Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tim McGrew v. Peter Boghossian debate

Here. 

57 comments:

Saints and Sceptics said...

It's an excellent debate, and Tim does a wonderful job correcting Boghossian's flawed understanding of faith and reason. JW Wartick summarises proceedings here:
http://jwwartick.com/2014/05/26/mcgrew-boghossian/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

We've replied to Boghossian here:
http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/faith-simple-lessons-for-new-atheists/

im-skeptical said...

"Tim does a wonderful job correcting Boghossian's flawed understanding of faith and reason"

Now, if only there were somebody smart enough to correct theists' abysmal understanding of naturalism and rationality.

Incidentally, if you had evidence, you wouldn't need faith.

B. Prokop said...

Amazing, just amazing.

Boghossian starts out by defining faith in a way that ABSOLUTELY NO (educated) BELIEVER would ever define it, and then proceeds to demolish his fantasy strawman. Well good for him. I could do the same thing: Atheism is defined as the belief that only red-haired people can reproduce. Well, I see brown haired parents all the time. Ergo, atheism is false.

There's Boghossian's "reasoning" for you!

B. Prokop said...

Another point. Boghossian defends his ridiculous definition against McGrew's formal one, on the grounds that the formal definition is used only by academics and theologians, while his idiosyncratic (and highly prejudicial) alternative is more common among the Great Unwashed. Against this, I respond thusly:

1. Most believers couldn't give you a coherent definition of Faith if their life depended on it. But what's so wrong with that? I haven't a clue as to how my laptop works, but it still does the job. In like manner, a Christian does not need to know how he is saved by Faith - he just needs to know that he is.

2. Common usage does not make a false definition true. In astronomy, with which I am somewhat familiar, 99% of the populace badly misuses many technical terms, such as light-year or gravitational attraction. But that does not make their erroneous understanding of the terms' correct meanings legitimate. It just makes them wrong.

McGrew's cited definition of Faith (trust or confidence in a person or thing) is universally used by competent authorities, and is the correct one - not Boghossian's ludicrous caricature.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

The difference between your definition and Boghossian's is that your is invented from thin air and completely false. His accurately depicts the reality of 'faith', even if you are afraid to admit it. It is consistent with what most people generally understand by the term. I refer you to the dictionary:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

I would add that I read somewhere in the catholic encyclopedia that religious faith must take precedence over rational inquiry. They wouldn't want to see people leaving the fold intellectual reasons, would they?

You don't want to face the reality that your religious belief is not based on evidence. I can understand that. It must be very discomforting to know that there is real evidence that leads thinking people away from religious belief, if only they are willing to see it for what it is. But you just go on taking comfort in your religion, and faith will help you subdue the cognitive dissonance.

B. Prokop said...

"yours is invented from thin air and completely false"

What? It's from the OED. You can't get less made up false than that!

"You don't want to face the reality that your religious belief is not based on evidence."

Baloney! Just baloney. I have multiple times on this site gone over the far more than adequate evidence for the literal, historical, physical Resurrection of Christ. The evidence is out there, it is convincing, and it has yet to be answered in any meaningful fashion despite 2000 years of attempts by people who wish it weren't true.

im-skeptical said...

"I have multiple times on this site gone over the far more than adequate evidence ..."

The bible says that people saw the risen Jesus. So it must be true.
People at the time were convinced, and that's enough to convince me (their ignorance and superstition notwithstanding).
Believers have had 2000 years to hone their arguments and devise clever refutations of evidence-based arguments. So whatever argument you make, I have a pat answer for it.
I look at the sunset, and it makes me feel all fuzzy. Therefore, God exists.

B. Prokop said...

"The bible says that people saw the risen Jesus. So it must be true."

You do realize that you are utterly hopeless, right? I am not about to get sucked into your game of making someone else repeat themselves endlessly, only for you to go back to the same stupid statement you started out with (like the one above). So go for it. Use your google search engine, and look up the 10 million times we've gone over this in the past. It's all there already in black and white (well, in ones and zeros). And beyong this website, libraries are full of evidence for the Resurrection beyond "people saw the risen Jesus", yet you remain brickheadedly oblivious.

So go ahead - you get the last word.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm-skeptical

Oh dear, oh dear. You seem to think that puerile insults are a substitute for evidence. Anyhow...

"1.confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability."

That's the first definition given by the dictionary you cite.

That's without getting into how "pistis" is used in the Graeco-Roman world or in the New Testament. Or how Thomas Aquinas used the term (it entails something like absolute certainty for Thomas). Or how the Lutheran and Reformed Confessions use the term. Or how its used in evangelical preaching.

You feel free to defenestrate as many straw men as you like...but don't expect anyone with a library card to take such embarrassingly ill-informed nonsense seriously.

Graham

Saints and Sceptics said...

Or to put that in terms that you might understand a little better ...

you, sir, fail "The MGonz Test"

http://www.saintsandsceptics.org/the-mgonz-test/

im-skeptical said...

Definition #2 was the relevant one. Of course, if you were at all interested in truth, you probably would have addressed the relevant issue, and not try to divert to yet another strawman.

Or to put it a little more bluntly, I have yet to see a Christian directly address the REAL challenges to his faith, with honest, straightforward answers and real evidence that an impartial judge would find satisfactory.

B. Prokop said...

"the REAL challenges to his faith"

So what are these "REAL challenges" that have not been directly addressed?

Saints and Sceptics said...

I don't see any evidence that I couldn't have a more informative conversation with a chat-bot.

Seriously. You don't make any substantial points. You just reword the same insult over and over. It keeps the "conversation" going, but I might as well be talking to someone in Searle's Chinese Room.

For example, the second definition said "proof", not "evidence". The definition of religious faith made no reference to epistemic standards.

So you just scanned a dictionary for anything that seemed to support your prejudice without putting any thought into what you were doing.

Truthfully, I think that there are cult members who are more open-minded than some online atheists. You read that Christianity demands blind faith and no amount of evidence can convince you otherwise.

Graham

grodrigues said...

@im-skeptical:

"I have yet to see a Christian directly address the REAL challenges to his faith, with honest, straightforward answers and real evidence that an impartial judge would find satisfactory."

You are an "impartial judge"?

Anyway, whether you are one or not, it is a fact that practically no theist commenting on this site is really interested in arguing with you; there is more intellectual satisfaction in throwing peanuts at a caged monkey.

im-skeptical said...

"So you just scanned a dictionary for anything that seemed to support your prejudice without putting any thought into what you were doing."

No, I didn't "scan" for anything. I know what the definition of 'faith' is. You Christians may have your own special definition for it, but that is nothing more than putting what you see as a positive spin on the true nature of your faith.

As for open-mindedness, I have asked Christians about what would convince them that their religion is false, and I have never heard them admit that any realistic evidence would do it for them. Faith overrides reason, despite what they claim.

B. Prokop said...

"no theist commenting on this site is really interested in arguing with you"

Speaking only for myself, I'm not sure I've ever actually had an argument with Skep. What usually occurs is something like this: He writes something breathtakingly boneheaded. I correct him. He goes off on either a non sequitur or a wild tangent. Hours or days later, he posts the identical "thought" which began the previous exchange, as though nothing whatsoever has been said.

Case in point - his comment above implying that people only believe in the Resurrection because "the Bible says so". This despite the oceans of ink (well, the millions of ones and zeros) that have been spilt on this very topic, demonstrating that (at the very least) no one that posts to DI thinks that way - no one. Yet I guarantee you he'll be repeating it again... and again... and again.

An argument implies communication, and I see no sign of that occurring here.

B. Prokop said...

"I have asked Christians about what would convince them that their religion is false, and I have never heard them admit that any realistic evidence would do it for them."

FALSE. I have more than once posted to DI that I would drop Christianity like a hot potato, were somebody to produce verifiable proof that Christ did not rise from the dead. (Or at the very least, produce an alternative narrative that wasn't more full of holes than Albert Hall.)

im-skeptical said...

"An argument implies communication, and I see no sign of that occurring here."

Case in point: "He writes something breathtakingly boneheaded. I correct him." Now there's communication for you. Any chance you would actually consider the things I say? No way.

"verifiable proof that Christ did not rise from the dead"

Physics be damned. Absence of independent historical evidence be damned. What you want is something that can't ever be produced by anyone, regardless of what the truth is. This is exactly as I said.

Saints and Sceptics said...

OK
Let's play the McAtheist game.

I'm Skeptical


Any chance you would actually consider the things I say? No way.
The difference between your definition and McGrew's is that your is invented from thin air and completely false.
His accurately depicts the reality of 'faith', even if you are afraid to admit it. It is consistent with what most people generally understand by the term. I refer you to the dictionary:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

I would add that nowhere does the catholic encyclopedia say that religious faith must take precedence over rational inquiry. But McAtheists won't admit that; wouldn't want to see people leaving the fold intellectual reasons, would they?

You don't want to face the reality that your rejection of religious belief is not based on evidence. I can understand that. It must be very discomforting to know that there is real evidence that leads thinking people to Christian faith, if only they are willing to see it for what it is.
But you just go on taking comfort in your pseudo-religion, and faith in New Atheist memes will help you subdue the cognitive dissonance.


Graham

Saints and Sceptics said...

OK
Let's play the McAtheist game.

I'm Skeptical


Any chance you would actually consider the things I say? No way.
The difference between your definition and McGrew's is that your is invented from thin air and completely false.
His accurately depicts the reality of 'faith', even if you are afraid to admit it. It is consistent with what most people generally understand by the term. I refer you to the dictionary:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

I would add that nowhere does the catholic encyclopedia say that religious faith must take precedence over rational inquiry. But McAtheists won't admit that; wouldn't want to see people leaving the fold intellectual reasons, would they?

You don't want to face the reality that your rejection of religious belief is not based on evidence. I can understand that. It must be very discomforting to know that there is real evidence that leads thinking people to Christian faith, if only they are willing to see it for what it is.
But you just go on taking comfort in your pseudo-religion, and faith in New Atheist memes will help you subdue the cognitive dissonance.


Graham

Saints and Sceptics said...

That felt so nice I said it twice.
(By accident!)
But it shows how easy this Gnu business is.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I'm Skeptical sounds an awful lot like a blogger we all know...all that rot about cognitive dissonance...reminds me vaguely of

B. Prokop said...

"Any chance you would actually consider the things I say?"

But I do consider them, Skep. I do. I consider them... to be breathtakingly boneheaded.

im-skeptical said...

Graham,

You have done a superb job of showing what theistic arguments are made of: pure fluff, and no substance. What else can you do when you don't have evidence on your side of the discussion? You can mock me and claim that what I believe if faith-based as much as yours, but you must understand that atheism is what we (many of us) come to AFTER listening to and weighing the evidence and the arguments, unlike your religion, which (for the vast majority of theists) was instilled and indoctrinated from birth, and never subjected to anything close to real, objective scrutiny. You think the evidence for the resurrection is really good - are you kidding me? The only way you could possibly think that is to have your mind made up before you ever consider its merits. The evidence wouldn't convince an intelligent ten-year-old who wasn't already indoctrinated or invested in the belief system.

So just keep repeating your AFR (with its false assumptions) and convince yourself that atheists are the irrational ones.

B. Prokop said...

"are you kidding me?"

No, we're not kidding you. We're completely serious.

"The only way you could possibly think that is to have your mind made up before you ever consider its merits."

Really? Then how do you explain the untold numbers of adults who came to believe in the Resurrection in the first centuries, when their minds were in no way "made up" before hearing the Gospel? Are you saying that all the converts St. Paul made were already closet Christians before they ever even heard of Christ? How is that possible?

And speaking of Paul, how then do you explain his own conversion? His mind was definitely not "made up" in favor of the Resurrection. In fact, it was quite the reverse. He was actively hostile to the doctrine.

Your statement is... breathtakingly boneheaded.

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

In those days, people were ignorant and superstitious. They would believe all kinds of things that you would find ridiculous. In this day and age, you don't have that excuse.

Papalinton said...

Try as believers might the tired and bedraggled theological narrative about a risen christ is slowly coming to the end of its explanation for reality. We have seen this fading episodes repeated throughout history time after time. Gone is the Roman pantheon. Gone is the Greek pantheon. Gone is Mithraism. Gone are the Gods Isis, Osiris and Ptah of Egypt, once the greatest and most powerful, all knowing, beneficent supernatural entities known to human kind. Wotan, Thor, all gone. HERE IS AN ALPHABETIC LIST [and by no means exhaustive] that should interest you. Under 'J' you will find ... You guessed it.

The pathology of religious belief has been consistent and observable human behaviour throughout history. It is only now in the last couple centuries, and more completely in the last 50 years, that we now have a good solid empirical and research supported base that provides a better and more comprehensive explanation for why we believe as we do. It also explains with greater clarity why there are so many diverse, contradictory and competing religious belief systems, each vying to outdo each other in the marketplace of ideas. Religion against religion, despite David Bentley Hart's latest ecumenical efforts, is ultimately a battle of cultural ideas for supremacy. In Africa it is battle between christianity, original tribal religions and Islam. In China it is a battle between christianity and communism, the two great competing dogmas.

I know how difficult it is to reconcile the fact that when narrative around which one's life which had been centred is realized to be a mirage, a figment of human imagination, such understanding can have a somewhat devastating effect and is extraordinarily difficult to come to grips with. But be heartened. There is light at the end of the tunnel as ever increasing numbers of free thinkers are discovering. And contrary to the spin when one accepts one's own moral and ethical behaviour they become better people. AND WE KNOW that atheism does not lead to lessoning of morality and ethics. Rather there is an increase in moral and ethical behaviour.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Toady, people are ignorant about the ancient world. They believe all kinds of things that they read on the internet and see on Youtube; things that scholars find ridiculous. In this day and age, you shouldn't have that excuse.

Saints and Sceptics said...


I'm skeptical

Ok, you've still offered nothing but insults.
So -
You have done a superb job of showing what McAtheism is made of: pure fluff, and no substance. What else can you do when you don't have evidence on your side of the discussion?
You can mock me and claim that what I believe if faith-based as much as yours, but you must understand that Christian theism is what we (many of us) come to AFTER listening to and weighing the evidence and the arguments, unlike your pseudo- religion, which (for the vast majority of McAtheists) was instilled and indoctrinated from spending too much time on the internet and not enough time reading books and academic articles.
McAtheism is never subjected to anything close to real, objective scrutiny. You think the evidence for the resurrection is really poor - are you kidding me? The only way you could possibly think that is to have your mind made up before you ever consider its merits.
McAtheism wouldn't convince an intelligent ten-year-old who wasn't already indoctrinated or invested in the belief system.


Graham

I'm NOT mocking you. I'm pointing out how this sort of nonsense wastes everyone's time.
The question is why do you waste time this way? Do you write out of a sense of mischief? Or are you looking for an excuse to talk about the Gospel? Or are you desperately trying to reassure yourself that there is no God?

In any case, I'll reply to a sensible argument when I see one...

B. Prokop said...

"In this day and age, you don't have that excuse."

Pure, distilled, 200 proof chronological snobbery. That's not reasoning - heck, it's not even thinking. If that's all you've got, you might as well throw in the towel right now, because it's game, set, and match.

B. Prokop said...

Skep's chronologically snobbish attack on the First Century converts to Christianity doesn't even square with the record. Note how the audience in Athens, far from "believing all kinds of things that we would find ridiculous", laughed in derision at Paul when he brought up the Resurrection (Acts 17:32). When Festus heard Paul speak of it, his response was "Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad." (Acts 26:24)

So much for superstitious credulity.

im-skeptical said...

So Graham contends that Christians are not indoctrinated, but weigh the evidence before deciding to become Christian - but atheists are indoctrinated and don't ever consider the evidence objectively. A very interesting thesis, but I'm sure he's smart enough to know it's completely wrong. Will he ever admit it? Perhaps he will tell us at what age he first began to consider Christianity, after having been indoctrinated with McAtheist dogma during all his younger years.

Bob thinks that because there were skeptics in the first century, that must prove that all the people who swallowed the story must have been skeptics, too? What kind of logic is that? Christian logic.

B. Prokop said...

Skep,

Once again, either consciously twisting words with malicious intent, or displaying a complete inability to comprehend the written word.

I did not say the First Century converts to Christianity were skeptics - I said they were not ignorant and superstitious.

Note my sentence, "So much for superstitious credulity." I did not write, "See how many skeptics there were."

But the far bigger point is that you knee-jerk dismissed the historically verifiable conversion of multitudes of people to Christianity, despite not having their minds "made up" prior to hearing the Gospel, solely on the grounds that these people lived in the wrong time. That's not an argument, it's not reasoning - it's just pure chronological snobbery. How convenient to be able to dismiss anything that might support Christianity simply because it occurred sometime in the distant past, while simultaneously bringing up potential negatives (e.g., the Inquisition) despite their also belonging to that very same "discredited" past. You'd be thrown out on your ass in any scientific peer review process for such selective and highly prejudicial picking and choosing of evidence.

There's a word for such activity - unethical.

Karl Grant said...

Bob,

The real funny part is that Skeppy makes statements like: but atheists are indoctrinated and don't ever consider the evidence objectively. A very interesting thesis, but I'm sure he's smart enough to know it's completely wrong while atheists leaders have already completely undermined it. Take Dawkins little statement:

I suspect that most of our regular readers here would agree that ridicule, of a humorous nature, is likely to be more effective than the sort of snuggling-up and head-patting that Jerry is attacking. I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt.

Michael Shermer, Michael Ruse, Eugenie Scott and others are probably right that contemptuous ridicule is not an expedient way to change the minds of those who are deeply religious. But I think we should probably abandon the irremediably religious precisely because that is what they are – irremediable. I am more interested in the fence-sitters who haven’t really considered the question very long or very carefully. And I think that they are likely to be swayed by a display of naked contempt. Nobody likes to be laughed at. Nobody wants to be the butt of contempt.


What does he think a recruitment strategy based solely on peer-pressure, emotional and intellectual bullying; emotional blackmail, etc... is? Because it ain't asking somebody to "consider the evidence objectively."

oozzielionel said...

@Papa:

I found your link to evidence about the morality of atheists interesting. This is their basis: "On basic questions of morality and human decency— issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights — the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious." Although some in the list would be important in any list, many of these criteria are slanted heavily left and heavily political. Also, I would not call this list "basic" since it includes some complex issues.

B. Prokop said...

oozie,

As what Ilion terms a "bloody minded leftist" myself, I agree that the list is heavily biased (to the left). Could have come straight from MSNBC.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I learned it as a child; people in the mediaeval world shared my belief.

Therefore I am brainwashed...

So there goes my belief that humans have rights!

What kind of logic is that?

Loftus logic!

Honestly, I'm-skeptical, this is too easy to be fun...

Saints and Sceptics said...

I learned it as a child; therefore I could not consider it as an adult...

I'm sure you're smart enough to know that you're completely wrong. Perhaps you'd like to tell me how people cannot be brainwashed, or become victims of intellectual fashion, as adults?

Saints and Sceptics said...

Oh, and I really didn't contend anything at all really, I'm-skeptical.
I just copy, click and paste your statements and do a little rewording to demonstrate that they require no thought at all.

Papalinton said...

oozielionel, you miss the point. Regardless of whether the list is politically left or right there more Christians agreeing governmental use of torture, many more Christians than non-believers that supported the death penalty, the punitive hitting of children, more Christians that advocated or practiced racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights. If this list is leftish in outlook, then one can only deduce that most God believers and Christianity itself is rightist on the political spectrum.

What list would you use to determine contemporary moral and ethical issues ? I would be very interested in looking over your list of pressing moral and ethical matters of today.

Papalinton said...

Saints and Sceptics says: "I learned it as a child; people in the mediaeval world shared my belief.
Therefore I am brainwashed... "


I'd say, on the matter of god[s], yes. You divested yourself of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus which you learned were true as a child. However your recalcitrant persistence in believing this jesus fairy story is a measure of the level of brainwashing you received as a child. And more worrying people that have been brainwashed don't know they have been. [Oh God! Now he's going to tell me he was an atheist as a child]

The two billion-odd Muslims and Hindus, as well as all atheists, including me, have no difficulty in rejecting your belief and do so with the ease of someone who subscribes to the axiom, "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." Remember the Pope is only a representative on earth for the Roman *Christian* god. Protestant christians, as you youself do, reject the notion the Pope speaks for you.

However you wish to construe it, Christianity itself is a bit of a bunfight. Catholicism and Irish Evangelicalism. Which is the true form? Who decides which is man-made and which is god divined. The catholics, like Bob, 'know' the answer. You, defending your Irish Evangelical faith with 'rational' argument. So gents. Which has been brainwashed? The catholic? Or the Irish Evangelical? You can't both be right.

B. Prokop said...

"You can't both be right."

But of course we can. The differences between Catholics and Protestants pale in comparison to what they hold in common: The Nicene Creed, Baptism, the scriptures (well, 66 out of 73 books at any rate), etc. Heck, even the differences between a Christian and a Hindu, for instance, are nothing compared to the unbridgeable gulf between either faith and materialist atheism.

oozzielionel said...

No, I got the point. If you craft your list of moral criteria, you get the result you are looking for. The issues that qualify as "pressing" to politicians and media differ according to political leanings. The right and left have different favorite lists. The winner of the news cycle for the week is the side that gets their issues to the top of public interest.

I am not sure if a politically neutral list of pressing issues is possible. It is certainly beyond my abilities at the moment.

I think it is mistake to define morality by the pressing political issues of the day. The issues that rise to the top are often peripheral and avoid more important issues.

It may seem that political left and right match religious left and right, but this is not always the case. It is only true if you are content with a cursory evaluation and if you preset your criteria to get the result you hope for.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Two people disagree about something religious.

Therefore one has been brainwashed; or both have been brainwashed.

And the evidence for this is neither believes in the tooth fairy.


What is this Papa -an argument or a zen koan??




Saints and Sceptics said...

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."

Yes. No doubt about that.

On an unrelated note. Have you noticed that a lot of your arguments get dismissed?

Papalinton said...

"I think it is mistake to define morality by the pressing political issues of the day. The issues that rise to the top are often peripheral and avoid more important issues."

You can freely and cursorily claim this nonsense and yet cannot commit to illustrating what are pressing moral and ethical issues we face today. If you have not missed the point once again then your comment is little more than milquetoast vacillating.

These are not political issues, they are moral and ethical issues. The political aspect of them is how they are dealt with and we know politics is the art of the possible, not necessarily driven by moral and ethical consideration as a primal factor. To categorize these issues 'rising to the top' as peripheral avoiding more important issues, bespeaks of a worrying ambivalence about what you think constitutes a moral or ethical issue. If you can't articulate them what good is your famous god-bestowed objective morality I hear so many other of the religiose bang on about?

oozzielionel said...

Papa:
I tend to live in two moral planes. One plane is interacting with the news, blogs, and talk radio. The ethical issue of the day occupies my thoughts. I interact on an intellectual level and sometimes get emotionally agitated. These issues rarely impact my daily life. It may make a difference when it comes time to vote or debate issues with my friends or family. These issues have potential to actually impact me, however, the actual impact is usually minimal.

My real ethical life is in daily decisions in my relationships at home and work with people I care about. It is when I have an opportunity to help someone in need or on those rare occasions when my life matches my creed and I seek to do to others what I would wish they would do for me.

My real ethical life is how I express my sexuality, whether I am truthful, whether I am compassionate and loving. It is even when I put the plastic bottle in the right trash container. Moral integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking. It has very little to do with my position on political issues.

If someone can measure moral behavior that actually makes a difference in the way people live, I would be interested in those results.

B. Prokop said...

"I would be very interested in looking over your list of pressing moral and ethical matters of today."

OK, I'll bite. Here's my list.

1. Worshiping false gods. Examples of such false gods - money, possessions, blind or super patriotism, celebrities, rank, status, power.

2. Taking the name of the Lord in vain. Includes debasing the language and the twisting meaning of words.

3. Dishonoring the Sabbath. Failure to give one's self (!and others!) the time and space in which to set one's priorities straight, to realize what is truly important in life.

4. Not honoring our elders. Trashing tradition without good reason. Failure to provide for our parents, veterans, the homeless, the mentally ill.

5. Murder and violence. Includes violence in our culture and in our entertainment. Failure to properly regulate firearms. Abortion.

6. Adultery. Includes pornography, divorce, pre-marital sex, and same-sex marriage.

7. Theft. Includes economic injustice and failure to alleviate global poverty.

8. Lying. Propaganda, censorship, loss of privacy, character assassination.

9. Coveting your neighbor's property. Greed, envy, "keeping up with the Joneses".

10. Coveting your neighbor's spouse. Failure to respect the most fundamental of society's boundaries.

oozzielionel said...

I like Bob's.

B. Prokop said...

I inadvertently left off "environmental degradation" from my list yesterday. Should be included under the Second Commandment, since despoiling the Earth is basically a slap in the face of God. Alternatively, it might be included under the Fourth, because destroying our children's heritage is the flip side of dishonoring our parents.

Saints and Sceptics said...

Well, I never! I learned something from LapaPinton...a new word! "Milquetoast"

Never come across that before...is that an Americanism?

B. Prokop said...

Bite your tongue! It's a dingo-ism. Linton is Down Under.

Papalinton said...

Thanks SandS. It is indeed an American dysphemism which I thought would be well known. Despite our close cultural heritage there are some little differences between Australia and US society and I try not to introduce too many Aussie idioms that might detract from the conversation.

Incidentally, LapaPinton, whoever that is, is not me.

Papalinton said...

Bob, much as I appreciate your list it is simply too mired in its christianized context and far too unapologetically christo-centric to be of much universal value. You see and it might come as a surprise to you, Christianity is not universal and not universally accepted. Indeed the bulk of humanity, 5 out of the 7 billion, either have not heard of or reject christianity as a model. The first three on your list specifically excludes every other belief system that does not subscribe to the christian message. There is too much of a touch of arrogance about the 'rightness' of christianity which I daresay precludes it from being accepted as universal, even though the other seven are indeed general desirable outcomes for human society.

I would much prefer a list that does not smell of any specific religious incense because the universality of the message, as history has shown so demonstrably, is inevitably lost in the squabble over which parochial religious prescription should represent humanity. If there is one thing from the bible that resonates with me as good advice it is Matthew 6:5-6.

I know your intentions are good, but your rabidity for all things Jesus does not contribute towards a calmer, more inclusive community.

im-skeptical said...

Graham,

"Honestly, I'm-skeptical, this is too easy to be fun... "

Easy if you don't bother to give due consideration to an argument, but just dismiss it flippantly, as you have done repeatedly. But don't bother. I have seen enough of your intellectual style already. The namecalling really puts a cap on the total lack of depth.

By the way, where does the "Sceptics" part of your title come from, anyway?

B. Prokop said...

"to be of much universal value"

So? You asked, after all, for a personal list, and you got one. I'm not about to pass off someone else's list as my own.

Mick Stone said...

Actually, McGrew made an incredibly bold bluff. The second definition of "faith" in the OED is "Strong belief in a religion doctrine based upon spiritual conviction rather than proof". Boghosian made two mistakes. Not knowing the OED by heart and assuming he was talking to an honest person.