What Makes Something Right or Wrong?

The British Humanist Association has several great videos on YouTube, and this is one of my favorites.

Advertisements

927 thoughts on “What Makes Something Right or Wrong?”

  1. I like the video, but i think the view of religious morality is woefully simplified. Sin is different than a simple right/wrong. That is where situational ethics comes into the Bible especially with Christ. It’s not an either religious ethic or secular morality type of deal. Love Stephen Fry’s voice, btw.
    Blessings on your journey.

    Like

  2. I really liked the vid, Nate. Stephen Fry is one of my favourite speakers anyway (I watched an impassioned speech of his in a discussion on a panel with he and Hitchens versus two people from the Catholic Church. .. he’s a brilliant and very impassioned speaker. (as was Hitchens)

    The message in this video reminds me of something someone else wrote – “I don’t need to believe in god(s); I have a conscience”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think sacredstruggler touched on something very important. There is a distinction between sin and right/wrong. For most(I think; it was certainly this way for me) sin isn’t necessarily something you do. It’s what you are. You are born into it, like a hereditary disease for which Jesus is the only cure. You don’t necessarily have to do anything particularly bad. It’s best described as missing the mark; the mark being the perfection and holiness that is God/Jesus. At least that was my view of it when I was a Christian. That since I could never be perfect I was a sinner.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ruth, I find this whole concept of sin to be problematic with most believers. I argued against it constantly on several blogs I was on. Every time they mentioned it, I’d say, “There’s no such thing as a sin – only mistakes – which we make because we’re HUMAN”. So many people get way too hung up on this idea and, as we’ve discussed before, when people believe they’re inherently SINNERS, it’s very difficult to dissuade them from this . . . sigh. . . if I could just get that one concept drilled out of people’s heads. ..then when you toss this whole, “Women are sinners right from the get-go, tempting sorcerers that they are” concept in there, it gets even more difficult.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Oh, I agree, carmen. It’s just that I think that for many Christians there is a distinction between being a sinner and morality. For them these are two separate concepts on the same plane. It’s the inherited sin that causes us to be immoral, if that makes any sense.

    While I don’t believe that now I get where they’re coming from. I get that they believe their best is as filthy rags. I wish it were not so, but I don’t think it’s a thing you can argue anyone out of. I think it comes back to healthy self-esteem, which in many fundamentalist Christian circles is frowned upon.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Inherited sin” – it makes perfect sense Ruth. As I watched the video I could only see it from the dogmatic stance that I embraced at one time. I could hear them say, ‘Nope. Immorality from within? Impossible. We are born in sin. Wretched and deceitful. Only way out, is from outside of ourselves. Jesus.’

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I cringe to read what you wrote, Zoe. .. how terribly, terribly sad. I’ll tell you, I have embraced ‘being a b*tch’ CHEERFULLY, for years. . . 🙂 What it translates to is this – I don’t believe that sh*t. It makes me very angry at the system who convinced wonderful women like you and Ruth (and a host of others) that it was true.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. @Carmen, this supposed thing called ‘sin’ – a heritable brokenness/separation-from-god, whatever this nebulous notion might actually be – is the central reason why evolutionary biology is so vociferously attacked… because modern biology shows us there ain’t no such ‘thing’ as sin. Sin is simply a word used to get people to convict themselves for a ‘moral’ crime they’ve never committed. It is used and promoted in the guise of piety to enslave people and create the necessary just-so situation that guarantees obedience from the credulous to supporting the absurdities of religious doctrines and dogma. It’s a fiction indoctrinated into people who then sustain the notion only by their belief in it! Drop the belief, sin evaporates… as do all these gods, as does any need for clearly insufficient religious ‘explanations’.

    As the basis of a moral system that demands compliance and submission to a set of religious rules and regulations, the idea of an inherited sin is essential to make sense of the need for atonement through the doors of a particular religious brand. but as an ‘explanation’ for this need, people have to go along with the take of some supposed debt incurred by the supposed blood sacrifice by supposed guy named Jesus in order to personalize the supposed debt owed. It’s such a grossly dysfunctional idea… as exercises in religious doctrines in law and social communities demonstrate daily.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Good points about original sin, etc. That’s not something I believed when I was a Christian. It was hard to reconcile Romans 5, which does seem to teach original sin, with other passages in the Bible that talked about personal responsibility, the “son not inheriting the sins of the father”, etc. So I viewed Romans 5 as talking about the result of Adam’s sin: specifically, physical death. So it wasn’t so much that we inherited the actual guilt of Adam’s sin; we inherited the consequences. Of course, as Romans 3:23 says, all people sin anyway. So the end result is pretty much the same.

    But the doctrine of original sin is pretty ubiquitous, and I see how it’s a major hurdle for a lot of people.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Tildeb. Now, can you pass that along to all those believers out there?? 🙂 It’s a messed-up way of thinking, and one of the reasons I say that I don’t believe in god(s), just GOOD. I have tried my level best to convince many, many believers of that notion – that we (most of us, that is) are good, decent, sensible people who don’t need an imaginary entity to be able to recognize right from wrong. The video illustrates that, as well. I have said that to many religious people – that they are good people at heart and THAT’s why they make favourable choices and interact with others positively. I think Nate does a great job on here, to try and get that message across. Some people, however, seem very content to practice what is, (as someone else said) essentially, adult thumb-sucking.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The fact that we see aspects of morality in some animals argues for morality being internal.

    I was interested to hear of the experiment when a monkey could get food by pulling a particular lever. The scientists then introduced another element where when the monkey pulled on the lever to get food they saw another monkey suffer pain. This changed their behaviour, they then became reluctant to pull the lever to get food. One monkey went for 12 days without pulling the lever.

    The experiment was repeated with rats and even they showed changed behaviour and a reluctance to go for the food if it meant another rat felt pain as a result.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. @Carmen

    What I find so very disturbing about this idea of some fundamental sinful nature in need of atonement is that I don’t think religious believers themselves really grasp the consequences of their beliefs that morality is somehow bequeathed through their religious adherence.

    You hint at it with the ‘adult thumb-sucking’ reference, but it’s actually really important: if ‘good’ morality comes from some external agency and delivered to us via rules and regulations, then this means we are NOT autonomous moral agents all grown up and responsible for our actions but dependents on some divine parental unit. This is a terrible moral model to empower and one with drastic moral consequences for failing to teach people how to be responsible! It’s really a moral avoidance model, one that guarantees irresponsibility.

    Yet the typical assumption is that only such religious people are really the moral ones because the accepted morality is ‘divine’ when the exact opposite is the case: a perpetual passing of the ‘moral responsibility’ buck to some deity so that believers by their own admission are in a constant state of moral immaturity, dependence, and avoidance. It’s identical to the ‘Just-following-orders’ defense used by good little Nazi soldiers, and, in fact, WL Craig used exactly this line of reasoning to justify the Canaanite genocide.

    When one’s moral compass is so skewed by theology that genocide becomes moral and equality marriage rights becomes immoral, we’ve got a situation where the inmates really are trying to run the insane asylum.

    Like

  13. @Nate

    I don’t think one can be a Christian without accepting original sin for that is the bedrock reason for the Jesus sacrifice and resurrection. And many prominent theologians have argued exactly this to insist – in spite of compelling and incompatible genetic evidence – that the Adam and Eve story must be literal history for Christianity to make any sense at all.

    Like

  14. Believe it or not, there are some groups of Christians that don’t believe in original sin. I guess it’s just another example of the wide array of differences you can find in the vast number of Christian denominations.

    Like

  15. I thought the video was great. That has always been a huge debate in my house. Even though I was deeply involved in my faith, I always had doubts about certain things. One was about how even non Christians did right and moral things…they did not need God to be moral. I was often told, their morality still came from God whether they believed in Him or not.
    And I was taught like Ruth, I was born a sinner and even if I lived a pure life and never sinned, I would go to hell…I inherited my sin. I read some place that the reason Jesus was not born of sin, 1. he was not Josephs son, so he did not receive sin from Joseph . 2. When a child is in the womb, the child and mothers blood never cross, so He did not inherit sin from Mary either. That is how Jesus was not born into sin like the rest of us.

    Like

  16. One of the things i liked best about this video (and each one in the series) is that it seems to be a great jumping off point for a conversation about morality, especially with kids.

    Like

  17. i grew up in one of those churches that taught against original sin, so babies were safe, but once a person reached an unspecified age of accountability, then they began to sin. It was something that all men would do, but didnt have to do – jesus proved that, being sinless.

    that approach may fix the problem of god condemning others for the sins of Adam and Eve, but it presents other questions and problems; like if all men sin, if all men cant help but sin, then why should we be punished for something we cant help but do and wouldnt our creator, who created us this way, be more guilty for our sins than we?

    and then there’s the question about good people. If an atheist is a better person and a particular christian (they help more people, gossip less, hurt less people, think better thoughts, etc) then you’d think they were a better person. But god doesnt count that, according to the bible the good atheist will be condemned because of his disbelief where the mediocre believer will be saved because he believes. does this mean that god is more like a spoiled and egotistical child that he weighs what others think of him more so than he weighs their actual production?

    Liked by 3 people

  18. @Nate

    Do these same Christians then believe the Jesus resurrection is simply a metaphor or that he was real but made a blood sacrifice for a metaphor? This makes little sense to me without original sin. Also, how or why does anyone need atonement if we didn’t literally inherit a ‘sinful’ nature (whatever that means once you remove the Adam and Eve story)? It seems this maneuver to avoid an incompatibility with science guts the theology, for surely most Christians present and past certainly believe in heritable sin and they’re the ones teaching thier kids to feel shame for just being.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. William, your reasoning is spot-on … but as we both know, christians either can’t see it or if they do, they deny it and push it under the rug.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. nan, many dont and wont see it. But for some, they will, in time.

    for me it began as a realization that my denomination didnt have it all right. I began by questioning my brand of christianity, but not the bible. I do think that honest search to find what was true and right often begins small, but then snowballs.

    A lot of these things I would have simply tossed aside when i was a believer, thinking I just didnt have the understanding or wisdom yet to get it. Once everything else started lining up, I was able to recall these things and realized that they made much more sense the context of human invention.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Every time a Christian brings up the concept of original sin and your need for a Savior to redeem you from that original sin, remind the Christian what the original sin actually was:

    Forbidden-fruit-eating by two of our ancient ancestors.

    It’s a silly superstition, Christians. It is no more true than that a god named Zeus lives on Mount Olympus in Greece.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi tildeb,

    Christians who don’t believe in original sin still think Jesus’s sacrifice was entirely necessary, because all people sin (Romans 3:23). They acknowledge that people aren’t perfect, and no one could follow the law perfectly (the Mosaic Law, when it was in effect, and the more forgiving law of grace / faith / whatever-you-want-to-call-it that was brought into effect in the NT).

    So in the end, they still kind of come around to the same position — people are sinful and need a remedy, which Christ provides. But they don’t believe that child inherits sin just through being born. In fact, these same Christians don’t practice infant baptism or anything either, because they believe children are born innocent. It’s only once a person has reached an “age of accountability” that they even need salvation. Until that time, though they may have an inherent “sinful nature,” they haven’t actually sinned yet.

    Does that make sense? I could probably elaborate a bit more and include some verses, if you’re interested in hearing more. Not sure how much detail you’d like to know about it…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Nate,

    In your former Christian belief system, did they believe that it was possible for humans to choose to be perfect? If not, isn’t that the same thing as saying that God has predetermined that we will all sin eventually? That doesn’t seem much different from original sin except it covers up an embarrassing problem in orthodox Christian theology: that unbaptized babies go to hell.

    But I think it opens up another can of worms for Christians who don’t believe in original sin: If babies are perfect then they don’t need a Savior. so there will be souls in heaven who never needed Jesus and therefore Jesus is NOT the only way to God. So the passage in the Bible that says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but my me” needs to be changed.

    So if you don’t believe in original sin and you don’t believe in infant baptism, if you want to be 100% sure that your children will go to heaven, kill them before they reach the Age of Accountability! This is the excuse used by the woman in South Carolina who drove all her little children into a lake to drown them: She was making sure that they would be saved and in heaven to live forever with Jesus…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. for every excuse and every answer that a christian will provide to explain a problem away only creates new questions and problems that need solving.

    It’s a silly child’s game where the kids keep making up rules on the spot to make up for a poorly thought out game. the longer the game goes one, the sillier it gets.

    I’m done playing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. It’s a great question, Gary. It’s not actually something that we talked about that much… I suppose many of us would have said that it might be theoretically possible to live a sinless life, but the odds would probably be about the same as flipping a coin and getting it to land on its side, or something. You’re right — it still raises questions about a God who would create such flawed individuals and then judge them for it.

    If babies are perfect then they don’t need a Savior. so there will be souls in heaven who never needed Jesus and therefore Jesus is NOT the only way to God. So the passage in the Bible that says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but my me” needs to be changed.

    Well, according to the Adam and Eve story, they didn’t need any kind of mediation to have a relationship with God. They had it by default, and it was only lost through their sin. So I viewed children as being in a similar situation, and I don’t know that I’d say it’s a true contradiction with Jesus’s statement. Something to consider, though.

    But I do agree that this scenario sets up a situation in which it would seem better to kill children before they reach an age of accountability. There’s no real way around that, and it was something I realized while I was a Christian.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I just watched the video Carmen posted. Praise Jesus! A picture book of tormented souls burning in the Lake of Fire, otherwise known as Hell (the audio version is a real bargain; just an additional $19.99! I can just hear the life-like screams of agonizing pain as we speak.) This is exactly what every Christian parent should read to their young child as a bedtime story before turning out the lights and tucking little Johnnie or Susie into bed!

    Praise our Loving Heavenly Father!

    I just ordered TEN of “A Young Child’s Guide to the Doctrine of Hell and Eternal Torment” for my young children, nieces and nephews. I plan to give them as Christmas Stocking Stuffers.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I wonder why the comments are disabled. . .hmmmm. .. .also, the video has rec’d MANY ‘dislikes’. . perhaps the arsewipe will realize he’s made an error in judgement, releasing that?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Carmen,

    If you click on the author’s name on the video link, it allows you to send him an email.

    I sent him an email encouraging him to obtain psychiatric help. Anyone who threatens young children with being burned alive for not believing in/obeying an imaginary ghost in the sky, is sick. We would arrest anyone else who threatened children with being burned for disobedience, but we let these religious wackos get away with it under the guise of “religious free speech”. It’s appalling.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I don’t think it’s quite that cut and dry. The real problem is that this guy believes Hell is real and kids are really going there. Based on that, his actions are actually very sane. I mean, who among us wouldn’t want to warn children if they really faced such a threat?

    So I might reach out to him as well. But if I do, I’ll agree with him that Hell would be a terrible place that all should avoid. And the absolute worst case scenario would be for any children to wind up there. So how much sense does it make for a loving God to implement such a plan?

    It’s a long shot that it would do any good. But I think there’s a way to talk to him about it without seeming like it’s an attack.

    Like

  30. You can do that, Nate, but you are stepping into his paradigm where he will always have the upper hand as he believes that HIS interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation, and yours is wrong.

    I am trying to get him to see that even HE would not condone the same behavior by any other adult human being in any other circumstance. I am trying to get him to see that threatening a small child with being burned alive for disobedience is ALWAYS wrong, immoral, and unjustifiable.

    That is the only way, I believe, that you can break through to a fundamentalist. Shock them. Rattle their cage. Show them in stark terms how their religious belief is inconsistent with their own moral standards. It doesn’t mean that we tell HIM that HE is evil, but we point out just how evil his BELIEF is.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Oh, I wrote him – you can be sure of that. He wrote back – a bible verse – and I wrote him again and asked him why he hadn’t addressed my questions. So far, *crickets*.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. “Believe it or not, there are some groups of Christians that don’t believe in original sin.”

    For what it’s worth, Nate, I haven’t believed in a conventional doctrine of “original sin” for decades now. I think I used to interpret Romans the way you said, but even more loosely. But now I recognise that first century Jews (which included Jesus and all the apostles) used more flexible and creative ways of interpreting and applying OT passages than is often recognised (sometimes called Midrashic interpretation), and I can see this as an example. When discussing with more conservative christians, I sometimes quote “as in Adam all died so in Christ all are made alive” and ask are they universalists? If not, then they already recognise that this statement is using Midrashic interpretation.

    On top of all this, there are different versions of the original sin doctrine, and it is all changing anyway now more and more christians accept that Genesis 1-11 is mythical, or at least not literal history.

    Like

  33. The idea that children are exempted from hell until they reach an age of accountability raises all sorts of issues. If it is true, that young children are given a free pass to heaven then why should Christians protest abortion? Surely based on that logic abortion is the kindest thing one can do.

    Think about it:
    1, Kill a child before age of accountability – straight to heaven;
    2. Let a child live – chance of hell.

    I raise this logical fallacy because it shows that the problem is not accountability, it is not original sin, the actual problem is the concept of hell. The more I think about it, the more I see it as an insidious device to scare people into accepting religion and then to terrify them of ever leaving. Where is the morality in that?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. @Carmen, I have thought long and deep on these issues. No doubt because my real fear in leaving Christianity is that I might be wrong and be tortured by God for all eternity as a result.

    Though I comfort myself with the logic of sound thinkers like Zach van Houten:
    https://boldlybiblical.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/50-questions-for-those-who-believe-in-eternal-torment/

    Interestingly shortly after this post Zach left the faith and no calls himself a free thinking humanist.

    Like

  35. I read through it and he certainly had a comprehensive list of questions! I must confess that I am blown away by the lengths people go to, in their quest for the answers to spiritual questions. I know that I have read a fair amount and considered much – and I find it very interesting – but the philosophical pondering that some people do amazes me! Or perhaps it says something about the amount of indoctrination one has been exposed to — for myself, it didn’t take very much for me to come to the conclusion that it really IS all nonsense. Or maybe I’m just a natural cynic? I guess, at the end of the day, I wonder if I even NEED to know the answers to some questions.
    Peter, I really wish I could think of some prophetic, comforting advice to give to you so you would stop worrying about eternal torture. I honestly don’t think that kind of thing could ever even be possible, and any entity who would willingly do that to a great fellow like you – and all the other good, decent beings I’ve ‘met’ on these blogs – I think would have to be a real shit, in plain language.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Hi Carmen and Peter,

    Sounds like Peter grew up a Christian fundamentalist like I did. I was indoctrinated with a very strong dose of fear regarding Hellfire and damnation, on a weekly, if not daily basis ever since I could crawl (my father was a fundamentalist Baptist preacher). I was more afraid of Hell than of the Boogeyman under my bed or in my closet.

    If you instill that kind of fear in a young child they will NEVER get completely over it. Ask anyone who was verbally or psychologically abused as a child on an ongoing basis for years and they will tell you the same thing. You never get rid of it completely.

    There is still a part of me that fears Hell…intensely. But instead of trying to be 100% free of that fear, I have come to accept it as a permanent part of my psyche. How do I cope with it? I have learned that instead of seeing it as a sign that an invisible God is convicting me of my wicked sin of rejecting him, I see it for what it is: child abuse.

    I can live with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Oddly enough, despite growing up as a fundamentalist myself, there are a couple of things that have helped me move past a fear of Hell.

    1) Jesus’s promise in Matthew 7 that those who seek truth will find it. I know that seems weird, since I’m no longer a Christian, but I view it like this: IF the Christian Hell is real, then Christianity is true. And if that’s the case, then Jesus’s statement in Matthew 7 is also true. Which means that honest seekers (of which I’m one) will find the truth. So in that way, I don’t really have to worry about Hell.

    2) From a skeptical perspective, it’s very easy to see the progression of belief about the afterlife in the Bible. No one can deny that the OT doesn’t talk about Hell or Heaven (except for one possible reference in Daniel 12, which was pretty obviously written in the Maccabean time period). Hell only shows up in the NT, after the Jews had been subjects of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. The NT’s words for the parts of the afterlife either come directly from Greek mythology (Hades and Tartarus), or from a local geographic feature (Gehenna). If Hell were real, it would have to be much older than Greek culture and the trash pit outside Jerusalem, which means it should have had its own name. In other words, it’s so obviously a construct, it just has no power over me at all any more.

    Don’t know if that’s helpful or not… I can easily see why many people aren’t ever able to get completely past a fear of Hell.

    Like

  38. Nate, thanks for your comments. Yes they are helpful. I agree with everything you say.

    However, fear is not a logical or rational construct. I have been analyzing myself and concluded I am a pessimist by nature. I am very adept at constructing a worst case scenario, but fair less adept at applying to it a reasonable probability of outcome.

    I kept expecting God to wreak some horrible revenge upon me for leaving the faith. Even though everything that has happened to me since then has been consistent with the scenario of there being no god to wreak that revenge.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. I like your summary, Nate, especially the second part. However, it is amazing how Christians can “harmonize” this massive discrepancy. They claim that this was a case of “progressive revelation”: the doctrine of Hell has been there all along but God hid it for thousands of years for reasons known only to him.

    There is always a harmonization, it seems. After all, Christians have convinced themselves that three equals one and one equals three.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Hi Nate, I hadn’t listened to the video before, but now I have. You may be surprised to know that I agreed with quite a bit of it, notably the idea that ethics vary with the situation and cannot be precisely written down.

    Many christians, and many of their critics, think that christianity is about following rules, but the NT makes it very clear this isn’t so. I could show you many places where it says that the Law is the old and was then passing away, and the new way is to live in the way of the Spirit and not the law, that good and bad are defined by love and our faith that a course of action is right. There are of course many commands in the NT, but they come in the form of principles and guidance. So I agree with the humanists there, and I believe Jesus and Paul did too.

    There are other things I didn’t agree with, but I think this probably makes me a christian humanist (?)

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Thanks for the comment, unkleE. The way I saw it as a Christian isn’t too different from what you’re saying. I definitely saw that the old law was no longer in effect. My views on the newer commands in the NT were probably a bit more legalistic than how you view it, but I did recognize that the focus had changed.

    I like the term “Christian humanist.” Hadn’t really thought of it before, but it’s a great description.

    Like

  42. The problem most of you have is that from an evolutionary atheist perspective morality is illogical. That’s not to say there have not been multiple attempts to claim that its logical but that they all fail and fail pretty obviously

    Evolution cares about one thing – long term fitness to procreate.

    If one species ends up killing off every other one mercilessly – it doesn’t care.
    IF criminals can prolifically create off springs – it doesn’t care.
    If murder frees up ecologically niches – the more the merrier

    You can be a cheat, rape, murder , lie and embezzle. In many cases it will open up more time and more opportunity to procreate and thats all Evolution “cares” about.

    Lets face it everyone appealing to a moral code in this thread has been introduced to it by someone else that was introduced to it at some point along the chain – like it or not – by someone religious. Its fine to say you don’t need religion to be moral because you live in a society that already injected you with morality. Its still in your veins to various degrees. You can live n denial that the day you became n atheist it wiped away all your upbringing but its quite the sham of an illogical argument.

    The video is a mess for anyone that understands past the verbage (that its one of Nate’s favorite shows you how weak the overall argument is). In just about every minute it has to assume morality as reasonable in order to claim its based on reason. The public has seen through the mental gymnastics. They realize the central tenets of atheism clearly and logically indicate that there is no thumbs up or thumbs down on morality. the problem Atheists have is the public will never buy that there is no real right or wrong.

    Which is why we see the continued attempts by atheists to claim though there are no absolutes morality is absolutely rational. Its a huge gaping problem which atheist have no other answer but – spin.

    Like

  43. “The experiment was repeated with rats and even they showed changed behaviour and a reluctance to go for the food if it meant another rat felt pain as a result.”

    You can’t seriously believe that the minds of rats or monkeys can be read. Unfortunately the tendency for humans to read in human sentiments to animals they are observing has been well proven. I would not be surprised at all that a rat or monkey would stop doing something based on harm coming to a party within his own species – it need to do nothing with morality or empathy. just that he fears he/she might be next.

    Thats not to deny empathy as a God designed feature in some animals but that the test as you have described it proves nothing of what you are claiming for it

    Like

  44. “ha, ha – You’re lecturing US about SPIN???? That’s rich!!”

    Then I’ll make you a wealthy man. Regardless I noticed the distinct absence of a reasoned rebuttal – so see? Even you know there is none

    Like

  45. We have certain instincts that factor into morality. So if someone decides to just start killing everyone indiscriminately, that’s not going to be a very successful strategy. He may get what he wants for a little while, but someone (or many “someones”) will eventually eliminate him. Just like all animals that live cooperatively, we’ve evolved certain instincts that help us function successfully in society.

    There’s another level of morality on top of that one that does consist of what’s taught to us — just as Mike was alluding to. In other words, both nature (my first paragraph) and nurture have a lot to do with what we consider moral. And that’s why our views of morality have changed so much over time and throughout various cultures.

    Finally, a third level of morality is the idea of absolute morality. This comes into play when we want to judge one culture’s idea of morality against another’s. Religion is able to claim authority in this area by saying that morality comes from God. But this is still just a claim, and if the people involved in the discussion don’t agree on the God in question, then this claim is pretty meaningless. Secularists don’t typically try to claim that there is a hard and fast objective morality; however, many of us do think we can judge whether or not a particular action is more moral than another. We do this by examining what most of us have considered “moral” in the past, and we examine the arc of moral progression that can be seen in human history. When we do this, we find that personal liberty, the minimization of pain, and the maximization of happiness seem to be three of the most important elements. From there, it’s not usually very difficult to see which option in a set of choices is more moral than another.

    Like

  46. I would not be surprised at all that a rat or monkey would stop doing something based on harm coming to a party within his own species – it need to do nothing with morality or empathy. just that he fears he/she might be next.

    Thats not to deny empathy as a God designed feature in some animals but that the test as you have described it proves nothing of what you are claiming for it

    That’s a pretty weak rationalization against the findings of those experiments, Mike.

    Furthermore, what are you even arguing against? You don’t like the implications of the experiments that Peter mentioned, but you also say that God gave some animals empathy. If you believe that, why are you troubled by those experiments?

    Like

  47. ” but I view it like this: IF the Christian Hell is real, then Christianity is true. And if that’s the case, then Jesus’s statement in Matthew 7 is also true. Which means that honest seekers (of which I’m one) will find the truth. So in that way, I don’t really have to worry about Hell.”

    Unfortunately Nate you are forgetting there are multiple warnings in the Bible about being deceived by yourself. They would apply particularly to you especially since you have a post around here somewhere where you claim to have totally made up your mind regarding the Bible but yet are not closed minded on the issue.

    Thats not seeking but the tell tale sign of someone deceiving himself he can occupy two mutually exclusive positions on openness at the same time.

    Besides, the passage reads in the continuous tense in the Greek and seeking Till isn’t the context. I don’t think in any of our debates you have ever shown that you sought enough to not have missed even key facts which you admitted to being unaware of.

    I ‘m just telling you this because if you are wrong and you find yourself in an after life you didn’t think existed, Matthew 7 isn’t likely to be something that will stand up to HIS scrutiny.

    Like

  48. “That’s a pretty weak rationalization against the findings of those experiments, Mike.”

    If so it should be easy for you to show they are weak…your absence of doing so is obviously telling.

    However by all means go ahead and proceed to give us the scientific evidence that we are capable of determining what the Monkey or the rat was thinking that made them stop. It would make for an interesting read. Thing is I know lots of people who given this same situation would stop pulling the lever not simply to save others but the very real possibility that seeing other people die or in pain by pulling the lever would make them fear for their own life.

    “Furthermore, what are you even arguing against? You don’t like the implications of the experiments that Peter mentioned”

    I said not a thing about like or dislike now did I? don’t start fibbing so soon again

    “If you believe that, why are you troubled by those experiments?”

    Apparently Nate does as poor of a job mind reading as he does reasoning. I am not troubled at all. I am merely pointing out a logical flaw in deducing human rationals from animal reactions.

    Am I sensing some distress that the test might now quite show what you thought it did?

    Like

  49. @ ablacksmanagain

    You say The problem most of you have is that from an evolutionary atheist perspective morality is illogical.

    No it’s not. But by making this ludicrous assertion, you demonstrate the real problem here: you are ignorant about what is meant by the term ‘morality’, how this sentiment is explained by compelling evidence from reality in evolutionary biology, and then fill that ignorance in with your selected faith-based beliefs that has an agenda unconcerned with what is true and knowable.

    Your imposed beliefs are not indicative or reflective of, or knowledgeable about, reality; they are indicative of only your faith-based beliefs and they are without any knowledge value whatsoever. That’s why the conclusion you think you have drawn is nothing more than a premise (that you assume is true). It is absolute rubbish and has no relevance to reality or reveal any accuracy about morality.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. I hesitate to jump in here but ABlacksmanagain said:

    Unfortunately Nate you are forgetting there are multiple warnings in the Bible about being deceived by yourself.

    Generally speaking if you are deceived you are unaware that you are being deceived until further information comes to light. Some people never know. So if you’re self-deceived how would you ever know that you are? The Bible may warn against it, but how would you even know you were doing it?

    Liked by 1 person

  51. “We have certain instincts that factor into morality. So if someone decides to just start killing everyone indiscriminately, that’s not going to be a very successful strategy.”

    Probably not but once we come back from that strawman constructed argument of killing everyone indiscriminately we certainly have no innate instinct of morality for killing some people “discriminately” or we wouldn’t have as many murders as we do

    “He may get what he wants for a little while, but someone (or many “someones”) will eventually eliminate him. Just like all animals ”

    Nature is filled with animals that kill everyday to eat, procreate and dominate. The strongest ones live a full life. Appealing to other species just doesn’t work due to the nature of life in the wild

    “In other words, both nature (my first paragraph) and nurture have a lot to do with what we consider moral. And that’s why our views of morality have changed so much over time and throughout various cultures.”

    Some perhaps but not most but heres the curious thing. Many of the moralities we hold to are not held to animals yet they favor us BIOLOGICALLY. Constant agression gives us high blood pressure and heart disease but serves Lions well. Most studies indicate a large amount of sexual partners makes humans less healthy despite it being favorable for evolution. ALtrusim actually releases some hormones but altruism can leave you dead so not to wonderful for evolution.

    Isn’t it grand that our bodies seem to reward us for a certain set of morals?

    “Secularists don’t typically try to claim that there is a hard and fast objective morality; however, many of us do think we can judge whether or not a particular action is more moral than another.”

    There you go — You just demonstrated what I was talking about. That secularists do not adhere to a hard and fast objective morality yet can judge which actions is more moral than another is the very kind of gibberish you all should be embarrassed to utter but have to in order to save face from the logical consequence of your atheism.

    Like

  52. “Generally speaking if you are deceived you are unaware that you are being deceived until further information comes to light. Some people never know. So if you’re self-deceived how would you ever know that you are? The Bible may warn against it, but how would you even know you were doing it?”

    Hi Ruth,

    By doing what the Bible says is its cure

    Examining yourself. You do this by introspection, holding yourself up to objective standards and being willing to hear and objectively evaluate input from those around you.

    Like

  53. Hey Mike,

    Examining yourself. You do this by introspection, holding yourself up to objective standards and being willing to hear and objectively evaluate input from those around you.

    I think most of us believe we’re doing that. What objective standards?

    Like

  54. “That’s why the conclusion you think you have drawn is nothing more than a premise (that you assume is true). It is absolute rubbish and has no relevance to reality or reveal any accuracy about morality.”

    Yaaaawwwwwn…… In that meandering useless mass of rhetorical verbage there was not a single attempt to provide a rational basis for morality (of any kind) in an evolutionary framework.

    Thank you for confirming my earlier post that you have no rational basis for your argument.

    P.S. Please do not forget to take your meds today

    Like

  55. I believe that Mike is entirely correct to complain that atheism cannot explain morality. There has to be something more. I believe that the something more is “humanism”. Some Christians will complain that humanism is just liberal Christianity, and in a sense they may be correct. But so what?

    I see religion as one of many stages of human evolution. Humans created religion and god(s) to give some order and meaning to their mysterious and very dangerous world. With the advancements of Science, we understand our mysterious and dangerous world much better. We no longer need god(s) to explain why there are droughts, floods, lightening, sickness, etc.. So we can move on to the next stage: humanism. A perspective that encourages the intrinsic value of each individual; the wellbeing of all; and the maximization of happiness.

    These are values and behaviors valued by all “herd” animals. The selfish, violent individual is not tolerated for long and is either eliminated or ostracized. Watch any film about our closest relatives, the great apes, and you will see these same behaviors. Behaviors that benefit the wellbeing of the group are encouraged and supported. Behaviors that disrupt the group and expose it to danger, is discouraged.

    Instead of fighting against the notion that humanism is an outgrowth of religion, we should embrace it. “Yes! It is,” should be our response. “But we are advancing beyond religion into something better, more beautiful, and more fulfilling.”

    Liked by 1 person

  56. “I think most of us believe we’re doing that. What objective standards?”

    If you claim to be doing that then shouldn’t you know that? obviously ones that you hold to previously and use with others. Equal weights. As an illustration almost every bad relationship that fell apart I know would have seen the writing on the wall if they had listened to others and asked themselves questions honestly as they would before the relationship started.
    You can see exactly how self deception works in bad relationships.

    Mind you I am just answering a question regarding self deception you asked me I presumed without ulterior motive

    Like

  57. “So we can move on to the next stage: humanism. A perspective that encourages the intrinsic value of each individual; the wellbeing of all; and the maximization of happiness.”

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
    Humanism on the issue of objective morality is still as beat

    Like

  58. If you claim to be doing that then shouldn’t you know that?

    You have a point there. I guess what I was saying is that we are all looking at evidence – any evidence – as objectively as we know how.

    The trouble with objective standards is that, as you said, they’re the ones I hold myself to and use with others. If you don’t have the same standards as me doesn’t that make mine subjective? And perhaps yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  59. There is no such thing as objective morality.

    Morality is defined by the culture and the times. Even in Judeo-Christianity one can see the change in moral standards. At one time a husband could have his wife killed on their wedding night if he found her hymen to not be intact. I don’t think that any Jewish or Christian group today would support such a punishment. There are many more examples.

    There are some actions that most “herds” do not tolerate, such as killing the young members of the group. A chimpanzee in a group who targets the children of other group members for killing will not last long in the group, while killing of infants of another group is tolerated. We see this same “morality” in the stories of the ancient Hebrews.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. “Evolution cares about one thing – long term fitness to procreate.” ABlacksmanagain

    and if helping each other out aids in the fitness to procreate, then evolution seems to explain it.

    you’re not suggesting that ethical behavior has no rational benefit are you?

    and an organism’s sense of self preservation also aids in that end.

    Like

  61. “You can be a cheat, rape, murder , lie and embezzle. In many cases it will open up more time and more opportunity to procreate and thats all Evolution “cares” about.” – ABlacksmanagain

    you may be on to something here, seeing as how the rapists, murder’s and thieves end up siring the most children of the human species….

    except that’s not true. and except that evolution may not care as much about numbers as it does about numbers that lead to more numbers – in other words, overall survival success.

    but really, who cares? You’re trying to make the point that god made morals and that we know them through the bible – except the moral precepts taught in the bible were all taught by others before the bible… and except that many bible-believers are morally corrupt while many non-bible-believers are ethical.

    so the bible wasnt needed to get an idea of right and wrong and having the bible doesnt mean a person will do right instead of wrong.

    but evolution is dumb..

    Liked by 2 people

  62. “Morality is defined by the culture and the times. Even in Judeo-Christianity one can see the change in moral standards. At one time a husband could have his wife killed on their wedding night if he found her hymen to not be intact. ”

    Gary conduct an experiment. See if for once you can not go of into babbling nonsense. You continue to babble about what Christianity teaches and are totally and absolutely clueless at just about every turn. Christianity has never had a time where it taught the “moral standard” was to kill anyone on their wedding night no matter what culture you point to.

    Now I sense if you embark upon it the experiment will fail but upon repeated attempts it may tend to diminish the stupidity you break out with.

    meanwhile morality is the sense of some action being wrong or right. Once you claim that wrong or right is based on culture or points in time then it becomes meaningless to object to immoral actions. the person may merely be just ahead of their times and vindicated by future generations. Your humanism rationals fair no better than the rest of your merry band here

    Raping five year olds becomes neither right nor wrong good nor evil
    Nazis should not have been punished because killing Jews was fine and dandy in their culture
    Killing homosexuals for their orientation would be fine and dandy because that was the time for it
    and why bemoan slavery or racism to even change it since it was the morality of the day.

    Your distinction is without merit. It falls down unable to get up when it makes any claim of morality for itself.

    Like

  63. ablacksmanagain, slavery was the word of god in the OT and jeezzzuuusss was the same god in the flesh in the NT. it wasn’t the morality of the day it was the will of god. can’t argue that

    Like

  64. “and if helping each other out aids in the fitness to procreate, then evolution seems to explain it.”

    and how would that explain the immorality of murder (just for starters). It helps to procreate as well (kill of the competitors and you genes dominate) so do many wrong actions. Stealing can make you richer and aid procreation. Rape a twelve your old and she may procreate. in fact using an evolutionary argument the more years the female will have to procreate the younger she starts. Evolution doesn’t even begin to explain it. Sorry

    Like

  65. @ ablacksmanagain says That secularists do not adhere to a hard and fast objective morality yet can judge which actions is more moral than another is the very kind of gibberish you all should be embarrassed to utter but have to in order to save face from the logical consequence of your atheism.

    Moral and immoral sentiments such as the practice of distinguishing right from wrong, exercising moral awareness, and recognizing moral taboos are nearly universal. Where you go wrong is pretending that there is a particular moral code or standard to which you believe your God is responsible for creating. These particulars can and do change across populations and time… including the blessed recipients of this ‘objective’ god-approved code and the institutional dogmas and doctrines built in its various names… but the sentiments are the same across all cultural, linguistic, gender, age, religious, and ethical boundaries. Moral sentiments I describe above without question even cross the species boundary.. not that you care.

    As for innate moral values (sorry that may appear to be a negative pun, Nate), we often encounter the really bad argument about no biological reasons for altruism or its widespread approval. So it’s interesting to note that a survey of 60 ‘traditional societies’ (like the Dogon, Hopi, Tzeltal, and so on) found that of seven key moral values specified in advance (obligation to kin, loyalty to group, reciprocity, bravery, respect, fairness, and recognition of property rights) most were held by nearly all societies, and every one was found in six ‘cultural regions’ also identified in advance. That’s interesting because these values appear consistently across what we consider very early social units. When you add in the responses (in their millions) to the trolley problems, we find a very consistent picture that demonstrates morality to be linked first with ‘feelings’ and only secondly with reasons and learned behaviour. Neurological studies estimate not only a vast majority of moral considerations are actually instantly selected without any directed thought but actually precedes frontal cortex activity altogether (the bit used for such higher cognitive functioning like… oh, let’s just pick one randomly… say, religious apologetics).

    All of this mutually supportive physical evidence points us in the direction of biology to be the root of moral considerations and not organized thinking subject to various environmental influences (like culture, religion, and so on).

    Mind you, this actual research (we’ll mis-characterize it as ‘atheist’ because it doesn’t osculate the rump of faith properly) is almost too embarrassing to utter in response to the most excellent and rational one offered by theists like ablacksmanagain: a ‘sense’ of objective rules transmitted to us (because we’re the special primates on this hunk of rock) by the mechanism of POOF!ism from an agency quite accurately described as OogityBoogity!

    I get the sense, ablacksmanagain, that irony is not your strongest suit.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. “ablacksmanagain, slavery was the word of god in the OT and jeezzzuuusss was the same god in the flesh in the NT. it wasn’t the morality of the day it was the will of god. ”

    Sorry……..Slavery in the OT was not based on racism and nothing like what we usually reference today . It was almost exclusively military or a voluntary financial arrangement (that you could subsequently be freed from)

    and no despite your usual no study babbling the OT Torah which the jews lived by never demanded as the will of God people to have slaves.

    Like

  67. @ ablacksmanagain

    Also, fitness in evolutionary understanding means reproductive fitness and this doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means successful reproduction. That’s it.

    Like

  68. Mike you are trying to prove that atheism and the process of evolutionary natural selection have no standards of morality. I agree with you. There must be something more.

    That is why mankind invented gods and religion.

    I believe that Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are definitely major improvements over the behavior of our primordial ancestors. But I believe that humanism is the next (and better) step in our collective evolutionary development.

    We humans have always made the rules when it comes to morality. We may try to attribute them to invisible gods, but in reality, we made the rules. I believe that Christianity was a major improvement over ancient Judaism…in principle, but Christianity in practice has many flaws. In practice, Christians have used the idea that “Jesus is the only way” and that those who don’t choose to believe/obey him are sinners (evil) as justification for all kinds of horrific behavior.

    Secular Humanism has refined and expanded upon the better principles of religion, and abandoned the racist, bigoted, and violent features of religion. Yes, many of the principles of humanism are derived from Christian principles. We secular humanists should acknowledge that and be grateful to Christians for these contributions. But humanism is better; an advancement, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. “Raping five year olds becomes neither right nor wrong good nor evil
    Nazis should not have been punished because killing Jews was fine and dandy in their culture
    Killing homosexuals for their orientation would be fine and dandy because that was the time for it
    and why bemoan slavery or racism to even change it since it was the morality of the day.” – ABlacksmanagain

    what does this have to do with anything?

    the bible claims god ordered the israelites to kill men, women and children so that they could like in their houses and eat from their fields. sounds immoral, but I guess the bible-believer’s idea of morality has nothing to do with specific actions, but with whether or not god approved at a given time.

    at times, god wanted them to kill everything and babies except for virgin girls, which they were to keep for themselves. yay, morality.

    slavery too – not condemned in the bible. a christian slave owner in the NT wasnt commanded to free his slaves, but to be a good master. Bible morality, yay.

    what are you talking about?

    Liked by 2 people

  70. I never said slavery was based on racism you ignorant jackass. clearly just like every other dumbass Christian you deny what is in the bible.

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

    It was almost exclusively military or a voluntary financial arrangement (that you could subsequently be freed from)

    mikey you’re a goddamn liar.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. “and how would that explain the immorality of murder (just for starters). It helps to procreate as well (kill of the competitors and you genes dominate) so do many wrong actions. Stealing can make you richer and aid procreation. Rape a twelve your old and she may procreate. in fact using an evolutionary argument the more years the female will have to procreate the younger she starts. Evolution doesn’t even begin to explain it. Sorry” – ABlacksmanagain

    do you feel safe when a murderer is on the loose? many people do not. They dont like it, because they fear they, or someone they know, could be next. They usually eliminate the perceived threat.

    when eliminated, the body cant produce sperm or eggs as good as when they were alive, thereby reducing the chances of passing along genes to new generation.

    you’re trying to make it out as though evolution has mind is creating a perfect species – that’s a misunderstanding. and deviations do arise at times.

    but deviations in biblical morality change as well. nothing iron clad there.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. and how would that explain the immorality of murder (just for starters). It helps to procreate as well (kill of the competitors and you genes dominate) so do many wrong actions. Stealing can make you richer and aid procreation. Rape a twelve your old and she may procreate. in fact using an evolutionary argument the more years the female will have to procreate the younger she starts. Evolution doesn’t even begin to explain it. Sorry

    Are you serious? Do you truly not see how a number of evolutionary pressures would select against such behavior?

    There would be pressures in both directions. As you say, if you murder someone to get what you want (your neighbor’s wife, perhaps), then you’ll father children with her and he won’t. However, the rest of society will quickly end your life when the opportunity arises, which keeps you from fathering as many children as you would. Thus, in our history, we’ve seen people who have gotten away with this behavior (like powerful despots), but we’ve also seen movements toward greater equality and protection of the weak.

    And just as we would expect from such a history, humans have developed both qualities: sometimes we’re selfish and even take advantage of others. But most of us also have empathy that motivates us to be fair and do what’s “right.”

    Like

  73. “Moral and immoral sentiments such as the practice of distinguishing right from wrong, exercising moral awareness, and recognizing moral taboos are nearly universal. ”

    Yes along with the nearly universal presence of religion with them.;)

    or did you fall on your head and miss that little factual nugget? Whenever are you going to make a good point?

    “All of this mutually supportive physical evidence points us in the direction of biology to be the root of moral considerations and not organized thinking subject to various environmental influences (like culture, religion, and so on).”

    The vast and obvious stupidity of your argument is betrayed by the evidence you point to. Lets take a gander at it because the problem is never with the data its with your analysis and lack of any depth..First

    “found that of seven key moral values specified in advance (obligation to kin, loyalty to group, reciprocity, bravery, respect, fairness, and recognition of property rights) most were held by nearly all societies, and every one was found in six ‘cultural regions’ also identified in advance.

    almost all these are learned cognitive abilities. We learn who to have loyalty to, we learn respect and the very concept of property. We do not pop out with a sense of who owns what property and what rights those bestow. Your toddler will invade space and property at will. To wit saying Biology sans environmental influences is the root is just VAST vacant blithering nonsense. learning IS an environmental influence and in almost all cases that teaching did in fact come with religious education of some sort as well

    Second

    “Neurological studies estimate not only a vast majority of moral considerations are actually instantly selected without any directed thought but actually precedes frontal cortex activity altogether .”

    So? Since you seem so totally unaware most neurological studies and particularly those that monitor frontal cortex activity are adults. Well trained and exposed to environmental factors as even first year babies are. How you think that is going to get your biology “is the root of moral considerations” argument on solid ground is amusing but not the least bit substantive.

    Its more akin to begging that they point where they do not.

    Please come back when you learn the scientific method of research. You cannot claim to have isolated a particular cause in any study unless you have isolated various other causes. In the alleged proofs you point to environmental causes complete with religious training in most ancient cultures cannot and were not isolated.

    i still await for you to post something that is not totally and obviously bogus.

    Like

  74. Hebrew Slaves

    21 The Lord gave Moses the following laws for his people:

    2 If you buy a Hebrew slave, he must remain your slave for six years. But in the seventh year you must set him free, without cost to him. 3 If he was single at the time you bought him, he alone must be set free. But if he was married at the time, both he and his wife must be given their freedom. 4 If you give him a wife, and they have children, only the man himself must be set free; his wife and children remain the property of his owner.

    5 But suppose the slave loves his wife and children so much that he won’t leave without them. 6 Then he must stand beside either the door or the doorpost at the place of worship,[a] while his owner punches a small hole through one of his ears with a sharp metal rod. This makes him a slave for life.

    7 A young woman who was sold by her father doesn’t gain her freedom in the same way that a man does. 8 If she doesn’t please the man who bought her to be his wife, he must let her be bought back.[b] He cannot sell her to foreigners; this would break the contract he made with her. 9 If he selects her as a wife for his son, he must treat her as his own daughter.

    10 If the man later marries another woman, he must continue to provide food and clothing for the one he bought and to treat her as a wife. 11 If he fails to do any of these things, she must be given her freedom without cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Exodus 21:44

    ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Exodus 21:20

    “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. Leviticus 19:20

    “If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free;

    Liked by 1 person

  78. “Yes along with the nearly universal presence of religion with them.;)” – ABlacksmanagain

    yes, and nearly all of them throughout history were not christian ;(

    Liked by 1 person

  79. Exodus 21:1-6

    Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. 2 When you buy a Hebrew slave,[a] he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. Ephesians 6:5

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

    Gary: How any Christian can excuse the slavery condoned in both the Old and New Testaments is beyond me. It gives the term “a seared conscience” a new meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. “I never said slavery was based on racism”

    I never concern myself with what you said poor chap. I concern myself with what I said (which you responded to). I spoke of Slavery and racism together. Try and keep up

    “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)”

    And? lol…You think you are informing me that people in the OT had slaves or what were sometimes called bondservants. Thats actually funny

    Go read what I wrote. The law does not command anyone to keep slaves. Saying someone may do something is not a command for them to do it. Divorce for social reasons was allowed for in the OT as well but it was never God’s original intent as Jesus explained. Israel was never supposed to have a human king but God allowed it after pretty much indicating it was a sin for them to want a human king. None of these were commands.

    If you can’t read what I write thats your problem bro. I can’t improve your literacy 😉

    Like

  82. mike, is killing babies moral?

    I mean god killed david’s baby for a crime david committed and god commanded his people to slaughter nations along with their babies and toddlers…

    I guess the baby boys had to die for their wickedness, but the virgin girls could be forgiven?

    Liked by 1 person

  83. “It was almost exclusively military or a voluntary financial arrangement (that you could subsequently be freed from)”

    That is what you said, Mike. You have been proven wrong. If you deny it, then you are a liar. If after seeing the evidence you continue to condone your God’s toleration of slavery then you are not only a liar but immoral.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. “I never concern myself with what you said poor chap. I concern myself with what I said (which you responded to). I spoke of Slavery and racism together. Try and keep up” – ABlacksmanagain

    …so, you dont think slavery itself is immoral, just slavery resulting from racism? Do you have book chapter and verse for that?

    or… what are you talking about?

    and his response, is something he said… so shouldnt you “concern yourself with it” when engaged in a conversation with him? I think we just discovered one of the biggest problems here.

    learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. Any Christian who condones or excuses the Christian god’s attitude toward slavery in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible has no business preaching objective morality to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. Nate: “Pastor Bill” has responded to your questions…if you can call it responding. He seems stuck in the paradigm that the Bible, specifically, the King James Bible, cannot be wrong, no matter how much evidence to the contrary is presented to him.

    Sound familiar anyone??

    Liked by 2 people

  87. “at times, god wanted them to kill everything and babies except for virgin girls, which they were to keep for themselves. yay, morality.

    Yawn… we have discussed the claims you make against the morality of God in many of Nate’s posts. Whats new? In regard to God nothing has changed. Same moral code. He still reserves the right for who lives and dies. Every theist knows this. He is God ( so boring sometimes to break down the simplest of things to you) No theist make the ridiculous claim as you people do that God is changing his morality when HE Decides someone must live or die. He is the giver and owner of life. Murder is wrong because life does not belong to us as humans.

    So as we all know and have debated several times sure there are a few instances in the OT (thousands of years ago) where GOD says (based on his knowledge of their hearts, their future etc) I determine these people must go. Now if god went around telling people in the nt that they can decide who lives and dies then you would have a point but as usual on that you never do

    “slavery too – not condemned in the bible. a christian slave owner in the NT wasn’t commanded to free his slaves, but to be a good master. Bible morality, yay.”

    I realize you people rarely read the bible but even I am surprised by your lack of knowledge of the NT. I mean you are quite given to being dishonest but sometimes you also just seem to e totally oblivious to any verse that isn’t an alleged proof text for your claims.

    The NT did the unthinkable and elevated every slave to equal status with their masters in the eyes of God

    Ephesians 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Masters were not to even treat “slaves” as they used to but fairly and righteously as brothers

    Ephesians 6:9
    “And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”

    Col 4:1
    Colossians 4:1 (KJV)
    1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

    Paul writes letters on behalf of a slave as a brother in Christ but all such things you know nothing of

    Jesus addresses almost none of the social issues of the day but focuses on whats behind them. Slaves were equal to all men in the NT and were to be treated as brothers and love was to be shown to all. Its a message that ended Slavery when Wilberforce INSPIRED BY THE NT moved for its abolishment

    A historical fact that renders all the claims against the NT agreeing with slave practices of the day (because they kept them in name only) nothing but blather without knowledge.

    Like

  88. “If you deny it, then you are a liar. ‘

    LOL…Gary whatever. I don’t worry about what you say too much. Its after all…so you. What I wrote is plain as day.

    “and no despite your usual no study babbling the OT Torah which the jews lived by never demanded as the will of God people to have slaves.”

    There it is. never claimed that the OT didn’t allow it . Never said slaves were not kept. I said GOd never demanded in the torah as his will that people keep slaves.

    I still await a single verse that contradicts my claim. None of those presented indicates that people had to take slaves to keep the law. Its babbling nonsense.. Why don’t you try that claim with one of your Jew fiends who you say know their book

    If you are either too stupid, too ignorant or too dishonest not to see what was said then ….ummmmmmm why would I be surprised?

    Its nothing I have not said before of most of you. 😉

    Like

  89. “No theist make the ridiculous claim as you people do that God is changing his morality when HE Decides someone must live or die. He is the giver and owner of life. Murder is wrong because life does not belong to us as humans.” ABacksmanagain

    oh, i didnt mean to imply that i thought theists think that god changes his morality. not at all, i just think that when theists are presented with acts that are obviously immoral, that their god commanded and engaged in, that they’re forced to sat that killing babies and stealing virgin girls isnt immoral, or else god would do immoral things, and we cant have that.

    and if god can kill what he creates, that sounds too much like pro-choice to me, and i dont readily fall into that category.

    so morality, to theists, is an arbitrary things depended on the feelings of god at a particular time.

    but even if the bible is lacking, it doesnt prove evolution caused morality is right, just that the bible is lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. “and if god can kill what he creates, that sounds too much like pro-choice to me, and i dont readily fall into that category.

    so morality, to theists, is an arbitrary things depended on the feelings of god at a particular time.”

    You always wax into silliness WIlliam. You are begging because theists don’t subscribe to your foolish definition of God’s morality that its arbitrary. To illustrate the stupidity of your ideas observe.

    I went to the store today and bought a shirt. I will take it out and wear it. Its mine. It is not immoral for me to wear my own shirt. If someone comes into my home and takes it without my permission and does the same thing I did – wear it – then thats wrong.

    Why? It does not belong to them.

    Saying that God cannot take back any life that belongs o him or he is being inconsistent is just immense stupidity not worth responding to very much.

    Its akin to saying that if a thief cannot take my shirt and wear it then neither can I without being immoral.

    Like

  91. except your bible doesn’t compare people to shirts in god’s eyes, but children.

    so I dont know what you’re talking about. i thought we were talking about the bible.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. god:

    “do as I say, not as i do.”

    “steal that virgin girl because he parents were wicked, but only after you kill their baby son.”

    clearly, something a loving and all powerful creator would command.

    looks a lot like ISIS to me, but i walk by sight, so that may be the difference.

    Liked by 2 people

  93. “in the eyes of god, you are as shirts, to be worn or burned alive, as he desires”

    that’s not weird. nothing immoral about that, it’s just odd.

    “becomest thou as shirts, and ye shall be worn by god among the angels in heaven. Great is thy wardrobe, O God of shirts, and greater still are thine cloaks. Amen.”

    Liked by 2 people

  94. “except your bible doesn’t compare people to shirts in god’s eyes, but children.

    so I dont know what you’re talking about. i thought we were talking about the bible”

    ugggh…..sorry but you are a teenager or have serious mental issues. Seriously you can’t follow a simple analogy without derrr….uh?

    Only have time for adults – Back on ignore

    but you and Nate should ask yourself whats the big deal with children that stops God from seeing their future and who they are and would be? Hitler was a child so it still goes back to you not having a clue about what they would become.

    Like

  95. “and god rent the wicked like a shirt off his own back, spotted with mire.”

    “I am the lord thy god, and i shall wear a shirt that pleases me, and rend a shirt that pleases me not. Thou shalt not adorn me with shirts from made of polyester, nor of shirts sold at aeropostale.”

    Liked by 1 person

  96. “ugggh…..sorry but you are a teenager or have serious mental issues. Seriously you can’t follow a simple analogy without derrr….uh?” – ABlacksmanagain

    we’ve been through this. I’m both.

    and I think you’re the one who missed the analogy.

    shirt god guy

    Liked by 1 person

  97. “but you and Nate should ask yourself whats the big deal with children that stops God from seeing their future and who they are and would be? Hitler was a child so it still goes back to you not having a clue about what they would become.” – Ablacksmanagain

    ok, but still sounds like you’re giving credence to pro-choice.

    you should ask yourself why you should believe the claims of the men the wrote the bible. really. and then ask yourself why you continue to dodge the big questions and resort to tangential issues when they arise.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. @ ablacksmanagain

    It doesn’t surprise me you missed the point I raised about the primitive societies because you don’t wish to learn anything (you already know because you believe that your god has produced an objective moral standard and will tolerate no examination of the veracity of that belief. You also seem able to grasp that evolution if true – and it is – is fatal to your belief justifications and so you have to pretend you – YOU! – with your multiple and advanced degrees in biology and genetics to rank you as at least as expert as the thousands of working and productive biologists and geneticists that create applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time who are so obviously and badly deluded that they dare disagree with you – are capable of determining this entire branch of science to be wanting. Aren’t you the clever one!).

    I understand that you only want to defend your beliefs rather than align them with reality. That’s fine. You’re allowed to believe whatever you want. But don’t then assume that they are correct. They’re not. They rely on you maintaining and exercising a colossal hubris and arrogance. If, not when, you actually want to learn something, I’ll contribute. Until then, you are nothing but a pious black hole swallowing my time and effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  99. The issue is not, Mike, whether your god commanded the Hebrews to have slaves, the issue is that he tolerated it and condoned it. Even if you personally have no slaves, if you support the act of slavery in any way, you are committing an immoral act. If you don’t see that, then you have an immoral belief system.

    Are you willing to condemn your God, Yahweh/Jesus, for condoning, permitting, and refusing to condemn and outlaw the ownership of slaves, Mike? If not, you are just as immoral as your god.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. “doesn’t surprise me you missed the point”

    Doesn’t surprise me you still are claiming you have one despite your argument being totally dismantled.

    Let me see. can he muster any counter to my counter points?

    Hmm rehtoric and bluster

    then um more rhetoric

    oh well there is this

    ” If, not when, you actually want to learn something, I’ll contribute. Until then, you are nothing but a pious black hole swallowing my time and effort.”

    as fine an admission of running way and being unable to back up his points as I have ever seen

    toodles to you then.

    Like

  101. “Are you serious?

    Assume the answer is yes from now on and save typing that same question whenever you can’t answer my questions..

    every day just about every other species of animal out there is killing something living and in most cases for personal survival, self interest and even procreation and doing quite well. Claiming all of sudden with one species the same killing that works for all other species suddenly becomes a disadvantage to be selected against is just special pleading

    “There would be pressures in both directions. As you say, if you murder someone to get what you want (your neighbor’s wife, perhaps), then you’ll father children with her and he won’t. However, the rest of society will quickly end your life when the opportunity arises, which keeps you from fathering as many children as you would.”

    Good night man. think!! The only reason why society will hone in on you is because of an already existing moral outrage. If in fact they are doing the same thing then you go back to a real scenario that exists in many other species devoid of such morality. In many species the male will end up killing a “suitor” to the female and accordingly in your theory been awarded with an ongoing gene “transfer” . Thats already been shown to be advantageous. What you need to do is show an advantage for morality in a world without it.

    ” Thus, in our history, we’ve seen people who have gotten away with this behavior (like powerful despots), but we’ve also seen movements toward greater equality and protection of the weak.”

    and again you make no point. The issue is not what works out for you once there is a moral code its how having a moral code evolve in the absence of any at all does. powerful despots get taken out BECAUSE there is an existing moral code that rallies forces against him. In the absence of that no forces would rally against one despot and the strongest wins just as they now do for every other species.

    So you have still yet to show how morality evolves or even how any benefit for one poor creature or sets of creatures would have an advantage in a world at the time devoid of any. Human history and experience rebuff your assertions. In severely immoral societies where its killed or be killed you are at a distinct DIS advantage if you are the one person that won’t take pre-emptive action. In such cases outside moral forces are what ends up saving you. If there were none the poor and the weak always lose.

    So I might be the one asking

    Are you serious?

    Like

  102. “The issue is not, Mike, whether your god commanded the Hebrews to have slaves, the issue is that he tolerated it and condoned it.”

    Really you mean you didn’t half quote me just a while ago and claim I was lying as the issue? Hmmmmmm….no that claim and issue is still there so look whose lying now about what the issue was???

    You always try and half quote and get blown up when the full quote comes to light. You do that with the Bible as well…tsk…tsk

    “Are you willing to condemn your God, Yahweh/Jesus, for condoning, permitting, and refusing to condemn and outlaw the ownership of slaves, Mike? ”

    God has already condemned ALL sin from as far back as Genesis and people like you claim sin is not even real and morality changes with the times so what do you have to whine about? According to you its cultural and determined by society so you would be all for slavery if it made a strong enough societal come back (after being smashed by Christians on the basis of Christian teaching) or you are “he with fork tongue that talks out of both sides his mouth”.

    Fortunately for you God is allowing quite a bit of sin . It won’t last forever. You have time to repent but when he’s done asking it won’t be pretty

    Acts 17:
    30″Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness

    amazingly the charge from the same group will be God is doing too much destroying of sin and he should be more accommodating like……..um…… the good old days.

    Like

  103. “God has already condemned ALL sin from as far back as Genesis”

    I wasn’t talking about man’s sin, Mike, I was talking about YOUR GOD’S sin; your god’s wicked, immoral, repulsive, barbaric behavior.

    Will you condemn your god’s wicked, immoral sins, Mike? Prove to us that you really do believe in unchanging, objective moral standards by condemning the sins of your god who’s behavior violates the moral standards of every major religion on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. God and Good

    We are born into a world of good, which we did not create. Not just material things, but ideals, like justice, liberty, and equality. And spiritual values, like courage, joy, and compassion.

    We benefit from what others, in good faith, have left for us. In return, we sacrifice selfish interest when necessary to preserve this good for others. For the sake of our children, and our children’s children, we seek to understand, to serve, to protect, and perhaps, humbly, to enhance this greater good.

    It is an act of faith to live by moral principle when the greedy prosper by dishonest means. It is an act of faith to stand up for right when the crowd is headed the wrong way. It is an act of faith to return good for evil.

    We have seen Hell. We have seen gang cultures whose rite of passage is an act of mayhem or murder. We have seen racial slavery, persecution, and genocide. We have seen revenge spread violence through whole communities.

    We envision Heaven, where people live in peace and every person is valued. It can only be reached when each person seeks good for himself only through means that are consistent with achieving good for all.

    If God exists, then that is His command. If God does not exist, then that is what we must command of ourselves and of each other. Either way, whether we achieve Heaven or Hell is up to us.

    The point of God is to make good sacred. We trust that, each time we put the best good for all above our own selfish interest, the world becomes a better place, for all of us, and our children, and their children.

    Liked by 1 person

  105. What you think you ‘totally dismantled’ was not the content of my comment. Your hand waving is insufficient although I’m quite sure you believe differently. So let me ask you – the greatest self-professed expert in biology I have ever encountered, why do we have mirror neurons and what is their function?

    Like

  106. lol mikey claims “slavery was “smashed by Christians on the basis of Christian teaching”

    more Christians bullshit,

    slavery was smashed by a civil war that cost the lives of approx. 620,000 men.

    Over the decades and with the growth of slavery throughout the South, Baptist and Methodist ministers gradually changed their messages to accommodate the institution. After 1830, white Southerners argued for the compatibility of Christianity and slavery, with a multitude of both Old and New Testament citations.[99] They promoted Christianity as encouraging better treatment of slaves and argued for a paternalistic approach. In the 1840s and 50s, the issue of accepting slavery split the nation’s largest religious denominations (the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches) into separate Northern and Southern organizations.[100]

    Southern slaves generally attended their masters’ white churches, where they often outnumbered the white congregants. They were usually permitted only to sit in the back or in the balcony. They listened to white preachers, who emphasized the obligation of slaves to keep in their place, and acknowledged the slave’s identity as both person and property.[99] Preachers taught the master’s responsibility and the concept of appropriate paternal treatment, using Christianity to improve conditions for slaves, and to treat them “justly and fairly” (Col. 4:1). This included masters having self-control, not disciplining under anger, not threatening, and ultimately fostering Christianity among their slaves by example.[99]

    Liked by 1 person

  107. “slavery was smashed by a civil war that cost the lives of approx. 620,000 men.”

    KId the day you make a good point the world’s populace will will have five seconds of silence as they finally recognize that miracles can happen.

    Slavery was well on it s way to being abolished in a good part of the world before the civil war and yes in great part to Christian leaders of a movement against it. Get a history book,learn to read and then try reading a page. When you come across any words more than 6 letters long let me know and I’ll try and tell you what they mean.

    Like

  108. For the South, this “chosen” status not only presumed ultimate victory in what would turn out to be a long and bloody conflict, but also put God’s imprimatur on the Confederate national identity. In fact, the South claimed to be a uniquely Christian nation. The new Confederate Constitution, adopted on February 8, 1861, and ratified on March 11, 1861, officially declared its Christian identity, “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.” Southern leaders chose as their national motto Deo Vindice (“God will avenge”). Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaimed that the time had come “to recognize our dependence upon God … [and] supplicate his merciful protection.” This national acknowledgment of religious dependence, as the South frequently pointed out during the war in both the religious and the secular press, stood in stark contrast to the “godless” government of the North that ignored God in its constitution and put secular concerns above the sacred duties of Christian service and the divine commission.

    http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nineteen/nkeyinfo/cwsouth.htm

    SO MUCH FOR MIKEY’S CLAIM THAT “CHRISTIAN’S SMASHED SLAVERY WITH CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS!!!!”

    once again I’ve proven you to be a liar Mikey.
    liars don’t go to heaven, Mikey

    Like

  109. “What you think you ‘totally dismantled’ was not the content of my comment.”

    Your proof was quoted, dismantled and sent packing so much so that afterwards you went packing as well grumbling and muttering to yourself because you had no logical reply

    ” So let me ask you”

    You are either in or you are out. If you are in then have the courage and intellectual honesty to stand and answer counter points to your arguments. IF you are out then you can slink away permanently like you did last time. I won’t abide or take seriously any game of peek a boo where you demand answers and run away when you can’t take them being answered.

    ” – the greatest self-professed expert in biology I have ever encountered,”

    Might as well buy a horse. After you are done with your strawmen you can feed it for half a year. A strong fit one will make your next flight more swift.

    “why do we have mirror neurons and what is their function?””

    A nonsense question since it is still heavily under research. IF you are hanging your hat on that then its already fallen. There are few kooks that have overstated their theories (kind of like Neuronotes loves to do and you TRIED to do earlier ) so much so a book was published recently on the controversy

    Let me guess . you were about to play a game of hoodwink alleging whats already been scientifically concluded when no such has been.

    Personally I think it will probably be shown to have to do with environment awareness and learning with a relationship to motor movement but unlike you I am not hanging my hat on any theory that is as yet unproven.

    Like

  110. “once again I’ve proven you to be a liar Mikey.”

    LOL….Your delusions are entertaining. You should come back during the weekend and entertain me if there are no good movies I have not seen. 🙂

    Here perhaps you can do a little math (I know..asking too much of you..but setting high goals will make you maybe just a little better)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_Abolition_Act_1833

    Civil war was in the 1860s. A movement to end slavery had already made great strides across the world just like I tried to tell you and you were entirely too dense to even google up.

    Here you can read and weep below that one of the chief leaders was a Christian and was inspired after accepting Christ to end slavery

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wilberforce_william.shtml

    Thats the good news. The bad news is that there are still people who don’t believe in miracles because once again you have failed to make a good point.

    Like

  111. you made the claim that Christians SMASHED slavery with Christian teachings, NOT TRUE.

    slavery was SMASHED with a bloody civil war where the “Christian” south was defeated.
    that is the true history. you know it, I know it and everyone knows it.

    you wouldn’t know the truth if it sat on your face and farted.

    Like

  112. there are so many types and brands and flavors of Christianity that anyone can claim anything about Christianity have have at least some nugget of truth. so i prefer to stick with book chapter and verse.

    in this discussion it doesnt really matter if some christians didnt like slavery and that some christains tried to preserve it. The bible does not condemn slavery. not in the NT or the OT. You can point verses about not being like the oppressor, but then you can also point to verses about slavery being a-okay.

    I guess mike doesnt like slavery? If that’s the case, then that’s good – it’s deplorable. it is contrary to what we know of good and decent.

    But i guess god views people as shirts, or at least that’s how mike sees it – he can wear them, wash them and fold them, or her can tear them shreds, banish them to hell, order others to rip them apart, or enslave them. It’s god’s property after all.

    I just see that representation in conflict with decency and in conflict with how a loving father treats his children, and it also happens to be in conflict with mercy.

    it’s a book… of claims… that people wrote, basically saying, “hey, god told me to tell you this and that you should believe me because he did a miracle for me… dont believe me, well he did a miracle for 500 other guys too, so you should believe me now… oh, and virgin had a baby, who was god and his own son, who died, the came back to life and flew into the sky, because that’s where heaven is… only a fool wouldnt believe me, but all the good, righteous people will.”

    I mean, who wouldnt believe them?

    Liked by 1 person

  113. Mike:

    Will you condemn your god’s wicked, immoral sins? Prove to us that you really do believe in unchanging, objective moral standards by condemning the sins of your god who’s behavior violates the moral standards of every major religion on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. “slavery was SMASHED with a bloody civil war where the “Christian” south was defeated.”

    Well I am not surprised but you have proven yet again

    your idiocy knows no end.

    Slavery was abolished in Britain and in many of their world wide territories before any US Civil war and it was the likes of Wilberforce that inspired Lincoln so yes the tireless efforts of Christians inspired by the Bible eventually ended and smashed slavery.

    Your foaming at the mouth and begging desperately that it not be so does not in the least change the historical facts. Sorry

    Furthermore your embarrassing claims are even more hilarious since Abraham Lincoln himself professed belief in God and the Bible and EXPRESSED those beliefs in his own actions against slavery

    You probably will need to Google up Abraham Lincoln to inform yourself of who he was too.

    HInt he was not a car manufacturer…..lol

    There s one overriding message you can take from this for yourself –

    Stay in school

    Like

  115. and the civil war wasn’t fought to end slavery, it was just a result of the war. the civil war was fought over secession. The south wanting to leave the union, not because the union said slaves had to be freed.

    but none of this has anything to do with the bible and the fact that the bible does not condemn slavery. Slavery was allowed in the OT and the NT tells slaves to be obedient to just and unjust masters and tells the master to be good to their slaves – it dont say jack about freeing them…

    Liked by 1 person

  116. reading up on Abraham lincoln, he evidently did seem to believe the bible at some point. It’s interesting because you can also find quotes where he is critical of the bible and Christianity…

    maybe he would be at home here.

    Like

  117. I apologize getting in the way of you asserting what I’m going to say. I have the unpleasant habit of actually saying what I want to say.

    You’re so busy trying to ‘knock down’ anything anyone presents that reveals your lack of understanding that you’re not thinking, not considering, not evaluating. You’re trying to defend your beliefs by attacking anything anyone says. That’s a tactic unconcerned with what’s true and knowable but used to deflect and that’s why you use the internet to cherry pick whatever appears to support your attack. Your agenda has nothing to do with learning.

    Why did I raise mirror neurons? You don’t even ask because you don’t care. You simply do a quick search to find something that appears to ‘refute’ mirror neurons (the book title you quote doesn’t do this, by the way… which surprises me not at all that you fall for appearances)… assuming that by doing so you can ‘defend’ your denialism by pretending you have some hypothetical ‘expertise’ in neuroscience that supports your hypothetical ‘expertise’ in evolutionary biology. Of course, you have neither. But you think you know enough to ‘refute’ them. That’s why I point out the amount of arrogance and hubris you must maintain to continue to do this. That’s not smart; in fact, it’s a guaranteed method to remain credulous and gullible because you continue to presume that you know stuff you do not know and certainly don’t understand enough to think yourself positioned to ‘refute’ people who do.

    You demonstrate again and again a closed mind that presumes to know stuff you do not know and then accuse others who see what you’re doing and don’t want to waste their time and effort being attacked and maligned by you – not for what they think or say or write but because they are targets of convenience for you to misrepresent. You then use your misrepresentation and attack it in order to claim a bizarre kind of victory… by keeping your flawed understanding unchanged to maintain your beliefs immune from reality’s arbitration of them.

    Well, good for you. You have successfully not learned anything again. But if that’s what it takes to keep your beliefs strong, then I think you are only cheating yourself. And I think that’s quite idiotic.

    Liked by 2 people

  118. Let me bottom line this to save myself the time going round with a number of you

    It really doesn’t matter how much any of you beg and moan, the facts are the Bible is very clear and unambiguous -when it comes to the equality of all men Christ died for all and all are one in him.

    This affirmation was and is more powerful than addressing any single social flaw and reaches to the heart of all human rights issues. That clear message is what inspired Wilberforce, Lincoln and others that called for the end of slavery. Thats not a guess. Sorry boys and girls we have many of them on record as to what led them to their conclusions.

    Its a historical fact none of you can change and especially not by posting comments on Nate’s blog…..LOL

    This was Jesus M.O. There are countless issues he never addressed or rebutted either in first century Israel or First century Rome. Instead he focused on the underlying issues. Too bad for you all that the history of civil rights world wide came through Religion. It can’t be logically denied (but of course I know having no logic has never stopped any of you). Even today nut jobs every now and again use Darwinism to justify theories of inequality and thats because logically darwinism adheres to the idea of inequality as the human species “evolves”. Playing semantics games is all the Darwinist has to deny that.

    Meanwhile we still await any great civil right social change atheism has wrought. Its achieved nothing of equal status rather it has been the underlying rational for many of the worlds most human rights unfriendy nations. China being but ONE such example.

    Enjoy the rest of the week tripping over yourselves to beg that atheism has added anything the likes of what Wilberforce and company achieved because of their Christian faith.

    It won’t stand on any logical grounds but boy will you beg and whine otherwise to no avail.

    Don’t hurt your brain by twisting it like a pretzel. As Arnold would say “I’ll be back” 😉

    Like

  119. all the passages on slavery that gary copied and pasted are indeed very clear and speak well enough for themselves.

    The bible is clear on the equality of people in Christ? only in that it says their equal in christ, and then clearly states that women are not equal to me (in every way other than in christ) and the slavery is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. it is interesting we started off talking about slavery, and then when it was shown that the bible does condone the act, we now start talking about the civil war and how christians led the way to end slavery, as if that rewrites the bible. it doesnt.

    and I am certain there were christians who could not reconcile slavery with parts of the bible, their faith and a loving god… but there were also christians who felt otherwise – that’s history too… so we’re back to the bible, and guess what, it just doesnt look too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  121. Mike:

    Will you condemn your god’s wicked, immoral sins? Prove to us that you really do believe in unchanging, objective moral standards by condemning the sins of your god who’s behavior violates the moral standards of every major religion on the planet.

    We are waiting for an answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  122. “pretending you have some hypothetical ‘expertise’ in neuroscience that supports your hypothetical ‘expertise’ in evolutionary biology. Of course, you have neither. But you think you know enough to ‘refute’ them”

    Tildeb theres just no other way to say it.

    You are a straight up bare faced liar. This is the second time you have claimed I presented myself as an expert on neuroscience. the first time even lying that I self professed it. Put up the quotes where I “self professed ” or are you just so utterly clueless you do not know what “self professed” means.

    You should take a bow though. yet another atheist that betrays he has no morality without God. Lie on a dime when you can’t defend your dismantled points. News flash – You don’t need to be an expert to refute the claims of a non expert such as yourself. Your arguments were weak and your logic ill conceived and in need of its own education.

    OF course the book does not refute Mirrored Neurons. Your nitwitedness knows no end. What it does do and it was referred to you before on the very basis is present evidence that people have overstated the veracity of their conclusions, that research continues and there is much we do not yet know.

    You are a hack much like neuronotes. You dig up some research and then state some conclusion you would like the data to be interpreted as and then run with it like your conclusions are scientifically proven. You can lie through your teeth all you want. You brought up mirrored neurons in the context of a discussion about morality because you thought it would help to back up your dismantled argument.

    Unfortunately for you I cut your off at the pass by making you fully aware that I know that we have yet to figure out what exactly mirrored neurons do and don’t do. Having been cut off at the pass for the second time you revert to your same old claim of my denying education because egad! I decline to be spoon fed unproven nonsense by a hack posting on wordpress comments…….LOL

    Now was there anything at all in your last post answering my counterpoints? nope nada.

    Nada being the sum total of most of our arguments anyway. See if by the weekend you can come up with at least one coherent backed by some evidence argument

    until then the most I can give you is a d-minus.

    Like

  123. Just to clear things up a bit. We moral humans, seeking a better good for everyone, exercise “moral judgment”. We weigh the benefits and harms of a bad rule (slavery) and compare it to the results of using a new rule (no slavery). Once we realized the rather significant harm being inflicted upon the slave, we chose to make slavery illegal.

    Lacking a “God’s eye view” of ultimate outcomes, two good and honest persons may disagree about the benefits and harms of one rule over another. And racial slavery was rationalized for a couple hundred years before the politics caught up with our moral evolution.

    Religions, being an integral part of many people’s lives, may play two different roles in this process. The first, and most positive role, is to provide moral support to people seeking to do good and be good. In this sense, the church is like other support groups. The second role is more of a mixed blessing. The churches typically spread the current ethical norms, through sermons, Sunday schools, et cetera.

    But all changes to ethics (rules, laws) begin with a new moral evaluation, and it doesn’t matter much whether the person making that realization is sitting in a pew or at home. It is a human process.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. @balksmanagain. “Too bad for you all that the history of civil rights world wide came through Religion.”

    lol, sorry wrong again, gay civil rights did not come about world wide through religion. quite the opposite.

    Like

  125. the same with women’s rights.

    http://www.heretication.info/_womensrights.html

    Christianity and Women’s Rights

    The souls of women are so small,
    That some believe they’ve none at all.
    Samuel Butler (1612-1680), Miscellaneous Thoughts

    Historically the church’s position on this matter followed the Biblical texts such as Genesis 3:16 where God tells Eve that her husband will rule over her, and passages where wives are listed along with a man’s other goods and chattels. This view is comprehensively confirmed in the New Testament:

    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
    (Colossians 3:18; cf. 1 Peter 3:1 and Ephesians 5:22)

    … I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man…For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, foreasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    (1 Corinthians 11:3 & 7-9)

    Let your women keep silence in churches: for it is not permitted unto them; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also sayeth the law.
    (1 Corinthians 14:34, c/f 1 Corinthians 11:3-9 & Timothy 2:11-12)

    In line with these statements women were until recent times not permitted to speak in church, and they are still expected to cover their heads in church. Under Christian Emperors and bishops the rights that women had enjoyed under the Roman Empire were gradually pared away. As early as the fourth century it was decreed by a synod that women should neither send nor receive letters in their own name (Synod of Elvira, Canon 81). They were also confined to minor Orders and forbidden to sing in church. Later they would be deprived of Holy Orders altogether. In some Christian meetings they were obliged to sit apart at the back of the congregation. By AD 581 a church council at Mâcon was debating whether or not women had souls .

    The great Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that women were defective men, imperfect in both body and soul. They were conceived either because of defective sperm or because a damp wind was blowing at the time of conception . Leading scholars accepted Aquinas’s teaching that women had a higher water content than men and that this made them sexually incontinent . Since they were so watery, weak and unreliable it became a fundamental premiss of Canon Law that they were inferior beings. Following Aquinas , Canon law decreed that women could not witness a will. Neither could they testify in disputes over wills, nor in criminal proceedings. Generally they suffered the same sort of legal disabilities as children and imbeciles. They could not practice medicine, law or any other profession, nor could they hold any public office. Here is a piece of reasoning from two famous Catholic scholars: After saying that women are intellectually like children they explain why women are given to the practice of witchcraft:

    But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations. And it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first woman, since she was formed from a bent rib, that is, rib of the breast, which is bent as it were in a contrary direction to a man. And since through this defect she is an imperfect animal, she always deceives.

    Protestant Churches were no better than the Catholic Church. It was Martin Luther himself who coined the phrase “A woman’s place is in the home” and in strongly protestant areas of Germany it is still commonplace to hear that women should concern themselves only with Kinder, Kirche, Küche (Children, the Church and Cooking). Luther also insisted on a man’s traditional Christian right to beat his wife. He also held firmly to the traditional line on a woman’s duty to bear children, even if killed her “If they become tired or even die, it does not matter. Let them die in childbirth – that is why they are there” .

    Under canon law a woman’s husband was both her sovereign and her guardian. In practical terms this meant that she could not legally own property or make contracts. Her property came under her husband’s control upon marriage. She could not sue at common law without his consent, which meant that in particular she could not sue him for any wrong done to her. If she deliberately killed him she was guilty not merely of murder but, because of the feudal relationship, treason .

    At the time of writing it is still common in Christian countries for a married woman to be denied credit, and to require her husband’s consent for surgical operations. After all 1 Corinthians 7:4 states that “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband…”. (The bible goes on to state the converse – that a wife has power over her husband’s body – but cannon lawyers either missed this part or else deduced that it bore a completely different interpretation. As Gratian put it “The woman has no power, but in everything is subject to the control of her husband”.) In the words of the marriage service a married couple were one flesh and the canon lawyers held them to be a single person: erunt animae duae in carne una.

    The very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of her husband.

    It was this legal doctrine that gave rise to Dickens’ observation, put into the mouth of one of his characters, that the law is an ass . The doctrine enabled an Englishman to lock up his wife and not be liable for the tort of false imprisonment. He could beat her and not be guilty of assault. The same principle permitted him to rape her without the law recognising it as rape. A wife could not proceed against her husband, nor be called to give evidence in court against him. Most such constraints were done away with in Britain by Acts of Parliament in 1935 and 1945 in the teeth of fierce opposition from the organised Churches. In England it remained impossible for a man to be charged with the rape of his wife until the 1990’s. Civil remedies are still in general unavailable to wives against their husbands. Thus for example, a wife who is locked up by her husband would have to rely on a writ of habeas corpus, like a medieval vassal .

    Unmarried women were also inferior beings, or as the Bible puts it weaker vessels (1 Peter 3:7). Fathers were free to treat them as their personal property and swap them for other goods or for political advantage, which is what arranged child marriages often amounted to. Unmarried adult women were not permitted many of the privileges allowed by law to men, nor thought capable of fulfilling the duties expected of men. Like married women, they were prohibited from practising all professions and all but a few trades. In 1588 Pope Sixtus V even forbade them to appear on the public stage within his dominions. Soon the whole of western Christendom had banned actresses and female singers.

    Well into the twentieth century women were debarred from sitting on juries, and were permitted only a few selected jobs such as school teaching and nursing, and even these they were generally obliged to give up when they got married. Women were so little regarded that until this century they were often excluded from Church membership rolls. No one knows with certainty how large some denominations were until recently because they did not count women in their membership statistics.

    Throughout their histories, the Churches have consistently opposed women’s right to the franchise. Only after the Church’s influence had seriously weakened did women obtain the vote. In England this happened in 1918, when the franchise was extended to women over the age of thirty. Even now women do not enjoy equality in all spheres of life. In England, for example, the taxation laws and laws of inheritance still discriminate against them. At the time of writing there are areas of Europe where traditional Christian values prevail and women still do not have full voting rights . There is one area in the European Community, Mount Athos, where for religious reasons women are not even permitted to set foot.

    The traditional position of the Church, that women were mere chattels of their husbands was challenged by the usual selection of freethinkers such as Thomas Paine (1737-1809) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). The atheist Mary Wollstonecraft published her Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792. Her husband the philosopher William Godwin (1756-1836) was a campaigner for women’s rights, and so was their atheist son-in-law, the poet Shelley. Other prominent proponents included the unbelieving Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot, 1819-80), and Harriet Law (1832-97). The Utilitarian J S Mill launched the women’s suffrage movement in England with a petition to the House of Commons on 7 June 1866. He attempted to amend the 1867 Reform Bill to extend the franchise to women, and to stop discrimination under the infamous Contagious Diseases Acts. He published the Subjugation of Women in 1869. Other active campaigners included the atheists Holyoake (1817-1906), Bradlaugh (1833-91) and Besant (1847-1933). In France the argument for women’s rights was led by enemies of the Church like Denis Diderot and Condorcet, and much later in the USA by atheists like Ernestine Rose, Matilda Gage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Anthony.

    It seems that a disturbing number of men, bolstered by Christian attitudes, still assume that they have the right to subjugate, abuse and beat their wives . A sociological study in 1962 revealed that religious orthodoxy was positively correlated with social conservatism on issues such as women’s rights . It is notable that the Church continued to discriminate against women for years after such discrimination was abandoned outside the Church. It was not until 1970 that a woman was authorised to teach Catholic theology , and throughout the world Churches are still given exemption from sex discrimination legislation. Senior Anglican clergymen could still be outraged in 1996 at the idea of a woman playing the part of God in the York Mystery plays – denouncing it as paganism . Christian mainstream thought is now in the process of change. The more liberal sects have started ordaining women again, while the more traditional ones still hold out against it.

    ONCE AGAIN I’VE PROVEN YOU LIAR!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  126. “all the passages on slavery that gary copied and pasted are indeed very clear and speak well enough for themselves.”

    Your selective reading of the Bible is no surprise William. its what you always do when presented with passages that counter what you say. There is not a single passage of scripture that says “thou shouldest keep slaves as my will” as Grrl claimed. Nada

    What you do have in the OT are some rules regarding the keeping of slaves in a culture that already had them. You will find rules in the OT about divorce as well but equally God did not approve. Rules regarding kings but having a king not something God signed off on wanting. Even though genesis two makes it clear there was to be one man for one woman polygamy became the practice

    As the passages I quoted before states- God let many things go he did not approve in a world full of sin but in the NT he calls all men to repent. Slaves in the NT must not be treated as slaves but as brothers and as such part of the family. This was critical to the practical considerations any slave disconnected from the household would face. they could not just go and get jobs anywhere they wished as they would today. Even in the US when slavery was abolished it meant little to many African Americans because they were still bound by economics having nowhere to go and live and no means to eat. Abolishing slavery didn’t instantly fix the concept of inequality which was the greater issue.

    The Bible spoke to that more central issue and because of it men inspired by the Bible brought us the human rights today that allow for true and complete freedom from ALL KINDS slavery in most the world.

    Just the facts. Your failure to see them not withstanding.

    P.S. you can lie on the biblical text all you want . The Bible never teaches men are superior to women. It does teach that roles are different for men and women but that does not mean inequal though I am sure you will beg it does. in fact in Pauline doctrine its the job of a man is to love and honor his wife. She is to be the center of attention.

    Like

  127. “Your selective reading of the Bible is no surprise William. its what you always do when presented with passages that counter what you say. There is not a single passage of scripture that says “thou shouldest keep slaves as my will” as Grrl claimed. Nada” – ABlacksmanagain

    I think you misread, as i didnt selectively read or cite anything.

    and I certainly never said or agreed that the bible says, “thou shouldest keep slaves as my will.”

    I hope this clears up any misunderstanding you have on that point.

    Liked by 1 person

  128. What you do have in the OT are some rules regarding the keeping of slaves in a culture that already had them. You will find rules in the OT about divorce as well but equally God did not approve.

    You already had people murdering people, too, but allegedly Yahweh had no trouble issuing a decree NOT to murder. People committed adultery. Yahweh allegedly said, “thou shalt not.” So couldn’t he just as easily have issued decrees barring slave ownership and divorce? Issuing legislation over slavery and divorce may not signify approval, but it certainly doesn’t give the impression of disapproval either.

    Liked by 2 people

  129. wrong again
    Leviticus chapter 25 begins with “The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai,”:

    then it list a whole bunch of stupid shit down to verse 44-46 where the lord tells moses :

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

    so yes indeed the lord said keep slaves as my will.

    so sad you have to lie to make your bible and your Christian beliefs make sense.

    Like

  130. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
    (Colossians 3:18; cf. 1 Peter 3:1 and Ephesians 5:22”

    ROFL the poor kid is trying hard but flopping badly. Like i just wrote to William before reading your nonsense (well the first two paragraphs before realizing it was all drivel – skipped the rest) the Bible believes in roles for women and women but it does not mean inequality. In your quoting Ephesians 5:22 you didn’t even read the passage .

    Ephesians 5
    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. HE WHO LOVES HIS WIFE LOVES HIMSELF..

    Sorry Sparky. Should a read the text. There is TOTAL equality even to the point where a woman is said to be one and the same with himself.

    Try again. As for submission that skeptics always go haywire on?

    kinda skipped whats right above it 😉

    Ephesians 5:21
    Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    All Christians are called to submit to one another in some shape or form….sorry

    Another one bites he dust.

    Like

  131. divorce was allowed in the OT and condemned in the NT – unless for the reason of adultery (which was condemned).

    not so with slavery. No where does the NT tell a master to free his slave. treat him well is about all it translates into. Same in christ? okay, you’re saved and can go to heaven, but until then, you’re owned by your master.

    instead of saying that the bible doesn’t mean what it says, why not pretend “god’s word” was given in such a way to provoke thought and ethical evolution? As in god led them to water and let them drink in their time or something?

    saying the NT condemns or teaches against slavery is untrue. the OT gave rules on it, and the only “pleasant” slave rules were for jewish slaves – those did not apply to foreign slaves.

    from my perspective, it looks like youre the one doing selective reading.

    Like

  132. SPG,

    I get the point that Mike is making. Yahweh is allegedly allowing slavery but it doesn’t command people to own slaves. As far as approval or disapproval it’s splitting hairs.

    Like

  133. “so yes indeed the lord said keep slaves as my will.”

    Wrong young nit..

    “However, you MAY purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You MAY also purchase the children of such resident foreigner”

    is not a command to keep slaves. Saying you may buy a book to earn to read doesn’t mean I am commanding you to. You’ve fallen on your head somewhere in infancy????

    Like

  134. Marvin,

    It is moderated, but not censored. Nate has a full-time job and when the comments spin out of control I don’t think he has the time to filter them all. Unfortunately the comments devolve into…well…this.

    Like

  135. “divorce was allowed in the OT and condemned in the NT – unless for the reason of adultery (which was condemned).”

    Wrong but commonly misunderstood

    Malachi (OT NOT NT) 2:16
    “Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16″For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the LORD of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

    Like

  136. oh, you know what guys, I apologize to you all except for that insufferable mikey. I have a terrible potty mouth and I admit I am do lose my temper with these frauds that try to pass themselves off as christains. mikey is very much like Kathy. loves to twist the truth and the words that people say.

    nate, please delete the my offending comments. I’m going to “do the right thing” and refrain from commenting further.

    mikey is a waste of time, he will always be an ass, that’s what he is.

    Like

  137. yeah, the bible does say that men and women are equal, but then goes on to show inequalities.

    “Let the women remain silent in the churches, for it is not permitted for them to speak.”

    and women are not allowed to teach or usurp authority over the man.

    equal… but not.

    even in the excerpt that mike gave, men to love their wives as christ loved the church. is the church (the group of believers) equal with christ?

    mike, when you read a portion of something and then speak on it as if you know all there is to it, that’s ignorant and one of your bigger problems. Read the whole thing, and then comment on the whole. or read a portion, and explain that you’re only commenting on that one part. When you admit to reading part, but then say the rest was too dumb to read, then that’s dumb.

    it doesnt have to be a fight.

    does the bible allow women preachers? book, chapter, verse?

    are husbands commanded to submit to their wives, or the wives to the husband?

    Are men allowed to speak in the churches? are women?

    are men allowed to teach women? are women allowed to teach men?

    that’s not equal. but you believe they’re equal because the bible says “they’re equal.” it doesnt line up. unless having restrictions that another does not is equal in your mind… it’s just not equal in reality – so why argue over it? the more you insist they’re the same only convinces everyone how delusional and biased you are, in no way does it convince anyone that mike is right.

    Liked by 1 person

  138. “Wrong but commonly misunderstood” – ABlacksmanagain

    Matt 5:31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ ” – Jesus

    Matt10:1 “And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.
    2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.” – Jesus

    sure, jesus went on to say that god never liked it. But i never said god liked, I said he allowed it, which is what jesus also thought.

    still, not the same as slavery. have you read the passages on those?

    Liked by 1 person

  139. Notice Mike did not comment on my request for him to condemn the wicked, immoral (sinful) behavior of the ancient middle-eastern deity that he says prayers to every night. Judeo-Christianity is an immoral belief system and anyone who subscribes to it, after seeing the evidence, has displayed his own lack of morality.

    I think we should all follow SPG’s lead and stop responding to this immoral Christian’s taunts.

    Liked by 1 person

  140. “You already had people murdering people, too, but allegedly Yahweh had no trouble issuing a decree NOT to murder. People committed adultery. Yahweh allegedly said, “thou shalt not.” So couldn’t he just as easily have issued decrees barring slave ownership and divorce? Issuing legislation over slavery and divorce may not signify approval, but it certainly doesn’t give the impression of disapproval either”

    Ruth this is probably the only valid point I have seen recently so thank you for that and my answer to that is that divorce,slavery and polygamy seem to have consequence that must be dealt with if you outlaw them in certain cultures and times.

    It might come as a shock but I have no desire to see a law abolishing divorce (and much of what is in the torah particularly Deut are about legalities). As I am sure you have seen there are many marriages that are tragic for all when they continue. Divine marriage is supposed to be about love and happiness. Put some sinners in it they muck it up – badly.

    so though I don’t approve of Divorce I don’t approve of those marriages either. So yep I would have laws that you MAY divorce and how to do it. Laws are complicated matters when governing a nation. You can’t always go with what you think is ideal because the people that live in them are not always ideal citizens. Jesus alludes to this when asked about why Moses allowed it and he replied that it was allowed because of the hardness of men’s hearts not because God wanted it that way.

    I once asked a missionary what happened to wives of men that got saved in the nation he ministered. I assumed they disavowed themselves of their other wives and he surprised me by saying that would be a disaster for the women and even cruel. Even as recently as the last decade in some cultures women would have nowhere to go. This as I alluded to in my response to William is exactly the same issue with slavery.

    Truth is in some countries today we STILL have slavery and the reason for it is purely economic. You lose a job with an employer today you pick up the paper and get another one. In the days that followed the abolishment of slavery there was nowhere to turn for that very reason and nothing really changed .

    In the OT and NT times you had what are known as bond servants. They VOLUNTARILY bound themselves to a family for many for those same economic reasons. SO I would suspect the reason why some issue are not immediately addressed in the Bible is for the same reasons – what would be the consequences of the actions.

    I have no doubt that your compatriots will call it spin but when looking at all the options and consequences keeping slaves in your family who you no longer see or treat as slaves was in the culture and economic situation probably the best practical solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  141. @ Marvin

    Don’t you think there may be a bit of problem regarding a ‘new moral evaluation’ when the official position is that these believers (but not those heretics) already possess The Truth (TM) about which morals are the right ones sanctioned by God and which ones are not?

    The picture you paint about religion’s positive moral effects is not supported by reality but is an exception to it.

    Like

  142. mike, nice comment.

    cordial tone. valid points. there you go.

    I do think though, that while the hardness of their hearts argument has some merit, it seems inconstant to me with the god of the bible.

    if there were reasons to allow divorce in the day, then those same reasons exist today, yet the NT is clear on divorce.

    I viewed slavery much as you explain in here, when I was a christian. But the NT focuses so much on contentment and sharing with others, and selflessness, and being better to be defrauded than to quarrel with a brother, that i cannot seem to understand why the NT wouldnt not tell a christian to free their slaves – forgive that debt. I can get why a christain slave should remain a good servant, but to a christian slave owner? why not say, “free your slaves” as you say that a christian must do without other things?

    but this is idle discussion, really. the bible says what it does and is often interpreted a number of ways. nate’s blog is really about why he doesnt find the bible believable any more. I stick around because I dont either. none of the reasons I left had to do with slavery or divorce or women’s rights…

    as i’ve said before, I left because it’s from man. We’re told to believe god over man – that makes sense, except the bible was written men who only SAY that they have some form of divine inspiration. I dont trust that claim. you do.

    it’s really okay either way.

    Like

  143. tildeb, I took marvin’s comments to mean that religion, for believers, is an attempt by people to do what’s right.

    If they’re looking for what’s right, then that is good, whether they’ve found all the good there is or not.

    that’s what I took from it – basically, why argue over it, let’s all try to be good, and value the overlap.

    just my take

    Like

  144. yes, Marvin, my sincerest apologies to you.
    the others here have sort of gotten used to my rudeness,
    not saying they condone it, but they sort of take me as I am.
    I have real issues with hateful lying phony smug Christians.

    mikey isn’t the only one that has been making my blood boil,
    there are thousands of them
    and life is too short to deal with that.

    anyway, everyone have a nice day,
    I’m taking a break from the internet for a while,
    I’m going to go do some gay stuff and cheer myself up.

    Nate, William, Ruth, Nan, Neuro, Arch, Gary, Carmen keep up the good work.
    I will be pop back in from time to time, I’ve learned a lot from all of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  145. “that’s not equal. but you believe they’re equal because the bible says “they’re equal.” it doesnt line up. ”

    Rubbish. Your logic as usual its what doesn’t line up. I can’t give birth to babies, I cannot breast feed them. in a theological construct its pretty obvious God didn’t want me to do either so is my wife superior? No she has a purpose and role that I wouldn’t mind having (it must be an AMAZING experience to connect with your children on that level even taking the pain involved into consideration).

    Difference in roles does not mean inequal no matter how much you beg that its a contradiction (we can put that right down there will all your other alleged contradiction)

    “does the bible allow women preachers? book, chapter, verse?”

    Of course there are prophetesses in acts and no prohibition from preaching in general (you are alluding to particular church meetings related to teaching). get up off your lazy rear end and look it up without commanding me to give you chapter and verse. You are the one claiming to tell me what the Bible teaches

    “are husbands commanded to submit to their wives, or the wives to the husband?”

    Both. Women respect their husbands which includes submission and men are to love their wives and love submits to the others needs. Furthermore ALL CHRISTIANS are commanded to submit to one another (as I have already shown from the Ephesians passage) so this bogus understanding of the dreadfulness of submission is utter malarkey

    When you can show me that being equal means my Wife has the same body parts that I do, she has to have my physical strength, I have to have her emotional sensitivity and we both must have identical emotional and social skills then you can BEGIN to make an argument that us having different roles to play means one is better or greater tan the other.

    You can’t so I will be waiting a long time

    Like

  146. “cordial tone. valid points. ”

    If you earn it you get it. You never do. Ruth sometimes does. learn and improve

    Like

  147. * A commercial break for Marvin *

    Just so you know, Marvin, Mike (aka ‘ABlacksmanagain’) has an amazing habit of being resurrected – that is, he gets himself banned for his insulting and demeaning banter, then thinks up another username so he can get back on Nate’s site. Of course, for those who’ve been around long enough, as soon as one of his comments is read – no matter how creative he is with his ‘handle’ – he’s instantly identified.

    Just imagine if you knew nothing about christianity and had Mike as your only ‘witness’ . . . he’s so full of peace, love and understanding, eh?

    Like

  148. “Rubbish. Your logic as usual its what doesn’t line up. I can’t give birth to babies, I cannot breast feed them. in a theological construct its pretty obvious God didn’t want me to do either so is my wife superior? No she has a purpose and role that I wouldn’t mind having (it must be an AMAZING experience to connect with your children on that level even taking the pain involved into consideration).

    Difference in roles does not mean unequal no matter how much you beg that its a contradiction (we can put that right down there will all your other alleged contradiction)” – ABlacksmanagain

    well, if we’re talking about things that are impossible for us to do, then okay. But that’s not what’s included in the scripture. It’s not limited to periods, or erections, or birthing babies, or breastfeeding, is it? I’ve seen childbirth – I want nothing do with it, personally.

    the bible is talking about teaching and speaking and hearing ideas. It’s talking about following instead of leading.

    when i was a believer, i viewed it as equal in salvation – because equality in the church and on earth, in service to god, were not equal.

    like a private get’s veteran burial rights, and is therefor equal on a philosophical plane to a general – but a private is not equal to a general and their differences in roles illustrates that, instead of resolving it.

    again, can a woman teach a man? can a man teach a woman?

    what’s fair about that? what’s equal?

    can a man speak in the churches? can a woman?

    what’s fair about that? what’s equal?

    is a man supposed to submit to his wife? is a wife supposed to submit to her husband?

    again, what’s equal about that?

    if nothing else, you should be able to at least see why I view these as unequal.

    in heaven maybe they’re actually equal, if heaven is real. It’s certainly not that way here, according to the bible.

    Like

  149. I feel your frustration, Paul.

    And I really feel for you for what you have suffered due to your family. I think we all understand why you have such strong feelings against conservative/fundamentalist Christians.

    Like

  150. “If you earn it you get it. You never do. Ruth sometimes does. learn and improve” – ABlacksmanafain

    every take your own advise?

    Like

  151. “Of course there are prophetesses in acts and no prohibition from preaching in general (you are alluding to particular church meetings related to teaching). get up off your lazy rear end and look it up without commanding me to give you chapter and verse. You are the one claiming to tell me what the Bible teaches”

    1 cor 14 is in the context of spiritual gifts, and verse 34 is speaking to women who prophesy.

    they were told that they were not to speak in the churches.

    there was a time and a place, the woman’s time was more restricted than that of a man – again, not equal.

    Like

  152. OH, and Mike – Ruth ALWAYS gets respect. There’s a good reason. A smart guy like you ought to be able to figure it out.

    Like

  153. “When you can show me that being equal means my Wife has the same body parts that I do, she has to have my physical strength, I have to have her emotional sensitivity and we both must have identical emotional and social skills then you can BEGIN to make an argument that us having different roles to play means one is better or greater tan the other.” – ABlacksmanagain

    I have no intention of inspecting your wife’s body parts.

    and body parts is not what I’m talking about.

    men and women are different, of course, and I, at least, am not bothered by that. But if you can show me how limitations in speaking and teaching for a woman is equal to no such restrictions for a man, then we have something…

    and if love means submission, then why command them differently? why say to one, “submit” and to the other “love.” they’re not the same.

    Does christ submit to the church or does the church submit to christ? are the two equal, in your mind?

    Like

  154. Actually, I should have said, “Ruth always gets respect, as do the vast majority of the posters on Nate’s blog” . ..

    Liked by 1 person

  155. “. Of course, for those who’ve been around long enough, as soon as one of his comments is read – no matter how creative he is with his ‘handle’ – he’s instantly identified. ”

    Just so you know Marvin Carmen is being quite the liar there (proving his own lack of morality). MY previous name was ablacksman. As you see from the present name there was not the slightest “creativity” to hide anything and It was I who announced I was back due to the blog owner not abiding by an agreement not to have his groupies discuss me on his blog.

    Like

  156. and to clarify, I dont think the NT is saying that a husband can lord over his wife like a tyrant. I do not think that is the case.

    but giving one more of the say and the other less of the say, even if broken out 51% to 49% is not equal.

    is it?

    and if it’s so clear, why keep trying to make it about the same body parts and having babies?

    Like

  157. Mike, a couple of points

    1) I’m female

    2) I just looked through only two of Nate’s ‘back threads’ – you were Mike Anthony on one and TBlacksman on another, and now you’ve ‘morphed’ again.

    Who’s the liar??

    Like

  158. @TILDEB

    I was raised in a very pragmatic Christian church, the Salvation Army. They’re the ones who showed up with coffee for firefighters and service men. They also ran alcohol treatment programs, homes for unwed mothers, distributed donated clothing, provided temporary housing for transits, and so forth.

    They are an offshoot of the Methodist. I take my 94 year old mother to the local Methodist church. They too have programs to aid the poor and participate in a multi-denominational program that provides overnight housing for the homeless in the winter.

    The church of my choice, the Unitarian Universalists, also participates in the overnight housing program.

    Many Christian churches take seriously Jesus’s call to feed the poor, tend to the sick, and visit the prisoner. But, every church comes with its own baggage of creeds and sins.

    Oh. Almost forgot. The Epicopal church made Gene Robinson the first openly gay bishop.

    Underlying these is the Christian message of love, not only for you neighbor, but for the despised (Samaritans) and even your enemy.

    And it is the cultivation of that love for others that is a positive contribution to the social community.

    So I never consider another moral person my enemy, but rather a potential ally as we move progressively to a better future for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  159. “I have no intention of inspecting your wife’s body parts.”

    Even if she were single you would never get the opportunity. Its pretty much the same “no, get lost weirdo” answer you get from all women.

    ” But if you can show me how limitations in speaking and teaching for a woman is equal to no such restrictions for a man, then we have something…”

    You make no conditions. Its you that need to show why role differences mean that men and women are not equal. When you can’t rebut a point all you do is demand another answer. Play that game with others not me. I know you too well

    MY wife has the role of having children that I don’t . how does that equate to us being unequal. answer or run away again..

    Like

  160. “So I never consider another moral person my enemy, but rather a potential ally as we move progressively to a better future for everyone.” – Marvin

    very nice. well said.

    makes me want to be a better man.

    thanks.

    Like

  161. “2) I just looked through only two of Nate’s ‘back threads’ – you were Mike Anthony on one and TBlacksman on another, and now you’ve ‘morphed’ again.

    Who’s the liar??”

    You are. I was never banned under Mike anthony. I lost my logins and changed to Blacksman and announced that as well before any ban. Plus I announced to this board I was back from the very first time under this username so you are not only a liar you wax in ignorance as well..

    Like

  162. Mike, whether YOU accept it or not, most people (women in particular) have typically found the idea of not getting to speak in church a sign that they are undervalued.

    Like

  163. Apparently Mike doesn’t realize that a person can be mistaken without being a liar.

    Carmen’s overall point is pretty valid: Mike is an abrasive guy who has gotten himself banned before. He’s now come back under a different name (though didn’t attempt to hide who he was), and I haven’t banned him yet.

    Like

  164. @Marvin

    Thanks for the great comments, and welcome to the blog! I appreciate what you’ve had to say so far, and your view sounds pretty similar to my own.

    It’s true that I don’t really moderate this blog very much. Honestly, until about a year ago, it was never an issue. I’ve never been a huge fan of moderated blogs for two reasons:

    1) It slows down conversation, since you often have to wait for comments to be approved.

    2) It makes people suspicious about the quality of the conversation. They wonder if people are sometimes silenced just because they disagree with the blog’s author.

    I really do want this blog to be about “finding truth.” Not to say I have it — I may be wrong. But that’s why I value open dialog on these topics. I wish that it stayed more cordial than it sometimes does, and I struggle a bit on how to deal with those warring goals.

    Anyway, please feel free to hang around and weigh in on anything that catches your interest!

    Like

  165. “Its you that need to show why role differences mean that men and women are not equal. When you can’t rebut a point all you do is demand another answer. Play that game with others not me.” – ABlacksmanagain

    you keep saying that it’s not unequal because you cant breastfeed and your wife has babies. I agree and keep saying that no one but you is speaking about that. what i am talking about, again, is when women cant teach men, but men can teach women; and men can speak in church, but women cannot, and that the woman is to submit to the husband, but not the other way around.

    these are pretty clear distinctions, that in no way involve biology, but silence and subjugate – the opposite of equality.

    how are those things equal? they’re unequal roles. difference in fathers and mothers and penises and vaginas – not talking about that.

    “I know you too well” – ABlacksmanagain

    oh? i can tell that you think you do.

    “MY wife has the role of having children that I don’t . how does that equate to us being unequal. answer or run away again..” – ABlacksmagain

    well i dont know, as I wouldnt say that, and have not. Again, what i am talking about is speaking and teaching and leading and following. how is it that your wife’s role of having children means that she cant teach men or speak in church or that she has a lesser say? and then how is that equal?

    Like

  166. “Mike, whether YOU accept it or not, most people (women in particular) have typically found the idea of not getting to speak in church a sign that they are undervalued.”

    So what? What does what people FEEL (rather than reality) have to do with what the NT teaches?? Furthermore you are wrong in your interpretation. One passage asserts that she should not usurp in order to teach but its obvious it is not a general prohibition against all ministries of speaking because women are allowed to prophecy (and there were quite a few females in such ministry in Acts)

    I Corinthians 11:4
    ” Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head

    People being ignorant of the NT doesn’t make the point valid.

    Like

  167. @SPG

    Thanks for the kind words, man. It says a lot about your character. 🙂

    I won’t delete everything you’ve said — you’ve made some great points. But since you asked, I’ll at least try to go through and edit out anything that might be considered offensive.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  168. I’m not at all ignorant of those passages. But I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say about them.

    People with specific spiritual gifts are given certain instructions, including the women. But we’re not really talking about people with spiritual gifts, since they’re the exception. We’re talking about men and women in general.

    Just a couple of verses later in 1 Cor 11, Paul says this:

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

    That’s a pretty clear difference.

    1 Tim 2:12:

    And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

    This one’s pretty clear as well. Again, maybe you don’t see a problem with this, but most people view it as a pretty big inequality between the sexes.

    Like

  169. mike, keep reading 1 cor through chapter 14. they’re talking about prophesying and they say that women must be silent in the churches.

    there are times that they can prophecy – church isn’t one of them… where men can speak and prophecy in church.

    unequal.

    and

    1 Timothy 2:12New International Version (NIV)

    12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.

    Like

  170. “Carmen’s overall point is pretty valid: Mike is an abrasive guy who has gotten himself banned before. He’s now come back under a different name (though didn’t attempt to hide who he was), and I haven’t banned him yet.”

    running a wordpress blog on the internets gives you no added credibility to pronounce anything as valid or invalid Nate. Thats one of your fallacies. Carmen was lying for the most part. i have never concealed neither has anyone had to figure out it was me posting on this blog.

    I lost respect for your ban because you had no respect for your own word not to have discussion about me on your blog.

    Still its hilarious you still claiming i am abrasive with grlll spewing out obscenities and you even thanking his posts where he does.. perfect hypocrisy

    Like

  171. “running a wordpress blog on the internets gives you no added credibility to pronounce anything as valid or invalid Nate. Thats one of your fallacies. Carmen was lying for the most part. i have never concealed neither has anyone had to figure out it was me posting on this blog.” – ABlacksmanagain

    likewise, commenting on a wordpress blog on the internet gives you no added credibility to pronounce anything as valid or invalid, mike.

    Like

  172. “Still its hilarious you still claiming i am abrasive with grlll spewing out obscenities and you even thanking his posts where he does.. perfect hypocrisy”

    translation: “it’s okay to do it if someone else does it, even if they didn’t appear until after I first arrived.”

    Like

  173. @ABlacksmanagain Been there. Suffered that. Back 20 or 30 years ago I spent some weird time on a Libertarian forum (libertarians: a political cult). And about 10 years ago I was being skinned alive on a UU forum for suggesting that “marriage” might not be the best word (I had been in favor of domestic partnerships since college, but was thrown for a loop when the UU insisted upon redefining marriage rather than equalizing rights. What can you do?

    Like

  174. “Just a couple of verses later in 1 Cor 11, Paul says this:

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

    That’s a pretty clear difference”

    Is it that your eyes just coincidentally glaze over when you quote mine or is it deliberate? just a couple verses later….

    “. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman.”

    No inequality. Another slash out quote mine defeated

    and who claims there is no difference between men and women. You are i believe married and with children to boot. Never noticed differences???

    Maybe you can jump in and help out William because differences in roles, anatomy and makeup don’t even begin to make the argument men and women are not equal in the NT.

    the only thing you can really point to is that women are told not to usurp authority and teach. NO matter how you interpret that you have to first show that a role where women are not allowed the role to do just that (but prophecy and speak otherwise – prophecy being directly talking as the voice of God) equals one gender being over another in importance.

    You cant really make the point so you are reduced to telling me about how people feel rather than whats true.

    Like

  175. “@ABlacksmanagain Been there. Suffered that. Back 20 or 30 years ago I spent some weird time on a Libertarian forum (libertarians: a political cult). And about 10 years ago I was being skinned alive on a UU forum for suggesting that “marriage” might not be the best word”

    LOl…I can imagine. Heres the other thing they are not telling you. When I came on this blog the first time i didn’t come in insulting and giving better than I get. No I made the alleged “mistake” of saying something like “Atheists tend to”

    and the same William you see giving lectures on being civil with some others (with Nate’s tacit approval) were the ones to blast me for the very idea of saying something to that effect.

    whatever your views on the issues I trust you can see the irony of this blog getting their backs up at the idea of saying atheist tend to do something when the blog and its readers are almost entirely on what Christians tend to do.

    OF course at the time they thought I would slink away…and on that mistake well……. the rest as they say is history…..lol

    Like

  176. No inequality. Another slash out quote mine defeated

    You’re simply wrong, Mike. 1 Corinthians has to be taken in its entire context. When taking chapter 11 as a whole, it’s obvious that Paul is teaching that there’s a notable difference between men and women, and he’s not talking about biology. Women were made FOR men, according to him.

    As William has said, 1 Cor 14 says this:

    Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    So whatever Paul means about women praying and prophesying, it has to be understood alongside statements like this. It’s a complex issue with some nuance. But to just make a blanket statement that men and women are obviously equals in Christianity is either ignorant or dishonest.

    Look, these exchanges don’t have to be so hostile. No one here is an expert on everything. You may know some thing that I don’t, and vice versa. It’s okay to sometimes say:

    Hmm, that’s a pretty good point. Hadn’t considered it before. Let me think on that a bit and get back to you.

    Now maybe you haven’t seen any points yet that make you question your position. But some of your comments sound more like desperation than thoughtful discourse. Not trying to sound insulting, so forgive me if it comes off that way. I just wish we could get along better.

    Like

  177. “and who claims there is no difference between men and women. You are i believe married and with children to boot. Never noticed differences???” – ABlacksmanagain

    who said this?

    who?

    no one.

    it’s like me saying, “peanut butter on rice is dumb, mike – therefore, i’m right and you’re wrong… in order to have a debate with me, you’ll have to show how peanut butter on rice isnt dumb…”

    none of us know what you’re talking about and we keep trying to steer you back to what what’s being discussed. c’mon man. you have it in you, but it’s like you’re doing this on purpose, this stupid and obnoxious act… why? for real, why?

    we are talking about:

    speaking in the church compared to not being allowed to speak in the church – how is that equal?

    women not being allowed to teach men compared to men being allowed to teach women – how is that equal?

    Like

  178. mike, you’re welcome to address the points.

    it would be better than saying so and so is stupid or dishonest or bad with women or whatever. It’s also better than discussing things that aren’t the points.

    Like

  179. lol, i still think this is likely some joke – like a prank phone-caller. the amount of time makes me think maybe not, but then it also makes it funnier if it is all a farce…

    Like

  180. Frankly I don’t think any of us are winning friends or influencing people with the toxic dynamic that’s going on here. For the record, unless it’s people who have been around a long time and know the history of how any of this got started they aren’t going to know who threw the first mud pie. So I think it’s rather pointless to keep an argument going just for the sake of the argument because our wee little feelings got hurt.

    Liked by 3 people

  181. @William re comment to Marvin

    That was my take, too, but it comes with a problem: it assumes religious belief is generally open to ‘new’ morals rules. this is the exception – usually from the tiny minority that are extraordinarily liberal denominations. The good being done by people from these denominations stands on its own merit and doesn’t require any addition from the religious beliefs. Painting the religion to be responsible for these actions is the same reasoning used to paint the the doctrine of the Catholic Church as that practiced by priestly pedophiles. To be consistent in one’s thinking, i one accepts the former, one must also accept the latter.

    I don;t think it’s true.

    The problem with associating moral behaviour to some god is that it shifts responsibility from the practitioner operating autonomously to this nebulous notion of some ‘god’ directing good but not bad behaviour. And that’s why there’s so much confusion when true believers ‘just following divine orders’ is compared to good little Nazis just following their Dear Leader’s orders. You see the problem… immoral behaviour is not just hidden but excused by this belief in god. Religious belief in practice – even if producing good works – is actually immoral for just this reason: it eliminates personal moral autonomy.

    Like

  182. I give a good hearty “Amen” to Ruth. Let’s cut this nasty food fight off, not by banning anyone, but by not responding to the taunts. Let’s stop rewarding bad behavior.

    Like

  183. I agree. Let’s also give Mike a chance to reset too.

    Everyone game for clearing the slate and moving forward with kinder conversation?

    Like

  184. “You’re simply wrong, Mike.”

    Great. Got proof? show it from the text. I would think by now you know neither one of us are going to take each others opinions.

    ” 1 Corinthians has to be taken in its entire context. When taking chapter 11 as a whole, it’s obvious that Paul is teaching that there’s a notable difference between men and women, and he’s not talking about biology. Women were made FOR men, according to him.”

    and? whats even the point Nate ? Genesis already records that Eve was made to be a partner FOR Adam. So yes Eve was made for Adam. Nothing remarkable in the NT affirming Adam and Eve. Do tell. However as the passage then points out (and you conveniently left out) every man after that came from a woman so – equality regardless now on that issue. Apparently you didn’t even read the verse you let out quoting. Its pefectly within context.

    “As William has said, 1 Cor 14 says this:

    Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.”

    Sure but thats where your whole “have to look at the whole context” claim falls apart. Its QUITE obvious you never have for either Corinthians passage or you would have known the verse you left out. let me give you a hint. It didn’t apply to every meeting of the church thats where chapter 11 comes in

    “So whatever Paul means about women praying and prophesying, it has to be understood alongside statements like this.”

    Great so ummm why don’y you do that? Instead you wish to navigate around what Chapter 11 OF THE SAME BOOK SAYS. Why because it tends to weaken you claim that women should always be silent and no again if you knew the context and had a clue about the early church 14 doesn’t say that.

    ” It’s a complex issue with some nuance. But to just make a blanket statement that men and women are obviously equals in Christianity is either ignorant or dishonest.

    Look, these exchanges don’t have to be so hostile.”

    Nate I don’t think I could come up with a greater example of your obvious dis ingenuity and duplicity. In one sentence you claim I am ignorant or dishonest but in the VERY NEXT next claim that from now on I shouldn’t be hostile when what you usually call hostile is me pointing out your own ignorance and dishonesty.

    Pretzels don’t do more twists…..Sheesh. You are certainly not fooling me with that double talk. Try the faithful who will rubber stamp anything you say.

    Second I didn’t make a blanket statement. You are fibbing The new testament makes the claim itself and I showed the passages that show how a woman is one and therefore equal with man. its the NT teaching that Women and men are equal in Christ. Even the passage I cited on racism says the exact same thing. You are desperate to show otherwise after a long line of blunders on what the Bible actually teaches.

    Meanwhile Neither you or WIlliam have given even a SLIVER of evidence that even if a woman were never ever to talk in any meeting of the church (which 11 proves incorrrect on your part) that would mean the NT teaches that one gender is greater than another. It would no more than saying my wife is superior to me because God willed her give birth to our Children but gave me no abilities to partake in that.

    Different roles no more make me less nor more valuable or inequal than on the job where another might speak for the company in the PR department and I work for a department that doesn’t.

    Does not logically follow

    Like

  185. “That’s a pretty clear difference” – Nate

    ““and who claims there is no difference between men and women. You are i believe married and with children to boot. Never noticed differences???” – ABlacksmanagain

    “who said this?

    who?

    no one.”

    William blurts

    ROFL…….The rubber stamping doesn’t get more any entertaining than that.

    Like

  186. Nate I have made myself PERFECTLY clear from the moment I come back. You can always take me at my word 😉

    Unless you do a 180 on your previous definitions of what you define as cordial, acceptable and unacceptable I have no intentions of abiding by your bias. You are going to reign in on Arch, Ark and company when they spew? How? Your bias always has allowed you to classify those on your own side of the issue differently. I’ll believe that when I see it so do what you wish and I will do accordingly. Apparently we are both prepared to follow through. the last time you modded I abided by my part of the deal and you never did to your side. Don’t even try to ask me to trust you again on that. .

    Besides if your last post before these was any indication Whats there to change? You felt it was fine to claim i was ignorant or dishonest. Basically my message in a nutshell to a lot of things. you say.

    Ruth is about the only one in this thread that walks your talk.

    Like

  187. Mike,

    Like I said to Marvin, I’m torn between two opposing desires: to keep unmoderated conversation moving on this blog and to keep things cordial. That’s a very hard balance to strike.

    The guys you mentioned have definitely crossed the line before, and so have others (myself included). However, whenever I’ve asked them to stop, they’ve typically complied. And most other commenters here have been gracious enough to ignore them as needed. This isn’t the first time I’ve asked you to take a kinder tone, and you’ve usually refused whenever I’ve asked. Or at least, it’s seemed that way to me. I’m hoping things can be different this time.

    I’m not too interested in rehashing everything that’s come before, but since you’ve mentioned this:

    the last time you modded I abided by my part of the deal and you never did to your side

    more than once, I’ll offer a reply.

    You have been referred to a couple of times since you were banned, but I can’t think of a time when it was by name, and you were never the actual subject of the conversation. It was a passing reference — sort of an inside joke for those of us who were around back then. I don’t really see that as a violation of our agreement — but at the same time, it’s not like we’re talking about an actual contract. Nevertheless, if that bothered you, then I apologize. At the same time, try to understand that you made a big enough impression at the time that it would be hard to expect anyone to never refer to you again.

    Regardless, I hate arguing. I much prefer having polite conversations that honestly deal with a particular subject. Are you willing to look past any slights and start over?

    Like

  188. Haha, I think I’m really the only person here enjoying Mike’s presence. For what it’s worth, I think he is a good reflection of how we may be a little bit too overboard ourselves sometimes.

    At the risk of angering others, I do kinda agree with his post on June 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Somehow or rather I can see his logic and argument (on civility at least, definitely not on theology). Which is much more to be said about other crazies like SOM if anybody even remembers him. Do I fully agree, of course not, but I think this bear mentioning –

    “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster . . . when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    Liked by 1 person

  189. @ABlacksmanagain

    It’s important to stick to the topic and avoid discussing people unless the remarks are friendly. Otherwise, the topic gets hijacked into a couple of people waging personality wars. Sometimes I’ll just ignore a comment about me and only address the point they’re trying to make about the topic.

    I think they did back you into a corner on the women’s treatment issue. Your way out was to translate the verses in a woman-positive way, which is okay. I would simply point out that the treatment of women and slavery were cultural norms of the time.

    Actually, setting the Bible aside, it took a long time before women were recognized as equal citizens under the law. There was probably some logic that led most cultures to adopt a male-dominant ethical theme, the most obvious being that males were larger and stronger and females were vulnerable while bearing and caring for children. Again: humans making moral judgments according to what seemed best to them at the time.

    So, it remains our error, not “God’s”. As a Humanist I see us putting the words in God’s mouth rather than the other way around. So the blame pretty much is ours. We caused the problem long before God spoke the command.

    I tend to forgive the Bible and its God because both are products of human imperfection.

    Lots of problems they faced then, like homosexuality, were only recently re-evaluated and reframed in the light of better science.

    On the other hand, the Bible continues to be a sociological resource and history of the Jewish people and later of the early Christians. And, as before, it contains poetry, legend, mythology, and very human portraits that would rival Shakespeare — especially the stories of a very human King David tempted by Bathsheba.

    But I’m rambling now.

    Like

  190. “The guys you mentioned have definitely crossed the line before, and so have others (myself included). However, whenever I’ve asked them to stop, they’ve typically complied.”

    Nah Nate. that can’t logically fly. You can lie to yourself all you want but sorry I’ll have be the one person to call you on it. I have read through grlls (or whatever I can never remember stPaul or something) previous posts. He has pages and pages of invective against Christians. Name calling, desires to kill christians, vicious slander and maligning, even sexual perverse taunts and You have done nothing much but make token comments here and there and you and everyone else here knows he will be right back to it in a few days.

    The facts are obvious and clear.

    You are only really concerned with maintaining civility when its someone disagreeing with you.

    Honestly? My tone is about the same as Arch’s always is toward quite a number of Christians that drop by and defend their faith. You have no problem with it because again he’s not calling you on anything. He’s agreeing with you

    ” but at the same time, it’s not like we’re talking about an actual contract.”

    i’m going to skip the clear moral issues with that defense of not having a contract as an excuse for not keeping your word because at least this is half reasonable

    “Nevertheless, if that bothered you, then I apologize. At the same time, try to understand that you made a big enough impression at the time that it would be hard to expect anyone to never refer to you again.”

    well then don’t make agreements you don’t intend to keep.

    However

    at least on a veiled admission that there was an agreement. yeah sure thats reasonable ….I’ll give it a chance.

    Shocker eh? A little reasonableness goes along way with me.

    Like

  191. @tildeb

    Right. On the one hand, we’d like to make sure our kids know the moral norms we expect them to follow. On the other hand, we still need to fix some very old, very bad rules. Having a book of doctrine tends to make changes more difficult. But, still, not impossible.

    There was a big break between all the ethical rules of the Old Testament and the radical new approach in the New Testament, where converting the heart was more important than restricting behavior. And it is that concentration upon creating a good heart that should make Christianity a lot more flexible than the ten commandments.

    Paul had a special problem dealing with Jewish circumcision and dietary rules that were hard to sell to Gentile converts. He makes a radical assertion in Romans 14:14, “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”

    A church provides morale for morality. And when we often see people profiting at the expense of others, we may need a spiritual shot in the arm to support our choice to be good and to do good.

    Like

  192. “I think they did back you into a corner on the women’s treatment issue. Your way out was to translate the verses in a woman-positive way, which is okay. I would simply point out that the treatment of women and slavery were cultural norms of the time.”

    i’ll disagree with you there Marvin. I don’t think I am even remotely in a corner on the woman’s issue. Theres a pretty rich Divide on feminist views and based on what group you associate with certain positions seem inherently sexist and in the other not at all.

    I know a great many women some not even religious that have men make certain decisions. They are fine with submitting because their husbands are not jerks. In fact I see the balance of love and respect all the time with some couples. Some, though the husbands activate a decision the nature of their relationship is such that she really had more the input. however in some groups mention the idea of submission at all and it is abhorrent and to them obviously wrong

    What really has made the claim stick is that yes total jerks have used those passages without humility, little to no love or self sacrifice of the nature of Christ as husbands and ignorant we are all to submit at some point . I have never once thought “hey I am the man I make the decisions”. the importance of making the right ones weighs on me such that i take all input and yeah recognizing who knows best for certain things I do a lot of “whatever you say”.

    the verses about silence? Out of context and unbalanced. The early church met daily breaking bread fellowshipping etc. Thats chapter 11 and woman are free to speak (its impossible to prophecy silent) . verse 14 if they actually read it is abut when the whole church came together and there was chaos. As the passages indicate people were talking out of turn – everyone wanted to prophecy and speak at the same time so yeah you could read it and say

    A) it was telling them not to blurt out questions in church or
    B) just let the women be silent in that meeting with the chaos (still free to even speak on behalf of God outside that meeting in other meetings)

    Whatever the cultural context the idea that all free and bond , male and female jew and gentile were one and the same in the church was revolutionary for the culture of the time.

    Like

  193. “On the other hand, the Bible continues to be a sociological resource and history of the Jewish people and later of the early Christians. And, as before, it contains poetry, legend, mythology, and very human portraits that would rival Shakespeare — especially the stories of a very human King David tempted by Bathsheba.

    But I’m rambling now.”

    I’d probably disagree with you about 60% of the time if we got into it but its not mean spirited or just intent on bashing Christianity. So no I don’t think you are rambling.

    Have a good evening( or whatever time it is where you are). you were a pleasure conversing with.

    Like

  194. A prejudice about a class of people is a belief or treatment based in something other than fact. If a woman is treated differently due to a presumed difference rather than an actual difference then that would be discriminatory and she has a right to object.

    For example, a man’s hair may be long or short, just like a woman’s. If you’re a short-order cook and you have hair that can fall in the food, then you wear a hairnet. Not because you’re male or female, but because of the fact of hair contaminating food.

    In church, there would have to be some realistic and practical difference to require women to cover their hair. If there is no real and relevant difference, then they have the right to be treated the same. Same goes for speaking in church, or even heading up a church.

    To the degree that the a church teaches prejudices against women, it furthers discrimination.

    Like I said earlier though, we should be able to forgive people their historical moral errors and understand they are fallible humans.

    And Christians do that. They generally do not require women to cover their heads in church. So complaining about what the Bible says about it is moot in most cases, because Christians simply do not feel spiritually moved to abide by those verses.

    Like

  195. Unfortunately Marvin you are now heading off into territories where you don’t know what you are talking about. Thats not a put down but a statement of fact. Fact: head covering is in fact still practiced by many Christians so saying they are not moved to abide is false in many cases

    You are also trying to prescribe your own views and in the process arguing for infringing on freedom of religion. No there does not have to be any realistic and practical difference that meets your qualification to require women to cover their hair. No more than Jewish men at times wear a covering upon their head. If the requirement is spiritual in a spiritual activity then that is all that is needed.

    I realize that to you the church and religion is nothing much more than a social or cultural expression. but that is your opinion. The church is under no obligation to give you a vote as to what you believe are realistic or practical decisions.

    Now to what I have no doubt some would be upset over. I’ve never heard a really good all round preacher that was a woman. Inability to communicate? No…. more a voice issue…in the delivery of some sermons the female voice tends to shriek.. I can rationally see where that was even a worse situation before microphones. Sexist? I guess you can argue for that but then I have never heard a really good male Soprano

    Based on differences between genders and in no way limited to the religious there is still a WIDE segment of society that sees fathers having certain responsibilities and mother s having another set. Now though I consider myself to be a good dad and I know many others as well I still maintain that when it comes to nurturing the best mother will beat the best father in that particular function of nurturing – going and coming. Now will some disagree? Probably. Funny though when I express woman being better at something theres almost never a backlash or claim of discrimination.

    So who gets to decide on what you call presumed rather than actual differences? and why in the world do people not in the church get a vote if it even came down to one when our culture has recognized differences in obligations that have never been claimed before to be discriminatory?

    Like

  196. Thanks Mike.

    And for what it’s worth, I largely agree with your comment to Marvin from 7:49pm

    I agree that the Bible is not trying to set up a situation in which women would be totally subjugated. When I was a Christian, I thought the passages that talked about women submitting to their husbands were no more important than the passages that said husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the church. A proper Christian marriage should have the husband trying to do what’s best for his wife (and children, etc) and the wife wanting to do what’s best for her husband (and children, etc).

    But there are still verses that seem to point to inequality to me. Like Marvin, I think this says more about the culture Paul lived in than anything else, but I know that raises some potential problems with divine inspiration.

    In 1 Cor 11:3, Paul seems to lay out one of the foundations for everything that follows by setting up a clear hierarchy:

    But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

    So it’s like this:
    God
    –> Christ
    —-> Man
    ——> Woman

    If men and women are still equal in this scenario, then wouldn’t they also be equal with Christ? And maybe even God? What’s the purpose of the delineation if it’s not a hierarchy?

    The next few verses talk about how a man should have his head uncovered when praying or prophesying, but a woman should have her head covered. Part of the reason for this is given starting in verse 7:

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

    To me, these verses very clearly place women at a lower station than men. Again, I don’t think Paul imagines that he’s treating women poorly — I think he just views this as a fact, as many men of the time probably did.

    In verses 11 and 12, Paul gives some caveats:

    Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

    Here, he stipulates that even though their roles are very different, they still need one another. And ultimately, both are subject to God.

    Not much else is said about this topic until chapter 14, and I agree with you that the main purpose of this chapter (at least the last half of it) is to talk about order in worship services. As verse 40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Nevertheless, to me there appears to be a clear distinction between what men are allowed to do and what women are allowed to do:

    Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    If women and men are truly equal in Christianity, I have a hard time understanding what the distinction is in this passage. Even if Paul is just trying to cut down on the chaos, why are women singled out to be the ones that should keep silent? And not only silent, but submissive? (You don’t necessarily have to answer these by the way — I’m mostly asking them rhetorically)

    You’ve also mentioned Galatians 3:28, which says:

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    The context of Galatians deals with how the Law of Moses was meant to prepare the way for Christ, not to stand forever. And through Christ, not only are they free from the bondage of the law, but Jews and Gentiles both have an avenue for salvation. So in verse 28, he’s hitting the crux of his argument that all people now have access to God through Christ. I don’t think this is saying that all people are truly equal, because in passages like 1 Cor 14, Paul talks about the different roles that people have in the church and how some are better than others. This is talking about equal access, not necessarily true equality. That’s the only way I see to reconcile this passage with the ones we’re talking about from 1 Cor.

    I know we probably won’t agree on these points, but I wanted to at least take the time to lay out my perspective more fully.

    Thanks

    Like

  197. Nate, part of the problem is that some of the later letters of Paul seems to have different message. Especially the pastoral epistles. In 1 Timothy 2:15 ‘Paul’ says women will be saved by bearing children. Verse 12 does not permit a woman to teach. Scholars find this odd given the prominent role of Priscilla in the teaching of Apollos in the book of Acts. Also in Romans Paul refers to a female apostle.

    These inconsistencies are part of the reason the vast majority of scholars conclude Paul did not write the pastoral epistles.

    There is a reference to women being quiet in church in 1 Corinthians, but this seems related ot a particular problem with that unruly congregation.

    Like

  198. AB: “Unfortunately Marvin you are now heading off into territories where you don’t know what you are talking about. Thats not a put down but a statement of fact.”

    (a) But if I’m giving you my own opinion then I do know what I’m talking about. You may disagree, of course, after all everyone has their own opinion, but to say “you don’t know what you are talking about” would not be a statement of fact.

    (b) You seem to have immediately have turned the topic into a discussion of me. I’m flattered, but the topic I was discussing was the nature of prejudice and wrongful discrimination.

    AB: “Fact: head covering is in fact still practiced by many Christians so saying they are not moved to abide is false in many cases”

    But still true in many and probably most cases. All I can know for sure is what was practiced in the Salvation Army and what is practiced in the Methodist church. But that is sufficient to make my point. Christians (probably most denominations) do not require women’s heads to be covered in church, regardless of any biblical rule to the contrary.

    And that means, to me, that they have abandoned many of these unfortunate prejudices about women.

    AB: “You are also trying to prescribe your own views and in the process arguing for infringing on freedom of religion.”

    (a) I would hope that I am always prescribing my own views, because, well isn’t that what we’re all doing here? Isn’t that what you are doing as well? SO: Let’s stop talking about each other and stick to the issue on the table.

    (b) Since I have made no suggestion that we prevent any Christian churches from requiring women to cover their hair, I have not infringed upon anyone’s religious freedom. At the same time, anyone in such a church should feel free to lobby for a change in church policies that treat women as second class congregants. And I may certainly hold the opinion that following such rules, especially those that prevent full participation of women in leadership positions, are discriminatory against women and based in a historical prejudice.

    AB: “I realize that to you …”

    Really? You want to start out that way, by once again trying to make it into a personality issue?

    AB: “… religion is nothing much more than a social or cultural expression. but that is your opinion.”

    Actually, if you want to know how I view religion you need to check out
    http://marvinedwards.me/page/2/?s=religion

    And, again, stop trying to put your words into my mouth. Better yet, try using “I messages” and fewer “You messages” to avoid discussing personalities.

    AB: “I’ve never heard a really good all round preacher that was a woman. Inability to communicate? No…. more a voice issue…”

    You may have an issue with your hearing, or your blood pressure (do you jog? I have a treadmill). But your problem cannot become their problem. Women must be treated as men are treated in all areas that do not relate to actual differences but only to differences in prejudice.

    AB: “Based on differences between genders and in no way limited to the religious there is still a WIDE segment of society that sees fathers having certain responsibilities and mother s having another set.”

    Some differences between genders are real. Some are imaginary and based in a history of prejudices. The correct thing to do is to keep what is real and discard prejudices.

    AB: “So who gets to decide on what you call presumed rather than actual differences? ”

    They do.

    Liked by 2 people

  199. @Peter,

    …part of the problem is that some of the later letters of Paul seems to have different message. Especially the pastoral epistles. In 1 Timothy 2:15 ‘Paul’ says women will be
    saved by bearing children. Verse 12 does not permit a woman to teach.Scholars find this odd given the prominent role of Priscilla in the teaching of Apollos in the book of Acts. Also in Romans Paul refers to a female apostle.

    I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, but there is some dispute as to whether Paul actually wrote 1 & 2 Timothy, Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians. That may explain the disparity in the way Paul appears to write about women in the different epistles.

    Like

  200. @Ruth – Yes Exactly.

    I used to think that all of these ‘experts’ were spouting nonsense, treating the Bible as a human book, not a divine book.

    Now wouldn’t you know I seem to have joined them. All the higher criticism that I once looked on with such disdain, I now appreciate provides a better explanation of the Bible we have than the traditional idea that it is God’s word.

    Apparently 90% of the scholars conclude that pastoral epistles were not written by Paul. When I was going through Bible college 100% of the students were convinced that Paul did write them. So why the disconnect? I think for two reasons, the students don’t know enough to appreciate the arguments against Pauline authorship, secondly the students presupposition does not allow the possibility of non Pauline authorship.

    I was like that for a long time then suddenly I considered the impossible. It changed my whole outlook and the dam wall breached, it destroyed my faith. Once one considers the ‘human’ alternative the signs are everywhere. But I can understand why people of faith will not even consider this alternative. It took four years of study before I was prepared to consider it.

    The Bible makes a lot more sense to me now.

    What always troubled me about Paul in the New Testament was that he seemed to have so many fights and arguments with fellow Christians. But once I accept he was only human, not empowered by the Spirit of God that makes a lot more sense.

    Like

  201. “So it’s like this:
    God
    –> Christ
    —-> Man
    ——> Woman

    If men and women are still equal in this scenario, then wouldn’t they also be equal with Christ? And maybe even God? What’s the purpose of the delineation if it’s not a hierarchy?”

    Those are roles. Does the NT teach that Jesus is lesser than than God or equal to him ?

    Phillipians 2:6
    King James Bible
    Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    SO if the top two in your diagram are the same/on equal footing then why wouldn’t the bottom two of your diagram? IN Christian marriage a man becomes one with his wife.

    Verse 11 is not a caveat either its a clear indication that your hierarchy does not work because Men come from women and Paul factors that into the passage

    “. Again, I don’t think Paul imagines that he’s treating women poorly — I think he just views this as a fact, ”

    OF course Paul treats that as a fact. Its what Genesis teaches. Eve was made for Adam. TO be what though? a help meet for him – a companion in his work. I don’t see where you are getting the point that because Eve was made for Adam that it has to be For him to be superior to her . that just seems to be an assumption you are drawing from “FOR” that’s not at all necessary to the text.

    “As verse 40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Nevertheless, to me there appears to be a clear distinction between what men are allowed to do and what women are allowed to do:

    Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    If women and men are truly equal in Christianity, I have a hard time understanding what the distinction is in this passage. ”

    Multiple people are told to hold their tongue in that passage and the key is earlier when the passage expressly indicates its when the whole church comes together not every meeting. Churches met almost daily and verse 11 speaks to some of that. Secondly verse 35 suggests there is a a bit more in view than say giving a talk. It implies that questions were being blurted out.

    Still again I must ask and I have asked several times with no answer – how exactly on logical grounds do you maintain that difference in roles makes genders inequal? seems to me you are making a politically correct assessment that equality means no differences in roles. Might have popular appeal but its not logically defensible.

    “You’ve also mentioned Galatians 3:28, which says:

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    The context of Galatians deals with how the Law of Moses was meant to prepare the way for Christ, not to stand forever. And through Christ, not only are they free from the bondage of the law, but Jews and Gentiles both have an avenue for salvation. So in verse 28, he’s hitting the crux of his argument that all people now have access to God through Christ. I don’t think this is saying that all people are truly equal, ”

    Sorry Nate but you are playing fast and loose games with that passage. You are taking a passage that point blanks states all are one and trying to massage it away from what it says. Paul goes beyond the issue of having “access” to the results of that access that we are all one in Christ as a result of faith. Everyone that has “access” is not in Christ but those who exercise the access are as a RESULT in him,all one, breaking down other barriers. Paul is saying point blank that the RESULT of access by faith leaves us all one.

    Ephesians
    27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is [aj]neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you [ak]belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s [al]descendants, heirs according to promise.”

    Your Moses context argument to change what the passage says just does not work.

    “because in passages like 1 Cor 14, Paul talks about the different roles that people have in the church and how some are better than others.”
    `
    I am sorry Nate but you need to read the passage a little more slowly the next time. You completely botched that and made that up. Apparently you read the word better but didn’t understand what Paul was saying. Paul was saying gifts are better when they edify others. Thats not indicating higher status but greater facility to the church when you build up others in understanding.

    but Yeah I get where you are coming from now. you are totally confusing roles with inequality. I don’t buy that definition and neither do Million and even Billions of people who see various roles for Males and females. Seeing different roles is not synonymous with proclaiming inequality

    Like

  202. “(a) But if I’m giving you my own opinion then I do know what I’m talking about. You may disagree, of course, after all everyone has their own opinion, but to say “you don’t know what you are talking about” would not be a statement of fact.”

    In what I referenced you were not giving your opinion and YES it a matter of FACT that you are wrong when you wrote

    “Christians simply do not feel spiritually moved to abide by those verses.”

    in reference to head covering. Many still do. I don’t know where you are looking but hats are worn quite often to church even today. It doesn’t matter if most do or do not . As a blanket statement which is how you wrote it its false Thats not for debate or opinion it IS a fact.

    “And that means, to me, that they have abandoned many of these unfortunate prejudices about women”

    You can have anything mean anything to you. Thats fine but Women historically have worn and enjoyed wearing hats and among those that i know that used to but don’t now it had absolutely nothing to do with them recognizing any prejudice whatsoever in wearing hats.

    “Since I have made no suggestion that we prevent any Christian churches from requiring women to cover their hair, I have not infringed upon anyone’s religious freedom”

    You made the following suggestion marv – “In church, there would have to be some realistic and practical difference to require women to cover their hair” SO yes “have to be” is such a suggestion and yes you claiming what must have to be for a church is making a suggestion as a criteria of your own that you are proposing. I don’t agree with you and when I don’t I will say so.

    Isn’t that what conversations are about as well? It will be apart of any discussion I am in.

    “And, again, stop trying to put your words into my mouth. Better yet, try using “I messages” and fewer “You messages” to avoid discussing personalities. ”

    NO. and definitely no. There is nothing wrong with me saying you hold a position that you have articulated. Thats ridiculous. I will say you at times just as you are saying you multiple times now. SO stop wasting your time objecting to what you yourself are presently doing. Stay on the issue.

    “You may have an issue with your hearing, or your blood pressure (do you jog? I have a treadmill). ”

    LOL…. how your fake civility breaks down rather fast when someone disagrees with you Marv. You know nothing of my health and given your picture you are much more likely to suffer from those ailments so in keeping with Nate’s directive stop with the side shows.Stay on the issues and stop making snide remarks about my alleged health.

    “But your problem”

    Your? making it personal eh? lol

    “cannot become their problem. Women must be treated as men are treated in all areas that do not relate to actual differences but only to differences in prejudice.”

    Now you see thats why I asked before . Who gets to determine what is an actual difference. I referenced the very real and physical differences in women’s voices as compared to men. I even balanced it by saying it goes both ways. Your ignorance on that real difference does not become my problem or my prejudice. its just your ignorance ad very obvious ignorance of a real difference. simple.

    “AB: “So who gets to decide on what you call presumed rather than actual differences? ”

    They do.”

    Great!! and since many women in the church have no issue with it then it is them deciding. You can take your skirt off now and stop trying to speak for all women.

    Glad we got that cleared up

    Like

  203. I agree that different rules doesn’t necessarily mean inequality, but it does point that direction when the only reason for the differences (like saying women should be silent) is based on something like gender. Paul could have laid out all kinds of stipulations about how to achieve order in the congregation without blanketly prohibiting women from speaking, but he didn’t do that. He singled them out simply for being women.

    This is just something we see differently.

    Like

  204. Hi Mike,

    In Marvin’s comment to you, it’s apparent that he felt you were being too personal. I know you may not have meant your comment that way, so why not try to defuse the situation and explain that? Instead, I felt like your reply to him only ramped things up further. Yes, he got snippy with you too, but can you see that he was reacting to the way he took your earlier comment?

    Like

  205. “Still again I must ask and I have asked several times with no answer – how exactly on logical grounds do you maintain that difference in roles makes genders inequal? seems to me you are making a politically correct assessment that equality means no differences in roles. Might have popular appeal but its not logically defensible.” -ABlacksmanagain

    EQUAL:

    adjective
    1.
    as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with):
    The velocity of sound is not equal to that of light.
    2.
    like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.:
    two students of equal brilliance.
    3.
    evenly proportioned or balanced:
    an equal contest.
    4.
    uniform in operation or effect:
    equal laws.
    5.
    adequate or sufficient in quantity or degree:
    The supply is equal to the demand.
    6.
    having adequate powers, ability, or means:
    He was equal to the task.
    7.
    level, as a plain.

    I cant have children. Women can. That is a difference, but i dont view that as an inequality in the sense we’re discussing it, or other things like it.

    But women can be wise.

    men can be wise.

    Women can speak and offer sound advice.

    men can speak and offer sound advice.

    Men can submit and can lead

    Women can submit and can lead.

    why not husband and wife love each other and submit to one another?

    and wearing or not wearing head covering or having long hair is not a matter of inherent biology, like how one might pee.

    so what we’re talking about is the areas where men and women can do the same things, but yet the women are continually places is a lesser or more controlled and regulated role than the male.

    It’s like in the USA, all are free to the pursuit of happiness. They’re equal in the sense that they all get a shot, not that they will all be the same. But it wouldn’t be free or equal if one group, race or gender were told, “you’re equal, except you always have to wait behind the other races or gender or submit to them, or be silent when they can speak, etc…”

    So again, different roles and different abilities and different biology is one thing, but arbitrary regulations and hindrances is what we’re looking at here.

    We just look at this differently. I think you see where the bible says, “they’re equal” and then think that the parts that show them unequal must be just a distinction of roles like child birth or genitals, etc. Where I see the differences and realize they aren’t biological, and that they definitely limit one gender over another in ways that have nothing to do with biological restrictions or differences,and I can see that as an inequality, despite what some other passage claims.

    saying a woman should compete with the males in the olympics is not what we’re talking about. I wouldnt say that the average woman is just a strong as the average male. Not what we’re talking about. men and women are different – again, not what we’re discussing.

    we’re discussing areas where there are no real limitation from biology, but are placed on the females by the bible. and if one person’s role is only allowed to advance so high, while the other person’s has no such limitation, then that is indeed, unequal.

    one questions that does keep going unanswered, and there are several, is why believe the bible and accept it as the word of god when it was written by men, and is therefore the claims of me about god, thereby making faith in the bible, first and foremost faith in man’s claims?

    and I dont bash the bible. I still read it, but since leaving the faith, i find that it makes more sense now, and I am better able to “rightly divide the bible and discern the truth from the other.”

    Like

  206. “Paul could have laid out all kinds of stipulations about how to achieve order in the congregation without blanketly prohibiting women from speaking, but he didn’t do that. He singled them out simply for being women.”

    You seem to be skirting answering the question. the question I posed to you was PRECISELY regarding Male and Female roles in reference to equality. They are gender based. You might not like them but how do you logically go from someone adhering to role responsibilities and making that a belief that one gender is superior to another. They are just roles.

    Like

  207. Other male and female roles are based on physical and chemical differences. And even those aren’t considered strict these days. But Paul’s prohibition is just based” then being women. Seems arbitrary to me

    Like

  208. “’m Marvin’s comment to you, it’s apparent that he felt you were being too personal. I know your may not have meant your comment that way, so why not try to defuse the situation and explain that? Instead, I felt like your reply to him only asked things up further. Yes, he got snippy with you too, but can you see that he was reacting to the way he took your earlier comment?”

    LOL…..What did it take?…not even 12 hour for your bias to show. I wish ed Marv a good night last night. Told him it was pleasure taking to him Said nothing untoward. He takes exception because I dared to question (in no in your face way) his knowledge of Women still wearing head covering and apparently because I point out that male and female voices are not the same

    He gets all bent out shape and questions my hearing and health and here you are lecturing no one else but me like you could even have a moral basis.

    You are as transparent and hypocritical as always nate. don’t even waste your breath (well key strokes) . You cant say I never gave you a chance to show you could be unbiased but I won’t be playing any more of your games. do as you wish.and I’ll do the same

    Like

  209. “Still again I must ask and I have asked several times with no answer – how exactly on logical grounds do you maintain that difference in roles makes genders inequal? seems to me you are making a politically correct assessment that equality means no differences in roles. Might have popular appeal but its not logically defensible.” -ABlacksmanagain

    EQUAL:

    adjective
    1.
    as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with):
    The velocity of sound is not equal to that of light.
    2.
    like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.:
    two students of equal brilliance.
    3.
    evenly proportioned or balanced:
    an equal contest.
    4.
    uniform in operation or effect:
    equal laws.
    5.
    adequate or sufficient in quantity or degree:
    The supply is equal to the demand.
    6.
    having adequate powers, ability, or means:
    He was equal to the task.
    7.
    level, as a plain.

    I cant have children. Women can. That is a difference, but i dont view that as an inequality in the sense we’re discussing it, or other things like it.

    But women can be wise.

    men can be wise.

    Women can speak and offer sound advice.

    men can speak and offer sound advice.

    Men can submit and can lead

    Women can submit and can lead.

    why not husband and wife love each other and submit to one another?

    and wearing or not wearing head covering or having long hair is not a matter of inherent biology, like how one might pee.

    so what we’re talking about is the areas where men and women can do the same things, but yet the women are continually places is a lesser or more controlled and regulated role than the male.

    It’s like in the USA, all are free to the pursuit of happiness. They’re equal in the sense that they all get a shot, not that they will all be the same. But it wouldn’t be free or equal if one group, race or gender were told, “you’re equal, except you always have to wait behind the other races or gender or submit to them, or be silent when they can speak, etc…”

    So again, different roles and different abilities and different biology is one thing, but arbitrary regulations and hindrances is what we’re looking at here.

    We just look at this differently. I think you see where the bible says, “they’re equal” and then think that the parts that show them unequal must be just a distinction of roles like child birth or genitals, etc. Where I see the differences and realize they aren’t biological, and that they definitely limit one gender over another in ways that have nothing to do with biological restrictions or differences,and I can see that as an inequality, despite what some other passage claims.

    saying a woman should compete with the males in the olympics is not what we’re talking about. I wouldnt say that the average woman is just a strong as the average male. Not what we’re talking about. men and women are different – again, not what we’re discussing.

    we’re discussing areas where there are no real limitation from biology, but are placed on the females by the bible. and if one person’s role is only allowed to advance so high, while the other person’s has no such limitation, then that is indeed, unequal.

    one questions that does keep going unanswered, and there are several, is why believe the bible and accept it as the word of god when it was written by men, and is therefore the claims of me about god, thereby making faith in the bible, first and foremost faith in man’s claims?

    and I dont bash the bible. I still read it, but since leaving the faith, i find that it makes more sense now, and I am better able to “rightly divide the bible and discern the truth from the other.”

    Like

  210. “Other male and female roles are based on physical and chemical differences. And even those aren’t considered strict these days. But Paul’s prohibition is just based” then being women. Seems arbitrary to me”

    Don’t really care about what you find arbitrary. given your non christian state you would consider anything spiritual to be arbitrary. I asked a simple question like five times now and you can’t answer

    and no many male and female roles are based on psychological and emotional tendencies of male and women.

    The problem with you and Williams claim on physical difference is that theologically and practically it makes absolutely no difference. If a woman can give birth and that is considered a superior experience (and i consider it as such) and makes her better then it doesn’t matter a bit if its been endowed to her by command of God or by God providing her and not males with the abilities

    men Still would be inferior.

    Like

  211. I dont mind someone finding childbirth superior or inferior. I dont care to argue over that.

    All I am saying, is that to me, women can be wise and can have good advise and can make good points. I think women are as capable of these things as men.

    Women are not as capable (generally speaking) as men in sports, and strength, etc. men aren’t as capable as women in child birth and nagging, but again, I’m not talking about these differences. Maybe there is a superior and an inferior concept to them, but again, i dont care to argue over these.

    But if a woman has something to say, and if it is worth hearing, i do find it unequal for anything to say the woman cannot speak, but the man can. Do you really see this as being equal?

    I am not sure where emotional and psychological tendencies come into play here, can you elaborate?

    —-

    “given your non christian state you would consider anything spiritual to be arbitrary” – ABlacksmanagain

    hm, i don’t think christians have a monopoly on spirituality. I am not sure where I stand on it and it depends on how we define spirituality. If you mean a ghost, then I guess I dont agree, but if by spiritual you mean a realization and pursuit and value of a deeper mind and understanding, then i can appreciate it. I may not be as capable as someone else in that regard, but that doesn’t make me unequal in that regard – wink.

    it also makes me want to ask again though, why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Like

  212. This discussion highlights one of the many problems of religion(in this case Christianity). Scriptures can be interpreted so many different ways. Recently, I’ll go find the comment if necessary, on another blog a person who identifies as Christian and, I can only presume, a fundamentalist inerrantist, made the statement that he did not feel women should be granted the privilege to vote. The reason behind the belief was that it places women in authority over men. He got that from the same Bible that other people get more progressive ideas about women’s equality. Does that mean he is wrong? Or are the more progressive ideas wrong? How can anybody claim to have THE right interpretation?

    And, THE right interpretation only matters to people who hold to a literal, inerrant, belief in scripture.

    Liked by 2 people

  213. “adjective
    1.
    as great as; the same as (often followed by to or with):”

    Stop wasting my time. Theres dictionary.com if anyone wants definitions. You and Nate are doing the two step. If God gives me a command not to have children or doesn’t give me the ability to even attempt the feat then providentially there is no difference. The roles would still make a woman superior. you ask a ton of questions and at least get some answer from me but when you are asked one all I get is long rambling walls of meaningless to the question text.

    “But women can be wise.

    men can be wise.

    Women can speak and offer sound advice.”

    Yep and they generally have higher emotional IQ
    are generally better nurturers
    generally more reasonable

    and those are all non body part reasons why they are just plain better at some things. Men on the same basis can have non body part reasons why they are better at things too.

    does that make them or women better. Nope. . does it make them better at some things? You bet.

    So again how does recognizing roles make for an argument of inequality.

    Like

  214. I’m sorry if it seemed like I was attacking you — That’s not my intent. I agree that you’re earlier comments to Marvin were very polite. But you started the next comment off by telling Marvin that he didn’tknow what he was taking about. Do you see how that could have made him defensive? Instead of using that phrase, do you think you might have gotten farther by just saying something like, “Actually Marvin, while you’re right that many Christian women don’t wear head coverings, there are actually quite a number who still do”?

    Like

  215. I guess, and this is what i think, that when the roles “limit” a woman’s ability to speak and makes points or give sound advice, when they are “capable” of doing so, then i find it to be unequal when the man is not “limited” in such a way when their “capability” isn’t necessarily superior.

    I am sorry if these responses don’t suit your expectations, but I’m trying.

    even if you dont agree with this, do you really not see the point? we may just be at an impasse then, because the point still seems pretty clear to me, despite being told otherwise.

    and i didn’t mean to insult anyone by pasting the definition of equal, it just seemed to me like maybe we weren’t considering the meaning of the word.

    Like

  216. want to ask again though, as i am curious, why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Liked by 1 person

  217. “This discussion highlights one of the many problems of religion(in this case Christianity). Scriptures can be interpreted so many different ways.”

    Ruth you are buying into a totally bogus claim. It highlights nothing of the sort. Human language is capable of different interpretations by people with and sometimes without agenda on ANYTHiNG. Thats in Christian scriptures and out. doesn’t matter the issue. it could be anything . write a single line of text about a subject give it to a thousand people and you will get back hundreds of different takes. That not the scriptures thats just humanity. You will hear more about it with religious issues due to the controversial issue of the subject.

    The other one that goes with this is “you can make the Bible say anything”. No you can’t. Hebrew and Greek has meaning that has served civilizations well in communicating effectively for a variety of thing and the Bible is written in those languages. Sure you can say it says something but then you can do that for anything or anyone.

    ” Recently, I’ll go find the comment if necessary, on another blog a person who identifies as Christian and, I can only presume, a fundamentalist inerrantist, made the statement that he did not feel women should be granted the privilege to vote. The reason behind the belief was that it places women in authority over men. He got that from the same Bible that other people get more progressive ideas about women’s equality.”

    He got that out of ignorance not the Bible. Read even the scriptures people have been bandying about in this thread. Not one even vaguely relates to outside the church. I’d vot e for a woman in a heartbeat if she was a good candidate without even a second thought as not a scripture comes to mind that would have any bearing on not doing so

    Like

  218. AB: “Great!! and since many women in the church have no issue with it then it is them deciding.”

    Correct. And those objecting to having their heads covered can choose a more modern Christian denomination or they can pursue modernizing the practices in their own church. We all choose our battles.

    The same can be said for any of the other Biblical teachings about women’s role in the church or in society or in marriage. Since these are man’s words, specifically men of at a particular point in history and culture, rather than God’s words, they needn’t be taken as Gospel. 🙂

    Like

  219. AB: “He gets all bent out shape and questions my hearing and health …”

    Actually, I was being sincere. I’m 68 and currently dealing with a kidney stone. Sounds that would not normally bother me, that I might even enjoy, sound irritating to me now. Why did you jump to the conclusion that I was somehow attacking you?

    Like

  220. “Ruth you are buying into a totally bogus claim. It highlights nothing of the sort. Human language is capable of different interpretations by people with and sometimes without agenda on ANYTHiNG. Thats in Christian scriptures and out. doesn’t matter the issue. it could be anything . write a single line of text about a subject give it to a thousand people and you will get back hundreds of different takes. That not the scriptures thats just humanity. You will hear more about it with religious issues due to the controversial issue of the subject.

    The other one that goes with this is “you can make the Bible say anything”. No you can’t. Hebrew and Greek has meaning that has served civilizations well in communicating effectively for a variety of thing and the Bible is written in those languages. Sure you can say it says something but then you can do that for anything or anyone.” – ABlacksmanagain

    that’s right, you cant literally make the bible say anything, but like you said, there are still an assortment of interpretations that can be gathered from it. so the bible can be made to say a lot of things is probably more accurate.

    the problem Ruth is pointing out is that most “christian” flavors have “their way is the right way” which sometimes is in opposition to another flavor’s way, which they also feel is the right way.

    And paragraph number one is why many people see a book as being a bad way to deliver “one divine word” if you really want everyone to buy into the message. when you’re capable of eliminating all misunderstanding, or at least actually letting people know when they’ve finally got a certain point correct, it just seems like the thing to do – but it wasnt.

    and this leads to people having to insert other words and meanings into texts that dont align with one person’s interpretation, when evangelizing that view to others.

    Like

  221. Ruth you are buying into a totally bogus claim.

    I don’t think that I am buying into a totally bogus claim. You go on to state:

    Human language is capable of different interpretations by people with and sometimes without agenda on ANYTHiNG. Thats in Christian scriptures and out. doesn’t matter the issue.

    Exactly. This is the point I was making. Scriptures are written in human language. I did not say that “you can make the Bible say anything you want”. I said that it can be interpreted in many different ways. Are you of the opinion that there is only one way to interpret scripture? And that you have the right interpretation?

    He got that out of ignorance not the Bible. Read even the scriptures people have been bandying about in this thread. Not one even vaguely relates to outside the church.

    I would most definitely agree that not one scripture regarding authority of women over men even vaguely relates to those outside the church. Unbelievers are not bound by the precepts and commands set forth in scripture. But I think he would disagree with you that a Christian man should vote for any woman to hold a position of authority much less allow women to vote.

    Some Christians seem to think they hold the market on the correct interpretation of scripture and that all others are wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  222. I would also point out that while some men(and some of those men Christians) did move to further the cause of women’s rights during suffrage, those men and women were largely viewed as heretical.

    Like

  223. “I’m sorry if it seemed like I was attacking you — That’s not my intent. I agree that you’re earlier comments to Marvin were very polite. But you started the next comment off by telling Marvin that he didn’tknow what he was taking about. Do you see how that could have made him defensive?”

    Nate you can waste your time if you wish. I mean its your time. This is now your second post all about me and trying to lecture me on how I might have irritated Marv but no lecture insight for how he might have offended me and made me defensive.

    I wrote this

    “Unfortunately Marvin you are now heading off into territories where you don’t know what you are talking about.”

    You can sit there and lie through your teeth that if arch, Grlll or anyone else says “Mike you don;t know you are talking about” when it comes to the writers of he NT, the archaeological evidence of the non existence of David or the exodus or anything else you will come running in to lecture them not to do so. …excuse me a moment………ROFL.

    Dude what a liar you still are. You don’t have the moral authority to lecture anyone. You have only deluded yourself and got others to delude you over and over and over again of your non open openess, your dishonest honesty your biased non bias and your don’t give a rip for the truth search for the truth.. all a self con game.

    Here we are less than 24 hour after me saying Fine if you can be unbiased……. and you didn’t even last a day

    You can lock er up.if you wish. If people get the idea that the author of the blog is biased deletes and censors great!. its the truth.

    I should never have even bothered accepting that “We didn’t have a contract after all” non apology apology. Anyway I can correct that error – consider it formally rejected.

    Like

  224. ‘The same can be said for any of the other Biblical teachings about women’s role in the church or in society or in marriage. Since these are man’s words, specifically men of at a particular point in history and culture, rather than God’s words, they needn’t be taken as Gospel.”

    The beautiful thing about that is no one believes you are the gospel or even have the last word on the veracity of those claims of yours either. Even better if you are us based and in the minority. You don’t know what is God’s word or isn’t.

    “Why did you jump to the conclusion that I was somehow attacking you?”

    because you were and there was no jump needed. IF you are having mental issue then don’t blame me. I don’t know of any rational person that starts asking about people hearing and blood pressure problems just coincidentally when they see the person write something they don’t like and then follow it up with stating the other person;s problem when they just waxed hypocritical claiming “you” statements should be left out of the discourse.

    It was perfectly stupid marv. You got called on it. No need to not just move on rather than compound it with duplicity

    Like

  225. knowing what god’s word is or isn’t can be debated by all men, and cant be said to be known for certain by any man.

    pointing out that obvious fact does little to further an argument and asserting that a particular person doesnt “know what is God’s word or isn’t” doesn’t mean that the accuser does know what god’s word is or isnt any more than anyone else. We’re all in that boat together.

    but the bible is undeniably written by men. these men undeniably claim to have had special insights to what god said or did or thought. Why believe the claims of those men?

    Like

  226. Others here may or may not agree but I concede that many of us here have said things during discourse with Mike that are…regrettable(I think that’s being generous). Having said that, this is Nate’s living room. While it’s on the internet and thus considered public it is still Nate’s personal blog. He can ask any of us to leave at any time he chooses. That being the case, if I were treated rudely by the host and I also asked nicely for the rudeness to stop, if it didn’t I’d just leave the party. And if I was rude to the host in his own living room and he asked me to leave I’d take my licks and move on. I don’t think anyone can expect the host of the party to abide personal attacks and not remove the offending guest.

    Either side attempting to justify their nastiness just comes across as childish, petulant, and immature. “He did it first,” doesn’t cut it. Haven’t we all heard that two wrongs don’t make a right?

    Liked by 1 person

  227. Personally, I wish we would all stop responding to insults with insults. I feel like when I do that it says more about my character than it does the other person’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  228. “Exactly. This is the point I was making. Scriptures are written in human language.”

    So you believe Humans are totally incapable of communicating what they mean with human language ? I don’t buy that. IF that were true we would be incapable of achieving what we do. I agree that human language is flawed but we do still manage to do a lot of communication and be certain about it. The bible repeats itself enough and clarifies enough that we can do the same from it. Know what every last verse means ? probably not but quite a bit.

    ” Are you of the opinion that there is only one way to interpret scripture? And that you have the right interpretation?”

    I am of the opinion that you can open up any book and see what it says and check the dictionary meaning and I am certain that your blog reader claiming women cannot hold political office will never be able to find those words.

    ” But I think he would disagree with you that a Christian man should vote for any woman to hold a position of authority much less allow women to vote.”

    Perhaps but if I were to talk to him and he really is a believer in scripture I believe he would eventually have to admit its not in there.

    Lets not forget in all of this women can’t speak silence etc stuff that it is without dispute that women could prophecy. Thats speak as the voice of God (whether you believe it or not). Prophecy was not some little back water ministry a woman would be relegated to even if you believe the passages are applicable to all church services. Prophet was major upfront stuff.

    Like

  229. Perhaps but if I were to talk to him and he really is a believer in scripture I believe he would eventually have to admit its not in there.

    I don’t know, he seems pretty sold on it. I know he’s cherry picking, but I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t. One might say that this is the fallibility of man and no fault of your God, but it seems a pretty poor delivery system for issues which are of paramount importance and matters of life or death.

    He has his own blog where he uses scripture to back up what he says. Now, while I disagree with his interpretation of those scriptures he seems quite convinced that his are the God-ordained interpretations and the correct interpretations. I’m not at all certain he’s even doing this with any agenda except what he believes to be God’s agenda.

    http://biblicalgenderroles(dot)com/category/patriarchy/

    Like

  230. “. While it’s on the internet and thus considered public it is still Nate’s personal blog. He can ask any of us to leave at any time he chooses. ”

    I already abided by a request under an agreement he has even recently admitted to being aware that was broken.. I am under no further obligation. Your rationale that its his living room will not fly. you all are free to talk about people behind close doors but if you discuss in violation of an agreement people by name in a public place then they have the right to choose whether they will respond on a public internet wordpess owned blog.

    Like I said he can lock it up from the admin panel but don;t even try lecturing me on the right or wrong of not respecting the wishes of someone that breaks his word so you all can talk about people in peace on a public space.

    Like

  231. I already abided by a request under an agreement he has even recently admitted to being aware that was broken..

    Who committed this flagrant infraction? May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their bed tonight!

    Like

  232. “Who committed this flagrant infraction? May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their bed tonight”

    LOL.. thats why you are still one of my more favorited Mike Haters. Enjoy the rest of your day RUth.

    Like

  233. “…thats why you are still one of my more favorited Mike Haters.”

    Hate is such a strong word…

    You have a nice rest of your day, too.

    Like

  234. Nate you can waste your time if you wish. I mean its your time. This is now your second post all about me and trying to lecture me on how I might have irritated Marv but no lecture insight for how he might have offended me and made me defensive.

    I don’t mind. I think the personality stuff keeps us from having a productive dialog anyway, so why not spend some time trying to address the root issues?

    I wrote this

    “Unfortunately Marvin you are now heading off into territories where you don’t know what you are talking about.”

    You can sit there and lie through your teeth that if arch, Grlll or anyone else says “Mike you don;t know you are talking about” when it comes to the writers of he NT, the archaeological evidence of the non existence of David or the exodus or anything else you will come running in to lecture them not to do so. …excuse me a moment………ROFL.

    Granted, I usually don’t step in on something that minor. I only brought it up to you because you felt like I was singling you out unfairly in your later comment to Marvin, which was unquestionably rude. I was just trying to point out where I think you started to cross the line, even if you weren’t aware of it. I’m honestly not trying to bust your balls or anything. You may not be aware that some of your statements can seem impolite. And the same could be true of me. Obviously, you feel like I’m a liar, biased, etc. I try not to be those things, but I’m certainly not perfect. So even if I feel like I haven’t been unfair, if you do, then I apologize. I’ll try to be better going forward.

    Do you see where your statement about Marvin not knowing what he was talking about could have been taken badly? That there might have been a more diplomatic way to say it?

    Like

  235. i can certainly see where someone reading the bible might think that it teaches that women should not usurp authority over a man to teach a man. and i mean, it kinda does.

    Liked by 1 person

  236. I think words can be written concisely in human language, I just don’t think the bible is a good example of that, as evidenced by the plethora of varying dogmas, ideas, denominations and commentaries revolving around it.

    if it was concise, it would be more easily understood, with fewer varieties.

    but the bible is what it is, and despite how i view it, it could be true, as i could be wrong. why is such a book, with such claims as having special knowledge of god, believable and found trustworthy anyways? .

    Like

  237. “I’ll try to be better going forward.”

    You don’t need to try nate. Thats just a cop out to put off fixing your issues. You can choose to be honest with yourself any time you want. You just don’t choose to be. It is what it is. Its the truth. You ARE intellectually dishonest Thats a solid logical observation based on the facts. Some people really are. Theres just no way that a half way intelligent person isn’t aware at this point that he is singling out one person (the only one on his blog that disagrees with his views who sticks around)and applying a standard he will not apply to anyone else.

    Will the new standard be that Arch and company not be able to simply say –

    “MIke you don’t know what you are saying…talking about… you are of into subjects you are uninformed, ignorant, or any other version of you don’t know what you are talking about?

    Of course not and anyone objectively reading this blog and these blog comments would know you are being dishonest. to make it more rich even in this thread you yourself used the word ignorant to me but called no foul on it.

    This is just waaaay too funny. 🙂 Everyone reading this knows that no such standard exists or will exist going forward. None of them or you will probably admit it now because well it would indict you and make your dishonesty even more obvious but yes we all know you have no such standard

    These are the same kind of games you play with the NT and the Bible. This is one of the reasons why you are having problems. When your actions are CLEARLY dishonest you try desperately to play the saint. When you are being on any logical level dishonest its all
    someone else, former church members family thats really at fault.

    So you are not “busting my balls”. I’m fine I have no problem being a voice that might I dunno help save what conscience you have left. I m fine with that.

    Like

  238. now that that’s out of the way:

    why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Like

  239. “And there you are, with nothing but empty name-calling to offer.”

    I call them like I see them marv. You can cal it what you like. You are dishonest too. Implying people may have a hearing problem or medical conditions just because they don;t agree with you was and is a scuzzy move. Had no place in the conversation and the longer you don’t admit that the more dishonest you are.

    Like

  240. “I forgive you, Mike.”

    alright I guess even though I don’t really worry about violating the laws of Nate I can dig it. I promise I will forgive you when you repent of your dishonesty. HE will too.

    Like

  241. Mike, while I still forgive you, one of the issues you seem to struggle with is in letting people apologize or explain past behavior. Most of us humans, if we’re offended by a statement someone makes, will give that person an opportunity to more fully explain what they meant. Even if we’re not completely sure that their explanation or apology is genuine, we typically give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Marvin and I have both offered explanations/apologies about our recent comments that upset you, yet you are unwilling to let those stand. You continue to tell us what we meant, instead of letting us tell you what we meant. This is backward from the way most of us operate, and it seems to be one of the main causes of all the drama we have whenever you come around.

    Do you disagree?

    Liked by 2 people

  242. now that that’s out of the way:

    why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Liked by 1 person

  243. Of course I do nate . I even disagree that you should be even heard too seriously on any subject of civility and fair play when you continue to ignore your own obvious intellectually dishonesty.

    whats backward from the way that any truly good person operates is that one does not make up a bogus rule just to censor one person.

    Again will the new rule be that no one can claim that another is uninformed, ignorant (which you used in this thread to me) talking anything they are not educated on or drifting into a subject they are unaware of the facts on???

    Do tell.

    But then you won’t tell

    because everyone here knows saying someone was uniformed of something has never and never will be a rule here that you will apply equally. At best what you will do is make up some bogus criteria under which them saying I or Christians are uninformed is different.

    Seriously your self delusion runs deeper than I realized but its not even possible so deep that you don’t see the outlines of your own duplicity at this point.

    Like

  244. and now, maybe…

    why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Liked by 1 person

  245. Well, actually, I think most people will see that I repeatedly apologize if I’ve offended you, offer to further explain anything I might have said that didn’t come across well, and simply ask you to avoid personal attacks. But you continue to obnoxiously bulldoze through those efforts, while claiming that you’ve been mistreated.

    When it comes to other people — yes, I’m asking everyone to play nice. But none of them have commented since you and I have been talking about this. So forget about them for the moment. I’d never ask anyone to remain polite if they were being attacked. So if anyone else on here cuts loose on you, then sure — respond in kind. They would have it coming.

    But since that’s not currently happening, why don’t we deal with the situation in front of us? Will you now please answer my question? Do you see how your opening statement to Marvin about him not knowing what he was talking about could be seen as offensive? Do you recognize that you probably could have phrased it better? No one’s asking for a formal apology — I’m just curious if you’re able to see what might have set him off. Can you?

    Liked by 1 person

  246. Nate, I admire your efforts to be fair to Mike. But I do think you are letting him take advantage of your fairness and kind nature. He insults you and laughs your sincere efforts. If he really is a Christian then he is actually acting contrary to Scripture with his insulting comments.

    I have trouble seeing Mike as other than someone who is here to try and get people to ‘bite’. As a result I would suggest the best response is to ignore him.

    Liked by 2 people

  247. Thanks Peter. You may be right… I’ve thought that about Mike, myself. I’m sort of hoping he can prove us wrong though.

    What do you say, Mike?

    Liked by 1 person

  248. I agree with peter. I think bate is being tossed out continually in hopes that enough people will bite in order to have an excuse to ignore the original topics.

    so at some point, maybe we could get back to one of the, like why assign true spirituality and truth to the bible, as if it were from god, when it’s a book that was written by men who only claim to have a special knowledge of god?

    Liked by 1 person

  249. Yeah, but William, you know that a firm Bible believer feels like they have an answer for that, and it’s going to sprawl in all kinds of directions: history, archaeology, prophecy, etc. It might be better to tackle those in smaller bites. We’ve already got almost 300 comments on this one.

    Not saying you shouldn’t ask, but it’s certainly not going to be a quick conversation.

    Like

  250. “Well, actually, I think most people will see that I repeatedly apologize if I’ve offended you, ”

    You can appeal to your friends here that will agree with you no matter what all you want . I see not a single apology for your most egregious behaviour of making up phony rules in order to pontificate on your own virtue and censor. You continue to obnoxiously bulldozing claim you are right in the face of all logic that says other wise

    What you call obnoxious bull dozing is holding you accountable for very obvious intellectual dishonesty

    Again

    Where is the rule that no one can question the knowledge of anyone and how are you going to spin that you yourself have called people ignorant in THIS thread

    Again

    are you going to come running in to stop your friends from claiming a Christian is ignorant of any fact, uninformed, or drifting into an area he does not know what he/she talking about.

    Like I said do tell

    Buy yet again you won’t

    Because like I said you are totally intellectually dishonest.

    We both discussed our options and what we are prepared to do.

    Let stop wasting each other time. I am fine with any outcome. what I won’t be doing help you scratch your fake “I am nate a civil person” itch while you are being nothing but dishonest. You can try and redirect ten more times it wont work til you deal with your dishonesty.

    Like

  251. Sounds good to me. We’re obviously not going to get anywhere, so please stop coming around. If you have a few last points you want to make on any of the threads you’ve been visiting lately, feel free. But please don’t comment on any new threads.

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  252. i don’t expect anything, really. and if he just answered “faith” then there’s nothing to even argue with. I’m really curious as to what mike’s position is, as he never really says.

    and I think it’s better that arguing over who the bigger turd-sandwich is. I’m all for holding someone accountable, but someone just denies everything for the sake of denying, then… well, here we are…

    Liked by 1 person

  253. internet tough guys are funny.

    especially when they bow up, feigning intellectual and spiritual superiority, while dodging questions again and again, and while acting like their questions are being ignored, when they’ve in fact been answered often.

    what’s that saying, “you can lead a horse to water, you just cant make him smart…”

    it’s entertaining in a pitiful way, because mike does no good for his own position. sad really.

    Liked by 1 person

  254. “What do you say, Mike?”

    I say what should be obvious by now if you were paying attention. I do not nor have I ever cared for what you rubber stampers claim. Reasonable logic appeals to me not hand waving to your few online friends. Rubber stamping is what drives the few locals to the place and is your psychological pay off so whats new? Seh La Vie

    You prove me wrong. Show me by any fact and reasonable logic anywhere where you have maintained the standard that claiming someone was uninformed, unaware of facts drifting into areas they don’t know as crossing a line and we can talk You wil finally be up to snuff and worthy of being taken seriously

    You can’t and we both know it.

    Furthermore the HILARIOUS thing about pete chiming in to defend you on it is that Pete will be at the front of the line soon claiming I or Christians are uninformed about something regarding the Bible or the NT most likely in a matter of days from now as he does often….lol

    and you will be likely to be thanking the post when he does as you have in the past

    Hilarious hypocrisy I give you that. Hypocrisy at a truly extraordinary level

    Like

  255. ” But please don’t comment on any new threads.”

    request denied. We had a previous agreement you broke and I was clear I was agreeing to no more. Use what tools you have and do not beg that I oblige you again.

    Like

  256. Alright guys, this iteration of Mike is gone. He will likely come back periodically under different names. Whenever he does, I’ll block him again. He gets no more chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  257. LOL…

    nice.

    so mike, you gonna answer any questions under your new, new user name, or just keep calling names and complaining when people call you names?

    Liked by 1 person

  258. I’ve already cast the curse of a thousand fleas on the culprit. What more do you want? Their hair to fall out? Done! They’re teeth to turn black? Done! Blood? Sorry, I don’t do blood.

    Liked by 1 person

  259. “If theres one thing I have learned from you my man . Its that” – ABlacksmanagain

    and it’s apparent what caliber of student you are – wink

    Liked by 1 person

  260. That’s pretty impressive, Mike. You can dream up new monikers! I can tell you don’t have access to a dictionary so I’ll spell the moniker I have for you, really slow –

    A – S – S – H – O – L – E

    C’est la vie! (It’s French, by the way)

    Liked by 1 person

  261. relax.

    I’ve found my Chi.

    I’m curios what this obsession with Nate is, though. Why do you even care what us ignorant, uniformed, hypocritical, unaware, boring atheists have to say anyway? If this blog, in your estimation, only draws rubberstampers and sycophants what are you hoping to accomplish? This really is going beyond silly.

    Liked by 2 people

  262. “leave my name off your blog while I continue to come around again, and again, and again…. why are you all talking about me while I run around around making all this noise? I hate being talked about so I’ll act like bratty child! wah, wah,eh eh,wah…”

    “STOP TALKING ABOUT ME WHILE DO THINGS THAT YOU”LL WANT TO COMMENT ON!”

    you’re a riot, sir

    Liked by 1 person

  263. you’re just making it more likely for people to talk about you and make fun of you now.

    certainly not making anyone think that they just abide by some fool troll.

    Liked by 1 person

  264. I really dont know what you’re talking about.

    i should stop fueling your public meltdown, but i just cant seem to breakaway…. but i guess you’d understand the difficulty in breaking away, wouldnt you… yeah, you would..

    Liked by 1 person

  265. Sorry guys, I just can’t help being such a douche. Maybe it’s a meds issue?

    — Mikey

    Like

  266. truth is I am going light on you nate. this could be automated. Tick off the wrong person and you could get hundreds of posts in a minute all from diferent ips.

    learned your lesson yet? When You make an agreement not to discuss people on your blog live by it. simple lesson.

    Like

  267. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a person cannot change the IP address of his or her computer, right? So in order to circumvent an IP address block, the person would have to go to another computer? If that is the case, eventually the typical troll would run out of computers available to him, I would think,…unless he is working for IBM or Google.

    I understand that there was a court case recently involving someone harassing a website; their IP blocked, and then changing IP’s to continue to harass the website. The website sued, won the case, and won monetary damages.

    Liked by 1 person

  268. I had a fundamentalist Christian pastor harassing me on my blog. I asked him to leave several times and he refused. I eventually reported him to the FBI. I haven’t heard from him since.

    Liked by 1 person

  269. Gary I’d love to see the case where a blog owner promises not to have discussion about a person on his blog does so and wins a case against someone when then post on his freely open blog have fun with that dream

    Like

  270. I have no interest in your small little blog besides you talking about . this is merely a short lesson to nate.

    Like

  271. Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc. was a Northern District of California Court case in which the court held that sending a cease-and-desist letter and enacting an IP address block is sufficient notice of online trespassing, which a plaintiff can use to claim a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    Liked by 1 person

  272. “Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc. was a Northern District of California Court case in which the court held that sending a cease-and-desist letter”

    oh please who would even bother with this blog further to need to cease and desist anything. I’ll bet the sued wasn’t talking about the person on their blog and breaking verbal ageements not to do so were they?

    You all need to be quiet before I report the hate speech Of grlll on this blog to wordpress.

    Like

  273. Mike, I have never had a discussion about you on this blog since you were initially banned. I have seen a couple of people make a passing reference about you, but that’s it. Wasn’t even by name, if I remember correctly. I don’t really consider that a “violation,” but whatever. You’re so unreasonable it really doesn’t matter.

    There are two things about this that are hilarious. The first is that you’re spending so much time here, despite all your insults about how small and irrelevant this blog is. Good use of your time, genius.

    The second is that you’ve obviously had this happen before, considering how quickly you implemented proxies. So much for this being all on us. Unlike you, I’ve never been banned from a site, even Christian ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  274. “There are two things about this that are hilarious. The first is that you’re spending so much time here, despite all your insults about how small and irrelevant this blog is. Good use of your time, genius.”

    People discussing me on it? ………bank on it genius.

    Like

  275. well then don’t make agreements you don’t intend to keep.” – Personally, I would never wimp out and make such an agreement with you in the first place. I remember a lot of us tip-toeing around, speaking of “he who shall not be named,” and I thought what a crock, that that piece of crap should be given that much power!

    Liked by 1 person

  276. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a person cannot change the IP address of his or her computer, right?

    Gary, there are apps out there – internet scammers use them all of the time – that can allow one to “spoof” an IP address. I once tracked one to a specific point in London, turned out he was in Nigeria all along.

    Liked by 1 person

  277. mike is doing wonders for the name of jesus.

    and I like how he acts insane, and then doesnt want any attention… LOL…. I left this yesterday with a smile on my face over how absurd this is, and then laughed when I saw it continued…

    if you dont want to be a joke, dont be the court jester. If you want no one to talk about you, dont do stupid and crazy things that pester people and inflame every interaction you have…

    It’s like a sitcom – a guy keeps hurting himself in hopes that it hurts his enemies. I mean, I’m practically speechless.

    someone needs to learn a lesson, but that person is clearly an idiot, so… no one should hold their breath.

    keep coming mike. You spend so much time on here, but always trying to avoid the discussions we have on the bible, instead you want it to turn this into something else. It’s fine with me, because it’s more and more apparent what you’re doing and what you’re trying to avoid with every one of your visits.

    I had wondered by you believe in a such a crazy book…. and now I see it’s because you’re crazy.

    teaching nate a lesson? yeah, but not the one you think.

    Liked by 2 people

  278. I dont find the bible believable. not any more, not after all the stuff I’ve seen wrong with it…

    and mike has done nothing to reverse that conclusion and has only succeeded in making himself look ridiculous, desperate and insane – none of which give me any confidence in the bible he’s been trying to defend.

    and these tantrums only make me concerned that he’ll give the decent christians I know a bad name. I would suggest any self proclaimed christian read matthew’s sermon on the mount ion chapters 5 through 7 – it’s some good stuff to meditate on and speaks on a higher character that mike may like to (or need to) search out.

    Liked by 2 people

  279. The claim that these people have a god living inside of them, “guiding” them, “leading” them, “moving” them to do good works is obviously a lot of bullshit. If a perfect, loving, kind god is living in Mike he would have struck Mike down with a plague for his recent behavior. But he didn’t did he?

    Mike is proof that his belief system is superstitious nonsense and that the “god” he think lives inside of him is really an obnoxious, arrogant version of Mike’s own ego…and a real asshole version at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  280. Hi all!

    I thought you might appreciate a little story (it just happened this morning) about why teenagers are my favourite people. Really.

    I substitute at the local High School and, just like Hank Snow – “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man”. This morning (it was a half day) found me in a Gr. 12 Law class. I’ve known all these students since they came to the school in Gr. 9 and there are some characters in there.

    I was monitoring the room for cellphones (strictly prohibited by this teacher, in particular – he had left me a note with the words, *NO CELL PHONES* at the top of the lesson plan). So I’m doing my ‘patrol’ and stop to look at a poster on the back wall. I ask the students if they know what the symbol meant – the ‘fish with legs’ one. I get blank stares, so I launch into an explanation about Darwin, and that the fish symbol was the universal christian symbol, and that the legs on the fish were meant to signify the difference between creationism and evolution. Nary a comment. About two minutes later, someone’s phone rings.

    I open my mouth to object to the flagrant disregard for the classroom rules, and just then a guy picks up his phone and says, “Mrs. ______ – it’s for YOU!” Little pause, then . . . . . .. .
    “It’s GOD!”

    Liked by 4 people

  281. http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/preach/video/season-1/episode-1/deliverance

    speaking of women speaking in church, the lifetime network has a new program called “PREACH” about 4 “prophetesses” and their “protégé’s”. the above link is to the first hour long episode which I had the “blessing” to watch last night. hilarious, it’s a clown show with as much wigs, makeup, and bitchiness that you would find in an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    completely ridiculous.

    I don’t recommend you watch the whole hour, the first 2 minutes will give you an idea what this is about. I’m sure this is what Paul was talking about when he said women should keep quiet in the church. LOL.

    Like

  282. oh, and I forgot to mention, one of the “prophetesses” claims to have raised a man from the dead. such a pity that these modern day resurrections never get caught on camera.

    Like

  283. arch, It’s me – the stranger who has a tendency to disappear and reappear when least expected. I’ve been busy putting time in with writing, family, and a few other activities. My world is quite a beautiful one now and I would like to remain in touch, so I’ve jumped on board after so much unnecessary time passing with regards to your invitation. Sorry about that. I can be terrible about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  284. Barry! There you are! I bragged about you so long ago, I’m sure everyone has forgotten what I said.
    (https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/open-conversation-part-3/?c=22295#comment-22295)

    Word of warning – this version of WordPress isn’t set up to nest replies beneath comments – you either have to go to the trouble of repeating something in the comment to which you’re replying or no one will know who you’re addressing.

    The curmudgeon who runs this blog won’t change for anything, so whatayagonnado?

    Still trying to cover yourself in ink?

    Like

  285. Arch, thanks for posting that link to Barry’s story. And Barry thanks for telling your story.

    I always find it interesting what causes people to re-evaluate and formulate their views.

    Like

  286. Welcome, Barry! I really enjoyed reading the message you posted to Think Atheist. Congratulations on finding your way out! Would you mind if I reposted what you wrote so it doesn’t stay buried in a comment on one of my old posts? It would give the other regulars here a better introduction to you as well. If you’re not comfortable with that, no worries — I would understand.

    Again, welcome to the blog! And feel free to chime in any time the mood hits you!

    Like

  287. “Still trying to cover yourself in ink?” Yes, Arch! I am! I will be going this Thursday to hopefully finish up my right shoulder. I also got another one on the left of my abdomen, though going to have to balance the left with one on the right, and then it’s just the back from there. No more after that – at least not planned.

    Like

  288. Peter, personal tragedy often has a funny way of making one re-evaluate. I, admittedly, am one of the lucky ones though as I came out the other end a whole lot better. Not very many people do. They either bury themselves deeper, collapse, or just let things end. But then, tragedy that sets you free can often be scary.

    Like

  289. If you’re into Sci-fi, you might want to read Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man.”

    Like

  290. I couldn’t help noticing that you had to go by “barryadamson2,” probably for the same reason I had to use, “archaeopteryx1,” instead of archaeopteryx – WP told me, “Archaeopteryx is already taken,” and it was – BY ME! Stupid WP!

    Like

  291. Arch, shame on me for not noticing sooner, but when did you port your stuff over to a new WP blog? I like the name and the theme layout, btw.

    — oops, disregard this. I somehow clicked the wrong thing!

    Like

  292. i’m just an idiot 🙂” – Only when you bend over backward to accommodate the likes of Mad Mike – then I concur. People like Mike just view courtesy as a green light to hit the accelerator and run roughshod over you.

    Like

  293. I liked this especially: “…your source of moral authority is a Trinity consisting of an unmarried Father, an illegitimate Son, and a Spirit who got someone else’s fiancée pregnant….

    Liked by 2 people

  294. Wow, that’s an excellent post. I really liked this illustration:

    But it’s still just a story. If you’re preaching a sermon about God to an auditorium full of people, and you accidentally drop your Bible, God can’t pick it up and hand it back to you. He’s just a character in a story. You could tell yourself a story in which you dropped your Bible and God did hand it back to you, but that would only happen in the story, not in real life. The limits of the story are the limits of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  295. It’s certainlhy written from a different perspective from what I’m used to, I’m sure I’ll be quoting it in the future and claiming I thought of it first —

    I know you don’t care about these things, Nate, but you’re just 9 short of having added 200 new subscribers since the Kathy debacle last summer.

    (Yes, Peter, it was 274 last summer – that’s from the near-eidetic memory we’ve been told I don’t have – “No brag, jes’ fact!” – Walter Brennan, “Guns of Will Sonnett” TV series, 1967-69)

    Liked by 1 person

  296. I wish they’d all chime in and say something, instead of just lurking – well, not all at once, but you know what I mean. Of course it’s hard to tell how many of them are Mike.

    Liked by 4 people

  297. “I wish they’d all chime in and say something, instead of just lurking – well, not all at once, but you know what I mean. Of course it’s hard to tell how many of them are Mike.”

    Perhaps at some point they will, but if they are lurking it’s likely they’re exploring their doubts and aren’t confident enough to jump into a conversation as…heated…as these have sometimes become. But they are curious enough to follow. So that is, at least, something.

    Liked by 1 person

  298. Hi Ruth, I don’t know if I’ve discussed with you before, but if not, g’day. I am a christian, but hopefully a friendly one.

    I wonder if you know that there are also people reading on this and other similar blogs who read the discussion and move towards christian belief and not away from it? I know or or have read some who have moved from atheism/agnosticism to christianity, and others who have moved from doubting christianity to stronger christianity.

    These blogs have more than one purpose! And sometimes the things people say give rise to reactions different to what they intend. I suppose I am as likely to be a victim of that as anyone, which is a salutary thought.

    I think it works most the way you say with Americans because non-belief is still a minority (though growing) view there, but here in Australia where the majority are vaguely theist but practically non-believers, I think it goes much more equally both ways.

    Thoughtful discussion is good. Best wishes.

    Like

  299. Hi, UnkleE

    I wonder if you know that there are also people reading on this and other similar blogs who read the discussion and move towards christian belief and not away from it? I know or or have read some who have moved from atheism/agnosticism to christianity, and others who have moved from doubting christianity to stronger christianity.”

    I am aware of this, yes. I know people go through a Dark Night of the Soul and sometimes come out of it with a stronger faith. I am not so much concerned that people have a particular outcome but, rather, that they truly think about what it is they believe. To me, that is the something. While there are some who come away with a stronger faith, it is usually a changed faith – one that is less concerned with black and white rules and judgement and more concerned with a spirituality. My concern and my sincere desire is simply that people truly think about the things they think about.

    Liked by 2 people

  300. Ruth, I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the Greek philosophers said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” While that’s a pretty extreme way of saying it, it’s a quote that I’ve long identified with. I don’t think everyone has to come to the same conclusion about things. Just reaching a point of acceptance and thoughtfulness is usually enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  301. “While there are some who come away with a stronger faith, it is usually a changed faith – one that is less concerned with black and white rules and judgement and more concerned with a spirituality. My concern and my sincere desire is simply that people truly think about the things they think about.”

    Hi Ruth, yes I did get an email notification, if that is what you meant.

    I agree with you here. I have been a christian for more than 50 years, and I have been thinking and re-examining my beliefs all along, and even more in the last 10 years when I have been active on the internet. And some of my beliefs have certainly changed, which I think is good.

    I agree with you too that it is good that people think more about their beliefs – at least those for whom that sort of thinking “works”. Some people are just not like that, whether christian or otherwise, and they tend to be more experiential and practical in their beliefs.

    My comments are usually aimed at helping people think from a good basis in evidence, which sometimes makes for good discussion and sometimes gets me into hot water. I’ll see you around.

    Liked by 2 people

  302. Why do Christians ask us to have faith in their supernatural claims if the evidence for these alleged events is as strong as Christian apologists claim?

    Think about that.

    Historians don’t ask you to believe the historicity of any other alleged event in history…”by faith”. So why do we need faith to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth if the evidence for this event is as strong as Christians claim?

    No. The truth is, Christians ask you to believe their supernatural tall tale by faith because they know that the evidence for its historicity is so very, very weak.

    Liked by 2 people

  303. Historians don’t ask you to believe the historicity of any other alleged event in history…”by faith”.

    “Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
    — Dan Barker —

    Like

  304. Educated Christian Americans, Muslim Iranians, Hindu Indians, and atheist Japanese all believe that Alexander the Great captured the city of Tyre; that Caesar crossed the Rubicon; and that Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. No one is asked to use faith to believe the historicity of these events. So why are we asked to use faith to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus if the evidence for it is “good”?

    Answer: It’s not good. In fact, its terrible; nothing but assumptions and second century hearsay.

    Christians ask us to believe their ancient, supernatural tall tale based on very weak evidence, and, a jump into the dark (faith). And how do they get us to make this jump into the dark? Not by presenting us with more evidence, but by appeals to our emotions and/or our fears: Either by using, “Our almighty, all-knowing god will protect you and give you eternal life (security and hope)”, or, “Our righteous, just, and holy god will torture you for all eternity if you DON’T make the jump (using blind faith).”

    It’s an ugly, manipulative, sadistic superstition, folks. Unfortunately, it is the superstition used by the largest cult on the planet.

    Let’s double our efforts to debunk it.

    Liked by 2 people

  305. My comments are usually aimed at helping people think from a good basis in evidence,

    Helping? You?
    That is the funniest thing I have read all day.

    And with all the verifiable evidence available I am sure you have heathens and other assorted non- believers beating a path to your door and blog in such hordes you probably have to beat them off with a signed copy of Aquinas, right?

    Bottom line. On average, unless people are having an emotional meltdown of some sort or are familiar with your flavor of god belief such ”evidence” is less convincing than trying to demonstrate how dog crap smells like a bunch of roses.

    Liked by 1 person

  306. But unkleE may find the evidence convincing, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with him expressing his opinion. in fact, I often like to have it as another perspective.

    No. The truth is, Christians ask you to believe their supernatural tall tale by faith because they know that the evidence for its historicity is so very, very weak.

    Maybe there are a few Christians who feel this way. I think most believe that the evidence for their beliefs is very strong. I know I viewed it that way. In fact, I remember wondering how non-believers could be so dismissive of something like Hell, when being wrong about that would be such a terrible fate. And I felt like the evidence for Christianity was incredibly strong — I mean, how could anyone deny how well the Bible fit together?!

    Of course, there was a lot I didn’t know. And I was actually one of the more studious members of the congregation I attended. I knew a great deal about what the Bible said, but next to nothing about how we got it, or the textual criticism that pointed out its flaws. While I still believed faith was necessary, I didn’t think it really took a whole lot. I guess I felt like that Norman Geisler book title: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.

    I think a couple of things are key to changing the landscape of Christianity in America. I think it will help when more people realize that they know some great people who aren’t religious. That’s how public opinion has shifted so dramatically toward the LGBT community, and I have no doubt it will work for us too. Secondly, I think better education about science and Christianity will have a huge impact. Much of that is driven by public opinion too. As people interact more with non-believers, they start to hear more of the evidence against Christianity, and that should help give them a fuller picture of the issues. Some will eventually leave Christianity over it, a few will just double down and become more extreme, but many of them will shift toward a more moderate and accepting version of Christianity.

    Like

  307. If the evidence for Christianity were good, faith would not be needed to believe it. Period.

    Christians may believe that the evidence is strong enough for THEM to believe, but they tacitly acknowledge that their evidence is weak when they ask potential converts to believe utilizing faith.

    This needs to be pointed out to Christians over, and over, and over again, politely, yet bluntly.

    Liked by 1 person

  308. Yeah, I do agree with that. It should never be a bad thing to say “I don’t know” or “I’m not convinced” about a subject, especially when it admits that it can’t provide evidence for every single aspect of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  309. “Maybe there are a few Christians who feel this way. I think most believe that the evidence for their beliefs is very strong.”

    Hi Nate, I agree with almost everything you wrote in this comment. I have long pondered why it is that thoughtful people can view much the same evidence (though admittedly we have different personal experiences) and come to such polarised views. And it isn’t just about religion, but also politics and some ethical issues. I have been reading a bit by psychologists and neuroscientists about how we make choices and will be posting on it soon. It seems that we like to think we make rational well thought out choices, but in fact we make most choices intuitively, unconsciously and/or emotionally first and then sometimes rationalise later. And if we do rationalise, we need our intuitive side to actually make a decision, otherwise we tend to not choose at all. I’m thinking this interplay between analytical and intuitive, which is different for each of us, might help explain some of this.

    “I think a couple of things are key to changing the landscape of Christianity in America. …. Some will eventually leave Christianity over it, a few will just double down and become more extreme, but many of them will shift toward a more moderate and accepting version of Christianity.”

    As an outsider, my views on US christianity are very much second hand, but I and many other christians believe US christianity has to change too. And I think it will happen just as you say here. So to some degree we are on the same “side” here, although of course you have taken option 1 while I have taken option 3. And I think the change is already well progressed, though maybe less so in the Bible belt where some of you live.

    Liked by 1 person

  310. Nate and UnkleE: Although I prefer a nation of kind, empathetic secular humanists, liberal Christians are my second choice.

    That said, I ask all my skeptic brothers and sisters to consider doing the following: Every day, when you get onto your laptop or PC, do a google search for Christian blogs with posts on a particular fundamentalist Christian core belief, such as “You must believe in Jesus or you will go to Hell”. Go onto five of those blogs, and leave a brief, polite, on-topic comment that challenges the superstition in question with rational arguments and contrary evidence.

    I believe that if all skeptics would do this, every day, seven days a week, Christianity would rapidly decline as people are exposed to the REAL Truth…or at a minimum Christians will become more liberal, more tolerant, and more humanistic.

    Please seriously consider doing this.

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  311. Hi Unklee

    I have long pondered why it is that thoughtful people can view much the same evidence (though admittedly we have different personal experiences) and come to such polarised views.

    Nothing to ponder about. We just have to accept that different people have different views and there is no absolute right or wrong.

    Case in point: Should we kill 3 to save 2?

    Perfect knowledge will not be able to help us make the “right” decision. Even if you argue that the 3 are 99 years old and dying soon, while the 2 are babies, there’ll still be people who believe that we should keep the 3 alive and let the 2 die. Even if you argue that the 2 babies will grow up to be wonderful revolutionary leaders in their fields while the 3 old men were good for nothing drunkards, there’ll be people who believe that sanctity of life means we shouldn’t cut short another person’s life.

    What happens if the ratio change? Kill 3 save 100, Kill 2 save 1000? Kill 1 save the world? You get the idea. We will never be able to come to a full consensus even if all the facts are laid out. Same evidence, different conclusion.

    Like

  312. With all due respect, Gary, and as much as I would love to find a panacea, it has been my experience that most such Xian blogs have moderation in place – for an example, all of my comments on Colorstorm’s and Insanitybytes’ blogs, all of my comments are moderated, and at their option, many never see the light of day, some do, but with the blog-host’s added comments.

    Liked by 2 people

  313. @Gary.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Arch on this one. Even a supposed ”reasonable” christian like unklee has no genuine desire for open discussion. Thus he will moderate as and when he sees fit.
    His aim is always to reinforce his own belief and , if possible, proselytize in his own special consensus orientated way – as he has been doing here at Nate’s spot – using his tried and trusted supposed ”expert methodology” that relies entirely on at least one major non evidence based presupposition for every claim.

    His approach,though somewhat different to a rank fundamentalist such as Colorstorm, still maintains core beliefs that have nothing to do with any sort of verifiable evidence whatsoever.
    There is absolutely no desire to seek a humanist, secular or materialist worldview on anything.
    The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is at the root of everything. All roads lead to Calvary, one might say.

    Consider:
    In the time that we have all been discussing Christianity on Nate’s blog ( or any other’s for that matter) has any scientist, archaeologist, theologian or philosopher advanced the christian religion in a positive manner one iota?
    Has there been a single thing that has made the world sit up and say: My goodness;’ maybe there is something to this stuff after all?’

    Christianity is still the same rotten-to-the-core nonsense it always was, overtly or insidiously indoctrinated into kids, and unklee, like so many supposed reasonable christians, is simply just another somewhat delusional individual juggling an ever-increasing number of balls trying to make sense of what is, essentially just a load of balls.

    Liked by 2 people

  314. Yeah, I agree with Ark and Arch about visiting fundamentalist’s blogs. If you do manage to get some comments through moderation the conversation soon gets shut down even when you engage politely. I think I might be viewed as sort of lightweight because I’m not terribly fiery most of the time. Even so, the conversation doesn’t take long to disintegrate. I don’t know if that’s because they don’t find me a worthy opponent or because they just don’t want to engage. This is coming from someone who very rarely even visits fundy blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  315. the conversation soon gets shut down even when you engage politely.

    I can never fathom why they ban me? They tend to have mini breakdowns when I ask for verifiable evidence. It does not compute with these people.
    Unklee simply got fed up with me for not agreeing with his evidence and his experts and simply banned me.
    Spoilsport.
    I didn’t even call him a Dickhead!
    You can never have a grown-up, sensible conversation with anyone who considers you hate their god and are automatically destined for Hell.

    Liked by 2 people

  316. “You can never have a grown-up, sensible conversation with anyone who considers you hate their god and are automatically destined for Hell.”

    It sure makes it hard as hell for them to find any common ground on which to converse. On the very few occasions I’ve even commented on a Christian blog I get shut down. Your friend James even got fed up of me. Just stopped even responding. And I was nice and everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  317. lol, yeah, gary good luck with your plan,. last nite I was watching more Christian t.v. and one preacher said that “it’s time for Christians to become the athiests worst nightmare.’ LOL.

    personally, and I’m sure you are all aware, civility is not my strong suit. lol. but good for those of you that practice it.

    I have to agree with ark :You can never have a grown-up, sensible conversation with anyone who considers you hate their god and are automatically destined for Hell.

    Like

  318. I think that the key issue is lack of common ground. IT comes down to both sides of the debate being prepared to allow for the possibility that the others sides position could be correct.

    From my observation in so many of these discussions neither side tends to allow for the possibility that the other sides position is correct. This means that the interchange tends to degenerate into ridicule with both sides being guilty.

    That is my observation, now it may be that my observation is incorrect. But I see ridicule and belittling on both sides of these discussions. I know it is a popular pastime to ridicule UnKle E, but I give him credit for being more open to discussion than most people on either side of the debate. Whilst I tend to reach different conclusions to him, I do appreciate the manner in which he is prepared to engage in discussions.

    Liked by 3 people

  319. Hey guys, I wonder if you’d be willing to help me with an experiment I’ve dared myself to perform. For a limited time (1 day?) I’m going to be arguing from a Christian perspective and will be trying to demonstrate that Christianity (a liberal version of it) is true. It is a common practice among scientists to try and disprove their own theory and I’ve been reading about scientists who have done just that. This has inspired me to try it out on a worldview (Christianity) and I’m hoping some of you will indulge me and argue against my points.

    Here goes…

    I’ll start with Ark’s challenge: has any scientist, archaeologist, theologian or philosopher advanced the christian religion in a positive manner one iota?

    I’ll go with theologian Rev. Michael Dowd. I’m currently reading his book “Thank God For Evolution”. He is taking the science of evolution and infusing new life into Christianity by looking at religious concepts through the lens of scientific findings. For example, he demonstrates how humans can strive to achieve “evolutionary integrity” utilizing our socially advanced brains to deal with our old instincts left over from when we were lizards or furry little mammals.

    “I see sacred views of evolution as the Good News (the ‘gospel’) of our time, personally and collectively. I thank God for the entire 14-billion-year epic of cosmic, biological, and human emergence, because an inspiring interpretation of the history of everything and everyone builds bridges, provides guidance, and restores realistic hope for individuals and families, for humanity, and for the body of life as a whole.” – Rev. Michael Dowd

    Rather than focus on private revelations Dowd focuses on what has been publicly revealed to everyone. I think this is an example of someone advancing the Christian religion in a positive manner.


    Okay. Not much to argue against so far.. I’ll have to try harder.

    Liked by 1 person

  320. I don’t know if that’s because they don’t find me a worthy opponent or because they just don’t want to engage.” – Just be secure in the knowledge, Ruth, that Tiribulus likes you —

    Here, next time take this with you:

    Liked by 2 people

  321. “So why are we asked to use faith to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus if the evidence for it is “good”? Answer: It’s not good. In fact, its terrible; nothing but assumptions and second century hearsay.” – Gary

    First, we should ask ourselves whether the item in question is possible or not. We all recognize that we need some absurd starting point to explain the existence of our universe. That could be infinity, something from nothing, or something from “The One”. Call it God or Ultimate Reality. Now if this Ultimateness is capable of starting our Universe it may also be capable of altering it. What if the teachings of Jesus were recognized as important by this One and it decided to alter reality, bringing life back to a dead man, as a means of making it certain that the teachings would not go unnoticed. Perhaps it is the practice of these teachings that is important and not the belief in them.

    Since belief in the resurrection is not important to this God it would have no reason to provide us with any good evidence for it. Christians who focus on belief in miracles are completely missing the point. It is the subject matter surrounding the miracles that should be evaluated. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. If the resurrection of Jesus was a miracle that actually happened then we need to ask ourselves what was being taught by this man. Unfortunately his message was hijacked by Paul and some strange doctrines emerged, but a lot of the core principles remain: Love each other.

    “Love never gives up.
    Love cares more for others than for self.
    Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
    Love doesn’t strut,
    Doesn’t have a swelled head,
    Doesn’t force itself on others,
    Isn’t always “me first,”
    Doesn’t fly off the handle,
    Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
    Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
    Puts up with anything,
    Trusts God always,
    Always looks for the best,
    Never looks back,
    But keeps going to the end.”
    1 Cor. 13

    Like

  322. I’m sure you are all aware, civility is not my strong suit” – SAY it isn’t SO!

    Like

  323. “ust be secure in the knowledge, Ruth, that Tiribulus likes you —”

    You have no idea how special that makes me feel…(in case that wasn’t apparent, this is extreme sarcasm).

    Like

  324. @ Dave

    Er, with die respect, how does this positively advance christianity? This is just co-opting science and covering it with goddidit sprinkles.

    I agree, I believe you will have to try harder.

    To give you a bump start.
    The thrust of the ”challenge” which was really more of an assertion, states Christianity is based on several core ”spiritual” ( being polite) foundations.
    Have any of the aforementioned disciplines brought to light and/or verified any such claims?

    Furthermore, is christianity genuinely advancing humankind and reducing suffering in a way that is better than secular humanism?

    Like

  325. I doubt that the fundamentalist and conservative/orthodox Christian blog owners will be swayed by our skeptic arguments but I am targeting the “lurkers”. Say something to trigger doubt and curiosity in their minds. Just leave one comment. No need to stay and argue with the blog owner.

    Example if the topic is Hell:

    “I recently discovered that in ancient Egypt the name for the afterlife for evil-doers was the “Lake of Fire” and the place for the Greek afterlife was “Hades”. Isn’t it an odd coincidence that the terms “Hades” and “Lake of Fire” don’t show up in the Christian Bible until after the Greek occupation of Palestine in 300-200 BC? In fact, the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the Old Testament says very little if anything about the existence of an afterlife. Is it possible that Judaism and early Christianity borrowed these concepts from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks?”

    Liked by 2 people

  326. @Ark

    how does this positively advance christianity?

    It brings Christianity into sync with what is now known from science. It may not advance it to a position that is better than secular humanism, but it does advance it beyond what it used to be.

    Like

  327. Have any of the aforementioned disciplines brought to light and/or verified any such claims?

    You got me there. All I can think of is evidence from absence. Absence of any current explanation for some phenomenon.

    Furthermore, is christianity genuinely advancing humankind and reducing suffering in a way that is better than secular humanism?

    Christianity can be effective at getting people to “behave” because they feel they are answering to a higher/ultimate authority.

    Like

  328. @Dave

    It brings Christianity into sync with what is now known from science. It may not advance it to a position that is better than secular humanism, but it does advance it beyond what it used to be.

    I think you are playing devil’s advocate like a christian – by purposely misunderstanding the question.
    Christianity is only advanced for its own sake if, as a revealed religion, it produces evidence of its claims.
    It has been unable to provide any. Thus, is as it always was, reliant on faith through overt and or insidious indoctrination.

    Like

  329. Christianity can be effective at getting people to “behave” because they feel they are answering to a higher/ultimate authority.

    Ah, yes.Guilt and fear-based punishment and rewards. And its a short hop from here to Divine Command Theory.William Craig … you’re up.

    Liked by 1 person

  330. insanitybytes22
    said:

    June 11, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Arch, go away. I know a bunch of pseudo-Christians who share not only your arrogance, but your desire to rid people of their faith. Go play with them, I’m not interested in what you’re selling.

    And I thought she liked me – I’m crushed –:-(

    Liked by 1 person

  331. Isn’t Tiribulus just the best? He’s like a big, fuzzy, teddy bear. – So was Lurch.

    Like

  332. Jeez…I don’t want to be someone you don’t like! Are you automatically assuming that since you don’t like them you won’t like their kid either?

    Liked by 1 person

  333. Are you automatically assuming that since you don’t like them you won’t like their kid either?” – Unto the tenth generation —

    Liked by 1 person

  334. Anywho…

    I copy and paste the above comment and then post it on at least five Christian blogs under a post on the same topic and check off “notify me of follow up comments”. Once and a while someone bites and we have a conversation. But if no one bites, that’s ok. My comment will stay on the world wide internet for all eternity (unless deleted by an insecure Christian blog owner) and hopefully someday a Christian lurking in silence will see my comment, his curiosity will be stimulated, he will investigate his assumption-based belief system, and realize it is false…and be set free from it.

    I consider myself an evangelist. An evangelist for the Truth…the truth.

    I cast the seeds of Truth far and wide. Sometimes they fall on rocks and the seed of Truth dies. But sometimes they fall on fertile soil, sprout, take root, and become a beautiful secular humanist.

    That is my hope and goal at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  335. Christianity is only advanced for its own sake if, as a revealed religion, it produces evidence of its claims. It has been unable to provide any. Thus, is as it always was, reliant on faith through overt and or insidious indoctrination.

    Here are the claims I would make as a liberal Christian:
    1) A deity exists that started the universe and gave it space-time, particles and laws
    2) This universe has been fine-tuned to support life on at least one planet and possibly others
    3) This deity has raised Jesus to life because it wants us to take notice of his teachings
    4) The basic teachings of Jesus (love each other) can help us improve our lives and the future of humanity

    Evidence for these claims:
    – Billions of people believe in a higher power
    – We have a moral conscience that agrees with the main teaching of Jesus: Love each other
    – Jesus’ resurrection started a movement that has permeated all cultures and has led to a lot of “goodwill to all men”.
    – Christians have the best inspirational and uplifting music


    Okay, cue the tumbleweed animation, I’m running out of ideas here. I’m certainly not cut out to be an apologist…

    Like

  336. This is my criteria for whether or not to debate a Christian:

    Dear Mr. or Ms. Christian:

    1. Do you believe that if one rejects Jesus he or she will receive some form of punishment in this life or the next?
    2. Is Jesus the only way to God/eternal happiness?
    3. Do you believe that Jesus was bodily resurrected, defying all laws of medical science?

    If the Christian answers, “no”, to all three questions, I consider him a true liberal and fellow humanist. I congratulate him on his very intelligent world view and move on to sow the seeds of Truth with someone who answers “yes” to one of the above questions.

    So to you, “hypothetical Christian Dave”: My first question would be: Why do you believe that Jesus was bodily resurrected from the dead?

    Liked by 1 person

  337. Dave, I think your experiment is a great idea! I don’t think I would be very good at it either, but I applaud your efforts!

    Gary, I’m not sure how effective your suggestion is, but I still think it has some merit. Certainly can’t hurt anything! I think the biggest issue is just the near constant rejection you would face. If you can withstand that, then I think it’s an admirable effort.

    Like

  338. Alright Christian Dave, here’s my take on your arguments:

    – Billions of people believe in a higher power

    But they can’t agree on which one. Christians don’t even agree with each other on the aspects of their deities.

    – We have a moral conscience that agrees with the main teaching of Jesus: Love each other

    Hmm. Jesus taught a lot of things. He did (if we can trust the gospels) think that love of God and love of humanity were the basis for everything else he taught. So in that way, I guess loving each other was one of his main messages. But he also taught that family members should turn against one another if they were in disagreement about Christianity. That very much goes against our moral conscience. Honestly, it even violates his teaching about loving other people, since loving each other requires at least some level of acceptance.

    – Jesus’ resurrection started a movement that has permeated all cultures and has led to a lot of “goodwill to all men”.

    Has it really? Christianity’s spread was very human in nature, which means it took many centuries to actually spread into all cultures, if it’s even done that. It depends on what you mean… has almost everyone heard of Jesus? Probably. But those who follow him are still a minority. And while many Christians have done good things for others, Christianity has also inspired a lot of hate and violence.

    – Christians have the best inspirational and uplifting music

    This probably only seems true if one is or was a Christian…

    Liked by 1 person

  339. Jesus’ resurrection started a movement that has permeated all cultures and has led to a lot of ‘goodwill to all men’.” – And brought us the ever-popular Inquisition!

    Liked by 1 person

  340. It seems that every time I get into a discussion with a Christian regarding whether the claims of Christianity are true or not, the first place they want to go is “evidence for a Creator”. They want to point out that all the fixed laws of physics and other sciences are proof of intelligent design, and therefore, proof of Yahweh/Jesus/the Trinitarian god.

    I stop them in their tracks with this statement:

    “Oh, I’m sorry. I must have not explained my position well. I am not an atheist. I am certainly willing to consider the existence of a Creator. The fixed laws of physics certainly could point to intelligent design of the universe. So my question is not “is there a Creator?” but “is the Christian god the Creator?”; is he who he says he is; and, does he even exist? Wouldn’t you agree that even if there is a Creator, that doesn’t prove that he/she/it is the Christian god.

    So Mr./Ms. Christian, what evidence do you have that the Christian god is the Creator?”

    The Christian then usually says, “the resurrection of Jesus”, or, “the many OT prophecies that Jesus fulfilled”.

    Great!

    I don’t want to spin my wheels debating something that neither I nor the Christian can prove: a Creator. I stand a much better chance of “winning” by discussing the evidence for the Resurrection and the evidence for prophecy fulfillment.

    That’s my strategy, at least.

    Liked by 3 people

  341. @Crispyian- Dave

    Christians have the best inspirational and uplifting music

    Ha! Playing dirty now, are you? I see you uplifting music and raise you … this!

    Eat dirt , Kincaid! Some Aussie Christian band I found on the Face Tube.
    (the guitarist is apparently unklee moonlighting)

    Liked by 1 person