Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The fundamental divide

I do think that there is a fundamental divide between people who think that atheists and theists have a common goal, a goal of understanding one another better, and those who think that the only legitimate goal is the partisan goal of advancing one's own viewpoints.  I think that is the dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder.  

What is likely going to be the result of the polarization of the question of religion is that even with the enhanced communication provided by the Internet, we are still moving toward a culture in which we communicate seriously only with like-minded people. When C. S. Lewis became the first President of the Oxford Socratic Club he talked about the value of such a debating society for the community of Oxford University. I have often wondered what a certain well-known Oxford atheist would have done had the Oxford Socratic Club were still in existence, and he were to receive an invitation to present a paper and engage in dialogue with the resident Christians (such as C. S. Lewis). 


Since I'm a theist and a Christian, I like to see people become theists and Christians. But I also like to make sure there is an open community of discussion concerning these issues, something I value independently of it as an instrument for getting people to agree with me. 

40 comments:

Crude said...

The dividing line between Loftus and Lowder is that Lowder seems largely to have an intellectual interest in these disputes - and some considerable social interest - while Loftus is a mediocrity and a hack who tried and failed to become the Jimmy Swaggart of atheism.

As for the religion question, atheists are hardly motivated by religious or irreligious concerns anyway. It's politics and ideology, through which they see most Christians as enemies.

The number of people who value communities openly discussing these topics is, I think, self-evidently small. The eye-opener for me was watching the APA make major moves towards completely shutting down any discussion about the morality of certain sexual acts. When the one field of academia mostly clearly dedicated to 'open discussion' abandons it, the jig is up.

Victor Reppert said...

Which APA? The American Philosophical Association?

Crude said...

That'd be the one.

unkleE said...

I think it depends in part on each person's emotional commitment to their worldview, and how much of their self esteem is dependent on that worldview. Christians and atheists can both feel threatened by the extent of disbelief in their worldview.

For christians, it might feel like atheists are mocking something we think is holy. I think we all have to come to a point when we allow God to cope with the mockery himself (I imagine he's OK with that!) and not take it into ourselves. And I don't think returning insult for insult (like calling Loftus a mediocrity) is of any value, nor is it the way Jesus taught us. We are supposed to love our "enemies", and that means wanting the best for them.

For atheists, I think there is a perception that theirs is the way of reason and of the future, and thus an expectation that the religious world will fall in the face of superior logic (as they see it). But its not happening worldwide, and happening very slowly even in the west - losses to the church are mostly not joining the ranks of atheists. So they feel disappointed, they believe they have evidence and reason on their side such that no intelligent person could deny their conclusion, and so if any of us denies their conclusion, we must by definition be delusional, feeble-minded, recalcitrant, etc. Some atheists, like John Loftus, PZ Myers, etc) fall into that category, but others like Jeff Lowder and Thomas Nagel seem more secure in their thinking and more willing to recognise and appreciate good thinking by theists.

So it seems to me we should recognise these differences and weaknesses on both sides of the question, try to avoid falling into the trap of demonising our opponents, and roll with the punches if they demonise us.

If we are truly followers of Jesus and not just theoretical theists, I think we know these "battles" are not just intellectual, but also personal, spiritual and emotional, and we should behave accordingly, adapting our approach to the intellectual, personal, spiritual and emotional needs of our "opponents", just as any good communicator or teacher would.

John Moore said...

I second what Crude said about atheists mostly caring about politics rather than religion. Personally, I don't try to convert people to atheism, but I really wish Christians would vote for science-based government policies, and also uphold the separation of church and state instead of trying to use state institutions to push their religion on others.

Crude said...

but I really wish Christians would vote for science-based government policies

No, you don't. This is another atheist schtick - stamping 'scientific' on every policy they dfavor.

and also uphold the separation of church and state instead of trying to use state institutions to push their religion on others.

As is this. It's like people turn into talking points drones when these topics come up.

Atheists push their religion on people using the state constantly, and they deny and abuse science whenever it swings against their politics. The only thing keeping the crazier atheists from flat out barring religious upbringings is the near certainty that if they tried at this moment, they'd be violently suppressed.

Crude said...

And I don't think returning insult for insult (like calling Loftus a mediocrity) is of any value,

It's not an insult, it's the truth. He is entirely middle-of-the-road, about on the level with the typical combox atheist, set apart primarily by his willingness to invest (and lose) vastly more of his time and resources into the project.

That's not trading insult for insult. Loftus doesn't think Christians are 'mediocre'. He opines that we're all stupid morons who he believes should be mocked and bullied into surrender.

So it seems to me we should recognise these differences and weaknesses on both sides of the question, try to avoid falling into the trap of demonising our opponents, and roll with the punches if they demonise us.

I have long lost my patience with the nonsensical and unChristian idea that the most Christian thing to do is to tolerate, even encourage, cultural decay, and to save condemnation and harsh criticism almost exclusively for fellow Christians.

It's unchristlike. Christ had ferocious condemnation - certainly by our standards - for unrepentant sinners, for people who helped lead people to lose their faith (which, I remind you, is the central western atheist goal), and more. People who were sincere in their trying to serve God, but had weakness or misunderstanding, were the ones who were more gently chastized.

And finally, I am not threatened by someone's 'disbelief in my worldview'. I'm threatened by the 1-2 combo of a past century of violent suppression of Christianity, and modern Christians who think that's no big deal and easy to forgive, and that what's more important to criticize is Christians who dare call mediocrities, mediocrities. Surely Christ would demand we praise mediocre atheists as brilliant shining lights of goodness who, if we may be so bold, may have made a minor mistake in their reasoning.

Victor Reppert said...

The eye-opener for me was watching the APA make major moves towards completely shutting down any discussion about the morality of certain sexual acts.

Was it the controversy I talked about here concerning the conduct requirements at Christian colleges?

bbigej said...

The difference is that Christ was righteous and holy in his anger and his primary purpose was winning souls; you on the other hand come off like an asshole solely interested in winning arguments. You are literally the Richard Dawkins of right wing Christians, and your curmudgeonly disposition all but disproves the existence of any Holy Spirit (at least within you).

Crude said...

The difference is that Christ was righteous and holy in his anger and his primary purpose was winning souls

Christ had multiple purposes when He taught, and 'winning souls' wasn't His primary concern. Providing a means by which souls could be saved was. There's multiple places in the Bible where Christ not only said something which made people walk away from Him, but where He seemed to make sure to do exactly that rather than sugar coat things for the purposes of easier agreement.

you on the other hand come off like an asshole solely interested in winning arguments.

You are literally the Richard Dawkins of right wing Christians


Nah. See, Dawkins is dishonest and is primarily interested in manipulating rubes into blowing their money on his books, and accumulating more sheep to manipulate. I'm simply blunt. If that's to the chagrin of a cultist of gnu, hey - such is life.

Crude said...

Victor,

Was it the controversy I talked about here concerning the conduct requirements at Christian colleges?

That was part of it, but it goes beyond that. The mere act of debating the morality of same-sex sexual activity is frowned upon at this point, and is itself viewed as discriminatory by philosophers. It's not allowed to be treated as a live option.

Part of the reason I say this is based on conversations with APA members - there was a blog I had this exchange on with a philosopher, but it's since gone private. You can see the sentiment on display here however.

Short version? 'Sodomy is totally moral, this is a settled question, don't even treat it as live. The only people who disagree, I say are right wing, so they don't count.'

unkleE said...

Crude, the only people Jesus was angry with were the religious leaders. That's closer to me and presumably you than to the atheists and non-believers. Even if your judgment on John Loftus is true, which I don't accept, we are called to be loving. If you are impatient, it would be best not to say anything. Even consider praying. Please consider.

MatthewG said...

Even though I question Crude's attitude towards heathens in general and atheists in particular, I actually take his side with regards to John Loftus. To be very blunt- I consider Loftus to be a first-class slime ball. I say this as someone who is a former friend, a former member of his blog, and someone who helped contribute to his book *Why I Became an Atheist*. I even had a blog that was counter-apologetics, years ago, and I am convinced that he plagiarized from my blog, twice. I am convinced that Loftus has a history of dishonesty. I completely repudiate my earlier endorsement of a prior book of his.

From what I understand, Loftus has had on on-going dispute with Jeff Lowder. I don't know if it's still on-going but while I have deep respect for Lowder (having never met him and having never corresponded with him), I am not surprised that Lowder is the level-headed skeptic who is secure in his thinking and can appreciate good thinking from Christians. I can, too, and it is very intelligent and respectful Christians who make for excellent discussion partners.

Quite frankly, I am at the point where I have no desire to be part of any secular community anymore. More than just a few atheists seem to be mirror image opposites of the Christians that they resent and lambaste. Some ride high horses. Some are bitter and militant. A number of them seem to love being jerks towards anyone who is religious. The worst of the atheists are the militant mythicists who praise cranks like Richard Carrier and flatly deny the historical existence of Jesus. I don't want to sound snobbish at all but I have lost a lot of patience with this crowd and I find it hard to treat many of them with respect. I have absolutely no respect for Loftus whatsoever.

You know what the funny thing is? I was recently reading Darek Barefoot's response to Carrier's critique of the AfR and I realized how laughably absurd Carrier's critique was. Really? The brain is a computer? Carrier seemed to grant that Reppert's argument was valid but attacked one of the premises as being deeply flawed. But Carrier seemed too dense to realize that if the computational theory of the mind is right and the brain is very much a computer, then he has accidently shown that Reppert's argument is logically sound.

I snicker at the thought that Carrier is in a dilemma of his own making. He argues strongly for a computational theory of the mind without realizing that computers and other computational systems are intelligently designed, which actually supports Reppert's argument, impaling him on one horn of the dilemma. If he denies the computational theory of the mind, then he still has to answer the rebuttal arguments that Barefoot has raised and if he can't then he may have to concede that the AfR is cogent after all, impaling him on the other horn.

Anyways, I still consider myself a religious skeptic and I am not, anymore, the strong atheist that I used to be. I am not a Secular Humanist because I consider SH to be incoherent nonsense. I would describe my current position as a lack of belief that divine beings exist but I am still studying the AfR, especially since I never encountered it when I originally became an atheist and I am trying to give it the fairest shake that I can. I realize that I have some catching up to do; I have to read much of Reppert's other D.I. blog and the scientific and philosophical literature that Carrier thinks proves him right.

Matthew

Ilíon said...

VR: "I think that is the dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder."

Really? 'Cause I just don't see it.

Thinking back a few months ago to the most recent instance of the Paragon of Reasoned Discussion of Fundamental Disagreement About the Nature of Reality was attempting to wheedle you into banning me from your blog, I don't recall seeing him play even the "good cop" act to Loftus' "bad cop" act.

During the period of has campaign, there were a number of unfair and/or intellectually dishonest "criticisms" of Christianity posted here by various atheists. Now, and of course, one doesn't expect that Lowder noticed all of these unfair and/or dishonest attacks on Christianity during that time period, but is it really reasonable to believe that he noticed *none* of them? And, given the public pose he likes to affect (and that VR likes to burnish), is it not reasonable to expect that he would have called-out at least some of them if his pose were more than the posture of a poseur?

On the other hand, perhaps my memory is faulty, but I don't recall Loftus engaging in any long-term campaign to get you to ban me from your blog. So, perhaps *that* is the "dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder"?

Ilíon said...

some self-righteous Pharasee: "Crude, the only people Jesus was angry with were the religious leaders ..."

This common gambit just never seems to lose its appeal ... or its humor (and his whole post, short as it is, is such an amusing example of self-righteous concern-trolling "non-judgmental" judgmentalism).

Christ was "angry" with people who would not reason consistently or correctly from the premises they claimed to accept as being truth. When he said things like, "Not even in Israel have I found such faith", the people he "was angry with were [NOT] the religious leaders", but the every-day Jew in the pew. When he chided Doubting Thomas for his demand to see and touch Christ's resurrected body before he would believe what the others were telling him, it wasn't "religious leaders" he was chiding, and he was chiding Thomas *because* he wasn't reasoning rationally from the premises he claimed to believe.

Ilíon said...

VR: "I think that is the dividing line between people like Loftus and people like Lowder."

In truth, the *difference* between "people like Loftus and people like Lowder" (and, apparently, MatthewG) is that people like Loftus have a much larger "radius of concern", let us call it. What I mean is that *every* 'atheist' and 'agnostic' will behave just like Loftus does once they perceive that God is getting a bit too close to them for comfort.

Loftus spooks when he sees God's shadow; other 'atheists' (and perhaps Lowder is in this camp) don't spook until the perceive that God is touching them.

Dan Gillson said...

" ... we are still moving toward a culture in which we communicate seriously only with like-minded people. ... I disagree. Like-minded people don't talk seriously amongst themselves anymore, at least on the internet. Like-minded people are intellectual prisoners of their tribe's positive feedback loop. They discuss how our enemies are* to the choir of approval, and they ignore any virtue that their enemies may have (or they reduce the possibility that an enemy might have virtue to a statistical triviality). It's getting ridiculous.

*If you legitimately think, "but my enemies ARE really bad," then you're a fucking idiot.

Dan Gillson said...

Well, I failed at linking some things (a reactionary Christian blog, and a reactionary left-wing blog). Formatting links is hard.

Ilíon said...

Shoot! Even Dan Gillson plays a better "good cop" that Jeffrey Jay Lowder does.

Crude said...

Dan,

and they ignore any virtue that their enemies may have (or they reduce the possibility that an enemy might have virtue to a statistical triviality)

First off, saying that it's extremely uncommon is not to ignore it - and noting that evidence indicates that it's a statistical triviality is only a problem if the claim is incorrect.

In fact, in that same thread, I noted that there is a difference between 'the irreligious' and 'agnostics' - people who identify as something other than atheist, despite being apathetic or non-disposed to belief in God's existence - and people who pick up the label 'atheist'.

I pointed at what you're going to find with pretty well every self-declared atheist group in existence. I do not deny that there are atheists who are relaxed, who reject the whole 'theist versus atheist' view, who are not reasonably enemies of Christians. I deny that they exist in meaningful numbers, calling themselves 'atheist'.

As for echo chambers, I have the unique trait that I deeply disagree with just about everyone. I don't deny I have some tribalism - most do - but you'll have trouble finding the positive feedback loop I take part in. I even get into it with Aristo-Thomists at Feser's blog.

Why, one may almost regard me as unfriendly.

Crude said...

MatthewG,

I do not place all heretics, skeptics, non-believers, etc in the same boat. I'm talking about a rather particular self-selected subgroup of them. Notice that I didn't go after Lowder, despite having mammoth disagreements with the man. I would go so far as to say that you and I are probably largely talking about the same people, who make up a portion of what you may call 'heathens in general'.

I'm sure disagreement remains, but I'll at least try to be clear about just what I'm saying.

John Loftus said...

There may not be a fundamental divide between us at all, but rather several divides.

I. One divide is between a mere computer science B.A. graduate like Lowder, who has some depth in the area of the philosophy of religion, and someone like myself who, a) has a wide breadth of knowledge, b) has more degrees in the areas Lowder knows something about than he and two of his cheerleaders combined (namely Jim Lippard and Bradley Bowen), and c) has more years thinking and reading about these issues than any of them have been alive.

There are depth considerations and there are breadth considerations. From all I can see Lowder and his all male white philosophy student cheerleaders lack the breadth I have, and that is more important than having depth. It's the breadth of knowledge I have that causes me to object to the value they place on the philosophy of religion (and to call for its end in the secular universities). I don’t think the philosophy of religion is that important precisely because I’ve studied it in depth, just as I don’t think the philosophy of science is that important even though I basically minored in it at Seminary, as I wrote about here.

It’s the breadth of knowledge I have from years of thinking and reading based on a good solid foundational education that makes the difference. I had more class work with leading evangelical and Jesuit thinkers theologians historians and philosophers to earn my three master’s degrees--including a year and a half of Ph.D. work--than most Ph.D. programs require. [As for the dissertation requirement, just think of my book “Why I Became an Atheist” which is called “a monster of reason and logic” by others]. Lowder doesn’t show any awareness of the things I do, most notably but not limited to cognitive dissonance theory and cultural anthropology.

John Loftus said...

II. Another divide between us is that Lowder too often disingenuously acts as if he wants an honest dialogue with theists when the real goal is to be respected as more important than he really is (*cough* a self-proclaimed philosopher). With me I don't need to do this because I have the credentials, the knowledge, and a body of acclaimed work. I can honestly argue for my conclusions without worrying if I’m doing so in a way that will get me respect. [As far as respect goes just look at the authors who wrote chapters for me, and/or wrote blurbs for my books and/or asked me to write blurbs for their books.]

Who is Lowder really kidding when he acts as if some new moral argument may succeed? He is an atheist. He no more could change his mind from reading a paper on the moral argument to God's existence than Reppert could change his mind about the AfR based on one paper. I think it's dishonesty all the way down. It's one of his biggest cons.

Compared to Lowder I have posted links to several Christian essays on my site, and I have even gone farther than Lowder has on his blog by posting several Christian essays unedited and without comment on mine seen here. But that by itself doesn't mean they could change my mind. The question is fairness, and while I don't think anyone here will agree with me, fairness does not mean one has to be disingenuous or dishonest. I think I am already being fair to the arguments and there are no good arguments for faith.

John Loftus said...

III. One other divide between us is that I don’t climb on the backs of important people in order to appear more important like Lowder has done with me. I don’t need to you see. Hypocritically Lowder doesn't do this with others who are much more abrasive than I have ever been, which tells me this is his Modus operandi when dealing with me, to use me for his own self-promoting needs. He had to know I would eventually fight back in a really big way.

IV. One last divide between us (for now) is over the harms of the Christian faith, especially evangelical faith. Since it is harmful I think it’s imperative to argue against it and to also persuade others it’s false (using ridicule works), whereas Lowder reminds me of one of those fiddlers on the Titanic (okay that’s an exaggeration for effect). The task must be done now. The time is now. Christian faith needs to be debunked now. It isn’t the time for gamesmanship or self-serving personal goals, and it definitely isn’t the time for him to proverbially shoot people like me in the back, who are on the front lines in this war of ideas, especially when I’m having so much success.

John Loftus said...

As for Matthew G(reen), three things: 1) Produce the hard evidence since I flatly deny your false accusation; 2) You're a mentally unstable person, which has been confirmed by your near worship of JP Holding, to your later near worship of me, to your new skeptical position as stated above; 3) I wish you well. I'm sorry I haven't paid much attention to you and that you sadly adopt the views of the person who pays attention to you.

Crude said...

unkleE,

Crude, the only people Jesus was angry with were the religious leaders.

First off, this isn't about anger. It's about recognizing enemies, hostile people, and being honest, even dispassionately. Seriously, the fact that you decided to try and get into a dust-up with me over the fact that I called out Loftus as a mediocrity and a hack - which is just a more specific kind of mediocrity - just speaks volumes here.

Second, you're simply wrong. Christ took a whip to moneychangers, he laid into real and prospective disciples on a regular basis, he maintained that the unconverted areas he preached to and performed miracles in were destined for what I in a scholarly mood would call 'Superhell', and he called out quite a number of otherwise ordinary people - including non-followers, and anyone who would listen - as sinners and wicked. The idea of Jesus as the nice guy who would praise Richard Dawkins but harshly condemn average-Christian (especially if they're, gasp, conservative) is baseless. Christ, while preaching love, is not a smiley face and a hug. Nor did Christ only give commands to Christians, with everyone else basically being off the hook (or, indeed, incapable of true immorality.)

Really, to hear you put it, 'Love your enemies' must be an interpolation, because that would imply that Christ recognizes Christians have /enemies/, which simply will not do.

Let me go further as to why I not only reject your views, but I regard them as harmful.

We live in an age where Christ is a punchline, as are religious people. They're mocked at every corner, and it's not just humorous - it's hatred, and it comes from just about all corners, from the media to academia to even politics. A whole bunch of Christians get their heads chopped off by some people in the Middle East, and the first thing out of some people's mouths is 'Well, the Crusades'.

While you're busy trying to guilt trip any Christian who so much as recognizes that a nasty little wannabe Dawkins doesn't have much talent, you make it clear that Christians who feel miserable about their treatment, who feel alone and scared and betrayed, don't mean a thing to you. They're hardly on your radar. Your advice to them is 'Oh just offer it up to God'. No sympathy. Not even a recognition that, yes, they really are being abused, rhetorically and otherwise. It would get in the way of your needling them, along with passive-aggressive, holier-than-thou condemnations.

To me, that means nothing, because I know the game. But I feel tremendous sympathy for anyone who you have - let me speak clearly - screwed up or made miserable by sanctimoniously and publicly betraying them when they dared to take note about, or worse yet, complain about how the world treats them.

To put it more kindly, you talk about the personal, spiritual, and emotional needs of atheists. Maybe you should start thinking about the personal, spiritual, and emotional needs of Christians too, beyond trying to think about the most sanctimonious way to tell them you don't give a shit about them, because you're too busy guarding the feelings of would-be atheist bullies.

Crude said...

And here comes Loftus to help prove my points.

One divide is between a mere computer science B.A. graduate like Lowder, who has some depth in the area of the philosophy of religion,

Buddy, your academic credentials - and your accomplishments in general - are nothing to brag about. Lowder at the very least actually engages arguments, remains civil, and doesn't absolutely melt down when people point out problems with his arguments. He also puts up far more of an intellectual fight than you, because let's face it - you don't have much going for you. You shatter under criticism, and you're regarded as something of a farce even among atheists. "Loftus? Ugh." is the typical atheist reaction to your name being invoked.

and it definitely isn’t the time for him to proverbially shoot people like me in the back, who are on the front lines in this war of ideas, especially when I’m having so much success.

Alas, you're a poor man's PZ Myers, who was always a poor man's Richard Dawkins, who himself was little more than a reheated, more amateur Bertrand Russell, and who has already fallen from popular grace. Really, anyone who looks into your history inevitably goes, 'Hmmm. He's dishonest and engaged in things like launching a fake blog to anonymously attack his critics only to get caught. His arguments are unoriginal, and are shredded by anyone who reviews him. And he's also a transparent but amateur self-promoter. What a clownshow. Pass.'

You barely even register in these debates intellectually - your status is now what it was years ago, and what it will be 10 years hence. 'Peripheral atheist looking upon other atheists with envy, trying desperately to be relevant, and most of all to make a buck off the rubes.'

It may burn your ears to hear it, but it's true. And the worst part is? You know it's true.

Get a job at Denny's, Loftus. If you want to earn money, that's your best bet - try to become a manager. I'd recommend another field for you, but c'mon. Your resume isn't suited for much else.

Dan Gillson said...

Crude,

I wasn't talking specifically about you, even though I linked to one of your comments. Your comment was a convenient as an example of the sort of phenomenon I was talking about. I'm inclined to agree that 'relaxed' atheists don't exist in meaningful numbers*, but I hedge because I don't think the internet, in particular the places people go to argue about religion, is a good place to conduct such a survey.

*Probably in part because atheists don't exist in meaningful numbers, and in part because relaxed people gravitate more towards 'spirituality', whatever the fuck that is.

Crude said...

Dan,

Fair enough. But keep in mind that the evidence I'm calling on here isn't limited to the internet. American Atheists and the FRFF existed well before the modern internet did, as did many of the other organizations.

bbigej said...

However we choose to define Christs primary and secondary purposes, they are qualitatively different than yours, which is scoring cheap points and attempting to assuage your intellectual inferiority complex. That's the point. So you're going to have to look for other grounds for your unpleasant disposition.

Crude said...

However we choose to define Christs primary and secondary purposes, they are qualitatively different than yours,

You already whiffed once on opining about Christ's purposes - and there, only in this interaction. Judging by your blog and past comments, you're yet another Cult of Gnu member who has that 'Aggressively if fumblingly tries to dish it out, but sobs and kicks and screams when taking it' thing going on.

I'd beg your pardon for offending you at being the kind of theist who, say, laughs at how ridiculous it is when you do things like write poetically about how inhumane it is to regard consensual anal sex and ass-to-mouth as even possibly immoral - but I don't need your pardon. No one does.

Now, feel free to whine more about my tone - the Cultist of Gnu is ever a thin-skinned beast - but at least be aware of how inane it looks for you to limp-wristedly whine about how I'm not properly, in your uninformed view, following the teachings of a God who you deny, attack and revile in every other situation. Or hell, don't be aware. It doesn't matter all that much.

Ilíon said...

Dan Gillson:"... more towards 'spirituality', whatever the fuck that is."

Solipsistic navel-gazing self-worship: "I am the god I've been waiting for."

Ilíon said...

bbigej: "So you're going to have to look for other grounds for your unpleasant disposition."

LOL Translation: "The crudé-minded fellow has a *toxic* personality."

bbigej said...

You keep proving my points over and over, blissfully unaware you are doing so. You are a cancer upon every blog interested in fostering civil dialogue and should be universally blacklisted until you can demonstrate that you have something worthwhile to say without blatantly insulting people.

bbigej said...

Which is too bad, because any secular argument you have against homosexuality is sure to be good for a laugh and I'd like to hear it. And I'd like to correct you on your widely misplaced judgements on my intellectual and spiritual journey (because someone who is reading Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses right now surely must hate God). But Crude, you aren't worth the trouble.

bbigej said...

When you presume that anyone who has an argument against Christianity is an enemy and is unsavable (which you can't know unless you're omniscient) and therefore worthy of contempt, you drive people away from the kingdom of God. And if there is any God, one day you will have to give an account for that.

Ilíon said...

Doesn't everyone just love concern-trolls?

Crude said...

You keep proving my points over and over,

Your point is 'Crude, you're mean to Cultists of Gnu'. Surprise: I don't give a shit. Few do.

Which is too bad, because any secular argument you have against homosexuality

I don't need one for the claims made here. I just have to point out how ridiculous your own claims are. 'It's inhumane for God to command someone not to engage in recreational coprophilia! Only a monster would do that! #lovewins!' Why, it's shocking to think I don't place a priority on extended "dialogue" with your ilk.

But here's what takes the cake.

When you presume that anyone who has an argument against Christianity is an enemy and is unsavable

Good thing I made no such claim. I said, specifically, that on average self-described 'atheists' tend to be anti-theist and anti-Christian, usually for reasons that have more to do with politics and 'feels' than reason. It's not disbelief in God or Christianity that makes them enemies, it's the active desire to attack, belittle, and eradicate Christians and Christianity.

Your response is to imagine that those of said ilk, and you yourself, are some precious commodity who I'd best not offend. Better yet, on the grounds that you have some goofy interpretation of the God and religion that you rail against in any other context. You can behave like a complete asshat, but oh, Christians - indeed, all theists - better treat you and other Cultists of Gnu with kid gloves?

I save civility for the civil, and the fate of your soul is largely your own concern, not mine. But don't let any of this stop you from bitching some more.

Dave Duffy said...

The fundamental divide is between those who share our temperament and those who don't.

Nick said...

All we need to see about Loftus really is his most recent debate with David Wood. That had to be one of the worst attempts to argue against the resurrection that I'd ever seen if not the worst.