Monday, May 5, 2008

Does faith affect your vote?

It's been an exciting election season here in North Carolina, especially in the Democratic presidential primary. I can't recall us ever before getting this much attention from the national candidates. Now it's our turn. Choose wisely!

When you vote -- which I trust you will -- how will spirituality or religion factor into your choice?

In part, that's a question about whether and how you evaluate the candidates' stated beliefs or associations. But I'd also like to know how your own beliefs affect your choice. Do you feel guided by God in the voting booth? Do you look for a candidate who shares your values? How has that played out in this election?

129 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an atheist, I'm always choosing the lesser of the religious evils in almost every election.

Anonymous said...

I don't think religion, specifically, is the central issue. I think that whatever influences your personal beliefs, morals, or interests will help to guide anyone. We all have some sort of guiding principles, be they good or bad. Personally, my faith guides me everyday. That doesn't change when I enter the voting booth. I don't listen as much to all the pandering that candidates do. I look at their past voting records and things that they've done or supported.
This gives a much truer idea of what they will do in the future.

Anonymous said...

One reason I have been a life long democrat is because the democratic candidates I vote for believe in the same issues. Women should have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies, guns belong to police and the military, war is bad, peace is good, take from the rich and give to the rest of America, republicans destroy the economy, democrats come behind them and clean up the mess, it is OK to be gay because God MADE gay people, it is not a choice. Most importantly, democrats take care of EVERYONE, not just rich folks.

Danbo59 said...

Absolutely faith -- but moreso values -- makes a difference in how I vote.

A candidate who supports the murder of innocent unborn children won't be getting my vote, that's for sure. Likewise with a candidate who supports the death penalty (and I used to support it myself). As the issues involved become less "grave", so wanes my steadfastness in refusing to vote for them.

Danbo59 said...

anonymous said, "Women should have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies,...."

What if the child she carries is a female? Does that female have a right to do what she wants with her own body; specifically, does she get the right to choose to live?

anonymous wrote, "...guns belong to police and the military,...."

And to the criminals, remember that. The second amendment disagrees with you.

anonymous said, "...war is bad, peace is good,...."

Hitler would have loved it if your mindset controlled the United States during WWII.

anonymous wrote, "...take from the rich and give to the rest of America,...."

Tell me, braniac, if so what is the incentive to work hard and earn more? Water seeks it own level. Are you really so naive as to think that America would be better off it we all adjusted our work ethic to the "average" work ethic of the "average" American? The result would be mass poverty and unemployment. Who do you think creates jobs? It's the wealthy!

anonymous stated, "...republicans destroy the economy, democrats come behind them and clean up the mess,...."

Spoken like a true subscriber to moveon.org and michaelmoore.com. That's a load of rubbish.

"...it is OK to be gay because God MADE gay people, it is not a choice."

Finally we agree, with one caveat. God made "people" -- not "gay people." Being gay is OK with me. Being gay is OK with God, too (altough engaging in homosexual sexual activity is not OK with God).

anonymous wrote, "Most importantly, democrats take care of EVERYONE, not just rich folks."

Now that is naive. You don't take care of everyone by telling a hard worker, "Sorry, you earn too much for your own good. Give it to me." Ask the Clintons if they've donated all but the mney they need to subsist on to charities.

I've never heard such awful tripe in my life.

Iztok said...

"A candidate who supports the murder of innocent unborn children won't be getting my vote, that's for sure."

Can we qualify what defines a child?

At what point and why a bunch of cells becomes a child you want to protect?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asks for the thousandth time, "Can we qualify what defines a child?"

A human child is the result of the fertilization of a female gamete by its male counterpart. It has a complete and unique DNA set that defines it. It displays the following characteristics of life --

Homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli and reproduction.

'Nuff said.

A woman's "right" to do what she will with her own body while ignoring the life that is inside her is at best ignorance and at worst first-degree murder in favor of convenience.

Anonymous said...

I’ll vote for a candidate who will defend our Constitutional freedoms, including freedom of choice.

Last I heard, that was how the law of this land had been interpreted, and the President swears to preserve, protect and defend it at his inauguration. It may not be the law the Pope follows, but then again he isn’t a U.S. citizen or running for office, is he?

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous ranted, "It may not be the law the Pope follows, but then again he isn’t a U.S. citizen or running for office, is he?"

Hmmm, not sure I follow you. Who said anything about the Pope? The Catholic Church doesn't hold the market on opposition to murder.

Free choice? You don't have the free choice to kill me out of the sake of convenience. This is about the right of one individual versus another. Only a liberal could define murder as the right to choose and throw a red herring that it's guaranteed by our Constitution.

Roe vs Wade was determined in favor of the right to privacy, not the right to choose.

Do some homework and think for yourself before simply parrotting the liberal left mantra.

pornstudent said...

I'm not going to vote. My view of the Universe and my place in it does influence this decision.

Iztok said...

"A human child is the result of the fertilization of a female gamete by its male counterpart. It has a complete and unique DNA set that defines it. It displays the following characteristics of life --

Homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli and reproduction."

Does have to display all of the characteristics or just one or two of them?

Also, what about children with non-unique DNA? Today it is possible for woman to conceive w/o male DNA present.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

And the human adventure continues....

Iztok writes, "Does have to display all of the characteristics or just one or two of them?"

All.

Iztok writes, "Also, what about children with non-unique DNA?"

Clones? Although cloning is another abomination -- a discussion for another time -- if it meets the criteria, it's life.

Iztok writes, "Today it is possible for woman to conceive w/o male DNA present."

Really!?!? Haven't heard of such a thing yet, unless you are talking about injecting DNA into zygomatic cells, which is essentially cloning. See response above. [If you are speaking of the conception of Jesus Christ, remember that He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. God is the author of life -- he is not constrained by His laws for man.]

Given the fact that I oppose all forms of fertility enhancement, in vitro fetrilization and the like, I strongly oppose the creation of clones. But, that said, once you've gotten the ball rolling all bets are off. Life is life.

Pardon me if I refuse to answer any additional fishing trips on your part. You well know these answers before you asked.

Iztok said...

"Pardon me if I refuse to answer any additional fishing trips on your part. You well know these answers before you asked."

Pardon me if I would like to make sure we are clear on definition of a child.

Not to mention we need to be clear on definition of a murder as well.

Only then we can talk and understand each other. It has been know that many Christians don't use the general definitions and redefine things. From different definition of theory (in respect to biology and science in general) to definition of selfish (in terms of biology).

So no, it is not a fishing expedition it is making sure we are consistent in terms used.

Anonymous said...

Dan Boy,

Can you cite the federal law that overrules Roe vs. Wade and classifies abortions as “murder”? No, you can’t, because they’re not murder under our Constitution. Maybe they are under the edicts of your religion, but fortunately America isn’t about theology. Your religion doesn’t control America. So you can cry all you want, but it isn’t murder. The Constitution trumps your pathetic reasoning ability.

Citizens are free to disagree with our laws, and free to change them, but if they can’t support the highest secular laws of this land, they need to move to Vatican City. I bet they have a lot of women there, right? Oh, sure. They are really up on this subject.

Do some homework, read Constitutional law and think for yourself before simply “parrotting” (I guess you didn’t research your spelling, either) the reactionary dogma of the religious right who’d love to stifle freedom and make everyone march to the same beat. Where’s the freedom in that? Who the heck in this nation cares about your contrived definitions and disregard for our law?

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous bravely put forth, "The Constitution trumps your pathetic reasoning ability."

Remember, dear child, Who it is that will trump the Constitution at the end of your life.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous hides while putting forth, "...your contrived definitions and disregard for our law?"

I don't disregard our law. I rise above the minimums the law dictates.

Others, like you, are happy to wallow and settle for what's legal instead of what's right.

I pray for you -- you'd have been a scream in Nazi Germany. They had "laws," too.

Row vs. Wade will eventually be overturned (in my lifetime, no doubt). Clearer, more human minds will prevail and men and women will have to face up to the fact that actions (sex) have consequences (children). No more play without pay. That's what the murderous men and women who hide behind Roe vs. Wade advocate -- that their lives are more important than those they've "accidentally" created.

How mature! How human! How disgusting. I may cry now -- but it's for the children you and your kind murder and for your eternal souls. The really sad thing is that while those murdered children, baptized in blood, are with God now, you and your kind are in immortal peril unless you repent and stand for life -- as God does.

May God touch your hearts and heal your hurts, and may he bring about a philosophy of "life over all" in each of you.

BTW, if all you've got is "parrotting" vs. "parroting," run with it. It was your best refutation in that entire rant.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dan Boy, for proving the point that once we get raving religious fanatics like you in control of our secular (Thank God) government, we can kiss freedom goodbye. And that’s why the man or woman who will get my vote for President will have to be one who can preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, rather than demonstrate “Absolute Faith” in their version of God over someone else’s.

Yep, first we’ll overturn Roe versus Wade, then we’ll exile the Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists, then we’ll burn the remaining “heretics” at the stake. Wait. Had not your church already done most of that prior to 1789? Then the thinkers among us used their God-given brains and decided it was time to stop that nonsense! I don’t think we’ll ever slide back down that slippery church-state slope.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous cowered as he said, "Thank you, Dan Boy, for proving the point that once we get raving religious fanatics like you in control of our secular (Thank God) government, we can kiss freedom goodbye."

No, all you'll kiss goodbye is the ability to sugarcoat the murder of unborn innocents. That scares you, doesn't it. Responsibility is a scary thing -- for children.

Anonymous said...

“Wow, Dan Boy! You certainly are short on facts and rational thought, but have a great imagination,” Anonymous mused as he laughed out loud at Danbo’s outrageous comments, while cowering in front of his computer keyboard.

Yep, the all-seeing Danbo knows what’s best for all of us. I wonder if he can see what I’m waving in my hand at him right now?

1.Roe Versus Wade: You don’t want an abortion? No one is forcing you. You want an abortion? No one is preventing you.

2.Freedom According to Dan Boy: You don’t get a choice, because we’re going to do things the way I perceive my God wants us to do. But Danbo, my God says it’s okay.

So which of the above is the fairest choice in accommodating the many diverse beliefs of this nation’s citizenry? Oh, I forgot. You are Anti-Choice.

Gamecock said...

My faith in the historical success of judeo-christian values affects my vote. I will vote for the candidate that advances those values, whether they be a professing Jew or Christian or not.

Gamecock said...

trash smeller

I respect that admission.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately for us all, religion is mostly important in winning the election. After that, hard reality generally trumps belief.

Except for the moron we currently have as president.

Gamecock said...

One with no name

Please explain your distinctive description of W, keeping in mind the appeals to God and policy of Bubba, Jimmah and LBJ, not to mention FDR.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous raved, "You are Anti-Choice."

I am anti-Choice as much as you are pro-Murder. To people like you, life is cheap. I pity you, but pray for you.

And I have news for you -- God does not consider abortions to be OK, no matter what a secular court decides.

D.J. Williams said...

Anonymous (5/6 8:01 PM) said...
"But Danbo, my God says it’s okay.

So which of the above is the fairest choice in accommodating the many diverse beliefs of this nation’s citizenry? Oh, I forgot. You are Anti-Choice."

Serious question, anon - what if my religious beliefs were that my God said murder was okay? I'm sure you believe that it's not. What would be the fairest choice in accomodating our diverse beliefs? (Please don't respond with some variation of "the constitution says abortion isn't murder." We're fully aware that's what you think. I'm asking this question to discuss how we make public policy when people disagree, so I hope you'll answer it seriously.)

Soli Deo Gloria

bigcock said...

Fetuses are inside women. The are part of a woman's body, as her fingers are part of her body. Fetuses don't have a life separate from the woman. It isn't any of a government's business what women do with their bodies.

Anonymous said...

I didn’t say murder is okay. I said that my view of God holds that a woman has the freedom to abort a fetus which she helped create and which is left to her to nurture. My God says most choices are left to me, not Him. That’s not murder.

Obviously the Supreme Court agrees with me. I don’t care what your God says. There’s a secular world and a sectarian world. They’re separated in this country. That’s why we have a Constitution, not a Bible, to settle differences.

But it’s not important in the secular world what I think my God supports, or what you think your God supports. (Obviously you and I don’t swear allegiance to the same God, as much as some fundamentalists would like to believe there is just one – theirs.)

What we’re discussing is the Constitution. My God or your God isn’t in the Constitution. What’s germane to the Constitution is accommodating the freedoms of ALL citizens – Christians and non-Christians, believers and unbelievers. That’s why the Courts rule as they sometimes do. Preserving freedom is a mighty serious job.

I think you actually answered your own question of “What would be the fairest choice in accommodating our diverse beliefs?” It would be a decision that rules that if you don’t want an abortion because your God says it is murder, then you don’t have to have an abortion. Conversely, if your belief system says abortion is okay, Roe versus Wade accommodates you, too.

Oh, and please don’t give me the weary argument about the rights of the unborn. Are they citizens? We might as well debate whether removal of a melanoma constitutes murder. Isn’t it living human tissue, too?

The problem with any particular religion is that its adherents aren’t interested in compromise. They can’t stand freedom, because by definition they’re servants of the lord. Choice is not an option. That’s fine in our diverse sectarian worlds. We can believe what we want. But in the secular world in which we all must function, the Constitution trumps.

And I’ll support a candidate in November who understands that.

Nick said...

Whew! Looks like the semester's pretty much done for me! Just some editing so I can be back here. If it's alright with Jane though, I could also mention that I will actually be speaking here very soon at a small conference along with some others. I'll speak on the existence of God. No details though without an okay from her.

My Christianity does affect my vote definitely. It ought to anyway. I will not support the murder of innocent children in the womb mainly. I will also vote in the defense of marriage being between one man and one woman alone.

D.J. Williams said...

Anonymous (5/7 10:13 AM),

You're missing the main point of my question. Forget abortion. This question is not about abortion. This question is about how we evaluate competing freedoms by the Constitution. If I believe (religiously or not) that murder is okay and my freedom includes the freedom to choose to commit murder, and you believe that murder is wrong and should be outlawed, how should the government fairly accomodate both of us? What part of the Constitution would help us decide this question?

Once again, if you respond by talking about how abortion isn't murder, than you're missing my point entirely. I love the Constitution, and I'm interested in discussing how it should be wisely applied. Murder is a helpful case study in that regard. Once we establish principles, then we can return to discussing the abortion question.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

D.J,

Who says abortion is murder? Your God? What does that have to do with my beliefs? My beliefs say it isn’t murder. The Supreme Court says it isn't murder. Show me the federal statute that says it is. Why do you insist on forcing your beliefs on me? Who is the aggressor here?

And I didn’t realize this forum operated under the D.J. Rules of Debate. Your theological thoughts expressed on religious topics in this blog are quite interesting, and I respect your beliefs. Just wish you could understand that America is not a theocracy, and that fairness involves accommodating everyone's beliefs.

So, for the last time, let me repeat: Under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of our flexible (not cast in concrete like the Bible) Constitution, no one’s forcing you to have an abortion, and no one’s preventing you. It doesn’t get any more accommodating than that.

If the Constitution were interpreted otherwise regarding abortion, you and your God win; me and mine lose. Where’s the fairness and accommodation in that?

In this country the majority elects our representatives, but the checks and balances built into our government protect individual freedoms. It’s obvious from viewing recent responses to this topic that fundamentalist Christians don’t believe in individual freedoms, and they certainly can’t keep their God’s nose out of our nation’s affairs as a democracy requires. God save us if the religious fanatics gain power.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Anonymous said from hiding, "God save us...."

Yes, indeed. May He!

Iztok said...

"God does not consider abortions to be OK"

Your "God" kills or instructs to kill many times in the Bible. Including pregnant women and causing their wombs to dry.

So how do you reconcile that?

Unless you have default stance that "God" can't do anything wrong even if it kills or asks to kill?

Last time I've read the Bible there are over 2 million killed (just numbered people, non-numbered is much higher) by God or instructed to be killed. Satan's numbers are much smaller.

D.J. Williams said...

Anonymous (5/7 12:13 PM) said...
"And I didn’t realize this forum operated under the D.J. Rules of Debate. Your theological thoughts expressed on religious topics in this blog are quite interesting, and I respect your beliefs. Just wish you could understand that America is not a theocracy, and that fairness involves accommodating everyone's beliefs."

When I asked you above to avoid the answer you've been giving, I wasn't telling you how to debate, I was telling you that you're missing my point. Let me try to be as clear as possible: I know you believe that abortion isn't defined as murder by the constitution. I’m not interested in a rhetorical back-and-forth over that. I’m hoping to discuss how we decide what to do when two claims of rights clash to understand why we disagree. I think this will lead to productive discussion rather than a mud-slinging contest.

Maybe a change in hypothetical subject will help here. Let’s say I believe that I have the right to choose whether or not I want to steal from people. You believe that one shouldn’t steal. How should the government accommodate both of our beliefs? What should their evaluation process be?

America is not a theocracy. I don’t want to make it one. All of us should come to the table with our convictions and discuss how to best govern our nation. I fully understand that fairness involves accommodating everyone’s beliefs – I want to discuss how. Does anything go? Are beliefs ever “out-of-bounds?” If so, how do we decide when they are? These are the questions I’m trying to explore here, and the example I’ve been putting forth gets to the root of that decision-making process. I hope you’ll engage me in that effort. Once we talk about these principles, I’m all for discussing how we apply them to the abortion issue. Yet, that’s only possible when we understand each other’s thought process.

BTW - Iztok, I'm going to purposefully ignore your comment to try and keep on topic. Nothing personal, I'm just hoping to discuss the above issues with anon.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

D. J.,

Sorry I didn’t get back to you before now. Some of us have to work for a living.

First off, this isn’t the Tortosa Disputation. This isn’t a high-falutin’ theological debate where one side tries to trick the other, or change the subject, or cloud the original issue with a lot of irrelevant questions, which you are prone to do.

Secondly, I’m discussing “freedom of choice”, because when I made my original post above, I created a furor by stating “I’ll vote for a candidate who will defend our Constitutional freedoms, including freedom of choice.”

Strangely, if I had left off that clause, I wouldn’t have gotten an iota of criticism. But the right-wing reactionary writers to this blog sure are flag-waving, heart crossing patriots when it comes to freedom, as long as freedom doesn’t include freedom to choose an abortion, freedom to choose to use stem cells to cure crippling and terminal diseases, freedom to choose to “marry” someone of the same sex and enjoy the same Constitutional rights of heterosexual couples, or freedom not to be a slave.

Anyway, the freedoms of choice I’m defending are those related to civil and human individual rights. Capice? My posts have nothing to do with the common law issues you apparently want to discuss. The only way these important rights become realized is by the grace of the United States Supreme Court, not, I’m sorry to say, by the Grace of God, which they should be.

Since you haven’t answered my question about what’s unfair with the Roe versus Wade decision, I assume we’ve reached the usual stalemate.

The President-elect may swear upon a Bible next January, but the oath he takes states that he (or she) promises to defend and protect the Constitution, not the bylaws of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think it would be better if, at every inauguration, the Supreme Court Chief Justice whipped out a lie detector, and we discover beforehand whether the candidate really can separate God from State as they’ll be promising under that oath.

Your Boss said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said...

Iztok. Pick the case where God allows killing you'd like to discuss and we'll do it.

Please note also that the Bible does not condemn killing. It condemns murder. There is a difference.

Anonymous said...

Dubya is probably the dumbest president we've had in the last 50 years.

Carter, LBJ, and Clinton all had more raw brainpower than he ever had, even before he killed off half his brain cells as a Delta Kappa Epsilon drunken fratboy.

He's a third-generation rich kid, class clown, and general goof-off in the same league as Paris Hilton of the Hilton family.

He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, tried to outdo his dad and got everyone tripped up due to his vast ignorance.

Iztok said...

Nick:

As he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.--2 Kg.2:23-24

Gamecock said...

anonymous

Given that you would never make comments off topic, I discern that your faith is in Bush Derangement Syndrome, whose adherents are like the child whose Dad insists they deal with the bully (see UBL) taking their lunch money. The child hates to be forced to deal with reality and is afraid of the bully, but knows daddy won't hurt him, so he begins a hissy fit of hearing no evil with hands over ears while chanting la-la-la.

Bush was re-elected while you whined.

One reason why was that faith influenced a majority of voters votes, and their faith was in God, not man.

Nick said...

Alright Iztok. The 2 Kings 2:23-24 passage it is! Once we get past that, we can move to another.

To make sure I am not attacking a straw man, please tell me what exactly you find wrong with what happens in this passage.

Iztok said...

Nick, I picked that passage because in my opinion it is the most vile example in the whole book.

What is not to be found wrong?

Group of young kids/man (it doesn't really matter, depends on translation) is mocking a Elisha. He curses them and it looks like God sends bears to kill them. From my perspective this looks very similar to what Stalin did to those who dare to speak against his regime. Granted Stalin wasn't God, but he surely played one. (Bare in mind I did grow up behind the iron curtain so I might be more sensitive when it comes to punishments for thought crimes.)

Here is the thing. No matter how big Elisha was in God's eyes, from where I stand even if it was God itself. It doesn't justify killing/murder for mocking. Punishment (if any is warranted) is clearly disproportionate and it would clearly be classified as murder. Yes they were animals, but it is clearly implied that they were ordered to do the bidding by God itself.

Now if you would argue that animals were there in pure coincidence and not as a result of cursing of the men by Elisha, then I guess we can let this one go and move on. But then we would need to see what is the point of the whole story?

bigcock said...

Christian evangelicals got Bush elected. Bush prays with his cabinet. United States invades Iraq. Over 4000 Americans dead. Over 91,000 Iraqi civilians dead. War costs $341 million a day. Bin Laden is still free.

Of course God murders people. But it's really people who do the killing and excuse themselves by saying it's what God wants. The evangelicals and Bush are bad for this country and the planet.

Iraq Coalition Casualties
Iraq Body Count
Cost of War

Nick said...

Iztok. Why yes. It does matter if it's God. Let's keep the biblical paradigm in purpose.

First off, Elijah had just been shown to be God's prophet by being taken up to Heaven in the fiery chariot. He was the one who at Carmel had shown that YHWH is God by defeating the followers of Baal and had then placed his mantle on Elisha.

Second, Elisha's bald head was symbolic of his role as a prophet and as the successor of Elijah, which had already been demonstrated by his parting the river.

Third, these were young men and a sizable crowd that would be seen as a strong force. They represented a generation in Israel that would grow up mocking God if not corrected.

Fourth, Elisha called a curse. He did nothing directly himself.

Fifth, That 42 boys died indicates that the boys even tried to fight the bears. They were willing to fight against a judgment of God in such a case.

Sixth, Why is it moral for the source of all life to take away that life?

I won't deny that God kills, but you'll have to show me why it's immoral for him to take life when he is life itself and the source of all life.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iztok said...

"I won't deny that God kills, but you'll have to show me why it's immoral for him to take life when he is life itself and the source of all life."

So is mother. So why it is immoral for woman to terminate pregnancy then? She is source of that life.

Again, this is not just killing, this was clearly murder as it was very disproportionate to the "crime" committed.

#1 there is no outside source to confirm the event. Even if we would assume it is true, this has no bearing to cruel murder itself.

#2 again, no outside source confirming parting river. See above. Who cares if he was bald. So am I. People make jokes of bald people. Doesn't mean they have to be punished for that. It is called free speech.

#3 42 people is a crowd. There is no indication Elisha's life was threatened. His ego was. Obviously there is a bigger sizable force nowadays that grew up mocking God (myself included) and apparently he doesn't do anything about it. It either seems that whole connection to God was made up for this event or God lost its power. Or God is not consistent in its actions. (Obvious solution is that God doesn't exist as that is the simplest answer to this.)

#4 I think I've been clear on this. God (if exists and has any power at all) was the one to instruct these murders controlling bears directly. Elisha was just a cry baby with bruised ego. God did the bidding through wild animals. (If we take this further we can easily say that all animal attacks are directly ordered by your God? I agree this is absurd to the same extent that any animal attack is by order of God at the first place.)

#5 Obviously anyone would try to fight wild animals trying to kill them. Wouldn't you? It is called self defense. It is typical animal behavior for self preservation (humans are no different then any other animal species on the planet).

#6 I never said murder is moral.

pornstudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iztok said...

"So is mother. So why it is immoral for woman to terminate pregnancy then? She is source of that life."

Before someone jumps on this... I don't define something like blastocysts as a child. It has potential but it is not a child yet. So aborting at such state is not aborting kids.

Iztok said...

"There is a different morality for God than there is for us humans? He expects us to be more righteous than he is? Excuse while I barf."

I figure if it is good enough for God it is good enough for me. God doesn't seem to believe in any higher being. So if atheism is good enough for God it is good enough for me :)

pornstudent said...

Iztok,

I deleted my last comment because I didn't want to offend anyone with my barfing. Nah... I'm thinking of Jane.

We are better than God: We wouldn't have children murdered for calling us names.

Iztok said...

"We are better than God: We wouldn't have children murdered for calling us names."

Some of us pro-choicers would do even step further. We would go and step up and adopt someone else's child in their late teens no less. Can you imagine that in this supposedly "pro-life" state there are almost 11,000 kids in foster care and a lot of them are waiting for permanent homes and families but people don't step up? So how can someone have faith in people who mostly talk but not walk? In NC foster care monthly reimbursement is only slightly more then state pays for dogs in shelters! And guess which party members are the most opposed to raise the foster care rates?

If I would vote I would vote for someone who would work towards helping our kids in foster care and help increasing their chances of being adopted. Sorry to say, Republicans aren't it. (With rare exceptions.)

Nick said...

Me: "I won't deny that God kills, but you'll have to show me why it's immoral for him to take life when he is life itself and the source of all life."

Iztok: So is mother. So why it is immoral for woman to terminate pregnancy then? She is source of that life.

Me: Notice I said source. A mother is not the source of life. She is an instrument through which life is carried on, but she is not the source of life. God is life itself. That's what is meant by the doctrine of God's simplicity.

Iztok: Again, this is not just killing, this was clearly murder as it was very disproportionate to the "crime" committed.

Me: Because you have a low view of the crime. It's actually the crime of the high hand called blasphemy. It's denying the covenant promises of YHWH and if that was left unchecked, it would be a cancer in the community.

Iztok: #1 there is no outside source to confirm the event. Even if we would assume it is true, this has no bearing to cruel murder itself.

Me: For the sake of argument though, the story is to be understood in its context as a true event. It's saying "Assuming this is true, how can you justify it?"

Iztok: #2 again, no outside source confirming parting river. See above. Who cares if he was bald. So am I. People make jokes of bald people. Doesn't mean they have to be punished for that. It is called free speech.

Me: For the river, it's assuming the account is true for the sake of argument. A bald head was a sign of a prophet though. They weren't making fun of him because he was bald. They were making fun of him because he'd shaved his head as a sign he was a prophet and telling that prophet to go on up too.

Iztok: #3 42 people is a crowd. There is no indication Elisha's life was threatened. His ego was. Obviously there is a bigger sizable force nowadays that grew up mocking God (myself included) and apparently he doesn't do anything about it. It either seems that whole connection to God was made up for this event or God lost its power. Or God is not consistent in its actions. (Obvious solution is that God doesn't exist as that is the simplest answer to this.)

Me: Or it could be that rather God was preparing Israel for a special purpose and that purpose has come about in bringing about the Messiah. Israel was held to a higher standard than all the other nations as God's representative nation and the priesthood of nations.

As for 42 not being a crowd, you're free with me to go find a crowd of at least 42 young men (And note, the word is used of soldiers) and have them all opposed to you and see if you don't get nervous any.

Iztok: #4 I think I've been clear on this. God (if exists and has any power at all) was the one to instruct these murders controlling bears directly. Elisha was just a cry baby with bruised ego. God did the bidding through wild animals. (If we take this further we can easily say that all animal attacks are directly ordered by your God? I agree this is absurd to the same extent that any animal attack is by order of God at the first place.)

Me: No. Just this one. Again though, what's the problem? God is the source of all life and seeing as he is the cause by which all life exists, he has the right to remove that life.

Iztok: #5 Obviously anyone would try to fight wild animals trying to kill them. Wouldn't you? It is called self defense. It is typical animal behavior for self preservation (humans are no different then any other animal species on the planet).

Me: That's the problem. These boys were receiving a divine judgment even and tried to fight it. You really think 2 bears could go through 42 boys unless they were actively fighting back and resisting judgment?

Iztok: #6 I never said murder is moral.

Me: And I don't see what happened in 2 Kings as murder but killing. There is a difference. Abortion, however, I do see as murder.

Anonymous said...

Dubya is proof that faith-based voting is about as productive as any other faith-based initiative.

And if you want to talk about babies being coddled by their Daddies, Dubya is your boy.

There isn't a thing he's ever done on his own without the strong support (if not actual bailing-out) by his Daddy's Friends.

Dubya's a moron, but he's a moron who found Jeezus, so that makes him
popular with the low-expectation crowd.

Anonymous said...

I'm just so happy to hear that Dubya prays with his cabinet while leading us down the path of becoming a third-world country.

The party is over folks.

The advantages the good ol' USA had after winning WWII are gone now and we're pissing away our future on the whims of a little boy president trying to outdo his daddy by Gettin' Saddam.

It will take decades, if ever, for us to recover.

Iztok said...

"And I don't see what happened in 2 Kings as murder but killing. There is a difference. Abortion, however, I do see as murder."

So let's be clear on definitions then.

Fetus: Can't survive if it would be born.

Child: Can survive if it is born.

So by definition fetus can't be murdered as it is not a person at the time of being killed.

Murder is different from killing by malice aforethought and the lack of lawful justification.

So in our case we know the following:

1. Young men were people.

2. There was malice aforethought.

3. Since there is no law allowing killing for being disrespectful we can conclude it was also lack of lawful justification.

So yes it is classified as murder.

I don't think you can argue #1 or #2 as it is obvious from the text. You might go after #3 but you would have to provide any evidence that it is lawful for anyone (including God) to kill for such a petty crime (if crime at all, which would also have to be proven).

Nick said...

First off, this is late at night I'm answering this. I might be slow answering tomorrow. Just wrapping up some final schoolwork before the Semester ends. Expect me to be busy next week as I have a Summer module the whole week and a full-time job. Fun fun fun.

Me:"And I don't see what happened in 2 Kings as murder but killing. There is a difference. Abortion, however, I do see as murder."

Iztok: So let's be clear on definitions then.

Me: Always a good idea.

Iztok: Fetus: Can't survive if it would be born.

Child: Can survive if it is born.

So by definition fetus can't be murdered as it is not a person at the time of being killed.

Me: Got a problem here. What constitutes a person? You've made too big a leap. You say a child could survive outside the womb. Are you sure? Let's suppose that there was no parent waiting there or no doctor. The child was born and no one was there to sustain it. Could it survive? Could it feed itself and tend for itself as an infant?

Iztok: Murder is different from killing by malice aforethought and the lack of lawful justification.

Me: And I think this is reasonable enough.

Iztok: So in our case we know the following:

1. Young men were people.

2. There was malice aforethought.

Me: No. This doesn't fall under malice. This was in response to the action that was done. Malice has the person setting himself up as the executioner. Elisha didn't do that.

Iztok: 3. Since there is no law allowing killing for being disrespectful we can conclude it was also lack of lawful justification.

Me: Not disrespectful. It's blasphemy. Check Levitical Law. Blasphemy is punishable by death because it's treason against YHWH hismelf.

Iztok: So yes it is classified as murder.

Me: Nope. You still haven't answered the question about God being the source of all life. If he is life himself, then why is it wrong for him to take life? What standard are you appealing to?

Iztok: I don't think you can argue #1 or #2 as it is obvious from the text.

Me: Oh yes I can. I see you chose to not answer me point by point instead as well. I can't imagine why...

Iztok: You might go after #3 but you would have to provide any evidence that it is lawful for anyone (including God) to kill for such a petty crime (if crime at all, which would also have to be proven).

Me: You need to show it's a petty crime within the context of Judaism. I assure you, the Levitical Law is quite clear on blasphemy.

pornstudent said...

Nick,

You are making excuses for God. You would do better to say that God does what he wants and if we don't like what he does, too bad.

"If he [God] is life himself, then why is it wrong for him to take life? What standard are you appealing to?"

You reason that because God is the source of life, he can kill whoever and for whatever reason he wants and not be reproached for being immoral, hypocritical, selfish, unloving and petty.

I can see how you would imagine God killing is like God removing his "life force" from the living; he's just taking back what he gave or moving his "life force" to another place. Yeah, we humans don't kill that way. You think this makes God's killing immune from our standards of morality. Why would it?

Still you can't help defending God killing the children (2 Kings 2:23-24) by saying he had to kill in order to show his authority or because Levitical Law allows (requires?) it. Is God afraid of being overthrown? Is he bound by a country's laws? Should the governments of Israel and the United States be used by God to kill those who question his authority?

Whether God kills or the carnage is by Al Qaeda, Hamas, the US or Israel, there are mangled bodies and mothers and fathers crying for their children. We don't want excuses.

bigcock said...

I'd like to hear the excuses. Whatever helps with communicating would be good.

Anonymous said...

Religion got this country when BUSH was thrown into office; Bush is a MASON and an evangelist and is the standing President; I really dont want a Catholic priest or RABBI as my President; Lets face it Religious Patrons do you really want to unholy the religions . Jesus would not want this. Politics are earthly not heavenly as we all see now.

Iztok said...

"Me: Got a problem here. What constitutes a person? You've made too big a leap. You say a child could survive outside the womb. Are you sure? Let's suppose that there was no parent waiting there or no doctor. The child was born and no one was there to sustain it. Could it survive? Could it feed itself and tend for itself as an infant?"

The definition I've offered is usually used as legal definition.

Quick check on Wikipedia (not the greatest source bug sufficient in this case I think): "All jurisdictions require that the victim be a natural person; that is a human being who was still alive at the time of being murdered. Most jurisdictions legally distinguish killing a fetus or unborn child as a different crime, such as illegal abortion of a fetus or the unlawful killing of an unborn child. The distinction between a fetus and an unborn child in these jurisdictions is that a child could survive if it had been born, while a fetus could not."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

"No. This doesn't fall under malice. This was in response to the action that was done. Malice has the person setting himself up as the executioner. Elisha didn't do that."

We are not talking about Elisha here. We are talking about God here.

Clearly there was intent to kill when sending bears.

"Not disrespectful. It's blasphemy. Check Levitical Law. Blasphemy is punishable by death because it's treason against YHWH hismelf."

Definition of blasphemy: "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God"

So this would be considered synonymous as disrespect to God. Wouldn't you say so?

"You still haven't answered the question about God being the source of all life. If he is life himself, then why is it wrong for him to take life? What standard are you appealing to?"

One would have to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that any of this is true. So far source of life is not even close to what you've said. In lack of any other higher standards available to us in any form I apply moral standards of our present society. Should you choose something else, by all means, but you are going down the slippery slope.

"You need to show it's a petty crime within the context of Judaism. I assure you, the Levitical Law is quite clear on blasphemy."

Since today's society doesn't live by Levitical Law this is not really important. Unless you demonstrate that our society would be better off under mentioned law across the board. On top of that statue of limitation for murder doesn't expire and it is quite reasonable to use today's higher standards to judge someone who supposed to be omniscient. Obviously omnipotent, benevolent and omniscient would held itself to the highest standards across eternity. (i.e. the most moral standards past and present). So applying today's standards is perfectly OK.

Now if you plan to bring "God's standards" then one would have to define them and demonstrate they are really applicable to everyone across time. That includes today's society as well as past. You need to demonstrate time and space universality.

As far as other point to point analysis I planned to return once we get definitions out on the open.

Nick said...

Pornstudent: Nick,

You are making excuses for God. You would do better to say that God does what he wants and if we don't like what he does, too bad.

Me: Nope. Just stating the truth. Of course, accusations of making excuses is much easier than making a real argument.

Porn:"If he [God] is life himself, then why is it wrong for him to take life? What standard are you appealing to?"

You reason that because God is the source of life, he can kill whoever and for whatever reason he wants and not be reproached for being immoral, hypocritical, selfish, unloving and petty.

Me: God can kill. He does not murder though and cannot. There is a huge difference. By the way, by what moral standard are you going to say God is immoral?

Porn:I can see how you would imagine God killing is like God removing his "life force" from the living; he's just taking back what he gave or moving his "life force" to another place. Yeah, we humans don't kill that way. You think this makes God's killing immune from our standards of morality. Why would it?

Me:I don't give a darn about "our standards of morality." I care about morality period and the standards. To do otherwise is simply chronological snobbery better known as argument ad annis.

Last I checked, you and I aren't sovereign over God.

Porn:Still you can't help defending God killing the children (2 Kings 2:23-24) by saying he had to kill in order to show his authority or because Levitical Law allows (requires?) it. Is God afraid of being overthrown? Is he bound by a country's laws? Should the governments of Israel and the United States be used by God to kill those who question his authority?

Me: Psssh. First off, these aren't children. The word is used to describe young men in the army. Calling them children is poisoning the wells.

Secondly, Israel was in a covenant agreement with YHWH to live as he had ordered and violations of that covenant always had serious ramifications. That included blasphemy. We do the same today actually. Treason is a crime punishable in the Constitution. Blasphemy is treason against God himself.

Porn:Whether God kills or the carnage is by Al Qaeda, Hamas, the US or Israel, there are mangled bodies and mothers and fathers crying for their children. We don't want excuses.

Me: Nor do I want arguments from pity. You look at what happens afterwards as if that alone determines the morality. My main question is, "Is this moral or not?" You can go for pity all you want to.

Nick said...

"Me: Got a problem here. What constitutes a person? You've made too big a leap. You say a child could survive outside the womb. Are you sure? Let's suppose that there was no parent waiting there or no doctor. The child was born and no one was there to sustain it. Could it survive? Could it feed itself and tend for itself as an infant?"

Iztok:The definition I've offered is usually used as legal definition.

Quick check on Wikipedia (not the greatest source bug sufficient in this case I think): "All jurisdictions require that the victim be a natural person; that is a human being who was still alive at the time of being murdered. Most jurisdictions legally distinguish killing a fetus or unborn child as a different crime, such as illegal abortion of a fetus or the unlawful killing of an unborn child. The distinction between a fetus and an unborn child in these jurisdictions is that a child could survive if it had been born, while a fetus could not."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

Me: Wiki! Never a good source to use for this kind of argumentation. Couldn't have looked up a legal dictionary or something? Now the distinction they give between a fetus and a child does not answer the objection I raised. Do you think that if a baby is born and then just left alone that it could survive? Yes or no?



Iztok:We are not talking about Elisha here. We are talking about God here.

Me: Good! Impassibility. What's it mean?

Iztok:Clearly there was intent to kill when sending bears.

Me: Obviously.


Iztok:Definition of blasphemy: "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God"

So this would be considered synonymous as disrespect to God. Wouldn't you say so?

Me: It's not just disrespect. It's outright hostility and defiance. You're allowed, for instance, in America to say what you want about the President. However, if you make a reference to an idea that indicates you have plans of assassination or overthrowing the government, then you are guilty of a crime. These young men were rejecting the rule of YHWH in Israel, violating the covenant agreement.



Iztok:One would have to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that any of this is true. So far source of life is not even close to what you've said. In lack of any other higher standards available to us in any form I apply moral standards of our present society. Should you choose something else, by all means, but you are going down the slippery slope.

Me: Actually, if we're going to judge the morality of the story, we have to accept it in its context, which does have God as the source of life.

Now you say we have to judge by today's standards. Why? Why should I see today's morality as a better morality? I hear about enough crime everywhere I go and heard someone saying just yesterday that crime is expected to rise even more. Wonderful standards we have! You do realize you are using argument ad annis as PornStudent does. Right?

And the slippery slope is really in going with today's morality. That will simply mean that whatever happens is moral. By those standards, people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King were threats to society as they went against the moral grain and told society that it was wrong. Of course, if you're a moral absolutist, you can say society is wrong no problem.

Also, if society is the judge of what is right and wrong, by what standard can you judge the ancient society? They are wrong because they are not us? Lovely standard.

I will take the standard I see in the Trinity. Treat persons as persons, treat goodness as goodness, and for those outside, treat evil as evil. Now you tell me how you differentiate between good and evil.


Iztok:Since today's society doesn't live by Levitical Law this is not really important. Unless you demonstrate that our society would be better off under mentioned law across the board. On top of that statue of limitation for murder doesn't expire and it is quite reasonable to use today's higher standards to judge someone who supposed to be omniscient. Obviously omnipotent, benevolent and omniscient would held itself to the highest standards across eternity. (i.e. the most moral standards past and present). So applying today's standards is perfectly OK.

Me: Wow. Can we have any more question begging? Today's standards are the highest. "Why?" "Don't ask why! They just are!" Right. We only have teen pregnancy, STDs on the rise, suicide increasing, drug usage and drive-by shooting, etc. Yep. We certainly have high standards of morality.

The blasphemy charge does matter in the context of what is going on. If I am in a Muslim nation, I ought to respect Sharia Law. It would not be wise of me to go around and make disparaging remarks about Muhammad. If you're in Ancient Israel, you respect YHWH whom you are in covenant agreement with.

Iztok:Now if you plan to bring "God's standards" then one would have to define them and demonstrate they are really applicable to everyone across time. That includes today's society as well as past. You need to demonstrate time and space universality.

Me: Yep. Those standards of "Love your neighbor as yourself" just might not work any more. Don't forget this idea of rewarding good and punishing evil. Let's not go back to that old barbaric concept. Forget also this Christian idea of fidelity to a spouse. It's obviously out-dated....

Before we discuss what the standard is, we really need to know what good and evil are and how to differentiate. Do tell me how you do so.

As far as other point to point analysis I planned to return once we get definitions out on the open.

pornstudent said...

Nick argues that God can't be (or shouldn't be?) reproached by us because he is sovereign, he is the "source of life", he needs to prove his sovereignty and he is following Levitical Law.

I guess it's a given that Christians let God do whatever he wants without the possibility that he is wrong. Since their God is perfect, they're always having to defend his jealousy, pettiness, anger, wrath, etc.. Why can't God be wrong? Because he says he can't? Why should we accept that?

There's no question he killed those (KJV of 2 Kings 2:23-24 calls them children) for making fun of Elija's bald head. By our standards that is petty and immoral.

Their mangled bodies and the cries of their mothers and fathers move us because we care. Call it pity, empathy or love. It's from these human feelings that we are moral. From our morality we say God is immoral. God may not understand our humanness, or he understands but doesn't like it or doesn't care. Fine. But he's not above my reproach. It's probably better that he doesn't exist.

pornstudent said...

Our morality is an evolved trait. We are empathetic, loving, honest and just because these traits have helped us survive.

Yeah, often we are immoral. Sometimes we have to choose between killing helpless children and the death of our own; or between stealing and starving; or between lying to the government and not having medicine. Some people are sociopaths because they're brains are missing something. Some are immoral because they are confused by the faux morality of the religious.

We know what is moral because we are moral animals. It's how we're born. It's what we are. It's human. It is our standard, not God's.

Some would say our standard isn't good enough because it changes throughout history and from place to place. Societies have disagreed on how many wives to have, what to eat, the beginning of life, God, pornography, etc., but we have always valued cooperation, trust and altruism--the qualities of morality.

If our standards have changed, then I agree with Iztok that our standards are as good or better than ever. Our civil rights and liberties are wonderful. There was a time when I would have been tortured and burnt alive for being an atheist. There's no slavery, women can vote, every child can have an education, Social Security and Medicaid help the poor.

Nick doesn't think much of our present day standards because of teen pregnancy, STDs, suicide, and drug usage. These aren't immoral. I guess he thinks they are the results of an immoral society, but they are more likely caused by the faux morality of the religious: Not teaching those likely to have sex about birth control, not giving condoms to those at risk of AIDs and other STDs, the criminalization of prostitution, and teaching children and youth that they are unworthy sinners.

This is our society, not God's. We decide for ourselves how we want to live. For freedom loving Americans, this is good.

Nick said...

First off, I'm wondering if you're writing this to me or to the crowd. It seems to the crowd. You should be trying to convince me and not everyone else unless you're running for office or something.

Porn: Our morality is an evolved trait. We are empathetic, loving, honest and just because these traits have helped us survive.

Me: Interesting reasons. I prefer being empathetic, loving, and honest, because, oh, they're the right thing to do.

Now you say our morality is an evolved trait? Can you demonstrate this while keeping in mind and is does not imply an ought?

Porn: Yeah, often we are immoral. Sometimes we have to choose between killing helpless children and the death of our own; or between stealing and starving; or between lying to the government and not having medicine. Some people are sociopaths because they're brains are missing something. Some are immoral because they are confused by the faux morality of the religious.

Me: First off, if there is no objective morality, there are no moral dilemmas, so your stance is an appeal to objective morality.

Second, you say sociopaths brains are missing something which is a design argument. If we were designed properly, we would behave morally.

Porn: We know what is moral because we are moral animals. It's how we're born. It's what we are. It's human. It is our standard, not God's.

Me: Wow. I suppose making assertions counts as something now. Because we are born that way, we ought to be that way? Last I checked, we aren't even born that way. Parents have to teach their children to be good. Children seem to naturally lack the great virtues without a proper upbringing.

Porn: Some would say our standard isn't good enough because it changes throughout history and from place to place. Societies have disagreed on how many wives to have, what to eat, the beginning of life, God, pornography, etc., but we have always valued cooperation, trust and altruism--the qualities of morality.

Me: First off, to say it's not good enough is to again agree to an objective moral standard.

Second, while there have been some disagreements, there have been by and large more agreements. This is the same in any other field of thinking.

Third, can you demonstrate that these societies throughout time though have valued many such things? Have you read the Nicomachean Ethics for instance?

Porn: If our standards have changed, then I agree with Iztok that our standards are as good or better than ever. Our civil rights and liberties are wonderful. There was a time when I would have been tortured and burnt alive for being an atheist. There's no slavery, women can vote, every child can have an education, Social Security and Medicaid help the poor.

Me: Please point to the time you would have been burnt alive for being an atheist and give primary sources as well. Much of history has been re-interpreted in a false light.

Second, to say that things are better again implies a standard and it has to be outside of our society. Otherwise, we simply define moral progress as reaching the place we are. Moral progress is getting better towards a goal and not where you are.

Third, where do you think the end of slavery came about? Here's a hint. Go look up Saint Bathilda, the wife of Clovis II.

Porn: Nick doesn't think much of our present day standards because of teen pregnancy, STDs, suicide, and drug usage. These aren't immoral.

Me: Excuse me. I know my name. You're supposed to be talking to me unless you're running for office.

And these aren't immoral? Wow. You don't have a problem with suicide? You think drug usage in the sense of kids getting high and destroying their brain is good? You favor STD's and teen pregnancy?

Porn: I guess he thinks they are the results of an immoral society, but they are more likely caused by the faux morality of the religious: Not teaching those likely to have sex about birth control, not giving condoms to those at risk of AIDs and other STDs, the criminalization of prostitution, and teaching children and youth that they are unworthy sinners.

Me: Sure! Blame everything on the Christians! Here's an idea. The problem is with people. Now where the church is at fault, I will blame it and I do think the church has been at fault by having sex be a hands-off topic.

However, do you really think condoms prevent the spread of AIDS? I have a better way to prevent STDs and teen pregnancy. It's called abstinence until marriage. When practiced, it works 100% of the time!

And the church does teach we're unworthy sinners on one side. THat's where grace comes in! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! To teach the law without grace is wrong. To teach grace without the law is also wrong. We must hear the bad news as well as the good news.

Porn: This is our society, not God's. We decide for ourselves how we want to live. For freedom loving Americans, this is good.

Me: Yes. But we also lock up those who decide how they want to live if it is not what we deem right.

A good society is one that enables you to be good. Is our society really enabling us to be good? There's a reason several Eastern nations want America's technology, but they don't want America's morality.

Anonymous said...

We interrupt this abortion debate for an important message...

Has anyone noticed that the U.S. penny and nickel are now worth more as blank slugs than as currency?

Sad but true. They're even talking about minting steel pennies again just like they did during WWII.

Chances are we'll have to import that steel, too.

Putting the official U.S. Motto Epluribus Unum and the sacrosanct "In God We Trust" on a
chunk of metal now makes it worth less than the raw material it was made from.

Now, back to the abortion debate...

pornstudent said...

Nick,

I'm not going to write a dissertation for you. Learn what you can from what I've written and do your own research if you want.

It seems that we are worlds apart, doesn't it?

Iztok said...

"Interesting reasons. I prefer being empathetic, loving, and honest, because, oh, they're the right thing to do."

Hm... what makes one action right thing to do?

Is not committing murder right thing to do because God says so? If so, did God decide this because murdering is not right to do or because he arbitrarily decided it is not? In other words, does God have free will to declare murder right thing to do or not?

pornstudent said...

Nick,

Been looking over what you've written and trying to learn something from it.

You don't think morality is an evolved trait. I've read a book called, The Mind of the Market, by Michael Shermer, that says it is. He's given quite a few reasons he thinks so. Some stuff about fMRIs and brain neurology.

Don't know what you mean by, "if there is no objective morality, there are no moral dilemmas, so your stance is an appeal to objective morality."

You think that because some people are born missing something, such as the genetic ability to be moral, then that means they were designed (improperly?).

You don't think we are born with the ability and inclination to be moral.

Several times you mention an "objective moral standard."

You ask if I can demonstrate societies throughout time valuing cooperation, trust and altruism. People working together farming and hunting is cooperation. As long as there's been money there's been trust. Risking their lives for the betterment of community is something hunters and warriors would have done. I've never read Nicomachean Ethics.

I don't have any primary sources of atheists being burnt alive. You don't think they were. That's would be nice; it'll make me feel better about our history. Maybe the whole Inquisition thing has been overblown too. That would also be nice.

You said, "to say that things are better again implies a standard and it has to be outside of our society." I prefer what we have today over what was in the past; maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with that.

I take it you think the end of slavery began with Saint Bathilda, the wife of Clovis II. Never heard of her. I'll give her a google.

I don't have a problem with suicide. Kids getting high and destroying their brains isn't good, but it isn't immoral either. I don't favor STD's and teen pregnancy, but they're not immoral.

I don't blame everything on Christians.

Condoms help prevent the spread of AIDS and pregnancy, but you're right, they're not 100% as abstinence would be. But the "just say no to sex" campaign isn't working.

You don't think our society enables us to be good. I can understand why you think that, but I disagree.

Nick said...

Didn't ask for a dissertation. Just an argument. All throughout your post, you have an appeal to objective morality, but there's never a basis given for it except what is today. Yet at the same time, you admit some things today are immoral. What is your standard?

Are we worlds apart? Could be.

Nick said...

Me: "Interesting reasons. I prefer being empathetic, loving, and honest, because, oh, they're the right thing to do."

Iztok: Hm... what makes one action right thing to do?

Me: It's treating reality as it is. It is right to love people because people are created in the image of God.

Iztok: Is not committing murder right thing to do because God says so? If so, did God decide this because murdering is not right to do or because he arbitrarily decided it is not? In other words, does God have free will to declare murder right thing to do or not?

Me: God doesn't command murder though. There are times he commands killing, but not murder. God cannot violate his nature. That is not a limitation of freedom. That is a perfection of it. God is free to do whatever does not contradict his nature. Since his nature is perfect, he is not free to do an imperfection.

pornstudent said...

My standard of morality is the empathy, love and community that I feel and desire. It's inside of me.

Nick said...

Porn: Nick,

Been looking over what you've written and trying to learn something from it.

Me: Socrates would be pleased.

Porn: You don't think morality is an evolved trait. I've read a book called, The Mind of the Market, by Michael Shermer, that says it is. He's given quite a few reasons he thinks so. Some stuff about fMRIs and brain neurology.

Me: And have you seen Dinesh D'Souza reply, someone who actually does believe in evolution as well?

Porn: Don't know what you mean by, "if there is no objective morality, there are no moral dilemmas, so your stance is an appeal to objective morality."

Me: Simple. A moral dilemma is where you are wanting to do the right thing, but there are two conflicting choices. If there is no right choice though, there is no moral dilemma. It would be like saying there is a mathematical problem if mathematics don't exist.

Porn: You think that because some people are born missing something, such as the genetic ability to be moral, then that means they were designed (improperly?).

Me: Actually, it seems you do. You stated that some people are sociopaths because their brains are missing something. Meaning, if their brains had all the right parts, they would be moral. But that implies design. Since that brain does not have the right parts, it is not functioning properly and the result is a sociopath.

Porn: You don't think we are born with the ability and inclination to be moral.

Me: I never said that. I just said that it's difficult for us. Parents have to train their children to be good. Our natural inclination is to look out for #1.

Porn: Several times you mention an "objective moral standard."

Me: Yep! I sure do!

Porn: You ask if I can demonstrate societies throughout time valuing cooperation, trust and altruism. People working together farming and hunting is cooperation. As long as there's been money there's been trust. Risking their lives for the betterment of community is something hunters and warriors would have done. I've never read Nicomachean Ethics.

Me: You should sometime. Good stuff of Aristotle. I need to reread it sometime soon again. Sure. People did these things together because the community mattered and one's identity came from the community. However, doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return? That was unheard of. That's what is the real situation in 1 Peter 3:15. It's actually not a verse about apologetics.

Porn: I don't have any primary sources of atheists being burnt alive. You don't think they were. That's would be nice; it'll make me feel better about our history. Maybe the whole Inquisition thing has been overblown too. That would also be nice.

Me: Then feel better. Things have been overblown. Wanna know who was burnt alive often? Christians. What happened to Polycarp? Burnt alive by the Romans. Sadly, sometimes the church has done this as well and I condemn it as well. People like Tyndale and Hus.

The Inquisition has been overblown though. In my "to-read" list, (Which is growing now due to having a week-long class next week) is a book by Henry Kamen on the Spanish Inquisition. It's my understanding it's one of the best and that he's blown apart much of the skepticism.

However, let's look at the other side. Ever read about The Gulag Archipelago? You know about the destruction of churches from 1918-1941? Marxism and atheism were tied hand in hand and the goal was to exterminate religion.

Atheism has a lot of blood on its hands from when it has been in power. I'll grant them the 3,000 in the Inquisition if they'll grant me their millions in atheism.

Porn: You said, "to say that things are better again implies a standard and it has to be outside of our society." I prefer what we have today over what was in the past; maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with that.

Me: But that misses the point. To say something is better, you have to have a standard. We know 7 is greater than 4 because there's an objective number line we can measure them on.

Porn: I take it you think the end of slavery began with Saint Bathilda, the wife of Clovis II. Never heard of her. I'll give her a google.

Me: Sure did! That was based on Galatians 3 where all are said to be in the image of God. A good work on this is "The Victory of Reason" by Rodney Stark. (I personally prefer books to google.)

Porn: I don't have a problem with suicide. Kids getting high and destroying their brains isn't good, but it isn't immoral either. I don't favor STD's and teen pregnancy, but they're not immoral.

Me: I have a huge problem with suicide because I believe life is something valuable and it saddens me that someone can get to the point that they don't want to live. My question for you though is, why do you have a problem with STD's and teen pregnancy if you don't think they result often from immoral practices?

Porn: I don't blame everything on Christians.

Me: Good. If the church is wrong though, I'll admit it. If atheism is wrong though in its actions, atheism needs to admit that also.

Porn: Condoms help prevent the spread of AIDS and pregnancy, but you're right, they're not 100% as abstinence would be. But the "just say no to sex" campaign isn't working.

Me: It's because it's not being taught. Seems to work fine for me thus far. Works for my roommate. Could it be it doesn't work because we say one thing but in the media, we present sex outside of marriage as completely normal? How does it work to teach abstinence and give out condoms at the same time?

Porn: You don't think our society enables us to be good. I can understand why you think that, but I disagree.

Me: Sure. Then tell me who the great moral role models are today for our youth.

pornstudent said...

Nick,

Haven't seen the Dinesh D'Souza reply.

My objective reality is myself.

If a person is born without a part of his brain it does not mean he was designed.

You think we are born with the ability and inclination to be moral but that being moral is difficult. I agree with that!

You said, "doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return was unheard of." This becomes a genetic trait when the someone we help in some way increases the chances of our genes being passed on.

Never read The Gulag Archipelago.

You said, "To say something is better, you have to have a standard." The standard is myself.

I don't like STDs because I don't like people being sick. Nothing wrong with teen pregnancy accept that I'd hope the teen is able to be a mother and wants to be one.

You said, "If atheism is wrong though in its actions ..." Atheism is just not believing in God. Anything else is something else.

Many reasons "just say no to sex" isn't working. "How does it work to teach abstinence and give out condoms at the same time?" I think it would be an improvement. Sex outside of marriage is completely normal. Maybe we should just drop the abstinence part.

"Then tell me who the great moral role models are today for our youth." Iztok seems like a good role model.

Iztok said...

"Iztok seems like a good role model."

Thanks but I don't think so :)

There are certain traits of me that even I don't like. I do try to work on them but still :)

Honestly I don't care of anyone would consider me a role model (I don't think my life is so great) except in one aspect of my life. That is in aspect of being foster/adoptive parent and child advocate. Not having any biological kids and having 4 daughters calling me dad is the best thing that ever happened to me bar none. That includes my wife (she comes strong second but I hope she understand that kids come first). Now I would never let kids come between me and my wife, but that is another story.

As far as other aspects... I don't know. I was at one point being trained to kill (any person with any military training in the world was). I was lucky I never did have to. There was a close call once where I was close to being forced to in order to protect my family during armed conflict. Very lucky it didn't have to came to it at the end as either way was a piss poor choice. (I almost lost my dad during that time.)

Anyway, I don't think that overall I would be an ideal role model.

pornstudent said...

Iztok,

Your humility is a reason you are a good role model.

Nick,

I've been doing some thinking about "objective moral standard." I don't have one and I don't think one is necessary to act morally. Yeah, what is moral may change over time and from place to place, but there is a morality for ourselves that we can understand, want and encourage.

I've already said:

"Call it pity, empathy or love. It's from these human feelings that we are moral."

"Our morality is an evolved trait. We are empathetic, loving, honest and just because these traits have helped us survive."

"We know what is moral because we are moral animals... It is our standard, not God's."

"I prefer what we have today [our standards of morality] over what was in the past; maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with that."

"My standard of morality is the empathy, love and community that I feel and desire. It's inside of me."

"We are born with the ability and inclination to be moral."

"This [morality] becomes a genetic trait when the someone we help in some way increases the chances of our genes being passed on."

Another thought:

What we think of as beautiful or ugly, pleasant or foul, inviting or repugnant are subjective reactions. We'd rather view the Grand Canyon than have our head in a garbage can; poop stinks, roses smell good; a burnt hand hurts, masturbation feels good. These reactions, emotions and feelings require no objective outside source to verify their reality.

If we did an experiment, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us would have the same reactions to smelling and eating poop. Not liking the smell and taste of poop is a genetic trait. Maybe in the past our ancestors liked poop. Maybe our descendents will develop a taste for it. Some people today like eating poop. Disliking poop isn't an absolute, but that doesn't change the fact that I, and most everyone else, don't like poop and we don't want it being thrown in our kitchens.

We don't need something outside of ourselves telling us what we ought to like and dislike.

Then, some will ask: On what grounds do we tell others what they ought to do? We don't need to think others ought to do anything. If we want, we can kill everyone who eats poop, or we can leave them alone. We can ostracize them or appreciate their uniqueness. We can discuss how they can enjoy poop without making the rest of us puke. All kinds of possibilities.

The fact is, most all of us like beautiful scenery and roses. We value love and want to get along with others. We don't need an "objective moral standard" any more than we need an "objective beauty standard."

Nick said...

Porn: Nick,

Haven't seen the Dinesh D'Souza reply.

Me: You should. His stellar work now is "What's So Great About Christianity?" You can look online and listen to a debate he had with Michael Shermer on MP3 and if you wait til November, you can watch one live here in Charlotte.

Porn:My objective reality is myself.

Me: A Sociopath says the same thing.

Porn: If a person is born without a part of his brain it does not mean he was designed.

Me: But you were describing function. You were describing proper function as being moral and this person does not function properly because that part of the brain is missing. Proper function implies design. If there is no design, there is no proper function.

Porn: You think we are born with the ability and inclination to be moral but that being moral is difficult. I agree with that!

Me: But if moral relativism is true, there's no such thing as "being moral."

Porn: You said, "doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return was unheard of." This becomes a genetic trait when the someone we help in some way increases the chances of our genes being passed on.

Me: An is does not provide an ought. My genes might get passed on, but that does not tell me why I should do it or why I even think I ought to do it.

Porn: Never read The Gulag Archipelago.

Me: Very difficult read, but very revealing. The author goes into what he went through in the Gulag.

Porn: You said, "To say something is better, you have to have a standard." The standard is myself.

Me: Can a sociopath say the same?

Porn: I don't like STDs because I don't like people being sick. Nothing wrong with teen pregnancy accept that I'd hope the teen is able to be a mother and wants to be one.

Me: The problem is STDs are far more easier to avoid than something like, say, the common cold. STDs would not spread if people practiced fidelity.

And in our society, teenagers generally aren't ready to be mothers nor do they have the financial capabilities. Bluntly also, a child needs a Mom and a Dad both.

Porn: You said, "If atheism is wrong though in its actions ..." Atheism is just not believing in God. Anything else is something else.

Me: Are you aware of the direct connection between atheism and what happened though? In the Soviet Union and China, it is a direct outworking of the atheistic worldview. Without a reference point of absolute values, it's not that every man gets to decide for himself. Some men decide for everyone else. Communism and atheism go hand in hand and atheistic regimes have murdered far more than Christians ever have and in far less time.

Porn: Many reasons "just say no to sex" isn't working. "How does it work to teach abstinence and give out condoms at the same time?" I think it would be an improvement. Sex outside of marriage is completely normal. Maybe we should just drop the abstinence part.

Me: What's common is not the same as what's normal. Sex outside of marriage cheapens the holiness of sexuality and cheapens both persons involved.

Porn: "Then tell me who the great moral role models are today for our youth." Iztok seems like a good role model.

Me: From what I've seen, I would agree to a point, although certainly not with his worldview. However, this I ask. Is Iztok in the public eye? I don't think so.

If you want your child to be a great athlete in any sport, you can point to several role models.

If you want him to be a great actor, you can point to role models.

Or a great singer.

Or a great scientist.

Or a great philosopher.

What about a great man of virtue?

Do we even have children growing up today saying they want to be men and women of virtue? If they did, who in the public eye is there for them to emulate?

Porn: Iztok,

Your humility is a reason you are a good role model.

Me: And I agree with him. We all have things about ourselves we don't like which implies the moral standard again. It's the goal we all want to reach.

Porn: Nick,

I've been doing some thinking about "objective moral standard." I don't have one and I don't think one is necessary to act morally. Yeah, what is moral may change over time and from place to place, but there is a morality for ourselves that we can understand, want and encourage.

Me: But if there is no standard, there's no such things as moral. Morality is simply what you like or don't like. Morality is about doing what you ought to do though regardless of whether you like it or not.

And how can morality change if it's a thing that doesn't exist? That is what moral relativism boils down to.

Porn: I've already said:

"Call it pity, empathy or love. It's from these human feelings that we are moral."

Me: I disagree. Morality can produce feelings of pity, empathy, and love. Sometimes those feelings are wrong however. There are some situations you ought not pity, some you ought not have empathy for, and some things you ought not love. I ought to love the murderer, for instance, but I cannot love his murdering. I can have pity on him, but not to the extent that I let him walk the streets. I can have empathy, but not to the point that I deny justice.

Porn: "Our morality is an evolved trait. We are empathetic, loving, honest and just because these traits have helped us survive."

Me: Really? You think people back then were doing this just to survive, or were they doing that because they believed in the divine law Antigone spoke of to King Creon?

Porn: "We know what is moral because we are moral animals... It is our standard, not God's."

Me: This implies that there is a truth to morality. If there is truth to morality, there is also falsehood. We can make moral statements that have objective truth value. Consider this.

It is wrong to torture babies for fun.

This is a moral statement. Does it have any truth content to it, or is it just a subjective opinion?

Porn:"I prefer what we have today [our standards of morality] over what was in the past; maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with that."

Me: I don't think you really know what they had in the past. Go read Plato and read how Socrates would spend so much time trying to find out what one virtue, say justice, was. Had any conversations like that lately?

Porn: "My standard of morality is the empathy, love and community that I feel and desire. It's inside of me."

Me: Good. The sociopath's standard is "Look out for #1 and if you get in the way, that's your loss." Got a reason why he shouldn't have that?

Porn: "We are born with the ability and inclination to be moral."

Me: We are born with ability, but I'm skeptical of inclination. We have to be taught to be good. We don't have to be taught to be evil.

Porn: "This [morality] becomes a genetic trait when the someone we help in some way increases the chances of our genes being passed on."

Me: So when I hold the door open for a little old lady, I'm doing that so my genes can be passed on?

Porn: Another thought:

What we think of as beautiful or ugly, pleasant or foul, inviting or repugnant are subjective reactions. We'd rather view the Grand Canyon than have our head in a garbage can; poop stinks, roses smell good; a burnt hand hurts, masturbation feels good. These reactions, emotions and feelings require no objective outside source to verify their reality.

Me: I couldn't disagree more. In fact, I'll be speaking soon on God's existence somewhere and one argument I plan to use is the argument from aesthetics. I do believe we need an objective source of beauty and without it, recognizing beauty has no foundation. It is all subjective. To say beauty is in the eye of the beholder is to say beauty does not exist apart from our viewing it. If that's the case in that regards, then nothing is truly beautiful. We are pushing our idea of beauty on it, but the beauty does not exist in the object itself. (Note: Hume said the exact same thing about morality. We push our moral stances on actions but the actions don't have moral content.)

Porn:If we did an experiment, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of us would have the same reactions to smelling and eating poop. Not liking the smell and taste of poop is a genetic trait. Maybe in the past our ancestors liked poop. Maybe our descendents will develop a taste for it. Some people today like eating poop. Disliking poop isn't an absolute, but that doesn't change the fact that I, and most everyone else, don't like poop and we don't want it being thrown in our kitchens.

Me: And we don't because it is not beautiful.

Porn: We don't need something outside of ourselves telling us what we ought to like and dislike.

Me: We need a standard by which we know what we ought to like and ought not to like. As soon as you say "ought," you imply a standard.

Porn: Then, some will ask: On what grounds do we tell others what they ought to do? We don't need to think others ought to do anything. If we want, we can kill everyone who eats poop, or we can leave them alone. We can ostracize them or appreciate their uniqueness. We can discuss how they can enjoy poop without making the rest of us puke. All kinds of possibilities.

Me: But we do need such a standard. When someone says they like molesting children, we don't consider that just another opinion. We lock them up. We want them to have the message clearly that they ought not like such a thing.

Porn: The fact is, most all of us like beautiful scenery and roses. We value love and want to get along with others. We don't need an "objective moral standard" any more than we need an "objective beauty standard."

Me: We need them both just as much. If there is no objective beauty standard or morality standard, then all is relative. Why aren't you a solipsist then? Go all the way!

pornstudent said...

Nick,
If you want, need or can't help but think we need an "objective moral standard", that's OK. But your "objective moral standard" does clash with my moral standard and I suppose you would like to have some things made illegal that I and millions of others enjoy. I'm glad the American Constitution keeps that from happening.

Nick said...

You do realize the objective moral standard is in the government. Right? That we have inalienable rights from our creator for instance? That Bribery and treason are punishable crimes.

The government is set up for objective morality. If you want your standard to be law, you advocate it and get those elected who can do so. That's the way the system works. All laws though have a moral basis. Without a moral basis, a law is invalid.

By the way, do you know why the branch of government is called the legislative branch instead of the lawmaking branch?

pornstudent said...

If our laws were based on an "objective moral standard" then a majority's opinion couldn't change them. I thought that this was your point--that moral law is absolute. In a democracy laws are valid because a majority wants them.

Nick said...

That is the point. Read the Federalist Papers. They set the system up to counter human wickedness saying that if men were angels, no government would be needed. They lived with an assumption back then that most people generally wanted to be good.

Unfortunately, I don't think most people really care about that today.

The system was set up so people could rule themselves with the universal morality. That's again why we have a legislative branch and not a lawmaking one.

Iztok said...

"Proper function implies design."

No it does not.

What you are trying to say is:



There is a creation - therefore creator exists

I've heard this many times. If you are reading this you probably heard it to or even said this to someone. However, does this make it a true statement?

Let's write this logically:

P = creator (god)
Q = creation (universe)

1. if P, then Q
2. Q
3. therefore, P

This argument is simply not valid even if both P and Q are true. Lets have a look at this example a bit differently:

1. If I have the fly, then I have a sore throat.
2. I have a sore throat.
3. Therefore, I have the flu.

Obviously by now you would agree that having a sore throat does not mean I have flu. There are many other reasons why one would have sore throat.

This fallacy has a name and it is called: Affirming the consequent

Nick said...

Not fallacious at all the way pornstudent put it by saying these people's brains are missing something that is making them go sociopath. If their brains had what they were supposed to have, they would not be sociopaths.

In other words, a characteristic of a sociopath is that their brain is not functioning properly.

But to have an improper function means that there must be a proper function as well.

To have a proper function implies that there is a design element. Accidents don't have proper functions.

Iztok said...

"To have a proper function implies that there is a design element."

This is simply not true. I've dealt with this few posts above.

Unless you want to claim that your God was designed as well.

Nick said...

Actually, no. Proper function refers to created things. If there is no proper function to anything, then there is no way anything is supposed to work and not supposed to work. A major difference is to take Aristotle's Four Causes. God doesn't have them. They don't apply to him. He has no final cause. Every created thing does have a final cause.

And I seriously hope you're not planning on using Richard Dawkins's Boeing 747 argument. It's a reason he should write on biology and not theology and/or philosophy.

Iztok said...

Nick, not everything is created/designed. If you agree on this, then there is no reason why we couldn't claim universe is not created/designed.

Why would you need a creator/designer for universe?

Iztok said...

"It's a reason he should write on biology and not theology and/or philosophy."

When we are talking about human functions we are talking about biology and not theology/mythology.

Nick said...

I agree with it because those things are not contingent. Things that are contingent either come from nothing or have their existence brought about by another.

To come from nothing though is contradictory as it treats nothing as if it were something and nothing is nothing.

If something comes from something though, then it has a material cause, a formal cause, an efficient cause, and a final cause.

An eternal universe would not destroy Christianity. Aquinas believed in one. However, with modern findings of the Big Bang and with the understanding of space and time connected with the Kalam Cosmological argument, it's not really a live option any more.

God is the one who explains this as his existence is his essence. It's called the simplicity of God.

Iztok said...

God doesn't explain anything. There is no reason to invoke God in order to explain universe.

Why we have something instead of nothing? Simply because nothing is not stable manner.

Obviously matter/energy always existed (this we always have "something"). One can't destroy matter/energy nor can one create one.

So let's assume perfect distribution of this matter/energy across universe. We have "universal nothing". Now perfect distribution can't be there for long (obviously this would be order and we all know that order is not a stable thing as things tend to move towards disorder). So when this disorder started there were small pockets of universe that were more dense then others thus attracting more density and thus growing in mass. So that is why "nothing" is not stable. From there to huge mass, and fission etc. is just a simple step. So we can then easily imagine big bang of this huge mass and further disorder in the form of current universe.

Now before anyone invokes 2nd law of thermodynamics... go read it and learn it and you will see why this is not contradictory.

What I am saying here is that God is not needed to explain existence of universe. Plus if you invoke it by any principle that "something" has to create universe then you need to explain how "something" was created itself. Simply saying "God was always there" is the same as "universe was always there".

Hence you either claim EVERYTHING has a cause and you end up in eternal search of cause of everything or you contend that not everything needs a cause and thus there is no need for universe to have a cause.

Vickie said...

Danbo59,

In a previous post to anonymous, YOU SAID... "Finally we agree, with one caveat. God made "people" -- not "gay people." Being gay is OK with me. Being gay is OK with God, too (although engaging in homosexual sexual activity is not OK with God)."

Will you please clarify your meaning of this statement for me? I "think" I know what you are saying, but I'm learning not to take much for granted, these days. :)

Thanks, in advance.

Danbo59 said...

Vickie asked me to explain the following statement I made -- "God made "people" -- not "gay people." Being gay is OK with me. Being gay is OK with God, too (although engaging in homosexual sexual activity is not OK with God)."

Just as alcoholics are called to a life of abstinence from alcohol (I doubt anyone would argue 'in favor' of alcoholism because one is 'genetically predisposed' to the condition), homosexuals are called to chastity because the homosexual act is inherently immoral and evil.

I hope this explains my statement sufficiently.

Nick said...

Iztok: God doesn't explain anything. There is no reason to invoke God in order to explain universe.

Me: Tis a lovely assertion!

Iztok: Why we have something instead of nothing? Simply because nothing is not stable manner.

Me:Nothing is simply nothing. It is not a thing. It is non-existence. It is that which is not. You cannot treat nothing as if it was something.

Iztok: Obviously matter/energy always existed (this we always have "something"). One can't destroy matter/energy nor can one create one.

Me: Actually, we haven't seen it created or destroyed. Doesn't mean it can't be. The Big Bang explosion would seem to indicate a beginning though.

Iztok: So let's assume perfect distribution of this matter/energy across universe. We have "universal nothing". Now perfect distribution can't be there for long (obviously this would be order and we all know that order is not a stable thing as things tend to move towards disorder). So when this disorder started there were small pockets of universe that were more dense then others thus attracting more density and thus growing in mass. So that is why "nothing" is not stable. From there to huge mass, and fission etc. is just a simple step. So we can then easily imagine big bang of this huge mass and further disorder in the form of current universe.

Me: Somehow, I can't imagine nothing doing anything. Nothing is nothing unless it's acted on by something. But how'd that something get here? It seems your assumption is one I just can't take because, darn it, I just don't see the evidence of it.

Iztok: Now before anyone invokes 2nd law of thermodynamics... go read it and learn it and you will see why this is not contradictory.

Me: I'm sorry that Brandon Carter, Lawrence Krauss, etc. disagree with you in saying the universe is moving towards cold death. I'm also sorry that evolutionary thought disagrees with you for if an infinite amount of time had passed, we would have reached perfection by now.

Iztok: What I am saying here is that God is not needed to explain existence of universe. Plus if you invoke it by any principle that "something" has to create universe then you need to explain how "something" was created itself. Simply saying "God was always there" is the same as "universe was always there".

Me: Category fallacy. The universe is interwoven with time. Space and time come as a joint unit. God is outside of time. To apply a cause to something not in time is a category fallacy.

Iztok: Hence you either claim EVERYTHING has a cause and you end up in eternal search of cause of everything or you contend that not everything needs a cause and thus there is no need for universe to have a cause.

Me: Nope. We claim that everything that has a beginning has a cause. Also, suppose the universe is eternal. That still does not disprove theism or prove atheism. Aquinas had no problem with an eternal universe. However, if the universe did begin to exist, then Hume will tell you he never asserted anything as ridiculous as an effect without a cause.

Iztok said...

"Category fallacy. The universe is interwoven with time. Space and time come as a joint unit. God is outside of time. To apply a cause to something not in time is a category fallacy."

To apply "category fallacy" one would need to argue that either universe is part of god or god is part of universe and that consequently one would claim that each would have attributes of other.

If you are claiming that universe is part of god then it is logical that universe is prerequisite of god, this it had to exist prior to god.

If you are claiming that god is part of the universe then it is logical to conclude that universe is larger then god.

So which one is it?

http://www.coping.org/write/percept/fallacies/content.htm#Category

COMPOSITION: Because the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued
that the whole has that property. That whole may be either an object composed of different parts, or it may be a collection or set of individual members. Example: The brick wall is six feet tall. Thus, the bricks in the wall are six feet tall. or Conventional bombs did more damage in W.W. II than nuclear bombs. Thus, a conventional bomb is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.

DIVISION: This fallacy is committed when we conclude that any part of a particular whole must have a characteristic because the whole has that characteristic. Example: I am sure that Karen plays the piano well, since her family is so musical.

Unless you want to try and change fallacy to some other one?

"Actually, we haven't seen it created or destroyed. Doesn't mean it can't be. The Big Bang explosion would seem to indicate a beginning though."

We haven't seen Invisible Pink Unicorn yet I bet you would argue it doesn't exist. You are right however that one can't prove universal negative (which is why onus of proving God exists is on those who claim it does exist not on those who claim that there is not enough evidence to claim it does exist - i.e. atheists).

Big Bang does indicate a beginning. However it doesn't say it can't be a cyclic occurrence of any sort. For now it is a singularity and if you know any math you should know what that means in scientific terms.

"Nothing is nothing unless it's acted on by something. But how'd that something get here? It seems your assumption is one I just can't take because, darn it, I just don't see the evidence of it."

So is your God something or nothing? Obviously you assert it is "something" otherwise you would be an atheist saying God is "nothing". So how do you assume that something came out of nothing? Do you have evidence of it? Because darn it, I just don't see the evidence of it. Even if God is out of time it is still "something". So you still would need to explain that. So far no explanation is given.

All I ask is show me the evidence. Something that can't and will never be explained by natural ways.

"I'm sorry that Brandon Carter, Lawrence Krauss, etc. disagree with you in saying the universe is moving towards cold death. I'm also sorry that evolutionary thought disagrees with you for if an infinite amount of time had passed, we would have reached perfection by now."

Which of this goes against 2nd law of thermodynamics and how? I fail to see it so please explain.

Nick said...

Iztok: To apply "category fallacy" one would need to argue that either universe is part of god or god is part of universe and that consequently one would claim that each would have attributes of other.

Me: No. Either/or fallacy. It's a fallacy not because of the nature of universe but the nature of God apart from the universe. He is outside of time.

Iztok: If you are claiming that universe is part of god then it is logical that universe is prerequisite of god, this it had to exist prior to god.

If you are claiming that god is part of the universe then it is logical to conclude that universe is larger then god.

So which one is it?

Me: Good thing I'm claiming neither.

Iztok: http://www.coping.org/write/percept/fallacies/content.htm#Category

COMPOSITION: Because the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued
that the whole has that property. That whole may be either an object composed of different parts, or it may be a collection or set of individual members. Example: The brick wall is six feet tall. Thus, the bricks in the wall are six feet tall. or Conventional bombs did more damage in W.W. II than nuclear bombs. Thus, a conventional bomb is more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.

DIVISION: This fallacy is committed when we conclude that any part of a particular whole must have a characteristic because the whole has that characteristic. Example: I am sure that Karen plays the piano well, since her family is so musical.

Me: Yes. I'm familiar with both of these fallacies. You'll have to show how I've committed either one.

Iztok: Unless you want to try and change fallacy to some other one?

Me: You're the one who brought up the fallacies. It's amazing you have two opposite fallacies. Which one am I guilty of?

Me: "Actually, we haven't seen it created or destroyed. Doesn't mean it can't be. The Big Bang explosion would seem to indicate a beginning though."

Iztok: We haven't seen Invisible Pink Unicorn yet I bet you would argue it doesn't exist. You are right however that one can't prove universal negative (which is why onus of proving God exists is on those who claim it does exist not on those who claim that there is not enough evidence to claim it does exist - i.e. atheists).

Me: No. I'm agnostic to invisible pink unicorns. However, it is not my burden either. Suppose I can't prove God exists. That does not prove atheism. Now I do have reasons for believing in his existence, but his existence is not dependent on those reasons.

Iztok: Big Bang does indicate a beginning. However it doesn't say it can't be a cyclic occurrence of any sort. For now it is a singularity and if you know any math you should know what that means in scientific terms.

Me: If I'm correct, a singularity is where the laws of science break down.

But the cyclic universe that keeps repeating? Tell me, how many times has it done this? There has to be a first repeat which gets us into the original hurdle of the infinite regress.

Me: "Nothing is nothing unless it's acted on by something. But how'd that something get here? It seems your assumption is one I just can't take because, darn it, I just don't see the evidence of it."

Iztok: So is your God something or nothing? Obviously you assert it is "something" otherwise you would be an atheist saying God is "nothing". So how do you assume that something came out of nothing? Do you have evidence of it? Because darn it, I just don't see the evidence of it. Even if God is out of time it is still "something". So you still would need to explain that. So far no explanation is given.

Me: I did already. It's the simplicity of God. God's essence is his existence. Existence and essence are equal in God. He is outside of time and is not acted on by anything but acts on everything.

Iztok: All I ask is show me the evidence. Something that can't and will never be explained by natural ways.

Me: Already done. If you don't like it, that's not my problem.

"I'm sorry that Brandon Carter, Lawrence Krauss, etc. disagree with you in saying the universe is moving towards cold death. I'm also sorry that evolutionary thought disagrees with you for if an infinite amount of time had passed, we would have reached perfection by now."

Iztok: Which of this goes against 2nd law of thermodynamics and how? I fail to see it so please explain.

Nothing. It's in complete agreement. The universe is losing usable energy and moving towards cold death. Had it been here an infinite time, it would have already been in cold death.

Iztok said...

Nick, you've told me I've committed category fallacy. When I told you what this means you pin it on me?

Definition of such fallacy is: You commit this fallacy if you confuse the properties of the whole with the properties of a part.

So you claim I committed this in regards to God. So please let me know is god part or whole in this example? Either way I've explained the consequence of your claim. Now if you wish to back off of your category fallacy claim and admit that it wasn't committed, that is another story.

"Iztok: Which of this goes against 2nd law of thermodynamics and how? I fail to see it so please explain.

Nothing. It's in complete agreement. The universe is losing usable energy and moving towards cold death. Had it been here an infinite time, it would have already been in cold death."

I am confused here. Do you think 2nd law of thermodynamics applies or not?

From the "losing usable energy" part it seems that you don't understand 2nd law of thermodynamics. In order to 2nd law to apply one has to be a closed system.

Nick said...

Iztok: Nick, you've told me I've committed category fallacy. When I told you what this means you pin it on me?

Definition of such fallacy is: You commit this fallacy if you confuse the properties of the whole with the properties of a part.

Me: Not alone. You've put God in the category of things within time when he is not.

Iztok: So you claim I committed this in regards to God. So please let me know is god part or whole in this example? Either way I've explained the consequence of your claim. Now if you wish to back off of your category fallacy claim and admit that it wasn't committed, that is another story.

Me: Not at all. The fallacy is you've assumed God is in the creation necessarily. I say God is in his creation but he is just fine without the creation.



Nothing. It's in complete agreement. The universe is losing usable energy and moving towards cold death. Had it been here an infinite time, it would have already been in cold death."

Iztok: I am confused here. Do you think 2nd law of thermodynamics applies or not?

From the "losing usable energy" part it seems that you don't understand 2nd law of thermodynamics. In order to 2nd law to apply one has to be a closed system.

Me: Yes I do and the universe is a closed system, unless you think there's something outside the universe generating energy.

Keep in mind that the steady-state theory was scrapped years ago.

pornstudent said...

"It's the simplicity of God." - Nick

Your god doesn't seem simple at all. Another contradiction that needs to be explained.

Nick said...

Porn. Could you define what is meant by simplicity in stating that God is simple?

Iztok said...

Nick, you are twisting and redefining things to try to get your "free lunch".

1. In order to commit category fallacy one has to be part of other. Otherwise fallacy doesn't apply.

2. If universe is closed system then energy can't be lost it can only convert to mass. However 2nd law only applies to a closed system as a whole. This does mean that certain parts can and do increase in complexity (increased mass or increased energy) while others decrease. So evolution is perfectly ok (increased complexity) with 2nd law of thermodynamics.

pornstudent said...

Simplicity is not having to define simple.

pornstudent said...

Woops, this is confusing. Simple is not having to define simple. No, wait... Simplicity is not having to define simplicity.

Nick said...

Iztok: Nick, you are twisting and redefining things to try to get your "free lunch".

Me: Uh huh....

Iztok: 1. In order to commit category fallacy one has to be part of other. Otherwise fallacy doesn't apply.

Me: A category fallacy is applying the wrong feature to the wrong thing. You are applying temporality to God.

Iztok: 2. If universe is closed system then energy can't be lost it can only convert to mass. However 2nd law only applies to a closed system as a whole. This does mean that certain parts can and do increase in complexity (increased mass or increased energy) while others decrease. So evolution is perfectly ok (increased complexity) with 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Me: Wasn't talking about evolution. I was talking about the universe entirely. The usable energy is winding down which is why cold death is predicted.

Nick said...

Porn. It would behoove you to go read the start of Aquinas's Summa Theologica where he states what he means by the simplicity of God. It relates to how he is in his essence. Not how he is approached by humanity.

pornstudent said...

My wife had a nice experience with being a Christian as a teenager (as I have), but intellectually, she can no longer believe it. She wants to hang on to the LOVE part of religion, though. To her, God is Love. She doesn't believe anything else about God except that, "God is Love." I ask her what about this and that and she just keeps it simple. To her, the most important thing in the Universe is Love, so that makes Love, God and God, Love. That's simple.

Nick, Reading Aquinas's Summa Theologica will not make your god simpler.

Nick said...

Of course not. God can't get any simpler. Porn. You still do not know what is meant by saying God is simple.

God is love. Yes. He's not just love though. (BY the way, the doctrine of simplicity helps you understand God is love far more)

Iztok said...

"A category fallacy is applying the wrong feature to the wrong thing. You are applying temporality to God."

This is wrong definition.

Category fallacy: Confusing the properties of the whole with the properties of a part.

As far as temporality, I don't care about it at this point. You claim something can't come from nothing. So either your God came from something or he is nothing. Which one is it? Or perhaps something can come from nothing? (causality is not necessarily a temporality thing).

Iztok said...

"The usable energy is winding down which is why cold death is predicted."

No, it is not winding down and not being lost (as you've claimed earlier). As I said, in closed system no energy/mass is being lost or winding down. Mass can convert to energy and energy can convert to mass. Nothing is being lost here.

Nick said...

Me: "A category fallacy is applying the wrong feature to the wrong thing. You are applying temporality to God."

Iztok: This is wrong definition.

Category fallacy: Confusing the properties of the whole with the properties of a part.

Me: No. That's the whole to part fallacy.

Iztok: As far as temporality, I don't care about it at this point. You claim something can't come from nothing. So either your God came from something or he is nothing. Which one is it? Or perhaps something can come from nothing? (causality is not necessarily a temporality thing).

Me: You have to care about it. If God is not in time, then he is not caused for all things within time are caused. If God is outside of time, what caused him is a nonsense question.

Me:"The usable energy is winding down which is why cold death is predicted."

Iztok: No, it is not winding down and not being lost (as you've claimed earlier). As I said, in closed system no energy/mass is being lost or winding down. Mass can convert to energy and energy can convert to mass. Nothing is being lost here.

Must be news to all the astrophysicists who are predicting cold death.

Iztok said...

(22) “God is Intangible, Like Love”
Love is not intangible. We can define love both as a type of feeling and as demonstrated by certain types of actions. Unlike “God,” love is a physical thing. We know the chemicals responsible for the feeling of love. Also, love depends upon brain structure. A person with a lobotomy or other type of brain damage may lose the ability to feel love. Furthermore, if love were not physical, it would not be confined to our physical brains. We would expect to be able to detect an entity or force called “love” floating around in the air.



http://mnatheists.org/content/view/64/1/

Iztok said...

Religious claim that life had to be designed as it is too complex to arise from simple things.

Then they claim God is simple.

So which one is it?

You can't have both.

Now either you admit that complex things can arise from simple things or God has to be more complex.

Nick said...

It would really help if someone would actually try to look up what is meant by the simplicity of God.

Iztok said...

"Me: "A category fallacy is applying the wrong feature to the wrong thing. You are applying temporality to God."

Iztok: This is wrong definition.

Category fallacy: Confusing the properties of the whole with the properties of a part.

Me: No. That's the whole to part fallacy."

Nick, care to show where you get the definition of category fallacy from?

Here is mine:

http://www.coping.org/write/percept/fallacies/content.htm#Category

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Category_Error

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/category.htm

I guess we could have two different definitions with the same name.

So let's assume that for a moment. Now where is your evidence that anything exists outside time continuum? Aside of a made up property of God in order to explain something.

What I am trying to get here is that you consider your God as "ultimate free lunch". Something that supposedly explains everything yet itself doesn't require explanation. Why is that? Why would you need explanation for anything if you don't require explanation for one thing?

Nick said...

Iztok: Here is mine:

http://www.coping.org/write/percept/fallacies/content.htm#Category

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Category_Error

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/category.htm

Me:As far as I can tell, none of those give definitions but give examples. It'd be like saying "What's chocolate?" and you showing me a Hershey's bar. On a level, that could be appropriate, but not if I want to know what chocolate itself is.

Iztok: I guess we could have two different definitions with the same name.

Me:If I get some free time at the library as I am really busy this week, I'll try to find a book with the best definition I can. However, my understanding is that asking what caused an eternal God is putting God in the wrong category just like asking "What color is the number 9?"

Iztok: So let's assume that for a moment. Now where is your evidence that anything exists outside time continuum? Aside of a made up property of God in order to explain something.

Me: First, that you can't have infinite time because it would violate the infinite regress.

Second, that space and time are connected themselves at the Big Bang. The Big Bang destroys any idea of an eternal universe if true. If space and time came into being, then something brought them into being.

Iztok: What I am trying to get here is that you consider your God as "ultimate free lunch". Something that supposedly explains everything yet itself doesn't require explanation. Why is that? Why would you need explanation for anything if you don't require explanation for one thing?

Me: Because everything else by definition is caused. Aristotle's four causes can't apply to God if he is not caused. Notice also that this is my explanation for the universe as it seems you want the universe to be your "free lunch."

And naturally, I don't believe in God just because he explains the universe, but for a host of other reasons, like believing he revealed himself in Jesus of Nazareth.

Iztok said...

"Because everything else by definition is caused. Aristotle's four causes can't apply to God if he is not caused. Notice also that this is my explanation for the universe as it seems you want the universe to be your "free lunch.""

You would need to provide evidence that universe is caused at the first place.

Universe is not "free lunch" as we can easily provide evidence for its existence. Now should you provide as much evidence for existence of your God as we have for existence of universe I would be happy to accept that God is real. So far no scientific evidence. I know universe exists, you just believe that God exists. See the difference?

Nick said...

The evidence that the universe is caused is the Big Bang. Also, the universe is contingent in that it's capable of change. Whatever is capable of change is finite. Finite things have causes.

And I would also claim knowledge that God exists.

Iztok said...

Are you saying that God never changes? If you do, I guess you never noticed the big difference between God of OT and God of NT. Obvious change in character.

Also, are you claiming knowledge of God's existence in the same manner as knowledge of existence of universe? In the meaning that you no longer require faith?

Nick said...

Sigh. Wrong on both counts.

I would be glad to go into the supposed differences between God in the OT and NT to show there aren't any. (If anything, God would be tougher in the NT than the old.)

As for faith, do you know what faith means as the Bible describes it? It's more trust based on what has been shown to be reliable. Future certainties based on present realities. (Go through Hebrews 11 with that in mind.)

I can know that Christ will return and still have faith.

And I find it interesting you're leaving behind the Big Bang and the problems of an infinite regress.

Iztok said...

"I would be glad to go into the supposed differences between God in the OT and NT to show there aren't any. (If anything, God would be tougher in the NT than the old.)"

Are we talking about the same book? It is clear that murderous rampage of OT God was replaced with burning threat of eternal hell in NT. We had to wait for Jesus meek and mild to get threatened with hell.

"As for faith, do you know what faith means as the Bible describes it?"

Well here you go again, redefining faith to fit your needs. Faith is something one bases where no evidence is present. Otherwise we call it knowledge.

"Future certainties based on present realities."

"I can know that Christ will return and still have faith."

Like Jesus telling he will return within lifetime of people listening his talk?

"And I find it interesting you're leaving behind the Big Bang and the problems of an infinite regress."

I just focused on other inconsistencies in your claims. As stated before, we either agree that everything has to have cause or there is at least something that doesn't. Since we know that mass/energy can't be lost it seems that universe always existed, just in different form pre Big Bang. We know universe exists. There is no evidence of it's creator thus it is safe to assume that it wasn't created and always existed. If you bring in the creator you have to have more then "existence of creation" to prove it. Even if I would agree with you that universe is created there is still no evidence that creator is your God. There are numerous other options.

Simple example you can understand:

1. Flu causes sore throat.
2. I have sore throat.
3. Therefore I have flu.

See #3 is not evident as you can agree with #1 and #2 and many other things cause sore throat as well.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Like Jesus telling he will return within lifetime of people listening his talk?"

He did return -- He rose from the dead in three days, Iztok. I'd say that's within the [the] lifetime of [the] people listening [to] [H]is talk.

Do you refer to Mk 9:1 -- "And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power"?

The Kingdom of God -- Jesus -- did come with power when Jesus rose from the dead, Iztok. Jesus is the Kingdom of God. Jesus did not come in power at His birth; there He came in obscurity.

You misinterpret, as usual. The Bible must be read in the context of belief in God and in faith. Without it, you can't discern what The Word means.

Nick said...

Iztok: Are we talking about the same book? It is clear that murderous rampage of OT God was replaced with burning threat of eternal hell in NT. We had to wait for Jesus meek and mild to get threatened with hell.

Me: Murderous rampage God. Heh. You gotta love it when the wells get poisoned right at the start. Pray tell why that only went on in the Promised Land? You wanna know a reason David was punished for having a census?



Iztok: Well here you go again, redefining faith to fit your needs. Faith is something one bases where no evidence is present. Otherwise we call it knowledge.

Me: Actually, no. It's the moderns that are re-defining the term. I'm using it the way the ancients did use it. Consider this. Paul said we can know God will judge the world because he's shown it by raising his Son from the dead in Acts 17. The word used for assurance is the same word that we translate as "faith."

Go to the Acts 2 sermon of Peter at Pentecost. What did he preach? Just believe? No. He told them to go check the empty tomb.

Check what Paul's technique was. He went into the synagogue's and reasoned with them.

1 Thessalonians tells us to test all things. Acts 17 commends the Bereans because they checked things out.

Sorry, but that's a modern view of faith, not a biblical one.



Iztok: Like Jesus telling he will return within lifetime of people listening his talk?

Me: And he did. It's called orthodox Preterism. Jesus came just like he said he would. The problem is people think that the coming of the Lord always refers to him physically appearing. Not in the Bible!



Iztok: I just focused on other inconsistencies in your claims. As stated before, we either agree that everything has to have cause or there is at least something that doesn't.

Me: Nope. I stated my position clearly. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Iztok:Since we know that mass/energy can't be lost it seems that universe always existed, just in different form pre Big Bang.

Me: Big Bang destroys and such idea of eternal matter. Also, the problem of the infinite regress kicks in. I could ask why didn't the Big Bang happen sooner than it did if time has always been going on.

Iztok: We know universe exists. There is no evidence of it's creator thus it is safe to assume that it wasn't created and always existed.

Me: The universe is the evidence. Otherwise, you have an infinite regress.

Iztok:If you bring in the creator you have to have more then "existence of creation" to prove it. Even if I would agree with you that universe is created there is still no evidence that creator is your God. There are numerous other options.

Me: Yes. There are numerous other options. That's why the Cosmological Argument and all other arguments for God's existence are not meant to ipso facto prove Jesus is Lord. They just prove something supernatural exists. Go to the Medievals and Scholastics. They treated their arguments the same way.

Iztok: Simple example you can understand:

1. Flu causes sore throat.
2. I have sore throat.
3. Therefore I have flu.

See #3 is not evident as you can agree with #1 and #2 and many other things cause sore throat as well.

Me: And thankfully, I have reasons for why I choose Christian theism over all other theisms.

And Jane has given me the go ahead to share this. If anyone wants to hear some of the reasons myself and others will be presenting, feel free to be at Southern Evangelical Church Saturday night at 6 P.M. We will have 5 speakers with about 20 minutes apiece on various topics related to the Christian faith followed by Q&A. I will be the first speaker on the list with the topic of God's existence and during the Q&A, feel free to come up and ask the panel any question.

Iztok said...

"You gotta love it when the wells get poisoned right at the start. Pray tell why that only went on in the Promised Land? You wanna know a reason David was punished for having a census?"

Do you claim that your God wasn't responsible for over two million deaths in Bible alone? Not to mention many babies and unborn and innocent animals during the flood.

Flood was pre-meditated, malicious and at least unborn and newborn and animals did not commit any crime or break any law. So yes that constitutes murder. Wasn't limited to promised land either.

Tell me about David. What does Bible say?

Iztok said...

"Their mind's whisper of thought will still be their victory over the empty lives of their foe the Atheist in the end."

1. Atheists don't live empty lives.

2. Atheists/non-religious are one of the top 3 biggest groups on this planet (Christians, Muslims, non-religious) and growing faster then any other.

3. Non-religious group is second largest group in US behind Catholics whose numbers are holding up simply because of influx of latino population.

4. Religion around the world is losing power it once had due to advantages in our understanding of our world and existence. Unless theology will go down the tried and proven path of burning at the stake this will continue to be the trend.

5. Secular advancement in science in last couple of hundred years hands down beats previous two millenia.

6. Many of our books were preserved from Christian rampage because they were translated in Arabic and escaped destruction. That was at the point when Arab nations weren't so poisoned with religion and cherished knowledge. Now they are repeating the mistakes of any theocracy know to man.

7. Don't worry secular government will not persecute you for thinking differently. You will continue to have option to believe what you want. Should theocracy return some of us will not be so lucky as it is evident from your post.

Danbo59 said...

You can't murder an animal.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "...Catholics whose numbers are holding up simply because of influx of latino population."

Influx of the Latino population? It doesn't matter where they are from -- they're Catholic; they're the faithful. It doesn't matter if one million Catholics rside in one neighborhood or in one hundred countries -- they;re still one million Catholics.

Nick said...

Iztok:Do you claim that your God wasn't responsible for over two million deaths in Bible alone? Not to mention many babies and unborn and innocent animals during the flood.

Me: Excuse me. Innocence again assumes objective morality which you have yet to establish. You are saying they did no wrong which implies there is such a thing as right and wrong.

However, yes. God did take those lives. Doesn't keep me up at night because I know he can restore those lives and in my Christian worldview, he did.

Iztok:Flood was pre-meditated, malicious and at least unborn and newborn and animals did not commit any crime or break any law. So yes that constitutes murder. Wasn't limited to promised land either.

Me: Yep. God just punished sinners. Big bad God. He actually deals with evil.

Iztok:Tell me about David. What does Bible say?

A census was taken in preparation of a conquest. David was probably planning to expand his empire, something that God never condoned.

Iztok:1. Atheists don't live empty lives.

Me: But do they have any reason to state anything in life is truly good?

Iztok:2. Atheists/non-religious are one of the top 3 biggest groups on this planet (Christians, Muslims, non-religious) and growing faster then any other.

Me: Source?

Iztok:3. Non-religious group is second largest group in US behind Catholics whose numbers are holding up simply because of influx of latino population.

Me: Source?

Iztok:4. Religion around the world is losing power it once had due to advantages in our understanding of our world and existence. Unless theology will go down the tried and proven path of burning at the stake this will continue to be the trend.

Me: Just the opposite. More and more people are coming to God. The church in China for instance is growing and preparing to send missionaries to Jerusalem.

Iztok:5. Secular advancement in science in last couple of hundred years hands down beats previous two millenia.

Me:With your mistaken notion of an Industrial Revolution. It was actually an Industrial Evolution. With Christianity behind it, science started moving first in agriculture, and then in warfare and fabrics. This led the way eventually to improved methods of producing energy which resulted in the Steam Engine. Also, the Printing Press helped increase education, something the Christians praised highly.

We had to move at a certain pace naturally until we reached a spot where because of advancements, we could skyrocket. It's not because the world began to embrace atheism though.

Iztok: 6. Many of our books were preserved from Christian rampage because they were translated in Arabic and escaped destruction. That was at the point when Arab nations weren't so poisoned with religion and cherished knowledge. Now they are repeating the mistakes of any theocracy know to man.

Me: This is false. The Christians actually preserved the literature. It was Muslims that burned down the Library of Alexandria.

Iztok:7. Don't worry secular government will not persecute you for thinking differently. You will continue to have option to believe what you want. Should theocracy return some of us will not be so lucky as it is evident from your post.

May 16, 2008 8:53 AM

Me: Yeah. We saw that happen in Secular Russia. 1918-1941. Gulag Archipelago. That kind of thing. Yep. Atheist regimes just want us to hold hands and sing kum-bu-yah.

Gamecock said...

Amen Nick

Its just that they cull out (slaughter) all those that won't sing kumbaya until all that are left are those that will hold hands.

bigcock said...

"You are gods." - Jesus, John 10:34