20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted (Part 4)

20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted (Part 4) January 15, 2015

same-sex marriage bigotry gayWe’re looking at popular arguments against same-sex marriage (and a few that are just anti-gay). Conservative radio host Frank Turek provides most of the arguments. (Part 1 here.)

9. Human rights are God-given rights!

Rights are not based on human opinion, but on an unchangeable authoritative standard beyond human opinion. That’s why human rights cannot exist unless God exists. Without God everything is simply a matter of personal preference…. Human laws can only recognize God-given rights.

Frank needs to study up on how human rights come about. To take one example, voting rights have changed over time in the U.S., and God didn’t play a role at any stage.

As for God giving rights, he’s hardly a good moral model (more here, here, and here). The Bible isn’t law in the United States; the Constitution is, and Christianity is legal in the United States courtesy of the Constitution. “Because the Bible says so” is an inherently impotent argument in this country.

But let’s go there anyway and see what the Bible says. The Bible doesn’t directly address same-sex marriage. It does, however, make clear its disapproval of mixed-race (or intertribal) marriage. Here’s a modern rejection of interracial marriage from Bob Jones University built on an honest reading of the Bible.

Although there is no verse in the Bible that dogmatically says that races should not intermarry, the whole plan of God as He has dealt with the races down through the ages indicates that interracial marriage is not best for man. (1998)

The statement is unnecessarily hesitant. God plainly forbids intermarriage with foreign tribes (Deut. 7:3). The prohibition against intermarriage is also given in Ezra (9:2, 10:10) and Nehemiah (chapter 13). King Solomon was also chastised for his foreign wives (1 Kings 11).

The apologist might respond that the prohibitions against intermarriage were meant to avoid temptations to worship other gods. That’s true to some extent but irrelevant—they’re still anti-miscegeny laws. If they’re wrong today, why excuse them back then? The Bible’s version of “God-given” rights and demands isn’t a morality than we can tolerate.

To understand the Bible on homosexuality, consider its stance on slavery. Some Christians say that slavery in the Old Testament was just God adapting to the imperfect, wicked customs of the time. All right, but take the same approach toward homosexuality. If God’s attitude toward slavery was adapted to the times (though that attitude makes no sense today), then maybe God’s attitude toward homosexuality was similarly adapted to the times and makes no sense today. These Christians might respond that the Old Testament was wrong on slavery but right on homosexuality, but what—besides personal opinion or preference—would they base that on?

The Bible gives no support to Frank’s “marriage = babies” argument. One kind of marriage we do see, however, is the marriage of Jesus to the church (as in Ephesians 5:25–27). In this marriage, it’s love that is central, not babies.

Paul is no asset to the Christian position either. He said, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1). This applied to married couples as well (1 Cor. 7:12)—so much for the celebrated role of procreation. He discouraged marriage (7:8–9) and rejected divorce (7:10–11). Marriage wasn’t even a Christian sacrament in the Church until the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. I’m not surprised that Frank doesn’t acknowledge this part of the Bible since it defeats his position.

10. Because morals come from the Creator!

Forget about the “separation of church and state” objection. It doesn’t apply here…. [The founders] recognized our moral rights come from the Creator and founded the country on “Nature’s Law” consistent with Christianity.

Since the Constitution is explicitly secular, history revisionists like to go back to references to a “Creator” and “Nature’s Law” in the Declaration of Independence. The DoI is an important historical document, but that’s it. These references impose nothing on American society today, and they’re not even Christian references but are deist.

The DoI makes clear that “Governments [derive] their just powers from the consent of the governed,” not God. And when a government becomes abusive, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” The government answers to the people, not God. Frank can’t find much support in this argument. More here.

11. My standard can beat your standard! Frank next appeals to objective morality. You gotta have an objectively correct moral stance to make any moral claim, Frank tells us, and such a stance admits a god to ground it.

Homosexual activists say we’re wrong. But we can’t be “wrong” unless there is a real standard of “Right” from which we deviate.

Frank adds qualifiers—a real standard or something being truly right—to refer to objective morality, but I doubt that such a thing exists. I impatiently await evidence that there are moral truths that would be true whether anyone believed them or not (explored more here, here, and here).

So we should ask same sex marriage advocates, “What’s your standard? Who said same sex marriage is a ‘right’?” You and your friends? That’s not a right. That’s an opinion.

It’s like Frank isn’t aware of how social change works. You have a moral belief because you’ve concluded that it’s correct. You can then explore the why, but in the end the buck stops with you. It is your opinion.

That may not be much, but it’s all we’ve got. Groundless handwaving that God agrees with you counts for nothing.

So liberals can believe in and fight for same-sex marriage, but they can’t justify it as truly being a right without reference to the Creator. If they do reference the Creator, then they have the rationally dubious task of arguing that God affirms same-sex marriage.

I don’t claim that my conclusions are objectively true, and your claims to be able to tap into objective moral truth are backed up by nothing more than wishful thinking. I agree that God doesn’t affirm same-sex marriage, but God does affirm polygamy. You still want to model marriage after what God says?

Continued with Part 5.

Little Girl: “I’m so glad I don’t like asparagus.”
Friend: “Why, my dear?”
Little Girl: “Because if I did like it,
I should have to eat it, and I can’t bear it!”
— moral difficulty proposed by Lewis Carroll

Image credit: Wikimedia

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • katiehippie

    Thank you! This is why I read atheist blogs, so I can better articulate why I’m at the position I am in.

    • Pofarmer

      Facts and evidence do matter.

  • katiehippie

    I ran into a commenter today that says this part of the constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” applies to congress only. States can do whatever they want. So therefore it’s ok if city councils or state governments pray if the majority wants that. I know that’s not true but I don’t always have the right words to rebut. (not that it always helps to rebut)

    • Philmonomer
      • katiehippie

        Thanks!

    • Dys

      You might also point out that there are multiple states with religious tests required to hold office that are all completely unenforceable due to the supremacy of Federal law and the passage of the 14th amendment.

      • katiehippie

        Thank you!

    • That was true initially, but to avoid states wriggling out of federal rules against slavery after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment (as mentioned by Dys) took away that option. State and local governments are bound by all the prohibitions of the Constitution.

      • katiehippie

        Thanks!

  • smrnda

    9 and 10 – again, at best we have deism where a Creator can be appealed to, but so far we have no reliable information from any deity on what sort of rights people should have. The actual rights we do have in any modern government aren’t found in any religion either.

    11. When people bring up the lack of an absolute, objective standard as being a problem, we don’t have an absolute and objective standard for a ‘good movie’ but this hasn’t stopped films from being nearly universally praised or panned by audiences and critics.

  • Greg G.

    Deuteronomy 22:9-11
    9 You shall not sow your vineyard with a second kind of seed, or the whole yield will have to be forfeited, both the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard itself.

    10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

    11 You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together.

    Leviticus 19:19
    You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.

    That is right after the verse that says “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, of which Rabbi Hillel said was the whole of the Torah, “All the rest is commentary.”

    I think the priests who wrote the Bible were OCD. Of course they were against mixed marriages.

    • The writers of the Torah apparently had some bias against things getting “mixed” in general, not just among humans.

  • Marvin Edwards

    Morality seeks the best good for everyone. So moral judgment weighs the benefits and harms of one option over another. To the degree that benefits and harms can be objectively measured, morality can also be objective.

    Moral judgment becomes complex when the outcomes are uncertain. Two good and honest persons, lacking a “God’s eye view” of the ultimate outcomes, may disagree on which option is best. In social law, a working option is chosen democratically. After some time, the outcomes of this option become clearer, and the law may be revised or repealed.

    There are two ways to view “absolute” rights/wrongs. One is that there is a set of absolute rights/wrongs, but our understanding of what they might be is evolving. The other view is that rights/wrongs are not absolute, but evolving. For all practical purposes, both views must produce identical results.

    As to God’s opinions on right and wrong, clearly God’s view is also evolving. As Greg G points out, nobody, not even Christians, are following God’s orders as seen by the Old Testament authors.

    In the New Testament, we get a very interesting position in Matthew 22:37-40. To summarize in humanist terms: “Love Good, and love it for others as much as you love it for yourself. All other laws, ethics, and rules serve these two.”

    In other words, rules must serve morality. Rules that fail to achieve the best good and least harm for everyone, such as the rules that supported slavery, must be replaced by better rules, such as the laws against slavery.

    The only thing we can count on to be constant and eternal is the rule to love good, and to love it for others as we love it for ourselves. All other rules are up for grabs. And that would include rules that fail to recognize the life-long commitment of two gay men or two lesbian women to share a life together.

    And if God exists, I would assert that this is now Her will and commandment.

    • 90Lew90

      You’ve just roughly described utilitarianism, from which is made one of the strongest arguments in favour of gay marriage.

      • Marvin Edwards

        Lew, I have favored equal treatment of gays pretty much all of my adult life, including equal treatment of same-sex unions.

        I do have some concerns about bi-capable heterosexuals becoming confused about their sexual orientation and being unnecessarily drawn into a long-term same-sex relationship when they might have had a wife and kids. I think an unintended consequence of using the word “marriage” rather than something like “civil union” is that the number of persons affected in this way will be larger than necessary.

        But I do favor “gay marriage”.

        • adam

          I think an unintended consequence of using the word “marriage” rather than something like “civil union” is that the number of persons affected in this way will be larger than necessary.

          Larger than necessary for WHO or WHAT?
          And affected HOW?

        • smrnda

          questions:

          1. You seem to be advancing the idea that, attractions being equal, heterosexuality is the *better* option. Why not let individuals decide for themselves? I trust people to be capable of looking at the options and deciding who to be with most of the time.

          2. If you think it’s better, then why?

          3. By the term ‘larger than necessary’ you seem to be implying that it’s better that fewer people were engaged in same sex unions – you’re treating it like disability payments or something. I don’t get why.

        • Marvin Edwards

          1. Of course people should decide for themselves. But the bi-capable heterosexual who thinks he is homosexual because he is attracted to a specific male and has been convinced by others that this means he is gay, is not actually deciding for himself, because he does not really know himself or his true options. And you can feel free to jump on the bandwagon of people claiming this scenario is impossible, if you like. But I personally believe that it can, has, and will happen.

          2. Why is this a problem? I believe it is morally valuable to an individual to have children. And while it is certainly possible for anyone who wants children to have them, regardless whether they are in an opposite or same sex relationship, I think it is reasonable to believe that the probability of becoming a parent is higher in an opposite sex relationship than in a same-sex relationship — especially in the case of two men.

          3. We can expect a loss parenting experience among gay men in a same sex relationship. That is a necessary trade-off for the benefit of a happy and loving same-sex relationship. But when a bi-capable heterosexual is drawn into a same-sex relationship, the loss of the parenting benefit is harder to justify — especially if the person has deluded themselves about their actual orientation. Their best good is less likely to be achieved.

          It is a difficult case to explain, especially when everyone presumes that a person who leans heterosexually has an immunity to same-sex attraction.

          But there are many examples of homosexuals who in the past never came out of the closet, who married the opposite sex, had children, and lived their lives as heterosexuals. There is no reason, other than the existing cultural bias, why a heterosexual could not be a functional homosexual in the same fashion. After all, you have affection, sex, and emotional support from your partner, just like Bishop Gene Robinson had from his wife.

        • adam

          1. Let’ clear this up for once and all Marvin because you cannot seem to keep the terminology correct EVEN WHEN you present Kinsey as your evidence.

          het·ero·sex·u·al
          sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex
          Merriam Webster

          There is NO SUCH THING as a bi-capable heterosexual.

          There are heterosexuals
          There are homosexuals
          There are varying degrees of bisexuals

          This is what Kinsey says.

          It is a difficult case to explain, especially when everyone presumes that a person who leans heterosexually has an immunity to same-sex attraction.

          It is very easy to explain, someone who leans towards heterosexuality is a bisexual with a preference to the opposite sex., so OF COURSE they dont have the ‘immunity’ that heterosexuals have against this.

          There is no reason, other than the existing cultural bias, why a heterosexual could not be a functional homosexual in the same fashion.

          There is EVERY reason that they could not be a functional homosexual.
          But there is no reason why a bisexual couldnt.

          READ Kinsey and the evidence you’ve posted.

        • Marvin Edwards

          My choice of words is intended to be clearer than the trinity of “heterosexual”, “homosexual”, and “bisexual”.

          Bisexual is commonly used to refer to someone who doesn’t care about gender and would just as soon have sex with a man as with a woman. Very few people actually feel that way.

          And you’ll find a discussion under “sexual orientation” in Wikipedia where they point out that there is still some confusion among the experts as to what “bisexual” should imply.

          The vast majority consider themselves “heterosexual”, even though they are sometimes attracted to or have even had sexual experience with someone of the same sex.

          And among those who consider themselves “homosexual”, many have also been attracted to or had sexual experiences with someone of the opposite sex.

          I’m using the term “bi-capable” to refer to people who self-identify as heterosexual or homosexual and not bisexual, but who nonetheless have feelings or experiences counter to their preference.

          I believe this makes what I am talking about explicit, where using the term “bisexual” would be less clear.

          You can think of the issue in your terms rather than mine if you wish, as long as we’re both clear on which subgroup we’re referring to.

        • adam

          My choice of words is intended to be clearer than the trinity of “heterosexual”, “homosexual”, and “bisexual”.

          Bisexual is commonly used to refer to someone who doesn’t care gender and would just as soon have sex with a man as with a woman. Very few people actually feel that way.

          There is NOTHING clearer than hetero, homo and bi.
          You are apparently trying JUST to muddy the waters.

          bi·sex·u·al
          : sexually attracted to both men and women
          Merriam Webster

          There is a SPECTRUM of bisexuality from those who favor sex with their own sex to those who favor sex with the opposite sex.

          YOU even posted that there is a small minority who would just as soon have sex with a man as with a woman.

          It doesnt matter what they ‘consider’ themselves.

          In YOUR OWN STORY, you ‘consider’ yourself heterosexual but have homosexual attractions, but that OBVIOUSLY means that you are bisexual and NOT heterosexual.

        • Marvin Edwards

          No, I’m heterosexual.

        • Kodie

          You’re passing for heterosexual.

        • Marvin Edwards

          I jo to GGW GonG, Kodie. I’m heterosexual.

        • adam

          Then I am VERY confused about your story of homosexuality in your youth

          AND this statement from you.

          I’m more attracted to females than males. But I find myself also charismatically drawn to some males.

          Because THAT is the DEFINITION of bisexual.

        • Marvin Edwards

          Actually, “bisexual” originally meant hermaphroditic. And that’s why Kinsey argued against it’s use to identify orientation. (See Wikipedia article on bisexuality).

          But the bigger problem is this. Kinsey found that 46% of the men in his samples “had engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or ‘reacted to’ persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives”. (See “Prevalence” section in Wikipedia article).

          And yet 3 other studies on orientation found that men and women who “considered themselves” bisexual was in the range of only 1% to 5%.

          So, is it clear now why “bisexual” fails to convey the truth of the matter?

          Like I said. I’m heterosexual. Just like you.

        • adam

          ‘considered’ ‘considered’ ‘considered’

          So, what they ‘considered themselves’
          This is where the social bias comes in.

          Considering themselves to an outsider has NOTHING to do with Reality.

          bi·sex·u·al adjective (ˌ)bī-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl, -shəl

          : sexually attracted to both men and women
          Merriam Webster

          You are either attracted to both men and women, or you are not.

          And of course as you pointed, most people ARE, but only a small percentage of that has EQUAL attraction to both sexes, that still leaves the MAJORITY of human being bisexual.

        • adam

          But the bigger problem is this. Kinsey found that 46% of the men in his samples “had engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or ‘reacted to’ persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives”.

          so WHY is this a problem?

          What kind of problem has this caused YOU?

        • Marvin Edwards

          The problem is with your definition. If 46% report bisexual feelings or behavior but only 1% to 5% consider themselves “bisexual” then your definition is not the one that everybody else is using.

          Adam: “What kind of problem has this caused YOU?”

          The problem to me is that is that you keep insisting upon using a definition that sounds technically correct to you but which actually has an ambiguous meaning. That’s why I use “bi-capable heterosexual” and “bi-capable homosexual” (even though “bi-capable” is not even a word), because it communicates reality better than “bisexual” does.

        • Kodie

          If someone is capable of being sexually attracted to both sexes, guess what that means, unambiguously? You’re the one who is trying to pigeonhole people into binary positions with the capability of switching “teams” at any time. And if most of society uses ‘bisexual’ the wrong way, it’s because they’re like you, frightened of people making the wrong choices for themselves, and needing people to be clear and decisive so they can correctly sort them according to how they will judge them.

        • Marvin Edwards

          Kodie: “If someone is capable of being sexually attracted to both sexes, guess what that means, unambiguously? ”

          Are you referring to the homosexual who is occasionally attracted to the opposite sex? Or are you referring to the heterosexual that is occasionally attracted to the same sex?

          The only thing we know unambiguously is that “bisexual” is ambiguous.

        • Kodie

          You mean “bisexual” is too ambiguous for you because you like to know what’s what and dictate who belongs with whom.

        • adam

          AGAIN, it doesnt matter what people report or consider themselves. Self delusion doesnt change the DEFINITION of bisexual. that is being attracted to both sexes, which you admit you are.

          YOU are mearly TRYING to corrupt the words heterosexual and homosexual, apparently in an attempt to justify your delusional thinking.

          These are not MY definitions but Merriam Websters and ARE technically correct, not just sounds technically correct.

          And of course you failed to answer my question:

          But the bigger problem is this. Kinsey found that 46% of the men in his samples “had engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or ‘reacted to’ persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives”.

          so WHY is this a problem?

    • adam

      So WHEN are you going to come clean and tell us about the ‘unintended consequences’ you so fear from gay marriage?

      “Morality seeks the best good for everyone.”

      But rules and law do not always.

      6883. Any person may possess any number of live frogs to use in
      frog-jumping contests, but if such a frog dies or is killed, it must
      be destroyed as soon as possible, and may not be eaten or otherwise
      used for any purpose.
      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fgc&group=06001-07000&file=6880-6885

      And of course my favorite: sin

  • stnwljksn

    before those of you who have read my previous posts – I ask that you give me a second, third or fifteenth chance. I would like to comment on Bob’s blog in a more intelligent manner rather than simply disrupting the conversation and being argumentative on purpose. This being said I’d like to comment on Bob’s #9 post.

    a. Voting rights have changed I completely agree but this is simply from a human vantage point Bob and you’re correct to say that it’s changed in the United States. However, is the right to vote a morally important right? I’m just curious what you’re position is on this because you seem to imply that voting rights are important – why are they and for what reasons?

    b. God is not a good moral model? I suppose my question for you then is “what constitutes a good moral model?” Furthermore, have you read “Is God a Moral Monster” by Paul Copan?

    c. You stated that the Bible does not explicitly address same sex marriage – you’re correct in terms of that phrase or combination of words. Homosexual acts are called “an abomination” by God and marriage being defined as one man and one woman is further emphasized by the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam was not a polygamist and did not have maidservants, etc. Therefore, Adam and Eve being the first and primary example serve as the natural model for marriage. Homosexual marriage is an oxymoron Bob, i.e. it goes without saying. Homosexual marriage only exists in fiction but never in reality. In fact, it cannot exist. If you’d like to call it something else that’s fine but please do not call it marriage, that term has already been defined.

    d. God did not forbid marriage between other tribes because of race but because they worshiped other gods, Bob. A basic course in Old Testament would help you to understand this. There is nothing anti-miscegenistic about Gods command on this matter simply because he is the only God and the only one deserving of loyalty. To marry an individual who worshiped a false god would be a disloyal thing to do. So, it wasn’t because of race (although you imply that was the basis) but rather the fact that those groups worshiped false deities.

    e. Okay you’ve brought a lot up surrounding homosexuality as it relates to the Bible in your last few paragraphs of point 9. First of all, God’s position on marriage has never changed. In the Garden he created Adam and Eve and they are the basis for natural marriage. This fact is carried through all of Scripture as the ideal relationship regarding marriage although many men and women disobeyed this (even leaders of Israel, etc.) and reaped the negative consequences as a result. So, one woman and one man was the foundation for marriage from the Garden onward. That has not changed.

    Secondly, do not misconstrue Christs relationship with the church. What does Paul say on this matter, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). You’re correct to say that love is important but Paul doesn’t negate the marriage definition but he rather upholds it. He says “Husbands love your wives”, Bob. He’s not negating marriage he is saying, “the perfect marriage on earth is when a husband loves his wife in the way that Jesus loved us”.

    Thirdly, your incorrect that Paul isn’t an asset and your not reading these passages in their fuller context. If you read on in 1 Corin. 7 you’ll notice that Paul is connecting all of these ideas to a greater idea and that is “don’t be attached to the world” (v. 31) and so this is where Paul is getting. He isn’t discouraging marriage – he is saying “the Lord is what is most important” and as v. 32 indicates “an unmarried man is able to be more devoted” which is a plain fact. If a man has less obligations than he can be even more obliged to serve God. Notice he says in v.35 that he isn’t saying all of these things “to restrict them” (as you seem to imply) but that they would offer “undivided devotion to the Lord”. Paul spends a ton of time talking about marriage and you know it. Marriage not becoming a sacrament until the 13th century is a red hearing – it doesn’t pertain to your broader argument in point #9. Human rights such as marriage are defined solely by God and Frank is correct – without God as the arbiter of truth we are left to opinions and the likes of men to decide what things mean.

    • MNb

      a) “this is simply from a human vantage point”
      So what? There is no divine vantage point.

      b) To me Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, though neither of them was perfect.

      c) “marriage being defined as one man and one woman”
      Not exactly.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

      d) “There is nothing anti-miscegenistic about Gods command on this matter simply because he is the only God and the only one deserving of loyalty.
      That’s a non-sequitur based on an unwarranted assumption.

      “To marry an individual who worshiped a false god would be a disloyal thing to do.”
      All gods are false. Every believer claims to worship a true god. Hence loyalty is meaningless here.

      e) “God’s position on marriage has never changed.”
      How do you know? The video suggests otherwise. Oh wait – your personal interpretation of the Bible, which is inspired by that same god. That’s circular reasoning.

      “In the Garden he created Adam and Eve”
      No, he didn’t. Adam and Eve are mythical characters.

    • Neil

      You keep saying, stnwljksn, that God instituted marriage through and for Adam and Eve. Can you reference please the verse in Genesis where this marriage occurs? I can find no mention of any formal ceremony through which the two legally became husband and wife. Neither can I find God’s pronouncement to the effect that the two should consider themselves ‘married’. Rather, these two non-existent mythical beings are portrayed as co-habiting with no reference to any ‘holy matriony’; whatever else they are, they’re no model for marriage.

      Moreover, Jesus himself disparaged marriage – because like Paul he believed the world was coming to an end and marriage was becoming redundant: ‘those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage’ (Luke 20.34-35).

      The Bible will not support your position on either morality or marriage, stnwljksn. Both are humanly determined and defined – and thank God for that.

    • Marvin Edwards

      I think both you and Bob have overlooked the key verse, 1 Corinthians 7:7, where Paul says, “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.”

      One of the conclusions of modern science is that homosexual orientation is is not chosen, but occurs naturally in a significant minority of human beings. This also means that if God is the creator of the natural universe, then homosexual orientation is also his creation.

      This naturally occurring anomaly is an impairment to mating with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, rather than viewing this in a humane way, as a handicap, Paul adopted the superstitious belief that they were cursed by God (Romans 1:27-28). This echoes a common belief at the time that those who were medically afflicted were possessed by spirits or were suffering the consequences of either their own sin or the sin of their parents (I couldn’t find the reference to the lame man who the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned. Any help?).

      You would think that Paul would have discovered his prejudice himself. After all, he had the problem of trying to incorporate the Gentiles into a religion started by Jews, so he was already placing faith and love of others ahead of OT rules of diet and circumcision. And he made this rather radical statement 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.”

      Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.

      • 90Lew90

        You could just as easily argue that homosexuals are ordained by God, rather than handicapped. Just my two cents’ worth.

      • adam

        This naturally occurring anomaly is an impairment to mating with the opposite sex.

        Butt it IS NOT an impairment to the survival of the species.
        It is an ASSET to the survival of the species.

        So, it is NOT a handicap but a necessary means of population control.

        And yet JESUS said:

      • stnwljksn

        if there is a gene for being homosexual than there must be a gene for murdering people too – that beings said who’s to say in that case whether either is wrong if they’re just both “dancing to their DNA”?

        • Kodie

          Depends on whether the only person harmed is imaginary or not.

        • Greg G.

          The Christians seem to make that argument with the idea that humans are fallen due to original sin.

          Research has not found a gene for homosexuality but it seems that there are some homosexuality that is not due to genetic causes. There are theories that something like a hormonal imbalance during gestation, perhaps something temporary, when the part of the brain that affects sexual attraction can influence the outcome.

          Homicidal maniacs might be produced that way or by abuse from religious parents following their scriptures or by taking verses in the Bible or the Koran seriously.

        • Pofarmer

          Actually, there are genetic markers for murder and violence.

        • stnwljksn

          If that’s the case than why is homosexuality okay but not murder?

        • Kodie

          You said you were making an honest attempt to communicate and discuss intelligently – this isn’t difficult.

        • adam

          I’m with Kodie.

          THIS is your honest attempt to discuss intelligently?

        • Pofarmer

          Why is it okay to be left handed or have blue eyes.

        • MNb

          Because same gender sex results in pleasure, same gender love results in happiness. Murder not so much.

          “we could ask each other questions and respond intelligently”

          Intelligent answers are only possible to intelligent questions. You haven’t asked a single one thus far.

        • adam

          mur·der
          : the crime of deliberately killing a person

          Merriam Webster

          HOMOSEXUALITY
          1: the quality or state of being homosexual
          2: erotic activity with another of the same sex

          ho·mo·sex·u·al
          : sexually attracted to people of the same sex

          Merriam Webster

          What part of YOU OWN question are you having trouble understanding?

        • Greg G.

          You don’t get this? Homosexuality and heterosexuality cause pleasure for all those involved. Murder causes harm. That’s the problem with getting morality from a book. There is no attempt to understand the underlying principles.

        • Marvin Edwards

          In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus asserted that all laws serve two principles: (1) Love God and (2) love your neighbor as if he were you. And in verse 40, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

          Moral judgment is based on weighing the benefits and harms to everyone of making one choice rather than another.

          It is rather obvious that murder causes the greatest harm to someone else.

          And if two gay men wish to commit to loving each other and sharing a life together, the benefit to them is a happier life, and the harm is … well there is no harm.

          Obviously, Paul never considered this possibility. Instead, he presumed a life of irresponsible sexual behavior. Paul did see that marriage was the proper context for opposite sex couples to have sexual relations. But it never occurred to him that the same ethical commitment to a same-sex partner was the equivalent for two gay men (or two lesbian women).

          Today, we know better. And though no one would suggest changing the contents of the Bible, we can go beyond it when necessary to achieve the most moral result.

          The Episcopal church accepted openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson. And even the Catholic pope wants their church to welcome LGBT people into their pews.

          This is the difference between a God of the OT that made the rules sacred and the God of the NT that makes loving others as if they were us sacred.

        • adam

          When are you going to tell us all the ‘unintended consequences’ of gay marriage that is at the root of your fear?

          And though no one would suggest changing the contents of the Bible

          I certainly would suggest changing the contents of the bible, and people do quite often.

          https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/

          Thomas Jefferson wrote his own:
          The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

        • 90Lew90

          Again, you’re describing utilitarianism, not biblical morality.

          If all laws serve the two principles you mention, then we’d be in a very poor state, and indeed, perhaps adhering overly to the second principle is what has had us in even worse states in the past, because according to Christian doctrine, we’re not supposed to love ourselves. We’re dirty rotten scumbags, one and all, but for the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Marvin Edwards

          Sorry for the confusion Lew. I’m a humanist, which means I put no stake in the supernatural. But I’m also a Unitarian Universalist, which means I respect moral wisdom wherever I find it, even when it comes from Christians. UUs are free to choose what they wish to believe and what they wish to discard. And UUs welcome humanists and atheists and LGBT.

          To love God means to love Good. And even God must serve Good.

          I am utilitarian in that I believe things like morality and ethics have a point or purpose. But I do not agree with those who suggest the measure of good is happiness or avoiding pain. Some of the things that may make us happy are quite bad for us (like heroin). And some of the things that cause us pain may be quite good for us, like a vaccination or like childbirth.

          So pleasure and pain are unreliable guides to moral good.

        • 90Lew90

          So then, you’ll be discarding the doctrine of Original Sin, which decrees that we’re wretched unless… Jesus.

        • Marvin Edwards

          Your mention of Original Sin reminded me of Tom Lehrer’s “Vatican Rag” back in the 60’s. You should definitely check it out on YouTube.

          Back on topic though, the idea of original sin is immoral in my view. A child cannot be held responsible for the sins of her parents.

          The point of “holding responsible” is to identify who or what needs correction.

        • Physical pleasure and pain aren’t the only means of gaining or losing happiness. So your point is one utilitarians are well aware of. The original formulation by Jeremy Bentham may have been stuck in this territory, but utilitarians have a more subtle view of happiness now.

        • Marvin Edwards

          Yeah, I think you’re referring to that Eudaimonia thing. The problem I see with that is that happiness is always malleable. (a) One can choose one’s feelings or (b) they can be entrained culturally.

          So the correct order is always (1) find what is objectively good for you and everyone else, regardless of how you feel about it, and then (2) feel good about it.

        • Well, that’s an Aristotelian idea-he supported virtue ethics. I may be thinking more of the Epicurean idea, but so far I’m not familiar enough with either to really say for sure. While it’s true what you say about happiness, does that mean it can’t be the “objective good”? How do we determine what it is? What are you thoughts about that?

        • Marvin Edwards

          I’m afraid I’m not much of an expert in the schools of ethical theory.

          I’m guessing that “virtues” would be the “means” used to achieve good ends. Like rules, virtues would be judged by their results. But let’s get back to the objectivity of “good”.

          We call something “good” if it meets a real need that we have as an individual, as a society, or as a species.

          With the most basic real needs like air, water, food, shelter, etc. it is easy to demonstrate examples of objective good. If a man is dying of thirst in the desert, a cup of water is objectively good. He really needs it.

          But that same cup of water would be a bad thing to give to someone drowning in a swimming pool, because what they really need is a reliable source of air.

          So, because these examples are easily confirmed cases of good by pretty much everyone, they are called “objectively good”.

          And with today’s medical and psychological sciences we can agree on a host of other things that are objectively good for us or objectively bad for us.

          As we move up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, things get a lot fuzzier. But, in theory, we can objectively determine what is good and bad for us if we know enough about what we really need. So, good is “theoretically” objective.

        • Well your view seems like utilitarianism to me, as people aren’t happy without their needs satisfied. I’d agree that these could be objectively good.

        • Marvin Edwards

          I used to think I was a pragmatist, but now I think I am simply pragmatic. I’m interested in how things work, and the “why?” of things, as in what is their “point” or proper “utility”.

          The problem with an -ism is that it can carry a lot of unwanted baggage from other people. And it’s hard enough getting my own thoughts straight without have to sort out their minds as well. (That’s a job for the academics).

        • stnwljksn

          there are no issues with two men “sharing their life together” provided sexual acts are not involved. We know for certain that homsexual acts lead to diseases of the body as well as mental health issues.

        • adam

          REALLY, then you should have no trouble showing the scientific evidence?

          I am trying to figure out how they survive having homosexual sex for 40 years or longer.

          Specifically, WHAT diseases of the body and WHAT mental health issues.

        • MNb

          There are no issues with two men “sharing their life together when sexual acts are indeed involved as well.

        • Kodie

          Religious people lie to you.

        • adam

          And they have good reason.

        • Marvin Edwards

          And we know that sexually transmitted diseases are also spread through heterosexual acts. That’s one of the reasons marriage was created, to impose rules, like sexual fidelity, upon mating. What’s good for the goose and the gander is also good for two ganders. If you are concerned about the spread of sexual disease then you should be in favor of monogamous homosexual relationships as much as you are in favor of monogamous heterosexual relationships. Correct?

          As to mental health issues, the American Psychological Association has long ago removed homosexuality from it’s diagnostic manual of mental disorders. It turns out that their mental issues were not caused by their homosexuality, but by society’s prejudices and discriminatory treatment. So, you can help relieve everyone’s mental distress if you get your facts straight about homosexuality.

        • stnwljksn

          so, what you’re saying is that some individuals today are evidently smarter, wiser and more spiritually aware than the Apostle Paul was when he wrote his epistles?

        • Marvin Edwards

          It seems reasonable that if the Apostle Paul was “smarter, wiser, and more spiritually aware” than the authors of the Old Testament who created Judaism, then of course it is reasonable that some individuals today would have better knowledge and understanding than Paul.

        • smrnda

          I would totally agree with that statement.

          If we ask people today ‘is slavery okay?’ I don’t think we’re going to get too many supporters. Paul seems okay with it. So on one major moral issue, we’ve come around to a point where an average person is wiser and more enlightened than the best of the ancients.

        • stnwljksn

          really – what about the unborn? I think your camp has enslaved the unborn and on a much larger scale than anything in past history ancient or otherwise. Do you disagree?

        • Kodie

          I think your “camp” has enslaved women on a much larger scale than whatever superstitious regard for embryos you’re talking about.

      • adam

        When are you going to tell us all the ‘unintended consequences’ of gay marriage that is the root of your fear?

    • 90Lew90

      Oh look, rumpelstiltskin’s back, weaving walls of text.

    • Greg G.

      If we were to use Adam and Eve for instruction, we should all be naked and not ashamed. In Genesis 2:18-20, God is creating animals from out of the ground to find a partner for Adam and none were suitable. If God was that clueless, then there is no reason to use the Bible for guidance in this area. But what if Adam didn’t like girls? The story suggests God would have gone on trying something else. What if Adam had found another man more suitable and Eve had found another woman more suitable? Using the Bible model then would have you arguing in favor of homosexual sexual marriage and against heterosexual marriage despite your own preference. Who’s is to say that is not the actual story but that some priests that preferred women altered it?

      I quoted some verses from Leviticus and Deuteronomy that forbid using two kinds of seed in the same field, harnessing an ox and a donkey together, and using different fibers in clothing. Is that because they have different religions? Using different kinds of grapes might lead to hybridization but that is not always a bad thing. Using a donkey and an ox side-by-side would have problems but an ox can cut a deeper furrow but it is easier to keep the furrow straight with a donkey so using them one in front of the other might use the best of both. There may be problems with weaving cotton and wool together but there are other combinations of fibers that don’t have those problems. What would be wrong with wearing separate garments together? Why forbid it in scripture? People would learn to not mix them if there were really problems. Putting limited knowledge into scripture is detrimental. Believing scripture is detrimental for that reason.

      Marital problems can arise in a heterosexual marriage when the partners have incompatible sex drives or when one partner’s drive changes. Forcing homosexuals into heterosexual marriages guarantees the problem of incompatible sex drives.

    • adam

      b..

      • stnwljksn

        or we could ask each other questions and respond intelligently which I’m actually trying to do this time?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          He’s just showing Jesus’ love and justice and (lack of) mercy for the little children, the poor (I imagine many were old and young), and pretty much anyone.

        • stnwljksn

          you’re just trying to get a rise out of me and it isn’t going to work this time. If you actually read those verses in their context you would understand what was going on. Read Paul Copans “Is God a Moral Monster” – if anything it will give you more fuel for your position so what do you have to lose?

        • adam

          Why dont YOU take time and demonstrate to us all why YOUR ‘god’ is not a moral MONSTER?

          Here is a reference point for you:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5gLf455Q8

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          And then ‘Is God a Moral Compromiser?’ by Thom Stark, who believes apologists are harming the Christian witness. I’ll just remind you that no matter the context, you’re trying to defend an order to sacrifice people (including the elderly and the infants and toddlers) directly from the mouth of Jesus Christ. You should not get a rise. You should wonder what the fuck you’re defending (at least certain parts of) the Bible.

        • RichardSRussell

          Guy drowns the entire world and you’re looking for loopholes as to whether he’s a “moral monster”? Dude, “intelligent response” is expecting way more than rational human beings are capable of. Sheer flabbergastery is about the best you can expect.

        • stnwljksn

          have you heard of Jurgen Moltmann? After reading his story you might have a different response to God’s judgement of the human race via the flood of Noah.

        • RichardSRussell

          I have not. Nor do I feel much desire to seek him out. What could he possibly have to say that would excuse not merely genocide but omnicide? What could anybody have to say to excuse it, let alone justify it?

        • adam

          Here give this a try…

        • stnwljksn

          have you ever lived under the oppression of a a particular regime that seeks to kill you or relocate you from your homeland, etc.?

        • Greg G.

          I have not. My wife has though. It seems that many people have been and God did nothing to stop it. In fact, the Bible said it was God’s idea and command in many cases.

        • RichardSRussell

          Nope. How is that relevant to this discussion? I notice that it has nothing whatever to do with the questions I posed to which you were ostensibly replying.

        • Greg G.

          I looked him up. It seems he invented a new theology to supercede the previous 1900 years of Christianity. He still hasn’t solved the Problem of Suffering.

        • adam

          One of these guys:

        • adam

          My brief look into his ‘theology’ really doesnt sound new, it sounds older, sound mostly like just put your faith in the afterlife, and Jesus’s supposed ‘resurrection’ is somehow proof of that afterlife.
          Isn’t that similar to the beliefs of the Pharohs, of course minus Jesus as proof?

          Am I far off?

        • Greg G.

          And the mummification.

        • stnwljksn

          What he essentially said was a God of love would be just in his actions and in order for him to be just certain people groups would need to be held accountable for their actions.

        • Greg G.

          “Just” isn’t the issue. An omnipotent being could do an unlimited number of miracles every nanosecond for every sentient creature to prevent suffering. That means that all suffering is unnecessaty. If suffering exists, and it does, then the omnipotent being has made a deliberate choice that sentient beings experience unnecessary suffering. That is not a god of love, it’s an omnipotent sadist.

          Do you want to spend eternity with an omnipotent sadist?

        • Kodie

          We don’t see this, we only see humans holding humans accountable to some myths they believe, like depriving them of equal human rights. If there is a god, why don’t you relax and let him deal with it? If there were a god and he was interested in convincing me he existed, he wouldn’t send someone like you.

        • adam

          Nope not a bit.
          NO change in my response to EVILS claimed by your ‘god’.

        • stnwljksn

          so, did you read about him?

        • adam

          ONLY in response to Greg G. someone who has demonstrated that he knows what he is talking about, doesnt post BULLSHIT and has EARNED my respect.

          Still not impressed, and it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to give me a different response to the atrocities of the bible ‘god’.

          When are YOU going to justify genocide, mass murder and eternal torture?

        • Greg G.

          Don’t put too much “faith” in me. I’m wrong a lot. I like to be corrected when I’m wrong.

        • adam

          You have an extensive base of knowledge in which I lack.

          And I have gained knowledge from that base.

          I like to be correct, I dont want to be spreading false information, I too like to be corrected when wrong.

          Thank you.

        • adam

          THIS is a quote from ‘the Word of God’ that demonstrates that that ‘god’ is NOT a ‘good moral model’

          It is an intelligent response to your post.

          We have read the bible and understand what was going on.
          So why not use YOUR response to JUSTIFY this EVIL?

        • stnwljksn

          no – it’s a cherry picked verse without understanding the context of God’s judgment. It’s only evil if it’s unjustified. I’m not saying there is an easy answer what I’m saying is that there is a way of understanding what’s going on in your cherry picked verse in the broader context that would be helpful for you in realizing that this was a justifiable act. As I said to Richard, please read about Jurgen Moltmann.

        • adam

          It’s only evil if it’s unjustified.

          So JUSTIFY it for us.
          Tell us ALL about how ‘moral’ it is to command people to mass murder, we are VERY interested.

          AGAIN, here is a good reference point to get you started:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt5gLf455Q8

          and ‘God’?
          So you’ve not demonstrated that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY…as would be it’s so called ‘judgement’.

          If you want me to know about Jurgen Moltmann, you should be able to tell me why I should invest time in it.

    • I notice you haven’t mentioned the polygamy bit at all.

    • adam

      c. “Homosexual acts are called “an abomination” by God”

      Deuteronomy 22:5
      “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a
      woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

      Proverbs 16:5
      Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

      Proverbs 20:23
      Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.

      Proverbs 3:32
      For the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

      • stnwljksn

        so, Shaw is your interpreter of Scripture is that what you’re saying?

        • adam

          No,

          What Shaw says, explains why nobody agrees on what the bible says and means, because in a Revealed ReligionTM, the ‘believers’ ALWAYS create their gods in their own image.
          There is no other way to do it. It is and has to be what is ‘revealed’ to them, their ‘interpretation’.

          Which is why people like YOU, can claim that genocide, mass murder and eternal torture are actions of your ‘gods’ love and not the obvious EVIL that it is.

        • stnwljksn

          your correct to MOST Christians statistically that’s true. But, truly devote followers do not simply click “I agree”. What you tend to propagate are caricatures.

        • Greg G.

          John 18:13 says that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Do you believe that? If so, how do you know this?

        • stnwljksn

          How do you know that George Washington was the first president of the United States?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know it with absolute certainty but that is where the evidence leads. Do you have an answer? John is the only source we have for Caiaphas being Annas’ son-in-law. Are you clicking “I agree” or do you have some other evidence.

        • stnwljksn

          are you clicking “I agree” that we have accurate information regarding the life of Alexander the Great?

        • Greg G.

          No, but we do have hard, non-textual evidence that supports much of the non-supernatural claims in the texts we have.

          So you can’t answer my question without exposing that you are a “Click Agree” Christian. It’s OK. You can admit it. You have already demonstrated it.

        • adam

          What PARTS of his life?

          We CERTAINLY dont have accurate information that supports the MYTHS of Alexander the Great.

          ‘The legend had little in common with the true story of Alexander: The Byzantines made of Alexander a Saint while the Mohammedans include his deeds in the Koran, to mention only two extremes.

          http://www.greece.org/alexandria/tomb2/myth.htm

        • Greg G.

          BTW, I think John is probably correct that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Josephus includes all the high priests of the Second Temple period in his history along with their time in the position. Caiaphas was in the position for 18 years from just before Pilate arrived until just after he left. Annas held the position for 13 years and was the first to hold it after Herod’s son, Archelaus, was relieved as ethnarch of Judea. Nobody else held the position for more than four years (I think). Five of Annas’ sons were also high priests, one before Caiaphas and four afterward. They pretty much had a 37 year dynasty plus one son had it twenty years later. The last one was the one that Josephus says had James killed.

          It would make sense that the family was able to have so much influence if there was continuous control when Caiaphas was part of the family.

          So one doesn’t have to “click agree” to think that John 18:13 is probably correct. But you “clicked agree” anyway.

        • adam

          If it is MOST christians who click “I agree” then it is hardly a caricatures.

          But still ALL christians create their god in their own image.

        • stnwljksn

          It is a caricature if it is false even if a lot of people do it Adam

        • adam

          Not if AS YOU STATE most do

        • stnwljksn

          It is a caricature if it is false even if a lot of people do it Adam

        • adam

          Not if AS YOU STATE most do.

    • adam

      without God as the arbiter of truth we are left to opinions and the likes of men to decide what things mean.

      • stnwljksn

        why are there so many different baseball teams under the “roof” of Major League baseball?

        • stnwljksn

          furthermore, why are there so many “brands” of atheism?

        • adam

          There is but one

          Disbelief in deity

          Definition of ATHEISM
          : a disbelief in the existence of deity
          Merriam Webster

        • stnwljksn

          I don’t think so, that’s one stipulation of atheism but as you well know, depending on the atheist there is a whole range of stances on important issues. Since homosexual “marriage” is the topic here you are aware that there are informed atheists who oppose homosexual “marriage” for purely naturalistic reasons, right?

        • Dys

          Atheism is merely a single stance on a single subject – the existence of gods. Anything else isn’t atheism.

        • Greg G.

          You are correct because you are agreeing with adam. Atheism is only about the question of whether there is sufficient evidence to support the belief in at least one god. It has nothing to do with politics or social issues. Atheism, social opinions or political opinions may all follow from critical thinking but one conclusion from critical thinking may or may not affect other conclusions.

        • adam

          There is only ONE stipulation of atheism

          Since homosexual “marriage” is the topic here you are aware that there
          are informed atheists who oppose homosexual “marriage” for purely
          naturalistic reasons, right?

          I am not really aware of any, but it certainly wouldnt surprise me. I also assume some christians do as well.

          So?

        • stnwljksn

          So, who’s to say your correct? The consistent Christian has a Biblical answer. Where does your answer come but from your opinions and even those seem to be scattered among the atheists.

        • adam

          IF consistent christians ALL have the biblical answer then why is there disagreement on what that answer is?

        • Kodie

          There is no such thing as a consistent Christian. If the Christian cannot answer a question without referring to the bible, then they’re an idiot who is living in a fantasy of abuse and deference to their imaginary friend. My answer to “is there a god” comes from unsupported and ridiculous assertions made by people like you. Everything else comes from observation, experience, and science.

        • The consistent Christian has a Biblical answer.

          Too bad those answers aren’t consistent. Take any interesting moral question, and you’ll find thoughtful Christians on each side of the question.

        • Atheism is not a worldview. It is an answer to one question.

        • stnwljksn

          are you in the world looking at the world…than it’s a worldview

        • Kodie

          So is aleprechaunism your worldview? Would you put it that way?

        • adam

          Of course and baldness is a hair COLOR…

        • Don’t be obtuse.

          The closest your reply comes to making any sense is if you’re arguing that atheists have worldviews. That does not mean that atheism comprises a worldview, nor that it defines the bounds of a worldview, nor that the worldviews of atheists are uniform.

        • stnwljksn

          I agree that they are not uniform nor are they consistent. So, are atheists the only group of people on planet earth who do not have a worldview in the actual sense of the term?

        • adam

          Of COURSE atheism is uniform.and consistent

          Definition of ATHEISMa : a disbelief in the existence of deity

        • Atheists do not have consistent world views, because atheism is not a worldview, it is the answer to one question. It is not meant to be a worldview.

          Christianity, on the other hand, includes a set of claims. It is meant to be a worldview or a large chunk of one. And had a god actually revealed it, you would think Christians would have a pretty consistent worldview across the board. But, there are actually tens of thousands of different denominations. It seems like YHWH is not a very good communicator. Or he doesn’t exist.

          Atheism, on the other hand – since it does not even attempt to be a worldview, and it is not revealed from on high – one would expect atheists to hold many different views about the various aspects of life. And that is what we see.

        • Kodie

          You’re dishonest and illiterate. Atheism is one answer to one question. It cannot and does not pretend to cover any other question or answer or provide a worldview. Let me ask you, do you know what a parent is? What is a parent. A parent has a child. The word “parent” tells you nothing else about that person. NOTHING. And yet there are many parenting styles and philosophies. The word “atheist” is more like the word “parent” – it only means one thing, and that’s all you can tell about a person from that one word, but you know there’s more, and where does it come from? Where do thoughts and ideas and practices of parenting come from if not being a parent on paper. Maybe books, other parents, personal experience with the child or from one’s own childhood, etc. None of those influences is what makes a person a parent, none of those influences ABOUT PARENTING are evidence that a parent has a child. A relationship on paper is not a worldview.

        • Are BMW drivers the only people on the planet without a worldview? I mean, c’mon–what kind of worldview is, “I prefer a BMW”??

        • RichardSRussell

          Same reason there are so many religions: competition!

        • Kodie

          So they can play against each other. Your analogies are all FAIL.

        • MNb

          How about asking intelligent questions to get intelligent answers?

        • adam

          I think he probably doing the VERY BEST that his ‘faith’ prepares him for.

        • MNb

          I’m afraid you’re right.

        • adam

          MONEY

          It is a profitable BUSINESS.

        • Many teams, but a common understanding of the rules.

          Too bad Christianity doesn’t work that way. Times 42,000.

        • stnwljksn

          yet many teams don’t abide by the rules. Otherwise we wouldn’t have player scandals, teams throwing games, drugs, etc. etc. You agree, right?

        • Kodie

          I thought you said you were trying to be more honest and intelligent, and you are still confused…. each team doesn’t have its own set of rules, players don’t join teams because of the rules that team plays by, fans don’t support teams because they like the rules of this team over that team. How fucking stupid are you that you are coming up with these FAILING analogies? You never address me when you know I”m right, and you persist with your fucking stupid arguments, so you know you’re still the dishonest shit you were the first TWO TIMES BOBS BANNED YOU!!!!!

        • stnwljksn

          Listen to yourself Kodie your engaging in caricatures just like Adam is.

          You’re saying that all churches have different sets of rules. That’s false and a caricature.

          You’re saying that players don’t’ join teams based on their particular ball club rules. That’s also false. When they have the option some players want to play for a particular team simply because that is the team they want to play for. They may also agree with the particular way in which that team is owned and operated. Different teams are run differently.

          You’re saying that fans don’t support teams because of the rules that team abides by. Again, this is false as well because some teams have been dishonest and have lost their fan base.

        • Kodie

          It’s generally based on location, fan base, success rate, the amount of money someone can leverage. But it’s a game and games have rules, and they all play by the same rules (from what I understand AL and NL have slightly different rules, but teams from either league do not often have occasion to play one from the other. The Red Sox and the Yankees play the game of baseball by the same rules.

        • No player, manager, or owner disagrees with the rules. The rules are unambiguous. There is even a conflict resolution process.

          Starting to sound not so much like Christianity, huh?

        • stnwljksn

          Really? There is quite a lot of evidence to support otherwise. So, you’ve never read about a player, manager or owner who disagreed with the rules? What about players arguing with an umpires call as a starting point? You don’t believe that churches attempting to operate according to New Testament church government standards have a conflict resolution process?

        • What fun! Another time-wasting argument. I’m glad to participate in filling your day.

          MLB has clear rules. No one misunderstands what the rules are. Disagreeing with the rules simply shows that that person understands what the rules are.

          And no, I don’t believe there is a conflict-resolution process between, say, Southern Baptists and Roman Catholics. There are individual shared doctrines, but no one would say that they’re using the same rulebook (interpretation of the Bible).

        • Greg G.

          Those problems don’t compare with religious leaders sexually abusing children, killing people driving drunk, killing children and homosexuals in Africa while getting support from US churches. You know about those don’t you? Tell me you haven’t been sheltered from these realities.

  • How is it that Christians can blow a gasket over something God doesn’t seem to have cared all that much about, but let people slide on things in his top ten list of the laws he absolutely positively requires someone obey?
    I mean I see law after law after law being fought for to deny gays the right to get married but I never see anti-coveting laws get pushed for.

    • adam

      In lieu of a real ‘god’ and its adversary ‘satan”, religious propagandists need real boogie men to fear in order to rally the forces against.

  • RichardSRussell

    I will meet Frank Turek halfway on his claim that the only absolute morality comes from God. I’ll even acknowledge what those moral precepts are (tho stopping short of promising to abide by them). I really will, Frank. God’s own morality, publicly acknowledged by this atheist for all the world to see. And it’s ridiculously easy to make it happen, too. Just have your buddy God show up and explain it to me in person, so I know it’s really him and not just you.

    • stnwljksn

      but how do we know your sincere in your request? It seems to me that what would happen is God shows up to do what you “need” him to do but then you would simply find another reason to explain it away.

      • RichardSRussell

        Let’s use the experimental method.
        Have him show up* and let’s see what happens.
        –––––
        *I presume you’re his buddy, too, just like Frank.

        • stnwljksn

          So, your assumption is that God is at your beck and call like a cosmic bell boy?

        • Greg G.

          Then it must be that you know that God won’t answer your sincere prayer.

        • stnwljksn

          That’s incorrect. My prayers aren’t “God will you please do what I want?” My prayers are “Lord, help me to live in accordance with your will.”

          Very different.

        • Greg G.

          You’re not praying as Jesus taught in the gospels. You know those prayers never get answered so you only pray so that you can’t really tell if they were answered. For the question of whether your prayers are answered, you click “I agree”.

        • stnwljksn

          that’s incorrect. Look at the “Lords’ prayer” which should actually be titled the disciples prayer. We prayer “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” There isn’t any of this asking for a bunch of stuff or health or anything like that.

        • Greg G.

          But that is something else that can’t be shown to be an answered prayer. If it happens, it must have been the Lord’s will. If a hundred people die in agony, your prayer was answered. But you are ignoring the verses about moving mountains. Just think how much money you could make and how much money you could save for other Christians in taxes if you could move mountains without all that expensive earth-moving equipment.

        • MR

          As I like to say, two thousand years and not one mountain. It’s almost as if there has never, ever been a Christian with even an ounce of faith.

          And yet they keep blathering on about how much faith they do have, while we still have all these stationary mountains.

          Where do you suppose the problem lies?

        • stnwljksn

          your too static in your thinking and understanding of those passages Greg. Furthermore, your not understanding the differences between literary genres. Obviously prayer can’t move mountains literally. That was hyperbolic language. He’s talking about doing great things through prayer.

        • adam

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove that ALL the supernatural claims of the bible are hyperbolic language, stnwljksn.

        • stnwljksn

          so, you have evidence that slime turns into humans eventually over millions of years?

        • Kodie

          That’s a terrible way to try and understand evolution.

        • stnwljksn

          but you agree that that is essentially your position in a nut-shell. You believe that at one point there was lifeless matter that became matter full of life and that life eventually produced the specie varieties that we see today – correct?

        • Kodie

          You mean chemistry? You find it impossible, without understanding it, so that makes it impossible? You haven’t learned the difference between evolution and abiogenesis either. You only see what you see and that’s what you believe, since the bible confirms it, but you are proud of your scientific illiteracy!

        • stnwljksn

          so abiogenesis is a fact – who says?

        • adam

          Let’s be honest you can’t disprove abiogenisis.

        • stnwljksn

          but you can prove it?

        • adam

          No, but it is where the evidence leads.

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          so why don’t you stop and create a list of things you’d like for me to click ‘I agree’ to so that we can be clear.

          I’m waiting patiently.

        • adam

          It goes back to this, in case you’ve forgotten in all your Gish Galloping.

        • Kodie

          Are you not clear? We’re pretty clear.

        • Science doesn’t prove stuff. Get a clue.

        • Evolution denial? Fun!

        • Kodie

          How do you know what to take literally from the bible and what to build an excuse why it can’t be taken literally? You need dynamite to move a mountain.

        • stnwljksn

          What you mean to say is that you could use dynamite among other methods, i.e. other explosives and such. Dynamite would be one option. But Jesus is obviously not talking about moving literal mountains with faith due to his comments in the immediate context of the story. Jesus had just healed a demon possessed boy, one which the disciples could not help. This story comes from Mathew 17:14-20. They ask Jesus “Why couldn’t we drive the demon out” and Jesus essentially responds, “your faith is too weak – if your faith was strong you could move mountains with it.” He isn’t talking about moving literal mountains Kodie. Think about the old adage “break a leg” you know that people used to say to each other. Well, obviously they didn’t mean to literally break a leg – it was meant to spur the individual to do great things. It was like saying “go out there and do an awesome job.” So, Jesus is saying something like this – he is saying “if your faith was strong you could drive out demons but instead your faith is weak”. That’s really what he’s getting at that when one has an incredibly strong faith they can do great and wonderfully good things.

        • Kodie

          Are the demons in your story literal?

        • stnwljksn

          yes

        • adam

          So demons are real but moving mountains are not.

          And of course, YOU have been given ‘special insight’ to be able to tell the difference?

        • stnwljksn

          Adam love caricatures…they’re his favorite. Good job Adam you did another picture! This one goes on the fridge this time!

        • Kodie

          Stnwljkff, no, this is actually how ridiculous your beliefs are to the outside observer. There is nothing you can say to make it seem less insane or childish. But you know that, because you also think chimps will petition the right to marry humans. Religion has made you very very stupid.

        • stnwljksn

          no if you read my post to Bob you’ll see that Christians wouldn’t argue for that on any grounds. However, the naturalist might because some “smart guy” in a laboratory says that chimps have the ability to enter into contractual agreements. That’s all it would take really – some smart guy that a lot of you atheists to agree with and you’ll follow him anywhere. Essentially you all worship a big brilliant scientist in the sky who will eventually figure everything out. He (or she) is your greatest hopes, your everything. Without the great scientist in the sky you would be lost.

        • Kodie

          Let me clarify – your caricature of the atheist based in the real world presumes that … all the rest of your garbage post. Despite all we have written over the last few weeks, you persist with your dishonesty most of all.

        • stnwljksn

          right because you’ve demonstrated me to be dishonest. You’re the one advocating for a world without objective morality.

        • Kodie

          I’m just pointing it out to you. Everyone else can tell from your posts.

        • stnwljksn

          how have I been dishonest?

        • Kodie

          You’re just repeating yourself without considering the responses that have already been made, and you ignore responses that address these thoughts you’ve already expressed. Gish Gallop, just like Adam said a dozen times to you. You didn’t invent shit, you don’t have an original thought OR TACTIC. Everything about you is a typical dishonest Christian, including your pretenses about going forward with intelligent and honest discourse. If it was true, why do you have to lie so much?

        • And no Christian would follow a smart politician or religious leader anywhere? Nope–no sheep within the Christian fold.

          “Marriage” can be redefined to be anything at all. Neither of us is arguing for that. So drop the nightmare scenario.

        • MR

          Demons are real. Faith can’t move mountains. Check.

        • stnwljksn

          try reading

          I said demons are real and faith can move metaphorical mountains.

          check.

        • MR

          Oh, I know what you said. I just find it interesting that you can believe the demon in the story to be real, but the mountain to be metaphorical. Your world is a little upside down.

        • stnwljksn

          again try reading

          so, you don’t believe in anything paranormal?

        • MR

          Show me some evidence and I might. Do you believe in all things paranormal? What about ESP, UFO abductions or Bigfoot?

        • stnwljksn

          I don’t believe in “all”, no but some, yes. Demons and angels I believe in.

        • MR

          ESP, UFO abductions or Bigfoot?

        • stnwljksn

          no

        • MR

          Not even Bigfoot? Surely you could believe in Bigfoot. What would it take for you to believe in Bigfoot?

        • stnwljksn

          solid evidence by reputable scholars.

        • MR

          What would you consider solid evidence?

        • Kodie

          You don’t know solid evidence or reputable scholars from your own ass.

        • MNb

          Evangelical speak:
          solid evidence = what makes the apologists underbelly feel good.
          reputable scholars = those apologists who rub the evangelical underbelly the right way.

        • adam

          So where is THIS “solid evidence” for YOUR ‘god’?

          So far it has been absent from Reality and your posts.

        • adam

          You should have asked “Zombies?”

        • MR

          Yeah, but I wanted to use Bigfoot as an example because that’s probably something that most people could imagine without completely dismissing as ridiculous or being a threat to their belief in a deity. The obvious answer to the kind of evidence you require to believe in Bigfoot is: Show me a living, breathing Bigfoot. I don’t think anyone would think that an unreasonable request. Or a dead one. Maybe, even a credible enough YouTube video, or a piece of hair that scientists could sequence the DNA and be able to determine a new form of hominid.

          The point is, the kind of evidence that any reasonable person would require to believe in something as innocuous as Bigfoot is much greater than the kind of evidence that a believer expects a non-believer to buy into for belief in God. It was his question: What evidence do you so desire? Well, what evidence would he require to believe any other god? It’s the same answer. He understood the trap he had laid with his own question, which is why he had to give such an evasive, smokescreen answer. That my friend is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. And I love the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning.

        • adam

          Here have another whiff:

        • Kodie

          Typical self-centered Christian.

        • MNb

          Now let me guess what your standard is to decide what you believe in and what you don’t believe in.
          That what makes your underbelly feel good.

        • Kodie

          Is the story non-fiction?

        • stnwljksn

          is macro evolution non-fiction?

        • Kodie

          So you literally believe there are demons, but metaphorically believe faith can move mountains, and you deny evolution because it disagrees with your superstition.

        • stnwljksn

          I believe there are demons because I’ve been in places where they were present and doing things to people that make your skin crawl. Secondly, yes I believe faith can metaphorically move mountains. You should go see the movie Unbroken that’s out right now – case and point. I deny non evolution but macro-evolution because it’s false and this is obvious from nature. Life begets life. Life cannot come from non-life. Furthermore, species reproduce after their kind only.

        • Even if evolution were completely false, your position(s) still wouldn’t be true by default.

        • stnwljksn

          So, for you it’s okay to not have an answer to the question “how did the universe begin?” Or if you do have an answer to that question and it is the typical naturalistic answer that a “what” and not a “who” put matter into play how is that rational? So, you believe that matter can come from nothing?

        • Kodie

          So for you, it’s ok to make up an answer when you don’t know?

        • stnwljksn

          mine is logical yours isn’t. What is logical about saying that living matter came from nothing? It is supremely logical to assert that things which are designed have a designer (even if those from your camp want to assert that design as being poor).

        • Kodie

          You have posted dozens of illogical assertions with no work shown. What is logical about saying that a magical immaterial being controls everything in the universe including trivial aspects of your life and loves and demands specific behaviors from you personally? It is not even a little logical to assert things that you believe to be designed have been designed. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity

        • stnwljksn

          so, your computer wasn’t designed?

        • Kodie

          There’s a historical record of it down at the patent office (or somewhere). What does that have to do with anything? God was designed by humans too!

        • stnwljksn

          then if that’s the case we would have to say that parents are designed by children, i.e. if it’s just intellectual assent that creates things that’s what we would have to conclude.

        • Kodie

          We would not. What the fuck is wrong with your brain?

        • MNb

          Orphans totally are capable of designing parents. They are as imaginary as your god.

        • MNb

          By a material designer using material means and following material procedures.
          Your god at the other hand is supposed to be immaterial.

        • MNb

          What is logical about strawmanning that living matter came from nothing? NOBODY CLAIMS THAT. How is it supremely logical to assert that material things which are designed have an immaterial designer, who by definition doesn’t have the means (which all are material) and the procedures (all material as well) available? How is it logical that a perfect designer delivers wildly imperfect design?

        • What is logical about saying that living matter came from nothing?

          Who says that? Living matter is thought to have come from nonliving matter.

          What’s logical about it is that that’s where the evidence points. But you don’t much care, do you? If Biology reached a demonstrable consensus view on how life arose, you’d just drop abiogenesis and pick up some other puzzle science hasn’t solved yet.

        • So, for you it’s okay to not have an answer to the question “how did the universe begin?”

          Correct. On what basis do you claim or presume otherwise?

          the typical naturalistic answer that a “what” and not a “who” put matter into play how is that rational?

          How is it not?

          So, you believe that matter can come from nothing?

          No.

          It remains to be seen whether “nothing” (as such) is a coherent concept, or whether it is the default state. The question of “why is there anything?” has been challenged with the response, “why should there be nothing?”

          Even so, I allow for the possibility, though I don’t believe the claim, and it doesn’t make sense to me. However, I figure the chain of causation has to end somewhere. Maybe with a sentient being; maybe not.

          And yet, you claim to know, or you seem to think you have good reason to believe. But when challenged to present evidence for your position, it seems to me that you mostly dodge, or talk in circles, or assert without evidence, etc.

          I don’t know the answers to the questions you posed, but having held my former beliefs up to scrutiny, I am confident that YHWH and Jesus are the answers to none of them. This is not my presumption or presupposition; it is the conclusion of my investigation of the truth claims of Christianity and the Bible.

          Surely you believe that the many religious beliefs that contradict your own are false. Have you ever applied scrutiny to your own? While doing so, did you honestly consider the possibility that you could be wrong? Do you understand how the burden of proof works?

        • stnwljksn

          as I’ve stated to others – Jesus Christ. Is he lord, liar or a lunatic? For fairness sake I’ll include Bob Seidenstickers “legend” category. But to also be clear, virtually no respectable scholars hold to the “legend” category. Bob S. and Bob Price are but a few on this lonely, lonely island.

        • Kodie

          You seem to think if someone really lived, then everything written about that person is true, even if it’s outrageous or fantastic. A person can have really lived and have every remaining account of their life fictionalized so that they become a legend. You know that, right? Please acknowledge this because it’s not the first time I told you!

        • stnwljksn

          Yes I agree but again this puts in you in the small minority of people who think that Jesus was a legend. Almost no one believes that who has credibility. So, “legend” is essentially not a legitimate option. Your stuck with “Lord, liar or lunatic” because C.S. Lewis is correct and Bob S. is wrong.

        • Kodie

          YOU ILLITERATE FUCKING ASSHOLE! YOU ACKNOWLEDGED NOTHING! Many atheist scholars may put forth the idea that a person existed but do not agree with you or C.S. Lewis that the accounts of that person’s life as portrayed in the New Testament are anything but fiction! You stupid fucking douche.

        • Kodie

          Yes I agree but again this puts in you in the small minority of people who think that Jesus was a legend. Almost no one believes that who has credibility. So, “legend” is essentially not a legitimate option. Your stuck with “Lord, liar or lunatic” because C.S. Lewis is correct and Bob S. is wrong. I didn’t actually read what you wrote, but instead repeated the same bullshit propaganda as my previous post as per the Christian pawn script-bot I am.

          FTFY.

        • MNb

          As usual not getting the point. Jesus was historical – lots of stories attached to him are legends.

        • Yeah, I know that I’m behind in my comments,but this is the third response correcting you, and it’s pretty frustrating. Jesus as a legend is not the Christ Myth theory. Jesus as a legend is quite popular. That CS Lewis ignored it makes his weak arguments look even worse.

        • You’re a big man to include Legend as another category. So no scholars to speak of think of the miracles of Jesus as a legend? That’s probably true within the narrow confines of conservative Protestant scholarship, but look at historians in general and you’ll see a different situation.

          You do realize, I pray, that this is very much not the Christ Myth theory?

        • MNb

          False trilemma. And it’s uncontroversial, among christian scholars as well, that lots of fiction has been attached to Jesus. The detour to Egypt is one them; Herodes’ infanticide another.

        • MNb

          Indeed. Isn’t it for you? Then you should also defend the idea that your god keeps himself busy lifting magnets. Science doesn’t have an answer (yet) to the question why superconductivity is possible at relatively high temperatures.

          “So, you believe that matter can come from nothing?”

          If you mean with “nothing” zero mass/energy this actually has been observed. Google electron/positron creation.

        • Scientists are accustomed to having unanswered questions. Good thing, because if the questions are all answered, they’d need to get new jobs.

          “The universe came from nothing” is a hypothesis that Christians like to trot out. When it’s actually the scientific consensus, I’m sure we’ll be told. So far, not so much.

        • Kodie

          You’re a gullible person; I also believe faith can be a psychological advantage to doubt, but we can call that Dumbo’s faith. Dumbo could fly because of his ears, but he was made to believe it was the feather that gave him this ability. Basically, if you have a positive attitude and can envision your goals being met, you can get a lot of work done than if you are paralyzed by fear and confusion. So what about that movie, I don’t care, it’s a fucking story, it’s not a case in point. You deny things you think you understand based on bullshit that is sold to you and confused with myths about what evolution is rather than reading it from the source or understanding what it actually is. Your religious source is not a recommended source of information about evolution if you want to learn the truth. They have a vested interest in keeping you ignorant.

        • stnwljksn

          I’ve definitely read macro-evolutionary ideas by non-Christians like Stephen Hawking and Christopher Hitchens. They seem to both indicate that at one point there was slime and that has over millions of years produced humans naturally without any outside agent. It’s a simple question – do you agree with that basic idea?

        • Kodie

          You’re talking about how ignorant you are about chemistry. I don’t actually see as big a distinction between life and non-life that you do, and I don’t see what’s so intriguing about a planet that has living organisms upon it as a feature, as opposed to a planet that has some other unique feature. I think especially Christians and the way Christians think is a manipulation of your gooey brain. When you supercede biology with spiritual nonsense, you forget that you are still basically slime.

        • If you’re actually eager to learn about biology (I can’t imagine that, but hey, I thought I’d check), you might want to read actual biologists.

        • MNb

          Weird. Whenever I go to places where there are supposed to be demons present they always have left just before I arrived.

        • Perhaps you got some extra hubris for Christmas. I don’t know how else you’d reject the consensus view of a field (biology) that you don’t fully understand.

        • MNb

          Then why are the moving mountants not literal? Because that would your beloved Jesus look like a fool? Well, so do his demons.

        • adam

          THIS is going to be entertaining.

          YOU claiming that Greg G. does not understand the differences between literary genres.

          You OBVIOUSLY havent read much of Greg’s postings.

          I am not sure Greg will engage you a battle of wits, seeing how unarmed you are, but if he does….

          It will be entertaining.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t understand the passages. None of it is real. You already know that you can’t pray for anything that is verifiable because it will show the power of prayer is nothing but an illusion. You may as well pray for the will of your refrigerator, the results will be indistinguishable. Doesn’t that embarrass you?

        • stnwljksn

          I can see why you struggle with prayer. Prayer is not about you getting what you want Greg. What did you pray for that you didn’t get? More importantly what has God not done for you that you needed done?

        • Kodie

          The truth is you’ve been made to settle for a god that is the equivalent of no god.

        • stnwljksn

          because in your world “god” would do whatever you needed him to do?

        • Kodie

          No, because idiots like you are always making up shit to cover the obvious questions of why god doesn’t seem to exist. He’s your George uh.. Glass, George Glass!

        • stnwljksn

          are you and Adam dating – you guys would make a great couple.

        • adam

          Are you and Kirk Cameron dating – you guys would make a great couple.

        • stnwljksn

          haha 🙂

        • Kodie

          Are you and Adam dating, you argue like an old married couple.

        • stnwljksn

          How do I know that Adam isn’t Kodie and Kodie isn’t Adam? I guess it’s just faith…

        • MNb

          Tsssk – you make me jealous. Last time an evangelical ignorant goof tried this angle it was me and Kodie.

        • adam

          Indeed

        • Greg G.

          More importantly what has God not done for you that you needed done?

          Everything I have needed done, I did myself, other people did it, or it didn’t get done. So every damn thing I have needed done is what God didn’t do.

          How do you tell the difference between what God has done and what you imagine God has done?

        • stnwljksn

          So Greg G. can do everything that God can do?

        • Greg G.

          I can do things God can’t do. I can lay on a couch. God can’t. I can answer some verifiable prayers. God can’t. I can exist with no contradiction in terms. God can’t. I can respond directly to you without you having to pretend. God can’t. I can forgive people without them killing something alive. God can’t. God can’t do anything so I can do more than God just laying on the couch.

        • stnwljksn

          So can you make a circle a square because God can’t do that? Better yet, can you do that on your couch?

        • adam

          Do you think this is one of your ‘intelligent’ responses?

          Why can’t YOUR ‘god’ make a circle square.

          om·nip·o·tent
          : having complete or unlimited power

        • stnwljksn

          So, in your world God should be able to do absolutely whatever you dream up even if that thing is impossible?

        • adam

          So YOU agree that YOUR ‘god’ is NOT omnipotent?

        • adam

          So is YOUR ‘god’ Omnipotent or NOT?

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE for what you say and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          yes he is omnipotent

        • adam

          Then why would anything be impossible for ‘him’?

          And lets see some of YOUR evidence that YOUR god is anything but IMAGINARY.

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t say I can do everything God can’t do. Is that the best you can do, arguing against what you wish somebody said? Perhaps your prayer for God’s will to be done is coming true if his will is that you look like a fool.

          But yes I can make a circle a square. “Circle” can have different meanings such as “a circle of friends”. So I simply add a new defintion. A circle is a four-sided polygon with sides of equal length intersecting at right angles. It’s not a useful definition but it serves the purpose. It is a different definition than the common circle or a sewing circle.

        • stnwljksn

          your just calling “purple” “red” then Greg. It’s still a square. You haven’t changed anything. Squares are squares whether you change the wording or not. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about that.

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t change the defintion of the set of points in a plane equally distant from a single point. As I tried to remind you, the word has different meanings. I gave it a brand new definition identical to a square. I also gave it a new pronunciation. The first letter is a hard “c”. I should have told you that.

        • Kodie

          Boston can make any shape a square.

        • Kodie

          It’s trivial to make a circle square. It’s called a cylinder.

        • Kodie

          I must be god – I don’t have a couch.

        • Kodie

          Typical illiterate Christian.

        • stnwljksn

          typical dense atheist

        • Greg G.

          Caricature of a gullible, overly proud Christian.

        • stnwljksn

          caricature of me being a caricature

        • Kodie

          You Christians seem to have a lot of trouble parsing sentences. Word order often changes the sense of the sentence, and you ought to be able to pay attention and figure it out. But you don’t, and never get it right.

        • Kodie
        • MNb

          No – everything Greg G can do is something your god can’t do.

        • MNb

          Praying is about talking to an imaginary friend who doesn’t talk back.
          God never has done anything for me, so pick your choice.

        • So then, “You’re just mad at God”? It’s never worked before, but sure, maybe you’ll be lucky.

        • RichardSRussell

          No, my presumption is that there is no God. But it’s a rebuttable presumption. Rebuttable by God himself, not by any of his self-appointed spokespeople, who have demonstrated thru the centuries that they’re invariably full of shit and speaking only for themselves.

          Thus my challenge: I have no particular reason to believe you or Frank Turek, but if you’re on such congenial terms with this God you keep speaking of, call in a favor or two and have him materialize on my doorstep. But I’m betting you can’t do it, no more than anybody else who’s made the effort over the last 4000 years.

      • adam

        “It seems to me that what would happen is God shows up to do what you “need” him to do but then you would simply find another reason to explain it away.”

        Wow, is YOUR ‘god’ that impotent, that it cant make its nature known to Richard?

        • Guest

        • adam

          ….

        • stnwljksn

          perhaps he’s already given you enough evidence?

        • Greg G.

          Obviously not. If he’s omnipotent, he’s not trying hard enough. He’s only providing evidence for the low hanging fruit – gullible people.

        • stnwljksn

          that’s just your opinion Greg. If your asserting that God has not given you enough evidence for belief what evidence would prove his existence?

        • Greg G.

          How should I know? I’m not omniscient. It shouldn’t be a problem for an omnipotent being.

        • stnwljksn

          Perhaps its not a problem. Perhaps you simply don’t want to believe? How would we know otherwise? How can we truly know whether or not you have constructed a wall of unbelief?

        • Greg G.

          I used to believe and when I realized I was having trouble maintaining my belief I tried hard to regain it. Now I tend to accept things according to the strength of the evidence. If the evidence really pointed toward God, I would believe it.

        • stnwljksn

          on a scale from 1 to 10 how strong do you think the evidence for God is?

        • Greg G.

          I see no unambiguous evidence for any supernatural forces. Any ambiguous evidence is far more likely to be natural than unnatural.

          My job is troubleshooting machine problems that could be mechanical, electrical, electronic, software related, or user related. There’s always the possibility that the problem could be a gremlin or a demon but I’ve never found that to be the case so it’s better to look for natural issues.

        • Kodie

          Depends on what ‘1’ means – none or some? NONE. NO EVIDENCE. It’s a marketing scheme.

        • stnwljksn

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove God Kodie

        • adam

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove Ganesh, stnwljksn

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove garden faires, stnwljksn

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove leprechans, stnwljksn

          you know just as well as I do that you have no evidence to disprove Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns, stnwljksn

        • stnwljksn

          those are all in the category of a celestial teapot as Bertrand Russell rightly pointed out. God is in a completely different and completely rational category

        • Kodie

          You pulled that distinction out of your ass.

        • stnwljksn

          Do you agree with it?

        • adam

          Yes, you pulled that distinction out of your ass.
          Metaphorically.

          You really pulled it out of your IMAGINATION.

        • Kodie

          Do I agree with your irrational preference?

        • adam

          MILLIONS of people have and do ‘believe’ in Ganesh, so WRONG.

          Demonstrate how YOUR ‘god’ is different.
          Demonstrate how YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY

        • stnwljksn

          again, caricatures even though this is sadly a true portrait for a lot of believers.

        • Kodie

          Your caricature of Ganesh foolishly ignores the context.

        • stnwljksn

          I haven’t made any broad claims about Ganesh. Really all I’ve said is that they do not have Jesus Christ and his claims as an essential of their religion.

        • Kodie

          They have their own fictional characters, so what? You’re really uneducated – if you want to disprove Hinduism, you have to give us evidence that Ganesh doesn’t exist. Or how about you tell us why you’re not a Muslim. Allah is the same god as yours, and they have Jesus.

        • stnwljksn

          Common Kodie your all over the place. Why should I believe that your not Bob?

        • Kodie

          I haven’t used this in a while – typical evasive Christian. Bonus points for typical “everyone here is really Bob” Christian.

        • stnwljksn

          hey it’s faith Kodie and you’ve got it but can’t admit it.

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that Kodie has ‘faith’ and demonstrate that you are one of those who just click ‘I
          agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          hold on a second adam…

          Kodie, can you prove that adam isn’t Bob?

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that Kodie has ‘faith’ and demonstrate that you are one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

          And PLEASE tell us what definition of ‘faith’ you are using.

        • adam

          Is it this?

        • Kodie

          I could if it was super-relevant to anyone but you.

        • stnwljksn

          you just can’t bring yourself to it can you? It’s like you commit an atheistic sin or something if you do.

        • Kodie

          It would be complicated and it’s relatively unnecessary, but it’s actually possible. You’re a fucking idiot if you think proving Adam is not Bob would mean anything important. Why don’t you prove god exists? Proving two people I communicate with are actually two separate individuals is a typical Christian maneuver to evade on the question of faith. Prove your imaginary friend is real! You can’t. You haven’t even tried.

        • MNb

          I have something better – scientific theories and empirical evidence.

        • How are you using “faith” here?

        • MNb

          You don’t have Ganesh and his claims as an essential of your religion.

        • adam

          Why do you have the NEED to lie?

          Here is what you said about Ganesh

          “those are all in the category of a celestial teapot as Bertrand Russell
          rightly pointed out. God is in a completely different and completely
          rational category”

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t interesting that true portraits of believers are caricatures? You are one.

        • stnwljksn

          So I’m automatically a caricature because I’m a Christian – couldn’t I use that logic on all atheists as well. How about we distinguish between caricatures and non-caricatures. I consistently Biblical Christian would not be the way that that picture portrays Christians to be and I am not the way that that picture insinuates.

        • Kodie

          Then you are about as un-self-aware as anyone I’ve ever known. You are a real dummy’s dummy of Christianity. You’re cocky, you say nothing new, you use these ridiculous tropes you learned from your mom at homeschool, you’re a liar, and you don’t know shit. Whether you are a Christian is almost beside the point.

        • stnwljksn

          so, if I’m the “dummy’s dummy” of Christianity who is the genius?

        • Greg G.

          Good question. Christian dummy’s dummies nay be interchangeable.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know, but there have been and are Christians who can talk about things more intelligently than you can, no more convincingly. You’re the kind of person would not only believe everything the church tells them, you believe by the power of suggestion, and you think we’ve never heard what you have to say. For example, we often get around here Christians who don’t think people like you are worth Bob’s attention and criticize his articles, and deny association with caricatures like you.

          CHRISTIANS THINK YOU ARE A CARICATURE.

        • stnwljksn

          I certainly don’t believe everything the church tells me.

        • Kodie

          You certainly sound like you’ve been properly warned by the church to distrust the sources they propagandize you to distrust, and to properly trust their deliberate misrepresentation of everything they deny is true.

          Same thing.

        • stnwljksn

          actually we encourage the exact opposite. We encourage folks to look into things and discover the truth for themselves. Consistent Christianity is all about the exposure of truth not the withholding of it.

        • Kodie

          Then why is your “truth” fiction? Why is your every understanding of reality and science mistaken? You had to learn that bullshit at church, because nobody else would tell you that, and if you were not stupidized by the church, you would not sound exactly like every damned last one of them.

        • stnwl

          do you agree with Bob Seidensticker on 90% of what he writes?

        • Kodie

          I don’t know. The real question is whether I agree because Bob wrote it or did Bob write something I already thought. Because to you it’s all the same, people can’t agree on things because they’re both right, they only agree because one person wrote it and the other person mindlessly agreed with it. We’re not Christians! In case you’re wondering what the difference is, you would never conclude Christianity if no PERSON told you, but a person could hear a PERSON who believes Christianity and independently conclude that it is mythical bullshit with no basis in reality without consulting other atheists.

        • One name at a time, stnyfnedktri.

        • Ah, so it’s the Christians who are the open minded ones. Good to know.

          I wonder then why those in your camp reject science when it offends them. Science denialism doesn’t help your position here.

        • MNb

          Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins.

        • Susan

          So I’m automatically a caricature because I’m a Christian

          No. Christians tend to say that about each other. Everyone’s a strawman except the true Christian.

          How about we distinguish between caricatures and non-caricatures.

          That would be fantastic.

          I consistently Biblical Christian would not be the way that that picture portrays Christians to be and I am not the way that picture insinuates.

          Darn it. No distinctions at all, then. Just more assertions.

        • Greg G.

          No, you are not automatically a caricature. You have to demonstrate that you are a caricature. That’s why you are called a caricature – it’s the evidence that paints you as a caricature.

        • Susan

          caricatures even though this is sadly a true portrait for a lot of believers

          They would say exactly the same thing about your ‘portrait’.

          Please provide a difference that makes a difference.

        • stnwljksn

          the difference would be.

          God’s thoughts are supreme and are revealed in the Bible and through common moral law
          All of the Bible is true
          God knows me so well because he is alive and does in fact know me (vs. a deistic god like the Thomas Jefferson god for example)
          and God is not me – he exists and is alive and well

        • Susan

          the difference woud be.

          How does that make a difference? All the ‘caricatures’ make the same claim, don’t they?

        • stnwljksn

          wrong – a caricature in its basic sense is simply a false portrait. If you’re a white evangelical and I paint you as being homophobic than that is a caricature.

        • Susan

          a false portrait

          I’m not painting you as anything. I’m asking you to explain the difference between your ‘true’ christian claims and other christian claims.

          Or christian claims and Ganesh claims.

          I’m asking you for a difference that makes a difference. Not just claims. Your answers are the sort of clichés you wouldn’t accept about Ganesh.

        • stnwljksn

          A real difference is Jesus Christ and his claims. Ganesh doesn’t have that. Notice how there are not chairs in Ganesh at Oxford yet there are chairs in New Testament. Why is that the case? Obviously there are major differences here.

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE for Jesus Christ and his ‘claims’ and demonstrate that you are one of those who just click ‘I
          agree’.

        • Susan

          A real difference is Jesus Christ and his claims.

          Are you serious? Is that a fair answer to an honest question? Would you accept “A real difference is Mohammed and his claims” from someone claiming their interpretation of their version of islam is the ‘true’ understanding of reality?
          A chair at Oxford? Yes. The only way a chair of Oxford might still exist is because Jesus was a deity. Nothing to do with the history and politics of England and Oxford?
          The ultimate explanation of all reality is determined by having a chair at Oxford represent you?
          (I never even bothered to ask you to clarify or to verify your claim, it’s such an insufficient offering.)

        • Kodie

          Did Jesus Christ found the chairs of NT at Oxford? No, people did that. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-authority

        • stnwljksn

          and you disagree with some of the skeptics who run them?

        • Kodie

          Do you understand how poor your sense of logic is? TIME AND TIME AGAIN, someone says something and you think you have them trapped by your silly line of questions that arise from your butt.

          And you want to claim you are no caricature???? You’re the most cartoonish Christian we’ve seen since Miguel.

          Are you Miguel?

        • MNb

          A real difference is Ganesh and his claims. Jesus doesn’t have that. Notice how there are not chairs in Jesus Christ in New Delhi yet there are charis in the Ramayana. Why is that the case? Obviously there are major differences here.
          The same differences.

        • England has been primarily Christian since before Oxford was founded. Or was this a trick question?

        • adam

          And YET you’ve AGREED that they are a TRUE portrait of the majority.

        • stnwljksn

          absolutely – you and I are in agreement with that fact. I don’t deny that at all Adam! But I’m trying to tell you that I’m not like that.

        • adam

          So what?
          You are trying to tell me that you are not like that, your posts demonstrate that you are.

          I go where the evidence points me to.

        • stnwljksn

          so I am a caricature even though I told you that I don’t read the Bible in the way that you seem to insensate or think of God in the way that you portray, etc.

        • adam

          No, because of the nature and content of your posts.

          So why did you feel the NEED to be deceptive and LIE by saying that image is a caricature, when you agree that it is not?

        • Kodie

          So you deny that you’re the person posting under your name. Do you agree?

        • Kodie

          You’re an evangelical and an admitted homophobic evolution-denier, and I have referenced your home-schooling a number of times and you haven’t denied it.

          Does that mean you’re not a caricature because we don’t know if you’re white?

        • stnwljksn

          I’m not a homeschooler for starters. Yes I’m an evangelical and yes I deny macro-evolution. I do not deny micro-evolution

        • Kodie

          You’re a caricature.

        • stnwljksn

          then you obviously don’t accurately understand Christianity.

        • Kodie

          Obviously, Christians are not qualified to explain it, if there is anything else to understand. But you have hit all your marks on cue like the pawn you are.

        • stnwljksn

          dito – evidently it takes a pawn to know one.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Then Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins (two devout christians who contributed greatly to Evolution Theory) don’t accurately understand christianity either. But you do, despite being a fallible and sinful human according to your own view, so you’re guilty of arrogance. That’s a deadly sin.
          Good job debunking your own belief system.

        • Kodie

          So you admit you’re delusional. Do you agree?

        • stnwljksn

          I’m not the one who believes in abiogenesis so, no I’m definitely not delusional

        • Kodie

          You have an imaginary friend, but you assert that he’s real – no evidence. You ARE delusional.

        • stnwljksn

          you have an imaginary beginning of the universe, but you assert that he’s real – no evidence. You ARE delusional.

        • Kodie

          What? Do you read what you write before you post? I have an unknown beginning of the universe and I admit that I don’t know instead of fill in the blanks with a fairytale that is the mythical equivalent of other global myths that you easily dismiss.

        • stnwljksn

          yet you believe that slime turns into humans eventually over millions of years – correct?

        • Kodie

          Yet you have an imaginary friend who knows you so personally it spooks you into believing he’s really not you, correct?

        • MNb

          Nope. We have theories about the beginning of the universe and we have empirical evidence to back them up.
          You have nothing but a badly outdated book.

        • stnwljksn

          what I mean was “but you assert that it’s real…”

        • Greg G.

          Once there was no life on the planet, now there is. Some kind of a biog enemies occurred.

        • stnwljksn

          what? “biog enemies”?

        • Greg G.

          Spellchecker strikes again. It was typed “abiogenesis”.

        • stnwljksn

          gotcha

          and your proof for abiogensis without God is…?

        • Greg G.

          I said (or tried to) that abiogenesis happened. I didn’t say what kind it was. Define the god you are referring to? Do you have evidence to back it up?

        • stnwljksn

          Yes – 1. Jesus Christ, 2. nature is obviously designed.

        • Greg G.

          Natural disaster and snake venom are designed by a loving god?

        • stnwljksn

          watch the debate between Bart Erhman and Dinesh D’Souza at Gordon college – this video should answer your question.

        • Greg G.

          I saw it when it first went online. D’Souza was very unconvincing. What point does he make?

          The universe is designed by physics and life is designed by chemistry plus competition for chemicals when it comes down to it. It’s not always nice. Blaming a deity for it would likely offend it if it cared what you thought.

        • you can’t summarize it for us?

        • Kodie

          Neither of those answers Greg G’s questions. Do you not know what words mean?

        • MNb

          1a. Jesus isn’t evidence for your god.
          1b. Christ is part of your god, so doesn’t count as evidence either.

          2a. If so your god is a failure.

          http://centreforunintelligentdesign.yolasite.com

          2b. If so your god spends his time with

          http://www.rsc.org/images/OPINION-BALL-snowflake-200_tcm18-172699.jpg

        • Kodie

          YOUR proof that god made a man out of dirt and a woman out of his rib is?

          And when god went apeshit and flooded the earth, he was powerless to destroy and then recreate, he depended on biology? And still fucked it up?

        • science doesn’t deal in proofs.

        • Right–cuz you can prove that abiogenesis is BS.

          Write it up. There’s probably a Nobel prize in it for you.

        • adam

          Sorry, but you’ve not demonstrated that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY.

        • stnwljksn

          so why is there a chair of New Testament at Oxford and not a chair of Ganesh?

        • Kodie

          Um… geography, stupid.

          You’re aware you’re not a Hindu most probably because you aren’t from India???? Religions tend to be popular by region of the earth, and probably one good reason Christian missionaries go to places there are no Christians is to spread this bullshit over the earth so it looks more popular globally than it is.

        • adam

          Geography and the political POWER of the ‘church’

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that YOUR ‘god’ is NOT imaginary and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • Greg G.

          Probably the same reason Hindu schools don’t have NT studies.

        • stnwljksn

          right because Hinduism is so credible.

        • Kodie

          A billion people think Hinduism is more credible than Christianity, but anyway, your logical fallacy is non sequitur.

        • Greg G.

          It is equally as credible as Christianity. It is supported by the same types of intuitions, feelings, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias as any other religion. The Jain branch of Hinduism has non-violence as one of the precepts which makes it superior to the Abrahamic desert death cults. But even Jainism taken to its logical conclusion becomes unworkable.

        • Let me translate that for you: my supernatural beliefs make great sense, unlike the other guys’, which are too ridiculous to even consider.

        • MNb

          “right because christianity is so credible”.
          Everything you bring up for christianity applies equally to hinduism. You are a total failure to show otherwise.

        • MNb

          Ganesh’ thoughs are supreme and are revealed in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and through moral law. All of the Mahabharate and the Ramayana is true.
          Ganesh knows you so well because he is alive and does in fact know you. And Ganesh is not you – he exists an is alive and well.

          No difference at all.

        • Greg G.

          Some Hindus believe that our reality is a dream of one of their gods. Your god could be a part of that dream. Maybe if your god became a Hindu, he would be a better god.

          How do you know you are right and they are wrong. If you were born in India, you would be arguing their side. That’s the trouble with basing your beliefs without the support of evidence.

        • adam

          1car·i·ca·ture
          : someone or something that is very exaggerated in a funny or foolish way

          by your own statement it is not very exaggerated.

        • Special pleading.

        • MNb

          Because you say so? That won’t impress anyone here.

        • Kodie

          YOU ASKED HOW STRONG THE EVIDENCE FOR GOD IS. Are you so stupid you can’t tell the difference between “no evidence for god” and “evidence that there is no god”?????????

          All evidence for god is manufactured by humans and exploited to make money. You are not the smart one here.

        • stnwljksn

          So, are you against non profits who are “saving the whales” and some of the leaders of those groups are getting paid?

        • Kodie

          Why do you hate whales? Actually, did you know that ALL non-profits except houses of worship have to make public how much money they take in and where that money goes? I’m in favor of that. Your church don’t have to tell nobody how they spend their money, it sure as shit isn’t to save anyone from eternal life in an imaginary place.

        • stnwljksn

          I’m not really certain what all the rules are because I don’t operate a non for profit. And I’m certainly not against whales because I think they’re awesome. But your engaging in a sortive caricature because it is well known that the majority of churches are honest about there financial documentation. Our church for instance does an open meeting every year where anyone is welcome to attend where all of the finances are gone through and we take a vote to approve salaries and budgets, etc. Only members can vote but anyone is welcome to attend and witness the transparency.

        • Kodie

          The rules exempt houses of worship from opening the books to the public. But you still didn’t address, and I’m assuming it’s because you’re dishonest, that bit about asking me for evidence there is no god. That’s not my job, dummy. If I’m not convinced there is a god, that’s because nitwits like you come around with your bullshit. You’re not convinced there’s a Ganesh, you don’t have to give a good reason, right? You’re not convinced there are leprechauns or unicorns, you don’t have to do a whole lot of research to find the evidence lacking. All your evidence is manufactured by humans – ALL OF IT.

        • stnwljksn

          I wasn’t being dishonest I just forgot to answer that part of your question. Ganesh is a celestial teapot and so are leprachauns. Unicorns are a classification of animal, i.e. animals with one giant horn on their head. It’s a misconception that it’s automatically a horse. Regardless, couldn’t I say that your non-evidence for their not being a God is also manufactured by humans?

        • Kodie

          What the fuck is non-evidence? I don’t consider “god” to be that difficult to dismiss as anything more than a fictional character around which billions of people have developed a neurosis or superstition that guides not only their behavior but their beliefs that my behavior needs to change to hop on the cuckoo train with them.

          More than a billion followers of Ganesh have just as much evidence as you do, so how can you so carelessly ignore it and offend Ganesh by placing it in another category than your god? Your god is not that special, it’s just yours so you prefer it.

        • stnwljskn

          I disagree – the followers of Ganesh do not have Jesus Christ. Are you greater than Jesus Christ?

        • adam

          So the followers of Ganesh do not have Jesus.

          Followers of Jesus DO NOT HAVE Ganesh

          I am greater than an mythological being, yes.
          Then again, so are YOU.

        • Kodie

          You mean they don’t have legends you find interesting?

        • stnwljksn

          you do realize that your disagreeing with many atheist, agnostic, and skeptical scholars on that, right? So, do you like Bill Maher a lot?

        • Kodie

          No it doesn’t even matter. The characteristics of a legend do not preclude the person never having existed. Green Man existed. The truth about Jesus the human who existed doesn’t matter.

        • stnwljksn

          because all it takes for you is some guy (or gal) that you think is smart and agrees with your position (your worldview) and tells you everything you want to hear so that then you can do what you want and how you want all in the name of some “smart people” who say that Jesus was only a man. You do know that the guy Bob Price who wrote an endorsement for one of Bob Seidenstickers books is virtually a loner in his field, right? That’s the guy who Bob agrees with. Never mind the people from Oxford they’re all dummies – no it’s the great Bob Price that’s who Bob S. seems to side with. But side with him that’s your choice

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE for what you say and demonstrate that you are one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          why don’t you give me a list of your top 30 caricatured things and I’ll tell you whether or not I agree with them

        • adam

          So TRYING to change the subject is the BEST evidence you have?

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE for what you say and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • Kodie

          Typical evasive Christian.

        • stnwljksn

          typical evasive atheist won’t even produce the list so that I can answer their ridiculous assertions.

        • Kodie

          The list is yours to make, and you are making it. Anyone can read this page and see that you fit the profile.

        • Kodie

          Excuse me, but you’re the poster boy of people who can’t think for themselves.

        • stnwljksn

          i know you are but what am I

        • Kodie

          Going for ban #3? I’m guessing.

        • stnwljksn

          why would I get banned I haven’t done anything wrong but discuss things as they pertain to this blog.

        • Kodie

          You were banned TWICE for being such a tedious no-content asshole, no you are not “discussing” anything that pertains to this blog, you are still a tedious, no-content asshole.

        • stnwljksn

          please provide a demonstration of A+ contributions
          that way we’re not wallowing in subjectivity here

        • Obnoxious, meaningless posts are sins. And you know what happens to sinners.

        • MNb

          Oh, I also know what you are – just another arrogant christian. This comment of yours shows it.

        • I feel like Dr. Evil with my hand uncontrollably moving toward the button labeled “stnryudnvkgui.” Don’t make me press it. Become useful.

        • adam

          Seems just like ANOTHER one of these, with a Gish Gallop.

        • stnwljksn

          now replace the Bible with “the God delusion” and you’ve got a picture that describes yourself!

        • adam

          Impossible, I have never even read ‘the God delusion’.

        • stnwljksn

          now replace the Bible with “the God delusion” and you’ve got a picture that describes yourself!

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          The God Delusion is not in high esteem on this blog. You’re in the wrong place.

        • MNb

          “then you can do what you want”
          Yawn. As an atheist I have developed a fine system of ethics that guides me.
          And again: Jesus is historical (and as such irrelevant for our discussion), christ is a myth. That’s an uncontroversial point of view.

        • MNb

          So what? Why should any atheist on this blog like Bill Maher? Just because he happens to be an atheist too?
          Man, are you a hypocrite. Just above you’re whining (unjustly, because you stubbornly refuse to clarify your own position) about hasty generalizations. You are guilty of it yourself. Just ask us questions about our atheism – I won’t demand intelligent ones, because you’re not capable of them – and you’ll get a variety of answers.

        • MNb

          You’re stupid indeed. Guess what? The followers of Jesus Christ don’t have Ganesh. Are you greater than Ganesh?

        • adam

          Ganesh is GOD to millions, just like YOUR ‘god’.

          Full Definition of UNICORN

          a mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse,the hind legs of a stag, the tail of a lion, and a single horn in the middle of the forehead

          lep·re·chaun noun ˈlep-rə-ˌkän, -ˌkȯn
          : a creature in old Irish stories that looks like a very small man

          YOUR ‘god’ is a creature in old middle eastern stories.

          So far you are batting ZERO

        • stnwljksn

          notice what it says Adam “generally” – again you love caricatures. Anything that is a generality you’ll bite.

        • adam

          ‘Generally’ is NOT a very exaggerated term needed to make this a caricature

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE for what you claim and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          you should be a detective. man you’re good.

        • adam

          Still trying to understand your NEED to LIE.

          Maybe you can give me some insight.

        • stnwljksn

          what you do is you go to school and study and become a detective then you go and solve crimes because you’re really good at it. That’s essentially what you should do.

        • adam

          And THAT would give me understanding as to why you NEED to LIE?

          Or are you just Gish Galloping your way to clicking “I agree”

        • stnwljksn

          it might give you understanding into your assertions and methods.

        • adam

          I already understand my assertions and methods.

          I also understand why some people NEED to LIE and be deceptive

          Why do YOU need to LIE and be deceptive?

        • Kodie

          Does your mother know you’re up so late on the internet being an asshole troll?

        • MNb

          And you don’t have evidence to prove your god. So we’re stuck with philosophy – which has excellent (in my eyes conclusive) arguments against any god.

        • Pofarmer

          Honestly? Negative something or other. I would recomend reading some Victor Stenger. Eric Hoffer, Susan Churchland, et al.

        • stnwljksn

          that’s actually more of a NON-position. There is virtually no credible atheist apologist who would assert that they can 100 percent disprove the existence of God (which on the scale would be a 0). The best you can do is be a “1” but there is no one who can 100 percent disprove God which again would be a “0” on the scale.

        • adam

          That is not what you asked.

          “on a scale from 1 to 10 how strong do you think the evidence for God is?”

          Obviously from Pofarmer’s post he THINKS it is in the negative range.

          As do I.

          Certainly no one can assert that they can 100% disprove of Ganesh, Zeus or the THOUSANDS of other ‘gods’.

        • stnwljksn

          to bad that’s a picture of a cat – who’s the ass now? the least you could do is get your picture right.

        • adam

          YOU!

          The picture is right.

        • Kodie

          The least you could do is learn the differences between ‘to’ and ‘too’, and what’s wrong with a picture of a cat? How do you know Adam isn’t a cat?

        • stnwljksn

          because cat’s cannot interact on blog, duh silly.

        • Kodie

          Using an apostrophe to signify a plural is not helping you demonstrate whatever intelligence your mother convinced you you have, and neither is mistaking a meme made by a person for the person posting the meme of a picture of a cat with a caption of an appropriate thought regarding your fucking tedious nonsense.

        • stnwljksn

          he’s the one who said “ass” not me and the picture is one of a cat and not an “ass”/donkey. That was his fault. The picture fails on that level.

        • Kodie

          Wow, that was your problem with the picture of a cat? That it’s not a donkey? Fuck, Christians are weird and stupid.

        • Kodie

          Can we review the terms YOU USED???? You asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how strong the evidence for god is. There is NO evidence for god, so the vague terms of your poll fail anyway. You didn’t say from 1 meaning none to 10 meaning ? a lot I guess, how strong the evidence for god is?

          We are not talking about disproving god with evidence that there is no god. There is no evidence for god, so how can a non-believer be a believer? If a non-believer is not convinced by the garbage you sincerely believe is “evidence” for god, then what should they believe? How can they believe?

        • stnwljksn

          your right I should’ve clarified the scale.

          What I’m saying is that if there was evidence (which there is) you simply have a barrier of unbelief. I keep asking you and several of your counterparts to tell me what they desire for belief and you won’t concede anything. I ask again – what evidence do you so desire?

        • MR

          What evidence would you require to believe in Ganesh?

        • stnwljksn

          they would need a historical figure that rivaled Jesus Christ which they don’t have.

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that Jesus Christ is an historical figure and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I
          agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          so, you ARE in the Bill Maher camp. That’s not a good place to be adam – in fact no respectable scholar event atheists, agnostics and skeptics (professionals mind you) would argue that Jesus Christ is not a historical figure.

        • Greg G.

          That’s circular. If a scholar rejects a historical Jesus, you define them a not respectable. It is amusing to watch a respectable sChola try to give evidence for Jesus. Their only evidence is the consensus of scholars who disagree about Jesus’ nature or they say “you are not fluent in ancient Greek” as CTimeline did recently.

        • adam

          MOST respectable scholars DO argue that Jesus as Christ is a MYTHICAL figure and not historical.

          NO atheists believe that Jesus is a ‘god’
          MANY agnostics and skeptic scholars DONT believe in the supernatural either.

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that Jesus Christ is an historical figure and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          which “scholars” adam?

          which ones?

        • adam
        • MNb

          Every single one who accepts the scientific method, which is synonymous with methodological naturalism. Christ belongs to the supernatural realm.

        • Kodie

          You are stuck, you are broken, you keep repeating this bullshit like you heard at church, you can’t think a thought for yourself or read a response directed at your lying bullshit.

        • adam

          He just keeps clicking ‘I agree’ to his bible….

        • stnwljksn

          are in in the Bill Maher camp or not?

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that Jesus Christ is an historical figure and demonstrate that you are NOT one of those who just click ‘I
          agree’.

        • Kodie

          I admit you are illiterate and can’t follow a conversation.

        • MNb

          Jesus was a historical figure. Christ not. This non-sequitur is another logical fallacy of many christians.

        • “The claims about Jesus are legendary” is not the same thing as the Christ Myth Theory. Jesus being legendary is broadly accepted … though not so much among fundamentalist scholars.

          Ask questions before jumping to (stupid) conclusions.

        • MR

          Ask for evidence, you get a dishonest answer. Why am I not surprised? Julius Caesar, who lays more of a claim than Jesus to being an historical figure, was considered a god, yet you and I would both balk if someone made a similar statement about him. See the problem is you can’t answer the question without showing how unreasonable it is to expect anyone else to believe in your God. Thank you for demonstrating that.

        • MNb

          Congratulations, you have learned a valuable lesson. When you have learned how to deal with apologists they actually demonstrate their lack of reason. As an inductive argument we safely can say that reason and faith are incompatable.

        • Kodie

          Lol, caricature, you ask us what evidence it would take to believe in god? How many hundreds of other Christians ask. The stuff you call “evidence” is hearsay. Just because you can leap to conclusions doesn’t make it evidence of a god, it is evidence that someone started a rumor.

        • stnwljksn

          right, because Bob Seidensticker and Bob Price say so, right? I mean they are like the best atheistic apologists out there today.

        • Kodie

          You are intent on demonstrating that you are nothing but a pawn feeding on a steady diet of Christian propaganda. Do you agree?

        • stnwljksn

          You are intent on demonstrating that you are nothing but a pawn feeding on a steady diet of Bob Seidensticker propaganda. Do you agree?

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE and demonstrate that you are NOT
          one of those who just click ‘I agree’.?

        • stnwljksn

          show me what I should be clicking to adam – what is it, exactly?

        • adam

          It is not what you should be clicking to but what you apparently click to

        • Kodie

          Your logical fallacy is tu quoque. You think reducing everyone to being as brainless as you is going to prove you actually do have a brain and think for yourself, but you’re not nearly smart enough to demonstrate that.

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE and demonstrate that you are NOT
          one of those who just click ‘I agree’.

        • MNb

          No. I have been an atheist for almost 30 years, long before I met BobS on internet. Moreover I haven’t read anything by Robert Price. Frankly I’m not interested.

        • MNb

          You’re invited to present your evidence. Thus far you haven’t.
          I’m asking you again – what kind of evidence and arguments would you accept there is no god?

        • Greg G.

          It depends on how you define your god. The Greek gods who lived on Mt Olympus were disproven by checking every mountaintop on earth. If your god is omnipotent and not sadistic, then the existence of suffering disproves that god.

        • stnwljksn

          actually the existence of suffering is one of the primary things that upholds the existence of God.

        • Greg G.

          Not if he’s omnipotent. All suffering is then unnecessary. Why would God allow unnecessary suffering if he is not sadistic? If the Problem of Suffering doesn’t keep a theist up at night, that person doesn’t understand it.

        • stnwljksn

          it is unnecessary only if God acts primarily deterministically throughout history. If humans have Calvinistic deterministically compadabalistic free will than yes, your correct. On the other hand if humans have libertarian free will than your wrong – suffering will exist. God allows suffering in accordance with libertarian free will. I suggest you watch the dinesh d’souza/bart ehrman debate at gordon college. I’m not saying the problem of suffering is easy what I’m saying is that it makes sense within libertarian free will but certainly not compadabalistic.

        • Greg G.

          An omnipotence could do a million miracles per nanosecond for every sentient creature to prevent all suffering easily as not doing them. There is no necessary suffering. An omnipotence could achieve any end without it. Free will is irrelevant. An omnipotence could allow free will yet prevent suffering. Allowing unnecessary suffering that could be prevented is sadistic.

        • stnwljksn

          unless there is a greater purpose to suffering – namely that the creatures who have libertarian free will and not compadibalistic free will (“an omnipotence could allow free will yet prevent suffering” – this is compadabilistic) could choose God or not God if they wanted to.

        • Greg G.

          An omnipotence could achieve the higher purpose with or without the suffering. The suffering is superfluous. You like the sound of the word “omnipotence” but you don’t grasp the implication toward suffering. Suffering can exist for two reasons: because an being capable of preventing it chooses for it to exist for his own delight OR there is no being capable of preventing it.

        • stnwljksn

          you’r wrong Greg

          1. God has not caused suffering humans have.
          2. Humans operate according to libertarian free will and not compadibalistic
          3. If suffering exists it must have a greater purpose.
          4. Furthermore, if God is all loving than he will one day end suffering completely.

        • adam

        • stnwljksn

          therefore you should quite being a Darwinist

        • Rudy R

          Darwinist? What’s that? I suppose if you believe in gravity, you would be call a Newtonist.

        • adam

          Why is that atheism has no ‘gods’ cruel or otherwise.

          And Darwinism requires none.

          Full Definition of DARWINISM
          1 :
          a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and
          plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection
          favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new
          species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes, and
          that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the
          same ancestors — compare evolution
          Merriam Webster.

        • Dys

          Since there’s no such thing as a Darwinian god, it must be assumed that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • Kodie

          Do you realize you have NEVER supported your assertions about your imaginary friend? Do you realize all you have done so far is deflect direct questions, and then repeat some bullshit your church told you that atheists think?

        • Greg G.

          It doesn’t matter what causes suffering, God still permits it. Stopping suffering in the future would be good but if he could stop it, it should never happen.

        • Greg G.

          And if God cannot achieve a higher purpose without the need for suffering, then he is not omnipotent. The only reason suffering and omnipotence can exist simultaneously is if the omnipotence enjoys the spectacle of the suffering of other sentient beings, which is sadism.

        • MNb

          1. He doesn’t do about it what he could do, so either he is not omnipotent or not omnivolent.
          4. If god is all loving that one day would have arrived long ago.

        • adam

          1.So humans have caused all the animal suffering as well?
          How does that work?
          2. Demonstrate that this is true.
          3. Demonstrate that this is true
          4. You obviously fail to understand the term ‘all loving’
          And he doesnt claim to want to end it, but make it eternal

        • adam

          4.

        • Dys

          1. Humans don’t cause natural disasters, which do cause suffering.
          2. There’s no compelling reason to assume that human have libertarian free will. It relies on a belief in mind/body dualism, which likewise has a bit of an evidence problem. What you’re left with is wishful thinking for libertarian free will.
          3. This is a complete non-sequitur.
          4. Reading the bible makes it abundantly clear that the god it portrays is not all-loving, and is often cruel, misogynistic, childish, and flawed.

          Once you don’t start out with the presupposition that “God is good”, the massive problems with the bible make a lot more sense, and you don’t have to go around inventing convoluted solutions to preserve that presupposition.

        • Useless assertions. Don’t bother without evidence.

        • adam

          ….

        • MNb

          How is that suffering related to that choice? I suffer a lot less than lots of religious folks for one thing. Are you saying that your god is OK with me being an atheist? Then your god is a nice guy after all, at least in this respect, because I don’t long for Heaven at all. It follows though that there isn’t any point left for you to criticize atheism.

        • Kodie

          A. This is rationalizing until you find some explanation that fits your conception.
          B. You fail to demonstrate how suffering is evidence of god. You don’t even try and fail, you just predictably don’t know how sentences work.

        • MNb

          “if God acts primarily deterministically ”
          If your god doesn’t he isn’t omnipotent. That’s the whole point.

          “if humans have libertarian free will than your wrong – suffering will exist.”
          I’m willing to grant you this point. Alas for you your god still should be able to decrease it a lot more. I already showed you above (my comment on collective nightmares) that he totally should be able to do that without affecting free will.

          Moreover if your argument is valid you have to conclude that there either will be evil in Heaven (which makes that prospect pointless) or you won’t have free will there (which should make that prospect unattractive for you).

        • adam

          It is ONLY evidence of CRUELTY

        • stnwljksn

          if there’s not purpose I agree. If there’s a purpose than it’s not cruelty. The cruelty is caused by us.

        • adam

          So YOUR claim is that WE make the bible ‘god’ cruel.

          At least we can agree on that!

        • stnwljksn

          Yes – I am in complete agreement

        • adam

          That the bible was written by racists, sexist, homophobic, violent, sexually frustrated men, instead of a loving God?

          That doesnt seem to agree with your claims about what the bible says about YOUR ‘god’

        • stnwljksn

          Here we are in disagreement. The Bible was not written by racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, or sexually frustrated men.

        • adam

          Evidence?

          Or are you REALLY one of those who just click “I agree”?

        • Kodie

          Well, someone like you would just call them “cool guys” but that’s semantics.

        • stnwljksn

          the burden of proof is on you at this point. You’re claiming they are those things but you have yet to demonstrate how.

        • MNb

          Are you serious? We have to demonstrate you that ordering to kill innocent children is cruel?

          Isaiah 14:21 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers;”

          Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how deep apologists can sink. You just have given “apologetics” a new, even more depraved meaning.

        • Rudy R

          Then the Christian god who inspired the Bible is racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, and sexually frustrated.

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, or sexually frustrated man and don’t realize it. You just click “I agree” for all the racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, or sexually frustrated stuff.

        • MNb

          I agree! This quote Isaiah 14:21 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers;” was caused by humans – like the entire Bible.

        • You mean: if it’s unavoidable then it’s not cruelty.

          Lots of the pain we see today is avoidable by an omniscient God–rape, for example.

        • stnwljksn

          I agree – the Christian God is not cruel. However, the darwinian god is

        • adam

          The christian god IS cruel.
          AND EVIL

          What darwinian ‘god’?

        • MNb

          Ordering to kill off innocent children is not cruel? You just proved Thomas Paine right.

          Isaiah 14:21 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers;”

          Of course you’re going to whine about context etc. but that implies (though you won’t admit it) that biblical morals not absolute (because they suddenly depend on that same context).

        • Kodie

          That’s twisted. When they told you that, did you ask anyone if that seemed twisted to them or if it’s just you? Or did you swallow it unquestioningly?

        • stnwljksn

          actually what I did was I learned about free will and the difference between libertarian free will and compadabalistic which coincidentally, compadabalistic free will is rightly in line with macro-evolutionary determinism. But I’m on the libertarian side – why?

        • Kodie

          I have to stop short and say I’m impressed that you can consistently forget to capitalize, forget the differences between ‘to’ and ‘too’, and ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, but you keep spelling “compatibilistic” the same exact wrong way every single goddamned time. Actually, you also failed to answer the fucking question.

        • I thought his poor spelling skills made him more adorable.

        • Rudy R

          What you learned about free will was from a theistic perspective. There is another scholarly viewpoint that can argue human free will doesn’t exist.

        • Pofarmer

          Thats really stupid.

        • Dys

          No, it really isn’t. There’s a much easier explanation for suffering that doesn’t require magic. It’s a combination of conflicting ideologies, human nature, and the realization that sometimes, shit happens.

        • Philmonomer

          actually the existence of suffering is one of the primary things that upholds the existence of God.

          How do you figure?

          In this regard, I don’t understand how “free will” means it’s ok for God to have volcanoes blow up under water, causing a tsunami, killing a 100k people.

        • Nemo

          Depends on how you define “God”. The God of the fundamentalists regularly inflicts suffering on people because he’s mad at something. Again.

        • Kodie

          Ah, but the fundamentalist will say those people brought it on themselves by their own choice.

        • Philmonomer

          I’m not following. How so?

        • Kodie

          It’s just what they say – god doesn’t cause suffering, he justly punishes people who deserve it and knew they had it coming when they did the thing he doesn’t like.

        • Philmonomer

          I guess that’s a possible answer: every natural disaster is God being mad at people.

          But I don’ think many (any?) Christians say that now. Maybe stnwljksn, does?

        • Kodie

          Lots of people believe that! Lots of people believe that areas of the US are a prime target due to the homosexuality or abortions. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was labeled as punishment for sin. When that tsunami hit Japan, many people were on social media saying it was “payback” for Pearl Harbor, of all things. Never mind that Japan is our ally now, and most of those people neither attacked Pearl Harbor personally nor were born in an era when Japan wasn’t already on friendly terms with the US. Never mind that we already “paid” them back by holding US citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps and dropping two atomic bombs on Japan. But yay they deserve that tsunami, you get ’em, god!

        • God as the unfalsifiable hypothesis? Nice!

        • RichardSRussell

          I claim 100% certainty that there is no being whatsoever that can possess all the “ultimate characteristics” claimed for the Christian god — omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence — or even one of them, because they are logically contradictory. Any time 2 of them are in conflict, there’s a loser, which wipes out the “omni” part.

        • stnwljksn

          so, you can 100 percent refute the existence of God and Christopher Hitchens (who by the way said cannot)

        • Rudy R

          Unlike Christians, atheists don’t worship Christopher Hitchens.

        • RichardSRussell

          That particular kind of god, yes. Just did.

        • Pofarmer

          Meh. Do you realize how flaccid and dissengenuous this tactic is?

        • Rudy R

          Since atheists aren’t making the claim that the Christian god exists, atheists don’t need to prove the god doesn’t exist. If atheists were to prove a negative and could prove it on a scale of “1”, then atheists would demonstrate that the Christian god doesn’t exist. Anything on the scale from 1-4 would be an argument against a god and anything from 5-10 would be an argument for a god. Your argument is based on possibilities, not probabilities. Is it possible a leprechaun exists (1 on the scale), yes. Is it probable (less than 5) no.

        • MNb

          “There is virtually no credible atheist apologist who would assert …..”
          Well, if you at beforehand say that atheist philosophers of religion (they unlike their religious colleagues do not make up excuses) are not credible this is a meaningless point. However this philosopher wrote a well respected and excellent book on religion:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_the_Age_of_Science%3F

          His conclusion is unambiguous – a 0 on your scale or a 7 on the scale of Dawkins.

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

        • No one worries about 100% certainty that there’s no God … except maybe Christians like you.

          As with unicorns and fairies, we simply don’t have sufficient evidence to believe in God. So we don’t.

        • MNb

          Zero (imo negative numbers don’t make sense here).

        • Pofarmer

          How could you construct a wall to obscure the being who created the Universe?

        • MNb

          Ah, that’s a question I can answer. I’ll give you even two.

          1. You have been confronted with the Problem of Evil – why does a good god allow so much evil? The usual answer is free will and I’m willing to accept it. However it doesn’t help you out.
          Take the Japanese tsunami of 2011. About 20 000 people died; many of them obviously were innocent and randomly killed. Your god, omnipotent as he is, could have warned them two weeks before by means of a collective nightmare. That wouldn’t have affected their free will, because they still would have had the option to stay.
          Now if such collective nightmares for natural disasters (and also for crimes like murder and rape) would happen on a statistically significant base I would accept that as evidence.
          2. However that isn’t evidence for christianity yet. But that’s even easier. Find me a lost tribe – ie a group of people who haven’t had any contact with western culture for thousands of years – that is familiar with the key elements of Jesus’ story: the preaching, the son of god claim, the death by torture (not a crucifixion though, as that’s typically Roman) and the Resurrection. God being omnipotent easily could have pulled this off twice. That’s evidence that would be incredibly hard for atheists to explain away.

          Now you. What would you accept as evidence and arguments that there is no god at all?

        • Kodie

          Not really certain about the second one particularly. How would we know they were never visited by one successful missionary (or even a Christian who was lost and taken in and proceeded to amaze them with the stories of the bible) a few hundred years ago? They would appear to us as if they had never had contact with the rest of the world because that guy’s long dead. For the sake of argument, he did not do very well with the ladies of that tribe. There’s always a natural explanation for things.

          As for the first one you bring up occasionally, was this collective nightmare the first time it ever happened in human history or a thing that happens regularly that we’d expect? If it is normal, how do we know it is god and not just a heightened human sense? If it was just the first time, I might think it had something to do with time travel or aliens. From what I understand about time is that it’s not exactly synchronized, our “now” is not “now” all over the universe. I don’t understand how it works at all really, but I get the idea that somewhere in the universe, everything that will happen on earth in the future could hypothetically be seen as having already happened, and let’s suppose it is recorded and viewed just like we watch old movies from 60 years ago. I am diving in over my head, but a being that could warn us might do so simply for having more advanced technology than we do and arriving from somewhere that has the ability to have seen what we would now consider the future. That does sound like the powers of a god, after all, but it is not omniscient or omnipotent. It knows one thing and has one helpful power. While the tsunami and its aftermath was going on, thousands of other people died in ordinary car crashes all over the world.

        • MNb

          “How would we know they were never visited by one successful missionary”
          Yes, that’s becoming harder every day. But wouldn’t it have been totally convincing if the conquering Europeans in the 16th Century would have found such tribe somewhere in the America’s? Or in the early 19th Century in Australia?
          These days I suppose only the interior of New-Guinea and Amazonia are left.

          “If it is normal, how do we know it is god and not just a heightened human sense?”
          Ah – but that heigtened human sense must first be located. Of course I suppose it won’t be found.

          “If it was just the first time, I might think it had something to do with time travel or aliens.”
          Time travel is impossible according to physics as we know it, so assuming that option without any further evidence and without any theory is problematic as well. As for aliens, I would not be able to see the difference between them and benevolent gods, so I would start to worship them anyway.

          “If it was just the first time”
          That’s why I added “statistically significant”. N = 1 is not. But I would expect an omni-everything god to easily reach say n = 100.

          “I get the idea that somewhere in the universe”
          That’s correct, but rather irrelevant for us on our tiny planet, as the relativistic principle of “nothing travels faster than light” prevents us for being warned.

          “having more advanced technology”
          Yes, but without a theory of physics describing it and empirical evidence for such technology this is problematic.

          “thousands of other people died in ordinary car crashes all over the world”
          The tsunami was just an example. I would expect happening something similar for earthquakes, car accidents, rapes, murders, Elisabeth Fritzl etc. I mean – if all those kidnappers just would forget to lock the door after say two weeks the amount of evil would considerably be decreased and their free will would not or hardly be affected.
          The point is of course the amount of terrible things happening is much larger than we would expect with a loving god around, even if that loving god for the reason of free will would not be capable of preventing all of it.
          The extinction of the dinosaurs is another example. If a loving god wanted to get rid of them because it became clear to him they never would become conscious worshippers with free will he just could have given them a collective heart failure, made them collectively infertile or whatever. But no, he sent a meteorite!

        • wtfwjtd

          I’m afraid instead of ‘omnipotent’, god is just ‘impotent’. Besides, keeping people confused is a favorite game of his; it’s one of his (absolute) moral virtues.

        • adam

          What Greg G. says below.

      • Pofarmer

        Wow.

      • Greg G.

        It is very possible for a person to be fooled into thinking they have been in contact with an omnipotent being. There are many different religions with many different supernatural beings that cannot coexist so some people must be wrong about it since no one religion is in the majority, most people are wrong. If most people are wrong, then there is probably a human tendency to be incorrect about their religion so maybe they are all wrong.

  • Pofarmer

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. In 2014, in the United States of America, an advanced, technological, educated country, both the blogger, and commenter on PAtheos Evangelical channel are expressing dissbelief that a story about going to and returning from heaven was just made up.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/01/16/big-questions-for-tyndale-house-after-pulling-boy-who-came-back-from-heaven/

    The level of gullibility is frankly shocking. And then, I reconsider, and think these people probably include my wife and her family.

    • adam

      I am $hocked, $hocked to find that going on.

    • Greg G.

      Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

      This just out! Are best-selling ‘Heaven’ books for real?

      The kid has recanted his story. Christian bookstores are pulling the books from the shelves. Are they still holding that opinion?

      • wtfwjtd

        Well, geez, it was from a family full of Malarkey(s), what did you expect?
        I wonder: why didn’t the publisher just slap a “fiction” label on this book and keep peddling it? I doubt the people who buy into this kind of rubbish would even notice.

        • stnwljksn

          just for the record I’ve been against those books from the start

        • MNb

          Good for you. I suppose you produce enough religious nonsense yourself and don’t need more.

    • stnwljksn

      why did you marry your wife if your at odds with her thinking so much?

      • Greg G.

        Do you know anything about the opposite sex? Being at odds with the thinking of a spouse is not unusual.

        • stnwljksn

          it is when its so extreme as in your case. So, when they say “opposites attract” it seems in your case that would be a highly accurate statement.

        • Greg G.

          Actually he was a believer when they married. Then started listening and thinking at the same time.

        • stnwljksn

          right because atheism is sooooo rational. He should be listening to his wife.

        • adam

          So why dont you STOP all this Gish Galloping and present EVIDENCE that atheism is not rational and demonstrate that you are one of those who just
          click ‘I agree’.

        • stnwljksn

          I’ll make it easier for you. Just give me a list of 5 things you’d like me to click ‘I agree” – can you do that?

        • adam

          It goes back to this:
          In case you’ve forgotten in all your Gish Galloping.

          You CLAIMED you were not like that, and yet you continue to act like that by Gishing all over the site without providing any EVIDENCE of your CLAIMS.

        • stnwljksn

          you assert that I’m an ‘I agree’ type caricature of Christianity. I’m simply asking for you to provide a short list (now 5 things reduced from 30) so that I can tell you whether or not ‘I agree’ to them.

          can you do this so that we can settle our dispute?

        • adam

          Let’s start SLOW because of all your Gish Galloping.

          The bible

        • stnwljksn

          what do you mean by “the Bible” – do I read it, do I think it’s supportable, etc.?

          now, my turn – do you support the writings of Bob Seidensticker?

        • MNb

          Usually. When I disagree I am quick to point out.

        • Greg G.

          It depends on whether I think he is right. He’s not infallible.

        • adam

          the bible

        • Greg G.

          I gave one easy thing and you couldn’t answer that.

        • adam

          AGAIN, even YOU agreed that this is not a caricature.

          Deception….your BEST EVIDENCE

        • Greg G.

          What a maroon. I asked him if he believed that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas as in John 18:13. He could only ask if I believed George Washington was the first president and about Alexander the Great without answering the question.

        • I guess one of the rules they teach you in apologetics school is “don’t stand your ground.”

          Doesn’t do much for your credibility, but I suppose it delays the time until you get knocked out.

        • Greg G.

          Why don’t you just list five or thirty things the Bible says that you think is wrong instead of 0 laying a stupid game of “Guess What I Don’t Believe”. It would have been easier than typing your offer repeatedly and proved your point.

        • stnwljksn

          again, notice it says “most” – that’s not the case for all

        • MNb

          Sure. You belong to “most” – in fact, after 14 years of debating christians on internet of various nationalities I can tell you you are one of the worst.

        • adam

          So?

          You CLAIMED you were not like that, and yet you continue to act like that by Gishing all over the site without providing any EVIDENCE of your CLAIMS.

        • MNb

          One thing is enough – present evidence or arguments for your god and that atheism is not rational. Thus far you haven’t even tried.

        • Kodie

          Based on what? His wife is superstitious. What is irrational about atheism that you didn’t learn from church or other Christians?

        • Greg G.

          Are you Catholic?

        • Pofarmer

          There are numerous things we agree on. Religion ain’t one.

        • smrnda

          Given the number of opinions possible on a multitude of issues, any 2 people will likely disagree on something. It’s just whether or not it’s a deal breaker for the 2 people in question. This is fairly basic. I can’t get that this guy doesn’t really get that already.

      • Pofarmer

        People change. We both changed. I didn’t realize how crazy religious her family was and how much they would influence her. After this last “marion conference” she has now started doing two Hail Maries before she pulls off of our road onto the highway, and forcing the kids to do it with her. What the hell good does this do? It’s a reinforced mental tick, and now it’s something else I have to confront her about, because it’s simply not healthy.

    • MNb

      It’s especially shocking that that piece is written by a psychologist.

      • Pofarmer

        Special U.S. breed. There is a family psychologist on the Catholic channel, too.

  • stnwljksn

    notice the title of this particular blog post by Bob contains the word “rubutted” and not “refuted”

    • Rudy R

      And your point?

    • MNb

      You never have rebutted anything, let alone refuted.

  • MNb

    Ah, The End is NIGH. Or my data were outdated.

    http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/5091/Religie/article/detail/3830831/2015/01/16/Ongelovigen-halen-de-gelovigen-in.dhtml

    25% atheists, 31% agnosts (don’t know), 27% ietsists and 17% believers.

    Now we can sit back and watch The Netherlands swallowed by the Northsea in 2015.

    • Greg G.

      They’re going to need more windmills.

  • Nemo

    Frank is trying to claim that human rights are established, not only by a deity, but by freaking Yahweh? Oh wow. That is just….. I don’t even. As for the Declaration of Independence, it was written by a man who openly considered Jesus’s virgin birth to be a myth. Not the guy you want to invoke Frank. I first encountered this clown while watching Steve Shives take down his book on Youtube, and he’s only gotten less coherent since then.

    • On my list is slapping down his i don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. There is so little content there that I haven’t gotten around to it.

      • Nemo

        Oh, don’t forget the part where Frank outright says that if the Bible gets some basic details right (setting details, the names of historical figures), we should take everything else it says entirely at face value. Really, he argues that.

        • Stupid Argument #11: Argument from accurate place names.

        • Nemo

          The worst part about this is that anyone with even a minor background in history can refute it. We don’t doubt that Socrates was a man who lived in Athens around the time of the war with Sparta, but there is considerable doubt that he said and believed everything that his own student wrote that he said and believed. We don’t doubt that Sparta, for that matter existed, but the biography of Lycurgus contains a great deal of information (such as his iron bar monetary system wiping out corruption) that is almost certainly propaganda. Every source in history is subjected to scrutiny for possible political agendas. And that’s without bringing in the Biblical claims of magic.

  • Lynn

    I don’t think the state should have the right to redefine words and force their redefinition on the people. Can a word be unconstitutional because of what it does not define? If constitutional is defined as something principled, I do not think that the word marriage defined as the union of a man and woman is unprincipled. Therefore it is constitutional and the courts should not have the power over the word marriage that defines a man and woman’s union. I think if the state takes the power onto itself over our words it will not bode well for the country.

    • Philmonomer

      Performance art? Trolling? Word salad? I have no idea….

      If this is a serious inquiry about what the U.S. Constitution is and how it affects our laws, here is a good place to start:

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

      • MR

        Performance art? Trolling? Word salad? I have no idea….

        I was leaning toward drunk, possibly ESL, but in the back of my mind I was also thinking something along the lines of performance art, I just hadn’t formulated it in those words, thank you.

    • I don’t think the state should have the right to redefine words

      You mean “marriage”? The definition has changed in my own lifetime. Marriage had been between two people of the same race. Marital rape is now a thing. Divorce has been redefined.

      Even now, subtleties exist between states–can you marry your cousin? Age of consent? Requirements for divorced people?