Tony P
    March 28, 2009

    I have an enhancement to suggest to the million condoms. Make them ‘used’ condoms.

  42. #43 tigerlily
    March 28, 2009

    @Dahan(#9)
    The Christians keep their minions whipped up and in a frenzy by telling them they’re under attack. It’s “us vs. them” and they need every body (and every body’s wallet) to keep themselves in power.

    @Tom (#20) There were guidelines of acceptable and unacceptable behavior long before the 10 commandments. There had to be or people wouldn’t have been able to live in communities where life was safer and better than living on your own. You think it took Moses to come up with – don’t kill other people, it’s not very nice and their tribe might want to kill YOU in revenge?

  43. #44 Aquaria
    March 28, 2009

    I also find Richard Dawkins views somewhat contradictory. For someone who doesnt believe in a global moral code he spends a lot of time debating the morality of religion etc!

    Looks like we have a new Catholic chew-toy.

    Tom, are you willfully obtuse, or just brain dead?

    Where in Richard Dawkins’s writings does he posit anything about a global moral code? Citations, please, and not from the voices in your head.

    For that matter, where does any religion offer a global moral code? They don’t think morals are global. You only get to be “moral” in their book if you follow their particular code. Doesn’t sound global to me.

    And why not point out the immorality of pious frauds claiming to be moral when they are anything but?

  44. #45 Kseniya
    March 28, 2009

    How utterly ludicrous. Obviously, Hitler was ostensibly Catholic.

    My grandparents were still in Ukraine during the war. Some ten million Ukrainians died in the war. How many of them were “practicing” atheists? Not many. Like many Russians and other Soviets, most were Orthodox Christians living in a repressive atheistic state. Neither an entire culture, nor the peoples who comprise it, become atheist overnight by way of state mandate.

  45. #46 Ex-PFC Chuck
    March 28, 2009

    Actually, I should clarify my comment #40. It was not the quote re the holocaust that PZ refers to in the post that set off my wife. It was the incident of a few weeks ago, in which a Brazilian archbishop excomunicated everyone involved in the abortion that was performed on the 9 year old girl who had been raped.

  46. #47 Last Hussar
    March 28, 2009

    You can’t just give up Catholicism, the pope actually has to kick you out- you have no say in matter. Dara O’Briein did a segment on this.

    Anyhoo- Condoms KILL babies. Evil Evil Protestents and Atheists. I wonder what the position on vasectomies is.

    On a related note Channel 4 had a programme “The Great Human Sperm Race”, showing how difficult the sperm’s journey is, by scaling it up to human size. The phrase “The sperm now enter the vagina- 5 miles long and a mile wide” will live with me for a very long time.

  47. #48 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    I’ve talked about the Catholics who were victims of the Holocaust. usually it is in response to those atheists who claim the event was entirely religious in nature and due to Christian anti-semitism. When you point out that in reality there were a large number of Christians and disabled people killed in camps too they tend to shut up

    mega fail.

    the nazis exterminated those they found inferior: the gays and disabled people because they were “degenerate”, the Polish (those Catholics you’re speaking of) because they were “racially inferior”, and the Jews… because they were Jews and by default worse than Christians. The nazis were many different flavors of evil, their Christian anti-semitism is in no way contradicted by their racism.

  48. #49 Tabby Lavalamp
    March 28, 2009

    Dahan wrote:

    I’m serious about this question. What is WITH Christians in general and Catholics in particular having such a huge persecution complex? I mean, I understand that it can help a group draw together, but is that all it really is?

    Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
    5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    Matthew goes on and on, so meanwhile, elsewhere in this overrated tome…

    2 Timothy 3:12 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    The bible tells Christians they will be persecuted, so even when they hold majority status and political power in a nation, they look for this persecution everywhere. It has to be happening because the bible told them so!

  49. #50 Vic
    March 28, 2009

    I can not imagine how anyone could stay a member of the Catholic Church after all the diarrhea that has spewed from their leaders over the years. Another example of the religious being consistently excused for their ignorance where a secular org would have been condemned.

  50. #51 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Maybe Poland will be a less freaky — less conservative, less homophobic, less Catholic — contributor to the community of nations once the damage has healed. I’d give it another 50 years or so.

    not likely. you don’t digest 150 years of traumatic history that quickly. or, as a friend was fond of saying: “other nations have a history, the Irish and the Polish have a psychosis”

  51. #52 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    No. 43 – So what happened in the 1930’s is only to be condemned on the grounds that the Nazis didnt survive and on no other grounds – because there is no way to decide right and wrong? Now the world may even be like that but I think we have to be clear about what the full implications of the non-religious view is! This is why I think the debate about religion is perhaps more balanced than people usually see it these days.

  52. #53 Badger3k
    March 28, 2009

    Tom – most people in the world consider the killing of people on such a scale (and in such a way) as in the Holocaust as wrong. If we want to try an objective value system, you can’t rely on the bible, which condones genocide if done in the name of Yahweh. The belief that whatever a god says is good is not an objective system, but an extremely relative and subjective one.

    Since most people call genocide evil (mainly, I would gather, from the intentional harm caused to other humans), we are justified, as human beings, with saying that the Holocaust was wrong. There is a lot of information out about possible evolutionary/genetic basis for morality, and quite a bit on how we form our morals (Michael Shermer’s The Science of Good and Evil comes to mind immediately as a place to start). Obviously, there are more, and more detailed, arguments for a humanistic theory of ethics that incorporates our genetic tendencies while not enshrining them, as not all of our tendencies are for the benefit of others. The argument you use (or seem to use) is an old one that many creationists and theists try to use to show how their subjective morals are actually some outside, imposed, objective morals. It’s never worked except to apologists and the faithful who want it to work. Sorry, but it all boils down to the dilemma of “is god (supposedly) good because he has to be (meaning there is a morality outside god) or because he sets the standard (meaning good is subjective to whatever god wants)”. Either there is an objective morality outside of a god (and therefore outside of a religion) or there isn’t an objective morality.

    Besides, look at many recent studies showing no correlation between religious belief and things that we call moral, including quality of life (such as health care, lack or teenage pregnancy, STDs, divorce – you know, the staples of the the “family values” crowd).

    Post-modernist thinking like you seem to espouse in your first question relies upon the belief that humans are blank slates with no innate values, something that scientific studies of humans tend to disprove. We seem to have a set of loose guidelines in our genes and wiring that may be expressed differently, and can even be overcome, but is a commonality with humans across the world. It gives us a starting point for an evolved, rational, humanist system of ethics, rather than bronze or iron age mythologies written for cultures and circumstances that no longer exist.

    As for the last, science is the process of exploration and discovery, but keeping an open mind does not mean you swallow every line of bull fed to you. You can open your mind so much your brain really does fall out, to be filled with whatever woo or mythology that may be nearby.

  53. #54 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    “The Popes ridiculous and wrong stance on condoms”?

    The reality is that we should live moral lives. The reality is that we should be in control of our desires and not be controlled by them. The reality is that there are consequences to immoral behavior. The use of condoms will not and cannot eliminate the consequences of immoral behavior. The solution to the spread of sexually transmitted disease, is to behave morally. So many people lack the common sense to realize this simple Truth. It’s impossible to combat immorality with immorality. Immorality can only be defeated with morality. That’s the point that the Holy Father makes and he, in fact, proclaims the Truth. The reason that people are outraged is because they deny the Truth and wish to be confirmed in their sin. Here’s a little bit of Truth, if the Holy Father wasn’t being persecuted, then it wouldn’t be so obvious that he’s proclaiming the Truth.

  54. #55 Sili
    March 28, 2009

    Of course he’s a Jew-hater. The Jews killed his saviour, didn’t they? Same excuse they’ve used for the past 1900-odd years.

    MLK was sexist? I was actually gonna ask if we had some beef with him as well, but I skipped it. Do tell.

    #30, Anon,
    Thanks, I didn’t know that. I am honestly very annoyed with the Polish guvment these days, but I had somehow ignored the degree to which gentiles were persecuted and exterminated too. That’s what I get for forgetting my Curie.

    I’d still prefer to swap out Poland with Turkey in the EU unless they clean up their act, though.

  55. #56 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    For what it’s worth (and given what the Archbish did say (see #31), it isn’t worth a lot) I think Jerry O @ 18 is probably right on the number 22 million referring to all victims. I can’t find the exact equivalent part in Portuguese but I have from Brazilian news site:

    Os judeus falam em 6 milhões de mortos. O nazismo matou mais de 20 milhões de pessoas ? compara.

    That is

    The Jews speak of 6 million deaths. Nazism killed more than 20 million people – compare.

    Incidentally the number I’ve normally seen for total deaths in the holocaust is something like 12 million; is he counting allied soldiers killed in battle? That would bulk up the numbers of Catholics I guess (French and extra Poles especially).

  56. #57 TetrahedralPete
    March 28, 2009

    “Someone should send condoms in response.” LOL

  57. #58 chancelikely
    March 28, 2009

    Any morality system that condemns the Holocaust but assumes that the actions taken by Joshua in the book of Joshua are both historical and moral is a deficient system.

  58. #59 MH
    March 28, 2009

    Like many Russians and other Soviets, most were Orthodox Christians living in a repressive atheistic state.

    The Soviet state was anti-theistic, not atheistic. States can’t be atheistic (or theistic), because theism deals with god-belief, and states don’t have the capacity to believe.

    /pedant

  59. #60 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    It’s impossible to combat immorality with immorality. Immorality can only be defeated with morality.

    except we’re combating a deadly disease, not your particular definition of “immorality” numbnut. btw, 60-95% of all new HIV invections occur within steady relationships and marriages. being a virgin bride ain’t gonna help if your husband is HIV positive

  60. #61 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    No. 39 – You feel compassion for the Holocaust victims and so do I. But if no global good or bad how do we decide if our views have any more validity than Heidegger, Hitler and the Nazis’ who defined good as the purity of the Aryan race?

  61. #62 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009
    Maybe Poland will be a less freaky — less conservative, less homophobic, less Catholic — contributor to the community of nations once the damage has healed. I’d give it another 50 years or so.

    not likely. you don’t digest 150 years of traumatic history that quickly. or, as a friend was fond of saying: “other nations have a history, the Irish and the Polish have a psychosis”

    Except as I understand it, taken as whole Ireland is considerably less conservative, less homophobic and less Catholic than Poland

  62. #63 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    tom, you clearly lack the very basic human attribute called “empathy”. or else you’d understand why killing a human for no reason is bad, and purity is irrelevant.

  63. #64 Dennis N
    March 28, 2009

    Tom is working under the standard Christian belief that sex is immoral. SEX IS NOT IMMORAL. In fact, it’s fun and healthy. Often times I skip my daily run just to have sex, as a good work out. Deal with it Tom.

  64. #65 SteveM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim @54:

    The solution to the spread of sexually transmitted disease, is to behave morally.

    If the Pope had limited his statements to this, I don’t think there would be any outrage. We expect religion to speak out about morality and immorality, whether we agree with their definition or not. The outrage comes from him outright lying about the efficacy of condoms. Saying that condoms will make the epidemic worse is a lie pure and simple, no “ifs” “ands” or “buts”.

  65. #66 genesgalore
    March 28, 2009

    PPRAAWK!!! polly wants her cracker.

  66. #67 Ex-PFC Chuck
    March 28, 2009

    re #47
    An interesting book was published 12 years ago entitled Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex. (http://tinyurl.com/d9bapa the subtitle was changed on the paperback.) The author argues that much of human behavior, not to mention the specifics of reproduction, evolved because of competition among sperm inseminated by multiple partners. Robin Baker, the author, intersperses explanations of the science with illustrative fictional vignettes; some of the latter make good “one-handed reading.”

  67. #68 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Except as I understand it, taken as whole Ireland is considerably less conservative, less homophobic and less Catholic than Poland

    not by much, and if you include Northern Ireland (my friend certainly did), they’re no less crazed. But then, Catholicism didn’t liberate the Irish from the communists, so that might explain that part, at least. Poles worshipped the last pope probably more than they worshipped god himself. maybe you’re right and it will wear off with the new dude…?

  68. #69 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Dammit Jadehawk, I was just going to go off about empathy. Tom, I do not need a god to realize that there are other people and that they have the same rights to life that I demand for myself. Tom, you are trying to appeal to authority.

  69. #70 Zar
    March 28, 2009

    Tim:

    The reality is that sex is not immoral. The reality is that your parents should have used birth control instead of conceiving you.

  70. #71 Jack Hdfk
    March 28, 2009

    he’s got a point though (gewan pz). atheists did win the second world war (pretty much single handed, in a manner of speaking). it was the taking on of the mighty red army that put paid to hitler’s plans for world domination. ‘we’ (die english spreckeners) were never a serious threat; Hitler always felt (quite rightly) that he could have done (or , at least, should have been able to do) a deal with ‘us’. after all ‘we’re’ not above supporting fascist regimes (hiya chile) when it suits (the) ‘us’.

  71. #72 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    No. 44 – I didnt say Mr Dawkins had advocated a global moral code – I was equating his lack of belief in God with the opposite. I was just remarking that if there is nothing in the end to globally say that one person’s view is better or worse than another’s then why does he spend so much time making the case that his views must be (globally) correct?

    No 64 – there are subtle differences at least between the views of Tim and Tom – I assume you mean Tim!

  72. #73 Harry P.
    March 28, 2009

    “Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion… perhaps around their necks? And maybe — dare I dream it? — maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.”
    ? Jon Stewart

  73. #74 rimpal
    March 28, 2009

    Aquaria #3, Teresa was the ghoul of Calcutta as Hitchens puts it correctly. She availed of the best healthcare possible while leaving behind rags and filth for her wards – only a few 100 were ever “taken care” of by her at any time. Her impact on the actual state of living in Calcutta is negligible although she did manage to project an image of a saviour. An utter fraud, undiluted.

  74. #75 Ex-PFC Chuck
    March 28, 2009

    Some of you folks ought to start reading the likes of Hyam Maccoby’s The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Charles Freeman’s The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason and the works of UNC History of Religion professor Bart Ehrman (e.g. Lost Christianities, Lost Scriptures, and Misquoting Jesus) and learn some things about just how much what has come down to us as “orthodox Christianity” resembles Stalinist histories of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union. (Trotsky? I don’t remember anyone by that name. Do you?)

  75. #76 Dennis N
    March 28, 2009

    Yes, it seems I meant Mr. Tim

  76. #77 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    @ Tom (comments passim): Your argument goes “If morality doesn’t exist as a transcendent absolute, outside mere nature it can’t exist at all.”

    Now every tiresome apologist that shows up here has the argument “If X doesn’t exist as a transcendent absolute, outside mere nature it can’t exist at all.” Sometimes X is life (creationists); sometimes it is logic (Facile-is); sometimes it’s love (The more bliss-ninny-ish apologists).

    It’s all the same shit. How these things can exist without reference to perfect, Platonic absolutes is the subject of much of philosophy since the Enlightenment. It’s also not that hard to get a feeling for if you have any imagination and are prepared to do even a little reading.

    Better trolls please.

  77. #78 Jules
    March 28, 2009

    Why is the church trying to “compete” for the most dead by Nazis? When did it become a competition?

    Besides, Hitler was Catholic for most of his life.

  78. #79 green thumb
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    Please tell me what is immoral about having sex? What is immoral about preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and preventing unwanted pregnancies through the correct use of condoms? What is immoral to one person is not neccessarily immoral to another. I happen to think that raping little boys on church alters is immoral, as is condemning little girls who don’t want to carry a pregnancy as the result of rape to term. The catholic church is okay on both these stances. The reason people are outraged by the pope’s stance on condoms is because he lied to a vast swath of people who are suffering needless deaths because of the continual misinformation being handed to them by someone who equates recreational sex as evil.

  79. #80 Invigilator
    March 28, 2009

    In Bocaccio’s second story on the first day of the Decameron,a Jew goes to Rome at the behest of his Christian friend, and on seeing the wickedness of the clergy there, becomes a Christian. He reasons that no institution so thoroughly corrupt and depraved could have survived so many centuries without divine favor.

    I don’t recall many Catholics having used that argument . . .

  80. #81 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    No. 53 – It may be that the Nazis’ only positive contribution was to prove once and for all that human acts are not necessarily dictated by genetics. Therefore whatever the details of a global morality, if it is absent then the world may not end up being nice paradise that you and I would hope for. I just think that this has to be acknowledged when people advocate on too simple grounds the death of God and religion. Indeed this was the basis for Heidegger’s philosophical underpinning of National Socialism – God is dead and we can do what we want!

  81. #82 Capital Dan
    March 28, 2009

    Sending condoms to the Pope is kind of a dumb idea. I mean, the message is nice, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that the “kind and compassionate” Catholics poked holes in them before sending them off to Africa and saying “See? We’re right! The sun really does go around the Earth too.”

  82. #83 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    Tim #54,

    Boy oh boy, did you ever step into the wrong room to spout your b.s..

    How do you justify that your particular brand of faith is the arbiter of “True Morality”? Your statements are dogmatic and have no basis in observable evidence. Give up your false belief in your righteousness, leave your faith behind, join us in revelling in rational understandings uf reality based on facts and evidence!

    Or alternatively, STFU and go away.

  83. #84 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Who said sex was immoral?
    Sex is not immoral, when seen in the light of God’s intentions, it is a great gift which draws us closer to Him. It is meant to be life giving and shared between husband and wife. Nothing immoral about that at all.
    Lust, on the other hand, IS immoral. Promiscuity IS immoral. Sex outside of a Sacramental marriage IS immoral. Deny the Truth if you wish, it’s still the Truth.
    The Holy Father by NO means, lied. The use of condoms condones promiscuity which IS an immoral act. I’m not at all surprised that the Truth bothers some of you.

  84. #85 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    typo in my last post:
    uf=of

    my goodness, I’m bad at shpellingh

  85. #86 Flapper
    March 28, 2009

    Why you are following an ignorant, superstitious kook as a moral authority is mystifying to me.

    I can explain that. Once upon a time, a semi-mythical hero told his best friend (yes, they were only friends, no matter what you might have heard) that he was a rock. As a consequence, nowadays an 80-year old male virgin in a silk dress gets to dictate sexual morality to millions of people. And millons of people, supposedly smart enough to tie their own shoes while not drooling on themselves, accept that. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

  86. #87 Dennis N
    March 28, 2009

    I’m gonna go have sex outside of marriage. And I’m not gonna feel bad about it, and I shouldn’t feel bad about it. Who does it harm?

  87. #88 Guy Incognito
    March 28, 2009

    For something that is supposedly “globally bad,” we don’t ever seem to do a fucking thing about genocide.

  88. #89 Tom
    March 28, 2009

    Anyway enough of this – am off to watch the football game – where the rules/morality are purely local – in this case soccer! And the referee is only human!

  89. #90 Dennis N
    March 28, 2009

    #89 Hey, just like the real world!

  90. #91 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    I’m genuinely curious since I was linked to this site: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTNlNDc1MmMwNDM0OTEzMjQ4NDc0ZGUyOWYxNmEzN2E=

    The prepared witness testimony before the House by Green is consistent with the statement he made in the linked article.

    From others who were outraged by the Pope’s statements, what do you make of the findings of Edward C. Green, who headed up the Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project? He argues that the Pope is correct, but why? Is there an agenda we don’t know about? Does it have anything to do with funding from the Templeton Foundation? Are we the ones who are missing something?

  91. #92 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    @Tim,

    You are definitely in the wrong place. Are you trying to convince people of the validity of your faith? Or perhaps make some converts? Or maybe you are here to experience the “persecution” so many of your faith seek out to fulfill scripture? Whatever your reason for coming here, unless you can furnish observable evidence of a magical wizard that created everything and only has our best interests at heart, you are wasting your time and ours…

    Nah, I’m kinda enjoying reading your idiotic justifications for self delusion. Viva La Spaghetti Monster!

  92. #93 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]”except we’re combating a deadly disease, not your particular definition of “immorality” numbnut. btw, 60-95% of all new HIV invections occur within steady relationships and marriages. being a virgin bride ain’t gonna help if your husband is HIV positive”[quote]

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality. Dance around the Truth all you want, I prefer to look at the root of the problem and see clearly the solution. If a person doesn’t want to spread this deadly disease, there’s a very sure fire way to accomplish that. The problem is that lust rears its head and a person chooses of their own free will to spread the disease anyway. It’s a very simple choice; abstain or spread the virus.

  93. #94 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Sex outside of a Sacramental marriage IS immoral.

    and i will be forever grateful for my parents’ “immoratily”. well, at least the first time around. they really should have become abstinent after my birth, then I wouldn’t have an annoying little brother ;-)

  94. #95 Travis
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,
    Well, I won’t argue with you, I don’t think you will understand why your statements about the Truth are not convincing (it would be nice if you gave some evidence for instance) but I just wanted to tell you that I am pretty lustful right now, and tonight I plan on some hot, out of wedlock sex. Hell, I plan on not only sex but kinky BSDM activites!

  95. #96 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    See, all the Jews whom the Mormons baptized postumously? They’re actually Catholics, since it’s the One True Choich. QED.

    And the Nixon doctrine — “When the President does it, it’s not illegal” — apparently extends to the Poope. “When the Poope does it” — lies and contributes to the disease and deaths of thousands, or coddles child rapists, or curses doctors for performing life-saving surgery — “it’s not evil.”

  96. #97 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    The use of condoms condones promiscuity which IS an immoral act.

    what part of “60-95% of all new HIV invections occur within steady relationships and marriages” did you not understand? condoms must be used in many marriages. your crusade against them is killing people.

  97. #98 Stephen Bain
    March 28, 2009

    @Tim #84
    “The Holy Father by NO means, lied.”

    True. You can’t lie if you don’t exist.

  98. #99 Brownian
    March 28, 2009

    Lust, on the other hand, IS immoral. Promiscuity IS immoral. Sex outside of a Sacramental marriage IS immoral. Deny the Truth if you wish, it’s still the Truth.

    What about pride, fuckface? ‘Cause you’ve got it in spades, even if you try to pass it off to yourself as sanctimonious piety.

    What’s that line by Jesus that Christians always seem to forget? Oh, yeah, nearly all of them, but in this case I’m suggesting you pluck the log out of your own fucking eye, thou hypocrite.

    Fuck me, but there’s nothing more obnoxious than a shitty Christian.

  99. #100 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    The use of condoms condones promiscuity which IS an immoral act.

    We think you’re a moron because you make ridiculous statements such as this. Using condoms does no such thing. The only plausible explanation for condom use not decreasing the spread of the virus is the phenomenon of “risk compensation” coupled with inconsistent use.

  100. #101 Will E.
    March 28, 2009

    God is dead and we can do what we want!

    I’ve never understood this idea. Look throughout human history, when most people were religious–they still did whatever they pleased. They may have prayed for forgiveness afterward, but they still did whatever they wished even when they “knew” God was watching. Humans have always done the most horrible things, either individually (Google that good Catholic Gilles de Rais for some laughs) or as a group (Crusades, Manson Family, etc). But God never stopped the Inquisition or Gilles de Rais or the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide or that plane crash last week. God does nothing because God is nothing. Free will, usually given as the answer to human evil, is simply ad hoc rationalizing for the flaws in Christian theology. Are parents who pull their children out from the path of oncoming traffic impeding their “free will”?

    Morality comes from within. Rats and monkeys have empathy for pain in others. What we call morality evolved from those impulses. There is no “global morality,” which is purely wrong-headed, top-down thinking.

    What if the Nazis won WWII? Sure, why not? God wasn’t gonna stop ‘em. It took other, morally superior (ironic, no?) people to stop them. But a society that operates like the Nazi regime will end up cannibalizing itself to death. Cooperation works; “personal opinion” does not. We have a name for people whose morality is their own personal opinion; it’s sociopath. No society will last very long made up of them.

  101. #102 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    I fail to see how that snarling bigot Ratzinger can be described as either “holy” or as a “father” (unless he has some bastards hidden away I don’t know about.)

  102. #103 Brownian
    March 28, 2009

    Dance around the Truth all you want, I prefer to look at the root of the problem and see clearly the solution. If a person doesn’t want to spread this deadly disease, there’s a very sure fire way to accomplish that.

    Why stop at half measures? You could easily put an end to all of your sinning, forever. All you need is a sink full of water and a deep breath.

    But, if you’d rather continue being a sinner than face the Truth….

  103. #104 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality.

    eating bushmeat is immoral? fuck, you’re dumb.

  104. #105 raven
    March 28, 2009

    tom the idiot:

    It may be that the Nazis’ only positive contribution was to prove once and for all that human acts are not necessarily dictated by genetics.

    Hitler was a catholic. All the nazis were catholics and lutherans. So if human acts are not necessarily dictated by genetics, what are they dictated by? In this case, it was in a large part religion.

    There was a long and vicious history of xian antisemitism in Germany. The jews after all killed jesus. Martin Luther was a serious antisemite who proposed the Final Solution 4 centuries before it was carried out. At Niremburg, that was the excuse the perpetrators used.

    The problem with assigning morality to religion is that it is empirically demonstrably false. Xians are no more moral than anyone else. Subsets such as the fundie xians produce some of the most evil people alive in our society. Bush, Cheney, Dobson, Hagee etc. and the endless flood of hate filled and violent trolls that show up on the web. Myers gets hundreds of death threats and cheerful wishes for his demise on a routine basis from so called “good xians”.

  105. #106 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality.

    Huuummmmm, so the Flu Epidemic of 1918-19 and the Bubonic Plague, which killed more people then HIV/AIDS were also a consequences of immorality?

  106. #107 rob
    March 28, 2009

    Tom,

    the Buddhists have a very well defined sense of morality, but they don’t have God. How’s that work?

    Do please explain how the Crusades and the Inquisition argue for the existence of God.

  107. #108 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    Janine: No, them were evil spirits.

  108. #109 Nezumi
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    If immorality cannot fight immorality it stands to reason that a lie (an immoral act) which directly results in the spread of deadly disease (an immoral result) will not combat what ever sexual immorality you were referring to. If you’re going for absolute morality here you need to be consistent.

    “It’s a very simple choice; abstain or spread the virus.”

    Thus we see the compassionate merciful nature of Christianity as it stands. Abstain or you and your children deserve to die, believe or burn, sacrifice for the Church or they’ll wring it out of you whether you like it or not.

    Repeating “Truth” over and over is not an argument, at least give us something to chew on.

  109. #110 raven
    March 28, 2009

    tom the evil idiot:

    It’s a very simple choice; abstain or spread the virus.

    There are 300 million people in the USA. 800,000 are HIV+. For 99.7% of the population that isn’t even remotely true. Since they aren’t infected, having sex has zero probability of spreading the virus. In point of fact, these numbers are holding despite the fact that the vast majority of the population has been, is, and will be sexually active. Sorry Tom, your equation sex=death is not correct. Not much for reality, are you?

    This is the so called xian morality that many have contempt for. Sloppy thinking, lies, and doing nothing while people get sick and die because….well who knows or cares. God’s will or maybe the thought that someplace, somewhere people are living successful, happy lives without their particular brand of god delusion.

  110. #111 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    “Repeating “Truth” over and over is not an argument, at least give us something to chew on.”

    How about repeating “Tooth” over and over? At least that would have some bite.

  111. #112 JohanSebastianMill
    March 28, 2009

    Right. So, in general, when we say that someone is a “realist” (or ontological realist) about something, it means that they think that that something exists independently of human conventions, languages, ideas, and such. If I say that I’m a realist about atoms, or evolutionary processes, or the laws of physics, it means that I think there are such things and that they are not just down to conventions, or ways of speaking, or whatever.

    Theists are invariably realists about morality: they think there are moral laws and that they are not merely human conventions.

    Atheists too have ways of being moral realists. One obvious way is to say that an action is morally right to the extent that it tends to promote the happiness of sentient beings and to diminish their suffering. More happy creatures = good; More sad creatures = bad. This is a perfectly objective, non-conventional definition of moral rightness. It slices. It dices. It allows us to make sense of the nature of moral wrong. It lets us say that someone — or indeed all of society — can be mistaken about the moral worth of an action. And, best of all, this sort of realism is also perfectly consistent with scientific naturalism. Read Mill for a development of this idea. If you want a more modern approach, check this out.

    I’m not sure why theists have got it into their heads that they are the only moral realists around. I sure wish they’d read a few books now and again though.

  112. #113 Tony Sidaway
    March 28, 2009

    Thanks to one enterprising company, you can now purchase papal condoms.

  113. #114 raven
    March 28, 2009

    tom the idiot:

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality.

    Malaria, TB, respiratory infections, GI infections kill tens of millions worldwide every year, many of them young children.

    And mostly in poor third world countries. Another of Tom’s bogus equations, poor third world kids=immorality=dead and it is their own fault.

    Tom, keep telling us all about your xian morality. In your own case, we are getting an electron microscope ready. So far it is either very small or nonexistent.

    Tom is one of those AIDS is god’s punishment to people for being people kooks. And malaria, dengue, and yellow fever are god’s punishment for being young and living near mosquitos.

  114. #115 JohanSebastianMill
    March 28, 2009

    oh, and promiscuity is not immoral: it makes lots of us very, very happy. Marriage, by contrast…. well…

    Happy monkey y’all!

  115. #116 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    There you all go again, with that nonsensical oxymoron “christian morality.” Christians absolve themselves from all moral responsibility by foisting it off on their fictional god.

  116. #117 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Green Thumb,

    [quote]”Tim,

    Please tell me what is immoral about having sex?”[quote]

    Nothing, when it’s embraced in Truth. That is, when it’s done in a loving, committed, marital relationship, instituted by God, open to new Life. Self giving, not self serving.

    [quote]”What is immoral about preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and preventing unwanted pregnancies through the correct use of condoms?”[quote]

    Sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by an individuals desire to prevent them. Condoms aren’t even needed to accomplish this. No pregnancy should, in Truth, ever be unwanted. When a child is unwanted, it reflects the intent of the sexual act in the first place, to please one’s self. Abortions are performed so that a person can live the way they choose, with no regard for the child. This is a totally selfish act, and people call it “good”.
    There is no correct use of condoms because the gift of sexuality that was given to us by God, He gives us as a means to share in His creative, nurturing, will. (a totally unselfish act on His part, I might add). Condoms prevent the bringing forth of life, which is contrary to His will, and to his unselfish gift that He has given to us.
    Sex for the True purpose and reason is a beautiful and pleasurable share in God Himself. Sex for ones own selfish desire is in complete contradiction to the Truth.

  117. #118 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    #112 that’s the weirdest definition of “realism” i’ve ever seen. and here i thought it had something to do with reality

  118. #119 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Tim — Capitalizing random nouns doesn’t really add anything to your prose.

  119. #120 Steven Carr
    March 28, 2009

    Hitler was still an official member of the Catholic Church when he killed himself.

    Hitler – was he killed in the Holocaust? The Catholic Church says ‘yes’

  120. #121 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Timmy,

    Lust, on the other hand, IS immoral. Promiscuity IS immoral. Sex outside of a Sacramental marriage IS immoral. Deny the Truth if you wish, it’s still the Truth.

    The Catholic Church, an organization run by professional virgins, has always been afraid of sex. The reasons are varied and interesting, but that’s a discussion for another time. However, the result of this fear is the belief that teh secks is immoral.

    The Catholics also believe that:

    (a) When a man utters a magic incantation over a cracker, it because zombizied into becoming the body of a guy who died 2000 years ago.

    (2) The zombie’s mommy didn’t die but got taken to heaven alive, apparently “poofed” there by sonny-boy.

    (III) Demons can take over a person but can be magically poofed away by men wearing dresses.

    A group with official beliefs like this is obviously over the edge between sanity and unsanity. So whatever they may say about teh secks has to be taken with a ton or two of salt.

    The Holy Father by NO means, lied. The use of condoms condones promiscuity which IS an immoral act. I’m not at all surprised that the Truth bothers some of you.

    Your pope, the same guy who condones clerical pediophilia, is a FUCKING LIAR. He said that using condoms causes AIDS. This is what’s called in the truth business a “lie.”

    I’m not surprised the Truth bothers you, because like many Catholics you’re almost certainly immoral yourself. Many of you apparently approve of supporting child rapists, which is definitely immoral. Pope Benny thinks protecting child rapists is just hunky-dory, because he made the protection official church policy.

  121. #122 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    There is no correct use of condoms because the gift of sexuality that was given to us by God,

    allrighty then. in clear concise language, the proof that tim thinks it’s ok for 60-95% of African spouses to get infected with HIV. and that, in a nutshell, is catholic morality

  122. #123 Steven Carr
    March 28, 2009

    Hitler was still an official member of the Catholic Church when he killed himself.

    Hitler – was he killed in the Holocaust? The Catholic Church says ‘yes’

  123. #124 Marc Abian
    March 28, 2009

    Jadehawk, I can’t speak for the north of Ireland, but in the south Ireland is liberal. You really are wide of the mark here.

  124. #125 JohanSebastianMill
    March 28, 2009

    that’s the weirdest definition of “realism” i’ve ever seen. and here i thought it had something to do with reality.

    It does have something to do with reality though Jadehawk. Whatever exists and does so in a way that’s human-independent is part of reality. (Though not vice-versa.) Ontological realism about Xs contrasts with idealism, conventionalism, relativism, social-constructivism, and other views that try to tell you that Xs are not really real.

    On the other hand, ontological realism doesn’t have much to do with ‘realism’ in the sense of political pragmatism or a hard-headed toughness or anything like that.

    I just wanted to point out that atheists have let christians convince them that if you don’t have a god you can’t be a realist about right and wrong. That’s just bollocks.

  125. #126 raven
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you are just repeating RCC doctrine that the vast majority of catholic laity have heard from birth and stopped paying attention to shortly thereafter. The catholic birth rate in the US is identical to the national average. Like all sane, responsible adults, they plan their families for their own good reasons.

    Just repeating something doesn’t make it true. Got any proof of what you are regurgitating? Otherwise it has as much chance of being true as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Islam, Scientology, or any book in the fiction section of any public library.

  126. #127 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    oh really? and here i was under the impression that ireland had the strictest abortion laws in the EU. unless they’ve changed that, my point stands.

  127. #128 rimpal
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]Sex for the True purpose and reason is a beautiful and pleasurable share in God Himself. Sex for ones own selfish desire is in complete contradiction to the Truth.[/quote] Like when the “guy up in the sky” impregnated a minor in Bethlehem called Mary. Sure they guy up there is an expert. Maybe the guy in the funny hat in Rome is also an expert who has had a “beautiful and pleasurable share in xxx hisself. All those hyperactive cassocked padres who can’t keep their desires to themselves

  128. #129 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]I can explain that. Once upon a time, a semi-mythical hero told his best friend (yes, they were only friends, no matter what you might have heard) that he was a rock. As a consequence, nowadays an 80-year old male virgin in a silk dress gets to dictate sexual morality to millions of people. And millons of people, supposedly smart enough to tie their own shoes while not drooling on themselves, accept that. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?[quote]

    He doesn’t dictate anything, he proclaims the Truth, to a people in need.

  129. #130 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality.

    Of course the families of Isaac Asimov and Arthur Ashe are deeply ashamed of the immorality of these two men.

  130. #131 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    er. my #127 was in response to #124

    and as I side note, I believe something called “Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Bill” was passed by Dáil Éireann. was it ever passed by Seanad Éireann? I don’t remember how that adventure turned out…

  131. #132 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, are all epidemics the result of immorality? And if not, how do you tell apart those that are merely natural in cause from those directed by the big sky daddy?

  132. #133 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Per Tim: (Ratzi’s) lies = “Truth”.

    It is impossible to have a rational discussion with these people.

  133. #134 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    ah. NVM, i found it: “Status: Rejected at Referendum”. that’s at least something.

  134. #135 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    DJ,

    [quote]How do you justify that your particular brand of faith is the arbiter of “True Morality”? Your statements are dogmatic and have no basis in observable evidence.[quote]

    I justify that fact with the testimony on my behalf of the Truth Himself.

    Observable evidence?? My eyes are wide open. I observe that a man preached and did good works for three years and changed the course of history. I observe that countless martyrs gave up their very lives as opposed to denying Him. I observe my own experience from a time when I was a selfish, no good, follower of the world view to a time when I found that even in my own weakness God was able to do great things. I’m no saint, but I’ve read the lives of the Saints and been inspired to do better. I’ve read the early Church Father’s and through grace and reason I learned. Truth is revealed to us, it’s our response that determines whether we love and respect the Truth, or if we so choose, are left to our own devices. Not because God wants us to be in darkness but because we choose to deny Him.

  135. #136 Alyson Miers
    March 28, 2009

    I think the Church is longing for the good old days when the Romans kept throwing them to the lions.

  136. #137 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Observable evidence?? My eyes are wide open. I observe that a man preached and did good works for three years and changed the course of history.

    tim is 2000 years old? oh my! it’s a miracle!

  137. #138 Patricia, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Been trolling long Tim?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  138. #139 Keanus
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. In America, Roman Catholics practice birth control at the same rate as Protestants and atheists. When polled anonymously they also accept abortion in the same proportions. In fact some of the strongest supporters at our regional Planned Parenthood affiliate, on whose board I sit, are Roman Catholic. And I even know Catholic priests who have no objection to birth control, including condoms, or abortion if humanely approached.

    The problem with the Pope’s position is that he can only be lying deliberately. He’s too well connected to not know the reality that he’s trying to deny. Anyone who allows theology to obstruct good health is liar, cruel, mean spirited, and possibly criminal.

    I escort patients weekly at the local Planned Parenthood I referred to above. In that capacity I have the pleasure of listening to the wing nuts, both Catholics and fundies, scream about abortion. The have long succumbed to equating the abortions since Roe v. Wade to the Holocaust. They total the abortions since Roe v. Wade as worse than the Holocaust since they calculate that there have been more than 42 million abortions since ’73, ignoring the grotesqueness of the claim. They also can’t cope, nor can the church hierarchy, with what to do about the lost souls in limbo. (For those not up on Catholic theology, any person who was created but not baptized before dying is in limbo. Since an embryo is a person from conception, this includes all still born babies, all aborted fetuses, fertilized eggs that fail to implant and goodness knows what else.) If their so concerned about abortions I would think they’d be more concerned about the holocaust visited on the unborn by god. By their lights he’s got to the evilest killer of all time.

  139. #140 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]and i will be forever grateful for my parents’ “immoratily”. well, at least the first time around. they really should have become abstinent after my birth, then I wouldn’t have an annoying little brother ;-)[quote]

    God is quite capable of bringing about good, out of any circumstance. (take the crucifixion for instance)

  140. #141 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    lol, you silly troll.

    1)my parents relationship is not a “circumstance”

    2)the crucifixion was deliberate (self-)torture, planned by god from the start. or are you claiming now that Jesus’ death was accidental and he was never meant to die for your sins? silly silly troll.

  141. #142 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Posted by: Jadehawk| March 28, 2009

    tim is 2000 years old? oh my! it’s a miracle!

    Two Thousand Year Old Man.

  142. #143 JohanSebastianMill
    March 28, 2009

    Dear Tim, let’s put aside the condoms and sextoys and such. Let’s try some harder cases. What do you think the appropriate government policy is regarding multidrug-resistant TB? Mandatory vaccination? Mandatory screening? Free hospital treatment? Free outpatient treatment conditional on enforceable lifestyle constraints? Quarantine? If so, what specifics would you advocate?

    You apparently have access to the Truth, so these questions should be trivial for you, right? Or would you need to consult Ratslinger to get the answers? And if it’s the latter, then why don’t we just invite Ratslinger to the G20 summit? If he gets Truth piped to him from On High, I’m sure he could fix our current economic mess. No?

    On the other hand, if you haven’t the foggiest about the correct approach to some pretty serious but run-of-the-mill public policy issues like the ones I’ve enumerated then shut up. Your cookie-cutter holy-book morality is outdated. We need a better test for what’s right and wrong than the one you’re peddling.

  143. #144 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Posted by: Tim | March 28, 2009

    God is quite capable of bringing about good, out of any circumstance. (take the crucifixion for instance)

    Funny, the Promise Keepers used to say the same thing about American slavery.

    Personally, I take this idea to mean that a true believer can justify not taking actions against a wrong by saying that the big sky daddy wants it this way.

    And Tim, how can we tell the difference between a big sky daddy caused epidemic and a natural epidemic?

  144. #145 Marc Abian
    March 28, 2009

    Jadehawk, your point is that Ireland has a psychosis. You can’t determine that from laws about abortion.

    In fact, I’ll concede that our laws are more conservative that most western democracies, but that’s no longer a reflection of the society over here.
    A secular America is outlined in the constitution but in Ireland the holy spirit is in the preamble. However, America is clearly more openly religious and conservative than Ireland is. If one of our candidates went to see a witch doctor liker Palin did, they’d end up dropping out of the race because they would lose horribly.

  145. #146 Don
    March 28, 2009

    Talking of Luther, John O’Farrell in his amusing An Utterly Impartial History of Britain – Or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots In Charge points out that at the time Luther nailed his papers to the door virtually the only route for advancement for non-aristocrats was through the church. Scholarship, administration, whatever was pretty much confined to ordained clergy. Celibate ordained clergy.

    When they read the bit about dropping the celibacy requirment the entire administrative sector of Europe said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe this guy has a point.’

  146. #147 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Janine, unfortunately my computer decided that i shouldn’t be watching videos today, and i’m too lazy right now to fuck around with the terminal. i promise i’ll watch it later.

  147. #148 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]@Tim,

    You are definitely in the wrong place. Are you trying to convince people of the validity of your faith? Or perhaps make some converts? Or maybe you are here to experience the “persecution” so many of your faith seek out to fulfill scripture? Whatever your reason for coming here, unless you can furnish observable evidence of a magical wizard that created everything and only has our best interests at heart, you are wasting your time and ours…

    Nah, I’m kinda enjoying reading your idiotic justifications for self delusion. Viva La Spaghetti Monster![quote]

    Thanks for your advice, I do appreciate it. I won’t stay around here long. I’m not looking to make converts or be persecuted. I just read the article and posted a comment. I don’t think I’m better than anyone on this Earth, honestly. I’ve committed more sins in my life than I care to remember. Including sexual immorality. Through God’s grace, I’m not a slave to that anymore like I used to be. I see through my experience that I had it all wrong.

  148. #149 Pierce R. Butler
    March 28, 2009

    About 3 million Catholics were killed by the Nazi regime in camps?but it wasn’t for being Catholic. It was for being Polish.

    Some of them were, arguably, killed for being Catholic – that is, for being priests, monks, & nuns, and therefore eliminated by the German invaders as potential resistance leaders. Susan Zucotti, in Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy, cites estimates of “over 2,300″.

    The three million figure of Polish Holocaust victims is commonly accepted in Poland, but Zucotti reports estimates of 1.8 to 1.9 million. I suspect the Poles include their own military fatalities &/or “collateral damage” casualties to reach 3M (not that I disagree).

  149. #150 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    If you’re going to quote somebody here, the HTML code is <blockquote>blah blah blah</blockquote> which comes out as:

    blah blah blah

  150. #151 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    erm, the “psychosis” part was a joke in relation to the traumatic history both countries share. it wasn’t meant as a serious argument, nor was it even meant to bring Ireland into the discussion about polish conservative craziness per-se other than i didn’t want to mis-quote my friend. sorry for the confusion.

  151. #152 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]Tim,
    Well, I won’t argue with you, I don’t think you will understand why your statements about the Truth are not convincing (it would be nice if you gave some evidence for instance) but I just wanted to tell you that I am pretty lustful right now, and tonight I plan on some hot, out of wedlock sex. Hell, I plan on not only sex but kinky BSDM activites![quote]

    Your choice.

  152. #153 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Jadehawk, no worries. It is just me being a smart ass again. You are a youngster so I do not know if you are familiar with the Mel Brooks-Carl Reiner routine.

  153. #154 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    i figured as much, janine. and no, i’m not familiar with it, so i’ll look at it later

  154. #155 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    Thanks for your advice, I do appreciate it. I won’t stay around here long. I’m not looking to make converts or be persecuted.

    You have a very low standard of persecution.

  155. #156 paul fauvet
    March 28, 2009

    I find Tim’s comments amusing because they remind me of the Jesuit priest who taught us about the ten commandments in my London Catholic grammar school several decades ago.

    An inordinate amount of time was spent on the two anti-sex commandments (6 and 9). But it boiled down to the claim that the only permissible sex is penetration between a heterosexual married couple. Anything else, the Jesuit claimed, is not only sinful, but mortally sinful. You burn in hell for it.

    Sex before marriage? Mortal sin, burn in hell.

    Sex outside of marriage? Mortal sin, burn in hell.

    Masturbation? Mortal sin, burn in hell.

    Gay sex? Mortal sin, burn in hell.

    Use of condoms or any other form of artifical contraception? Mortal sin, burn in hell.

    And this was what a supposedly loving religion was teaching vulnerable 14 year old boys !

    I think the best answer ever penned to repressed people like Tim comes from the great English radical poet, William Blake:

    I went to the Garden of Love
    And saw what I never had seen:
    A chepel was built in the midst,
    Where I used to play on the green.

    And the gates of this chapel were shut,
    and “Thou shalt not” writ over the door;
    So I turn’d to the Garden of Love
    That so many sweet flowers bore;

    And I saw it was filled with graves,
    And tombstones where flowers should be;
    And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
    And binding with briars my joys and desires.

  156. #157 Patricia, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Yep, here we go as usual. Troll script re: sex fetishes right on cue.

    Nice try Tim. We see this every damn time.

    Fresh trolls, please!

  157. #158 FlameDuck
    March 28, 2009

    What? So now we have Fatwa-envy and Holocaust-envy? Can’t these guys figure out once and for all whether they want to be oppressors or opressees? Or is it a bait and switch thing?

    Hitler sounds a lot more like Martin Luther

    Well Hitler was a Roman Catholic. Read “Mein Kampf” if you seriously think Hitler was an atheist. After reading it, you’ll be confused why fundie icons like Bill O’Reily, Bill Donohue and Pat Robertson are regurgitating the same rhetoric, which brought Hitler to power, and you’ll probably be sick at how well it’s working. Go ahead, it’s a real eye opener!

    Much more than read something like “The God Delusion” written by a moral and compassionate person who disagrees with them, you really should start reading books written by immoral, despicable, and generally disagreeable people, who say the exact same things. But it’ll make you angry if you do.

    The use of condoms condones promiscuity which IS an immoral act.

    *blink* What?!? I don’t even know how to respond to that kind of stupidity.

    By the same metric, does using antibiotics condone eating off the ground? Does using insulin injections condone unhealthy eating? Does using painkillers condone beating your head against the wall? Does getting a polio shot condone not wiping?

    Here is what causes sexual promiscuity: Having sex (preferably good sex, but even bad sex is better than none at all). You should try it some time.

  158. #159 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    I think people are misunderstanding Tim. He isn’t talking about the truth – i.e. stuff that is actually true. He’s talking about the Truth; with this capitalisation it is universally understood to mean “Some bollocks that a crank really believes and won’t shut up about”. It is Out There

  159. #160 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]Tim, are all epidemics the result of immorality? And if not, how do you tell apart those that are merely natural in cause from those directed by the big sky daddy?[quote]

    God doesn’t cause suffering. It’s all around us, that’s obvious. There is a cause, a root cause that’s traceable. The cause of creation is all good, the cause of suffering is all evil. dark – light, Truth – lies, good – evil, everything is subject to this. Both have consequences, the choices we make determine the consequences. Death and suffering came into the world through sin, life and freedom came into the world through love. The proof that some have been asking for is existence itself. Truth revealed by God. Believe it or deny it, it’s our choice. We’ve been given many gifts, free will is one of the greatest.

  160. #161 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]Why stop at half measures? You could easily put an end to all of your sinning, forever. All you need is a sink full of water and a deep breath.

    But, if you’d rather continue being a sinner than face the Truth….[quote]

    If I did that, it would mean that I’d lost hope. That’s not good.

  161. #162 Marcus Ranum
    March 28, 2009

    Did anyone bother to point out to him that it was an “own goal”?? Plenty of the guys with the guns killing the catholics were – catholics. If what he’s complaining about is that catholics are stupid, I think he’s made his point.

  162. #163 Sili
    March 28, 2009

    God doesn’t cause suffering.

    Chosen largely at random:

    8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. 9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on men and animals throughout the land.”

    10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.

  163. #164 Marcus Ranum
    March 28, 2009

    (III) Demons can take over a person but can be magically poofed away by men wearing dresses.

    That is true. I saw it happen in a bar, once, in Glasgow.

  164. #165 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Sili,

    The whole point about “Da Lawd hardening Pharoah’s heart” is to show that Yahweh is an asshole.

  165. #166 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 28, 2009

    God doesn’t cause suffering.

    No, of course not. He accepts a bet with Lucifer and lets Lucifer have as he pleases with Job. And while Abraham was willing to murder Isaac because the big sky daddy told him to, I am sure that if he existed, Abraham was suffering while he put the plan in action.

  166. #167 green thumb
    March 28, 2009

    Sex outside of marriage is immoral? There sure are a fuckload of immoral catholics then. Half of my family wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for horny, pious teenagers going against gawd’s swill, I mean will. I think Tim is a former addict who traded one addiction for another.

  167. #168 Marcus Ranum
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, attempts theoidiocy:
    God doesn’t cause suffering. It’s all around us, that’s obvious. There is a cause, a root cause that’s traceable. The cause of creation is all good, the cause of suffering is all evil.

    God created everything. Therefore god created evil.

    God is either all-powerful, in which case he could just magic the evil away – or he’s not. If he’s all powerful and doesn’t magic the evil away, he’s a nasty bastard himself. And if he isn’t all powerful and can’t magic the evil away, then he’s not worth worshipping.

    I hope that clarifies things for you a bit.

  168. #169 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    God doesn’t cause suffering.

    oh really? the bible seems to think that EVERYTHING, including evil and suffering, are the work of God:
    Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    Tim, you really should read the bible

  169. #170 Matt Heath
    March 28, 2009

    re: 163: Yahweh is an even worse dick than Superman

  170. #171 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tom: Euthyphro dilemma. Enough said.

    No, Kant’s argument was that the existence of god was necessary to ground morality, and not “religion”. You could get Kant’s position with a Deist god that doesn’t require the worship and ritual and ingroup-outgroup prejudice of religion. Kant’s view is extremely weak solace to those who argue that religion is necessary for morality.

    Especially in the context of Kant’s own behavior.

    As the rector (president) of the university of (then) Königsberg, it was his duty to lead the annual procession of the students to the church. He did so ? and no more: at the church door he turned around and went home.

    Viva La Spaghetti Monster!

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster (pasta be upon Him) isn’t a she. He’s a He, heretic.

    eating bushmeat is immoral?

    Actually, I do think it is immoral.

    But it only introduced the disease. It didn’t noticeably spread it.

    Please tell me what is immoral about having sex?”[quote]

    Nothing, when it’s embraced in Truth. That is, when it’s done in a loving, committed, marital relationship, instituted by God, open to new Life. Self giving, not self serving.

    Suppose — just for the sake of the argument — that God doesn’t exist. Logically, then, relationships “instituted by God” don’t exist either. Does all sex automatically become immoral?

    Sex for the True purpose and reason is a beautiful and pleasurable share in God Himself. Sex for ones own selfish desire is in complete contradiction to the Truth.

    And sex for the shared desire of two people? What about that?

    Sex has an important function in the life of humans and bonobos. Trying to pretend otherwise doesn’t change it.

  171. #172 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    [quote]Tim,

    If immorality cannot fight immorality it stands to reason that a lie (an immoral act) which directly results in the spread of deadly disease (an immoral result) will not combat what ever sexual immorality you were referring to. If you’re going for absolute morality here you need to be consistent.[quote]

    The problem with this line of reasoning is the fact that what the Holy Father said isn’t a lie. Condoms is indeed an answer, but it’s the wrong answer. Condoms can’t solve the problem. Individual choice can. Unrealistic? maybe, but we’re not incapable of having control. The message that condoms sends is; you’re going to spread this disease anyway, so here, use these. The message that the Pope sends is; You have dignity, you’re worth more than that, you’re capable of much virtue.

    [quote]Thus we see the compassionate merciful nature of Christianity as it stands. Abstain or you and your children deserve to die, believe or burn, sacrifice for the Church or they’ll wring it out of you whether you like it or not.

    Repeating “Truth” over and over is not an argument, at least give us something to chew on. [quote]

    No. Abstain because you deserve to live. Believe because God is our Hope. Sacrifice because it brings forth strength.

  172. #173 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    That is true. I saw it happen in a bar, once, in Glasgow.

    Didn’t anyone warn you about going into the Gorbals at night?

  173. #174 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2009

    ARGH! I mean “in the social life”. I hate this kind of typo.

  174. #175 Butterbean
    March 28, 2009

    Somewhat OT, but there’s a petition to the UK government not to give that bastard Cormac Murphy O’Connor a peerage when he retires, which they are apparently considering. It’s here.

    And Paul (#156) – thanks for the Blake, that’s beautiful.

  175. #176 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Nothing, when it’s embraced in Truth.

    Tim, the TRUTH is that your god is imaginary, existing only between your ears. That makes your holy book a work of fiction, and the dogma derived from there just batshit insanity. TRUTH, yes it matters, but you idea is wrong.

  176. #177 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Timmy, I showed you how to do quote HTML in post 150. Are you too stupid to use what’s been shown to you or are you too much of an asshole to do it?

    I do realize that these two categories are not mutually exclusive.

  177. #178 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Actually, I do think [eating bushmeant] is immoral.

    point taken

    But it only introduced the disease. It didn’t noticeably spread it.

    true enough. at least in the Western World though, it was spread primarily by ignorance and bigotry of the “only deviants get aids, and since i’m not a deviant, i can’t catch it!” variety.

    so i guess immorality is right after all. just not the way tim meant it.

  178. #179 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    God created everything. Therefore god created evil.

    Evil is the absence of good.

  179. #180 dean
    March 28, 2009

    “He’s too well connected to not know the reality that he’s trying to deny.”

    I’m not so sure. I doubt that the pope really cares about the people to whom he was speaking, he cares about keeping them in the church – preserving the empire, so to speak. He knows that according to his church, condoms use is bad, and he’s trying to reinforce that to show the consistency of the church.

    Care about the people, not so much – probably not at all.

  180. #181 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Evil is the absence of good.

    There, fixed it for you.

  181. #182 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, read your bible:

    Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

  182. #183 paul fauvet
    March 28, 2009

    Venturing into the slippery field of theology has led Tim into heresy. “The cause of creation is all good, the cause of suffering is all evil. dark – light”, he writes.

    That’s not the orthodox Roman Catholic position at all. It sounds like Manicheism – which gets round the problem of evil by postulating two equal and opposite principles at work in the universe – one good (light) and the other evil (dark).

    As for your great reverence for Pope Ratzinger – does this extend to all his predecessors?

    Would you have been a devoted follower of Pope Paul IV who introduced the Index of forbidden books, and whose bull “Cum Nimis Absurdum” condemned all jews in Italy to life in ghettos? Or his sucessor, Pope Pius V, who excommunicated Elizabeth I of England and ordered English catholics to overthrow her? Ot Pope Pius XII, who never excommunicated Adolf Hitler, but excommunicated the entire Italian communist party ? Or Pope Urban I, who preached the First Crusade, the consequences of which still poison the Middle East today? Or Pope Innocent III who slaughtered the Albigensian “heretics”?

    I could continue, but the list of Papal monsters might get rather tedious. Does Tim endorse them all ? And if not, how does he explain that so many truly evil men came to assume the title of “Holy Father”?

  183. #184 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    Tim, you really should read the bible

    You should learn how to interpret it properly. In it’s original language, through it’s translations. Why would you quote Scripture anyway?

  184. #185 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, still crazy and evil like your imaginary god.

  185. #186 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    because you’re too dumb to know your own religion.

    there’s no room for interpretation in this, or several other passages. god says he creates evil.

    or are you saying the serpent was not one of gods creations? are you saying the serpent came into existence by itself, without the help of god? tsk tsk, such heresy.

  186. #187 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    Lawl, “How to interpret it properly.” And I assume Tim’s insane and morally reprehensible world view is the proper interpretation.

    Isn’t it time you all stopped feeding the trolls and answering real questions pertinent to the topic at hand? See: #91. ;p

  187. #188 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, the TRUTH is that your god is imaginary, existing only between your ears. That makes your holy book a work of fiction, and the dogma derived from there just batshit insanity. TRUTH, yes it matters, but you idea is wrong.

    What makes you so sure?
    Is there something wrong with loving what’s good and hating what’s evil? If a person has Faith in God and believes that He is Good and strives to please Him by trying to do good, in his own life and toward his neighbor, what has he lost?

  188. #189 Guy Incognito
    March 28, 2009

    @187: Somebody posted this link earlier about Edward Green.

  189. #190 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you god doesn’t exist. That makes your TRUTH a LIE.

  190. #191 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    If you’re going to quote somebody here, the HTML code is

    blah blah blah

    which comes out as:

    Thanks

  191. #192 raven
    March 28, 2009

    Edward C. Green is the director of the Harvard University AIDS Prevention Research Project. He is a medical anthropologist who has 30 years of experience in research projects in developing countries.

    Green has written several books including Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries.

    Never heard of him. Wikipedia has nothing much. He isn’t an MD. The world AIDS establishment is very large. Green and Harvard are just a twig on the tree.

  192. #193 Irene Delse
    March 28, 2009

    Even more inanity — and fatwa envy. Catholics from all over the world pile up against a French cartoonist for drawing a humorous picture Jesus giving away preservatives to the masses (with, in the background, a dispectic looking pope and a bishop whining “but aids don’t even exist”). The cartoon was on the front-page of the respected daily parisian newspaper Le Monde, and also on the journal’s webpage. Results: a “tsunami” of e-mail threats and insults, demands to “stop hurting the feelings of believers” and publish excuses for the “blasphemy”, etc. A powerful North American Catholic lobby is believed to have orchestrated the campaign. Nice work, for such a “meek” and “peaceful” crowd…

    FR: http://tinyurl.com/dlmzv5
    EN: http://tinyurl.com/d95f9r

  193. #194 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Is there something wrong with loving what’s good and hating what’s evil? If a person has Faith in God and believes that He is Good and strives to please Him by trying to do good, in his own life and toward his neighbor, what has he lost?

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    –Voltaire

    Religion is an insult
    to human dignity.
    With or without it
    you would have
    good people doing
    good things and
    evil people doing
    evil things.
    But
    for good people
    to do evil things,
    that takes religion.

    –Steven Weinberg

  194. #195 chancelikely
    March 28, 2009

    French preservatif = English condom, not English preservative.

  195. #196 Travis M
    March 28, 2009

    I’m not sure about how to start something like this but perhaps we could send those condoms to a country in need of them rather than to the Vatican. It’s sort of a hollow gesture to flood the Catholic Capital with prophylactics that are going to be wasted. Why not send these life saving things that are so readily available in the West to a place that doesn’t have access?

    That would send a real message to the Pope and his peers. Any ideas on how to start this?

  196. #197 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2009

    #112 that’s the weirdest definition of “realism” i’ve ever seen. and here i thought it had something to do with reality

    Think “race realist”.

    I observe that countless martyrs gave up their very lives as opposed to denying Him.

    It baffles me to imagine what amount of ignorance must be necessary to believe in that argument.

    Timmy, dear, every religion, nay, every ideology in general that has ever had more than a few dozen adherents has its martyrs. That includes both Stalinism and National Socialism. It happens all the time that people believe something is worth dying for.

    Through God’s grace, I’m not a slave to that anymore like I used to be.

    Erm… you know, there are psychiatrists who specialize in healing sex addiction…

    Condoms can’t solve the problem. Individual choice can. Unrealistic? maybe, but we’re not incapable of having control. The message that condoms sends is; you’re going to spread this disease anyway, so here, use these. The message that the Pope sends is; You have dignity, you’re worth more than that, you’re capable of much virtue.

    Nice of him, but… unrealistic.

    But wait a little. Didn’t he go further than that? Didn’t he say condoms make the epidemic worse?

    Believe because God is our Hope.

    Translation: Believe because you want to believe.

    Isn’t that the worst possible reason to believe?

  197. #198 raven
    March 28, 2009

    Straight off the Templeton Foundation website. Green is a Templeton guy. Right there, a red flag goes up. The guy is a religious nut.

    Grant ProfileTitle:
    Harvard AIDS and Behavior Change Program

    Principal Investigator:
    Edward C. Green, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist
    Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
    Harvard University (Cambridge MA)

    Grantee:
    Harvard University (Cambridge MA)

    Description:
    Suite of 4 separate grants, totaling: $2,246,514

    Start date: July 2004

    End date: February 2009

    Grant ID#11364 #11869 #11874 #12345
    These grants support the development of an innovative study center to examine the importance of human character and moral choice in HIV/AIDS prevention.

    This support includes a symposium in Kampala, Uganda to advance scientific and scholarly understanding on the efficacy of behavior based programs in preventing population-wide HIV-infection. A scholarly edited volume will present the findings of the symposium participants.

  198. #199 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you god doesn’t exist. That makes your TRUTH a LIE.

    Does that mean that since you deny the existence of our Creator, you don’t have certain inalienable rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) which are endowed to us by our Creator?

  199. #200 Feynmaniac
    March 28, 2009

    Think “race realist”.

    I always found it funny that racists had their own politically correct term.

  200. #201 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    think “race realist”.

    well, i do know that they call themselves that because they believe race is real. i wouldn’t call them realists by any stretch of the imagination, hence my confusion at that definition.

  201. #202 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    Does that mean that since you deny the existence of our Creator, you don’t have certain inalienable rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) which are endowed to us by our Creator?

    poetic language fail, legality fail.

  202. #203 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    which are endowed to us by our Creator?

    Strawman argument oh stupid one. All rights are endowed by society, not some high sounding rhetoric, which is all that quote is. And my country also has freedom from your inane, evil religion. Keep it in your church and home, and you are unlikely to be bothered. You come here to our place, we will set you straight on what freedom from your religion means.

  203. #204 raven
    March 28, 2009

    It turns out both Green and the Pope are wrong: Not much on the web about Green. Apparently he and Templeton are minor players in the AIDS fight.

    NYTimes, published: March 17, 2009 :

    Pope Benedict XVI has every right to express his opposition to the use of condoms on moral grounds, in accordance with the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church. But he deserves no credence when he distorts scientific findings about the value of condoms in slowing the spread of the AIDS virus.

    Times Topics: Pope Benedict XVI | AIDS / H.I.V.As reported on Tuesday by journalists who accompanied the pope on his flight to Africa, Benedict said that distribution of condoms would not resolve the AIDS problem but, on the contrary, would aggravate or increase it. The first half of his statement is clearly right. Condoms alone won?t stop the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. Campaigns to reduce the number of sexual partners, safer-sex practices and other programs are needed to bring the disease to heel.

    But the second half of his statement is grievously wrong. There is no evidence that condom use is aggravating the epidemic and considerable evidence that condoms, though no panacea, can be helpful in many circumstances.

    From an individual?s point of view, condoms work very well in preventing transmission of the AIDS virus from infected to uninfected people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites ?comprehensive and conclusive? evidence that latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are ?highly effective? in preventing heterosexual transmission of the virus that causes AIDS. The most recent meta-analysis of the best studies, published by the respected Cochrane Collaboration, concluded that condoms can reduce the transmission of the AIDS virus by 80 percent.

    However, both groups warned that condom use cannot provide absolute protection. Condoms sometimes break, slip or are put on incorrectly. The best way to avoid transmission of the virus is to abstain from sexual intercourse or have a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected person.

    From a national perspective, condom promotion has been effective in slowing epidemics in several countries among high-risk groups, such as sex workers and their customers, but less effective in slowing epidemics that have spread into the general population, as in much of sub-Saharan Africa. That is probably because far too few people use condoms consistently and correctly.

    Even so, health authorities consider condoms a valuable component of any well-rounded program to prevent the spread of AIDS. It seems irresponsible to blame condoms for making the epidemic worse.

  204. #205 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    raven #198: Bam! Thanks for the find.

  205. #206 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, HTML commands are ended with /. So, to end a quote, you need to write </blockquote>.

  206. #207 paul fauvet
    March 28, 2009

    Tim quotes the American Declaration of Independence, apparently unaware that it was written, not by Catholics, but by Deists.

    I am, of course, all in favour of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – but for most of its history the Catholic Church has not been.

    Immediately after it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Catholic church started to wage war, backed up by the full power of the state, against anyone who disagreed with it. Over the centuries, Catolicism was all in favour of taking people’s lives away from them, if they were pagans, heretics, jews, moslems, or protestants.

    Also for many centuries the Catholic Church accepted, and practiced slavery. Colonial powers (Spain, Portugal, France) carved up the world with the blessing of the Vatican. So much for liberty.

    And the Catholic teaching on sexual matters is the pursuit, not of happiness, but of misery. How many lives have been ruined because of what ignorant celibates in the Vaticam preached about divorce, contraception or abortion?

  207. #208 Azkyroth
    March 28, 2009

    Also any rational system has to start from some sort of axiom – look e.g. at mathematics.

    In general, people should be happy. There’s your starting axiom.

  208. #209 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    But wait a little. Didn’t he go further than that? Didn’t he say condoms make the epidemic worse?

    Yes, and he’s right. Give a person a gun and show them there are no bullets in it and that person can put it to their head and pull the trigger all day long. Give him a gun and show him that it’s loaded and he won’t pull the trigger even once. Same principal. As unrealistic as that sounds, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. You can’t put a band-aid on the AIDS epidemic, it can only be abated by getting to the root cause. Is a person willing to make a sacrifice for the good of another? for the life of another? The Pope believes that’s the answer, and He’s absolutely right. These people aren’t animals, they have worth. He doesn’t want them to sell themselves short.

    Believe because God is our Hope.

    Translation: Believe because you want to believe.

    Isn’t that the worst possible reason to believe?

    I suppose it could be, but your translation doesn’t reflect what I said.

  209. #210 Capital Dan
    March 28, 2009

    Gotta admit: it’s fun watching Tim try to negotiate the simple quote feature and fail about as miserably as his twisted beliefs.

    Whoever explained the block quote to him, I owe you a beer with cake and maybe a lapdance.

  210. #211 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    #209 analogy fail, reality fail, Lying For Jesus fail

  211. #212 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    I observe that countless martyrs gave up their very lives as opposed to denying Him.

    Here’s a song about a martyr. Ever hear of Horst Wessel?

  212. #213 Guy Incognito
    March 28, 2009

    Does that mean that since you deny the existence of our Creator, you don’t have certain inalienable rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) which are endowed to us by our Creator?

    Well, if one doesn’t believe in a Creator, it probably goes without saying that one doesn’t believe in inalienable rights which are endowed by a Creator. However, I don’t understand how that stops me from recognizing that a society which values things like the freedom to pursue happiness is probably one in which I and my family have the best chance for success.

  213. #214 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Still no evidence for you imaginary god Tim. Yawn, these godbots never present anything interesting. Their testimony is BORING.

  214. #215 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    raven: Seeing the Templeton name in and of itself threw up some red flags, but the hits just keep on coming, don’t they?

    Green’s argument seems plausible on the surface — risk compensation and all — but the bolded portion is exactly where Green’s argument fails. In his 2003 testimony to the House, he admits that although condoms are readily available, their usage is highly inconsistent in Africa. Instead of focusing on that, he chooses to focus on risk compensation; then he goes on to say that, therefore, we need to introduce religion, when it seems to me that the problem could be just as reparable through proper education.

    Either way, it still seems to me that the Pope’s statement and Green’s agreement with it are scientifically unwarranted and offensively irresponsible.

  215. #216 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    LOL. I thought the preservatives comment was about the J-man handing out jars of grape and strawberry jelly to the masses!

    Me and my stupid American english!

    Tim, our inalienable rights are endowed in the Constitution of the U.S. which I’m pretty sure was written by a bunch of guys who did not claim to be gods… You aren’t making any convincing arguments so far. Why not just drop your faith and live free and happy in the knowledge that your life is your own? What’s the harm? (please don’t answer that, your substanceless arguments are getting pretty sad).

  216. #217 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you are one sick, demented fuck.
    The “root cause” of AIDS is the HIV virus. The use of condoms prevents infection. That is how you “get at the root cause,” you twisted piece of shit.
    The “root cause” of AIDS is NOT sex. That’s a perverse lie you and your evil nazi pope like to spread.
    Christianity is a cult of death that feeds off human misery.

  217. The figure of 22 million deaths in WWII is the one that is generally accepted for total Soviet deaths, both civilian and military. Some say 21 million, but who can be precise with such a huge event?

    I am a military historian specializing in WWII, I know. The above gentleman should recrack the books.

  218. #219 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 28, 2009

    I suppose it could be, but your translation doesn’t reflect what I said.

    It exposes your unspoken assumption: that God exists in the first place. Because, you see, if he doesn’t exist, he can’t be our (realistic) hope.

    You can’t put a band-aid on the AIDS epidemic, it can only be abated by getting to the root cause.

    Which is… the virus.

    Give a person a gun and show them there are no bullets in it and that person can put it to their head and pull the trigger all day long. Give him a gun and show him that it’s loaded and he won’t pull the trigger even once.

    This analogy fails, because pulling a trigger isn’t fun.

  219. #220 raven
    March 28, 2009

    These xian Liars for jesus have been quote mining Green. It turns out that he supports condom use as part of a comprehensive AIDS prevention program. Just like anyone sane and honest, the CDC, and everyone except a few trolls and the pope.

    Green supports a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention that includes abstinence, condom use and faithfulness to sexual partners, with the latter likely being the most important, according to Green.

    Bush Administration Appoints Edward Green to Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS

    August 8, 2003

    The Bush administration has appointed Edward Green, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health who supports the “ABC” HIV prevention model, to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, the Washington Times reports (McCaslin, Washington Times, 8/8). Green supports a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention that includes abstinence, condom use and faithfulness to sexual partners, with the latter likely being the most important, according to Green (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/23). According to the Times, Green has said that “it is not ‘abstinence only’ or ‘condoms only.’ Both are needed. There is a need for condoms if A and B fail. Some people will never change their behavior,” including some high-risk groups such as sex workers and their customers. After being sworn in this week by HHS Deputy Secretary Claude Allen, Green said in a letter, “I hope to have some influence on how we conduct AIDS prevention in the future (effective prevention remains my primary focus)” (Washington Times, 8/8).

  220. #221 Lee Picton
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, it is time you got off this blog. You are a delusional, sick, nasty, lying piece of shit and all you are doing is crapping on the rug. You wouldn’t know truth if you fell over it, and you have been so thoroughly brainwashed by your cult, you have totally lost the capacity to have an independent thought. You are just one more demonstration of the impenetrable lunacy of the true believer. But hey, look at the bright side, you may have just pushed a few more fence-sitters into the light of reason – and atheism.

  221. #222 Irene Delse
    March 28, 2009

    @ chancelikely: Yes, thanks. It’s a tempest about the cartoon Jesus giving away condoms, of course.

  222. #223 Azkyroth
    March 28, 2009

    No. 39 – You feel compassion for the Holocaust victims and so do I. But if no global good or bad how do we decide if our views have any more validity than Heidegger, Hitler and the Nazis’ who defined good as the purity of the Aryan race?

    Put “Universal Utilitarianism” into a google search.

  223. #224 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim quotes the American Declaration of Independence, apparently unaware that it was written, not by Catholics, but by Deists.

    Yes, I’m aware of that. I’ve hardly mentioned the Catholic Church. Here’s a sad fact, though, the majority of Catholics indeed don’t practice their faith. Many don’t hold true what the Church teaches, and don’t embrace what they profess to believe. Many priests commit evil acts, as many other people do in many other walks of life. Many Popes have been evil men. These people, like many others were by no means following the teachings of the Church, quite the contrary. The Church is attacked from within it’s own body. I won’t try to convince anybody of the Truths that I hold dear, and many other faithful Catholics, but I will proclaim them, to no ones harm. I’m glad I stumbled in here, I’m not a troll, I’m just a guy in a kitchen, communicating with others and learning a little about myself and you all. Take it easy.

  224. #225 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    I like this quote from a link on another recent Pharyngula post:
    “Dr. Kornreich ends his dismissal with the assertion that in science ?one does not need a reason not to believe in something.? Skepticism is ?the default position? and ?one requires proof if one is to be convinced of something?s existence.?

    I know, it’s a cut/paste… not very original of me. I just thought it summed up my opinion very concisely.

    So how about it Tim, got any real proof? Didn’t think so, buh-bye.

  225. #226 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    I’m glad I stumbled in here, I’m not a troll, I’m just a guy in a kitchen, communicating with others and learning a little about myself and you all. Take it easy.

    Next time you want to take such a steaming dump in order to learn about yourself, stumble into your own private bathroom. And light a match, will ya?

  226. #227 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    But
    for good people
    to do evil things,
    that takes religion.

    No, just human frailty.

  227. #228 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    No, just human frailty.

    No, the quote is accurate. God makes things messy. Without god, clarity and reason.

  228. #229 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    human frailty.

    Religion is human frailty, the madness of crowds incited by sociopaths.

  229. #230 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, the Catholics who “don’t practice their faith” aren’t anywhere near as disgusting as the ones that do, like your destructive, deadly pope, with his anti-human dogma.

    Give me a fallen-away catholic over a faithful one any day. The farther away you fall, the closer to reality you get.

  230. #231 Wowbagger, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim wrote:

    Here’s a sad fact, though, the majority of Catholics indeed don’t practice their faith.

    How is that sad? I don’t understand.

  231. #232 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    The “root cause” of AIDS is the HIV virus. The use of condoms prevents infection. That is how you “get at the root cause,”

    Nope, gotta go deeper than that.

  232. #233 Kseniya
    March 28, 2009

    PZ wrote:

    Since by far the largest fraction of the casualties in that war were borne by the Soviet Union, shouldn’t we then be complaining that atheists were the true martyrs?

    I should add that my earlier comment wasn’t meant to be in opposition to PZ’s statement, which I took to be a way of illustrating that a many of the deaths had little to do with the religion of the victim per se. I agree. My Ukrainian ancestors and relatives, along with the Poles, were “on the list” not for their religion, but for their ethnicity. The Nazi Aryans considered Slavs to be inferior beings. This is rarely discussed, but it is part of the bigger picture.

    Regardless, it’s absurd to claim that Catholics who were victims of the Holocaust were targeted for their religion. That claim is a slap in the face to the descendants of Jewish Holocaust victims, who were.

  233. #234 AnthonyK
    March 28, 2009

    Brief interaction, on a Catholic thread.
    I’m watching a programme on the BBC about the fall of Communism in Roumania. “Secret History of Communism” IKYAI.
    So, in Roumania 1970s- , under Ceau?escu, all abortion and all contraception were banned. This was to increase the working population. Under the regulations abortionists, and women who went to them, were jailed. Worse – all schoolgirls and factory workers were regularly pregnancy tested to discourage abortion as effectively as possible.
    Catholic heaven? Excepting, of course, the fact that the atheist regime banned all religion, except of course dictator worship.
    That’s almost exactly what Catholics want, isn’t it?

  234. #235 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    *sigh*

    “deeper” is only SIV. and we’re back at the bushmeat eating.

  235. #236 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Dear Tim,

    Fuck you.

    Yours in Christ,

    +Adam

  236. #237 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    The “root cause” of AIDS is the HIV virus. The use of condoms prevents infection. That is how you “get at the root cause,”

    Nope, gotta go deeper than that.

    What, pray away the gay and HIV will go away, especially if nobody has sex unless it’s only with the person they married? That’s not as deep as it goes. In Tim world, anybody who gets HIV deserves it.

    In the world people live in, science will eradicate the HIV virus. Not prayer, science. In the meantime, we’ll minimize the impact of the virus by educating people, and by slapping the shit out of assholes like tim and the monster in the cope and mitre, who is lying to Africans and making the epidemic worse. Tim is only a monster wannabe.

  237. #238 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    #220: I read that also, which is why I brought the question forward. I don’t know how everybody feels on a comprehensive approach as suggested by Green, but the way I see it, such a thing could certainly work. I only prefer to see it done through education rather than superstition. Sane and rational people believe in personal responsibility, with or without a god. That means being educated, taking the necessary precautions, and being responsible in one’s actions.

    Of course condoms alone probably won’t do the trick for such a widespread problem. We know that and we don’t need condescending Christians coming in here and talking about “common sense” to us. That doesn’t mean condoms are part of the problem, as he so brazenly suggests (and too many Catholics blindly swallow). If the Pope had left it at, “We need to do more than just throw condoms at them,” instead of being a dogmatic warrior in the Church’s battle against contraception, then I doubt we would be nearly as angry about this whole thing…

  238. #239 Kseniya
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, the Catholics who “don’t practice their faith” aren’t anywhere near as disgusting as the ones that do, like your destructive, deadly pope, with his anti-human dogma. Give me a fallen-away catholic over a faithful one any day. The farther away you fall, the closer to reality you get.

    There are also the Catholics who practice – or are observant, at the very least – who ignore the Pope and think he’s seriously out of touch at best, an arrogant fool at worst. You can quote me. I’m not sure if they quality as “fallen-away” or not…

  239. #240 AnthonyK
    March 28, 2009

    Nope, gotta go deeper than that.

    OK then, human sexual desire + human sexuality + opportunistic diseases = AIDS outbreak.
    Can we go any deeper than that? Do we need to?

  240. #241 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Whoever explained the block quote to him, I owe you a beer with cake and maybe a lapdance.

    I’ll take you up on the beer and cake but you’re probably too heavy for a lapdance.

  241. #242 kwandongbrian
    March 28, 2009

    I hope this wasn’t covered already – I looked over the first eighty or so comments- but there might be good reason for the Pope’s wish to reduce condom use in Africa.

    http://www.ilsussidiario.net/articolo.aspx?articolo=14614

    As I understand it, whenever more ‘protection’ is offered, people engage in riskier behaviour. Anti-lock brakes and the like encourage people to drive faster. Body armour for hockey and football players increases the force of the tackles.

    I can’t say that Dr Green is right, but, well, what do you lot think?

  242. #243 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    “Dr. Kornreich ends his dismissal with the assertion that in science ?one does not need a reason not to believe in something.? Skepticism is ?the default position? and ?one requires proof if one is to be convinced of something?s existence.?

    I know, it’s a cut/paste… not very original of me. I just thought it summed up my opinion very concisely.

    So how about it Tim, got any real proof? Didn’t think so, buh-bye.

    Sounds to me like he lacks faith.

  243. #244 raven
    March 28, 2009

    I read that also, which is why I brought the question forward. I don’t know how everybody feels on a comprehensive approach as suggested by Green, but the way I see it, such a thing could certainly work.

    Worked in the USA.
    A multipart comprehensive approach is the conventional wisdom. AIDS has proven difficult but not impossible to drive down in many countries, mostly poor and third world. One really needs all the ammo they can get and no one bullet in isolation is going to do much.

    There is a new addition to the arsenal. Widespread early treatment with HAART makes carriers much less infectious. Computer models show that this should drop the HIV rates way down. Problem is, such a program would be expensive, not hugely expensive but enough that no one is doing it right now.

  244. #245 chancelikely
    March 28, 2009

    Tim: In religion, faith is a virtue.

    In the rest of the world, doubt is the virtue.

  245. #246 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    As I understand it, whenever more ‘protection’ is offered, people engage in riskier behaviour. Anti-lock brakes and the like encourage people to drive faster. Body armour for hockey and football players increases the force of the tackles.

    Did I miss a call for entries on who can make the most outrageously stupid claim?

    I’ll just strap my three year old to the roof with some moldy twine, and everybody will drive more safely, then, shall I?

    I can’t say that Dr Green is right, but, well, what do you lot think?

    I can’t say as how it would make any sense to try and explain what thinking is to you.

  246. #247 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    The lowest, most morally benighted response to AIDS is to blame the victim.

    AIDS is a hateful disease. It is caused by a virus.

    Hanson’s disease is, too. It’s also sexually transmissible. The fictional character “Jesus of Nazareth” was said (in the incompetently-written books about him)to have gone among the lepers to comfort, heal and welcome them back into the community.

    Anybody who might claim to admire this Jesus character might want to do the same. They might make an effort to heal and prevent the disease, not blame the sufferers. Supposing, that is, they had a normal measure of human decency and compassion.

  247. #248 Cat of Many Faces
    March 28, 2009

    ok, ban Tim.

    Anyone who says that aids is a punishment by an all loving god is a complete fucktard and a waste of skin.

    You don’t understand morality at all you imbecilic shit. All you’re morality equates to is ‘if x says so, it is moral’

    That is NOT morality! That is obedience.

    The rest of us fully cogent bipeds will actually continue trying to come up with an actual moral system.

    Maybe when you give up masturbating against a large wall that says ‘OBEY’ you can join the rest of us.

    Probably not, as i suspect you can’t recover from the lobotomy.

    (I seem to be a bit cranky lately… ahh well :P )

  248. #249 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Tim #243

    Sounds to me like he lacks faith.

    That is not a bad thing.

  249. #250 ArchangelChuck
    March 28, 2009

    #242: Yes, that was brought up. He describes it as “risk compensation,” but also acknowledges the inconsistent use of condoms despite their availability. There is nothing that definitively links condom usage to an increased prevalence of the disease. Who is to say that poor education isn’t to blame?

    #244: Agreed, 100%. Worked, and continues to work. I doubt the Pope would like to spread our effective — yet immoral — standards to Africa, though. Those people are just ripe for indoctrination! Poor, destitute, sick, suffering, superstitious… The perfect targets.

  250. #251 Kseniya
    March 28, 2009

    In Tim world, anybody who gets HIV deserves it.

    Even children? Oh, my.

  251. #252 DJ
    March 28, 2009

    Sounds to me like a scientist Tim. You are making extraordinary claims without presenting extraordinary evidence. You are willfully deceiving yourself. Stop propping up faith as your “proof”. It is not proof no matter how hard you wish it were.

  252. #253 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim: In religion, faith is a virtue.

    In the rest of the world, doubt is the virtue.

    Don’t sound like much of a virtue. I’d rather have faith than doubt, wouldn’t you?

  253. #254 chancelikely
    March 28, 2009

    Nope. Especially when faced with the ridiculous (and competing) claims of Catholics, Muslims, Scientologists, astrologers, psychics, homeopaths, Reiki healers, and Nigerian princes.

  254. #255 finchette
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you say: “”Believe because God is our Hope.” You seem to believe that without gods there is no hope, perhaps no hope of being good, no hope of escaping reprehensible behavior. This belief is false.
    There are other ways to gain the strength to be a good person. Even 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous are no longer overemphasizing hanging on to a divine skirt. Tim, you may be feeling too fragile right now to deal with all this, but I want you to know there will always be people who truly care and want to help, and likely most of them are not religious zombies.
    To keep saying that something is True because it’s True, is kind of silly. I do wish you well.

  255. #256 Feynmaniac
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    I’d rather have faith than doubt, wouldn’t you?

    That’s the problem. You would rather have certainty than truth.

  256. #257 Feynman
    March 28, 2009

    “I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I?m not absolutely sure of anything, and in many things I don?t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we?re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about a little, but if I can?t figure it out, then I go to something else. But I don?t have to know an answer. I don?t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn?t frighten me. “ – Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman

  257. #258 Azkyroth
    March 28, 2009

    Does that mean that since you deny the existence of our Creator, you don’t have certain inalienable rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) which are endowed to us by our Creator?

    No. These rights are possessed by virtue of being sentient, not “given” by anyone or anything.

  258. #259 Kseniya
    March 28, 2009

    I’d rather have faith than doubt, wouldn’t you?

    Geez. And they say atheists will believe anything!

    My answer? No. I’d rather fumble my way down a path of uncertain but tangible knowledge than to stride ahead, confident yet blind.

  259. #260 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    That’s the problem. You would rather have imagined certainty than truth.

    Feynmaniac, I hope I improved upon your idea.

  260. #261 Invigilator
    March 28, 2009

    finchette @ 255 — as an alcoholic who dropped Alcoholics Anonymous mostly because of its over-reliance on an obviously Christian God — the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) at the close of meetings, for example — I have to disagree with you. It’s also a fundamentally irrational program that requires you to follow 12 magic steps to get better, and the keep repeating for the rest of your life. There are plenty of us who have dropped AA for that reason, and not nearly as many who have found rational alternatives.

  261. #262 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Invigilator, you’re right.

    AA is a religious establishment. It’s an ongoing scandal that attendance is frequently mandated by the courts and probation departments.

    Moreover, its claims of effectiveness are not supported by anything objective, since its claims of anonymity are used to prevent any test of its worth.

    Another religious affront to the Constitution.

  262. #263 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, you say: “”Believe because God is our Hope.” You seem to believe that without gods there is no hope, perhaps no hope of being good, no hope of escaping reprehensible behavior. This belief is false.
    There are other ways to gain the strength to be a good person. Even 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous are no longer overemphasizing hanging on to a divine skirt. Tim, you may be feeling too fragile right now to deal with all this, but I want you to know there will always be people who truly care and want to help, and likely most of them are not religious zombies.
    To keep saying that something is True because it’s True, is kind of silly. I do wish you well.

    Thanks. I do believe that without God there is no hope. I won’t deny that. I used to feel too fragile to deal with things, but that’s a long story. The peace that I have now is enveloping. It sustains me through suffering, hard times, trials, battles with sin, etc.. and those things do come, along with the good. It’s a strong foundation. My own experience affirms for me, the Truth of God. It’s the only proof I have for you. I know what I was, I know what I am now, and I know the reason why. I appreciate you all’s patience. We don’t agree, but I wouldn’t think any less of anyone because of that. I’ve listened to your beliefs and you’ve listened to mine. You obviously don’t have to share my beliefs, but I’ll tell you one of the main ones and I’ll leave it at that; (no need to dispute it, I already know, somewhat, of how it will be taken) This is my belief: The Truth is not a thing, the Truth is a Person.
    Thanks.

  263. #264 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Yawn, Tim and his testament. BORING. Guess what Tim, this is an atheist blog, and we find your testament worthless. Even less than worthless. Still no physical evidence for your god or proof that your Jebus is real. YAWN. We need some better trolls.

  264. #265 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, your “strong foundation” is nothing at all. It is less than air. You are basing your life on fictions and fantasies.

  265. #266 Kel
    March 28, 2009

    I do believe that without God there is no hope.

    Wow, that’s quite tragic…

  266. #267 AdamK
    March 28, 2009

    I do believe that with Tim’s arbitrary, psychotic god there is not hope.

  267. #268 Patricia, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim the toad is one of the worst slacker trolls we’ve seen in months. Jadehawk gives him one small dose of the bible and he can’t even respond. F.

  268. #269 kwandongbrian
    March 28, 2009

    Ken Cope @ 246
    (I am trying to say that I am not stupid, but my html skills may counter my claim. Apologies in advance.)

    “Did I miss a call for entries on who can make the most outrageously stupid claim?

    I’ll just strap my three year old to the roof with some moldy twine, and everybody will drive more safely, then, shall I?

    I can’t say that Dr Green is right, but, well, what do you lot think?

    I can’t say as how it would make any sense to try and explain what thinking is to you.”

    If you strap you child to your roof, you would almost certainly drive more carefully. I would normally be certain, but you seem a bit of a jerk.

    “Phrased in simple terms; to offer people protection against the consequences of risky behaviour encourages risky behaviour; to offer people still better protection against the consequences of risky behaviour encourages riskier behaviour still.” (page 100-101 : I think the link takes you to p101)

    increased protection=increased risk

    ” …protecting car occupants from the consequences of bad driving encourages bad driving”
    http://psyc.queensu.ca/target/about.html

    Dr Green, in the article I linked to (http://www.ilsussidiario.net/articolo.aspx?articolo=14614), didn’t explicitly offer the explanation I gave. instead he gave empirical evidence that condom use increased the spread of AIDS in Africa. I tried to explain why. I think my point at least somewhat defendable and not outrageously stupid. Again, you’re a jerk who might well strap your child to the roof of your car because you don’t think things through.

  269. #270 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim the toad is one of the worst slacker trolls we’ve seen in months. Jadehawk gives him one small dose of the bible and he can’t even respond. F.

    Sorry, I missed that Scripture, you can give it to me again if you like.

  270. #271 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    (I am trying to say that I am not stupid, but my html skills may counter my claim. Apologies in advance.)

    Fail.

    condom use increased the spread of AIDS in Africa. I tried to explain why. I think my point at least somewhat defendable and not outrageously stupid.

    Epic fail.

  271. #272 Dust
    March 28, 2009

    The A-B-C policy for Africa means abstinence, behaviour and condoms, right? Several years ago on some TV program (sorry, no link or cite-going on memory) it was reported that the abstinence involved was not the same type of abstinence as it is thought of in the USA.

    What it meant primarily was not engaging in extra marital sex, especially with sex workers. GWB and right wing and religious organizations, latched on to the word abstinence for African Aids policy without understanding it’s cultural context.

    So in this regard, abstinence makes more sense than the idea of no sex at all. But like condoms, it is only part of the puzzle.

  272. #273 Stephen Wells
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, according to the Bible, a god called Yahweh gives an entity called Satan permission to kill the entire family of a man named Job.

    Why would you worship such a god? He’s a murderer.

    Stop preaching, start thinking.

  273. #274 Ciaphas
    March 28, 2009

    Tim:

    If I did that, it would mean that I’d lost hope. That’s not good.

    Tim, do you not realize the great Truth “hope is the first step upon the road to disapointment”? You must turn yourself away from your silly little church and false gods and open yourself to the light of the Immortal Emperor. Not only for what he has done, but for what he will do!

    He walks amongst us even now, a man but more than a man, shaping us in secret, driving us towards our destiny. In thirty thousand years, when we stride across stars, that is when Chaos will come for us and He will be ready.

    In a starship above Holy Terra itself, He will strike down his most beloved son who had fallen to Chaos and give His very life in the process.

    This will come to pass and we should venerate the Immortal Emperor even now for in death his power reaches through time and he can hear our prayers. This is Truth and I have here revealed it.

  274. #275 Dr Horrible
    March 28, 2009

    Wow.

    Tim seems to like the idea of some kind of threesome with “The Lord”.

    Thy Kingdom Cum indeed!!

  275. #276 raven
    March 28, 2009

    K-brian, try to think it through.

    Do you wear a seat belt? After all this to prevent injuries after a crash. So do people wearing seat belts drive worse? In point of fact, it is illegal not to wear a seat belt in most states. This is because they do a great job of preventing injuries and death.

    You could use the same logic for motorcycle and bike helmets. In most states, motorcycle helmets are required. Which is OK with me. A childhood friend crashed his cycle without a helmet. His head was so smashed up that it was hard to identify the body.

    Same thing with life jackets which are required in some situations, children, charter fishing boats etc..

    Fuses and circuit breakers? Do they encourage overloading your sockets?

    There is little evidence that humans use risk compensation and a lot that they don’t. In our society, safety precautions are ubiquitous in work, transportation, and every day life. We have not produced a nation of sloppy haphazard dare devils.

    Condom use was part of a multifaceted anti-AIDS effort in the USA and Europe. It worked.

    Greens point if he actually has one is that tossing boxes of condoms at AIDS in third world countries by themselves without ABC and other efforts isn’t going to do much. Big deal, we knew that 20 years ago.

  276. #277 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, according to the Bible, a god called Yahweh gives an entity called Satan permission to kill the entire family of a man named Job.

    Why would you worship such a god? He’s a murderer.

    Stop preaching, start thinking.

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally. Do you think the writer was witness to the discourse between God and Satan? Of course not. It’s a work of literature, inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach a people long before Jesus was born.
    Job perseveres, remains faithful, and Satan is defeated. That’s the point being made. He appeals to God as to the reason for suffering. God proclaims the Truth, end of story. I’m no Bible scholar, but I like the book. I’d say that in the story, God allowed Job to be tested in order to bring about a greater good. That’s my take on it.

  277. #278 Lucius
    March 28, 2009

    Do you regard your remarks about the Pope as reasoned discourse? By and large what you did was utter personal attacks. The Pope was not wrong about condoms. He was backed up by a group at Harvard university. Uganda which has not followed the “condom cure” for AIDS has lower rates than the African counties following the “condom cure.” Of course these rants against the Pope have little to do with the reality as much as they have to do with the fact that the Pope does not follow an agenda of political correctness.

    I think the Archbishop is reacting against the “Holocaust industry” which uses the Holocaust to pursue other agendas and that really trivializes that genocide. Yes, millions of other people were killed including gypsies because Hitler was basically following a eugenic program similar to the likes of Margaret Sanger and her Birth Control Movement now Planned Parenthood. However the Archbishop is wrong in not acknowledging that no matter what the other numbers were, the Jews were the prime target for extinction. For them Hitler/Nazis had special rant and hatred.

  278. #279 Arkady
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, if you honestly believe that your God created HIV as a punishment for sin then I pity you. Your god is evil. With vertical transmission (mother to baby) then your god must delight in torturing small children. The virus typically progresses to AIDS much faster in children too. Then there’s all the ‘innocents’ (no icky butt!sex) who got HIV from blood transfusions in the 80s, and who are still getting HIV in the developing world when hospitals don’t sterilize equipment/test blood/change needles properly. For an omnipotent being he’s got lousy aim for smiting sinners.

    Heh, also just reminded me of a lecturer who semi-jokingly called the hypervariability of gp120 (reason why we haven’t been able to make a vaccine) ‘malevolent design’.

    The root cause of HIV was a blood contact with SIV from bushmeat, estimated to have happened in the 1930s. It is incurable because the virus goes silent in T-memory cells where the immune system can’t spot it, and reactivates later. It has a high mutation rate that constantly sidesteps the immune response until the immune system is exhausted. Sorry if that’s too ‘materialistic’ for you Tim, but some of us live in the real world. And work in virus labs. Trying to find cures/treatments and actually help people (as some guy 2000 years ago was supposedly keen on).

  279. #280 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally.

    What makes you think any of it should be taken any other way? Is any of the story better if it’s actually really for real true? Are any of the parables attributed to that socialist hippie character (the one who got religion, becoming what god morphed into after being the whiney-ass genocidal punk of the Hebrew scriptures, and got his ass nailed to a cross anyway) better if they really happened?

    I like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but our personal taste in fairy tales doesn’t trump anybody else’s. If I have faith in the certainty that Frodo Lives, I don’t look any less stupid than you and your pathetic dead and resurrected zombie hippie who will come back to judge the dead, I bet.

  280. #281 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, if you honestly believe that your God created HIV as a punishment for sin then I pity you.

    OK? When did I say that?

  281. #282 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    Hitler was basically following a eugenic program similar to the likes of Margaret Sanger and her Birth Control Movement now Planned Parenthood.

    According to Lucius, the misogynist Godwin’s Law contestant, personal reproductive autonomy = eugenics.

    I’m sorry, that’s not how we play Catch It and You Keep It here on pharyngula. The next round you’ll get to play is Beat the Reaper!

  282. #283 Wowbagger, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim wrote:

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally.

    I’m experiencing Déjà vu.

    Tim, if it isn’t all meant to be taken literally, can you explain to us which parts are and which parts aren’t? By what method did you determine this?

    What I’ll also do is direct you to one of my posts in another thread that is on that very topic. If you start reading the posts from there you’ll find that the ‘cherry-picking’ approach to Christianity is fraught with danger.

  283. #284 Last Hussar
    March 28, 2009

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally

    OK. I choose not to take the bits about sexual conduct ‘not literally’. And the bit about Worshiping God- that’s just a metaphore for being nice to your fellow human, and not denying him rights due to them being Gay.

  284. #285 Arkady
    March 28, 2009

    Apologies if that’s not the case Tim, but with all the talk of ‘sin’ flying around the vengeful god having created it as a punishment usually comes up (or at least it has in previous discussions. With some of the denialists it’s a case of evil government scientists having created it to punish black people, without mention of god). The whole ‘root cause is sin’ business led me to that assumption.

    So I take it then that your ‘root cause is sin’ bit was about transmission rather than the actual ‘root cause’ (origin of the virus)? Sadly as someone mentioned earlier, all the ‘innocence’ in the world won’t protect a virgin bride or her subsequent children if her husband has HIV. Yes, in an ideal world everyone would meet their perfect partner straight off the bat, would marry them and never stray. The world isn’t like that, and using such a horrendous disease as a punishment for not being perfect, when an easy method of prevention is so readily available, is the real sin in this situation. I generally take the Pratchett view, that sin is treating people as things, not about who you sleep with.

  285. #286 Wowbagger, OM
    March 28, 2009

    If you belief is that god created the universe and everything in it you are then stuck with him being responsible for all the nasty, ugly shit as well. Just because you love him for making rainbows and puppies and sunsets you can share with your sweetheart doesn’t mean you can ignore the fact that, if he did, he also created AIDS, necrotizing fasciitis and Céline Dion.

  286. #287 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, if it isn’t all meant to be taken literally, can you explain to us which parts are and which parts aren’t? By what method did you determine this?

    The Church is the custodian of the Bible, the Bible is not the custodian of the Church. One of the main reasons for the division in the protestant Church is interpretation of Scripture. It’s also one of the reasons for the breaking away of protestants from the Catholic Church. Scripture is not up for individual interpretation. Scriptural interpretation is reserved for for the Church that decided what books of Scripture would be included in the Canon in the first place. Many writings were not included and were not deemed to be inspired. This is the part you’re really going to love; The Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in all Truth, as promised, by Jesus Christ Himself, is responsible for the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Not me.

  287. #288 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    OK. I choose not to take the bits about sexual conduct ‘not literally’. And the bit about Worshiping God- that’s just a metaphore for being nice to your fellow human, and not denying him rights due to them being Gay.

    It’s not for you or me to interpret Sacred Scripture. It’s for the Magisterial teaching Authority of the Church, through Apostolic Succession, who declared it inspired, and included it in the Canon in the first place.

  288. #289 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    It’s not for you or me to interpret Sacred Scripture.

    What sacred scripture? God doesn’t exist and the bible is a known work of fiction. Sacred scripture? That doesn’t exist except between your ears.

  289. #290 Gutenberg
    March 28, 2009

    Damn! I am brasilian and,man, I get really ashamed when I hear this kind of thing. A few weeks ago, an archbishop excomungated half a dozen physicians who made an abortion on a 9-year old girl who had been raped by her father. I wish I hadn’t returned from Canada…

  290. #291 Wowbagger, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim wrote:

    It’s also one of the reasons for the breaking away of protestants from the Catholic Church.

    So, which is correct: Protestant or Catholic? You’ll say Catholic, I presume – but can you say why?

  291. #292 dean
    March 28, 2009

    “Many writings were not included and were not deemed to be inspired”

    No, many writings were not included because they didn’t meet the political + personal desires of the men who decided to put things together. (I’m assuming that you meant “inspired” to be a reference to holy inspiration rather than “appropriate for continuing the authoritative structure”: correct me if I’m wrong)

  292. #293 John Morales
    March 28, 2009

    Tim:

    It’s not for you or me to interpret Sacred Scripture. It’s for the Magisterial teaching Authority of the Church, through Apostolic Succession, who declared it inspired, and included it in the Canon in the first place.

    This is exclusively a Roman Catholic Church view, and antithetical (for example) to those who claim to be True Christians? (cf. Sola scriptura)

  293. #294 Jadehawk
    March 28, 2009

    The Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in all Truth, as promised, by Jesus Christ Himself, is responsible for the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

    hmmm…. didn’t you say further upthread that there were many within the church, even some popes, who were misguided and evil? what if the ones who put the bible together where misguided, or downright evil? what then?

  294. #295 Ginger
    March 28, 2009

    Hey Guys!

    How are you all doing this fine evening?

    Ok… for those of you that keep saying that you need proof that God exists, you can all have the proof in a matter of minutes.

    You can all go drown yourselves, then when you die and reach HELL you will all have the proof you need. Now, don’t you complain that I didn’t warn you Ok ?

  295. #296 John Morales
    March 28, 2009

    Ginger, hey troll!

    You’re in shitty form, this evening.

  296. #297 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    You can all go drown yourselves, then when you die and reach HELL you will all have the proof you need. Now, don’t you complain that I didn’t warn you Ok ?

    “You’re seeing a whole team of psychiatrists, aren’t you?”

    Ginger is just another over-eager volunteer for the Milgram Experiment.

  297. #298 Last Hussar
    March 28, 2009

    And if you are wrong, how do you propose for us to let you know?

  298. #299 AnthonyK
    March 28, 2009

    One of the main reasons for the division in the protestant Church is interpretation of Scripture. It’s also one of the reasons for the breaking away of protestants from the Catholic Church

    Oooh oooh, mote-in-your-own-eye error!
    Of course the protestant churches are split over interpretation of scripture, and comically so, but the Catholic Church has also had numerous and horrible disputes over scripture and practice, all depending ultimately on interpretation of the Bible. And and the interpretation of those interpretations and so into utter madness, as we still see today.
    Don’t sneer too much at the crazy protestant fundies and their Biblical inerrancy, your Catholic theology is just as insane and, arguably, more Christians have died horribly over it than have protestants.
    Tim, new Troll?
    Welcome to Pharyngula.
    Now fuck off.
    After of course, we’ve had some fun at the expense of you and your hideaous belief system.

  299. #300 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    So, which is correct: Protestant or Catholic? You’ll say Catholic, I presume – but can you say why?

    Yes, I can say why; because the reformers left the Church 1500 years after Jesus instituted it. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Always was and always will be.

  300. #301 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Tim #277

    [Job] appeals to God as to the reason for suffering. God proclaims the Truth, end of story.

    No, that’s not the way it happens. Job asks God about evil and what’s the response?

    Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 ASV) [And in the same vein for the rest of the chapter.]

    That’s called “blowing him off.” Job asks one of the important questions in theology and gets sneered at. Just another proof that your favorite god is an asshole.

    I’m aware that most Biblical scholars consider Job to be allegorical fiction. So what? All the Christian churches, as well as the Jews, accept Job as canonical. So the allegorically fictional god is telling the allegorically fictional Job: “Screw you, sucker, I’m not going to tell you, so there, nyah!”

  301. #302 Invigilator
    March 28, 2009

    Why, Ginger, now that is a real loving Christian suggestion, but do you suppose it would be OK if I shot myself instead? Much more convenient for me at the moment.

  302. #303 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    (I’m assuming that you meant “inspired” to be a reference to holy inspiration rather than “appropriate for continuing the authoritative structure”: correct me if I’m wrong)

    I meant inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  303. #304 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    This is exclusively a Roman Catholic Church view, and antithetical (for example) to those who claim to be True Christians? (cf. Sola scriptura)

    That’s correct. Sola Scriptura is un-scriptural. It’s not supported by Scripture itself.

  304. #305 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2009

    I meant inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Since god doesn’t exist the Holy Spirit is a fiction. Yawn, godbots like yourself just don’t understand reality.

  305. #306 'Tis Himself
    March 28, 2009

    Ginger, do us all a big favor. Eat shit and bark at the moon.

  306. #307 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    hmmm…. didn’t you say further upthread that there were many within the church, even some popes, who were misguided and evil? what if the ones who put the bible together where misguided, or downright evil? what then?

    The canon was compiled and decided over a period of time through councils of the Bishops. It was done to produce a final Authoritative compilation of Scripture, to put an end to confusion as to what writings were inspired and what writings were not. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, in Truth, is protected from error in the deposit of the faith.

  307. #308 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    but the Catholic Church has also had numerous and horrible disputes over scripture

    Such as?

  308. #309 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    I meant inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit can suck my dick, Tim, for all the good getting my dick sucked by your imagination will do me.[/obligatory gratuitous blaspheme]

    You worship monsters, Tim, monsters who, compared to those in Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are are simply toxic to children and other living things. I hate whoever it is that inflicted them upon you, even if they thought they meant well.

  309. #310 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    No, that’s not the way it happens. Job asks God about evil and what’s the response?

    Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 ASV) [And in the same vein for the rest of the chapter.]

    Like I said, God proclaims the Truth, end of story. Which part are you having trouble with? I wasn’t asking you to believe anything, I was just trying to answer your question.

  310. #311 John Morales
    March 28, 2009

    Tim @308, well, there was this guy, Martin Luther, who was a monk of Order of St. Augustine, who kinda disapproved of the interpretation of Scripture amongst other things, and this let to a little tiff we call “the Reformation”.

    For example.

  311. #312 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    Like I said, God proclaims the Truth, end of story. Which part are you having trouble with? I wasn’t asking you to believe anything, I was just trying to answer your question.

    You can do whatever blows your skirt up, Tim. I just have to laugh when morons like you think that your suspension of disbelief should be the standard for sane people over here in the real world. You’ll find that most of us here have more familiarity with, and authority regarding, fairy tales and their tropes, than you can hope to attain. You’ve already told us that it’s more important to you to believe you are right than to be right about what it is that you believe, so we already know that you can’t be bothered to make claims that correspond with reality.

  312. #313 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Tim @308, well, there was this guy, Martin Luther, who was a monk of Order of St. Augustine, who kinda disapproved of the interpretation of Scripture amongst other things, and this let to a little tiff we call “the Reformation”.

    For example.

    Your right. I don’t dispute that at all.

    I don’t know much about Atheists, do you believe in any kind of after life?

  313. #314 John Morales
    March 28, 2009

    Tim,

    I don’t know much about Atheists, do you believe in any kind of after life?

    I’ll answer, but you gotta realise atheists are defined as those who don’t believe in deities. Some atheists are supernaturalists, some aren’t.

    Me, I don’t subscribe to dualism. The life is the life of the body, which generates a mind. When the body dies, the mind dies.

    Perhaps technology can, in some future time, provide an alternate substrate for the continuance of the mind beyond its current body, but for now, no.
    No such thing as an afterlife – it’s but a wishful concept.

  314. #315 Wowbagger, OM
    March 28, 2009

    Tim wrote:

    Yes, I can say why; because the reformers left the Church 1500 years after Jesus instituted it. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Always was and always will be.

    So, what you really mean is, ‘because the Church says so’. Yeah, real compelling.

    Let me guess – you were born to Catholic parents? You didn’t convert to Catholicism after a long and thorough investigation of all the options?

  315. #316 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    You’ve already told us that it’s more important to you to believe you are right than to be right about what it is that you believe, so we already know that you can’t be bothered to make claims that correspond with reality.

    I’d say that they’re pretty much equally important.
    You gotta love reality.

  316. #317 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    I’ll answer, but you gotta realise atheists are defined as those who don’t believe in deities. Some atheists are supernaturalists, some aren’t.

    Me, I don’t subscribe to dualism. The life is the life of the body, which generates a mind. When the body dies, the mind dies.

    Perhaps technology can, in some future time, provide an alternate substrate for the continuance of the mind beyond its current body, but for now, no.
    No such thing as an afterlife – it’s but a wishful concept.

    Thanks for the info, I’m gonna turn this thing off.

  317. #318 Ken Cope
    March 28, 2009

    I don’t know much about Atheists, do you believe in any kind of after life?

    I’m just a small “a” atheist. There is no such thing as Atheism. We atheists live without theism, and we don’t miss it; the luckier ones never had to abandon theism for apostasy.

    An after life is what most of us sane people call “being dead” or “no longer living.” I expect I’ll be dead for almost exactly as long as the period of time when I wasn’t alive before I was born, for various values of infinity.

    It’s one of the reasons that, when I contrast this corner of existence with how much of the universe doesn’t appear to be aware of itself, I consider that I am an arrangement of matter, born in the death of stars, that is a pattern that can reflect, for an infinitesimal fraction of cosmic time, on how much bigger the universe is than a load of fairy tales you’d have to be daft to take as reflecting reality accurately. Life, therefore, to an atheist, is far more precious than it could be to any theist who thinks it’s all just pretend until we go to heaven or hell.

  318. #319 Tim
    March 28, 2009

    Let me guess – you were born to Catholic parents? You didn’t convert to Catholicism after a long and thorough investigation of all the options?

    No, that’s hardly the case.

  319. #320 Last Hussar
    March 28, 2009

    Tim, perhaps you should look at what you think and examine it from a neutral point of view.

    Jesus didn’t institute a church. His purpose was to ‘save’ the Jewish faith. Christianity is a post Christ construct.

    Jesus actual aim is confused and confusing- he both said some Jewish law could be disregarded, while also saying he was not changing Jewish law, which would ‘out last the Kingdom of Heaven’.

    Catholic practises commit some of the crimes that Jesus was to stamp out- Idolatry is big in Catholicism- all those Saints days are treading a very fine line. Most Christian sects Idolise to some extent- the Cross worship being the most widespread.

    Given the wealth of major Christian organisations- spent in adornment of property- one can only imagine what the Biblical Jesus would say to the current Pope.

    While the Bible has Jesus pronouncing a man?s faith isn’t judged by what a man puts in his mouth, thus the justification for Christians not keeping Kosher, he didn’t make pronouncements on a wide range of things, yet these have been dropped.

    Part of the reason for the split by Protestants is that they believed the Church was not following Biblical teachings- its not whether they were 1500 years later, its that the Catholic church was corrupt. Though the choice of Pope is supposedly guided by God, the Borgias managed to get quite a dynasty going. Some of those Protestants believed themselves to be guided by God themselves into opposing the Pope.

    And of course the biggest problem ?? It’s not for you or me to interpret Sacred Scripture. It’s for the Magisterial teaching Authority of the Church, through Apostolic Succession, who declared it inspired, and included it in the Canon in the first place.?
    The trouble is they keep getting it wrong. Tim said that not all the bible should be taken literally- What would have happened if you said this 600 years ago? Over the years the Church has changed its view of the Bible in response to science- Evolution, Geocentricity etc- to a point where you can utter this inanity, and not see the lunacy of your position. The change in doctrine was not Magesterial led, it was following the truth. And you don?t question why the Vatican keeps being wrong. Instead you give it a carte blanche- ?Truth is whatever the Pope says- you?re opinion doesn?t count”.

    Most Christian sects Idolise to some extent- the Cross worship being the most widespread. However given the wealth of major Christian organisations- spent in adornment of property- one can only imagine what the Biblical Jesus would say to the current Pope.

    While the Bible has Jesus pronouncing a mans faith isn’t judged by what a man puts in his mouth, thus the justification for Christians not keeping Kosher, he didn’t make pronouncements on a wide range of things, yet these have been dropped.

  320. #321 Last Hussar
    March 28, 2009

    Sorry- Copy and Paste error there!

    Why should I be a Catholic and not a Muslim- Islam is ‘Part 3′, where the Final ‘Gods truth’ is revealed to Mohammed, trying to correct all the errors put into it by Jews and Christians.

  321. #322 Rick T
    March 29, 2009

    Why does anyone talk as if Jesus was ever a real person?
    He was a spiritual entity championed by Paul, who was very gnostic in his writings, so much so, that he was the favorite of various gnostic sects until they were killed of a few hundred years later when Christianity came to resemble the orthodoxy that we recognize today. The scriptures were compiled in the 4th century and beyond. Paul’s writings were purged of most gnostic flavor (although much remains if one looks), redacted and even added to in his name (the Pastoral Epistles). His writings then became a major part of the Canon. Read the highly respected Elain Pagels on this subject.

    A spiritual being was transformed into a “real historical figure” by this several hundred year process. To accept it as truth and not bother to try to understand how Christianity developed is giving it a crediblility that is not warranted.
    I suppose it is proper to use scripture to defeat scripture and dogma even if one doesn’t believe it but to concede the fact of a literal Jesus when this is doubtful is unwise.

  322. #323 Wowbagger, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Tim wrote:

    No, that’s hardly the case.

    Sorry, I don’t think you’ve answered that clearly – did you convert to Catholicism after being convinced, intellectually, of its merits over other religions and sects of Christianity?

  323. #324 Jadehawk
    March 29, 2009

    wowbagger, tim actually sounds like the “inept at life and scared of it, so crawled into the most mindnumbing church he could find” type of convert.

  324. #325 gma
    March 29, 2009

    #102: “I fail to see how that snarling bigot Ratzinger can be described as either “holy” or as a “father” (unless he has some bastards hidden away I don’t know about.)”

    That would only explain “father”. There is no explanation for the “holy” part unless we redefine “holy” as in “ass holy” :)

  325. #326 gma
    March 29, 2009

    Tim,

    Before wasting more of your and our time, you should take a little time off to write all of us concisely with clear scientific peer-reviewed evidence that proves without the shadow of a doubt that:

    (1) there is a god,
    (2) he, she or it is the christian god,
    (3) he, she, or it created the universe, listens to prayers and forgives sin,
    (4) he, she, or it defines morality for all mankind.

    I have more questions in mind, but this would be a good start.

  326. #327 raven
    March 29, 2009

    ginger the troll:

    You can all go drown yourselves, then when you die and reach HELL you will all have the proof you need. Now, don’t you complain that I didn’t warn you Ok ?

    Ginger, how do you know that? I assume you are posting from hell after doing exactly that. Looks like the internet is everywhere nowadays.

    It wasn’t the drowning that put you there. It was your pure evil and the number of deconverts your repulsive brand of xianity produced.

  327. #328 Kseniya
    March 29, 2009

    Ginger! So full of love for all of humanity!

  328. #329 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009

    Ok… for those of you that keep saying that you need proof that God exists, you can all have the proof in a matter of minutes.

    You can all go drown yourselves, then when you die and reach HELL you will all have the proof you need. Now, don’t you complain that I didn’t warn you Ok ?

    I’m a little confused by the procedure you describe. Perhaps you could demonstrate it for us?

  329. #330 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009

    Yes, I can say why; because the reformers left the Church 1500 years after Jesus instituted it. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Always was and always will be.

    How do you know?

  330. #331 paul fauvet
    March 29, 2009

    When remineded that “the Catholic Church has also had numerous and horrible disputes over scripture”, Time replies
    “Such as?”

    Has he really never heard of:
    a) the Arian heresy, which claimed that God the Father pre-existed God the Son. The Son was subordinate to the Father, and the Holy Ghost was subordinate to the Son. This was a heterodox view of the Trinity, and was declared heretical at the Council of Nicaea, in 321;
    b)The Docetist heresy, in the first and early second century. which held that Christ’s physical body was merely an illusion;
    c) The Nestorian heresy, which held that Christ did not merely have two natures (divene and human), but was two persons, man and god. The difference may seem incomprehensible nowadays, but Nestorianism was condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to a schism in eastern Christianity;
    d) The Monophysite heresy, which held that Christ had just one nature, divine, and was not human at all. This was condemned at the Second Council of ephesus in 449.

    For us in the 21st century, these dsputes seem absoutely bizarre. But they split the early church, and people were prepared to kill and to die in defence of this or that interpretation of the exact nature of Christ. Rivers of blood were spilt in these disputes.

    Tim talks of the Apostolic succesion. What succession? Is he unaware that at times there were two popes, or even three popes (at Rome, Avignon and Pisa)? Of course, Vatican history was written by the winners, so the rival popes get dismissed as “anti-popes”.

    Tim admits that some popes were evil men – can he be certain that the former Hitler Youth member Josef Ratzinger is not one of them? And if an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful deity is looking over the Catholic Church, why has it allowed so many mosters to occupy the papal throne?

  331. #332 clinteas
    March 29, 2009

    Ginger the hating religious fundie hated:

    You can all go drown yourselves, then when you die and reach HELL you will all have the proof you need. Now, don’t you complain that I didn’t warn you Ok ?

    Is anyone keeping these classics for future generations to see what religion did to the human mind,what it was all about? We really should.

    Hussar @ 320,

    one can only imagine what the Biblical Jesus would say to the current Pope.

    Well,we can imagine speculate fantasize what the fictitious biblical jesus would say to the Pope,true,its an interesting variation of the no true scotsman fallacy,but nothing more.

  332. #333 Matt Heath
    March 29, 2009

    Tim (assuming he isn’t a elaborate parody troll – I mean “the Truth”?) seems to be that rarest of things a consistently orthodox Roman catholic. Basically this requires one to score extremely high on the Right Wing Authoritarian test and have the RCC be the most convenient source of conventional authority.

    While I’m casually reducing ideology to personality traits, I noticed this from Tim @263.

    Thanks. I do believe that without God there is no hope. I won’t deny that. I used to feel too fragile to deal with things, but that’s a long story. The peace that I have now is enveloping.

    It’s possible that Tim’s beliefs are motivated by something more than a need to deal with his own (very natural and non-mystical) neurosis. The Catholic scholastic William of Ockham gave us a good argument for assuming that it’s just the neurosis, though.

  333. #334 Last Hussar
    March 29, 2009

    There is no correct use of condoms

    Yes there is- they put a little leaflet in every package… oh I see what you mean.

    What you mean is the Catholic Church is an idiotic organisation that is still rooted to a medieval philosophy that makes no sense in the 21st century. You mean that a married couple should not have sex ever if they can not cope with any more children.

    Let’s face it Timbo- the Vatican has been wrong on plenty of time before. When they going to update their dark age thinking.

    Oh- Condoms are the cheapest, most reliable, least harmful way form of birth control on the planet. Yes, not shagging is effective, but ‘abstience only’ programmes are a failure, so abstience doesn’t work, because the people involved can not keep it up (well they can, but in a different way). Remember that ‘Abstience Only’ requires TWO failures to happen, so the actual number of people failing is DOUBLE the number of pregnacies.

  334. #335 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Jesus didn’t institute a church. His purpose was to ‘save’ the Jewish faith. Christianity is a post Christ construct.

    Jesus: “and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

    You would have to believe the Bible to understand, but that’s just one instance of Jesus instituted His Church, there are many others. He’s not limited to saving only the Jews, but salvation is absolutely theirs also, if they choose to accept it.

  335. #336 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, nice, but meaningless testament. Your god doesn’t exist. Makes everything else fall apart.

  336. #337 Arkady
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, aside from HIV what is your opinion of birth control in general, especially in terms our current world overpopulation? Is it better for the millions now in existence to have millions more children only to die in famines several years down the line because the planet can no longer produce enough food for everyone? I think most people would agree that the only ethical way to stabilise/reduce the world population is by voluntary birth control, but given the teachings of the celibate old men running your church do you honestly think it’s better for those millions to be born then die a slow death from starvation?

    Also raises a secondary point: in many countries a woman has no choice in who she marries, and no legal/cultural ‘right’ to say no to her husbands ‘needs’. Is it still wrong for her to use birth control, even when she has no means to stick to your church’s teachings on abstinence? Is it still wrong if she knows a pregnancy would kill her?

    I’d just like to see some evidence that you’re thinking for yourself Tim. My mother is an ex-Catholic but still a believer. She married a (nominal) protestant and tried to go to Midnight Mass the christmas after she got married, and was told to leave the church. She hasn’t looked back since, and considers the entire vatican leadership to be a bunch of silly old men ignoring the real needs of most of their flock. And thinks that the attitudes towards birth control and condoms are downright evil.

  337. #338 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Per Tim, Job isn’t to be taken literally, but the “Jesus” character rambling on about rocks is dead-on fact.

    Tim is way over there —->
    Reality is thataway <—-

  338. #339 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    SB ate my left-pointing arrow.
    <—-

  339. #340 Gruesome Rob
    March 29, 2009

    There is no explanation for the “holy” part unless we redefine “holy” as in “ass holy” :)

    Sure there is, you foolish heretic. The proof has been evident every time he speaks.

    Who else has in their description the answer to “What’s between their earsy?”

  340. #341 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    Tim #310

    Like I said, God proclaims the Truth, end of story. Which part are you having trouble with? I wasn’t asking you to believe anything, I was just trying to answer your question.

    I’m having trouble with the part where Job asks God a perfectly reasonable question, one that has been asked for centuries, and God not only refuses to answer, he says that Job doesn’t have the right to ask the question. Considering that God had royally fucked Job over because of a bet and Job had won the bet for God, Job had standing to ask the question.

    No, Tim, as far as I’m concerned, the whole Book of Job is just one more example of how your God is a sadistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old.

  341. #342 Last Hussar
    March 29, 2009

    Jesus didn?t say Church- the word would have been unknown to him [Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Medieval Greek k rikon, from Late Greek k riakon (d ma), the Lord’s (house), neuter of Greek k riakos, of the lord, from k rios, lord; see keu – in Indo-European roots.]. Did he actually mean he wanted a mega-rich politically powerful organisation that spent much of the last 1000 years dictating who should be heads of state? Maybe he meant his Temple- a single building? Thats thetrouble with oral tradition that isn’t written down until any thing up to 300 years later, and translated through Greek and Latin.

    Any chance of explaining how the Church is the final arbiter of the truth. You haven?t replied to how 500 years ago ALL the bible was LITERALLY true, yet now not all of it is, and only Papa can say which is true and which is fiction

  342. #343 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Regulars – this “Tim” construct – aka “Ginger”? – what is it?
    Has he been here before with his nonsence apologetics, and how do you know?
    He is cerainly ignorant about his own church’s history – no murderous heresies *cough – Cathars – cough – inquistion – cough cough* as has been already pointed out, and this ignorance is clearly of the fingers in ears lalalalalala kind, but any info on his previous MO and the last outcomes?
    Thanks.

  343. #344 raven
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, aside from HIV what is your opinion of birth control in general, especially in terms our current world overpopulation?

    That is the single most useless and destructive of RCC doctrines.

    There is no scriptural basis for it, some pope just made it up and not all that long ago. It is also almost completely ignored by all catholic laity who figured out long ago that a celibate male stuck in the 16 century tossing out arbitrary rules isn’t a great source of advice on how to plan your family and why in the 21st century.

    In a world with 6.7 billion people and full of unwanted and poorly cared for kids even in the USA, this is just anti-human.

    The other ones which are very weird involve marriage outside the religion and divorce. The pope never excommunicated the catholic nazis, of which there were many including Hitler except one. Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda, was excommunicated. Not for attempting to take over the world or killing 6 million jews. He was excommunicated for marrying a divorced protestant.

    The message is clear. Marrying a divorced protestant is far worse than industrialized murder of millions of innocents. This is that god inspired sophisticated theology that is beyond the comprehension of mere humans.

    I doubt that catholics in the US pay any more attention to that these days than birth control. Most catholics I know are married to protestants or other nonRCC.

  344. #345 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Jesus actual aim is confused and confusing- he both said some Jewish law could be disregarded, while also saying he was not changing Jewish law, which would ‘out last the Kingdom of Heaven’.

    He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill the law

  345. #346 raven
    March 29, 2009

    Regulars – this “Tim” construct – aka “Ginger”? – what is it?

    That Ginger freak might have been Gingi Edmunds, the one who celebrates when her god kills uninvolved innocents to punish someone she doesn’t like. Same name and very similar personality. Nice that she took time out from her busy schedule of praying for god to kill who knows how many people for no particular reason to spread some toxic trash here.

    She and her mother, Saxon have got a mini Fred Phelps Wendover Baptist class cult going. With very sophisticated theology.

    (Hate, hate, hate, more hate, huge amounts of hate)repeat infinite times More sophisticated theology and an example of why xian morality is a self contradicting phrase.

  346. #347 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Catholic practises commit some of the crimes that Jesus was to stamp out- Idolatry is big in Catholicism- all those Saints days are treading a very fine line. Most Christian sects Idolise to some extent- the Cross worship being the most widespread.

    No Catholic worships a crucifix, statue, or any other Sacramental. They are there to remind us of in a visual way (by use of the senses)of aspects of our faith and heritage. The same principal as having pictures of your family in your wallet or displayed in your home. We worship God alone.

  347. #348 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    While the Bible has Jesus pronouncing a man?s faith isn’t judged by what a man puts in his mouth, thus the justification for Christians not keeping Kosher, he didn’t make pronouncements on a wide range of things, yet these have been dropped.

    He’s talking about purity of heart.

  348. #349 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    The trouble is they keep getting it wrong. Tim said that not all the bible should be taken literally- What would have happened if you said this 600 years ago? Over the years the Church has changed its view of the Bible in response to science- Evolution, Geocentricity etc- to a point where you can utter this inanity, and not see the lunacy of your position. The change in doctrine was not Magesterial led, it was following the truth. And you don?t question why the Vatican keeps being wrong. Instead you give it a carte blanche- ?Truth is whatever the Pope says- you?re opinion doesn?t count”.

    Truth is not whatever the Pope says, you misunderstand the meaning of The Magisterial Teaching Authority of the Church. Along with Sacred Scripture, there’s also Sacred Tradition. This is something that the Protestants slowly rejected over the years since the reformation. The Church is a visible presence through the ages, through history, as more things are discovered and realized, the Church so too grows in knowledge and understanding. The Church is not a body that has always had all knowledge at all times.

  349. #350 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    SB ate my left-pointing arrow.

    You can borrow some of mine: < < < < <

  350. #351 Ken Cope
    March 29, 2009

    He’s talking about purity of heart.

    Are you sure he isn’t talking about Purity Of Essence, or Our Precious Essence?

    Do you withhold your Essence, Tim?

  351. #352 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    No Catholic worships a crucifix, statue, or any other Sacramental.

    Fucking liar. Catholic idolatry, forbidden by one version of the 10 commandments, was one of the reasons behind the Reformation – well, that and the utter corruption of the Catholic Church (still corrupt, of course, still morally bankrupt).
    Or does your use of the term “worship” preclude praying to pictures and symbols, prostrating oneself in front of them, and constantly invoking them in prayers, and (presumably, in the case of the “virgin” Mary) having wet dreams over them? (Though that is hardly a sacrament)
    You didn’t answer a previous question properly – you were asked whether you had been indoctrinated into Catholicism since you were a baby, and had then found it, on “mature” thought, to be the best possible explanation for man and the universe, or whether (vanishingly unlikely) you had considered carefully all views, and none, and come across the Catholic church as a tempting world-view.
    Lying apologist. Your god concept is monstrous, and your sanctimonious view repellent.

  352. #353 Pierce R. Butler
    March 29, 2009

    Kseniya @ # 233: … it’s absurd to claim that Catholics who were victims of the Holocaust were targeted for their religion. That claim is a slap in the face to the descendants of Jewish Holocaust victims, who were.

    If you really want to dig into the details, Nazi hostility to Jews was based on racism, not theology. A certain Bishop Alois Hudal attempted to reconcile Catholicism and Nazism with a little-read book, Foundations of National Socialism, described in Timothy W. Ryback’s Hitler?s Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life

    In his study of National Socialist ideology, Hudal recognized a number of fundamental alignments between Catholics and Nazis. Both shared a common belief in blind obedience to authority. The Nazi notion of the Führerprinzip was little more than a secular rendering of papal infallibility. Both Nazis and Catholics shared a deep-seated antipathy toward Jews. Hudal noted that as early as the thirteenth century, Saint Thomas Aquinas had in his treatise De regimine Judaeorum warned of the attempt by the Jews to rule the world. If the Nazis could be persuaded to abandon ?anti-Semitism? in favor of ?anti-Judaism,? that is, hating the Jews as a religious rather than a racial community, Hudal believed that the Germans could create a catechized form of fascism that would represent the most powerful political and social force on the Continent and serve as a bulwark to the greatest common threat to Europe: the spread of Bolshevism. Hudal spoke of a ?Wehrmacht of the spirit,? and noted that the Soviet foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, had himself declared that the greatest threat to communism was a fusion of fascism and Roman Catholicism.

    FTR: the Vatican forcefully disavowed Hudal’s book.

  353. #354 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Sorry, I don’t think you’ve answered that clearly – did you convert to Catholicism after being convinced, intellectually, of its merits over other religions and sects of Christianity?

    Yes, but not only through much study, through the witness of how God changed me when I let Him. How the Sacraments were beneficial and life changing. Lives of the Saints, Early Church Fathers, Scripture, etc….The fruits of conversion are a convincing proof in my view. I trust in the one who a came to know.

  354. #355 Last Hussar
    March 29, 2009

    It damn well looks like idolitory to the rest of us. What is is with the Virgin Mary worship anyway? Praying to Saints and Mary is asking for a third power outside of God for help.

    Ok I used the ‘Pope’ as short hand for the ‘Magestarial Authority… yadda yadda’. What ever and however you want to represent it the organisation used to persecute those who said the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe, and denied the Bible was literally true. Somewhere that divinely inspired teachings changed- IN RESPONSE TO SCIENCE.

    This evidence you examined- where is it? what evidence of God do you have, apart for your personal credulity? Why is the Bible the revealed word of God, and the Koran not?

  355. #356 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Or does your use of the term “worship” preclude praying to pictures and symbols, prostrating oneself in front of them, and constantly invoking them in prayers,

    I’ve already told you that no Catholic worships a picture or a statue or any other Sacramental. If I pray before a picture of a Saint and ask for his or her intercession, I’m not asking the picture. If I pray before a statue of a Saint and ask for his or her intercession, I’m not asking the statue. I’m not worshiping a piece of stone or an image, I’m asking for someone to pray for me, to intercede on my behalf. The statue just gives me a visual image to aid in my prayer. It’s also a reminder. Very simple.

  356. #357 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Yes, but not only through much study, through the witness of how God changed me when I let Him. How the Sacraments were beneficial and life changing. Lives of the Saints, Early Church Fathers, Scripture, etc….The fruits of conversion are a convincing proof in my view. I trust in the one who a came to know.
    I think the answer you are looking for is “No”. Like almost all religious people, and especially Catholics, you decided to maintain your childhood fairy tales. Fear Hell? Moron.
    And catholics don’t “worship” images?
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Srsly.

  357. #358 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Yawn, Tim, you are a bore. We don’t give a shit about cat-o-lick teachings or your godbotting.

  358. #359 Kingasaurus
    March 29, 2009

    Hardcore catholics always exploit this loophole when someone accuses them of idolatry or saint-worship. They simply claim that they aren’t praying “to” the Virgin Mary or the saints – they are using “intercessory” prayer, meaning they are simply asking the saints to pray to God on the person’s behalf. The same way you would ask a next-door neighbor to pray for you for whatever reason.

    When confronted with countless members of the laity who certainly act as if they are praying “to” the saints (“St. Anthony helped me find my lost dog!”), these people simply claim they aren’t behaving the way the church teaches. It’s a clever little maneuver.

  359. #360 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    The Church is a visible presence through the ages, through history, as more things are discovered and realized, the Church so too grows in knowledge and understanding. The Church is not a body that has always had all knowledge at all times.

    In other words, they make it up as they go along.

    Case in point: In 1343 Pope Clement VI decided that indulgences were a saleable item. Indulgences originally granted a release from all or part of the good works required of a sinner to satisfy a penance imposed by a confessor. Over the years, indulgences came to include complete or partial remission of punishment in purgatory and even a release from the guilt of the sin itself. By the early 1500s the grace once granted in return for pious donations for church repairs, hospitals, ransom of captives from the Turks, and other good works had grown into a vast traffic of which a third of the receipts customarily went to Rome and the rest was split between the local parish, the bishop, and various agents and pardoners who held concessions for sale of indulgences.

    Indulgences had become a machine for making money. They had become so commonplace and so abused that they were given as part of dowries and even used as gambling stakes. The whole thing came to a head in 1517 when Pope Leo X authorized a special sale of indulgences in Germany. Offering “complete absolution and remission of sin”, Leo’s indulgences involved a financial arrangement of massive complexity. This involved payments to Albrecht von Brandenburg, who had bought (!) the archbishoprics of Mainz and Magdeburg and the bishopric of Halberstadt for an estimated 30,000 ducats. Representing simony, plural benefices, and an unqualified candidate (Albrecht was 24 and had been ordained a priest just two years earlier), this transaction was arranged while the Lateran Council was engaged in outlawing the same practices. Unable to raise the money, Albrecht had borrowed from the Fugger Bank, which loans he would be able to repay from the sale of indulgences.

    The infamous Fr. Johann Tetzel, a Dominican monk, was the official “pardoner.” Displaying the Bull of Indulgence, Tetzel would announce “I have here the passports to lead the soul to the celestial joys of paradise.” For a mortal sin, seven years of punishment in purgatory was due. “Who then would hesitate for a quarter-florin to secure remission of punishment? … The Holy Father has the power in Heaven and earth to forgive the sin and if he forgave it, God must do so also.”*

    In partial response to Tetzel, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. In 1567, Pope Pius V cancelled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions.

    *Barbara Tuchman. The March of Folly. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. Pages 114-115.

  360. #361 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    In some respects, the culture of “indulgences” was a good thing – it has been argued that much of the art and architecture of the renaissance came about because the rich and influential of the time were building there way to Heaven. The Medici apparently started out as wealthy bankers (inventing banking?) and as money changers were not seen as fit people to enter heaven they felt they had to build huge monuments to ensure their after-life.
    I find that idea that some of the greatest works of art we have came about through “sin” oddly comforting.

  361. #362 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    Pope Leo X paid for much of St. Peter’s in Rome through the sale of indulgences. Most of the rest of the money came from sale of church offices. The price of a bishopric was from 5,000 to 10,000 ducats, depending on the estimated value of the diocese and how far in debt Leo was.

    I strongly recommend Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly. She looks at how certain groups and governments insituted policies contrary to their own interests. Tuchman distinguishes folly from other types of misgovernment. To her, folly is self-destructive acts carried out despite the availability of a recognized and feasible alternative. The book contains four sections:

    • The Trojans take the wooden horse within their walls
    • The Renaissance Popes provoke the Protestant secession
    • The British lose America
    • America betrays herself in Vietnam

    It’s a well researched book and, unlike many historians, Tuchman is a good writer.

  362. #363 gma
    March 29, 2009

    Hi Tim,

    You may have missed my earlier posting #326

    Before wasting more of your and our time, you should take a little time off to write all of us concisely with clear scientific peer-reviewed evidence that proves without the shadow of a doubt that:

    (1) there is a god,
    (2) he, she or it is the christian god,
    (3) he, she, or it created the universe, listens to prayers and forgives sin,
    (4) he, she, or it defines morality for all mankind.

    You keep throwing “Truth” and “Authority of the roman catholic pedophilia institute” around but you have not even answered question (1).

    Until you do, you should assume that there is no god and that the roman catholic pedophilia institute represents what they do, not what they say.

  363. #364 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Apologies if this has been covered before, but I’ve only got down to post #312 so far.

    Tim said:

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally.

    then said:

    Tim, if it isn’t all meant to be taken literally, can you explain to us which parts are and which parts aren’t? By what method did you determine this?

    The Church is the custodian of the Bible, the Bible is not the custodian of the Church. One of the main reasons for the division in the protestant Church is interpretation of Scripture. It’s also one of the reasons for the breaking away of protestants from the Catholic Church. Scripture is not up for individual interpretation. Scriptural interpretation is reserved for for the Church that decided what books of Scripture would be included in the Canon in the first place. Many writings were not included and were not deemed to be inspired. This is the part you’re really going to love; The Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in all Truth, as promised, by Jesus Christ Himself, is responsible for the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Not me.

    This is a nice bit of circular reasoning. Tim doesn’t believe that the Bible should be taken literally. So to decide which parts of the Bible are God’s “Truth”, he appeals to the authority of the Catholic Church, who he claims are inspired by the Holy Spirit to choose the correct passages. But Tim, how do you know the Church is inspired by the Holy Spirit? In fact how do you even know the Holy Spirit exists? Your basis for the Holy Spirit existing seems to be either from the Bible, or from the Catholic Church (unless I’m missing something), and that creates a circular argument.

    Either you believe in the Holy Spirit because the Bible says it exists, then:

    1. “Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally.”
    2. You know which parts to take literally from the teachings of the Church.
    3. The Church’s teachings are correct because they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    4. You know the Holy Spirit exists because the Bible says so.
    5. See step 1.

    Or you believe in the Holy Spirit because the Church says it exists, in which case:

    1. The Church’s teachings are correct because they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    2. You know the Holy Spirit exists because the Church says so.
    3. See step 1.

    I hope you can see the circular reasoning there.

    Let’s face it, your “Truth” comes down to a whole lot of hand waving when you really look at it, doesn’t it?

  364. #365 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Tim is absolutely right, Catholics don’t worship saints. Saints are fictionalized dead people whom catlicks pretend are really still alive. Then they talk to them.

    This way catlicks don’t have to have just one imaginary friend, they can have a bunch of them! They don’t have to be just crazy, they can be batshit insane!

    There’s a crucially important imaginary difference between Worship and infantile neurotic self-talk, and don’t you forget it!

  365. #366 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    (Thanks, ‘Tis!)

  366. #367 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    This is a nice bit of circular reasoning. Tim doesn’t believe that the Bible should be taken literally. So to decide which parts of the Bible are God’s “Truth”, he appeals to the authority of the Catholic Church

    The entire Bible is God’s Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church was given Authority by Jesus Christ.
    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.

  367. #368 MAJeff, OM
    March 29, 2009

    The entire Bible is God’s Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church was given Authority by Jesus Christ.
    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.

    blah blah blah blah blah

  368. #369 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    God’s Truth.

    God doesn’t exist. Ergo, no truth.

  369. #370 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Tim admits that some popes were evil men – can he be certain that the former Hitler Youth member Josef Ratzinger is not one of them? And if an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful deity is looking over the Catholic Church, why has it allowed so many mosters to occupy the papal throne?

    No, I can’t be certain any more than I can be certain of the state of anyone’s soul. And I don’t need to be certain as to the state of another’s soul. Jesus Christ promised, not the Pope, that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church. He didn’t promise that men would become sinless, even within the Church. In fact he clearly stated that the Church would be attacked from within. A person’s sin, even a person in the hierarchy of the Church, doesn’t re-define what the Church is, and Who guides it.

  370. #371 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    What you mean is the Catholic Church is an idiotic organisation that is still rooted to a medieval philosophy that makes no sense in the 21st century. You mean that a married couple should not have sex ever if they can not cope with any more children.

    No, that’s what you mean, not me.

    Your problem is that your thinking is too limited.

  371. #372 Kseniya
    March 29, 2009

    Pierce R. Butler: Yes, I understand, but I would argue that i the context of the Third Reich, Jewish religious and “racial” identities were inseparable. Good point, though.

  372. #373 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.
    You have no need to think, apparently. You have given up on making personal moral decisions, because there’s a magic man who tells you what to think. And that’s nicely simple, isn’t it?
    Good church (yours) good ideas. Bad church (all other Christians) bad ideas.
    What we loathe about you apologists is that your brains are so gummed up with fairy-studies that you can’t allow your church to get things wrong, ever, because if they had, just once…Your church specifies thoughtcrimes as sins. No wonder it ended up as a nest of active pedophiles. No proper moral standing, just a pile of meaningless sins.

  373. #374 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Your problem is that your thinking is too limited.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Your thinking is too non-existent. Evidently, it’s a Catholic sin.

  374. #375 Jadehawk
    March 29, 2009

    The entire Bible is God’s Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church was given Authority by Jesus Christ.
    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.

    children, this is your brain on drugsreligion

  375. #376 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Tim: God is fictional, as are Jesus and the wholly ghost. Jesus couldn’t have founded your church because he never existed. Neither could he have guided it. Neither could the ghost have informed it, because ghosts are imaginary. Frodo Baggins and Mary Poppins had exactly as much to do with your church as Jesus and the ghost did.

    The actual, real people who formed your church were deluded and/or dishonest, much as you are. They built in a whole nonsensical systems of rules, dogma and ritual in order to maintain control of the ignorant masses, and counfounding, paradoxical rationalizations for the rest. All of it is bunk.

    Moreover, it’s hateful, anti-human bunk, that belittles fundamental realities of human nature and turns good things, such as sex and community, into evil guilt-trips and power games. It is fundamentally misogynistic and misanthropic. It raises nasty sociopaths like Ratzinger to positions of gilded tyranny.

    You are being spiritually raped and destroyed by it. Willingly. How sick and sad.

  376. #377 brandon
    March 29, 2009

    “Good church (yours) good ideas. Bad church (all other Christians) bad ideas.”

    It’s even more pernicious than that, Tim devolves his doctrinaire, smug surety in the Truth by separating the idea of the Church and its eternal game of telephone with God from the people who staff the church, presumably subcontracted by the Really Real Eternal and Transcendant Catholic Church ™ a subsidiary of Jesus Inc. Thus, when the Catholic Church participates in the systematic conveyor belt rape of children for decades, when it excuses slavery and anti-semitism for millenia, when it goes through innumerable heresies, undertakes the conquest of lands, hires mercenary armies, sells the papacy and bishoporics to the highest bidder or for political gain, traumatizes women and subordinates them and their biological functionings to the whims of their husbands, insists in its authority over the rulers and assemblies of nations, when it ignores and persecutes science and scientists, when it became the play toy of the medici and the borgia, and the province of the powerful banking houses and Italian families of the day, when it played king-maker and chose sides in definitely non-theological battles, when it undertook the investiture controversy, the Avignon Captivity, when it brutally punished the early reformation attempts cultivated in the monastic orders, when it eschewed poverty for the hoarding of enormous wealth, when it censored and destroyed much of the writings of the ancient world, when it undertook the inquisition, when it saw to the convert or die or convert and die subjugation of the New World, when it slaughtered its way (and in turn was slaughtered) through the Muslim world you see, when the Catholic Church historically, undertook all of these detestable things, it wasn’t the Real Catholic Church that did it, it was the men who staff it – can’t you see the difference! Wow! I mean, it’s just so clear.

    Unfortunately, that kind of weasel-speak, that kind of ret-conning no longer works – as this Pope has woefully discovered – in the information age. Remember his comments about the Muslim world, his wishy-washy compliance in the Hitler Youth. No erasing that from the record, no “Amending what he meant to say.” No wonder, since the relatively recent invention of so-called Papal infallibility, there have only been a handful of statements issued so. Just as mobsters learned that the fewer statements uttered on the stand, the less the prosecution has to hang them on, so too has the Church chosen to operate “under the fifth” so as not to tie the metaphysical church to her temporal obligations.

  377. #378 Pierce R. Butler
    March 29, 2009

    Kseniya @ # 372: … [in] the context of the Third Reich, Jewish religious and “racial” identities were inseparable.

    Trying to keep their “scientific racism” straight sometimes tied the Nazis in knots:

    … one famous anthropological study conducted among German schoolchildren had revealed that 11.17 percent of Jewish children possessed fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. … Reputedly, the [Crimean] Krimchaks descended from Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition, but they closely resembled their Muslim neighbors, the Tatars. They spoke a variant of Tatar, lived in Tatar-style houses, married into Tatar families, and followed many Muslim customs. Their women, for example, wore veils in public. The second group, the Karaites, equally confounded the SS. They were a Turkish people who spoke a Turkish language, but they practiced Judaism devoutly. … This conundrum seems to have sparked great anxiety in the SS headquarters in Berlin. … Himmler intended to wipe out every last Jew in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union. He solicited the opinions of various self-proclaimed SS authorities on Judaism, for their views on the Krimchaks and Karaites. He then resolved to eradicate those belonging to the fictive Jewish race in the Crimea, and turn a blind eye to those who followed the Jewish faith. He ordered [Einsatzgruppen leader Otto] Ohlendorf and his men to liquidate the Krimchaks, who followed all manner of Muslim customs, and to spare the Karaites, who were devout Jews. … As the murder squads moved eastward into the Caucasus – a borderland between East and West, Europe and Asia – the lines between ethnic groups and tribes became more and more blurred. SS troops stumbled upon villages of the Christian Ossetes, who physically resembled their Jewish neighbors, lived in villages with Jewish names, married their sons and daughters off in Jewish-style marriage ceremonies, and buried their dead in Jewish-style funerals. And they met Mountain Jews who rode their horses superbly, bred fine cattle, and seldom stirred anywhere without strapping on their daggers and guns – all qualities greatly admired by SS men.?

    Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler?s Scholars and the Holocaust, pp 240-241

  378. #379 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Brandon — that was lovely. Let it be proclaimed from every pulpit, just before they wheel in the wrecking ball.

  379. #380 Mary Poppins
    March 29, 2009

    Frodo Baggins and Mary Poppins had exactly as much to do with your church as Jesus and the ghost did.

    I very much resent that remark – my methods have never required any religious imput; and to my knowledge, and perhaps regret, my views have not been sought by any church whatsoever.
    In retrospect, however, teaching the children to sing “A spoonful of sugar makes the priestly cum go down” may not have been the wisest move.

  380. #381 paul fauvet
    March 29, 2009

    So Tim thinks that the entire Bible is true. Does this include the bits that contradict each other? Has Tim not noticed that there are two nativity narratives (in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke), and they tell entirely different stories. Most obviously the star, the wise men from the east, the massacre of the innocents, and the flight into Egypt are present in Matthew’s version but not in Luke’s.

    If you start from the assumption that everything in the Bible is true, then this problem cannot be solved.

    If, however, you think the Bible is just another text, then it’s easy to see how, decades after Christ’s death, myths about his birth circulated. and when Matthew and Luke were plagiarising the Gospel of Mark they incorporated these myths – but they each incorporated a different one.

    Time admits that he can’t be certain that Ratzinger is not another of the many moral mosters who have worn the Papal hat. In which case, what are his grounds for obeying Ratzinger on the issue of condoms?

    Why can’t Ratzinger be just as wrong about sexual issues, as Renaissance popes were about the sale of indulgences, and as the pope who invented the ghetto, Paul IV, was about anti-semitism?

  381. #382 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009

    No Catholic worships a crucifix, statue, or any other Sacramental. They are there to remind us of in a visual way (by use of the senses)of aspects of our faith and heritage. The same principal as having pictures of your family in your wallet or displayed in your home.

    This is almost a reasonable answer (for once), but I’m curious as to how it accounts for the fact that prayers are, as I understand it, addressed on occasion specifically to one of these saints.

  382. #383 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009
    You mean that a married couple should not have sex ever if they can not cope with any more children.

    No, that’s what you mean, not me.

    Your problem is that your thinking is too limited.

    What alternative would you suggest?

  383. #384 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    So Tim thinks that the entire Bible is true.

    No, he denies this, and it just gives him the opportunity to post some smug bollocks about how it’s only the protestants who get in problems over biblical or scriptural authority.
    Tim is none too bright, or well read, and has no idea about his own church’s history.
    Worse, he is an apologist for all the sexual and physical abuse of children that has gone on over the centuries. Or does he think that priests and nuns aren’t real Catholics at all? Unfortunately, the children did.

  384. #385 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    My dear Miss Poppins,

    Please forgive my presumption. Would that all fictional characters showed the humility and restraint you do.

    A.

  385. #386 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Time admits

    Time admits nothing. It’s all a conspiracy put about by History.

  386. #387 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Tim is reminding me of a troll (name withheld lest he reappear) who appears to have taken the hint and left after Survivor Pharyngula. He keeps repeating the same statements of faith over and over, as if that makes them truer. It doesn’t Tim. And it doesn’t say anything good about you.

  387. #388 Matt Heath
    March 29, 2009

    The entire Bible is God’s Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church was given Authority by Jesus Christ.
    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.

    Seriously, I’ll give you that “God” (in this context) is name and “Bible” a title; I’ll even allow that “Holy Spirit” might be treated as name but “church”, “truth” and “authority” are common nouns. All that capitalisation makes you sound like even more of crank than your actual claims do.

    A modest proposal: thenceforth whenever anyone else refers to Tim’s purported “Truth” they spell it “Troof”.

  388. #389 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    And by the way, Miss Poppins, do you require worship, or to be credited with the existence of the universe? Because if you do, I’m sorry to say that’s something I’ve been neglecting.

  389. #390 Kingasaurus
    March 29, 2009

    “This is almost a reasonable answer (for once), but I’m curious as to how it accounts for the fact that prayers are, as I understand it, addressed on occasion specifically to one of these saints.”

    Azkyroth, see #359.

    Catholics aren’t supposed to “pray to” a saint. They are supposed to ask the saint to pray to God to intercede on the supplicant’s behalf. It’s sort of like asking a close friend to pray for you, although in these cases you’re asking a dead person to intercede for you instead of a living person.

    Whether Joe average Catholic understands the distinction – or prays in a manner the church thinks is correct – is another matter.

  390. #391 Mary Poppins
    March 29, 2009

    Thank you Adam. No I do not require worship, though a little light singing can do wonders and get the toys put away!
    Incidentally I am no longer a children’s nanny and have not been for some years. After a brief spell as a crack whore (men like the old uniform) I took up with Frodo and we now have three short, rather hairy-footed children.
    Isn’t it strange how, in life, the mere mention of two characters in a sentence can inspire a true story of sex, drugs and redemption!
    Supercailifragiolistically yours
    Mary P

  391. #392 Tom
    March 29, 2009

    And after all that – the problem is that asking Tim for proof of a God may make religion seem absurd. But asking a humanist for a peer reviewed proof of why Happiness rather than Spirituality or even Racial Purity is the grounding axiom for humanist morality would produce equally absurd results. The problem is that there isnt much neutral territory between a global moral code and no global moral code. I have no truck with the ideas of Heidegger and Nietzche but at least these philosophers were clear about what their death of God meant – it meant the death of any meaningful morality and therefore the potential equivalence of man-made ideals like happiness and racial purity.

    Another way to look at it is that the very moral Prof Dawkins who spends a lot of time discussing the rights and wrongs of faith schools etc etc may be a little bit closer to believing in God than he realises!

  392. #393 Last Hussar
    March 29, 2009

    Tim-
    YOU may not personally mean the Catholic Church is a outdated organisation, but the points you are arguing make it clear that it is.

    “There is no correct use of a condom”

    Why are people not allowed to use condoms? Are you really trying argue that sex should never be a pleasure only activity, and you should only have sex if you are prepared to have children?

    Don’t give us some bullshit where you hide behind “Majesterial Authority”- why are you obeying it. If you don’t know why it’s a sin how can you be sure the Pope (etc etc) is right? Why do Catholics hate sex?

  393. #394 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    It damn well looks like idolitory to the rest of us. What is is with the Virgin Mary worship anyway? Praying to Saints and Mary is asking for a third power outside of God for help.

    Catholics don’t worship Mary, we honor her and venerate her, we ask her for her intercession, just like we’d ask anyone else to pray for us. She’s not worshiped or considered to be Divine.

  394. #395 Stephen Wells
    March 29, 2009

    @Tom: until you distinguish between gods (fictional supernatural entities) and morality, you’ll continue to make no sense; adhering to a moral code is not like believing in a god because codes aren’t gods and vice versa.

  395. #396 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Another way to look at it is that the very moral Prof Dawkins who spends a lot of time discussing the rights and wrongs of faith schools etc etc may be a little bit closer to believing in God than he realises!

    Yes Richard Dawkins is actually a closet Seventh-day Adventist. Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about here?

    And to claim that we need God to have a morality would require ignoring 90% of philosophy from the last 4 centuries.

  396. #397 Kingasaurus
    March 29, 2009

    And Tom is another one.

    All of human civilization is an unending trial-and-error experiment about the best ways to live together. The fact that our morals and ethics are informed by our innate instincts and refined by debate – yet not “objective” – doesn’t matter. It’s a red herring. We’re still in the same boat we’ve always been in. The fact that there’s no Cosmic Muffin to put the stamp of approval on what we do, or don’t do, doesn’t change a thing.

  397. #398 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    I have no truck with the ideas of Heidegger and Nietzche but at least these philosophers were clear about what their death of God meant – it meant the death of any meaningful morality and therefore the potential equivalence of man-made ideals like happiness and racial purity.

    Their ideas on anything hold no sway with me. Why should we think they were right, just because they expressed themselves in long words and were miserable?

    Occasionally we get a christard on here quoting
    Neetcher as if to say – this guy was an atheist but look how absurd he was! I don’t buy any of it.
    And what’s necessarily man-made about happiness? I can tell you the difference between a happy and unhappy dog – what’s your point here?

    And please don’t quote Neetcher back to me, to prove this, or any other point.

    And yes, I know. It’s my solution to a common problem.

  398. #399 Mrs Tilton
    March 29, 2009

    Tim the earnest Romanist @93,

    Why is the deadly disease present in the world? As a consequence of immorality

    No, moron. The virus is present in the world and able to infect humans for the same reason that human intelligence and compassion are present in the world: evolution. But its progress through the human population is impeded less than it might otherwise be for the same reason that you are a contemptible, dishonest and immoral mental slave: superstition.

    Human intelligence and compassion also provide strong arguments why the freedom of the individual should be respected, even where the individual is an idiot. So you must remain free to delude yourself any way that gratifies you, so long as you do not harm others. (NB the contempt your superstition merits is in no way lessened; it’s simply that contempt for you, no matter how richly you deserve it, does not give normal people the right to take your private hobbies away.)

    But just as you must (for reasons that you cannot understand and that your belief system actively opposes) be left alone to murmur Ave Marias and light candles in front of idols, and to perform whatever other picturesque rituals you find comforting, so too must you be prevented from allowing your superstitions to harm innocent people. Liberty you must have, for all that you are a threat to the liberty of others; but criticism and mockery are the least of what you and your silk-robed masters deserve.

  399. #400 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    She’s not worshiped or considered to be Divine.

    Mary, not worshipped? Not considered divine?
    Hahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!
    You really are a fuckwit.

  400. #401 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    They simply claim that they aren’t praying “to” the Virgin Mary or the saints – they are using “intercessory” prayer, meaning they are simply asking the saints to pray to God on the person’s behalf. The same way you would ask a next-door neighbor to pray for you for whatever reason.

    Exactly. Why is that so hard to comprehend? You make things too complicated, too chaotic, unorganized.

  401. #402 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, earlier you said:

    Everything in the Bible is not to be taken literally.

    You now say:

    The entire Bible is God’s Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church was given Authority by Jesus Christ.
    I have no need to decide which parts are God’s Truth.

    Has coming to Pharyngula turned you into a Biblical inerrantist? Seriously, how do you reconcile those two statements?

    Furthermore, according to you, both the Catholic Church and the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit. I ask you again: how do you know the Church and the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit? In fact, how do you even know the Holy Spirit exists without appealing to the Church or the Bible?

  402. #403 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Why is the Bible the revealed word of God, and the Koran not?

    Because Mohammad isn’t God, Jesus Christ is.

  403. #404 Nanu Nanu
    March 29, 2009

    “how do you reconcile those two statements”

    contradictory statements held to be both true simultaneously… holy fuck Tim IS the bible! No wonder he has no need to interpret it!

  404. #405 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Because Mohammad isn’t God, Jesus Christ is.

    Show us the physical evidence to back up your insane assertion.

  405. #406 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Indulgences had become a machine for making money. They had become so commonplace and so abused that they were given as part of dowries and even used as gambling stakes. The whole thing came to a head in 1517 when Pope Leo X authorized a special sale of indulgences in Germany. Offering “complete absolution and remission of sin”, Leo’s indulgences involved a financial arrangement of massive complexity. This involved payments to Albrecht von Brandenburg, who had bought (!) the archbishoprics of Mainz and Magdeburg and the bishopric of Halberstadt for an estimated 30,000 ducats. Representing simony, plural benefices, and an unqualified candidate (Albrecht was 24 and had been ordained a priest just two years earlier), this transaction was arranged while the Lateran Council was engaged in outlawing the same practices. Unable to raise the money, Albrecht had borrowed from the Fugger Bank, which loans he would be able to repay from the sale of indulgences.

    The infamous Fr. Johann Tetzel, a Dominican monk, was the official “pardoner.” Displaying the Bull of Indulgence, Tetzel would announce “I have here the passports to lead the soul to the celestial joys of paradise.” For a mortal sin, seven years of punishment in purgatory was due. “Who then would hesitate for a quarter-florin to secure remission of punishment? … The Holy Father has the power in Heaven and earth to forgive the sin and if he forgave it, God must do so also.”*

    In partial response to Tetzel, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. In 1567, Pope Pius V cancelled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions.

    *Barbara Tuchman. The March of Folly. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. Pages 114-115.

    Evidence that members of the Church abuse their autority, cheat, lie, steal, commit all sorts of immoral acts…Who’s denying that? Not me. There have also been members of the Church body who have followed the Doctrines of the Faith, lived their lives accordingly, done great things for mankind. Great minds, great humility, great love. The Church is indeed infiltrated by evil. I don’t and wouldn’t want to deny that, because it’s the truth.

  406. #407 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Hi Tim,

    You may have missed my earlier posting #326

    Before wasting more of your and our time, you should take a little time off to write all of us concisely with clear scientific peer-reviewed evidence that proves without the shadow of a doubt that:

    (1) there is a god,
    (2) he, she or it is the christian god,
    (3) he, she, or it created the universe, listens to prayers and forgives sin,
    (4) he, she, or it defines morality for all mankind.

    You keep throwing “Truth” and “Authority of the roman catholic pedophilia institute” around but you have not even answered question (1).

    Until you do, you should assume that there is no god and that the roman catholic pedophilia institute represents what they do, not what they say.

    I did miss that, I’ll take your advice, Thanks.

  407. #408 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    I don’t and wouldn’t want to deny that, because it’s the truth.

    Then why aren’t you going elsewhere because your church, also with the pedophile business, is a lying sack of shit?

  408. #409 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    The Church is indeed infiltrated by evil. I don’t and wouldn’t want to deny that, because it’s the truth.

    The Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in all Truth, as promised, by Jesus Christ Himself, is responsible for the proper interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Not me. – Tim, post #287.

    My question would now be: how do you decide which parts of the Church’s teachings are God’s “Truth”?

  409. #410 dean
    March 29, 2009

    “Why is that so hard to comprehend? ”

    I believe the implication was that the argument of intercessory prayer made for those who are seen to be praying to a saint is a convenient cover for them, but may not be true.

  410. #411 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Raven, post #12:

    And the Reformation wars lasted for 400 years and killed tens of millions.

    Could someone explain what is meant by that statement please? What are the “Reformation wars”? The religious wars as a consequence of the Reformation lasted until the mid-17th Century, whereas 400 years after the start of the Reformation takes us up to 1917. Anyone follow what is meant by this?

  411. #412 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Mumbling to your Special Invisible Friend is NOT AT ALL the same thing as mumbling to your regular ordinary invisible friends! Why is that so hard to comprehend??!!??

  412. #413 Tom
    March 29, 2009

    Nos 395, 397, 398 – Well, at least no claim of a new, peer-reviewed solution to the centuries-old humanist moral dilemma!

    No. 398 – Also the point was that ideals (rather than happiness!) are man-made rather than dog-made. Also note that I didnt use Nietzche in the same way as your other correspondent!

  413. #414 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Jesus Christ promised, not the Pope, that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church.

    which church?

    don’t recall any specific names being mentioned.

    maybe the “holy spirit” is busy guiding some small dozen strong congregation somewhere in the South Mediterranean?

    what makes you conclude, if you really believe any of this nonsense to begin with, that it is YOUR church Jesus spoke of?

    what evidence do you have that your church (or ANY) is under any “divine” guidance whatsoever?

  414. #415 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    So Tim thinks that the entire Bible is true. Does this include the bits that contradict each other? Has Tim not noticed that there are two nativity narratives (in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke), and they tell entirely different stories. Most obviously the star, the wise men from the east, the massacre of the innocents, and the flight into Egypt are present in Matthew’s version but not in Luke’s.

    By being so fixated on the details, you miss the point of the Gospel narratives. They were written by different authors. The point is that Christ came into the world, that’s what you miss. Two different authors writing to different faith communities will not write the exact same account. The Truth that the Sacred Scriptures contain and teach is much greater than that. Scripture never contradicts itself because the Truth that the various authors are pointing too is the very same Truth. It’s not necessary to make things so much more complicated than they actually are.

  415. #416 Mrs Tilton
    March 29, 2009

    NoR,OM @405,

    Show us the physical evidence to back up your insane assertion

    Actually, Altar-Boy Tim’s assertion would be full of Fail even if there were evidence for it.

  416. #417 Stephen Wells
    March 29, 2009

    What humanist moral dilemma? Play nicely with others. How is this difficult to grasp?

  417. #418 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    Tim #403

    Because Mohammad isn’t God, Jesus Christ is.

    Mohammad never claimed to be divine. He claimed he was a prophet and so was Jesus. Now that we’ve cleared that up, explain again why the Bible is inspired and the Koran isn’t. For that matter, why aren’t the Elder Edda, the Vedas and the Upanishads, and the Vinaya Pitaka and the first four Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka inspired?

  418. #419 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    By being so fixated on the details, you miss the point of the Gospel narratives.

    by ignoring the details, your argument that the bible is complete truth breaks down immediately.

    are you unable, or just unwilling, to see this?

  419. #420 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Christ came into the world and turned Tim’s brain into magic porridge. It’s all so simple now, nice and fuzzy. Who needs details?

  420. #421 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    The point is that Christ came into the world, that’s what you miss.

    Ok, show us contemporary (time of Jebus) evidence for Jebus outside of your fictional bible. Real history.

  421. #422 Stephen Wells
    March 29, 2009

    By being fixated on details like the ancestry of Helen and the historicity of Achilles, you miss the point of the Homeric narratives. The gods came into the world, that’s the point.

    Remember, poetry is dictated by the Muse Calliope under the guidance of Apollo himself, so the Iliad and Oddysey are completely reliable.

  422. #423 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Stephen Wells, the humanist moral dilemma is: that Tom’s not a humanist, and he wants people who are not Tom to have a moral dilemma so that Tom can feel smug.

  423. #424 Wowbagger, OM
    March 29, 2009

    So Tim thinks that the entire Bible is true. Does this include the bits that contradict each other?

    Ah, but you’ve forgotten there’s a difference between truth and Truth – at least in Tim’s mind. Kind of convenient, really, since it means that, no matter how incompatible the details are, as long as there’s something in common you can argue that they share a common ‘Truth’.

    “This piece of paper has the name ‘Jesus’ written on it – it must be ‘Truth'”

    “But it says here on this document got tired of the whole scam and changed his name, got back into the carpentry business and went off to nail Mary Magdalene and raise few kids.”

    “That doesn’t matter! It says Jesus, so what they must have really meant is that ‘changed his name’ means ‘be one with God’, ‘nailing Mary Magdalene’ means ‘screwing the unbelievers’, ‘furniture’ means ‘faith’ and ‘raise a few kids’ means ‘founding the Church’.”

    “Oh, okay”

  424. #425 raven
    March 29, 2009

    Raven, post #12:

    And the Reformation wars lasted for 400 years and killed tens of millions.

    Could someone explain what is meant by that statement please? What are the “Reformation wars”? The religious wars as a consequence of the Reformation lasted until the mid-17th Century, whereas 400 years after the start of the Reformation takes us up to 1917. Anyone follow what is meant by this?

    The main battles were at and after the Reformation. But Catholic and Protestant violence and mutual persecution continued long after that. There were anti-Catholic laws in the UK up until relatively recently and anti-Protestant laws in some Catholic countries. At some points in England being a Catholic could get you hung. Or a Protestant. To this day, the English Monarch by law cannot be a Catholic. I think it is because they are also the head of the Anglican church.

    The violence flared up again in Northern Ireland and the shooting stopped a whole 8 years ago. Now they just have the odd rock and a cold war that might last another 2 generations.

    Even today, Catholics and Protestants have an off and on again cold war that sometimes leads to violence. The RCC claims to be the One True Church and many Protestants claim that the RCC is the church of satan and the pope is the antichrist. Well, duh, they can’t both be right.

    The Reformation wars were incredibly bloody. It is estimated that 1/4 to 1/3 of the population of Germany ended up dead.

  425. #426 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Christ came into the world and turned Tim’s brain into magic porridge. It’s all so simple now, nice and fuzzy. Who needs details?

    not I.

    not I.

  426. #427 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    not I.

    Amen brother.

  427. #428 Tom
    March 29, 2009

    No. 417 – see posts 20, 35, 52 above for examples.

    No. 423 – aside from being somewhat unkind, this remark is far from being a peer-reviewed solution to the humanist moral dilemma as discussed in above posts.

    Since am not hopeful of a breakthrough on this issue this evening and it’s getting late – i wish you good-night!

  428. #429 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009

    Didn’t the Reformation Wars also set the stage for a lot of the long-term Franco-German hostility that was one of the core causes of World War I?

  429. #430 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    Oh dear!
    Apparently I was unkind to Tom.
    Oh dear me.
    What a terrible moral dilemma that places me in.

  430. #431 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    The Reformation wars were incredibly bloody. It is estimated that 1/4 to 1/3 of the population of Germany ended up dead.

    That was the last of the big Reformation Wars, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). After that, the Europeans more or less stopped fighting about religion and got involved in dynastic wars.

  431. #432 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Oh dear!
    Apparently I was unkind to Tom.
    Oh dear me.
    What a terrible moral dilemma that places me in.

    Don’t worry, our cephalopod loving overlord likes us to be unkind to trolls like Tom. Say five Hail Ramens and all is forgiven. Five sips of Patricia’s grog will also suffice. Here’s five ducats, have five tankards.

  432. #433 AdamK
    March 29, 2009

    I have been absolved, by the authority of an actual OM no less! Thanks be to Her Holy Onehorned Unseeable Pinkishness!

  433. #434 Invisible Pink Unicorn
    March 29, 2009

    Her Holy Onehorned Unseeable Pinkishness!

    She’s out, she’s not in charge, and I am hung like a pink stallion.

  434. #435 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    The main battles were at and after the Reformation. But Catholic and Protestant violence and mutual persecution continued long after that. There were anti-Catholic laws in the UK up until relatively recently and anti-Protestant laws in some Catholic countries. At some points in England being a Catholic could get you hung. Or a Protestant. To this day, the English Monarch by law cannot be a Catholic. I think it is because they are also the head of the Anglican church.

    The violence flared up again in Northern Ireland and the shooting stopped a whole 8 years ago. Now they just have the odd rock and a cold war that might last another 2 generations.

    Even today, Catholics and Protestants have an off and on again cold war that sometimes leads to violence. The RCC claims to be the One True Church and many Protestants claim that the RCC is the church of satan and the pope is the antichrist. Well, duh, they can’t both be right.

    The Reformation wars were incredibly bloody. It is estimated that 1/4 to 1/3 of the population of Germany ended up dead.

    Coming from the UK, I am well aware of the Troubles. However, you said “400 years” not 500, which was one of the reasons I was confused, since I thought that if you wanted to include all wars between Protestants and Catholics, why would you stop at 1917?

    Anyway, from this last comment it seems you were including all wars between Protestants and Catholics. I’m afraid I have to disagree. As ‘Tis Himself says, the Thirty Years war is generally considered the end of the wars that were cause by the Reformation (which is why I said “mid-17th Century”). You may argue that if it wasn’t for the Reformation, then there wouldn’t have been these two seperate religions to fight these wars, but I don’t like this argument. Not only does it really matter (I reckon if the Reformation hadn’t happened, they would’ve found something else to fight over eventually), but this argument seems akin to saying that because Hitler wasn’t a virgin birth, then intercourse caused WW2. Sure, that may be an exaggeration, and I’ve probably just violated Godwin’s Law too, but I still disagree nonetheless.

    Didn’t the Reformation Wars also set the stage for a lot of the long-term Franco-German hostility that was one of the core causes of World War I?

    Not really. The hostility between France and Germany that was one of the causes of WWI was due to the Franco-Prussian war, and in the longer term, the French Revolution and the wars that followed it.

  435. #436 Last Hussar
    March 29, 2009

    Guys- I think you are confusing Tim with Tom again.

    Because Mohammad isn’t God, Jesus Christ is.

    The Koran says they are both prophets. The Islam also claims the Koran to be the DIVINELY INSPIRED word of God, as handed to Mohammed. Islam is effectively Part 3 of the Abrahamic religeon. If you say “It isn’t true, my ending is the real one” I would point out the Jews feel very much the same about Christianity. Why are Parts 1 and 2 true, but not part 3? I’ve seen writings about Islam that say “Jesus (pbuh)” in the same way as they use for all the prophets – Moses, Mohammed etc.

    Can you actually understand the dichotomy at which I’m aiming? Imagine I was from a remote tribe. I come out of the jungle, never having heard of Jesus or Mohammed, and am confronted by a priest and an imam. Both hold a book that they state is ‘Truth’, and the other book is wrong. How do I pick?

    Also you have not addressed the issue- if the Vatican et al is the arbiter of ‘troof’ (don’t weasle this by say this post didn’t say that, when the intention, if not the wording is clear- call it the magestarium or what you like- we all knoe we are talking about the guys at the top) why is it ‘troof’ changes in response to scientific knowledge- eg Genesis?

  436. #437 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Re Tom and the so-called “humanist moral dilemma”:

    There isn’t one. As someone else mentioned, increasing overall happiness seems like a good axiom for a moral code. And we can in fact base it on empirical (i.e. scientific research) reasons. For instance, we know from evolutionary biology that we possess an innate morality because it is evolutionary advantageous for us to act in a certain fashion that benefits not only ourselves, but the rest of the “tribe”, or society if you will. Now that’s not to say our innate morality is the correct morality, or that everyone has this innate morality (but its certainly possessed by most people), but it does show that certain aspects of our innate morality (such as empathy, altruism etc) are actually beneficial, and they can be incorporated into a so-called “humanist moral code” as its empirically verifiable that they work. Not only that, but “happiness” is not a man-made construct. After all, we can measure happiness. For instance, neurology can quantify our emotional responses to different actions, and other areas of biology can examine our emotions in other ways too, such as the release of endorphins. Furthermore, there are literally thousands of studies out there which quantify such measurements as “quality of life” and other such measures, and compare these indicators as the laws and values change in different societies. And it is clear from these that societies run under the principles of “Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness” are better off, and societies run under the principles of totalitarianism are worse off, and therefore, by our (scientifically deduced) axiom, these societies are run under a better moral framework.

  437. #438 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    By being so fixated on the details, you miss the point of the Gospel narratives. They were written by different authors. The point is that Christ came into the world, that’s what you miss. Two different authors writing to different faith communities will not write the exact same account. The Truth that the Sacred Scriptures contain and teach is much greater than that. Scripture never contradicts itself because the Truth that the various authors are pointing too is the very same Truth.

    But it’s not the same “Truth” though, is it? The two accounts are completely contradictory. It’s not the kind of thing you can just shrug off and say, “Well they got the main parts wrong”. Other than “Jesus was born”, most of the main ideas are completely contradictory. This is no, “Well they wrote the accounts after a number of years, they can be forgiven for not remembering the account perfectly”, they disagree over large chunks that you don’t just forget in time! It’s the equivalent of two people coming home from a football (soccer) game, and being asked the score. The first person replies “1-0 to Arbitrary United”, but the other person then says, “No it was 6-1 to Arbitrary United”, and the reply to this being, “What does it matter? Either way it’s the same “Truth”, the same team won either way.”

  438. #439 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Hi Tim,

    You may have missed my earlier posting #326

    Before wasting more of your and our time, you should take a little time off to write all of us concisely with clear scientific peer-reviewed evidence that proves without the shadow of a doubt that:

    (1) there is a god,

    It takes intelligence for you to tie your shoe, but it takes no intelligence for the universe to come into existence? I’m sorry, but that’s a pretty lame position.

    Is it wrong for a person to murder his mother?

  439. #440 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    another lob at tim:

    It’s not necessary to make things so much more complicated than they actually are.

    but in Tim’s case, it most definitely is necessary to make things MUCH simpler than they actually are.

    devil’s in the details, dontchyaknow.

    Tim, on seeing someone being buried alive in concrete, would have no problem with it so long as you smoothed the concrete out so no details show.

    Tim, how is what you’re doing any different than this:

  440. #441 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, how is what you’re doing any different than this:

    Well, ask them, they’re your ancestors, not mine.

  441. #442 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    there is a god,

    Wrong again Tim. God is not needed for anything. Ergo, he doesn’t exist. If he makes you feel good, cuddle up to him like a teddy bear before you go to sleep at night. Otherwise, he has no use, especially to us.

  442. #443 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    It takes intelligence for you to tie your shoe, but it takes no intelligence for the universe to come into existence?

    How, exactly, does one relate to the other?

    How, exactly, does what you said answer the question posed to you?

    here, Tim:

    If you look outside, stand on a hill, the world looks flat.

    is it?

    It looks every day like the sun rises and sets; as if it is going around the earth, like the moon does.

    is it?

    It takes more than raw intellect to unravel what to one’s eye might seem “intuitive”.

    This is what science does for us; gives us a method to elucidate the truth behind the illusion.

    what does your religion do for us to help us figure out the reality of the world around us?

    new apologetics each week?

    Your church persecuted as heretics those who actually DID try and give us a real picture of how things work.

    funny, how hundreds of years later they ended up having to apologize for it.

    now, think, Tim. Where was it EXACTLY, that the Catholic Church went wrong when it persecuted Galileo, and many others, for simply trying to state observational facts?

    WHY was it that the church was so concerned with what Galileo had to say?

    devil’s in the details, Tim.

  443. #444 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Well, ask them, they’re your ancestors, not mine.

    actually, they’re not mine either, we both had a common ancestor. However, assuming you are “smoothing over details” again, let’s say you deny common ancestry. The vast majority of xians don’t.

    are they all wrong too?

    have they not managed to smooth over the details like you have?

    or is this one detail that still irks you?

    c’mon now, where’s your consistency?

  444. #445 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Your church persecuted as heretics those who actually DID try and give us a real picture of how things work.

    Is it wrong to persecute a person?

  445. #446 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Who is our common ancestor?

  446. #447 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Is it wrong to persecute a person?

    Yes, Tim, if it is for ideas that do no correspond to your church’s dogma. That is a crime against freedom from religion.

    Hint Tim, your dogma and testament is going over like lead balloons in case you haven’t noticed. Start thinking about your withdrawal.

  447. #448 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    actually, they’re not mine either, we both had a common ancestor.

    Who is our common ancestor?

  448. #449 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Is it wrong to persecute a person?

    as in threaten them with death and destroy their careers?

    … or even kill them outright?

    you tell me, oh compassionate one.

    If the church didn’t think it was wrong, why then, did they apologize for it?

    how is it you don’t appear to know this story…

    http://4thefirsttime.blogspot.com/2007/09/1992-catholic-church-apologizes-to.html

    you have as bad a case of either pure ignorance or pure denial (or both) as I’ve seen in a while.

  449. #450 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Yes, Tim

    How do you know that it’s wrong to persecute a person? Can you give me any evidence to prove that it’s wrong?

  450. #451 Sven DiMilo
    March 29, 2009

    Is it wrong to type a series of inane rhetorical questions?

  451. #452 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    If the church didn’t think it was wrong, why then, did they apologize for it?

    I’ve already agreed that people in the Church have sinned and committed all sorts of immoral acts over the centuries.

    What I’d like to know is: how do you know that what they did was wrong?

  452. #453 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Who is our common ancestor?

    i see. You’ve never even been exposed to paleontology and the current thinking on the evolution of hominids before?

    start with some very basic facts:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html

    move on to the wiki on human evolution, then go to your local library and try checking out some books on human/primate evolution.

    If you’re looking for THE link, I doubt we’ll ever find it, but we know a great many things that tell us we are indeed related to a common ancestor.

    are you interested in knowing what they are, or would you just prefer to smooth over those pesky “details” again?

  453. #454 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    how do you know that what they did was wrong?

    how did THEY know that what they did was wrong?

    do YOU think it’s perfectly OK to burn someone at the stake because they disagree with your ideology?

    hey, we disagree with a lot of what you have said here, Tim. Yet, even though you appear to think it would be just fine for us to burn you alive, none of us here are even remotely inclined to do so.

    and yet, we’re atheists.

    go figure.

    maybe your god is not required to explain how we got here, nor is it required to explain why we care about each other.

    blessings don’t flow from things that don’t exist.

  454. #455 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Tim said:

    It takes intelligence for you to tie your shoe, but it takes no intelligence for the universe to come into existence? I’m sorry, but that’s a pretty lame position.

    Assuming you can tie your shoes, your first premise is false.

    Seriously though, this is easily shown to be illogical. You shoelaces aren’t as complex as the person tieing them. So by your argument, God is more complex than the Universe. And therefore, wouldn’t something even more complex have to have created God? And so you get an infinite regress. Or you could just go along with the fact that complexity does not imply design! Even if the Universe was designed, it’s a pretty poor design for an omnipotent God. Why do I have all this junk DNA?

    And again, assuming that your argument was correct, why should such a God be the Catholic God? All you’ve done is presented us with an argument for a deist god.

    Is it wrong for a person to murder his mother?

    Assuming normal definitions of “murder”, then yes absolutely.

    Anyway, what is with this non-sequitur? I’m guessing that you’re now going to tell us I’m wrong because Catholic dogma tells us that matricide past the menopause is fine?

  455. #456 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    are you interested in knowing what they are, or would you just prefer to smooth over those pesky “details” again?

    Yes, I’m interested to know. I’ll check out the info you gave me. Before I do can you tell me if this common ancestor was a human being?

  456. #457 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Is it wrong to type a series of inane rhetorical questions?

    all you need is the “inane” part to make it wrong, making them rhetorical is just icing(?)

    :P

  457. #458 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    how did THEY know that what they did was wrong?

    do YOU think it’s perfectly OK to burn someone at the stake because they disagree with your ideology?

    hey, we disagree with a lot of what you have said here, Tim. Yet, even though you appear to think it would be just fine for us to burn you alive, none of us here are even remotely inclined to do so.

    and yet, we’re atheists.

    go figure.

    maybe your god is not required to explain how we got here, nor is it required to explain why we care about each other.

    blessings don’t flow from things that don’t exist.

    That didn’t really answer my question. How do YOU know that what they did was wrong?

  458. #459 Josh
    March 29, 2009

    Before I do can you tell me if this common ancestor was a human being?

    Yes, I can. No, it wasn’t.

  459. #460 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    Is it just me, or has Tim evolved into Tom?

    He’s asking the same “But without a God, where do we get morality?” questions as Tom now.

    And Tim, in answer to your questions, see post 437, which was originally intended for Tom.

    Then go and Wikipedia “ethics”.

    Now I’ve answered some of your questions, oh inquisitive one, how about you answer some of mine, which I’ve already asked twice, namely:

    How do you know the Church and the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit? In fact, how do you even know the Holy Spirit exists without appealing to the Church or the Bible?

  460. #461 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    How do YOU know that what they did was wrong?

    I think it wasn’t wrong. I routinely advocate that we should burn young women at the stake or torture heretics until they convert. After all, it’s as God intended…

  461. #462 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    And therefore, wouldn’t something even more complex have to have created God?

    Why would this have to be the case?

    And again, assuming that your argument was correct, why should such a God be the Catholic God?

    Because Catholic, by definition, means Universal.

    All you’ve done is presented us with an argument for a deist god.

    And that’s all I intended to do.

    So, you’re saying that the universe and the world we inhabit, and you, yourself, have absolutely no design?

    Houses require design, but universes don’t? Sorry, but that’s definitely another lame position.

  462. #463 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Before I do can you tell me if this common ancestor was a human being?

    nope. neither was it a modern ape.

    much like marsupials and placental mammals have a common ancestor, which wasn’t a marsupial or placental mammal but something a bit different.

    I doubt that helps much, but there appears to be some rather large gaps in your knowledge that need to be filled before discussion of common ancestry even makes sense.

  463. #464 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    That didn’t really answer my question.

    actually, Tim, it did.

    read it again.

  464. #465 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Houses require design

    only to fit whatever they are trying to house, right?

    does a cave require “design”?

    nope.

    the only design that exists in the universe is that which you impose on it.

    …and science even has a good explanation for why there appears to be a common “need” to impose pattern on things.

    …and why babies appear to be “cute”

  465. #466 gma
    March 29, 2009

    #439 Tim

    Evolution tells us that complex life comes later and that everything starts from simple single cell life forms.

    Cosmology/Astronomy tells us that complex compounds come later and that everything starts simple elements like Hydrogen.

    There is no evidence whatsoever of anything more complex preceding the first single cell life from or simple elements in the history of the universe.

    If you are postulating a god(s), how did She/He/IT (abbreviated to SHIT) get there? Postulating gods does not explain anything and is meaningless. We do not need anything supernatural to explain what we can observe.

    The golden rule is embedded in us (and many other species) from our evolutionary past. Again we do not need to invoke any supernatural being to define what is morally right or wrong. Evolution (nothing else) gave us consciousness so we have the ability to reason and further evolve the golden rule into ethics rules for the betterment of society. History teaches us that religions (and the religious) have constantly opposed refinements to the moral zeitgeist.

    You’ll have to do better than this to win any hearts of the enlightened atheists (the 6.9+ on the scale of 1 through 7 from RIchard Dawkins).

  466. #467 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    I’ve always thought that the question about morality was backwards. Many Christians and other goddists have a morality based on “if I’m bad then god will punish me so I should be good.” That’s the same concept as a small child thinking “if I steal a cookie from the cookie jar then Mommy will spank me.” That, to me, is a childish basis for morality.

    I have a morality based on the Golden Rule (or possibly Bill & Ted’s “be excellent to each other”) and on the idea that altruism is a good thing. I’m excellent to other people because I want them to be excellent to me. But even if they’re just mediocre to me, I should be excellent to them. This is a mature source of morality.

    So really we should be asking the goddists, “do you have a basis of morality that doesn’t involve getting your bottom paddled?” Make them justify their morality to us.

  467. #468 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Is it just me, or has Tim evolved into Tom?

    You can just call me Timmy-Tom

    Now I’ve answered some of your questions, oh inquisitive one, how about you answer some of mine, which I’ve already asked twice, namely:

    How do you know the Church and the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit? In fact, how do you even know the Holy Spirit exists without appealing to the Church or the Bible?

    I have Faith, just like you do.

  468. #469 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    So, you’re saying that the universe and the world we inhabit, and you, yourself, have absolutely no design?

    Nope, it doesn’t need design to explain anything. Everything it appears is an expression of the 4 fundamental forces, where matter is energy and life is an expression of chemistry.

    Just what in the universe has to be designed?

  469. #470 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Because Catholic, by definition, means Universal.

    so if I create a “Universal Church of Dagon”, then that must mean it is the one true church, right?

    are you fucking serious???

  470. #471 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    That didn’t really answer my question.

    actually, Tim, it did.

    read it again.

    OK, I did, and it still doesn’t answer my question.
    How do you know that what they did was wrong?

  471. #472 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Sorry, but that’s definitely another lame position.

    Unlike your “universal” god, we at Pharyngula do not mock the afflicted. This position, it is true, sometimes hobbles, and has difficulty on uneven terrain, but we chose not to mock it on the grounds of disability.
    Your own position, however, would appear to be that of the notably half-witted owner of the most mocked exhibit in the “Stupidity in the 21st Century” exhibition at the Museum of Ignorance and Inanity.

  472. #473 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    I have Faith, just like you do.

    stop projecting.

    we have the exact opposite of faith.

    we have reason.

  473. #474 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    I have Faith, just like you do.

    Wrong again Tim. I have no faith. Just a disbelief in all gods, because there is no physical evidence for one, including your own. Quit lying to yourself, and then you can quit lying to us.

  474. #475 'Tis Himself
    March 29, 2009

    So, you’re saying that the universe and the world we inhabit, and you, yourself, have absolutely no design?
    Houses require design, but universes don’t? Sorry, but that’s definitely another lame position.

    Does a supernova require design? A supernova is a whole lot more complex (not to mention bigger) than a house. Your “lame position” comment is a logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance or God of the Gaps. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

  475. #476 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    How do you know that what they did was wrong?

    you have reading comprehension problems.

    How did I “know” that burning you alive right now was “wrong”?

    review; the answer is there.

  476. #477 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    …and science even has a good explanation for why there appears to be a common “need” to impose pattern on things.

    But no proof, correct?
    Isn’t that what you guys require? Proof?

  477. #478 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Isn’t that what you guys require? Proof?

    In the form of evidence. Like the CSI shows. You have no evidence except your testament, which we have shown is false.

  478. #479 AnthonyK
    March 29, 2009

    Proof? That patterns exist in nature? That human being see them? That human being invent them even when they aren’t there?
    We don’t seek proof – we seek evidence. Your god – FAIL

  479. #480 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Evolution tells us that complex life comes later and that everything starts from simple single cell life forms.

    Do you have undisputed, 100% absolute proof that this is true? Or do you, in fact, put your faith into the unproven?

    Why do you believe in evolution? What driving force compels you to do so? You all have faith, that’s for certain, you just put your trust in something different than I do.

  480. #481 Wowbagger, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

    Which is a good thing, ’cause – by the sound of it – if everything Tim doesn’t appear to understand suddenly became impossible we’d all be pretty much screwed.

  481. #482 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    Isn’t that what you guys require? Proof?

    actually, no.

    what we require is EVIDENCE.

    not the same thing.

    no theory in science is ever “proven”. We actually try NOT to “prove”, but rather to disprove. Hypotheses that, after many attempts to disprove them, still remain, tend to gain support as good explanations for whatever they pertain to. Especially if they are also able to successfully make predictions.

    The theory of evolution, for example, has had literally tens of thousands of attempts to disprove various aspects of it ever since it was first proposed, and the first testable mechanisms were deduced by Darwin. It stands as one of the most well-tested theories in all of science.

    You see, that’s what differs between those who use reason, and those who utilize “faith”. Those who use reason insist that whatever explanations are put forward be soundly tested, and then accept whatever results indicate. If the results indicate the proposed explanation was wrong, we move on to the next one and test that… and keep testing it even if it doesn’t fail under any given single test. This results in explanations that are not only rigorous, but typically generate practical applications as well.

    those who utilize faith, cannot employ reason without becoming circular, and can never produce explanations that are rigorous OR practical in any way, shape, or form.

    the explanations religions use to explain the world are in essence no different, nor can they be, from what was first proposed in the books they base their religion on.

    all you get to do is play the sophist. Which, other than being employable as a theologian or priest, has no practical relevance whatsoever.

  482. #483 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    But no proof, correct?

    There’s no such thing as proof in science, you simply cannot get it… however, look at the device sitting in front of you now. It can perform more mathematical calculations a second that the entire human population combined. And it only works because it relies on the assumption that the laws of physics behave as they do. It needs quantum mechanics in order to work, it needs the electromagnetic force in order to be powered. And it requires an infrastructure to power it that has a constant supply of energy.

    Yet this device does not “prove” the laws of physics, nor does it “prove” that we understand nature. But it’s hard to think of any other way that it could work, it’s such an intricate and complex device that it takes our intricate understanding of nature in order to work. It’s not proof that we need, just well reasoned arguments that have a strong empirical backing.

  483. #484 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2009

    Why do you believe in evolution?

    The million or so peer reviewed scientific papers showing the evidence for it.

    What driving force compels you to do so?

    The evidence.

    You all have faith, that’s for certain

    Again, another lie on your part. We have evidence. No faith involved.

  484. #485 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    Why do you believe in evolution?

    Because all empirical evidence in a variety of fields supports the theory, and no other idea has come close to the explanatory and predictive power that Darwin’s idea has.

  485. #486 Rilke's Granddaughter
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, you’re clearly neither a scientist nor someone with any education in the sciences.

    Do you have undisputed, 100% absolute proof that this is true?

    No. Science doesn’t deal in ‘proof’ (that’s for alcohol). Science provides testable explanations.

    Or do you, in fact, put your faith into the unproven?

    If you’re a Christian (which based on your postings, you’re not) then you’re putting blind idiot faith in something unprovable. Makes you look pretty dumb, actually.

    Why do you believe in evolution?

    We don’t ‘believe’ in evolution. That’s why I said you’re ignorant of science. We accept evolution as the best current explanation to fit the facts. If more facts come to light or a better theory comes along, we’ll change what we accept. Theists can’t do that – they’re limited thinkers.

    What driving force compels you to do so?

    Irrelevant. This isn’t about belief.

    You all have faith, that’s for certain, you just put your trust in something different than I do.

    Gee, not only are you ignorant, but you’re a liar, since you’ve certainly got no idea what we have faith in, if anything. In fact, atheists are characterized by lack of faith.

    Loser.

  486. #487 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    if everything Tim doesn’t appear to understand suddenly became impossible we’d all be pretty much screwed.

    non-existent, more like.

    :P

  487. #488 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    The golden rule is embedded in us (and many other species) from our evolutionary past.

    How did the Golden Rule get embedded in you from your evolutionary past? Do you have proof of this, or do you just believe it as an act of faith? And if so, how is it that you have faith or even know that you have faith? If there is no Moral law, than how do you determine what is moral and what is immoral? What is the origin of your belief? A couple of cells?

  488. #489 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    I really find the “science is a faith” argument hilarious when someone puts it on the internet. Tim, do you think that your computer is running on magic pixie dust, and that words are being carried over the world by angels? That your house is heated and lit up by saying the right magic words? You would be advised to concede that science isn’t a faith, otherwise you’d be a massive hypocrite.

  489. #490 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Just what in the universe has to be designed?

    I don’t know, how about a toohbrush?
    So, let’s see, toothbrush requires design, universe does not.
    And you guys are supposed to have common sense?

  490. #491 Zarquon
    March 29, 2009

    a massive hypocrite.

    That’s be a hypercrite, then.

  491. #492 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    How did the Golden Rule get embedded in you from your evolutionary past? Do you have proof of this, or do you just believe it as an act of faith?

    *sigh*

    We can show two ways that we can inherit something like the golden rule – though observations of other animals and by showing that behaviour of this nature works mathematically.
    Firstly, let’s take the mathematical nature of prediction. We are social creatures so we have drives in our body that fuel social behaviour. Our lives have repeated interactions with others so we have a case for repeated interactions in order to cooperate or defect. Now defecting may have a higher pay-off if it’s a one-off interaction. But in repeated interactions, it’s more mutually beneficial in order to cooperate. Through game theory we can show that the best survival strategy is reciprocal altruism.

    So lets take that to nature and other social creatures. For example we see vampire bats sharing their dinner with other bats who aren’t so fortunate – but those bats who never contribute back are shunned. Sound familiar? Dogs have an innate sense of fairness, it’s been empirically shown that social order is important in animals other than our own and that affects behaviour. And beyond all else, any creature that doesn’t protect it’s offspring will not survive – so to protect the future generation is a huge evolutionary drive.

    So in all that we have a foundation for the golden rule of ethics. We were social creatures before there was a society persay, and as such the foundations for human morality transcend culture. When we see these similar behaviours all throughout nature and especially in our nearest cousins, the only possible explanation is that it’s an evolved trait – and with the mathematics backing it up it sits as a sound explanation of behaviour.

  492. #493 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    I don’t know, how about a toohbrush?

    And we have a naturalistic explanation for a toothbrush – “people did it.” Same goes for houses, cars, watches, computers, hamburgers, etc. A bird’s nest is also “designed” as is a beaver dam, or an ant colony. Yet how did man come about? Well that’s through evolution, just as the bird and an ant. Life designs, but life is not designed. We are part of the natural process of the universe – an expression of organic chemistry.

  493. #494 Josh
    March 29, 2009

    Do you have undisputed, 100% absolute proof that this is true?

    Oh for fuck’s sake. We DON’T PROVE THINGS IN SCIENCE. Do try to keep up.

    Tim, do you have undisputed, 100% absolute proof that the Earth orbits the sun? I’ll answer for you–no, you don’t. There is a ton of evidence that supports the theory, and it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever end up falsifying it, but it hasn’t been proven to be True with a capital T. That’s simply not the way it works.

    If you measure the length of a board with a ruler to be 12″ long, you will see it as a fact. And it is–it’s an observation. But you haven’t proven that the board is 12″ long. There is error attached to that observation. No facts in science are incontrovertible, because nothing in science is incontrovertible. 12″ isn’t the true length of the board, if we’re using true as being incontrovertible. There is always going to be a more precise possible measurement out there (e.g., a set of calipers might well measure the board to be 12.002″ long, a precision the ruler simply cannot achieve), or perhaps you didn’t hold the ruler exactly the way that would return the most precise length measurement (can you make sure that the ruler is 100% parallel with the sides of the board (are the sides straight) and it’s hard to determine which, at the microscopic level, of those various valleys and peaks on the edge of that board constitute the true end of the board anyway. Whatever. There true incontrovertible length of the board isn’t something we will measure. But we will measure a length of the board.

    And that’s for a fact. An observation. Theories are explanations for facts. We explain the observations, but even if we hit upon the actual True explanation for those facts, how do we know it’s the true one? How do we guarantee it? Let me clue you in–we don’t.

    We don’t prove theories; please stop misrepresenting what we do.

    And before you start going on about how useless science must be then, do try to keep in mind how much science you use in a given day… And you might also try to keep in mind that by that standard of proof that you evolution deniers are always trying to throw in our faces, historians haven’t proven that Henry VI existed, either.

  494. #495 Tim
    March 29, 2009

    Wrong again Tim. I have no faith. Just a disbelief in all gods, because there is no physical evidence for one, including your own. Quit lying to yourself, and then you can quit lying to us.

    Well there’s no physical evidence that murdering your mother is wrong either but you believe that????So you must at the very least have faith in your own embedded “Golden Rule”. Oh, there’s no physical proof for that either, though, so you must just believe it as an act of faith. Oh wait, how is that you have the ability to believe anything, there’s no physical proof for it, so you must just accept the fact that you’re able to believe things, and imagine things, and look at the Grand canyon and say wow, that’s amazing. But there’s no physical proof that you find it amazing, so you must just trust your own perception. You guys have more faith than you’re willing to admit.
    Faith in nothing, or faith in something, I don’t know. It doesn’t make me mad though. Why is that?

  495. #496 Azkyroth
    March 29, 2009

    Tim, how is what you’re doing any different than this:

    Tim, unfortunately, is only emulating the first two of those pictures.

  496. #497 clinteas
    March 29, 2009

    I like this Tim fella.
    He produces gems like this :

    So, let’s see, toothbrush requires design, universe does not.
    And you guys are supposed to have common sense?

    Priceless.

  497. #498 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    Faith in our own senses and faith in a God are two very different things. 3 is a number and 25,000,000 is a number, so therefore they are the same? Of course not. If you use faith in only the most diffuse sense and then compare it to faith in the unknowable, you are being intellectually dishonest.

  498. #499 Kel
    March 29, 2009

    Oh wait, how is that you have the ability to believe anything, there’s no physical proof for it

    Except that we can test the memory of others. We can test the memories of other animals – hell, even goldfish have memories. They have done plenty of research with chimpanzees on behaviour – getting chimpanzees to bet on not whether they knew the answer but whether they knew that they knew the answer. We can’t be certain that “I think therefore I am” is correct, but to say there’s no physical “proof” (again using that proof word – evidence is so much better) is either being ignorant or dishonest.

  499. #500 Alex Deam
    March 29, 2009

    I have Faith, just like you do.

    No, Tim I don’t have faith. In fact, as someone 2/3 of the way through the first year of a physics degree, and a desire to go into scientific research, I consider it intellectually bankrupt to practice the scientific method and have faith.

    Nevertheless, your answer to my question(s) provides me with another question:

    You have faith that there’s a Holy Spirit, and it inspires the Church and the Bible, but where did you originally get the idea of the Holy Spirit from?

  500. #501 Ichthyic
    March 29, 2009

    It doesn’t make me mad though. Why is that?

    because you already were?
    …mad as a hatter, that is.

    you don’t appear to be listening, Tim. Which either means you’re too stupid to understand what we are saying to you (ignorance no longer covers it), or deliberately just trolling for kicks.

    I’m done.

    *tags out*

  501. #502 gma
    March 29, 2009

    Tim,

    For us scientists, everything has to be based on mountains of observable evidence. We have no faith in the theory of gravity, the theory of electromagnetism, the theory of evolution, etc… all supported by mountains of evidence and no evidence that disproves them, we accept the mountain of evidence.

    Introducing anything supernatural whether you call it “god” or “intelligent designer” does not explain anything and is simply a cop-out to stop searching for a scientific explanation.

    You will have to cross the bridge from “faith” to “evidence-based reason” to understand what everyone on the reason side is telling you. If you don’t you’ll keep bringing up silly questions and waste your an our time.

    We live in different worlds: we don’t give up the search for scientific explanations and you are way to eager to throw arms up into the air and say “GodDidIt or “IntelligentDesignerDidIt.

  502. #503 Ciaphas
    March 29, 2009

    I’ve been wondering something and this seems as good a place to ask it as any:

    If the Garden of Eden story isn’t literal, then where the hell does original sin come from?

    All the arguments about morals coming from god aren’t an argument for god actually existing, they are an argument for getting people to believe it does. An actual god is totally uneeded no matter what side you are on.

  503. #504 Rilke's Granddaughter
    March 29, 2009

    Tim:

    Faith in nothing, or faith in something, I don’t know. It doesn’t make me mad though. Why is that?

    Because you’re not very bright? I have to admit, you’re one of the stupider trolls we’ve seen here recently.

    Why, oh, why doesn’t Pharyngula attract trolls of even moderate intelligence? Trolls who might actually be able to construct a half-way interesting argument? Trolls who might actually have something interesting to say?

    Why do we only get dim bulbs like Tim here who clearly has never thought about anything more complicated than how to eat his Wheaties without messing himself at his mommy’s table?

  504. #505 Pierce R. Butler
    March 30, 2009

    Pharyngula – where even the most bulimic trolls become obese.

  505. #506 raven
    March 30, 2009

    Coming from the UK, I am well aware of the Troubles. However, you said “400 years” not 500, which was one of the reasons I was confused, since I thought that if you wanted to include all wars between Protestants and Catholics, why would you stop at 1917?

    I chose 400 because it was a round number and the Reformation was so long ago it seemed about right. We barely covered this in school, it was whitewashed to the max. Luther, a nice guy (he was a not very nice crackpot) nailed some papers on a door and the church split. Not a mention of the decades of bloody wars that followed.

    500 years would be closer, but to the point, Catholics and Protestants traditionally hate each and occasionally kill each other, it doesn’t really matter.

    During that 500 years it hasn’t been nonstop bloodshed. Full scale wars don’t last that long continuously and if they did, by now both sides would have invented nukes and history would be different or finished.

    The way we use war colloquilly today doesn’t necessarily mean nonstop violence. We have cold wars, wars on drugs, wars on terrorism, wars on family planning clinics, wars on Xmas, wars on Halloween, and the War on Easter is coming up.

    The 500 year RCC-Protestant war was cold for most of that time with sporadic violence that continues today, although it is getting rarer. If you are from the UK, you might not know that in the USA, hostility and discrimination between Catholics and Protestants was common up until the late 20th century. When JF Kennedy was elected president, he was the first and so far only Catholic in a nation with 23% RCCs and it was a big deal. This is before my time barely and of most people reading blogs. And the reality today, most but not all people don’t care anymore.

    There is still a large amount of anti-Catholic bigotry among the fundies, a not insignificant fraction of the population. The WELS, Wisconsin Lutherans, have on their website that the pope is the antichrist, a common belief along with the RCC being the church of satan. I’ve long maintained that the only reason the two major divisions aren’t still fighting somewhere is that the secular governments got sick and tired of the conflicts over dogma and took away their armies and heavy weapons.

  506. #507 Monado
    March 30, 2009

    Becca [15], I offer the words of the immortal GBS:

    “The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. – George Bernard Shaw”

  507. #508 Monado
    March 30, 2009

    Last Hussar [47], the sperms’ journey is always getting the publicity. Meanwhile the egg travels down the Fallopian tube, a journey that has been likened to paddling down the mighty Mississippi River in a canoe.

  508. #509 Monado
    March 30, 2009

    Tis Himself [#362], it’s implied in your description but Tuchman also mentions that the folly is carried out in spite of clear warnings from contemporary advisers.

  509. #510 Monado
    March 30, 2009

    As LotStreetWiz’s grandmother said when told her daughter was going to marry a Jew, “Well, at least he isna a Catholic.”

  510. #511 Monado
    March 30, 2009

    A last word, from Benjamin Franklin. He had your number, guys:

    Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; It is not so. It is so; it is not so. -Benjamin Franklin

    People invent gods to reinforce the morality that they already have, whether it’s eating the neighbours or symbolic cannibalism performed on crackers.

  511. #512 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Is it wrong to murder your mother, and can anyone give me an objective moral standard as to the reason why?

  512. #513 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Does your life have value, and if so, why?

  513. #514 paul fauvet
    March 30, 2009

    Tim must be a very recent convert to Catholicism, or else someone who is too lazy to find out what his church actually believes.

    Unlike Protestant fundamentalists, the Vatican has no problem with evolution by natural selection. Recent Popes have at least been intelligent enough to understand that the last thing their Church needs is another Galileo scandal.

    Mainstream Catholic intellectuals will tell you that God created everything at the Big Bang, and then let the universe potter along by natural means, intervening every now and then, by popping a soul into Homo Sapiens, or by sending his son to earth to be horribly tortured and killed.

    What is the common ancestor? Depends how far back you go. A few million years ago, it was an ape a bit like a chimpanzee, but which moved bipedally. A hundred million years ago it was a rat sized mammal scampering under the feet of the dinosaurs. Four hundred million years ago it was a fish. A billion years ago it was a bacterium.

    If Tim rejects natural selection, then he is in the company, not of the mainstream Catholics, but of the Lefebvrists, such as the holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson.

    As for faith – well, in reality Tim, you, like the rest of us, live by reason, not by faith. You don’t switch on youur computer by the force of prayer. You use the on/off switch, and the elctrons flow in line with the laws of electro-magnetism.

    You don’t just turn up at an airport or a station and have faith that a plane or a rain will whisk you where you want to go. You consult the timetable.

    And you don’t step out onto a busy road in the hope that your faith in God will take you to yhe other side. You look and see whether there is any traffic coming first.

  514. #515 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Is it wrong to murder your mother, and can anyone give me an objective moral standard as to the reason why?

    Even if we explained it to you, you wouldn’t understand. Is the only thing stopping you from murdering your mother is that God says not to? If not, why not?

  515. #516 echidna
    March 30, 2009

    Tim asked:

    #512 Is it wrong to murder your mother, and can anyone give me an objective moral standard as to the reason why?
    #513 Does your life have value, and if so, why?

    Tim,
    expecting people to answer these type of questions is really inane and insulting. I will answer anyway: in short, yes, and yes, because life has value to the owner of that life. We cooperate because (limited) cooperation has a good survival value.

    What sort of answers are you expecting? Do you think that scientists do not value life?

  516. #517 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Even if we explained it to you, you wouldn’t understand. Is the only thing stopping you from murdering your mother is that God says not to? If not, why not?

    I’m looking for an objective moral standard, can you give me one?

  517. #518 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    Well there’s no physical evidence that murdering your mother is wrong either but you believe that????So you must at the very least have faith in your own embedded “Golden Rule”. Oh, there’s no physical proof for that either, though, so you must just believe it as an act of faith. Oh wait, how is that you have the ability to believe anything, there’s no physical proof for it, so you must just accept the fact that you’re able to believe things, and imagine things, and look at the Grand canyon and say wow, that’s amazing. But there’s no physical proof that you find it amazing, so you must just trust your own perception. You guys have more faith than you’re willing to admit.

    Taking inductive reasoning, and pretending it’s the same thing as unquestioning acceptance of logically absurd and morally problematic commandments from a virgin male in a dress who claims to know better than you how to interpret the transcribed myths of a tribe of iron age desert nomads, is jaw-droppingly dishonest. Isn’t “thou shalt not lie” one of the commandments?

  518. #519 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Taking inductive reasoning, and pretending it’s the same thing as unquestioning acceptance of logically absurd and morally problematic commandments from a virgin male in a dress who claims to know better than you how to interpret the transcribed myths of a tribe of iron age desert nomads, is jaw-droppingly dishonest. Isn’t “thou shalt not lie” one of the commandments?

    Yes it is one of the commandments.
    Is it wrong to murder your mother?
    How ’bout you? Can you give me one objective moral standard?

  519. #520 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    I’m looking for an objective moral standard, can you give me one?

    Perhaps if you were to define the phrase “objective moral standard” in a way that explains why you do not accept what we have been telling you for the last 350 comments or so?

  520. #521 echidna
    March 30, 2009

    Tim@517,
    When humans (and other animals) live together cooperatively, there are objective moral codes that the group adheres to (more or less).

    Don’t imagine that it requires an imaginary being to set an objective moral standard.

    For an ancient written set of objective moral standards, check out the Hammurabi Code. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammurabi

  521. #522 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Perhaps if you were to define the phrase “objective moral standard” in a way that explains why you do not accept what we have been telling you for the last 350 comments or so?

    An absolute standard of right and wrong?
    You guys are the scientists, I figured you’d know what an objective moral standard is?
    Can you give me one?

  522. #523 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Tim@517,
    When humans (and other animals) live together cooperatively, there are objective moral codes that the group adheres to (more or less).

    Don’t imagine that it requires an imaginary being to set an objective moral standard.

    For an ancient written set of objective moral standards, check out the Hammurabi Code. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammurabi

    Thanks. What I want to know is: Is it wrong to murder your mother? And if it is, can you give me an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong.

  523. #524 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    An absolute standard of right and wrong?
    You guys are the scientists, I figured you’d know what an objective moral standard is?
    Can you give me one?

    We have.

    Now explain what’s wrong with the answers we’ve given, or sit down and shut up.

  524. #525 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    An absolute standard of right and wrong?

    There’s no such thing as an absolute standard of right and wrong, morals are contingent on our existence and if we didn’t exist then whatever morals that applied to us wouldn’t either.

  525. #526 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    We have.

    Now explain what’s wrong with the answers we’ve given, or sit down and shut up.

    The answers you’ve given me are your subjective opinions. I don’t agree with them. I’m looking for an Objective moral standard. Can you give me one?

  526. #527 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    Does anyone else think Tom has become Tim, because Tim was getting all the attention?

    At any rate, there’s a good explanation of “Objective Moral Standard” here:

    http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheistsmorals/a/AbsoluteMorals.htm

  527. #528 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    There’s no such thing as an absolute standard of right and wrong, morals are contingent on our existence and if we didn’t exist then whatever morals that applied to us wouldn’t either.

    OK, so you can’t give me one because one doesn’t exist.
    No objective moral standard exists as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother?

  528. #529 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    At any rate, there’s a good explanation of “Objective Moral Standard” here:

    http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheistsmorals/a/AbsoluteMorals.htm

    I’m not looking for an explanation of objective moral standard.
    I’m looking for an objective moral standard as to why it is wrong to murder your mother. Can you give me one?

  529. #530 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    No objective moral standard exists as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother?

    Now you’re gettin’ it!
    As I understand it, morality is always subjective, based on whatever society one happens to live in.

  530. #531 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    The answers you’ve given me are your subjective opinions. I don’t agree with them. I’m looking for an Objective moral standard. Can you give me one?

    You need to stop looking at things in black and white. Things are neither objective or subjective, absolute or relative. There’s a grey area to everything, and to suggest otherwise is going to misrepresent whatever it is you are trying to explain. This is what is so frustrating about trying to talk to theists on the issue of morality – it’s not the either / or situation that they proclaim between absolute objectivity and useless subjective reason.

    By it’s own standards, morality cannot be subjective because it’s a social construct. Morals are contingent on the society one is in and both the genetic and memetic constructs therein. We can see that many of the foundations for behaviour are instinctual, we are instinctual moral creatures. And that can be explained by evolution as I laid out in post #492. And until you actually look at what morality is you will never understand any answer given to you. You are asking the wrong questions because you don’t know how to see the world any other way.

    Again, I ask is the only thing stopping you from killing your mother that God says no? If not, then what is it that is preventing you from killing your mother. If you can answer that honestly, then you may be able to start understanding where we are coming from.

  531. #532 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    The answers you’ve given me are your subjective opinions. I don’t agree with them. I’m looking for an Objective moral standard. Can you give me one?

    Not if you’re just going to plug your ears and go “THAT’S YOUR SUBJECTIVE OPINION LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” whenever we offer a formulation of one.

    How about you, Tim? Can you give us one?

  532. #533 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    So far, the evidence seems to suggests that an objective moral standard, as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother: doesn’t exist.

    Can anyone give me one?

  533. #534 AV
    March 30, 2009

    OK, let’s humour Tim for a moment.

    Tim, why does God think it’s wrong to murder your mother (since this where your line of questioning is leading)?

    Either God can offer sound reasons for why it is wrong to murder your mother, or he’s just arbitrarily concocted this rule for his own amusement. If God can offer such reasons, what are they?

  534. #535 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    So far, the evidence seems to suggests that an objective moral standard, as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother: doesn’t exist.

    Can anyone give me one?

  535. #536 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 30, 2009

    So it is the fear of eternal punishment from the big sky daddy that keeps Tim from murdering his Mom. I love his objective morality.

  536. #537 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    You can just call me Timmy-Tom

    Because Tom was just too stupid to take seriously…

  537. #538 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    OK, let’s humour Tim for a moment.

    Tim, why does God think it’s wrong to murder your mother (since this where your line of questioning is leading)?

    Either God can offer sound reasons for why it is wrong to murder your mother, or he’s just arbitrarily concocted this rule for his own amusement. If God can offer such reasons, what are they?

    That’s not where my line of questioning is leading.
    I’ve asked the question, I’m just waiting for an answer.
    I got one so far, he says that an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong to murder your mother, doesn’t exist.
    Is his answer accurate?
    Can you give me one?

  538. #539 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    So far, the evidence seems to suggests that an objective moral standard, as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother: doesn’t exist.

    Can anyone give me one?

    Ask the wrong question and you won’t get an answer of value. If you really want to know, ask yourself is “God said so” the only thing stopping you from murdering your mother? If not, then think about all the reasons you wouldn’t do it. If you can be truly honest with yourself, you may answer your own question. Though I’ll give you a hint in order to get there:
    “A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” – Albert Einstein

  539. #540 AV
    March 30, 2009

    How about you, Tim? Can you give us one?

    No, he can’t. Tim is in a bind: if his God exists, either there is an Objective Moral Standard (TM) to which his God is subject, or his God invented said Objective Moral Standard (TM) out of whole cloth.

    As I said, Tim’s in a bind. And that’s why he’s taken the infantile route of sticking his fingers into his ears and repeating the same question ad infinitum. (See #535.)

  540. #541 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Ask the wrong question and you won’t get an answer of value. If you really want to know, ask yourself is “God said so” the only thing stopping you from murdering your mother? If not, then think about all the reasons you wouldn’t do it. If you can be truly honest with yourself, you may answer your own question. Though I’ll give you a hint in order to get there:
    “A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” – Albert Einstein

    OK, that’s your subjective opinion and Albert Einstein’s subjective opinion. What I want, is an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong to murder your mother?
    Can you give me just one? Please?

  541. #542 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    That’s not where my line of questioning is leading.

    Apparently, Timmy-Tom is frustrated that we’re not giving him the correct set-up for his punchline.

    There is a punchline, right?

  542. #543 AV
    March 30, 2009

    I want, is an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong to murder your mother?
    Can you give me just one? Please?

    Why do you need one?

  543. #544 AV
    March 30, 2009

    There is a punchline, right?

    Could it be . . . . Goddidit?

  544. #545 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 30, 2009

    Does Tim have mother issues?

  545. #546 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    There is a punchline, right?

    Could it be . . . . Goddidit?

    Probably, but it’s not very funny.

  546. #547 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    I want, is an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong to murder your mother?
    Can you give me just one? Please?

    Why do you need one?

    The evidence further suggests that you can’t give me one.

  547. #548 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    OK, that’s your subjective opinion and Albert Einstein’s subjective opinion. What I want, is an objective moral standard as to why it’s wrong to murder your mother?
    Can you give me just one? Please?

    Fucking hell Tim, if you ever want to understand where we are coming from, you are going to have to put yourself into our headspace. Like I said, there is no absolute standard, morality for humans is contingent on humanity existing. Without us, there is no morality applied to us and thus you aren’t going to find the absolute you are looking for.

    Other animals behave without any higher power dictating terms to them. They’ll cooperate in groups, they’ll protect their offspring from danger. There’s even evidence that dogs have an innate sense of fairness. Morality sorts itself out through repeated interactions, and this can be shown both mathematically and in nature. For better or worse that is the basis for morality.

    Can you please answer the question that you would kill your mother if God didn’t tell you not to? If not, why not?

  548. #549 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    Does Tim have mother issues?

    Do you think he’s looking for permission?
    Or forgiveness?

  549. #550 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 30, 2009

    Well, the punchline for The Aristocrats is not funny.

  550. #551 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    The evidence further suggests that you can’t give me one.

    Who says morality exists that way?

  551. #552 AV
    March 30, 2009

    The evidence further suggests that you can’t give me one.

    I asked you an honest question, Tim. Why do you need one?

    Others have made honest endeavours to answer your question. That you fail to understand the answers is certainly neither their problem nor their fault.

    By ignoring their responses, as well as the questions put to you, and simply repeating the same words over and over again, you demonstrate to all who are paying attention that you are acting in bad faith and have nothing constructive to offer to this debate.

    Come back when you’ve grown up.

  552. #553 Ciaphas
    March 30, 2009

    I’m getting concerned for Tim’s mother, he seems obsessed with the idea of killing the poor woman. God probably told him to knock her off and now he’s frantically trying to find a reason why he shouldn’t. I hope he seeks help.

  553. #554 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    Well, the punchline for The Aristocrats is not funny.

    Good point.

  554. #555 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    By ignoring their responses, as well as the questions put to you, and simply repeating the same words over and over again, you demonstrate to all who are paying attention that you are acting in bad faith and have nothing constructive to offer to this debate.

    Just another ignorant Liar for JesusTM. I tried talking with him, but no. He’s obsessed with asking that one wrong question – and because of that he’ll never understand where we are coming from. Though for a theist to want to understand, that would be miraculous in itself. It seems his tactic on here is to prove that God exists because you need God for morality – it’s not the case and a complete misrepresentation of what morality is. But still…

    I wonder where he sides on the Euthyphro dilemma.

  555. #556 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Fucking hell Tim, if you ever want to understand where we are coming from, you are going to have to put yourself into our headspace. Like I said, there is no absolute standard, morality for humans is contingent on humanity existing. Without us, there is no morality applied to us and thus you aren’t going to find the absolute you are looking for.

    Other animals behave without any higher power dictating terms to them. They’ll cooperate in groups, they’ll protect their offspring from danger. There’s even evidence that dogs have an innate sense of fairness. Morality sorts itself out through repeated interactions, and this can be shown both mathematically and in nature. For better or worse that is the basis for morality.

    Can you please answer the question that you would kill your mother if God didn’t tell you not to? If not, why not?
    #549

    Posted by: Nominal Egg | March 30, 2009 3:49 AM

    Of course I wouldn’t, she’s my mother. Silly atheist!!

    OK, you’ve explained your position. Thank you. What you say, though, is still your subjective opinion. I don’t agree with it. So, the reason why it is wrong to kill your mother is based on everyone’s own subjective opinion? Since there is no objective moral standard?

  556. #557 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Of course I wouldn’t, she’s my mother. Silly atheist!!

    Exactly. So you need no religious commandment not to murder your mother. Therefore your desire not to murder your mother is based on something else, maybe your love for her, that emotional bond that forms between a parent and child. Maybe it’s that you’ve got in your DNA code that prevents you from wanting to murder others, it’s hard wired into other animals. Maybe you’ve learnt that cooperation is part of being in a society, so those societal bonds have taught you that killing would break such a rule. In any case, your ethics are based on sympathy, education, and social ties. Which is foundation for morality.

    Thank you for inadvertently demonstrating my point.

  557. #558 echidna
    March 30, 2009

    Tim is asking scientists a philosophical question, and is surprised when he is asked to define his terms.

    Still, I do not want Tim to imagine that no atheist could satisfy what, to him, seems a simple request.
    so, here it is Kant’s categorical imperative, which fits the bill as an objective moral standard:
    Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end. ?
    ?Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals

  558. #559 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    What you say, though, is still your subjective opinion. I don’t agree with it. So, the reason why it is wrong to kill your mother is based on everyone’s own subjective opinion? Since there is no objective moral standard?

    Holy fucking dead jew on a stick!
    Do you have a fucking point?
    Or are you trying to be an annoying asshole?

  559. #560 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, we’ve established that you don’t need an Objective Moral Standard to not kill your mother. We don’t either. So, end of pointless questions, OK?

  560. #561 Sven DiMilo
    March 30, 2009

    Timmy-tom-tim: I’ll bite.

    In philosophy, an objective fact means a truth that remains true everywhere, independently of human thought or feelings….A proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are “mind-independent”?that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity. Put another way, objective truths are those which are discovered rather than created.

    So, OK, no. I do not believe that there are any “objective” moral laws. You may now move on to your point, if you have one.
    However, note that my statement does not preclude the existence of universal or near-universal subjective (i.e. the result of judgments made by conscious entities) ethical rules, including one against matricide in nearly every case. The source of such a rule may be evolutionary (i.e. somehow genetic, probably rooted in the concept of inclusive fitness) or purely social, or most likely a complex combination of both.
    So what?

  561. #562 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Whoever asked me “why I needed one”? The answer is: Because I want to know why an atheist believes it’s wrong to murder one’s mother.

    If an objective moral standard can’t be produced because one doesn’t exist, then all you will ever be able to give me in answer to my question, is your own subjective opinions. No matter how long you answer my question, the only answer that you will ever be able to give will be your own subjective opinions. What do you think?

  562. #563 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Whoever asked me “why I needed one”? The answer is: Because I want to know why an atheist believes it’s wrong to murder one’s mother.

    And you have this answer by what you said above, you wouldn’t do it not because of God but because you feel it’s wrong. You have your answer, now go away!

  563. #564 Nominal Egg
    March 30, 2009

    No matter how long you answer my question, the only answer that you will ever be able to give will be your own subjective opinions. What do you think?

    I think you are brain-dead.
    I’m tired of this fuck knuckle.

    This troll is stale…

  564. #565 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    here it is Kant’s categorical imperative, which fits the bill as an objective moral standard:
    Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end. ?
    ?Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals

    That’s Mr. Kant’s own subjective opinion, I want an objective moral standard as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother.

  565. #566 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    If an objective moral standard can’t be produced because one doesn’t exist, then all you will ever be able to give me in answer to my question, is your own subjective opinions.

    You look at the world in black and white far too much for your own good. Morality is a social construct, and because it’s social it can’t be subjective. It’s just that it’s not absolute either – it’s contingent on us as a species existing and the society we’re currently in. Morality is provisional, that’s the best way to describe it. If you want to learn more, read the book The Science Of Good and Evil by Dr Michael Shermer. That may explain things better than anyone can in a few lines on a blog post.

  566. #567 Rick R
    March 30, 2009

    Tim@ 517- “I’m looking for an objective moral standard, can you give me one?”

    Holy crap, that question speaks volumes.

    What a sick man.

  567. #568 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    That’s Mr. Kant’s own subjective opinion, I want an objective moral standard as to the reason why it is wrong to murder your mother.

    You just don’t get it. There’s no need for an objective standard, because as you demonstrated yourself it sorts itself out as in the way Einstein suggested. You are looking for something that isn’t there, and isn’t necessary to be there.

    Demonstrate it’s objective and cannot be explained by genetics. Then come back and ask the question.

  568. #569 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    here it is Kant’s categorical imperative, which fits the bill as an objective moral standard:
    Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end. ?
    ?Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals

    Well here’s just one example of my point.
    According to your logic,
    If there is no objective moral standard as to the reason for murder, and the reason therefore must be based on subjective opinion; we all know that with opinion, might makes right. So therefore, since Hitler had the might his subjective opinion was right and he therefore was right in killing millions of people.Was Hitler right? and if not why wasn’t he.

  569. #570 Sven DiMilo
    March 30, 2009

    I want an objective moral standard

    Get used to disappointment.

  570. #571 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    If there is no objective moral standard as to the reason for murder, and the reason therefore must be based on subjective opinion; we all know that with opinion, might makes right.

    No! Morality is a social construct and by very definition cannot be subjective. Stop playing the dichotomy between objective and subjective you simpleton, get out of these black and white absolutes if you want to learn anything.

  571. #572 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    Give us an example of something you would acknowledge as being an “objective moral standard.”

  572. #573 Sven DiMilo
    March 30, 2009

    Kel’s right: Tomtim is suffering from the dreaded False Dichotomy. For T it’s either “objective” (= decreed from On High) or it’s “subjective” (= nothing but personal opinion).
    *yawn*

  573. #574 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    So therefore, since Hitler had the might his subjective opinion was right and he therefore was right in killing millions of people.Was Hitler right? and if not why wasn’t he.

    Also, Godwin’s Law!

  574. #575 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    In the wise immortal words of Obi Wan Kenobi: “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”

  575. #576 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Morality is a social construct, and because it’s social it can’t be subjective.

    But your opinion can be and IS subjective and it’s the only basis you have for determining that murder is wrong. Morality is based on your subjective opinion. You don’t see the problem with that?? Think about it.

  576. #577 Rick R
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, don’t hurt anyone, ok? And if you feel the urge to do so, please seek help.

  577. #578 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    But your opinion can be and IS subjective and it’s the only basis you have for determining that murder is wrong.

    Your values are subjective, morality is not. Each individual is part of a society like each cell on your body is part of you. You are subject to the whims of others around you, thus your moral outlook is dependant on others. Here’s basically what you are doing. If something isn’t 100% it’s 0% – that’s what you are saying with your “if it’s not objective, then it’s subjective” neglecting the grey area in between and misrepresenting what morality is.

    You won’t understand until you realise that talking in absolutes is the way of the Sith. If you disagree, please demonstrate that objective morality exists. And if you invoke God for this objective morality, please answer the Euthyphro dilemma.

  578. #579 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, if you don’t believe that certain behaviours are an evolved trait, would you go attack a bear cub in front of its mother? You can scream “Morality is subjective” while the mother tears out your throat, and if you survive the encounter, hopefully it will teach you an important lesson about animal behaviour.

  579. #580 John Morales
    March 30, 2009

    Nerd @387, sure sounds like the F troll.

    Yawn.

    Presupps are boring.

  580. #581 paul fauvet
    March 30, 2009

    So the reason Tim has not murdered his mother is that he has stumbled across an “objective moral standard” somewhere in the Bible, or maybe in the ramblings of Pope Ratzinger.

    But what on earth is “objective” about the Bible? We don’t even know who wrote most of it.

    The Mosaic injunction “Thou shalt not kill” was not a sudden brilliant discovery by the Israelites. Every society must have rules against murder and theft, otherwise it can’t function. In literate societies those rules take the form of laws.

    Is the legal injunction against killing your mother any more or less objective than the biblical one?

    It is interesting to note that the Catholic Church hedged the very clear instruction “Thou shalt not kill”, round with all kinds of exceptions. For century after century it was perfectly OK to kill those who disagreed about the exact interpretation of the Bible and were labelled as “heretics”.

    Both catholics and protestants used to think that killing witches was an excellent idea.

    Killing during a “just war” was also encouraged, with the Vatican defining which wars were just.

    What “objective moral standard” was involved in the decision to slaughter the population of southern France known as Albigensians or Cathars?

    What “objective moral standard” did the Catholic knights of the First Crusade follow when they massacred every moslem and jew they could lay hands on when they captured Jerusalem?

    Or perhaps Tim just imagines that “instructions from the Pope” means the same as “objective moral standard”.

  581. #582 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, welcome to the world of moral responsibility. There is no big daddy in the sky to say, No, bad, daddy smack; _you are going to have to make your own moral decisions_.

    The objective moral standard, like the ether, is not there, and it was never there even when you thought it was.

    Now play nicely with others, like I suggested, and act they way you’d want people to act in the sort of world you’d want to live in. Have a nice life.

  582. #583 clinteas
    March 30, 2009

    Tim,

    please proceed and murder your mother,then tell us how it felt.
    We have exhausted the theoretical approach to it by now,I think.

    There is no objective moral standard,as has been pointed out to you a million times now,although you might feel you need one,and without it you would be tempted to do all sorts of bad things.
    However unlike you,atheists do not require such a standard to be good moral beings.
    Please contemplate this first before you answer.

  583. #584 mrcreosote
    March 30, 2009

    apropos the subject

    “As Newt Gingrich converts to Catholicism, a leading Catholic conservative says his sins?including an affair with a congressional aide?”no longer exist.””

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-29/newts-resurrection/

  584. #585 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    If you actually want to learn about how morality works from scientists, here’s a basic introduction from Dawkins done back in the 1980s. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3494530275568693212

    Though it would be best to read The Science Of Good & Evil as I suggested above, and maybe even that chapter in The God Delusion where Dawkins talks about the origins of morality.

  585. #586 clinteas
    March 30, 2009

    OT

    For anyone interested,here is Ed Brayton’s radio show with PZ from March 26:

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/declaringindependencepodcast/~3/1BydoYCVMFQ/declaring_independence_show014.mp3

  586. #587 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    I’m listening to that right now Clinteas.

  587. #588 AV
    March 30, 2009

    The answer is: Because I want to know why an atheist believes it’s wrong to murder one’s mother.

    Why?

    (Incidentally, there is no single atheist position on whether or not there is an objective morality. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a deity or deities: nothing more, nothing less. And nowhere in the definition of atheism is implied a particular position on objective morality. So, since no single atheist here is the spokesperson for TEH ATHEIST HIVE MIND, you might as well stop demanding one. Thankyou.)

  588. #589 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    What I want to know is: Is it wrong to murder your mother?/blockquote>
    I think it would be wrong for you to murder your mother. I think the poor woman has had enough to suffer in life, what with the stupidity of her Tim-born, and the fact that he has to come to an atheist blog to consider her early death.
    The answer to your question is obviously “it depends”. There are situations in which it would be, if not “right” certainly “reasonable”.
    It might not be wrong to murder my murder if, for example, she were terminally ill and had decided to kill herself, an act in which you she needed my help; if she were pregnant and the child would not survive unless a risky medical procedure were performed on her (she herself to die soon anyway); if she had gone insane and were holding hostages – only I could approach her, and her death were the only way to prevent murder; or if she had abused me throughout my childhood, looked set to continue with other children, and the effects of it had made me matricidal; or, if I had gone insane, felt my mother was possessed by demons, and the fate of the world lay in killing her (this would be regrettable, but hardly wrong…).
    So it would not always be wrong to kill my mother, no.
    Normally, of course, it would be wrong, because I love her, abhor violence, and lest I considered it I would find it illegal and punishable by jail.
    It is a truly stupid question, and one only asked by religious morons. You do not have a monopoly on morals just because sky-daddy has to tell you what to do. Morals are innate, to some extent culturally determined, and, we would argue, possibly an evolutionary adaptation to allow us to live together in society.
    Fuckwit.
    Tim = SF? No doubt a brief textual analysis, together with a compilation of his troll questions, should provide an answer.
    Now, anyone know a good contract killer? My mum’s getting on my nerves and I’m an atheist.

  589. #590 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    What I want to know is: Is it wrong to murder your mother?

    I think it would be wrong for you to murder your mother. I think the poor woman has had enough to suffer in life, what with the stupidity of her Tim-born, and the fact that he has to come to an atheist blog to consider her early death.

    The answer to your question is obviously “it depends”. There are situations in which it would be, if not “right” certainly “reasonable”. It might not be wrong to murder my murder if, for example, she were terminally ill and had decided to kill herself, an act in which you she needed my help; if she were pregnant and the child would not survive unless a risky medical procedure were performed on her (she herself to die soon anyway); if she had gone insane and were holding hostages – only I could approach her, and her death were the only way to prevent murder; or if she had abused me throughout my childhood, looked set to continue with other children, and the effects of it had made me matricidal; or, if I had gone insane, felt my mother was possessed by demons, and the fate of the world lay in killing her (this would be regrettable, but hardly wrong…).

    So it would not always be wrong to kill my mother, no. Normally, of course, it would be wrong, because I love her, abhor violence, and lest I considered it I would find it illegal and punishable by jail. It is a truly stupid question, and one only asked by religious morons. You do not have a monopoly on morals just because sky-daddy has to tell you what to do. Morals are innate, to some extent culturally determined, and, we would argue, possibly an evolutionary adaptation to allow us to live together in society.

    Fuckwit. Tim = SF? No doubt a brief textual analysis, together with a compilation of his troll questions, should provide an answer.

    Now, anyone know a good contract killer? My mum’s getting on my nerves and I’m an atheist.

  590. #591 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    Sorry about that. My mother was the only one who knew how to do html formatting, and now that she’s gone..

  591. #592 AV
    March 30, 2009

    What are the moral teachings of a father who let his daughter and son be a “hooker” and a gay ?

    Wow. Scratch a loving Christian deep enough and you unmask a hate-filled sexual predator. Much is explained, though I’m sure I’m not the only one to find Simon’s obsession with PZ’s children to be getting creepier by the day.

  592. #593 AV
    March 30, 2009

    You do not have a monopoly on morals just because sky-daddy has to tell you what to do.

    Actually, Tim has no morality because his sky-daddy has to tell him what to do. He’s a moral automaton. There’s no “there” there.

  593. #594 AV
    March 30, 2009

    I learned HTML from my crazy aunt, before she died . . . in the bath.

  594. #595 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    What are the moral teachings of a father who let his daughter and son be a “hooker” and a gay ?

    Yes, heavenly Father, what were you thinking of?

  595. #596 Kingasaurus
    March 30, 2009

    Nobody has “objective” morality in the way the nutters on this thread want to define it.

    What theists do is PRETEND their morality is “objective.” Saying your morality comes from a god is no good unless you can demonstrate (for starters) that your particular beliefs are the real thing. But none of that cuts any ice with your Muslim or Hindu next-door neighbor, who also believes their morality is “objective,” yet they believe in different gods than you do with different “objective” rules than you have.

    Pretending your morality is “objective” and then tsk-tsking the atheists who won’t agree to your definitions is the ultimate stupidity.

    Now explain to me why I should follow your “objective” morality instead of the Muslim “objective” morality. “My god is real because I say/feel so” doesn’t count.

    Since someone has been asking for peer-reviewed answers, I’ll ask the same for this question. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  596. #597 dean
    March 30, 2009

    Recently, on another blog, a person displaying tim’s amazing persistence appeared, displaying much of the same behavior. After a short period of time the person admitted he was “practicing” his act, trying to trick the regulars with his impersonation of a religious troll, in preparation for visiting some cult site and playing with them.

    could tim be doing the same thing (i.e., could his behavior be an act?)

  597. #598 AV
    March 30, 2009

    “My god is real because I say/feel so” doesn’t count.

    Now, now, let’s be fair. Tim’s god is real not because he says so, but because his church says so. His church says so because it’s “filled with the Holy Spirit,” whatever the fuck that means.

  598. #599 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    could tim be doing the same thing (i.e., could his behavior be an act?)

    Possibly. We call such an act a “Poe” – claiming to hold outrageous christian views in an effort to satirize the fucktards.
    With Tim, who might well be one of our more despised contributors “Silver Fox”, it’s unlikely, simply because he’s so persistent – most Poes give up quite soon as the effort of appearing stupid is usually too much – but I reckon he isn’t. He is too insistent, and his arguments are too dull and pointless.
    Incidentally he asked, ridiculously, if a toothbrush were evidence of a designer. To which the answer is:
    “No, dickwad, before toothbrushes we used twigs, which are not, so far as we know, designed for that purpose.”

  599. #600 Pierce R. Butler
    March 30, 2009

    (sigh) If you can’t stifle the troll-feeders, join ‘em:

    Tim, never mind killing mothers, what about mothers killing sons?

  600. #601 dean
    March 30, 2009

    “Possibly. We call such an act a “Poe” – claiming to hold outrageous christian views in an effort to satirize the fucktards. With Tim, who might well be one of our more despised contributors “Silver Fox”,”

    Possibly, but perhaps I didn’t make myself clear: the person of whom I spoke admitted he was ‘practicing the rhetoric’, thinking that if he could pass for a fundamentalist on the sciblog site, he had the lingo down sufficiently well to get by on a fundie site.

    I do get your point, however, and withdraw my suggestion.

  601. #602 JohanSebastianMill
    March 30, 2009

    So, OK, no. I do not believe that there are any “objective” moral laws. You may now move on to your point, if you have one. However, note that my statement does not preclude the existence of universal or near-universal subjective (i.e. the result of judgments made by conscious entities) ethical rules, including one against matricide in nearly every case.

    Umm… that’s not such a great move in this game. You really don’t want the foundation of morality to rest on human rules, social norms or anything like that. That’s because you want to be able to recognize that *all* of us can sometimes collectively get things wrong. (Think: sexism, slavery, racism, &c.) If you define ‘right’ just to be ‘consistent with our rules or choices’ then you can’t do that.

    You’re better off saying that our laws and ideas about right/wrong are *hypotheses* about the correct set of moral laws. So, for instance, we have laws about not murdering our mothers because that’s our best guess about what the *right* moral code consists in.

    Once you do that, you owe some account of what *correct* moral laws consist in. You owe a story about the objective ground or foundation of morality. No biggie. Tim thinks it’s the word of Jebus. Maybe that’s true. But we have absolutely no (non-circular) evidence that it is. Also, since the word of Jebus makes lots of people unhappy, disease-ridden, poor and fucked up, it’s plausible that this is not the right sort of answer. Much earlier (#112) I suggested that another way of grounding an objective morality is in the real, actual, palpable consequences of actions: more happy sentient beings = morally right; more miserable sentient beings = morally wrong.

    This is intended as an objective standard and that our hypotheses about what will make us happy in no way determine what is the case. So it seems sensible. Also, it’s consistent with how lots of us *actually* make sane moral decisions. (Governments get this sort of thing wrong all the time and so do parents.)

    At about this point, Tim will tell you that (a) happiness is subjective. He will tell you that (b) our hypotheses about what will lead to less worldly misery are just guesses and so subjective. And he’ll tell you (c) that he disagrees with the proposed standard. No worries: (a) think of happiness like bodily health. People’s *assessments* of their state of cardiac health are subjective. But the state of their heart is a real, objective state of affairs. So this argument is pretty bad. Secondly, (b) hypotheses are not somehow rendered ‘subjective’ (whatever that means) simply in virtue of being held true by fallible beings. Limited, finite being can have a hypothesis about how some objective facts turn out. No contradiction there. Finally (c), it’s not very useful to know that Tim disagrees with our hypothesized objective standard. If our hypothesis is in fact correct, all that means is that Tim is wrong. (surprise, surprise)

    So there we go: an objective moral standard for the atheist, courtesy of John Stewart Mill. Go read the book Tim and leave us in peace.

  602. #603 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    Not buying the JSM argument above; saying we’re making “a hypothesis about the right set of laws” implies that the right set is somehow an intrinsic property of the universe like electrodynamics, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

  603. #604 Birgitta (is not a biologist)
    March 30, 2009

    at #453 Ichthyic wrote:

    ?the current thinking on the evolution of hominids …
    start with some very basic facts:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html ?

    I followed that link, but the below paragraph doesn’t reflect current knowledge:

    1. Did we evolve from monkeys?
    Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn’t evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids.

    I think the current understanding (in part based on DNA analysis) is more like this:
    http://scottsdalecc.edu/ricker/psy101/readings/Section_2/images/human_tree.jpg
    according to which we evolved from monkeys and apes, and our latest common ancestor with the chimps was an ape.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution#Before_Homo

  604. #605 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    saying we’re making “a hypothesis about the right set of laws” implies that the right set is somehow an intrinsic property of the universe like electrodynamics, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Yah, it does mean exactly what you suggest. Can you offer any reasons why this this “seems not to be the case” to you? It’s far from obvious that you are right.

    One point of clarification: the laws of thermodynamics or universal gravitation or even the laws of chemical bonding are particularly low-level phenomena. They’re not a very good point of comparison. If there are universal moral laws, they won’t be like that simply because moral laws don’t govern entities in virtue of their thermodynamic properties or electron valence or anything as low-level as that. But there are universal, high-level regularities that govern economic systems, computational devices, self-replicators under selection pressure, and all sorts of other complex stuff. I don’t see any reason to doubt that evolution or computation or market forces are objectively real even if I can’t see how (or whether) they reduce to physics. I see no reason to doubt therefore that there are complex laws that govern optimal modes of social organization and individual behaviour among sentient beings with our constitution. What’s weird about that?

  605. #606 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    Not buying the JSM argument above; saying we’re making “a hypothesis about the right set of laws” implies that the right set is somehow an intrinsic property of the universe like electrodynamics, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

    The psychological and physiological characteristics of humans (and, by extension, sentient beings with a remotely similar physiology) are such that certain stimuli and situations will predictably result in a response which is interpreted neurologically as pain or suffering, and others will result in a response which is interpreted positively. A sufficiently complete and insightful understanding of these phenomena and a sufficiently robust and precise descriptive language would allow the development of rigorous heuristic approaches for identifying, and following, the course of action most likely to minimize the latter and increase the former. Moral laws are not measurable independent of sentient agents, but gravitational behavior is not measurable independent of objects with mass -so what? The relationship remains in the abstract. The other objection I’ve seen is that the laws of physics or their derivatives cannot tell us that we should want people to be happy. So what? They also can’t tell us that we shouldn’t want bridges to collapse.

  606. #607 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    So precisely that: objective science can (in principle) tell us _do this and people will be happier_ as it can tell us _do this and the bridge will stay up_. However the actual moral decision is in the wanting people to be happy. I, as I suspect you do, try to live by a generalised version of that principle- act in the way that you’d want people to act in the kind of society you’d like for everyone to live in. I just don’t think the universe cares. It got along fine for billions of years without us.

  607. #608 Alex
    March 30, 2009

    Re Tim and his epic quest to find an objective moral standard:

    At about this point, Tim will tell you that (a) happiness is subjective. He will tell you that (b) our hypotheses about what will lead to less worldly misery are just guesses and so subjective. And he’ll tell you (c) that he disagrees with the proposed standard. No worries: (a) think of happiness like bodily health. People’s *assessments* of their state of cardiac health are subjective. But the state of their heart is a real, objective state of affairs. So this argument is pretty bad. Secondly, (b) hypotheses are not somehow rendered ‘subjective’ (whatever that means) simply in virtue of being held true by fallible beings. Limited, finite being can have a hypothesis about how some objective facts turn out. No contradiction there. Finally (c), it’s not very useful to know that Tim disagrees with our hypothesized objective standard. If our hypothesis is in fact correct, all that means is that Tim is wrong. (surprise, surprise)

    Yes I outlined something similar to this idea at post #437 (which was originally addressed to Tom), which I already told Tim to read once. We can use empirical research to deduce such a moral standard if needs be.

    Tim, just because a complete objective moral code hasn’t been found yet, doesn’t mean one can’t exist. To say therefore that we must follow the code of God (who we don’t believe in anyway) is just a God of the gaps argument and is a logical fallacy.

    So there we go: an objective moral standard for the atheist, courtesy of John Stewart Mill. Go read the book Tim and leave us in peace.

    Ah Mill. His Harm principle is one of my favourite ways to formulate a code of ethics. (Plus I support the Lib Dems). It’s my opinion that a code formulated empirically like I outlined above, and one formulated via the Harm principle, would be virtually the same.

    Tim said:

    No matter how long you answer my question, the only answer that you will ever be able to give will be your own subjective opinions. What do you think?

    I’ll tell you what I think. I’m thinking, why should I agree with God’s subjective opinion of morality?

    By the way Tim, you still haven’t answered my question from post #500:

    You have faith that there’s a Holy Spirit, and it inspires the Church and the Bible, but where did you originally get the idea of the Holy Spirit from?

  608. #609 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    Oh, and the “Alex” that just posted was me.

  609. #610 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    @Stephen. If I understand you, you are making two arguments in your last post: (1) There are no iron-clad, counter-factual supporting generalizations concerning what makes people happy. In order for there to be objective moral standards, such generalizations would need to exist. Therefore no objective moral standards exist. And (2): The universe does not care if we are happy or unhappy. For objective moral laws to exist, the universe would need to care. And so, objective moral laws don’t exit.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m sincerely trying to read you correctly.

    Regarding (2): The universe does not care, just as you say. But the universe also does not execute computations. It by no means follows that parts of the universe (like my laptop’s motherboard) do not execute physical processes that count as computations. And so, computations exist. The same applies to caring. We care; the universe doesn’t. But that’s enough. (All that is just a way of saying that I reject premise 2 of that second argument.)

    Regarding (1): I agree with you that there are no laws concerning what makes people happy. That’s why I’m not really an utilitarian; I’m something more of a negative consequentialist (like Karl Popper). I think we can make predictions about what makes people miserable: repression, torture, lack of political freedom, rape, and so on. The role of government is to remove as many of these harmful stimuli as possible for as many people as possible. They will have to take care of their ‘happiness’ for themselves. So, in short, I agree with the first premise of your argument. But I want to stress that just because we can’t discover the objective regularities that govern a system or just because such regularities are devilishly complex does not entail that such regularities don’t exist. The weather is a complex but deterministic system governed by regular laws; we still can’t predict whether it will rain 17 days from now. What we know and what is the case are two different issues though. Ceteris paribus morality.

  610. #611 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    @610: my objection is much simpler. The objective questions of how to minimise harm or maximise happiness are only relevant after we’ve already made the moral decision that those are the goals it’s good to seek, and that is not an “objective moral standard” of the kind which Tim claimed to be seeking, i.e. an absolute independent of anyone’s opinion. I do agree with you that they’re the goals any rational healthy benevolent sentient being is going to arrive at. That’s probably “objective” enough for us to be going on with :)

  611. #612 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    Stephen: fair enough. It looks like we actually agree on the issues and any remaining disagreements are terminological.

    I’m actually very suspicious categorical moral imperatives for the very same reasons that I think categorically optimal biological fitness is a contradiction in terms. There are no ‘best’ organisms; there are ones that are well-suited to their local environments. There are no ‘absolute’ moral standards; there are merely ones that promote the thriving of the kind of creature we are. (Why thrive? I don’t know: why survive? Same question.)

  612. #613 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    You have faith that there’s a Holy Spirit, and it inspires the Church and the Bible, but where did you originally get the idea of the Holy Spirit from?

    From the source.

  613. #614 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    But the universe also does not execute computations.

    Not necessarily, see Digital physics at Wikipedia.

    (Incidentally, is it just me, or is Wikipedia down right now?)

  614. #615 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Now explain to me why I should follow your “objective” morality instead of the Muslim “objective” morality. “My god is real because I say/feel so” doesn’t count.

    Because even though I don’t know you, I don’t want you to suffer.

  615. #616 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Because even though I don’t know you, I don’t want you to suffer.

    Then why do you keep posting? I suffer through your complete lack of understanding on the matter at hand and your refusal to take on board what anyone else says.

  616. #617 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    please answer the Euthyphro dilemma.

    Both.

  617. #618 Stephen Wells
    March 30, 2009

    tim, if you don’t want us to suffer then you’re already following our morality. Good night.

  618. #619 Kel
    March 30, 2009
    please answer the Euthyphro dilemma.

    Both.

    ANd thanks for explaining nothing at all. You are so good at being completely oblivious to any knowledge on this matter. Please get at least a cursory education before posting again.

  619. #620 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    ANd thanks for explaining nothing at all. You are so good at being completely oblivious to any knowledge on this matter. Please get at least a cursory education before posting again.

    I was asked to answer it, not explain it.

  620. #621 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, why don’t you explain your definitions for a change.

    By the way, your god doesn’t exist your bible is a work of fiction.

  621. #622 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    I was asked to answer it, not explain it.

    You didn’t answer it, you said both and without explanation as to why it’s both, that doesn’t answer anything at all. Why both? What do you mean by both? How does it solve the dilemma? Do you have the mental faculties to understand what the dilemma even means?

  622. #623 Guy Incognito
    March 30, 2009

    I was asked to answer it, not explain it.

    I’m not that old, but it’s been a while since I attended a school. Do they still do that whole “show your work” thing?

  623. #624 AV
    March 30, 2009

    Because even though I don’t know you, I don’t want you to suffer.

    Why don’t you want us to suffer?

  624. #625 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    You didn’t answer it, you said both and without explanation as to why it’s both, that doesn’t answer anything at all. Why both? What do you mean by both? How does it solve the dilemma? Do you have the mental faculties to understand what the dilemma even means?

    Yes, I do have the mental faculties to understand what the dilemma means. You’ve hit the nail on the head, though, because I lack the mental faculties to explain why it’s “both”. It’s beyond my comprehension. I know that you don’t believe in the Trinity, but I do, and to explain a Tri-une God is also beyond my comprehension. I would have to know the Mind of God and I don’t. His Divine Mind so far exceeds my comprehension.

  625. #626 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2009

    His Divine Mind so far exceeds my comprehension.

    argument by sappiness.

    I think I’m going to vomit.

  626. #627 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 30, 2009

    His Divine Mind so far exceeds my comprehension.

    Since god doesn’t exist, Tim has no mind.

  627. #628 gma
    March 30, 2009

    The Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma because it starts from the premise that there is a god and there is absolutely no evidence that She/He/IT exists or ever existed.

    Someone recently told me that churches Europe are empty because people are too lazy to go to church. I said, why don’t we make a list of ALL possible reasons before we conclude what the exact reason was but that person was 100% convinced that there was only 1 reason and that it was her explanation.

    The true Euthyphro dilemma dilemma should have at least 1 extra choice: “Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God, or is it because humans, as consciousness evolved, determined that morality is determined by the golden rule (don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself) ?”

    Therefore “both” is an answer from ignorance and the only credible answer is the Golden Rule.

    By the way, we society is still struggling with this. The roman catholic pedophilia institute had to solicit the help from mor(m)ons to enshrine discrimination against homosexuals in the California constitution. Another proof that the Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma.

  628. #629 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    Raven:

    During that 500 years it hasn’t been nonstop bloodshed. Full scale wars don’t last that long continuously and if they did, by now both sides would have invented nukes and history would be different or finished.

    Well, assuming they still kept oppressing science, they probably wouldn’t have worked out how to build a nuke.

    The 500 year RCC-Protestant war was cold for most of that time with sporadic violence that continues today, although it is getting rarer. If you are from the UK, you might not know that in the USA, hostility and discrimination between Catholics and Protestants was common up until the late 20th century. When JF Kennedy was elected president, he was the first and so far only Catholic in a nation with 23% RCCs and it was a big deal.

    I didn’t know it was a big deal. Interesting.

    Least you’ve had a Catholic president. We haven’t had a Catholic Prime Minister. Blair was too cowardly to convert to Catholicism before he resigned. (I’m sure it was nice for him having his sins like Iraq be absolved). I can say we have had a Jewish Prime Minister (Disraeli), which I’m proud of, though he was Tory (though one of the better ones). Meanwhile, the Government has recently said it’s considering changing the rules for the monarchy so that women and Catholics have equal rules to everyone else (yes, we’re that backwards). Cue comments and forum posts on the BBC website declaring, “But how can we have a Catholic monarch when the Queen is head of the Church of England?” I can’t believe people are that ignorant that only one state of affairs makes sense to them.

  629. #630 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Why don’t you want us to suffer?

    That’s just the way I am.

  630. #631 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009

    That’s just the way I am.

    So it’s your subjective opinion?

  631. #632 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Yes, I do have the mental faculties to understand what the dilemma means. You’ve hit the nail on the head, though, because I lack the mental faculties to explain why it’s “both”. It’s beyond my comprehension. I know that you don’t believe in the Trinity, but I do, and to explain a Tri-une God is also beyond my comprehension. I would have to know the Mind of God and I don’t. His Divine Mind so far exceeds my comprehension.

    So your answer to the philosophical problem is that “Goddidit” and it’s beyond our understanding so we should just accept it? That doesn’t answer anything at all, it’s nothing more than presuppositionalist bullshit. Goddidit and don’t ever ask beyond that – nevermind the fact that the existence of God has never been demonstrated. You make the assertion that God exists, then all questions that stem from that are explained away by the parameters that you’ve asserted to begin with.

    You need to demonstrate God’s existence if you think that morality comes from God. We can demonstrate the social nature of morality, that behaviour can be mathematically explained and seen hard-wired in other creatures through natural selection. What do you have to support your assertions?

  632. #633 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    The Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma

    It’s not a false dilemma. You’re an atheist. The Euthyphro dilemma is specifically a dilemma for theists.

  633. #634 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009
    You have faith that there’s a Holy Spirit, and it inspires the Church and the Bible, but where did you originally get the idea of the Holy Spirit from?

    From the source.

    What fucking source?

  634. #635 Azkyroth
    March 30, 2009
    please answer the Euthyphro dilemma.

    Both.

    Tim, the Euthyphro Dilemma is “does one’s god of choice command things because they are good, or are they good because said god commands them?” What you gave is an answer to “Are you dumb as a stump, or incredibly dishonest?”

    Try and understand the difference.

  635. #636 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    You need to demonstrate God’s existence if you think that morality comes from God. We can demonstrate the social nature of morality, that behaviour can be mathematically explained and seen hard-wired in other creatures through natural selection. What do you have to support your assertions?

    You claim allegiance to evidence, but the most you will ever be able to provide is opinion. You claim rights in a system of law that has it’s very source in the premise that the truth is self evident that we are endowed these unalienable rights by our Creator. Yet you deny the existence of a Creator and still claim the rights under the system of law that has as it’s very source the existence of a Creator. If you were true to your beliefs, you wouldn’t claim the rights that are endowed to us by our Creator, because you claim that the truth is; there is no Creator. This is hypocrisy.

    I, on the other hand, am entitled to these rights.

    My subjective opinion has nothing to do with it. It is NOT my opinion that I live under a system of law that has at it’s very source the existence of a Creator, it is indisputable FACT, pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it any time you like.

    Therefore, the case for the Creator is stronger than the case against the Creator. And it has nothing to do with my subjective opinion, and everything to do with yours.

    Based on the evidence, I’d say that you need to demonstrate God’s non-existence. You have a system of law that you claim rights to that directly contradicts your own position.

  636. #637 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    Tim, the Euthyphro Dilemma is “does one’s god of choice command things because they are good, or are they good because said god commands them?” What you gave is an answer to “Are you dumb as a stump, or incredibly dishonest?”

    Try and understand the difference.

    I answered “both” because a dilemma for me, is not a dilemma for God.

  637. #638 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    You claim allegiance to evidence, but the most you will ever be able to provide is opinion.

    No! Did you even read what I wrote above about how we can demonstrate it through both theory and real world examples? Did you read Dr Shermer’s book The Science Of Good & Evil? Did you watch that Dawkins’ documentary I linked Nice Guys Finish First? And that’s just for a beginning, there has been plenty of scientific word done on the matter. So while you may dismiss it as “opinion” all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance!

    Based on the evidence, I’d say that you need to demonstrate God’s non-existence.

    Based on the evidence, I say you need to demonstrate Thor’s non-existence. Done talking absurdities yet?

    It is NOT my opinion that I live under a system of law that has at it’s very source the existence of a Creator, it is indisputable FACT, pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it any time you like.

    Here I was thinking the founders explicity stated that America is not founded on any religion, and indeed put freedom of religion there. Though if you want to be absurd about it… Saudi Arabia is built on foundations of Allah, that is indisputable FACT. Therefore Allah exists and Muhammad is the final prophet of God.

  638. #639 Guy Incognito
    March 30, 2009

    Argument from the Declaration of Independence…is that one on the list of proofs for God?

  639. #640 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    March 30, 2009

    Posted by: Tim | March 30, 2009

    I answered “both” because a dilemma for me, is not a dilemma for God.

    For the first time, I agree with you. But the reason I do agree will not make you happy. There is no dilemma for non existing creatures.

  640. #641 Guy Incognito
    March 30, 2009

    Never mind. #247 on the list seems to cover Tim.

  641. #642 Last Hussar
    March 30, 2009

    Ah- Tim believes the writers of the Declaration of Independence are qualified to rule on the existence of God. And there he was saying it was only the right people in the Catholic Church.

    Course they also said that white land owning men could have a say in running the country, and allowed slavery. Is it ok for racists to reference them as proof that there is nothing wrong with racism?

    But as God told Muhammed that the Koran is all his word, that sure revises the New Testament.

  642. #643 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    So while you may dismiss it as “opinion”

    Yes, thanks for the info.
    I can however, dismiss it as opinion because it is in fact opinion. No objective moral standard, all you will ever be able to give me is opinion.

    Here I was thinking the founders explicity stated that America is not founded on any religion,

    I didn’t say anything about religion I said that the system of law that you claim rights to has at it’s source the existence of a Creator, which you deny. Yet you still claim the rights under that system of law, Which is hypocrisy.

    Saudi Arabia is built on foundations of Allah, that is indisputable FACT. Therefore Allah exists and Muhammad is the final prophet of God.

    I don’t claim any rights under Saudi Arabian law.

  643. #644 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2009

    Tim believes the writers of the Declaration of Independence are qualified to rule on the existence of God.

    hmm, I wonder if he considered what Jefferson had to say on the issue?

    for example (and there are of course hundreds more from Jefferson):

    “The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  644. #645 Sastra
    March 30, 2009

    Tim #636 wrote:

    You claim rights in a system of law that has it’s very source in the premise that the truth is self evident that we are endowed these unalienable rights by our Creator.

    You’re looking at “rights” as something handed down from an authority, the way a king or parent grants favors. Another way of grounding rights, however, is through the mutual consent of those who recognize that, in nature, we are all equal in the ways that are significant for fair relationships.

    Both methods will establish ‘inalienable’ rights, but only the second one does so from a democratic standpoint. The first method — God “gives” them — can just as easily establish hierarchies of worth and value, where some people or races have been “created” to rule over others. After all, human rights are being set up inside a system of absolute monarchy. That makes them very tenuous indeed — particularly if the True nature of the King can never be demonstrated to all — let alone be considered “self-evident.” You can only ground objective standards in a world we can all see.

    I think you over-estimate the value of your method, and underestimate the value of ours. We borrow nothing from yours.

  645. #646 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    I can however, dismiss it as opinion because it is in fact opinion. No objective moral standard, all you will ever be able to give me is opinion.

    Two things:
    Firstly, please drop this binary understanding of the universe, only a sith speaks in absolutes.
    Secondly, I was referring to the origin of morality, not whether there is an objective standard. We can show that morality does not come from a god but is a social construct based on our evolutionary history as demonstrated through the study of infants, other species and looking at game theory.

    I didn’t say anything about religion I said that the system of law that you claim rights to has at it’s source the existence of a Creator, which you deny. Yet you still claim the rights under that system of law, Which is hypocrisy.

    The constitution of the US is founded on secular values, it has at it’s source the notion that men are equal in the eyes of the law. Nothing to do with a creator at all. Also I find it hilarious that someone would appeal to a society for a proof of God where God’s first commandment was to have no other gods but him, and the society’s first right is that to guarantee freedom of religion.

    I don’t claim any rights under Saudi Arabian law.

    And I don’t claim any rights under American law, though I think the bill of rights is a great secular construct. And either way, it’s irrelevant to the fact that morality is an evolved construct. Stop looking at the world in absolutes, if you only look in black and white you’ll miss the intricate colours of nature.

  646. #647 Feynmaniac
    March 30, 2009

    Shorter Tim:

    A document written over 230 years ago implies God exists, therefore the burden of proof is on you to show God doesn’t exist.

  647. #648 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    You claim allegiance to evidence, but the most you will ever be able to provide is opinion. You claim rights in a system of law that has it’s very source in the premise that the truth is self evident that we are endowed these unalienable rights by our Creator. Yet you deny the existence of a Creator and still claim the rights under the system of law that has as it’s very source the existence of a Creator. If you were true to your beliefs, you wouldn’t claim the rights that are endowed to us by our Creator, because you claim that the truth is; there is no Creator. This is hypocrisy.

    I, on the other hand, am entitled to these rights.

    My subjective opinion has nothing to do with it. It is NOT my opinion that I live under a system of law that has at it’s very source the existence of a Creator, it is indisputable FACT, pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it any time you like.

    This is perhaps the most moronic thing I ever read.

    You are aware that the Declaration of Independence is a work of politics? You asked several times for an objective moral code, and yours is a political document! How is that objective?

    You should also know that these “inalienable rights” aren’t guaranteed by a single word in the Declaration of Independence. You don’t go to court and have it decided whether something is “Declarational”, you go to decide whether its “Constitutional”. And guess what? There’s not a single mention of a “Creator” in the Constitution. But there is a clause saying that religion and the state should be separate.

    Besides, you realise that the writers of the Declaration were Protestants, Deists and Catholics, not Catholics, so if we accepted you argument, you’ve just proved the wrong God.

    And by the way, the Declaration of Independence is specifically an American document. It doesn’t apply to me, a British citizen. And hell, it doesn’t apply to Kel, who you were replying to, since he’s from Australia.

    EPIC FAIL.

  648. #649 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    Ahh, Tim. You don’t even try to understand it from out side, do you? How can you expect to reach anyone on here if you won’t see the world through their eyes? Ask the wrong questions and you won’t get any answers of value. So please stop talking about objective morality, it seems the only person who craves an absolute is you so talking as such will get you nowhere.

  649. #650 Alex Deam
    March 30, 2009

    Whoops, I meant they were “Protestants, Deists and Atheists”, not “Protestants, Deists and Catholics”.

  650. #651 Sastra
    March 30, 2009

    Tim #643 wrote:

    I didn’t say anything about religion I said that the system of law that you claim rights to has at it’s source the existence of a Creator, which you deny.

    No, our system of law has its source in nature and human reason. We were created by nature: it needn’t be a Person. You can then make a God in the image of a reasonable person, and “derive” laws. Or you can make a God in the image of a tyrant, and “derive” different laws. Nothing is more subjective than religious belief. Whatever God you believe in rests on faith in invisible, untestable things.

    But we can’t make reality into anything we want. We’re stuck with dealing with it, and each other. The founding fathers believed in a God of Nature, discernible through reason alone. You can leave out the “God” part, and their system works fine.

    Better, even.

  651. #652 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    You claim rights in a system of law that has it’s very source in the premise that the truth is self evident that we are endowed these unalienable rights by our Creator. Yet you deny the existence of a Creator and still claim the rights under the system of law that has as it’s very source the existence of a Creator. If you were true to your beliefs, you wouldn’t claim the rights that are endowed to us by our Creator, because you claim that the truth is; there is no Creator. This is hypocrisy.

    First off Tim, don’t assume that everyone here is an American. Lots of people think they have rights for reasons that have nothing to do with American law. Here’s one good story: “rights” are actually a convenient shorthand for duties (or the converse of duties, if you want to be specific). When I say that I have a right to my property, that just means that others in society have a duty to leave my stuff alone. When I say that I have a right to life, it means that others have a duty to preserve my life, no matter what. And so on.

    Why do we recognize duties to each other? Because that makes things run much more smoothly than if we didn’t. (See above.) Some duties are reasonable: the duty to leave others’ pocket-watch and umbrella alone, for example. Some duties that others claim are silly: your duty to preserve my life no matter what is a silly one. You have no such duty and so I don’t have a blanket right to life.

    See…? No sky daddy anywhere in sight. Now, you may wonder why Americans respect each other’s rights? Well, in fact, it’s for the same reasons that any other people on the planet do, actually. The odd thing about Americans though is that they have some very weird behavioural ticks when it comes to talking about rights: they seem to be prone to a kind of verbal spasm that has them ejaculate nonsense about ‘Creators’ and ‘inalienabilty’ whenever the topic comes up. It’s really the darnedest thing. Funny folks those Yanks. But what can you do?

  652. #653 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    And for the record, the Australian constitution put freedom of religion at the core of our constitution. We don’t even have free speech guaranteed (it’s implicit rather than explicit) but our leaders 108 years ago thought it was important enough to guarantee anyone the choice to worship whatever deity they wanted, or even none at all. Hell, we’ve even had an atheist as our prime minister in the last 20. The laws of this country are there for all – though from everything I can gather, it’s the same way in the US.

  653. #654 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2009

    The constitution of the US is founded on secular values, it has at it’s source the notion that men are equal in the eyes of the law. Nothing to do with a creator at all.

    Tim is confusing the DOI with the US constitution.

    surprised?

    not.

  654. #655 Wowbagger, OM
    March 30, 2009

    The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. – Arthur C. Clarke.

    Humans developed morality as part of social/collaborative evolution. Our ancestors couldn’t have known this, so they invented gods to explain it – much like they did to explain thunder, lightning, the sun, the moon, the stars and rainbows.

    We now know – and have known for some time – that the gods aren’t responsible for those things. Science tells us they are entirely ungodly natural phenomena.

    So why should we still believe the gods are responsible for our morality?

  655. #656 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    errr… present company excepted, of course. :-p

  656. #657 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 30, 2009

    No objective moral standard

    Define your term, or it is just a meaningless phrase we can avoid.

  657. #658 AnthonyK
    March 30, 2009

    You have faith that there’s a Holy Spirit, and it inspires the Church and the Bible, but where did you originally get the idea of the Holy Spirit from?

    From the source.

    I really think, Tim, that you should lay off the source..

  658. #659 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    The human species has been around for ~150,000 years. If you include our recent big-brained tribal tool-making ancestors, you have around ~3,000,000 years or so. During that time our ancestors were tribal and had to work in groups. Yet organised religion is but 6,000 years old and the Judeo-Christian myth is at most 3,000 years. For less than one percent of our tribal history, we’ve had religion as the source of morality. Yet for that other 99% we were able to survive just fine without it.

    So just what do we need God for in terms of explaining morality?

  659. #660 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 30, 2009

    Rather than trying to answer Tim, we should make him defend his ideas. Put the burden of proof where it belongs. After all, he is the one trying to convince us of some cockamamie idea. If he can’t sell it, it is worthless.

  660. #661 Sastra
    March 30, 2009

    JSM #652 wrote:

    Here’s one good story: “rights” are actually a convenient shorthand for duties (or the converse of duties, if you want to be specific).

    Yes; in which case, rights and duties make sense only in a system of equals. If we have a duty to obey God, and God thus has a right to be obeyed — then what is God’s duty to us? Do we have the right to be treated fairly by God?

    If the theist says no — all the obligations are on one side — then they can make no sense of talk about ‘rights’ and ‘duties’ in a system of mutual agreement. All they’ve got is commands which must be obeyed or punished.

    Robert Grant wrote about this way of looking at human rights in his book American Ethics and the Virtuous Citizen. Excellent book, I thought.

  661. #662 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2009

    I really think, Tim, that you should lay off the source..

    nice

  662. #663 Tim
    March 30, 2009

    And there he was saying it was only the right people in the Catholic Church.

    No, I was just referring to the existence of a Creator.

    For the first time, I agree with you. But the reason I do agree will not make you happy. There is no dilemma for non existing creatures.

    I have to admit, you had my hopes up there for a second.

    Thanks for your well written responses.
    I’d like to thank you all for your time and for putting up with me, I appreciate it. I didn’t expect to, but I got a glimpse of where you all are coming from, now I gotta get back to business. It’s been a very interesting conversation(for me, anyway). I never considered myself to be a troll but if the shoe fits………

    May nothing? be with you. (dat don’t seem right)??,
    Tim

  663. #664 Kel
    March 30, 2009

    May nothing? the force be with you.

    fixed

  664. #665 JSM
    March 30, 2009

    Thanks for the book recommendation Sastra, I’ll take a look.

    I’m really not so sure about this though:

    Rights and duties make sense only in a system of equals.

    I may have a right not be enslaved and you may have a duty not to enslave me even if I happen to be your slave and you don’t believe there’s anything going wrong. How is it possible that there exist unrecognized duties/rights? Well, it actually stands to reason. Being a realist about rights and duties, I said earlier that things run more smoothly if we recognize the actual duties that hold in a given situation. Things run less smoothly if we get our hypotheses wrong. So if you use me as a slave, you can expect me (or my kids) to one day hang you (or your kids) from the nearest lampposts…

    Rights don’t exactly come from the barrel of a gun (to paraphrase Mao) but something like that. Rights/duties are both, underneath it all, a sort of shorthand for the balancing of power relations. We do best when we recognize how those actually play out. We do optimally, it seems, when we treat all members of our society as political equals (for Hobbsian reasons), guarantee social mobility, and let everyone get on with the pursuit of happiness…

    [aside:]….so, still no sky-daddy…. Just Hobbes, biology, and some game theory…. See what a big complex world it is Tim?

  665. #666 Anri
    March 30, 2009

    Greetings!

    I have no problem being an atheist and holding that rights came to me by my creator.

    I know who my creator is. Or rather, are, both of them. I call them on their (and sometimes my) birthdays and other holidays.

    Is Tim confused about where babies come from…?

  666. #667 Azkyroth
    March 31, 2009

    It is NOT my opinion that I live under a system of law that has at it’s very source the existence of a Creator, it is indisputable FACT, pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and read it any time you like.

    This is the framers’ subjective opinion.

  667. #668 Stephen Wells
    March 31, 2009

    Leaving aside the point that the USA is not the universe, has Tim not noticed that the Declaration of Independence has no legal standing anywhere? The rights of US citizens are guaranteed by your constitution which doesn’t have any gods in it.

    Somebody show him the Treaty of Tripoli already.

  668. #669 Badger3k
    April 1, 2009

    Damn, I have to figure some way to come back and read these more often, but my job gets in the way. I did have a comment from around 359, about where I have to stop now to get some sleep, but I never, ever understood the “intercessory” prayer. First off, this god supposedly knows everything, so he already knows what you will pray for, and somehow he can’t hear you, or act favorably towards you, without the extra prayer of this saint of young woman, I mean, virgin “mother” of this bizarre oedipus thing (seriously, if this triune god is one, how sick is it to be born from the woman you just had relations with? And we thought the whole adam/eve/incest bit was bad.). If this god knows everything, he knows whether he will give help or not, so why is this extra step even necessary?

    It does go back to the traditional pagan/polytheism. People were used to praying to multiple gods and such for everything, and Christians had to absorb that. They couldn’t get rid of it, so they made the old gods into saints. There is evidence that some saints never existed but developed out of older gods (IIRC, some of the irish/celtic ones, but it’s been a while). Even as our knowledge goes, and our technology develops, we get new saints to handle these things – when I found out there was a saint of television, some woman who hear music – on her deathbed – seriously, how lame is that?- I nearly choked. (editorial comment, sorry for the disjointed and hideous sentence structure, I’m writing train-of-thought style for this bit). I wonder if we have a Saint of Internet, or E-Mail, or Computer Viruses, but really have been too unconcerned to find out, but I’ll bet we see it.

    We can only wait for the Saint of Pedophile Priests.

    Lastly, Job – I find Ehrman’s (and others) account of the book as an early attempt at the Problem of Evil to be pretty consistent with what we know and what we read in it. It does sound like two tales put together, and I have to say I find most attempts to explain it away as fairly pathetic.

    I also have to agree with Stephen that the Declaration is not a legal document, nor the bass of our laws and country. He should read the Constitution for a change. And probably his bible as well, and many books on historical research into the bible, and higher criticism….and an English book that might help him with his Capitalization Problem. Tim, maybe you could use more exclamation points next time.

  669. #670 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    I never, ever understood the “intercessory” prayer.

    Intercessory prayer is simply asking one’s brother or sister to pray for them, whether on Earth or in Heaven. It has to do with family, the communion of Saints, without union there can be no communion. It has nothing to do with polytheism.
    We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and of all that is seen and unseen.

    I have to say I find most attempts to explain it away as fairly pathetic.

    Because you make it too complicated

    I also have to agree with Stephen that the Declaration is not a legal document, nor the bass of our laws and country.

    Without first declaring independence, there would be no constitution, therefore it is the basis for our system of law.

    IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    I find that you guys can never get to the heart of matters, which is understandable. No source, no destination, little hope. I found the same thing in reading Mr. Dawkin’s book.

    Anyway, something to chew on:

    http://www2.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/gc.htm

  670. #671 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Tim still proving nothing. We know better, so if you quit being stupid we might be able to have a disucssion. Start with the physical evidence for your imagainary god. Otherwise, god is only a delusion existing between your ears. No god, and the bible and church dogma are fiction.

  671. #672 AdamK
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, you might also want to study up on Jefferson and his theology before you continue foolishly assuming that you understand what he meant when he wrote of “Nature and Nature’s God” and “Creator.” (He was a politician who knew very well how to craft a noncommittal phrase.)

    Hint: he was not talking about anything even vaguely resembling Jahweh or your Wholly Threeway.

  672. #673 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, you might also want to study up on Jefferson and his theology before you continue foolishly assuming that you understand what he meant when he wrote of “Nature and Nature’s God” and “Creator.” (He was a politician who knew very well how to craft a noncommittal phrase.)

    Oh, you mean it’s not to be taken literally?

  673. #674 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, you might also want to study up on Jefferson and his theology before you continue foolishly assuming that you understand what he meant when he wrote of “Nature and Nature’s God” and “Creator.” (He was a politician who knew very well how to craft a noncommittal phrase.)

    I’ll rephrase that.

    Some parts of the Declaration of Independence are not to be taken literally and other part are?

  674. #675 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    April 1, 2009

    Thomas Jefferson edited out all of the supernatural elements from his bible. Yes, he took a razor and cut them out of his book.

  675. #676 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, the DoI is rheotoric, and not to be taken literally by idiots like you. This is not a “christian nation”. Period. End of story. Trying to prove this is a futile waste of your time, and we will immediately be able to refute all attempts due to the amount of attempts we have refuted. Keep in mind you are only the latest in a very long string of people trying to say that. The “christian nation” side has yet to score.

  676. #677 Sastra
    April 1, 2009

    Tim #670 wrote:

    I find that you guys can never get to the heart of matters, which is understandable. No source, no destination, little hope.

    Actually, we are the one who get to the heart of matters, because we ask deeper questions.

    You claim that God gave a rule. Why did God give this rule? Why not another one? Is it a good one? What makes it good? Will following it lead to good results? If following it leads to bad results, must it comes from something other than God? God gave “rights” — what are they? Describe them. And so forth, and so on…

    Invoking God as an unquestionable “source” is a child’s answer, and a shallow short cut to avoiding the real work of justification. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take the long way around anyway, and establish the very same kinds of rules, rights, and precepts from the bottom, that you are claiming were handed down from the top.

    If God’s moral laws are reasonable and make sense, then they can be justified through reason, and will make sense to reasonable people. In other words, they will stand on their own, grounded not just in the fact that “God said them” or “it’s God’s Nature to Instate Them,” but in the fact that they work in this world, and can be shown to work in this world.

    When the morals make no sense, that’s when you need God as their source. People outside the religion would never come up with them. An authority is required to force something on the unwilling. And then someone else will come along and say “Hey, God wouldn’t say that, or want us to do that — because it makes no sense…”

  677. #678 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, you might also want to study up on Jefferson and his theology before you continue foolishly assuming that you understand what he meant when he wrote of “Nature and Nature’s God” and “Creator.” (He was a politician who knew very well how to craft a noncommittal phrase.)

    You mean that it was the intent of the author to speak figuratively? In order to covey some truth? Or did he just flat out lie?

  678. #679 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Tim, the only liar here is you. Quit lying to yourself, so you can quit lying to us.

  679. #680 Sastra
    April 1, 2009

    One can easily consider the phrase “Nature’s God” to be similar to the phrase “Mother Nature” — and absolutely nothing is lost from the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. If someone says to you that Mother Nature has been in a bad mood this winter, you don’t feel obligated to take it literally. It’s obvious metaphor. Nobody would argue that, if you don’t really, truly believe in Mother Nature, then you have no right to talk about the weather.

    It’s surprising how easy it is to substitute the words “Mother Nature” for “Nature’s God.” They can be taken in the same spirit; they’re neither one of them spirits.

  680. #681 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    Actually, we are the one who get to the heart of matters, because we ask deeper questions.

    But there’s a limit to that depth.

    Who really asks the deeper questions?

  681. #682 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Who really asks the deeper questions?

    Not you Tim, your questions are very shallow, along with the answers.

  682. #683 Sastra
    April 1, 2009

    Tim #681 wrote:

    Who really asks the deeper questions?

    Why?
    God says.
    Why would God say?

    The second question takes more thought.

  683. #684 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 1, 2009

    Without first declaring independence, there would be no constitution, therefore it is the basis for our system of law.

    That’s some shitty logic right there.

    I don’t disagree that the DoI is important as part of the framework of our Constitution, but it is just a part of all that occurred during the Constitutional Convention that led to the actual document. Saying because it came before makes it the basis of our Constitution is historically myopic and ignores the much broader field of ideas that led to the Constitution and all the law contained therein.

  684. #685 Tim
    April 1, 2009

    Why would God say?

    What, do you think only atheists ask this question?

    Like I said, your depth has a limit.

  685. #686 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2009

    Like I said, your depth has a limit.

    No Tim, all godbots like yourself are shallow. We know that due to experience. Your imaginary god is simply not needed by us, since we asked the hard, deep questions and got the hard, deep answers earlier. Pretending you ask better questions than we do just shows your own ignorance.

  686. #687 CJO
    April 1, 2009

    What, do you think only atheists ask this question?

    No, but theists rule certain answers out of bounds, including, crucially, the correct one.

    If you’re not seriously considering all possible answers, you’re only pretending to ask the question.

  687. #688 Kel
    April 1, 2009

    Who really asks the deeper questions?

    (An atheist) what is the answer to it? Life, the universe, and everything?

    (a theist)”Goddidit”

  688. #689 Sastra
    April 1, 2009

    Tim #685 wrote:

    “Why would God say?”
    What, do you think only atheists ask this question?
    Like I said, your depth has a limit.

    No, I think both groups can ask this question. But it’s by far the deeper question, and it gets to the heart of what is good and evil, or right and wrong, when people deal with each other, and the world around them.

    If someone simply stops cold at “God said,” then they’ve gone nowhere at all in either exploring meaning, or explaining ethics. It’s a simplistic, shallow, empty answer without any reasoning behind it. But when you start to reason through the question of why God would think the way it does, you’re discovering the source behind God’s morality.

    God’s a middle man, at best.

  689. #690 Anri
    April 2, 2009

    Greetings!

    If this thread isn’t utterly dead, I wanted to ask a question of Tim.

    Earlier on, there seemed to be a very large fuss made over the difference between an Objective and Subjective idea. Tim asked repeatedly if something was ‘an objective moral standard’. I’m not certain what the criteria for this are, or how one would demonstrate such a thing.

    And chance you could let me know how that works, Tim?

    Thanks in advance.

  690. #691 Tim
    April 2, 2009

    When the morals make no sense, that’s when you need God as their source. People outside the religion would never come up with them.

    So then we ourselves become the arbitrators of morality.
    Because what is moral makes no sense to us, we then decide for ourselves what is moral. Is it possible that something can be moral and make sense to one person, but not make sense to another at a given point in time?

    An authority is required to force something on the unwilling

    It is because of the unwilling that an authority is required.
    If soldiers were left to their own willingness to train for combat, we wouldn’t have much of a military, in fact, we wouldn’t (those of us who live in the U.S.) have the rights that we spoke of earlier, that were fought for. Are you willing to go to work everyday for free? Do you happily pay your taxes because you want to? Are you the authority over your children? If you commit a crime aren’t you sought after by an authority, or do you just willingly tote yourself off to jail? And, in fact, isn’t it an authority that makes and enforces the law that was broken? Ahh, but shouldn’t that authority, in reality, be there to serve you?
    Just because I disagree with the authority, it doesn’t mean I’m right, and just because the moral doesn’t make sense to me, it doesn’t make me the authority. That’s why the authority is the authority. Without it every one is their own authority, and morality means nothing. Ultimately there is one Authority. In an attempt at Divine terms; the always was and always will be are one in the same. In man’s terms; the beginning and the end are one in the same.

    Would you say that it’s virtuous to recognize one’s own inadequacy? Even to cherish it?

  691. #692 Tim
    April 2, 2009

    Greetings!

    If this thread isn’t utterly dead, I wanted to ask a question of Tim.

    Earlier on, there seemed to be a very large fuss made over the difference between an Objective and Subjective idea. Tim asked repeatedly if something was ‘an objective moral standard’. I’m not certain what the criteria for this are, or how one would demonstrate such a thing.

    And chance you could let me know how that works, Tim?

    Thanks in advance.

    I’ll get back to ya later, Thanks.

  692. #693 Tim
    April 2, 2009

    An authority is required to force something on the unwilling

    It is because of the unwilling that an authority is required.
    If soldiers were left to their own willingness to train for combat, we wouldn’t have much of a military, in fact, we wouldn’t (those of us who live in the U.S.) have the rights that we spoke of earlier, that were fought for. Are you willing to go to work everyday for free? Do you happily pay your taxes because you want to? Are you the authority over your children? If you commit a crime aren’t you sought after by an authority, or do you just willingly tote yourself off to jail? And, in fact, isn’t it an authority that makes and enforces the law that was broken? Ahh, but shouldn’t that authority, in reality, be there to serve you?
    Forgot the quote:

    An authority is required to force something on the unwilling.

    Just because I disagree with the authority, it doesn’t mean I’m right, and just because the moral doesn’t make sense to me, it doesn’t make me the authority. That’s why the authority is the authority. Without it every one is their own authority, and morality means nothing. Ultimately there is one Authority. In an attempt at Divine terms; the always was and always will be are one in the same. In man’s terms; the beginning and the end are one in the same.

    Would you say that it’s virtuous to recognize one’s own inadequacy? Even to cherish it?

  693. #694 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2009

    Ultimately there is one Authority.

    Wrong again Tim. Your god exists only between your ears. The ultimate authority is everybody’s conscious. You try to give that authority to god, but since he only exists between your ears, it is you.

  694. #695 MAJeff, OM
    April 2, 2009

    Ultimately there is one Authority

    Some may say it’s The Joy of Cooking, but the only true authority is Julia Child’s The Way to Cook

  695. #696 Tim
    April 2, 2009

    Greetings!

    If this thread isn’t utterly dead, I wanted to ask a question of Tim.

    Earlier on, there seemed to be a very large fuss made over the difference between an Objective and Subjective idea. Tim asked repeatedly if something was ‘an objective moral standard’. I’m not certain what the criteria for this are, or how one would demonstrate such a thing.

    And chance you could let me know how that works, Tim?

    Thanks in advance.

    I was getting at the idea that we as human beings have value. It’s been said here that the Golden Rule is virtuous and that we should treat others the way that we would desire to treated. The origin of the Golden rule, in man, is the question.

    Morality, according to what I’ve heard here, is dependent on others, we can see morality through the behavior of animals, morality is a social concept, etc? We know that nobody says it?s wrong for animals to kill each other, why is it wrong for human beings to kill each other? If morality is dependent on the things listed above (and perhaps others), then that will always leave an opening for someone or some group at some point in time to say that my life or your life doesn?t have value, or is insufficient in value. That?s exactly what has happened so many times and was, in most cases, deemed to be immoral. Since the Golden rule remains depite man?s obvious defiance, it stands to reason that there?s something about that Golden Rule that?s superior to man?s ability to follow it. Man breaks it, yet it still remains, but if man developed the Golden rule, then it should change accordingly with man?s development. An absolute law (or rule), on the other hand, should not and could not. With the idea of moral relativism, morality is ultimately, and can only be, dependent on conflicting and changing subjective opinions. That?s chaotic and no order can be rendered because the means by which to render order are conflicting and changing.
    So??? I try to follow the Golden rule because you have value, if you didn?t have value there would be no reason. We take care of things because they have value. So why does a human being have value? I say that a human being has value if, and only if, he is loved by God. What would your reason be?

    I suppose that the criteria for an objective moral standard would be something that exists, which is free of personal bias and opinion and is the absolute standard of right and wrong?

  696. #697 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 2, 2009

    absolute standard of right and wrong?

    Wrong again Tim. Boy, are you on a roll of wrongness. Doesn’t say much for your mental capabilities. There is no absolute standard without your imaginary god and fictitious bible. Since they are delusions on your part they don’t count. All morality is relative and has been over since proto-hominids climbed down from the trees and became bipedal a few million year ago. Deal with it.

  697. #698 Anri
    April 3, 2009

    Greetings!

    I just wanted to address a few statements made here..

    “It is because of the unwilling that an authority is required.
    If soldiers were left to their own willingness to train for combat, we wouldn’t have much of a military, in fact, we wouldn’t (those of us who live in the U.S.) have the rights that we spoke of earlier, that were fought for.”

    The US has an all-volunteer military. Everyone there willingly agreed to be there. This is widely seen in the modern world as a good thing.

    “Are you willing to go to work everyday for free?”

    I’m not, but many people are, such as charitable workers and, it could be argued, full-time hobbyists.

    “Do you happily pay your taxes because you want to?”

    No, I happily pay my taxes because I realize that they are, to some extent, required for a functioning society.

    “Are you the authority over your children?”

    Well, I don’t have any kids, and don’t plan to, but if I did, I would like to think that they would become their own authority figures when they became adults and didn’t need Mommy & Daddy anymore.

    “If you commit a crime aren’t you sought after by an authority, or do you just willingly tote yourself off to jail?”

    Many people do. They turn themselves in and confess.

    “And, in fact, isn’t it an authority that makes and enforces the law that was broken?”

    Yes, one that, at least in theory, derives its right to govern from the consent of the governed.

    “Ahh, but shouldn’t that authority, in reality, be there to serve you?”

    Yes, it should. And to a suprising extent, it does. And, not suprisingly, the more that a temporal authroity is concerned about, and works towards, serving actual people, rather than holding to some supposedly unchanging moral code, the better in general it does. A brief overview of the relative living conditions in theistic or non-theistic dictatorships versus secular or theistic democracies should show that.

    I believe dictatorships are not good. I believe authroity figures derive their power from the people they have authority over. Does your ‘ultimate authority’ serve you, or are you supposed to serve it?

    (And I’m typing this quickly and without the benefit of spellcheck, so my apologies in advance.)

  698. #699 Tim
    April 3, 2009

    My point was that authority is a necessary reality.

    Does your ‘ultimate authority’ serve you, or are you supposed to serve it?

    One serves a loving father by loving the father. A loving father serves a son or daughter by loving them. True authentic love is what is required.

  699. #700 Sastra
    April 3, 2009

    Tim #696 wrote:

    Since the Golden rule remains depite man?s obvious defiance, it stands to reason that there?s something about that Golden Rule that?s superior to man?s ability to follow it.

    The Golden Rule is more or less an objective statement of fact regarding what it means to be fair inside any particular group. “If you wish to be fair, then you will treat others as you would want to be treated.” To universalize this, you universalize the group.

    People who don’t want to be fair, can always decide to not be fair. That pretty much holds with or without God. People who reject the ideal of being fair would also reject God, wouldn’t they? Adding God into our condemnation of that person adds nothing but an additional condemnation which isn’t really needed.

    We take care of things because they have value. So why does a human being have value? I say that a human being has value if, and only if, he is loved by God. What would your reason be?

    Two problems with your standard. First, it allows virtually anyone to reject the worth of anyone else, simply by claiming that “God does not love them.” How would you — or anyone — prove that wrong, if they claim to have God’s word on that? You’re left with competing faiths.

    Nothing is more subjective than whatever supernatural beliefs people ‘choose’ to have faith in. Throwing morality to faith isn’t going to ground it in an objective place everyone can see and agree with. We have better luck with grounding things in the world we can all see, rather than a God which everyone sees differently.

    The second problem is that it doesn’t explain why God has value. God loves someone. So what? Why should we care about God? What gives God value?

    When you answer that question, then you’ve answered my question about why human beings have value. God only has value to us, if it embodies those things we already love — in each other.

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