Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Would atheists put Christians in mental institutions?

According to Debunking Christianity, no. With a few exceptions.

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
Heuristics said...

They already have:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union#Soviet_tactics

Victor Reppert said...

Oh, but the Soviets weren't real atheists. Don't you know that?

planks length said...

I certainly wouldn't trust them not to. They don't have a good track record on the subject so far.

- French Revolution (the "Cult of Reason"), responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the torture, imprisonment and murder of untold numbers of priests, brothers and nuns, and demolition and/or desecration of churches throughout Europe

- The Bolsheviks, dynamited churches across half of Europe and plundered or shut down those they didn't, imprisoned and murdered MILLIONS of believers worldwide

- North Korea, outlawed all religion and persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered anyone who resisted, to include all their close relatives (I shouldn't use the past tense here - it's still going on in that atheist paradise)

- Mexico, which in the first half of the 20th Century, under the leadership of self-professed "Enemies of God" (such as Governor Tomas Canabal, who named his three children Lenin, Lucifer, and Satan), drove all Christians underground, killing or exiling thousands of priests and imprisoning anyone who dared to baptize their children or perform other acts of worship.

Now why on Earth should we expect them to act any differently here?

planks length said...

To get an idea of what life was like in Mexico under the atheist regime, read Graham Greene's excellent novel on the subject, The Power and the Glory. It contains these powerful lines in a scene where the main character comes across a desecrated graveyard, with various images of the saints and angels on the tombstones defiled:

"It was odd - this fury to deface, because, of course, you could never deface enough. If God had been like a toad, you could have rid the world of toads, but when God was like yourself, it was no good being content with stone figures - you had to kill yourself among the graves."

Powerful stuff. And a timely warning.

im-skeptical said...

I was wondering how long it would take for them to drag out all the old canards about the atrocities of the atheists, and of course, either claim or imply that today's humanists are cut from the same cloth.

Well then. It's perfectly fair to say that Christians favor the torture and murder of anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs. They've been at it for many centuries.

Karl Grant said...

I was wondering how long it would take for them to drag out all the old canards about the atrocities of the atheists, and of course, either claim or imply that today's humanists are cut from the same cloth.

Well, old Peter Boghossian wants to to remove the religious exemption in the DSM as a prelude to using psychiatry to 'cure' people of religion, an action you and Paps defended in a previous thread here so obviously you share something besides atheism with the old Soviets, tovarishch.

Well then. It's perfectly fair to say that Christians favor the torture and murder of anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs. They've been at it for many centuries.

Some do and did, most don't. Which is why you are living in a predominately Christian country bitching about Christianity on a public internet forum instead of slaving away in a re-education camp or being taken out to the woods and being given an apple.

Victor Reppert said...

I would make a considerably weaker claim, that there is no immunity in atheism from the temptation to persecute on behalf of someone's belief. Christians won't persecute, unless they believe that their beliefs can be advanced by governmental actions. For the most part Christians have learned that this isn't workable. Christians don't, these days, try to unify countries around any one religion.

Atheists will kill, of course, if they think it will advance the progress of civilization, if they think that will work. Or some of them will. And I don't know that humanism is any defense. I am sure communists looked like humanists before they got political power.

im-skeptical said...

"Atheists will kill, of course, if they think it will advance the progress of civilization"

Of course, we see it every day, don't we? As I said, if you are justified in saying this, then I am no less justified in my assertion that Christians are torturers and murders. I don't accept your excuses about circumstances under which they refrain from this behavior any more than you accept the idea that ideologies other than simple atheism have resulted in the atrocities you decry.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Of course, we see it every day, don't we? As I said, if you are justified in saying this, then I am no less justified in my assertion that Christians are torturers and murders. I don't accept your excuses about circumstances under which they refrain from this behavior any more than you accept the idea that ideologies other than simple atheism have resulted in the atrocities you decry.

You seem to have some real trouble understanding the concept: atheism motivated these atrocities != all atheists commit atrocities. But you seem determined to avoid admitting that atheism has been used to justify some nasty shit over the years or that atheist dominated governments (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, People's Republic of China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Khmer Rouge, Castro's Cuba, Revolutionary France) tended to have very poor human rights records despite considerable evidence to the contrary. Just because we say nuclear physics was responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki doesn't mean we are saying all nuclear physicists are mass murders who want to wipe a couple of cities off the map.

But you...you see the world in very black and white. Atheism must forever be white in your mind, you can never admit that atheism motivated something very dark and more than once. We have a terms for somebody with this kind of mindset:

ideologue...

...fanatic

Longstreet said...

"As I said, if you are justified in saying this, then I am no less justified in my assertion that Christians are torturers and murders."

Okay.

I have to hand it to you though. You guys are much, much better at it than we are. Congrats all the way 'round.

"I don't accept your excuses about circumstances under which they refrain from this behavior any more than you accept the idea that ideologies other than simple atheism have resulted in the atrocities you decry."
Hmm. Somebody isn't following the argument as well as they think they are. But that's no surprise.

Papalinton said...

The irony of the Christian view of the Soviet Union would be delightfully amusing if it wasn't dangerous. How is it at the downfall of Communism all those Communist atheists that those on this site love to go on about suddenly transmogrified into into praying, baying Christians? No greater example of this transmogrification can be better illustrated than by the great defender of the Christian faith himself, President Vladimir Putin, a dedicated hard-nosed communist and leading apparatchik of the KGB no less, the very same organisation mandated to persecute Christians on behalf of the Communist State now sporting the crucifix piously emblazoned across his chest.

Under Putin's leadership, politically aided and abetted by the Russian Orthodox Church, Russia is quickly regressing to the Dark Ages of christian hegemony, a theocracy of dangerous proportions. From REUTERS

Christians live in a construed revisionist apologetical world of their own making, a world falsified by their persistent adherence to supernatural superstition immune from reality.

Samwell Barnes said...

When Christians kill innocents, they are in theoretical discord with Christianity. When atheists kill innocents, they are in no theoretical discord with their atheism. Atheism provides no commands or incentives to lessen the expression of the evil aspects of human nature, whereas Christianity does.

Therein lies the difference. Atheism creates a metaphysical void in which evil can flourish to its heart's content.


Regarding the irreligious violence of the past century, here is a great passage from Hart:

"At the meridian of the 'Enlightenment', the hope of many was that a world freed from the burden of 'superstition' and 'priestcraft' would evolve into a rational society, capable of ordering itself peacefully, harmoniously and wisely. Even in the 19th century, when unbelief was often prompted by a somewhat darker view of human nature, the 'progressive' view was still that a secular society, purged of the pernicious influences of religion by the cleansing gales of scientific reason, would by its nature prove to be more just, peaceful and humane that the 'Age of Faith' had been.

And yet, by the end of the 20th century, wars had been waged on a scale never before imagined, and a number of Utopian, strictly secularist ideologies - each in its own way the inheritor both of the Enlightenment project to remake society on a more rational model and of the late 19th-century project to 'correct' human nature through the mechanisms of a provident state - had together managed to kill perhaps 150 million persons. Over three centuries, the worst abuse of ecclesial authority in Christian history - the Spanish Crown's Inquisition - caused the deaths of maybe 30,000, and even then only after a legal process that produced far more acquittals than convictions; the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China, by contrast, often killed that many of its own citizens in three days, without any trial at all. By the century's end, all certainties had been shattered: the power of 'organized religion' in the West had been largely subdued, but organized irreligion had proved a far more despotic, capricious and murderous historical force."

- David B. Hart, The Story of Christianity, pp 329-330

Papalinton said...

"When Christians kill innocents, they are in theoretical discord with Christianity."

When has that ever stopped them from committing atrocities?

Cite me the historical instances christianity has prevented killing? WW1? WW2? The Balkans conflict? The Northern Ireland conflict? If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good. The hypocrisy of religion is the primary motivation that underlies the groundswell of contemporary community sentiment resulting in the rapid rise in the 'nones' in respect of religious affiliation. Indeed it is not so much a turn to agnosticism and atheism [although this shift in public sentiment has lead to significant increases in both] that is propelling this change. Rather people are giving up the church, the faith, because of its complicity in the global clandestine and deliberate cover-up of the sexual predation of children by priests, their immunity from criminal prosecution afforded by the church and subsequent protection under Canon Law that is just too hard to swallow rather than from a full understanding of the foolishness of its creeds.

For many atheists to overlook religious hypocrisy is simply a stretch too far. Religion is on the wane and that is a good thing.

It is interesting to compare the US with Australia on the relevance of religion in civil discourse into the future.



planks length said...

I'll start having a degree of confidence that atheism might, just might, possibly lead to a healthy, pluralistic society once someone can show me even a single example of an officially atheistic state that hasn't descended into a murderous bloodbath within the space of a single generation. One - just one... anybody?

Thought so.

im-skeptical said...

Lonfstreet,

"Hmm. Somebody isn't following the argument as well as they think they are. But that's no surprise."

I agree. And it's not a surprise.

Victor's argument was: "Christians won't persecute, unless they believe that their beliefs can be advanced by governmental actions. ... Atheists will kill, of course, if they think it will advance the progress of civilization"

Christians persecute all the time. And they usually get away with it, at least to the extent that government will allow. For their persecution to rise to the level of mass murder requires the cooperation of governmental authorities, which they don't always have. Atheism is not an ideology that entails any kind of political motivation, much less mass murder. It was communism that motivated Stalin's ruthlessness, not atheism. And by the way, the Nazis were not atheist - they were Christians who hated Jews.

But I don't expect any Christian to believe what is true. So if they are going to continue fallowing Victor's lead and insist that atheism causes these atrocities, I will insist that Christianity causes Christians to torture and murder. And my justification for saying so is at least as good as theirs, because Christianity is a real ideology and it has in fact been the motivation for these horrific acts.

im-skeptical said...

Samwell,

"When Christians kill innocents, they are in theoretical discord with Christianity. When atheists kill innocents, they are in no theoretical discord with their atheism."

Sorry. That's moronic. The Church has aided and abetted, approved, and sanctified all manner of atrocities through the history of Christianity. Don't tell me about discord with Christianity. Communists killed a lot of innocent people, true. But it wasn't because of atheism. As Papalinton points out, the communist Putin wasn't married to atheism. He dropped it like a hot potato as soon as it became politically advantageous, so he could continue practice his political manipulations and criminal activity, now with the church on his side. For the communists, atheism was nothing more than a tool, just as Christianity has now become a tool for Putin.

BenYachov said...

Atrocities are caused by fallen human nature nothing more.

Of course having no ultimate basis for moral belief doesn't help either.

>And by the way, the Nazis were not atheist - they were Christians who hated Jews.

No they where anti-Christian pagans and pseudo-deists and social Darwinians of the extreme form.

>Atheism is not an ideology that entails any kind of political motivation, much less mass murder.

And yet we see atheists who want to put Christians in mental hospitals even today? In the former USSR we saw the rise of the Godless League whose job was to promote atheism in Russia and suppress religion?

Living in your fantasy world of denial where Atheism is all sweetness and light and Julie Andrews movies(sans the religious themes) must be so comforting?

BenYachov said...

>Sorry. That's moronic. The Church has aided and abetted, approved, and sanctified all manner of atrocities through the history of Christianity.

I can admit the Church vis Her Churchmen sinned against Her Lord. Your weird fundamentalism that Atheism is sinnless is beyond denial to the point of mindless dogma.

>Don't tell me about discord with Christianity. Communists killed a lot of innocent people, true. But it wasn't because of atheism.

Doesn't even pass the laugh test. So what was the godless league chopped liver?

>As Papalinton points out,

citing the most intelligent well respected Atheist here.....**Sarcasim mode cancelled**

>the communist Putin wasn't married to atheism. He dropped it like a hot potato as soon as it became politically advantageous, so he could continue practice his political manipulations and criminal activity, now with the church on his side.

Since Atheism has no moral core lying is not a problem for it. Does Putin really fear God? I think not.

im-skeptical said...

planks,

"I'll start having a degree of confidence that atheism might, just might, possibly lead to a healthy, pluralistic society once someone can show me even a single example of an officially atheistic state that hasn't descended into a murderous bloodbath within the space of a single generation."

Officially atheistic? Of course, because all such states that you can think of are communist. Why aren't there any others? Because atheism is not an ideology. Atheists don't band together and declare "We're going to create a state in the name of atheism". Communists do, because communism is an ideology and atheism isn't. Perhaps you should ask what it is like to live in countries where there is a large proportion of atheists or irreligious people. Look at northern Europe for examples. Lower crime rates, higher quality of life, higher index of happiness.

But I don't ever expect Christians to listen, much less believe what is true.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"Of course having no ultimate basis for moral belief doesn't help either."

Ah yes. The God of Abraham as a basis of morality. The one who ordered mass murder, rape of virgins, slaughter of children, enslavement of populations. He sets such a fine example, Christians have been following it for many centuries.

BenYachov said...

>Officially atheistic? Of course, because all such states that you can think of are communist.

So your tactic here is too excommunicate communism from the Atheist community? Well Christians can do that cross denominationally and even inter-denominationally. The Pope excommunicated many Spanish Inquisitors when that institution was hijacked by the crown but Spanish agents ceased those documents when they got to Spain. Many of the Spanish Jewish converts fled to Rome from Spain because the Pope was nicer.

> Why aren't there any others? Because atheism is not an ideology. Atheists don't band together and declare "We're going to create a state in the name of atheism".

Accept of course when they do then you excommunicate them from Atheism & pretend they are no true Atheists.

>Communists do, because communism is an ideology and atheism isn't. Perhaps you should ask what it is like to live in countries where there is a large proportion of atheists or irreligious people. Look at northern Europe for examples. Lower crime rates, higher quality of life, higher index of happiness.

High drug use because it is legal. Prostitution, Child Prostitution & sex abuse because of low age of consent. Center of the Child porn industry. High suicide rate etc….

I’m guessing you are thinking of the Neitherlands?


>But I don't ever expect Christians to listen, much less believe what is true.

Rather you still think mere denial of gods makes you enlightened, educated and intelligent.

It’s doesn't.

BenYachov said...

>The one who ordered mass murder, rape of virgins, slaughter of children, enslavement of populations.

Rapes? I think not. Rape is intrinsically evil thus God cannot command it. At best He can stand by and let it happen.

BTW God is the cause of the existence of all things and has rights over us. What was your boy Stalin's excuse again?

>He sets such a fine example, Christians have been following it for many centuries.

Like I said fallen human nature.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Christians persecute all the time. And they usually get away with it, at least to the extent that government will allow.

Tell me, what kind of persecution have you faced in this predominately Christian country? Getting told you don't know what you're talking about?

Atheism is not an ideology that entails any kind of political motivation, much less mass murder

Really? Than obviously you have no opinion on the separation of church and state. No opinion on the tax exemption for religious institutions. No opinion on the public display of the Ten Commandments on government courthouses. Obviously you don't demand the removal of "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance or "In God We Trust" from our currency.

In other words Skeppy, just about every other discussion thread on this blog you put lie to this statement. Your atheism motivates you politically and you have made atheist-motivated political opinions well known to every regular commentator and observer here. Of course, despite repeated experiences to the contrary you seem to think we are somehow not going to notice when you speak out of both sides of your mouth.

And by the way, the Nazis were not atheist - they were Christians who hated Jews.

Really? Explain the Nazi plan to destroy Christianity. From the New York Times:

The first installment, published last week on the Web site of the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion (www.camlaw.rutgers.edu/publications/law-religion), includes a 108-page outline prepared by O.S.S. investigators to aid Nuremberg prosecutors. The outline, ''The Persecution of the Christian Churches,'' summarizes the Nazi plan to subvert and destroy German Christianity, which it calls ''an integral part of the National Socialist scheme of world conquest.''

I think we can safely say you know as much about history as you do about hard science, mathematics and philosophy and theology. Not a whole damn lot.

And my justification for saying so is at least as good as theirs, because Christianity is a real ideology and it has in fact been the motivation for these horrific acts.

Interesting word choice there, my justification for saying so is at least as good as their. Why if I didn't know any better I would say that is an implicit admission of atheism being used as a motivation for horrific acts. By the way, you do know what Tu Quoque is and why it is considered a logical fallacy, right?

As Papalinton points out, the communist Putin wasn't married to atheism. He dropped it like a hot potato as soon as it became politically advantageous, so he could continue practice his political manipulations and criminal activity, now with the church on his side. For the communists, atheism was nothing more than a tool, just as Christianity has now become a tool for Putin.

You know, you and Paps claim to despise Fox News but the way you both are demonizing Putin right now makes you sound like the President and Vice-President of the Sean Hannity fan club.

BenYachov said...

Also murder is defined as the unlawful taking of human life.

How can that apply to God who has absolute power over human life, causes human life and wills how humans have life? What "law" does He violate? Law Itself being under the law is absurd?

Oh I forget your knowledge of "gods" doesn't go beyond the invisible magical anthropomorphic white bearded Wizard meme.

You are so incompetent to critique classic Theism.

Ilíon said...

"French Revolution (the "Cult of Reason"), responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the torture, imprisonment and murder of untold numbers of priests, brothers and nuns, and demolition and/or desecration of churches throughout Europe."

And the depopulation of the Vendée

im-skeptical said...

Cult of Reason?

That was a belief system centered on opposition to the Catholic Church. Atheism is not a belief system, nor is it centered on any political agenda.

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

BenYachov said...

Now skept is retreating to dogmatically defining Atheism negatively.

Atheism=lack of positive belief in god(s). No-God belief.

The problem with this is A) we all know from interacting with him Skept has positive beliefs about reality. He can't defend them or articulate them but he does have them.

and B) as Bill V. points out there is no reason why we can't define Theism negatively as a mere lack of "No-God belief".

Or Christianity as a mere lack of
"No Trinity Belief".

We can then make the same argument he is making.

im-skeptical said...

"as Bill V. points out there is no reason why we can't define Theism negatively as a mere lack of "No-God belief".

Or Christianity as a mere lack of
"No Trinity Belief".

We can then make the same argument he is making."

Ben, that makes more sense than most of the things you say - which is to say, none at all.

BenYachov said...

Theism is not a belief system it is a mere lack of "no-god" belief.

Makes perfect sense and it is true.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

Atheism is not a belief system, nor is it centered on any political agenda.

So I will ask again. Do you support separation of church and state? Do you oppose the tax exemption for religious institutions? Do you oppose the public display of the Ten Commandments on government courthouses? Do you demand the removal of "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance or "In God We Trust" from our currency?

Answer "yes" to any of those questions and "Atheism is not centered on any political agenda goes out the window". Of course, you are not going to answer them are you?

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

Is that a Wikipedia link Skeppy? Now what was it you were saying a few weeks ago? Oh yes:

I don't need to go to Wikipedia like you do

And finally, little Karl with his Wikipedia at the ready to find anything he can to refute what I have said.

In fact, you went on for some time mocking the use of Wikipedia as a reference. Well I must say you are astonishingly predictable. Remember what I said during that discussion? I am gonna follow Crude's example and bookmark that comment. When the next time you or your buddy Paps reference Wikipedia (I give it two weeks, tops) I am gonna shove it back down your throat. Sound good, yes? I am a man of my word. We shall now disregard that link you disregarded mine.

Papalinton said...

To the statement, "And by the way, the Nazis were not atheist - they were Christians who hated Jews", Yachov responds: "No they where anti-Christian pagans and pseudo-deists and social Darwinians of the extreme form."

The practice of Christian revisionism at its most reprehensible, AKA the art of 'lying for jesus'.

Doris L. Bergen writes in her “Nazism and Christianity: Partners and
Rivals? A Response to RichardbnSteigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich. Nazi
Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945″ (Journal of Contemporary History Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi, Vol 42(1), 25–33. ISSN 0022–0094.DOI: 10.1177/0022009407071629)

“Richard Steigmann-Gall has vigorously argued (following here some other scholars) that ‘the insistence that Nazism was an anti-Christian movement has been one of the most enduring truisms of the past fifty years’.
While Bergen generally agrees, she identifies certain weaknesses both in the analytical framework and the empirical adequacy of Steigmann-Gall´ work. In effect, Bergen argues that Steigmann-Gall both overplays and underplays his case. One cannot make any justice to the insights of either Steigmann-Gall or Bergen, but the following crucial point stressed by Bergen should be widely known:
“The overwhelming majority of Germans remained baptized, tax-paying
 members of the official Christian Churches throughout the 12 years of nazi rule. In hindsight, it may seem impossible to reconcile the vicious hatreds of nazism with Christianity’s injunction to ‘turn the other cheek’ or to square the circle of nazi anti-semitism with Christianity’s obvious origins in Judaism. But the vast majority of Germans — over 95 per cent by the last count in 1939 —evidently had no problem doing so.”
Indeed. The Nazis could never have overrun Germany except by appealing to the interests, beliefs, hopes and fears of Germans who viewed themselves as good Christians. The Nazis did not come to power thanks to some imagined ideological void following the acceptance of “God is dead”. They came to power on the shoulders of German Christianity.”




Karl Grant said...

Well, since Skeppy doesn't seem hostile to Wikipedia anymore here is a little interesting article for his perusal:

The Roman Catholic Church suffered persecution in Nazi Germany. The Nazis claimed jurisdiction over all collective and social activity, interfering with Catholic schooling, youth groups, workers' clubs and cultural societies. Nazi ideology could not accept an autonomous establishment, whose legitimacy did not spring from the government. It desired the subordination of the church to the state. William Shirer wrote that "under the leadership of Rosenberg, Bormann and Himmler—backed by Hitler—the Nazi regime intended to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists."

A threatening, if initially mainly sporadic persecution of the Church followed the Nazi takeover. Hitler moved quickly to eliminate Political Catholicism, and thousands were arrested. Despite continuing molestation of Catholic clergy, and organisations following the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor by President von Hindenberg, the Vatican was anxious to reach a legal agreement with the new government, in order to protect the rights of the Church in Germany. The resulting Reich concordat was violated almost immediately. The Nazis moved to dissolve the Catholic youth leagues and clergy, nuns and lay leaders began to be targeted, leading to thousands of arrests over the ensuing years, often on trumped up charges of currency smuggling or "immorality". Catholic aligned political parties in Germany, along with all other parties, were outlawed in 1933, and Catholic lay leaders were targeted in Hitler's 1934 Night of the Long Knives purge. By 1937, Pope Pius XI was accusing the regime of sowing "fundamental hostility to Christ and his Church".

Catholic schools in Germany were phased out by 1939 and Catholic press by 1941. In the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany a severe persecution was launched from 1939. Here the Nazis set about systematically dismantling the Church - arresting its leaders, exiling its clergymen, closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Many clergymen were murdered. By 1940, a dedicated clergy barracks had been established at Dachau Concentration Camp. With the expansion of the war in the East from 1941, there came also an expansion of the regime's attack on the Church in Germany. Monasteries and convents were targeted and expropriation of Church properties surged. The Jesuits were especially targeted. The German bishops accused the Reich Government of "unjust oppression and hated struggle against Christianity and the Church".


Pretty odd actions for a group of supposedly devout Christians to undertake. There is over three dozen scholarly articles in the reference section for further reading. Also, the article Paps quoted is entitled Nazism and Christianity: Partners and 
Rivals? Makes you wonder how much of the article he didn't quote, doesn't it?

frances said...

Ben,

Rapes? I think not. Rape is intrinsically evil thus God cannot command it. At best He can stand by and let it happen.

Have a look at Deuteronomy 21 10-14.

Yes that's rape.

No, it's not some quaint Bronze Age cultural quirk which we have to see "in context". It's rape. A woman can to mourn her husband and parents then she gets to marry one of the guys who murdered them.

Lovely.

I can't think how I've managed all these years without having that infallible compass on which to base my morality.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

You're a dolt.

BenYachov said...

@Francis

>Have a look at Deuteronomy 21 10-14.

>Yes that's rape.

Sola Scriptura! France & her dull pseudo-Protestant Atheism stike again!!!!

According to Jewish Tradition, the Talmud a woman of age is acquired in marriage with her consent not without.

Also according to Josephus if the women did not wish to marry the man she had an affair with during wartime after her morning period she does not have too. That is she can reject him just as he can reject her.

>I can't think how I've managed all these years without having that infallible compass on which to base my morality.

I don't believe in the Bible alone. I am neither a Protestant or a fundamentalist Protestant.

I believe in the Bible threw the lens of Jewish and Christian Tradition (2 Thes 3:6). Not the bible alone dearie.

I've studied a lot about Deuteronomy 21 10-14.

A book called WOMEN AND THE JEWISH LAW BY Rachele Baele was quite informative.

Oh and before you waste my time.

A woman can force her date rapist to marry her against his will & he may never divorce her.

But she doesn't have to marry him if she doesn't want too.

You are amusing my dear.

BenYachov said...

In all cases, the Talmud specifies that a woman can be acquired only with her consent, and not without it. Kiddushin 2a-b.

frances said...

PL

I'll start having a degree of confidence that atheism might, just might, possibly lead to a healthy, pluralistic society once someone can show me even a single example of an officially atheistic state that hasn't descended into a murderous bloodbath within the space of a single generation. One - just one... anybody?

Thought so.


How do you define "an officially atheistic state"? It isn't atheism which give rise to repression, it's authoritarianism. States which seek to enforce any philosophy on their people, whether atheistic or religious are, by the very fact they wish to do that, going to be authoritarian.

The Nazis were not an atheistic state. The church had a cosy relationship with the party on the whole and the anti-semitism which was the driving force of a lot of the Nazis' popular appeal certainly grew from the hatred of Jews fostered by Christianity.

Some autocratic rulers are religious, some aren't. The atheism of despots like Stalin or Mao was incidental to their despotism, not the source of it.

It's less than 200 years since the Inquisition killed it's last victim (Cayetano Ripoll 1826). That's what - 4 generations? The Spanish Inquisition hoped he might be burnt but the civil authorities rather spoiled their fun by having him hanged instead.

You guys have nothing to be smug about.

im-skeptical said...

Here's something foe whoever doubts Hitler's Christianity.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

While it is true that Hitler's relationship with the Catholic church deteriorated over time, it is also true that the only Nazi official to be excommunicated was Joseph Goebbels - for the crime of marrying a protestant.

In any case, to say that the Nazis weren't primarily Christian is just "lying for Jesus".

BenYachov said...

3 million dead Polish Catholics and 60,000 murdered Priests in the death camps.

This to Francis & Skept are examples of the Pro Christian nature of the Nazi party.

You guys are freakin hysterical.

If that was Hitler showing us the luv I wouldn't want to see real hatred from him.

BenYachov said...

>The atheism of despots like Stalin or Mao was incidental to their despotism, not the source of it.

Right because not having any fear of an actual Hell or a just and angry God waiting for them in the afterlife is not at all a source of un-restrained behavior.

Funny and sad.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Oh, but the Soviets weren't real atheists. Don't you know that?

Has any prominent atheist ever said that?

im-skeptical said...

"Right because not having any fear of an actual Hell or a just and angry God waiting for them in the afterlife is not at all a source of un-restrained behavior."

Right. That's what keeps you from being the next Stalin. Not because you have any morality of your own. Not because you care about your fellow humans. You're just afraid of punishment. How pathetic.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

To get an idea of what life was like in Mexico under the atheist regime, read Graham Greene's excellent novel on the subject, The Power and the Glory. It contains these powerful lines in a scene where the main character comes across a desecrated graveyard, with various images of the saints and angels on the tombstones defiled:

I have to confess this is the first time I've ever run across the claim that Mexico was ever ruled by atheists.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Sorry. That's moronic. The Church has aided and abetted, approved, and sanctified all manner of atrocities through the history of Christianity. Don't tell me about discord with Christianity. Communists killed a lot of innocent people, true. But it wasn't because of atheism. As Papalinton points out, the communist Putin wasn't married to atheism. He dropped it like a hot potato as soon as it became politically advantageous, so he could continue practice his political manipulations and criminal activity, now with the church on his side. For the communists, atheism was nothing more than a tool, just as Christianity has now become a tool for Putin.

Atheism is neither moral nor immoral; rather, it is amoral. By itself, atheism does not make it obligatory, permitted, or forbidden to do anything. It's not an ethical theory.

im-skeptical said...

Jeffery,

What I mean by "atheism was nothing more than a tool" is that it was useful in supplanting the religious ideology, which could then be replaced with a communist ideology.

BenYachov said...

Rational Atheist alert!

Mr. Lowder has shown up now I have to actually think and write intelligently.

BenYachov said...

I mean you can just phone it in with the Gnus.

Thinking Atheists are a real challenge not that I am buttering Jeff up mind you.

I am just being Captain Obvious.

BenYachov said...

>the only Nazi official to be excommunicated was Joseph Goebbels - for the crime of marrying a protestant.

But marrying a Protestant is not an ex-communicatable offense?

Francis you just make stuff up don't cha?

BenYachov said...

Sorry that was Skept not Francis.

(like there is a difference.....)

BenYachov said...

>Has any prominent atheist ever said that?

Dawkins and PZ Myers if I recall. Both channel their inner no true Scotsmen over this.

Samwell Barnes said...

"That's moronic."

Let's find out.

"The Church has aided and abetted, approved, and sanctified all manner of atrocities through the history of Christianity. Don't tell me about discord with Christianity."

"Christians behaving badly" =/= "bad behavior on the part of Christians is compatible with Christianity"

A vegetarian who decides to eat meat one morning isn't adding to the concept of vegetarianism; he is acting at odds with it. And if he continues to eat meat, it would soon not make any sense at all to label him a "vegetarian."

"Communists killed a lot of innocent people, true. But it wasn't because of atheism."

First, what I said in my initial post was that bad behavior is compatible with atheism. I never said that atheism mandates or causes bad behavior on the part of individuals. I deliberately avoided talk of causation. Your reading skills need a bit of work.

Secondly, atheism creates a metaphysical void, and in that void, and unlike in Christianity, there is nothing to mitigate the expression of the worst parts of human nature. There is no Being whom everyone will one day meet face to face and to whom everyone will be judged for their actions, and so there is no ultimate justice. At bottom, life becomes just a purposeless chaos in which, when you die, no matter what kind of life you've led, that's it, and, with this, the perfect conditions are now in place for the worst of human nature to flourish undeterred. If a person can kill, wants to kill, and can get away with it, why shouldn't he?

This is not to say that any given godless individual will thereby start lying, cheating, stealing, and killing, but rather that, at the level of society, the negative consequences will be unmistakable, when a non-rosy picture of human nature is taken into account.

Whether that is enough to attribute "causation" to atheism is a separate issue.



"For the communists, atheism was nothing more than a tool"

I suggest you carefully read Marx and Engels. Both were heavily influenced by the atheism of Ludwig Feuerbach, and - though they amended and embellished it in parts - they took the core of it to be foundational to their political philosophies. Feuerbach's chief claim was that God is a projection of the highest forms of human attributes, a projection through which humanity "empties itself" by throwing away its most noble attributes into a distant repository entity "God," and subsequently stands in an "inauthentic relation" to itself and to the world. Only when the idea of God dies would human fullness and authenticity (and hence the ideal human community) be attained. Marx and Engels ran with this thought.

The idea that atheism was merely incidental to 20th century communism is simply nonsense of the highest order. Without atheism, the communist project to remake humanity would've never gotten off the ground.

Karl Grant said...

Skeppy,

You're a dolt.

Wow, that is some real effective counter-argument you got there. Now am I a dolt because I knew offhand that thermodynamics had something to do with boiling water and you didn't? Or am I a dolt because I know more about history than you do? Or is it because I just reminded everybody of your little double-standard about referencing Wikipedia? It's kind of hard to keep track of all your stupidity you know.

Here's something foe whoever doubts Hitler's Christianity.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm


Oh, an atheist site. I am sure site entitled No Beliefs, dedicated to mocking religion amongst other things, is so much more fair and balanced than the New York Times or the scholarly books referenced in the Wikipedia article. Sarcasm aside, I see a couple of problems already when it references Gott Mit Uns on the belt buckle. One, Gott Mit Uns was used on German military standards and uniforms from before the First World War. Two, that belt buckle belongs to the Wehrmacht (the regular German Army); the Schutzstaffel which was the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, which ran the death camps and the Einsatzgruppen death squads, had Meine Ehre heißt Treue ('My honor is loyalty') engraved on their belt buckles. Incidentally, SS recruits were required to leave the Church the minute they joined the SS. So already two factual errors and I am barely past the introductory paragraph. Not off to a good start at all. Following the image link your little, totally biased, atheist site show images of Nazi iconography that was forced upon the Churches at gunpoint according to the Wikipedia article but this little fact is not mentioned about why these things ended up in the churches in the first place in your No Belief site.

Not impressed.

Not because you have any morality of your own. Not because you care about your fellow humans. You're just afraid of punishment. How pathetic.

Well, it is not like we needed another example of how atheism strokes your little ego. Of course, a real interesting question is how do we know you are not following your morality because you are afraid of secular punishment (police and prison)? And how do we trust you to tell the truth here?

Karl Grant said...

Frances,

The atheism of despots like Stalin or Mao was incidental to their despotism, not the source of it.

When you have Mao Zedong marching his armies against Tibet's people and culture under the slogan Religion is Poison it kind of puts lie to that statement.

It's less than 200 years since the Inquisition killed it's last victim (Cayetano Ripoll 1826). That's what - 4 generations? The Spanish Inquisition hoped he might be burnt but the civil authorities rather spoiled their fun by having him hanged instead.

Who's being smug? This is trying to set the record straight; you guys are denying atheism was not a motivator for these actions despite major evidence to the contrary. And you need to look up what Tu Quoque is and why it is considered a logical fallacy also.

Papalinton said...

Samwell
"Secondly, atheism creates a metaphysical void, and in that void, and unlike in Christianity, there is nothing to mitigate the expression of the worst parts of human nature."

How does your claim square with the evidence? Such as:

At this site Atheists More Motivated by Compassion than the Faithfulit notes:

"Atheists and agnostics are more driven by compassion to help others than are highly religious people, a new study finds.
That doesn't mean highly religious people don't give, according to the research to be published in the July 2012 issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. But compassion seems to drive religious people's charitable feelings less than it other groups.
"Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not," study co-author and University of California, Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer said in a statement. "The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.""


and from this survey the researchers' note:

An Evangelical Christian pollster finds that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians.

So I am interested in your sources about the creation of this metaphysical void which beset atheists. Or are you surmising from the basis of this SURVEY which in part exposes the intrinsic prejudice of Christian belief?

Karl Grant said...

How does your claim square with the evidence? Such as:

Your links do nothing to damage that claim (in fact, they can be spun to support it very easily).

"Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,"

So in other words atheists tend to help only people they like? So if they hate the bastard they wouldn't lend a hand if he was drowning?

"The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.""

So religious people will help someone, regardless of whither they like the person or not, because this was drilled into them as the right thing to do? And you think these two statements make atheists look good in comparison?

Or are you surmising from the basis of this SURVEY which in part exposes the intrinsic prejudice of Christian belief?

So survey says atheists are the most distrusted group in America while you and Skeppy going on about treating religion as a mental illness, denying atheism being motivator for atrocities when it was, trying to link Christianity with Nazism...gee, is that hard to connect the dots and realize that kind of behavior and a general dislike and distrust among the majority Christian population just might be related?

Of course it is, that would require accepting blame and responsibility. It would also require a capacity for self-criticism that you two lack.

BenYachov said...

The Atheism= Stalin's genocide is the counter part to the meme Inquisition = Religion/Theism.

Gnu dogma has a sort of anti-religous component to it. Religion isn't just false it's objectively evil & causal of evil so to "prove" this they cite persecution from religious people.

It is easily countered by bringing up Stalin and Mao provoking some really tortured arguments on their part on how Mao and Stalin can be separated from their Atheism but the grand Inquisitors or the Salem witch trial or whatever can't be separated from their Theism.

Anti-Catholic Fundamentalist Protestants used to do this to me back in the day. They would wave the Inquisition around in my face so I was prompted to retaliate by looking up all the bad things the reformers did during the Reformation.

It's a fun petty form of argument & emotionally effectivet. But as Karl Keating once said about the Inquisition argument it's the fundamentalist's best worst argument.

From a Catholic perspective. Atheists can be naturally good. They can follow the Law God wrote in their hearts. Even a group of them. Of course it's better to be good by grace. But yeh they can be good.

It's not hard or remarkable.


planks length said...

"I have to confess this is the first time I've ever run across the claim that Mexico was ever ruled by atheists."

Jeffery,

Yes indeed. For several decades in the early 20th Century, Mexico was ruled by a fanatically atheistic government that murdered thousands of Catholic clergymen (and women), forced into exile thousands more, and banned both public and private exercise of the Faith throughout all areas of the country under their control. (They never did achieve total territorial control.) It was a criminal offense to own religious artifacts, such as rosaries, holy cards, saint's medallions, etc. Teaching your own children the Faith was grounds for execution! In many ways, the persecution there was worse than in the Soviet Union.

I have never heard anything from atheists today that gives me any confidence we wouldn't see a repetition of the same (if not worse) in this country, given the chance.

planks length said...

HERE is a link to the IMDB article on a recently-produced movie about religious persecution in Mexico. Now I have never seen this movie myself, so I cannot vouch for either its quality or accuracy. But friends of mine have seen it and recommend it highly. Judging by the reviewers' comments in the link, I ought to get a copy and see it for myself.

im-skeptical said...

planks,

"I have never heard anything from atheists today that gives me any confidence we wouldn't see a repetition of the same (if not worse) in this country, given the chance."

Don't worry. I know for a fact that Christians have been trying for decades to create a theocracy in the USA. If they ever succeed, we can expect a new inquisition.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Mr. Lowder has shown up now I have to actually think and write intelligently.

LOL!

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Yes indeed. For several decades in the early 20th Century, Mexico was ruled by a fanatically atheistic government that murdered thousands of Catholic clergymen (and women), forced into exile thousands more, and banned both public and private exercise of the Faith throughout all areas of the country under their control. (They never did achieve total territorial control.) It was a criminal offense to own religious artifacts, such as rosaries, holy cards, saint's medallions, etc. Teaching your own children the Faith was grounds for execution! In many ways, the persecution there was worse than in the Soviet Union.

Perhaps I am just clueless about Mexico, but I have such an impression of Mexico as an overwhelmingly Catholic country that I am having a really hard time buying this.

I have never heard anything from atheists today that gives me any confidence we wouldn't see a repetition of the same (if not worse) in this country, given the chance.

Let's divide atheists in the U.S. into two groups: (1) "movement atheists"; and (2) "non-movement atheists." "Movement atheists" are atheists who join activist groups like American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and so forth. "Non-movement atheists" are atheists who simply don't give a s^&* about their atheism and don't join anything.

"Non-movement atheists" are the overwhelming majority of atheists in the U.S. today. I don't think they constitute any threat whatsoever to the religious rights of theists; they simply don't care about atheism vs. theism to even participate in organized atheist groups.

As a general rule, "movement atheists" have an almost Asperger Syndrome-like, anal retentive, OCD-like obsession with their interpretation of the First Amendment's establishment clause. They are just as opposed to government endorsement of the belief that God does not exist, as they are opposed to government endorsement of the belief that God does exist.

They probably overwhelmingly believe that, say, Christian Scientist parents should not be allowed to withhold medical care from their children. But they equally overwhelmingly believe that Christian Scientist adults should be free to reject medical care for religious reasons.

In short, Loftus' post notwithstanding, I don't think atheists in the U.S. as a group would support putting Christians in mental institutions.

planks length said...

"I have such an impression of Mexico as an overwhelmingly Catholic country"

Just like Russia was an overwhelmingly Orthodox country, yet look what the Bolsheviks did there.

And yes, despite all the snarky comments on this site about Putin, even 70 plus years of state-mandated atheism failed to snuff out the people's Faith. Once the prison walls came crashing down in 1989-91 and Russian citizens were once again free to express their true beliefs, Orthodoxy "rose from the tomb".

And why was that? It was nothing political, it was not expediency - it was a simple matter of "You can't crush the Truth forever" - it will always win in the end. In their hearts, the Russian people knew that atheism was opposed to human nature itself (read again the Graham Greene quote I posted 2 days ago), and that their unflagging prayers would eventually topple it.

Putin? He's a puff in the wind. Who's going to mourn his passing when he's gone? Meanwhile, the Orthodox Church... well, that's been around since A.D. 33 (I believe it was Pope Benedict XVI who referred to it and the Roman Catholic Church as the right and left lungs of Christianity), and it ain't going anywhere soon.

frances said...

Ben

I've studied a lot about Deuteronomy 21 10-14.

Too bad you didn't understand it.

However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you UNDER COMPULSION.

A woman can force her date rapist to marry her against his will & he may never divorce her

Wow! How enlightened is that?! You missed out the bit about how he has to pay the girls father her bride price because she's damaged goods. Of course, it's the father who has been wronged because he's lost the asset he had in his daughter's virginity & she's worthless without it. And it's the father, not the girl who makes the decision because she's his property.

If the girl had been engaged the rapist would have been sentenced to be stoned to death, not because rape in itself was that bad, but because the rape of an engaged woman counted as adultery and the rapist had to be punished for interfering with another man's property. But as she wasn't engaged, then it was just her getting raped, no biggie, pay the bride price, marry the girl, all sorted.

And let's not forget the death sentence for girl who gets raped in the town because obviously that's her fault for not screaming. I mean it's not like rapists ever gag their victims or hold a knife to their throats & threaten to kill them if they make any noise, is it?

And before you waste any of my time, making up excuses to defend the inexcusable is not just limited to Catholics. Defences for these and other revolting passages in the bible are a dime a dozen, and come from across the whole Christian spectrum. I've already read most of them. You and you fellow apologists for these passages (WLC, Paul Copan etc) are just blinded by your God-glasses.

planks length said...

Frances,

Why in the world are you bringing up minutiae from the Old Jewish Law as though it were at all relevant to Christianity? If I were Ben, I would ignore this entire red herring.

Ben, take my advice - don't even bother replying to Frances's last posting. It ain't worth it.

Papalinton said...

"Frances,
Why in the world are you bringing up minutiae from the Old Jewish Law as though it were at all relevant to Christianity? If I were Ben, I would ignore this entire red herring.
Ben, take my advice - don't even bother replying to Frances's last posting. It ain't worth it."


Because they have no answer that can explain away the barbarity contained in the text in any meaningful way. 'Nuff said.

BenYachov said...

Oh Francis you are so uneducated it is a joy to mock your ignorance citing the scholarly work I've read from female Jewish Feminist Scholars.


For example:

>Too bad you didn't understand it.

Don't believe in biblical perspicuity or private interpretation either dearie.

>However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you UNDER COMPULSION.

As Baele points out UNDER COMPULSION in Hebrew is a broad term. A man who seduces a woman according to the Rabbis oppresses her and puts her UNDER COMPULSION because he overpowers her will by tempting her to lust.

>Wow! How enlightened is that?! You missed out the bit about how he has to pay the girls father her bride price because she's damaged goods.

How is penalizing the man with a fine a bad thing?

>Of course, it's the father who has been wronged because he's lost the asset he had in his daughter's virginity & she's worthless without it. And it's the father, not the girl who makes the decision because she's his property.

In that environment women needed to be protected by men & from men. How is this bad again?

So your new argument here is the OT is Patriarchal & not that a women can be forced to marry her abductor during war or rapist?

Try getting your arguments straight next time dearie.

>If the girl had been engaged the rapist would have been sentenced to be stoned to death, not because rape in itself was that bad, but because the rape of an engaged woman counted as adultery and the rapist had to be punished for interfering with another man's property.

Rather an engaged person in Judaism is technically married and defiling the marriage bed of another is attacking a sacred covenant.

Covenant Breaking is a very serious offense that attacks God directly. When Israel does it as a Nation God judges Her harshly.

BenYachov said...

> But as she wasn't engaged, then it was just her getting raped, no biggie, pay the bride price, marry the girl, all sorted.

In that case it's not a broken covenant. Still an Israelite King may make up additional laws to add to Torah to make up for deficiencies in the application of the Torah.

It is up to them to make laws that punish rapists more severely. If they are lack that is their fault.

>And let's not forget the death sentence for girl who gets raped in the town because obviously that's her fault for not screaming.

To which if you read the Rabbis you would know that they also formulate rules by which they might conclude a silent women is silent because of fear or surprise at her assault.

Presumed Innocent till proven guilty. It is better to let 100 guilty go free then to convict one innocent are maxims of the Talmud.

Orthodox Jews, ancient Jews as well as early Christians still didn't believe in Sola Scriptura. Get over it little girl.

>I mean it's not like rapists ever gag their victims or hold a knife to their throats & threaten to kill them if they make any noise, is it?

To which case according to Jewish jurist prudence she would not be charged with a crime in the first place.

The purpose of this law is not to punish rape victims but to weed out adulterous women who try to escape punishment for their affairs by blaming their lovers.

>And before you waste any of my time, making up excuses to defend the inexcusable is not just limited to Catholics.

I am citing Jewish scholars, Jewish Feminists and the Talmud. You are reading the text by itself & making up your own self-serving interpretation.

You are the one here making excuses dearie. Not moi.

>Defences for these and other revolting passages in the bible are a dime a dozen, and come from across the whole Christian spectrum. I've already read most of them. You and you fellow apologists for these passages (WLC, Paul Copan etc) are just blinded by your God-glasses.

In other words "BOO HOO! NO FAIR! YOUR NOT A PROTESTANT FUNDAMENTALIST! YOUR READING THE BIBLE LIKE AN ANCIENT JEW OR JEWISH CHRISTIAN!!"

Cry me a river dearie.

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

>Ben, take my advice - don't even bother replying to Frances's last posting. It ain't worth it.

But it was fun.

She is too ignorant to know what she is talking about.

Francis is lucky I didn't bring out my left handed argument from Feminist Jewish Scholar Pearl Elman.

White Supremacists & neo-Nazi types like to accuse the Talmud of authorizing the Rape of three year old girls(google it sometime).

In short it doesn't. Not that you can't criticize the Talmud but never the less ill informed types like Francis are no better.

Silly people.

As always if I deny God tomorrow my opinion here on this topic would not change.

BenYachov said...

BTW what Jeff said in March 13, 2014 11:53 PM.

I would fully agree with him.

BenYachov said...

>They probably overwhelmingly believe that, say, Christian Scientist parents should not be allowed to withhold medical care from their children. But they equally overwhelmingly believe that Christian Scientist adults should be free to reject medical care for religious reasons.

I believe some courts have upheld that they might be allowed to withhold medical treatment.

Which is ironic given the government wants to Force Catholics to buy or provide others birth control against their will and which other could provide for themselves.

Full disclosure thought. I believe from the perspective of Catholic moral teaching you can force the children of these parents to receive medical treatment.

Cheers.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Here are a few cases of your "God of Abraham" condoning rape:

Judges 21:10-24
Numbers 31:7-18
Deuteronomy 20:10-14
2 Samuel 12:11-14
Deuteronomy 21:10-14
Judges 5:30
Exodus 21:7-1
Zechariah 14:1-2


BenYachov said...

Skept

So you just collected a bunch of verses from some Atheist website(including the verse Deuteronomy 20:10-14 which I just addressed which shows you are not paying attention) so you can hurl as much mud as you can to see what will stick?

Not interested. Fundies used this tactic on me back in the day it's tedious.

Tell you what. Do your own homework. Read these verses yourself and pick the one you think I couldn't possibly answer.

BTW some advice. Since I clearly don't believe God is a moral agent and thus has no moral obligation to on the spot stop people from doing evil to others.

If any of these verses are God standing by & not protecting Israel from her enemies thus allowing them to hurt her that doesn't count. God is still not a moral agent. God as a judgement on you can let you be murdered but He would still judge the Murderer for his sin of murdering you.

God as a judgement stopped protecting Israel from her enemies but he still judged the evil of her enemies.

planks length said...

im-skeptical,

Even if your interpretation of those passages has merit (which I am not conceding), so what? It is irrelevant to Christianity. The only correct Christian answer to the question "What is God of Abraham like?" is to point to Jesus. "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9)

That will always be my first, last, and only answer to any and all such questions.

BenYachov said...

PL

Your setting the OT against the NT is too close to the heresy of Marcion.

It's not good son.

We have nothing to fear from the OT.

BenYachov said...

Now that I think about it the Talmud says somewhere that a Jewish man caught having sex with a gentile woman can be executed in a summery fashion by Zealots without a trial.

That is actually harsher then if he where caught doing it with a man since in that case he would need 4 to 6 witnesses to accuse and testify against him since he would be comiting two crimes.

im-skeptical said...

"Read these verses yourself and pick the one you think I couldn't possibly answer."

It's your God and your bible - not mine. If you can't defend what is says, don't expect me to help you out.

"God is a moral agent and thus has no moral obligation to on the spot stop people from doing evil to others."

Then why is all this in the bible?

"It is irrelevant to Christianity."

So you admit that the bible is full of bunk, planks?

BenYachov said...

>It's your God and your bible - not mine. If you can't defend what is says, don't expect me to help you out.

So you lack the courage to bring a specific credible accusation? Why am I not suprised? Scattershot is not an argument. It's like me challenging you to prove quantum physics in 50 words or less otherwise it's not true.


>"God is a moral agent and thus has no moral obligation to on the spot stop people from doing evil to others."

>Then why is all this in the bible?

Why do you keep assuming early Jews and Christian followed Luther's doctrine of the Bible Alone without Tradition or interpretive authority? Where is THAT implicit assumption of yours taught in the Bible?

BenYachov said...

PL

Skept wrote:
>"It is irrelevant to Christianity."

>So you admit that the bible is full of bunk, planks?

You see nothing good comes from setting the OT against the NT for a Catholic Christian.

If you don't know how to answer simply don't answer or own it.

There is no shame in admitting you don't know everything.

Let these silly intellectually inferior gnus pretend they know it all.

Stay above that my son.

BenYachov said...

BTW God is NOT a moral agent.

If I miss typed that I now correct it.

planks length said...

"Your setting the OT against the NT is too close to the heresy of Marcion."

Not at all, Ben not at all. I'm not "setting them against" each other - just saying that arguments against the Christian faith using Jewish Law as a basis are red herrings. They have no force.

If Frances or im-skeptical are truly interested in what the God of Abraham is like, they can do no better than to take a good, hard look at Jesus. Everything else, and I do mean everything else, is a distraction.

"We have nothing to fear from the OT."

Absolutely right. Because all arguments can be answered from the New Testament. No "setting against", but rather putting one's priorities in order.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Old Testament (especially the books I listed on my profile). I just see it as fulfilled in the New. The NT answers all questions, issues, and dilemmas that may may arise out of an exclusive reading of the OT. If Frances or anyone else has a problem with any passage in the Old Testament (to include the ones im-skeptical listed), they will surely find the solution in the New.

And if there is an apparent conflict between the two, the New takes precedence. By doing so, you'll eventually see there was never really a conflict at all.

That said, I am by no means an Old Testament expert, and have zero interest in getting bogged down in what St. Paul labeled "foolish controversies over the law". And neither should you. It might be "fun" but your sparring partners are not in this for fun - they are wretched prisoners of deadly error, and are badly in need of liberation.

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

>Not at all, Ben not at all. I'm not "setting them against" each other - just saying that arguments against the Christian faith using Jewish Law as a basis are red herrings. They have no force.

But the God of the OT and the NT is the same God.

>If Frances or im-skeptical are truly interested in what the God of Abraham is like, they can do no better than to take a good, hard look at Jesus. Everything else, and I do mean everything else, is a distraction.

I agree but skept and francis don't know that. Of course they are just recycling their anti-Fundie Prot polemics and stamping their feet when they see they are non-starters for Catholics and Jews.

>That said, I am by no means an Old Testament expert, and have zero interest in getting bogged down in what St. Paul labeled "foolish controversies over the law". And neither should you. It might be "fun" but your sparring partners are not in this for fun - they are wretched prisoners of deadly error, and are badly in need of liberation.

Paul was telling Jewish Christians not to imposes the Law on Gentiles. Catholic commentators, Church Fathers, Priests and Theologians do defend the morality of the OT.

Thought it's morality is lesser then the NT & at best slightly above that of mere natural law but bellow the NT moral law.

Ilíon said...

"Would atheists put Christians in mental institutions?

According to Debunking Christianity, no. With a few exceptions.
"

Exceptions have a way of growing, though, don't they?

BenYachov said...

The only reason to put somebody in a mental institution is because they are mentally ill & a danger to themselves and others.

What they believe is not relevant.

I think believing in reductionist materialism and positivism is "crazy" even if no god concept where true.

But I would fight tooth and nail against any arsehole who wanted to institutionalize such persons.

That Soviet mishigoss has no place in the modern world.

frances said...

Ben,

now I have to actually think and write intelligently.

This is an exellent idea, and i'm sure everyone on the site will join with me in saying "looking forward to seeing that"

Please let us know when you have started.

BenYachov said...

Well Francis,

Jeff tries to avoid making assumptions on topics he knows little about & if he lapses he has been known to apologize and own his mistakes.

Jeff is an Atheist and not a Gnu.

If I was an Atheist I would want to be like that.

The big mystery is why don't you?

frances said...

PL ,

Rape of female civilians after war, killing female victims of rape, treating rape as a property crime which is put right by payment of compensation - all just "minutiae"? Really? What an odd system of priorities you have.

It was Ben who raised the claim that God couldn't possibly EVER have condoned rape and when chalenged he trots out the usual tired old attempts to explain and justify which have been the stuff of OT apologetics from Jews, Catholics and Protestants alike these many centuries. The Jewish rabbis, and the Christain apologists (sola scriptural has never stopped a Protestant from making stuff up as they go along if it's going to help them out of a tight spot) have been forced to come up with these tortured defences simply because their human morality recognised that Yahweh was a monster. So the passages HAD to mean something else. Not because they did mean something else but because they just had to if Yahweh was not to be exposed for what he is. It is eisegesis, pure and simple, whether it's Jewish, Christian or even feminist.

planks length said...

"Yahweh was a monster"

Frances,

That statement is precisely why your entire line of attack here is so off the mark. For a Christian, there is nothing you can say about Yawhweh (God, the Father, the Almighty, The LORD, Jehovah, Adonai, Elohim, El Shaddai, El Roi) without first looking at and speaking of Jesus. If what you are asserting does not fit His character, then (as far as any Christian of any non-heretical denomination is concerned) you are wrong. End of story.

Everything you (and in your wake, im-skeptical) have dragged up here is, as long as you cannot find it in the character of Jesus, irrelevant. I cannot put it any more plainly.

(And as a postscript to im-skeptical, who asked "So you admit that the bible is full of bunk?" No. You need to read your Augustine. The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New. You can call no line of the OT "bunk" without first discerning how it's true meaning is revealed in the NT. Hint: After doing so, you'll find no bunk.)

BenYachov said...

Francis just cannot accept the fact not every judeo-christian believer is not an evangelical Protestant.

Hysterical!:-)

>It was Ben who raised the claim that God couldn't possibly EVER have condoned rape...

Don't be a ditz woman. I said God could never directly COMMAND IT(i.e. rape). I never claimed He would always intervene to stop it. If you remember I don't believe God is a moral agent as a solution to the Problem of evil.

>and when chalenged he trots out the usual tired old attempts to explain and justify which have been the stuff of OT apologetics from Jews, Catholics and Protestants alike these many centuries.

In other words for Francis it's not really about how Jews or Christians historically understood these verses it's what she wants them to mean as a means to cheap polemics.

I should be impressed by this why? That is like listening to a non-American tell me what the Constitution really means over John Adams or the Supreme Court?

Tis silly.

>The Jewish rabbis, and the Christain apologists (sola scriptural has never stopped a Protestant from making stuff up as they go along if it's going to help them out of a tight spot) have been forced to come up with these tortured defences simply because their human morality recognised that Yahweh was a monster.

Rather not everybody believes in your strong doctrine of perspecuity & interprets the Bible accordingly. Even some Protestant Evangelicals believe the Bible is only perpicatous on matters of salvation only so they look at Tradition.

Get over it.

>So the passages HAD to mean something else. Not because they did mean something else but because they just had to if Yahweh was not to be exposed for what he is. It is eisegesis, pure and simple, whether it's Jewish, Christian or even feminist.

In other words NO FAIR YOUR NOT A FUNDAMENTALIST!

BenYachov said...

Francis

You are begging the question & thus boring the shit out me. If God does not exist plausibly these verses could have originally meant negatively what you want them to mean. But still it is evident the Rabbis and Church Fathers and the Catholic Church gave them a benevolent meaning later on.

That later meaning is the one that holds for for us not yours. OTOH if God does not exist maybe the benevolent meaning & interpretation was always the meaning?

But in either case if there is no God then what the Bible really means is not relevant. You need to get off your lazy butt and start by learning some good philosophy so you can argue against the existence of God.

You will never win with any Catholic arguing the meaning of the Bible. We reject private interpretation and we are not biblicists like the Protestants are so you need to accept the fact your polemics are non-starters.

If that truth is too inconvenient for you then too bad dearie.

Not my problem.

planks length said...

HERE is a link to a what I've been trying to say (and from a Protestant's perspective, no less!), only he's said it far more eloquently that I could ever hope to do.

BenYachov said...

>if Yahweh was not to be exposed for what he is.

Either YHWH is the God of Abraham, Aquinas and Anselm and thus Pure Act, Subsistence Being Itself etc(not some theistic personalist/neotheist piece of shit "deity").

Or there is not God and what the true nature of this fictional character from the Bible is is a matter of interpretation.

It's that simple.

It's not hard.

im-skeptical said...

I see a lot of squirming and rationalization going on.

BenYachov said...

>I see a lot of squirming and rationalization going on.

When Francis and you accept there is no such thing as a one size fits all omni-polemic against Theism then I predict you guys will stop with the
squirming and rationalizations.

im-skeptical said...

"there is no such thing as a one size fits all omni-polemic against Theism"

One size fits all? You cut me to the quick. What about all the other objections I've raised?

John Mitchell said...

Ben said " Since I clearly don't believe God is a moral agent and thus has no moral obligation to on the spot stop people from doing evil to others". If God wills what is good for us why doesnt he stop people doing evil to others, even though hes not a moral agent? i still dont understand this line of reasoning. It seems to me he does not do it because theres some greater good involved in the evils we face. but if thats so then the inductive argument from evil still works. (besides, this is an honest question; not some knee-jerk rhetorical question)

im-skeptical said...

John Mitchell,

The idea that God is not a moral agent is nothing more than a Thomistic escape clause designed to absolve God of responsibility for what he has done. They will spout about "pure being", and how God is not part of our "moral community" - that he is not answerable to us.

A moral agent is one who acts and who understands the moral implications of his actions.

Is God an agent? Absolutely. God creates our world and he creates the people in the world. Thomists refer to the "act of creation". This can only be accomplished by an agent - one who acts.

Does God understand what he's doing? Of course. He knows everything. Does he understand that he created a world full of pain and suffering? I should think so.

Does God have to answer to us humans? The question is irrelevant. It's a red herring. God is a moral agent by any reasonable definition of the term.

planks length said...

"God creates our world and the people in the world. Does God understand what he's doing? Of course. He knows everything."

im-skeptical,

I am so glad that we finally agree on these things. You are progressing!

BenYachov said...

@John Mitchell

I have no problem with honest questions. I will do my best.


>". If God wills what is good for us why doesnt he stop people doing evil to others, even though hes not a moral agent?

I don't know? Why one moon for Earth instead of two? Which is what the question is like too me if I recognize God has having no obligation to give me anymore goods then He has already given.

He could create a world where He chooses to stop all people from doing evil but He still doesn't have too.

>i still dont understand this line of reasoning. It seems to me he does not do it because theres some greater good involved in the evils we face. but if thats so then the inductive argument from evil still works. (besides, this is an honest question; not some knee-jerk rhetorical question)

I think a hidden assumption you might have here is the unstated question why doesn't God create the Best of All Possible worlds?

Well first from a Thomist perspective there is no such thing as the best of all possible worlds. God can always make a better world then this one & if He did He could make an even better one then that one etc.

There is no world so good God is obligated to create it & none so bad He must refrain from making it as long as that world participates in being.

All of God's good acts toward His creation are acts of gratuitousness and supererogation & none are by necessity. God need only do His Own good by necessity.

I hope this helps.

Cheers.

John Mitchell said...

"The idea that God is not a moral agent is nothing more than a Thomistic escape clause designed to absolve God of responsibility for what he has done. They will spout about "pure being", and how God is not part of our "moral community" - that he is not answerable to us.

A moral agent is one who acts and who understands the moral implications of his actions.

Is God an agent? Absolutely. God creates our world and he creates the people in the world. Thomists refer to the "act of creation". This can only be accomplished by an agent - one who acts.

Does God understand what he's doing? Of course. He knows everything. Does he understand that he created a world full of pain and suffering? I should think so.

Does God have to answer to us humans? The question is irrelevant. It's a red herring. God is a moral agent by any reasonable definition of the term."

Thats certainly debatable. Im not going to say much about whether or not god is a moral agent because i simply dont know the exact line of reasoning ,or say, the idea behind the claim that god is not a moral agent. what i argue is that even if god is not a moral agent he still wills what is good for us. and if he does that, then theres got to be some reason why he does not prevent a world full of misery and suffering. there might be reasons why does not do that or he might not exist. thats the whole idea of the argument from evil (the inductive one). personally im convinced that the inductive argument from evil constitutes a good reason not to believe in god. now, as it happens to be, i think that there are plenty of good other reasons to believe that god does exist (as a cumulative case for the existence of god). So i dont think the inductive argument from evil is fatal. the reason why i think its a good argument against the existence of god is also the reason why i think that sceptical theism fails as a response but thats another story...

John Mitchell said...

Hi Ben, you said

"I don't know? Why one moon for Earth instead of two? Which is what the question is like too me if I recognize God has having no obligation to give me anymore goods then He has already given.

"He could create a world where He chooses to stop all people from doing evil but He still doesn't have to."

i certainly agree that maybe he does not have to. But he still wills what is good for us. And willing what is good for us creates a motivation (or the equivalent for whatever is appropriate for god) to prevent evil. still there has to be a reason for why god does not do it, or he does not do it because he doesnt exist. As long as thats a possibility the inductive argument from evil works, at least as it seems to me.

"I think a hidden assumption you might have here is the unstated question why doesn't God create the Best of All Possible worlds? " No i dont think a BOAPW is coherent concept. God could always create one more happy person or another good and so on up to infinity an from one infinity to a higher one. I think we're in full agreement here.

"There is no world so good God is obligated to create it & none so bad He must refrain from making it as long as that world participates in being." Maybe he has no moral abligation to not create as certin world but i still think given that he wants what is good for creatures theres is a large sample of possible worlds god wouldnt create.

BenYachov said...

First Skept's walking talking fallacies of equivocation.

>A moral agent is one who acts and who understands the moral implications of his actions.

No a moral agent is a being who exists aloneside other beings in a moral community under a moral law they are obligated to follow.

God is not a being alonside other beings. God cannot coherently be part of a moral community with us and God is the moral law it is absurd to say He is under the moral law thus obligated to it.

Now John's intellegent statements.

>Thats certainly debatable. Im not going to say much about whether or not god is a moral agent because i simply dont know the exact line of reasoning

With that last bit John shows himself an order of magnatude more wise then the idiot Skept.

John I recomment you get a copy of THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL by Brian Davies.

It will be most helpful for your understanding & or edification.

>what i argue is that even if god is not a moral agent he still wills what is good for us. and if he does that, then theres got to be some reason why he does not prevent a world full of misery and suffering.

He might have a reason for choosing one moon instead of two but he could have made life on this planet that doesn't require a moon.

God may have reasons for doing something but they are not moral reasons.

I think you are still thinking in Theistic personalist terms here and I sense you don't quite understand what it means for God not to be obligated or be good in Thomistic terms.

I reject skeptical theism or rather I don't need it. SO I don't care if it fails.

Cheers.

BenYachov said...

@John

>i certainly agree that maybe he does not have to. But he still wills what is good for us. And willing what is good for us creates a motivation

As a Thomist I would balk at God being described as something that has motivation unequivocally as we do. It's not coherent when applied to God in the Classic Sense.


>(or the equivalent for whatever is appropriate for god) to prevent evil.

God doesn't have to prevent any evil only moral agents do which God in the classic sense is no nor can coherently be concieved as such. As a conscequence evil by nature will ultimalty meet it's bad end and good by nature would triump.

But you have to unlearn Theistic Personalist thinking like I have.

>still there has to be a reason for why god does not do it, or he does not do it because he doesnt exist. As long as thats a possibility the inductive argument from evil works, at least as it seems to me.

I think skeptical theism as it's used in theodicy presupposes an unknown moral reason or practical reason that prevents a moral agent God from using His Omnipotent power to stop any particular evil.

Once you remove moral agency and divine obligation to creatures and concieve of God as purely metaphysically and ontologically good then all theodicy has no meaning and arguments from evil that those theodicy try to answer become non-starters.

That is how I see it.

BenYachov said...

>Maybe he has no moral abligation to not create as certin world but i still think given that he wants what is good for creatures theres is a large sample of possible worlds god wouldnt create.

I don't know about that? None means None in this case.

God could create a world where all his creatures freely choose to reject him and go to Hell so that not one is saved.

OTOH He couldn't create a world where He just sends people to Hell for shits and giggles because that is not coherent given the essence of going to Hell and people and His divine goodness.


John Mitchell said...

Hi Ben

"As a Thomist I would balk at God being described as something that has motivation unequivocally as we do. It's not coherent when applied to God in the Classic Sense."
Thats why i added: "or the equivalent for whatever is appropriate for god"

Apart from that, lets agree to disagree. Its late here in Europe and im going to sleep. Im still not convined of your postion but maybe further research will accomplish that.

Thanks for your time

BenYachov said...

Peace be with you John.

frances said...

Ben,

Francis

You are begging the question & thus boring the shit out me.


Nooooo! But it seems like oly a few hours ago that you were tellig your mate PL that engaging with me was "such fun"! Oh, wait a minute -it was only a few hours ago.

*Sigh* well, what can you expect when you try to have any kind of relationship with an OT fundie apologist? Ben, I just want you to know, you broke my heart. But my father is willing to waive the bride price, so how about it? C'mon. You know you want to....

BenYachov said...

I'm flattered but I already have a wife sweetie.

Papalinton said...

frances/Ben
A little history is a way to learn from the past and understand about the highly problematic relationship between christianity and women..

BenYachov said...

Paps,

Did you fail to notice the "paper" you just linked to was written by an undergraduate?

She isn't even a theology major or student of early Christian teaching & history. She is pre-Law!!!!

This is like citing an undergrad psych major's paper critiquing Evolution at LIBERTY UNIVERSITY for creationist studies classes.

Yeh at least the Feminists I cited or referred too where professional academics who specialized in the area of Jewish Law, Old Testament studies & theology.

Don't hurt yourself gym teacher.

Papalinton said...

Oops!
And THIS ONE

And THIS ONE

Papalinton said...

Fact check: was never a gym teacher.

BenYachov said...

BTW my wife Rosemarie who is a disillusioned recovering feminist can tell you how as an undergrad herself she was fed a lot of nonsense from her women's studies professor who either manufactured quotes form the Fathers or quoted them out of context.

Also she showed me some writings from some early Christian women that was just as harsh toward men as beasts who can't control their animal impulses.

She graduated Magnum Cum Laude BTW.

BenYachov said...

So Paps you have at least one book and another undergrad paper.

You couldn't just cite the book?

How thick are you?

Public school education man.

Pointless.

Karl Grant said...

Fact check: was never a gym teacher.

Oh, like we couldn't tell that by your picture.

BenYachov said...

Just finished looking at the book it isn't even about Christianity or Christian history but Misogyny in general.

It quotes a plethora of seemingly anti-women statements from across history, religions including paganism, and the world. As well as literature contemporary and classical.

At best it show the whole world has a problem with women.

This is the best you can do Paps? I don't think you are trying anymore. I think you are phoning it in.

Paps your former students.....do the majority of them get up everyday and ask the question "Do you want Fries with that?"?

Oy vey!

BenYachov said...

I am going to finish watching THOR on FX & maybe play SWTOR.

I got some bounties to collect!

im-skeptical said...

How about this one?

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/02/christians_have_always_been_misogynists_partner/

Or perhaps a woman's perspective?

http://www.elizabethesther.com/2013/05/the-new-misogyny-bro-culture-pastors-sexist-christian-comedians-and-abuse-apologetics-disguised-as-female-empowerment.html

BenYachov said...

Not impressed Skepy.

http://www.focusequip.org/discover/apologetics/church-history/does-the-catholic-church-hate-women.html

And this from a woman Maria Adelaide Raschini

Professor of Theoretical Philosophy

at the University of Genoa.


http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_misogyny_en.html

BenYachov said...

BTW people in glass houses should not throw stones.


The Atheism Movement's Misogyny Problem

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/629857/the_atheism_movement's_misogyny_problem

The Atheist Boys Club and Online Misogyny as Sport

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2012/09/the-atheist-boys-club-and-misogyny-as-online-sport/


Ave atque vale, Jen McCreight

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2012/09/ave-atque-vale-jen-mccreight.html

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

You're not impressed? Well, I'm underwhelmed. Your two posts about the misogyny of the church: one is the church itself saying "no we're not", and the other is a Catholic woman talking about the (supposed) celibacy of the clergy.

Then you cite three blogs complaining about a bunch of loonies at FTB. Guess what: the majority of atheists agree that they're nuts (rather like the young-earth creationist fundies you are always saying don't represent your religion).

BenYachov said...

>You're not impressed? Well, I'm underwhelmed. Your two posts about the misogyny of the church: one is the church itself saying "no we're not”, and the other is a Catholic woman talking about the (supposed) celibacy of the clergy.

Who cares? Since you are phoning it in with a bunch of links I am as well. Except I choose people with a better education and thus better informed.

Got anymore undergrands whose homework you want to cite to me?

>Then you cite three blogs complaining about a bunch of loonies at FTB. Guess what: the majority of atheists agree that they're nuts (rather like the young-earth creationist fundies you are always saying don't represent your religion).

Skept stop pretending you are trying to argue. You are throwing mud & I am throwing it right back at you. When you wish to one day choose to be rational, learn philosophy and offer argument that at least rises to level of Jeff or John I might start to take you seriously.

Till then your just this anti-intellectual fundie Gnu.

frances said...

Ben,

you have a wife? Blimey, she's a candidate for canonisation if ever there was one.

frances said...

Karl,

you guys are denying atheism was not a motivator for these actions despite major evidence to the contrary. And you need to look up what Tu Quoque is and why it is considered a logical fallacy also.

You need to look up "double negative" and why you have ended up saying the opposite of what you were (presumably) trying to say.

I know what Tu Quoque is & I have not committed it. The suggestion was that atheism is eo ipso the basis for oppression. My point (relevant & valid) was that it is not religion or atheism per se which lead to oppression. It is authoritarian systems, such as Communist governments, or a politically empowered Catholic Church which lead to the suppression of liberty.

frances said...

And Ben - you are so missing the point when you triumphantly reference your sources as being feminist female Jews. Don't you realise that that makes their interpretation more suspect, not less? Find me an atheist who agrees that this was all enlightened, humane pro-female etc and I'll be interested.

No doubt lots of feminist Jews find a way of reconciling their feminism with their Judaism. That's how eisegesis works.

Have you read Copan on how the bit about cutting off a womans hand if she grabs a man's balls really means giving her a Brazilian? It's hilarious. But read Thom Stark's annihilation of Copan if you want to be actually informed.

Karl Grant said...

Frances,

You need to look up "double negative" and why you have ended up saying the opposite of what you were (presumably) trying to say.

I had a typo, big damn deal. But if you are going to be that way maybe you should explain to Skeppy the difference between the E and the R key on the keyboard for his little statement: Here's something foe whoever doubts Hitler's Christianity. You know, since you are so concerned about proper grammar.

I know what Tu Quoque is & I have not committed it.

Really? So when you said:

It's less than 200 years since the Inquisition killed it's last victim (Cayetano Ripoll 1826). That's what - 4 generations? The Spanish Inquisition hoped he might be burnt but the civil authorities rather spoiled their fun by having him hanged instead.

You guys have nothing to be smug about.


So you weren't trying to say something along the lines of Well, your guys' history is no better. If you are going to lie try to come up with something a bit more convincing.

My point (relevant & valid) was that it is not religion or atheism per se which lead to oppression. It is authoritarian systems, such as Communist governments, or a politically empowered Catholic Church which lead to the suppression of liberty.

So you admit that Catholicism provided no motivation whatsoever for the Crusades and the Inquisition? It was all politically motivated? Just like Mao Zedong's atheism provided no motivation for the destruction of Tibet's culture? Is that what you are trying to say?

Ilíon said...

John Mitchell: "Apart from that, lets agree to disagree. ..."

You have to understand, first and foremost, Son-of-Confusion is a prancing fool -- and you'd think that the other Catholics here, out of self-respect, or at least self-interest, would say something.

At a more granular analysis, he's the mirror image of those "fundies" he likes to pratt on about, whether 'atheist' or (his characature of) "evangelical".

Ultimately, his problem is that he's angry at God, he thinks God failed him ... and denying the personhood and moral agency of God (and stating his scorn for others who do not) is his defense-mechanism.

planks length said...

"you'd think that the other Catholics here, out of self-respect, or at least self-interest, would say something."

Ilion,

I have been mightily striving (not always successfully) to stay clear of playground behavior on this site, and fear that if I started calling Ben on on his every transgression, I would soon be no better than the taunting schoolchildren I see all too often here.

Besides, I have enough of my own sins to repent of. I am eternally grateful to whoever it was (I can't now remember) who called me out a few weeks ago when I myself stepped over the line, in a dialog with im-skeptical. (I again apologize for my transgression, and acknowledge that there was no excuse for it.)

That said (hah!), Ben's approach to these matters is far from mine. He is combative and likes to make things personal. My own (again, not always successful) goal is to be dispassionate in my dealings with internet atheists. I feel that the mere fact they are here on a site that is unabashedly pro-faith speaks volumes about their inner needs - even those which they themselves refuse to admit to. I after all do not troll atheist websites. My soul (yes, I do have one) finds nothing there that speaks to my innermost longings. Whether they deny it is beside the point - their souls are desperately hungry and thirsty for the Truth, and the Holy Spirit is prodding them to the places where they could find relief and fulfillment.

I hope to not be the one who pushes them away by an unkind word.

frances said...

Karl,

Anyone can make a typo. I make them all the time. But yours was not a typo, it was failure to think clearly about what your sentence meant.

The Inquisition was an act of oppression carried out by an autocratic institution to suppress opposition. It is very much an example of what I'm talking about. I'm not sure what you mean by Catholicism "motivating" it. If you mean that the Church was motivated to get rid of anything which might undermine Catholicism because they wanted to ensure that they stayed in power, then to that extent, Catholicism did motivate it.

I am quite sure that China wouldn't give a toss about religion in Tibet if they didn't see it as a threat to their hegemony. It's not about spreading atheism. It's just about staying in power, same as the Catholic Church & the Inquisition was.

Ilíon said...

John Mitchell: "i certainly agree that maybe he does not have to. But he still wills what is good for us. And willing what is good for us creates a motivation (or the equivalent for whatever is appropriate for god) to prevent evil. still there has to be a reason for why god does not do it, or he does not do it because he doesnt exist. As long as thats a possibility the inductive argument from evil works, at least as it seems to me."

The "Problem of Evil" is a pseudo-problem, and the Euthyphro Dilemma is a false dilemma, though not for the non-reasons asserted by Son-of-Confusion. Its apparent strength and its appeal comes from ignorance-and-misunderstanding … or from intellectual dishonesty.

If God is not, then there can be no "this ought not be". But, we -- even those hypocrites who deny it with one side of their mouths -- all *know* that some things should not be done, some states should not be. To put it the other way, we all know, even those who assert that there is no morality, that there is a way things ought to be, a way things ought to be done, a way persons ought to treat one another.

In creating anything at all – in creating the world, in creating you and me – God also creates (non-moral) evil and the possibility of moral evil. It cannot be otherwise; all that God creates will be, necessarily, not-God, for God cannot create God.

God creates a world which, necessarily, contains (non-moral) evil, for it is ever-changing, ever-incomplete. God peoples this world with rational beings “made in his image” (*), that is, free-wills. Thus, in creating free rational beings (who are not-God), God creates the possibility of moral evil.

But, it cannot be otherwise, unless he never creates us.

John Mitchell: If God wills what is good for us why doesnt he stop people doing evil to others, even though hes not a moral agent?

God *cannot* “stop people doing evil to others”, not until all things are complete. It has nothing to do with the foolish lies Son-of-Confusion spreads about God; it has to do with God’s honesty: that he made a rational world and that he has peopled it with free moral beings.

If God prevented us doing all the petty evils we commit against one another, much less the great evils with grow out of the petty, we would not be free … and God would be a liar in calling us free and “made in his image”. If God allowed us to commit the evils we commit, but prevented the results of our acts, then the world would not be rational … and we would never learn to hate evil.

The world cannot be otherwise than it is, not unless he never creates us, or unless he is a liar (but, if he were a liar, then nothing at all, including himself, could be).



(*) To look at another way, the world is a temple dedicated to God, and we are the Divine Idol placed in the temple.

Karl Grant said...

Frances,

Anyone can make a typo. I make them all the time. But yours was not a typo, it was failure to think clearly about what your sentence meant.

Ah, so you are clairvoyant now, are you? Your eyes can pierce through time and space allowing you to know for a fact that my sentence was not originally worded something like: you guys are denying the obvious by claiming atheism was not a motivator for these actions despite major evidence to the contrary. You obviously can tell that I am lying when I say that I thought you guys are denying the obvious was redundant and I decided to delete it; but was distracted while doing so by having a conversation with the two other people at the table in Burger King. You can obviously tell that I am lying when I say I didn't highlight all the necessary words before hitting the backspace key on my laptop (which is a typo). So tell me frances, have you gotten your Noble Prize for proving remote-viewing and other physic phenomenon exist yet?

The Inquisition was an act of oppression carried out by an autocratic institution to suppress opposition. It is very much an example of what I'm talking about. I'm not sure what you mean by Catholicism "motivating" it. If you mean that the Church was motivated to get rid of anything which might undermine Catholicism because they wanted to ensure that they stayed in power, then to that extent, Catholicism did motivate it.

If this is the case, than why aren't you reprimanding Skeppy for statements like:

Well then. It's perfectly fair to say that Christians favor the torture and murder of anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs. They've been at it for many centuries.

, I will insist that Christianity causes Christians to torture and murder. And my justification for saying so is at least as good as theirs, because Christianity is a real ideology and it has in fact been the motivation for these horrific acts.

But I bet we are going to hear some rationalization about why his words and the words of other atheist commentators on this site, are allowed to slide, on by. Aren't we?


I am quite sure that China wouldn't give a toss about religion in Tibet if they didn't see it as a threat to their hegemony. It's not about spreading atheism. It's just about staying in power, same as the Catholic Church & the Inquisition was.

Oh sure, Mao's government espoused state atheism and having a theocratic Tibet on it's border was a threat to his hegemony. Which is why he marched his armies under the slogan Religion is Poison. But hey, since you are absolving Christianity itself from the misdeeds of the Inquisition I suppose we can just as fairly admit that Mao Zedong was a tyrant that happened to be atheist and merely used his atheism as a public reason to justify his own inherent brutality.

frances said...

Karl,

I don't even think Mao was motivated by Communism when he invaded Tibet, let alone by atheism. He was influenced by the will to power. Communism happened to be his vehicle but any ideology capable of supporting an autocratic system would have done as well; Catholicism, Calvinism, fascism, whatever.

Mao Zedong was a tyrant that happened to be atheist and merely used his atheism as a public reason to justify his own inherent brutality.

Precisely!

planks length said...

"Mao Zedong was a tyrant that happened to be atheist and merely used his atheism as a public reason to justify his own inherent brutality."

Not quite. I'd rephrase it a bit:

Mao Zedong was a tyrant who, because he was an atheist, had no core beliefs capable of putting the brakes to his own inherent brutality.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, Macbeth (and every other "inherently brutal" Shakespearean villain) quailed at the reality of his first half dozen corpses, thanks to the ragged shreds of his Christian upbringing filling him with horror at the sight of his objectively evil deeds. In contrast (sticking with Solzhenitsyn here), the atheist Communists of Stalin's Russia and Mao's China had nothing capable of making reconsider their actions.

Karl Grant said...

Frances,

I don't even think Mao was motivated by Communism when he invaded Tibet, let alone by atheism. He was influenced by the will to power.

Than inform Skeppy that his statements earlier in this thread were in error and Hitler's Christianity, or lack thereof, was inconsequential to his actions. I mean, if you really believe what you are saying right now telling him he is wrong should be an easy thing to do.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

I finally got around to reading Loftus's post, which I should have done before posting a comment here.

I'm now wondering if Victor's summary of Loftus's position is correct. As I read Loftus, he says, "Atheists would not put Christians in mental institutions." Period. Full Stop. Loftus goes on to write:

eligious people can do what they want in their lives. There are exceptions though. Religious people who refuse to take their children to hospitals, or deny women, other races, or gays their rights, deserve no respect in a civil society. We would force them to comply or completely withdraw from society, like the Amish do.

This is what Victor refers to when he mentions "exceptions." But those "exceptions" are not "exceptions" to a general principle of NOT putting Christians in mental institutions. Rather, those "exceptions" are exceptions to a general principle of "Religious people can do what they want in their lives."

If my interpretation is correct, Victor's post is inaccurate bordering on slander against Loftus.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Dawkins and PZ Myers if I recall. Both channel their inner no true Scotsmen over this.

If you could track down citations, I would appreciate it. I will then go on to publicly criticize the statements.

im-skeptical said...

"If my interpretation is correct, Victor's post is inaccurate bordering on slander against Loftus."

It's part of a pattern Jeffery.

Samwell Barnes said...

PL's latest comment hits the nail on the head. This is the problem most believers have with atheism.

However, if it's justified to say that atheism *caused* the atrocities of the 20th century, it was a causation different in nature than that of the worst of Christian violence.

Atheism is just the proposition that there is no God (an "is" claim), whereas Christian theism expresses more than one proposition: there is a God, he is a God of Love, you should love God with your entire being, you should love your neighbor as yourself, etc. (both "is" claims and "ought" claims)

So on one strictly logical analysis, it makes no sense to blame atheism for mass murder, because it makes no sense to praise or blame atheism for anything. It is just an "is" claim, and you can never go from "There is no God" to "You should do X, Y, and Z" without smuggling in assumptions that have no strict logical connection with atheism. (This is not the case with Christianity, for example)

Yet on another analysis, it does make sense, and the charge of "causation" could be justified. Precisely because it is motivationally ineffectual, it cannot "put the brakes on" the expression of the worst aspects of human nature.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

So on one strictly logical analysis, it makes no sense to blame atheism for mass murder, because it makes no sense to praise or blame atheism for anything. It is just an "is" claim, and you can never go from "There is no God" to "You should do X, Y, and Z" without smuggling in assumptions that have no strict logical connection with atheism. (This is not the case with Christianity, for example)

This is precisely the point I made in an earlier comment on this post (and blogged at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2014/03/14/amoral-atheism/).

im-skeptical said...

planks,

"I feel that the mere fact they are here on a site that is unabashedly pro-faith speaks volumes about their inner needs - even those which they themselves refuse to admit to. I after all do not troll atheist websites. My soul (yes, I do have one) finds nothing there that speaks to my innermost longings."

I think you're correct in some respect, although it isn't the kind of "inner needs" you imagine. You may think I'm here to "troll", but there are some here who actually do seem to want nothing more than to do battle with those they see as adversaries, and I admit I get sucked in to those battles, but it's not what draws me here.

You may think that I seek some kind of spiritual fulfillment, or that I'm looking for excuses to believe, the way CS Lewis did. Fat chance. Belief in God is irrational, and belief in Jesus' magic show requires a child-like credulity. What I'd like to know is how otherwise intelligent people can believe something so absurd.

I've learned more about the bible and its origins. I've been exposed to concepts of Christian philosophy and learned about their arguments for belief. At the same time, I've learned something about non-Christian philosophy and arguments against belief (not necessarily in this blog, but in my search for additional understanding). I've learned about
Thomism and the writings of Aquinas, and examined them from a skeptical perspective. I've learned about religious concepts of the soul and of mind, and delved into cognitive science. I've seen the depth of dishonesty in the works of people like Dembski and Meyer, and at the same time, learned more about evolution science. I've learned about the history of the Catholic church. And I've gained some insight into the psychology of believers.

So let me ask you, planks, why are you here?

BenYachov said...

@Francis

>you have a wife? Blimey, she's a candidate for canonisation if ever there was one.

We agree on something. But she does like bad boys.

>And Ben - you are so missing the point when you triumphantly reference your sources as being feminist female Jews. Don't you realise that that makes their interpretation more suspect, not less? Find me an atheist who agrees that this was all enlightened, humane pro-female etc and I'll be interested.

How does this not make the Atheist view bias & non-objective? Never the less it is you who are missing the point. The Bible is simply not clear and needs authoritative interpretation. Holding Evangelical protestant default views on the Bible when talking to a Catholic is anachronistic.

>No doubt lots of feminist Jews find a way of reconciling their feminism with their Judaism. That's how eisegesis works.

“eisegesis” Presupposes a Protestant Lutheran belief in the plain perspicuity of Scripture. This is an alien mentality to Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Christians and Catholics.

>Have you read Copan on how the bit about cutting off a womans hand if she grabs a man's balls really means giving her a Brazilian?

No but I read the Mishnah that says that command is not literal & “cut of the hand” is a metaphor for paying a heavy fine. Also the Rabbinic Halakhah that rules anyone who carries out this command literally is guilty of a crime whose penalty is death by strangulation. Jesus did say the Parusem/Pharisees sat in the Chair of Moses. This command is no more literal then “If thy right eye offend thee pluck it out….” because to do that is the sin of self-mutilation.

>It's hilarious. But read Thom Stark's annihilation of Copan if you want to be actually informed.

Stark is as much of an Evangelical Fundamentalist Liberal who assumes perspicuity and Sola Scriptura like Copan and ignores Tradition like Copan. He holds a theory which has no archeological evidence that YHWH is identified with the Canaanite Storm deity Yahu and that ancient Israelites preformed child sacrifices to YHWH. He reads the NT apart from the interpretation of the Church Fathers and ignores the writings of those who came after the Apostles so he can read his warmed over Unitarianism into the NT an interpretation alien those who came after the Apostle. like Justin, Ignatius, Clement etc…..
Stark is not a professional he is a hack with an agenda like Copan but to the left.

Copan's interpretations are plausible in view of the Hareem judgements. Philo transmits an interesting tradition. OTOH as I argued YHWH given his classic divine nature has absolute right of life over death by nature. He can command death because death is the natural end of natural life.

Death is extrinsically evil not intrinsically evil. Unlike Rape and Torture which is why God could never command that directly even if he foresees and allows it to happen.

At the end of the day I simply don’t believe in the existence of the theistic personalist God of Copan or Stark who is a moral agent and I don’t hold their Evangelical Protestant assumptions.

I hold Jewish and ancient Christian ones to read the OT and the NT.

BenYachov said...

>If my interpretation is correct, Victor's post is inaccurate bordering on slander against Loftus.

Well Jeff you should take it up with Victor then.

You misread Feser that time then apologized when he pointed out why you where wrong. Which is why you are alright in my book.

IF Victor did that to Loftus then I am sure he will do the same.

BenYachov said...

>So on one strictly logical analysis, it makes no sense to blame atheism for mass murder,

Only if I define Atheism in a strictly negative manner.

I can do the same with Theism wight the same results.

The issue is forcing an ideology on persons against their will.

Stalin and Mao clearly wanted to force Atheism on the masses just as some governments wanted to force some religion on the masses.

To deny this IMHO is not rational.

(Not that I am accusing you I am making a general statement)

BenYachov said...

PL don't fall for Skpt's bullshit.


>At the same time, I've learned something about non-Christian philosophy and arguments against belief (not necessarily in this blog, but in my search for additional understanding). I've learned about
Thomism and the writings of Aquinas, and examined them from a skeptical perspective.

No he treats them like scientific hypothesis rather then philosophical argument and doesn't want to seem to learn the difference.

In short he refuses to learn any philosophy also he claims to know science but the scientifically literate
types here have called him out on his ignorance.

planks length said...

"So let me ask you, planks, why are you here?"

I was introduced to the site by another of the regular commentators here, whom I know outside of the internet. I found it interesting enough to start following, and finally decided to take the plunge and start commenting myself.

BenYachov said...

PL

Sorry about the "son" comments I don't think you are younger than me.

planks length said...

Ben,

Quite all right, kiddo.

Yer all right in my books - just a bit over-the-top at times. Unsolicited advice: Ya need to tone it down a bit. Also, be careful to not type "your" when you mean "you're".

(Plus, I still haven't a clue about what you mean by a "moral agent", but that's me, not you.)

BenYachov said...

>Yer all right in my books - just a bit over-the-top at times.

No argument Sir.

>Unsolicited advice: Ya need to tone it down a bit.

Yeh you’re right.

>Also, be careful to not type "your" when you mean "you're".

I’ll do my best but I am notorious for my bad spkelling and grammer.

>(Plus, I still haven't a clue about what you mean by a "moral agent", but that's me, not you.)

A being who is under the Moral Law and thus obligated to observe it as well as by nature having obligations. This excludes God who is not “a being” but Being Itself. Is the Moral Law Itself & saying God is under the moral law is about as coherent as saying the Queen Regent is a subject of the Queen Regent.

For more information I can’t help but recommend Fr Brian Davies' REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLE OF EVIL.

frances said...

PL

Mao Zedong was a tyrant who, because he was an atheist, had no core beliefs capable of putting the brakes to his own inherent brutality.

It's not that simple PL. Why do you think atheists have "no core beliefs"?

People have behaved brutally to their fellow man ever since the human race began. Do you have any evidence to show that we atheists are actually less moral than you christians?

BenYachov said...

Pl & Francis

This should settle it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/can-you-be-good-without-god

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/does-morality-depend-on-god.html

planks length said...

"Why do you think atheists have "no core beliefs"?"

I did not say that atheists have no core beliefs. I said that they had no core beliefs capable of putting the brakes to their own inherent brutality. I.e., they may very well have core beliefs, but those that they have will not help them out in this matter. How in the world can core beliefs such as human beings are mere "meat machines", that personal identity (or even consciousness itself) is an illusion, that there is no objective morality, that pragmatism is the highest good, that atheists are "on the right side of history" prevent the worst of atrocities? Hint: they can't.

"Do you have any evidence to show that we atheists are actually less moral than you [C]hristians?"

None whatsoever. And the reason that you atheists are likely to be as moral as your neighboring Christians is because you benefit for the societal spillover effect by which even those who are not Christians are still exposed to its teachings, and to the lingering benefits of 2000 years of religious and largely Christian influence on society (giving us such things as the concept of human dignity and freedom, the equality of ethnic groups and the sexes, the responsibilities of the rich and powerful towards the poor and not-powerful, etc.)

im-skeptical said...

"And the reason that you atheists are likely to be as moral as your neighboring Christians is because you benefit for the societal spillover effect by which even those who are not Christians are still exposed to its teachings, and to the lingering benefits of 2000 years of religious and largely Christian influence on society"

You just tell yourself that if it makes you feel better. But the truth is that humans have a basic morality that is part of our nature - a product of our evolution.

frances said...

Ben,

How does this not make the Atheist view bias & non-objective?

I know you struggle with spelling & grammar, but this sentence makes literally no sense at all as a response to my post. Try again, in English please.

Stark is not a professional he is a hack with an agenda like Copan but to the left.

By what criteria is he a "hack" (other than the fact you don't like him because you disagree with him)? What is his agenda and how is it served by what he has written? Do you imagine that you and your female, feminist Jewish apologists are without an agenda of your own?

The cutting off of a woman's hand means a hefty fine? If you believe that Ben, you'll believe anything. Oh, but of course, you will believe anything if it serves your purpose of not facing the truth about your Bronze Age tribal deity.

Unlike Rape and Torture which is why God could never command that directly

But he can and does condone them. Of course, you won't see it. If the Bible included a passage saying "I, the God of Abraham and of Moses, command you to rape the women of the town" that would turn out to mean something like - "I want you to organise a nice picnic, and invite all the women to come along."

Anything, absolutely anything, is capable of being twisted to mean something it doesn't mean by those who don't want to accept the actual meaning. You seem to think I'm going to be hugely impressed by there being a tradition of distorting the meaning of the text. Not impressed at all. Same old same old and utterly predictable.

planks length said...

"the truth is that humans have a basic morality that is part of our nature"

That's exactly right - just as Saint Paul wrote in his Letter to the Romans.

frances said...

This should settle it.

LOL. You're easily pleased.

Samwell Barnes said...

"And the reason that you atheists are likely to be as moral as your neighboring Christians is because you benefit for the societal spillover effect by which even those who are not Christians are still exposed to its teachings, and to the lingering benefits of 2000 years of religious and largely Christian influence on society (giving us such things as the concept of human dignity and freedom, the equality of ethnic groups and the sexes, the responsibilities of the rich and powerful towards the poor and not-powerful, etc.")

Christians don't emphasize this nearly as much as they should, usually opting instead to be prodded into reassuring the atheist that "he can be good too," which is an obvious point.

Two books that really delve into and develop the idea are David Bentley Hart's Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies and Marcello Pera's Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies

Pera, who is himself an atheist, writes the following:

"Not only is anti-Christian secularism wrong, it is also risky. It's wrong because the very ideas on which liberal societies are based and in terms of which they can be justified — the concept of the dignity of the human person, the moral priority of the individual, the view that man is a “crooked timber” inclined to prevarication, the limited confidence in the power of the state to render him virtuous — are typical Christian or, more precisely, Judeo-Christian ideas. Take them away and the open society will collapse. Anti-Christian secularism is risky because it jeopardizes the identity of the West, leaves it with no self-conscience, and deprives people of their sense of belonging. The Founding Fathers of America, as well as major intellectual European figures such as Locke, Kant, and Tocqueville, knew how much our civilization depends on Christianity. Today, American and European culture is shaking the pillars of that civilization."




That said, I do think Hart's book is more profound. He really hammers home the notion that moral grammars in general are historical contingencies, while shredding the idea that there exists a complete set of moral values, completely independent of history and tradition, that everyone can come to if they just "think hard enough."

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Which proposition(s) are represented by the label, "anti-Christian secularism"?

I'm trying to figure out a coherent definition for that which is also compatible with atheism.

Papalinton said...

"Anti-Christian secularism is risky because it jeopardizes the identity of the West, leaves it with no self-conscience, and deprives people of their sense of belonging."

None of this is borne out by the secularization of European countries. Indeed the opposite seems to be the case, on just about any measure one wishes to research, survey and assess.

Of the fifteen top countries on the OECD Better Life Index, all but the US have significantly less or little influential levels of religiosity. Even Ireland, #15 on that list has maintained its ranking within the top 15 despite the momentous decline in religiosity and religious identification in very recent years in what was once arguably a deeply religious country and has done so without compromising its status as one the top countries on the Better Life Index.

So I'm not sure from the back of which Cornflakes box you are getting your information.

BenYachov said...

@Francis

You are seriously uneducated & clueless

>I know you struggle with spelling & grammar, but this sentence makes literally no sense at all as a response to my post. Try again, in English please.

You're the one who made her standard Atheist scholars only. Even secular Feminist and liberal Jewish Feminist Scholars are not objective too you? Why are Atheists who have an agenda to discredit the Bible more objective? They just simply aren’t.

>By what criteria is he a "hack" (other than the fact you don't like him because you disagree with him)? What is his agenda and how is it served by what he has written? Do you imagine that you and your female, feminist Jewish apologists are without an agenda of your own?

I consider him a hack because his arguments are unoriginal & I heard them all before back when I was in College taking course on Bible gentres and exegesis. He is not giving me anything new & haven’t heard once from my liberal religious studies teacher but grew beyond.

> The cutting off of a woman's hand means a hefty fine?

No according to the Mishnah the hebrew of the phrase”You shall cut off the hand without pity” is a metaphor for paying a hefty fine. What you never heard of the phrase “I paid an arm and a leg”? You take that literally do you? This is the interpretation.
Just as I know Jesus didn’t literally advocate self-mutilation when He said “If thy right eye offends thee pluck it out” because that is how the Church interprets it. How is this hard?

>If you believe that Ben, you'll believe anything. Oh, but of course, you will believe anything if it serves your purpose of not facing the truth about your Bronze Age tribal deity.

You dearie are the living embodiment of the maximum "Scratch an Atheist find a fundamentalist". Emotive claims of a “tribal deity” are irrelevant to the fact your default interpretation of the Bible is fundamentalist Protestant. As a Catholic I should hold that faulty interpretation why?

Tis Silly.

BenYachov said...

>But he can and does condone them.

No He merely permits what he does not condone but is not obligated to immediately intervene and stop. Again God is not a moral agent. The idea He is, happens to be a post-enlightenment novelty not the ancient Jewish or Christian belief.

Live with it.

>Of course, you won't see it. If the Bible included a passage saying "I, the God of Abraham and of Moses, command you to rape the women of the town" that would turn out to mean something like - "I want you to organise a nice picnic, and invite all the women to come along.”

Sorry dearie but you must polemic the God I believe in not the one you wished I believed in. You can wish really really hard that some sacred text commands rape but it doesn’t exist. You can equally wish I like Copan believed the text was clear and that the God I believe in was a perfect moral agent. But I come from a Tradition that believes no such "animals" exists.

You must except it.

>Anything, absolutely anything, is capable of being twisted to mean something it doesn't mean by those who don't want to accept the actual meaning.

Which still assumes the perspicuity doctrine of Protestantism. The bible is not plain dearie. When Jesus says “Call no man your Father” is he really banning the term as a title for clergy as some low church Prots claim? Or does he really mean you should start calling your Dad by his first name and abandon all paternal titles?

You tell me & how do I know your interpretation is the correct one? Its your fallible opinion vs the Pope’s alleged fallible opinion. Why should I prefer you over him even if their is no God?

>You seem to think I'm going to be hugely impressed by there being a tradition of distorting the meaning of the text. Not impressed at all. Same old same old and utterly predictable.

You keep knee-jerk assuming & Eisegeting the Bible threw the lens of the Protestant Doctrine of perspicuity.

A doctrine I still reject & as I said in the past you couldn’t even begin to show me might be plausibly taught anywhere in the Bible itself that I must believe it and use it as my starting point. But I can find Tradition(2 Thes 3:6), Church authority (1 Tim 3:15, Matt 16:18) and Scripture (2 Tim3:16) as my authority in the Bible but not the perspicacious bible alone doctrine you keep channeling me like some Baptist.

What part of Catholic do ye not understand sweetie?

BenYachov said...

>LOL. You're easily pleased.

Didn't read it did you dearie?

I thought you would be pleased it said that Catholic believe Atheists can be naturally good & naturally moral via their human nature?

As opposed to the view that some might erroneously hold that they are not capable of any good without formal belief in God.

There is no pleasing some people.

Or more likely you didn't read it.

BenYachov said...

Is there a secular basis for morality?

Aristotle thought so and so do Thomists by extension thought natural law morality alone is considered inferior to the full moral teaching that comes from both the natural law and divine revelation

im-skeptical said...

I'm really curious. What morality comes to you from divine revelation?

BenYachov said...

>I'm really curious. What morality comes to you from divine revelation?

I will be nice and give you two examples assuming you are sincere in wanting to know.

Natural Law mandates marriage is between a man and a woman. But nothing in natural
law prohibits polygamy or I might even say polyandry.

The divine law of the NT mandates monogamy.

In a like matter in the case of mere natural marriage the proper public authority or religious authority can dissolve a natural marriage. Such as when two non baptized people are married or only one of them is baptized.

Two Baptized people who are validly marriage OTOH cannot have their marriage dissolved save by death. according to the divine revelation of the New Covenant.

Victor Reppert said...

Loftus did not say he would put people who violated the rights of gays, or refuse to take their children to the hospital, in mental institutions, though he would prevent them by governmental force from doing those things. Though I suppose someone could look at some things people might do on the basis of their religion as something that the government should oppose by force, and conceivably the range of such unacceptable behaviors might be increased. For example, there might be "hate speech" laws that prevent someone from publicly saying that homosexuality is a sin. But then, there are difficult cases that even a Christian should have to recognize. Should the government interfere with snake-handling if it is evident that it is exposing innocent people to harm?

im-skeptical said...

"I suppose someone could look at some things people might do on the basis of their religion as something that the government should oppose by force, and conceivably the range of such unacceptable behaviors might be increased."

If you want to know what things would really be like, you should read The Illuminati by Larry Burkett.

frances said...

Ben,

You're the one who made her standard Atheist scholars only. Even secular Feminist and liberal Jewish Feminist Scholars are not objective too you? Why are Atheists who have an agenda to discredit the Bible more objective? They just simply aren’t.

Ah, now I see. As usual, you do not understand what your opponent's point actually is so you say something that has no bearing on what has gone before and preen yourself when you deludedly believe you have refuted a point that they never actually made.

I did not make my standard atheist scholars only. My standard was that if something is a viable interpretation then it will be supported by not just those who have an interest in supporting it but by at least some of those who have no interest in supporting it, or even an interest in supporting the opposite view. It is precisely because the active atheist has an agenda to discredit he bible that having one on your side would be so valuable.

You said that you would continue to believe that your interpretations were correct even if you became an atheist. And if there was any merit in those interpretations that is what we should expect to find: that some atheists would argue for them in spite of the fact that it would be more helpful to their stance qua atheist to attack those interpretations. It is not that atheists are per se more objective. It is that an atheists who accepts a position which is not favourable to the atheist view point is prima facie displaying evidence objectivity by doing so.

It is more helpful to atheism to say that Jesus never existed than to argue that there is strong evidence that he did. But that is exactly what some atheists and agnostics do argue. The mythicist camp consists only of atheists and agnostics, which makes it highly suspect, in my view. The historical person camp consists not just of Christians BUT INCLUDES ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS. That is a very strong point in its favour.

frances said...

The problem with you, Ben (well, it's not your only problem, but let's just stick to your intellectual problems here) is that you have no analytical skills. You cannot look at an argument and work out what the argument actually is. You pick out a few words here and there, cobble them together into an argument which exists only in your head and is nowhere to be found on the page, then go at it bull-headed. Presumably this is why you rely on Mishnahs and the church fathers to do your thinking for you. The moment you let go of their hands and try to toddle off on your own to construct some original response, you make such a hash of it.

Who can forget your impassioned invocation of Robert Bolt's passage put into the mouth of Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons" to aid of your argument that the individual conscience should be above the law? Except that that was the exact opposite of the meaning of that speech.

Anyway, since you do find it very difficult to construe any argument unless you are parroting from some authority figure, let me try and spell it out for you as clearly as I can:
1. IF AN ATHEIST SUPPORTS A READING OF THE BIBLE WHICH IS HELPFUL TO THEISM, THAT IS SIGNIFICANT.
2. IF AN ATHEIST SUPPORTS A READING OF THE BIBLE WHICH IS UNHELPFUL TO THEISM, THAT IS NOT SIGNIFICANT.

That's not to say that the unsympathetic atheist bible interpretation is wrong, but it should be treated with caution. And the same goes the other way, but with any luck you will have got the real point now, so I won't have to write it all in large case - Christian/Jew supports interpretation of the bible unhelpful to theism - meh. Christian supports bible interpretation unhelpful to theism - now you're talking.

However much you may dislike/disagree with Thom Stark, he is a Christian and he has no conceivable motive to undermine the bible ( & don't go all "no true Scotsman" on me). I notice that you did not come up with any answer to my question about his agenda and how it was advanced by his publications. Because you can't.

Stark's argument against Copan is notable primarily for its detailed linguistic scholarship in refuting Copan's claims. I don't think that Stark himself would claim that the argument that the OT is full of vileness held up as virtue is an original one.

The only people who support your humane interpretation of the Deuteronomy laws are those who have an interest in arguing for that interpretation. Find me an atheist who supports them and I'll be interested. After all, you are surely not unique among the human race that you would be able to see the rightness of that interpretation even if you had no theist agenda?

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

What you never heard of the phrase “I paid an arm and a leg”?

Yes, I've heard of it and I don't take it literally. But you are not comparing like with like. If somebody said to me "I got caught speeding the other day and it cost me an arm and a leg" then I would understand that as a metaphor. But if a statute was drafted to say "The fine for exceeding the speed limit shall be the loss of an arm and a leg" then that is not at all the same thing, because in the context of a legal provision, precision is all. It would be plain silly to have a punitive provision which didn't mean literally what it said, gave no useful guidance as to what the real fine should be and was open to being interpreted as requiring amputation as a penalty for speeding!

You can equally wish I like Copan believed the text was clear

Where do you get the idea that Copan thinks the text is clear? He has made a career out of writing books to explain how the text doesn't mean what it seems to mean.

I have never actually come across a Christian who said that atheists are more likely to behave immorally than theists. The comments on this thread are the closest I have ever come to hearing such a suggestion, so, no, I am not overcome with gratitude for the fact that a theist accepts what any idiot ought to be able to see is true. I am not a utilitarian so the article did not have much relevance from my POV.

im-skeptical said...

frances,

"The mythicist camp consists only of atheists and agnostics, which makes it highly suspect, in my view."

I tend to agree with your point, but this may net be the best example. Someone who accepts the argument of Jesus as myth must not be a Christian by definition.

frances said...

Skep,

Thanks, yes I agree. By the time I got to that part of my post I was getting tired with the effort necessary to explain what ought to be too obvious to need explanation. So although I realised that it was not the best example, I decided it would have to do.

Hopefully the principle is now sufficiently clear for even Ben to "get it". It's the philosophical equivilent of the well-established legal principle that an admission contrary to interest is admissible in evidence:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_against_interest

frances said...

Edit on my post @ 3.48
"- Christian/Jew supports interpretation of the bible unhelpful to theism - meh."

Should have read "helpful to theism..."

BenYachov said...

Francis

Tonight I will deal with your lack of critical thinking and pathological stupidity plus your tendency to ignore what I actually wrote and in fact things I've already conceded. .

But it is as I said with you "Scratch an Atheist find a fundamentalist".

>Where do you get the idea that Copan thinks the text is clear? He has made a career out of writing books to explain how the text doesn't mean what it seems to mean.

I meant that as a Protestant he believes in Luther's Perspicuity doctrine as do you apparently"

For example: "Presumably this is why you rely on Mishnahs and the church fathers to do your thinking for you. The moment you let go of their hands and try to toddle off on your own to construct some original response, you make such a hash of it."

I love being right.

Till tonight.

planks length said...

Frances,

Although I would have used far different words, I have to agree with Ben here. You write "you rely on Mishnahs and the church fathers to do your thinking for you" as though there was something wrong with that. I fail to see what that "something" might be. I do not attempt to replicate the experiments going on at CERN to aid me in my personal understanding of subatomic structure, but rather bow to the wisdom of the experts. I feel no need to re-invent the airplane before flying on one. In like manner, in matters of scriptural interpretation, I would far sooner trust the word of an Augustine, a Thomas Aquinas, or of any one of the Church Fathers over my own. At the very least, I would not presume to contradict them without darn good reason, and long and careful thought (and a good deal of fear and trembling).

Ben is quite right that most non-believers prefer to tilt against the windmills of fundamentalism, wooden literalism, and sola scriptura, rather than against the Wisdom of the Church.

Now why is that? Perhaps they know that they'd (figuratively) have their heads handed to them on a platter?

BenYachov said...

BTW

One more thing till tonight maybe two...

>However much you may dislike/disagree with Thom Stark, he is a Christian and he has no conceivable motive to undermine the bible....

He denies the Deity of Christ how is he a Christian?

If you are going to cite liberal scholars I might give you the time of day if you at least pick someone competent like Fr. Raymond Brown.

>The only people who support your humane interpretation of the Deuteronomy laws are those who have an interest in arguing for that interpretation.

Yet the Mishnah says the extermination commands where to be carried out literally?

The Bible is not the sole source of revelation for ancient Jews and Christians.

Get over it.

Ilíon said...

PL: "Ben is quite right that most non-believers prefer to tilt against the windmills of fundamentalism, wooden literalism, and sola scriptura, rather than against the Wisdom of the Church."

Do you even know what 'sola scriptura' is/means? Or, like that fool, Son-of-Confusion, are you content to denegrate it as some "fundie" thing while refusing to acknowledge that it is 'this' and not 'that'? Or, do you go even further (again, like that fool, Son-of-Confusion) and subscribe to the 'sola scriptura' doctrine ... while mocking it when it is *called* 'sola scriptura'?

As for the Wisdom of The One True Bureaucracy, that's not working out all that well this past year, is it? Whatever are "conservative" Catholics (of course, I do understand that you're not conservative) going to do, where are they going to stand, should the current Chief Bureaucrat come up with a real head-spinner? What? Are they going to appeal to the Bible (*) while continuing to denegrate/mock the 'sola scriptura' doctrine?

(*) (**) Oh, wait! Many of them already are.

BenYachov said...

See Francis your "arguments" are better suited to Ilion.

He is not Catholic or Orthodox Jewish.

But I think he would agree with me Stark is not a Christian.

planks length said...

Ilion,

I do understand sola scriptura, and do not agree with it. I believe (along with the Evangelists, St. Paul, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Polycarp of Smyrna, and all the Early Church Fathers that Christ established a living continuity of authoritative teaching, which in unbroken succession is with us today physically as the Magisterium.

And yes, there is a bureaucracy associated with the Holy Roman Catholic Church, which sometimes does stupid things. So what? It does not affect in the slightest the validity of Church teachings.

Speaking of "conservative" Catholics, I despise labeling church members, trying to always keep in mind the meaning of "Catholic".

That said, I am rather traditional in my personal liturgical practices. I pray the Rosary (but not daily). I pray the Brevarium Romanum (also, unfortunately, not daily). I do pray quite traditional prayers mornings and evenings, and always in Latin. I do not attend a Latin Mass, nor do I search one out. What does that make me? I guess a Catholic.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

of course Stark is a Christian. But he's just not a "gnu Christian". He's one of the good ones.

frances said...

Skep,

re Stark - my sentiments exactly! A thoughtful & intellligent chhristian who is not afraid to face some uncomfortable truths about the bible.

Ben,

I love being right

have you given it up for lent, then?

Ilíon said...

PL: "I do understand sola scriptura ..."

Since you understand it, would you be so kind as to state its content?

That prancing fool, Son-of-Confusion, also understands 'sola scriptura' ... he just likes to misrepresent it as part of his Rah-Rah Catholic schtick.

planks length said...

Ilion,

The doctrine of SS states that all that is necessary for salvation and right living may be found in the Bible, and that any teaching that cannot be fully justified by reference to scripture alone is either (at best) not binding on believers, or (at worst) false.

An inevitable corollary to SS (even when its adherents deny this) is the primacy of private interpretation of the Bible.

BenYachov said...

I posted this earlier in this thread & it is apparent Francis hasn't read it.

QUOTE"You are begging the question & thus boring the shit out me. If God does not exist plausibly these verses could have originally meant negatively what you want them to mean. But still it is evident the Rabbis and Church Fathers and the Catholic Church gave them a benevolent meaning later on.

That later meaning is the one that holds for for us not yours. OTOH if God does not exist maybe the benevolent meaning & interpretation was always the meaning?

But in either case if there is no God then what the Bible really means is not relevant. You need to get off your lazy butt and start by learning some good philosophy so you can argue against the existence of God.

You will never win with any Catholic arguing the meaning of the Bible. We reject private interpretation and we are not biblicists like the Protestants are so you need to accept the fact your polemics are non-starters.

If that truth is too inconvenient for you then too bad dearie.

Not my problem.


March 14, 2014 12:23 PM
END QUOTE

BenYachov said...

>The problem with you, Ben (well, it's not your only problem, but let's just stick to your intellectual problems here) is that you have no analytical skills. You cannot look at an argument and work out what the argument actually is.

Francis you haven't made any arguments here dearie. You claimed the Bible taught rape. I refuted it & your response is to stamp your feet and insist on Sola Scriptura & Perspecuity.

Like I said argue with Ilion or some other Protestant.

frances said...

PL,

I do think that there is something very wrong with delegating your thinking to somebody else. I agree that nobody can be an expert on everything and these days very few of us can be an expert one more than one thing, that thing being usually a small part of a single discipline.

When you form an opinion on something outside your own area of expertise then it is not only permissible to consult the experts, it would be sheer folly to do anything else. But that is not the same as saying you accept whatever you are told uncritically and never look at any contrary opinions with an open mind.

And it certainly doesn't mean that you are entitled to respond during a debate by simply saying: "Well, that's what Aquinas/Dawkins/L. Ron Hubbard [etc. pick any other authority figure according to taste] says, so there. Deal with it." The argument from authority is still a fallacy! Why come on this site if all you are going to do is hide behind authority figures and not debate in your own words?

That doesn't mean that you can't acknowledge that somebody else has said what you are trying to say before you, and said it much better. It's perfectly permissible within the rules of debate to cut & paste from someone who you think words the argument particularly well, as long as you bear in mind that you do not actually argue your case let alone refute your opponent's by the simple act of quoting or linking, no matter how august the source you have linked to.

Where there is agreement from all or virtually all experts on a particular discipline (e.g. the theory of evolution) then it will be sensible to proceed on the assumption that that is correct, since no respectable member of the scientific community rejects it. Don't close your mind, but you can presume its correctness until some serious challenge comes forward.

Where experts disagree, then reaching a decision will be harder. E.g. I'm not a climate change denier myself, but there is some support from the deniers which seems to be from people who do have relevant expertise, so my acceptance of the climate change model is less confident than my acceptance evolution and I would be less surprised to find evidence that made me change my mind.

planks length said...

Just to disabuse you of some terrible misconceptions about me:

"you accept whatever you are told uncritically and never look at any contrary opinions with an open mind"

Who says I do such things? Read my comment again. I wrote: "I would not presume to contradict [the Church Fathers] without darn good reason, and long and careful thought." That does not sound "uncritical" or "closed minded" to me.

"Why come on this site if all you are going to do is hide behind authority figures and not debate in your own words?"

Oh, my! You must be responding to somebody else here. Please show me where I've ever done that.

"That doesn't mean that you can't acknowledge that somebody else has said what you are trying to say before you, and said it much better."

Well, I'm glad for that! Because every idea I've ever had fits that description.

frances said...

Ben,

That's it? That's your big fat refutation?

If God does not exist plausibly these verses could have originally meant negatively what you want them to mean.

Ok. I would put it more the other way round: that these verses are not compatible with a benevolent deity and so their existence is evidence that the Christian God does not exist.

But still it is evident the Rabbis and Church Fathers and the Catholic Church gave them a benevolent meaning later on.

Agreed.

That later meaning is the one that holds for for us not yours

Yes, you accept what you are told to.

OTOH if God does not exist maybe the benevolent meaning & interpretation was always the meaning?

Why?

But in either case if there is no God then what the Bible really means is not relevant

Relevant to what? Atheists come onto this site to advance their contention that belief in God is irrational. The contorted interpretation of certain bible passages which is required in order to avoid recognising that Yahweh was just another tribal deity, no better than Anat or Ba'al, is part of our argument. So it is relevant to us.

Francis you haven't made any arguments here dearie. You claimed the Bible taught rape. I refuted it & your response is to stamp your feet and insist on Sola Scriptura & Perspecuity

The argument to which I was referring was my argument that a bunch of Jewish, female, feminists would be highly motivated to exculpate the offending passages so that they could reconcile their feminism with their Judaism. Like you are highly motivated to exculpate those passages, so that you can reconcile you belief that God is good with the barbarous laws made by Yahweh. You got it completely arse about face and started wittering on about how I was only prepared to accept atheists as objective.

You haven't refuted the claim that the bible taught rape. You have said that a bunch of other people all say that it doesn't teach rape. That is not a refutation. I might as well say that I have refuted the ontological argument because I can cite a number of prominent philosophers who reject it.

frances said...

PL,

I was referring to somebody else. Specifically Ben. Your comment was on the back of a post I had addressed to Ben and so what I wrote was all intended to justify the words I had addressed to Ben.

I hope that clarifies it?

BenYachov said...

>That's it? That's your big fat refutation?

No I've been busy all day.

Don't you have a life?

BenYachov said...
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BenYachov said...
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BenYachov said...
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BenYachov said...

Francis

Well your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. You clearly haven’t been following what I have written or what I’ve been saying.

>It is more helpful to atheism to say that Jesus never existed than to argue that there is strong evidence that he did. But that is exactly what some atheists and agnostics do argue. The mythicist camp consists only of atheists and agnostics, which makes it highly suspect, in my view. The historical person camp consists not just of Christians BUT INCLUDES ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS. That is a very strong point in its favour.


But as Skept pointed out in a rare moment of insight Christians even of the most liberal type can’t say Jesus never existed.

Still Myther arguments themselves are weak sauce which is why some Atheists are on the other side. But Secular Liberal Jewish Feminists do support my interpretations & you have no response other then to channel your inner Fundamentalist or channel a contrary liberal like Stark. What conservative Christian scholars support your interpretations? Because by this standard only Atheists and Agnostic support yours or some extreme liberals but as we can see not all of them do.


>The problem with you, Ben (well, it's not your only problem, but let's just stick to your intellectual problems here) is that you have no analytical skills. You cannot look at an argument and work out what the argument actually is. You pick out a few words here and there, cobble them together into an argument which exists only in your head and is nowhere to be found on the page, then go at it bull-headed.


Physician heal thyself daring.

> Presumably this is why you rely on Mishnahs and the church fathers to do your thinking for you. The moment you let go of their hands and try to toddle off on your own to construct some original response, you make such a hash of it.

Dearie I simply don’t believe God can even in principle produce a text that is so clear it wouldn’t need some level of authoritative interpretation. So your constant rah rah for Luther’s Perspecuity doctrine will no doubt warm a Fundamentalist’s heart.


But what part of "I am Catholic" do you still not understand here dearie?

>Who can forget your impassioned invocation of Robert Bolt's passage put into the mouth of Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons" to aid of your argument that the individual conscience should be above the law? Except that that was the exact opposite of the meaning of that speech.


Which as others here who came to my defense pointed out you misunderstood badly.

>Anyway, since you do find it very difficult to construe any argument unless you are parroting from some authority figure, let me try and spell it out for you as clearly as I can:

>1. IF AN ATHEIST SUPPORTS A READING OF THE BIBLE WHICH IS HELPFUL TO THEISM, THAT IS SIGNIFICANT.
>2. IF AN ATHEIST SUPPORTS A READING OF THE BIBLE WHICH IS UNHELPFUL TO THEISM, THAT IS NOT SIGNIFICANT.


How is it anymore sugnificant then Secular or Liberal Jewish Feminists I’ve cited who no doubt have a view of Inspiration no different then Stark’s?


BenYachov said...

>That's not to say that the unsympathetic atheist bible interpretation is wrong, but it should be treated with caution. And the same goes the other way, but with any luck you will have got the real point now, so I won't have to write it all in large case - Christian/Jew supports interpretation of the bible unhelpful to theism - meh. Christian supports bible interpretation unhelpful to theism - now you're talking.


Had you bothered to read what I wrote I already admitted unsympathetic interpretation possible if God does not exist but it’s still not mandated. Especially in light of the fact ancient Jews and Christians didn’t believe in your rehashed Lutheranism.



>However much you may dislike/disagree with Thom Stark, he is a Christian and he has no conceivable motive to undermine the bible ( & don't go all "no true Scotsman" on me). I notice that you did not come up with any answer to my question about his agenda and how it was advanced by his publications. Because you can’t


But I can still say a full blooded Irishmen is not a Scotsman. An Anti-trinitarian self confessed Agnostic “Christian” isn’t any type of Christian by Catholic standard or most Protestant ones either. Stark does have an agenda. He is militantly anti-inerrantism as much as Copan is Pro-inerrantit(via the Protestant understanding of inerrancy).


>Stark's argument against Copan is notable primarily for its detailed linguistic scholarship in refuting Copan's claims.


Yes in Protestant or Kararite Fashion(Kararites where Turkish Jews in the 9th century who rejected Tradition to follow the Torah alone. They where the Protestants of Judaism) Stark hold the Bible to be taken solely literally at face value. That is because he rejects tradition and Church authority so that is all he has to go on.


BenYachov said...

>The only people who support your humane interpretation of the Deuteronomy laws are those who have an interest in arguing for that interpretation. Find me an atheist who supports them and I'll be interested. After all, you are surely not unique among the human race that you would be able to see the rightness of that interpretation even if you had no theist agenda?



Your ignorant claim the interpretations where always “humane” is comically ignorant. Like I said the Mishnah and the Church Fathers all interpreted the extermination commands literally. You just simply don’t know what you are talking about.


>But if a statute was drafted to say "The fine for exceeding the speed limit shall be the loss of an arm and a leg" then that is not
at all the same thing, because in the context of a legal provision, precision is all.


This is laughably stupid! You are assuming modern European views of jurist prudence when reading Torah and not Halakkah.
That is like interpreting the US Constitution via the lens of Soviet Legal tradition or ancient Chinese. The Talmud doesn’t take that approach & doesn’t take this law to enforce mutilation.edjkmnc Weird how you reject interpreting a Jewish text by
Jewish standards?


> It would be plain silly to have a punitive provision which didn't mean literally what it said, gave no useful guidance as to what the real fine should be and was open to being interpreted as requiring amputation as a penalty for speeding!


Your assuming the ancients each had their own personal copies of the KJV Torah. No the OT itself says cases have to be taken too the Priests who judge and interpret Torah. Obviously as we can see from the Mishnah this particular Law was
not interpreted literally. There is nothing in the context of the words of Jesus to indicate he wasn’t speaking literally when he said “If thy right eye offend thee pluck it out…."

BenYachov said...


>Ok. I would put it more the other way round: that these verses are not compatible with a benevolent deity and so their existence is evidence that the Christian God does not exist.

What kind "benevolent deity”? I still come from a Judeo-Christian Tradition that doesn’t believe any Theistic Personalist deity who is a moral agent ?

No such god exists.


>Agreed.

You missed my point. It’s doesn’t matter what you think it means. It is what we think it means or what the people who read a particular scripture think it means.

>Yes, you accept what you are told to.

Of course I belong to a religion that believes it’s sacred Scripture cannot be interpreted privately.
2 Peter 1:20-21

>Why?

Why not? Besides if God doesn’t exist the Mishnah still says “cut off the hand without pity” means a fine. How do I know that is wrong?

“Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda.”Article 52 Soviet Constitution.

Francis do you really want to tell me with a straight face the Communists understood this Law the way Americans understand the 1st Amendment?

The Koran says “There is no compunction in religion” but some Muslims Legal experts believe this law has been abrogated.

Different legal traditions and cultures have different standards then you do Francis.

Reading your modern assumptions into ancient texts is beyond silly.

>Relevant to what? Atheists come onto this site to advance their contention that belief in God is irrational. The contorted interpretation of certain bible passages which is required in order to avoid recognising that Yahweh was just another tribal deity, no better than Anat or Ba'al, is part of our argument. So it is relevant to us.

What is relevant is your inability to distinguish between different religious traditions and tendency to treat all religions with a one size fits all
polemic. Which is self-defeating and stupid.

>The argument to which I was referring was my argument that a bunch of Jewish, female, feminists would be highly motivated to exculpate the offending passages so that they could reconcile their feminism with their Judaism.

Sorry dearie but I’ve read them. They are fearless in their criticisms of Jewish Law where they believe it is interpreted to downgrade women. I’ve read them. You haven’t and are making up motives.

>Like you are highly motivated to exculpate those passages, so that you can reconcile you belief that God is good with the barbarous laws made by Yahweh. You got it completely arse about face and started wittering on about how I was only prepared to accept atheists as objective.

Dearie you think like a fundamentalist. I don’t. That is the difference between us.

>You haven't refuted the claim that the bible taught rape. You have said that a bunch of other people all say that it doesn't teach rape. That is not a refutation. I might as well say that I have refuted the ontological argument because I can cite a number of prominent philosophers who reject it.

You are still channeling your neo-Protestant assumptions & it’s anachronistic and silly.

im-skeptical said...

"What kind "benevolent deity”? I still come from a Judeo-Christian Tradition that doesn’t believe any Theistic Personalist deity who is a moral agent ?"

http://www.catholic.com/documents/gods-love-for-you

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/04/11/gods-love-is-source-of-hope-says-pope/

BenYachov said...

Those are lovely links Skept.


What do they it have to do with what I just said?

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