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April 03, 2013

Comments

Perrianne?

@Matt

Cant believe it all got erased.

I was praying someone's post would get erased. Guess God answered that prayer.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one!

@ AJG -

Again, if this is your view, why are you wasting your time here?

This very site and ministry exist for the purpose of providing evidence for the claims of the Bible and answers to questions people may have.

You (and others) seem to have zero interest in investigating the material on this site. People on the blog have offered some answers to your questions and challenges.

None of this seems to make any difference. Your mind is already made up. You have set yourself up as the final authority, declaring "It's all a myth!" without offering how you came to this conclusion OR debunking the evidences for Christianity offered on this site.

You have zero interest in Christianity. So why are you here?

The purpose of this post was to point to a sermon. Did any of the skeptics/objectors here bother to invest the $2.50 and short time commitment that it would take to listen to this sermon?

I'd be any amount of money the answer is a resounding "NO".

Jason,

Thanks for the reply. From your comments, I gather that the source of "truth" for you is something internal that we have inherently gained through the evolutionary process (if I have misunderstood, please correct me). With the competing truth claims that have been made by atheists, I am curious how you actually arrive at or determine the truth, leaving aside any response to the Christian worldview.

Mo, are you seriously so delusional you'd demand people PAY MONEY to hear a sermon to hear an argument that is almost certainly yet another logical fallacy?

You want us to SPEND MONEY to listen to you preach at us?

SPEND MONEY. OMG I can't even.. WWJD? Why, charge money of the people he talked to, I guess! That's the Christian way all right! And then when we laugh at your crazy request, you can get snooty about our refusal to honor the totally unreasonable demand YOU made of us and use that snootiness to ignore our arguments YET AGAIN! Oh my gosh, that is so arrogant, so self-serving, so egotistical, so ridiculously uncharitable and unloving.. I can't even.. You just cannot be a Christian. You're a troll, right?

I'm in no danger whatsoever of converting back to that vile religion, but what interests me is bringing up dissension where it is needed. This blog is shockingly delusional. It exists purely to preach to the choir; I've not seen a single rational, persuasive argument in it. Not a single one. Everything in it is pseudo-history, fallacies, and cognitive biases. When I was a Christian, I swallowed these same arguments 30 years ago. Nobody was around to say "Wait, here's why that doesn't work, here's why that's not true." And schools don't exactly teach the critical thinking skills needed to identify liars and shoddy arguments. I wasted a lot of time in that sick, diseased faith because of my trust. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I began to read more critically and to talk to dissenters; until I was in college, it didn't even occur to me that non-Christians, let alone ex-Christians existed. You can't silence us now; there are just too many of us. And we just won't shut up and let you keep trampling us. But quick! Think of another way to invalidate us so you don't have to even pretend to entertain our arguments! I'm sure you can do it!

The claim leveled here is that the vast majority of human suffering has been at the hands of Christians

Scblhrm, perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see anyone making that claim. I think it's probably a reasonable claim if you substitute "religious" for "Christian" given all the holy wars of the past and present.

I believe in love as much as you do, believe it or not :)

Thanks for the reply. From your comments, I gather that the source of "truth" for you is something internal that we have inherently gained through the evolutionary process (if I have misunderstood, please correct me). With the competing truth claims that have been made by atheists, I am curious how you actually arrive at or determine the truth, leaving aside any response to the Christian worldview.

mrt, I'm not sure what you mean by "competing truth claims that have been made by atheists". Perhaps you could explain that in a follow up.

My answer to your question regarding the source of truth would be this: I think morals are a result of genetic and cultural natural selection. Take murder for instance. It is self evidently wrong. Even animals (with no soul and no god) know that murdering their own kind is counter productive to the species. Very few of them do it unless it is necessary to survive. How did the animals figure it out if not for evolutionary process?

Humans that cooperated (aka moral) survived better. Humans that were selfish (aka immoral) did not. The genes that promoted cooperation (morality) became dominate through natural selection.

@ Shaughnessy McGillicuddy

See what I mean? What logical fallacy? Here you are, not only unwilling to engage with whatever ideas may be presented in the sermon, but completely dismissing even the idea of listening to it! Completely closed minded. Remarkable.

The rest of your comment I skimmed, as it looks to be only insults.

***

The sad part is that I'm sure that even if I personally offered to pay the $2.50 for you, the response would be the same the response would be the same scoffing, mocking sort of thing.

Again, I wonder why people such as yourself - people who are completely closed-minded and unwilling to even look at any material or information offered to them bother to waste their time on a site like this one.

Probably because they listened to, read, and thought about similar hocus pocus for years, and finally realized that trying to find a christian with a logical, proven argument is like chasing a fart in the wind.

It seems to me the philosophy of our friends here cannot find Immutable Love and thus cannot and does not believe in the Love I know and taste within His continued rescue. Love's Immutable and Final Felicity empties The-Self, pours Him-Self out, and this for the Beloved Other, whom He claims is you and I and us. Within His Triune interior we find Ontology regressing to that delightful embrace amid the I and the You there within the Singular-We as in delight we find love’s shout of Other and not Self, Thine and not Mine, You and not I, Thy and not My, and therein that fierce imprisonment within the Isolated-I that is that hell called The Alone within the Pure-Self never usurps the Highest. The Self who dies is King.


The love offered by atheism’s philosophy is that which perpetuates Self. Thus the continued force of the drive to rape remains housed within our genome, according to that philosophy.


Love does not rape.


The deterministic dance they claim we dance to the music of our genome has valued rape, and continues to do so, and makes no distinction between this nor that, high nor low, tooth nor kiss, rape nor caress, so long as Self rises to the top. The Self who survives is King.


As one acquainted with others thus treated by those fingers around the neck, the loins pressed in, their words sound hollow whenever they say they believe in love. Immutable Love speaks too strongly through too many vectors through every fiber of our experience and leaves that philosophy behind for something far more coherent.


In Love’s Kingdom, it is the Self who dies who is King. Love spreads His arms wide, and pours Himself out. When we find Love Manifest among us, we find Him thus emptied.

^^^Is this English?

scblhrm, honestly it's very hard to decipher what you are trying to say. You take spiritual-speak to a whole new level.

So you are saying that atheists are incapable of love and are rapists?

If this is not what you are saying then perhaps you could write in a style that anyone beyond yourself can understand. I'm not trying to be rude here; just offering a helpful tip.

The claim leveled here is that the vast majority of human suffering has been at the hands of Christians.

No one here made that claim. You imagined or inferred it. MUCH human suffering has been at the hands of Christians. That is an indisputable fact.

The rest of your post is self-aggrandized rambling with Randomly capitalized Nouns and Adjectives. Do you think this actually convinces anyone other than the True Believer?

Jason,

It is you who claimed you believe in Love as I do.

You do not. That is to say, you do not claim to if atheism is your bedrock.

Where is Immutable Love in that philosophy? It is that philosophy, and not you, it is Athe-ism, and not the Atheist, which is charged with valuing rape. Read it again, Jason. You will not find the charge leveled against you or the atheist. It is the atheist foisting athe-ism and therein the ism the charge is found. Perhaps you are putting those words into my mouth? We both know the atheist does not value rape, and thus his incoherence. He does not really believe in his philosophy. His fist-shaking is a testimony to the Truth of all things which he tastes the truth of.


Immutable Love speaks too strongly through too many Strong Vectors, Jason, and thus I have left atheism behind for His coherence.

AJG,

Do you believe love is the highest ethic?

I am at a loss why those who reject the notion of a God or of faith in the supernatural even bother to leave comments.

This is an apologetics blog, correct? Isn't the exchange of ideas the whole point?

Anyway, I was an ardent evangelical Christian for over thirty years. As Paul stated, I finally put away childish things like belief in a god for whom there is no evidence.

There's a woman I know at the church I formerly attended. She is married to a Calvinist, complementarian associate pastor who demands she forego her life aspirations to adhere to the "Good Christian Wife" model. This woman has a PhD in engineering but has squandered it to be a stay-at-home mother and wife. Now there's nothing wrong with making that choice - my wife did the same - but I know for a fact that this woman resents it and, in fact, doubts the existance of God and the truthfulness of Christianity. She's trapped and will never live the life she desires to live because of superstitious nonsense. That is tragic. We only get one chance at life. People should live their lives to the fullest not fearing what will happen to them in a make-believe afterlife. I agree with John Piper that we should not waste our lives. I just disagree vehemently with him what that actually means.

My desire is that others come to the same realization that many of us here have: that sacrificing the onlyu life one has living for an afterlife that will never come is something that should be faought and argued against. That's why I post here and that's why I argue against religion in general and Christianity in particular.

scblhrm, I was not putting words in your mouth. I was asking what you were saying because it was entirely indecipherable.

Where are you getting a definition for "athe-ism"? You seem to completely misunderstand the word. It's "a-theism". "a" = without. Atheism is "without theism".

Why you think your made up word of "athe-ism" values rape is still beyond my comprehension. You seem to be creating a straw man by inventing a word, assigning a ridiculous meaning to it, then saying I can't possible "believe" in the word and definition you made up. Your logic is truly baffling.

Even the other Christians here have to agree with me that your post is nonsense.

Jason,


It is you, and not me, who claimed that our morality has evoloved. A few posts up.....

Where is Immutable Love in that philosophy?

Love is the highest ethic, Jason, and it is our Final Felicity, and within Immutable Love we find just this to be the case.

Jason,

It is the ism, the athe-ism which is at fault for valuing rape. Not the atheist, but his ism.

AJG, send me an email if would like to connect to our Ex Christian community. Seems like we might have some commonalities in our back stories.

Email

scblhrm, what is your definition for "athe" and where did you get it? There is no such word, at least not that applies to "atheism". Atheism means "without theism", not "rape lover". That's what I don't understand. It's seems completely made up.

Repeating your previous posts word for word is not helping to clear up this mystery logic of yours.

Perhaps I'm just missing something?

Jason,


It is you, and not me, who claimed that our morality has evoloved. A few posts up.....

Where is Immutable Love in that philosophy, within that ism which claims all morality is mutable?

Love is the highest ethic, Jason, and it is our Final Felicity, and within Immutable Love we find just this to be the case.

Jason,

Read it again. You will not find the charge leveled against you or the atheist.


We both know the atheist does not value rape, and thus his incoherence. He does not really believe in his philosophy. His fist-shaking is a testimony to the Truth of all things which he tastes the truth of.


Immutable Love speaks too strongly through too many Strong Vectors, Jason, and thus I have left atheism behind for His coherence.

Jason,

Let's get to the point.


It is you, and not me, who claimed that our morality has evoloved. Where is Immutable Love in that philosophy, within that ism which claims all morality is mutable? Atheism makes this very same claim about morality: it is mutable by default, and always so. The drive to rape is valued therein for it has helped perpetuate the gene pool. Etc.


As you appealed to our genome for morality, and then made the claim that you believe in love as I do, it seems you do not, cannot, believe in the Love I do, for Immutable Love is not found in that ism, that genome-based mutable morality.


I have seen what rape has done to others, and any ism which secretly values that deterministic and fated mode of dancing-to-the-music of our genome is clearly incoherent with truth.

Immutable Love speaks too strongly through too many Strong Vectors, Jason, and thus I have left atheism behind for His coherence.

scblhrm,

I keep asking you a basic question, i.e.

"How did you define "athe-ism" as a philosophy that loves rape?

It's a simple question that you could give a simple answer to. Instead, you keep repeating yourself word for word without answering that question.

After some googling of my own, I see that a tiny majority of people out there define "atheism" as "athe-ism" meaning "disbelief in god", as opposed to "a-theism" meaning "without theism". I see that as a distinction without a meaningful difference.

In any case "atheism" in whatever conjugation you choose does not mean "lover of rape".

*tiny minority, not majority.

In any regard, I have no incoherence because you are probably the only person in the universe that thinks that "atheism" means "lover of rape".

As far as who is incoherent, I think that's fairly obvious in this comment thread.

Jason,

Where is the drive to rape found?

How did it get there?

Why is it still there?

As I said, the Atheist does not believe in his atheism.

Atheist does not believe in his atheism

scblhrm, this is only true if you define atheism with your very strange definition.

According to your logic, I could easily say that you can not possibly believe in theism...Not if I define theism according to the contents of the bible, i.e. god commanded rape, genocide, misogyny, slavery, etc.

You see how that works both ways?

Immutable Love? Final Felicity? Strong Vectors?

Bartender, I'll have what he's having!

scblhrm,

Laying aside the semantics games, my definition of atheism and atheist is a lack of a belief in god. That's what I am.

I am also full of love, and I demonstrate that daily to family, friends, and strangers alike.

I'm sorry that is difficult for you to reconcile, but it's the truth.

Jason,

Where is the drive? How did it get there?

AJG,

I'll take that as a no.

In response to Jason Blue's citation of Bart Ehrman's Jesus, Interrupted, I believe Ehrman knows how to work a crowd. I believe Erhman knows that he is misleading those who are less informed than he himself is. When Ehrman repeats his now-famous quote, "There are more errors in the New Testament manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament," he knows that he is misleading people.

Bart Ehrman knows that the kinds of errors in the New Testament manuscripts are the exact same kinds of errors that we find in drafts of any other documents of any era. Speling errors rank number one (misspelling intentional here to make a point, i.e. you can still read it and know perfectly well what is meant). BTW, in Koine Greek there are a number of examples of common words for which there are two different spellings, both of which are considered correct. Erhman counts those variations as copyist "errors." They hardly change the reader's understand of exactly what is meant.

Word order "errors" rank high in New Testament manuscripts, but these matter little with regard to meaning. Why? Unlike English, Greek does not use word order to communicate which word is the subject or object of the verb. The word FORM communicates its use in the sentence. The precise same meaning can be expressed with numerous word orders in Greek. In English we need subject-verb-object in that order in most instances in order to make sense.

Bart Ehrman also knows that he is misleading people for his own purposes when he intentionally makes it seem as though the vast majority of the manuscript errors are very early. In reality, a textual error that appears thirty years before the invention of Gutenberg's press (1436) hardly makes any difference in determining what the original text said when there are thousands of earlier copies without that error.

There is a lot that Ehrman knows and yet he doesn't say because he realizes it would cripple his efforts to cause people to reject the New Testament.

Although none of the original autographs of New Testament documents survive to this day, we do have the manuscript testimony of early church Fathers such as Irenaeus (c. 180) who examined copies of the book of Revelation to determine which was the earliest. Tertullian (c. 225), in his Prescription Against Heretics encouraged unbelievers to go to some of the churches that had been presided over by the Apostles where he says, "their [the Apostles'] authentic writings are still read." "Authentic," at that time, had as a primary meaning "original."

If we can figure out from ten copies of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars what the original autograph written by Caesar actually said, then I believe the 5,600+ Greek manuscripts, the 10,000+ Latin manuscripts, and the 1,000s of Coptic, Syriac, Gothic, and other miscellaneous manuscripts can give us a very accurate understanding of the original content of the 27 New Testament books.

This brings me to another major way in which Bart Erhman deliberately misleads people. He knows that the number of "errors" is directly proportional to the massive number of available manuscripts of the New Testament--a problem historians only wish they had in dealing with so many other ancient authors with far fewer surviving manuscripts.

Bottom line, Bart Ehrman is misleading people, and he knows it. If people applied the same illogic and scrutiny to other ancient documents as they often do to the New Testament, you couldn't confidently quote Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Livy, Tacitus, or anybody else.

How does this fit into the bigger discussion of the nature (or even the existence) of God, in light of His wrath? (1) There's no proven need just yet to punt the Bible as trustworthy support for the existence or nature of God, and (2) people's predispositions seem to be exposing themselves for what they are. That is, it seems that some commenters are accepting or rejecting evidence on the basis of whether they want there to be a biblical kind of God or not.

I'll take that as a no.

I can't even figure out what you're asking. Why don't you define rape first since your equating of atheism with rape is completely incoherent.

BTW, the God of the Bible certainly doesn't display Immutable Love. Marcion saw that immediately and was kicked out of "The Club" as a warning to everyone else not to point out the Judeo-Christian God's obvious case of multiple-personality disorder.

AJG.

Is love the highest ethic?

Gary,

I appreciate your response.

The tiny errors don't make any difference, so in that regard I agree with you. It's big ones, like discrepancies in the resurrection accounts that should make you wonder about the inerrancy of the bible.

And yes, I've read all about the "harmony of the gospels" and that line of thinking is quite a stretch. It's seems like the accounts of seminal event of Christianity (the resurrection) would be consistent as far as what day he was crucified and buried, who was at the tomb, what was said and who said it, etc.

More interesting parts of Erhman's books are the dates the books were written, how they were written, etc.

Either way, the issues with the bible were not a factor in my de-conversion. That was information I learned after the fact.

AJG,

Since Jason won't answer, I'll ask you.

Where does the drive to rape come from? How did it get there? Why is it still there?

And some of you call me ridiculous.

What is the obsession with rape? Have you never heard of the Catholic priest scandal? Christians rape too! PEOPLE rape. PEOPLE love. PEOPLE are kind or malevolent, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. Can you understand that?

Oh my goodness Matt where are you? These people need help!

Matt,

Is love the highest ethical?

Where does the drive to rape come from? How did get there? Why is it still there?

What has Man and his terrible loveless acts have to do with Immutable Love?

Is love the highest ethic?

Even if I could hope to answer this, it would be nothing more than an opinion. There is no good or evil, no absolute right or wrong. There are only preferences, so any talk of the highest ideal or ethic is subjective and not provable by any objective means.

AJG,

Again, do you yourself believe love is the highest ethic? Personally, that is.

Again, do you yourself believe love is the highest ethic? Personally, that is.

No. The highest ethic is the search for and defense of empirical truth.

Again, just my opinion.

TAJG,

Thank you.

Another has said Fun trumps Truth.

Where is the drive to rape found? How did it get there? The itch for truth? For fun?

scblhrm,

I didn't answer your latest questions because your questions have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I am moral or loving. For that matter, they have nothing to do with reality, and are very strange as are your almost completely nonsensical posts, e.g.

"Within His Triune interior we find Ontology regressing to that delightful embrace amid the I and the You there within the Singular-We as in delight we find love’s shout of Other and not Self, Thine and not Mine, You and not I, Thy and not My, and therein that fierce imprisonment within the Isolated-I that is that hell called The Alone within the Pure-Self never usurps the Highest."

Given, the above example, I'm pretty sure you are either playing words games with me or you are mentally ill. I'm not saying that to be mean. I'm actually concerned for your health.

Sorry for the "T".....

scblhrm, why don't you just say where the drive to rape came from since you seem to be obsessed with the question for some reason only your god must know?

@AJG, at least you're honest about it. I still don't understand what about the idea of a non-God-given morality terrifies these guys so much that they can't come to grips with the idea.

And Mo, please save your money. Once again, you are refusing to actually answer any questions and challenges and instead demanding that people watch sermons, pay for stuff, do stuff, to make you satisfied that they have done "enough" to make you happy. I'm not going to start playing that game with you or any other Christian; you lot made the assertion, YOU have to prove it. I'm not under any onus to do your work for you. Instead, I am reacting to the blog entry itself (fancy that! Someone commenting on topic and *not* getting sidetracked!): This blog post's assertions are cruel and disgusting. It is saying that we do not see the depth of "God's" goodness without also realizing the sheer depravity of "God's" wrath. THIS IS ABUSIVE LANGUAGE. It describes to a "T" the average abusive spouse. Or maybe a bipolar parent! I don't need to read a dozen books or listen to oodles of sermons to recognize toxic speech when I see it. It blows my mind that Christians blithely parrot this insanity and think that it's some sort of positive to kowtow to a being like that. The god described in this post is sheer evil, and you call that evil love. I must say, seeing you guys do this explains a lot about why your religion is hemorrhaging members. (Hint: It's got nothing to do with churches watering down their message.)

But I offered my dissenting opinion, and once again, you resort to name-calling and fallacies to avoid actually engaging.

It's really very simple.

Give me evidence that your religion is a good religion that advances humanity's compassion and intelligence and makes accurate, truthful representations about humanity, makes reasonable and fair demands upon its people in return for allegiance, and offers promises that can be demonstrably seen as being kept faithfully. Give me objective proof that your god exists, that there is an afterlife, and that what we do in this life matters in the next. That's all. I'm not even asking you to justify the depravity of the "infinite torture for finite thought crimes" model, because a number of the 40,000 denominations in the US don't accept that idea, nor the "Jesus is the only way to heaven" idea, nor any of the other outlandish, bizarre, harmful, and toxic ideas that evangelicals push so loudly. Just those basic things, that's all.

You can't.

The apologist whose sermon you wanted me to BUY in order to satisfy your lust for condemnation and excoriation cannot.

All the apologetics book authors I have ever wasted time reading cannot.

If you could have, you'd already have done it. You've had 2000 years, as a religion, to manage the trick and so far not a single good argument's emerged from the game of Twister you've been playing with the rest of us. But go ahead. Call unbelievers names and make unreasonable demands and hole up nice and tight in your bunker.

And we're the close-minded ones. Shameful, so shameful, the Christians on this blog. I'm feelin' the love this evening...

Jason,

Earlier you pointed toward mutable genomic sources for our morals.

Yet you say you believe in the Love I do.

Where is Immutable Love in your framework which you leaned towards?

I am merely assuming you will make the same leaning-towards for love, and for rape, and for the itch for truth, or for fun, and so on.

I think we differ on our views with regard to source, fabric, value, and destiny when it comes to Love.

If you feel the drive to rape is not sourced to our genome through, well, the stuff you said earlier about morals, then where do you source it to?

So, again, where is the drive to rape found? How did it get there? Why is it still there?

Love is the ultimate ethic, Jason, and immutably so. I think we differ on this to the Nth degree.


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