Sunday links: “New Atheism,” Iron Man 3, and more

Consider this an open thread to talk amongst yourselves, ask me questions, whatever.
How selfish are voters?
Slavery abolition and animal rights: the biggest problem
Abolitionism vs. reformism
Notes on Robert Fogel’s Without Consent or Contract
  • Annatar

    This is related to Iron Man 3, but was I the only person who thought that “The Avengers” was really “Iron Man and the Avengers?” There was nothing they did that he couldn’t do (even the genius Bruce Banner was shown up by Stark). He is the one who saves the day, he fights Thor (he didn’t win, but neither did Thor), he doesn’t have any real personality problems (he is arrogant, but that’s not really a problem…)

    I’m just complaining, but someone else must have caught this…

    • Chris Hallquist

      I didn’t quite think of it that way, but I did think it was odd that a fancy suit was shown as enabling Tony to take on gods.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Actually, he can’t. If you pay close attention to that fight scene, you realize that he has a fighting chance only when he’s mobile or uses his stand-off weapons. When he goes hand-to-hand, he gets beaten up(and his arm crushed in the bargain).

        But why quibble about that when his suit is directly against his skin and skull without any buffer or padding whatsoever.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Or that gods are apparently susceptible to kinetic weapons.

  • kraut

    ask me questions, whatever.
    Ok, I tried to find an honest answer from some Christian apologist sites, but I think they are all skirting the issue to interpret the text with a meaning I cannot see:

    “You shall have no other gods before me.”

    The simplest reading means: I am the the #1 god, all others come next. It does not seem to exclude the existence of polytheism, it just stipulates that the jewish god should be treated as first aong many.
    Which means that Judaism is not a monotheistic religion at all, as the god of the ten commandments does never say positively: there are no other gods. He never excludes this possibility. He is just a jealous god who demands all of your attention and asks you not to heed the temptation of the others.
    So, where does the interpretation that this is the only god come from? Not from the simple statement above, surely.
    Thanks for an answer and any correction to my reading.

    • Annatar

      I think that text could be interpreted either way.

      Judaism is a monotheistic religion though. There’s a difference between what a text says/how it can be interpreted, and how it’s ACTUALLY interpreted by those who follow the texts as sacred.

    • Chris Hallquist

      I don’t know OT scholarship as well as I know NT scholarship. The view that seems to be popular among liberal scholars is that Judaism started out elevating one god above the rest and gradually evolved into a full-blown monotheistic religion from there. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the original verse was polytheistic.