Richard Dawkins On The Haitian Disaster: "Pat Robertson is the true Christian here"

I was thinking of doing my own post on this topic. I have heard Christians say Pat Robertson is a moron for suggesting the Haitian disaster was a divine judgment for too long now. No, they are the morons. Pat Robertson represents Christian tradition, not them, as Dawkins said in a Washington Post column:
Haiti and the hypocrisy of Christian theology By Richard Dawkins

We know what caused the catastrophe in Haiti. It was the bumping and grinding of the Caribbean Plate rubbing up against the North American Plate: a force of nature, sin-free and indifferent to sin, un-premeditated, unmotivated, supremely unconcerned with human affairs or human misery.

The religious mind, however, restlessly seeks human meaning in the blind happenings of nature. As with the Indonesian tsunami, which was blamed on loose sexual morals in tourist bars; as with Hurricane Katrina, which was attributed to divine revenge on the entire city of New Orleans for harboring a lesbian comedian, and as with other disasters going back to the famous Lisbon earthquake and beyond, so Haiti's tragedy must be payback for human sin. The Rev. Pat Robertson sees the hand of God in the earthquake, wreaking terrible retribution for a pact that the long-dead ancestors of today's Haitians made with the devil, to help rid them of their French masters.

Needless to say, milder-mannered faith-heads are falling over themselves to disown Pat Robertson, just as they disowned those other pastors, evangelists, missionaries and mullahs at the time of the earlier disasters.

What hypocrisy.

Loathsome as Robertson's views undoubtedly are, he is the Christian who stands squarely in the Christian tradition. The agonized theodiceans who see suffering as an intractable 'mystery', or who 'see God' in the help, money and goodwill that is now flooding into Haiti , or (most nauseating of all) who claim to see God 'suffering on the cross' in the ruins of Port-au-Prince, those faux-anguished hypocrites are denying the centrepiece of their own theology. It is the obnoxious Pat Robertson who is the true Christian here.

Where was God in Noah's flood? He was systematically drowning the entire world, animal as well as human, as punishment for 'sin'. Where was God when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed with fire and brimstone? He was deliberately barbecuing the citizenry, lock stock and barrel, as punishment for 'sin'. Dear modern, enlightened, theologically sophisticated Christian, your entire religion is founded on an obsession with 'sin', with punishment and with atonement. Where do you find the effrontery to condemn Pat Robertson, you who have signed up to the obnoxious doctrine that the central purpose of Jesus' incarnation was to have himself tortured as a scapegoat for the 'sins' of all mankind, past, present and future, beginning with the 'sin' of Adam, who (as any modern theologian well knows) never even existed? To quote the President of one theological seminary, writing in these very pages:

"The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that creation groans under the weight of sin and the judgment of God. This is true for every cell in our bodies, even as it is for the crust of the earth at every point on the globe."

You nice, middle-of-the-road theologians and clergymen, be-frocked and bleating in your pulpits, you disclaim Pat Robertson's suggestion that the Haitians are paying for a pact with the devil. But you worship a god-man who - as you tell your congregations even if you don't believe it yourself - 'cast out devils'. You even believe (or you don't disabuse your flock when they believe) that Jesus cured a madman by causing the 'devils' in him to fly into a herd of pigs and stampede them over a cliff. Charming story, well calculated to uplift and inspire the Sunday School and the Infant Bible Class. Pat Robertson may spout evil nonsense, but he is a mere amateur at that game. Just read your own Bible. Pat Robertson is true to it. But you?

Educated apologist, how dare you weep Christian tears, when your entire theology is one long celebration of suffering: suffering as payback for 'sin' - or suffering as 'atonement' for it? You may weep for Haiti where Pat Robertson does not, but at least, in his hick, sub-Palinesque ignorance, he holds up an honest mirror to the ugliness of Christian theology. You are nothing but a whited sepulchre.

Link.
Listen Christian, ever exegete Isaiah 45:7 (NIV):
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Does your God do this or is Isaiah mistaken?

238 comments:

Cole said...

I don't know who the true Christian is here but it's certainly terrifying to think of this as Divine Judgment. I can't imagine something like this going on for an eternity. It drives me crazy thinking about something like this going on forever non-stop while people worship God.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't thought about it the way Dawkins put it.

But he has a point.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Jesus once addressed a crowd who were pondering what the sins were committed by the victims of a tower collapse and of some who had their blood mixed for sacrificial rites.

Jesus advised the crowd that they too would perish if they perceived that these peoples' suffering was the result of God punishing them for their sins.

When disasters strike by faith, we can look to ourselves and ask how we are best prepared to respond with heartfelt and faithful compassion. With Jesus and His grace, there is no need to ponder, "What wrongs did these ppl do to deserve this?".

3M

Cole said...

Hi MMM,

What scripture is that? I remember the story but I can't remember the scripture. I wanted to look it up and read it.

Anthony said...

Dawkins hits it right on the money. The answer to the suffering, early on in the Bible is all about punishment for sin. This is precisely what the flood was about, what the destruction fo Sodom and Gemorrah was all about, and what the Babylonian captivity was all about.

In Jesus' time, suffering was thought to be result of demons and evil spirits, hence Jesus is seen casting out demons all the time. The Bible has no answers to why we suffer. Just the musings of ancient men, who had very limited understandings of how the world works, and certainly no knowledge of plate tectonics.

Why won't theists just admit, the problem of evil and suffering is a roadblock to belief? They can certainly continue to believe in God all they want, but don't patronize the rest of us with your pat responses, and color us as being immoral for being emotionally affected to the point where, if we were to place agency behind these tragedies, we would be justifiably righteously indignant and angry.

Just admit that these are clearly reasons to not believe in God, and something that theists can't seriously refute. If there is a God and he asked me why I didn't believe, I will unashamedly tell him it was because of suffering. How can he expect me to believe?

Theists: just because you have answers, doesn't mean they are good answers.

Cole said...

I think it's the scripture in Luke 13:3-5 that says:

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.

The passage seems to clearly be teaching that it was God's judgement. He's telling them that if they don't repent God's judgement will fall on them just like it did the other people.

Cole said...

My last comment was to MMM.

Beautiful Feet said...

Hi Cole -- I agree, they need to repent, but what from? From viewing God in this manner - a harsh, judgemental and punishing diety. That is what they need to repent from -- their perspective of God and also sitting around gossiping about ppl who are suffering and instead, respond with faith.

This is also consistent with the scripture of the ten minas and the one servant who viewed God as cruel and harsh -- that servant was allowed to live out his perspective separately from God.

3M

Cole said...

Beautiful Feet,

Where does the text say that? It says they needed to repent from their sins right?

Cole said...

Can you exegete the text for me? I was told by R.C. Sproul that it was refering to God's judgment.

Cole said...

MMM,

The Bible teaches that Jesus has wrath:

"Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" -

Revelation 6:16-17

stamati anagnostou said...

Cole,

Your way of reading the scripture is correct. Jesus says, in short, "See those people over there? Do you think you're special? Do you want to die like them? No? Then repent of your sins."

It is a threat, plainly.

Brad Haggard said...

The problem here is that Dawkins really thinks Robertson represents historic Christianity. I get the feeling that either he is playing it up for the sake of rhetoric, or he really has that little knowledge of the history of evangelicalism.

It surprises me how Dawkins is so intent on absolutizing everyone.

Anthony said...

Dawkins doesn't give a hoot about historical Christianity. He simply points to the Bible, and if we are to be honest here, most of the Old Testament makes it very clear that disasters on this earth are punishment for sin, and even though the NT is a little more ambiguous about suffering on this earth, Jesus is quite clear that people will be punished in hell for their sin, so why do you Christians lambast Pat Robertson so, when he is only being honest to the "word of God"?

Just looking for a little consistency here...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Cole said, "Can you exegete the text for me? I was told by R.C. Sproul that it was refering to God's judgment."

Repentence consists of detoxing from condemnation and the subsequent perspective that corrupts the image of God - I believe when it sprouts within a religious community it is called the 'seed of the Pharisees' aka 'the sons of hell'.

Cole said...

Hi MMM,

Where in the passage does it say they needed to repent because they viewed God as being a judgmental Deity?

Revelation tells us that Jesus will one day pour out His wrath on Judgement Day.

Good talking to you!

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony, there is a problem with Dawkins "pointing to the Bible" (can you not hear the fundy overtones in that statement?)

He isn't a Bible interpreter. Do you know of a commentary by him on an OT book? How could he possibly look down on "wishy-washy" preachers and theologians when he doesn't have any experience in the field? He really sounds like someone from AIG trying to talk down to a molecular biologist. Theology is not just "reading the Bible", no matter how much Dawkins wants to proof-text. It is done by interpreting the text canonically in conversation with reason, the Church, and experience. Dawkins can only claim that Robertson is a "true Christian" because he is about on the same level of engagement as ol' Pat.

BTW, what is the clear message from Psalms, Job, Ecclesiates, Isaiah, and Jonah about suffering?

Anthony said...

That's great that you compare the difficulties of reading the Bible with that of molecular biology. If I want to know something about molecular biology, generally every single molecular biologist will give me the same answer. Yet, I can find tens of thousands of interpretations of your Scriptures, so obviously there is no "right" way to interpret the Bible. False analogy. There is a clear answer in molecular biology. The Scripture, on the other hand, provides no answer.

Also, I didn't know you had to have the entire Bible memorized, before you can start extracting wisdom from it, since you don't want to actually take the Bible at what it says, because most of the time, what is says is complete nonsense.

And, having been a Christian for many years, I've yet to hear anyone refute his claim about the stories he brought up as being anything other than stories about God punishing sin. Dawkins was dead on with those interpretations, and he is right, whether you want to admit it or not. The Bible is preoccuppied with the punishment of sin, whether it be through natural disasters, illnesses, mass genocides, world floods or damnation.

More often that not, the Psalms are asking teh same questions we are, and not often, giving an answer. Jonah seems to imply very strongly that God was going to destory Nineveh if they did not repent, but he spared them because they repented, so I don't know what your point about that one is. Job ends up becoming a book of intimidation, in that God tells us that we shouldn't even think about these things, because, you know, he created the world and all, which for an all powerful deity...not that impressive. (We also now see that God punishes people for their sin, and also punishes them for their righteousness; can't win with your God. Punishment, punishment, punishment) Isaiah continually chastises Jews that their unfaithfulness is being punished by God. And the writer of Ecclesiastes bitches about God and life more than anyone I've ever met.

Again, I think Dawkins was right on with those stories being punishments from God for sin. I mean, Abraham is found pleading with God that if he can just find a handful of righteous people in Sodom, maybe God will spare the city. If you can find another interpretation for this, other than God is destroying Sodom because of its sin, then I'll truly be convinced that you can make the Bible say whatever the hell you want.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Brad

He pointed to a moderate Christian and paraphrsed Romans which says the earth groans due to our sin. The only escape is to accept our culpability in killing an innocent man. That is the systematic theology of the church I attend which is pretty mainstream.

Samphire said...

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; BUT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.

So what was Jesus saying? That all those who died as a result of a breach of building regulations were dead or were both dead and in hell? Surely not the latter since the discussion was about physical death only and not eternal life. But, if the former, then Jesus was lying because many born between 30 AD and, say,1890 AD did repent of their sins but all, to a man, are now dead.

So, MMM, what was Jesus saying to the ppl?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Samphire -- You asked what Jesus was saying --- I'll reiterate -- He is saying not to sit around and judge ppl who have died in crisis conditions or who have endured pain and suffering-- He is inviting ppl to repent of their condemning attitudes towards one another. Jesus didn't come to condemn, but I believe it is self evident that ppl do.

Thx for the convo,
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Samphire, you wrote, "But, if the former, then Jesus was lying because many born between 30 AD and, say,1890 AD did repent of their sins but all, to a man, are now dead."

Jesus made reference to the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah saying it would be better for them than for the religious hypocrites that He was attempting to intervene upon. As far as I can tell, the biblical reference to residents of Sodom and Gomorrah were of nonrepentant ppl, yet there is going to be grace for them - also for Jezebel, another OT criminal. Also, even the religious hypocrites have God's forgiveness so there really is no justification to get involved in mistreating one another.

Take care,
3M

Cole said...

MMM,

The Bible clearly says that God is going to condemn people:

2 Peter 2:5-9

If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

"Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" -

Revelation 6:16-17


Would you agree that the Bible teaches that God is going to judge and condemn the ungodly.

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony,

When you say that there are "tens of thousands" of interpretations that isn't really true. Among commentators there is wide agreement. You can find just about anyone who will say anything, but among the people who actually study it there is a very strong consensus. Tell me, what is the consensus in molecular biology on abiogenesis?

And the other phrase that gets me from your post is "take the Bible at what it says." This is a classic fundy line. The biblical authors weren't addressing us. The fundamentalist mistake is to not just take metaphorical language literally, but also to transport the setting of the documents to our modern context. The fact that Dawkins proclaims that the OT is the screed of "desert nomads" shows his ignorance of the actual study of the texts.

I guess I wouldn't want to say that you have to memorize the whole thing, but before you can make a sweeping pronouncement I think it would be a good idea to at least read it through once or twice to get a feel for the whole. And then to make sure you aren't off in left field, interact some with some commentaries. New Atheists and Fundamentalists both bristle at this suggestion.

Chuck, I'm not sure I follow. Does Robertson represent moderate Christian theology? I don't even think he represents moderate politics, but I might be missing something. Just because he has some popular support does not mean he speaks for mainstream Christian academia.

Cole said...

MMM,

The Bible also says that the governing authorities are there to take out God's wrath on the evil doer.

Romans 13:1-7

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.


This was written at the time the Romans crucified people. Clearly this is cruel and unusual punishment.

Anthony said...

Brad,

Was Dawkins wrong that these stories (Noah's flood and Sodom and Gemorrah) teach that God is punishing people for their sin?

Is the Bible so replete with metaphor and allegorical phrases, that it actually means the exact opposite of what it says?

What is the formula for determining what is metaphor and what is literal?

For example, I hear a lot of Christians tell me that Genesis is one big metaphor, but there is an uninterrupted narrative from Adam, all the way up through the Babylonian captivity. Moreover, there are countless genealogies drawn from everyone (including Jesus, himself) back to Adam. 1 Chronicles starts its genealogy with Adam, and reveals that the author of that book surely though Genesis was actual history.

Why I ever took the Bible any more seriously than I take the Illiad, I'll never know.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Brad

my point is that Robertson's craziness failed in theology due to its specificity but in principle was true to Christianity. We live in a fallen world due to our sin nature and rebellion towards god. Christians mourning Haiti still hold humanity culpable due to our sin. That idea commands self-hatred and ennobles a deity that is randomly vengeful and violent. We therefore make good a god that abuses his creation for their lack of obedience. Pat got it right theologically if not historically.

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony, let me give you a little bit on why we can read Genesis as "bare facts" (this is just one piece of evidence):

Count up the generations in the genealogies in Genesis and you find that they are all 10 generations. Then when you learn that genealogies were used in the ANE to connect and categorize people, not as journalistic history, you start to appreciate the depth of the narrative.

(if you want to know more, I'd suggest reading up Nahum Sarna's commentary or his shorter "Understanding Genesis")

Brad Haggard said...

Chuck, this may be another point of disagreement between us (maybe its your reformed background?). But the canonical message of the Bible is one of redemption and love over against punishment. Punishment is there, but it is only a foil for the real power of God's redeeming love.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Brad I follow you but can only conclude a tyrranical force that uses horror to steal love. I don't see that as good.

Anthony said...

So again, the Bible doesn't mean what it says. Not even close! The genealogies in Chronicles (it is called Chronicles after all, as in chronicling history) couldn't be more clear about the fact that it was a legitimate, historical record of Jewish ancestory. What about Luke's genealogy? What about the fact that Paul speaks about Adam as an historical person?

What category of people are those linked to Adam in? Are these metaphoric people? Is David metaphoric? Samuel? Solomon? Joseph?

Also, has this view of Genesis been the majority view throughtout Christian history, before evolution was discovered? Was it the Jewish view before Christ came on the scene?

And again, was Dawkins wrong in his interpretation of those two stories?

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony,

The Bible doesn't mean what you thought it said. You simply can't read it as a newspaper, and you have to be open to ancient ways of saying things. Don't absolutize everything, either, because different authors wrote in different contexts with different purposes.

You can trace this thinking all the way back to Origen, in the 2nd Century A.D.

Another good one from a Christian perspective is "The Epic of Eden" by Richter, and Enns' "Inspiration and Incarnation". Don't forget about N.T. Wright's discussion of apocalyptic literature, either. I'm sorry I'm giving so many books, but it really does take some time to learn how ancient authors communicated, but otherwise, New Atheism is just going to be the errant child of 20th century Fundamentalism.

Chuck, I think our disagreement on that issue is a little deeper than one blog comment can solve, so I'll let it rest for now.

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony, BTW, no scholar thinks that Chronicles is unadorned history. It was written to the post-exilic community to validate their nationhood again. The fact that the northern kingdom isn't mentioned should be a clue to that. Plus, "Chronicles" isn't the literal translation of the Hebrew, which would be "the accounts of the days" (or however you want to translate dibrey, "words")

Anthony said...

So, to understand the OT in front of me, I have to have read several other extra-biblical books? I basically needs a masters of Divinity. If these are just ancient writings of people, with no divine inspiration, then, in a sense, I agree with you. We can't just read it like a newspaper. But if these are the very words of God, shouldn't they speak to the least of his children, without having to consult several different scholarly conclusions, garnered over centuries?

Is this the BEST way God could have gotten his message through the millenia? You can rationalize all you want, but all I see if a MAN MADE document, with zero divine inspiration.

And, again, was Dawkins right in his interpretations of those stories?

If you say he wasn't, then the Bible that I have in front of me, that I can read, does not mean what it says, even a little bit. How could that be the divine inspired words of God, if it be so self contradictory.

Brad Haggard said...

Anthony,

If you don't want to learn more about reading the Bible carefully, then I'm not sure where to go from here.

If God spoke directly to all of us in written revelation, then there would be no single text. Since the text is an object of study, we should do our best to understand it. You can complain that it isn't "how I would do it if I were God", but you can't get around the fact that the bible is an objective body of literature. If you don't like the fundamentaliteralist doctrine of inerrancy (which I don't, but which you are espousing), then read up on Barth or Pannenberg or Wright, or even Origen.

Can you think of another way that God could have given humanity an objective revelation?

Of course, the essentials of the Gospel message are clear and succinct, as they should be (and empowered by the Holy Spirit for understanding and faith, IMHO). But I think the Bible refuses to be contained by a literalistic reconstruction of "propositions."

I had almost forgotten about Dawkins' treatment, so I went back and read it and here's what I think,

The Noah story is more than a flood punishment. Dawkins doesn't seem to be aware of the various flood traditions in the ANE (Atrahasis, Utnapishtim) at the time. The Genesis account re-tells those myths with a decided anti-polytheistic polemic.

He is more on target with the Sodom and Gomorrah account, I think the idea of punishment is clearly there. But to apply it anachronistically to clergy's handling of the Haiti earthquake without taking into account even Genesis 12 or 15 is a misuse of the text. Dawkins doesn't even get close to addressing Job's characterization or the Prophets and especially not the NT.

It's not self-contradictory if you let it speak on its own terms.

Walter said...

Can you think of another way that God could have given humanity an objective revelation?

I can think of a few better ways than inspiring the writings of a superstitious desert tribe.

For starters "he" could simply appear today and speak with all people.

If Jesus really resurrected then why did he have to rush off to heaven? Why not stay on earth until the end of time as a living witness?

Brad Haggard said...

Walter,

I'm not sure what you're proposing is an objective revelation. At any rate, Barth would call what you described as the doctrine of the "Word of God." I wouldn't go that far, but, well, there you go.

I guess the short answer to your question is that He wanted us to do the work. We're not alone, as long as we listen to the Holy Spirit, but I guess you would still object that that still isn't a physical manifestation. It just seems like it's too intrusive for me to think of Jesus' ministry in those terms. The redemption is a more holistic renewal of everything, not just a political/ideological takeover. That was one of the disciples' chief confusions, of course. History would have stopped, it looks like, and there would be no more unfolding redemption.

And then, you could still be skeptical, if you doubted your own perceptions. And there are plenty of people who re-interpret previous religious encounters.

Russ said...

Brad Haggard,
You said,

Anthony, there is a problem with Dawkins "pointing to the Bible" (can you not hear the fundy overtones in that statement?)

There is no problem at all with Dawkins "pointing to the Bible."
You have identified yourself as a Biblical literalist several times here at Debunking Christianity, so don't be too hard on someone who is "pointing to the Bible." It's rather absurd that you would decry Dawkins' "pointing to the Bible" when thousands of other Christianities disagree with you on matters of eternal consequence all the while citing chapter and verse to justify it.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Bible from the standpoint of the Christianity industry is that anyone can extract from it whatever "meaning" they want it to have. You know this is true. If we consider Christian ideas in toto, there is no reason whatsoever to accept anything sect-specific. Picking and choosing from all things Christian, we can all be atheists, perfectly content that no wrathful god sits in judgement of anyone - not me, not you, not anyone we love, not anyone who has ever lived or ever will.

Do you claim to have greater insight to the Bible than Dawkins does? If so, why? Realize that for every conflict you have with Dawkins' approach, there are so-named Christians who take his side, not yours. Millions and millions of Christians accept the facts of evolution as the only valid explanation for the world's observed biodiversity, including the descent of man. They not only agree with Dawkins, over Biblical literalists like you, they respect him as an authority on evolutionary theory. Even concerning atheism some Christians agree with him and disagree with you.

If you do think you have greater insight to the Bible than Dawkins (and the great many Christians who agree with him), then I have to ask how you can make that claim given your exegetical perspective, that of Biblical literalism, and the observations that you actually reject most of the Bible in the conduct of your day-to-day life. Tell us how it is any worse for Dawkins to reject most of the Bible from an outsider's perspective, when you observably reject most of the Bible while you willingly accept the stamp of those saying every last word of the Bible is true exactly as written. From the standpoint of apologetics nothing in the Bible is true: every single word of every single version of the Bible has conflicting apologetics from Christians to explain it. From the standpoint of apologetics not one word in the Bible can be literally understood exactly as written. Every word in the Bible requires mountains of apologetic explanation. If you are a sane, moral person, you are not a Biblical literalist.

Russ said...

Brad,
You've asked us not to call you "deluded and biased and naive, and stupid," and you've asked that we "not question my[your] education anymore." How, though, can we respect such wishes when to do so would be tantamount to accepting claims from you that are repudiated by others within Christianity itself? We don't need new arguments against your Christianity, other Christians supply them in abundance. You claim to have faith in some Christian notions, but you refuse to see that you have hand-picked the ingredients cooked up in your faith, and that if you want a different faith stew, you can just make your way to another Christian church where the different faith better suits your palate. And why should we not question your education when your education clearly does not provide you the means to know which Christian claims are true. No one else knows. Why should you? Your education won't give you the tools to discriminate amongst the myriad conflicting apologetics except through some presuppositional lens. You already have the lens, so the education won't advance your Christian understanding one iota. Your education will focus your lens more tightly making you even more impervious to outside perspectives. (Focus it real well and when you set up the next Westboro Baptist Church in your own fenced compound, we'll be saying, "Hey! I knew him when...") Your education promises you nothing more than the means to deflect criticisms from those who disagree with you, like those Christians who side with Dawkins instead of you their fellow religionist. Do you live under the naive, biased, and ultimately stupid delusion that you will somehow change the Christian world theologically given that the theological divisions in Christianity have evaded resolution throughout Christianity's entire history? Is that what you think your education will give you? If so, you're all you've asked us not to call you and more.


You said,

He isn't a Bible interpreter. Do you know of a commentary by him on an OT book?

Dawkins is every bit as good a Bible interpreter as anyone who can make sense of a sentence. Perhaps I should ask you: Do you know of any commentary on an OT book written by a professional Christian interpreter, medium, soothsayer, prophet, clarvoyant, psychic, channeler or theologian which finds consensus among everyone labeled Christian? Think...think...think. Um, actually, no. There isn't one.

You said,

How could he possibly look down on "wishy-washy" preachers and theologians when he doesn't have any experience in the field?

No one needs experience in the field, Brad. There is no Christian Doctrine Clearinghouse. Any schmuck who wants be a preacher or, for that matter, a Christian theologian of their own one-off ilk, can just set up shop, hang out a shingle, and viola' yet another version of Christianity is born. It happens essentially every day. Remember Joseph Smith. Dawkins has every right to look down on them given that much of what they say is refuted by the natural world and conflict with each other. If there is no agreed upon pathways to salvation, morality, goodness, understanding, truth, or humanity among Christians themselves, no one should think anything Christian-specific is true. Realize that every single human being is hellbound by the deep insights of one or more Christianities. All who have every lived, including every last Christian, is doomed according to some Christianity. You always reject this, but it is observably true.

Russ said...

You said,

Theology is not just "reading the Bible", no matter how much Dawkins wants to proof-text. It is done by interpreting the text canonically in conversation with reason, the Church, and experience.

Shibbolethic Bullshit, Brad. Theology is nothing more than creative backpeddling and imaginative workarounds for a reality, common to us all by the way, which refuses to agree with religious stupidity. Theology is the ultimate in intellectual jury-rigging. If the Genesis account disagrees with reality, theology contents itself with throwing out reality or bludgeoning the semantics of the word "day" to mean "500 million years" or saying Genesis is metaphorical spiritual language. Theology will concoct whatever makeshift drivel it feels nullifies reality and appears to allow its pretexts to stand. Theology cannot be honest and admit it is wrong, all the while clamoring for science to do exactly that. The world is supposed to accept that theologies are never wrong. When one Christian theology contradicts another what do we observe? Neither admits an error, and each persists in proclaiming itself as truth. None of us are well-served by contradictions being hailed as truth.

You said,

Dawkins can only claim that Robertson is a "true Christian" because he is about on the same level of engagement as ol' Pat.

Using reality as a guide Dawkins can see that what comes out of Robertson's mouth closely aligns with the ideas put forth in the Bible. Dawkins calls it as anyone who is intellectually honest should.

Your statement here makes it clear that you hold as little respect for your fellow Christian Robertson as Dawkins does. But there's a difference in that Dawkins is honest enough to freely admit it, while you denigrate Robertson's Christian theology with sideways sniping. Robertson spews the same shibbolethic bullshit that you do, Brad, so please forgive us for not agreeing with either of you. We know how it goes with you religious types, Brad: you've got it right, and everyone else, including other Christians who disagree with you, have it wrong.

You, Brad Haggard, encapsulate the failings of faith and religious thought.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Some pretty saucy stuff here Russ. Forceful and hard hitting. I agree. At least educated Christians will acknowledge your main points about diversity among other Christians. I suspect Brad won't and this tells us something about him. I've maintained all along, first someone has to see the problem before he can offer an effective answer to it. Brad just doesn't see the problem as far as I can tell.

Brad Haggard said...

Russ, how are ya?

I'm going to number everything so it stays kind of organized.

1. You're going to have to show me the comments where I identified myself as a literalist, it's been my intent to argue against a pervasive literalism. If you can show me the comments, though, I'll gladly recant. Also, I'm not sure where I denied evolution. I'm actually pretty open to it, but I reserve some laymans problems (not theological issues). Once again, if you can show me where I waxed AIG, then I'll cover myself in sackcloth and ashes.

2. I guess I could claim greater insight than Dawkins in theological matters because I've studied it a little, just like he can claim a greater insight into biological matters. When I argue an interpretation on this site, I always try to back it up with evidence, like when I offered a differing interpretation to John's of Psalm 14:1.

What's also surprising about that, is that all of the commentaries I read, all from people more learned than I am, agreed with that interpretation, at least in the general sense of the passage. It is the inductive spirit, where the evidence of the text, a close reading of it, informs the interpretation.

It doesn't bother me that there are "10,000" other christianities. There are 10,000 atheisms in the same sense, but that doesn't have any bearing on dealing with all of the evidence. Besides, within those christianities I bet you could find wide agreement on Cappadocian Trinitarian Orthodoxy. I know I've met and worked with people from the "other" Christianities who are orthodox in that sense and we even call each other brothers.

Dawkins has vociferous critics in among atheists, too, like Michael Ruse. I guess anyone who thinks they know anything about science can put up a new blog and *poof* another atheism.

Brad Haggard said...

You knew I was going to need more space...

3. Discounting someone's education because of a "presuppositional lens" doesn't really do any good. All of John's education was confessional, remember? He still uses the information and methods learned in that education to argue for a different presupposition. That is his claim to fame, that he actually studied under WLC, right?

Really, in Christian academia confession takes a back seat to study and argument. I'm studying in a different school from my youth, and I'm reading authors from across the confessional spectrum. I don't think I need to "heal" theological divisions because most are regarding them as secondary anyways.

4. If there is no such thing as consensus among Christian interpreters (not true, BTW) then why does it matter what Dawkins says about a passage? I don't have to take his authority because there is no authority. I think this "consensus" argument eats itself.

There is broad consensus among biologists for the general evolutionary history of life, but there is disagreement about many particulars, which is constantly compounded by new discoveries. It would be disengenuous for me to argue that the general evolutionary history is false simply because scientists can't agree on every detail. I'll say it again, this notion of absolute knowledge is a modernistic myth that has been destroyed, especially by Polanyi.

5. I'm still amazed that skeptics don't recognize that an allegorical interpretation for Genesis was around in the 2nd century by Origen. Aquinas also saw the creation account as literary, look up his adornment interpretation. Just because it isn't popularly known in American evangelicalism doesn't mean it isn't there.

I think there are plenty of wrong doctrines, and I've rejected some doctrines that I thought were bad. But when I see a biblical affirmation lining up with my reason and experience, I don't see any reason to discount it.

The problem with both Dawkins and Roberston are that they DON'T ALIGN THEIR THEOLOGY WITH WHAT IS IN THE BIBLE. Where has Robertson published a substantive commentary or theology? How is ignorance intellectually honest? Why does no one in the skeptic community call him out for the ignorance of the "desert nomad" meme he repeats? Really?

And how does labeling me show that you don't also feel like you "have all the answers"?

So if you can show me where I've espoused fundamentaliteralism or anti-scientific rhetoric, please show me. But it seems to me like Dawkins' broad generalization and shallow engagement with the text makes him the anti-matter to the matter of neo-fundamentalism

Russ said...

Brad Haggard,

On the thread "History, Faith and the Real William Shakespeare"
By John W. Loftus on 9/21/2009, your comment was,


Brad Haggard said...

I wasn't even going to weigh in again, but Russ, I feel like you crossed a line here.

1. There is such a thing as assuming certain points for the sake of argument. I have little hope of convincing a committed atheist on this site of inerrancy, so I argue for the more measured "historical probability".

2. It's also unfair to commit me to a position based on a third party. I do happen to affirm inerrancy, (for canonical considerations and other reasons) so hopefully I won't serve as an "in the flesh" example of how to confuse what it means to be a Christian. You are the one defining terms, though.

3. My particular stance on an issue doesn't have anything to do with the actual argument. This, I thought, was obvious.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it feels like a personal attack rather than a logical discussion, Russ.
5:34 PM, September 22, 2009

Brad Haggard said...

Ah, I get it now. You're equating inerrancy with the sort of literalism that Fundamentalism entails. That's not necessarily the case. I like the formation of the doctrine which my current institution holds: the Bible is true in everything it affirms. I think I said that here on another thread. That position presupposes an inductive interpretive process, not that the Bible is true because a verse in Job talks about the circle of the earth or ignoring genre and context. It doesn't even commit someone to creation or evolution. But it does commit me to affirming the whole teaching of the Bible as determined by study. Mainly, the theological affirmations of the Bible, which include history where genre appropriate, especially the historicity of the resurrection.

I hope that clears up some confusion over that doctrine. I know some hold to a much more restrictive doctrine of inerrancy, but in it's purest sense it does not commit one to literalism nor YEC.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Brad and other Christians,

I'm convinced that most atheists are radical fundy's...Their interpretations are so straight that even an on duty policeman giving a sobriety test will fail.

It comes from their leader. Dawkins interprets what little bit of the bible he knows in a manner ot only support his position. He even claims to be a "spiritual atheist" whatever the heck that is...

Now, he takes Pat Roberstson's comments ONLY because they add credibility to his argument, but he doesn't even know what Roberstson is talking about...(I really wonder if Robertson himself knew what he was talking about but that's another issue)

Supposedly, Robertson is talking about a natural transaction with spiritual implications that happened years ago in Haiti. Quite naturally literalists such as "spiritual Dawkins" believe he's only talking about liberation from slavery...

I'll say this now, ROBERTSON doesn't represent Christianity. Neither is he some kind of spokesman for all Christians. by all accounts he's a good man that happens to have a TV show and an audience. He represents what he believes.

Obviously you radicals believed some of the same type of stuff only you too don't know what it means and therefore have to read everything through the eyes of your gods hitchens and dawkins.

You blindside stems from this: rejection of anything spiritual, except for your dawkins deity.

As stated I don't agree with Robertson at all, As God didn't cause this tragedy and I'll go one further he has NEVER caused a tragedy outside of his judgement of sin which in every case that you mentioned on this blog was warned against and about sometimes for hundreds of years. I've written about that HERE and HERE.

Short of the long, this isn't a place for the pompous atheist such as Dawkins or his cheer-leading section to be proud. You should be no more proud than when Sapient (or whatever his stage name is) got his BUTT kicked by his atheist cronnie rapper Greydon Square...

Look, we're Christians and we're not happy about atheists that beat up one another...We're not happy about their lying, cheating and thievery amongst themselves. We're not happy when those that say they "don't need God to do right or be moral" and that they "value all their relationships in the here and now...because it's all we have"...have moral failures...We're no more happy than you when Christians fail...

Like most of you critics, Dawkins whole premise is faulted and all SIN deserves judgement...When you think it doesn't simply allow the thief to walk in your home and steal everything you have or murder and rape your family...If you so righteously believe that GOd the creator need not judge freewill agents for exercising their freewill in an ungodly manner, then YOU let every rapist and criminal go free from your state prisons and jails...

I agree with you all that Haiti had no more sin that anyone else and this wasn't God's judgement upon them.

So All I can say is that whoever is deceived by Dawkins shallow analysis of something he doesn't understand from the beginning is even worse off than he is.

Critique on that my friends...LOVE IT!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

And that goes ESPECIALLY for my most radical friend RUSSELTON!!!

Glad ta see ya Man!!!

Walter said...

Hate to break it to ya, Harvey, but Dawkins isn't the atheist's pope. He is not my leader, nor my 'deity'.

I think RD nailed this one, tho.

Go Dawkins!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Neither is Pat Robertson ours!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey

Your assertion that sin caused the earthquake puts you in complete agreement with robertson and your entire posts were endorsements of Robertson's worldview. Did you read what you wrote? Dawkins is correct as evidenced by your defense of Rbertson's worldview.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You obviously don't know what you're reading...Robertson claims it was the sins of the Haitians that caused their grief.

My claim is that sin in the world causes all grief and that the Haitians were no more sinners than you and this incident WAS NOT the judgement of God upon the Haitians.

Big difference. Do all of you read and get stuff twisted like this?

Gandolf said...

Brad Haggard said... "Anthony,When you say that there are "tens of thousands" of interpretations that isn't really true. Among commentators there is wide agreement. You can find just about anyone who will say anything, but among the people who actually study it there is a very strong consensus. Tell me, what is the consensus in molecular biology on abiogenesis?"

Anthony said... "That's great that you compare the difficulties of reading the Bible with that of molecular biology."

Yeah great stuff .Imagine us having biologists with laws of legal rights to total freedoms of religious translation and practice of molecular biology.

"Among commentators there is wide agreement" Funny how such wide agreement sees such need for so very many seperate groups.And need of even more and more seperate groups forming each and every year.

Gandolf said...

Anthony said..."Is the Bible so replete with metaphor and allegorical phrases, that it actually means the exact opposite of what it says?

What is the formula for determining what is metaphor and what is literal?"

Yeah how much use would books on molecular biology be if our molecular biologists all went out of their way to write about such important matters this way .We would be in the same lost confused mess the bible left us with.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harv,

So basically you both argue from the idea that people's sins caused the earthquake right? It looks to me that Robertson took your theory of causation to a more specific place. A non-Christian would simply understand the cause of the earthquake to be the result of plate tectonics. I don't see any disagreement between you and Robertson.

Gandolf said...

Harvey your blog is a prime example of the delemma facing folks of faith as they try to get to grips with ancient books of early uneducated superstitious men built on such confusion ignorance and guess work,that the faithful dont really know whether they be Arthur or Martha most of the time.Reading your thread helps blow Brads unfounded suggestions made up of mere faithful wishful thinking, of some supposed "wide agreement Among commentators" right out of the water.These beliefs have been around a couple of thousand years,and yet so often even christians who might know each other quite well, still obviously DONT have this "wide agreement Among commentators" about matters that surely should have been able to be worked out long before now.

And i think if Brad was able to dare to allow himself to be honest he would be able to admit it ...However im well aware historically faith has always caused denial !! ....Why else would silly people of faith,also end up dead in johnstown type cults if not for the presence of faithful denial

On your blog.

Laura said"It was God's will then, that the earthquake happened."

Harvey said "ABSOLUTELY WRONG! The earthquake happened because of SIN...SIN does what it does and God being God mevoes within the process and if he WILLS stops it changes it alters it, causes it not to do what it came to do. That's how we see God. Controlling it. Not sending it. UNLESS he says that he sends it. PLAIN AND SIMPLE."

So you seem to suggest sin causes earthquakes.Surely we then should experience earthquakes wherever sin is taking place?.

Your answer to Laura shows up the major confusion effect faith has on all its followers.You try and suggest sin starts the earthquake .You suggest god moves within the process and is able to step in if he so wishes to alter change or stop it,yet in denial you wont allow yourself to dare to think he is involved in any way at all, even by not bothering to step in?.

Harvey i think you help prove what Dawkins says.Even if you try using faithful intellectual gymnastics to cover up to make it look like he is wrong, because of your personal hatered of Dawkins.

Brad Haggard said...

Gandolf,

Biology and chemistry textbooks routinely use illustrations and graphs to make the molecular world intelligible to students. For example, the concentric circles of electrons don't literally represent the workings of atoms, but it is a useful illustration for us. If we didn't have that and, say, representative models of DNA, then it would be absolutely unintelligible. I'm thankful for illustration and metaphor, even in "hard science" textbooks.

Gandolf said...

Brad said... "I'm thankful for illustration and metaphor, even in "hard science" textbooks."

Hi Brad ... yeah and im specially thankful they most often! think to explain exactly whats metaphor and illustration in hard science too,are you? ..These books can honestly be called educational manuals...Can you imagine the utter chaos and idiocy if these hard science books,specially the ones about very important matters! were left up to the layman to try to decide whats what, like some sort of Russian Roulette.

Here we have a book so extra important because it supposedly has to do with our salvation ...God supposedly was quite able! to pass on devine knowledge according to you faithful folk ...Yet strangely?? seems he decided not to bother to go devinely reminding anyone of the EXTREME dangers of writing such confusing manuals that lack in instructions that dont tend to VERY OFTEN confuse people .

It dont seem to add up to anything devine to me Brad ...Seems more likely to add up to ancient uneducated superstitious ignorance.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck O,

I guess I assumed that you would use deductive reasoning skills to get to the difference in what Pat said and what I hold.

1- Robertson says because of sin that GOD caused the quake in his judgement.

I do not contend such

2- Robertson doesn't touch the concept of sin effecting the metaphysical realm or the natural universe.

I do.

3- Dawkins claims that Robertson's position is biblical and true to Christianity.

dawkins is biblically illiterate and can't interpret what Christianity is except in his rebellious view or opinion. ie: He nor his cronnie Hitchens can define Christianity for any of us. By their statements they have proven to be totally illiterate as to the acts and nature of God.

So my answers are totally different than Pat's not only based on cause, but also on reason. I agree with you that the plates did what they did as a result of a natural occurrence, only I go one step further than you by saying that the reason that natural occurrence happened and the plates slipped and further, the cause the natural evil that we see among humans is because of an inescapable force unleashed on earth through rebellion called sin. Not God.

I hope that clears it up.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

Thanks and you present many good points well worth considering. Here are a few and my responses:

"So you seem to suggest sin causes earthquakes."

No, not exactly. Neither do I infer such. I believe that the earth was created with the tectonic plates that we see. I also believe that those plates are in and of themselves harmless. However, I believe that the earth is now filled with force (sin) that it wasn't designed to hold. That force, uncontrollable as it is, causes the earth to react in a certain fashion that you and I discover as being governed by natural laws and premises.

Sin is governed under spiritual laws and principles and it's effects supersede natural laws at times. Sin is connected to death and is the only reason for the experience of death in the natural realm. As Dawkins why there is death? He will tell you like all others scientist that there is no natural or metaphysical reason for death...Death is covered under spiritual law that supersedes natural law. The whole earth responds to this spiritual law that has been unleashed.

Yea, I know it's different than what they taught you in fundy bible class but follow it through:

Romans 5:12~"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"

Romans 8:2~"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Here two spiritual laws are outlined. The law of sin being trumped by the law of life in Christ.

Sin is an unseen force that reveals itself through the actions of humanity and certain destructive uncontrollable forces in nature. Only God controls these forces and Jesus has overcome these forces:

Colossians 2:15~"[And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them OPENLY, triumphing over them in it."

Through his miracles and ultimately the resurrection he displayed that overcoming ability.

You said:"Surely we then should experience earthquakes wherever sin is taking place?."

Since sin is taking place in the world we see the results and effects. There is no requirement that an earthquake happen on every street etc. They are signals and signs or reminders of a greater and more significant final judgement of all sin and conclusion to all things.

Now back on a scientific tip, why is it hard to believe that there will be an end to all things when modern scientific theory is that the sun will go out one day, and the law of entropy is well established? Simply because the bible says it, many of you don't want to believe it.

Aside from all that, the point is this...God's judgement upon something is clear. If God did this we would not be speculating about it now...he would have spoken it clearly and there would be nothing left.

Secondly dawkins's could choose any Christian spokesman for his understanding but he choose Robertson because it feels good to him, NOT because it's true or has any truth value. Why didn't he choose Albet Moler for example? Plain and simple answer, dawkins needs you to believe his argument and be a good radical follower of atheism and it's "spiritual atheist" leader.

Sorry fellas, I just think you're being duped.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

With all of that said...God is in control of everything...there is nothing that has escaped him. His omniscience also provides n exact moment in the encounter with our common enemy death.

That however in no way indicates that he has fashioned it.

Now, in my opinion, a good question is the "why" of God. Why does he allow some to live while others die in the same event and sometimes even the same household?

The "who" in my opinion is answered and it's not God.

Brad Haggard said...

Gandolf,

I'm not sure I follow you. Are you saying that no one ever misunderstands science textbooks? When that information is mis-appropriated then bad things also happen, like explosions or poisoning. I've seen it in class with my own eyes. I'm not sure that I can hold the text responsible for the understanding and intentions of the reader.

Anthony said...

Harvey,

I honestly don't know to respond to that level of solipsism.

I guess I'll just ask some questions.

Did our sin cause all the earthquakes, volcanic activity, meteorite strikes, etc. that happened for billions of years before we even existed?

Does our sin cause the same activity on other planets in our solar system?

Did our sin cause the tectonic plates to begin moving apart billions of years ago?

Is our sin causing the Andromeda Galaxy to be in a direct collision course with our galaxy?

Is our sin responsible for the laws of entropy, and the laws of conservation of mass, whereby all physical systems (including living things) cannot function forever, due to their eventual breaking down?

Is our sin responsible for supernovas and the asteroid belt (which many reason, was once a planet)?

Is our sin responsible for EVERYTHING in the universe that would kill us, were we there?

Just a little curious.

Thanks

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey you said,

"Sin is an unseen force that reveals itself through the actions of humanity and certain destructive uncontrollable forces in nature. Only God controls these forces and Jesus has overcome these forces"

I see this superstition in complete harmony with Robertson's.

The sin of the Haitians wrought the earthquake according to Robertson but, according to your theology, we all caused the earthquake. I get it. Thanks.

Anthony said...

Ooooh, does our sin cause black holes?

That would be amazing, and would probably make sin worth it in the end. Think about it; God uses black holes to annihilate sinners! You get spaghettified!!

Seriously, though, this is such a great way to make one's beliefs absolutely non-falsifiable. All beautifully construct complex aspects of nature certainly lead us to believe that there is a Creator. Well, what about the terribly inefficient designs out there and aspects of nature that don't make any sense for that hypothesis? Oh, that...that's just the result of sin.

It really is genius, accept that it's not.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Well said Anthony.

Russ said...

Brad,
You said,

Ah, I get it now.

Am I to think that this means you now think you understand? You don't. You're playing a game with yourself together with those who agree to say they accept the rules of the game.

You told me,

You're equating inerrancy with the sort of literalism that Fundamentalism entails. That's not necessarily the case.

Thank you for sparing me a philosophical treatise on the many varieties of inerrancy and literalism that Christian theologians can choose from in making sense of the Bible. So, you've selected one of the sorts of inerrancy that you feel is different from Fundamentalism. It's good for you that your version of god allows so much flexibility. Otherwise Christians would agree on things.

What you're saying here is that your version of god didn't write your Bible to be understood as it intended; it wrote the Bible to be understood the way you want to understand it. It is not your version of god that is deciding what the content of the Bible means; it is you. You're making it up as part of the game you're playing.

You added more rules for the game,

I like the formation of the doctrine which my current institution holds: the Bible is true in everything it affirms.

"I like." Personal preference. The Bible will end up saying what you want it to say.

"Formation of the doctrine." How was it formed? A person much like yourself made it up. You are simply agree to abide by the rules in their game. Where's the god thing in all of this? You and those who molded these doctrines for you are deciding what you want your god to tell you.

"My current institution." Again, Brad, no god is telling you or your theology gurus at LTS anything. If you like what they're telling you, you stay, if not you can ship off to Asbury or Baptist Seminary.


That position presupposes an inductive interpretive process, not that the Bible is true because a verse in Job talks about the circle of the earth or ignoring genre and context.

This is a really lovely game, Brad. I'm convinced you know you're playing it too, but you like it, so you keep spinning the dial, rolling the dice and drawing another card.

Be honest here. The Bible doesn't make accurate statements about the natural world. Theological insights drawn from the Bible about the natural world are always wrong when they conflict with science. Demons don't cause disease for instance. Statements about the natural world would be the simple ones to verify, but if Bible god's understanding of his own creation according his own words tells us anything, it is that Bible god was profoundly ignorant of that which it is purported to have made.

So, how will you handle this? You game the system with a variety of lexical, semantic, grammatical, rhetorical, classification, and categorization tricks and deceptions.

Russ said...

Brad,
Your interpretive scheme is transparent. Start with your assumptions.

We believe the Bible is the inspired inerrant eternal Word of God (II Timothy 3:16, 17).

We believe the Bible is our final authority for faith and practice (I Timothy 6:12-17).

Of course, these assumptions can never be altered, but, under your theology, implicit with them is the reader's right to apply the ol' razzle dazzle as liberally as necessary to give it the appearance of making sense. So, if the Bible conflicts with reality, especially where science has weighed in(you don't want to look like a Fundamentalist fool, now, do you), you keep your assumptions looking pristine by applying a trick or deception, or two, or three, or more. Whatever it takes.

A for instance. People with a good moral sense recognize that Abraham was insane to act toward his son as he did at the urging of the voices in his head. When you overlook the psychosis and point to it as an act of supreme faith, many a modern moralist will say, "Are you out of your [insert adjectival expletive of your choice] mind?" But, your interpretive scheme can save the day. Since not all inerrancies are the same, you can sugarcoat Abraham's seriously mentally disturbed state with a simple application of the IIP, the inductive interpretive process. "Oh, that's not literal. No, no, no. Yeah, the Bible is inerrant, but, here, right here, where it says that Abraham was actually going to kill Isaac, that part's not, um...um, that's, ah, symbolic! Yeah that's it! It's symbolic. I just decided that using IIP. Not everyone is allowed to do that, ya know, but I've studied some theology, so I am allowed to do that."

If you're allowed to play these interpretive games, your endeavoring for something approximating truth is a lost cause. You've started where you wanted to end up all along and now all you're doing is arranging a series of funhouse mirrors to reflect around the obstacles reality sets before you. What you want to achieve is simply to have your starting assumptions reflected back at you unadulterated. But, that will never happen.

Reality is reflected back at you with 100 percent fidelity, but every theology class you take will provide you with another imperfect mirror, making for an even more distorted view of the world.


It doesn't even commit someone to creation or evolution. But it does commit me to affirming the whole teaching of the Bible as determined by study. Mainly, the theological affirmations of the Bible, which include history where genre appropriate, especially the historicity of the resurrection.

I hope that clears up some confusion over that doctrine. I know some hold to a much more restrictive doctrine of inerrancy, but in it's purest sense it does not commit one to literalism nor YEC.


Do you not understand that what you've said here is that you're making it up? Seriously, do you not understand that?

Russ said...

Brad,
When you say "I like the formation of the doctrine which my current institution holds: the Bible is true in everything it affirms," you're saying that they decided for themselves what their formation of the doctrine was going to be. There is no reason to think that that is the right way. Then, too, your creativity is left much space to roam when you say "the Bible is true in everything it affirms" because, no doubt, you get to decide what the Bible affirms. Isn't that right? You get to decide what the Bible affirms?


It doesn't even commit someone to creation or evolution.

You get to make it up.


But it does commit me to affirming the whole teaching of the Bible as determined by study.

You get to make it up.


Mainly, the theological affirmations of the Bible, which include history where genre appropriate.

You get to make it up. Do you really not understand that in saying "Mainly, the theological affirmations of the Bible" that what you're really doing is pre-sidestepping reality, Brad. You can avoid the problems that reality presents you - like the never-happened six-day creation, the never-happened exodus, the numerous gospel contradictions - by deceptively using a bit of intellectual sleight-of-hand.


I know some hold to a much more restrictive doctrine of inerrancy

But, you are far more liberal with yourself about what you get to make up.

What you're learning at Lexington Theological Seminary is not Christianity, it is but one self-selected theology, distinct from so many of the others. The only authority anyone at LTS has regarding Christianity is in their own self-specific theology. It won't even apply to other Christians commenting on this thread.

I find it great irony in the creator of the universe having written a book to tell his created about himself, and his then having written it to be so inscrutable, so impenetrable by those it is said to have been written for, that only those who can afford the time, the inconvenience, and the expense of years of study at a seminary can really grasp its meaning. I find even more irony in that those who have made the effort to go to seminary have no better grasp of anything in the world beyond their seminary-specific theology, which typically amounts to little more than tips and tricks for circumventing the ways the real world conflicts with their Bibles. But the biggest irony is that for all the resources poured into seeking some deeper meaning in the Bible through the machinations of some handpicked theology, most human beings get along just fine without Christianity or the Bible, and they always have.

Gandolf said...

Sorry Brad for not explaining my thoughts so well.

Im kind of thinking how many biology manuals and text books do you know of regarding such very important matters.Which forget to remember to explain and remind learning folks when things maybe should or shouldnt be taken literally! or that something said is only metaphor etc.

Sure people get experiments wrong when not reading directions properly,but how could they ever honestly be thought responsible if the reading directions are not written properly and the book obviously forgets to carefully explain certain important matters very well ...such as when things are supposed to be taken literally or not or when something is only metaphor etc.

This is the manual humans supposedly have to learn from,a way for faithful education to supposedly teach the layman of faith to become a scholar and receive his apprenticeship to gain his salvation...A very extra important!! matter,far more so important even than just some mere biological experiment.This is a matter of extra very high importance of life or death if honestly true!! its very very important directions are of extra high standards!.

Its not like its just some grades that maybe might determin how much money somebody gets paid being a biologist.

This book is supposed to be about tutoring !,why then does it seems its often been more like some misinformed and failed exam paper, that so very very many misimformed pupils then need to end up (paying the price) for the failure of the tutor manual to allow people to be properly imformed?

If some biology tutoring manual caused such widespread ever ongoing problems Brad like for thousands of years,can you be totally honest! and tell me its so very likely humans would honestly be likely to continue suggesting it was mostly a wonderful infallible great book for tutoring future biologist?!.

Personally i think you are reverting to gymnastics by trying to suggest certain idiots being careless with science textbooks and causing explosions can be compared with those who often get led up the gum tree by ancient faith books.Nobody claims any biology book to be anything devine or supernaturally inspired ....How about keeping your comparing a little honest and fair and in the same ball park Brad.

To suggest its comparable is like suggesting my cult family lacked in any real sense of responsibility and honest commitment,and failed to bother to study etc ..This is so very untrue and is wrongful judgement.

Whats more there are so very many other faithful who will likely say exactly the same about you.

Brad Haggard said...

Russ, you need to quit making personal assumptions. I don't attend LTS, and I think they would reject any sort of inerrancy, anyways.

I'm not the only Christian who thinks this way, you can look up the Chicago statement on inerrancy.

Here's the rub: I don't make it up, I let the text set the parameters. Genesis 1, for example, does not necessitate YEC, but there are some parameters it sets, such as God as Creator and Creation as Good. It isn't me, it's the text, and I check my observations with others who have studied the text. You sound so absolutist when you decry the inductive method as "you get to make it up." I'm working within a tradition that extends at least back to the 2nd century!

Let me illustrate. Within paleo-biology there is a certain body of information about fossils and dates. Those dates and fossils set the parameters for theories. Some biologists posit a very smooth evolutionary history, and other posit a "stair-step" history where change happens in disparate times fairly rapidly (punctuated equilibrium). The biologists who posit these theories are NOT MAKING THEM UP BY THEMSELVES, they are working within the parameters of the evidence they have. It's the same way with the text of the Bible, it sets the parameters and then interpreters give their interpretations.

A physics textbook doesn't answer my quest for meaning. Does that mean that it is not dealing with reality? No, because that isn't the purpose of the textbook. This isn't hand-waving, this is the nature of communication.

John argues for the polytheism and superstition of the Hebrews from the text. Is he just making it up? What authority does he have, then? I'm sorry if you don't think that learning is worthwhile in the study of a subject, but the essential truths of the Gospel are clear and seem to resonate with a lot of people.

I feel like you're trying to force an interpretation of a certain passage on me (I don't think I've ever given an interpretation on the binding story, at least on this site) to force certain conclusions. Well, I'm not going to let you make it up. Why don't we take Genesis 1 as a test case? Show me just how YEC is the only valid interpretation of that text. I'll only reply with linguistic and historical evidence, no "feelings" or speculations.

Gandolf said...

Anthony said... "Is our sin responsible for supernovas and the asteroid belt (which many reason, was once a planet)?"

After Harveys last explanation of what causes earthquakes.I`ll hazard a guess maybe its about god farting or something

Brad Haggard said...

Gandolf,

I think that the reason the Bible is still respected is because it does work for many people. I respect it because it has worked for me. Its longevity is a testament to its power. And I don't think many people misunderstand the basic Gospel proclamation.

Let me press the illustration a little further. If you read a sports article about a game that ocurred last night, the article will begin with the lead of the story in the first paragraph, usually the end of the game, and work back to the beginning piece by piece. We know already that it isn't being presented as a chronological account of the game, it is being re-interpreted in light of the "story" coming out of the game. There is no problem with that. We have a tougher time with biblical genre because we aren't in that same cultural context. 2nd Temple Jews would instinctively understand the symbolism of apocalyptic literature, for example, whereas we need to do some study to be sensitive to the genre. Its just the nature of language and culture.

But the fact that the Bible can still speak to people across 2000 years and various cultures is still amazing to me. I don't know of any biology textbook that has any real authority past 5-10 years.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You asked:Did our sin cause all the earthquakes, volcanic activity, meteorite strikes, etc. that happened for billions of years before we even existed?

Did any of those events, IF they occurred, kill anyone or anything? What or who died?

You asked:"Does our sin cause the same activity on other planets in our solar system?"

Debatable as to what would or could be affected on or in other worlds. That's really a non-issue to our existence, so it really doesn't matter.

You asked:"Did our sin cause the tectonic plates to begin moving apart billions of years ago?

You have a disconnect. The plates surely moved, but that's not evil in and of itself now is it? Certainly there was no death when and IF they did.

You asked:"Is our sin causing the Andromeda Galaxy to be in a direct collision course with our galaxy?"

Is that the case? Once again has no bearing on the matter at hand. Does a collision course produce death before impact?

You asked:"Is our sin responsible for the laws of entropy, and the laws of conservation of mass, whereby all physical systems (including living things) cannot function forever, due to their eventual breaking down?"

There is no metaphysical reason for death. A combination of laws may classify the symptoms of death, but we're talking cause. Sin has its effects on everything considered to be "dying". That is the only reason for it's death. Movement is not necessarily death. Depletion could be. At either rate existence is based on more than just natural laws and movement. The continuum is also open to spiritual laws and their effects. If a God, who is a spirit created all things thin the laws that we see are under-girded (at a minimum) by other laws and principles that we do not see. these are called spiritual laws. This is a consistent theme biblically.

You asked:"Is our sin responsible for supernovas and the asteroid belt (which many reason, was once a planet)?"

Not necessarily. Do these things bring death? What dies and how?

You asked:"Is our sin responsible for EVERYTHING in the universe that would kill us, were we there?"

This question makes no sense. We're not there. What could kill us if we were? If we stand in front of a moving bus we're more than likely to die as a result of being hit...once again this makes no sense.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

gandy,

You said:After Harveys last explanation of what causes earthquakes.I`ll hazard a guess maybe its about god farting or something

That's ok my friend, I don't expect you to see what I see and or agree all the time. I think I'm about as clear as I can get or explain to a mataphysical naturalist such as yourself...no sweat

Chuck O'Connor said...

Brad

I'd still like to know what books you read during your season of doubt that might have served your doubts rather than your faith. Your explanations seem to support theology and hermaneutics as a very complex cognitive bias appealing to tradition.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

I guess I though I was pretty clear. Earthquakes happen and the plates have existed since creation, in my opinion, these sort of things and plate movement WAS NOT harmful to any living things until the introduction of sin into the world.

Have you ever caught a cold or a virus? There are some illnesses naturally so that you can't rid yourself of and that are incurable. What if the earth, which was NOT created to bear sin, was infected with sin? how could it be cured? It seems like an inanimate object to you and based on natural laws it is. However what IF the earth operated under a greater set of laws that you don't know called spiritual laws...the law of sin and death being one of them. God didn't cure the earth (the natural planet) He only cured the illness of the men with which he established covenant. Thus we see Jesus redeeming man but in the end we see a NEW heaven and earth....

Plates moving has nothing to do with anything...death does.

Gandolf said...

"That's ok my friend, I don't expect you to see what I see and or agree all the time. I think I'm about as clear as I can get or explain to a mataphysical naturalist such as yourself...no sweat"

Harvey sorry if that was uncalled for,but that bit wasnt actually supposed to be taken literally ...i was being light hearted.

Here i was thinking seeing you have experience with the bible etc,maybe you could study and some how devinely understand when to read my thoughts as meant literally or not ??.

Whats the rub ?! ..theists are such a hard act to follow

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Sorry Gandy, I really meant no offence!!!

I was simply saying that when a person is not open to the possibility of spirituality in general, then to talk about a "spiritual" part to things will always lead to a disconnect.

I mean I think that's normal...If I reject flying sourcers then I would probably reject the descriptions of someone telling me how functional they were and what they could do...

So no dig at you, I just say this is not something I'm going to be dogmatic about.

Anthony said...

Alright Harvey, let me try to understand you, and then try to get you to understand where I'm coming from.

Does our sin cause the Earth to have earthquakes? If earthquakes happen regardless of our sin, does our sin cause us to just happen to be on the land that is quaking?

If our sin is causally connected to Earthquakes, then are we to believe that earthquakes (and other natural disasters) didn't happen before the fall of man? Is that a realistic position, given the mountains of evidence to the contrary?

If they did happen before the fall of man, then how does sin have any relation to them? Does sin cause man to be on the land that is being affected by a natural disaster? If so, then why are we able to detect natural disasters before hand, and sometimes, evactuaions are used to spare lives of people who would certainly have been killed in said natural disaster? Is God just intimidating those people who escaped? The people who didn't escape; they were supposed to not escape, right?

If these "natural disasters" happen on other planets and all throughout our galaxy, then what is more likely; that our planet is sick (full disclosure here; I laughed pretty hard when I read that our planet had a cold; I mean, you have to admit that that's a pretty ridiculous statement) or that the Earth is just like any other planet in the universe, and is subject to natural laws that are completely indifferent to whatever life happens to be in contact with it?

I mean seriously, if we just look at the evidence with ZERO preconceptions, what is more likely?

And, from a naturalist position, there is a reason for death, sickness, injury and catastrophe. No supernaturalism needed whatsoever.

Anthony said...

In that blog post that Dawkins references, R. A. Mohler asks "Why did no earthquake hit Nazi Germany during the Holocaust?"

Now Harvey, do I need to consult God and his word for that answer, or I can just realize how monstrously stupid that question is, and use physical laws to answer rather bluntly, "Because there are no god damn tectonic plates lined up against one another under Germany!"

According to your theory, I would need to consult God.

Let me know.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You ask questions based on your fixed understanding of Christianity. What I mean is that your understanding of Christianity is based on a YEC presupposition. this is why you ask this:

If our sin is causally connected to Earthquakes, then are we to believe that earthquakes (and other natural disasters) didn't happen before the fall of man? Is that a realistic position, given the mountains of evidence to the contrary?

That question is based on a 6000 to 10,000 year existence of man premise on the earth. I follow no such premise. Neither do I approach Genesis or the creation account in a willy-nilly or allegorical fashion.

in short, there is no time frame for the existence of man upon the earth especially BEFORE the fall of man. If you limit Adam's age to 930 years (Gen. 5:5) years in sum total accounting 365 day years, then there is evidence of geological occurrences for ages before that.

Yes, the earth certainly existed before man was created, but you can't pin a time frame on this without being labeled a fundamentalist (which isn't bad) or a literal 6 day creationist. I am neither and I don't approach the subkject in general in that manner.

You asked:"If they did happen before the fall of man, then how does sin have any relation to them?"

Seismic activity does not in and of itself cause death or indicate sin. What I am saying is that IF the earth moved while man was on it, it did not kill man or anything that was on the earth. There was no death in or on the earth until the rebellion of man.

You asked:"Does sin cause man to be on the land that is being affected by a natural disaster?"

Men are on land in which there are natural disasters. The natural disasters are a product of sin in the earth ushered in through the disobedience of man.

You stated and asked:"If so, then why are we able to detect natural disasters before hand, and sometimes, evactuaions are used to spare lives of people who would certainly have been killed in said natural disaster?"

Natural disasters can be measured by natural mean. That has nothing to do with the issue.

You asked:"Is God just intimidating those people who escaped?"

That's like asking a bystander at a car accident are they intimidated because they weren't in the accident??? Again it doesn't pertain to the issue. People are where they are and nothing happens by chance if God is truly omniscient (which he is) and actively involved in the lives of his creation or mankind.

You said:"The people who didn't escape; they were supposed to not escape, right?"

Now, you've introduced fatalistic determinism. That doesn't necessarily have to be a part of this convo and any foreknowledge that God has would be based on his ability to know your choice exactly rather than plot your choice specifically. I really don't care to go there, but I have written a piece that addresses one view of this called the "Open Futures" view that Dr. Richard Swinburne accepts. You'll find that HERE. FYI, I reject the open futures view also.

You stated:"If these "natural disasters" happen on other planets and all throughout our galaxy,"

Which has nothing to do with it. We're talking about these disasters in relationship to man's sins, not merely the events themselves.

You said:"then what is more likely; that our planet is sick (full disclosure here; I laughed pretty hard when I read that our planet had a cold; I mean, you have to admit that that's a pretty ridiculous statement)"

No, it may be funny, but not ridiculous...sin is an illness. A contagious disease for which the only cure is the blood of Jesus! This is what has infected the world beginning with the hearts and spirits of man.

see 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2

Anthont con't,

You stated: or that the Earth is just like any other planet in the universe, and is subject to natural laws that are completely indifferent to whatever life happens to be in contact with it?

The earth is subject to natural laws. However the earth is subject to the superseding of natural laws by spiritual laws and principles. in fact everything and everyone is subject to the higher set of spiritual laws. sin and death is one of those laws I present as evidence since you reject the law of life in Christ Jesus.

You said:"I mean seriously, if we just look at the evidence with ZERO preconceptions, what is more likely?"

Glad you said this, because if we do this we will have to admit that there is more to this world than we know and some things defy the natural laws that we affirm. So IF we do look without preconceptions we should be open to a greater existence than the material existence that we see. Example: Prove mind. Prove consciousness. Prove mathematics. Prove either of those things by materialism. It is an impossibility. We take these things based on the assumption that they exist as they cannot be proven to derrive from the materialistic realm although they exist within it.

You said:"And, from a naturalist position, there is a reason for death, sickness, injury and catastrophe."

What is that reason? Leading atheistic scientists state that there is no reason that we should either evolve or die. The evidence does not support your assertions or conclusions. There is no metaphysical necessity for death. There is no death or aging gene. There is an additional element which you and no naturalist can or has accounted for. There is an element which NO RELIGION except for Judaism and Christianity accounts for with Christianity, through Jesus, solving, and that is SIN.

Now you say sin is only a label...OK then what is murder, lying, lust, greed, hatred, strife, and the list goes on and on? Is this just being human??? If so how can you, a metaphysical naturalist, penalize those who do such??? Those who simply are themselves?

Wouldn't you, by penalizing those who commit murder and all of those other things, that we all hold as evil, be the biggest flagellator of humanity in history by punishing those for being themselves?

I mean isn't that the equivalent? IF you imprison human beings for being human beings isn't that like beating yourself?-LOL!!! or at the least your fellow man?

In short my friend, the existence of sin adds a whole new dimension to understanding natural disaster, and in my opinion correctly places context to what we see. The earth is reacting as it is because not even it wants sin, but it has been cursed to bear it.

Anthony said...

"Yes, the earth certainly existed before man was created, but you can't pin a time frame on this without being labeled a fundamentalist (which isn't bad) or a literal 6 day creationist. I am neither and I don't approach the subkject in general in that manner."

Why fundamentalist or a YECist? Evidence suggests that man has only been on this planet for the 250-400,000 years. So, then, there was 4.5 billion years of natural disasters before man COULD HAVE sinned. What caused those natural disasters? Was the Earth sick in anticipation of man's sin?

"Seismic activity does not in and of itself cause death or indicate sin. What I am saying is that IF the earth moved while man was on it, it did not kill man or anything that was on the earth. There was no death in or on the earth until the rebellion of man."

I'm sorry, but this is a monumentally absurb statement. Plenty of things died before man came on the scence, before sin.

"Which has nothing to do with it. We're talking about these disasters in relationship to man's sins, not merely the events themselves."

I AM referring to the events themselves. If the events themselves happen independent of sin, then your contention that they are the causal result of sin is false. If they happen BECAUSE of sin, then why do we see the events (and evidences of past events) on places uninhabited by man, and therefore, having negligible to no effect on man?

"No, it may be funny, but not ridiculous...sin is an illness. A contagious disease for which the only cure is the blood of Jesus! This is what has infected the world beginning with the hearts and spirits of man.
"

What disease? You interpret it as a disease, because of the deleterious effect it has on life. I don't. The Earth is doing just fine, and after us sad-sacks are extinct, the Earth will go right on being just fine; that is until the Sun destroys it.

"some things defy the natural laws that we affirm."

Please, give concrete examples of things that DEFINITELY CANNOT be affirmed by natural laws, thus PROVING the supernatural. If you have this, you are seriously wasting your time on this blog, when you could be winning the Nobel Prize or James Randi's million dollar prize.

Anthony said...

Why is there death? Why do cars break down? Why do computer hard drives stop working? Either the machinery wears out, is severely damaged or there is no energy to power the machine. God=Not needed. To show that death CAN'T have a natural explanation, you have to show that these things don't have to necessarily result in the cessation of the body's processes. But again, if you could do that, you wouldn't be on this blog, talking to a small fry like me.

I don't see how sin adds any great dimension, unless you come to the table with the notion that life IS special and the Earth shouldn't be cleaning us off like ticks on a dog's body. We only call them disasters because they affect life negatively. They are not inherently disasters. They are just the Earth being a planet.

In the end though, your entire position is one big argument from ignorance and personal incredulity, and patently non-falsifiable. I.e., the Earth supports life so well, so it must be designed by God, but what about all this evidence that the Earth doesn't support life so well. Oh, that's sin.

And even if we never, as they say, "naturalize the mind" or naturalize these other issues, it's always helpful to look back on the record of things that once had a supernatural explanation, that is until a better natural explanation was found, and the list is far too innumerable to account for here. So, forgive me for looking at these issues which don't have concrete natural explanations, (though many plausible natural explanations have been offered) and assuming that they do have a naturalistic explanation.

The people in Haiti who were affected by the Earthquake were so for purely naturalistic reasons.

God=Not Needed. But I will apologize to the Earth when I leave for work in the morning, if that would make you feel better. (By the way, I live in New Jersey, where nothing even coming within a light year of a natural disaster ever happens, save the ooooh so rare tornado, and the blizzards, which are the equivalent to a Tuesday in Buffalo, and the Nor'easter, which is actually less likely to kill you than the roller coaster bearing its name in Wildwood. I guess this part of the world is unaffected by sin? Nah, it probably just has a natural explanation.)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You opposition to what I set forth is broken down to 2 areas. 1 of which I have answered at least 4 times and yet you persist.

The argument saying that there were earthquakes before man therefore they couldn't be a product of sin is not what I have said and a total misunderstanding of the argument.

I've repeatedly said this, you even cut and pasted my argument in your answer to me, but last time:

Earthquakes or any natural disaster can occur anytime and anywhere based on natural events. That's not in question. When natural disasters kill it is a result of sin. That's the only thing that's in question.

The part that throws you off is that I hold that these killer quakes and natural disasters are a result of sin because and WHEN they lead to death. Why do I say that? Because the earth wasn't formed to house sin as it does.I believe this is a disorder because of sin. If there was no sin in the earth whatever movement of plates or weather patterns would not be destructive or harmful to man as there would not be any death.

So reconcile that as I say it, because what you're doing is trying to make my statements say something that I'm not saying. Anyway...that's SETTLED.

Then the ONLY viable argument you have against my position is based on the existence of man. In other words you state that man has only existed 200,000 to 250,000 years ago and there was death before that, therefore sin has nothing to do with death. This is your best argument and really the ONLY argument against what I'm saying from a scientific standpoint.

I respond as follows:

Science only theorizes that first life existed 200,000 to 250,000 years ago. More specifically this is a scientific argument based on Mitochondrial DNA and fossil evidence which seems to indicate that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

Once again, you hold this as a FACT which has certain truth. I DO NOT. There is growing evidence that humans and animals such as dinosaurs existed TOGETHER.
If so, not only would it destroy your theories, but that also would push man's existence back much further than you espouse.

Therefore, first human life could have been long before the time frame that you hold and sin could have been introduced in the earth in a much earlier time frame and fashion than you obviously ever have imagined.

What is this? A death blow to your opposition and an answer to your question.

If there was no death in the earth until the sin of man, then that could mean that there was also no death among dinosaurs or other animals until that time. Since plants only go into dormancy and not death during winter then we can easily say that the earth probably had all of its seasonal functions that the natural earth would have had also and all of it's natural functionality.

In short Anthony, you don't have any evidence or argument against what I espouse regarding sin in the earth being the cause of all death. And your efforts to misrepresent my words or the argument in general is unsuccessful.

Now, I'm not arguing the evolution of man etc...but my theory better accounts for all the evidence and gives a much better explanation than simply saying..."That's just what happens" like you scientific, so called, wanna get to the truth, atheists present.

Anthony said...

If I read you correctly, if it can be shown that just ONE living thing stopped existing before man walked on this earth, than your theory crumbles.

I think science has decisively proven that to be the case, and if you can refute that thoroughly, again, I'm the wrong person to be talking to.

Anyways, I've read your arguments, and they represent to a T what I used to believe when I was a Christian (I used to think Paul was the greatest person who ever walked the Earth, other than Yeshua, of course). They are unconvincing and contrary to the real world.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

For those Christians and others who want a more full understanding as well as a rebuttal for what I've set forth, you can look at Reasons To Believe which has done an article regarding the subject of death before sin.

That article does not support my argument, but it does set forth some of the basic premises involved in understanding it and opens the dimension to address the subject.

I think this is good to know even if it's not friendly or supportive of my arguments. As Anthonly said, IF death can be proven then my argument fails, I think it may better be put that a part of my argument fails. The central part of it remains in tact especially when we're talking about natural tragedies that befall man and mankind.

Now I could produce other arguments that thoroughly support my position, but I think this is a more balanced and better way to approach it.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You said, "sin is an illness. A contagious disease for which the only cure is the blood of Jesus!"

Okay, can we all examine the clinical trials that defined the mechanism of the sin disease and then the mechanism of action in Jesus' blood to counteract the effects of the disease? What was the clinical trial end-point in Phase III studies? Who fielded the trials? What was the make-up of the study? Did they use as-observed sample data or ITT? Does the Mechanism of Action for Jesus' blood work at a genetic levle and if so, has there been a suscetability genotype isolated which will help us better understand Original Sin and its varying phenotypes (e.g. a rapist is not a procrastinaor is not a bigot).

I of course tease you Harvey because your sincerity is simply stupid, if it weren't so arrogant and harmful. DON'T use the language of science and medicine to pawn off your self-serving superstition until you educate yourself on how medicines get approved and diseases get identfied.

You are a self-righteous and ignorant man whose understanding of the world only extends to his own cognitive bias. You don't understand how the world works or how people truly labor to help other people.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said:DON'T use the language of science and medicine to pawn off your self-serving superstition until you educate yourself on how medicines get approved and diseases get identfied.

So I guess you, like Nicodemus, believe that "born again" means crawling back in a womb? And you call me "uneducated"? Sounds like the ignoramus is you because you can't seem to grasp parallels or allegories...Did you take Language Arts in school? My 7th grader has a good book for you to borrow!!!

Then it gets good here:You are a self-righteous and ignorant man whose understanding of the world only extends to his own cognitive bias.

OK, then you know my cognitive bias? What makes you so smart and all the rest of us like me self-righteous and ignorant? then how have you proven to know the world outside of your cognitive bias? What the heck type of criticism is this Chucky baby???

You said:"You don't understand how the world works or how people truly labor to help other people."

Now where did that come from? I don't understand how the "world works"...I suppose you mean I've never taken the science 101 course that I see you struggled to pass...FYI, I took that one and we're good...Then so far as "how people labor to help others"...I'll be willing to BET IT ALL that you've never lifted a finger for your community...

I've got a meeting with our Mayor in a few (that I requested)discussing how to make my community better and increase community service...what have you done?

Its COMPLETE IDIOTS like you that make discussions unbearable, but I don't care...you do nothing to me...and after having argued with much better one's than you, you're laughable.

Now why don't you try to deal with at least ONE of the arguments. Why don't you start with the question I posed to Anthony that he avoids also...

If there is no such thing as sin and everything is simply human nature, then how can you penalize the rapist, robber and murderer for doing simply what's a part of human nature??? Will you take the path and say that those behaviors are mental disorders? If so be careful.

Explain these things under your bankrupt world view instead of trying to psychoanalyze me and other Christians. Deal with the issues if you can.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

My comments are directed at your absolute hypocrisy and your stupidity in not seeing it.

You lambast Dawkins for speaking on theological issues without him having studied theology yet, you are trying to make an argument here to the causal reality of sin on the natural world using an allegory of illness but then acting as if this allegory has causal properties.

Basically, you don't know and you don't know you don't know yet you speak on revealed knowledge.

An allegory or metaphor is a linguistic tool to emphasize something real but that does not mean it gets to hold a proxy standard for the real thing itself.

There is no illness called "sin" and there is no vaccine called "The blood of Jesus" outside of the superstition you hold.

You choose to use allegory as a tool for deception because you don't know how illnesses are treated or medicines discovered and as such don't live in the real world.

You are a numb-skull and if you were a harmless member of some church I'd leave you alone but, it is the exact fact you meet with the mayor that I oppose you as vehemently as I do.

I consider my opposition of you and those like you in my community an example of my community service.

Now, do you want to argue for the efficacy of cupid's arrow in the area of unrequited love too?

R O'Brien said...

"I of course tease you Harvey because your sincerity is simply stupid, if it weren't so arrogant and harmful. DON'T use the language of science and medicine to pawn off your self-serving superstition until you educate yourself on how medicines get approved and diseases get identfied."

Dear pretentious moron,

I am a statistician who is currently reading Piantadosi's book on Clinical Trials and I have no problem with the statement "sin is a disease." But, then again, I am not so intellectually circumscribed as to confuse a figurative statement for a literal medical, scientific statement, like you.

R O'Brien said...

Richard Dawkins is a noxious mediocrity. Notice how all of his examples are drawn from the Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures?

Yes, in parts of the OT/Hebrew Scriptures we see the idea that "if you are suffering it is because of something you did" but the claim that disasters can always be attributed to sin is not consonant with other parts of the OT/Hebrew Scriptures or, most importantly for this discussion, the NT.

Why you would endorse such a transparently fraudulent critic as Dawkins is beyond me.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Watchout R'Obrien, they'll be callin' you names next...pickin' on their god dawkins....

Russ said...

Brad,

Here's the rub: I don't make it up, I let the text set the parameters.

Yes you are making it up. Each time you are faced with a choice for how to interpret Biblical content, in picking one, it is you who is deciding what it means.

The Christian god who makes the universe in six literal 24-hour days is a different Christian god from the one who makes the universe over the course of billions of years using the laws of physics. These are distinct theological claims leading to distinct theologies. If we accept Christian claims that what a person believes about the content of the Bible determines their fate after death, then those choices have eternal consequences.

There are hundreds of distinct interpretations of the Genesis creation account, all valid from the interpreter's point of view. How did these distinct interpretations come about? They made them up.

Historically, this making up extends into the number of canonical books in the various Bibles. Roman Catholics Christians claim 73, Orthodox Christians claim 78, most Protestant Christians claim 66, and Mormon Christians claim those same 66 plus the whole Book of Mormon. How were these changes instituted? The interpreters.

In today's Bible's there are many verses that have been not been carried forward from older versions. There are many verses that will be in your version of the Bible that were added after its canon was established.

The Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges that "the idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning has no foundation in history." Directly concerning the editing of the message in the Bible which took place in nearly every transcription and translation the Catholic Encyclopedia confesses that

In all the departments forgery and interpolation as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a grand scale.

Celsus, the second century Roman philosopher, himself an eyewitness to the doctoring and revising of the gospels, wrote of the revisionists,

Some of them, as it were in a drunken state producing self-induced visions, remodel their Gospel from its first written form, and reform it so that they may be able to refute the objections brought against it.


In the fifth century, Theodoret of Cyrrhus wrote that there were as many as 200 different gospels circulating in his own diocese.

The Bible from which you hope to extract the true meaning isn't the same text used by Irenaeus, Athanasius, Augustine, or Francis or even Luther.

You can let the text set the parameters all you like, but the text you start from isn't what those idealized original authors wrote. Much of it, in fact, is not even close. So, no matter how you interpret it, you will not be working from a source material written by a god. You will be working with text that another human made up, and you will simply continue that age old Christian tradition of making it up. You will try to hide the fact that you made up your interpretation by burying it under mounds of apologetic justification, but you will still have concocted it yourself. You make it up!

Brad, it is known that the Bible is a man-made text. Even a great many Christians from Cappadocian Trinitarian Orthodox traditions acknowledge that the Bible is manifestly not divinely inspired. I have several friends and relatives who are active or retired Christian clergy who say things like

Supernaturalism is phony-baloney stuff. Nature is enough for human beings to deal with. I give it no thought whatsoever

I do not consider morality or ethics to have a supernatural source.

The day that the critical mass of human beings adopt that wisdom and live by it is the day the world will be saved from itself. Maybe then I'll be ready to talk about the divinity of whoever said that stuff in the first place.

Russ said...

Brad,
What I've said here, together with the factual errors in the Bible and the many horrifically mistaken inspirations and insights, past and present, drawn from it by theologians like yourself, point to a document that is unreliable to the point of uselessness at best.

This uselessness is attested to by the numbers. American Christians, laymen and clergy alike, do not read the Bible and the general public's knowledge of it is laughable. Half can't name the first book. Some think Sodom and Gomorrah were married. A healthy percentage think Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. Only half can name even one gospel. Those who make up that small fraction that do read the Bible do so for only 52 minutes a week. They spend more time reading the comics.

You said,

The problem with both Dawkins and Roberston are that they DON'T ALIGN THEIR THEOLOGY WITH WHAT IS IN THE BIBLE.

So what? American Christians don't care. They don't care about the Bible. They don't care about theology and they will not care about whatever interpretations you impose on it.

You said,

Let me illustrate. Within paleo-biology there is a certain body of information about fossils and dates. Those dates and fossils set the parameters for theories. Some biologists posit a very smooth evolutionary history, and other posit a "stair-step" history where change happens in disparate times fairly rapidly (punctuated equilibrium). The biologists who posit these theories are NOT MAKING THEM UP BY THEMSELVES, they are working within the parameters of the evidence they have. It's the same way with the text of the Bible, it sets the parameters and then interpreters give their interpretations.

It's not the same way with the text of the Bible. In paleontology those fossils and those dates constitute a reliable chronology of lifeforms from which inferences can be reliably drawn. The Bible does not constitute reliable evidence for anything. You noted to me that LTS wouldn't accept inerrancy. They see the Bible different from the way you see it. From a theological perspective, at best, the Bible consists of an amorphous set of assumptions from which rhetoric and arguments are built. The Bible is known not to be reliable, so neither the assumptions nor any conclusions reasoned therefrom have force beyond intellectual gamemanship.

You said,

A physics textbook doesn't answer my quest for meaning. Does that mean that it is not dealing with reality? No, because that isn't the purpose of the textbook. This isn't hand-waving, this is the nature of communication.

No book bears the obligation to satisfy your quest for meaning and there are no books that can. American Christians do not find happiness, purpose or meaning in the Bible. The lives and lifestyles of you, your wife and your child depend more on the content of that physics text than they do on the text of the Bible. You might say otherwise, but the observable facts show the truth. Having a single meaning or purpose in life isn't needed. To be sure Christian clergy benefit financially from having congregations all of whom will say that their meaning in life is to serve the clergyman's god, but we don't see that the arbitrary Christian benefits.

We all create our own meaning, whatever that means, from our knowledge, experience, interests and proclivities. That physics book can inspire great happiness, contentment, purpose and meaning for the interested party. The trick for the clergyman is to keep that from happening while they try to force everyone to define their meaning using Christianey language.

Russ said...

Brad,
You said,

John argues for the polytheism and superstition of the Hebrews from the text. Is he just making it up?

Again, the text is so unreliable, so imprecise, that John can build a valid argument supporting polytheism while others use the same text to get one god. Hell, for that matter, Satan is a god. The Christian god can't stop him and can't get rid of him. Satan can supernaturally interact with people to change their behavior. So, Satan fits the definition of a god. Voila', polytheism. For that matter, if we use body counts, Satan seems a much nicer fellow than the other Christian god(s). Satan doesn't really do anything except serve as whipping boy.


I'm sorry if you don't think that learning is worthwhile in the study of a subject, but the essential truths of the Gospel are clear and seem to resonate with a lot of people.

If there are any essential truths of the gospel they are only ones that are not Christian-specific. The words attributed to a Jesus did not originate with him. Such moral teachings as there might be there are more clearly explicated by the likes of John Rawls, Derek Parfit, or Thomas Nagel. The supernaturalistic hokum clouds the important issues and has no evidence to support it. Besides, Christians don't read it anyway.


Why don't we take Genesis 1 as a test case? Show me just how YEC is the only valid interpretation of that text. I'll only reply with linguistic and historical evidence, no "feelings" or speculations.

I don't claim YEC is the only valid interpretation of Genesis, but having more than one valid interpretation means that it is sufficiently vague that it can't be relied on. Genesis is a mythical story, nothing more, (a fact acknowledged by many Christians) regardless of the fact that there are hundreds of distinct interpretations assigned to it by Christians.

Brad, all we humans share the same reality. As I see it, you've been drawn into one of mankind's social superstitions. It's comfortable for you. You have power, authority, respect, a defined structure with a pre-packaged purpose, and maybe a little money, all of which you think you can increase by furthering your education. In Kentucky the social superstition of choice is Christianity. In Tehran it is Islam. In Delhi, it's Hindu. Indeed, if you lived in one of those other places, you'd see Christianity rather differently.

Look at the numbers, Brad. While social expectation bias goads Americans to claim religion to be important, observably, Americans don't care about religion. I'm sure you do for all the reasons above and more, but you are a statistical outlier many standard deviations from the mean. Most American Christians are social Christians who don't care about the Bible or its contents, or theology, however subtle, sophisticated, nuanced, or complex. Entertain yourself playing all the theology games you like, but remember in your musings that what is important to you isn't worth even a couple of minutes a day to most Americans. The light you emit while talking about Rahner, Craig, Sproul, Tillich, Bultmann, Kantzer or Whitehead, will leave almost all other Christians dazed and confused, and as ignorance-glazed as a deer in the headlights.

R O'Brien said...

"Watchout R'Obrien, they'll be callin' you names next...pickin' on their god dawkins...."

I find the adoration given to the occupants of the new atheist clown car both amusing and pathetic; the contributions of Dawkins and Myers to science, for example, are absolutely anemic, as are their arguments against God.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Hey R,

You said, "I am a statistician who is currently reading Piantadosi's book on Clinical Trials and I have no problem with the statement "sin is a disease." But, then again, I am not so intellectually circumscribed as to confuse a figurative statement for a literal medical, scientific statement, like you."

First, nice appeal to authority there.

Second, what is the observed mechanism of action for the disease known as sin?

What end-point would you use in a dosing study to determine the safest quantity of Jesus' blood that also ensures clinical efficacy?

Thanks.

And I am the pretentious one?

How do you define pretentious?

I'll give you exasperated but pretentious, no. I don't make any claim on reality that is underserved. Harvey does that.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You said, "Watchout R'Obrien, they'll be callin' you names next...pickin' on their god dawkins...."

I've never read a thing by Dawkins but, I do sit in a bible-based church that delivers expository preaching every week (my wife is a member and I feel if I am going to be critical of Evangelism I probably should here what it is saying on a regular basis - do you attend any open Atheist conventions?). It is the same kind of tortured reasoning by the pastor there and his misuse of allegory that has made me see Christianity as nothing more than wishful thinking to ameliorate cognitive dissonance.

There is little observed truth in it and much danger if one would take it too literally.

Chuck O'Connor said...

R,

You said, "I find the adoration given to the occupants of the new atheist clown car both amusing and pathetic; the contributions of Dawkins and Myers to science, for example, are absolutely anemic, as are their arguments against God."

How do you know I subscribe to either man's worldview?

My deconversion started when the pastor of the Evangelical Free Church I attended made the claim that Christians must answer "History" to the question, "Is the Gospel history or hilarity?" Based on the standards of historical hygiene I respected his black and white fallacy and chose the latter.

Since then, I've come to see the pompous attitude you embody as nothing more than the bleating of a scared little sheep.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Hey R,

I'm waiting to hear your predictive modeling for the dosing safety in the blood of Jesus.

What chapter in Piantadosi's book on Clinical Trials covers gathering a random sample of metaphysical data?

Come on smarty, help us out.

What is it?

And we wait for another delusional religionist to defend his superstition on natural grounds.

Russ said...

Chuck,

One of these days you've got to get some of this to the stage. There's lots of wonderful material on this thread alone.

No matter how absurd a parody a playwright dreams up, the reality of this stuff is always more hilarious and more sad.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Russ,

This site has been a great source of inspiration.

Your arguments have helped ground me and are really working to rid me of the unhealthy anxieties Calvinism created within me.

I feel like a new man now that I am 100% supernatural free.

R O'Brien said...

"Second, what is the observed mechanism of action for the disease known as sin?

What end-point would you use in a dosing study to determine the safest quantity of Jesus' blood that also ensures clinical efficacy?"

I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies, Aliens:

"Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?"

Chuck O,

Your inability to distinguish between a metaphorical statement and a scientific/medical statement is not my problem. When Ted Kennedy was referred to as a lion did you ask for someone to demonstrate how his anatomy and genetic profile were congruent with that taxonomic classification?

Quit while you are behind.

Gandolf said...

Russ said... "Chuck,One of these days you've got to get some of this to the stage. There's lots of wonderful material on this thread alone."

Yeah maybe monty python style ..Earthquakes and tsunami etc happening,in lands of sinless folk merrily living right in amongst it all,and yet nobodies killed because its sin that makes earthquakes and tsunami kill.

Russ i agree, if it wasnt also so dangerous and sad and so likely to often lead to some abuse.The hilarious side would atleast be worthwhile as material to always inspire much joyful mirth

Anthony said...

Haha, in a sinless world, a building could fall right on your head, and you wouldn't die.

So, the real problem is not that we shouldn't have sinned because it angers God. We shouldn't have sinned because we forfeited our ability to be Supermen.

But I probably wouldn't wear the fruity red cape; never did understand why Superman needed a cape.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:"Haha, in a sinless world, a building could fall right on your head, and you wouldn't die."

Who said that there would even be buildings in a sinless world? You believe that a sinless world would look like this one. That's a bad assumption.

In fact I guarantee you have no point of reference as to what it would look like, secondly you follow all the same materialistic faulted assumptions that what we see now is how things have always been. What if they weren't and things that we see now are not how things originally were?

So what I'm saying has nothing to do with superman or a cape. Jesus was sinless and lived in this world.

Your best arguments would be something like did Jesus eat? or did the food he ate die before or after he ate it etc...or things like did his skin shed which indicates death and the process of aging within a sinless body. I mean try to make a REASONABLE argument against my position, but in the interest of being silly and absurd you offer things like "superman"...

That's funny and funny is OK but please tell me you're kidding.

Thanks.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You've proven a lack of reading and reasoning skills. That's on you and noone else.

You said:"It is the same kind of tortured reasoning by the pastor there and his misuse of allegory that has made me see Christianity as nothing more than wishful thinking to ameliorate cognitive dissonance."

Bear the blame for your own condition...noone is to blame for you but you, so far as being where you are and your unbelief...No pastor has done that to you and if so that only displays a weak consternation and determination.

Look, Dawkins is a molecular biologist. I have every right to talk about his assessment of a field that he obviously knows nothing about. So place things on equal terms. In addition, that the most absurd argument anyway? I mean isn't that why you supposedly rejected the church? YOU couldn't talk about things because you weren't qualified etc...I mean atheists are only former disgruntled Christians and it's sad...

Offer something unique for a change. This elitism in argument defense that I hear atheists such as yourself spout is silly.

A little uneducated church mother told me long ago when you speak about the "blood of Jesus" the demons will come out...I see that here and that's funny and I'm not joking.

Out of all things, you try to make a clinical trial out of Jesus blood and sin as a disease (a disease which you have by the way)and THINK you make sense in doing so....keep on thinking, I'm not one to stop you!

I still want to know my question...since you radicals don't believe in sin (I mean I expect as much from you) What then accounts for the evil behavior that we see? If it's a part of our humanity, then why punish one another for being human?

Chuck O'Connor said...

R,

Actually, rushing in to defend your fellow supernaturalist has exposed your ignorance and arrogance. You said, "Your inability to distinguish between a metaphorical statement and a scientific/medical statement is not my problem."

Ahhh but, that is exactly what Harvey is arguing. He is arguing the causal relationship between sin and earthquakes because of the disease known as sin whose only antidote is Jesus' blood.

Now unless you want to defend someone who believes that metaphor can cause natural phenomenon, you might want to step off and realize what a jack-ass you are being.

I absolutely know your superstitions only operate on the linguistic level that is why I proposed a naturalistic test to your assertions that sin is a disease.

Now, what exactly do you mean by the linguistic bullshit you sling?

Dumbass . . .

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You said, "What if they weren't and things that we see now are not how things originally were?"

Okay Harv, tell us how they were.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You said, "Out of all things, you try to make a clinical trial out of Jesus blood and sin as a disease (a disease which you have by the way)and THINK you make sense in doing so....keep on thinking, I'm not one to stop you! "

Harvey, prove I have the disease. What endpoint measures it? How do you know this?

Do you realize how unhinged you are ?

You think allegory is actuality and speak in condescending terms to people who call bullshit on you.

I thought you favored the truth Harvey?

You are dirty liar.

There is no disease known as sin.

Show me where there is one in any medical journal.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said:Now unless you want to defend someone who believes that metaphor can cause natural phenomenon, you might want to step off and realize what a jack-ass you are being

First when we speak of the blood of Jesus we're not speaking of corpusles, but we are speaking of what it represents, what it did and what it does. It eliminates sin in the heart of man. Since it is for the redemption of man and not the earth it doesn't effect the earth in the natural or material sense. only a radical literalist such as you would be confused on this.

Secondly you've proven yourself to be what you're accusing R.OBrien of because you can't seem to grasp something so simple...I feel like "why is a kindergartner on this board?"

Third, every atheistic reconstruction of history and the prehistoric world is WHACK!!! you ask me to tell you how it was, whatever it was was better than the blind chance of atheism...I mean really, a soup of chemicals, under environmental pressure over millions of years gives rise to an amoeba???? What the heck???

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said:"Harvey, prove I have the disease. What endpoint measures it? How do you know this?"

I'll give you the diagnosis now...You will DIE and there is nothing you can do about it...It's inoperable and unmovable. The only cure is blood of a sinless man that all you have to do is believe in, trust and follow, but you won't and so you'll die...not just materialistically, but spiritually also...

The symptomology has manifested itself in unbelief and the abject hatred of God and all that he has established through human vessels along with continued uncontrollable patterns of behavior that you convince yourself to be normal and simply how you were made.

Now, I bet if your "spiritual atheist" god dawkins told you this you'd believe him!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Some atheists are so much fun!!!

Can we get back to the real arguments now???

Since YOU don't believe in sin (As i said, I expect as much from you) What then accounts for the evil behavior of men that we see?

Anthony said...

Harvey, your position is ridiculous. I'm sorry, it just is. I looked at that little site you put up, and the author claims that the evidence for an old Earth si incontrovertible. Ok, so then am I to believe that evolution (which is beyond doubt; it happened!) resulted in the death of no animal, until man came on the scene and screwed everything up? There were animals that existed on this planet before man, and even if your other ridiculous assertion that man walked with dinosaurs is true, there were animals before the dinosaurs. Did none of them die?

There was absolutely animal death before human beings evolved, and your little conspiracy theory sites or appeals to Biblical authority aren't going to outweigh the OVERWHELMING evidence for evolution. If you could, I repeat, you would not be talking to me. You would have shattered the theory of evolution a LONG time ago, and you'd probably be pretty famous, not arguing with an ex-Christian on an atheist website.

Oh yeah, I never did mention that. Your little sky daddy. I believed in him for years, and I faithfully sought him with all my heart. I surrounded myself with "godly" believers and gave myself to him in every way imaginable. My reward? Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and rage upon rage. He never revealed himself to me, but I kept tricking myself into believing it was my fault or it wasn't time for him to reveal himself. Then after my life was almost completely shattered (as in, right before suicide became not just a viable option, but the ONLY option), I realized the greatest thing I'd ever realized in my life. NONE of it is real. Maybe there is some higher power; I'll never know. But I do know it isn't your delusion. Not even close.

Anthony said...

Was I joking in my last post? OF COURSE! You know why? Because I don't believe in sin, or God or the possibility that people could survive a building falling on their heads. That comment was in a way a refutation of your posts. I was joking it up with Russ and Chuck.

You want an answer to your little "Why is there evil?" question. Evil is just a term we give to actions that cause death and destruction, misery and despair, and harm others. Do I believe there is an absolute moral law? Not. One. Bit. If there is, your God is doing a terrible job of implementing it, or he doesn't care about its implementation. Either way, he is culpable for the effects caused by its lack of efficacy.

I don't believe in objective morals, but I know that I don't want murderers and thieves and rapists running around, doing whatever they'd like. Do I need a perfect moral law and God to realize that I don't want to be murdered? Of course not, so we have jails. Is there an objective law for why I take a shower every morning? Not at all, but I take a shower every morning because it makes life more comfortable and palatable, and helps assure a more hygienic culture.

A couple more things. I was at a church with a TON of great people. They, in no way led to my deconversion, as much as it was what they espoused. But if YOU were in my church, I certainly would have de-converted earlier and for much different reason. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE WITNESS FOR YOUR BELIEFS!! And, I'm not even pulling the "you don't represent Jesus well" card, because, I don't think Jesus was such a great cat either. You may well represent everything that there is worng with religion, and I'm glad I never met you in person as a believer, because I got to at least deconvert for reasons that were real and worked out with lots of thought and sweat. You would have just made me turn around and laugh, kind of like what you're doing now.

Look, if you've got evidence that there was no death before the sin of man, please submit a hypothesis to scientific journals, proposse some experiments, and prove modern evolutionary biology WRONG. Afterwards, send me the results. Until then, I'm done talking about this to you and your RIDICULOUS position.

And, no, Dawkins isn't my god, neither is Hitchens, John Loftus or Thomas Paine or any other sentient being. I've had just about enough of my fill of Gods for one life, thanks.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You said, "The only cure is blood of a sinless man that all you have to do is believe in, trust and follow, but you won't and so you'll die...not just materialistically, but spiritually also..."

What sample-set allows you to make this assertion with any level of probability?

You probably don't understand that question Harvey because you babble in analogy and fairy-tale as if it were fact.

I know I am going to die and I know when that approaches you cannot tell me with any confirmed certainty what will happen next.

So I ask you again. Provide me with verifiable evidence that I have this thing called sin and relate to me in objective terms why you think the imagined blood of a dead jew will efficaciously remove it?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

"First when we speak of the blood of Jesus we're not speaking of corpusles, but we are speaking of what it represents, what it did and what it does. It eliminates sin in the heart of man. Since it is for the redemption of man and not the earth it doesn't effect the earth in the natural or material sense. only a radical literalist such as you would be confused on this."

Why don't you put, "Once upon a time . . ." in front of this because it has about as much substance as any fairytale.

You also said, "Secondly you've proven yourself to be what you're accusing R.OBrien of because you can't seem to grasp something so simple...I feel like "why is a kindergartner on this board?"

Simple minded is not simplicity. Simplicity provides functional clarity to complex REAL problems. Simple minded is the kind of superstition you sling as if it has ANY relevance outside of your addled brain. It doesn't. I get it. You believe the emotional release you feel when you let go of reason and give in to your solipsism is a sign of something real. It isn't. You are a dolt.

"Third, every atheistic reconstruction of history and the prehistoric world is WHACK!!! you ask me to tell you how it was, whatever it was was better than the blind chance of atheism...I mean really, a soup of chemicals, under environmental pressure over millions of years gives rise to an amoeba???? What the heck???"

So you choose not to defend your arrogance and accept that your "What if?" bullshit is an evasive straw-man which keeps you from offering anything but rhetoric to your claims of truth.

You are a liar Harvey by any measurable definition you are, and I think you know it.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:Harvey, your position is ridiculous. I'm sorry, it just is.

What's the basis Anthony. there is a little something that you have to respond with called a reason...to the current...you haven't made ONE...not One Anthony.

You said:"I looked at that little site you put up, and the author claims that the evidence for an old Earth si incontrovertible.

As I stated I put up the so called enemy for balance...i don't believe all that that site espouses. They are called Progressive creationists just in case you didn't know...similar and in some cases the same as theistic creationists...i don't espouse their views, but they add context to mine.

You said:"Ok, so then am I to believe that evolution (which is beyond doubt; it happened!) resulted in the death of no animal, until man came on the scene and screwed everything up?"

That's the whole controversy Anthony...you can do it can't you???

You said:"There were animals that existed on this planet before man, and even if your other ridiculous assertion that man walked with dinosaurs is true,"

As stated on what basis is that ridiculous...on the fossil evidence or the dating??? I guess that would make all of evolution ridiculous if that's the case, because that's the only way you can establish what so called truth of evolution that you claim...so just be careful with this one IF YOU EVER MAKE AN ARGUMENT...sorry about the caps!!!-LOL!!!!!

You said:"there were animals before the dinosaurs. Did none of them die?"

No we already know that man existed more than likely after animals began to exist, so your question here does nothing to clarify any issue.

You said:"There was absolutely animal death before human beings evolved,"

What was the animal and how do you know? Were you there? Oooh OK, where's this little fossil evidence that you mentioned?

You said:"and your little conspiracy theory sites or appeals to Biblical authority aren't going to outweigh the OVERWHELMING evidence for evolution."

I thought we were discussion sin and natural disasters...not evolution-LOL I'm serious though!!!

You said:"If you could, I repeat, you would not be talking to me. You would have shattered the theory of evolution a LONG time ago, and you'd probably be pretty famous, not arguing with an ex-Christian on an atheist website."

I seem to be pretty famous as you can't stop thinking about me right now...so i guess I made the big time!!!

Your testimony:"Oh yeah, I never did mention that. Your little sky daddy. I believed in him for years, and I faithfully sought him with all my heart."

I would imagine you left some for yourself...the proof is in the puddin'

see 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2 Anthony,

You said:"I surrounded myself with "godly" believers and gave myself to him in every way imaginable. My reward? Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and rage upon rage."

Has that stopped??? It doesn't seem like it.

You said;"He never revealed himself to me, but I kept tricking myself into believing it was my fault or it wasn't time for him to reveal himself. Then after my life was almost completely shattered (as in, right before suicide became not just a viable option, but the ONLY option), I realized the greatest thing I'd ever realized in my life. NONE of it is real."

So you mean we're all living in da MATRIX???

You said:"Maybe there is some higher power; I'll never know. But I do know it isn't your delusion. Not even close."


Let's see, You don't know, but yet you do know??? How does that work? is that even coherent? "there may be some higher power, I don't know" "BUT I do know it isn't your delusion" Since I'm NOT DELUDED it almost makes sense, but there's a logical fallacy in there somewhere and most of all IT'S NOT AN ARGUMENT AGAINST ANYTHING I'VE SAID-sorry for the caps!!!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

You are a silly, silly man.

Your idiocy is self-evident and you inability to see it is further proof of it.

Chuck O'Connor said...

By the way Harv,

You are sounding more and more like Pat Robertson everyday. Good old Pat believes in imagined pacts with the devil and you believe metaphor has a pathogenesis.

LOL.

Gandolf said...

Harvey said..."Sorry Gandy, I really meant no offence!!!

I was simply saying that when a person is not open to the possibility of spirituality in general, then to talk about a "spiritual" part to things will always lead to a disconnect."

Hi Harvey,no you didnt offend me.I was actually worried i had offended you,by finding your ideas to be in a way,almost kinda comedian.

I hold no personal grudge against you even though i have spoken abruptly to you in the past regarding your faith beliefs.So hopefully you understand its not a personal grudge that makes me feel your ideas almost seem almost comical.

However i realize the difference we have here, is you honestly are actually putting these ideas forward maybe? because you honestly believe there is good logic & reason to believe it could actually be quite possible.Maybe i offended you because i didnt take it serriously which you feel is me proving myself to be unopen to any possibilities of the "spiritual".

May i explain where you misjudged matters.You misjudged whats fact,because for me personally to accept the spiritual i first need to have some "good reason", and if any ideas likely to be true, at some stage i feel i should atleast see some evidence become available that the supposed "spiritual" meets up with "logic"....But we have absolutely no evidence yet,even in the year 2010 !

Folks will say some things unseen can still exist,such as gravity.But the effects of gravity can be widely experienced and provides good evidence for reason it then meets up with whats actually logic that could possibly even be fact.

Maybe (if) in amongst these earthquakes and tsunami etc,we (did) happened to notice for instance that it actually seemed the least sinful were the ones mostly being spared their lives!,(then) there would be atleast some evidence seeming to suggest good reason your ideas could quite likely to be logically possible.

However what the faithful will then do is keep thinking up every other reason they can possibly dream up of why the god/s might "not" bother providing us a few decent obvious clues,even though it strangely seems (god/s decided to), when it came to providing evidence for other things unseen such as gravity!?.

Once again Harvey im sorry if me seeing a funny side to your ideas offended you,like i said i have no personal vendetta of hatered towards you as a person.Best i can say is if i was somebody who believed rainbows were caused by buried gold without seeming to feel, we should maybe first find some more real reason to think it quite possible,maybe you yourself might find that idea a little comedian too!.

And then i as the "gold buried at the end of rainbows" type faithful person,might even also have reason to be offended.

Gandolf said...

Harvey said ..."Watchout R'Obrien, they'll be callin' you names next...pickin' on their god dawkins...."

Why does Dawkins seem to upset the faithful so much i wonder ??,it almost seems like it a real "personal hatered" thing.Thats sad.

Strangely enough if Dawkins really is this non believers god like Harvey and others assert and accuse,seems many non believers dont even need?, to read even one of his bibles to still agree with some of his beliefs!?.

I personally have to admit,to be honest i have not (even read one of Dawkins books),yet still easily find reason to agree with him on certain matters.I actually (dont even need to read anybodys books) to understand religious faith is connected to abusive thoughts! and abusive nature! that has very very often led to all manner of abusive nastinesses.Whether that happens to be because of suggestions of supposed mistranslations or not,it dont make that much difference.The book and belief is still obviously another real balls-up!!

I smile everytime i see some faithful person going bulldog over the likes of Dawkins ...Its just the same "personal" type hatered we have also seen pointed towards John Loftus,they try rooting out any personal downfalls that can be found, in hope that that then will poisin the whole well, and so dismiss all ideas and arguments!?.

Many loving christian hate John Loftus so much so they dedicated a whole blog intending to use any personal downfalls as ammo to distroy everything about him,quite likely im sure somewhere there is a personal christian Dawkin hate blog too.

But yet the (fact STILL remains) ...and Dawkins is correct!!,faith has DIRECT connections to abuse, ignorance and nastiness !!!!!!!!!.

Unstead of personally baggin Loftus and Dawkins,why dont christian FIRST "start living" by their own faith??.

Christianity golden rule says: "whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

Tell me Harvey or Brad or R O'Brien or any other faithful that likes pretending to be loving like their beloved Jesus,would christians honestly really wish non believers also allowed special laws that allowed non believers rights to freely abuse the faithful ?.

Its not so likely is it!.

So why the f**k! then do we still have special laws of "religious rights" to "special freedoms of faith", that then still allow for many faithful folks on this earth to quite legally willy nilly abuse certain people, quite legally and claim its their faith?.

Is this?? you faithfuls honest and reasonable idea, of what it supposedly means to be keeping your part in the golden rule?

Or is Dawkins actually quite correct!? about much about faith!! ...Its actually riddled with stinking abuse, ignorance and nasty thoughtlessness and bullshit!!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:"Because I don't believe in sin, or God..."

How would one have EVER guessed that?

You said:"You want an answer to your little "Why is there evil?" question."

That's not what I asked. Let's review: I asked:

What then accounts for the evil behavior that we see? If it's a part of our humanity, then why punish one another for being human?"

Before that I asked you specifically:

what is murder, lying, lust, greed, hatred, strife, and the list goes on and on? Is this just being human??? If so how can you, a metaphysical naturalist, penalize those who do such??? Those who simply are themselves?

Then based on the suspected answer that these acts were simply human nature, I asked:

Wouldn't you, by penalizing those who commit murder and all of those other things, that we all hold as evil, be the biggest flagellator of humanity in history by punishing those for being themselves?

now you can answer what you'd like, but DON'T tell me i asked you something that I didn't. Your lame response about evil being a "term" is as jacked-up as some of your other answers and assertions here...so please only credit me with the questions that I actually ask, NOT the one's you make up because you have no answer...Comprende???

I'll indulge your answer anyway because it's so ridiculous. You said:"Evil is just a term we give to actions that cause death and destruction, misery and despair, and harm others."

So if it didn't harm others or cause death and destruction and misery and despair then it's not evil...Was that joint you smoked an evil act or was it a good act??? How about that PCP that you seemed to have taken? Was your actions evil or not? How about that name you called your boss, that noone knew but you? Was that evil or was it a good thing??? So i can burn a vacant house down and say it's not evil? No owner and the fire dept. gets paid right...It's not evil to steal as long as noone gets hurt right???

What kind of message is this for your children. I mean "do bad things just don't hurt anyone and we're good???" this is called fool's gold...totally silly Anthony!

You said:"Do I believe there is an absolute moral law? Not. One. Bit."

Then why should anyone respect you in any sense? I mean it's to their benefit to take your stuff and under your rubric it's not wrong and certainly not evil. Why shouldn't everybody just have a survival of the fittest hay-day on you???

Then aren't you imposing an ABSOLUTE standard of moral right on me, by saying:"Harvey, your position is ridiculous. I'm sorry, it just is.

That sounds like you're making an absolute, BUT you say that you don't believe in absolutes...so WHAT IS THAT Anthony??? Is that not the BIGGEST contradiction in terms and assertions that you've written so far???

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

This is where it gets interesting:"I don't believe in objective morals, but I know that I don't want murderers and thieves and rapists running around, doing whatever they'd like."

Why not? Isn't their RIGHT to do so since you don't believe in absolute morals. Aren't you infringing upon their right to do such...This is ANOTHER blatant CONTRADICTION Anthony.

You said:"Is there an objective law for why I take a shower every morning?"

Ask your loved ones, they may make it a law if you decide not to take one-LOL

You said:"A couple more things. I was at a church with a TON of great people."

Isn't that sweet???

You said:"But if YOU were in my church, I certainly would have de-converted earlier and for much different reason."

Man, I came along too late now didn't I? Sorry I missed controlling your life.

You said:"YOU ARE A TERRIBLE WITNESS FOR YOUR BELIEFS!!."

OK, now you hardly even understand my beliefs, that's according to your own responses, so how do you know if I represent them well or not????

You said:"You may well represent everything that there is wrong with religion, and I'm glad I never met you in person as a believer, because I got to at least deconvert for reasons that were real and worked out with lots of thought and sweat."

In other words...Leave me alone, I don't wanna hear the truth anymore!"...That's using the God rejecter decoder 101 series. Too bad Anthony. I don't take the blame for ANY of your actions and hatred of God. Grow up young man...stand on your own 2 feet, take full responsibility for your unbelief...it's not me...it wasn't the people...it wasn't God...IT WAS YOU!

You said:"...I'm done talking about this to you and your RIDICULOUS position."

That's fine especially since you can't MAKE AN ARGUMENT AGAINST IT...sorry for the caps-LOL

Anthony it's been real as always!!!

Anthony said...

The theory of evolution would be beyond reasonable doubt even if had ZERO fossils.

Human Chromosone 2, ERVs, Summation of all the phylogenetic trees across varied disciplines, vestigial organs, the phylotype...that's not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

But I'm not going to convince you.

Like I said, if you have a hypothesis, do some experiments, get them peer reviewed, propose a unifying theory, unseat evolutionary biology, convince the overwhelmingly vast majority of scientists that evolution, as they know it, is wrong, and PROVE YOUR CASE!

And don't insinuate that you know that I was insincere in my belief for God. You know no such thing. That is mere speculation, because if I was truly sincere, if I did seek out your God with all my heart, if I ddi give my life over completey to him, and he never revealed himself, than your God is a liar, or untrue, both of which would be quite unsettling to you.

It also shows a little bit of your heart (if not the whole goddamn thing), that I mention that I was once suicidal, and then you say in jest that "Has that stopped??? It doesn't seem like it." You are a petty man, more concerned with being right than the actual truth.


Thanks for playing this little game with me Harvey. It was lots of fun, and gave me something to do during the rather dull moments at work these last few days.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said:You are a liar Harvey by any measurable definition you are, and I think you know it.

You're a bigger and better one that I could have ever been my friend!!!-So the prize goes to YOU!!!

Thanks Chucky Baby!

Anthony said...

"This is where it gets interesting:"I don't believe in objective morals, but I know that I don't want murderers and thieves and rapists running around, doing whatever they'd like."

Why not? Isn't their RIGHT to do so since you don't believe in absolute morals. Aren't you infringing upon their right to do such...This is ANOTHER blatant CONTRADICTION Anthony."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
*breathes* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Thanks Harv, that made my night.

Chuck O'Connor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

Just show me the data and I won't call you a liar.

What is the pathogenesis of a metaphor again?

Now why don't you go sell a dubious investment to an impressionable old lady holy man.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:The theory of evolution would be beyond reasonable doubt even if had ZERO fossils.

It has none and would have to appeal to some other set of reasons because that's certainly it's weakest link.

You said;"Human Chromosone 2, ERVs, Summation of all the phylogenetic trees across varied disciplines, vestigial organs, the phylotype...that's not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg."

And each of those things independently or together really do nothing to further your cause...so...

You said:"But I'm not going to convince you."

The smartest thing you've said all day!!! Eureka lights still go off in your head...ooh you better watch out, Chuck will try to call GE next and ask them what those light bulbs are doing in your head...

You said:"And don't insinuate that you know that I was insincere in my belief for God."

Anthony, if you knew God like I do...NOTHING would have shaken you loose...and I mean NOTHING!!!

you said:"he never revealed himself, than your God is a liar, or untrue, both of which would be quite unsettling to you."

What is the meaning of "revealed"...you don't have to answer but I'm curious. You've said that a couple of times.

You said I was being insensitive:"I mention that I was once suicidal, and then you say in jest that "Has that stopped??? It doesn't seem like it." You are a petty man, more concerned with being right than the actual truth."

Listen, since I saw Good Morning America about cyber bullying and don't want to be responsible for your suicide, I'll leave you alone...Obviously your deconversion didn't help you get past this either. it sounds pretty miserable to me...

You said:"Thanks for playing this little game with me Harvey. It was lots of fun, and gave me something to do during the rather dull moments at work these last few days."

Me too!!! You mean you're NOT going to kill yourself now???<:()

Gandolf said...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
"Anthony,

This is where it gets interesting:"I don't believe in objective morals, but I know that I don't want murderers and thieves and rapists running around, doing whatever they'd like."

Why not? Isn't their RIGHT to do so since you don't believe in absolute morals. Aren't you infringing upon their right to do such...This is ANOTHER blatant CONTRADICTION Anthony."

Harvey are you simply trying to manipulate matters like many deceitful faithful folk continually down through time have traditionally done?,or do you honestly!? lack enough education and logic and common sense to not even be able to understand that allowing murder doesnt (even) meet with the simple logic of children, when for starters we just simply start considdering and talking about our human survival?

Surely Harvey you are going to tell me,you were only playing manipulative games of faith

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

I we're good and one of those that at least makes an arguemnt when you do argue...so I appreciate it!

First on the sin and death thing...i hope you got the point of teh arguemnt. the belief is that the earth wasn't designed to kill or to have killing on it...that's debatable even in Christian circles...but I set forth the idea that sin being a force is indiscriminate and the earth being material infused with sin responds in the way that it does by killing man indiscriminately....that's debatable, but not silly as the claim is.

So far as laws are concerned. If you penalize the church then wouldn't you have to establish state religion? I mean, I agree that harmful elemnts of occultism 9religious and nonreligions brands) etc should come under scruitiny, but that is a slope that none of us want to go down...i think you probably know but when I send my children to school I want them to learn and be prepared for teh material world. I'll teach them spirituality and about God at home...So I don't believe that religion should be secularized or endorsed by the state, BUT neither should it be penalized.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

He said he doesn't believe in absolute moral values...then how can he absolutely belive that murders, rapists, etc are wrong? he's making an absolute moral value statement at the same time claimsing that he doesn't believe in absolute moral values...CONTRADICTION!!!

Further, IF these people do what they do and that is caused by their genes as most of you claim, how can it be wrong for them to respond in a way that affirms their natural genetic processes?

Wouldn't you as judge be playing a sort of God, penalizing those whom you don't agree with for your own purposes...I guess that's a way to implement survival of the fittest...

Anthony said...

Read my post again, and recognize, if you can, that I never said I thought murder was objectively wrong. I might FEEL that it's wrong, but I'm not the proprietor of objective values, now am I? What's next, are you going to assume that because I feel that the guitar is the greatest instrument in the world, I must believe in objective musical instrument values? I'm such a hypocrite!! I don't want to be murdered, and most people don't want to be murdered either, so we lock up people who are murderers to stop them from murdering people. This is from the How the World Works 101 class. Nobody is getting locked up in the name of objective moral values. Nobody gets locked up for thinking impure thoughts, for just being an evil dude, or cursing, or taking the Lord's name in vain or working on the Sabbath (although I bet you'd like to see every last one of the Sabbath working heathens get stoned in the public square...some real justice!!)

You are actually talking out of your ass now, which is pretty impressive in and of itself, but does nothing to buttress your case for God.



"Me too!!! You mean you're NOT going to kill yourself now???<:()"

I mean, this stuff is priceless. If an independent film director ever contacts me to make a documentary on "How to be a Complete and Utter Asshole", I know where to find my source material. In fact, if you wouldn't mind, the documentary would work so much better if we just filmed you.

No, I'm not suicidal anymore, in the least, but it's good to know that a child of God cares enough to mock it. Jesus would be so proud. Wait, I'm appealing to moral values again, aren't I? Sorry for the hypocrisy....

And the fact that you have children simply horrifies me. I'm sorry to say that, but you obviously don't care about other people in the least. That may be the clearest message you've gotten across so far.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

As I stated, you lock up murders to suit your own purposes...I'm not talking about people who just happen to kill, I'm talking about people who love to kill and murder, rape etc...People who are passionate about it. y'u-know psychopaths, who you claim are simply built that way. They act like they do because of natural processes....

Do you claim imbalance? Do you claim naturalistic malfuncion? What is your answer to them and why do you opress them with jail since what they do is not ABSOLUTELY wrong?

What kind of sham belief do you have? What kind of belief do you espouse? Then you present some candy behind story: "I might FEEL that it's wrong, but I'm not the proprietor of objective values, now am I?"

So you lock people up because of your FEELINGS??? Hitler killed 7 million because of his FEELINGS...Pol Pot and Sadaam Hussein killed and murdered because of their FEELINGS...So if someone kills and you don't FEEL it's wrong, you'll do nothing??? What kind of lousy snake oil are you sellin'?

Then you have the NERVE to feel sorry for my children...they have better sense in these short years of life than YOU!!! They feel sorry for you!!!

They won't advocate for murder saying some stupid garbage like you just said! Unlike yourself, they have a brain that they use!

As I figured, just like you don't have an argument against my position regarding sin, you have none for this also...Thanks for affirming my belief about tyour shoddy reasoning.

Anthony said...

This is fun.

Who said murder has to be absolutely wrong? Who said that people have to be thrown in jail for things that are absolutely wrong? Is there some objective moral law that is being abused when someone doesn't pay their taxes, or drinks and drives? What about when people get locked up for disturbing the public by playing music too loudly? Is there anything morally wrong with turning a stereo up too much? No. But they still get locked up. I wonder why.

We lock people up because they endanger the lives of other people, because they put stress on the society, make the lives of those within the society uncomfortable and unpalatable, and because the vast majority of people don't want them to go around doing whatever the hell they (they being the committers of these terrible acts) want.

IS THIS RIGHT?? Who knows and who gives a damn. It's the way things are, and I'm quite happy that murderers, thieves, pedophiles, rapists, unibombers, etc. aren't allowed to go around doing whatever they want, (or at the very least, the threat of jail prevents many more of these folks from doing these things in the first place) and I'm not going to apologize for that. Are these criminals doing something that is objectively wrong? I don't believe so, but I still support, IN EVERY WAY, the laws that put them in jails.

Does that make me a hypocrite? No. I never said what they were doing is right, either. This idea of right and wrong is illusory. "Morally good" actions have shown time and again to lead to happiness, not only for the person doing the kind deed, but for the person receiving the kind the deed, and beyond. "Morally wrong" actions, on the whole lead to misery, not only for the person being afflicted, but often times for the one doing the afflicting.

I never advocated murder, and you know that, but it fits your agenda to make it look like I did. I said, unequivocally, that I don't want people murdering me or other people, and this is why people get sent to jail. But it behooves you to make me look like a venomous viper. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm nothing of the sort.

Anthony said...

Is murder during war wrong, by your standards? If you have felt that any murder committed by Americans during any war we have waged has been justified, isn't that just your feelings differentiating between one murder and another?

"So if someone kills and you don't FEEL it's wrong, you'll do nothing??? What kind of lousy snake oil are you sellin'?"

Who said I would do nothing. If you want to write my posts for me, I'll be more than happy to give you my gmail password, and you can argue with your perceived caricature of me all night long. I bet you'd have a grand old time, since you would unabatedly be able to convince yourself of how right you are the entire time.

Moreover, does this mean that you have done something about every killing that's ever happened? Or are some killings ok in your book, like those committed during war?

What am I doing asking you these questions? You are a child of God. Your morals are perfect and need no explanation. My morals, by default, are based on nothing and corrupt, despite the fact that I've never had a drink of alcohol, never done any drug known to man, never been arrested, never sexually abused, or abused a woman in any way (neigher have I any man), and by all standards, would be considered a model U.S. citizen, but because I don't affirm an objective moral law, thus believing in your God, I am to be equated with the likes of Hitler, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein. I'm glad you're not my father.

And, yes, I feel terribly sorry for your children. The fact that you would mock my suicidal afflictions with such impunity just shows how little you truly care about human life. If your children ever think for themselves and leave the faith, would you treat them with such disdain and contempt? I wonder....

Keep 'em coming, big guy. I'm actually really enjoying this butcher job of an argument your making.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:"Who said murder has to be absolutely wrong?"

Obviously you've never talked to a murder victims family. Obviously you have no heart, nerve or brains to do so...So who says that's it's wrong Anthony? maybe it's all relative so them that are not suffering from murder should have no real interest in stopping the atrocity of it from touching others...That's your approach, now is that good for society or just relativists like you???

You said:"Who said that people have to be thrown in jail for things that are absolutely wrong?"

Well since you don't believe in anything being absolutely wrong it wouldn't matter now would it? You affirm as much as follows:

then you mix murder and the penalty o fit with paying taxes, drinking and driving, disturbing the public and playing music too loudly...is there anything wrong with that picture???

While drinking and driving could cause death, generally paying taxes, loud music, and disturbing the public (whatever you mean by this) usually doesn't take a life...With rationalizations and equivalents like this no wonder atheism is in bad shape.

To place these things on the same or similar scale either is blatant ignorance or faulted logic...i think it's a good mix of both based on what you've been saying in this thread.

You said:"We lock people up because they endanger the lives of other people, because they put stress on the society, make the lives of those within the society uncomfortable and unpalatable, and because the vast majority of people don't want them to go around doing whatever the hell they (they being the committers of these terrible acts) want."

So IF the "vast majority" said something was OK like cross burning on my front lawn it would be OK right? How about breaking into someones home and taking all their goods? It's OK if the "vast majority" agree with that? What kind of crack-pot theorist are you???

You said:"IS THIS RIGHT?? Who knows and who gives a damn."

Oooh I think we all do. I know victims do. I know I do. You mean your atheist concern about life and relationships doesn't allow you too. To be fair you certainly don't represent all atheists with views like you present here...That's one thing I do know.

You said:"Are these criminals doing something that is objectively wrong? I don't believe so, but I still support, IN EVERY WAY, the laws that put them in jails.Does that make me a hypocrite? No."

So what's the definition of a HYPOCRIT? They aren't wrong, but you support the right to place them in jail??? What??? Can you believe how you sound??? I can't!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

Here's your out regarding your obvious logical fallacy:"I never said what they were doing is right, either.This idea of right and wrong is illusory."

OK, I get it now. (as if i didn't know this long ago)It's neither right nor wrong, ie: you're such as relativist that you can't make up your mind and to make a choice one way or another damages your worldview either way...BTW this is called Nietzschean Amoralism and is another bankrupt worldview claiming that morality is invalid etc...

So tell me this...you claimed I'm "wrong" for coming at you the way I do...How can that be? Under your construct I can't be wrong. In fact under your construct no Christian can be wrong because morality doesn't count. So why be bent out of shape over any Christian decision right or wrong? why be worried about children or their welfare etc...You know why? Because you BELIEVE in a right and a wrong! You LIE to say that you don't but you react when something you FEEL that is wrong is presented I simply say STOP THE MADNESS!(excuse the caps) come back to earth and deal with it...You're not an amoralist, because you believe me to be wrong now don't you??? How is that the amoralism that you supposedly espouse??? Yet another INCONSISTENCY revealed!!!

You said:"Morally good" actions have shown time and again to lead to happiness, not only for the person doing the kind deed, but for the person receiving the kind the deed, and beyond."

So it's not a morally good action that a firefighter runs into a burning building to save a baby??? it's not a morally good action that a policeman rushes into a 7-11 to catch a robber??? It's not a morally good action that a parent, pushing their child out of the way of a moving bus, gets killed in the process??? Are these not morally good actions??? how can they be under your construct because, in each case someone dies in order to help someone else...The only one who think that's not good are idiots like Hitchens and atheists like you(please note you're a step higher than idiot Hitchens)So self- sacrifice isn't good because the sacrificer looses their life in the process, so their actions deemed by you are not morally good??? WOW!!!

Now this is insightful:"Morally wrong" actions, on the whole lead to misery, not only for the person being afflicted, but often times for the one doing the afflicting."

So in your upside-down world, the fireman, policeman and parent I mentioned above committed a morally wrong action??? thanks for that!!! That makes a lot of sense...to a crash test dummy, maybe but what the heck???

You said:"I never advocated murder, and you know that, but it fits your agenda to make it look like I did."

By not saying that it's wrong...LOOK up the page...that's sounds like either an advocation of it or the biggest obfuscation ever...anyway good job!

Look man, I know you're not a bad person. Unlike you, I don't claim that you damage the whole human race, ALTHOUGH A CASE CAN BE MADE (excuse the caps)...I'm simply looking at what you're communicating because it's problematic, inconsistent and I believe fallacious and if you actually believe this stuff, you can in no wise say my views are wrong because what you espouse is ridiculous.

Anthony said...

You're lucky I'm engrossed in teh college basketball game and my computer's right next to the TV.

Anyways, I was arguing against OBJECTIVE moral values. I don't believe in them. As for what I believe, I believe morality has been imbued into mankind due to evolutionary processes. I may be completely wrong about this, but let me explain (then, sadly, I must go to bed, for I have to be up for work in 5 hours).

Simply put, since most evolution was facilitated through populations, it's reasonable to suggest that those actions that best helped populations survive were upheld by evolution as being best suited for the survival of the society, and by the extension, the individual.

So, in a small society being attacked by an animal, an individual or two defending the tribe by sacrificing themselves would be seen as a good action, since it helps the weaker and less effective defenders survive. Those in the tribe who don't go around willy nilly killing everyone they meet, also help the society survive. (This can be extended to many moral actions)

In this sense, and I'm sure it's been more eloquently articulated by many people smarter than I, I see no reason to not accept that we do and SHOULD have an inate sense of "right" and "wrong". I only espouse the former moral relativism as a rejection to the idea that morals are objective in the sense that they are necessary.

I don't believe that.

Reasons I don't believe that. It doesn't bother me in the least that lions hunt zebras and kill them in cold blood ALL THE TIME, sometimes eating them while still alive. There is a particular type of wasp (can't remember the name) that survives by eating certain caterpillars from the inside out, while alive. This doesn't break my heart, because I just see it as part of nature. An unfortunate part, but it really doesn't cause me anguish.

However, the abuse of dogs, animals that I am much more acquainted with. That troubles me more than I can proclaim, but I believe there is naturalistic explanation of some sort of projection that we don't do for all life that is tortured and brutalized.

But if morals are objective, it should certainly break my heart. But it doesn't, because I have no evolutionary impetus to empathize with zebras or caterpillars, nor do I have any relational reasons to. If we did have this impetus, we would be so constantly struck with grief, we would be rendered immobile and incapable of living normally.

The whole point: I don't need to assume objective moral values to chastise someone for doing something that is unfavorable amd dangerous to me, to others or to themselves.

Beyond that, you believe that moral values are objective, but you can't PROVE they are objective, so you are doing the exact same things as I. You FEEL that certain things are wrong, and you, (and I completely agree with you on this) call people out for what you perceive are immoral actions.

Likewise, IF objective moral actions do exist, your callousness, bigotry and irreverence have been in direct contradiction to those, and by YOUR OWN values, you are just as much a hypocrite as you claim that I am.

Anyways, good night, and I hope that eventually this discussion will reach an equilibrium of civility.

Gandolf said...

1,
Harvey said .."First on the sin and death thing...i hope you got the point of teh arguemnt"

Yes i did think i mostly got the drift of the point of idea you were debating from...But i tried to explain ideas start seeming a little funny when not much evidence surrounds the unseen idea,that might help stop it seeming funny! and do something to help make it seem like a serrious possibility we should actually be considdering.

Like i tried to explain to you, its not just a matter of me not being open to possibilities of things "superstitiously spiritual" like you assumed.Your idea seems funny to me,because so far for me its carried absolutely no weight of evidence of observable proof with it that i can think of that might help me stop and think ..Hey Harvey has got something here we should take serrious.

Like i said had we seen evidence that the less sin the less suffering seemed to be happening ..We might have good reason to think hey maybe there is some conection here ...Just like with gravity thats also one of the elements of the "unseen" ....we notice hey there looks like there is some real connection here...things keep falling towards earth!!.

Strange god/s that supposedly allow obvious evidence to convince us of gravity!!,yet because it happens to suit the blind continuation of faith?,is ASSERTED wouldnt likely bother making the likelyhood of the actual presense of gods much more freely!! obseavable?? ..He`s likely a real trickster god/s,you suggest hmmm?? ..likes playing games with us humans!....Tempting us by allowing us ways to get the wrong ideas !...Ways that strange enough? seem to happen to very different and go against the grain to everything else we obsearve and prove around us ..Goes right against the grain of the nature of what other parts of our actual lives actually teach us! ...Like a (need) to look for real evidence,often for reason of our (safety!).

Harvey says..."I set forth the idea that sin being a force is indiscriminate"

Loveing God??.

Fair God??

Our heavenly father you feel?? ...Do you as a father, (indiscriminately) penilize your own children also too Harv??

I hope you dont! follow in your heavenly fathers footsteps.Its footsteps are unjust

Harv says .."So far as laws are concerned. If you penalize the church then wouldn't you have to establish state religion? I mean"

But we have that already dont we? ..The "state" is we (have laws) that allow faith freedom to willy nilly (impose religion) on people, one way or another....By birthplace ..by community etc ..often inforced by sanctions and all manner of nastiness and abuse.

What i find real sad here Harv is i personally think you show how you dont really even allow yourself to even accept the abuse thats historically been blatantly obvious and factually happening for thousands of years thats directly connected to faiths,thats the strength of the power of indoctrination and mindcontrol thats always been at work behind faith beliefs.

It so often has always produced closed minds and denial barriers,even the fact that the Catholic church took so long to accept sex abuse or it took 150 years for Dawin to receive an apology...Suggests the ammount of closed minds and barriers of denial that exist amongst churches, is quite likely.

But you wont be that inclined to agree,will you.

You would also claim not to be a prideful bigot and claim also to be following the golden rule etc and no doubt claim being careful about casting stones etc blah blah...And yet rather than simply accept historically laws of freedoms of faith can cause abuse!..You have to go and try to manipulate matters and suggest it maybe only applys to quote:--> "occultism 9religious and nonreligions brands"

Harvey come on you know dishonesty is a rope that sooner or LATER always hangs the person playing silly games with it...And nothing is ever to be gained! from having only blind faith that it wont ever happen!

Gandolf said...

2,


Tell me this Harvey.Happens we DO have actual proof of the existence of our (humanity),but we have absolutely NONE proof of god/s even after millions of years!?.....How? does your (concience)?? allow you judge that laws should allow freedom of faith to overule and overpower freedom of safe passage to mere humanity and this life on earth!, that is actually proven so far to actually be the only life that we actually know and can PROVE we actually have.

This you see as HONEST justice?.

You have no proof! of God/s and yet you like to have a closed mind barrier by the mind control of blind faith, and also like to pretend you follow the golden rule?, while allowing rules that your faithful ancestors voted for!, to willy nilly abuse whoever happens to be abused along the way.

You do charity to obtain your puffed up chests!,so as to (help you overlook) your abuse and feel such "pride" while being a (supporter and promoter of rights of faithful freedoms to abuse).

You and so very many of your faithful friends abuse the golden rule twice daily.

1,by promoting created laws, that you yourself wouldnt enjoy having if they actually happened to allow for abuse of yourself.

2,by not even bothing to care about even considdering your part played in the continuing abuse or bothering to even do anything about it,which going by the golden rule would simply be a immoral injustice!.

How sad that your "type" of golden rule seems to suggests abuse is sanctioned if it allows for faith.

Thats what happens when humanity which we all hold in common! and so should "rightiously" become first and foremost!,is disgustingly over powered and abused by the ignorance and false non caring attitude! of old ancient bigoted faiths of past barbaric time zones.

Personally Harvey i think you and your faithful friends need to be doing some serrious honest thinking about your claim of keeping of the Golden rule.What good is any faith of any god/s to help with any possible salvation in any afterlife there may or may not be,if its built around (abuse) lies and false pride ??

You can personally dislike and hate Dawkins and stamp your wee christian tootsies all you like!,but you and your faithful friends STILL need to really be questioning and asking yourself why his words happen to cause such hate?... if they are supposedly so "completely" false??.

You can dislike me asking you if you considder christians and folks of faith are honestly following the golden rule,you can even suggest my debate comes from a point of emotion (to try to make yourself feel better and prop up your pride of faith) ...But that dont change or explain away, the honest reason! why mine and Dawkins honesty happens to be able to very easily make you feel very uncomfortable !! vunerable indignant and angry does it.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

As you say, i'm enjoying this too only because you're making such horrible assertions, in line with popular atheist dogma so it's really easy to refute.

You said:Is murder during war wrong, by your standards? If you have felt that any murder committed by Americans during any war we have waged has been justified, isn't that just your feelings differentiating between one murder and another?

OK the "war rebuttal"...is was murder or is it killing? Is there ever a time to kill? What do you do if someone is trying to kkill you? stand there and let them??? So now you think I think that our soldiers are murders??? Are you CRAZY??? As I said I don't think your views are representative of atheism...or at least them that are reasonable.

You said:"Who said I would do nothing."

I said IF YOU DON'T FEEL like it's wrong you'll do nothing??? right???you're the one that said:

Read my post again, and recognize, if you can, that I never said I thought murder was objectively wrong. I might FEEL that it's wrong, but I'm not the proprietor of objective values, now am I?

That basically says that you'll do nothing because you're not the "proprietor of objective moral values" so what could or would you do since you may or may not FEEL that anything is wrong???

You said:"Moreover, does this mean that you have done something about every killing that's ever happened? Or are some killings ok in your book, like those committed during war?"

Now we've changed the terminology from murder to killing. These are two different things especially to the common man:

Murder ~ as defined in common law countries, is the unlawful killing of another human being with intent (or malice aforethought), and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide (such as manslaughter). As the loss of a human being inflicts enormous grief upon the individuals close to the victim, as well as the fact that the commission of a murder deprives the victim of their worldly existence, most societies both present and in antiquity have considered it a most serious crime worthy of the harshest of punishment.

Killing could be murder but NOT NECESSARILY and there is a such thing as justifiable killing such as for a soldier in war or a police protecting others or for you protecting your family...so what are you talking about MURDER or justiafiable KILLING?

You make some false assumptions:My morals, by default, are based on nothing and corrupt, despite the fact that I've never had a drink of alcohol, never done any drug known to man, never been arrested, never sexually abused, or abused a woman in any way (neigher have I any man), and by all standards, would be considered a model U.S. citizen, but because I don't affirm an objective moral law, thus believing in your God, I am to be equated with the likes of Hitler, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein. I'm glad you're not my father.

I believe you're a good person so quit that??? I was talking about your views of FEELINGS as it pertains to right and wrong...Look, one thing I know...Atheists love and and do right things just as well as anyone I know. A few of the guys I've met over the years on this borad are some great people and if were were together trying to save somebody from some danger, I'd trust them with my life...so you're not bankrupt, and I didn't mean to imply that...I'm simply pointing out that FEELINGS aren't a good guage for right and wrong.

Obviously, you feel that there is a right and a wrong but for some reason you take a sort of cop out toward it...that's OK...i believe you have a standard even if it's not commensurate with theism.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said:"Like i said had we seen evidence that the less sin the less suffering seemed to be happening"

Biblically when we saw no sin, we saw no suffering...once sin is introduced, it's an all or nothing principle. It's like contaminated water (oops there's another analogy) What part of the water is good when contaminated. All the water has to be purified when there is contamination. Sin is a contaminant...From the spirit or soul on out and it is pervasive. now, in all your study of religions tell me this hasn't stuck out like a sore thumb as a difference between Christianity and every other religion except Judaism? Sin is the cause of man's problem, and that begins with unbelief and ends in death, not a God constructed death as you suggest, but in a natural process or end result. Touch a hot stove and you get burned...is that my fault if I tell you not to and you do anyway???

You offer for consideration:...you show how you dont really even allow yourself to even accept the abuse thats historically been blatantly obvious and factually happening for thousands of years thats directly connected to faiths,thats the strength of the power of indoctrination and mindcontrol thats always been at work behind faith beliefs.

Religion has no lock on this sort of thing and in FACT the worst atrocities have been preformed by humanist and those proclaiming atheism...Pol Pot, Kim Juang Il, Joseph Stahlin and the list goes on...Hitler has been debated and was clearly an atheist no matter how much atheists don't want him to be one...These men put more people away in the last century or so than religious zealots have over 1500 years...there's really no comparison. Religion certainly doesn't have a lock on this sort of thing as you claim my friend. The numbers don't support your argument.

You asked:Happens we DO have actual proof of the existence of our (humanity),but we have absolutely NONE proof of god/s even after millions of years!?"

Who says we don't have proof? Only the atheists. Why are you more credible than anyone else? Francis Collins doesn't agree with you neither does Allister Mcgrath. These are top scientists who decalre the evidence.

Further and beyond this, if God is a spirit as described, the proof for him wouldn't be the same as proof for a rock. They are two different things, two different dimensions and totally different criteria to judge their existence. You look for God with tools suited to look for "football fields"...you can't use the same tools or methods to find God. In fact the only tool that you can use is the human spirit, BUT you've repressed yours and caused it to do the equivalent of atrophy. So what can i give you???

As these scientist declare, you can see the signs of his existence in what you discover within science and the universe...those are the leftovers and residual effects of his presence...you simply interpret it as his absence...

Is the glass half empty of half full???

You ask.....How? does your (concience)?? allow you judge that laws should allow freedom of faith to overule and overpower freedom of safe passage to mere humanity and this life on earth!

OK let everything pass for their freedoms them and lets revert right back to my argument for the murderer...let them freely practice what turns them on...Who's being restrictive now??? What you espouse doesn't make sense and is not functional in a free society. Why not let the terrorists bomb what they want? If you espouse freedom as you do, then how can you impinge upon my religious freedoms in any manner? i don't have a problem with any argument or demand for freedom but apply it without restriction because as soon as there is a restriction (according to you) it's not freedom. gandy, that's a ridiculous notion.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said:You do charity to obtain your puffed up chests!,so as to (help you overlook) your abuse and feel such "pride" while being a (supporter and promoter of rights of faithful freedoms to abuse)."

that's not the case it's just a puff of smoke you're blowing but for a minute, let's say you're right...so according to you, how can that be wrong? Why is it wrong? unless you have an absolute standard or a pretty consistent subjective standard for saying or thinking so...And how can anyone be criticized for breaking the "golden rule" under your construct of free moral practice? Thee ARE no rules under the rubric that you write about...Yet you certainly hold some in your personal life...ie: you believe in objective values in real life and practice but you hypocritically espouse no moral restraints or constraints when it comes to your atheistic writing...I know this about you gandy without ever having a dinner with you, because you've shared as much with me previously, but like most atheists what's written isn't really what you practice...I don't believe you believe in so much freedom that you espouse abuse of you and your loved ones...yet that's what you say I and all people should allow and respect...that's hogwash Gandy and I mean no disrespect!!!

So far as dawkins, the more he talks the bigger idiot he proves himself to be...hitchens follows the same suit only Hitchens is better at rhetoric but hangs his assertions on NOTHING...

That's the ignorance that needs to be addressed. I say let 'em talk so Christianity can become aggressive and involved in the arguments and evangelization of the lost that much more...why, If I have received the greatest gift ever, i want to share it...that's why I'm here, not out of ignorance but because I have something great to offer...doesn't matter who doesn't like it, because I know what we all know...one day, we won't be on this computer and one day you, like me, will be confronted with our mortality. And one day, all of what we're talking about will take on new meaning and urgency...and if I've done my job, no matter how much you disagree with me now, you'll consider every word I write then and it'll com back, not to haunt you, but to help you...Now that...I believe!

Gandolf said...

1,

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said..."Gandy,He said he doesn't believe in absolute moral values...then how can he absolutely belive that murders, rapists, etc are wrong? he's making an absolute moral value statement at the same time claimsing that he doesn't believe in absolute moral values...CONTRADICTION!!!"

I have the feeling whats missing is the difference between the idea of the existence of supernatural type absolute morals,and the idea of the possibility many ideas of human moral are found to be quite universal and possibly as near as possible to being known as possibly being absolutely correct.

Its not the problem of the non believer!! that the faithful folk finds it hard to understand just how universally humans might seem to be able to come to much the same conclusions ...that hello ...murder seems to be immoral!

The (non believer) unchained! by indoctrination mindcontrol and faith etc, is easily able to quite freely imagine and see and understand ! ....its really SIMPLY very unlikely we should ever expect to see universally that that many humans would likely find murder to be good fun.Its quite simple.

I understand you find this simple idea hard to grasp,you and i have even discussed this type thing before.We discussed it as far as you felt comfortable!,you even publically promissing me an answer to more questions and answers i had laid out!.Which i even publically reminded you about more than once!.. yet you failed to keep and make good on that promiss (you personally publically made yourself).Not that i hold that against you.

As i understand when argueing from points of faith and deceit etc,when trying to make matters FIT THE FAITH it can become uncomfortable and hard point to be arguing from ..And it might lead the punter to much prefering to forget the promisses,and hope like hell time will simply see the arguement go away and simply get buried away somewhere never to be heard about again ...But that aint so likely going to work in the longrun! is it?,because the truth has a way of making itself known in the longrun.

Harvey says ---"Further, IF these people do what they do and that is caused by their genes as most of you claim, how can it be wrong for them to respond in a way that affirms their natural genetic processes?"

Where did you get the idea that non belief equaled anarchy or nihilism?.

The golden rule asks that you dont blindly follow simple propaganda,as that is injust.What factual evidence can you then present to back up your faith of non faithfuls supposed need of being lawless ?.If you cannot supply it i suggest you are being injust breaking the golden rule in the process,plus casting stones that dont even deserve to be cast !.And tomorrow you will simply feel completely good about your faith in your church while you recite cultural memes??.

What proof do you have that non believers are ruled by the right of genes ....What proof do you have that non faith equals survival of the singular human in a selfish way ? ...Can you not grasp the very simple fact! that part of the human strength actually lies in deciding on what actually benefits the group as a whole!, rather that the selfishness of the sigular!!.

Somehow your ideas to me sound so much more like the attitude of faith!, where by selfish attitudes and faith and false golden rules seem allow faith beliefs to cause abuse!,not caring at all so much about those others it actually harms.

Gandolf said...

2,

Harvey --"Wouldn't you as judge be playing a sort of God, penalizing those whom you don't agree with for your own purposes...I guess that's a way to implement survival of the fittest..."

So you believe judges in courts to be gods also...And police and armys ??.

Look Harvey i dont think its much of a very HONEST type golden rule to be wrongfully applying false judgement to non believers,without thinking so much about it! because it simply just pleases your faith and is what you happen to hope is hopefully actually fact.Because it would prop up that what you have been indoctrinated and have faith in.

You forget even less inteligent animals have some feelings and emotion and show connections as a group...You notice they give warning signs when danger exists,and care about the need for survival of the group.Why do you feel a need to keep deceitfully casting this false propaganda idea,that non belief would need to lead to the total imoral attitudes you try suggesting it would?.

Does your golden rule include freely and willfully blessing others with blatant false judgement?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You stated:!,you even publically promissing me an answer to more questions and answers i had laid out!.Which i even publically reminded you about more than once!.. yet you failed to keep and make good on that promiss (you personally publically made yourself).Not that i hold that against you.

What questions and answers Gandy? I'm sorry I overlooked them but please let me know what they were/are and I'll address them if I can. Please know that overlooking them wasn't intentional.

Then so far as the morality thing...my point is that you DO espouse morality and you espouse and absolute brand of it...But your options are limited whether you like it or not...cultural values are not absolute as cultures change. individual values are not absolute as they are only relative to you as an individual...Absolute values require an absolute moral value giver or else you hang your values on either culture or an individual. That's the way it is...

You can't claim an absolute value that you made up, or say that society has an absolute value...It may be true all the time but when the community is gone for a value to be absolute it remains static and is beyond community...

You, like most atheists make a philosophical mistake in assuming that community values and strongly held individual values are some sort of objective moral values and that's NOT the case...it's philosophically dishonest and incorrect...Now that's living in a lie. Unfortunately, the leaders and proponents of atheism don't care about that and simply try to make their value philosophy fit to math their worldview, but that's not correct and philosophically embarrassing not to mention sloppy.

If values are absolute at all, they exist beyond culture and any one individual. Christianity can point to such values distinctively. Atheism can't without making a pretentious and dishonest attempt to do so.

Gandolf said...

Harvey--"Biblically when we saw no sin, we saw no suffering...once sin is introduced, it's an all or nothing principle."

Harvey where do you get the idea that something in old beliefs or written in ancient faith books,equals evidence and proof?.I talk about lack of real honest evidence, you suggest biblical books built on thoughts of deceitful man as such good decent evidence?

Harvey--" Touch a hot stove and you get burned...is that my fault if I tell you not to and you do anyway???"

If i touch a hot stove i can ACTUALLY FEEL and EXPERIENCE the pain and SEE the scar that this action produces....Why do you continue down the line of providing me with utter false and deceitful comparences !?,simply because you want evidence to match your faith


Harvey --"Religion has no lock on this sort of thing and in FACT the worst atrocities have been preformed by humanist and those proclaiming atheism...Pol Pot, Kim Juang Il, Joseph Stahlin and the list goes on.."

How sad and lowly that even putting unporven arguements aside,the faithful feel it to be just and rightous and a honest argument to seem to suggest that if they can somehow suggest there might two wrongs ..it somehow proves the abuse created by their own hands to be sanctioned ?.

This is a argument like children in some playground ...Suggesting ...waaaaaa but he threw stones at me so that means my stone throwing is warranted ?.

Ahhh ...what a sad lowly childish type of golden rule the faithful pitifully try to grasp on to.How extra sad that they dont even seem to have the slightest glimps of just how lowly it is publically looking these days.

Harvey --"Religion certainly doesn't have a lock on this sort of thing as you claim my friend."

Ok take a look at this http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/jesus-guns-countries-rethink-weapons-secret-bible-references/story?id=9617241

Now find me the equivalent type of stupid abusive attitude coming from the point of non believers !..If what you have suggested is actually honestly correct and based on factual evidence,you should have no problem finding it.

Harvey --"These are top scientists who decalre the evidence."

Harvey i dont need any scientist to see for myself that gravity is likely to be fact.

Harvey--"Further and beyond this, if God is a spirit as described, the proof for him wouldn't be the same as proof for a rock. They are two different things, two different dimensions and totally different criteria to judge their existence"

Oh yeah says you and your faithful cronies ,but you offer me (absolutely no decent reason or evidence or logic) why we should think you likely to be correct!...Now idiots believe in witches too they even willy nilly kill folks for their acusations,does that prove them correct?...Harvey this is the year 2010!!,we humans are growing up! we are no longer childish and no longer can be simply bullied into belief by the faithful.

Harvey--"You look for God with tools suited to look for "football fields"...you can't use the same tools or methods to find God."

Atleast keep it honest Harvey the golden rule suggests its a good thing! ...Why need to revert to blatant deceit....Do i honestly? use the same tools needed to look for football feilds,when agreeing with the idea of gravity.

I dont mind you using false judgement publically!,its you that looks silly unfair and very injust.

Harvey--"OK let everything pass for their freedoms them and lets revert right back to my argument for the murderer"

How childish and deceitful that you feel such need to use such public blatant deceit to try turning my suggestion of it being in keeping with the golden rule that safe passage for humans should be a right ...Around into suggesting that that would then make a need for us to also allow murder ...Harvey drop you faith shades for a moment,please explain in a (adult way) how you understand murder would ever likely equal safe passage?.

Glenn said...

What a Genius of logic.

1)In the Bible, some (but certainly not all) large scale disasters were because of sin.

2) Therefore every single claim that any disaster at all in the world is in fact because of sin (even alleged sins that as far as we know did not even happen) must be accepted as true.

I have to hand it to Dawkins. At least his brilliance on subjects like this remains consistently at the same level.

Interesting that you endorse this John, but I suppose if you want the world to think that this is how you reason, that's up to you.

Gandolf said...

Harv --"Why is it wrong? unless you have an absolute standard or a pretty consistent subjective standard for saying or thinking so..."

Oh the same supposedly? absolute standard that was supposedly included in your superstitious book the bible,that happened to see the idea of stoning folks to death changing from once being thought to be quite moral.To later being decided to be immoral?.

Harvey you are only proving how utterly blind and silly faith makes people.Do you not realize that even your own faith book argues against the idea of these supernatural absolute morals coming from thoughts of some supposed supreme being.

It was mans thinking that once saw stoning as being considdered moral,and mans newly better educated mind through experience that later decided it wasnt.Keep it real man.

H--"Thee ARE no rules under the rubric that you write about"

Mere assertion lacking in absolutely any factual evidence.Old thought and often thought totally idiotic today by most people.

H--"that's hogwash Gandy and I mean no disrespect!!!"

What the hell are you ranting on about?.Please feel free to provide evidence.Specially if you feel any downfall you can provide,is likely to actually prove everything i say is wrong.

H---"So far as dawkins, the more he talks the bigger idiot he proves himself to be"

Oh dear and you actually feel each of your arguments make you seem a little smarter?.

H--"i want to share it...that's why I'm here, not out of ignorance but because I have something great to offer"

Harvey like my faithful family i do realize you are indotrinated and actualy mean well.Please dont confuse my direct and sometimes abrupt manner,as equaling me having any personal dislike of you personally ...Its your "faith" that i have beef with! ...Like with my family i do realize its the "faith" that causes the blindness you live by.

Just because you mean well,doesnt mean i shouldnt have need and good reason to not still be abruptly honest.You are arguing from a point total emotion lacking good reason,this is not the same as arguing from a point of emotion backed up by evidence and good reason.

H---"I've done my job, no matter how much you disagree with me now, you'll consider every word I write then and it'll com back, not to haunt you, but to help you...Now that...I believe!"

Yes i always give what you write some honest thought.You are right in knowing that i do.

However if im honest,i dont feel you would even care to bother ..Even though you included the golden rule in your book and try claiming it as your own thoughts..Such is the sad addicted gambling nature of faith !...It dont mind if its belief happen waste folks lives by gambling on old ancient unproven faith born out of the dark ages when folks didnt even understand what caused lightning ,earthquakes or tsunami etc.

Yes! i will always considder everything you say ....But i really doubt that you will even care enough to bother

Gandolf said...

Harvey--"I'm sorry I overlooked them but please let me know what they were/are and I'll address them if I can"

It dont matter,i wouldnt even know how to find it in past threads here on DC ..But it was about this very subject,human morality.

H---"Absolute values require an absolute moral value giver or else you hang your values on either culture or an individual. That's the way it is..."

You have not given us any decent evidence for reason to believe that some sorce of "supernatural" moral actually exists...Even after billions of years,your idea relys totally on assertions.

However unless you can prove otherwise,i have supplied ideas with evidence for reason why we should believe we humans can come to the universal conclusion murder is likely to be immoral ...Its because universally in general no humans generally tend to find murder so enjoyable, pleasing or even so great for survival of the majority.

You ideas rely merely on old faithful assertions,i give you observable/experiencible evidence for reason to believe why the ideas i suggest are quite likely to be possible.

You can recite the meme of "That's the way it is",all you wish i dont mind! the public reading decide whether you have made a good case.I still say i have offered more evidence for reason of whats likely...Than the mere faith and old ancient dark age ideas you cling on to where other mere men wrote what they suggested in ancient book like the bible.A time when many ignorant folks even thought gods throw lightning at people.Indiscriminately too so they once thought,because they never understood what caused lightning so thats how it then seemed.

H--"remains static and is beyond community..."

Yes i agree with you on this because it is often "beyond" some community because the real answer actually lies in experience,education,knowledge,reason,common sense and logic learned etc.I however do not! feel it smart or even rightous to simply faithfully jump to wrongful unproven conclusions about it supposedly having anything to do with some supernatural thought.That i considder to be already proven to have been dangerous and often sadly even disasterous.

H---"You, like most atheists make a philosophical mistake in assuming that community values and strongly held individual values are some sort of objective moral values and that's NOT the case...it's philosophically dishonest and incorrect...Now that's living in a lie."

Ohh i see ..So please explain how you are sure the morals you suggest dont also come from the culture of your own very mere human christian community?.Somehow your christian pride wants you to assert and have faith,that somehow "surrounding christians?" all of a sudden strangely suddenly humanity eascapes human culture?.Pffffttt !,you are pulling my leg right? ...Who`s living the lie?...Whos actually being the one "philosophically dishonest and incorrect" here??

Its fine to cast stones Harvey but not so fine when sitting honkcus plonkcus in some fragile wee glasshouse, thats sadly lost many panes of glass already!....Thats not really such great wisdom ,do you honestly think??

Harvey.... your own bible in places even reeks of its own morality effected by (christian human culture and changing time) as i have already given good evidence for! and explained!.

That factual evidence i suggest even suggests a quite obvious ( lack of the supernatural),simply standing on it own obvious observable merit!.

Gandolf said...

Glenn----"2) Therefore every single claim that any disaster at all in the world is in fact because of sin (even alleged sins that as far as we know did not even happen) must be accepted as true."

Where does Dawkin make that particular assertion or is that your own personal assertion?.

Smoking isnt always said to be involved in deaths,does that disprove that smoking has anything to do with lungcancer and death?.


Glenn--"I have to hand it to Dawkins. At least his brilliance on subjects like this remains consistently at the same level.

Interesting that you endorse this John, but I suppose if you want the world to think that this is how you reason, that's up to you."

mmmmm ...huh #%@?? hey say what ?????

Was you really more meaning you merely "personally" hate Dawkin and Loftus ?? ..Is that christian? ..a type of Golden rule??

Anthony said...

Also, Harvey, this hit me on my way to work this morning. As of the reading of your posts last night, I have yet to see you explain why things like murder and theft are INSTRINSICALLY wrong. You claim, by fiat, that they just are, and I know that, so therefore, I (and others) believe in objective morals values.

Look, I agree, that I believe murder is wrong, but i don't believe it to be INTRINSICALLY wrong. If you could show that it is intrinsically wrong, thus proving objective moral values exist, you would, in a sense, prove a higher power, but you can't do that.

In fact, I've never read an argument from a believer that explain why moral values are objective. William Lane Craig, probably the greatest Christian apologist on the planet, offers us this little nugget. He claims there are objective moral values, and deep down inside, we all know that. Well Arif Ahmed called him out on this sophistry, letting him know that that argument wasn't going to fly during their debate, and it won't work here.

The fact is, we both use our subjective feelings to determine what we think is wrong.

In every response to my arguments, you have just simply decried my position as ridiculous when juxtaposed with yours, but you've never demonstrated why. I don't believe there are objective moral values and you have yet to show me why I should.

Give me a formula, something.

On a side note, I've heard many atheists claim this before, but if objective moral values exist (hence even atheists believe them) and they are represented in the Bible, why do the moral values in the Bible make so many atheists sick?

Anthony said...

And enough with all the "atheist" killers. First, you don't know if their death count is greater than religion's over the course of history. Last I checked, there are 2.5 million people in the Bible who were killed in the name of God. You'd have to show that most of the killing throughout history hat were done in the name of God are definitely less than those perpetrated by "atheist", and you'd have to consider all the Viking killing (remember, they believed in Gods), all the native tribal killins in S. America, and so on. You just can't claim this stuff.

Hitler may or may not have believed (I personally think he did), but EVEN if he didn't, he certainly knew how to use belief in God to rally the troops, so what makes him any different from a religious nutjob? Nothing.

Kim Juang Il is not a secular humanist. He and his (dead) father both think they are divine, and thus, are religious.

As far as Stalin and Pol Pot and all the other whackjobs, they strictly followed a dogma, that while not religous, was a dogma nonetheless. Secular humanists, like myself, decry any and all dogmas, and we would certainly oppose Stalin as well.

The fact is, no one has yet to come up with a fullproof system of morals, not even religion, so everyone has failed, so religion should stop waving the "morality" flag around, since its deeds are just as weak as anyone elses.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

Can I take your sarcasm to mean that you recant your assertion that metaphoric descriptions of the human condition really DON'T have any relation to natural phenomenon like earthquakes and death?

Or do you want to share your falsifiable hypothesis on causation through literary device?

Still waiting liar.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Glenn,

So you disagree with the Apostle Paul's assertion that "Original Sin" is the cause for naturalistic evil?

Or don't they teach that theology at your hipster mega-church?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said;It was mans thinking that once saw stoning as being considdered moral,and mans newly better educated mind through experience that later decided it wasnt.Keep it real man.

Gandy i don't think you know the meaning or the difference in what you're talking about on the subject. Judgement or penalty for actions is not considered to be a "morality". What happened to deserve the penalty was a moral action (in many cases) the penalty or judgement is what it is. For example, in America many states carry the death penalty for certain crimes...have YOU or any of your radical friends, stated that in those states the "morality" is to kill??? I don't think so...so what you're saying is a sloppy feature of internet radical atheism that has NOTHING to do with morality or a moral value. God's prescribed punishment was what it was in RESPONSE to SIN!!! i don't care what the thoughts are around that, but look through the bible you'll find NO JUDGEMENT of God without it being in response to sin and rebellion...Now be careful as you examine certain texts, because if you don't incline yourself to know the full story you'll be lost...

Also another thing, that makes people like me become stronger and stronger toward radicals is the insistent reference to OUR REAL and living God and FAITH system as being a "superstition" It's not and I believe you are living in a fantasy but you don't hear me reciting it all day long...it's a matter of mutual respect...I feel you damage the world with your radical dogma, but I don't make it a federal case in every comment...it's things like that that cause me to fuel up more atheist apologists focusing on your specific arguments to blow them back to hell where they come from...You guys show no sense of respect and then stand behind the "golden rule" that's why JP and other like him have a field day with you guys lame and weak arguments...If you had any sort of atheist RESPECT that you claim you live in because this is all you had in life, you would respect Christians even while you oppose their position, but that's beyond most of you to do I know...

Here you go:"What the hell are you ranting on about?.Please feel free to provide evidence.Specially if you feel any downfall you can provide,is likely to actually prove everything i say is wrong.

Obviously you can't stay focused on the argument, we were taking about morality and moral cause...you claim no absolutes at the same time presenting an absolute saying that I'm wrong for holding that God is the giver...You make an absolute assertion to do that and you provide a contradiction in terms and communication...in other words you make no sense!

You said:"Please dont confuse my direct and sometimes abrupt manner,as equaling me having any personal dislike of you personally ...Its your "faith" that i have beef with!"

That's EXACTLY the way I feel about you and YOUR FAITH of atheism. So we are clear.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said:"You are arguing from a point total emotion lacking good reason,this is not the same as arguing from a point of emotion backed up by evidence and good reason."

I think I have plenty of good evidence but you can reject what you want and will, that's not my problem. So far as emotion, I think the show may be on the other foot...doesn't really matter to me though.

You said:"However if im honest,i dont feel you would even care to bother"

I can't say what I would do if I didn't know the Lord, I certainly wouldn't care in the sense that I do now, but why would or should I? I mean I my life would be about me wouldn't it? The question is why do you care? the advancement of humanity??? Please what an answer? What does that do for you? It's certainly not a part of the animal kingdom. Do you see a giraffe advancing the giraffe kingdom? Heck no! So we got that because of sentience or the ability to communicate. To overlook those basic premises and differences in us and any other species is a backwards view in my opinion.

You said:"...faith born out of the dark ages when folks didnt even understand what caused lightning ,earthquakes or tsunami etc."

Now, this is a sad story. Do you know what dark matter is? Has it ever been examined? Outside of mathematic calculations, have you ever examined any object or body you see in outer space? What about the actual physical conditions of planets or even the earth itself...what's actually at the bottom of the deepest section of our ocean? You don't know, neither does science know...but yet should we consider ourselves less inferior because we don't know these things? Are we barbaric because we don't know??? Your standard is ridiculous and it's very arrogant to impugn a society as being less sophisticated simply because it did not share the scientific advances of ours. that's "fools reasoning" regarding history...

The funny thing is that you claim that evolution is responsible for some great advancement of mankind when in actuality some of the greatest advancement for man in modern times has come within the last 400 to 500 years or so. Tell me how much did man evolve during those times? Why was his creative brain slow to evolve? Is there a brain/physical interface disconnect in evolution??? What I'm saying is that you can't criticize these people, just like you don't want to be criticized let's say less than 100 years from now...This is another little radical atheist ridiculous position that needs to be addressed.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harv,

I see you wrote extensively in refutation of Gandy but, failed to answer my questions.

I will take that as a concession to your original point and a willingness to agree with me that your theory of sin-based-natural-causality is the stuff of fairy-tale.

Thanks.

Now stop lying. It is a sin. You're better than that.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said:However unless you can prove otherwise,i have supplied ideas with evidence for reason why we should believe we humans can come to the universal conclusion murder is likely to be immoral

You've done no such thing...you've supplied ideas, but certainly no evidence and neither do you now.

You said:"...Its because universally in general no humans generally tend to find murder so enjoyable, pleasing or even so great for survival of the majority."

that's contrary to your evolutionary patterns isn't it? Survival of the fittest is about survival of me now isn't it? Forget those who are weak and washed up in the storm...that's materialistic morality. What you and most atheists do is deviate from your evolutionary pattern and make a special case or pleading to affirm what you believe to be moral. no other creature does this. so why and how did you escape the pattern of your natural genealogy and survival programming??? That's the EVIDENCE that you and radicals need to provide...All you're doing is making assertions and hanging them in the air...on what??? NOTHING.

You state:"Than the mere faith and old ancient dark age ideas you cling on to where other mere men wrote what they suggested in ancient book like the bible."

What is written in your time that is a moral compass for you? What is a stable guide for your morality? Don't say your neighbors, because they move. can't say your state because you might move, don't say the government, because it constantly changes...so what's your guide for morality? Everything you can name changes doesn't it? Then how can it be an absolute standard? Certainly the values change along with the people, but you seem not to pay any attention to that now do you...The bible certainly stands the criticisms and lays down some universal and lasting principles that the WORLD including atheists are made better by...who argues against the values of love, patience, justice, mercy, etc and etc??? I'll tell you who...radical atheists who can't see the forest for looking at the trees.

You said regarding morality and it's base:"Yes i agree with you on this because it is often "beyond" some community because the real answer actually lies in experience,education,knowledge,reason,common sense and logic learned etc."

Hold the phone. What about them that have no education, knowledge or learned logic? Are they less moral? I think not. once again these naturalistic standards are shaky ground to base moral principles on. What happens when all of those things go away or cannot be accessed? then under your view we have an immoral and valueless society? I don't believe that's the case historically and the evidence doesn't favor you. Even among cannibals, there was a sense of morality and values. these things extend beyond community and extend beyond their ability to access material support for them such as education and the things you name. Yet those values of love, sacrifice, patience etc existed. Where did that come from? not community in and of itself. It came from the one who planted that in them and us. God!

Been nice Gandy

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

I'm gettin to you...don't get lonely on me...LOL I actually kind of lost track, but i'm goin' back...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You lack substance in your criticism of me or my arguments so you really don't give me much to work with about the only thing that you want me to do is place a spiritual act and transaction under a physical microscope...I guess that was what Paul was speaking about in Romans 8...

So I'll tell you to do this and maybe i can find something to satisfy you...Prove mind for us. What is the evidence for mind? outline those and then prove that others including your friends on this board have a mind.

Then prove mathematics. Outline the evidences for that.

Since you are a materialist you should be able to lay out specific evidential case to do so. Since you only believe what you can see, and believe in what has time and extension in space and real time, I can't figure how you would overcome that first hurdle but have at it...I'd like you to provide me with the same standard by which I can provide you an examination of the pathogens of Jesus blood.

Anthony said...

Harvey, stop using God to prove your foregone conclusions. That's circular.

Use evidence to prove God, okay?

Prove to me that objective moral values exist.

Prove to Chuck that sin causes this spiritual disease and death.

Prove that I have ANY reason to take your ramblings seriously.

Also, I don't know how you juggle a life of having kids, a wife, meeting with mayors, constant self denial and prayer, and these sustained and innumeralbe responses to so many different arguments. Impressive, seriously.

Prove these things, than I will concede. I have reasons for why i believe some things are right and wrong, and so do you.

Prove to me why your view is not only better and more palatable, but actually objectively true necessary.

Until you do that, I have no reason to budge from my position, and realize that we both hold subjective views on morality. You just think, subjectively, that your subjective views are objective, but to assert that, one needs proof.

Good luck.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

Sin has a relationship to all death and tagedy, whether direct or indirect it would't occur without sin.

Sin creates and brings death. Now it's debatable as to when this process began among many, but I'm clear on the issue, none until sin entered into the world through man's sin. We are all victims of this and noone escapes...

So I don't CARE if you don't like my conclusions, but it's a whole lot better than saying..."Things just happen"...What is that??? it's NOTHING and it doesn't get to the point what really happened.

Sin, once entered into the world is a one way trip. the effects of is are only cure, by the BLOOD of Jesus as stated earlier...i don't care about you not liking the analogy...Like Walter Cronkite used to say..."And that's the way it is!"

Anthony said...

Harvey, your deflection of the burden of proof is simply astounding.

Imagine that I've lived in a blue house my entire life. Everything is blue, with no exception. The only color I know is blue. One day you come in my house, dressed and colored completely in blue, and tell me tha the REAL WORLD outside my house is actually red and my house SHOULDN'T be blue. I tell you to prove this to me, and you look me in the eye and ask me to prove why my house is blue.

The burden of proof is completely on you to prove that the world is actually red, and what I'm seeing a misrepresentation of reality.

So, then, Chuck has no need to prove that his conciousness and math (why you keep harping on math is really weird to me; maybe because I was a math major) are natural. They are all he's ever known, and even though he may not COMPLETELY understand by which natural processes they came about, the BURDEN OF PROOF IS NOT ON HIM!!!

It is squarely on you, Harvey buddy.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:"Prove to me that objective moral values exist."

You are the evidence of that...you hold that I am wrong...is that an absolute assetion or a relative one??? Can you even see what you require???

You said:"Prove to Chuck that sin causes this spiritual disease and death."

I hold before sin there was no death...NOW prove to me that I'm wrong? I'm not wrong simply because YOU say I am...Who are you???

You said:"Prove these things, than I will concede. I have reasons for why i believe some things are right and wrong, and so do you."

Proof is in the mirror and reasons change. If it's objective it won't.

You said:"Until you do that, I have no reason to budge from my position, and realize that we both hold subjective views on morality. You just think, subjectively, that your subjective views are objective, but to assert that, one needs proof"

I think not. I hold values are right even if noone is effected or someone is hurt as a result. You hold that things are right only if they don't hurt someone...That's not an absolute standard it's an amoralor aor at least a relative standard...I would hold self-sacrifice is a right good value, you can't and don't because someone is hurt in the process 9the one sacrificing himself), there is a big difference between us and that difference is not merely based on subjectivism...it's based on higher principles and not merely likes and dislikes...The principles I outline are universal and praised in every culture regardless of education, ability etc...all those things that Gandy and you believe that it takes to create morality. Morality exists APART from those things...

You are only left with a certain amount of choices and you can't face them.

Absolute morality exists outside of every parameter that you set and it is unexplainable in your worldview because atheism does not allow it...In fact moral standards taht we see are in DIRECT conflict with the tenets and values of materialism and the evolutionary construct of survival of the fittest that we see...

YOU my friend have to come up with a proof to support your world view...the proof is ample on my side of the argument beginning with you (the critic) assertion that religion and Christianity in particicular is absolutely wrong. You believe that thought is an objective moral value only it really is a subjective one...so the burden is on you...not me!

Anthony said...

We got it Harvey; you can assert things. In fact, your powers of assertion may be unmatched in all of human history!!!

But, as far as I can tell, you can't prove anything.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

I conclude that a person who thinks sin causes death and can't provide objective evidence to that assertion is a polemical ass who should be ignored, if not insitutionalized.

God told me this.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said:"I conclude...God told me this."

I'm sure he did as your god is YOU, dawkins and other cast of spiritually challenged characters.

Been real Chuck O, where else can you get entertainment like this for such a bargain basement, and I do mean basement, price?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harv,

You paid for this?

God thinks you are a jerk.

And no, not Dawkins. The real God, he told me so.

Like I said, I've never read Dawkins.

Now dim-wit aren't you worried that God hates you and you aren't going to Heaven?

Gandolf said...

1,
Harvey said--"Judgement or penalty for actions is not considered to be a "morality". What happened to deserve the penalty was a moral action (in many cases) the penalty or judgement is what it is."

Harvey i think its hardly much worth even debating matters much more with you, if you foolishly believe judgement or penality has nothing to do with what thought moral.

What is it that makes us decide whether certain people should go to jail?,morals ! thats what... which are standards ,principles with respect to the right or wrong conduct etc.

Why do we in different communities/countries still debate and decide whether our justice systems should include the death penility?? .What thinking do we use to help decide that "judgement" ...Thoughts of what moral thats what !!

How can you really not understand that at all Harvey?.

Harvey said--"you claim no absolutes at the same time presenting an absolute saying that I'm wrong for holding that God is the giver...You make an absolute assertion to do that and you provide a contradiction in terms and communication...in other words you make no sense!"

No its you that makes no sense.Read my post again,nowhere have i claimed there is no absolutes! ...Of course there is absolutes,your car tank is absolutely out of gas when there is no more gas left in it .

The thing you missed was i dont agree we need any supernatural force nor do i think any supernatural force is involved in us deciding absolutes.

Morals become absolute ,when we no longer find reason to find them immoral/wrong!, and so then we also find we see and observe they no longer seem to change and evolve.=absolute


There is no supernatural force involved or even needed in deciding that though.

There was no supernatural force involved,when the moral judgment of the death penalty of stoning changed from yes to no ,in the bible either ...It was simply the people and culture time and knowledge and experience etc ....Thats what made people change their minds about it.

Gandolf said...

2,

Harvey im not going to answer you on everything over and over again,to me now it makes no sense to bother as it seems almost pointless..You will not likely understand .Specially when you seem to think judgement and justice has nothing to do with morals?.

With all you wrote you gave me nothing new! that offers me any reason to debate you much more about it, if you are not going to think more serriously about matters.And come up with some decent new counter arguments.

I cant see your valid points that should give me good reason to wonder if im wrong, so they cannot be very obvious,do you think it likely its so obvious for anyone else reading this?


If you can show me any special point you feel you made where you feel you (actually) pointed anything out,that you think i need to think about and debate more ..Then please do point it out ! .i cant see anything...im happy to debate you,but not if its just going to be circular! with you offering nothing to suggest why morals should be thought they are actually likely to be effected by anything supernatural.

See its pointless when you simply "claim" i have NOT given you "any" evidence that morals are natural and likely to be entirely human ...When the actual (honest truth) is ive pointed out the moral judgement of stoning people as a death penality, changed in your own bible!.

Murder is universalally moral simply because,pretty much universally not many folks find murder so enjoyable pleaseing or just ...More evidence i have provided! and you have done absolutely nothing to adresss!

Immorality of murder is common sense,not supernatural! ...Can you not even get a grip of that notion? ..Are you so lost you really feel you would need some (supernatural force) to "remind you" its likely to be wrong, if somebody is killing you! or your family! or community!??

If so, why? what reason is there for us to have a bloody brain at all?

The moral of stoning or death penility is a different matter,because thinking on the subject is not the same ...Some find it justice and moral, some dont.

But once again thats got nothing to do with any supernatural force to decide !

Anthony said...

Harvey has continually not ponied up when asked to provide hard evidence for his claims. When he claims that there was no death before man sinned, he has to PROVE that no animal died before man walked on the Earth, which is in complete contradiction wtih all of modern biology, geology, archaeology, and genetics, among other disciplines.

He claims that there is something beyond the natural world that results in our having consciousness, math, and morals, but given the fact that over the course of humanity there is a steady progress of natural explanations supplanting supernatural ones, why in the name of Jesus H. Christ should we just assume that because we don't have a concrete explanation for these things as of yet, that there has to be a supernatural explanation.

Moreover, even if we did have an explanation, history also tells us that the religious would be extremely reticent to agree with it at all, and poke holes at every bloody part of it, in hopes they can maintain their cognitive dissonance.

Harvey makes positive claim after positive claim, yet makes negative evidence claims, but zero positive evidence claims. When asked over and over by Chuck to provide evidence and mannerisms by which sin causes and upsets the Earth, Harvey just retreats to repeating the original position.

Harvey has no proof, just many, many mantras and recitations that he parrots non-stop. He also doesn't accept the fact that HE ALONE bears the burden of proof for his claims. Whenever pushed for hard evidence and proof, he deflects by clamoring on and on that we have no proof for a natural expalanation of "mind, math and morals", even though several plausible natural solutions have been suggested by many philosophers. But, again, we don't have to provide proof. We have every right to believe these explanations are natural until shown good reason that they are not.

Beyond that, Harvey is petty, insensitive, to an almost infantile degree, and condescending. He displays almost none of the morals he espouses so vociferously and seems to care more about being right than he does about spreading the message of God. I can hardly think of any Christian that I've ever met in my life who would approve of how he acts, even a little bit.

Oh, and he also claims on more than several occasions to not only know what we are thinking, but what we used to think when we were believers (for those who were) even though he doesn't know a dman thing about us.

Harvey, you have been a HUGE waste of time, and have actually left me even more confident in my position as an atheist. Looks like you're really failing Jesus in your duties toward the Great Commission.

Have a nice life, Harvey, we're done.

dguller said...

Harvey:

I happen to agree with you that objective values exist.

It is a fact there are a set of values that the majority of human beings aspire towards and that, given our human nature, bring a higher degree of flourishing and satisfaction. This is where I would agree that there is a measure of objectivity to our values. We DO hold values, which is an objective fact.

For example, we value each other as possessing inherent worth, we value honesty, peace, hard work, happiness, discipline, and so on. I would say that these are all objective, in the sense that given our evolved psychology, living according to these values brings us a higher degree of satisfaction than living the opposite. So, it is worse to value the worthlessness of human beings, dishonesty, laziness, depression, and so on.

Since we are incredibly complex biological entities who exist in a complicated world, it often occurs that our values contradict one another, and that our moral intuitions are pulled in multiple directions without any way to resolve the contradiction, except to simply make an educated choice. Furthermore, there are times that the opposite of our values are also valuable! For example, sometimes it is good to be dishonest and lazy, but those are exceptional circumstances, I think, and it is generally better to value their opposites.

Now, I disagree that our values are objective in the same way that mountains are objective. Our values did not exist before human beings appeared in this world, because there was no-one to value them. When we no longer exist, our values will die with us. They ONLY exist by virtue of our psychology in the sense that we happen to value certain things, probably because those of our ancestors who did not value such things died due to an inability to live in the complex societies of mankind.

I think that this is all consistent with a naturalistic evolutionary understanding of humanity, and that there is no need for bringing in the supernatural.

I’d like to know your thoughts.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

You said this:"Now dim-wit aren't you worried that God hates you and you aren't going to Heaven?"

I'm not worried because 1- you're STUPID as two irregular left shoes on Monday morning and 2- the nature and character and word of God is revealed which confirms that you're an IDIOT and reaffirms my destination of eternal life and peace...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You said:"Harvey i think its hardly much worth even debating matters much more with you, if you foolishly believe judgement or penality has nothing to do with what thought moral."

You change the argument don't you? from judgement IS morals to judgement "has to do" with morals...It is no fun when people like you make things up and try to reinterpret truth by saying that punishment for bad and wrong behavior is a type of overarching principle of morality. It's NOT.

Punishment may have it's root in a moral position, and the application of it based on a moral foundation, but it's a far cry from an overarching principle of societal morality. Otherwise we'd say that the morality of any country that espouses capital punishment is death...that's a silly argument!!! You need to distinguish the difference but you sloppily lump it all together and say that it's all simply morality and that's not true.

You trump up a philosophical nightmare and an IMPRACTICAL standard that allows no justice or retribution for any crime by claiming that judgements are overarching principles of morality...THAT'S SILLY, uncalled for and further proves your inability to handle the subject.

You asked:"How can you NOT understand the difference?"

Well look at your feet...you need to put those shoes on because they are a perfect fit for ya...

You said:"The thing you missed was I dont agree we need any supernatural force nor do i think any supernatural force is involved in us deciding absolutes."

So then your absolutes (as we're talking values and not gas tanks)are established by whom? how are they regulated? Are they static?

You said:"Morals become absolute ,when we no longer find reason to find them immoral/wrong!, and so then we also find we see and observe they no longer seem to change and evolve.=absolute"

Put that blunt down and try that again...you had a big puff of that ganja in your mouth on that one...what the heck???

You said:"Harvey im not going to answer you on everything over and over again,to me now it makes no sense to bother as it seems almost pointless"

Then just answer ONE thing that I do ask instead of making up and answering questions that I didn't ask. That would be a good start.

You said:"See its pointless when you simply "claim" i have NOT given you "any" evidence that morals are natural and likely to be entirely human ...When the actual (honest truth) is ive pointed out the moral judgement of stoning people as a death penality, changed in your own bible!."


That says NOTHING Gandy. you ASSUME it says that change was because of man...any change wasn't because of man it was because of God...You have no clue is the relationship between covenants and what transpired and or why...So that's right it's pointless when you care about the facts and superimpose your own answers...I don't respect or regard your answers as they are clearly and easily read to be false. So what is there to do but move on as you say?

see 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2

Gandy,

You said:"Murder is universalally moral simply because,pretty much universally not many folks find murder so enjoyable pleaseing or just ...More evidence i have provided! and you have done absolutely nothing to adresss!"

Is that evidence? evidence of what? that murder is wrong because it's unenjoyable? What kinda dipstick answer is that? Murder is universally wrong because because of the disregard for human life. Murder is wrong because it infringes upon the will of others to live. Murder is wrong because it places men in an exalted position whereby the value and desire of others is minimized...NOT because it's unpleasurable...You have NO CLUE!!!Your philosophical model is outdated. I believe of the Platonic or Socratic brand, either way it's jacked up and modern philosophy really doesn't hold the view that pleasure or hedonism creates some sort of moral aura...get a better argument will ya...that's stale and highly ineffective and I noticed all of you argue morality on the pleasure basis...wheeeeew!

Now I've already put many of your lame arguments to bed. one such lame argument being that morality is somehow based on exposure to knowledge. Any anthropologist worth his salt will tell you as I have said that completely FALSE...rather than acknowledge one of the many bad arguments you render, you simply move on to the next as if you're not exposed...well you are...

Secondly, you've tried to argue that culture and community as the basis for morality, by some sort of hit and miss process...I've DEMONSTRATED that cultures change, people change and provide no basis, but yet wee see biblical values of love, peace, kindness etc, consistently held in high esteem in every known society....

Third you try to say that values are based on pleasure and Anthony made the foolishly sloppy mistake of saying that the root of values were in pleasure also or not hurt or being hurt...when we see the values of self-sacrifice hailed as a virtue in every society, even among what were cannibals.that self-sacrifice always leads to or causes hurt, but is always hailed as a good value.....

These things are universal and not established by society. in order for them to exist they must be given by a moral law giver...they just simply don't universally exist on their own...You offer NO REBUTTAL to that principle and your philosophical constructs against my arguments are kindergartenish...

The question is WHY SHOULD I waste my time any further because neither you nor your friends can decipher the argument nor present anything of value against my position...

So as you say, UNLESS you have an argument, it is a waste of time...

Thanks.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anthony,

You said:When he claims that there was no death before man sinned, he has to PROVE that no animal died before man walked on the Earth, which is in complete contradiction wtih all of modern biology, geology, archaeology, and genetics, among other disciplines."

I'm not under the burden of scientific evidence Anthony. What I say is debatable, but no more debatable than man evolving by chance mutations from primordial soup under pressure for millions of years...There Is no proof for such Anthony YET you claim that as a truth...only you have NOTHING that even addresses it except modern scientific theory and postulations...I have historic traditions that date back thousands of years before the scientific enlightenment occurred. So I have no greater burden than you or any radical on this board! know that...feel that...love that...OK???

You said:"He claims that there is something beyond the natural world that results in our having consciousness, math, and morals, but given the fact that over the course of humanity there is a steady progress of natural explanations supplanting supernatural ones, why in the name of Jesus H. Christ should we just assume that because we don't have a concrete explanation for these things as of yet, that there has to be a supernatural explanation."

Why DISCARD the possibility IF the desire is to get to TRUTH? The reason you discard is because it doesn't fit in your already contrived and preconceived notions...That's the only reason to stand against it.

You said:"Harvey makes positive claim after positive claim, yet makes negative evidence claims, but zero positive evidence claims."

Do you even know what you're saying...read Gandy's answer as you postulated the same lame arguments as his and they have been refuted...only you have no clue...go figure???

You said:"Whenever pushed for hard evidence and proof, he deflects by clamoring on and on that we have no proof for a natural explanation of "mind, math and morals", even though several plausible natural solutions have been suggested by many philosophers."

And they ALL fail under the weight of examination and you present NONE of them!!! Further, I ask you to PROVE mind and mathematics and that other minds exist. You once again offer NO PROOF of anything...in fact you simply skirt over the issue. FYI: there is no empirical evidence that can be presented to prove any of them...they are immaterial realities NOT ABSTRACTS that have no time, appearance or extension in space but offer value and are concrete. You also have to ASSUME they exist to do anything worth anything in the world. There I've taken care of part of it for ya...since you guys are challenged... based on that FACT...there is no way to RATIONALLY discount the existence of anything simply because it has an immaterial existence.

see 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2

Anthony,

You said:"Beyond that, Harvey is petty, insensitive, to an almost infantile degree, and condescending."

No, I believe YOU'RE infantile. I simply won't take your garbage like some others will. You don't control my mind by telling me what a Christian should do when you don't have the nerve to be one yourself...IF you simply stick to the arguments without a silly psychoanalysis, you'd have no trouble with me...Then when I stand up and tell you that I DON'T ACCCEPT you garbage because it stinks...so what? Love it or leave it. You have no authority that I recognize. I'm calling for a Christian revolution I suppose...meet lame arguments like yours and put them down!!! One by one.

You said:"I can hardly think of any Christian that I've ever met in my life who would approve of how he acts, even a little bit."

See that's what I mean...a little mind control or behavioral control technique...see that??? And they say that's the church...YEA RIGHT!!! you guys only want subjection to you and your worldview...dawkins the "spiritual atheist" and his blind followers...I do you and the world a service by calling you what you are...blind hypocrites!

You said:"Oh, and he also claims on more than several occasions to not only know what we are thinking, but what we used to think when we were believers (for those who were) even though he doesn't know a dman thing about us."

I took out GARBAGE like your in my personal life and set it on the curb LONG ago...you have nothing new and or unique...SIN is SIN and that's all it is...you act like a sinner because you are one...no claim that you aren't...please do....

You said:"Harvey, you have been a HUGE waste of time, and have actually left me even more confident in my position as an atheist."

Yea right...and I'm to blame for that crack you smoking' right now aren't I??? Get off it man...get real!!!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dguller,

Finally someone who has a civil tone... thank you and I appreciate your argument. I'll go to the points that I feel suited to address from my perspective:

You said:"Now, I disagree that our values are objective in the same way that mountains are objective. Our values did not exist before human beings appeared in this world, because there was no-one to value them."

Now that's a distinguishing point between where I feel values come from and you as we would expect. I would hold that those values would exist before we would have come to know them, as an extension of an eternal God who set these things forth in general principle throughout his creation. I understand your view however and respect it. This leads however to a difference with your next statement also:

You said:"When we no longer exist, our values will die with us."

I would hold that those values would continue to exist if they are absolute. Our personal set of values cease with us, but the greater and more overarching set of values continue in principle beyond the existence of man.

now in my point of view this is important, because it speaks to the "change" of God in his treatment and interaction with his creation. If values somehow die then as a Christian we have no assurance that God will remain the same in his values toward us. If they are static, then that assurance is evident. So I think you make an argument that allows me to bring up a much greater dimension and distinction between "here and now" values and universal and eternal values.

A common mistake is that non theists get the impression that theists don't believe their values to be real. I certainly do. you love your family and life just like me and I'm sure would do anything for them...so that's not in question, only the basis for it is. I heard Eugenie Scott go after William Craig on that point and she was right in that her values are absolute and objective for she knows the love she has for her family, but Craig was focused on the basis of that and there was a little disconnect...

You said:"I think that this is all consistent with a naturalistic evolutionary understanding of humanity, and that there is no need for bringing in the supernatural."

I think your assessment of evolutionary moral values is apropos to that position...and you represent it well. I think I've outlined the difference already but appreciate your assessment.

Thank you

dguller said...

Harvey:

>> I would hold that those values would continue to exist if they are absolute. Our personal set of values cease with us, but the greater and more overarching set of values continue in principle beyond the existence of man.

Why the need to believe this? Why do our values and preferences have to be written into the fabric of the universe in order for them to be considered serious by theists? Why the need to have such a grandiose view of values? Why not just accept that it is an absolute and objective fact that human beings have a nature such that the use of certain values has a greater chance of resulting in a life of contentment and flourishing than the reliance upon other values? And that values are ubiquitous in biological organisms who approach things that they value and avoid those that they do not? Even bacteria do this! Humans are just far more complicated in this matter due to our evolution of conscious awareness.

>> now in my point of view this is important, because it speaks to the "change" of God in his treatment and interaction with his creation. If values somehow die then as a Christian we have no assurance that God will remain the same in his values toward us. If they are static, then that assurance is evident. So I think you make an argument that allows me to bring up a much greater dimension and distinction between "here and now" values and universal and eternal values.

First, you are assuming the existence of an afterlife that follows our death. If there is no afterlife, then it is irrelevant whether God would continue to adhere to the same values.

Second, you assume that God’s values are the same as ours. They are not, given his behaviour in the bible, and our experience of the evil and suffering in the world.

Third, the bible describes God as often changing his mind. I mean, first the creation is “good”, and then he wipes out all life on the earth, because he is upset at how things turned out.

Glenn said...

Churck, you have tried to change the subject to original sin and the general problem of suffering. I saw what you did there.

The reality is, Dawkins lied (or made up stories) when he claimed that the Christian tradition teaches that those who suffer disasters do so because of some wicked thing that they did in the past. Why would anyone defend his claim? So they can look as ignorant or dishonest as he does? Seriously, you don't need that.

Oh, and I don't go to a large church at all. You assume too much.

Gandolf said...

1,
Harvey had said earlier-->"Gandy i don't think you know the meaning or the difference in what you're talking about on the subject. Judgement or penalty for actions is "not" considered to be a "morality".

I then said--"Harvey i think its hardly much worth even debating matters much more with you, if you foolishly believe judgement or penality has nothing to do with what thought moral."

CHIEF HARVEY SITTING BULL'shit then says --"You change the argument don't you? from judgement IS morals to judgement "has to do" with morals...It is no fun when people like you make things up and try to reinterpret truth by saying that punishment for bad and wrong behavior is a type of overarching principle of morality. It's NOT.

Punishment may have it's root in a moral position, and the application of it based on a moral foundation, but it's a far cry from an overarching principle of societal morality. Otherwise we'd say that the morality of any country that espouses capital punishment is death...that's a silly argument!!! You need to distinguish the difference but you sloppily lump it all together and say that it's all simply morality and that's not true."

-----------------------------

Harvey you expect people to show a "sense of respect" for you ,and bleat on about JP and the golden rule,like some tired old woe is me poor wee persecuted christian faithful tune played mornfully on some crappy cheapy old clapped out faithful violine full of borer and woodworm.

And yet you cant first even be a little honest about matters.First you claimed its (not) considdered morality...And then later try wrongfully! bagging me! for changing a argument ?,simply because to be honest about the matter, you actually (needed to back down) like the lost faithful person you really are! and agree with me! .. it (atleast) has quite a lot! to do with morality.

Whos the one? changing the story the most here.

You said its "not" to do with morality.

I stood my ground ! and said... it atleast has something to do with morality..

You then had to back down! and agree !,and now trying to use deceit and suggest its me actually changing the story.

How sad and lowly of you! specially as a priest to be blaming me as being the one changing this argument.This is your true colour showing here aint it Harvey,you as a biggoted priest simply cant lower your false pride to admit you simply were wrong.Instead you need to try manipulating and twisting matters,just so long as you feel you looking rosy.

But you know what Harvey,many of us actually see right through ya.We know a real utter sham when we see one!

You simply dont deserve much respect Harvey when even (as a preacher) you cant be seen to even keep it straight up and honest! ...You deserve disrespect!rather than respect Harvey ..because undernearth your church cloak you are a sham,whos thoughtless and unhonest about even simply being just, honest and caring.

Gandolf said...

2,
Harvard

I suggest people take a good look at your blog so they can see how you twist and turn matters and rely on bull to bull and weasle your way through.Russ suggests the comical side of religion,i suggest you present the prime plastic priest! outlook for a film set on the ignorance and stupidity of faith...They should just employ you Harvey if they make a comedy film set on faith, because you happen to even come completely blessed with the Eddie Murphy type look..real comedy,and we need a way to laugh at faith and try atleast seeing the funny side, when faith is been like the asehole of the earth like its often been!...

Your! natural mannerism is a bumbling ignoramus fool style!,a supposed christian priest who somehow dont even seem to care two shits!if his old barbaric laws of religious freedoms,happen to piss all over the idea of the (golden rule!?).. by it being able of harming a certain ammount people?.What a utter joke!.

Your worthless deceitful pitiful answer to the fact religious freedom laws do allow for faith abuse!, is this

Quote Harvey--"So far as laws are concerned. If you penalize the church then wouldn't you have to establish state religion?"

Because christianity and you as a priest are a complete sham and built on such widespread deceit and face value.You thoughtlessly simply assert some false assertions to make yourself feel better and bury any concience of the abuse your freedom laws cause.

By asserting.
1,protecting humanity, is penalizing the church?
2,protecting people would need to equal establishing state religion?

We protect people against the rights of freedom of male violence against females too,does that mean we have a state religion of non violence of females Harvey?.Does it mean we are wrongfully penalizing males right to be violent against women?

No it doesnt does it.You are just doing as Russ suggests!,making it up as you go along.Blurting out and bullshitting your way through from the pulpit,with attitude of im a priest ill harm people with my nasty wrongful freedoms of faith if i wish..as long as the collection plate pays my wages..And i DEMAND RESPECT and i will BLEAT when i dont simply get what i as a priest want.

Welcome to the year 2010 Harvey,wake up man ....These days respect is to be (actually earned) !,you no longer just gain it by simply being some stupid priest waving bible basher .

We are educated these days! we see right through your priestly face value,you can no longer rely on trying to scare us with old ancient faith beliefs and suggestions of hell! coming from the mouths of preachers who can be publically seen as frauds!.

Gandolf said...

Harvey--"So then your absolutes (as we're talking values and not gas tanks)are established by whom? how are they regulated? Are they static?"

Do you not think simple common sense. regulates the idea of murder being moral .... enough?....Are you so dim that you cannot understand common sense suggests its not so very likely anyone will ever find murder so moral !!....Unless there is something very (abnormal) about them

Harvey how ignorant!! you seem to think, we must need some special supernatural thought,to realize murder seems immoral

Gandolf said...

I had originally said:"Murder is universalally moral simply because,pretty much universally not many folks find murder so enjoyable pleaseing or just

Harvard then said--"Is that evidence? evidence of what? that murder is wrong because it's unenjoyable? What kinda dipstick answer is that? Murder is universally wrong because because of the disregard for human life. Murder is wrong because it infringes upon the will of others to live. Murder is wrong because it places men in an exalted position whereby the value and desire of others is minimized...NOT because it's unpleasurable...You have NO CLUE!!!Your philosophical model is outdated."

H---"Murder is universally wrong because because of the disregard for human life" = unenjoyable to humans

H---"Murder is wrong because it infringes upon the will of others to live"=unenjoyable to humans

H----"Murder is wrong because it places men in an exalted position whereby the value and desire of others is minimized"=unenjoyable to humans.

Harvard--"NOT because it's unpleasurable...You have NO CLUE!!!Your philosophical model is outdated."

Well what is it pleasure or something ?

It is you that has absolutely no clue here Harvey ....You are a outdated pupit windging priest who shows how stupid faith makes some people

Chuck O'Connor said...

Glenn,

You are an idiot. Original Sin is supposed to be the stain on ALL of humanity because of the alleged actions of two people IN THE PAST.

Romans posits all of nature groans because of this action taken by people IN THE PAST.

Christianity doesn't teach this?

Looks like your multiple graduate degrees in theology aren't worth much.

Dumb ass.

Oh, and get a haircut hippy.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

I had breakfast with God today. He still hates you.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harvey,

God had a civil tone when he told me you were retarded. I said to go easy on you. He just shrugged and asked for more coffee.

Gandolf said...

H---"Secondly, you've tried to argue that culture and community as the basis for morality, by some sort of hit and miss process..."

No i have not argued anything hit and miss at all.I have argued no more hit and miss than whats hit and miss about a humans life itself being hit and miss.Things are learned and differing situations can sometimes make things hit and miss.But still what learned (in each lifetime) can be passed along!!,meaning future generations can have a head start!.Which means younger generations have naturally, ended up a little less ignorant and a little more educated each time.


Harv--"I've DEMONSTRATED that cultures change, people change and provide no basis, but yet wee see biblical values of love, peace, kindness etc, consistently held in high esteem in every known society"

No Harvey.We even often see love peace and kindness with animals.They dont need gods or bibles.....Its simply what works best.As a group they find out what works best,and pass it on.

If we see religion in differing societies,naturally yes we should often expect to! because (all) societies evolved from early barbaric man (that never understood why such things as lightning) seemed to get thrown at certain people!...looking like it was (thrown by something)..

Its no biggy that they thought of all type of gods!.We expect it ....Lightning made them ALL think ...and to them ALL it (looked like)it was thrown from the clouds by "something".

Its no biggy if we see sacrifice being quite common ....Naturally all type of folks would think maybe these god/s could be appeased by gifts ...Naturally many of them wondered if maybe droughts were about the gods demanding gifts ! ..as appeasements.

They were trying to think of ideas.Trying to understand.Trying things out to see if they worked.

H---"when we see the values of self-sacrifice hailed as a virtue in every society, even among what were cannibals.that self-sacrifice always leads to or causes hurt, but is always hailed as a good value."

Its natural Harvey.If using self sacrifice i save my son from drowning,my wife otherkids and tribe etc will find it pleasing.It will supply a sense of strength and survival.

If i dont bother and simply let my son drown,its will produce displeasure and a sense of weakness and doom.

Need to get real Harvey.Think about these matters,dont only think how it might fit your ancient old book.

You will only look silly .

Gandolf said...

From way back in this thread http://debunkingchristianity.
blogspot.com/2010/01/based-on-this-argument-alone-best-any.html

Jonathan who posts on DC asks a question,and i agree with his question...He asked--- “Do I have a right not to have a faith?” or “Do I have a right not to be a Christian?” And “Would a Christian support my right not to be forced by hook or crook into the Christian fold?”

And i agree.Does the (christian golden rule) cover even the child and average human life a right not to be subjected to the barbaric ignorance of psychological abuse by way of indoctrinations of fear and hell etc and all manner of nastinesses by way of the faithful?.

What rights does humanity have as protection?.

The christian golden rule is supposed to be!! "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

Would christians prefer we protected them against abuse?,well by what honesty then do they sanction laws that allow for abuse to happen?

Respect Harvey bleats.

What does the faithful do to deserve so much of this respect you ask for Harvey??

Seems your pride of old ancient barbaric laws of "freedoms of faith" means more to you fathful lot! than welfare of the abuse freely happening to your fallow man sanctioned by the church you wallow in pride each week in.

Respect?..For what ?

Dawkins is pretty correct.A abusive attitude lays all around the very foundations of faiths.

Gandolf said...

Harveys first nation ancestors once used to think .Ugg white man speak with forked tounge!.

Now Harveys ancestors can now notice,Ugg...Harvey follow the other ancestors side now and become a Eddie Merphy type forked tounge! speaking evangelical preacher...Who talk about Jesus and love and golden rules etc.

Yet with forked tounge! he quite happily still sanction and promote special laws of faith freedoms that historically have always allowed for blatant nasty abuse pissing all over any VALIDILITY of the christian golden rule in the process!

And yet he still here on DC pleading for his and his faithful m8s, undeserved respect.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Gandy,

You're FULL of CRAP!

The book of Me, ch1 v.3 1st edition 2010.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Chuck,

Your FULL of even MORE CRAP!

Book of Me, ch.1 v. 2 2010 Edition revised

Chuck O'Connor said...

Just had lunch with Yaweh and JC (The Holy Spirit had to go pick up some dry cleaning). We had a good laugh about your misinterpretation of most of what the almighty meant. JC turned to the great I Am and asked, "Why did we make Harvey, again?" And God shrugged and said, "I needed a chuckle."

We had sushi. Good stuff.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dguller,

You said:Why the need to believe this? Why do our values and preferences have to be written into the fabric of the universe in order for them to be considered serious by theists?

You obviously gave no weight to what I said. I said that your values I'm sure are "serious" but they cannot be hailed as being absolute in an overall sense. They are temporary in nature and expire with you as you state. They are only absolute in a sense relative to you. They may be good for me too, but in the sense that you describe them, I may or may not find them useful.

Absolute, has a duration of both before and after your existence. You come to know them in time, but they exist before you may even be aware of them. That has nothing to do with the seriousness of them.

You asked:"Why the need to have such a grandiose view of values? Why not just accept that it is an absolute and objective fact that human beings have a nature such that the use of certain values has a greater chance of resulting in a life of contentment and flourishing than the reliance upon other values?"

First I don't believe what you're suggesting can be demonstrated by the evidence. What you're saying is fine but the values of human beings are subject to change over time, YET we can identify values that are timeless and consistent throughout society aside from education (one myth that has be debunked here among many) and other social circumstances. I don't claim that non-theists don't have values (unless you're a complete and pathetic IDIOT like Chuck O- which you are not). I don't know of any theist who does. however, the temporal nature of teh values as described by you only lend themselves to being understood as subjective and not objective values.

Now I'm not trying to lend an all inclusive definition of objective moral values here, but I am describing a few characteristics that must be present in order for them to be considered truly objective whether one realizes where they come from or not. The ability for those values to exist whether I am aware of them or not is one charecteristic that must exist.

You state:"And that values are ubiquitous in biological organisms who approach things that they value and avoid those that they do not? Even bacteria do this! Humans are just far more complicated in this matter due to our evolution of conscious awareness."

No, I can't say this under any circumstance and what may appear to to be a display of "values" among bacteria and animals is primarily our superimposition of fact upon an organisms response to a set of certain circumstances. Even in that there are great inconsistencies, so arguments along those lines are usually not convincing.

The facts are that in a purely materialistic world view there is no reason for the development of values outside of self-serving motifs in affirmation of the "survival of the fittest" criteria hailed by true metaphysical naturalists. However what we observe is that the highest set of values hailed in society are not self serving in any way!!! These values DEFY the very system and path under which the metaphysical naturalist believes that the values are developed. Therefore, the problem is that the metaphysical naturalist must answer the question of why and how the development of values goes against the grain of naturalism. Love for one, may be essential for reproductive purposes although that's an exception in the biological realm outside of man, but love for ALL, is a high value that defies the pattern of materials and the materialistic worldview.

As noted, you IDENTIFY objective moral values. I don't claim that you don't. The problem is where do they come from? I contend that they cannot arrive under your rubric of natural processes. If so we have one thing called "values" that arrive totally opposite of all other purely natural and metaphysical processes that occur. This is the sum total of the argument.

see 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2

Dguller,

You said:"First, you are assuming the existence of an afterlife that follows our death."

As a Christian I would hope to make that point clear.

You said:"If there is no afterlife, then it is irrelevant whether God would continue to adhere to the same values."

Absolutely!

You said:"Second, you assume that God’s values are the same as ours."

Not quite. I believe that our values are similar to God's revealed values by design and communication of them to us. Christian and non-christian.

Regarding the stability of values you said:"They are not, given his behaviour in the bible, and our experience of the evil and suffering in the world."

No there are many arguments to overcome all of this and is only an assumption. For sake of convo, just note that I totally and fully disagree.

You said:"Third, the bible describes God as often changing his mind. I mean, first the creation is “good”, and then he wipes out all life on the earth, because he is upset at how things turned out."

The "change" is not in the sense of repentance for something he had done. It is in the sense of a different course in dealing with someone rooted in grieving over what something or someone has become. I don't think we can talk about change without understanding how God changed or "repented". I did an article on that HERE. Here's a little excerpt I did on the concept that you're talking about as it pertains to God and repentance:

The principal idea is not personal relation to sin, either in its experience of grief or in turning from an evil course. Yet the results of sin are manifest in its use. God's heart is grieved at man's iniquity, and in love He bestows His grace, or in justice He terminates His mercy. It indicates the aroused emotions of God which prompt Him to a different course of dealing with the people. Similarly when used with reference to man, only in this case the consciousness of personal transgression is evident. This distinction in the application of the word is intended by such declarations as God "is not a man, that he should repent" (1 Sam 15:29; Job 42:6; Jer 8:6).

At either rate God's "changing" doesn't create a new moral value. Those valeus remain constant. The circumstances under which they are applied are different.

Thanks.