Don’t Vote for Atheists—They Like to Kill People! (2 of 2)

Don’t Vote for Atheists—They Like to Kill People! (2 of 2) May 6, 2015

I’ve written several posts in response to version 2 of the Stalin Argument. Version 1 is often stated this way: “Don’t talk to me about Christian excesses. Look at the deaths from atheist regimes in the twentieth century! Stalin alone is responsible for millions of deaths.”

John Mark Reynolds has given this a new V2.0 twist by looking forward at what atheists might do when our backs are turned. Here’s my paraphrase: “While atheists as individuals might be nice enough, they’ve invariably created murderous regimes when given the chance. They can’t be trusted with power!”

Reynolds’ post has given me a chance to respond to the popular Stalin Argument. I’ll conclude my critique of his latest (read part 1).

Stalin genocide atheists anti-theists

Is religion ever part of the problem?

Reynolds assures us that anti-theists (atheists who “actively dislike and work against religion”) can’t be trusted with power, while Christians are no problem.

The universal problem has not been official state religion, but official state irreligion. 

Nope. Official state religion has indeed been a problem.

In response to my previous post on Reynolds’ claims, some commenters were quick to point out incidents where religion has much to apologize for. Some of these examples are small and some are huge. In some, religion was the driving force, while others simply highlight atrocities done by religious people who should’ve known better.

  • Christian: Hutu genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, up to 1 million dead
  • Catholic: Leopold of Belgium ran the Congo Free State as his personal plantation, killing up to 15 million
  • Muslim: Armenian genocide, up to 2 million
  • Christian: witch burning (mostly in the Holy Roman Empire), about 35,000
  • Shinto/Buddhist: Japanese atrocities against civilians in Korea and China
  • Christian: European settlers to Australia, South Africa, and the Americas killed indigenous people
  • Catholic: extermination of Cathars in France
  • Hindu: Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka
  • Christian: pogroms against Jews and the Holocaust, for which Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic writings must take some blame.
  • Catholics vs. Protestants: French Wars of Religion in the late 1500s killed up to 4 million
  • Catholics vs. Protestants: the Thirty Years’ War in the early 1600s killed up to two percent of the world’s population
  • Catholic vs. Muslim: the Crusades also killed up to two percent of the world’s population
  • And more

Reynolds would respond to this list by saying that he never claimed that Christians were perfect. But if we agree that Christian moral principles can be subordinated by an unethical agenda (land grab, religious hysteria, racism or tribalism, or whatever), then acknowledge that atheism can also be hijacked in the same way.

Others respond with elaborate forms of the tu quoque fallacy: Christians have done it too. Well, so we have, but we have also not done it which puts us well ahead of anti-theists in the use of power. 

Make it an apples-to-apples comparison. Bring out the atheist regimes that were not dictatorships.

Can’t do it? Then we’re back to dictatorship as the obvious cause of the problem.

Atheists today are simply living off morality taught by Christianity

As a tiny group in most nations, [atheism] tends to live off the cultural patrimony of the majority (or the historic majority). For example, Western Europe has a larger group of atheists [than in the United States], but the society they live in came of Christian social movements at the end of the Second World War.

Christianity has driven positive social change. A century ago, social change was everywhere in America, and Christians were leaders in women’s suffrage, the treatment of immigrants, prison and asylum reform, temperance and prohibition, racial inequality, child labor and compulsory elementary school education, women’s education, protection of women from workplace exploitation, equal pay for equal work, communism and utopian societies, unions and the labor movement, and pure food laws.

Today, Christians make more news by their resistance to social change, but we must give credit where it’s due. Christians have done a lot to improve society. But it’s not like they taught us information found only in their holy books. Each of these social improvements is a rejection of the corresponding principle in an Old Testament theocracy. Most of this improvement wasn’t driven by Christianity but by people who simply happened to be Christian.

Atheism vs. secularism

Small, persecuted religious groups have often fled to form new groups. Small religious groups, like the Quakers, develop cohesive beliefs and establish communities. Some of these have been mostly good and some have been mostly bad. Atheism has not managed to do so.

How about the Puritans? They were a cohesive community, but they were also an intolerant Christian theocracy. Contrast them with American society today, which isn’t an atheist society but rather a secular one. One of the greatest gifts the United States has made to the world is the example of the first society governed by a secular constitution.

As for his imaginary atheistic society, what does that even mean? “I have no god belief” provides no guidance for how to build a healthy and fair society. It’s not supposed to. By contrast, Christianity has much to say about society and morality, and much of that is crap.

Atheists and even anti-theists like me don’t want an atheist dictatorship. If there are Western anti-theists chafing at the prohibitions against killing Christians or imposing atheism, I’ve never heard of one. A secular government suits them just fine. We’re happy to simply point out the flaws of Christianity in the secular public square.

I am proud of the fact that despite its shortcomings, the United States which has always been overwhelmingly Christian has a decent track record of tolerating atheist dissent.

Thank the founding fathers. America has been tolerant despite Christianity, not because of it. Christians make news in this country when they want to exceed the bounds imposed by the Constitution—injecting religious messages in schools, teaching Creationism, putting up “In God We Trust” in government buildings and Christian displays on public property, praying before government meetings, and otherwise expecting special treatment for their religious beliefs in the state-supported public square.

It would be comforting if my anti-theist friends would at least admit there is no happy human experience with anti-theist governance. 

It would be comforting if my religious friends would at least admit that this dictatorial anti-theism bogeyman is hideous to both Christians and atheists. No one is calling for a Stalinist dictatorship. The closest we get in America today are tiny voices calling for Dominionism (Christian theocracy) and Sharia law (Muslim theocracy). The status quo in the West, where a secular society rejects both religion and anti-theism in the public square, is the best thing for everyone.

In conclusion …

I agree that anti-theism was important to Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. They were dictators! Dictators can’t have the population confused about whom to give allegiance to, so they eliminate Christianity as a competing source of power. Atheism in their hands was simply a tool, not a goal. Reynolds has claimed otherwise but given us no reason to reject this obvious cause-and-effect relationship.

I want the First Amendment guarantees of speech, religion, press, and assembly defended for you just as strongly as I want them defended for me. If you can’t speak freely, I can’t expect that I can, either.

The secular government we have in the West today is the best for all. We must govern with reason rather than faith. We have yet to see a society that suffered from an excess of reason. I’m an anti-theist in that I would like to see religion gone from the world and I’m outraged at Christian excesses, but prohibiting religion or persecuting believers isn’t the way to go.

I don’t want religion made illegal. Instead, I want to see society to grow out of its need for religion.

Religion recedes whenever human security and well-being rises.
Daniel Dennett

Image credit: GlynLowe, flickr, CC

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  • MNb

    “the society they live in came of Christian social movements at the end of the Second World War.”
    That’s a terrible lie. The key difference between the USA at one hand and the western and northern European countries after WW-2 were the social democratic parties. Every single country had one of them and every single party was instrumental in shaping post war society. The fact that the USA never had such a party might very well explain why the country does worse on so many social indices.

    Social democracy is not build on christianity.

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

    Social democracy goes back to Enlightenment via marxism. This guy

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

    modified the ideas of Marx and especially abandoned the idea of a revolution resulting in a dictatorship of the proletariat. Nowhere in Bernstein’s writings Reynolds will find any christian influence.

  • Greg G.

    What’s a “person plantation”?

    • Odd Jørgensen

      pretty sure it is meant to say “personal”

  • TheUnknownPundit

    As an atheist, I love a good baby burger every now and then, But babies aren’t people, are they? If so, I’ll have to modify my diet.

  • RichardSRussell

    It’s an odd parsing of history to claim that the Renaissance was built on the firm moral and intellectual foundation established by Christianity. More like the Renaissance was a triumph of the human will at having been able to climb out of the deep, dank dungeon that was the Christian Dark Ages.

    • You could find their argument provocative if it took Christianity a few decades to overcome the moral inertia of whatever came before. But more than a thousand years?? Nope–Christianity has had its chance and, as you say, we call it the Dark Ages.

      • MNb

        Somebody calling that period the Dark Ages tells more about himself – his prejudices and ignorance – than about those centuries. Scientists – you know, those people you claim to accept their consensus, in this case medievalists – unanymously reject the idea of “Dark Ages”, especially the way you use it. Here is one example:

        https://mises.org/library/european-miracle

        “The stereotype of the Middle Ages as “the Dark Ages” fostered by Renaissance humanists and Enlightenment philosophes has, of course, long since been abandoned by scholars.”

        It’s simple. The fact that medieval scholars didn’t know how to do science doesn’t mean that there was no intellectual life. There was; it’s just largely irrelevant for us in the 21st Century. Well, great, that applies to many a Greek and Arabian thinker from the past as well, not to mention the Indians and Chinese.
        The only meaningful way to use the term “Dark Ages” is referring to a period we don’t have written sources about, indicating that circumstances had become significantly worse than before. Three examples: Greece 950 – 750 BCE.
        The northern Netherlands 300 – 600 CE.
        England 400 – 550 CE.
        Perhaps also Byzantium in the 7th Century, after defeating the Persians and losing to the Arabs.

        • I’ve seen that period called the Dark Ages in lots of sources, though I’m familiar with the point you raise, that that’s a term that is best abandoned.

          Are you making a larger point about progress that was made during this period? I appreciate that there was some (I recommend Cathedral, Forge, and Water Wheel, which talks about those innovations and more), though I don’t see the church on the side of science and innovation during this period.

        • MNb

          “in lots of sources, ”
          Precious few of which are medievalists of the last few decades. Because the scientific consensus is that the Middle Ages weren’t dark in any sensible meaning of the word.

          “Are you making a larger point”
          “I don’t see the church on the side of science and innovation during this period.”
          I already answered this.

          “The fact that medieval scholars didn’t know how to do science doesn’t mean that there was no intellectual life.”

        • I wonder if the name has stuck among English speakers because of the situation in England at that time. I think I’ve mostly seen the phrase applied, fairly loosely, to approximately the period between the Romans leaving and the Normans arriving.

      • rerun

        Just because a group of people where the badge of “Christian” doesn’t mean they represent Christianity. For instance, just because you where a badge of “thinking clearly about Christianity” doesn’t mean that you actually do.

        • Kodie

          As opposed to living under the spell of magical thinking about Christianity?

        • If someone says that he’s a Christian, I’ll take his word for it. If you’re saying that not all other Christians will agree that he’s being authentically Christian, sure. But of course the reverse is likely true as well.

          With that out of the way, what’s your point? That the Christians in charge during Europe’s medieval period weren’t necessarily “Christian” in the same way you are?

        • rerun

          correct. just saying that you’re a Christian doesn’t mean that you actually are. The perfect example of this is how you refuse to acknowledge that naturalism leads to aborting babies.

        • I think abortion is fine. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to have one. And you can tell us what the problem is.

          I don’t know what “naturalism leads to abortion” means.

        • rerun

          it means that a naturalistic worldview leads to the willful killing of a baby in its mothers womb without a moral consequence (assuming naturalism is correct)

        • Nope, not a baby.

          If you’re saying that aborting, say, a one-month-old zygote is morally allowable in my worldview, yes it is. Aside from a vague outrage, you’ve given me nothing in response.

        • rerun

          is it okay to kill a 24 week old human life in its mothers womb?

        • Kodie

          Right, why should there be a moral consequence? Why should you punish millions of babies by forcing them to be born into situations where they’re not wanted? Could it be you’re a pawn of the “Pregnancy Crisis Center” conspiracy to shame women into giving birth so they can provide a steady supply of healthy white infants to only Christians, only they who can give that child a good and stable home? I mean, it makes sense – shame the sex, get rid of all birth control and demonize abortions, enslave women to incubate your livelihood because fuck you, you wouldn’t help a woman raise her own child with welfare. It’s a kidnapping racket. You want the government to enforce your kidnapping racket for you, and it’s people like you who think they’re fighting the good fight, giving your time and money to this shit. You don’t care about life. You care about judging people. That’s the kind of Christian you are, a simple grudgy judgmental pawn who deprives children of their mothers, and forces women to be mothers to children you think ought to be taken from them, to give them consequences. Black-hearted bullshit asshole fucktard you are. You do not have empathy, you are a drone, your brain has been replaced with programming.

          And you come here to tell us we have no morals? You’re not loving your neighbor, so I don’t know why you think you are a true Christian. You’re the worst kind of person there is – judgmental, cruel, and selfish.

        • rerun

          right because I’m not one denying the baby in the womb the right to live and make the choice to self terminate itself. Oh wait – you’ll do it a favor and just off it while it is helpless to say or do otherwise.

        • Kodie

          Show the actual harm in terminating a non-sentient.

    • MNb

      That’s way too optimistic.In the first place the four centuries before were not dark by any means. For instance in that period less witches were burned than in the 100 years afterwards. Witch hunts were pretty much a product of the Renaissance. Also intellectual life had made considerable progress in the same period.
      Moreover many people from Renaissance (Da Vinci and Machiavelli were exceptions just replaced one superstition by other superstitions, like astrology. The only condition was that those superstitions had to have their origins in Antiquity.

    • rerun

      Right because so much good had come out of secular thinking. I mean how can millions of babies murdered in the name of convenience be wrong, right?

      • RichardSRussell

        OK, I’m going to need some documentation on this one. Who are the atheists who are claiming that it’s OK to murder even ONE baby (let alone millions), and where have they set up shop to do it? Please cite reputable sources.

        • rerun

          It’s called a naturalistic worldview. It means you don’t have to answer to a deity at the end of the day or at the end of your life so you get to do as you please. It’s common sense. As Jeffrey Dahlmer stated in his interview with Stone Philips years ago, if there’s no God than everyone can do as they please. In order to abort babies someone needs to have a naturalistic worldview, not a Biblical one.

        • Kodie

          Because the bible isn’t real and nature is. Wow.

        • rerun

          It’s sad but Dahlmer is actually smarter than you for realizing that naturalism only leads to death not life

        • Kodie

          We all die, is that false? Only morons believe they’re going to a special place to drool intently at their sovereign. I don’t know why America is so religious, so many people giving up their liberties for no apparent reason.

        • I just wish Christianity were true so that I could say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” nonstop, like the creatures in Revelation.

          That’d be a cool afterlife. I gnash my teeth when I think that I won’t have that.

        • rerun

          of course you do because life is all about Bob and what Bob wants

        • Sure, that–or you could talk about what atheists actually think.

          Let me know if you ever want to talk about (or ask about) that.

        • Your point is that at the end of life, we all die?

          Yes, that’s correct, Einstein.

        • rerun

          no that’s not my point. My point is that Dahlmer understood rightly that naturalism is a religion of death, not life.

        • Kodie

          Holy tin foil hat. You’ve got a serious problem.

        • Paola Conti

          So have you

        • Pofarmer

          Apparently, neither one of you has read Numbers Five. God is A O.K. with abortion.

        • Is that a book? I couldn’t find it on Amazon.

        • Pofarmer

          Bible.

        • Doh!

        • adam

          Ok with, he apparently relishes it.

        • Greg G.

          That would be Numbers 5:11-31 where the pregnant wife of a jealous husband is forced to drink muddy water laced with the urine, feces, and blood of animals. If she loses the child, it proves she was guilty of infidelity.

        • Pofarmer

          Apparently ancient people’s had some fermented concoctions that were abortifacents. I’ve seen some speculation this refers to one of those. Hence the gift of barley.

        • Kodie

          I don’t understand your mumbo jumbo.

        • And what the hell does that mean?

        • rerun

          it means that consistent atheism/naturalism has no true regard for life and that’s what leads to killing 24 week old babies in their mothers womb. Christianity does lead to that but naturalism does.

        • Kodie

          Naturalism has no regard for the superstitious idolatry of the unborn, “souls” and things that don’t exist. We have regard for actual living women in actual situations in their actual lives where they don’t choose to carry to term. If god existed, he would have no idea what the fuck you morons are getting about, he kills them all the time, you know? You have no regard for the living. You have idolatry for every sperm is precious. I’m telling you, you just sound like a teen distracting himself from the potential that he might get interested in his dick with his hand. You just sound a lot like that’s where your head is really at. You live in fear of a nobody, and have the fucking gall to judge people who live normal, non-murdering lives, inconsistent with your favorite lovey-dovey psychopath.

        • So the millions of happy atheists are inconsistent? Show me.

          I’ve responded here to Wm. Lane Craig’s laughable attempt to argue this point.

        • rerun

          I’d love to see you debate him in person you’d get clobbered

        • I doubt it, but I’d love to try.

          I have a nice second-best, though. WLC writes nutty bullshit, and I highlight its flaws in public.

          Tell him to respond with his podcast or website, and I’ll be happy to get into a back-and-forth with him.

          Look up his name at this blog. I’ve written loads about his stuff. See if you think it holds up.

        • rerun

          Bob, your either not self aware or you are deceitful and I think it’s most likely the latter. Everything you write falls in the category of straw man or caricature.

        • I’ve been reading and responding to WLC for years.

          If you have an error to correct, point to what I said and show me the correction. Your bloviating is getting tiresome.

        • Kodie

          You aren’t representing a Christianity that isn’t a cartoon. If you were a Muslim, you’d be one of the terrorist kinds of Muslim. That’s how severe and judgmental and punishing you are as a Christian, you’d be first in line to behead someone who disagrees with you, you’d be the first one to strap a bomb to yourself, you want to die and go on living in another world that’s not this one. If you thought you could get away with it, you’d be first in line to kill people and then try to explain why killing isn’t the same as murder.

          Like Hitler!

        • I think abortion is fine. Do you have anything besides handwaving to argue otherwise?

        • rerun

          you’re okay with killing infants at 25 weeks old?

        • I have no opinion on the OK/not-OK line. I’ll let wiser heads than mine decide that.

        • rerun

          are you okay with it at 10 weeks?

        • adam

          Actually christianity is THE religion of death…

        • RichardSRussell

          So you got nothin’, then. No sources. No evidence. Nothing but your own barely coherent blather.

        • rerun

          does it bother you that naturalism leads to death not life? It’s really so that you can do what you want with your life and not have to answer to God at the end of the day.

        • RichardSRussell

          All of nature leads to death. Everything currently alive will eventually die. No, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It’s the way the world works. Anyone with half a wit realizes it.

          You still have no evidence to support your ridiculous baby-murdering claim.

        • Kodie

          We’re all in this together, shithead. We answer to each other, and then we all die one at a time. That’s called get over it, this is not magical land where magical spirits go places that don’t exist when they die. We come, and then we go. Grow up and deal with it, I suggest. Or keep pretending you know something we don’t know, and act like an asshole about it too.

        • You act like an objective observer could tell the Christians from the atheists by the Christians superior actions. Is this your claim?

          If you respond that Christians are imperfect too, I’ll agree. But then what is your point? Where’s the advantage of your worldview?

          Me, I go where the evidence points. I have no use for a pleasing but false worldview.

        • rerun

          You deny evidence to support your own conclusions.

        • Unhelpful.

        • Kodie

          You’re clearly unaware of the propaganda and lies made up by people who want every single sacred sperm to get a chance to make it to the finish line, I mean birth, and then throw it on the ground if it’s hungry, blame the slut mother for spreading her legs. You’re a poisonous ass with your priorities in the wrong damn place. God bless that swimmy, he’s got to make a go of it, but once it’s born, especially if it’s a girl, just treat her like meat for the rest of her life, Enslave all the women. That’s your priority.

        • rerun

          wow

        • Kodie

          Did you just figure out how you have wasted your life being uptight and ungenerous of spirit, hating your neighbors, judging people according to your own fears and insecurities, feeling superior to everyone else who isn’t like you, and determined to turn it around, and become a decent, warm, sociable human being?

          Or did you just not have something to say and thought “wow” would put it smoothly? Because I don’t get it, man, you’re just a total dick. What kind of worthless pile of shit would god think you were, that you think he adores the shit out of you most when you act like such a dick? You are trying to get us to believe in a god who thinks you’re amazing and worthwhile, and “saved”? If there were a god, and if you were confident enough that you were the kind of person he’d prefer, he’d be an even bigger fucking asshole than any other Christians’ description of god. What a poor judge of character your god is, what piles of shit he keeps as friends. All you can say is “wow” because that’s supposed to make me feel ashamed and judged by someone who matters – you don’t. I guess you hear that a lot, so you had to find someone imaginary to matter to. You are actually a detriment to humanity. If this is Christianity’s goal, it’s a terrible goal!

        • Paola Conti

          You sound more like a terrorist, than an atheist. It’s horrible the way you express yourself, violent to say the least.

        • MNb

          Oh? You know how terrorists sound? I don’t, because I never met one. Have you? Or perhaps you are one yourself? Tell us more, I’m curious.

        • Paola Conti

          You don’t have to meet one to know how they sound. Terror is terror. Wake up, buffone!

        • Pofarmer

          As we like to call it, “Keepin it real.” Kodie is very reasonable and erudite when it’s called for, and quite biting when that is called for.

        • Kodie

          I’m not the one who is in favor of enslaving women. You’re a liar who said you were going to leave the discussion, came back, erased all your brilliant repartee, and come back for more. Go meditate on why you need so much attention.

        • adam

          No bigger terrorist that the bible god…

        • adam

          “You deny evidence to support your own conclusions.”

          then DEMONSTRATE that or else you are just LYING…

        • adam

          Christianity is the death cult, their symbol is a torture device.

        • RichardSRussell

          And hey, as long as you’re quoting Jeffrey Dahmer, let’s not forget this little gem of his: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners… But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me … Jesus Christ might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.”

          —Jeffrey Dahmer, notorious cannibal serial killer of Milwaukee, WI, statement to the court, 1992 February 17

        • rerun

          that’s right the worst of the worst can be forgiven that’s correct and that is between him and God. How does it work with your worldview – pretty bleak right?

        • How are our worldviews different? I mean, besides ours being grounded in reality and yours in fantasy.

          You seem to imagine an advantage that I’m completely missing.

        • rerun

          I have to answer to God for the things I do. You just have to answer to nature which includes other human beings. But at the end of the day you (if you’re a woman) can abort your baby if you’d like, marry whoever the government says you can etc. with no repercussions because of your naturalistic worldview. With a theistic worldview its different. I have to answer to God for the things I do

        • RichardSRussell

          I have to answer to God for the things I do

          Just out of curiosity, when, where, and under what circumstances has this ever happened?

        • rerun

          every day

        • RichardSRussell

          OK, that’s the “when”. How about the “where” and “under what circumstances”. For example, do you e-mail him your answers? Does he swing by your place after work to interview you? What does he say when you tell him what you’ve been up to? Inquiring minds want to know.

        • rerun

          faith is way better than always getting what you think you need.

        • RichardSRussell

          So, once again, you got nothin’! No visits from Jesus. Couldn’t even tell us the color of his eyes or whether he speaks with an Arabic accent. Just more bullshit. More lies.

          For the record, faith is the world’s all-time, blue-ribbon, gold-medal, undisputed world heavyweight champion WORST METHOD EVER of making decisions. Nobody ever uses faith when any superior method (such as logic, trust, reason, or confidence) is available. It’s only trotted out when there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe an idea that somebody desperately wants to believe due to emotional or psychological motivations. Nobody ever uses faith to decide anything as simple as when to cross the street, let alone what college to send their kids to or what kind of car to buy.

          However, the fact that you apparently seem to find it admirable sure says a lot about how you’ve arrived at your own astonishing conclusions.

        • Not science? Not following evidence?

        • rerun

          so you want me to “put my faith” in something that changes every year, sometimes every day? nope. Instead of an “adjustable rate mortgage” you believe in an “adjustable rate worldview”

        • Science delivers. It ain’t perfect, but it’s given us the technological world we live in.

          By contrast, we’ve learned nothing about reality from the Bible.

          No more bold claims–like the Bible is eternally true–without evidence. I have no use for your theology. Give me facts.

        • rerun

          because technology has improved our moral condition? You wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for the Bible.

        • Science and technology have indeed improved the human condition. Thank you, vaccines, antibiotics, anesthesia, clean water, and the good ol’ germ theory of disease. Too bad God couldn’t have tipped us off to some of that, but I guess he didn’t care.

        • rerun

          no, no, no – the moral condition Bob the moral condition. We are worse now than in the Old Testament. We’ve murdered millions upon millions of helpless infants all in the name of convenience. technology hasn’t fixed that. In fact, it’s probably made it worse!

        • You do understand my position, right? I’m fine with abortion. If you want to argue that it’s bad, you need to actually do so.

        • Kodie

          Technology is the thing that made you aware of embryos in the first fucking place, and science is the thing that pro-punishing-women club exploit and distort for their own agendas, which is to shame women into giving up their babies to keep the supply ready for wealthy Christians to keep as a pet. Actual science says that a non-sentient being such as a human embryo is no more sentimental than any other parasite you might want to get rid of before it gets out of hand.

          Have you ever seen one of those fully formed “babies” that are the size of a thumb? Fiction.

          You don’t want to believe science, but you will totally go for total fiction, because fiction never changes.

        • Kodie

          Hey stupid, get this: Bob wouldn’t have the job he chooses to do now if it weren’t for so many delusional superstitious morons seeking to control government and make oppressive laws therein. If there weren’t, Bob must have other interests and concerns, it’s not like there’s a shortage of things to care about.

        • Quite right. I’d love to be doing something sensible rather than putting my finger in the dike.

        • Kodie

          Shut off your computer, you don’t believe in it.

        • Kodie

          The biblical interpretations worldwide are varied, and that’s just now. You take the whole history of it, and all the believers in it who ever were and are, and you’ve got a real fucking mess. You put your faith in the cruelest and most delusional variation of Christianity, that empowers you to just be a douche and walk proud of your douchy honor. You feel right only because the people accept you, so they’re all douches too. You belong to a douche bully asshole, frightened, uptight church. So as long as Jesus approves, according to another person, you’re all set.

          But remember, don’t put your key in the car, it might not work, day by day, science is unreliable. Don’t try to cook your meat, it might not be the right way to eat it.

        • Kodie

          Faith in your own arrogance to keep you from getting punched in the mouth one day for being such a dick? You must be impenetrable!

        • Kodie

          You don’t have to answer to god for anything that you do. Ever. I’m not trying to sell you on atheism, it’s just that you believe something is true doesn’t make it true. You have to answer to others around you, and no matter what you do, you’ll be dead forever someday. If that’s too real for you, continue to live in a fantasy, but don’t bust our chops about it. You don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re quoting a psychopath, and attributing his ideas about the world onto everyone else. You’re warped and judgmental, and I imagine you’re a fucking downer nobody will talk to.

        • rerun

          dead forever? have you ever died? Didn’t think so. I’ll get my information from Jesus Christ who rose from the dead.

        • Kodie

          You live in a fantasy where you will never even know that didn’t happen, and you won’t be scared, you’ll have zero brain activity (almost like you do now), and your body will decompose. No Jesus to ask why that’s the way things are, but it’s not going to hurt you at all.

        • Nope–the Flying Spaghetti Monster told me quite a different story. You lose.

        • rerun

          nice try Jesus Christ actually existed unless you believe what Bob Price believes?

        • No one cares. Did a supernatural Jesus exist–that’s the question.

          And if you can handwave that he did, I’ll handwave my favorite deity into existence as well.

        • rerun

          do you think that Sir Lyonel Luckhoo the greatest lawyer whose ever lived was wrong about Jesus’ resurrection?

        • Greg G.

          Never heard of Luckhoo, but if he believes Jesus was resurrected then I think he was wrong.

        • I’ve not read Sir Lyonel’s analysis. I have read Dr. Gary Habermas’s, however. And it’s pathetic.

        • rerun

          are you a better lawyer than Luckhoo?

        • Why? Is that relevant?

          Reread my last comment.

        • rerun

          Yeah it is. He has more authority than you. You have to beat Luckhoo to win. Why don’t you do this…write an article on how Luckhoo was wrong and how you’re a better lawyer than the greatest lawyer who ever lived.

        • I’m not trying to be a lawyer. You lose, again.

        • rerun

          but you defend a case that the greatest lawyer in history already won. How are you going to beat him?

        • I’m going to beat him by responding to your paraphrase of his argument.

          Go.

        • Kodie

          Why don’t you try to make a fucking point that’s relevant instead of trying to play games?

        • Greg G.

          A lawyer is paid to reinterpret the truth so that the truth is obscured. If Luckhoo is the greatest lawyer who ever lived, you should doubt him no matter how persuasive he sounds. You should write out his argument symbolically to see if one point follows from the evidence. Wait, he has no objective evidence? Case closed.

        • Kodie

          What makes this guy the greatest lawyer, and why should we actually care what his profession was? Argument from authority. If you actually cared about making a coherent argument, you might have actually summarized the part where he argues for Jesus’s resurrection rather than lean heavily on how great a lawyer, subjectively, he allegedly was, according to a dope like you.

        • Aside from you, who says Sir Lionel Luckhoo is the greatest lawyer in history? An extraordinarily accomplished man, but Best Lawya Evah? Citation, please.

          Edited to add: Ah. Guinness calls him the “most successful” litigator. Makes sense.

          Greatest lawyer who ever lived, though? Depends on how you measure greatness. Is it courtroom wins or impact on the course of civilization? Because then we’d want to take Coke, Blackstone, Grotius, Bacon, Jefferson, Madison, Montesquieu, and many others into consideration.

        • I’d never heard of Sir Lionel until rerun mentioned him. His “best lawyer evar” is from his 245 consecutive murder defense wins.

          I found one book from Sir Lionel here. I fear we have what I saw with John Lennox–a very smart guy in his own field bumbling into apologetics and making stupid, childish arguments.

          If there is a good argument here, I await a summary from rerun.

        • MNb

          The greatest human being still can be wrong.

        • adam

          Do you think Newton was wrong about alchemy?

          Of course!

        • Dys

          This just in…..intelligent people make bad excuses for their religious beliefs on a fairly regular basis….full story at 11.

        • Greg G.

          What evidence do you have? Everything you think you know about Jesus is based on myth. Everything you think you know about Jesus Christ is
          based on myth.

        • rerun

          wow – you’re in a less than 1 percent pool of “scholars” who actually believe that. Most atheist scholars are not in that pool. You’re aware of that, right?

        • Greg G.

          Name one atheist scholar who thinks “Jesus Christ” existed. Most might believe that Jesus existed but they have no more objective evidence for that than you brought out. The best evidence anyone ever gives is an appeal to the scholarly concensus which is based on no objective evidence.

        • rerun

          wow. How about Richard Bauchum from Cambridge?

        • Greg G.

          Does he believe that the Jesus he writes about was the Christ anymore than anyone else in history who was said to the Christ?

          Still can’t cite any objective evidence?

        • Kodie

          KarlUdy was pushing Bob to read a big fat book a few years ago, same guy. Another go-round of “eyewitnesses” if I recall.

        • I asked Karl to summarize the points that I was missing and got nothing in return.

          But surely rerun has something more substantial to say.

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps you do not understand that the question of whether the Jesus of the New Testament existed is a separate question from whether Jesus was the Christ from the Old Testament. The first question has to be answered and not merely assumed before moving on to the second question.

          There is no objective evidence for first question. The gospels are made-up stories that are not supported by the epistles. The early epistles don’t even say Jesus existed in the first century.

        • Kodie

          Total horseshit.

        • I’m happy to use that source of information as well. He’s free to turn up and start telling me stuff whenever he wants. So far, he hasn’t done so.

        • rerun

          you’d just explain it away. Romans 1:20 says you have enough evidence in creation but you deny it.

        • Romans 1:20 is incorrect. It is trivially easy to imagine ways in which God could undeniably demonstrate his existence. He could appear in front of me, and every other doubter, and explain the truth of Christianity; instead, he stays silent and lets you do a bad job of it instead.

        • adam

          So bring this Jesus guy out, I want to hear it from his own lips.

          Oh, wait
          Jesus is DEAD…

        • And I have to answer to my family, friends, and society for the things that I do.

          Those I answer to actually exist. I win.

        • God is your example? You’ve read about the crap he condones and orders in the Old Testament, right–slavery, genocide, polygamy?

          Get a clue and turn your back on this Iron Age fiction.

        • rerun

          wow – those are all easy when you understand them in their context. If you’ve done any reading whatsoever you’d know that slavery in the Old Testament was actually indentured servantude which wasn’t really a bad deal at all. Leviticus 18:18 prohibited polygamy but God accomidated himself to a difficult situation anyways. The original design was always one man and one woman from Genesis 1-2. Genocide – please Bob your joking, right? Have you read “Is God a Moral Monster?”

        • Kodie

          I just did a little reading on slavery – indentured servitude is illegal everywhere. Not such a bad deal that every government in the world has outlawed it.

        • But rerun is cool with indentured servitude and would be happy if it were reinstated. Because God sez.

        • Kodie

          Naw, it’s really cool if you owe someone money to work it off for a couple years. Actually what happens is, I mean, think about it – you owe yourself money to live, and you have to work for, like, your whole life to pay it off. It never ends. In indentured servitude, what happens wouldn’t necessarily be as bad. Being owned and imprisoned for debt is pretty bad, but that’s how I feel at work sometimes. Being owned by a particular person who can treat you any way they want to, and stack up interest so they never have to set you free, because no matter how much you do, the debt isn’t paid off. When you get this deal, you think it won’t be so bad, just a couple years.

          Millions of people in the world today are enslaved, most are labor slaves, and slavery is illegal everywhere. Slaves in the 1800s were expensive property. The bible says you have to treat your slaves “well”, meaning, don’t waste them, not because they’re humans, but because of how expensive they would be to replace. And what a bargain, a nice little family of slaves for the price of two. Now, slaves are cheap and disposable, so we are right up to 2015, and there is even worse slavery, even in the US. Also, illegal.

        • But that argument just bounces off rerun’s godly armor. Slaves for life are peachy with God, so they’re A-OK with rerun, too.

        • rerun

          nope – every 7 years all debts were forgiven in Israelite society. You’re confused.

        • Kodie

          I think you’re delusional and cruel. You support slavery because it’s in the bible, not because it’s right. But that might be Stockholm Syndrome. You’re sympathizing with your abuser, because you’re a slave to propaganda. You know there’s no god, you also wish there were. If what you were saying were just coming out of your mouth, you’d be slapped to the ground in one hard slap. But you hold the shiny “god sez” card, and that makes you agree, obedient slave, immoral coward to reality.

        • Here’s a tip: get a broader range of input. Christian apologists want you to stay in your little Christian cocoon–you know that, right?

          Old Testament slavery was pretty much identical to American slavery. Read more here.

          Tip: dial back the arrogance until you’ve done a little research beyond just those who’ll pat you on the head and tell you what a good boy you are for parroting your Christian lessons.

          And I’ve written about polygamy and genocide, too, if you want to get into that. Look ’em up.

        • rerun

          actually OT slavery was significantly better. If the antebellum south would have followed the Old Testament laws for indentured servant hood there wouldn’t have been slavery at all.

        • We shall read from Leviticus, 25th chapter, verses 44 through 46.

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

          Thus endeth the reading for the day. Praise the Lord.

          You’re saying that you’d be A-OK to be this kind of slave right now?

        • rerun

          ahhhh good ol’ Leviticus 25. Bob chooses the worst passage to make his point. Classic.

          Right, so this passage is not difficult at all. Keep in mind that everything in Leviticus 25 is in context with the rest of the book and the rest of the Pentateuch. Elsewhere, (those places Bob doesn’t want you to know about) the Bible explains what “to buy” means as well as what constituted as slave. Nobody became a slave in Israelite society who didn’t want to become one. When Leviticus says “from them you may buy” that just means “you may buy those who are offering to be purchased.” It’s all int he context of indentured servant hood which was willful slavery oftentimes to payoff debts.

        • Goddam. It’s right in front of you, but your God glasses won’t let you see it. Classic.

          No, we’re not talking about fellow Israelites. That’s the indentured servitude part. Lev. 25:44-46 talks about the other kind of slaves.

          I know your mind doesn’t like to be stretched, but try it for a change. You’ve got temporary slaves from fellow Israelites and slaves for life from not fellow Israelites.

        • rerun

          wrong. a slave could only be a slave for life if he wanted to be whether they were non Israelite or Israelite. You need to read beyond Leviticus 25 to comprehend that Bob. Rather than exegete Scripture you do what’s called eisogeting. You make the text say whatever you want it to.

        • The fucking word of fucking God makes clear how to take slaves for life from other tribes. So, is God a liar or what?

          Show me that non-Israelite slaves for life were that voluntarily.

        • rerun

          you’re not reading beyond Leviticus 25. Do I have to hold your hand to the other passages? Are you worried that you’re about to loose your angle?

        • I insist that you show me the other passages.

          Do so. Now.

        • Kodie

          So you’re not willing to engage in a discussion, and rather be a condescending douche just because slavery is ok in the bible. You’re the slavery-lover, not I, not Bob. Defend yourself, why should people do your fucking homework for you, you fucking shit.

        • Kodie

          What kind of fucked up world it must be when someone has a choice to become or remain a slave, and it’s actually better than freedom? And yet, slavery is still wrong. Slavery wasn’t wrong in the bible, but it’s wrong now. If the culture at the time was so oppressive, made so by those who held slaves, that the offer was freely given, stay and put up with our shit, or go and it will be much, much worse for you. God seems cool with that arrangement and never put forth the commandment, “free your slaves, and pay them adequately to live for the labor they provide you at their own free will”. I feel like America is slavery, if you’re the wrong person, indeed. Your boss is an asshole, per se, and your option is to try to talk to him and ask him politely if it would be too difficult for him to treat you with common human dignity and decency, especially if he can’t raise your pay, or go find another place to work, with similar conditions. Assholes like you are always saying that if you don’t like your job, you should quit, but if you don’t have a job, you should get a jaaahb!, and never complain, and never form unions, or stand up for your own humanity, the answer is always, find someplace else to work if you don’t like it. And you know what that really means is stick it out, it could be worse. I call that slavery of a kind. They don’t own you, but your choice is eat or not eat, and get treated like garbage just because you choose to eat. The system “owns” you, and you have no freedom to change it.

        • Kodie

          Indentured servitude is slavery. If you are fooled into believing biblical slavery is excusable, don’t expect us to be convinced. Why does god only send stupid people? Ask god, why did you make rerun so stupid and then come here? Is this his purposeful life, leaving turds where he goes?

          …..

          …..

          No answer. I guess you just went over his head and did stuff for him that didn’t need doing, instead of make yourself useful.

        • MNb

          “I have to answer to God for the things I do.”
          So like Jeffrey Dahmer you can go on an enjoyable killing spree, fall on your knees, confess, repent, accept Jesus as your saviour and you’re totally fine again. What did you write?

          “that is between him and God.”

          So society has to stay out of it. You’re the one who can do as he please, not we atheists.

        • adam

          Dont you have to answer to YOUR ‘god’ for the things that you DONT do?

        • adam

          Are YOU prepared to answer to YOUR ‘god’ for the things that you DONT do?

        • Kodie

          Why is it bleak? Are you a child?

        • rerun

          its bleak because there is no hope in atheism. there is no point to life other than to live out my desires (which by the way is what the consistent naturalist Dahlmer did).

        • Wrong. Think about your obligations to your family and friends for a bit and come back with a better analysis.

        • rerun

          so, are family and friends your reason for living?

        • Kodie

          How do you think your family and your friends feel when you have to tell them, they are meaningless to you, that their love, attention, and gifts for you are just piss to you, you want the “real” thing, eternal life, ultimate love from your ultimate lover, Jesus? Everyone else just get the fuck out, rerun doesn’t accept your love as meaningful.

        • family, friends, challenges and adversity, successes, sunsets, puppies, children, and all the things that get you out of bed in the morning.

          Why? What did you expect?

        • rerun

          that’s exactly what I expected to hear from a naturalist. I’m surprised that you actually find those things fully satisfying. So, you don’t in any way at all think to yourself “Does life go on when I die?”

        • Kodie

          Life will go on after I die, just not mine. Don’t you know anyone who died? And you’re still alive, right?

        • Kodie

          You don’t value life. That’s what a theist says, theist says “I don’t value life, I’m not fully satisfied by any of this, and I want more! Dying is where it’s at!”

        • Nope–never enters my head. Ever.

          I suppose I could wonder if I’m a butterfly, but there’s no evidence for that, so I don’t. Ditto the afterlife.

          If you’re saying that your life is superior to mine because you have convinced yourself, with negligible evidence, that you’re going to your Happy Place forever after you die, I don’t have much of a response. Just stay away from sharp things, I suppose.

        • rerun

          so, you’re confident that there is no judgment for you when you die. You’re not the least bit concerned? You’re willing to put all of your eggs in the basic that Pascal said was extremely unwise to do so?

        • Seriously? Fucking Pascal?

          I guess I applaud you’re branching out beyond your comfort zone to see if your apologetics work, but it sure is the school of hard knocks.

          Pascal affects you just like it does me. What if the Mormons are right? You and I are equally fucked. Ditto the Buddhists or Muslims or a thousand other religions. Don’t pretend it’s just your religion vs. atheism.

          I follow the evidence. The evidence says that an afterlife is unlikely. Given that, what do you suggest I do?

        • rerun

          Mormonism is a cult. They wrote their book of Mormon in 17th century language. It’s an obvious forgery. Even Richard Dawkins acknowledges that. Budhism is a form of atheism. Islam is a Jewish cult. these are all easy Bob. You’re in the religion of scientism. You get your worldview from science.

        • The evidence for Mormonism completely spanks that of Christianity.

          Golly–I wish I also had the God-given gift to be able to look at anything that was uncomfortable or foreign and declare with certainty that it is wrong.

        • rerun

          how naive you are

        • That’s your rebuttal?

          I’ll assume you concede my point that the evidentiary route that Christians normally use to defend the veracity of the NT makes a far, far stronger case for Mormonism.

          Next time, just man up and say so. It makes us respect you more.

        • Kodie

          You believe there was a world in which babies came born with proper etiquette and behavior and didn’t need to be reprimanded or disciplined to shape them into functional human beings. Do you understand that was my last irony meter?

        • Kodie

          There’s no evidence that what you’re talking about is anything but imaginary. Billions of people can be that gullible, especially when your church cautions you so severely against thinking.

        • Kodie

          It’s bleak for you, hide under the covers like a child, moron. You’re not interested in anything at all, you’re just a judgmental piece of shit that wants to masturbate, but can’t. God says trolling atheists is a healthier outlet.

        • rerun

          cold

        • Kodie

          But true.

        • Since atheists are at least as happy as religious people, maybe you don’t understand. Ever consider that? Or are they just deluded?

        • rerun

          they’re not. In fact, Christians have better marriages, better relationships, live longer, are healthier, and on and on. Lets look at the health risks with homosexual acts compared to lifelong monogamy between one woman and one man.

        • Kodie

          Where do you get your information, your bowels?

        • He gets more after he eats beans.

        • And I can find stats that say the reverse.

          Homosexual sex?? That’s kind of a red herring. If you’re saying that safe sex is important to all of us, straight and gay, I’ll agree.

        • rerun

          no I’m saying that homosexual sex is abhorrently evil

        • Huh?? Then don’t talk about health risks!

          If gaiety is evil, then don’t have any. Easier than you thought, right?

        • rerun

          it wasn’t long ago that it was against the law

        • And slavery used to be legal. Times change, and society evolves.

          In 20 years, Christian denominations will be climbing over each other arguing about who did the most to support same-sex marriage.

          What is your position about homosexuality? Same-sex marriage?

        • rerun

          slavery still is legal we just call it a “contractual agreement” now. What do you think having a credit card is, Bob?

          My position is that it is detrimental to society, morally abhorrent, evil, sinful and unlawful

        • Jesus Christ. You’ve been reading way too much Christian apologetics. Do you see yet how poorly they’ve prepared you? No, my credit card debt is not at all like slavery.

          How is gaiety detrimental to society? And who are you to challenge God for all the homosexuals he’s created?

          What laws do you want to see with respect to homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

        • Dys

          You’re extraordinarily dishonest, and using fluid definitions to make bad comparisons.

        • MNb

          Contractual agreement implies consent. Where does the OT talk about consent as a requirement for slavery?

        • rerun

          you mean Christian in parenthesis. Again, claiming to be Christian doesn’t mean one is a Christian.

        • I agree, brother. Don’t get me started on those backsliding “Christians” who reject slavery as a God-given institution.

        • MNb

          And you are capable of judging who is a christian with and who is one without parentheses, in the meantime forgetting Matth. 7:1 ?

        • Kodie

          I’m willing to go out on a limb and grant you and your type of Christian to be the only true Christian – the hateful, spiteful, fearful, arrogant, selfish, uneducated, evasive, dishonest, superstitious, cruel, judgmental, and paranoid true Christian. Everything a true Christian is.

          If you’re not some or all of these things, then you’re probably not a Christian.

        • Say what must be said, sister!

          God was hateful, and he made Man in his image.

        • Kodie

          You’re actually the kind of Christians other Christians come here to explain that they’re not all like that, so we shouldn’t hate on Christianity.

        • Kodie

          Before you found Christ, were you gay? Are you one of those ex-gays?

        • Dys

          So your response is to go with the comfortable delusion rather than the uncomfortable truth.

        • Greg G.

          There is a point in life that your religion blinds you against.

          There is no “L” in Dahmer and no Dahmer in hell.

        • I follow the evidence–not bleak at all. Facing reality is what adults do.

          How “Don’t worry about it–God forgives all” gets past Dahlmer murdering people, I don’t know. You get erect thinking about God’s forgiveness and ignore the fact that God stood by and let those people get murdered?

          Some god.

        • rerun

          so God is supposed to step in every time there is a problem? Aren’t people responsible for their own actions?

        • Kodie

          So you’re saying Dahmer actually did god a huge favor, and he owed him big time.

        • Huh?? You’re saying that a world with God in it looks identical to a world without God. What good is he?

          “God exists” becomes unfalsifiable.

          I’m saying that looking at zero evidence of God’s existence and saying, “Ah, isn’t God’s forgiveness fabulous?” or “God walking beside me in adversity is so comforting” or something equally unfalsifiable is simply reshaping reality to preserve your presupposition.

          I have no respect for that position. I actually critique mine.

        • rerun

          I’m saying God holds people accountable for their actions. We disobeyed God in the Garden and got what we wanted. It’s our own fault. And actually in the book “The God I don’t understand” the author makes clear that most if not all of the suffering in the world is caused by humans. For instance, if you don’t give away every extra dollar that you have to the poor than you are adding to the suffering in the world. The same is true for me.

        • I didn’t disobey God in the Garden. Why should “original sin” affect me?

          You’ll have to tell me how tsunamis, droughts, and birth defects are mankind’s fault.

          It’s embarrassing when an adult apologizes for his imaginary friend. Why not let him take his lumps himself?

        • rerun

          it affects you because you inherited the curse that’s why you don’t have to teach a child to act up.

        • You’re dodging the issue. I did nothing in the Garden. Why do I get tarred with the original sin brush?

          Or does God not understand basic morality?

        • rerun

          why does alcoholism get passed on?

        • Kodie

          Actually, it’s genetics. Biology. You know biology?

          “Sin”, by contrast, is not genetic, it’s cultural. You’re a real judgmental bastard about sex because of the company you keep. You surround yourself with a community of other douches, and convince yourselves you’ve got it all figured out, confirming each other’s biases with anecdotes and propaganda and liberal amounts of judgment and cruelty to deprive other humans (as if it is your god-given right to do so) of civil rights and appropriate healthcare. You want them to live in a world where they are punished for things you don’t like (“sin”) and seek to adjust the secular legal system and government to favor your cultural superstitious preferences that people be punished severely ON EARTH for violating ACTUAL LAWS. It’s like you don’t believe they are going to get theirs in judgment from an actual god. You seek to replace him by fixing the world to punish people you decide should be punished, NOW, not later, BY YOU, not by your deity.

        • rerun

          also your operating under the assumption that you wouldn’t have also disobeyed God in the garden. Are you better than Adam and Eve?

        • ?? I’m operating under the assumption that I didn’t do anything wrong in the Garden!

          Wow–how fucked up is your understanding of morality? This is one of the myriad reasons atheists will tell you that dropping the Christian worldview is a good thing. You can just follow morality the way your conscience tells you rather than twisting yourself into a pretzel justifying the Bible’s insanity.

        • rerun

          “the way my conscience tells me” – oh wait you mean so I can kill my baby in the womb whenever its convenient? You mean so that I can have sex however I want when I want? Is that what you mean. Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me Bob.

        • So your attitude is that parents should just be allowed to be alone with their children and discipline them just about any way they want? So if they’re liberal with spanking or teach them all sorts of supernatural bullshit and I don’t like that … I just have to let them do it?

          Are you OK with giving parents much leeway in how they raise their kids? If so, let’s also give parents-to-be leeway in deciding if the consequences of a birth is good.

          Trust the parents? Then trust the parents-to-be.

        • Kodie

          Why not?

        • rerun

          That’s not morality Bob. Morality can only be grounded in a 100 percent objective source. What your engaging in is not morality its relativism and preferences because you do not acknowledge a 100 percent objective source to base your decisions off of.

        • Morality can only be grounded in a 100 percent
          objective source.

          That’s weird. I’m a native English speaker, and that sounds like complete bullshit.

          But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I don’t understand the definition of “morality.” Why don’t you show me the definition in the dictionary that says that.

        • MNb

          Nice circular argument. Moraly can only be grounded in a 100 percent objective source, BobS doesn’t acknowledge such a source and hence doesn’t have any morality.
          It’s also horse manure.

        • Dys

          Morality can only be grounded in a 100 percent objective source.

          That’s blatantly false. I’m confused as to why you insist on trying to present yourself as an authority on morality when it’s clear that you’re simply not qualified to do so.

        • Greg G.

          How do you determine that something that is 100% objective is actually moral? A rock is 100% objective but you can’t base a morality suitable for humans on it. God and Satan would each be 100% objective sources but how do you know which morality to take? Choosing either makes the other’s morality evil. How do you know which one inspired the Bible?

          A good morality comes from shared empathy and a shared sense of fairness that allows your fellow humans to thrive. An outside standard is irrelevant.

        • In fact, when you look around at all the crap in this world, the better explanation is that this is the result of the bad guy, who has strung us along, justifying this world by saying that you’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet and other rationalizations.

          If he were the bad guy, he’d tell us that he’s the good guy, right? (And what does the Bible say about God?? QED!)

        • Kodie

          Your claim is that Bob is already in a fallen state, while Adam and Eve weren’t yet, so what drove them to disobey? Could it be that they’re human scapegoats for a condition we’re all born with called “curiosity”? God blamed them and punished everyone else because he’s incompetent and a blame-shifting fuck-up. If there’s going to be a talking snake in the garden, then why create people with ears? If there’s going to be fruit on special trees in the garden, why would that be tempting to a sinless unfallen person who has actually seen and listened to and understood god to be the creator and rule-maker, than to trust a snake instead and eat that fruit? What is your assessment of this situation in light of the fact that Adam and Eve were “created” fallen, imperfect, disobedient, easily led astray from their right path? That there’s no reason to blame them or punish us or create a wacky system whereby humans have the limited ability to reclaim something that was god’s mistake in the first place?

          If there’s a perfect place, then you will not live on in it, you’ll be functionally replaced by a drone made to gape and drool at god mindlessly with no memory or personal preferences that you have in your earthly life. You won’t even know you’re there, or why. If people who arrive in heaven with their earthly personalities intact, then it will be just like earth. It’s funny, you seem to think there is this wonderful place, but alas, god didn’t think things through again and it’s all fucked up.

        • Dys

          Adam and Eve never existed.

        • Greg G.

          How could a god expect beings who had no knowledge of good and evil to know that disobeying was evil?

        • Kodie

          That’s why you think we don’t have to teach children to be brats? How about a parent’s job is pretty much to civilize a wild animal in their care until it can live as a human being on its own. What makes you think there is some perfect world where these precious fetuses you love so much out of proportion than what they actually are, come out like obedient dolls and never make any fuss?

          You’re not only judgmental, cruel, and selfish, but your most prominent qualities come directly from your delusion that there is another way the world would be if god wasn’t punishing us. So, anti-naturalist, you are. You can’t even take a look around and see what’s what, you have to filter it through perfectly awful and fantastical reasons. Delusional! YOU ARE!

        • Dys

          Ah…so you’re perfectly fine with God setting up a system where people are held accountable for things they didn’t do. Sounds incredibly immoral to me.

          The concept of original sin is inherently immoral and unjust. Which means you have an unjust God, and an immoral one.

        • Kodie

          Uh, that’s a myth used to “explain” why life isn’t perfect the way you want it to be. We’re animals and we live on a planet in space, and all our energy comes in one way or another from the sun. Life is uncomfortable, it’s survival, it’s a chore, why would it be any other way? Humans are the only ones making any improvements to our condition, not a lot of thanks to Christians like you who think god made the sun, so there, and then punished people who heard a snake talk about a tree. I didn’t disobey god, I wasn’t there. You’re just kind of a simple child. Is that the lie they told you to give all your extra dollars to the church, to “relieve suffering”? My, but you’re a dumb one.

          How much money have they made off you that you still believe everything they tell you and lost all your normal human senses?

        • Greg G.

          An omnipotent being could step down to prevent the problem so there wouldn’t be a problem and nothing to be blamed for. An omnipotence could do that billions of times per nanosecond for every sentient being in the universe just as easily as doing nothing.

        • Kodie

          It’s bleak that I could kill and cannibalize as many people as I want and still get into heaven and be your neighbor in heaven? You’d want to be my neighbor, right? Nice, brand-new shiny heaven body, looks very tasty. Only thing is, I already kill and cannibalize as many people as I want, which is none. I’m not a fucking psychopath, and you’re admitting repeatedly that you are actually an admirer of Jeffrey Dahmer, you’re jealous. You can’t stop hanging on every single word of a psychopath to tell you what you want to hear. That’s not critical thinking, that’s being a brainless moron.

        • rerun

          wow. its sad that you have to borrow from a theistic worldview to make yours work.

        • Interesting. So humans didn’t have any morality until Christianity came along? The morality in the Bible–how to beat slaves property and all that–was startling but they figured that if it was biblical, it had to be good stuff?

          That’s surprising.

        • rerun

          I would love to see where in the Bible it says its okay to beat your slave – care to point that out in context?

        • Don’t tell me you haven’t read this …?

          “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” (Ex. 21:20–21)

        • rerun

          thanks Bob. Yeah, that’s case law. There actually isn’t a case of that happening in the OT but nice try.

        • God makes clear the proper way to beat a slave and you’re just going to laugh it off? This sadistic asshole is your holy Creator of the Universe, remember?

          Why do you defend this guy? Let him defend himself.

        • rerun

          again, you’re not even reading the text properly. lets go through this passage line by line for you. I’ll go really slow so you can follow the bouncing ball.

          “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod…” – okay, lets stop right there. Notice what it says. It says “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod” it doesn’t say that God told him how to do it or even to do it at all it just says “Hey if this happens…” – okay moving on…

          “and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished” – so God says “hey if you kill your slave you will be punished” – and by the way what is the punishment? Death. So, the slaveholder will die for what he’s done. Moving on…

          “but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” – now, what you have to understand here is that once the slave “gets up” he is allowed to go free. Slave owners were not allowed to abuse their slaves under any circumstance. Would you like more explanation?

        • God says “hey if you kill your slave you will be punished” – and by the way what is the punishment? Death.

          Show me.

          what you have to understand here is that once the slave “gets up” he is allowed to go free.

          Prove it.

        • Why even use a Bible when you can just make up whatever you want?

        • rerun

          Exodus 21:20 “Death is the punishment for beating to death any of your slaves.”

          and Exodus 21:21 “However, if the slave lives a few days after the beating, you are not to be punished. After all, you have already lost the services of that slave who was your property.”

        • You beat the shit out of a slave, but not enough that he can’t get up off his lazy ass and get back to work within 2 days.

          You said, “once the slave “gets up” he is allowed to go free.” Nope–not what it says.

        • “Slave owners were not allowed to abuse their slaves under any circumstance.”

          If that were true, then Exodus 21:20-21 would read: “Do not abuse your slaves under any circumstances. Anyone who abuses a slave shall [compensate the slave’s family, free the slave, become the slave’s slave, whatever].” Instead, it says that there is to be no punishment for beating a slave so badly that he or she dies after a day or two.

        • MNb

          Yes, I would. How does any of this justify slavery? Would you be OK with reintroducing slavery in our modern societies, as long as these guidelines are obeyed? If no you’re saying that your favourite Holy Book is outdated. If yes I suggest you to go tell in on the mountains, so that everyone can hear.

        • rerun

          Bob – God does not tell anyone how to beat their slave in this passage. The passage is “descriptive” not “prescriptive”. Exodus 21:26 makes it clear that Israelite’s who abuse their slaves had to let their slaves go.

        • God precisely tells people how to–and how not to–beat their slaves. If all you’re saying is that beating is not obligatory, that’s right. But if your slave has really pissed you off, here’s how to respond in a godly fashion.

          Wrong about Ex. 21:26–try again. Tell us exactly what that verse is talking about.

        • “There actually isn’t a case of that happening in the OT but nice try.”

          Can you explain this? Are you saying that if something isn’t specifically described in the Old Testament, it didn’t happen during the period in which the OT takes place?

          Or, if you prefer–Let’s say Mosaic law applied for roughly five to ten centuries (ballpark). Is it your position that during that enormous period of time, no Hebrew beat his slave? That no Hebrew beat a slave to not-quite-immediate death? Even though it was legal to do so?

        • rerun

          Look at Exodus 21:26. It’s clear from that passage that a master who assaulted his slaved suffered the loss of the slave.

          But there are all kinds of case laws. They exist for those “what if” scenarios that rarely happen.

        • How is “they [the master] are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property” unclear? I would’ve thought that even you could figure that one out.

        • 1. Exodus 21:26 doesn’t say “Anyone who assaults or batters his slave must free the slave.” God could have dictated that to Moses, but didn’t.

          Instead, we see a rule against permanent maiming. And it’s a comparatively permissive rule that reflects the slave’s diminished status in Hebrew society. As you know from the preceding verses, the standard talionic punishment for personal injury in OT law was “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” etc. Exodus 21:23-25. Here, the penalty is much lighter–the loss of replaceable (and damaged) human property.

          2. The assertion that these laws existed only to deal with “scenarios that rarely happen” is without support and too generic to be of much use, so I will simply disregard it until you can back it up with something. And I see you’ve chosen to gloss over my reference to Exodus 21:20-21. I would, too, if I were you. It’s grubby, depressing, inhumane historical evidence of the slave’s lot in life, roughly on par with what we see in other codes of antiquity.

          3. Finally, you’re not using “case law” correctly. Once I can overlook, but not twice. The phrase refers to court opinions resulting from litigation. That’s it. The Mosaic laws are better described as regulations.

        • 1. We can find similar laws about humane treatment of slaves in the law codes of pre-Civil War Southern states.

        • MNb

          In Suriname as well. These days scholars tend to think like this. Papyrus and parchment were scarse. So authors only wrote down what they thought important and exceptional; trivialities and things everyone know were omitted.
          So why did the authors of Exo. and Deut. give those regulations about treating slaves? Probably because there were many slave owners who treated their slaves even worse and the authors were bothered.

        • Greg G.

          The slave owner is punished if the slave dies in a day or two. If the slave dies later, the punishment is the loss of property. The Bible specifically allows a person who follows the Bible to beat a slave to the point of death.

          So you could beat an old slave, who could no longer pull his own weight, to death and as long as he suffered a day or two before dying, you would come out ahead in the matter. It’s cold-blooded, calculated murder but it’s OK because it is sanctioned by your god.

          Morality is better when it doesn’t come from the Bible.

        • Dys

          And yet you still have a God that doesn’t have a problem with the immoral institution of slavery.

          They exist for those “what if” scenarios that rarely happen.

          And you know it rarely happened how, precisely? Because it sounds like you’re making excuses for biblical immorality.

        • Greg G.

          Exodus 2:11-12 tells about an Egyptian slave master beating Hebrew slaves and Moses killed the Egyptian for it.

          So there is a case of someone being punished by the death penalty for beating a slave.

          The Mosaic law, however, permits a Hebrew to beat a non-Hebrew slave.

          How about forced sex on female slaves, even being forced to bear children for whoever the owner designates?

          Leviticus 19:20-22 says if a man has sex with a bondmaid who is betrothed to a husband, she is not killed only because she is not free, but she still gets beaten. The man must provide a feast of mutton to the priests to make God happy. There are no other restrictions on sex with a slave woman.

          Some case law examples are Genesis 16:1-2 where Sarai has her slave girl Hagar make a baby with her husband, Genesis 30:3-4 where one wife has a slave bear children for Jacob, and Genesis 30:9-10 where his other wife does the same thing.

        • Kodie

          If the bible were written today, it might tell you how to take care of your dishwasher or car. This at least partially takes into account that a slave is a human, but it might as easily refer to an ox, because you can, in fact, give some abuse to a labor animal (which is what a slave is), in order to get it to work if it won’t, but to be careful not to go too far or it will be incapacitated permanently, because alive things can be killed with too much abuse, or injured too severely to work, whereas a machine can be repaired. Since the bible was written before modern medicine, an injured slave was a broken machine, still not a human being. The instructions not to beat your slaves too much were not written out of humaneness, but of simple economics.

        • Kodie

          And I want to say something about indentured servitude, which rerun compares to having a credit card. In some way, if you have a debt to someone, like your credit card company, you are still free to quit your job and fail to make payments, and they can come after you, but they can’t jail you or hurt you physically, or take something that belongs to you. They can repossess something that technically belongs to them, however. They can’t force you to work off the debt. If you lose your job while in debt, they don’t have another job waiting for you to do, and they can’t force you to work for them doing jobs they might have waiting for you, like making those nasty phone calls to other people who owe them money. If only that were a solution!

          But indentured servitude, the kind in the bible and elsewhere, is not simply some kind of agreement to work off the debt, like if I owed money to Sears, then I could go do work for Sears, with reasonable hours and a reasonable “pay rate” that would go directly toward the debt, with maybe a pittance to live off of, in my own apartment, at the end of every day, until the debt was paid off (with interest). Slavery is ownership totally of the human being. It is not just performing labor within the local and federal laws, in exchange for money that would directly pay off the debt. It’s not nice, it’s beatings and abuse, and terms that are outside the control of the party in debt. It is saying, you owe me, so I can take you from your family and do whatever I want to do to you, I own you, and you will work as much as I say for as long as I want, and maybe the debt will honestly be paid off and you can go free, but probably not. rerun has believed some outrageous lies about the system of indentured servitude, as if it is simply a fair contract, and a fair system to pay off one’s debt to another. We even learned about it in school this way – people would sign up for this deal to get a trip to the New World – they would work for 3-5 years and then have a nice free life in young America. Sounds like a good deal, and not unfair, does it? It sounds like I will give you something, if you do work for me, shake hands on it, and everyone goes home happy. If you don’t want the deal, you don’t have to shake on it. But if you don’t like the work conditions once arrived, you’re not free to go, either.

          It’s not just like having your own job and taking your check to your own budget, to pay off monthly bills of money you have borrowed from another person or company. For starters, we have labor laws that prevent your employer from beating you physically or abusing you. They can’t force you to leave your family, although many workers take jobs that do, and that is technically their tough choice between leaving their family or not having a job at all to earn money to pay for things including debts. I think labor still has a lot to work out with management in most workplaces in the US and probably abroad, because all I ever hear is that management doesn’t have to take your shit, and you are free to find another job. Like a threat, deal with it, or you’re gone, fuck you, we want silent workers who just do what they’re told (even if it’s wrong and mgmt. can’t find their ass with both hands) and have no leverage, driven to the grave like an animal. But we have some laws that give you free time, and they’re not allowed to beat you or lock you in, and all they can do if you leave is stop paying you.

        • Kodie

          What did I borrow from theism? You’re so stupid, you take credit for things that aren’t yours. Is that something stupid you thought up to distract me from noticing you didn’t address your idolization of your favorite cannibal? You just sound obsessed with him, but noticed you backed off. That’s ok, I’ll remember you rerun and how much you wanted to believe that Jeffrey Dahmer would come and eat you. We can tell you have fantasies of dying and wonder what it would be like to be eaten, instead of falling down in the basement when you’re 76 and nobody checking on you.

        • Greg G.

          How do you know Dahmer wasn’t yanking your chain for his own amusement? I recently read an interview of the guy who killed Dahmer and he said his motive was that Dahmer was always playing tricks on people.

        • rerun

          Dahmer is just a case study. He doesn’t get a “get out of jail free card” just like everyone else doesn’t. However, the more evil you commit the more difficult it is for you to make peace with God.

        • Kodie

          You have a lot of confidence to know what god thinks. Maybe you think you’re god. Funny how Christians accuse atheists of thinking they’re god, but you have a lot of expression demonstrating that you know how the system works, and how did you find out? Did you ask god a lot of ‘yes or no’ questions and decide the answers by the warm feeling of your personal preferences, like all theists do, whether or not their version of belief is in agreement or contradiction to yours? EVEN MUSLIMS FEEL LIKE YOU DO. That’s why they voluntarily blow themselves into pieces. You sound like you should be a Muslim.

        • rerun

          it’s common sense Kodie. The more evil you commit in this life the more difficult it is to make restitution between yourself and your fellow neighbors. How much more is it for God? You act as though comprehension is something which no human being can posses – is that what you’re alluding to. relativism?

        • Kodie

          I don’t know but you sound like you think you know a lot more about this fictional character than a Trekkie knows about Spock. “Common sense” to you on one hand is you guessing how your god would react to a certain situation; and asserting it as truth. Meanwhile, the maker of floods and rape can do whatever he wants as quickly as he decides to do it, but I thought he knew everything already, so why does he have to see what people will do first and then make a decision? You make him sound like a regular stupid guy like yourself.

        • rerun

          so you don’t sign “i agree” to the bottom of scientific assertions?

        • Kodie

          I don’t know what you’re babbling about, sorry, say it in English.

        • rerun

          answer this for me – do you believe that scientists are telling the truth when they say that we came from protoplasm or something similar?

        • Kodie

          Why are you changing the subject?

        • You know Michael Behe, the darling of the ID movement?

          He accepts common descent.

        • MNb

          Meaningless question. Science is not about truth. It’s about collecting empirical data and formulating theories that describe those data – theories that get improved over and over again. Indeed Evolution Theory is one of the best of such theories.

        • Greg G.

          I believe the scientists because i have seen the evidence first hand.

          If what the say is not true, one should be able to present loads of evidence to the contrary and anyone who did that would be rich and famous so there is a motive for a scientist or anybody else to do that. Instead, we see creationists who don’t quite understand what they are talking about giving crappie reasons to reject the evidence.

          If creationist preachers and authors can’t even accurately report what the theory of evolution is when it can be found by any earthling, why would you believe that person when they talk authoritatively about heaven or history without evidence?

        • MNb

          “one should be able to present loads of evidence to the contrary”
          One piece is enough – one fossil of a Cambrian cat and Evolution Theory is in dire straits. All creationists are invited.

        • Greg G.

          It has been said that a human fossil found in the Cretaceous would be evidence for time travel because the evidence that humans came from apes and the whole primate line developed later.

        • MNb

          “a human fossil found in the Cretaceous would be evidence for time travel”
          That would pose some serious problems for physics ….

        • Greg G.

          How do you know that? Other Christians say it’s as easy as just believing. Matthew has Jesus saying that getting angry at someone is as bad as killing them, so killing and eating lots of people is no different in God’s view as just being angry or lusting. You are reading the same Bible that the other Christians do but get opposite conclusions. It’s like you are all making up your own stories.

        • rerun

          could it be that we’re all saying the same thing? Again, it’s like you guys (if God exists that is) want a Bible that has no mystery to it.

        • Kodie

          It’s like you guys accept a steaming pile of excrement fiction that isn’t clear, make up what you want it to mean by your own personal preferences, and get on with your day asserting this and that what it means, with certainty. You know nothing, you get your information from propaganda. The whole thing is a cult and you are a victim. I mean, you’re sold on excusing this mysteriousness, like that’s a meaningful and glorious part of the whole thing, and not just a void of nonsense that it actually is. We’re literate, we can read, and it’s clearly a myth made up from stupid things people thought were “common sense”. The thing is, we can interpret it, you don’t have a monopoly on the “correct” meaning or interpretation – we know how you derive your interpretation. It’s called listening to what you’re told from someone else’s butt, and believing it because you want to. You want to argue what the bible means when you don’t know yourself.

        • Greg G.

          There are fundamentalists who think the world is 6000 years old. Evangelicals are moving away from that. Many Baptists think Catholics are going to hell. Then there are progressive Christians who think God is a ground of being. You should compare all the different beliefs under your umbrella. You’d be amazed at the differences.

        • Dys

          No, we’re saying the “mystery” is an extremely convenient dodge, a literary device to hide behind when you don’t have a real answer.

        • Kodie

          He’s got the relative morality going on. This is worse than that, that is forgivable, this might take a lot of pondering and deliberating. Like god would have to deliberate. He’s capricious. I don’t know why they think Jesus is able to die for any sin any human anywhere ever commits, and then backpedal that by saying, well, god might renege on the bargain after all. There’s heaven and hell, and you can go to hell for just not liking god back, but you can murder and cannibalize and terrorize, and if god doesn’t have someone in prison murder you earlier than he planned it out thousands or millions of years in advance, he might just get over it. Because murdering is pretty bad, worse than cheating on your spouse, murdering a human is bad, but slaughtering them in war is necessary, because we’re always right and they’re wrong; murdering a fetus is bad, but letting the baby starve by not offering programs to allow it to thrive and have a chance in life is just punishment for the crime of having sex, the baby pays for the mother’s mistakes, or she should do what’s right in her situation instead of begging to feed her baby, give it to someone else who is doing fine, or I’ve heard it’s perfectly legal to steal food in that situation also.

        • rerun

          God paid for the sin but its up to us if we want to take him up on his offer which is conditioned upon surrender to Him.

        • Kodie

          Try to follow along, you illiterate fuckhead.

        • Dys

          Substitutionary atonement is immoral, and the concept doesn’t make sense anyway. Crimes are not financial transactions.

        • Kodie

          They believe in a system of substitutionary punishment, so of course the solution is for someone else to pay for it.

        • MNb

          So it is conditional love.

        • Greg G.

          If the curse of original sin is imposed upon me without my consent, why is the offer of forgiveness conditional?

        • No? Dahmer accepted Jeebus into his heart. He flew straight to heaven after his death and is now BFFs with Jesus himself.

          Not me, though. I’m going to fry.

          Think of me, a trillion years from now, won’t you? Just knowing that you’re sparing me a single thought will make my agony more bearable. Thanks, buddy. And say high to Jeffrey when you get to heaven.

        • Greg G.

          I’m sure Dahmer would love to have rerun over for lunch.

        • I’m sure rerun’s attitude would be, “Any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.”

        • Kodie

          In my region, the word we use is “leftovers.”

        • adam

          ” He doesn’t get a “get out of jail free card” just like everyone else doesn’t.”

          It is not a ‘get out of jail free card’ it is the acceptance of Jesus as his ‘Savior’…..

        • adam

          ….

        • I don’t answer to a deity that doesn’t exist. I imagine you do things the same way.

          Jeffrey Dahlmer could do as he pleased? I think society had something to say about that.

          Is your issue totally about abortion? I’ve written much about this subject. You can start here. Tell me what you think.

        • rerun

          Dahlmer did as he pleased because at the time he had a naturalistic worldview. He demonstrated that he is more intelligent than most atheists by stating that naturalism only leads one direction – death.

        • Kodie

          Dahmer was a psychopath. You get your advice from a psychopath. I suggest you ask someone sane.

        • rerun

          Correct, he was. But he is smarter than you because he understood naturalism better than you do.

        • Kodie

          You understand very little about anything, so you’re no judge on intellect, or what naturalism means. It means we will die. It doesn’t mean I want to be an agent of death.

          Continue to idolize the dear departed psychopath Jeffrey Dahmer.

        • rerun

          if you support abortion than you are an agent of death. If you support homosexual “marriage” you’re also an agent of death because you desire to kill marriage.

        • I’ve been married for over a third of a century. Two kids. No adultery, no divorce. When some conservative blowhard lectures the nation about marriage, he puts me in the front row.

          And I’ve yet to hear any harm from same-sex marriage.

          As you can imagine, I’ve written about this topic as well. Here are 20 bullshit arguments against same-sex marriage, rebutted. Enjoy.

        • rerun

          no harm from same-sex marriage? wow.

        • Kodie

          What scary stories is the propaganda factory feeding you?

        • rerun

          dido

        • Kodie

          I don’t know what you’re trying to say. Dildo?

        • Dido. Could be the Queen of Carthage in Virgil’s Aeneid, or the pop music superstar.

          Or a misspelling of “ditto,” a word I didn’t think it was possible to misspell.

        • MNb

          No. It may have escaped you, but gay marriage has been legal in The Netherlands since 2001. Apparently god is OK with it, because the country hasn’t felt any divine wrath.

        • Guest

          Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for almost a decade….why don’t you ask the man/woman married folks up there how it’s harming their marriage? I’m sure they could tell you. Actual real people will tell you.

        • I listened to a Christian anti-gay podcast and they made exactly that challenge. However, I’m with you. Ask Canadians if the sky has fallen, and (ignoring Christian Chicken Littles) nothing really has happened.

        • Rudy R

          no harm from hetero-marriage? wow.

        • Greg G.

          I wonder if marriages of gay people will detrimentally affect hetero marriages as much as marriages of overly religious people affect gay marriage?

        • Rudy R

          To the chagrin of the Christian homophobes, we’ll soon find out.

        • Kodie

          Wow, you love microscopic fertilized eggs and marriage more than you respect the lives of women. You are fucking joking, right? Your priorities, aka “morals” are fucked. You want to believe your objective morals are accessible and you have it all ranked right, but you just placed an abstract institution as “living” more than a human woman. What a fucking asshole Jesus has made you.

          But you don’t care what I feel, your empathy is also missing. All you have is your cult worship, and that keeps you feeling righteous, no matter what. You are also maybe a psychopath? Maybe that’s how you got interested in Dahmer and started to idolater him.

        • rerun

          i do not respect women who want to kill their babies. That’s psychotic.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, it just wouldn’t be right for you to care. You are psychotic, all we need is confirmation from a licensed psychiatrist.

        • rerun

          whatever “licensed” means. probably with whatever fits your definition of reality. supporting women who kill their babies is simply evil and people who have abortions should be in jail.

        • Kodie

          Reality disagrees with you.

        • MNb

          Marriage is far from dead in The Netherlands.

        • Yes, we’re all going to die.

          And … ?

        • rerun

          no, that’s not it. Naturalism leads to a disregard for life here and now. It means that anything goes. Murder should not exist in the vocabulary of the naturalist because taking another person life isn’t wrong in a naturalistic worldview, in fact its right based soley on preference.

        • Kodie

          That’s not what naturalism is. You get your information from a piece of shit psychopath who murdered and ate people for pleasure, you’re probably going to get a lot of wrong information. You have too much tension, I think you’re fantasizing about murdering and eating people. Try getting some lotion and a sock, maybe some soft lighting and some classical music on youtube. You know there are people who post 100s of hours of the most relaxing music EVARR?

        • Are atheists murderers? Have you checked the stats in prison?

          Since atheists murder at less than (or, at worst, the same) rate as Christians, you clearly don’t get it.

          Think before you write next time. Makes you look less stupid.

        • rerun

          we’re talking about consistent worldview Bob. A consistent Christan doesn’t continue to murder after professing Christ. However, a consistent atheist is free to murder whenever and however they want to.

        • No True Scotsman? That’s a goodie. Thanks for bringing that up.

          Since no atheist would agree with you that murder is consistent with atheism, you lose.

          Tip: understand how people see themselves so you can characterize them correctly. When you tell them what they do or ought to think, and you’re wrong, they think you’re a fucking asshole. Not good for changing minds.

        • rerun

          and that’s a red herring. a consistent atheistic worldview is free to do as it pleases without objective repercussions.

        • Obviously. Show me there are objective repercussions.

          Not what we’ve been talking about.

        • rerun

          there are passive repercussions like getting a disease from something God said not to do. There are also repercussion for eternity. those you have to have faith for but if you deny them you won’t get a second chance once you pass on. Do you think Pascal was wrong?

        • Yet more evidence-less theology. Keep it.

          I’ve made clear how Pascal’s Wager fails.

        • rerun

          so you’re smarter than Pascal – now that’s a wager.

        • I’ve made clear how Pascal’s Wager fails.

        • rerun

          you’ve demonstrated that you’re overconfident that there is no life after death

        • Is there compelling evidence of life after death? Nope. Conclusion: neither of us has the warrant to conclude that there is or live our lives as if there is.

        • Kodie

          Here’s how it worked for your psychopath pen pal, Jeffrey Dahmer – he serially murdered and cannibalized a bunch of people, and then humans sought to capture this psychopath, then they captured him and imprisoned him for life, which wasn’t very long, because he was murdered in jail. Do you think the guy who murdered Jeffrey Dahmer in prison was just in doing so? Then you have no objective morality.

          Do you think Jeffrey Dahmer turned his life over to Christ before some fellow inmate murdered him, and is now in heaven? Would that make murdering him just or unjust? An objective morality would take Jeffrey Dahmer’s actions like murder and cannibalization, if they are and were and always will be objectively wrong and immoral, and put them in the “sin” column. Why are these actions forgivable, then, in your opinion? Because that’s not objective morality either, that’s your opinion. What about the inmate who murdered Dahmer? Is it forgivable to murder a dangerous psychopath and exterminate them from the earth as soon as possible? People who support capital punishment seem to think they’re god and gleefully do so. You haven’t thought this through and any answer you give will undoubtedly be ridiculous riddled with excuses and contortions.

        • Dahmer repents and goes to heaven? So much for God’s perfect and unwavering justice.

        • Kodie

          Just think of it – omniscient, eternal, perfectly just and merciful god has a plan that involves, at the end of it, an extended personal invitation to Jeffrey Dahmer, serial murderer and cannibal, to join him in heaven. And apparently, the minister who visited him in prison had his priorities in order for helping with the guest list.

          It’s almost like god makes decisions as he goes and doesn’t plan anything out in advance. Did he send that minister, did that minister not have anything better to do than save Jeffrey Dahmer from hell? What about the guy who murdered Dahmer in prison? He expedited Dahmer’s arrival at god’s lap to sit around for story time.* God couldn’t wait to meet this guy, and from what I understand, he’s still going to say murder is bad, send that other prisoner to hell because he ain’t sorry he did it.

          *My actual envisionment for the Christian god in heaven is like this egotistical guy I know who loves to tell stories he thinks are interesting and breaks for where you’re supposed to laugh along, and nobody once has ever stopped him and told him to shut the fuck up, and he thinks the world revolves around him. Meanwhile, here on earth, people starving, killing each other, treating each other like garbage, not getting involved, being selfish, and god is playing to his audience in heaven. Once in a while (in a regular yearly cycle), he sets a few hurricanes on course while we all watch the news in suspense. Coincidences are not part of the plan, but actual statistical coincidences, but every so often, he will do this Bill Murray thing and show up in person, “but nobody will believe you.” He goes back up to heaven to tell another glorious story of a prank he pulled on a motorist with baby on board, who swerved to get out of the way of a child who just fell off his bike, and flipped the car upside-down, and everyone got out without a scratch on them, and spend the rest of their life in a state of crisis, needing more instruction as to their life’s purpose. God so LOL.

        • nakedanthropologist

          Wait a second, how can homosexuality be wrong since Jesus was gay himself? I mean, the dude never married in a culture that expected all good men to be married, travelled around with twelve other dudes, and clearly had a foot fetish. Additionally, “washing of the feet” is a biblical euphuism for sex – so was Jesus banging all twelve of the apostles, or do you think he was more circumspect?

        • That’s some staying power if he was able to service 12 guys in a row.

        • nakedanthropologist

          I know, right? Guy had to be divine if he could get it on like that. No wonder olive oil was so important.

        • Kodie

          Everyone murders as much as they want to. How many people did you murder before professing Christ?

        • rerun

          you mean with anger?

        • Kodie

          You murdered people with anger? That’s metaphorical nonsense from your nonsense factory. There was a time when you weren’t truly the Christian you are today, and during that time, how many people overall did you go ahead and murder because you didn’t answer to anyone?

        • rerun

          I wasn’t a consistent naturalist thank God

        • We’ve been over this. If the millions of decent, law-abiding atheists aren’t murdering people when they should, you haven’t shown this. Your say-so won’t do it.

        • Kodie

          So what prevented you from being so-called “consistent” with your psychopath fanboi.

        • Dys

          Christianity isn’t consistent – it resorts to “mysterious ways” all the time to try and get around uncomfortable facts. The only reason you can claim to have a consistent worldview is because you can attribute anything to God as an explanation.

          Unfortunately, doing so is really just relabeling ignorance as God.

        • MNb

          So is a consistent christian. He/she just has to confess, repent and accept JC as his/her saviour and he/she is totally fine again. And people being sinners by definition they are expected to go through the entire cycle again and again.

        • Kodie

          Well, murder is pretty extreme. Lying, just start with that. Who continues to lie after professing Christ? Stealing is somewhat extreme (can something be somewhat extreme?) I mean, we know it’s not right to steal, so we don’t walk in a store, even if we’re starving, and pick things off the shelf and walk out. But that’s not the only kind of stealing. People steal time, they cut in front, they take a parking space someone was waiting for – who does that after professing Christ? Everyone.

          So professing Christ is not the thing that curbs the immoral behavior. Few people are murderers in the first place. Few people are criminal thieves. We have laws on the books to take care of these crimes, besides, but we do not have laws against being rude and selfish. That’s why Christians continue to be rude and selfish as far as cultural propriety will allow, because few people will assault someone or vandalize their property just for being rude and selfish. Christianity does not curb the behavior, in fact, it probably makes some people rationalize that they are more deserving than another person, to empower them to be even more rude or selfish than someone else.

        • MNb

          In our view murder and stealing are extreme, but according to the Ten Commandments lying is as bad as the other two. Otherwise I totally agree.

        • Kodie

          Stealing can be in degrees, but most people think of stealing as walking away with a material item that belongs to someone else. I mean it in the overall sense that we take things that don’t belong to us from other people all the time, like their time, or “little things” such as a pen from work. Every time someone jumps into traffic ahead of you, that you have to slam on your brakes is stealing the wear and tear on your car. And when you mind, they give you the finger too. These are things that it’s “ok” to give someone a hard time because they have the gall to express being bothered that you’ve taken something from them, and act like they’re stealing from you! The other day, I was behind a car and the light turned green, and the driver wasn’t texting, but his passenger was, and he leaned over to read it, I could see the whole thing. He went ahead when the light turned green but slowed down to almost stopping and then I honk my horn and he keeps driving but like, 15 mph on purpose because. God dammit I hate people!

          “Everyone does it” is no excuse – I mistakenly thought that’s the kind of behavior “god” is supposed to make you steer from. Living in this world of sin is difficult to get through, but the effect here seems to be that someone takes a bit of your time, so you have to make it up by taking someone else’s time. I thought patience was supposed to be a virtue, and if you’re going to have eternity someplace, I’d be more cautious about making sure I got there and not so petty on these real-life instances that fuck up someone else’s day because you “need” to get somewhere. We all need to get somewhere! It doesn’t make it any more right to steal just because there’s no law. That’s why religious people want there to be laws against things they don’t want people to do, even if it’s not harming them, they throw fits. If they can’t force people into a religion, then they want to force them to behave at least like they want you to. Only a human-made law can have some effect. But if there’s no law, then it’s not really stealing, and they can do whatever they wish, just like they say we do.

          Sorry, but I don’t think people’s morality is based on how many people they didn’t kill, but how selfish they are or not. If I can say “that’s a selfish act” someone did, then that lowers whatever morality they claim to have.

        • Ron

          and never cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

        • Greg G.

          Which means NO CHEESEBURGERS!

        • Dear Lord in heaven–do people actually have to be told that?

          That’s just disgusting.

        • Greg G.

          Why shouldn’t you take advantage of people who your god hates if he likes you the best?

        • Kodie

          Why should they take advantage of parishioners and use them to make more money? You have to save your fellow man from hell! Church isn’t a museum, it’s a hospital. Or don’t you care about people’s ultimate destiny, walk around in your fancy clothes and eat steak – you have to pound the streets and bring these broken people in! You have to tell them there’s a place where they are loved and accepted! Don’t cast your pearls among swine, and while you’re at it, you can tell them you think what you’re talking about is “pearls” and they are “swine”. That’s the right way to be.

        • Greg G.

          I am free to murder as many people as I want to. I am consistent, too. I have murdered the same number of people every day of my life. It is a round number.

        • Pofarmer

          “if there’s no God than everyone can do as they please”

          That’s a common Apologetic tactic. So, Dahmer is one of yours?

        • adam

          You dont have to answer to a deity at the end of the day either.

          It is all in your imagination

      • Kodie

        You are under the spell of misinformation.

        • rerun

          so what worldview leads to killing a baby in its mothers womb? which one is responsible?

        • What baby? A zygote isn’t a baby. I’ve raised two babies to adulthood, so I guess that makes me something of an expert on “babies.”

          Something you need a microscope to see ain’t one.

        • rerun

          so you’re the objective source of truth that determines what is and isn’t a baby? So, essentially your god, right?

        • What god? Show me a god and then we can compare me to one. Or not.

          I make no objective moral claims. Don’t need to–my argument holds together just fine. In common parlance, if it’s microscopic, it ain’t a “baby.”

        • rerun

          if you’re determining something to be right or wrong based on your own observations, etc. than you’re playing god. However, if I determine something to be wrong based on what God has said is wrong then and only then is what is determined objective. It has to come from a 100 percent objective source which you are not. you are not on sufficient grounds to determine right and wrong on your own without God.

        • I determined a paint color the other day.

          “Bob,” I said to myself (because I often call myself by name), “Bob–you’re just playing god here by elevating one color over another! Can you live with that?!”

          Y’know what? Didn’t bother me at all. That’s what a heartless atheist I am.

          if I determine something to be wrong based on what God has said is wrong then and only then is what is determined objective.

          Weird that there are 42,000 Christian denominations. With a holy book that can be reliably interpreted, like you apparently do, you’d think all the Christians would come together rather than splintering off daily.

          This is tiresome. Show me an objective source or drop the concept. How many times you want me to slap you down?

        • rerun

          red herring – colors aren’t morals. try again. denominations aren’t difficult either. Why are there so many sports teams? What are there so many atheist clubs that operate differently?

        • Denominations and sports teams are indeed in the same category. They’re both manmade. I’m amazed you’d admit it, though.

        • rerun

          but what you don’t understand is that 43,000 denominations really isn’t a big deal. Every Bible only believing, Christ only exalting body of believers operates under at least those guidelines just like the Giants operate under their conference (their denomination) and the conference operates under the MLB. You’re confused.

        • As an aside, I am impressed at how fast you type.

          To your point: I’m saying that the Bible is ambiguous on many things. Not what we’d expect from the omniscient creator of the universe, and not a helpful foundation on which to build a worldview.

        • rerun

          You want to be spoon fed everything is that what you’re saying? You want a God that you can fit in a box is that it?

        • Kodie

          We’d expect god’s words to be perfect and understandable by anyone to agree on what it says and what it means. As you have it, all these faulty humans are prone to interpreting the bible to mean what they’d like it to mean, i.e. fit god in a box. Simple people like theists have been programmed to like what their elders like, and so on, no deities involved, just brainwashing.

        • rerun

          You expect God’s word to be perfect in terms of your definition of perfect, i.e. with no mystery. Your painting with broad brushes because you lack understanding. Actually our church is studying complicated passages in the Bible in a setting where everyone can ask whatever questions they want and don’t budge on the essentials such as Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead, salvation is by grace through faith and God calls us to strive for holy living.

        • Kodie

          There is nothing to understand except that people imagine things, they fear things, they make up stories, and they convince others to go along with it. Myth myth myth myth myth. Nothing more intelligible about your or anyone else’s religion to understand. Fictional characters you think are real, idiots like you who sound like a seven-year-old telling me about dragons and Star Wars.

          A “setting where everyone can ask whatever questions they want” is where they’ll be fed the answers they want you to have, and not learn to think. Good for you, advertise some more about how “studious” you think Christianity is by illustrating how it is actually a cult.

        • Kodie

          Do you think being an uneducated troll is holy living?

        • Your church study group sounds interesting. Ask them for help with the questions you can’t answer.

        • MNb

          Sounds interesting indeed. Could you ask a question on behalf of me? Why should I be grateful for a gift (Jesus dying for my sins) I never asked for and don’t appreciate, because I rather am responsible for my own wrong deeds?

        • Greg G.

          A statement that allows interpretation into contradictory meanings is imperfect if it is meant to convey understanding. If it is not meant to convey understanding, why bother trying to understand it?

        • rerun

          you mean perfect in the the sense of how you define it. Christians debate lots of things in the Bible but we agree on the most important things.

        • Spoon feeding is not relevant to this conversation.

          I have no choice but to evaluate the God claims from my perspective. Not a perfect evaluation tool, I’ll grant you, but I have no choice. And the God claims don’t stand up. Conclusion: they’re not worth following.

        • rerun

          Is it possible that your holding God to a standard that he will not be able to meet, i.e. is it possible that your building a wall to keep God out?

        • I’m building a wall to keep a nonsensical god (one who’s “perfect” but acts like the pampered teenage son of a rich guy).

          My evaluation algorithm stands.

        • rerun

          It doesn’t. You’ve convinced yourself it stands.

        • Any thoughtful person who is actually concerned about following the evidence where it leads (that’s me, though apparently not you) would do just what I do: evaluate the God claims as best as he can. No, his evaluation won’t be perfect–humans aren’t perfect–but it’s the best you can do. The buck stops with you.

          “My pastor sez so!” or “I was raised that way!” or “That story makes me feel good!” don’t cut it.

        • Kodie

          Is it possible that you’re just building mountains of excuses why the god who obviously sucks doesn’t suck? Perfect means perfect, and yet, all I hear Christians saying is how he’s sort of just like you, or anyone, who makes mistakes, or maybe there’s no god, and the stories just contradict each other, and there’s no way to reconcile them.

        • Kodie

          So locally, people can decide amongst themselves which way they choose to subjectively interpret and comply with the bible.

        • adam

          so EACH is the objective source of truth that determines what is and isn’t true in the bible? So, essentially your god, right?

        • rerun

          Thats not what each denomination does. Those that are Biblicaly aligned agree on the primary things. The secondary things are open for dispute just like MLB teams agree to the primary things but the way their various ball clubs are operated are different from team to team

        • adam

          That’s EXACTLY what each denomination does.

          Each defines WHAT ‘god’ IS and what it expects from them.

          Just as YOU do.

        • MNb

          “Those that are Biblicaly aligned agree on the primary things.”
          And each denomination claims it’s Biblically aligned, so Adam is right – EACH is the objective source of truth that determines what is and isn’t true in the Bible.
          Christians can’t agree on anything but the Resurrection – not even on the Trinity. Because they don’t have a reliable method.

        • Cognissive Disco Dance

          The secondary things are open for dispute

          Whoops then somebody was lyin’ when they said “the law of the Lord is perfect” and “the testimony of the Lord is sure”.

        • Greg G.

          The Giants won a lot of games when Bonds was on illegal steroids. Was that objectively moral? Try to give an example that supports your position instead of one that highlights the problems of it.

        • Kodie

          Sports teams all agree to the rules. The only difference is the talent and the uniform and the fan base is in different cities. A talent can transfer to another city and change his uniform, because it’s a meaningless distinction. Denominations will actually tell you, like you’re telling us, that not everyone who says they’re a Christian really is. What the fuck do you know about, propaganda for your church. At the end of the day, all of them are bullshit, but not all of them create assholes of the world like you.

        • Kodie

          You’re on insufficient grounds to determine right from wrong if you don’t think, and just obey. It has made you judgmental, cruel, and selfish. All you want is for others to suffer, and you think that’s the right thing to do precisely because you’ve waived your ability to think. Your “objective” source, by the way is the selective interpretations of writings made by humans in another time and culture by the preferences of people in your time and your culture, and then they also go above that and make up lies so you think abortion is a crisis offense against god, and join the team that stamps out women’s rights, because PEOPLE TOLD YOU that was the right thing to do to feel the right feelings of righteousness. You can’t think, you are absolutely a motherfucking monster.

        • rerun

          so who is suffering when an abortion happens or doesn’t happen? If the mother is denied the right to kill her baby than you’re saying the mother is suffering? Nope. The opposite is true. If the baby is denied its right to live guess who is suffering – the baby.

        • Kodie

          The mother is definitely suffering if you take away her choice. A non-sentient embryo or fetus by definition cannot suffer. If you want to talk about suffering prove it.

        • Kodie

          Who is suffering when you clip your toenails? If the toenails are deprived a right to get as long and curly and nasty as they want, guess who is suffering?

        • adam

          Here is from your 100 percent objective source.

        • Kodie

          You are trying to fit everything into a mold of your own worldview, like everything is analogous. How about reality doesn’t fit into a story? You’re an obedient one, not a moral one. Just say that’s what it is, you obey your master in the sky whom you have never seen and only heard about from other humans who could also be wrong but also convincing to a simple psychopath who can’t think about anything any way that isn’t simple, like yourself.

          In your worldview, everything would be so much better if everyone were a drone living their lives like you think they should. YOU are placing yourself above god, YOU are judging others. Where is that fucking coward, let’s see him after I die, right? Why would someone so perfect send morons like you to speak on his behalf, he’s omnipotent, right? But he’s not a vending machine, that’s because humans made up lies that they then have to cover up with other lies. God is a shitty leader, and you want that poster of Jesus to come alive and give you a hand job so badly.

          Sorry you’re frustrated with unshakeable obedience to something that doesn’t exist!

        • adam

          bible ‘god’ makes it clear that it is not important

        • Kodie

          Sex isn’t a crime.

        • adam

          The bible one as I have noted:

      • adam

        Right, according to the OBJECTIVE MORALITY of the bible

  • rerun

    an atheist can only by definition be a relativist but never a moralist

    • Kodie

      You don’t know morality at all, you know obedience to rules others hand out to you. And guess what? They’re all relative.

      • rerun

        if everything is relative how do you know what’s right?

        • Kodie

          It’s called empathy? I know how I feel when someone does something to me, or if they would, and then I don’t do that because it would hurt someone actual. There is also this thing called talking to someone and asking them if they mind. Bizarre what kind of world you live in when you consult your “elders” and ask them if it’s ok or not to treat someone else poorly, or if what you are doing is treating someone poorly or not. You’re a grown-up in the real world, and you don’t know these things?

        • Since there is no objective morality, how do you know that you are right?

          Or if you say that objective morality exists and is accessible, tell me more. I’ve never seen such a thing.

        • rerun

          because God exists therefore objective morality exists. Don’t ever say something is wrong Bob unless your willing to admit that God exists. You cannot be a consistent naturalist and believe in right and wrong at the same time. You simply have preferences – that’s it.

        • Look up “right” and “wrong” in the dictionary and show me the objective demands on those words. They don’t exist.

          You say that morality is (1) objective (grounded outside people) and (2) reliably accessible by humans? Show me. Give me a demonstration.

          And let me cut to the chase: the best you’ll have is shared morality–torture is wrong, for example. Shared isn’t objective. There’s our natural explanation; no supernatural required.

        • rerun

          its common sense Bob. There has to be an objective source to say “that right there is a deviation from what is considered right”. If your not perfect than you cannot determine “right” on your own. You need whoever is perfect to tell you what is right and wrong than you can determine what is and isn’t.

        • Kodie

          That’s a bullshit way to navigate life, you know. Do what’s right by observing people around you and how they react when you unzip your pants at the playground.

        • It’s common sense, rerun. We use words as they’re defined. Dictionaries are good sources of those definitions.

          Those words have nothing objective in their definitions. Don’t pretend otherwise.

          And, yet again, I challenge you to demonstrate the truth of your oft-stated claim, that objective moral truth exists and is accessible. Take abortion, euthanasia, or some other contentious issue, show us the correct resolution, and show us that we can all access that conclusion.

          Or withdraw your claim.

        • rerun

          dictionaries aren’t objective, Bob. However, Gods Word is. It never changes. It’s always the same yesterday, today and forever as much as that bothers you. Who do you think Daniel Webster appealed to for his original definitions?

        • God dammit–this isn’t hard. We don’t go to the Bible to find the fucking definitions of words. Our words for morality, as you obviously know since we’ve touched on this several times now, make no claim of objective grounding.

          An atheist can make moral claims all he wants. No, they’re not objective, but then neither are yours.

          God’s word never changes? Agreed, though many Christians ignore that fact. I recently blogged about a pastor who insisted on stoning homosexuals. Today. Crazy … but he’s actually being honest to the Bible. You don’t get to pick “God hates fags” without getting the punishment to go along with that crime.

          Most Christians just pick and choose. They realize that stoning for all those crimes in the OT is insanity. Taking the obvious next step–that anything built on that flimsy foundation isn’t worth listening to–is just too hard for them. Pity.

        • rerun

          you’re confused. You miss the fact that even the OT points out that the Law was only temporary and not permanently binding for all nations for all time. Ezekiel 37 demonstrates this well. The OT is forward looking to the NT.

        • Dictionaries give us definitions. No objective morality there. You lose.

        • rerun

          then stop quoting from them to support your various claims

        • When the question is what a word means, we use a dictionary. That’s just how it works–deal with it.

          And we crack open Websters … and find no objective grounding for morality. You lose, again.

        • MNb

          “the Law was only temporary”
          How subjective.

        • adam

          Seems that you are the confused one:

        • rerun

          again, your confused. Jesus fulfilled the Law but it was still temporary and forward looking to Christ. The Law merely demonstrated how corrupt the human condition really is by the simple fact that nobody was able to keep it.

        • adam

          So I am confused, are you saying that your Jesus is LYING, or just confused?

          The Law demonstrates a vehicle in a story.

        • Kodie

          “God’s” words change all over the same fucking book. That’s why you can make that claim, there is something in there to justify anything and if it can’t be justified, you force it to justify. If it can be contradicted by the bible itself, that just means it’s for anyone to justify anything they want, it’s covered in the bible. If you hate gays, that’s in the bible. If you are gay and want god to love you and accept you, that’s in the bible too. They are pointing here, and you are pointing there, and both of you can safely be compliant with the biblical teachings because of what you personally prefer. You will look at their justifying passage and interpret it to mean something else and get into a big fight over it. They will look at your passage condemning homosexuality and say it’s among other rules that are no longer applied. Seriously, if homosexuality is not ok, then neither is eating shrimp and cheeseburgers, it’s just that you got a taste for it and made up a rationalization why that part is no longer applied but homosexuality is still evil. But you won’t accept a gay person’s rationalization that homosexuality and Christianity can go together, and they’re totally ignoring the hate against them, while you both just believe what you want to believe. You change the bible to fit yourself, you make up “contexts” that change the literal meanings of words into metaphors for something totally foreign because you wish it to be meaningful and support your opinions. The bible is a magical book, it can support anyone’s opinions. My favorite is Christians who accept all the other religions and believes as variations and many paths to the same god and the same spiritual place. Never mind that other religions contradict the bible.

          It’s all very “whatever you want,” which is not objective, it’s subjective. You have no greater claim to the true interpretation of the bible than anyone else does. If your bible can’t make a single representative cohesive group of believers out of it, then it’s unreliable for guidance; it’s an unreliable source for information, and you only feel that it’s steering you in a good direction because you cherry-pick the passages that lead you to where you already wanted to go. That feels good when you think god agrees with you. It feeds your ego to align with some words written in a book and believe they are the words of god, that “never change”, while science continues to refine and advance the human condition, Christianity seeks to oppress people to their lowliest status and call it rejoicing, because death is the cult, naturalism doesn’t “lead to” death, it’s a realistic acceptance of death. Christianity actively worships death more than life. You are made to feel wanting for that direct meeting with your creator, because you spend your whole life wandering around and making up crazy excuses why he’s not apparent. You desire death so you can meet up with your invisible friend, just like you’re waiting in an airport for the arrival of your long-distance boyfriend after spending 6 months apart. Christianity seeks to oppress people and keep them herded like obedient sheep, make you anticipate in gladness what you’re waiting for someday, to die. It’s like getting backstage passes to a Rolling Stones concert and finally getting to shake hands with Keith Richards and maybe take a selfi. Christianity doesn’t advance the human condition, it spreads lies and keeps people in a weakened victim state of their abuser, who acts via the church community. When you die, you don’t level up, but you can’t come back and tell people either that it was all a lie, so you just believe and look forward to death.

        • adam

          God’s Word NEVER CHANGES

          So why do you DENY your own ‘god’ and it’s commands?

        • adam

          Just common sense that the bible ‘god’ is IMAGINARY

        • rerun

          your limited concept of reality makes it difficult for you to understand that suffering may just have a purpose

        • Kodie

          Your limited concept of reality makes it difficult for you to understand that there’s no purpose good enough for suffering when there’s a god you call “good”. It’s all hype, you don’t know, you can’t explain, and there’s no reason good enough that any god could come up with to satisfy any person unless they have had a lobotomy, which is what heaven must be like. There’s no heaven good enough to forget all the troubles of earthly life, without turning you into an eternal drone. Which you already are.

          That’s not our problem that you’ve got your head so far up god’s ass that you’re coming out his mouth.

          Literally.

        • rerun

          so, should an ant deny that the consciousness of the human being exists simply because he cannot fathom it?

        • Kodie

          An ant would be stupid if he thought about the consciousness of humans was for his own benefit, or that they only lived by the grace of human love for ants, and understood things like why we might do something like burn them or trap them alive, or poison them was because they were gay or something.

        • MNb

          Exactly because an ant can’t fathom it it can’t deny it either. You’re incoherent.

        • MNb

          Your limited concept of reality makes it impossible for you to understand that purpose is not a synonym for justification.

        • Dys

          The good old “God works in mysterious ways” dodge. It’s the only escape hatch you have to avoid that pesky cognitive dissonance.

        • adam

          EXPAND my reality and demonstrate what purpose suffering has.

        • Greg G.

          What purpose could suffering achieve that an omnipotent being could not achieve without the suffering? Suffering is superfluous, suffering is unnecessary, suffering is gratuitous. If God is omnipotent, he allows suffering because he enjoys that sentient beings suffer and no other reason, which means that he is not beneficent.

        • adam

          Perfect?

          Leaves out the bible ‘god’ then

        • MNb

          Has your god issued those objective morals? If yes then they are not objective, because they depend on the subject god. If no these objective morals exist without your god.

        • adam

          bible ‘god’s’ objective morality:

          Missing In Action

        • rerun

          nope – its ultimately up to God it’s not just a “get out of hell free card” you know say the magic words and everything is okay that’s not how it works

        • MNb

          “its ultimately up to God”
          Aha – the very definition of subjective – morals depend on the subject you call god.

        • Greg G.

          Is it right to steal food to keep a baby alive? Yes or no?

          If “yes”, you do have relative morals. If “no”, you have relative morals.

        • rerun

          yes. again, right on red. try again.

        • Greg G.

          “Objective” is a word game to you. You have no concept of what it means. They use it in church so it must be a good thing. If there are exceptions to morality that depends upon the situation, it is relative and not objective.

          If turning right on red is not objectively moral, then stealing has no objective morality considerations.

          If God commands you to kill your child, is it moral to not kill your child? The fact that God has made that command in the Bible shows that there is no objective morality against killing.

          Can you name one thing that is objectively moral?

        • rerun

          you think objective means one thing. Objective is a context Greg. Its more nuanced than what you’re making it to be. You’re definitions are wooden.

        • What fun–flexible definitions! No one knows what they’re talking about.

          Count me in!

        • Greg G.

          No, objective morality rules out context. When context is considered, morality is relative to the context. That is the position most atheists take. You argue for the atheist concept of reality but fault us for calling it what it is.

          You should get rid of any religion you only agree with because you don’t understand the concepts.

        • Kodie

          you think objective means one thing. Objective is a context Greg. Its more nuanced than what you’re making it to be. You’re definitions are wooden.

          Objective but in a particular context, is fucking subjective you moron.

        • Greg G.

          Can you name one thing that is objectively moral?

          You either forgot to answer that question or you have tacitly admitted you have not a single objective moral.

        • adam

          Objective is beyond context:

          YOUR ‘god’ fails

        • rerun

          So you would deny every person free will? Who said that they won’t be punished?

        • adam

          What free will?

        • Kodie

          It depends. Is it right to steal food from a restaurant if it’s a big corporate chain but wrong to steal from a local mom & pop, but maybe it’s right to steal food from the refrigerator at work with a note on it that says “Theresa” because Theresa is an asshole and makes the best lasagna, and you can see through the tupperware there’s lasagna in it, but wrong to steal your co-worker’s lunch that note says, “liverwurst and gorgonzola with pepperoncini on pumpernickel”. Is it right to steal expensive food like 24-karat gold-infused caviar to sell on craigslist to keep a baby alive, but wrong to use craigslist to threaten people, if they don’t buy your hot caviar, you’re going to drop that baby from the roof. It’s probably definitely wrong to steal food from another baby to keep your baby from wailing something awful to cause you to smother it with a pillow, but right to steal food from another baby that’s really a demon but we have to make sure before we set it on fire and drive stakes through its heart, so stealing its food is ok, as long as the right baby dies.

        • Greg G.

          Good points. I hadn’t envisioned some of those scenarios. Is is right to steal the last meal of a baby before it is sacrificed? Why not give the food to a baby that will have time to digest it?

        • Kodie

          But Greg G., that baby is a hero. You can’t steal food from a brave and honorable baby who is about to sacrifice its own life, to give to a baby who is not brave and honorable. I mean, it’s selfish, really.

        • adam

          Obviously YOU dont….

      • rerun

        so, in your world everything is about preference?

        • Kodie

          No, it isn’t.

        • rerun

          do you believe there is a such thing as the color red?

        • Kodie

          I believe you should change your name to moron.

        • rerun

          Do you believe it is okay to kill a baby in its mothers womb at 24 weeks?

        • Kodie

          I believe it’s ok to let the host make that decision.

        • rerun

          so, when is it okay to not kill an infant?

        • Kodie

          It’s not ok to kill any infants ever.

        • rerun

          is it okay to kill an infant before it is born if it is healthy?

        • Kodie

          You don’t have any argument if you are arguing against late-term abortions.

        • MNb

          Everything can be questioned. This rather unsettling book deals with it:

          http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/909303.The_Tragedy_of_Y

          Fortunately it’s fiction. I never would have thought that these two goofs would have been capable of mixing this ethical dilemma in basically a pulp novel.

        • adam

          When the bible ‘god’ wants you them as PROPERTY….

        • RichardSRussell

          Do you believe its OK to kill a teenager in its mother’s womb at 24 weeks? Because that question makes just as much sense as yours.

        • rerun

          so you only believe its a baby when its born? You do know that “fetus” means baby, right?

        • Kodie

          Are you a fetus?

        • RichardSRussell

          I know no such thing. Not true any more than “fetus” means “teenager” or “embryo” means “senior citizen”. Different stages of human development altogether.

        • rerun

          okay – so do you believe its okay to abort the life inside the mother at any stage?

        • RichardSRussell

          Yeah, sure. Just the same as we’d excise bad tonsils, inflamed appendices, or brain tumors. Why is this such a challenge for you to understand? How much sympathy do you have for excised cancers? I myself have none.

        • rerun

          wow. So a life at 24 weeks in its mothers womb that is perfectly healthy is just like a bad tonsil? If you believe that I’ll have to give you credit you’re at least a consistent naturalist like Dahlmer.

        • RichardSRussell

          No, it’s not just like a bad tonsil any more than it’s just like a baby. But it’s closer to the former than the latter.

          And what’s with this characterization of Jeffrey Dahmer as a naturalist? Did you not read the quotation that I posted of him praising Jesus Christ to the skies in an official court transcript? What exactly do you think “naturalist” means, anyway? He was pretty clearly a supernaturalist.

        • rerun

          he became a supernaturalist after a minister felt convicted to talk to him. You see, in Christianity we believe people can be forgiven. Forgiven doesn’t mean that person can babysit your kids. Not hardly. Forgiven means that you can be right with God. Atheism just kills people for not adopting its ideology.

        • RichardSRussell

          “Atheism” is a condition, a state of affairs, a frame of mind. It’s neither a person nor an animal nor a machine. It can no more kill people than “optimism” can. Or is this another one of those rerun-specific definitions shared by nobody else on the planet?

        • rerun

          your word games won’t keep you from a righteous God at the end of the tunnel. just saying.

        • MNb

          Boooooohhhh, now I’m scared. Didn’t take you long to fall back on “my big imaginary sky daddy will beat you up”.

        • And don’t forget to add, “… and then you’ll be sorry when you realize that I was right all along.”

        • adam

          Righteous?

        • adam

          but you think that they will say YOU….

        • Dys

          You don’t have any evidence for your claims. Just saying.

        • Kodie

          The literal and actual meaning of “forgive” means to erase a debt owed with no strings attached. A friend lends a friend money, and the friendship breaks up over it because one guy won’t pay the other one back, or the borrower can’t believe his friend is making such a big deal and he’ll get his money, just stop nagging. Either that guy has to pay or give his friend something, because his friend is not going to forgive the debt. Until the day he dies, he knows deep down his friend is an asshole who will never do the right thing and pay him back the money he borrowed, and the first thing he’d say when he saw him again is “gimme my motherfucking money, you asshole”. The borrower is all resentful and shit, how can this guy used to be his friend be so mean to him? Rationalizations!

          Anyway, the friend who lent the money to his friend can do something like “forgive” the debt. Free his friend out into the world, and move on with his own life, but that doesn’t mean they have to be friends. It just means, he has crossed that debt off his ledger and expects nothing in return. So the borrower tries to make a plan, like do nice stuff so they’ll be friends again, and the lender says, no need. I’ve forgiven your debt, now get out of my life, you worthless sack of shit. The borrower might even come through with the cash in hopes of being friends again, and the lender may take it or not, but that is not what it means to be forgiven – actually paying your debt or trying to do anything to get in someone’s favor is not how they literally, technically forgive you. If someone is willing to accept a person’s groveling in lieu of the cash that is owed, that is still a form of payment toward the debt. It is up to the lender to set terms, but if the lender’s idea of “forgiveness” is to make the borrower jump through hoops if he doesn’t have the cash, then that entertainment or service value is paying down the debt.

          If there are strings attached, then that is not true forgiveness. God’s offer is not true forgiveness because it comes with requirements. Furthermore, what have I done that I owe a debt to god? I don’t know this guy, and I wasn’t there, so it’s not me who is responsible. I do not seek forgiveness from a fictional character, to begin with, but just according to the rules you believe in, god has a requirement from each person in order to receive forgiveness. Forgiveness would be god simply forgives universally, no strings attached. Instead, he required a baby to be born and grow up and preach and get himself executed violently in order for MY debt to be repaid. And is it paid off yet? No. If I want to be forgiven, I still actually have to do something in order for that to be granted. Jesus in your fantasy has not died in order that I be saved. Rather, he obligated everyone to perform endless groveling and commissioned everyone to market his cult, to sacrifice their normal wonderful life for a life of servitude to their imaginary friend, not because it feels so good to be forgiven, but you can become unforgiven, you can sin, screw up, you’re in constant pursuit of forgiveness, which isn’t true forgiveness. And that’s just on earth. Forgiveness on earth, however poorly you define it, does not mean salvation in heaven. You want that too and hope you make the cut, but god is capricious and just, right? Two words that don’t go together. He can break his promises to save you if you fall behind on your groveling.

          So, anyway, Jesus died for nothing. God does not know how to forgive.

        • Sol III

          Excellent analogy!

        • adam

          Crusades anybody?

        • I was amazed when I read that the Crusades are estimated to have killed up to two percent of the entire world’s population.

        • adam

          Well you know nothing can compare to the Big Guy himself

        • rerun

          ah yes, the story where God gave everyone a chance to repent and they chose not to and decided to commit mass suicide.

        • Dys

          So God is exactly the same as Jigsaw in the Saw movies. Your view of morality is sick and twisted rerun.

          If someone demands your wallet by gunpoint, and you refuse to hand it over, you’ve chosen to get shot, and it’s entirely your fault, right?

        • adam

          Sorry, but when is mass MURDER mass suicide?

        • Kodie

          I find it really hard to believe nobody repented – serious long odds there. I think you just made that up because it goes along well with your fiction that god is good, and because you agree with killing people who don’t conform to YOUR standards. That’s why you are in such a hurry to enact laws to severely punish people that don’t match your own standards, you are not that faithful after all. Is your last name Phelps?

        • Rudy R

          Not a very good endorsement of your god, when an entire world of people chose death over life with their creator.

        • Kodie

          I’m not seeing where god gave everyone a chance to repent. I’m not seeing 100 years of god giving everyone a chance. I read it, and Noah was 500 when his sons were born, and then god resolved to wipe the whole earth of life, but then took special interest in Noah when he was 600, and gave him a week to build a huge boat and gather a zillion pairs of animals.

        • Rudy R

          Anyone with a modicum of scientific and historical knowledge can come to the conclusion that the Genesis flood story is mythology.

        • Kodie

          Well, obviously it is, but if you’re going to take it literally, I think you should know that it doesn’t support the claim. Nowhere does it say god gave everyone 100 years to repent and none did. Noah didn’t even repent. And when god chose Noah out of everyone, he gave a special pass to the rest of his idiot family, even though he hates humanity and wanted to drown everyone. Room for 6 more? Hope they’re not wicked, but if they’re your family, they’re probably fine.

        • Rudy R

          You realize that we agree, right?

        • Kodie

          Yes, but I was responding to rerun, who can’t read his own book. I don’t get a lot of chances to correct people’s selective or creative interpretations of the bible.

        • Rudy R

          rerun is just another Christian troll that pops onto this blog to proselytize to non-believers and has no interest in a coherent, two-way dialogue.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know that rerun has no interest in a coherent dialogue. I just don’t know that he is capable of it.

        • adam

          Inquisition anybody?

        • rerun

          yet atheists want to enslave Christians and tell them how to raise their children

        • Kodie

          Who the what what now? No, that’s Christians.

        • rerun

          nope – Bob said yesterday that that is part of his agenda. He doesn’t think Christians should teach their children the Bible and or discipline them in the manner we see fit. I’ll find his post and paste it here. Hopefully he doesn’t remove it before I find it.

        • Kodie

          Add to the list of your typical Christian qualities – paranoia and dishonesty.

        • And fuck you, too. I’ve never removed any comment of mine.

          As for my evil plans for messing with Christians lives, I’m on the edge of my seat to find out what the hell you’re talking about.

        • MNb

          I don’t think anyone should teach their children any holy book. It’s a waste of time. But that doesn’t mean I will try to force you not to do so.
          As for “discipline them in the manner we see fit” – as long as it’s legal do as you like.
          Of course it’s exactly the other way round. On Patheos I have met many, many examples of christians trying to force non-christian childred to learn the Bible and trying to discipline children who are not theirs the way they see fit.
          You’re a hypocrite.

        • MNb

          That’s a grave accusation. Evidence please or I am going to call you a liar.

        • Oh? Are Christian slaves available? News to me.

          Also news to me: that any atheist wants a Christian slave or wants Christians enslaved.

          Elaborate on this.

        • Dys

          Your misplaced persecution complex is showing.

        • adam

          Sorry, but it is Christians who did this, not atheists.

          I oppose slavery, even when YOUR ‘god’ supports it.

        • Kodie

          It’s not perfectly healthy if you have to use a billion dollar machine to keep it alive for 15 more weeks.

        • rerun

          but we have the means so why not keep it alive? what if you were that baby?

        • Kodie

          I thought you said science was bullshit. Are you seriously pulling “what if it were you, what if you were aborted and never born”? Wouldn’t notice. I wouldn’t want to suffer, but I’d also like to be wanted, as long as some government assholes were forcing me to live. I don’t have my priorities messed up that I’d force a premature non-viable or barely viable fetus stay hooked up on machines just to make you happy. I don’t actually care what an asshole like you thinks, and guess what, if you say “god sez” that’s you backing up your worthless, judgmental, cruel, and selfish opinion with an imaginary friend’s opinion, which is actually your church’s opinion based on selective interpretations and preferences and convincingly marketed to you so well you feel empowered to act like a dick to everyone. Guess what, it’s not objective morality, it’s still just “rerun’s” opinion. God was invented just to make one group empowered to act like dicks to another group.

        • Kodie

          I think it’s funny almost that you think forcefully delivering barely viable babies and keeping them on machines is a decision a 24-week fetus could make. It’s also “if we have the means to keep it alive” when you don’t actually care about keeping anyone alive. Once it’s born, you have no interest in caring for it. People like you generally do not think things through, and would deprive wanted babies who are born too soon to be hooked up to machines to keep them alive, if it puts a gun to your head and steals money out of your wallet. If those parents wanted a baby, they should have saved up all their money in the eventuality they would have to pay out of pocket for exorbitant medical costs, but don’t make rerun pay fer it!

          Just how much money have you given to your church? They’re putting a gun to your head and stealing money out of your wallet – if you don’t, you might go to hell. You said yourself, you have been convinced that if you don’t give away every extra dollar you don’t need, you’re living in sin. They got you to be afraid of the eternal consequences of not giving them your money. And very little of that goes to keeping babies with their mothers who want them but can’t afford them. You know if you keep women pregnant a little longer, you’re just waiting for that magical day they waited too long that you can cut them open and stick their fetus on a machine to wait for some other people to adopt it. But you feel that’s objectively the moral thing to do, is to make decisions for other people, and judge them severely.

        • adam

          bible ‘god’ doesnt care:

        • rerun

          they chose it and God made repentance available to them for 100 years

        • MNb

          Yeah? Do you think the victims of the recent Nepal earthquake chose it too? Including the children and babies?

        • Dys

          Victim blaming to let God off the hook for his immoral actions?

          I don’t think you’re in any way qualified to argue for objective morality at all. Besides which, you still haven’t managed to demonstrate that you actually have an objective morality.

        • adam

          So murdering people is NOT an objective moral condition.

        • MNb

          Then Kodie wouldn’t have been her. What’s the problem?

        • Greg G.

          My parents dropped out of college because i came along. I think they, and any other brothers and sisters they would have had, would have been better off if they had an abortion.

          Personally and subjectively, I’m glad they didn’t, but that’s just me being selfish.

        • adam

          obviously the bible ‘god’ does

          As it happens all the time.

        • Are you saying that the ethics of killing the single cell at one end of the spectrum is identical to killing the baby after it’s born at the other end of the spectrum, 9 months later?

        • rerun

          absolutely. That’s the whole point of objectivity Bob. You’re just proving my point further.

        • You’ve ignored my challenge to show the existence and accessibility of objective moral truth. Not surprising–no one else has tacked it either, so you’re in good company.

          I expand on the spectrum argument in the post that I linked you to. If that interests you, I suggest you read that and respond.

        • adam

          Then you obviously advocate the killing of pregnant brides:

        • Dys

          Thanks for admitting you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. A single cell is not a baby.

        • Dys

          No, it doesn’t. Your grasp of definitions is atrocious.

        • davewarnock

          he makes up his own definitions. Makes it easier that way

        • Dys

          It’s a bit funny…rerun accuses Bob of biased cherrypicking when it comes to bible translations (but doesn’t actually back the accusation up), but is either obliviously dense or intentionally hypocritical when he uses insanely biased definitions that he’s made up for his own purposes.

        • Greg G.

          He doesn’t understand the word “atrocious” so he will give it a positive definition and take it as a compliment.

        • Rudy R

          Somebody has got to say this. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        • adam

          bible ‘god’ does….

        • rerun

          Noah preached to everyone for 100 years and nobody else wanted on the boat it was there choice just like Pharaoh chose to kill all of the firstborn

        • Dys

          Thankfully the flood never happened, as it’s a terrible story. And secondly, Pharaoh didn’t decide to kill all the firstborns. That was God, punishing other people for the actions of others. Which is incredibly immoral.

        • adam

          King James Bible
          And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

          What a miserable monster

        • Greg G.

          Noah preached to everyone for 100 years

          That’s not an excuse for killing fetuses that were just conceived, is it?

        • Ann Kah

          The bible says it’s a baby when it’s born, doesn’t it? Just like the rest of us do. Before that, it’s a fetus. And unless you are carrying that fetus, it is none of your business.

        • MNb

          No, there is no such thing as the color red. There are things that emit light within a certain range of wavelengths. Most people call that range red, but not all.

    • RichardSRussell

      From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:
      Full Definition of MORALIST
      1: one who leads a moral life
      2: a philosopher or writer concerned with moral principles and problems
      3: one concerned with regulating the morals of others

      Please explain how this is incommensurate with being an atheist.

      • rerun

        nobody cares about your definitions. Look up the word marriage in a dictionary that’s 100 years old and then look up the same word in in a dictionary published in 2014 and my point will be crystal clear.

        • Your point isn’t in the least clear.

          Are you saying that the definition of marriage changes? Yes, it does. In just my own lifetime, interracial marriage became legal. Marital rape became illegal. Divorce became far easier.

          Compare the definition of marriage between states and there are subtle incompatibilities right now.

          Don’t delude yourself that the definition hasn’t changed.

        • rerun

          No, what I’m saying is that you naturalists use whatever material is convenient to make your point. You do it all the time with Bible translations. You’ll use the worst translation to make your point. You’ve done it several times. In fact you’ve become sloppily predictable with this behavior for instance with your Psalm 22 article. You only quoted from part of the NET commentary and led the readers to believe that the authors meant a literal lion and not a figurative one as the commentary stated but which you did not post. Would you like me to post the article?

        • Post links to my article all you want.

          I gave the source for the lion bit. Take it up with them.

          But I guess you agree with all the rest and reject it as a prophecy for Jesus? Good to hear that we at least agree on something.

        • rerun

          that’s not what the commentary said Bob. You just grabbed a couple of lines out of it to make your point look credible. Would you like me to post the entire NET commentary from Psalm 22 so we can see if you told the truth or not?

        • You’re asking permission?

          If I misquoted the NET Bible commentary, make the case. If I did so, I’ll correct the post. What’s the big deal? Do it.

          With the minutia out of the way, then come back to the post and Psalm 22. Tell me what’s wrong with my analysis or agree that Ps. 22 is not even close to a prediction of Jesus.

        • rerun

          again, you always use the translations, etc. that support your bias.

        • C’mon, bitch–you got something? Show me. Or admit that you’ve got nothing.

          I’ve corrected myself in the past. If I made an error or an unsupportable point, show me and I’ll fix the post.

          And then you’ll have no excuse to avoid the post about Ps. 22. Show me that it’s wrong or agree that it, too, is correct.

        • rerun

          oh yeah – I got it and I can’t wait to post it because it’s going to make you look like a total duche.

        • Uh huh. I’m waiting.

        • davewarnock

          this was 8 hours ago.
          “can’t wait” has been redefined too I suppose

        • Greg G.

          I can’t wait to see what a “total duche” looks like.

        • davewarnock

          yeah, I was wondering what that was as well

        • Kodie

          MNb would be more of an expert on this, but I thought it would be an animal that says “kjaak kjaak!” Less likely but possible is the one that goes “choeck! choeck!”

        • Ann Kah

          A male version of a duchess, of course.

        • “Don’t make me get my big brother Jesus, because I totally will! I’m not kidding!”

        • Kodie

          You are a liar.

        • Rudy R

          tick tock, tick tock…

        • You do it all the time with Bible translations. You’ll use the worst translation to make your point.

          Seriously? Have you never encountered Christians trying to make a point using some crappy pseudo-translation like the New Living Bible or The Message? It’s not atheists printing and buying “translations” of that low quality. Christians have a terrible record on this issue.

        • MNb

          “You’ll use the worst translation to make your point.”
          Really? I use three translations:

          http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willibrordvertaling

          Made under supervision of the RCC.

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

          and the KJV. If they agree – and very often they do, because the translators weren’t exactly amateurs – I assume the translations are reliable.
          Many, many christians worldwide will enjoy your statement that these belong to the worst ones.

        • RichardSRussell

          1st off, the definition of “moralist” quoted above isn’t my definition; it’s the definition in America’s most respected on-line dictionary, which is based on common usage and understanding of the term.

          2nd, I’m conducting this conversation in the year 2015. I don’t care that, for example, “gay”, “swipe”, and “intercourse” meant something entirely different in 1915. I’m using the term with the meaning understood by today’s audience.

        • rerun

          okay – well I’m using the word in 2015 and defining it this way

          MORALIST

          1
          : one who acknowledges the existence of a deity to formulate an objectively moral worldview

        • RichardSRussell

          Well, you know, if I can define my own words any way I want, the same way you’re trying to do, then you’re a brilliant, insightful psychologist. And by “brilliant” I mean “bullshitting”; by “insightful” I mean “evidence-free”; and by “psychologist” I mean “idiot”. There, this was a fun game. Thanks for playing.

        • Greg G.

          I was going to use a similar argument but you beat me to it. However, I posted a question about stealing food to feed a baby a couple of minutes before you.

        • rerun

          but you loose because its the same as turning right on red. Is it wrong to steal? Yes. Do I always have to stop at a red light? Yep. Can I turn right on red in certain contexts? Yep. Can I steal to feed a starving infant? Yep. Perfectly legal.

        • Greg G.

          You are moving the goalpost. The conversation is whether it is objectively moral to steal. If it is objectively immoral to steal, then saying it is A-OK depending on the situation, is a lie. Is telling lies objectively moral? Is sending a lying spirit to a prophet objectively moral?

        • rerun

          yes it is objectively moral to steal within a particular context such as the one you provided.

        • Greg G.

          Cue Inigo Montoya.

          You have wasted your whole night arguing something you don’t have the slightest understanding of.

          It is not objective morality if it is OK to do it if you have a good excuse for breaking it. That is what you call relative morality when atheists do it and fault atheists for not having an objective basis.

          You should give up religion. It has messed up your mind.

        • Kodie

          Is it objectively moral to steal when you or someone who relies on you is starving, if there are legitimate and accessible avenues for acquiring some food for free?

          However, the actual words you used before were not “objectively moral,” but “perfectly legal”. You’re wrong!

        • Rudy R

          8th Commandment be damned.

        • Kodie

          It’s not perfectly legal to steal anything from anyone for any reason. Turning right on red where there are signs posted not to can cause hazards for oncoming traffic and pedestrians, that you can see there is no one coming but you have to obey the sign. Just because you’re impatient does not justify rationalizing yourself to get in the habit of making your own rules when you see there is no one coming and no danger to turn right on red. I used to live near a city where turning right on red was universally illegal and you were just supposed to know that, no signs were posted. But most cities post signs where it is not safe, and you will be cited if caught. Not getting caught and not causing an accident doesn’t mean you didn’t violate the law.

          Where it is allowed and no signs are posted, you are left to your own judgment, not close your eyes and pray that it will be safe. The light is red because of presumably oncoming traffic including pedestrians, so it’s not ok to turn right on red wherever it is legal if there is traffic that has the right-of-way. You can’t turn legally until it’s clear. You can’t legally bust your way into the oncoming traffic and command your own right-of-way just because there is no sign and you assume you have just as much a right to turn when you feel like it as traffic with a green light has. You have secondary rights; by law, you must wait until it’s your turn.

          But stealing is not legal, not perfectly legal, not sometimes legal in certain situations. In 100% of situations in which you find yourself, dire or not, stealing is illegal. Excusable maybe. We set up charities and food banks so people can go someplace to get food for their starving baby for free, and not be driven to commit crimes. If you have a situation in which you think it’s not only moral, or justifiable, but “perfectly legal” to steal anything, then you’re wrong about that. While we’re at it, it’s also never perfectly legal to turn right on red when it’s not your right-of-way, or not safe, or already illegal, just because you’re in a hurry to get your starving baby to the nearest food bank.

        • adam

          ..
          Well there goes

          ‘that shalt not steal;

          What’s next?

        • Dys

          Actually, stealing to feed a starving infant is still illegal. It might be a justifiable illegal action, but that doesn’t make it “perfectly legal”.

          That’s a loss for you on that one. Unless you’re using another of your specialized, unique definitions again.

        • Kodie

          You’re not moral if you have to ask someone if you’re doing it right. You’re obedient.

        • rerun

          correct I am trying to be obedient. But I have a more coherent worldview than you do. I have an objective source for morality but you don’t. You just have preferences.

        • Greg G.

          No, you pretend you have an “objective” source for morality. Even if your morality came from God, you have no way to tell that your morality is objective.

        • There’s a difference between having an objective source for morality and claiming such a source.

          None of us is fooled–you know that, right?

        • davewarnock

          In looking at this dialog between rerun and several others here I have come to this conclusion: He is enrolled in an Apologetics class at his church or Christian school, and his assignment is to make comments on an atheist blog. He will be graded on how many responses he gets.

          He is free to make outrageous claims supported by absolutely no evidence- other than what he has been told the Bible says about a particular topic. Oh, and he can also quote that fountainhead of wisdom and knowledge- Jeffry Dahmer (or Dahlmer, depending on how he is choosing to spell it at the time). His only objective is to count how many responses he can generate. I fear we have unwittingly played into his clever little hands. He doesn’t have to respond to any challenges or questions directly; he is free to ignore direct questions; or dodge and evade them as he sees fit. He is merely being obedient to the assignment as it was given by the instructor.

          I can’t figure out yet if it was a high school class or a middle school class, but I suspect he will get a good grade.

        • I do wonder what his/her background is.

          I was amused in several places when he threatened to open up a can of whoop-ass of biblical proportions on me by pointing out where I’ve misquoted the Bible. Bring it, I say.

        • davewarnock

          I noticed he never followed up on those threats

        • Greg G.

          Bob is lucky that rerun’s mother put her child to bed.

        • RichardSRussell

          OK, let’s put this to the test. We can objectively show that a solid object dropped anywhere near the Earth’s surface starts accelerating downward at a rate of 9.81 m/s^2. And by “objectively” I mean that anybody at all, at any time, at any place on the planet, can perform this experiment and the results are 100% the same every single time. That’s objectivity.

          So answer me this: Is it morally right to steal a loaf of bread to feed a starving child? And please illustrate with facts and figures how every single person on Earth will, 100% of the time, arrive at the exact same answer to this question.

        • rerun

          is it right to turn right on a red light? I thought you weren’t supposed to go until the light turns green. Same thing. try again.

        • RichardSRussell

          So, once again, you got nothin’. Your vaunted “objective morality” can’t even answer ONE simple moral question with any consistency. Hell, even self-proclaimed Christians, who all draw on the same holy book and traditions, can’t agree on this one. And you pretend to objectivity! Fah. Liar! Fool! No matter how you try to dodge the issue, you continue to have nothing.

        • rerun

          it’s not a dodge. I said “yes” its okay to steal to feed someone who needs food, i.e. starvation. That’s the equivalent of right on red. these are not hard questions. There hard for you because you have tunnel vision with what it means to “steal”. It’s the same as someone who refuses to turn right on right.

        • RichardSRussell

          Do you even begin to remotely grasp that “Is it right to turn right on a red light?” (a question) isn’t even the same form of sentence as “It’s OK to steal to feed someone who needs food.” (a declarative statement), let alone the fact that they refer to 2 entirely different things? A dodge if I’ve ever seen one (except, I’m sure, in the Rerun’s Personal Dictionary of Words That Have Meaning Only to Rerun).

          And you continue to ignore the actual issue, which was not (regardless of what you seem to think) “What does Rerun think is morally correct?” but rather (to repeat) to “… illustrate with facts and figures how every single person on Earth will, 100% of the time, arrive at the exact same answer to this question.” Because that’s what it takes to demonstrate objectivity. Instead, you substitute your own completely subjective opinion and try to pretend that it represents an objective standard.

        • Kodie

          Justifying stealing food is not the same as making a right on red. Making a right on red is actually legal at many intersections, and it’s still illegal to do so uncautiously.

          Stealing food is 100% illegal, no matter the reason, no matter the excuse, it’s never in any case, in any store, in any restaurant, or anyone’s private home or business, to steal what isn’t yours. There isn’t some endcap in every store where it’s legal to just take food without paying for it.

          If someone refuses to turn right on red, they may be cautious that they can’t read a sign that’s behind them, or they can see a pedestrian in the crosswalk that you can’t. When there is a sign posted “NO RIGHT ON RED”, it is also 100% illegal to turn right on red, even if you think it’s ok because you can clearly see there is no oncoming traffic. Signs are usually posted at intersections where there are many angles turning at once, or a blind corner, or an area frequented by pedestrians. The sign isn’t going to chase you in your car if you violate the law, but you do not have a legal right to violate it, regardless of who can catch you.

          You may be quite a lot stupider than previously comprehended, though, if you think there are situations that equate turning right on red and stealing food. Being impatient to get where you’re going is not the same as being starving. Not actually breaking any laws but driving carefully is not the same as breaking the law stealing something that’s not yours, no matter what good reason you think you have. And how can they tell if you’re really starving. You steal a Snickers bar today, and claim that you were turning into the Hulk, you were starving, and if they didn’t let you get away with it, you were about to tear off some bikes chained to the bike rack outside and smash the windows. HUNGRYYY!!! Go ahead, and let them know you had a reason, so you decided above the law to go ahead and commit a crime that served your private purposes, because it was better to steal one candy bar than commit the greater crime of vandalism and damage to property. For legitimately impoverished people, we offer social programs and emergency food pantries that steer them away from the inclination to survive by committing crimes of theft just to eat.

          So, to review:
          Right on red – legal and acceptable, or illegal and unacceptable regardless of traffic on the road at the occasion, according to local laws, signage, and rules of the road. Your excuses or even urgency will never make it legal to overtake someone else’s right-of-way at your red light, or to turn against a sign prohibiting.

          Stealing – 100% illegal, and almost nearly unjustifiable (at least in the US).

        • adam

          So where do you get this ‘objective morality’ that says it is ok to steal?

        • Kodie

          Consider the epidemic of hunger in the US. Now imagine all those hungry people feeling legitimately justified in stealing food. What about me? I’m miles from home with no lunch, and a decision to use $3 I have for gasoline or food. I’m starving, is it perfectly legal or objectively moral to steal food? I’ll pass out if I don’t eat, it’s dire. I’ve been a lot hungrier before – hunger is not something that waits 4 or 5 days to get serious, but it’s been a very light week in my pantry and full of cooking disasters with the items I have left to put together. I missed a great sale on block cheese last weekend for starters, so I used up the last of my cheese on Monday, I dropped an egg on the floor Tuesday, I set off the smoke alarm warming a pan and couldn’t get the fan quick enough and it was the middle of the night, I tried to cook a meatloaf last night with possibly slightly expired ground beef, but when I preheated the oven, it got real smoky again, so I figured out that I couldn’t turn my oven above 300F, so it took two hours to cook (maybe all the way through) a meatloaf which did not make a nice crust, and is basically edible but mediocre. I forgot to pack some because it’s all I had ready to eat, and wondering what I can make tonight without burning the kitchen a 3rd night in a row. I’m not really ready to stick my head in the oven yet (to clean it). Is it objectively moral for me to steal food now, even though I have a huge jar of peanut butter at home (and part of a meat loaf, and other items I can’t cook on low heat, and as much tea as I want, and a box of Raisin Bran but not enough milk) to get me through Sunday?

        • Ann Kah

          Are you in Britain? In most parts of the USA it’s been legal to turn right on red for half a century.

        • MNb

          “We can objectively show that a solid object dropped anywhere near the Earth’s surface starts accelerating downward at a rate of 9.81 m/s^2.”
          Some irrelevant nitpicking: no, you can’t. At the poles it’s 9,83 and at the equator 9,78.

        • I’ve heard it argued that some of the track and field wins at the Mexico City Olympics that beat some of the comparable ones in Helsinki or Oslo really shouldn’t have because the centrifugal force was greater at Mexico City. Gravity-fighting events (long jump, high jump, pole vault), would’ve benefited from the Mexico City location.

        • Kodie

          You don’t have any objective source for morality at all. What you have is a selective interpretation of a made-up myth from thousands of years ago based on your own personal fears and preferences for justice. That’s not objective.

          Obedience is not thinking. Like Nazis. Just following orders. You’re not following Jesus Christ, you’re following someone who claims to you and you believe them that they speak the true selective interpretation of the bible. That doesn’t make any other denomination less true than yours, or less Christian than yours. You are actually a pawn for the church, a body/institution made up of people who tell stories for a living, about how you’ll get to meet god when you die and brag about how awesomely you trolled those atheists one night, over 200 posts or something like that in a few hours. And god would give you a high five, but Jesus is sitting on his right hand. It’s fucked up that you actually believe you deserve commendations from your deity for this. What a cracked up worldview you have, psychopath.

        • adam

          You are NOT trying to be obedient.

        • Dys

          I have an objective source for morality but you don’t.

          Correction: you believe you have an objective source for morality.

          In other words, you don’t have anything more than objective morality by assertion, but it could just as easily be yet another of those dreaded relativistic moralities theists keep railing against.

          You just have preferences.

          And this is basically admitting you don’t have any idea about actual morality whatsoever.

        • adam

          A ‘coherent’ world view, not hardly, you have your own self revealed ego driven view.

        • Dys

          Obedience is not morality.

        • Rudy R

          You have preferences as well. Or can we assume you have a penchant for slavery like your god did in the OT.

        • Dys

          In other words, you’re using an extremely subjective, non-standard definition not in common usage. Got it. Now, why should anyone care about your silly definition?

        • adam

          Then by YOUR definition a Satanist is a moralist?

        • Ann Kah

          Citation needed for that definition, or we can safely disregard it.

        • For the record, Richard, I care about your definitions.

        • adam

          definitions?

          YOUR reference is the ‘bible’, right?

        • Ann Kah

          “Nobody cares about your definitions”. Y’see, that’s your problem right there, rerun. Words have meanings. You are entitled to use your own personal meanings if you like…..but then please don’t complain if everyone wonders what the hell you are talking about.

    • Ron

      The Old Testament god proudly proclaims that it’s an atheist on multiple occasions. So per YOUR very own definitions, God can only be a relativist but never a moralist.

      • Greg G.

        Great point! “There is no god besides me” means God doesn’t believe in a higher power.

    • Rudy R

      Since we are making up our own definitions now, a theist by definition is a dumb ass.

    • Sol III

      Why would you consider ‘relativism’ a bad thing? We enjoy a high standard of ethical living today that would never have been possible even a hundred years ago. Human ethics continue to ‘evolve’ and improve. Continuing to be held to a rigid, archaic moral system established in the bronze age, then updated somewhat in the Iron age, would be hell on earth, indeed.

  • Cognissive Disco Dance

    It sounds like his working definition of anti-theist effectively is people who would take over the government and would outlaw and persecute religion. In spite of what other definition(s) he may have stated. In other words, hello there mister equivocation, what would religion apoplogists do without you.

  • Kerry

    I would point out that there have been “atheistically lead” nations in the current age. Most of these are in Scandinavia, but I believe Australia also elected an atheist Prime Minister…a woman if my memory serves me well. I just finished reading “Society Without God” by Phil Zuckerman which details the success of non-belief in Denmark and Sweden. Yet, with all of that, the societies function well.

    Thanks for this post. It will be most helpful in my conversations with the fundamentalists of several camps.

  • Thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve often said many of the things here. It’s nice to see it formed into one coherent argument.

    The one thing I might point out, is that christianity hasn’t done as much as it claims, or as much as we might think it has done. Leah Mickens’ pair of articles in Free Inquiry, “How a creative humanist minority shaped the nation” (Vol 36, issues 5 &6) is quite a good read. In them, she argues that while christians were talking about social hotbed issues of the day, they were largely ineffective and also countered by christians, and that when small humanist organizations or people actually drew attention to the issue is when things started to move (directly and indirectly). I think the Enlightenment as well has done more for human rights in the West than christianity has ever accomplished.

    What christianity provides today is a sense of community, but I think that sense if overblown, especially in large mega-churches that operate more like corporations than community centers. In all the years I’ve attended church in the States, I can only recall one actual instance of working with a community. And it wasn’t even the community local to the church. In England, the village churches provide more of a sense of community, but even then it’s not really a sort of activism, but more of a place to go. Maybe size has something to do with it, but even the town churches in the States didn’t do a lot in the community, but more with other churches of different denominations.