Scholarly Consensus for the Resurrection? Not Really.

Scholarly Consensus for the Resurrection? Not Really. July 28, 2017

The kid and the shadow

Theologian Gary Habermas has for over fifteen years cataloged articles debating the empty tomb of Jesus and the resurrection. From the thousands he has collected, he concludes:

75% of scholars today say that resurrection or something like it occurred.

(He also cites the same percentage in favor of the empty tomb, but the resurrection is the more sensational claim.)

It would seem that scholars are heavily in favor of the resurrection conclusion. However, a closer look (informed in large part by an excellent article by Richard Carrier) shows a very different conclusion.

This is not peer-reviewed scholarship

Habermas admitted in 2012, “Most of this material is unpublished.” With his data secret, his conclusions are uncheckable. Carrier says that Habermas has denied repeated requests to review his data.

Habermas cites the ever-growing list of articles in his database (3400 at last count), but what does the 75% refer to? Is it 75% of the database articles? If so, how does he deal with multiple articles from one author? Or is it 75% of authors? If so, are professors and street preachers weighed the same? If it’s 75% of scholars, are experts in the fields of theology and philosophy given equal weight with experts in history? What journals and other sources does he search?

Habermas assures us that he is careful to include scholars both friendly and unfriendly to the resurrection idea, but how do we know without seeing the data?

Who’s motivated to publish?

Suppose someone has an opinion on the resurrection and is considering writing an article, pro or con. Are those defending the resurrection more motivated to write an article than those who reject the idea? Are resurrection defenders more likely to find a publisher?

Carrier gives Atlantis as a possible parallel. Even though belief in Atlantis is a fringe idea, there may be more published articles defending the idea of Atlantis simply because defenders are more motivated, and those who reject Atlantis may feel that this is uninteresting or that the few skeptical articles out there already address the issue.

That Habermas’s database can’t correct for motivation and hasn’t been peer reviewed makes his conclusions useless, but there’s more.

A Christian bias

What fraction of the pro-resurrection 75% are Christians? Not having the data, we don’t know, but I’ll guess 99%. I’ll grant that Christians are as smart as anyone else, but does their religion bias their conclusions?

Here’s why I ask: consider polling a group of Muslim scholars. They have no bias against the supernatural, and they understand the Jesus story. But ask them about the resurrection, and they will universally reject it.

The Christian might respond that Muslims are biased by their religious beliefs to dismiss the resurrection. That’s true, but then why are Christians, who are biased to accept the resurrection, allowed to weigh in on this issue?

Is 75% a big deal?

Habermas admits that 25% in his database reject the resurrection claim. Even if we were inclined toward Habermas’s conclusion, is this the foundation on which to build the conclusion that Jesus rose from the dead? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and most of some scholars accepting the resurrection ain’t it.

In an Olympic figure skating event, just 75% of the judges might pick the winner, but that’s not a reliable route to validate a fundamental truth claim.

Or maybe that 75% is compelling!

William Lane Craig defends Habermas’s conclusion this way:

[Ask those who reject Habermas] what source of information they have that leads them to disagree with over 75% of the trained scholars who have studied this question. How did they come by such insight? How would they refute the evidence of the resurrection which has led so many scholars to the contrary conclusion?

Habermas is happy to reject the conclusion of 99% of the experts who understand evolution (see his attitude toward evolution here, here, and here). Ditto for William Lane Craig. Neither is in a position to object to anyone rejecting the 75% conclusion about the resurrection.

There are no grounds by which a layman like Habermas can reject a consensus in science. This problem doesn’t exist within religion because there is no consensus! (I explore that more with the example of the Map of World Religions.)

Habermas ignores the all-important “excluded middle”

Habermas counts votes in only two categories. To see the mistake behind this, consider a 1979 ad for the Bic razor that claimed, “In our test, 58 percent found the Bic shave equal to or better than the Trac II shave.” Notice that the 58% is composed of two subsets: those who found the Bic better (it was the cheaper razor, so I’m guessing this was quite small) plus those who had no opinion. We can only guess, but suppose the fractions were 8% for Bic better, 50% couldn’t tell, and 42% for the Trac II better. With this, the message is suddenly quite different, and it all comes from slipping the large Undecided group into your preferred category.

That’s the problem with Habermas. He counts two categories of authors who cared enough to write a paper and succeeded in getting it published, (1) those in favor of the resurrection hypothesis and (2) those not. But don’t forget category 3, “Other,” composed of scholars who have no opinion or who couldn’t be bothered.

Historians may be the only category of scholar qualified to have a relevant opinion on the historicity of the resurrection (though Habermas doubtless includes many philosophers and theologians). Few historians of pre-Roman Britain or ancient Egypt or Ming dynasty China will have written about the resurrection, but the consensus of historians universally scrubs supernatural stories out of history. Historians are an enormous silent majority that Habermas doesn’t count and that would discard his conclusion if he did count them. Relevant scholars who reject or have no opinion on his hypothesis doubtless overwhelm those who accept it.

What biblical scholar can speak freely?

How many of the scholars in Habermas’s database signed a statement of faith at their place of employment? That is, how many are not free to follow the facts where they lead but have their jobs and even careers on the line if they stray?

Consider what happened to Mike Licona when he wrote a 700-page book in 2010 containing a single conclusion objectionable to fundamentalists. He lost two jobs and was out on the street. Christian scholars in such positions are unable to be objective, and every scholarly conclusion of theirs is suspect. Their statements of faith hang like a Sword of Damocles over their heads.

This includes Gary Habermas himself. The statement of faith at his Liberty University says, in part, “We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true revelation of God; it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters.”

Dr. Habermas, about that conclusion of yours: is that you or your faith statement talking?

But forget all that for a moment. Let’s pretend this argument—“Given the crucifixion, heavy stone, and guarded tomb, how do you explain the empty tomb??”—is strong. The most we could say in response is, “Wow, good question—I dunno.” Habermas wants to jump to the most ridiculous option possible, that it’s all part of the perfect (yet unaccountably convoluted) plan of a supernatural being who created the universe.

Anything explained has been explained to date with naturalistic explanations, and Habermas would need to show why this situation is the counterexample. Until then, we already have a bin for the hundreds of other false supernatural tales, and that’s where this one belongs.

Recommendation to Habermas

Habermas says about his database, “The result of all these years of study is a private manuscript of more than 600 pages.” That’s an impressive project, and yet his argument crumbles under scrutiny. This frequently-cited database is no proxy for a simple poll of historians.

A poll would have been far less work, and it actually would’ve provided useful information—just not the information that Habermas would like to see.

Continue:Responding to the Minimal Facts Argument for the Resurrection

If Christ has not been raised,

our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
— 1 Corinthians 15:14

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 2/17/14.)

Image credit: Paolo Braiuca, flickr, CC

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • RichardSRussell

    The database isn’t to convince the disbelievers, it’s to buck up the wavering.

    • Kevin K

      And it’s a “private” database, so you have to take his word for it that it even exists!

      And 600 pages? Really? A database of 3400 articles is 600 pages long? That’s a pretty weird database. I have a database of several thousand scientific articles on a topic related to my work, and it’s nowhere near that long. In fact, on my computer, there are 35 folders within the main folder, organized by sub-topic and/or year, and even if I expand the entire thing out, it’s only a handfull of page scroll-downs.

      All-in-all, this is a “show me” kind of a claim. It’s not “extraordinary evidence”, so should be quite simple to forward as a pdf file. If the file size is too large, you can set up an ftp site, or share on Dropbox or similar cloud service.

      • Maybe it’s double spaced. Maybe there are notes or an abstract in addition to the bibliographic reference. But yeah, 600 pages sounds rather too grand.

  • Herald Newman

    Here’s something to mull over. Consider any proposition of which we are 75% confident is correct. Consider taking “we’re 75% confident that this drug won’t kill you right away”. Would you take that drug?

    Now take this to your preferred religion. Do you want to be taking such a huge leap on something that only 75% of some group of people are confident in?

    • Mr. A

      Yes because it makes me feel good!

      • Herald Newman

        Which is a perfectly acceptable reason. If only the religious would admit that this was their reason for accepting their particular religion.

  • wtfwjtd

    I find it ironic, this “empty tomb” that Habermas and is cohorts keep blathering about, wasn’t “discovered” until the fourth century. This means that even the “disciples” talked about in the New Testament didn’t know its whereabouts, and neither did Paul or anyone else. So, how can we know that “the resurrection or something like it actually happened”, when the people involved in the story itself don’t even know where it was supposed to have happened? It just don’t add up.

    • Greg G.

      As I like to point out, if the empty tomb was a good argument, I think Acts 26 would have Paul mention that to Agrippa. He used the Jews as character witnesses so he should have been able to have them back him up if the empty tomb was a real thing.

    • Something this fundamental to the Christians would’ve been identified as a shrine on Day 1. If it happened, it’s hard to imagine that everyone in the Christian world didn’t know precisely where the tomb was. And there’s loads of financial incentives for those living near a pilgrimage site like this.

  • Kevin K

    A particularly bad attempt at argumentum ab populum if you ask me.

    Why not a MILLION scholars? Or a BILLION!!! He sounds like Dr. Evil.

    • Jenna

      I’m not sure your analogy works in this context

  • skl

    “I’ll grant that Christians are as smart as anyone else, but does their religion bias their conclusions?”

    I think maybe it all comes down to bias.
    No one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove
    that the resurrection did happen or didn’t happen.

    • adam

      “No one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove
      that the resurrection did happen or didn’t happen.”

      Except the fact that it never does happen.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/240e76b809830834292884152c7c7a48f8ec22c813ae1f56a7ed4223ab63de54.jpg

    • Kevin K

      Well, actually, again I’m going to disagree with you. There is one absolutely iron-clad way you can provide evidence that the resurrection happened.

      Show me the risen Jesus, holes and all. Do that, and I’ll remove every single objection I have to every account in every gospel — canonical or otherwise.

      The fact that you’ve been waiting 2000 years for this guy to get back from whatever he’s doing in heaven should provide a clue that, even if we accept for argument’s sake that he existed at all, he ain’t coming back.

      • Scooter

        The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 peter 3:9

        • Michael Neville

          So why hasn’t your Jesus shown up? He said he would come back in the 1st Century.

          Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Matt 24:34 (NIV)

        • epicurus

          That alone should have shut the whole thing down around AD 100 or so.

        • Scooter

          Greg Koukl points out, “Never read a Bible verse.” What he means is that if you try to make a doctrine or an understanding from just one verse without reading the whole passage or the context of the verse then you’ll likely mess up. I would recommend you go back and read the chapter trying to see how that verse fits in to what Jesus was teaching

        • Michael Neville

          Unlike you I read the entire chapter. If you bother to do so you’ll see that the verse means EXACTLY what I said it means. Nice try, though. If I hadn’t been paying attention, you might have got away with bullshitting your way out of an obvious contradiction in your “holy” book.

        • Scooter

          The things that Jesus had been speaking of in this section-the rise of the Antichrist, the desolation of the Holy Place, and the darkening of the sun did not happen during the lifespan of people alive in Jesus’ day. Obviously, Jesus meant something different when He spoke of “this generation.”

          Once again let me stress-CONTEXT! if you don’t understand the verses surrounding what Jesus said especially the verses that come before verse 34 then you won’t get it.

          In Matthew 24:4–31, Jesus is clearly giving a prophecy; He is speaking of future events. Jesus had already told those living during His earthly ministry that the kingdom had been taken from them (Matthew 21:43). Therefore, it is imperative that Matthew 24–25 be seen as dealing with a future time. The generation that Jesus speaks of “not passing” until He returns is a future generation, namely, the people living when the predicted events occur. The word generation refers to the people alive in the future when the events of Matthew 24–25 take place.

          Jesus’ point in His statement, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place,” is that the events of the end times will happen quickly. Once the signs of the end begin to be observed, the end is well on the way-the second coming and the judgment will occur within that last generation. Jesus reinforced this meaning with a parable in Matthew 24:32–33: “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” A sure sign of summer is the leafing of the fig tree; a sure sign of the end of the world is that “all these things” (of Matthew 24) are taking place. Those who are on the earth then will have only a short time left.

          Essentially, Jesus is saying that, once the events of the end times begin, they will happen quickly. The age of grace has continued for a very long time. But when the time for judgment finally arrives, things will be wrapped up posthaste. I’ll leave the conversation here.

        • eric

          The things that Jesus had been speaking of in this section-the rise of
          the Antichrist, the desolation of the Holy Place, and the darkening of
          the sun did not happen during the lifespan of people alive in Jesus’
          day. Obviously, Jesus meant something different when He spoke of “this
          generation.”

          No, it’s not obvious. You’re arguing circularly; beginning with the assumption that Jesus must have been right in order to interpret the meaning of his claim, which leads you to the conclusion that Jesus was right.

          Get rid of the apologetic premise that Jesus must have been right and the answer to why those things didn’t happen in Jesus’ day is much simpler: he made wrong predictions.

        • Zeta

          Scooter: “Obviously, Jesus meant something different when He spoke of “this generation.”

          Stale and unconvincing apologetic twisting of words. You seem to have forgotten many other so-called prophecies related to this. For example,

          When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:23)

          Scooter, how many towns were there in little Israel for them to go through, millions of them? Are they still alive today and they haven’t finished preaching in Israel even after 2000 years because your god has not appeared as he promised. Which word(s) are you going to reinterpret: “you”, “towns”, “Israel” or …?

        • TheNuszAbides

          Which word(s) are you going to reinterpret: “you”, “towns”, “Israel” or …?

          my popcorn’s on “going through”.

        • Max Doubt

          “The things that Jesus had been speaking of…”

          As far as we know, objectively, you and I, there is no way to support any claim that Jesus ever said anything.

        • Obviously, Jesus meant something different when He spoke of “this generation.”

          It’s obvious if you assume that the Bible is correct. If you assume that it is just what it looks like—yet one more book of ancient legend and myth—then the obvious interpretation is that the Bible is a manmade book that here is simply wrong.

          Honestly, this explanation works very well in solving countless problems in Bible study. Give it a try.

        • No. What Koukl means is that when you find a single embarrassing verse that you wish to God weren’t there, just paw through the Bible to find one that rebuts it and then pull together some bullshit reason why the second one takes priority.

          Ain’t exegesis fun?! The Bible is a sock puppet that you can make say whatever you want! 🙂

        • That Jesus! Such a joker. Had you going, didn’t he?!

        • Jack Baynes

          If by “perish” I assume you mean die unsaved.
          If the Lord didn’t want anyone to die unsaved, why did he wait thousands of years after the Garden (taking your chronology), and only THEN show up to provide a route to salvation. And even then, only give that gift to a handful of people in the backwaters of Rome?

          Why was God willing that all the people before Jesus should perish, and all the people in other parts of the world during the following centuries should also perish?

        • Scooter

          The death of Christ as the basis of salvation pertained to the Old Testament people as well as folks from the death of Christ to this very day. This action on the cross I believe is the pivotal point of history (even as we mark our calendars with it).
          A person to be justified by God has always needed faith. The object of one’s faith for salvation has always been God. Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness.
          As time went on the content of a believer’s faith changed. God’s progressive revelation is seen as you read through the Old and then the New Testaments. Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross.

          Today, we know the full picture. One’s salvation is still based on the death of Christ, and faith in Christ is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today the content of the Christian faith simply is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day.

        • Jack Baynes

          You didn’t answer my question.
          If God didn’t want people to “perish” why did he wait so long and why did he only present the story to a small number of people, ensuring the many other people would perish before Jesus’s story could be spread?

          The object of one’s faith for salvation has always been God. Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness.

          Abraham? Righteous? Don’t make me laugh. The man was willing to kill his own son.

        • TheNuszAbides

          indeed, “Genesis 15:6 tells us” that “I have to know I can trust you!” is a great addition to the psychopath’s playbook.

        • eric

          The death of Christ as the basis of salvation…
          …makes no sense.

          Why does an Omnipotent God need to do anything to open the gates of heaven to humans? To wash away our sins? Can’t he just will those things?

          [Snap fingers, price of sin paid/payment no longer needed] would be perfectly within the power of an omnipotent being.

        • Scooter

          Well, let’s consider your argument on a human level. Why shouldn’t an all-powerful Warden of the State penitentiary snap his fingers and absolve every inmate no matter what crime he or she has committed? We all realize and even expect that when a crime against an individual is committed then justice requires a penalty for that crime.

        • Michael Neville

          How does someone else suffering and dying for my sins absolve me? That makes no sense. If I’ve offended then I should be punished. Someone else being punished for my transgressions is arbitrary and just plain unjust.

          Besides, Jesus didn’t die. He spent a lousy afternoon hanging around the crucifix and then, day and a half later, he’s good to go again. Not only did Jesus not die (dying means becoming and remaining an ex-Jesus) but, being god, he knew he wouldn’t die. That’s part of the boilerplate god contract, no permanent dying. What’s the sacrifice?

        • Two Americas

          How does someone else suffering and dying for my sins absolve me? That makes no sense.

          I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry, I’m not seeing it. What I am seeing is Jesus dying pour encourager les autres. (See wikipedia article on John Byng for explanation.)

        • Two Americas

          Interesting. Sure. I am not trying to debate anything about Jesus, necessarily, though.

          Suffering is a way to bring attention to something that is wrong. That often expressed and experienced by proxy, as sympatico suffering. “It disturbs me to see that child beaten. Ever since I cannot eat or sleep.”

          I am surrounded by people at work who sacrificed everything, made courageous journeys, entered a hostile society, live in constant fear, do back-breaking labor in the hot sun – all in exchange for, in order to redeem, their children’s lives. They suffer so that their children won’t.

          An historical example of this involves William and Fanny Seward. Though they both had long been opposed to slavery, it was not until they made a trip to Virginian and happened to see children in chains being whipped and driven down the road that they committed themselves to the cause of ending slavery. Not only could the redemptive suffering be seen in that case as the emotional suffering the Sewards felt, more importantly the suffering of those children led to the redemption of millions.

          What would the world be like if no one ever sacrificed themselves for others? What would the world be like of no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others?

        • Michael Neville

          You’re talking about something different. The Sewards saw evil being committed and so worked to have the cause of that evil eliminated. That has nothing to do with substitutionary atonement, someone being punished for other peoples’ transgressions.

        • Two Americas

          No, I heard this first, and have heard it many times from Jesuit scholars. I may not have explained it well. Granted, it is in operation outside of religious circles often, and is rarely seen within religious circles.

        • Susan

          I heard this first, and have heard it many times from Jesuit scholars. I may not have explained it well.

          You explained it as well as any Jesuit scholar I’ve ever read has explained it.

          It’s shite.

        • Two Americas

          You are a lunatic. You cannot fight the irrationality of thew religionists by imitating them.

        • Max Doubt

          “What would the world be like if no one ever sacrificed themselves for others? What would the world be like of no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others?”

          What would the world be like if there was some magical agent with the power to do literally anything anyone can imagine, and one of the characteristics of that agent was that it didn’t want people to suffer?

        • Orestes60

          These types of magical powers are better left to the imagination.
          Better to deal with real world suffering and real world redemptive suffering as per the details provided.

        • Two Americas

          Not sure what your point is.

        • Orestes60

          Good post.

        • Two Americas

          It is impossible to talk about this, probably, without causing mindless resistance. “He is defending Jesus!” I am talking logic, not religion. Someone else posted “what would the world be like if there was some magical agent with the power to do literally anything anyone can imagine, and one of the characteristics of that agent was that it didn’t want people to suffer?” I think it was meant as a taunt – not sure – but the answer is obvious. No suffering means no freedom and no life. Besides, of a child falls off their bike, and was hurt, does that mean then that the parents wanted them to? How would the parents absolutely prevent the child from ever harming itself consistent with the child learning, growing and experiencing -living, in other words?

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course. One person sacrifices themselves – suffers – to save the lives of others – prevent suffering. One persons goes to jail to bring attention to the suffering of many others. One persons says “no” and refuses to comply with cruelty at the risk of being cruelly dealt with, for the benefit of the group, of others. That is fundamental to our existence as humans, as social animals. Turning that topic into some sort of adolescent Jesus versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

        • People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Why can’t an omnipotent god bring about that greater good without the suffering?

          Your praise of self-sacrifice makes sense, but that’s what we’re stuck with when we only have ourselves to improve society. In other words, you’re arguing that the evidence around us is that there’s no need for a god. Nothing is left unexplained that “God did it” is required for.

        • MR

          In an uncaring world, sure, pain can makes us better appreciate not-pain. That doesn’t convince me that a pain-free environment still isn’t preferable. Then, when you throw in an active, omnipotent character, it’s like saying it’s okay to beat your kids so they can appreciate life better.

        • Stockholm Syndrome?

        • Two Americas

          You are barking up the wrong tree.

        • Doesn’t help me. Can you expand on this? For example, do you have reasons that I should find compelling for why God exists?

        • Two Americas

          I am not talking about the existence or non-existence of God.

        • Seems like I asked a reasonable question about an omnipotent god bringing about a greater good through suffering vs. doing so without suffering. No response?

        • Two Americas

          Is that how it seems to you, Bob?

          I don’t have any opinion about what any omnipotent gods can and cannot do so I can hardly respond to your interrogation, can I?

        • I’m wondering if my question isn’t properly phrased as a question or if I need to add “please” or “Simon says” or something.

          You offered an answer to “why does God allow suffering?” to which I responded. My sense now is that this is not something you want to discuss.

        • Two Americas

          You are barking up the wrong tree. I am not promoting or defending Christianity nor Jesus.

          Why are you having difficulty comprehending that? I mean, if you are going to do battle against Christians and Christianity wouldn’t it be a good idea yo correctly identify your targets? Selecting out people at random to harangue, and rant and rave at is what the fundies do, is it not?

        • sabelmouse

          just yesterday on the guardian i was commenting on World of leather: how Tom of Finland created a legendary gay aesthetic and how the costumes inspired by that, freddy mercury, village people ectr reminded me unpleasantly of ss uniforms.
          this person just kept at me, i think he say it as mercury, or bdsm hate.
          it’s not that hard a concept to grasp that i have issues with that style.
          there’s no talking sense with some people.

        • Two Americas

          Purple coneflowers blooming here this week…

        • Why are you having difficulty comprehending that?

          Because you hadn’t told me before.

          Selecting out people at random to harangue, and rant and rave at is what the fundies do, is it not?

          It might be, but so what? Where is the rant? If you think that responding to your response to “why does God allow suffering?” was a rant, you’re probably too sensitive for conversation at the adult table.

        • Two Americas

          Because you hadn’t told me before.

          Four times in this subthread alone, directly to you, and many other places in this thread.

          I guess you just can’t say it too many times…

          I am not promoting or defending Christianity nor Jesus.

        • Greg G.

          You made an assertion in an atheist forum that assumed there was a god. When people questioned you, you became defensive. Now you are being a sea lion.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a722b7cd4172c752e84cba36d01ac459c75b0b977d34184e4aa035780551d92e.png

        • TheNuszAbides

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          your words. you can’t get there on logic alone.

        • Two Americas

          Fck off.

          As I said about 100 times on this thread – 2 weeks ago- I am not promoting or defending Jesus nor Christianity.

          I would rather have the worst fundies show up at the door than deal with the atheists on this thread. A pig headed and obnoxious lot you are, that’s for sure.

          You are blocked, so don’t bother spewing any more idiotic remarks in my direction.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Oh, don’t pretend you know nothing about virtue signaling at all costs. What adorable faux-naievete!

        • Two Americas

          I was merely quoting the answer that Christians give to the question.

          Hey, you are doing the same thing! Must be your words.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i should have said that I consistently used a quotation function. you quoted a typical non-theist question, then proceeded to not actually quote a typical theist answer.

        • TheNuszAbides

          except that I actually utilized a quotation function. strangely enough, that kind of carelessness can actually throw readers off the scent of your train of thought. but instead of simply clarifying, you acted like the confusion was everyone else’s fault.

        • MR

          Blocked.

        • Yeah, well, I need to take some responsibility for that, I guess. After all, I did ask a question that undercut his thesis.

        • Orestes60

          Yes. A waste of time from my perspective also.
          Thanks for fleshing out your post even further.

        • Greg G.

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Or because God is actually sadistic and enjoys it when sentient beings suffer. Or God is not powerful enough to prevent it. But why call either of those beings God?

          Pain is necessary as a motivation to prevent injury or to keep from making an injury worse while it heals. Any type of pain is a form of suffering. So suffering is necessary in a world with no gods.

          If suffering achieves some purpose, then the purpose is logically possible to achieve. If it is logically possible to achieve, then an omnipotence or a sufficiently powerful being can achieve it, even by the weak definition of omnipotence or sufficiently powerful.

          If an omnipotence, or a sufficiently powerful being, can achieve the purpose, then the suffering is unnecessary. Any greater good achievable with suffering is achievable by a sufficiently powerful being without the suffering. An omnipotence allows unnecessary suffering is not benevolent.

          So the Greater Good argument fails.

          I visited New York this week, saw some good friends, the American Museum of Natural History, had some good food, then visited two cousins in DC who I had seen only once as adults. The walking in New York made my legs a little sore so it was painful to put my foot on the brake pedal. The soreness did not make my free will any freer. We can have free will without suffering.

          Pain and suffering are an understandable part of life in an indifferent universe. It is completely unnecessary if there is a decent god thingy.

        • Two Americas

          I am not arguing for or against the existence of God. You haven’t addressed what I wrote (not that you are required to do so, of course.)

          But do carry on, and pay no attention to me. Good luck with all of that.

        • Greg G.

          I did address what you wrote in the second paragraph. Yes, suffering has a purpose in life with no gods. That’s all there is to your claim. When people start trying to apply those purposes to explain why their god allows it, it doesn’t work.

          Pain keeps us alive. It does not improve free will. If anything, it limits free will, if it exists.

        • Two Americas

          You are one supreme PITA. I am not making any fcking claims, and I am not talking about any gods.

          There is no shortage of religious people to argue with. Go find one.

          Grab Finnish Yoopers, why don’t you?

        • Greg G.

          I am not making any fcking claims

          My apologies. I thought all those words you posted were supposed to mean something.

          Carry on.

        • Susan

          I am not talking about any gods.

          But you were.

          I quote:

          “Why does God allow suffering? To bring out a greater good of course…”.

          How is that not talking about god(s)?

        • Two Americas

          I am not advocating or defending religion. Is there some shortage of Christians to beat up on or something? WTF is wrong with you?

        • Greg G.

          It’s not about beating up on Christians. It is a discussion of topics. If you say something that someone doesn’t agree with, they will question it and/or ask for the support of the position stated. Instead of defending or elaborating on your position, you attack the other person for disagreeing.

          If you use an argument that is typically used by Christians, you may face opposition, not because of religion, but because it is a poor argument that needs some support.

        • Orestes60

          The quote is: “People ask ‘why does God allow suffering?’ The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course. One person sacrifices themselves – suffers – to save the lives of others – prevent suffering. One person goes to jail to bring attention to the suffering of many others. One person says ‘no’ and refuses to comply with cruelty at the risk of being cruelly dealt with, for the benefit of the group, of others. That is fundamental to our existence as humans, as social animals.”

          You rabid anti-theists are as irrational, fanatical, and fundamentalist black & white thinking as rabid theists.
          It’s mildly entertaining to watch the frothing at the mouth rather than acknowledgment of our common humanity as social animals with diverse social practices which produce a multiplicity of myths, ideas, and beliefs.

        • Two Americas

          Excellent post. Thanks for that.

        • Greg G.

          The guy had “why does God allow suffering” in the first sentence and “bringing about a greater good”, then got butthurt because people questioned him. He didn’t attempt to support his position. He is a troll.

        • Orestes60

          He’s no troll and he supported different perspectives on the (not necessarily religious) concept of “redemptive suffering.”
          The trolls are imo the ones who argue that there’s only one true belief about redemptive suffering.

        • Zeta

          Do you mind giving me some credible sources to the non-religious meaning of “Redemptive Suffering”? What is your understanding of the term?

        • Orestes60

          @twoamericas:disqus did some posting on that concept to you.
          Additionally he gave some secular and humanist examples.
          I pretty much see eye-to-eye on the concept with TA.

        • Joe

          Why should we accept the definition provided by an anonymous stranger on the internet?

          Where did Two Americas get his definition from? Did he cite a source?

        • Orestes60

          You don’t have to “accept” anything or anyone.
          Take the subject up with TA and request a cite from him.

        • Joe

          I’m asking you why you feel his definition is so compelling?

        • Orestes60

          His descriptions make sense.
          He doesn’t have an anti-theist or a pro-theist axe to grind.
          It’s like other social practices described in religious writings.
          Just because the religions are based in myth, doesn’t mean that the intersubjective or social practices described therein have no social value.
          Are you familiar with the term the social imaginary? The imaginary, or social imaginary is “the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols common to a particular social group and the corresponding society through which people imagine their social whole.”
          Along with symbolic subjectivity (as Thomas Carlyle wrote: “Man as symbol-maker made conscious of himself as symbol-maker”) and the objectively, physically, phenomenally real (“an objective reality exists which is shared by rational observers”); the social/intersubjective imaginary is one of the three intersecting orders that structure all human existence.
          Here’s some worthwhile reading imo. https://awaisaftab.blogspot.ca/2013/09/imagined-realities.html
          Compare redemptive suffering with dignity being harmed through injustice. There is no objective dignity and justice and there are no objective principles of dignity and justice. So what? The social imaginary; i.e. our agreed upon myths, values, laws, etc; confers belief that dignity, justices, and injustices socially exist. You can’t destroy these myths simply because justice isn’t objectively real. Why would you want to destroy the mythical concept of justice if you could. Apply the same to the provided descriptions of redemptive suffering.

        • Joe

          His descriptions make sense.

          They aren’t correct though. As have been pointed out.

          He doesn’t have an anti-theist or a pro-theist axe to grind.

          How do you know that?

          It’s like other social practices described in religious writings.
          Just because the religions are based in myth, doesn’t mean that the intersubjective or social practices described therein have no social value.
          Are you familiar with the term the social imaginary………etc.

          That’s a separate issue to the topic at hand.

        • Orestes60

          They are as “correct” as your protestations, no?
          I know that due to my long relationship with @twoamericas:disqus away from this website.
          A specific concept, i.e. redemptive suffering, within the social imaginary IS the topic. Whether or not you can understand it in that context is a separate issue.

        • Joe

          They are as “correct” as your protestations, no?

          No. My protestation is that Two Americas (TA) is not using the correct definition of the term. This is not some postmodern paradise where whatever you believe is true.

          I know that due to my long relationship with Two Americas away from this website.

          Now it makes sense. So is TA always correct? Why should we belevie you both?

          A specific concept, i.e. redemptive suffering, within the social imaginary IS the topic. Whether or not you can understand it in that context is a separate issue.

          I do understand it. You and TA are using the wrong definition. You also conveniently seem to overlook this is a blog regarding Christianity, which it’s followers believe is more than a social construct.

        • Orestes60

          If you really, Really, REALLY believe that the concept “redemptive suffering” only has one true meaning; then you are beyond help.

          I answered your question as to why I know TA doesn’t have an axe to grind regarding the theist vs anti-theist polemics here. If you wish to make it more than that, then I’m not going to make that into my problem.

          So what if this is a blog regarding Christianity. Redemptive suffering has an application which has nothing to do with Christianity. Just as former Christians in this comment section want nothing to do with Christianity. Does that mean you and your ilk wish to turn the comments section into a militantly anti-theist echo chamber? Looks like it.

        • Joe

          If you really, Really, REALLY believe that the concept “redemptive suffering” only has one true meaning; then you are beyond help.

          It does. The definition has been provided many times, but here is another one:

          http://www.thedefender.org/RedemptiveSuffering.html

          I answered your question as to why I know TA doesn’t have an axe to grind regarding the theist vs anti-theist polemics her

          You understand why that’s not convincing to the rest of us though?

          Redemptive suffering has an application which has nothing to do with Christianity.

          Fine, go discuss that somewhere else.

          Does that mean you and your ilk wish to turn the comments section into a militantly anti-theist echo chamber? Looks like it.

          No, we would like to discuss matters pertaining to religious belief. If your position is not a religious one, why are you so concerned that we are apparently anti theist?

        • Orestes60

          You are beyond help. So sorry.

          I’m not here to convince you that I’m a credible source of information for true believers.

          So exercise some self-discipline and stop posting to me about “redemptive suffering” having secular and humanistic applications. Is someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to tap “Reply” and type out some fictive language and then tap “Post”?

          … why are you so concerned that we are apparently anti theist?

          I’m intrigued by the false dichotomous black and white cognition between anti-theistic atheists and theists. It’s part of recognizing the value of agnosticism and skepticism and igtheism while observing anti-theists and theists.

        • Joe

          You are beyond help. So sorry.

          Then why do you keep replying with nothing of substance whatsoever?

          I’m not here to convince you that I’m a credible source of information for true believers.

          Good, because you’re doing a terrible job.

          So exercise some self-discipline and stop posting to me about “redemptive suffering” having secular and humanistic applications.

          I’m not. You are. Remember?

          Is someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to tap “Reply” and type out some fictive language and then tap “Post”?

          No, I just care about the truth. Which is why I don’t use question-begging terms like fictive when addressing points made by others. Lazy.

          I’m intrigued by the false dichotomous black and white cognition between anti-theistic atheists and theists. It’s part of recognizing the value of agnosticism and skepticism and igtheism while observing anti-theists and theists.

          So, you like to feel superior? This has been confirmed multiple times.

        • Orestes60

          Are you unaware that the counterclaim about “redemptive suffering” having secular and humanistic applications is still about “redemptive suffering” having secular and humanistic applications? You’re certainly not arguing the religious position. Are you a closeted religious person?

          Why am I doing a poor job convincing you and your ilk. True believers are only convinced by information which enmeshes with their established set of ideas via confirmation bias. You are a stellar example. Kudos.

          If you don’t understand the nature of language being fictive, then I’m wasting my time with you. I don’t have to block you. I will simply ignore you. You have nothing of substance to offer as you assert that you only care about the truth. THAT’S the superiority complex, bub.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s part of recognizing the value of agnosticism and skepticism and igtheism while observing anti-theists and theists.

          So why don’t you try a little skepticism? Or are you too busy sneering at atheists?

        • Orestes60

          I have antipathy towards true believing anti-theists. Sue me.

        • Michael Neville

          Pardon me, sir or madam, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a damn about your reactions to anti-theists.

        • Orestes60

          Then why give a damn for my so called “sneering.”
          Maybe you simply protest too much over perceived slights.

        • Michael Neville

          You do have a high opinion of yourself. Too bad you’ve done nothing to justify that opinion.

        • Orestes60

          I think that I understand the various ambits of ideology, the social imaginary, the ontological objectively real, and having both an overview and under-view of these orders of existence.
          You post like that’s a bad thing.

        • Michael Neville

          I think that I understand the various ambits [sic] of ideology, the social imaginary, the ontological objectively real, and having both an overview and under-view of these orders of existence.

          Goodness, what a pompous, pretentious statement about nothing in particular. As I said before, you have a high opinion of yourself which is completely unjustified.

        • Orestes60

          noun: ambit; plural noun: ambits
          the scope, extent, or bounds of something.
          “within the ambit of federal law”
          synonyms: scope, extent, range, breadth, width, reach, sweep; More
          terms of reference, field of reference, jurisdiction;
          area, sphere, field, realm, domain, compass
          “an issue that falls within the ambit of this council”

          Your “sic” was erroneous as you excoriated me with being pompous.
          As my friend @twoamericas:disqus (one who knows the upper peninsula of Michigan well) told another of you militant fundie anti-theists on this thread, “Grab Finnish Yoopers, why don’t you?”

        • Michael Neville

          I’m sorry, I thought that ambit meant circumference or circuit. In fact, I still think that. And I also still think you’re a pretentious, pompous twit who’s nowhere near as smart or knowledgeable as you think you are.

        • Orestes60

          You are absolutely correct. I’m a know-nothing, a fool.
          I ought not have posted here among my betters.

        • Otto

          I am not saying this to cause an issue, I am saying it at attempt for mutual understanding. Many of us are former Christians and have had to deal with Christian authorities using multiple definitions of words simultaneously, I.e. conflating them in such a way that their use becomes disingenuous and even dishonest.

          ‘Redemptive Suffering’ has a very specific meaning in Christianity, if he/you are talking about generic self sacrifice you/he should probably not refer to ‘Redemptive Suffering’, it is a Christian concept and terminology, so using that term and then getting bent out of shape when some of us respond to it as such seems to me a bit disingenuous.

        • Orestes60

          Redemptive suffering also has secular practicality which has nothing to do with being a practicing and believing christian.
          That’s the gist of the posts by @twoamericas:disqus presuming that I rightly divide his words.
          Making this about anti-christianity is rather silly to say the least imo. Maybe it’s emotional reactivity or being a political reactionary.

        • Otto

          If you look up Redemptive Suffering through a search engine all the entry’s for several pages are religious in nature including the Wikipedia entry that specifically defines it as a religious idea, I have yet to see a definition for it that does not have a religious connotation to it. So to say it has a secular practicality seems to be an attempt at redefining the phrase when we have perfectly good words to describe the secular concept, at best that seems silly and non-productive, at worst it seems to intentionally confuse the situation.

        • Orestes60

          I can do my own search.
          I look up “redemptive” in the Oxford English dictionary.
          I look up various meanings of “suffering.”
          I combine them.
          I look for real world applications.
          It’s called “thinking for oneself.”
          If you honestly believe that thinking for oneself leads to confusion, then I honestly believe that you are honestly mistaken.

        • Otto

          No…it’s called making it up as you go and dealing with subject in about as dishonest of a manner as you can… ostensibly in an effort to not admit muddying the water in the discussion.

          In short it is called doubling down.

        • Orestes60

          Nope. Thinking for myself is not confusing the issue nor muddying the water nor doubling down.
          Perhaps you simply have a strong desire for me to agree with you and pretend that I think about this concept the same way you do.
          Not gonna happen.

        • Otto

          Nothing you have imparted has added clarification…the proof is in the pudding.

        • Orestes60

          Bye Otto. Enjoy your echo chamber. Now I see why you got blocked.

        • Otto

          I can see why you and TA are shitty at discussions, you make up your own definitions and expect people to take them seriously.

          You two are a joke.

        • Orestes60

          Coming from you that’s quite the compliment.
          Thanks.

        • Otto

          I am glad you enjoy your sophistry.

        • Orestes60

          Reverse psychology.
          Like when an idiot tells you that you are stupid.

        • Otto

          >>>”Like when an idiot tells you that you are stupid.”

          Yep, you have been here for 2 days saying just that to everyone here.
          If the shoe fits….

          Review my posts, I have not insulted you or TA one time, yet you both have continually literally insulted people…now ask yourself who is being the assholes in these conversations.

        • Orestes60

          It actually IS idiotic to assert that the concept “redemptive suffering” ONLY has a theological definition and NEVER has any humanistic secular practicality.
          Why do I have to prove that idiotic assertions are idiotic assertions?
          If I would come here asserting that the bible is the infallible word of God and 100% absolutely true, is it your job to prove that assertion idiotic? It’s futile. Every time you bring up evidence, I would gainsay it or simply contradict it keeping to my idiotic assertion.
          Except this is you and your ilk’s idiotic assertion.
          You and yours just can’t see the idiocy for what it is.
          Pathetic.

        • Otto

          >>>”It actually IS idiotic to assert that the concept “redemptive suffering” ONLY has a theological definition and NEVER has any humanistic secular practicality.”

          The definition of redemptive suffering is theological. That has been pointed out to you several times. Self sacrifice is NOT theological in origin, nor is it equivalent to redemptive suffering, they are not the same thing, arguing they are without any kind of rational justification is idiotic.

          “Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another. Like an indulgence, redemptive suffering does not gain the individual forgiveness for their sin; forgiveness results from God’s grace, freely given through Christ, which cannot be earned. After one’s sins are forgiven, the individual’s suffering can reduce the penalty due for sin.”

          I can an do as an atheist sacrifice myself for the greater good, when I do that it is NOT Redemptive Suffering. I am NOT ‘redeeming’ myself or others, I am NOT seeking redemption for my actions or the actions of others. It is NOT the same thing.

        • Orestes60

          Are you a simpleton?!
          What does “theology” mean to an atheist or an igtheist? If the atheist is the mirror image of the fundie religiot (and the majority of the regulars on this comment section cognitively behave this precise way), then “theology” is to be rejected as literally false just as the fundie religiot accepts “theology” as literally true. Both closed mindsets (the true believer and the self-certain denier) insist TINA.
          Actually, there is an extremely valuable alternative. Interpret theology like every other set of beliefs, ideas, imaginations, myths. That is, evaluate & interpret theology as any other cognitive product of social practices. Duh.
          A fundie religiot gets hung up on “reasoning” from the axiom “The bible is true.” A fundie religiot’s mirror image gets hung up on “reasoning” from the axiom “Only the theological definition of ‘Redemptive Suffering’ is valid.”
          Two sides of the same coin. Ergo, I reject your coin of the realm.
          What’s the basis for my rejection of literal truth or literal falseness?
          Because “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ― William Shakespeare
          (Now you anti-theist fundies will accuse me of believing in heaven. I can see the howls of protest from you literalists already in my mind’s eye.)
          On earth, theology is firmly established in the imaginary order, in the intersubjective/social realm of the mythical. Myths are neither by necessity literally true nor literally false. (This is NOT postmodernist mumbo jumbo btw. Try doing some actual research on the social imaginary.) Try to convince closed minded fundie religiots that theology is mythical and imaginary. Try to convince militant anti-theists that the mythical and imaginary has social value. Trying to convince literalists is worse than a non-dentist pulling a molar without anesthetic.

          Don’t worry. Quite soon I’ll tire of providing the same answer and leave you fundie religiot mirror images to your comfortable echo chamber.

        • Otto

          Cut with the fucking insults and your bullshit condescension and have a discussion. The way you act is no better than the self righteous religious people I have dealt with my whole life and in some ways worse, I could accuse you of having some of the worst traits of the religious as I have more than enough ammunition… I don’t because it is not going to further the conversation…so just fucking save it. You are so convinced you have correctly categorized me and a whole lot of people here that you have (in your mind) properly labeled and judged us to be the same as ‘fundies’, and this has had the effect of stopping actual discussion.

          >>>”Actually, there is an extremely valuable alternative. Interpret theology like every other set of beliefs, ideas, imaginations, myths. That is, evaluate & interpret theology as any other cognitive product of social practices.”

          Then I must not be what you accuse me of because this is what I do. There are some ideas and concepts that are positive in religion, there are some that are negative, some are just stupid.

          I have put Redemptive Suffering in the negative category, i.e. there is nothing redeeming about it and it glorifies suffering to the point that even unnecessary suffering is held up as something positive, it is said to specifically unite us with Jesus Christ through emulating the suffering he went through on the cross and has the effect of people wearing their suffering like a badge of honor, making themselves martyrs and expecting others should do the same.

          Your argument seems to be that Redemptive Suffering is the same as self sacrifice… while there may be aspects of both that intersect that does not make them the same thing, and you have provided no coherent argument as to why they should be considered the same. If you actually want to have a constructive discussion you could civilly start here and address the points I have made and explain why Redemptive Suffering actually does have a specific secular positive connotation that is SEPARATE and distinct from self sacrifice, if you can do that I am all ears. I am not gonna guarantee that I will agree with you but maybe…just maybe… some actual mutual understanding could take place.

        • Orestes60

          Actually the argument has been made and repeated ad nauseam that practical humanistic secular socially-valuable “redemptive suffering” is not the same concept as your negative theological “Redemptive Suffering.”
          This argument has been denied the lot of you. You and your ilk here are so blind to the argument you can’t even acknowledge the argument, much less proffer up a counterargument. Your failure is based on reliance upon your one and only valid definition, much like the religiot has his one and only true book.

          Is it any wonder I consider you and you consider me worse than the worst true-believing fundie zealous religiots?!

          The self-certain denier is in the same category as the true believer. The cognitive processes are identical.

          Why don’t you actually argue your negativity? Why don’t you argue that there is nothing socially valuable with secular practical humanistic “redemptive suffering”? Why don’t you take the provided examples of practical humanistic secular socially-valuable “redemptive suffering” (which are not easily reduced to “altruism” or “self sacrifice”) and argue how those examples are NOT suffering which is redemptive? Why don’t you… ? Because it’s a helluva lot easier to deny, e.g. “Your argument seems to be that Redemptive Suffering is the same as self sacrifice…”

          FSM!! You people are frustrating.

        • Otto

          >>>”Why don’t you actually argue your negativity? Why don’t you argue that there is nothing socially valuable with secular practical humanistic “redemptive suffering”?”

          I can’t because you won’t define it, and I have not seen an example given in all the back and forth that sets it apart and explains why it is different from self sacrifice.

        • Orestes60

          I already defined in on this thread more than once and examples were given.
          Maybe it’s these Disqus™’s truncated threads which are the problem. The same posts need to be repeated for different commenters.
          Insisting again for a repeated post and repeated examples is only obstinate arrogance insisting that “redemptive suffering” is really only truly (fill in the blank) instead of suffering (with its various ambiguous meanings) modified by redemptive (with its various ambiguous meanings).
          Again: FSM!! You people are frustrating. It’s incredibly tedious dragging you away from your (anti) theology into the social imaginary.

        • Otto

          Well we are at an impasse if you don’t care to explain it again. I don’t think defining it in a nebulous fashion is a good idea, you think it is.

          Good Day Sir

        • Orestes60

          Yep, it’s an impasse alright.

          My personal trials have also taught me the value of unmerited suffering. As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course. Recognizing the necessity for suffering I have tried to make of it a virtue. If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transform myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains. I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive. ~ Martin Luther King Jr

          I guess this quote proves that King wasn’t really talking about his own personal, real world, humanistic, social-valuable experiences. King was actually talking about Jesus. Right?

        • Otto

          Rev. Martin Luther King Jr….no of course not.

        • Orestes60

          Whatever you meant by that could be interpreted & evaluated as a wholesale rejection or dismissal of the struggle for a civil rights social movement as “theological.” If so, that would not only put you in the company of moronic fundie religiots. It would also put you in the company of the worse bigoted rwnj’s in America.
          Thanks for sullying your reputation even further. I didn’t think it possible.
          Consider yourself shunned, (expletive).

        • Otto

          Here is the proceeding sentence to the quote you mined followed by the paragraph to that same quote….

          “I have learned now that the Master’s burden is light precisely when we take his yoke upon us…..
          There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, and others consider it foolishness, but I am more convinced than ever before that it is the power of God unto social and individual salvation. So like the Apostle Paul I can now humbly yet proudly say, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The suffering and agonizing moments through which I have passed over the last few years have also drawn me closer to God. More than ever before I am convinced of the reality of a personal God.”

          You are either too dimwitted to do your own research, or you are arrogant enough to believe I am just dumb enough to fall for your self righteous bullshit and condemnation.

          Either way that was one fine cherry your picked. I don’t think a Bible thumper has picked that fine of a cherry and dishonestly presented it as suiting their personal needs in all my years. I asked for a secular example how many times and THAT IS THE TURD you pulled out, buffed up, and presented to prove your case for secular Redemptive Suffering?

          Well moron, you did just the opposite. That is the very definition of what I have been talking about, good for you.

          You have now proven yourself to me and everyone here now that you are just as deceitful and fraudulent as the worst Christian apologist. I suggest you tuck your tail between you legs and scurry away in shame for being such a pompous asshole. I now have no respect for you or for anything further you might say. Twit of the year award goes to Orestes60!

          I SAID Good Day Sir!

        • Orestes60

          Your salutation will be dealt with first. Stick your fake politeness up your rectum.

          The part of the talk or sermon or letter I quoted from was to highlight King’s personal experience with his suffering being redemptive, i.e. it awakened in him a creative energy. Is this “creative energy” ONLY a theological concept also?!?!

          I wasn’t arguing that King didn’t have a theological worldview. That’s beside the point. Why? Because worldview/cosmic picture has a different ambit than direct empirical experiences.

          There’s no doubt that Rev King PRIMARILY had a Christian theological understanding of “Redemptive Suffering.” That in no way or shape or form negates King’s direct experience as a humanist working for valuable social change (his own suffering as a black man negotiating for his own civil rights and those same rights for his people) from personally experiencing his own “redemptive suffering.” This is the argument which has been made over and over all along. Your obstinate insistence that “redemptive suffering” is ONLY theological without ANY practical secular humanistic description and application has now been demonstrated by you and your ilk as BOTH denial AND lying, self-deception. Fvck off, you lying pos.

          Finally, you completely ignore King describing his own experience as you insisted ad nauseam that “Redemptive Suffering” ONLY applied to Jesus. I find you atheistic right wing fascist scum worse than the worst Christian fundies I also confront online. Thanks, Otto, for putting your sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity on full display.

          “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society… a radical redistribution of political and economic power.” ~ Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr

          “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ~ Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr

          “Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead.” — Thomas Paine

          Mark Twain — ‘Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.’

          “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

          Since you are a pos, why don’t you eat excrement and suffer the biological effects. It might be “redemptive.”

        • Otto

          I didn’t read it….you are wasting your time. You are an asshole of the worst kind.

          If I called you a half-wit I would only be half right.

        • Orestes60

          And Martin Luther King Jr is Jesus.
          Mark Twain — ‘Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.’
          “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ~ Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr

        • Otto

          You already lost, You just won’t admit it…I am sure your are not capable.

          You can leave now.

        • Orestes60

          Idiot. You simply cannot bring yourself to concede a simple truth, i.e. Martin Luther King Jr’s experience wasn’t Jesus’.
          Lying pos, you are, Otto.
          Are you a näzi as well per chance?

        • Otto

          Bu-bye

        • Orestes60

          Thanks again for demonstrating the sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity by the regulars on this blog’s comment section.

        • Otto

          I couldn’t have had the demonstration without your ignorance…you did it all yourself.

        • Orestes60

          LOL. Your obvious lie that King’s described experience is, “theologically”, Jesus’ experience exposes you as the fvcktard you are.
          Thanks x3.

        • Otto

          Your source confirmed that he considered his suffering to be exalted, wonderful, and a blessing. Exactly the problem I have argued the whole time. Your understanding the consequences of theology is shit and you are a personally a dishonest asshat.

          The fact that you had to play the ‘Nazi card’ and call forth Godwin’s Law shows you have no more ammunition and is essentially a self-admission that you lost the discussion.

          Now go away.

        • Orestes60

          No. He said he was presented with a choice as how to respond to his suffering. That you put words in King’s mouth is further evidence that you are a lying fvcktard.

          As per “going away” do you lack the self-discipline to back away from your keyboard? Or do you have an invisible imaginary friend holding a ray gun to your head forcing you to tap “Reply”, type out some drivel, and then tap “Post”?
          Fvck off, retard.

        • Otto

          That IS what Redemptive Suffering IS you idiot. It takes standard suffering and then gives it a theological spin in the mind of the person experiencing the suffering. You don’t have a clue as to what Redemptive suffering is so therefore you make yourself out to be an ignorant fucktard. The whole problem with this discussion was that you didn’t have a clue of what your were talking about and you STILL don’t.

          You claimed King wasn’t talking about Jesus…and I proved he WAS…you lose. I didn’t put words in his mouth…you failed to quote the relevant part making you a dishonest asshat.

        • Orestes60

          Did you or did you not repeatedly assert that redemptive suffering ONLY applies theologically to the Passion of Christ?
          I made the repeated assertion that it had a secular application, i.e. King’s direct experience in the civil rights movement.

        • Otto

          >>>”Did you or did you not repeatedly assert that redemptive suffering ONLY applies theologically to the Passion of Christ?”

          No…I never said that.

          By chance have you ever researched what Redemptive Suffering is from a theological standpoint because it is quite apparent you have no idea.

          Obviously learning about things you don’t know is not your strong suit.

        • Orestes60

          What DID you say about the non-theological descriptions and applications to redemptive suffering?
          I don’t enjoy wasting my time studying the sophistry which passes for Christian theology.

        • Orestes60

          King was talking about his own experience.
          I think that you are a bigot regarding religious people and a racist.
          That’s also why I think that you, Otto, are a näzi.
          Your avatar looks more like a turd, but calling you a turd would be an insult to excrement everywhere.

        • Otto

          King was talking about how his personal suffering brought him closer to God and allowed him to understand what Jesus went through.

          That is what Redemptive suffering is…you are just too stupid to know it and too arrogant to learn.

        • Orestes60

          Nope. Read this part again.

          My personal trials have also taught me the value of unmerited suffering. As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course. Recognizing the necessity for suffering I have tried to make of it a virtue. If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transform myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains. I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive. ~ Martin Luther King Jr

          King wasn’t talking about getting closer to Jesus. King was talking about himself. To interpret it any other way is to gainsay King’s own direct experience and to prove oneself to be intellectually dishonest, i.e. something which ought to be expected from a bigot.

        • Otto

          And what you quote is followed by the next paragraph which includes the line…

          “There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, and others consider it foolishness, but I am more convinced than ever before that it is the power of God unto social and individual salvation. So like the Apostle Paul I can now humbly yet proudly say, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.The suffering and agonizing moments through which I have passed over the last few years have also drawn me closer to God

          ffs…learn to do your fucking research. And quit leaving out relevant details because you can’t admit your ignorance.

        • Orestes60

          None of which negates King’s personal decision.
          Besides, King might have and Paul might have but I do not buy into “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
          Again, why are you buying into the theological argument more than King’s direct experience, ffs?!?!
          If I told you that in prayer I heard the audible voice of God, would you buy into my argument that this direct personal experience was evidence for the existence of God?!?!
          Take King’s direct personal experience as evidence of his personal transformation by means of a conscientious choice, not evidence that “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
          For FSM’s sake. What is wrong with you anti-theist bigots.

        • Otto

          Your whole response just shows you don’t understand the concept or what I have been saying. I actually agree with SOME of what you are writing but your disconnect about the concept is obviously too vast to bridge.

          I can tell you are not a Christian and probably have never been because this is a basic concept in Christianity, on the other hand I was for most of my life. My suggestion is for you to learn about things you don’t understand and ask questions instead of just assuming you do.

        • Orestes60

          The relevant part which was quoted describes King’s direct personal experience (not Jesus’) with racial discrimination (not Jesus’ trials & tribulations) resulting in King directing his suffering transformatively within himself (not the Passion of Christ).
          Thanks for proving that you are a lying pos… with apologies to excrement everywhere.

        • Otto

          You are a perfect case of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          You are too stupid to understand your own incompetence on the subject.

        • Orestes60

          Thanks. As per the Dunning-Kruger cognitive bias: (1) “Hence, the corollary to the Dunning–Kruger effect indicates that persons of high ability tend to underestimate their relative competence, and erroneously presume that tasks that are easy for them to perform also are easy for other people to perform.” and (2) William Shakespeare (1564–1616) — “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” (As You Like It, V. i.)

        • Otto

          I know what theological Redemptive Suffering is…YOU obviously don’t

        • Orestes60

          How do you know? An encyclopedia or dictionary definition? Personal experience, i.e. like King’s?

        • Orestes60

          Keep telling yourself how much you know.
          I’m done trying to get blood out of a stone.
          Bye.

        • Otto

          You are done being wrong you mean…must be really hard for you

        • Ignorant Amos

          Did ya notice Two Americas abandoned ya on this issue a while ago?

        • Orestes60

          Oh yeah. I took it up with a “Passion.”
          🙂

        • Ignorant Amos

          Did your link have some relevance that Imissed?

          You clowns fuckwit idea of “redemptive suffering” in your opinion has fuck all to do with that religious shite. So something has flew right over my head. Understandable though…it’s 03:59 here and am into couple of bottles of red and a two litre bottle of cider.

        • Orestes60

          Poe’s law. You didn’t catch the irony. Irony is challenging to convey.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Learn what Poe’s Law is first, ya feckin’ imbecilic moron.

        • Orestes60

          “Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.” That you took my link to Mel Gibson’s movie seriously, fits right in to you not knowing my intent… even with the added smiley face. I guess that you are a belligerent drunk.
          Bye.

        • Orestes60

          I simply asked in addition to being a lying fvcktard, if you are also a näzi. You prefer Godwin’s law to flatly stating your politics. That you don’t deny it might be a tell. Maybe the screen name “Otto” is a tell also.

        • Otto

          I didn’t deny anything, the subject was not broached until you ran out of stuff and you were painted into a coroner either admitting your dishonest cherry picking or throwing out a red herring…you chose the herring.

          The discussion is done except for your continued blathering. I can’t have a discussion with someone who is not personally honest. Being wrong is one thing…being untrustworthy makes any further discussion moot.

        • Orestes60

          You’re psychologically projecting your intellectual dishonesty as you deny being in denial. As I posted to you earlier: “You simply cannot bring yourself to concede a simple truth, i.e. Martin Luther King Jr’s experience [with redemptive suffering] wasn’t Jesus’ [experience].”
          Keep providing evidence of that lack of self-discipline, Otto. It’s evidence upon evidence of your self-deception.
          Now you only deserve pity.

        • Otto

          “You simply cannot bring yourself to concede a simple truth, i.e. Martin Luther King Jr’s experience [with redemptive suffering] wasn’t Jesus’ [experience].”

          And yet he said it was….and you just can’t get over the fact you have been proven wrong and you have now been shown to be dishonest…it really sticks in your craw doesn’t it? You just can’t get over it…so go ahead and accuse me of being a Nazi because you got nuthin else.

          You are the punchline to the joke today

        • Orestes60

          You cannot show that Martin Luther King Jr’s direct personal experience with redemptive suffering as evidenced by King’s own words describing his experience is the logical equivalent of “the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another.” King referred specifically to the decision to follow the latter course, i.e. “seek to transform the suffering into a creative force.” Are you making the theological argument that to “seek to transform the suffering into a creative force” is (1) remitting one’s own or another’s sins or (2) a physical or spiritual need? Maybe you have a deeply closeted need to make theological arguments. If so, why? I prefer the simplicity of actual individual or social behavior.

        • Otto

          So King saying he was closer to God through his suffering isn’t good enough for you…I guess unless he used THE EXACT definition in his point on his suffering you are gonna cry foul…

          Yes he used it as a creative force…both to help others and to draw him closure to Jesus by experiencing said suffering.

          I will make you a deal, you go talk to a minister, Priest or Pastor, show them the WHOLE King quote and ask them if they think King was talking about Redemptive Suffering as the theological definition applies. If your are really trying to get to the truth you will, talk to more than one, get several opinions. Redemptive Suffering to a Christian is wonderful so there won’t be a negative connotation to the question from their perspective, which is exactly why King wrote about it so glowingly.

          Fuck you are dishonest

        • Ignorant Amos

          Can’t you spell fucktard? Ya fucktard. What ta fvck…ohhhps, fuck, is the “v” all about?

          Are you shy?….Nah….WTF?…

        • Orestes60

          LOL. Latin doesn’t have a “u” and I wasn’t aware if this blog’s comment section has a censorship filter or not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Latin doesn’t have a “u”….

          Oh, ya think the word derives from Latin? Now I get how you can be so fvcked up on meanings….it is all starting to fall into place now.

          …and I wasn’t aware if this blog’s comment section has a censorship filter or not.

          Seriously? What a lying wanker.

        • Orestes60

          No, I wasn’t sure. So sue me or fvck off.
          🙂

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya shoulda asked Two Americas….no, wait a minute, he’s as fvcked up as you on these things too….

        • Orestes60

          I hope that you get help with how your drinking problem contributes to your belligerence. Good luck.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Haha…”belligerence”?…and there was me thinking I was just extracting the urine, ah well, ho-hum.

        • Orestes60

          Hey, it was you who re-engaged coming to the defense of Otto with your foul mouth. Otto can swear without your aid.
          Confront someone else.

        • Orestes60

          “There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

        • Otto

          you should stop being lazy

        • Orestes60

          You ought to stop lying and address your profound self-deception.
          “Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth (or lack of truth) so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception.”
          I repeat: are you a näzi, Otto?

        • Otto

          You shit in your own bed….you should really take responsibilty but you keep digging your hole deeper

        • Orestes60

          I’ve been here before.

        • Susan

          I’ve been here before.

          Is that you, George? 😉

        • Orestes60

          No. Never been a “George.”
          You probably don’t recall me being on a previous thread where fundie religiot mirror images were accepting the literal falseness and denying the literal truth of mystical experiences, epiphanies.

        • Joe

          Yeah, but Orestes60 says that TA is totally legit and unbiased, unlike all of us crazy atheists here!

          I’m tempted to believe they’re the same person.

        • Susan

          Bye Otto.

          Bye. Please come back when you want tot discuss something.

          Now I see why you got blocked.

          You can’t show that Otto did anything wrong.

        • Orestes60

          Otto has tunnel vision re “redemptive suffering.”
          Otto rejects thinking for oneself… preferring to get bogged down with theological definitions.
          Otto is worse than or equal to a fundie religiot in a discussion with the fundie religiot claiming that the bible is true and then “reasoning” from that first principle.

        • Susan

          Otto has tunnel vision re “redemptive suffering”.

          No.

          Otto rejects thinking for oneself.

          No.

          preferring to get bogged down with theological defintions>

          No. It is a theological term. Many people have asked you to explain it in non-theological terms. You haven’t.

          All you’ve done is accuse those who ask of being bad thinkers. Without showing how a good question makes one a bad thinker.

          Otto is worse than or equal to a fundie religiot

          Here you go again. No definitions. No support. Just accusations.

          claiming that the bible is true and reasoning from that first principle.

          No.

          Do you ever get tired of accusing people who ask you to support your statements of being bad thnkers (rather than.. you know.. actually supporting your statements?)

        • Orestes60

          The concept “redemptive suffering” has already been described in non-theological terms on this thread and on TA’s profile. If you cannot or will not read his comments and reply to them, that’s your problem and it definitely is not mine.
          I think that your brain is addled.
          I replied directly to Otto about how to think for oneself regarding “redemptive suffering” as non-theological. If you cannot read or comprehend my words, then that is your problem and definitely not mine.
          Now you are getting direct experience in how a militant anti-theist (you) is more similar to a fundie religiot than dissimilar.
          Perhaps you can learn to be more intelligent.

        • No he has shown repeatedly where Otto was wrong, and you as well.

          People often discuss the moral ethical concepts within societies mythos, without necessarily prescribing to the mythos.

          The fact that both you and Otto have gotten hung up in the verbiage with this particular mythos is your problem.

          What’s even more ridiculous is that you’re trying to factually argue somebody’s intent, with evidence to the contrary. It’s absurd.

          You were wrong, and are incapable of admitting it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No he has shown repeatedly where Otto was wrong, and you as well.

          Nope.

          This isn’t rocket science.

          Either Two Americas obscurely misused a popularly used religious term, or he engaged in a non sequitur as it appears he is now alluding to with all this nonsense.

          Both are fallacious.

          Given that he was addressing Michael’s comment about “redemptive suffering” [religious], with the phrase “redemptive suffering” [allegedly non-religious], by what qualifier is the audience meant to discern this change in definition?

          If, as is now being claimed, TA was using the phrase in some eccentric manner to mean secular self sacrifice for the common good. What was his purpose in making that comment?

          You bunch of Coco’s think it is ridiculous to ask for clarification. TA went boogaloo at those that asked for clarification. It is his fuck up, let him wear it and don’t go making yourself look the fool.

        • ” This isn’t rocket science.”

          Yeah I know it’s really not. There shouldn’t even be an argument or disagreement here.

          ” Both are fallacious.”

          False.. TA highlighted an aspect of redemptive suffering that is well established both within and without the Christian religion.

          Religious literature is full of discussions that acknowledges the value of Redemptive suffering, in the idea…that by your pain you can help to alleviate other people’s pain.

          To claim otherwise is a foolhardy exercise in denial.

          ” If, as is now being claimed, TA was using the phrase in some eccentric manner to mean secular self sacrifice for the common good. What was his purpose in making that comment?”

          Do you enjoy chasing your tail much?

          ” You bunch of Coco’s ”

          ???

          I had a cat named Coco once.

          I think you meant cuokoo the slang definition, as opposed to the bird.

          Considering your tendency to narrowly defined words and terminology with militant determination.

          This would lead one to believe that you could only be calling us beautiful birds…Thanks

        • Greg G.

          Acknowledging the existence of any type of suffering knocks out any concept of a powerful, loving god. If suffering achieves any purpose, then it is logically possible to achieve the purpose, which means an omnipotence or a sufficiently powerful being could achieve the purpose without the suffering. That means all suffering is unnecessary if a sufficiently powerful being exists, which means the being chooses that unnecessary suffering exists which means the being is malevolent and/or sadistic, not a benevolent being.

          So, if you accept Redemptive Suffering, you must toss out a loving god or you must toss out the property of omnipotence. But then why call it a god?

          ” You bunch of Coco’s ”

          ???

          Just assume it is an Irish idiom that we don’t have on this side of the pond.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Coco the Clown:- (1900–74) a Russian-born clown, one of the greatest circus performers ever, who was well known in Britain especially in the 1950s

          http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/coco-the-clown

          http://www.joylandbooks.com/books_secondhand/behind-my-greasepaint-large.jpg

        • Greg G.

          Coco is equivalent to Bozo. We even call people “Bozo” just as you did with “Coco”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…a use Bozo too, when the mood takes me. Either works for me.

        • Otto

          >>>”TA highlighted an aspect of redemptive suffering that is well established both within and without the Christian religion.”

          No, he said it is the same as self sacrifice…it isn’t. This has been addressed in detail.

          >>>”that by your pain you can help to alleviate other people’s pain.”

          That is NOT redemptive suffering. That is self sacrifice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          False.. TA highlighted an aspect of redemptive suffering that is well established both within and without the Christian religion.

          But he claims that the definition attributed to his usage has nothing to do with “Redemptive Suffering” as understood both within and without the Christian religion.

          Redemptive Suffering is scapegoating…what aspect of Redemptive Suffering did TA highlight, in your opinion?

          He either committed the fallacy of the non sequitur through his definition of redemptive suffering not being that of scapegoating…which was what Michael’s comment was about.

          Or his definition was indeed relevant to Michael’s comment because he was referring to scapegoating, but is trying to weasel out of that position now for whatever reason, which is also fallacious.

          Which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

          Religious literature is full of discussions that acknowledges the value of Redemptive suffering, in the idea…that by your pain you can help to alleviate other people’s pain.

          Citation please?

          Now let’s grant this anyway for the sake of argument. That is not scapegoating, aka Vicarious Atonement, aka the Redemptive Suffering that Michael was clearly talking about in the comment TA was addressing. Ergo, it is the fallacy of the non sequitur. You do know what the fallacy is, right?

          Do you enjoy chasing your tail much?

          Try reading ALL the comments.

          Two Americas, three days ago.

          Self-sacrifice for the common good. That is what the concept of redemptive suffering is about, yes?”

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/scholarly_consensus_for_the_resurrection_not_really/#comment-3442121747

          This would lead one to believe that you could only be calling us beautiful birds…Thanks

          Oh deary me….how sad.

        • Otto

          Redemptive Suffering is neither moral nor ethical.

          You (or anyone else) have not explained what or why Redemptive Suffering should be viewed in a secular context and certainly have never explained in what context it even is secular.

          Yes I am hung up on the verbiage, rightfully so. Words and phrases have meaning and if we don’t agree or come to some understanding of the meaning there is no way to proceed. It has been asked by me and many others to clarify what Redemptive Suffering means in a secular context and why it should be considered positive. The responses so far have been to insult, call people names and hang labels on them, but not to actually answer the question.

          It would be like if the Catholic idea of the Transubstantiation was held up as if it had some secular context….I don’t see it. Explain why this is different.

        • Sorry Otto… I suspect there will be no meeting of minds on this.

          Your refusal to accept self-sacrifice as an intrical component of redemptive suffering borders on the absurd.

          At this point the question that you need to ask yourself.. is why you feel the need to so narrowly defined redemptive suffering? Why is this so important to you?

          Why did you and others feel the need to make unfounded allegations against TA for simply pointing the principal of suffrage for the common good, within the concept of redemptive suffering?

          ” You (or anyone else) have not explained what or why Redemptive Suffering should be viewed in a secular context and certainly have never explained in what context it even is secular.”

          Yes we have….repeatedly, to no avail.

          Sorry Otto, but there are people and events that are demanding our attention in this world. This is not one of them. I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this merry-go-round ride.

          Good luck.

        • Otto

          >>>”Your refusal to accept self-sacrifice as an intrical (integral?) component of redemptive suffering borders on the absurd.”

          I DO accept that. That is where you don’t get it. Self sacrifice is fine and IS an integral part of of Redemptive Suffering …Redemptive Suffering is self sacrifice with a a religious spin, it adds baggage and BS to self sacrifice that takes a positive concept and tries to put it on a religious pedestal and in the end takes a wonderful human experience and sullies it, you want to pretend it doesn’t. You are welcome to do as you like but you and the others don’t get to insist I do the same here, nor do you get to plant your flag into some moral or intellectual hill because I won’t cede you that attempt at confusing the terms.

          >>>”At this point the question that you need to ask yourself.. is why you feel the need to so narrowly defined redemptive suffering? Why is this so important to you?”

          Because as is quite often the case religion takes positive concepts and makes them less than they should be while claiming to do the opposite.

          >>>”Why did you and others feel the need to make unfounded allegations against TA for simply pointing the principal of suffrage for the common good, within the concept of redemptive suffering?”

          I can’t speak for others but I have only addressed the issue at hand and have not made allegations other than my attempt at interpreting what he wrote. On the other hand he and others have been insulting and disingenuous in their interactions.

          >>>”Yes we have….repeatedly, to no avail.”

          You have said it is the same as self sacrifice, I have explained that while both have common characteristics they are not the same thing, instead of responding to my objections I am called names.

          >>>”I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this merry-go-round ride.”

          You can call it “Happy Fun Delightful Suffering” for all I care, just don’t expect me to agree and don’t expect me roll over based on your say so with no supporting argument offered.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Stephanie is a fanboy of Two Americas.

          I’m also a official TA lurker….lol 😉

        • Susan

          Pershaps you simply have a strong desire for me to agree with you

          No. Just that you engage. Neither you nor your clump are interested in that.

          You just like to handwave and call anyone who addresses your statements things.

          So, no interest in discussion.

          and pretend that I think about this concept the same way you do.

          I think Otto was just hoping you could show that you’d put some thought into bad tthings without showing it.

          Not gonna happen.

          So far, that’s clear.

        • Orestes60

          Are you against independent thought, i.e. thinking for myself, instead of depending on theological definitions too? It seems so.
          Is this why you are on Team Otto as well as Team Joe? Probably.
          Or are you just a busy body? Definitely.
          I repeat: Have you ever been compared to and contrasted with a fundie religiot? Would you be willing to discuss how militant anti-theists are more similar to fundie religiots than dissimilar?

        • Susan

          Are you against independent thought?

          No.

          i.e. thinking for myself

          No. That’s why I asked you (and Two Americas) to explain your thoughts on “redemptive suffering” explained to Two Americas that his statement about “God allows suffering for the greater good, of course” is a crappy argument that doesn’t pass muster and expllained that you and your clump calling us lunatics, rabid and accusing us of hatred for not automatically accepting your “independent thoughts” as valid is not acceptable.

          We welcomed you into the conversation by asking you to make a case.

          You have never done so. You have an automatic response that excuses you from doing so.

          “Independent thoughts” are fine if you can support them.

          Asking you to do so is met with automatic and unsupported accusations of hostility towards those who ask. .

          With that, I dearly hope I’m done.

        • Orestes60

          Obviously, this post of yours right here, right now demonstrates that you did not read the replies from @twoamericas:disqus to other posters on this thread. If you did read them, you didn’t comprehend them. If you claim to have comprehended them, you rejected them due to bias. You are hung up on what he said are answers from others. You rejected his answers. That puts you in denial. Your claim that he made crappy arguments is deluded. Case closed.

        • Susan

          Obviously, this post of yours right here, right now demonstrates that you did not read the replies from @Two Americas

          I did and responded as did others. I asked about the arguments and he accused me of awful things without showing that I was guilty of them.

          I’m not special. He did the same to many others who responded to his replies.

          As do you.

          You rejected his answers.

          His answers were things like “You are a lunatic.”

          That puts you in denial.

          Because you say so? No.

          Your claim that he made crappy arguments is deluded.

          Again, my claim is simply that “redemptive suffering” is not “altruism” is not deluded. I provided (as did others) the definition of redemtive suffering.

          Also, that “God allows suffering for a greater good” is a shitty argument. I explained why. It does not come close to addressing the Problem of Suffering.

          But you and TA and the little clump that suddenly showed up here only seem interested in engaging in either discussion.

          You raise them, don’t clearly define or support them and accuse anyone with a reasonable question of having character flaws without feeling an iota of responsibility for supporting that accusation.

          It’s been a couple days now. You all showed up together, supported no arguments together, consistently accused people who questioned the arguments you raised and didn’t support of things that you made no case for.

        • Orestes60

          Again THIS is your blatant error. “I provided (as did others) the definition of redemtive (sic) suffering.” Are you people really this daft or are you play acting?!?!
          “I proved to you that the bible is true.”
          That’s the level of argument you are making.
          You must really, Really, REALLY believe in your heart that “redemptive suffering” only has a theological definition. This puts you in the company of fundie religiots.
          This is the mythical for FSM’s sake. Get real, girl.
          This is the social imaginary, i.e. one of the three intersecting orders that structure all human existence.
          And you have this strong desire to insist that there’s just ONE theological definition for it without ANY secular practical humanistic application?!?!
          WTF is wrong with you people on this blog?

        • TheNuszAbides

          Perhaps you simply have a strong desire for me to agree with you and pretend that I think about this concept the same way you do.
          Not gonna happen.

          worth keeping in mind next time you’re observed flinging around “rabid”, “militant” or “echo chamber” in reaction to counterapologetics-blog-regulars reacting to your good buddy’s poorly-worded opening two sentences of an otherwise perfectly reasonable paragraph.

        • Orestes60

          Whether you have a strong desire, epithumia to recognize it or not; many (most?) of the counterapologetics, blog-regulars here post like rabid militants enforcing an echo chamber, i.e. outsiders with different non-theological perspectives unwelcome.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you’re quite obviously getting conversation the more you attempt conversation. TA mostly just flipped out over what seems to me to be understandable confusion. the hyperbole would almost be cute if it weren’t so [repetitive in your case, shrill in TA’s case]. in particular I marvel at the pretext that either of you imply that this treatment is so typical, yet it’s the ‘worst’ TA has ever seen. they must not get out much.

        • Orestes60

          It’s not like rhetoric isn’t being utilised by all, eh?

        • TheNuszAbides

          my rhetoric-soaked brain is constitutionally incapable of formulating an answer.

        • Orestes60

          If we have the discipline and temperament for it, the dialectic rocks. I prefer it to both debate & rhetoric. Unfortunately the latter two occupy more of my time on these boards.

        • TheNuszAbides

          shame! 😉

        • Orestes60

          The dialectic it is then.

        • epeeist

          I look up “redemptive” in the Oxford English dictionary.
          I look up various meanings of “suffering.”
          I combine them.

          I presume that you never put salt on your food.

        • Orestes60

          Absolutely! Your presumption is 100% accurate. You are the premier truth teller in this blog’s comment section. Bravo for such an astute idea. {end sarcasm}

        • epeeist

          {end sarcasm}

          Really, sarcasm seems to be your modus operandi.

          You didn’t see the comparison? Salt is not a mereological fusion of sodium and chlorine, similarly one must question whether “redemptive suffering” is a mereological fusion of “redemptive” and “suffering”.

        • Orestes60

          Regarding both parts and wholes, why not look at BOTH theological, imaginary, mythical “Redemptive Suffering” AND practical secular humanistic “redemptive” plus practical secular humanistic “suffering”?

          As I wrote to one of your compatriots, “Don’t worry. Quite soon I’ll tire of providing the same answer and leave you fundie religiot mirror images to your comfortable echo chamber.”

        • Susan

          Redemptive suffering also has secular practicality which has nothing to do with being a practicing and believing christian.

          Google “redemptive suffering” and you get this/

          If Two Americas had meant altruism, he/she could have said “altrusim” and no one here would have had an argument.

          That TA used a term that is SO specifically theological to describe altruism especially in response to a question about the value of the sacrifice of Yahwehjesus is the problem.

          Making this about anti-christianity is rather silly to say the least.

          Altruism is not the same thing as “redemptive suffering”.

          If you and TA would like us to replace “altruism” with “redemptive suffering” a purely theological term based on an imaginary sacrifice of a morally repugnant model, you’ll have to explain why.

        • Orestes60

          There is much more to non-theological redemptive suffering than altruism, just as you acknowledged “Altruism is not the same thing as ‘redemptive suffering’.” It’s you and your ilk who refuse to acknowledge the non-theological, humanistic, and secular applications and descriptions of redemptive suffering. Probably due to your irrational and lunatic contempt for all terms, concepts which have theological descriptions and applications.
          Such a demented dichotomy you and your mates have going on in here.

        • Susan

          There is much more to non-theological redemptive suffering than altruism,

          Neither you nor TA have explained what that is. Nor what non-theological redemptive suffering means.

          It’s you and your ilk who refuse to acknowledge the non-theological. humanistic and secular applications and description of non-theological altrusim.

          You don’t know me nor who my “ilk” are. I don’t acknowledge what hasn’t been explained and/or demonstrated.

          It is a theological term. It has been explained to and linked more than once.

          Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another.

          What are the non-theological applications?

          Such a demented dichotomy you and your mates have going on in here

          That’s pretty clear. You bring up things like “redemptive suffering” and claim there are secular applications and we question you about it and you call us names.

          TA brings up the “God allows suffering for a greater good” and when the statement is questioned or rejected, he calls people names and blocks them.

          Apparently, it’s our fault. None of you have supported it.

        • Orestes60

          You have rejected explanations and descriptions and applications which don’t conform to your existing set of ideas. That’s called confirmation bias. Instead of questioning (not even asking for acceptance or belief) those explanations, etc; you deny/dismiss/reject/discard.

          Why does this have to be explained to every poster who asks? Disqus™ has truncated threads. Read the pertinent information in the profiles. Or reload the comments section on the blog instead of on Disqus™.

          Regardless, you and those who believe similarly to you on this thread (“your ilk”) are already convinced that the concept “redemptive suffering” ONLY has theological meaning. That makes you as fundie as the religiots.

          If you reject supporting real world applications of redemptive suffering, then you’re simply being obstinate. Hence the observations of irrationality, dementia, lunacy, etc.

        • Greg G.

          TA counter-attacks any questioning. Perhaps you can help him out.

        • Orestes60

          Perhaps this is why TA isn’t interested in your interrogation: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/scholarly_consensus_for_the_resurrection_not_really/#comment-3444005192
          I’m not interested in disabusing him of a notion which I generally share.
          In this war of sophistry between the fundie theists and the fundie anti-theists, I’ve already admitted that your sophisticated argumentation is too far above me for my participation. Hence, all the irrationality & dementia & aggression & extreme unpleasantness & lunacy must be on my part instead of on the parts of the fundie anti-theists and the fundie theists. Mea culpa.

        • Greg G.

          If he can’t run with the big dogs, he should stay on the porch. But he shouldn’t snap just because someone asks a question.

          But I am less interested in why he doesn’t answer than why he thinks what he does. If you understand him and support his position, then you should be able to explain why you think that. That is what I meant by “Perhaps you can help him out.” I am not commanding you to do it but asking.

        • Orestes60

          Interesting that someone who refuses to get into the whole fundie theist vs fundie anti-theist sophistry can be accused of having a superiority complex and also told that he’s not running with the big dogs. Oh well.

          Asking about another’s thinking is one matter. Picking a fight over another’s thinking is another matter. It’s like this South Park meme… not that I’m directing this towards you. Directing it against those who like picking fights. So it applies just as much to moi. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d55b3757ed8ae65fe04ab150d1d9479edfd1208ead80bc7cf41146c9d4d3621.png

          Maybe neither @twoamericas:disqus nor I require the help of the theists and anti-theists and the atheists on this site. Power can be exercised from the posture of stature, i.e. the ability to provide help, aka leverage. My guess is that atheists, theists, anti-theists don’t have leverage over humanists.

        • Greg G.

          Directing it against those who like picking fights.

          There is nothing wrong with having a discussion. Not all discussions turn into fights. Avoiding discussions for fear of fights is a bit strange, for lack of a better word. TA responded to requests for discussion with belligerence.

          My guess is that atheists, theists, anti-theists don’t have leverage over humanists.

          Being a humanist is not mutually exclusive to being an atheist, theist, or anti-theist. A humanist who doesn’t believe in gods is an atheist. A humanist who believes in one or more gods is a theist. A humanist who opposes theism is an anti-theist.

        • Orestes60

          It’s not my experience that humanists avoid discussion with anti-theists, atheists, theists. It IS my experience that many (most?) anti-theists, atheists, and theists are looking for a fight rather than looking for a discussion.
          My experience with TA is that he enjoys discussion but has a short temper with those belligerents wanting to pick fights. Obviously, this is an extremely subjective judgement on my part.
          I’m talking about specific humanists who generally avoid the sophistry of atheist vs theist or anti-theist vs theist (leaving aside deism, polytheism, animism, transcendent spirituality) stylish argumentation.

          Besides what are the specific harmful effects of the myths which form the foundation of humanity’s imagined orders? http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2015/07/imagined-orders-like-religions-depend-on-shaky-myths.html

        • Greg G.

          It’s not my experience that humanists avoid discussion with anti-theists, atheists, theists. It IS my experience that many (most?) anti-theists, atheists, and theists are looking for a fight rather than looking for a discussion.

          An atheist humanist conversing with other humanists is probably not going into combat mode. When a theist arrives to preach or argue without evidence, the same person will oppose the theist. Either situation might confirm your experience as you would peg the person as a humanist in one discussion and an atheist in the other. How do you eliminate the confirmation bias?

          I consider myself to be a humanist, an atheist, and an anti-theist. I think “anti-theist” is often misinterpreted. A theist has an affinity for theism. An anti-theist has an aversion to theism. “Anti-theist” describes the aversion to theism, not an aversion to theists.

          My experience with TA is that he enjoys discussion but has a short temper with those belligerents wanting to pick fights. Obviously, this is an extremely subjective judgement on my part.

          It seems to me that TA’s short temper inspires belligerence in return.

          The article on imagined orders comparing the Code of Hammurabi with the Declaration of Independence is very interesting. But now we humans have done studies that show apes having an innate sense of fairness similar to humans, so if we based the DoI on that objective fact, we could show it had a superior standing.

          The studies had a monkey gladly retrieving a stone for a piece of cucumber until it saw another monkey doing the same task and getting a grape, then the cucumber didn’t seem fair. Further tests indicated that monkeys preferences aligned with the cost of the fruits at the supermarket, which shows how similar their tastes are to ours. Dogs will do a trick for no treat until it sees another dog being rewarded for doing it but they don’t worry about the quality of the treat.

          But psychopaths and sociopaths walk among us who don’t have the sense of fairness. Many end up in prison or in high ranks of industry and government.

          So, I can imagine that Hammurabi might have had a sense of fairness but relied on the power of sociopaths who needed the stratification of power and didn’t care much one way or the other about fairness while the Declaration of Independence was written by people who wanted to change the balance of power and needed the support of many who were not in power.

        • Orestes60

          So why do you think that some of the regular posters here (who may or may not be humanists) went into “combat mode” over these posts from @twoamericas:disqus ?

          Suffering is a way to bring attention to something that is wrong. That often expressed and experienced by proxy, as sympatico suffering. “It disturbs me to see that child beaten. Ever since I cannot eat or sleep.”
          An historical example of this involves William and Fanny Seward. Though they both had long been opposed to slavery, it was not until they made a trip to Virginian and happened to see children in chains being whipped and driven down the road that they committed themselves to the cause of ending slavery. Not only could the redemptive suffering be seen in that case as the emotional suffering the Sewards felt, more importantly the suffering of those children led to the redemption of millions.
          What would the world be like if no one ever sacrificed themselves for others? What would the world be like of no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others?

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course. One person sacrifices themselves – suffers – to save the lives of others – prevent suffering. One persons goes to jail to bring attention to the suffering of many others. One persons says “no” and refuses to comply with cruelty at the risk of being cruelly dealt with, for the benefit of the group, of others. That is fundamental to our existence as humans, as social animals. Turning that topic into some sort of adolescent Jesus versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

          It seems to me that anti-theists can sometimes have an aversion to humanists who are not properly anti-theistic. (You know, the live-and-let-live tolerant types.) Anti-theists also have an aversion to theists imo. They also have an aversion to any and all theistic concepts or beliefs which have practical application to real world living. Perhaps I’m being too deprecating towards the anti-theists who comment on this blog.

          It’s fine to apply objective quantitative standards to the myths which form the foundation of the social imaginary. I don’t find it particularly useful. Why not? Because our present social order has little or nothing to do with the Declaration of Independence. That was Harari’s point. If it had been written in objective language instead of mythical fictive language, then the Declaration would have been worded differently then. The following is how things are described now. How does this reality segue into redemptive suffering?
          Quote 1: “The problem for Americans is that both political parties regard the needs of the American people as a liability and as an obstacle to the profits of the military/security complex, Wall Street and the mega-banks, and Washington’s world hegemony. The government in Washington represents powerful interest groups, not American citizens. This is why the 21st century consists of an attack on the constitutional protections of citizens so that citizens can be moved out of the way of the needs of the Empire and its beneficiaries.”
          Quote 2: “If I alone were to stop believing in the dollar, in human rights, or in the United States, it wouldn’t much matter. These imagined orders are inter-subjective, so in order to change them we must simultaneously change the consciousness of billions of people, which is not easy.

          “A change of such magnitude can be accomplished only with the help of a complex organization, such as a political party, an ideological movement, or a religious cult.

          “However, in order to establish such complex organizations, it’s necessary to convince many strangers to cooperate with one another. And this will happen only if these strangers believe in some shared myths. It follows that to change an existing imagined order, we must first believe in an alternative imagined order. (emphasis added)

          “There is no way out of the imagined order. When we break down our prison walls and run toward freedom, we are in fact running into the more spacious exercise yard of a bigger prison.”
          Quote 3: “People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be, until they have learned to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.”

          My point is that you and your people as you represent yourselves must come up with an alternative imagined order which addresses social class consciousness and the sociopathy of the ruling class. I don’t observe liberal atheistic humanists being any more class conscious than conservative religious fundamentalists.
          Maybe I observe inaccurately.
          (Sorry for the excessively long post which was mostly quotes.)

        • Greg G.

          Regarding the two quotes, I only saw the latter but would not have responded to the former.

          I did respond to the second about “the greater good” by going into my argument that is summed up as asking what suffering can do that God cannot do separately. If suffering can do something, then it is logically possible for it to be done. That falls in line with the weakest definition of omnipotence and fits “sufficiently powerful”. My argument only addressed his statement but he seemed to take it personally.

          As to the imagined order, the regulars make the same type of argument against objective morality especially where God is appealed to. So it comes down to “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”. But there are sociopaths who only see “Exploit others for whatever you can get” so there must be limits on the former adage.

        • Greg G.

          SMBC on Superman’s Imagined Order:

          http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/s

        • Zeta

          No!

          He evaded my question and did not provide a source for the non-religious use or meaning of “Redemptive Suffering” which has a clear and common religious meaning. TA’s example even includes stuff like “To suffer is part of being a Christian. It is not easy, but God is with us just as He was with Jesus during His life on this earth.”

          You are also evading my question.

        • Orestes60

          TA described secular and humanistic examples.
          He’s got an open profile.
          If you demand more from him and from me in terms of kvetching about evasion (like somehow in your imagination I’m servile to you and bound to your demand for an answer to “How can suffering be actionable in order to save someone from error or profound immorality and wickedness?”), then you’ll probably be told to work it out for yourself. That’s the trouble with people demanding of others answers rather than staying with the question themselves. Especially recognizing “deep questions”, deep answers, and the revelation that every answer contains the seed of an even deeper question.
          Or stay with the culture of easy answers.
          http://strangenotions.com/the-science-delusion/

        • Zeta

          Orestes60: “… like somehow in your imagination I’m servile to you and bound to your demand for an answer to…

          You posted comments at an open blog and you should be fully aware that you may be challenged to defend your view. Is this unusual? If you don’t like it, then why bother posting here? Have your own blog and don’t allow comments.

          Neither you nor TA have provided a credible definition of a non-religious meaning of “Redemptive Suffering”. This is what I am seeking. If you are unable to do so, just admit it.

        • Orestes60

          I can express a pov without having to “defend” it.
          I can talk about a concept without having to “define” it to your satisfaction.
          If I’m making a claim which can be falsified or intersubjectively verified or tested on objective grounds or a combination of those three, then that’s one matter.
          If I’m expressing an idea or belief which is outside the ambit of science and you wish to fight that idea or belief based on your confidence in your argumentative acumen, then that’s another matter.
          Ontology and cosmic-picture additionally have different scopes, extents, and bounds.

          What you call “a credible definition of redemptive suffering” is highly subjective and abstract. Why can’t you just admit it? If you are not content with what has already been provided, then that’s more your problem than the problem of the posters who are not giving you the “easy answers” in a culture of big questions where scientific methodologies are unsatisfactory.

        • Zeta

          You: “What you call “a credible definition of redemptive suffering” is highly subjective and abstract. Why can’t you just admit it?

          “Redemptive Suffering” is a term with a clear and common meaning. If you and TA want to use it in a different way, then you have to justify your usage that deviates from its usual meaning. I believe you can’t simply invent your own interpretations of common words or phrases.

          That was what I have been trying to get you two to do. Instead of getting any credible answer, all I got was insults and word salad.

        • Orestes60

          “Redemptive” as a modifier has ambiguous meanings and so does “suffering.” You people are stuck in your contempt for all ideas “theological”, even when those ideas have practical secular applicability.
          It’s rather sad that so many commenters on this blog and perhaps the blog’s author take their anti-theism so seriously.
          It’s only myth and the social imaginary.
          Sheesh.

        • Two Americas

          Thanks. These people are more deranged and irrational than the most aggressive and obnoxious religious people I have ever run into. The responses here are just sheer lunacy.

        • Orestes60

          Tsk, tsk. You are the bad guy for not allowing yourself to be properly interrogated. {end sarcasm}

          I think that the responses come from the strong desire to eliminate any ideas or beliefs which contradict a subjective militantly anti-theist worldview.
          The idea that spirituality or even the humanistic view is personal and private and does not necessarily have to be “defended” seems to escape their reasoning.
          If your descriptive examples were not enough, then they are beyond help imo.

        • Two Americas

          The idea that spirituality or even the humanistic view is personal and private and does not necessarily have to be “defended” seems to escape their reasoning.

          Yes, but it is even worse than that. I did not even express any personal spiritual views, I merely described those of others, and I repeatedly said that,. but to no effect.

          That shows that they are not opposing irrational belief systems, they are embracing an irrational belief system and trying to impose it on others., That is why I said that they are more arrogant, obnoxious and irrational fundies than any I have ever encountered.

        • Orestes60

          Try convincing someone that his/her belief system is irrational and that that irrationality is being propagated. It’s more difficult than pulling teeth.
          I should know. I’ve had to have a couple of molars extracted and wisdom teeth surgically removed through the years.
          But I’m still enamored with my youthful irrational beliefs, ideas, and myths.
          Go figure, eh?
          🙂

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’m still not so sure TA was trolling — I think they merely did a shitty composition/proofreading job of that paragraph in particular, then couldn’t figure out a clear rebuttal to the perfectly ordinary objection to those leading two sentences. I would hope that such Whatabouterists, with such an apparent hair-trigger for rebuking barely-perceived false dichotomies, would try on a thicker skin before wading into the interswamps.

        • Greg G.
        • Orestes60

          Oh no. Both the fundie anti-theists and the fundie theists are way, Way, WAY above me. I’m beneath such sophisticated argumentation.

        • Joe

          Why are we suddenly infested with asshole contrarians on this thread?

          “I’m not religious but….”

          There seems to be a bit of sock-puppetry going on as well.

        • MR

          Sock-puppetry and/or tag-teaming. Tiresome tactics.

        • Zeta

          This is also my suspicion after reading many recent posts.

        • Greg G.

          Good sock, bad sock.

        • Pofarmer

          rather than acknowledgment of our common humanity as social animals
          with diverse social practices which produce a multiplicity of myths,
          ideas, and beliefs.

          That kinda sorta goes without saying. What most “anti-theists” are on about is the theists insisting that they push their myths, ideas, and beliefs on the rest of us, for our own good, of course.

        • Orestes60

          I see the theists and the anti-theists behaving more similarly than dissimilarly pushing their reasonable certainty that their preconceptions are truths.
          Maybe I’m observing inaccurately.

        • Michael Neville
        • Orestes60

          Meh. That meme was already posted to me by Greg G. I replied to this implied sense of superiority “Oh no. Both the fundie anti-theists and the fundie theists are way, Way, WAY above me. I’m beneath such sophisticated argumentation.”

        • Michael Neville

          One of the problems of Discus is that replies to a comment aren’t shown, When I posted that cartoon I didn’t know that Greg G had posted it earlier.

        • Two Americas

          That is what I see.

        • If I may also make a suggestion here.

          I don’t know the particular motivation of the posters that you and Ta have responded to and I haven’t read the whole thread.

          However sometimes I find that people reject the message and find the easiest means to ignore or dismiss the message, as oppose to addressing why they don’t particularly like the message itself.

          Especially if it puts them in conflict with standard moral and ethical codes, that they may feel lacking in.

        • Orestes60

          Perhaps the concept of “redemptive sacrifice” in its entirety sticks in their craw. The concept is totally unacceptable because (fill in the blank).
          In this specific area within the social/intersubjective imaginary, there isn’t any common ground perhaps.
          Different biases, prejudices, preconceived notions, assumptions will prevent shared common sense understanding founded upon common ground.

        • Indeed all are applicable. I just found it strange, because TA’s posts were quite clear. In that he was discussing the principal, not pushing any type of propaganda for a myth or belief.

          I found the responses bordering on being purposely obtuse, or such an extreme sensitivity that it skirted into the odd.

        • Orestes60

          We three had similar experiences with the replies.
          As per “… it skirted into the odd”: that’s an understatement.
          🙂
          Or maybe I’m way too deprecating.

        • Ignorant Amos

          TA is using the term “Redemptive Suffering” erroneously.

        • How so?

        • Otto

          TA would reply to someone talking about redemptive suffering as it applies to Jesus and Christianity (even quoting them) and then get mad when someone replied to him in turn because he supposedly did not want to talk about Jesus. That does not make sense. If anyone was being obtuse it was him.

          It is fine to talk about the principle separate from Christianity, he just needs to actually separate it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps the concept of “redemptive sacrifice” in its entirety sticks in their craw. The concept is totally unacceptable because (fill in the blank).

          Yip…sticks right in my craw…scapegoating is beyond reproach, and anyone that thinks scapegoating is just fine is a shithead.

          Because the concept is immoral and the idea is a loada nonsense ta boot.

          The term used was “Redemptive Suffering” aka “Vicarious Atonement”, “Vicarious Redemption”, “but “redemptive sacrifice”works too.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9JJSVzlTw

        • Orestes60

          The way redemptive suffering was described or defined is self sacrifice for the common good.

        • Orestes60

          Self-sacrifice for the common good OR the suffering of an innocent which is actionable in order to save another from error or profound immorality and wickedness has precisely nothing to do with “scapegoating”.

        • Susan

          The quote is: “People ask ‘why does God allow suffering?’ The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Right. So talking about god(s).

          One person sacrifices themselves – suffers – to save the lives of others – prevent suffering.

          This does not mean that a god allows suffering for a greater good. It’s a complete non sequitur.

          You rabid anti-theists… (froth, foam, hissss….)

          I simply pointed out that Two Americas was completely talking about god(s).

          And that the “greater good” thing is a shite argument. It’s not even an argument. It’s a claim that doesn’t add up when examined.

          You rabid anti-theists are as irrational, fanatical, and fundamentalist black & white thinking as rabid theists.

          Another claim without support.

          Two Americas introduced the old “God allows suffering for a greater good” claim.

          I responded to it exactly and I get called a lunatic and a rabid anti-theist.

          Meh.

        • Orestes60

          Rabid frothing-at-the-mouth anti-theists are boring… always looking for a fight with those who are not militantly anti-theist enough.

        • Pofarmer

          Kinda got under his skin. Wow.

        • Susan

          I am talking logic, not religion.

          You have shown no logical connection. And it’s the standard appalling and inept defense that christian apologetics defers to.

          Looks like religion. Maybe it’s not. But it sure ain’t logic.

          I think it was meant as a taunt.

          No reason to think so. It was a perfectly reasonable question. You don’t have an answer.

          No suffering means no freedom and no life.

          That does not follow.

          “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Thst’s insulting. Horrifying, actually.

          Turning that topic into some of some sort of adolescent Jesus versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

          Not at all. Anyone claiming that Yahwehjesus plucked all of reality out of metaphysical nothingness but chose hundreds of millions of years of unfathomable suffering before humans even existed has to deal with it.

          The old, shitty “to bring about a greater good”.response is not sufficient.

          It’s a dreadfully inadequate answer.

        • Two Americas

          I am not defending or promoting Jesus or religion. Go find someone else to hate.

          I have heard Christians complain that atheists can be obnoxious and irrational, that atheism was a religion for them, and I thought they were just making crap up. But damn, you are proving them right.

        • Susan

          Go find someone else to hate.

          Is this your response to everyone who dares to do anything but nod solemnly when you post?

          Sorry. You don’t get to be a martyr today.

          I don’t hate you.

          I have heard Christians complain that atheists can be obnoxious and irrational.

          I’m sure you have.

          I thought they were just making crap up.

          Well, it’s easier than defending their own claims.

          you are proving them right.

          Because I said that the “greater good” response does not adequately address the Problem of Suffering?

          It doesn’t.

        • Two Americas

          I am not defending or promoting Christianity or Jesus. I think you are deranged.

          Blocked.

        • Susan

          Blocked.

          Of course. I’ve tried to address the points you’ve raised.

          Rather than participate, you’ve accused me of hating you, of being a lunatic, of rabid anti-theism, of some sort of unclear fundamentalism, of being obnoxious and irrational and all sorts of unsavoury things… all without supporting those statements.

          I’ve attempted to discuss the points you’ve raised and you’ve responded with baseless insults.

          What alternative do you have but to block me?

          Stupid Susan.

        • MNb

          “to bring out a greater good”
          So this god is a utilitarian?
          Peculiar, given the virtue ethics of Jesus.

        • Two Americas

          Another one. Try reading my post again, particularly the disclaimer, ffs.

          I am not endorsing or promoting this view.

        • Joe

          Then you shouldn’t get so upset when people point out the flaws in that viewpoint.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Besides, of a child falls off their bike, and was hurt, does that mean then that the parents wanted them to?

          Of course not. Are you equating powerless to prevent it parents to fictitious entities that are meant to be all perfect, all powerful, all knowing, all charitable,yadda, yadda, yadda,?

          How would the parents absolutely prevent the child from ever harming itself consistent with the child learning, growing and experiencing -living, in other words?

          Parents are not omnipotent. Parents don’t even possess the power to prevent their kids from falling off their bike. Had a parent possessed such power, is it your assertion that they would allow the child to fall off their bike causing pain? Don’t be daft.

          What lesson is a child learning through the pain suffered from falling off a bike that is necessarily a good thing? If there was no pain for anyone, what would be the downfall?

          Turning that topic into some sort of adolescent Jesus versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

          And yet, here you are, wasting your time pointing out to the rest of us that in your opinion it is a waste of time, without understanding why those of us wishing to argue about it, don’t think it is a waste of OUR time…sheeesh! Go figure.

        • Two Americas

          Whoosh.

          I am not defending, promoting, or endorsing any religious view.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whoosh all ya feckin’ like. Unless you can clarify what it is exactly you are trying to say in some coherent way, then the rest of us can only draw an inference on what we see as you are burbling on about.

          When you say stuff like…

          I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.

          The only inference to be drawn is that of the meaning of “redemptive suffering” as commonly understood.

          You have failed to define the term otherwise other than your personal opinion, or demonstrate its usage outside any religious connotation.

          If you are saying that human self sacrifice for the unselfish benefit of others is a noble act…then yeah…we call that altruism, but it isn’t at all clear that’s what you are getting at. Altruism, in the form of self sacrifice, has fuck all to do with kids learning unnecessary life lessons through falling off a bike. Nor has it got anything with this loada ballix you wrote either…

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Which people? Asking who?

          When atheist play Devils Advocate and ask that question, Christians might answer with that reply, but it isn’t the answer.

          One person sacrifices themselves – suffers – to save the lives of others – prevent suffering.

          That is NOT redemptive suffering, that is self sacrifice, and most likely altruism.

          .Altruism in biological organisms can be defined as an individual performing an action which is at a cost to themselves (e.g., pleasure and quality of life, time, probability of survival or reproduction), but benefits, either directly or indirectly, another third-party individual, without the expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action. Steinberg suggests a definition for altruism in the clinical setting, that is “intentional and voluntary actions that aim to enhance the welfare of another person in the absence of any quid pro quo external rewards”.

          One persons goes to jail to bring attention to the suffering of many others. One persons says “no” and refuses to comply with cruelty at the risk of being cruelly dealt with, for the benefit of the group, of others. That is fundamental to our existence as humans, as social animals.

          None of which is “redemptive suffering” of course.

          Turning that topic into some sort of adolescent Jesus versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

          If your message has bugger all to do with not defending, promoting, or endorsing any religious view.…then wtf is God doing in there?

          In case you missed it, the majority of Christians believe God and Jesus are one and the same.

          Turning that topic into some sort of adolescent Jesus god-man [YahwehJesus] versus atheist argument seems like a waste of time to me.

          FTFY

          Neither adolescent nor a waste of time. Especially when YOU think the answer to the question of why God allows suffering is to bring out the greater good. That is you defending a religious view.

          Anything that can be achieved through suffering, a god as defined by the Abrahamic faith can do without that suffering. That there is suffering, means that there is no god as defined. Simple as that.

        • Two Americas

          Has a bigger straw man ever been constructed? I think not. Will be lighting it on fire soon?

          Especially when YOU think the answer to the question of why God allows suffering is to bring out the greater good.

          Sounds horrible. Let me know when you find someone promoting that idea so we can all watch you go after them. I’ll make the popcorn.

          I said the question “why does God allow suffering?” is a stupid question, because it is so easily answered by the believers. Why is it so easily answered, do you think generous? Because it is so obviously fundamental to the human social experience for individuals to make sacrifices for the greater good. That has nothing to do with promoting Christianity, God, Jesus, WTF ever, it has to do with your stupid arguments.

          See if you can follow this logic…

          A school is in fire. You run in again and again carrying children to safety, saving a dozen young innocent lives. On your last trip the roof caves in and you are burned alive, you suffer terribly and you are killed.

          Now, it is certainly a evil that you were burned to death. Yet a dozen children were saved from the flames. Ergo, your sacrifice redeemed the lives of those children. Still with me, Einstein? Therefore, an evil led to a greater good, and your suffering redeemed the lives of others – “redemptive suffering.” (Assuming here that you are willing to own those words and use them freely rather than to cede them to your imagined enemies.)

          Now, perhaps you are not one who would risk your own neck to save children. Perhaps because that would just be too Jesus-y for you or something. Perhaps living in a cooperative community as a social animal is just too, oh I dunno, too much like what those evil religions talk about – you know, “do unto others…”and “love your neighbor…” Is that your problem. Ignorant? (I hope you don’t mind if I address you by your first name. This is our first date, after all.)

          Worst goddamned atheists around here I have ever seen.

          Giant straw Christmas goat in Sweden is burnt down…once again

          https://youtu.be/R2UOQhcrA9U

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sounds horrible. Let me know when you find someone promoting that idea so we can all watch you go after them. I’ll make the popcorn.

          You said, and I quote….

          People ask “why does God allow suffering?”

          Followed by…

          The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.

          Not, believers say the answer is….or people say the answer is…nope, you said “The”.

          The:- definite article…
          (used to mark a noun as indicating the best-known, most approved, most important, most satisfying, etc.):

          I said the question “why does God allow suffering?” is a stupid question, because it is so easily answered by the believers.

          Where did you say this?

          Why is it so easily answered, do you think generous?

          Perhaps you could draw yer horns in and think about what it is you are saying, and not what you think you are saying.

          Because it is so obviously fundamental to the human social experience for individuals to make sacrifices for the greater good.

          Which, for the third time, has nothing to do with redemptive suffering.

          That has nothing to do with promoting Christianity, God, Jesus, WTF ever, it has to do with your stupid arguments.

          YOU are the one using the wrong terminology. If you did not mean to say “redemptive suffering”, then just say so and everyone can move on.

          See if you can follow this logic…blah, blah, blah…

          Now, it is certainly a evil that you were burned to death.

          It was an evil was it? Not an unfortunate accident?

          Ergo, your sacrifice redeemed the lives of those children.

          What definition of redeemed are you using?

          Still with me, Einstein?

          This could all be cleared up in a jiffy, just show us where the phrase “redemptive suffering” is used as you describe, I’ll hold my hands up and apologise. Okay Mr. Condescending Prick?

          Therefore, an evil led to a greater good, and your suffering redeemed the lives of others – “redemptive suffering.”

          What was evil about the school fire? What has my sacrifice got to do with your perceived evil?

          (Assuming here that you are willing to own those words and use them freely rather than to cede them to your imagined enemies.)

          Oh deary me. Words and phrases are not to be used freely….communication through language would be fucked. Words are defined by their use in common parlance. The term “redemptive suffering” has a particular definition in common parlance. So, your semantic gymnastics here still don’t bale ya out here am afraid.

          Your reply to Michael’s….

          How does someone else suffering and dying for my sins absolve me? That makes no sense.

          Was where all this started and you answered it with…

          I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.

          So ya can blather on all you want…the redemptive suffering you were defending was vis a vis someone else suffering and dying in order to absolve the others SINS….the followup performance has been an exercise in chicanery. Bye-bye now.

        • Two Americas

          You said, and I quote….
          People ask “why does God allow suffering?”
          Followed by…
          The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.
          Not, believers say the answer is….or people say the answer is…nope, you said “The”.

          Let’s say for the sake of argument that what I first wrote was not clear. So fcking what? I have repeated it again and again different ways in the vain hope that a light might go on in your head. But the darkness there is apparently absolute. (Oh oh, does”light” have some sort of religious connotations?

          I have more than adequately explained what I meant and given you many opportunities to grasp it.

          https://youtu.be/xtolv9kM1qk

        • TheNuszAbides

          Worst goddamned atheists around here I have ever seen.

          you poor thing.
          enjoy the trip back to your tiny bubble.

        • Klapaucius

          “People ask “why does God allow suffering?” The answer: to bring out a greater good, of course.”

          Does that apply to billions of years of animal suffering as well?

        • Two Americas

          Are you incapable of reading with comprehension? Your post is not germane to what I wrote.

        • Susan

          Good post.

          I think it’s a dreadful post. It’s just another retread of the value of suffering. It doesn’t account for most of the suffeing that existed on this planet for hundreds of millions of years.

          It doesn’t account for most of the existence of our little species in a continuum of life forms on this planet in which humans were unable to do much at all about suffering and it doesn’t account for (for instance) babies suffering from and dying of cancer and the effect it has on those who love them.

          It’s standard christian apologetics

          It’s nauseating.

        • Orestes60

          I can’t disagree with you more that it was “Christian apologetics.”
          It’s no more Christian apologetics than dukkha (Sanskrit: duḥkha). There’s a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the “value” of suffering and allowing the deep acknowledgement of suffering to change your social consciousness.
          In fact, I wonder if you and I even read the same post.
          Obviously we comprehended it differently.

          Perhaps we might discuss the closing questions: “What would the world be like if no one ever sacrificed themselves for others? What would the world be like if no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others?”

        • newestbeginning

          What would a world be like if no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others or sacrificed themselves for others?

          From the appearances seen on disqus, and on the news these days, that world would be like the Republican party.

        • Greg G.

          If pain was not necessary and suffering was not existent, there would be no need for self-sacrifice and the world would be an even better place to live.

        • Orestes60

          There’s the magical thinking that a physical pain- and psychological suffering-
          and grief-, mourning-free world could be designed.
          Then there’s the reality of the world of human direct experience.
          Also there’s the hope of a new world, i.e. a heavenly or Nirvana-type afterlife.
          I’ll take door #2.

        • Greg G.

          There’s the magical thinking that a physical pain- and psychological suffering-
          and grief-, mourning-free world could be designed.

          Sure, that’s what heaven is supposed to be like.

          Then there’s the reality of the world of human direct experience.

          Yes, the only world we know of.

          Also there’s the hope of a new world, i.e. a heavenly or Nirvana-type afterlife.

          It is a pie-in-the-sky hope of magical thinking.

          I’ll take door #2.

          I hope you are not fore-going your experience of this life for that. This life has a lot to enjoy and it may be your only chance. If there is a next life, we can hope the chance to experience it is not on some arbitrary basis like saying some magic words at some point during life or having someone say a prayer for you just before you croak. Maybe it the key to heaven will be the rejection of religion. It’s as likely as any other scenario.

        • Orestes60

          No argument that I can see. My “door #2” is the reality of the world of human direct experience.
          I’m not forgoing any human experience for an afterlife. I’m not, however, going to experiment wildly on risky thrill-seeking and “immoral” behavior for the sake of experience. I have my priorities as do we all.

        • Greg G.

          I see what you are saying, now. Each option was a door.

          I’m a Parrot-head. My whole world lies waiting behind door number three:

          https://youtu.be/oUZN-AOqmqk

        • epeeist

          I’ll take door #2.

          How many doors are there?

        • Orestes60

          The magical thinking world/door #1.
          The world of direct human experience/door #2.
          The afterlife, new world/door #3.

          Does the Monty Hall problem apply?

        • epeeist

          I can cope with door #2, imperfect as our understanding is.

          As for door #1, are you lumping all kinds of magical thinking together, everything from the sympathetic magic of homoeopathy to Gwyneth Paltrow’s “vagina eggs”?

          But #3 is the one I have difficulties with, are you talking about the Christian afterlife (presumably heaven rather than hell)? Or possibly the slightly different Mormon one. What about the Norse afterlife, that sounds pretty good, much better than the Greek one. None of them are as good as the one of the free floating sentient gas bags of an unnamed planet in IOK-1 though.

          In fact aren’t there are infinite number of possible afterlives, all of which might not exist and with no way to choose between them? It rather looks as though there are an infinite number of doors rather than a mere three.

        • Joe

          Door #1 seems identical to door #3 from where I’m standing.

        • Orestes60

          Imagination = infinite possibilities?
          OK

        • Orestes60

          Door #1 I described first as the magical thinking that a physical pain- and psychological suffering- and grief-, mourning-free world could be designed.
          That’s not the afterlife.
          That’s what some fundie anti-theists expect from an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent supreme being iff such a being exists.

        • Joe

          That’s not the afterlife.

          What afterlife?

          That’s what some fundie anti-theists expect from an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent supreme being iff such a being exists.

          It’s what I’d do if I had the power, and I’m not even omnibenevolent, nor a ‘fundie atheist’. Could you explain why that’s an unreasonable and/or illogical request?

        • Orestes60

          The afterlife/new world was Door #3, the one you said is identical to Door #1.

          You’d destroy the central nervous system which allows complex social animals to experience physical pain, psychological suffering, grief, and mourning. Alrighty then. I’m content that you don’t have that kind of power.

        • Joe

          You’d destroy the central nervous system which allows complex social animals to experience physical pain, psychological suffering, grief, and mourning.

          Yes. What’s wrong with that? We don’t need useless things.

          The afterlife/new world was Door #3, the one you said is identical to Door #1.

          I said it seems identical. The afterlife sounds like magical thinking to me. Why do you put it in a separate category.

          Again, what afterlife? You never answered that question.

        • Orestes60

          If you see physical pain, psychological/social suffering, grief, mourning “useless”, then that’s fine. It’s real world. I have no interest in discussing further than what’s already been written on this thread about the utility of that which opposes dukkha.
          Did you read what I wrote about (1) the magical thinking world, i.e. the one you would bring about by eliminating what you believe is “useless” (2) the real world of human direct experience and (3) the new world, i.e. what people believe about a better life after this one. If you wish to argue a postulated afterlife, take it up with epeeist here. https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/scholarly_consensus_for_the_resurrection_not_really/#comment-3443302237
          I’m not making any claims that your Door #1 seems like Door #3 or that Door #’s 1&3 are preferable to Door #2.
          I prefer Door #2.
          Not me, not you, not anyone are required to defend their harmless preferences.

        • Joe

          I’m just trying to make some sense out of your posts. That’s all.

          You don’t seem to be interested in clarifying them to others.

        • Orestes60

          I don’t see others as interested in discussion.
          I see closed minds wanting to fight for their true belief & certitude.
          “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” ~ Joseph Joubert

        • Joe

          I don’t see others as interested in discussion.
          I see closed minds wanting to fight for their true belief & certitude.

          Then you’re wrong. Flat out wrong. Try turning the introspection on yourself.

        • Orestes60

          The more I’m told I’m flat out wrong, the more I wonder about the following: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77d9ef2ff8ada03d6cc2f780d5e3dec081fe3dc1b22959a806e0bb5222dadaa0.jpg

        • Joe

          About yourself, or about the multiple people who have tried to explain why you are wrong?

          “Am I so out of touch? No. It is the children who are wrong!”

          -Principal (Seymour) Skinner

        • Orestes60

          Q: “About yourself, or about the multiple people who have tried to explain why you are wrong?”
          A: About true believers utterly convinced of their certitude asserting how they are “correct” and others are “wrong” within the social imaginary.

        • Joe

          So, you’re just self-reinforcing your own minority position, by blindly asserting that the rest of us are dogmatic ‘true believers’?

          Despite not having access to our motivations?

          That’s not a practice that gets good results in real life.

        • Orestes60

          Many (most? all?) here post utilizing the true believer mindset as far as I can observe.
          Just calling it “as it is”, i.e. by its right or proper name, without “beating about the bush”—being outspoken about it, truthfully, frankly, and directly, even to the point of being blunt or rude, and even if the subject is considered coarse, impolite, or unpleasant.
          It’s impolite to call anti-theists “true believers”, eh?
          I find that calling it “as it is” is a good, real life social practice.

        • Joe

          Many (most? all?) here post utilizing the true believer mindset as far as I can observe.

          What is the ‘true believer’ mindset?

          It’s impolite to call anti-theists “true believers”, eh?

          No, it’s incorrect.

          I find that calling it “as it is” is a good, real life social practice.

          That’s not what you’re doing. As pointed out, you two have come up with your own definition of a concept, and are berating, blocking and dismissing outright people who inform you to the contrary. Politely or otherwise.

          That’s called the ‘backfire effect’, and leads to reinforcement of incorrect ideas you already hold, to the exclusion of new ideas. One tactic is to imagine yourself as the lone voice of truth and sanity in a see of irrational, and outright hostile outsiders.

          It’s a common trait amongst theists, and anyone else without a reality-based position to argue from.

        • Orestes60

          LOL. Have you never come across the true believer mindset? I’m dubious. Must every single solitary concept be explained to you to the satisfaction of your confirmation bias? Seems so.

          You are entitled to your opinion about anti-theists never being true believers. I don’t share your opinion. Sue me.

          Your “information to the contrary” is your opinion. See ^^^ regarding your opinions.

          Like I said, calling something as I see it works for me. As for your unsolicited advice re the backfire effect and “tactics”, I’ll consider it for a moment or two.

        • Joe

          Have you never come across the true believer mindset? I

          Yes, but it doesn’t fit with what I am seeing from other posters.

          Must every single solitary concept be explained to you to the satisfaction of your confirmation bias? Seems so.

          It seems so, in your case. Especially as you seem so keen on your own interpretations of words.

          Your “information to the contrary” is your opinion.

          Facts aren’t opinions. Quit the postmodernism.

          Like I said, calling something as I see it works for me. As for your unsolicited advice re the backfire effect and “tactics”, I’ll consider it for a moment or two.

          Doubling down is another symptom.

        • Orestes60

          Calling opinions “facts” is bullsh¡tting. Thankfully I have a working bullsh¡t detector, your opinions notwithstanding.

        • Otto

          “One tactic is to imagine yourself as the lone voice of truth and sanity in a see of irrational, and outright hostile outsiders.”

          …also called gaslighting

        • Joe

          I was thinking along the lines of the ‘Galileo Gambit’, but either is fine.

        • Otto

          well there is that…ugh

        • Michael Neville

          This whole thing started when I asked how substitutionary atonement is reasonable and just. In all the back and forth I’ve never got an answer. Two Americas gave me a response which went off on a tangent, I said as much, and then my question got ignored.

          So I ask again, how does Jesus dying atone for my sins?

        • Orestes60

          You are confusing redemptive suffering with substitutionary atonement.
          As per Jesus: argue it with a theist. I’m igtheistic among other stances.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope, they are one and the same…Michael was talking about someone else dying for the sins of another…that’s Redemptive Suffering, Vicarious Atonement, Scapegoating….or even substitutionary atonement if ya want..dress it up whatever way you like, that’s the comment TA replied to, with this…

          I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.

          It makes absolutely no sense that he was talking about about what is essentially altruism.

        • Orestes60

          Sorry. Redemptive suffering isn’t synonymous with altruism.
          Sheesh. Way too many of you regulars have irrational contempt for the secular and humanistic description of a non-theological concept which many humanists consider the most important component of social existence. Guess the humanistic conceptualization of “social existence” diverges from the militantly anti-theistic one. Interesting.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sorry. Redemptive suffering isn’t synonymous with altruism.

          You are obviously not the straight man of this double act, are ya?

          I’m fully aware that altruism is not synonymous with redemptive suffering. TA claims now that that was what he meant when he said redemptive suffering in his reply to Michael. As in a selfless self sacrifice for the common good.

          Try following the thread, rather than focusing on all the ad hom and non sequitur fallacies in your replies. Reading for comprehension is necessary too.

          Way too many of you regulars have irrational contempt for the secular and humanistic description of non-theological concept which many humanists consider the most important component of social existence.

          Only when fuckwits turn it into an issue as you and TA have done here. You’ve tied your flag to the wrong mast.

          TA was pulled about what, on the face of it and in context, was a misuse of a common religious idiom. TA was challenged on this misuse and the charade began.

          Now here’s the rub. By doubling down and claiming that the use of redemptive and suffering together had nothing to do with the idea of scapegoating. TA reply then becomes a “what-ta-fuck-has-TA-reply-got-to-do-with-Michael’s-point”, which was about scapegoating. It is a non sequitur, which is a fallacy.

          None of the regulars challenging you two clowns on this point needed TA irrelevant observation that self sacrifice for the common good is a noble act. And that wasn’t what Michael was criticising. So if it wasn’t a faux pas TA made on his part with misuse of a term, then it was a non sequitur. Therefore, either way the reply really wasn’t as clear cut as you arrogant whores think it was, was it?

          Guess the humanistic conceptualization of “social existence” diverges from the militantly anti-theistic one. Interesting.

          More mindwankery from the asinine. Try learning to interact in a less ambiguous manner and perhaps the rest of us will be better able to understand what it is you are trying to communicate. That might help.

        • Orestes60

          Ignorant Amos, I find you to be just another closed minded mirror image of the “fundie religiot” stock character.
          I also find your “sophisticated argumentation” specious and puerile. You belligerent regulars on this blog’s comment section expect a fight and then turn into butthurt whiners when you get a fight instead of a discussion.
          Pathetic post.

        • Michael Neville

          What a whiner you are. We try to get you to define your terms, you insult us. We reject your claims of non-religious perceptions of a theological concept, you call us fundies. You accuse us of being “butthurt” when you’re the one who’s whining. Has it ever occurred to your dumb ass that if a whole bunch of people keep saying that you’re wrong that maybe we’re not the one’s who hold a mistaken idea?

        • Orestes60

          Oh yes. I ought to be servile to or flatter the regular commenters here. Y’all are such geniuses and a sophisticated lot with your attitudes toward theology, myth, the social imaginary. I ought to bow down at your feet and listen in rapture to your pearls of wisdom.

        • Michael Neville

          We don’t ask for servility or flattery but we do expect civility. If you don’t want to be civil then we won’t be either. You insulted us and called us names. Now you’re whining because we insulted your dumb ass right back.

        • Orestes60

          Enjoy your echo chamber, Michael.
          Cheers.

        • Michael Neville

          I am not confusing anything. I asked a simple question which you and TA ignored to talk about a different subject. If anyone is confused it’s you two.

        • MR

          M’not convinced it’s two.

        • Orestes60

          You are most definitely confused. Who wants to answer your question “how does Jesus dying atone for my sins?”
          Who wishes to discuss “substitutionary atonement” with you?
          Kindly bugger off and find another fundie to talk over what interests you.

        • Michael Neville

          Obviously you don’t want to answer any questions. You’d rather insult people and call them “fundies” because we have a different opinion than you do. Please do me a favor, fuck off and bother some people who might be impressed with your arrogance.

        • Orestes60

          I find that you and your ilk are not interested in “answers to questions.”
          Y’all have closed minds.
          That’s not any different from fundie religiots.
          If the shoe fits…

        • Michael Neville

          In other words you can’t answer my question and it’s my fault that you can’t. But you are free with the insults, you arrogant, pompous, condescending twit.

        • Orestes60

          I choose to ignore idiotic and inane queries. Sue me.

        • Michael Neville

          No, you’re not answering my simple, straightforward question because if you did then your attempt to conjure a secular meaning for a religious term is a failure. But thank you for playing. Better luck next time.

        • Orestes60

          No conjuring needed. It’s the pretentious, pseudo-intellectual twits who really, Really, REALLY believe in their hearts that “redemptive suffering” ONLY has theological meaning and NEVER has secular descriptions or applications.
          Might as well be arguing that the bible is God’s truth, Michael

        • Ignorant Amos

          Exactly.

          How does someone else suffering and dying for my sins absolve me? That makes no sense.

          Which was talking about Vicarious Atonement….aka Redemptive Suffering. Which is the Christian concept that you were talking about….as plain as a wart on ones nose.

          TA responded to that with…

          I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.

          What other way is a rational human being to infer that reply as in context with your comment?

          When challenged…down the rabbit hole fuckwittery ensued.

        • Joe

          I’m not going to hold my breath that you’ll get an answer.

          My money is on you being accused of being bigoted or wrong in what you actually said yourself.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t take sucker bets.

        • Susan

          A: About true believers utterly convinced of their certitude asserting how they are “correct” and others are “wrong” within the social imaginary.

          More baseless accusations,

        • Orestes60

          More simple observations.

        • Susan

          More simple observations.

          Yes. It’s not very complicated that yours and your “ilk”‘s accusations are baseless.

          Provide some basis.

        • Orestes60

          No thanks. Providing supporting evidence for those who filter that evidence through confirmation bias is futile. It’s like arguing with a fundie religiot… a thankless task. Do you get compared to and contrasted with a fundie religiot often? Would you like to discuss how militant anti-theists are more like fundie religiots than unlike them?

        • Susan

          No thanks. Providing supporting evidence for those who filter that evidence through confirmation bias is futile.

          Again, you can’t show that I do. You just proclaim it and show no supporting evidence. You and Two Americas and everyone associated whose suddenly shown up here makes that accusation without supporting it and without addressing the points people make here.

          Provide support for your claim and then show thart I am responding with confirmation bias. .

          Would you like to discuss how militant anti-theists are more like fundie religiiots than unlike them?

          Not really. But it would be more interesting than “you and your ilk” levelling that charge without supporting it every time t someone attempts to have a discussion with you.

        • Orestes60

          You already either ignored or rejected supporting evidence. That’s evidence enough of confirmation bias for me.

          I’d rather discuss how both militant anti-theists and fundie religiots utilize confirmation bias. Let’s have this discussion. It’s much more down-to-earth and easily researched than real world descriptions of and applications for (1) self-sacrifice for the common good or (2) the suffering of an innocent which is actionable in order to save another from (a) error or (b) profound immorality and wickedness.

        • Susan

          You already either ignored or rejected supporting evidence.

          Show me where. You can right click on a comment and paste it to show me where I did.

          Until you do, it’s not obvious.

        • Orestes60

          What you ignored or rejected is evidenced by omission. You are selectively mis-quoting TA and you are not acknowledging to me where he defended his position to others on this thread by describing “self-sacrifice for the common good.”

          Are you drunk? on drugs?

        • Susan

          You are selectively mis-quoting TA

          Give me an example.

          self-sacrice for the common good

          Which is altruism. Or less ideally, self-sacrifice on a planet populated by fragile beings in a universe ruled by physics.

          Which is not the same as “redemptive suffering”.

          Which is very clearly a theological term that means:

          Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another

          Are you drunk? on drugs?

          I wish. Because explaining this over and over again might be more bearable if I were.

        • Orestes60

          If you want to argue verbiage/fictive language regarding how (1) altruism and (2) redemptive suffering and (3) self-sacrifice for the common good overlap or are mutually exclusive or are subsets, do it with another sophist.
          Your sophisticated argumentation boils down to trying to square a circle, i.e. fit a theological definition which has secular practicality (as evidenced by examples and descriptions) into divergent imaginations.
          Have fun figuring it out. Oh wait. You already have. “Redemptive suffering” is purely theological. Therefore it has no real world application. Why does it not have any real world application? Because it’s purely theological. Love the circular logic.

          Are you looking for an easy answer to how an innocent suffering is actionable toward saving another person from error? If so, why did you reject or dismiss the following by redefining it as “altruism”? “Suffering is a way to bring attention to something that is wrong. That often expressed and experienced by proxy, as sympatico suffering. ‘It disturbs me to see that child beaten. Ever since I cannot eat or sleep.'”

          I wish that you were drunk or on drugs too. It would go a long way explaining why such plain concepts are lost on sophists.

        • Otto

          I would be more than happy to admit Redemptive Suffering has a secular dimension to it if I could find one example or definition of it on the internet (or anywhere else) other than these yahoos screaming up and down that there is one!

        • Susan

          I would be more than happy to admit Redemptive Suffering has a secular dimension to it if I could find one example or definition of it on the internet (or anywhere else) other than these yahoos screaming up and down that there is one!

          But you’re in denial about the fact that you’re a drunken lunatic on drugs who is rabidly anti-theist in a way that’s worse than the most fundamental theist and that you are immune to logic because you hate christians.

          Pay attention. You’ll come around.

        • Otto

          Yes I am all that….funny how I have not called them one name, not one insult….but I have been called names and insulted multiple times, and I am the one that is behaving so poorly, so irrationally and I am NOT interested in a true discussion that I needed to be blocked 2 times and am living in an echo chamber…..wow

        • Susan

          funny how I have not called them one name, not one insult….but I have been called names and insulted multiple times, and I am the one that is behaving so poorly, so irrationally and I am NOT interested in a true discussion that I needed to be blocked 2 times and am living in an echo chamber….

          Funny.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is no behaving with this pair of Coco’s…a poor man’s “Laurel and Hardy” and a lot less funny.

        • I’m late to this conversation. What point are you trying to make here? What side of theological divide are you?

        • Otto

          Oh shit Bob….don’t cross that bridge, they ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT arguing for Jesus, or God, or Christianity.

          They are arguing for the secular merits of Redemptive Suffering…good luck figuring that one out.

        • Wow–that is indeed pretty weird. I’m not even on board with the theological merits of redemptive suffering.

          Is there a “they”? Does Orestes60 have a little friend?

        • Greg G.

          Does Orestes60 have a little friend?

          That would be Two Americas.

        • Otto

          https://disqus.com/by/twoamericas/

          Is his friend.

          I am not on board with any merits of redemptive suffering either but these 2 figure they will just redefine it as some malleable concept that CAN have a positive secular component. They never explain what that is or why it is positive…or even why it should be considered Redemptive other than just to pronounce it so. When they encounter the inevitable push back they label their opposition as ‘frothing at the mouth anti-theists’ whose opposition can be summarily dismissed with no actual argument for their position. Quite the pair.

        • Sounds like they just take some features that have a positive secular component and call that “redemptive suffering.” The only pushback you’d have in response, I’d guess, is that this is dictionary abuse. Otherwise, he’s simply saying, “Here are some things that we all know are good. Don’t you agree with me that they’re good things?”

        • Otto

          That and I wanted an explanation why ‘self sacrifice’ would not cover the secular bases without muddying the waters with what to now has been a religious phrase, and was unable to get an answer…but you are correct

        • Orestes60

          Are you a näzi, Otto? Come on… stand tall and proud for your politics.

        • Otto

          Godwin’s Law has reared its ugly head

        • Orestes60

          No. It’s called the actual real world social practice of “redemptive suffering.”
          It’s based on our common humanity, class consciousness, having a social conscience, having the awareness of various social practices, the multiplicity of beliefs and ideas, and the axiom that “beliefs, ideas, myths, imaginations are the cognitive products of social practices, not the reverse.”
          Social practices are real world, objective. Thus various social practices can be studied and personally directly experienced as socially valuable or socially malevolent. This is a materialist stance. It’s lost on idealists.

        • Orestes60

          “… little friend.”
          This is the quality of your blog?!?!
          Such ought to be expected from the rational quality of the regular commenters on your blog’s commenting section.
          Pathetic, BS.

        • That offends you? Wait till I start trying.

        • Orestes60

          It’s enough of a start to see a level of pettiness here.
          That’s all.

        • Two Americas

          The “little friend” did not promote Christianity nor Jesus, as was explained to you several times. You, however, are promoting atheism as a belie system. That is not atheism, rather it is some perverted form of fundamentalism, a mirror image of that which you hate. You are using the same music, doing the same dance steps, but with new supposedly “enlightened” lyrics substituted for the catechism.

        • Susan

          which side of the theological divide are you on?

          Only a rabid theist would ask that. And when someone says “redemptive suffering” has secular applications and that christians say “God allows suffering for the greater good, of course”, addressing the positions means you are a lunatic and a rabid anti-theist as bad or worse than the most fundamental theist.

          They won’t explain it but they’ll call you terrible things for bringing it up.

          Of course, they can’t support what they bring up or the terrible things they call you.

          So… they make insupportable statements, or at least statements they refuse to support.

          And they trash the person without supporting even that.

          And at least one of them seems to think that is “independent thinking” in a good way.

        • Orestes60

          I try to be on the up side of the divide.
          I’m skeptical towards atheistic and theistic preconceived notions.
          I’m agnostic towards whether or not there is more to life than this direct human experience.
          Regarding other beings I’m igtheistic.

          The ongoing “discussion” (from my pov) revolves around the concept “redemptive suffering” ONLY being theological (not my position) and NEVER having any real world applicability (what seems to be the positions of many atheists or anti-theists) on your comments section.

          I don’t reject theology. I understand theology to be mythical and imaginary. Beliefs, ideas, imaginings, myths are cognitive products of social practices, not the reverse. Ergo, these beliefs etc can be traced to real world social practices. If they’re based on our social behavior, then they have real world social practicality.

        • Orestes60

          What do you make of this statement: “The social imaginary (“the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols common to a particular social group and the corresponding society through which people imagine their social whole”) is one of the three intersecting orders that structure all human existence. The others are (1) the objectively real, i.e. an objective reality exists which is shared by rational observers and (2) the symbolic, i.e. as Thomas Carlyle wrote “Man as symbol-maker made conscious of himself as symbol-maker.”

        • This doesn’t interest me, sorry.

        • Orestes60

          Why am I not surprised! These cognitive realms are only the orders of human existence. Nothing to observe there that would interest an anti-Christianity, anti-theist blogger.
          Yes, better to move on.

        • Why waste my time? That topic sounds boring, and you did nothing to sell me on it.

          Luckily, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of other material in the domain of apologetics that interests me. Find something interesting to say and maybe I’ll respond to it.

        • Orestes60

          Meh. Attempting to convince people to change their personal preferences is essentially non-productive and ultimately futile.
          As per counter-arguing Christian apologetics: I prefer simply observing the sophistry, the self-deception, the sincere ignorance and the conscientious stupidity on all sides of the theological divide. “No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.” ~ Karl Popper
          Plenty of non-rational anti-theists, atheists, and theists on these internet “discussion” forums.
          My preference is arguing about the political economy.
          Mythology is more a frivolous pleasure.

        • To each his own.

          on all sides of the theological divide.

          You imagine a symmetry that I don’t see.

          If Christianity in American society were like knitting or ice cream flavor preference, I’d have a different hobby. But when Christians are trying to change society based on their mythology, I find that a compelling reason to get involved in the debate.

        • Orestes60

          Christians “changing society” is chump change compared to the catastrophic convergence of human caused global crises, i.e. poverty, post World War 2 militarism, neoliberalism, violence, climate change.
          Deciding to focus on Christians seems as myopic as Trump’s focus on Islam.

          In academic circles, stories are known as fictions, social constructs, or imagined realities.
          An imagined reality is not a lie because the entire group believes it.
          Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, humans have been living in a dual reality: the physical reality and the imagined reality.
          The way people cooperate can be changed by changing the stories as myths we tell. http://jamesclear.com/book-summaries/sapiens

          It’s been an interesting “story” since the Enlightenment that rationality will annihilate religious beliefs. I think that your quest is quixotic. But then I’m a materialist. I have little use for idealists.
          But hey, pick your battles according to your preferences, eh?

        • We’ve got you to focus on the important things, and I’ll mop up the trivia. Sounds like we’ve got things covered.

        • Orestes60

          I pay close attention to minutiae which actually matters.
          The theological divides? There’s plenty of religious and racist bigotry regardless of your stance on metaphysics.
          The change, in my opinion, must be developing a class conscience and acting upon that conscientiousness.
          I provided a real world example of Martin Luther King Jr’s experience of redemptive suffering (which was summarily rejected by one of your acolytes), so it’s fitting to close with King. “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society… a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          to focus on Christians

          that’s odd. you’d actually been doing fairly well at distinguishing the map from the terrain.

        • Orestes60

          If you recall, it was this blog’s author who commented “But when Christians are trying to change society based on their mythology, I find that a compelling reason to get involved in the debate.”
          Hence my “Deciding to focus on Christians seems… myopic…” and “… pick your battles according to your preferences…” reply.
          Seems to me that my reply was both map and terrain oriented.
          If I was out of bounds, then I’d enjoy your counterargumentative correction.
          Thanks for the reply.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’m just used to [people who are thoughtful enough to apprehend, let alone describe, let alone discuss, The Social Imaginary] keeping up the distinction between sets of ideas and sets of people who identify with those ideas. I don’t think your slip was huge or damning or invalidating, I just saw it as a slip.
          You’re welcome.

        • Orestes60

          You’re probably much better disciplined than myself discerning among ideologies and like minded ideologues.
          Ideologies, imo, are fundamentally part of the social imaginary. But an ideologue has more scope than his/her ideology if s/he conscientiously decides to not allow his/her ideology to be all definitive.
          Most of us believe (falsely?) that we are objective… but the plethora of logical fallacies and human irrationality and cognitive biases (need I go on?) ought to be convincing that we are much more subjective thinkers than objective.
          My current area of intrigue is the human social animal as symbol-maker becoming conscious of itself as symbol-maker. What does this mean? Is it absurd? A koan? Hopefully it grounds the symbol maker in math, physics, and logic. What then? “Becoming conscious”?! Those are two loaded words.

        • TheNuszAbides

          an ideologue has more scope than his/her ideology if s/he
          conscientiously decides to not allow his/her ideology to be all
          definitive.

          quite. a solid explanation for the existence of individuals who both achieve competence in a scientific specialty and swallow/propagate unfalsifiable theistic claims.

          as for symbol-maker-consciousness, I refer you to Eco’s assessment of the scope of semiotics — unfortunately I’ve forgotten where I read it.

          the rest is excellent lurker fodder, thanks.* hopefully they already caught the potentially crucial difference between “focus on Christians” and “focus on Christianity”, since we’re used to all** types of weblings passing through and pretending there isn’t one.

          * except for the silly first sentence.

          ** well, quite a few.

        • Orestes60

          Thanks for the reference.

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, that also reminded me [eventually] of my dissonance with the separating-products-of-human-consciousness-from-Nature habit. I’m past squirming over the naturalistic fallacy, rather more interested in the “artificial” distinction. in light of phenomena such as beavers building dams, some arguments incorporating “occurs in nature” should seem too incoherent to be so bandied about. seems like a holdover from “consciousness is so extra-special it doesn’t deserve the ~indignity~ of physical explanation”.

        • Two Americas

          You ask people “what side of theological divide are you?” Atheism is not an alternative theology.

          You are proving Orestes60’s point for him with that post.

          Theology is “the study of the nature of God and religious belief” or “religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed.”

          If you are going to be a crusader for atheism. you ought to at least understand it.

          Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.

          Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

          Older dictionaries define atheism as “a belief that there is no God.” Clearly, theistic influence taints these definitions. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as “there is no God” betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read “there are no gods.”

          Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion.

          While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. To put it in a more humorous way: If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

          Despite the fact that atheism is not a religion, atheism is protected by many of the same Constitutional rights that protect religion. That, however, does not mean that atheism is itself a religion, only that our sincerely held (lack of) beliefs are protected in the same way as the religious beliefs of others. Similarly, many “interfaith” groups will include atheists. This, again, does not mean that atheism is a religious belief.

          Some groups will use words like Agnostic, Humanist, Secular, Bright, Freethinker, or any number of other terms to self identify. Those words are perfectly fine as a self-identifier, but we strongly advocate using the word that people understand: Atheist. Don’t use those other terms to disguise your atheism or to shy away from a word that some think has a negative connotation. We should be using the terminology that is most accurate and that answers the question that is actually being asked. We should use the term that binds all of us together.

          If you call yourself a humanist, a freethinker, a bright, or even a “cultural Catholic” and lack belief in a god, you are an atheist. Don’t shy away from the term. Embrace it.

          Agnostic isn’t just a “weaker” version of being an atheist. It answers a different question. Atheism is about what you believe. Agnosticism is about what you know.

          https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/about-atheism/

        • Greg G.

          Theology assumes there is a god. Atheism doesn’t. It was a simple question.

        • TheNuszAbides

          none of that is or was controversial or unknown here. and please, no “could’ve fooled me” retort. you already did a superb job of fooling yourself about the motivations in this thread.

        • TheNuszAbides

          empathy is nothing like substitionary atonement — beyond the context of flimsy metaphorical/poetical spin.

        • Two Americas

          This nightmare of a thread died two weeks ago. Buzz off.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if you’re so split-second-contemporary and over it, why are you wasting ones’n’zeroes responding? We’re already the pondscum of the atheosphere in your Seasoned Traveler memoirs, let that be enough.

        • Pofarmer

          How? We totally reject it on a personal and societal level. We go to great lengths to not punish people who aren’t guilty.

        • Two Americas

          Here is what I posted to Michael Neville:

          Suffering is a way to bring attention to something that is wrong. That often expressed and experienced by proxy, as sympatico suffering. “It disturbs me to see that child beaten. Ever since I cannot eat or sleep.”

          An historical example of this involves William and Fanny Seward. Though they both had long been opposed to slavery, it was not until they made a trip to Virginian and happened to see children in chains being whipped and driven down the road that they committed themselves to the cause of ending slavery. Not only could the redemptive suffering be seen in that case as the emotional suffering the Sewards felt, more importantly the suffering of those children led to the redemption of millions.

          What would the world be like if no one ever sacrificed themselves for others? What would the world be like of no one ever felt pain over the suffering of others?

        • collectivist

          Hmm . . .

        • Two Americas

          Self-sacrifice for the common good. That is what the concept of redemptive suffering is about, yes?

        • collectivist

          Got it.

        • Otto

          What exactly was sacrificed? Jesus didn’t die and he lost nothing…

        • Two Americas

          I am not talking about Jesus.

        • Otto

          Considering that you quoted Michael Neville above saying…

          “How does someone else suffering and dying for my sins absolve me? That makes no sense.”

          and then responded to it, it certainly appears that you are.

        • Two Americas

          I think I am the authority on the topic of what I am thinking. I am not defending Christianity. Find an appropriate target for this, why don’t you?

        • Otto

          I think you are the authority as well on what you are thinking…which is why I said ‘appears’…and it still does.

          meh

        • Two Americas

          Whatever.

          I don’t know how many times I can tell you that I am not defending Christianity or talking about Jesus. If you want to argue about that, find someone else.

        • Otto

          Here is a tip…if you don’t want to talk about Jesus don’t quote someone talking about Jesus and then respond to it.

        • Two Americas

          You are a mirror image of the worst fundies out there.

        • Otto

          Because I have a problem with how you are portraying yourself in a conversation?

          My criticism has nothing to do with being a fundie. I would think you would have the self-awareness to understand how you gave off the impression I had, admit to it and move on.

        • Two Americas

          “My criticism has nothing to do with being a fundie. ” Do you even read what others write before you go on the attack?

          Blocked.

        • Otto

          lol

        • Greg G.

          You didn’t comprehend what he wrote at all.

          Please block everybody. You are not interested in conversation.

        • MR

          This surly one is above the fray. Neither Christian nor atheist, he wants to make pronouncements and not be questioned. Bathe in his aloof wisdomness, Otto!

        • Otto

          His skin has the thickness of rice paper

        • newestbeginning

          Such audacity to imagine you are the one who knows what you are thinking – over a stranger on the internet!

          😉

        • Two Americas

          Some anti-Christians are as fanatical and irrational as their targets. They are true believers in not believing. All who show the slightest sign of heresy must be stoned.

        • Orestes60

          Fundamentalist black and white thinking, i.e. anti-religious vs religious.
          The upside is to rise above the fanaticism and irrationality.

        • collectivist

          Astute observation.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re not being stoned for heresy. Incoherence is not heretical.

        • Two Americas

          Butting in here are you? That was uncalled for. I was joking, as should be quite obvious But you just can’t leave this one alone, can you?

          Damn, opposition to the irrationality of religion has driven some people to become entirely irrational.

          I did not endorse,promote or defend Christianity or Jesus. How many times do I need to post that?

          You, and several others on this thread, are far more belligerent, obnoxious, and irrational than any crazed fundamentalist Christians I have ever met, and that is really saying something.

        • collectivist

          Indeed.

        • epeeist

          You are Teal’c and I claim my £5.

        • collectivist

          Indeed. Lol

        • sabelmouse

          yup!
          many people just seem to talk to some imaginary person in their head.

        • Two Americas

          Yes, and I am much nicer and more interesting than that imaginary person in their head!

        • sabelmouse

          🙂

        • Klapaucius

          “I think I am the authority on the topic of what I am thinking”

          I’m not seeing a lot of evidence for that ….

        • Two Americas

          Oh, insults now. You are the mirror image of the worst self-described Christian proselytizers

          I am not defending, promoting, or endorsing any religious view as I have said about a dozen times on this thread now.

          I donlt understand how you expect to wage war against irrational religious beliefs by being so irrational yourself.?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If you are using the term “redemptive suffering” you are.

        • Two Americas

          OK, Amos.

        • TheNuszAbides

          or at least clumsily/inadvertently giving it needless cover.

        • Greg G.

          Unless a sufficiently powerful being exists that could achieve the common good, which makes the self-sacrifice rather silly.
          What can redemptive suffering do that a sufficiently powerful being couldn’t do?

        • Two Americas

          Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about. You want to have an argument about religion, apparently. Food someone who is interested in that.

          Self-sacrifice is silly? Do you have children? Any loved ones in your life?

        • Greg G.

          Can you not comprehend a full sentence? “Self-sacrifice is silly” was preceded by the case of the existence of a sufficiently powerful being.

          I don’t see the point in arguing that suffering is necessary in a godless universe. Of course it is aids survival. But you give silly reasons for why it is necessary. “Free will” and “common good” are poor reasons.

        • Zeta

          Two Americas: “Self-sacrifice for the common good. That is what the concept of redemptive suffering is about, yes?

          Is that your own definition? Please quote sources if it is not.

          The definition on Wikipedia is:
          “Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another.”

        • Two Americas

          Another one! This is hilarious. Do you have anything intelligent to say, or are you just looking for a fight?

          Gosh, I should have consulted Wikipedia I guess.

        • Zeta

          Don’t evade my question. Where is the source of your non-religious definition of “Redemptive Suffering?” Are you able to do so?

        • Two Americas

          The person to whom I was responding suggested that what I was saying about self-sacrifice had nothing to do with religion – “I think he said “that is a different subject.” I responded that I had heard it mostly from religious people.

          The following is an example.

          Disclaimer: I am not endorsing or promoting the views in this excerpt. Try to get your head around that concept, could you?

          Redemptive Suffering

          It is not easy to block out the multiple cries of pain and suffering that permeate the world. It is almost deafening. All one has to do is turn on the radio, read the newspaper, watch television or go online. We are bombarded with news of pain and suffering, almost to the saturation point. I think of the people in Libya, Haiti, Japan and others affected by war and natural disasters. It gives me an overwhelming feeling.

          A couple of years ago I attended several lectures on the martyrs of El Salvador who were killed during a civil war that took place there in the 1970s and 1980s. Archbishop Oscar Romero, four women missionaries and several Jesuits — only to name a few of hundreds of people — were brutally murdered because they spoke out against the intense suffering of the Salvadoran people and a system of government that perpetuated it.

          The poor still suffer there and around the world, including in our own country. However, suffering is not limited to the poor. Who of us cannot look around and find suffering in our own life or in the lives of those who touch ours? No one is spared.

          Everyday we hear of people diagnosed with fatal illnesses that change their lives or people who are out of work for a long time and become desperate to support their families. We know of families broken by divorce and those who experience the sudden death of loved ones. So many are bearing difficult crosses.

          In the light of all this pain the question is often asked that if God really loves us, why does He allow all these good people to suffer? It reminds me of the book I read several years ago. It is called “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and was written by a Jewish rabbi. At first I wondered why he didn’t call his book “Why bad things happen to good people.” I have since come to the conclusion it is because we don’t know the reason why. All we know is that God allows suffering to exist in the world. He permits it but He doesn’t make it happen. And He doesn’t use it to punish us.

          Suffering is a deep mystery of life. Although we may not feel it at the time, what our faith tells us about suffering is that God never abandons us in it. With all suffering, there eventually comes a resurrection. That is the Paschal Mystery. It is a central doctrine of our faith. Jesus suffered, died and rose. We, too, live that mystery in our own lives in big and in small ways. To suffer is part of being a Christian. It is not easy, but God is with us just as He was with Jesus during His life on this earth.

          As Catholics we believe that suffering is redemptive. We are called to unite our suffering with that of Christ’s. Suffering can embitter us or it can transform us. There are people who have suffered greatly who are very holy, caring, compassionate people and then there are others whose suffering has turned them into bitter, resentful people.

          We have little power over most suffering, our own and others, but we do have control over how we let it affect our lives. Experiencing a hurt or loss can enable us to be more compassionate and loving to others in similar circumstances.

          And there is some suffering we can control. That is the suffering we inflict upon other people. It might become a good habit to reflect upon each day to see if we have caused anyone to suffer or, if we have suffered, to unite our suffering with Christ’s and ask Him to help us to allow our pain to make us more sensitive and loving persons.

          As Jesus lived the Paschal Mystery, we, His followers, are called to do the same.

          http://www.todayscatholicnews.org/2011/03/redemptive-suffering/

          On the topic of Oscar Romero, mentioned above, and liberation theology:

          Oscar Romero, Saint for Our Times

          As popular liberation movements flared up in the developing world in the post-colonial period of the 1960s, the United States saw communist infiltration everywhere and interjected its Cold War interests around the world. This set up the context in which complex geopolitical and economic forces collided in Latin America with tragic consequences. El Salvador came under this template in the 1970s. As the influence of Vatican II led to greater church advocacy for human rights for the poor, entrenched regimes became more repressive, appealing to the United States for support and accusing opponents, even Catholic priests and nuns, of spreading Marxist ideology.

          Romero was chosen as archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, because he was regarded as a safe, conservative spiritual leader who would not challenge the status quo in the small Central American nation run by a few wealthy families backed by the military.

          But within weeks of Romero’s installation, one of his rural pastors and a close friend, Jesuit Fr Rutillio Grande, was murdered by government soldiers for supporting the poor campesinos trying to organize for land reform and better wages. Romero emerged from the crisis as a devoted pastor and champion of the people. Six priests and scores of pastoral workers, catechists and faithful church members were killed in the months ahead. When asked by a reporter what he did as archbishop, Romero answered, “I pick up bodies.”

          He immersed himself in the plight of the victims and their families. He became the voice of the voiceless, using his Sunday homilies, broadcast by radio throughout the country and the region, to tell their stories and to demand that the government account for the hundreds of people arrested, tortured and disappeared as tensions worsened toward civil war.

          Romero was accused by critics inside and outside the church of “meddling in politics” and subverting the spiritual mission of the church, which they said was to save souls. Far from abandoning church teaching, Romero was applying the documents of Vatican II and Medellin, and the papal encyclicals of Pope Paul VI to the reality of the people of God in El Salvador.

          Once Romero had decided to challenge El Salvador’s wealthy minority backed by the army, his fate was joined to the poor majority. His term as archbishop (1977-1980) became a three-year martyrdom of vilification and constant death threats. Romero and the martyred church of El Salvador revealed the cost of church advocacy for the poor.

          The historic complicity of the church with wealth and power was one of the scandals of the pre-Vatican II church. It continues to be a challenge, as evidenced in recent efforts to cleanse the Vatican bank of secret accounts and money laundering. The question is whether the church’s silence can still be bought with philanthropy for charitable works from wealth created in unjust ways that exploit the poor and ignore the common good.

          Pope Francis has insisted that real solidarity with the poor in their struggle to participate in shaping the future for the entire human family is essential to the church’s mission of evangelization.

          https://liberationtheology.org/oscar-romero-saint-for-our-times/

        • Zeta

          Your first comment here on this issue was a response to Michael Neville two days ago. You said, “I think that the concept of redemptive suffering does have merit. In fact, I think it is the most important component of social existence.”

          Then I asked you for your source of the non-religious use of the term.

          You evaded my question and posted an insulting comment instead.

          I again asked you for your source. You posted a reply with a long quote from “Today’s Catholic News” containing obviously religious statements such as

          Suffering is a deep mystery of life. Although we may not feel it at the time, what our faith tells us about suffering is that God never abandons us in it. With all suffering, there eventually comes a resurrection.

          As Catholics we believe that suffering is redemptive. We are called to unite our suffering with that of Christ’s.

          So this is a non-religious example? Are you thinking straight at all? Instead of engaging in a serious conversation, you seem to like hurling insults at people to cover up and distract from your own confused thinking.

          I ask again: Where are your sources of the non-religious definition of the term “Redemptive Suffering”?

        • Two Americas

          WTF. This is lunacy, worse than the most deranged fundies I have ever met.

          I am not defending or promoting Christianity or Jesus, ffs.

          Blocked.

        • Susan

          This is lunacy, worse than the most deranged fundies I have ever met.

          But you never seem to be able to say why. You just fling poo when asked to participate in discussion.

          Zeta asked for a secular source for the term “redemptive suffering”. You provided an RCC source.

          Zeta pointed it out and repeated his/her request.

          You make a lunacy charge.

          And block him/her.

          So….

          You’ve got nothing

          But insults.

          And non-responses.

        • Zeta

          Commenters blocked by Two Americas so far:
          Jack Baynes, Joe, Zeta, Otto, Susan

        • Joe

          I can still see and reply to his posts, so i don’t know if this person knows how the block function works.

          Maybe they just prayed for me to be blocked?

        • BlackMamba44

          There was another one that came through here recently, but I can’t remember who.
          If it didnt like the response it got it would pitch a fit and then block.

          Sock puppet?

        • MR

          Maybe he pulled a Mooch and just cock blocked you. Have you tried that?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It was my understanding that when a member blocks another member, it is only the comments of the blocked member that are hidden to the person doing the blocking, and no e-mail notifications are received in the blockers inbox when the blocked person makes a comment.

          The blocked member can still see all the comments of the person who blocked them…and still has the option to comment in reply to said comments, if only for the lurkers in the peanut gallery and all the others here taking part in the discussion.

          I’ve had to unblock a pain in the arse before just to keep track of the thread comments making sense.

        • Jack Baynes

          He’s still responding to me, so either he failed to block or he changed his mind.

        • Joe

          Ah, so those who I’ve blocked like SeeNoevo and Luke Breuer et. al. can still read my posts? Especially where I call them idiots?

          This pleases me.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip….it’s a double edged sword of course. Those that have banned you can’t see what you write abut them…but then who gives a fuck really, as long as the greater audience can see it, ergo,it not being a waste of time.

        • Joe

          I’ve found that, on balance, it’s better for my blood pressure not to see the posts. It’s like Groundhog Day anyway with these posters. They never change their position and just keep re-hashing the same points over and over again.

          I can almost get a gist of whatever bullshit they’re spewing just by reading the replies. I think of it as a game.

          The undercover theists (and part-time sock puppets) like skl, Orestes60 and Two Americas are next on my list, I think.

        • MR

          The undercover theists….

          This ruse fascinates me. How does one reconcile these silly tactics with one’s supposed moral superiority. “Objective morality! But I’m going to pretend I’m something I’m not.” So many of our Christian friends almost always resort to deception on some level; but at this scale, it’s comical. How, I wonder, do they plan to explain this to Jesus? If you have to resort to deception, haven’t you already lost the argument?

        • Joe

          For me, it’s probably the most persuasive argument against organised theism.

          We can’t disprove God, obviously, but if the tenets of Christianity were true, you’d expect more sincerity from all those who profess belief. Not just a portion.

          Is there a punishment for failing in the great commission? You’d think so, if belief is so valuable to God? If a theist’s belief ends up with a net disbelief in others who witness their actions, isn’t that worse than that person being an atheist in the first place?

        • Otto

          I have no idea if they are Christian or not…but if I were to rely on their inability to answer straight forward questions, their ability to conflate and abuse terminology, coupled with their over the top righteous indignation for those that won’t submit to their sophistry and gaslighting, I know where I would put my money.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i don’t find it outlandish to take at face value the notion that some people who truly don’t believe in The Basic Theist Claim can still have a hankering for things like ambiguity intolerance or “there are some things that are just flat out wrong and always have been and always will be”. Which is why i prefer to withhold the supposition that certain cases of boorish contrarianism, wishful moralizing et al. are even ‘probably/likely’ a case of ‘closet/undercover theism’ without clearer evidence. I think sometimes it’s too easy for us to get caught up in our frustrations with [contextually/relatively] soft-ish minds and treat them as though they’re consciously-deliberately fucking with us.
          but I certainly agree that, e.g., skl, if internally taking the ‘skeptic’ label seriously, still needs work on the business end of the rigor stick — and I should probably make more of an effort to say so when I see it.

        • MR

          I agree it can be iffy trying to definitively point out any one case, but there are certain clues…, and there has also been an influx of this type of “questioning” lately. It’s hard not to believe it’s not another tactic.

        • TheNuszAbides

          meh. O60 has the occasional nugget of signal in his noise, so I just go into Skim mode when he blathers about militant rabid fundie buzzbuzz. I don’t see sufficient cause to label him “undercover theist” but neither would I suggest an in-depth study of anyone’s posting history “just to check”.

          TA on the other hand looks a wee bit on the hypersensitive + here-have-some-copy-pasta-that-I-won’t-make-a-concerted-effort-to-tie-in-with-my-supposedly-nuanced-thesis side. sure, they can use blockquote, but not quite clearly and consistently enough to warrant their “OH NOEZ this is monstrous behavior!” flounces.

          SN, on the third hand, was pure noise for several days in a row, and was my first Blockee ever.

          skl just seems muddle-headed, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it’s SteveK making a heroic effort to be subtle.

        • Orestes60

          … O60 has the occasional nugget of signal in his noise…

          Such condescending acknowledgement. How can I ever live it down?

        • TheNuszAbides

          o hai, kettle.

        • Orestes60

          🙂

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m pretty sure that TA blocking you over Disqus only means that TA can no longer read or reply to your posts — they can even still find your name above replies to your comments. it doesn’t have any insulating effect on what the blocker posts — I think that’s more of a Facebook thing.

          this is only going by my experience with having blocked See Noevo some time before it was banned. there may be other factors I’m not considering or familiar with.

          EDIT: haha, sorry for the redundantsplaining. I thought I’d loaded/scrolled down far enough to confirm nobody had mentioned it yet.

        • Zeta

          This is lunacy, worse than the most deranged fundies I have ever met.

          Yeah, you are posting from a lunatic asylum.

        • Jack Baynes

          He doesn’t just need a non-religious definition, he needs one that makes sense in the context of his reply to a comment about Jesus’s death atoning for our sin.

        • Joe

          Gosh, I should have consulted Wikipedia I guess.

          Or a dictionary. At least do the absolute bare minimum to understand a topic before posting.

        • Two Americas

          Huh?

          GFY.

          Blocked

        • Joe

          Because you’d rather block people than be correct?

        • Ubuntu Love

          SLIGHTLY IRRITATED?
          blocking everybody ? why ?

        • collectivist

          I see no evidence of you having done that.

        • Joe

          Done what?

        • collectivist

          Understood anything.

        • Joe

          Why? I have a grasp of substitutional atonement and redemptive suffering as described by theology.

          Besides, I read the Wikipedia post that Zeta cited.

          Why makes you think I haven’t understood anything?

        • Joe

          No.

        • Jack Baynes

          Self-sacrifice for the common good is one thing.
          Torturing yourself for no reason and then expecting people to be thankful for it is another.

        • Two Americas

          I am not promoting or defending Christianity. Try applying some critical thinking skills to this, could you?

          Bye. Blocked.

        • Jack Baynes

          Then why did you respond to a post pointing out the ridiculousness of Jesus’s death absolving sins by endorsing “redemptive suffering” or “self sacrifice” for the common good?

          Guess you won’t see this, oh well

        • Ignorant Amos

          Self sacrifice for the common good is what a soldier does. It’s usually final in a lot of cases.

          Redemptive suffering is something completely different.

          Redemptive suffering is the Christian belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another, or for the other physical or spiritual needs of oneself or another. Like an indulgence, redemptive suffering does not gain the individual forgiveness for their sin; forgiveness results from God’s grace, freely given through Christ, which cannot be earned. After one’s sins are forgiven, the individual’s suffering can reduce the penalty due for sin.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redemptive_suffering

          Asking for clarification from some of the bozo’s on this thread has now become a crime.

          It appears some on this thread have backed themselves into a corner and are now lashing out at others who desire an explanation, this, because of their.own failure to use the term “redemptive suffering” accurately.

          So, now all the rest of us are the irrational, and equated to theist fundies. How dare we ask for an erroneous assertion to be supported. Opinion should be good enough and if ya don’t like it, prepare to be blocked. Woo-who!

          The fuckwittery I’ve witnessed of this forum, and others, over the years, never ceases to astound me.

        • Otto

          People who rely on definitions are just closed minded, if we would just allow for the word ‘apple’ to mean ‘orange’ maybe we would allow ourselves to be open minded and true freethinkers…../sarc

        • Pofarmer

          He’s so open minded his brain fell out.

        • Two Americas

          If Jesus had said water is wet, and I agreed, would that just be too much Jesus for you? Would that be cause for you to be certain that I were “one of them?”

          Your argument is extraordinarily irrational.

          I said that the concept of “redemptive suffering” – that and only that – had some merit, because it was about self-sacrifice for the common good. You, and others here insist on thinking “OMG!!!!!! (irony there) He is defending Jeeeeeesus!!!!! He must be argued down immediately!” and go off on a rampage of illogical blubbering.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope.

          If you meant self sacrifice for the common good, whatever the common good even is, then why not just say self sacrifice, which has nothing to do with religion per se?

        • Two Americas

          Nonsense.

        • Jack Baynes

          Watching other people suffer is supposed to be redemptive? Is that what you mean?

        • Two Americas

          No, of course that isn’t what I mean. Your remark does make we wonder wtf is going on in your mind, though. What is the goal here? To try to be more irrational and obnoxious than the fundies?

        • Jack Baynes

          You tried to defend the idea that someone else dying your your sins made sense by bringing up redemptive suffering.
          How does Jesus’s suffering bring redemption, then?

        • Two Americas

          I am not defending or promoting Jesus. What is causing this astounding inability to read and comprehend perfectly clear language.

          To say that there is merit in the concept of redemptive suffering – which is all I did – is not a defense of Jesus. Would saying we should love one another be a defense of Jesus in your mind as well?

        • Jack Baynes

          And then there’s the Christian worldview where some people receive no penalties for their crime while other people receive penalty for NO crime.

        • MR

          Infinite penalty.

        • Greg G.

          A warden of a penitentiary does not have such power. An omnipotent being would have the power. You have presented a poor analogy.

        • Scooter

          OK-How about exiting Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 2012 who pardoned 210 state inmates, just moments before he left office. Nearly all the orders were “full, complete and unconditional” pardons. A few were suspended sentences, mostly for medical reasons. Those pardoned included murderers and rapists.

        • Jack Baynes

          If he’d executed an innocent person to justify the pardon, then yes, that would be a good analogy.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, but they all accepted Haley Barbour’s son as their Lord and savior, so it’s copacetic. Was that supposed to be an analogy?

          If a governor can do that, why can’t God?

        • barry

          Scooter, is God doing his BEST to convince unbelievers that the gospel is true…yes or no? Do not tell me that God thinks the measure of evidence he has seen fit to give, is sufficient to keep unbelievers accountable. I’m asking whether you think God is doing his “best” to convince unbelievers to believe the gospel. You can answer that “yes or “no” without making reference to Romans 1.

        • Scooter

          Barry, Just a couple of points. First, you’re asking me to judge God the all-wise and all-knowing Sovereign ruler and Creator of the universe. If I answered yes or no I would be placing myself higher than God supposedly knowing His mind and purposes-obviously not a suitable question.
          Secondly, as far as evidence goes you could check out a number of Christian thinkers who have provided incredible amounts of evidence . For example Josh McDowell has compiled tons of information in his book “New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.
          Third, What makes you think that God is trying to convince unbelievers? We are all unbelievers until God moves into our lives. An unbeliever will not be convinced by arguments or a compilation of reasonable evidence. The nature of unbelief is hard to fathom but is a willful resistance to The Gospel or good news of Christ. Only the grace of God working in the heart and mind of an individual will as the Bible illustrates change a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. God in the person of the Holy spirit will regenerate the hearts of those he elects to show His grace and will pass over those who are not elect to show His justice.

        • Otto

          You have already judged God

        • Susan

          You have already judged God.

          How many times has this been brought up to Scooter? But like everything else, he ignores it and repeats the same, old erroneous crap.

        • Why bother with apologetics if none of it matters and the Holy Spirit is the real source of a changed heart?

          I’ve wondered, BTW, about that change that happens after the Holy Spirit does his work. After the change, the new believer gets it. But do the apologetics make more sense? I only deal with evidence and argument, so why can’t a post-Holy-Spirit believer (who gets it) show me how the evidence and argument work? Or are the arguments no more convincing for the new believer than they are for me?

        • Scooter

          Bob, First I would disagree with your premise that apologetics doesn’t matter if it’s the Holy Spirit that’s responsible for a changed heart. I think it really does matter because it’s one of the methods ordained by God to provide answers to those who are pursuing truth and who are predestined to salvation. You are aware I know of 1 Peter 3:15- “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” I think this verse provides a good understanding of this particular method God has chosen to bring people into His kingdom. Francis Schaeffer, pointed out that “truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless.”
          Christians are privileged to enter into the work of the Holy Spirit and there are benefits for growth for the Christian as well as he has to roll up his mental sleeves and answer some tough questions. But ultimately the spiritual eyes of understanding of an individual would be opened by the Spirit.

          As to your second question- someone who has entered into a new relationship with Christ and the church everything is new -a totally different world view-actually the wonder of this new mind means that there will be more questions than ever and as the new believer begins to study the Bible and feed on what the Bible calls the “milk of the word” and move toward the meat many of these questions will be dealt with. And I add many will not be answered in this present age. I’ve noted how the religious cults have all the answers and God figured out. But there are mysteries that can’t be explained with our human intellect-the Trinity for example. There’s something about the presence of mystery that points to the immensity of God just as the vastness of the universe.

          Lastly, your point about why a new believer can’t convince you. Perhaps for someone who is living fully committed to the world view of naturalism the arguments and evidence will not be acceptable?

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps for someone who is living fully committed to the world view of naturalism the arguments and evidence will not be acceptable?

          Finding invalid arguments and ambiguous evidence acceptable is call gullibility. Why don’t you present good arguments and/or unambiguous evidence?

        • Bob, First I would disagree with your premise that apologetics doesn’t matter if it’s the Holy Spirit that’s responsible for a changed heart.

          It seems rather silly to me that omnipotent God could have his Perfect Plan® thwarted because Christians aren’t picking up the slack. I have higher expectations.

          I think it really does matter because it’s one of the methods ordained by God to provide answers to those who are pursuing truth and who are predestined to salvation.

          Is this the Great Commission? I wrote a post about how it doesn’t apply to you.

          You are aware I know of 1 Peter 3:15

          Sure, if someone asks you, answer away. It’s the evangelization that I think is overdone and unnecessary.

          You’re in a tricky spot. You’ve got to say that the Holy Spirit won’t be thwarted in doing what he wants to get done . . . but somehow you’re a fundamental part of the plan, and if you don’t do it, the plan fails. Or something. You can imagine how an outsider sees this as inconsistent.

          As to your second question- someone who has entered into a new relationship with Christ and the church everything is new -a totally different world view-actually the wonder of this new mind means that there will be more questions than ever and as the new believer begins to study the Bible and feed on what the Bible calls the “milk of the word” and move toward the meat many of these questions will be dealt with.

          Which is just what you’d say if the Bible were a ponderous book of contradictory advice and hideous history. A real god would have a simple message. He wouldn’t have Jesus as a version 2.0 reboot in the middle of the story.

          But there are mysteries that can’t be explained with our human intellect-the Trinity for example.

          Right—like that. The simplest explanation is that the Trinity is a clumsy compromise that makes zero sense, since that’s exactly what it looks like.

          There’s something about the presence of mystery that points to the immensity of God just as the vastness of the universe.

          No. It points to it being bullshit. The other religions are bullshit, aren’t they?

          Perhaps for someone who is living fully committed to the world view of naturalism the arguments and evidence will not be acceptable?

          Take the best arguments for Christianity. You would laugh at them if the details were changed to make them come from another religion.

          Another way to see it: I demand a level of evidence that you would demand before you switched to another religion. Sound fair?

        • Susan

          I demand a level of evidence that you would demand before you switched to another religion. Sound fair?

          Sounds fair to me.

          This is where they ignore the question and quote bible verses.

          Or repeat some crappy apologetic argument that adds up to nothing.

          And disappear to Croydon when those strategies fail.

          And return later (often in sock puppet form… but not always, and not exactly in Scooter’s case… though he has changed his Disqus name a couple of times…)

          And they hit the reset button.

          And round and round we go.

        • I wonder if I’d act more like that if I were in their position, but their approach seems so foreign to me. If someone points out an error in my position, I might not quickly say, “You were right” if the argument has gotten heated. Despite what Ed “Big Dick” Dingess thinks you all think of me, I’m only human. However, you can be certain that I won’t use that failed argument again. And yet the Christians and Creationists simply regroup and push forward with the same failed arguments with no interest in being correct.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Despite what Dingess thinks you all think of me

          ixnay on the ainlessbray ultcay of atheistyay ominationday!

        • Ignorant Amos

          But there are mysteries that can’t be explained with our human intellect-the Trinity for example.

          Such nonsense isn’t exclusive to Christianity.

          Marie Sinclair, Countess of Caithness, in her 1876 book Old Truths in a New Light, states: “It is generally, although erroneously, supposed that the doctrine of the Trinity is of Christian origin. Nearly every nation of antiquity possessed a similar doctrine. [The early Catholic theologian] St. Jerome testifies unequivocally, ‘All the ancient nations believed in the Trinity’ ” (p. 382).

          https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/how-ancient-trinitarian-gods-influenced-adoption-of-the

          Triune woo-woo was very popular.

          And of course, not all Christians take that ballix doctrine as part of their faith…it’s not found in the texts after all.

        • Scooter

          A person would not be a sound Christian without a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity for this truth is indeed found in hundreds of Scripture passages where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are declared to be fully and completely God. As a case in point, the apostle Paul says that, “there is but one God the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Father, speaking of the Son, says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and forever” (Hebrews 1:8). And when Ananias “lied to the Holy Spirit,” Peter points out that he had “not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3–4). If you’re going to talk intelligently about this topic you need to do some serious study without leaning on sketchy web sites.

          interestingly, there is no other concept of God attacked more than this subject. The following is a pretty clear contradiction of what you’ve offered. ” The pagan religions had what we call trinities however on closer examination they are not the same in concept or substance. In the same way we would not agree with all the other religions that have a strict monotheistic view of God to be embraced as the same God of the Bible. (Islam, Bahai) The pagan concept was encapsulated with a Father, Mother, giving birth to a Son. They were three major Gods with many minor god’s as well. Their trinity was comprised of three Gods not one. The Greek triad of Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, the Hindu triad of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva the Egyptian triad of Isis, Horus, and Sub bear no resemblance to the Biblical Trinity. They were all separate not united as the one God and almost unanimously had a mother involved as in a heavenly family. This was really tritheism, which has more in common with Mormonism than a triune God. Anti Trinitarians make usage of the statues with three heads and saying that is our pagan God. If one is going to discount the Trinity because of some similarities in name only and not in substance. Then maybe they should be looking at their own pagan similarities. One can still be in idolatry, if their one God is not the God of the Bible.”
          And take especial note of this, Where did the pagans get a concept of three ? Why not two or four ? Where did they get the idea of a God in heaven anyway? What about their belief in a virgin and a son, where did that originate from ? Rom.1:20-25 tells us that man from the beginning knew God.”… ‘and their foolish hearts were darkened” vs.25 “they exchanged the truth for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator.” When mankind fell into darkness of sin, they still retained some elements of the truth but distorted its meaning and it became lost.”
          http://www.letusreason.org/Trin8.htm

        • And you understand the Trinity? I thought most Christians say that it’s a mystery.

          But perhaps you’re one of the select few who do understand it. Could you explain it? I find the Athanasian Creed to be nonsense.

        • Scooter

          I apprehend it. I do not comprehend it. Note carefully that I said “A person would not be a sound Christian without a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity” I didn’t say without a proper understanding of the Trinity.-major difference.

        • I don’t understand your apprehend/comprehend distinction. They sound like synonyms to me.

          As far as understanding the doctrine vs. the real thing, I suppose that just means that you can repeat the contents of the Athanasian Creed but it’s as much gibberish to you as me.

          Isn’t it weird that this fundamental trait of Christianity isn’t understandable by those who must understand it? I wonder if you can get into heaven if you don’t.

        • Scooter

          “Isn’t it weird that this fundamental trait of Christianity isn’t understandable by those who must understand it? I wonder if you can get into heaven if you don’t.”

          I don’t think one has to be a theologian and understand all the doctrine of the Bible to be ushered into heaven. For example the dying thief on the cross beside Jesus was promised heaven that very day because of his faith in Christ in his final moments.

          But just a couple of final thoughts. We must first remember that very few have a good idea of what the Trinity is in the first place – so, accuracy in definition is very important. The doctrine of the Trinity is simply that there is one eternal being of God – indivisible, infinite. This one being of God is shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

          There’s a lot of fuzzy thinking about the Trinity. Christian apologist Dr. James White is helpful with his explanation,

          “It is necessary here to distinguish between the terms “being” and “person.” It would be a contradiction, obviously, to say that there are three beings within one being, or three persons within one person. So what is the difference? We clearly recognize the difference between being and person every day. We recognize what something is, yet we also recognize individuals within a classification. For example, we speak of the “being” of man—human being. A rock has “being”—the being of a rock, as does a cat, a dog, etc. Yet, we also know that there are personal attributes as well. That is, we recognize both “what” and “who” when we talk about a person.”

          White continues, “The Bible tells us there are three classifications of personal beings—God, man, and angels. What is personality? The ability to have emotion, will, to express oneself. Rocks cannot speak. Cats cannot think of themselves over against others, and, say, work for the common good of “cat kind.” Hence, we are saying that there is one eternal, infinite being of God, shared fully and completely by three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. One what, three who’s.”

          So why is the Trinity an incomprehensible mystery ? Because there is one divine Being but one indivisible essence meaning that God is “simple” and can’t be chopped up into parts. But how does one describe this “Being” from our physical understanding of our experience? Because in our experience “being” can only be shared fully by one person. But God’s being is not limited and finite like a creature’s. His Being is infinite and unlimited, and therefore can in a way completely beyond our comprehension, be shared fully by 3 Persons, father, Son and Holy Spirit.

        • For example the dying thief on the cross beside Jesus was promised heaven that very day because of his faith in Christ in his final moments.

          Does the Bible consistently give that as a definition of how heaven works—you die and then you immediately wake up in heaven?

          We must first remember that very few have a good idea of what the Trinity is in the first place

          Few? Who understood it?

          How about none?

          so, accuracy in definition is very important.

          Why, if no one can understand it? Just make it a black box, don’t bother, but tell people that they must believe the contents of the black box or else they don’t get into heaven. Easy.

          The doctrine of the Trinity is simply that there is one eternal being of God – indivisible, infinite. This one being of God is shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

          Meaningless. Every time I say, “You mean like this?” you’ll tell me that no, it has no analog to anything we could ever understand.

          Think about the evolution. First, there’s polytheistic gods, which are documented in the OT. Then Yahweh evolves so that there’s just him, and now we have a monotheism. Then there’s this Jesus character, who is so beloved that he gradually makes it to the level of God . . . but then what do you do? Instead of just admitting the polytheism, there’s the unintelligible Trinity concept, where Christians can pretend that they have both Jesus as a god and monotheism.

        • Michael Neville

          The Trinity came about because the Arians, who believed that Jesus was a prophet but not god, lost a political battle to the Byzantine and Roman prelates who became the Eastern Orthodox and Catholics. Jesus was elevated to godhood and, to distance themselves from the Zoroastrian dualists, a third “god” was added to the mixture. The Bible was almost certainly emended and reinterpreted to justify the Trinity.

          A large number of Jews and Muslims, who really are monotheists, consider Christians to be polytheists. It doesn’t help that Christian theologians can’t define exactly how the Trinity works. Hand waving, tap dancing and “it’s a mystery” don’t convince non Christians that the Trinity isn’t just made up by the winners of a political fight.

        • Greg G.

          The ancient Greeks thought there was a problem with the spiritual god acting on the physical world, so they came up with a demiurge as a go-between, which they called “Logos”. Philo tried to make that idea compatible with Judaism and it looks like the early Christians borrowed the idea, too. That is what the 1 Corinthians 1:8 verse you cited is saying. All things come from God, the father, and through the Lord, Jesus Christ.

          Hebrews 1:8 is taking Psalm 45:6-7 out of context. The verse is about the earthly king of Israel who sits on God’s throne on Earth.

          Luke created the story of Ananias and Sapphira from 1 Kings 20:1-21:21 with the punishment being from Joshua 7. The end of chapter 4, which sets up the premise, comes from Jewish War 2.8.3, about the Essenes.

          If you’re going to talk intelligently about this topic you need to do some serious study without leaning on sketchy ancient religious tracts.

        • Max Doubt

          “Well, let’s consider your argument on a human level.”

          Sure, let’s…

          “Why shouldn’t an all-powerful Warden of the State penitentiary snap his fingers and absolve every inmate no matter what crime he or she has committed?”

          On a human level, you know of no objective evidence to support any claims that anyone or anything is or ever has been all powerful. Your consideration for the argument has just broken down to arrogant blathering.

          “We all realize and even expect that when a crime against an individual is committed then justice requires a penalty for that crime.”

          We don’t all realize that. Your suggestion that justice requires a penalty indicates you aren’t giving reasonable consideration to the issue.

        • Klapaucius

          “We all realize and even expect that when a crime against an individual is committed then justice requires a penalty for that crime”

          But don’t Christians “realize and even expect” that just accepting Jesus absolves the criminal from the punishment? How do the victims feel about that “justice”?

        • barry

          Are you sure that analogies to human justice are sufficient? Won’t you just depart from those analogies whenever the bible requires you to?

        • epeeist

          One’s salvation is still based on the death of Christ, and faith in Christ is still the requirement for salvation

          So what you are saying is that your god is not going to save the large majority of the world that doesn’t believe in it.

          Just adds to the total twattishness of said entity as far as I am concerned. Dawkins was wrong when he said:

          The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

          The same is true of the god of the new testament as well.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I think you forgot a ” ‘nt ” in there.

        • Jack Baynes

          But scooter says Jesus is not willing that they should perish, he just set up a system where most of them would….. because I guess he couldn’t think of a better plan?

          Really if you discard the trinity, things make a little more sense, with Jesus trying to save us from his father’s unreasonable wrath.

        • TheNuszAbides

          agreed, it has far less practical utility in a less-polytheistic environment [in which there’s not so much competition with multiple-unfalsifiable-PowerPersonality worldviews] — but ~mystery~ is still such a precious card to play!

        • Zeta

          Scooter: “Today the content of the Christian faith simply is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day.

          I hope you still remember 1 Peter 1:20: ““He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

          So even before the universe was created, your god had already decided to sacrifice himself as his own son to save humans (yet to be created billions of years in the future, or a few thousand years depending on who you speak to) from he himself. So killing Jesus (how can your god die?) for a few days was already on your god’s grand agenda. Just pretending to die, right? It just looks like a giant game played by your god. Humans are just like chess pieces faithfully acting out your god’s preplanned moves.

          Ludicrous and hypocritical! How can any right-thinking person believe in such nonsense?

        • Jack Baynes

          Can it really be a game when God already knew the outcome?

        • Zeta

          Jack Baynes: “Can it really be a game when God already knew the outcome?”

          God is so bored with idleness that he enjoys watching his cosmic game unfolding. He already has gathered a huge group of believers (including serial murderers who repented at the last minute before execution) singing praises to him everyday for all eternity. That can get pretty boring hearing all the praises to stroke his huge ego. So he also spices the game up a bit by adding a little variation in having some apparent dissent to people like us. 🙂

        • MR

          This all sounds very Trumpian.

        • Greg G.

          Are you suggesting that Trump is a physical manifestation of Old Testament God? That would explain much.

        • TheNuszAbides

          is a rigged game still a game? gettouttaheah witchyer metaphyzix! 😉

        • Scooter

          Zeta, From your writing I’m thinking that you aren’t really prepared to hear a response to your question without an argument. However I will respond and leave it at that. First off-you mention “your god” as a pejorative term four times. The implication is that the One whom I serve is just one among many possibilities of deities such as Allah or the Hindu gods Krishna, Vishnu and Cali; however the Bible reveals God as sovereign Creator of the universe who holds all things together through His power above every name. The second point is that God is One and Three. The Old Testament constantly insists that there is only one God the self-revealed Creator who must be worshiped and loved exclusively. The New Testament agrees but speaks of 3 personal agents, Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together to bring about salvation. When you say that God sacrificed himself as his son you are expressing the error of modalism held by the United Pentecostals and others such as T.D. Jakes. Modalism believes that God appeared as father then changed into a Son and then the Holy Spirit-3 different modes depending on the situation. This teaching is not Biblical. So it was the second person of the Trinity that took on human flesh and nature but at the same time retaining his divine nature. By doing this he was able to die but still had the power to be resurrected. The death of Jesus wasn’t a game as you suggest-it was real as the soldiers proved. We’ll likely never know what it meant to the One who created the world to be presented as a ransom for those who would believe-consider the deep angst that Jesus experienced in the garden the night before the Crucifixion.

          Zeta, this isn’t a game but the grand cosmic drama being played out before all creation ordained by God. Perhaps soon the last act will be played out and the final curtain will come down. Then the truth will be fully believed by all. Remember the Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

        • Michael Neville

          This teaching is not Biblical.

          From what I understand the Trinity is not Biblical. It was cobbled together to give divinity to Jesus, the Father was already divine, and the Spook was thrown in to distance Christianity away from Zoroastrian dualism.

          Many Muslims and Jews do not consider Trinitarian Christians to be monotheists. I can certainly understand their point.

          Remember the Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

          Remember that we’re atheists. The Bible is a collection of myths, fables and lies like any other religion’s “holy book”. Personally I think the Vedas have better stories, the Analects of Confucius has a more richly developed philosophy and the Sermons of Buddha show greater concern and compassion for actual people.

        • Zeta

          Scooter: “From your writing I’m thinking that you aren’t really prepared to hear a response to your question without an argument.

          I am keen to hear a good argument. Your response is nothing more than some regurgitation of apologetic claims.

          The implication is that the One whom I serve is just one among many possibilities of deities such as Allah or the Hindu gods Krishna, Vishnu and Cali

          There have been a huge number of gods created by humans. I do not believe that any of them exists, including yours. So what’s wrong with using “your god” when you believe in just one out of the huge number.

          When you say that God sacrificed himself as his son you are expressing the error of modalism…

          You are just claiming that your theology is the only correct one. How do you know? How is the truth of a particular claim of theology determined? How do theologians know that the products of their imaginations are true? Do theologians have a direct line to their god? When theologians disagreed, did your god ever show up to settle differences?

          “One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.” – Robert A. Heinlein

          The death of Jesus wasn’t a game as you suggest…
          As 1 Peter 1:20 claims, even before the universe was created, your god had already decided that Jesus would be killed to save humans from he himself. This is clearly a game he (if he exists) played.

          Did you respond to my comment about Matthew 10:23? I asked you:
          “Scooter, how many towns were there in little Israel for them to go through, millions of them? Are they still alive today… ”
          Nothing to say about it?

        • Scooter

          Just as I thought Zeta-your main interest is to argue so there’s no sense in continuing.

        • Zeta

          Yeah, that is a good excuse to use when you are not able to answer my questions. This blog (and other similar blogs) is full of commenters who argue with others who have different views. You think that your preaching should simply be accepted by nonbelievers and skeptics?

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, at some level he knows that’s the Only Way It Really Works. it’s especially easy to get Mormons to admit that sort of thing — IIRC they have a verse that really spells it out, if only in the woo “open your heart” fashion.

        • barry

          the Bible reveals God as sovereign Creator of the universe who holds all things together through His power above every name.

          Then how could he have possibly regretted his own choice to create man? If he foreknow mankind would become sinful, then what? Did God infallibly foreknow that he would regret his choice to create man? What do we tell our kids when they do wrong despite knowing beforehand their conduct would lead to disaster?

          The second point is that God is One and Three. The Old Testament constantly insists that there is only one God the self-revealed Creator who must be worshiped and loved exclusively.

          And his talking like a single “person” in the OT is precisely why orthodox Jews laugh at the semantic games apologists play on the difference between “who” and “what”

          The New Testament agrees but speaks of 3 personal agents, Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together to bring about salvation.

          It also has Jesus desiring for a fleeting second to act contrary to the will of the Father and avoid his cup of suffering, Matthew 26:39. There’s trouble in the Trinity.

          When you say that God sacrificed himself as his son you are expressing the error of modalism held by the United Pentecostals and others such as T.D. Jakes. Modalism believes that God appeared as father then changed into a Son and then the Holy Spirit-3 different modes depending on the situation. This teaching is not Biblical. So it was the second person of the Trinity that took on human flesh and nature but at the same time retaining his divine nature.

          The Trinitarian theory is equally as nonsensical and illogical. Jesus did not know the day of his return (Mark 13:32), and since one’s “nature” is what they really are and cannot run away from or avoid, then if Jesus had a human nature and divine nature, then he cannot have suppressed any facet of his divine nature any more than you can suppress any facet of your human nature, in which case it was the divine nature of Jesus, who said he didn’t know the day of his return. You cannot just turn Jesus’ divine nature on and off like a light switch when expediency dictates. You cannot do that with a person’s “nature”, unless you admit you have no argument and rely solely on the bible. But to suppress one’s nature is to assert something logically impossible, and you fix logically impossible problems with invoking god.

          By doing this he was able to die but still had the power to be resurrected. The death of Jesus wasn’t a game as you suggest-it was real as the soldiers proved.

          If Jesus existed, seems to me he was nothing more than a typical messianic contender, and sometimes these movements are successful, despite how awfully absurd and false their premises are, look at Mormonism.

          We’ll likely never know what it meant to the One who created the world to be presented as a ransom for those who would believe-consider the deep angst that Jesus experienced in the garden the night before the Crucifixion.

          Dismissed as emotiona-heightening dramatic fiction for the originally intended first-century audience, today, we smarter than that.

          Zeta, this isn’t a game but the grand cosmic drama being played out before all creation ordained by God.

          And if God was perfect, he’d have been perfectly content before creating anything, and would for eternity have chosen such contentment over creating the chaos that he did. Don’t talk to me about mankind having freewill and sin being their fault. God forces people to sin in Ezekiel 34:8, where the hook-in-your-jaws metaphor cannot be harmonized with a theory that God respects human freewill.

          Perhaps soon the last act will be played out and the final curtain will come down. Then the truth will be fully believed by all. Remember the Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

          And since the bible says those who confess Christ with their mouth will be saved (Romans 10:9), your bible verse seems to be teaching universalism.

        • Max Doubt

          “Today, we know the full picture. One’s salvation is still based on the death of Christ, and faith in Christ is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God.”

          We know no such thing. You’re claiming to know things you can’t possibly know. That’s arrogant and dishonest.

        • This action on the cross I believe is the pivotal point of history (even as we mark our calendars with it).

          We mark our calendars with the imagined birth, not the resurrection, and even the estimate for the birth can’t be computed from the ambiguous evidence in the Bible.

          Today, we know the full picture.

          Uh, no. You Christians can’t even agree among yourselves, which is why you’re gaining Christian denominations at the rate of two per day.

        • Klapaucius

          “One’s salvation is still based on the death of Christ”

          So you have no moral problems with human sacrifice then? And we’re supposed to worship this monster?

        • barry

          The death of Christ as the basis of salvation pertained to the Old Testament people as well as folks from the death of Christ to this very day.

          God doesn’t need sacrifice to take away sin, he can simply choose to avoid punishing it, and poof, it disappears like magic. See 2nd Samuel 12:13

          This action on the cross I believe is the pivotal point of history (even as we mark our calendars with it).

          This is an eighth century political development, it hardly means Jesus is truly unique.

          A person to be justified by God has always needed faith.

          not true. In Matthew 25: 37 ff, some of the righteous that go into heaven didn’t even realize the ultimate meaning of their good works, indicating they likely weren’t even Christians when feeding the hungry, etc. “Faith” is implicitly denied here as essential to salvation. Doing good works will suffice, alone.

          The object of one’s faith for salvation has always been God. Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness.

          And like Paul, you suspiciously don’t lean on the higher authority of anything Jesus taught about how to get right with God. Why?

          Gen. 15:6 is a controversial text, as the “he” who did the crediting is debated whether it is God or Abraham. The historical evidence against Paul’s interpretation is the Mosaic Law, where personal righteousness is the way you please god, Deut. 6:25, and the Mosaic covenant is the one Paul conveniently deletes from his justification by faith teaching in Romans 4.

          As time went on the content of a believer’s faith changed. God’s progressive revelation is seen as you read through the Old and then the New Testaments.

          Wouldn’t progress imply naturalistic religous evolution before it implied a consistent unchanging inerrant god?

          Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15.

          He also thought God was telling him to murder children. I’ll pick and choose which parts of the story make me feel good, and chuck the rest in all the fury of an attention-deficit hungry arbitrary child in a candy shop, thank you

          Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed.

          Signifying precisely nothing, since if Abe in those days could believe God wanted him to kill kids, there was no way to objectively determine that anybody’s particular view of the divine will was true or false.

          Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem.

          The NT concept of salvation is utterly absent in the OT. The typical best favor you could gain with God in OT days was to believe the message of the prophets, and hopefully God would bless you and your household for years after you died. IN the OT the proof of God’s favor was believed to be material blessing, see the last chapter of job, where God treats dead kids like replaceable commodities.

          Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross.

          A perfectly meaningless theology. How can Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins, possibly have its benefits to you held off until you have faith? Where exactly did your sins go at the very second Jesus died, and does it even make sense to talk about where YOUR sins were back in the first century?

          Today, we know the full picture. One’s salvation is still based on the death of Christ, and faith in Christ is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today the content of the Christian faith simply is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day.yes, I know

        • TheNuszAbides

          why did he wait thousands of years after the Garden (taking your chronology)

          I keep forgetting that this question is more of a problem for OECs (or at least they rely far more heavily on “mysterious ways” in this context).

        • eric

          not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

          Seems to me [God snaps fingers, none perish] would be a straightforward way to accomplish that. Why doesn’t he just do that?

        • Max Doubt

          “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 peter 3:9”

          I’m sure you’ll agree that you have no objective method to differentiate what you believe to be a god from any other figment of your imagination. And since you aren’t able to do that, I’m sure you’d also agree it’s unreasonable to expect anyone else to give credence to your opinion about any characteristics of this alleged god thingie you speak of.

      • skl

        “The fact that you’ve been waiting 2000 years for this guy to get back …”

        If by “you” you mean me, that would be wrong.
        I’m not a Christian.

      • Jack Baynes

        Never understood why Thomas would expect Jesus to still have the holes. He can bring himself back from the dead but not heal puncture wounds?

        • Michael Neville

          There would still have been scars.

        • Grimlock

          Why?

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, there might have been scars.

          Regardless, I side with Thomas in this. If someone told me that a publicly executed man was walking around all healthy then I’d want a whole lot more than just “trust me on this.”

        • Ah, yes, but I hope you see the problem with that. Your hard heart refuses to allow you to see for real, with the eyes of faith.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Doubting Thomas trope was a literary motif that was invented by the author of gJohn to counter the heresy of Docetism.

        • Michael Neville

          It doesn’t surprise me that Doubting Thomas is a literary device. I’m just saying that if someone told me about a resurrection I’d want a whole lot of evidence before I accepted it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed…and it would take a tad more than a couple of holes to do it too.

        • Jack Baynes

          I guess I could see wanting to see the wounds in that case, but I’d be less impressed if they were still there.

        • Scooter

          Its been said that the only thing there (heaven) that’s been made by man are the scars in the hands of Jesus.

        • Why would his spirit body have the scars?

          Does his spirit body smell? Does it need food? If not, why would it inherit the scars?

        • MR

          Damn, I was hoping to get rid of this mole.

        • Don’t bother. it’ll return in the Afterlife. But you’ll probably have bigger issues to worry about when you’re burning in hell.

        • Jack Baynes

          Didn’t one account say that the apostles didn’t recognize the resurrected Jesus because he looked completely different?

        • Joe

          Like Dr Who?

        • There are several stories about that. Mary thought Jesus was the gardener–hard to believe that this person she’s spend so much time was hard to identify. And then there’s the Road to Emmaus story, where (unnamed) disciples are walking with him for hours and only when he vanishes do they realize who he was.

        • Klapaucius

          “Its been said”

          Wow! That’s convincing ….

        • And why would Post-Resurrection Jesus® have wounds from the crucifixion and yet have a “spirit body”? His old body obviously had the wounds, but why would the spirit body inherit them?

          I’m confused. It’s almost like the entire story is made up.

          http://www.normalbobsmith.com/store/fridgemagnets_product.jpg

      • He’s binge-watching series on Netflix. He keeps saying, “Just one more,” but his queue gets longer and longer.

        • Kevin K

          But if he’s one with the omniscient father, then he already knows all the spoilers.

          Wouldn’t that be the saddest existence ever? To never be surprised by anything? If I were a deity and had omniscience, I’d turn it off.

        • Jack Baynes

          I think that was Paul Atreides’s conclusion in the Dune Messiah

        • Kevin K

          I could never work my way through Dune. Nor the Hobbit things.

          I did like the movie with Sting, though.

        • Good question. You can’t be surprised, you can’t have any sense of achievement or satisfaction in a job well done. There can never be victory or wonder. Where is happiness if the future is already known in far more detail than we humans know anything?

          It must suck being God. Maybe it’s God the Creator that Christians should be in awe of, not Jesus and his “sacrifice.” After all, it’s the Creator who must have this empty life.

        • Kevin K

          Maybe that’s why his hobby is to make sure as many souls as possible are sent to hell. He’s bored.

    • eric

      Unless you’re counting all of inductive reasoning as a form of “bias”, your statement is untrue. We can’t be absolutely philosophical certain about these things, but it is certainly possible to draw an inductive, provisional-but-confident conclusion that claims which break known physical laws or which posit entities for which there is no evidence are not true.

      After all, your “no one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove X did or didn’t happen” applies equally to the ressurrection, to a fairy cotillion in my garden, to Sagan’s dragons playing chess in my garage, to Mohamed’s ascent to heaven on a flying horse, to Zeus coming to Danae in the form of a golden shower, and many many other claims. They’re all in the same philosophical boat. Faced with a near-infinite number of contradictory and often ridiculous “you can’t prove it didn’t happen” claims, it seems very inductively reasonable and not merely “all down to bias” to reject them all provisionally, until the claimants can come forward with some positive evidence in support of their extraordinary claim.

      The proper skeptical position is not to remain neutral about such claims. Remaining neutral requires throwing out induction for that issue while using it for many others. That’s not skepticism, that’s special treatment. The proper skeptical position is to provisionally reject them all until such time as the claimants can provide credible evidence for you to believe them.

      • skl

        “Unless you’re counting all of inductive reasoning as a form of
        “bias”, your statement is untrue…
        The proper skeptical position is not to remain neutral about such claims. Remaining neutral requires throwing out induction for that issue while
        using it for many others. That’s not skepticism, that’s special treatment. The
        proper skeptical position is to provisionally reject them all until such time
        as the claimants can provide credible evidence for you to believe them.”

        I’m skeptical of your statements.
        I think both atheists and theists use inductive reasoning. It’s just that
        the atheists have a bias against believing supernatural things can occur and
        the theists don’t.

        • kraut2

          ‘the atheists have a bias against believing supernatural things can occur and the theists don’t.”

          again not understanding the atheist pov?
          I have seen no: proof of miracles. What I have seen are claims by believers of some actions that seem not expainable without invoking action by supernatural forces but always fall apart by further investigation.
          My bias is: lets have evidence. You are right, that is the proper skeptiocs stance. The evidence for any claim of superatural forces acting on the physical world are sorely lacking and usually either easily debunked or after some unbiased proper investigation.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          We have no idea what a “supernatural” thing is outside of a category of plot device in fiction.

        • Greg G.

          Well put.

        • Otto

          I guess then I have a bias that pigs don’t fly.

          That reasoning is a bit silly

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Shhh… you’re putting more thought into this than the Biblical authors did.

      • Greg G.

        Sometimes I think Luke must have sent a draft to Theophilus, instead of the finished gospel.

    • MNb

      Evidence by definition comes from our natural reality.
      The Resurrection is supposed to be a supernatural event.
      How does that work, evidence that the Resurrection did or did not happen?

      • skl

        The resurrection, if it happened, would have been real, part
        of reality, and so, see-able, touch-able, hear-able. Basically, empirical. It’s
        just that it wouldn’t be something you’d see every day, to put it mildly.

        • Greg G.

          Sure, but we have lots of claims of resurrections from religious people but no evidence that the person was actually dead. Why is it always like that?

        • MNb

          Then it was not a supernatural event and no supernatural entity had anything to do with it. That’s very OK with me, but won’t suit many christians.

          “part of reality, and so, see-able, touch-able, hear-able.”
          According to many believers your “so” is a non-sequitur. They think the supernatural that part of reality that’s not see-able, touch-able, hear-able etc. Their god doesn’t communicate with them that way, so they claim.
          In other words, you actually have debunked their version of “the resurrection did happen”. That makes your “provide enough evidence” rather meaningless.

        • skl

          “Then [the resurrection] was not a supernatural event and no supernatural entity had anything to do with it.”

          Perhaps it would be better if I said “RESULTS of the resurrection.” These would have been see-able, touch-able, hear-able. Basically, empirical.

          But the resurrection “process”, if you will, would be supernatural.

        • Joe

          But the resurrection “process”, if you will, would be supernatural.

          How do we know this?

          We have a natural ‘before’ (a dead person), and a natural ‘after’ (an alive person with holes in their hands). How do we get to a supernatural ‘middle’ from those two things?

        • skl

          “How do we know this?”

          Because we’ve never seen it in nature and science can not explain it.

        • Joe

          How does that mean ‘it’, whatever that is, is supernatural?

        • skl

          “It” refers to the process of resurrection.

        • Joe

          How do you know there was a process of resurrection?

          I’m trying to get you to see how circular this whole process is. We have:

          Natural (dead) > *unkown* > Natural (alive)

          How do we get the supernatural out of that?

          Say I claimed I could make cakes, without baking and using only magic. As proof, I show you eggs, milk, flower etc. Then the next day I give you a very real, very delicious cake for you to hold, examine and eat.

          Did I produce that cake using magic?

        • skl

          “How do you know there was a process of resurrection?”

          I don’t.

          “I’m trying to get you to see how circular this whole process is. We have: Natural (dead) > *unkown* > Natural (alive)
          How do we get the supernatural out of that?”

          How do you get the natural out of the “*unknown*” ?

          “Say I claimed I could make cakes, without baking and using only magic. As proof, I show you eggs, milk, flower etc. Then the next day I give you a very real, very delicious cake for you to hold, examine and eat. Did I produce that cake using magic?”

          I think the more appropriate analogy here might be this:
          You make a nice fully formed cake and show it to me, then you smash the cake to smithereens on the ground, put the pieces and crumbs in a box, lock the box with a key you keep, give me the box and tell me to bring it back in a couple days, I then bring it back to you, you open the box with your key, and we both see a nice fully formed cake inside.

        • Joe

          I don’t.

          Then why are you continuing with this discusson as if it happened.

          How do you get the natural out of the “*unknown*” ?

          I don’t. Though probability suggests it would be something natural.

          I think the more appropriate analogy here might be this: ….

          That is not an appropriate analogy at all. It also wasn’t the answer to my question.

          Even given your inability to answer a very simple question, I’ll graciously accept your analogy. How would that prove something magical happened? There are similar magic tricks that have been done in the past.

        • Greg G.

          Because we’ve never seen it in nature and science can not explain it.

          Lots of things have been thought of as supernatural but really were not. Thunderbolts-hurled-by-gods theory of lightning was wrong. The demon theory of disease was wrong. We’ve learned that it is always premature to go with the supernatural explanation.

          The supernatural is contrived to be untestable. That makes it impossible to distinguish the supernatural from the imaginary, and that is the way supernaturalists want it, to prevent science from proving them wrong.

        • skl

          One difference here, though, is that thunderbolts and disease are see-able, touch-able, hear-able. Basically, empirical, things you could see every day. Not so for a resurrected body.

        • Joe

          You just said:

          The resurrection, if it happened, would have been real, part
          of reality, and so, see-able, touch-able, hear-able. Basically, empirical

          So, was it real or not real?

        • skl

          I already answered that.

        • Joe

          I don’t think you did. Or at least, not satisfactorily.

        • Greg G.

          But the causes are not seen. We have thousands of years of recorded history with no good natural explanations of thunderbolts and disease until humans stopped looking for supernatural explanations. Then it became absurd to attribute causes to the supernatural because so many things that had been thought to be supernatural turned out to be quite explainable by natural means.

          But we have lots of claims of people returning from the dead but no proof that it actually happened. Before one tries to explain something, one should make sure it isn’t a fictional account.

        • skl

          “But we have lots of claims of people returning from the dead but no
          proof that it actually happened. Before one tries to explain something,
          one should make sure it isn’t a fictional account.”

          See my response to you from a few minutes ago. No one will ever “make sure”, as in, prove, whether the resurrection did or did not happen.

        • Greg G.

          According to the story, he was crucified for a few hours. Many would take days to die unless their legs were broken. So the swoon theory would be a better explanation than resurrection.

          But more importantly, the whole story smacks of being fiction derived from the literature of the day, not actual events. The epistles rely on Old Testament passages, not recent memories.

        • skl

          “According to the story, he was crucified for a few hours. Many would take days to die unless their legs were broken. So the swoon theory would be a better explanation than resurrection.”

          Actually, the story goes farther than that. It says after the three hours of crucifixion the soldiers, seeing he was already dead, didn’t break his legs but decided to puncture his chest/heart with a lance, and some time later, he was wrapped and buried, and then 30 or more hours later he started appearing to people and in fine health.

        • Greg G.

          seeing he was already dead, didn’t break his legs but decided to puncture his chest/heart with a lance

          Only the Gospel of John mentions the lance to the side. Even that account doesn’t say it was intended to reach his heart.

          he was wrapped and buried

          Or under the swoon theory, he was bandaged and cared for in secret.

          then 30 or more hours later he started appearing to people and in fine health.

          With lots of discrepancies. Mark is the oldest account and it doesn’t have that part. The other accounts add other things to iron out the problems with the story, like Matthew adding guards to it.

          But the whole story is taken from older stories. Mark 15:33 mentions a darkness, like that in Exodus 10:22.

          The next verse has Jesus quoting Psalm 22:1-2 in Aramaic.

          Verses 36 & 37 are allusions to Psalm 31:22 and 69:21.

          Verse 38 says the temple veil split. Jewish War 5.5.4 describes the veil as having a depiction of earth and the heavens. Zechariah 14:4 tells of the Mount of Olives being split. Verse 39 says the centurion said “Truly this man was the Son of God.” So these two verses reflect back to Mark 1:10-11 where the heavens split and a voice said “You are my beloved Son”.

          Verses 39 & 40 have The women and followers watching from a distance. Compare that with Psalm 38:11-14.

          The burial has Joseph of Arimathaea asking Pilate for the body. There is no known city called Arimathaea but it is an Aramaic pun for “best disciple”. He would be an amalgamation of Joseph, who asked Pharoah for permission to bury the body of his father, Jacob, in a special tomb (Genesis 50:4-5) and King Priam, who asked Achilles for the body of his son, Hector (The Iliad). Isaiah 53:9 tells about a poor man being buried with the rich so this element has to be in it. Much of the Jesus story relies on Isaiah 53. Where would Joseph of Arimathea buy linen on a Sabbath and would he if he could?

          But it is not just this passage that quotes and alludes to the OT, Homer, and other sources, it is the whole Gospel of Mark. And it is not just Mark, we find the same thing in the other gospels. And not just the gospels, it is also like that in Acts. Then there’s the epistles only referring to Jesus in terms of the OT. None of it reads like history. It all reads like midrash and mimesis.

        • skl

          I’m not interested in an analysis of the bible. I return to what I said at the start here.
          “I think maybe it all comes down to bias.
          No one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove
          that the resurrection did happen or didn’t happen.”

        • MNb

          Repeating your meaningless statement doesn’t give it any meaning.
          If we restrict ourselves to the natural aspects (which already kind of debunks the christian story) then you have to define “enough”.
          Take for instance “your ancestors of 1000 years ago were not born out of humans but found in cauliflowers.” What would be enough evidence for you to reject this hypothesis?

        • skl

          “Repeating your meaningless statement doesn’t give it any
          meaning.”

          It’s not meaningless to me.

          “If we restrict ourselves to the natural aspects (which already kind of debunks the christian story) then you have to define “enough”.
          Take for instance “your ancestors of 1000 years ago were not born out of humans but found in cauliflowers.” What would be enough evidence for you to reject this hypothesis?”

          That hypothesis would be outrageous, probably even to the
          people of 1000 years ago. I’m not aware of anyone writing down such a hypothesis. Other people 1000 years before them wrote down other outrageous things. For whatever reason(s), some people still believe in them today. Maybe it’s due to evolutionary bias.

          On the subject of outrageous, maybe some atheists actually
          believe in man from cauliflower 🙂

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nosacredcows/2017/07/atheism-or-skepticism/

        • Greg G.

          Prove that you are not a brain in a vat, a computer simulation, or a dream of Vishnu. Prove that Vishnu is not a brain in a vat dreaming of a computer simulation of you.

          We can be hyper-skeptical or we can follow the evidence presented to us realizing that we cannot prove anything. The resurrection story was either contrived to look like it was made up from the literature of the day or it was contrived from the literature of the day. It is very unlikely that it hit so many OT verses by accident. Or it is false sensory input to our brain through the vat walls.

          One can believe anything if the evidence is not considered. Good luck with that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Only in one version of the story though…the one that contradicts the other versions of the story on quite a number of details also.

        • skl

          As I just said to Greg G, I’m not interested in an analysis of the bible.
          I return to what I said at the start here:
          “I think maybe it all comes down to bias.
          No one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove
          that the resurrection did happen or didn’t happen.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          The default position for the rational is that it didn’t happen.

          Try some Bayesian reasoning.

        • Otto

          What decision does a skeptic make when there isn’t enough evidence to prove something?

        • skl

          “What decision does a skeptic make when there isn’t enough
          evidence to prove something?”

          Not act like there is, if you don’t have to.
          Sometimes I think of the many unanimous juries, certain
          beyond a reasonable doubt, who sent men to prison or death row, only to find out many years later that the man was actually innocent. They didn’t have to.

        • Otto

          I find Jesus not guilty of the resurrection

        • epeeist

          No one will ever be able to provide enough evidence to prove that the resurrection did happen or didn’t happen.

          As has been said elsewhere, there are estimated to have been about 100 billion humans.

          Let’s start with a 50:50 prior probability for resurrection/no resurrection hypotheses. Each instance of somebody dying and not being resurrected is a piece of evidence in favour the “no resurrection” hypothesis. After billions of deaths with no resurrections what do you think the posterior probability for “no resurrection” is?

          You should also note that confirmatory evidence for one hypothesis disconfirms the the other.

        • MNb

          And how does that work, evidence for the resurrection “process”?

        • skl

          By seeing a for-sure dead person’s body at one point, and then seeing the same body fully alive some time later.

        • Wow–that would be compelling! Are you speaking of your own experience? Or is this the seventh-hand tale written thousands of years ago and copied and modified unknown numbers of times since?

        • skl

          If I have only a choice of the two, it would be the latter.:)
          That would apparently include the work of secular historians of the time such as Josephus.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

        • I don’t see how Josephus fits in, but I hope my point is clear. “Jesus resurrected” is an irredeemably weak argument.

        • skl

          Josephus fits in in that he apparently wrote about Jesus and
          the resurrection and his history was apparently contemporaneous with the first century Christians, and so not as subject to as much of what you called seventh-hand tales and unknown numbers of modifications.

        • The Testimonium Flavianum (where Jesus is said to have performed miracles) is almost universally agreed to be a later addition. Even the second instance, where “James the brother of Jesus” is mentioned is quite possibly an addition.

          so not as subject to as much of what you called seventh-hand tales and unknown numbers of modifications.

          Unfortunately, Josephus couldn’t follow copies of his documents through time to keep them safe from tampering, so yes, his writings are as subject to modification just as anyone’s.

        • Otto

          Hypothetically even if we take Josephus for granted that he did write what is attributed to him (there are plenty of reason to think it is not the case) what he wrote described what Christians BELIEVED about Jesus. He did not write about Jesus directly.

    • barry

      That’s because historical “evidence” can never be “proof” the way carbon dioxide proves it’s existence when we repeatedly mix baking soda and vinegar.

      But regardless, in the real world, we don’t treat the hypothesis that is least likely true, any different than the hypothesis that we deem positively false. Argument about whether we establish the position with certainty or mere likelihood is mere semantics.

  • Scooter

    “…how many are not free to follow the facts where they lead but have their jobs and even careers on the line if they stray?”

    This appears to be very true for those who are engaged in scientific endeavors in establishments that follow a naturalism/evolutionary world view. Dr. Jerry Bergman has written “Slaughter of the Dissidents-The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters” published by Leafcutter Press in 2008.

    Reviewer E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D writes the following:
    “Religious persecution has returned to the twenty-first century with a vengeance. It is rampant in the United States where we are guaranteed free speech and religious freedom by the constitution and live in a culture openly espousing tolerance. The coliseum of the first century has been replaced by the ivory towers of academia; the lions by university administrators. This is a must read book for anyone following the current Creation/ID/evolution controversy. Even more importantly, it has a great deal to say about the future of science. As Dr. Bergman clearly shows in this powerful essay, we are on the threshold of forever losing science as we know it.”

    Smith,continues: “Central to the book are hundreds of case studies of people losing their jobs and careers for simply espousing a belief in God or Intelligent Design. Some have been terminated for nothing more than being a Christian and attending church. Job interviews often include illegal questions about one’s personal religious beliefs. Teachers at universities and public schools are increasingly at risk discussing doubts about evolution or even their Christian views after class, in the hallways or on school property. Where will it end? The local and national media often gets it wrong and compares any criticism of evolution to teaching Bible based Creation. They fail to recognize literally thousands of scientists today have rejected evolution for scientific and not religious reasons. Anyone doubting evolution is considered ignorant and no different from those who once believed the earth was flat and the sun was carried on the back of a giant turtle. Openly espousing a Christian world view can terminate one’s job and career.

    • MNb

      “The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters”
      BWAHAHAHAHA!
      The names of Darwin Doubters are widely known. Here.

      https://dissentfromdarwin.org/scientists/

      Pray tell me how many of their careers were killed.

    • Hans-Richard Grümm

      PhD in what field `?
      The claim that “thousands of scientists have rejected evolution for scientific reasons” is utterly ludicrous.

      • Kevin K

        Yeah, you’re wasting your time with Scooter. He’s a YEC and an idiot. Just block him and save your fingers the trouble.

        But, if you must … https://ncse.com/project-steve

        • Michael Neville

          As of 30 June 2017, 1417 Steves have signed the statement.

        • Giauz Ragnarock
        • Max Doubt

          “Yeah, you’re wasting your time with Scooter. He’s a YEC and an idiot.”

          Yep. And those aren’t even his least attractive traits. When he gets backed into a corner, which he always does, he raises his willful ignorance shield runs away like a coward.

        • Scooter

          Kevin-you’re quite right-some people would consider me a fool for what I hold to. But I would rather be considered a fool in that sense then ultimately be considered a fool by God. Psalm 14 points this out, The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. Why does God call him a fool? First, because of the shallowness and the lack of depth in his thinking. Francis Bacon wrote an essay entitled “Atheism,” and in that essay on atheism, Lord Bacon said, “A little philosophy inclineth a man’s mind to atheism; but depth of philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

        • Jack Baynes

          But God DOES consider you a fool. I’ve got a book right here that says, “To think God would drown the world makes you a fool.”

          And you KNOW it’s true because the book was written by God. God would not lie to you,

        • Scooter

          “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
          This is a quote by martyred Missionary Jim Elliot to the Auca Indians of Bolivia in 1955. He was one of 5 young men killed by the Aucas which inspired a generation of young men and women to go into far off places to preach the Gospel of Christ.

        • Jack Baynes

          A fool who inspired other fools to follow him to his death, eh?

          All because your god decided to only show up in the backwater of Rome. Why not have Jesus show up in every corner of the world, so missionaries don’t have to die?

        • Scooter

          You’ve heaped enough condemnation on your head-I won’t cause you to add any more by having you answer another comment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Got nothing then? Figures.

        • Jack Baynes

          Because I don’t believe in an omnipotent God that is as incompetent as yours?

        • Jack Baynes

          Besides, what would be the problem with more “condemnation”? Christianity says that just by being born I deserve hell. How can I make it any worse?

        • Zeta

          Scooter: “You’ve heaped enough condemnation on your head-I won’t cause you to add any more by having you answer another comment.

          This is laughable. You are really admitting that you are not able to continue the argument.

          Have you replied to my two comments to you regarding 1 Peter 1:20 and Matthew 10:23? Maybe I missed them; I have not seen your responses.

        • Michael Murray

          If you’d come today
          You could have reached the whole nation
          Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication

          Mind you if He had come in 1970 when that was first sung there would have been no internet.

        • Jack Baynes

          If he’d come to Adam and Eve, he could have reached absolutely everyone at once.

          Then he could come back every 20 years or so to clarify/update his message.
          “We’ve canceled the indulgences program since Jesus clarified today that they were a bad idea. Thanks for the update, Jesus!”

          “We found this new way to prevent pregnancies, is God ok with that?”
          “Well, we’ll wait for the next time Jesus shows up and ask him…”

          But no, Jesus supposedly comes ONCE when he can reach only a tiny fraction of the people.

        • Jack Baynes

          If God had wanted the Aucas to know of Him, Jim Elliot would not have had to go to Bolivia

        • Mojohand

          But they did know of Him! Paulie said that the ‘invisible’ attributes of god were clearly seen and understood from the git-go so why are missionaries even needed? Ol’ Paul-nee-Saul even claims that nature is not a vague hint of god but so clear that all are without excuse!

          Guess jésus didn’t get the memo when he told his da’snipes to go tell all the world…

        • Michael Neville

          The response to that is some people are in denial and others don’t notice the things Paul was talking about. Some Muslim clerics make a similar claim that everyone is a Muslim but some of us are ignorant or in denial. Then the question arises as to who is correct, Paul or the imams and mullahs?

        • Greg G.

          1 Corinthians 15:19 says that if your only hope for Christ is in this life only, you are to be most pitied. Paul refuted Pascal’s Wager centuries before Pascal was a gleam in his father’s eyes.

          There are 17 other verses that have been translated into English containing the phrase “there is no god” in various contexts. There are seven more cases if you include the Catholic version. It has to be a coincidence. If there was a god that wanted people to believe in his existence and inspired the Bible, it would not have inspired that phrase so many times in the Bible.

        • Scooter

          Sorry-I don’t get the connection between your first and second paragraphs so let me just comment on 1 Corinthians 15″19. Remember how important to know the context of a verse. As Greg Koukl points out, “Never read a Bible verse” meaning that to properly interpret a verse you need to place it in a proper context. Paul says in the previous verses that “our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” if Christ had not been raised from the dead. The truth of the Christian message is tied to the historical reality of Christ’s death and exaltation. The apostle can’t conceive of his message having any spiritual value if its historical foundation does not exist. This verse emphasizes the greatness of what God has promised for the life to come. The Christian’s hope of salvation is so glorious that if one was still in his sins and lost he would have experienced the greatest and cruelest of all deceptions.

          As far as “there is no god” in various contexts.” I would suggest you really understand those contexts to get the proper interpretation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          …proper interpretation.

          There’s an idea. Seems that there are plenty of Christians claim a variety of “proper interpretation”, how does one know which is the “proper interpretation”then?

          The term “proper interpretation” is a bit of an oxymoron when considered in the same context of the Buybull.

          At 45,000+ flavours of the cult and increasing at an average of 2 and a bit per day, “proper interpretation” seems a bit of a ballix.

          There is a Christian arguing on another thread that the Resurrection narrative is to be interpreted as a metaphor and not a real event. Do you agree?

        • Michael Murray

          how does one know which is the “proper interpretation”then?

          Trial by ordeal maybe ?

          An early (non-judicial) example of the test was described by Gregory of Tours in the late 6th century. He describes how a Catholic saint, Hyacinth, bested an Arian rival by plucking a stone from a boiling cauldron. Gregory said that it took Hyacinth about an hour to complete the task (because the waters were bubbling so ferociously), but he was pleased to record that when the heretic tried, he had the skin boiled off up to his elbow.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sounds like an excellent idea to me Michael.

          Let’s see how many of the eejits have the gumption to step up to the plate and have at it.

          I’d bet a pound to a pinch of salt that there would be few, if any, volunteers. So much for Faith. Faith, my arse.

        • Greg G.

          I have issued the 1 Kings 18 challenge to Christians where Elijah and the priests of Baal squared off to see who could ignite a bonfire by calling on their respective gods. Guess who won.

          My challenge is to cook a steak. The winner gets a steak cooked to order while the loser eats steak tartare. They will use Elijah’s method to light their charcoal, which has success in recorded history, while I will use the products of science. No takers so far.

          Hey, nowadays we can livestream it on Facebook!

        • Jack Baynes

          But God doesn’t do party tricks!

          Except that time for Elijah, I guess.
          Or when Jesus literally did a trick at a party…

        • Greg G.

          How about the time Jesus wanted to see if he could walk on water the way Hermes did in The Iliad?

        • MR

          I thought Hermes had little wings to get around? A little dish soap to break the surface tension and Jesus would have gone right into the drink.

        • TheNuszAbides

          yeah, see, that was during The Age of Miracles [see handy and colorful timeline attached]. we live in extra-Fallen, mundane times *sniff*

        • Mojohand

          He-who-scoots is correct in that Paul is mainly talking about the ‘life to come’ in verse 19. What is overlooked is how damning of a statement Paul just made.

          Paul is actually saying (and again destroying Pascal’s Wager) that Christianity is worse than useless if there is no heaven to fly off to after death. Not exactly a rosy recommendation for a religion he spent most of his life promoting and it seems rather contradictory to Jesus’ claims of the kingdom being at hand and his coming that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

          Despite Christian’s desperate wordsmithing, Paul’s passage here is one of the most damning of the Christian message. He is doubling down and going all in on an a priori assumption that has no historical merit…

        • Scooter

          So-if I explain your misunderstanding would you then see Pascal’s Wager as not destroyed? No? I didn’t think so.
          Anyway, just to clear things up for you and it would really help if you actually read the passage in context. Paul did not say that Christianity is worse than useless (much like my argument on deaf ears I suspect) if there is no heaven to fly to. Rather he said that his preaching is in vain if there is no resurrection of the dead.-This is a key point in understanding Paul’s thinking. Paul was addressing a problem that had arisen in the church at Corinth. Some of the Corinthians, perhaps without denying that Jesus had been raised , were questioning the doctrine of the resurrection because of their unbiblical understanding of the human body (see verse 35). Paul needed to show them that the resurrection of Jesus can’t be separated from the resurrection of those who are His. If their resurrection is not true, neither is His. But to deny, even by implication, that Jesus’ body was raised from the tomb destroys the message of the gospel.
          I would submit that this is the reason why atheist apologists and bloggers keep trying fervently to quash the resurrection of Christ.

        • Greg G.

          Mojohand got it right. While what you are saying Paul is arguing is probably right, you miss that 1 Corinthians 15:19 is pointing out the opposite, that is, the case that there is no resurrection means the hope for Christ is only in this life. Pascal’s Wager says that you have lost nothing if that is the case but Paul says you Christians “are to be most pitied.”

        • Scooter

          I don’t see a contradiction-you are mixing 2 different concepts. The difference is that Pascal’s wager is directed to all people who would be atheist, agnostic or seeking answers or simply wondering when they look up at the stars at night if a Creator exists and who should consider the odds of God existing. Paul’s discussion is directed to Christians, only his argument does not imply that God doesn’t exist but that IF the resurrection doesn’t exist then the people who thought they were Christians would have no hope for salvation for they would still be in their sins and accountable to God. But this is the key point-Paul assures the Corinthian Christians in verse 20 that Christ was raised from the dead correcting the false teaching that was being circulated in the Corinthian church.

        • Greg G.

          Pascal’s Wager addresses the Christian position by saying that if the Christian is wrong about the afterlife, they have lost nothing more than anybody else.

          Paul’s Wager addresses the Christian position by saying that if the Christian is wrong about the afterlife, they should be pitied more than anybody else.

          Why should Christians be pitied more than everybody else if there is no afterlife? It would follow that this life is better for the non-Christian. If you are enjoying your life as a Christian, Paul would think you are doing it wrong. Do you have children? Where does Paul say you should have children? Are you married? Paul recommended in chapter 7 that you shouldn’t married except to have your sex life sanctioned if you couldn’t resist.

          Of course Paul would say that it was true in verse 20. He had dedicated his whole life to the message on the belief that the Messiah was coming at any second during his generation. Whenever he spoke of the coming of the Lord, he use the first person plural for the living when that happened and the third person plural for the already dead. That is why he thought it was pointless to get married as other people should be preparing for the coming of the Lord. The prospect of raising a family never occurs to Paul. However, Paul was completely wrong about that. Every Christian movement that has believed him by eschewing sex has gone extinct. But Paul was obviously wrong.

          Don’t you pity those poor Christians who have given up sex to follow Paul’s version of Christianity? How about those who missed the sarcasm in Galatians 5:12 and literally emasculated themselves?

        • BlackMamba44
        • Greg G.

          The connection between the paragraphs is that I was addressing two different points in your single paragraph.

          I addressed the 1 Corinthians 15:19 point here: http://disq.us/p/1kye1wa

          I suggest that you ignore the context of those verses and emphasize the repeated message that “there is no god”. It’s probably the truest part of the Old Testament.

        • BlackMamba44

          Matthew 5:22
          But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

          ~ Jesus

        • Greg G.

          Matthew 23:17
          You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
            ~Jesus

        • BlackMamba44

          Hypocrite Jesus.

        • Scooter

          In spite of the ignorant railing that goes on against Christians, the Bible and God Himself, it is very interesting to note how much the Bible is quoted and discussed by atheists. Its truly amazing how the God that atheists don’t believe exists takes up so much time and effort in trying to deny Him. Makes one wonder. Now here’s a thought from that said Bible from Isaiah 55:11 “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” So the God who supposedly doesn’t exist can use even the atheist blogosphere to accomplish his purposes.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Ubuntu Love

          “HI.”

        • BlackMamba44

          You’re not God.

          Try again.

        • Ubuntu Love

          you don’t know that for sure — do you ?

        • BlackMamba44

          Grow up.

        • Ubuntu Love

          I am older than time — and I am genderless, I don’t want to grow up…
          “HI”… are you always this serious ?
          You won’t give me the benefit of the doubt ?

        • BlackMamba44

          are you always this serious

          Only when someone wants to play games I’m not interested in.

          This is my last response.

        • Otto

          I literally cannot go 6 blocks in any direction without some Christian organization or business owner quoting Bible verses, I can’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV without some Christian message being on it, I can’t follow any politics without some Christian politician espousing how his/her beliefs should have to be kowtowed to by EVERYONE else.

          I will make you a deal, when you Christians STFU about it…so will we.

        • Klapaucius

          If Lord Bacon said it, that settles it, I believe it!

        • RichardSRussell

          The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.

          The wise person says so right out loud.

        • TheNuszAbides

          sadly, Lord Bacon isn’t an authority on whether it’s a good thing that reading from a field dominated by axiomatically theist logic for centuries “bringeth men’s minds about to religion”.

      • Michael Neville

        E. Norbert Smith has a genuine PhD in zoology from Texas Tech. He’s also on the board of directors for the Creation
        Research Society and taught a graduate course for the
        Institute of Creation Research as well as an online course in
        Creation for Liberty University. He is not currently employed as a zoologist, biologist or in other related fields.

        • Kevin K

          You can get an advanced degree in many areas of science without knowing or understanding evolution. I admit that zoology is a bit of a stretch…but it’s possible.

          Apparently, he did his PhD research in alligators.

        • Illithid

          I have a humble B.S. in Zoology, and I don’t think someone could pass the required courses without understanding evolution.

          Now, I did attend a real university. That may be the difference.

        • Kevin K

          You have to demonstrate that you understood the subject matter. You didn’t have to believe in it. Two different things.

          Linnaeus was the first great taxonomist … and a devout Christian who didn’t even know the theory of evolution because it didn’t exist at the time.

      • Jonathan Wells, one of the very few biologists who rejects evolution, admits that his work has a religious agenda.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and he’s rather roundly debunked at talkorigins anyhow.

    • guerillasurgeon

      Okay, give us some of the case studies where people were fired merely for being a Christian and going to church. I bet it’s not nearly as simple as that. Besides, this is the nonreligious section, and we do love actual evidence here.

    • Oh, the humanity! When will the carnage end? Thousands and thousands of honest biologist who know that evolution is bullshit (and have no religious agenda) cast aside like used tissues when their insights could blow the cover on this insane hoax. If only they could somehow get the word out!

      I won’t be able to sleep tonight.

    • Chuck Johnson

      Anyone doubting evolution is considered ignorant and no different from
      those who once believed the earth was flat and the sun was carried on
      the back of a giant turtle. Openly espousing a Christian world view can
      terminate one’s job and career.-Scooter

      It’s much worse than you know.
      Bias against magical explanations in biology is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Anyone whose career is science, engineering or technology (not just biology) who proposes magical explanations instead of logical, empirical explanations immediately puts themselves at risk of being sneered at, laughed at or having their professional credentials come into question.

      This seems to be something that you have not noticed.

  • MadScientist1023

    Normally when you collect data, increasing the number of data points increases the power of your conclusion. But here, I really have to wonder if that means anything.

    Habermas says he has 3400 articles debating this topic. But how many of those articles can actually say something different? It’s not like this is a field where there are a lot of new discoveries. There have to be a finite number of archaeological and historical pieces of evidence supporting the resurrection story. So has he just collected thousands of articles of people rehashing the same evidence over and over?

    The other thing that really makes me wonder is that he found 75% or articles support the resurrection. So, is he saying exactly 2550 of his 3400 articles support the claim? Because there’s only a 0.03% chance of getting that exact number, which leads me to hypothesize he is estimating. Is his analysis so shallow he can’t even get an exact count of how many articles he thinks are in his favor?

    • Kevin K

      It’s irksome, because what he’s actually talking about is the fact that he has collected in his personal library that many articles. Well, I have a personal database of thousands of articles on a particular subject — and several times that number are available on the subject that I didn’t collect for one reason or another. Mainly because they didn’t fit within the confines of the narrative I was building, or were redundant, or superseded, or not quite on point…point being that I made decisions about which articles to collect and which to forego. Unless he’s collected every single article on the subject, his number is meaningless twaddle.

      And, as you rightly point out … what’s the difference if there was one or a thousand articles? It’s a “yes-no” answer. How in the world do 3400 different opinions on the matter make a difference?

      If there were articles that presented evidence to support a factual claim, that’s one thing. But I would bet you dollars to donuts that’s not the case. What “facts” could support the resurrection? Only one fact is needed to prove it — show me the living Jesus. Everything else is just an excuse as to why this figure chose to abandon Earth for 2000 years.

      • Good point. 75% of every article on the subject is more interesting than 75% of some subset of all articles. What were his criteria for creating the subset? Was he drawn to the ones that pleased him? Did a few more naysayers get omitted “by accident” than pro-resurrection authors?

        I suspect that he’d say that he tried his best to get every single one, but again, with the database secret, that’s just an unevidenced claim.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m curious about the phrase “assures us that he is careful to include scholars both friendly and unfriendly to the resurrection idea” … since this “care to include” rather heavily implies a line has to be drawn, WTFSM line was drawn? he just doesn’t have time to look at a [3401+]th paper while he sits on the other 3400+? Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that his methodology of determining what papers to exclude isn’t something he can convey in a short paragraph without a major hot-air infusion?

    • Another confounding factor in finding the exact fraction is that some articles might not be easily categorized into Pro and Con categories.

    • RichardSRussell

      I have in my personal possession 3400 articles proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tiny Tim is the greatest male vocalist of all time. No, you can’t see them, but trust me! Would I lie to you?

  • Doubting Thomas

    William Lane Craig defends Habermas’s conclusion this way:
    ……How would they refute the evidence of the resurrection which has led so many scholars to the contrary conclusion?

    I find the point-and-laugh technique to be an adequate method of refutation.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca26252f97b9541b0132815691fa6a2ce4d7316a83165bcfdd52c633f222fb1d.jpg

    • G.Shelley

      I think we could just ask what the evidence is.
      Your response would come after they tell us

      • Even in that case, Thomas is perhaps looking ahead and anticipating the silly arguments that they always give.

    • The point and laugh sounds good enough. It is certainly reasonable.

      Ah, people do not die then come back to life.

  • G.Shelley

    It’s similar for many such claims (such as Jesus being a historical figure). Some high number is presented, but no context – 75% of scholars, but what percentage of these are historians as compared to biblical scholars? What percentage are historians? What percentage of all historians accept it? What percentage would say that they have studied the historical evidence and concluded the resurrection happened?
    To an extent, we could say that of any historical event – even if we say it is universally accepted by scholars, that only includes the very small percentage that have actually studied it, but as you note, for most events, the people studying it don’t go into the field because they already believe it happened, which is not the case with the ressurection.
    There are also some similarities to climate change or evolution – we often see the “98% of scientists accept climate change” or “95 % of biologists accept evolution: as a justification for accepting it, but the similarities, are I feel, superficial, as if we ask for the actual reasons, they are far stronger than those that people give for the ressurection

    • Erp

      Hmm context is usually given for whether there is some historical basis for Jesus; most scholarly historians of that time and place including most who don’t have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads and most who aren’t Christian (or Muslim whose religion also says there was a Jesus). Articles are pointed to in peer reviewed journals etc.. Habermas’s failure to produce his list is a huge scholarly black mark. Note that Palestine in the first century CE does get a lot of attention from Jewish historians (destruction of the second temple) as well as historians interested in the Roman Empire. The New Testament writings are late first/early second century Roman Empire documents that, if nothing else, yield information about what the writers thought. Even pure fiction from any era gives information on what people thought was important. Debating about when, where, and by whom they were written is important since it helps show how they can be used.

      I also note the wording of the OP quoted claim is “or something like it occurred”. This could include a multitude of interpretations including those of historians who think of entirely natural explanations (e.g., grief hallucinations).

  • Benny S.

    75% of Mormon scholars today might say that — in 1823 in Manchester, New York — the angel Moroni did direct Joseph Smith toward a buried stone box that contained golden plates with text in a reformed Egyptian language, later translated using a seer stone in the bottom of a hat.

    Or something like it occurred.

    • TheNuszAbides

      The Message As A Whole is what Really Matters! /s

  • Greg G.

    If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
    — 1 Corinthians 15:14

    1 Corinthians 15:14½ Our preaching is not useless, nor is your faith, therefore Christ was raised.

    Actually, Paul doesn’t have much use for logical structure.

    • Ed Senter

      What logic are you espousing? Christianity begins with a fact. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. If he did not, everything else attributed to “Christianity” is nonsense. Paul actually spoke with eyewitness accounts of the risen Christ. Paul claimed to have met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and was personally tutored by the risen Christ for 3 years.

      • Greg G.

        If he did not, everything else attributed to “Christianity” is nonsense.

        No, religions are good at falsely attributing good things to themselves.

        Paul actually spoke with eyewitness accounts of the risen Christ.

        Paul thought he was receiving revelation from long hidden mysteries by a new interpretation of the scriptures. Everything Paul says about Jesus can be found in the Old Testament. Paul never claims to have seen Jesus. He uses the same word, “optanomai”, for “appeared to” for himself as he does for Cephas, the five hundred, and James. Paul didn’t think their “appear to” was any different than his own. The “in accordance with the scriptures” means they all got their knowledge from the scriptures, which would be the OT. “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” is referring to Isaiah 53:5. ‘And that he was buried” refers to Isaiah 53:9. “And that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” refers to Hosea 6:2.

        Paul claimed to have met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus

        No, he didn’t. Acts claims that happened and gives three conflicting accounts, the last one has Jesus speaking in Aramaic to him, quoting the Greek god Dionysus from The Bacchae saying a Greek idiom about “kicking against the goads”. Paul was testifying in Agrippa’s court. First he used the Jews as a character witness to prove he was sane then tells that story. Why didn’t he use those same Jews to verify the empty tomb story?

        and was personally tutored by the risen Christ for 3 years.

        Haha, now you are just pulling my leg.

        • Ed Senter

          So, your problem is not with the “logical structure”, but with Paul’s premise -Jesus Christ rose from the dead?

        • Greg G.

          It is not my problem as it is not a problem. It is not the lack of evidence for Jesus, it is the evidence that Jesus was made up.

          The early epistles never mention a Jesus who was an itinerant preacher/teacher nor seemed to think his teachings were worth mentioning, though they quoted the OT frequently. They only speak of Jesus in terms of the OT. Paul insists that his knowledge is not inferior to the “super-apostles'” knowledge. Everything Paul tells us about Jesus is from the OT so he apparently thought that is where the super-apostles got their knowledge which means he knew they didn’t know a first century Jesus.

          The Jews had prophecies about David’s throne so they thought someone would come to claim it. Every generation expected that to happen during their time, just as practically every generation of Christians have done for 2000 years. According to 1 Corinthians 15, Cephas must have been the first to think the Messiah had come long ago in Isaiah’s time or before, suffered, died, and was resurrected in heaven, which is all implied in Isaiah 53 if it is read as “the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings” (Romans 16:25-26), “which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2), and “God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7).

          Paul’s eschatology relies on Isaiah 26:19-21a, Daniel 7:11a, 13a; 12:2, and Isaiah 25:8a. Perhaps the Jerusalem Christians did, too. Paul thought the Messiah was coming any second now. He spoke of the living when the Messiah was to come in the first person plural and of the dead in the third person plural. In 1 Corinthians 7, he argued against marriage and only thought people should get married to legitimize sex if they couldn’t resist. He gave no consideration for children as he seems to have thought it would all come down before that.

          Mark wrote an anachronistic adventure story about Jesus in the first century, like Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and people swallowed it and started reading the story back into the epistles. Then the legend grew and other gospels were written to make him a pre-existent being.

          New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash by Robert M. Price has a collection of scholars individually showing Mark’s sources, but collectively, they account for nearly every passage. He does the same with some of the passages of the other gospels where they didn’t copy Mark.

        • Ed Senter

          1. Jesus never taught an ethic or a way of life. Jesus taught himself. “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” The gospels reveal that Jesus came to die and witness to his resurrection.
          2. Paul was not concerned with “knowledge”. If he had an feelings of inferiority, it was because the original apostles actually lived and walked with Jesus. Paul met the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. That is not just reported in Acts, but Paul wrote about it in Galations. Paul’s “knowledge” was by direct revelation from Christ himself. Paul openly confronted the church leaders in Jerusalem over whether or not new converts should follow Jewish customs and laws.
          3. Paul was the first to declare the gospel as “the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus” ICor15. Paul explained how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. The Jerusalem Christians were preaching the gospel as the “kingdom”. Peter’s first sermon after Pentecost was directed at the Jews and all Israel to repent. They were not looking for the Messiah’s first appearance. They were looking for Jesus Christ second appearance as King and restoring the Kingdom to Israel. Ingrained in both these messages was the imminent RETURN of the Messiah.
          4. The prophet Daniel had said the Messiah would be slain at the exact hour and day 483 years after the decree of Cyrus the Persian for the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Dan 9:26 That date and hour was Passover in 31AD. Why do you think Herod had ordered all baby boys to be slain when he did? Because the Jews were all aware the Messiah was prophesied to appear. Their error was expecting His appearance as the Son of Man in the clouds from the book of Daniel to free them from the Romans. “He came to his own, and his own received him not”.
          5. I don’t know what Bible you are reading, but some are so blind that they can not see.

        • 4. The prophet Daniel had said the Messiah would be slain at the exact hour and day 483 years after the decree of Cyrus the Persian for the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Dan 9:26 That date and hour was Passover in 31AD. Why do you think Herod had ordered all baby boys to be slain when he did? Because the Jews were all aware the Messiah was prophesied to appear.

          I gotta disagree with you there. Show me in the Bible where the Jews of the time interpreted Daniel to mean that.

          I’ve written a couple of posts about the supposed prophecy in Daniel. No, it wasn’t talking about Jesus.

          Their error was expecting His appearance as the Son of Man in the clouds from the book of Daniel to free them from the Romans.

          Why did they believe that? Did the OT describe the messiah this way? If so, it sounds like you’re saying the Bible was wrong.

        • Greg G.

          1. The gospels have lots of teachings of Jesus, the epistles don’t. Paul didn’t know of any teachings and the gospel writers made them up.

          2.

          Paul was not concerned with “knowledge”. If he had an feelings of inferiority, it was because the original apostles actually lived and walked with Jesus.

          Paul didn’t feel inferior but it appears he was defending himself against the charge and he does care about knowledge. See 2 Corinthians 11:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 12:11.

          Paul met the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. That is not just reported in Acts, but Paul wrote about it in Galations. Paul’s “knowledge” was by direct revelation from Christ himself.

          Paul only says he returned from Damascus in Galatians 1:17. That passage may have inspired the fiction in Acts. What Paul calls revelation is just whatever idea he gets while reading the OT. Every bit of information about Jesus that comes from Paul, can be found in the OT.

          Paul openly confronted the church leaders in Jerusalem over whether or not new converts should follow Jewish customs and laws.

          Cite? Are you reading Acts again? Paul says he confronted Cephas about following food laws in Antioch.

          3.

          Paul was the first to declare the gospel as “the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus” ICor15.

          Paul is telling us that Cephas was the first to declare that in 1 Corinthians 15. Paul says he was last, after the 12, the 500, and James.

          Paul explained how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah.

          No, he didn’t. The only prophecies Paul talks about are those his followers are doing. Paul read the stories in the OT prophets as hidden mysteries that had happened centuries before and were now being revealed. The fact that these mysteries were being revealed at that time meant that the Messiah was coming during his lifetime.

          The Jerusalem Christians were preaching the gospel as the “kingdom”. Peter’s first sermon after Pentecost was directed at the Jews and all Israel to repent.

          Acts is fiction.

          They were not looking for the Messiah’s first appearance. They were looking for Jesus Christ second appearance as King and restoring the Kingdom to Israel. Ingrained in both these messages was the imminent RETURN of the Messiah.

          The Jews were looking for the first appearance of the Messiah. The early Christians thought they were reading about the first appearance in Isaiah 53 and other passages as ancient history. They thought the Messiah was coming during their generation.

          4.

          The prophet Daniel had said the Messiah would be slain at the exact hour and day 483 years after the decree of Cyrus the Persian for the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Dan 9:26 That date and hour was Passover in 31AD.

          Daniel doesn’t say that. It is a bunch of playing with numbers to invent an interpretation that gives the answer you need it to be.

          Why do you think Herod had ordered all baby boys to be slain when he did?

          That’s a fictional story by Matthew. Matthew used Josephus’ account of the killings in Moses’ nativity story from Antiquities of the Jews 2.9.2 and the story of Herod having his son killed in AJ 17.2.4. The reason given for the killing aligns with the reason given for the killing of the innocents in Moses’ story in AJ but not the reason in the OT. AJ 2.9.4 also has Moses’ father having a dream for advance warning, like Joseph had, but that doesn’t appear in the OT account.

          AJ 17.2.4 also talks about the Pharisees having the ability of foreknowledge which Matthew used to create the Wise Men. Their gifts are gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all of which are used in the temple rituals according to Exodus 30:1-5, 23-25, and 34-38 and in Josephus Antiquities 3.6.3, 3.6.6, and 3.8.3, but the gifts happen to be listed in the order Josephus lists them, not the order they are described in Exodus. Matthew also takes elements from the OT like the king and the star from Jeremiah 23:5 and Numbers 24:17 plus Bethlehem in Micah 5:2 and 2 Samuel 5:2.

          The story has wise men from the east seeing and following a star in the east but ending up in the west.

          Because the Jews were all aware the Messiah was prophesied to appear. Their error was expecting His appearance as the Son of Man in the clouds from the book of Daniel to free them from the Romans. “He came to his own, and his own received him not”.

          Yes, except their error was believing in old prophecies.

          5.

          I don’t know what Bible you are reading, but some are so blind that they can not see.

          Agreed. One should not read with God goggles on.

        • Pofarmer

          The reason given for the killing aligns with the reason given for the
          killing of the innocents in Moses’ story in AJ but not the reason in the
          OT. AJ 2.9.4 also has Moses’ father having a dream for advance warning,
          like Joseph had, but that doesn’t appear in the OT account.

          Never heard that one before. Interesting.

          but the gifts happen to be listed in the order Josephus lists them, not
          the order they are described in Exodus. Matthew also takes elements from
          the OT like the king and the star from Jeremiah 23:5 and Numbers 24:17
          plus Bethlehem in Micah 5:2 and 2 Samuel 5:2.

          So then are you thinking that the Gospels are all second century documents?

        • Greg G.

          Never heard that one before. Interesting.

          In Exodus, the pharaoh orders it to cull the herd because of the numbers of Jews. In Antiquities, it is because of a prophecy.

          Antiquities of the Jews 2.9.2 §205-209 2. While the affairs of the Hebrews were in this condition, there was this occasion offered itself to the Egyptians, which made them more solicitous for the extinction of our nation. One of those sacred scribes, who are very sagacious in foretelling future events truly, told the king, that about this time there would a child be born to the Israelites, who, if he were reared, would bring the Egyptian dominion low, and would raise the Israelites; that he would excel all men in virtue, and obtain a glory that would be remembered through all ages.

          So then are you thinking that the Gospels are all second century documents?

          I think Matthew and Luke were second century. I have recently become convinced that Mark was using Josephus’ War of the Jews, but I haven’t found anything that would have to be from Antiquities. War of the Jews doesn’t even get Mark out of the 70s. I think the lack of Antiquities in Mark favors Mark being from the first century. I also think Mark used some Vespasian propaganda (the spit miracles) which probably wouldn’t have been so topical to his Latin-speaking readers if it was much after Vespasian’s death in 79.

          I think John used Mark, Matthew used Mark and John, and Luke used Mark, Matthew, and John. But I haven’t identified any extra sources of John that can be reliably dated. Well, I think he used the Pyramid Texts and they can be dated to further back in time to John than John is to us. But John doesn’t have to be much younger than Mark.

        • Greg G.

          The dream wasn’t in AJ 2.9.4 but AJ 2.9.3.

          Antiquities of the Jews 2.9.3 §210-216
          3. A man whose name was Amram, one of the nobler sort of the Hebrews, was afraid for his whole nation, lest it should fail, by the want of young men to be brought up hereafter, and was very uneasy at it, his wife being then with child, and he knew not what to do. Hereupon he betook himself to prayer to God; and entreated him to have compassion on those men who had nowise transgressed the laws of his worship, and to afford them deliverance from the miseries they at that time endured, and to render abortive their enemies’ hopes of the destruction of their nation. Accordingly God had mercy on him, and was moved by his supplication. He stood by him in his sleep, and exhorted him not to despair of his future favors.

      • Joe

        Christianity begins with a fact. Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

        We don’t know how Christianity began. We don’t even know if this is a fact.

        If he did not, everything else attributed to “Christianity” is nonsense.

        For some Christians.

        Paul actually spoke with eyewitness accounts of the risen Christ.

        Such as?

        Paul claimed to have met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and was personally tutored by the risen Christ for 3 years.

        Then where are the sayings of Christ during that time? Did Paul not think anything Jesus said was worth repeating?

        • Ed Senter

          Have you not read Paul’s letters? How do you account for the complete change of Paul from the persecutor and killer of Christians to the revealer of the mystery of Jesus Christ? It was Paul who took the witness of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

        • Joe

          How do you account for the complete change of Paul from the persecutor and killer of Christians to the revealer of the mystery of Jesus Christ?

          No idea. He could have made it all up based on his view of OT scripture.

          How do you account for the lack of quotes from Jesus?

        • Ed Senter

          You would know all of that if you had read his letters.

        • Joe

          Really? He seems to have a high regard for Jesus in his letters, yet doesn’t give us any new quotations from him.

        • Ed Senter

          Jesus had nothing left to say. His work was complete and the Truth was now revealed.

        • Joe

          Really? He had nothing of note to say, no new teachings? Sounds heretical to say such a thing.

          How do you know this?

        • Ed Senter

          If you can’t figure out what he has already said, what good would new saying have? Maybe you are looking for the wrong things.
          Check out the book of Revelation for a brain twister.

        • Joe

          If you can’t figure out what he has already said, what good would new saying have?

          Clarification?

          Seriously, that wan’t even a difficult question to answer. How did you manage to miss that?

        • Ed Senter

          Somewhere back in the gospels, Jesus said he was finished talking in parables and that it was his time the leave. But he would leave his disciples with a helper- the Holy Spirit.
          So it you are expecting Paul to report some teachings or sayings of Jesus, you are pointing down rabbit trails. Paul had plenty to teach, however. If you want to challenge something he taught, have at it. Don’t just say he made it all up. That is not intellectually honest.

        • Joe

          Don’t just say he made it all up. That is not intellectually honest.

          Don’t say Jesus hung around with Paul for years, but didn’t say anything worthwhile. That’s purely dishonest.

        • Yes, Revelation is crazy nonsense.

        • Ed Senter

          It makes sense to me. God’s wrath poured out on unbelievers, Satan locked away, and a new heaven and new earth with Jesus Christ as head.

        • And it makes no sense to me. Satan isn’t the enemy of either mankind or God–read the book of Job.

          Christianity is a bizarrely convoluted tale that makes no sense. If Jesus were the key, we’d read about him in the first book. Instead, he’s an add-on 1500 years later.

        • Hermit

          And Jesus revealed to be Lucifer (of Isaiah 14) in Revelation 22, who is going to have people tortured “forever” in his presence (Revelation 14). Such an attractive deity in which you have invested belief.

        • Didn’t Jesus say important things during his 40 days post resurrection (Acts)? Doesn’t John end with, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

          Seems like Jesus had plenty left to say.

        • Ed Senter

          The question was why did not Paul quote Jesus?
          Sure Jesus had plenty to say and he gave that task to John in the book of Revelations. Now figure that out.

        • Hermit

          Actually Luke and Acts disagree whether it was supposedly 1 day or 40 days. As I said previously, “And despite the centuries of time to invent and adjust their myths, they still couldn’t agree how long the supposed “zombie jesus” allegedly hung around on earth after passover, Luke 24 placing it on the same day as the Resurrection and Acts 1 forty days afterwards; an inexplicable difference for two books supposedly written by the same author, and an alleged “witness” to an event intimately connected to somebody that might have been viewed as being really important…”

        • barry

          On the contrary, reading Paul’s letter of 2nd Timothy tells us that he disagrees with the gospel writers, and assumes that the OT scriptures (v. 16, which are the ones Timothy knew since childhood, v. 15) are sufficient to “completely” equip the Christian minister for every good work (v.17).

          And since that comes from a person who nearly never quotes the words of the historical Christ, it is clear that Paul’s trust in the sufficiency of the OT to ground the Christian message is directly at odds with today’s Christians who insist that the New Testament is essential to equipping Christian ministers. Indeed, in Romans 4, if Paul thought Jesus’ salvation message included Justification by Faith, he surely would have quoted Jesus there for such an “essential” doctrine, but he doesn’t. Paul honestly does not think the gospels are essential. Him and his interpretation of the OT are all that is necessary. Of course, like Benny Hinn, that’s not to say Paul never contradicted himself, but let’s worry first about what 2nd Tim. 3:16-17 means, before we worry about how to harmonize it with everything else Paul said.

        • Ed Senter

          There was not a “NewTestament” when Paul wrote his letters. Paul did not know what Jesus had said. What was revealed to him by Christ himself and the Holy Spirit was the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and the mystery of Christ and the Church. He was already well versed in the Old Testament and his eyes were “opened”.

          Compare the epistle of James with any of Paul’s letters. They clearly were not on the same page. The problem with most Christian ministers is that if you declare the Bible as “inerrant”, you are stuck with constantly trying to reconcile writings that can’t be reconciled.

        • And how do you resolve this difficulty with the accuracy of the bible?

        • Ed Senter

          The Bible contains the Word of God; however, it is not THE Word of God. The Bible is a collection of books written by many authors. That is what makes it authentic. It is also why the Word of God must be rightly divided. All scripture is truly stated, but not all scripture is spiritual truth.

        • Do you have arguments or evidence for Christianity?

        • Ed Senter

          What evidence are you looking for? or, what evidence might satisfy you?

        • MR

          What evidence would it take for you to accept Hinduism as true?

        • I want evidence of such quality that it would convince you if it were some other religion.

          I’ve written about many Christian arguments. You can either give me the argument or two that you think should be compelling to an open-minded atheist, or you could browse what I’ve written already to see if I’ve already addressed it.

        • Greg G.

          I think that if an omnipotent being wanted me to believe in it, I would already. If the omnipotence wanted you to provide evidence, you would have done it and it would have been easy.

        • Ed Senter

          Maybe the omnipotence is looking for true worshipers and those who trust Him. The demons believe- and tremble with fear.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe the omnipotence is too lazy to convince people who are not gullible so he settles for the low hanging fruit.

        • Ed Senter

          The high hanging fruit is way too full of themselves.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right. We’re the ones demanding actual evidence for the existence of gods (remember there’s more than the sadistic bully you worship). Plus we’re the ones who poke holes in the classic “proofs of god” like the ontological argument, the transcendental argument, the Kalam and other cosmological arguments, the argument from morality, the argument from design, Aquinas’ various proofs, fine tuning, etc., etc., et bloody c.

        • Greg G.

          Aesop’s fox couldn’t reach the high grapes so he just said those were sour grapes.

        • Joe

          Maybe the omnipotence is looking for true worshipers and those who trust Him.

          That’s the easy option. Anyone can convince somebody who is willing to believe, no god required.

        • Susan

          What evidence are you looking for? or, what evidence might satisfy you?

          People with evidence don’t generally respond with that question.

          They just produce the evidence.

          What evidence do you have?

        • Ed Senter

          The Bible

        • Susan

          The Bible

          Which one?

          And what is it evidence for?

        • Ed Senter

          Take any Christian Bible you’d like. It tells the story of redemption of mankind.

        • Susan

          It tells the story of redemption of mankind.

          And Alice in Wonderland tells the story of a girl who went down a rabbit hole.

          Back to the original question.

          What evidence do you have?

        • adam

          “Take any Christian Bible you’d like. It tells the story of redemption of mankind.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/831e274b356c03b8778b1d9672b8ab244560e2fda7a4cd57b0436d5bda02694f.jpg

        • adam

          “Take any Christian Bible you’d like. It tells the story of redemption of mankind.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4dd27fa636d6ff2a88afb7f9c5c16c6b26a1c9d52db9d77d66a1a0f1f29fc6e.jpg

        • Really not clear what you mean here:

          The Bible contains the Word of God; however, it is not THE Word of God.

          Are you suggesting something else is THE Word of God? If so, what?

          The Bible is a collection of books written by many authors. That is
          what makes it authentic.

          So having many authors makes it authentic? I have a number of anthologies, and they could be called “a collection of books written by many authors”. Is that “authentic”?

          It is also why the Word of God must be rightly
          divided.

          Divided into multiple books with different authors? I thought we already had that. Is the division wrong?

          All scripture is truly stated, but not all scripture is
          spiritual truth.

          So the rest is what? Physical truth? If so, how does that differ from spiritual truth?

        • Ed Senter

          Some people are such zealots for the Bible and their individual interpretation thereof, that you would think God handed the King James Version to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

        • Wait, what? I thought it sounded like that because that’s how Mo spoke.

        • barry

          Paul’s alleged beginning as a Jew zealously guarding Jewish tradition suggests he was naturalistically a person who would go from one extreme to the other.

          And the uniqueness of Paul’s Gentile ministry is what kills the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrected Jesus apparently told the orignal 11 disciples that THEY were to conduct the Gentile ministry (Matthew 28:19), yet a few short years later, they need special revelation to conclude that Gentiles can be saved at all (Acts 11:18). The Jerusalem apostles directly contradict the Great Commission when they hand off the Gentile ministry to Paul exclusively, and confine themselves to preaching to Jews only, Galatians 2:9.

          Such blatant disobedience to the command of the risen Christ deflates the apologetics nonsense that says they were “mightily transformed” by viewing the risen Christ, and their ho-hum attitude, combined with the fact that history tells us nothing about the teaching of most of the 12 as strongly as history tells us about Paul and a few others, tells me that there are serious problems with this whole idea that Jesus actually rose.

        • Ed Senter

          The key to prophecy is not missing the probability of gaps of time within the prophecy. What is refered to as “the great commission” is to be carried out by the restored kingdom of Israel during the millenium. At that time, Satan will be locked away and the Israelites will go about finishing proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. It is very difficult for the average reader to understand when Jesus is speaking directly or prophetically.
          The 4 gospels along with the rest of the NewTestament except Paul’s letters are written to Israel. They all proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. In Acts 1, the disciples ask Jesus if the kingdom will be restored to Israel at that time. Jesus said it was not for them to know the time. Only the Father knows.
          I think it was all in God’s plan to call Paul to the Gentiles. For, Paul clearly proclaimed for the first time the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (ICor 15) and the mytery of Christ and the Church (Colossians). We now have almost 2000 years between the resurrection/ascension and the future restored kingdom of Israel (Revelation).
          Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and Jude all warned readers to not be deceived by false prophets. For the spirit of anti-christ was at work even at the time of the apostles. IThessalonians

        • Why should I accept the Christian claims? They all sounds like nonsense to me, not fundamentally different than those of any other religion.

        • Ed Senter

          Let’s look at the major religions of the world:
          1. Christianity- God was in Christ reconciling Himself to the world; that, whosoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life. God is my Father and I am His child.
          2. Judahism- They are still waiting on the Messiah.
          3. Islam- They put together elements from both Christianity and Judahism and end up with a perversion. Muhammed never claimed deity. Eternal life is a reward. God is my master and I am his slave.
          4. All Eastern religions- You find god within yourself.
          5. All ancient religions- Caricatures of the truth that have faded away.
          6. Atheists and various other agnostics- We are all going to die. The End.

          So, there are very many fundamental differences.

        • Yes, there are fundamental differences.

          What I’m waiting for is the argument that ends, “… and that’s why only Christianity is the correct one.” But keep in mind that the first thing I will be looking for is if any of the criteria that you use to disqualify some other religion would also do damage to Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          Christianity is also a perversion of Judaism. The Messiah was supposed to return to the first generation of Christians and 2000 years later, they are still waiting on the Messiah.

        • Ed Senter

          Two different time lines on the Messiah does not make a perversion. The Jews missed the 1st coming (which there own scriptures prophesied) and Christians await the 2nd. The Bible teaches the imminent return of Christ. It can happen anytime- not necessarily during the generation of the 1st Christians.

        • Greg G.

          Those verses were written when it became embarrassing to the generations that should not have existed if the early Christians had been right. They resurrected a failed religion. Practically every generation has been inventing reasons to think the Messiah would come during their lifetime since Daniel was written. Still waiting.

          Which will come first, Jesus or the next Harold Camping?

        • Ed Senter

          Daniel did prophesy the death of Messiah- 9:26. Seems to me, the Jews would want to get rid of that whole book. They have not, and they are still blind to prophecy.

          Also, seems to me, since you believe the NewTestament was fabricated, they did not change those verses. Jesus still says, “this generation will not die…” Maybe it means that the generation- that sees all of those other things listed- will not die? There is no need to fabricate or change anything. The books of the Bible prove themselves.

        • Michael Neville

          The books of the Bible prove themselves.

          Only to those who choose to be persuaded by the proof.

        • Ed Senter

          Well, duh.

        • Greg G.

          Did you read the rest of Daniel.

          Daniel 11:45 (NRSV)
          He [the king from the north, Antiochus] shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with no one to help him.

          That never happened. He died elsewhere. Michael never showed up and the dead were never resurrected like Daniel 12 promises.

          Maybe it means that the generation- that sees all of those other things listed- will not die?

          Sure, that may have been what Matthew was trying to say to excuse the existence of his generation. But those things have been seen by nearly every generation ever since so they keep on thinking their generation will finally be the one. Matthew’s version also fails every year.

        • Ed Senter

          Dan 11:35 is history (as we know it) and Dan 11:36 forward is prophecy. That is where the gap of time occurs. Dan 11:36 is the future anti-christ and ties right in with Revelations.

          The generation that will not die in Matthew 24 is related to the emergence of the fig tree parable which is the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948.

        • Greg G.

          When everybody born in 1948 and earlier are gone, the fig tree will mean something else, and so it goes on.

        • MR

          I’ve personally watched bible prophecies morph for decades. And then you learn it’s been happening for millennia. This is the stuff of conspiracy theories. Until someone can objectively show a connection, it’s all so much mental masturbation. It’s like horoscopes; you read into it what you want.

        • Greg G.

          I have seen the prediction of evolution being rejected by science within the next 15 years morph every year. It’s always 15 years away but the target date changes by the minute. Originally, back in the 1820’s, it was that gradualism in geology would be overturned in 15 years but it morphed with Darwin’s theory became accepted.

        • Hermit

          Saulus was a Herodian, a relative of Costobarus* (cf Wars Of The Jews Book II Chapter 20). His Judaism was non-orthodox and, according to Josephus, he was unambiguously regarded as a traitor, while to the Qumran “community of the poor (in spirit)” whose community in Jerusalem was lead by James, he was “a lying spouter” and a “seeker of smooth things” (The Pharisees termed themselves dorshei hahalachot, “seekers of the way to keep the law (of Moses)”, but were referred to disparagingly by the Essenes who regarded themselves as “zealots for the law (of Moses)” as dorshei hachalakot, “seekers of smooth things”.

          *Refer https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/eisenman.html.

        • Greg G.

          I intend to reread the link but a quick read-through shows that Eisenman takes Acts at face value. It seems to me that Luke used Josephus to create stories, like Jesus as a 12 year old talking to scholars in the temple from Josephus as a 14 year old talking to scholars in the temple, or Paul’s shipwreck from Josephus’ shipwreck on the same island and passed through the same Italian port on the way to Rome (See Vita 2 and 3). I think Luke invented the name Saulus for Paul from the Saulus described by Josephus because of the statement Paul made in Galatians. I think Luke read Galatians 5:14, which is evidence that Paul read Rabbi Hillel, and made up that Paul studied at Hillel’s grandson’s feet.

          It is circular to use Josephus to verify Acts when it is clear that Acts is based on Josephus.

        • Hermit

          Eisenman probably knows more about texts predating 400 CE than anyone else on earth, and is better at drawing inferential connections between them than any other author I have ever studied. In brief summary, as far as early christers are concerned, Eisenman takes the position that the bible is deliberately obfuscated bunk, that the Dead Sea Scrolls are the writings of the proto-christers, who were well-armed, violent, fundamentalist, messianic insurrectionists, self-describing themselves as “zealous for the law (of Moses)”, that James was a rebel high-priest and Saulus a traitor (to the Jews), that the so called “Jesus” is a much later invention based at least partially on the person of James, and that there was an entire industry of shifty-eyed religiots churning out backstories to support their beliefs, relying on a much broader collection of earlier works than generally recognised, including historical and geographic works, fanciful interpretations of what became known as the “old testament”, cherry-picked interpolations of “prophecy” that were never written that way, and a centuries long process of writing, editing and attempts to align what later became regarded as the so called “new testament”.

          I don’t think it fair to Eisenman to suggest that he takes anything at face value, and strongly recommend his latest works (although agreeing with Robert Price that he desperately needs an editor). I strongly recommend Price’s reviews as a foretaste of Eisenman, as Price does a competent job of articulating why it is worth investing in the effort required to study Eisenman.

          Here are links to Price’s reviews of Robert Eisenman (2006). “The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ”. Watkins London” and of Robert Eisenman (1997) “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Viking Penguin“.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks for the links. Were there two links? The Patheos style sheet makes it hard to distinguish plain text from links in Disqus. If one looks at it from the proper angle, the link text is very slightly darker than the regular text but indistinguishable from an angle on my screen. Without a mention that there is a link, I wouldn’t have known.

        • Hermit

          Patheos is annoying, their link style not least of it. I made both titles the links to the reviews. Here they are explicitly:
          [http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/eisenman_nt_code.htm]
          [https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/RPeisenman.html]

        • Greg G.

          Thanks. Those are what I got but I was afraid I might have missed one hidden elsewhere in the text somewhere.

        • A new disciple would be eager to show how far he’d progressed by emphasizing (or even exaggerating) how low he was before being saved. I think we need to take Paul’s story with a grain of salt.

        • Ed Senter

          What are you talking about? Few if any get “saved” the way Paul was. If I got knocked off my horse and blinded by the Glory of Christ himself, I would have no doubt God existed and Jesus rose from the dead. Besides, in one of his letters he is stricken with an ailment that keeps him humble. He lamented everyday of the things he did as a Jewish zealot.

        • What are you talking about? Few if any get “saved” the way Paul was.

          I’m certainly not talking about that.

          If I got knocked off my horse and blinded by the Glory of Christ himself, I would have no doubt God existed and Jesus rose from the dead.

          Not the point.

          The point is that we have stories about Paul’s terrible life as a persecutor. How do we know that it was true? I’m simply making the rather obvious point that we have only Paul’s word for the story.

        • Ed Senter

          Whether or not Paul’s conversion story is true, how does any of that affect the Christian message?

        • TheNuszAbides

          and that, kids, is what being far too generous “for the sake of argument” looks like.

        • Ed Senter

          No, it is called “attack the messenger instead of the message”!

        • TheNuszAbides

          you can’t even do meta coherently.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If Paul made it up, what else did he lie about?

        • Hermit

          A sack of salt would not be sufficient to take away the bilious taste.

      • barry

        ” If he did not, everything else attributed to “Christianity” is nonsense.”
        ——-No, false religion can still teach good morals. Nobody doubts that general Mormon morality (stay in school, don’t commit adulter or murder, etc) is good despite the fact that this religion is a first-rate fraud.

        • Ed Senter

          And I say “good morals” is nonsense. Whether or not good morals is a product of Christianity is not relevent. The promise of Christianity is eternal life. “If Christ be no risen, then our faith is vain.”

        • MR

          Same when we talk about having “meaning, value or purpose.” It’s not about having “meaning, value, purpose or good morals.” Those things mean nothing if in the end you die. It’s all about our selfish desire to live forever. If mvp and gm’s meant we all died in the end, anyway, Christianity probably wouldn’t be very popular.

        • Ed Senter

          Eternal life is not a selfish desire. Christianity requires faith which implicitly requires Jesus being Lord of your life. Christianity is a relationship with God. By myself, I can not sustain myself. I will die. So, eternal life is about giving.

        • MR

          So, eternal life is about giving.

          That’s a huge non sequitur. Does God need you in some way? If your voice were missing for eternity, would God be lacking? What could you possibly give? This isn’t about him. It’s about you:

          By myself, I can not sustain myself. I will die.

          And? Sounds selfish to me. If [Christianity stated our] purpose in life was to live one life and cease to exist, would Christianity hold it’s appeal, I wonder.

          [edit in brackets]

        • Ed Senter

          It is not a non sequitur. It is a mystery. If anyone can explain agape love, they are lying. If you are suggesting it is something like marrying someone for their money, that is a miss. Because there are plenty of people who genuinely marry and and stay married for love.

          Why don’t you think about this? Satan knows heaven and God personally, so why does he want to get out of there?

        • MR

          Self delusion. Selfish desire is what I see.

        • Ed Senter

          It is not selfish. It is selfless.
          Christianity is not like you have a gun to your head- worship me or die.
          Christianity is the recognition that without God, I cease to exist.

        • MR

          Selfless would be accepting that when you die you die. That you focus on “the promise of eternal life,” sure sounds selfish to me. You will cease to exist, anyway. No shame in facing that.

        • Ed Senter

          What if you are wrong?
          If there is no after life, then there is no meaning to life or the universe, for that matter. Oh, you might say, “my life has plenty of meaning!” But that is subjective which makes it selfish.

        • MR

          If I’m wrong, then extra life would be a gift, not a selfish desire.

          How does an afterlife give meaning to life or the universe? Would you squander this life if you can’t live forever? What is the meaning of your life? To live forever? Is that what gives your life meaning? Is finding meaning in the limited time allotted to humans selfish? How much more selfish, infinitely selfish, then, to desire to live forever!! What gives your life meaning? What gives your life objective meaning?

        • No, subjective is just subjective. Is there objective, God-given meaning to life? You’ll have to demonstrate that. The dictionary certainly disagrees–“meaning” has no reference to objectivity or God.

        • Ed Senter

          Since the distinction was between ‘selfish’ v. ‘selfless’, how would a subjective meaning be selfless?
          Since you brought up God, why would a God given meaning to life be objective? Seems to me, that would be subjective. God gives life meaning or purpose, therefore, subjective, therefore, selfish. A man who sees God giving life meaning, would therefore, be selfless. To worship God would be a selfless act. Therefore, not selfish to want eternal life.

          Same problem with morality. There is no objective morality. There is no objective meaning or purpose to life.

        • Since the distinction was between ‘selfish’ v. ‘selfless’

          I don’t think so. I think the distinction was objective (your claim) vs. not objective. I made no statement about selfish.

          Since you brought up God, why would a God given meaning to life be objective?

          Because Christians always say so. If that’s not your position, I can accept that. If God is a subject just like anyone else, and a God-sourced morality would be as subjective as yours, that’s fine.

          But we still haven’t resolved your point to which I responded last time.

          Same problem with morality. There is no objective morality. There is no objective meaning or purpose to life.

          Yes, I see no evidence for objective morality. Are you saying the same thing?

          You said, “If there is no after life, then there is no meaning to life or the universe, for that matter.” I reject this claim.

        • Ed Senter

          Most Christians do not worship Jesus Christ. Most Christians worship the Book of James. They can not reconcile law and grace so they make up things like “objective morality” which is nothing more than their opinion of morality. I am with Thomas Paine on this. I believe in God. I just don’t believe in these crazy attributes that religion insists be applied to God.
          Whatever God is, the one attribute that makes him God is omnipotence. Therefore, whatever God does is good. Therefore, only God is good. That does not make man depraved. It just means that man ain’t God.

          I see no meaning to life or the universe outside the worship of God. We are here to serve God’s purpose. You reject God, yet you don’t reject the notion of no meaning to life or the universe. Wht is that meaning?

        • adam
        • MR

          You reject God…

          Where did Bob say he rejected God? Why do theists always have to construct this strawman?

          …yet you don’t reject the notion of no meaning to life or the universe. Wht is that meaning?

          Subjective meaning or objective meaning? Personally, I see no objective meaning for life or the universe. Personally, I make meaning for myself on a subjective level, as do we all. Subjective meaning for the universe is nonsensical.

          How does worship of God give you meaning? Does God need you in some way? If you had never existed, would God miss you? Would the universe mean less in some way?

        • Ed Senter

          How is “reject God” a strawman? An atheist is the opposite of a theist.

        • MR

          Atheists don’t reject God. They don’t believe he exists. Do you reject things don’t believe in? Do you reject leprechauns?

          You didn’t answer my questions:

          How does worship of God give you meaning? Does God need you in some way? If you had never existed, would God miss you? Would the universe mean less in some way?

          [Edit to add]:

          An atheist is the opposite of a theist

          Theists believe there is a God. Atheists don’t believe there is a God.

          No reject there.

        • Ed Senter

          Since atheists don’t believe God exists, that begs the question: what do you mean by “God”?

          To answer your questions, God does not need me. Given that, He created me and sustains me. Since I believe that, I am here to serve God’s purposes.

        • MR

          How does that give you meaning and why do you need an afterlife for that? Couldn’t your meaning be in this life alone? You said without an afterlife, life and the universe have no meaning. Would the universe mean less in some way if you didn’t have an afterlife? What meaning does your life give you, the universe or God, especially if he doesn’t need you?

          [Edit to add:]

          Sorry missed your first question:

          Since atheists don’t believe God exists, that begs the question: what do you mean by “God”?

          I assume you mean “begs the question” in the popular sense. I know of no definition of “God” that I do believe in. Do you have a definition that I might believe in?

        • Ed Senter

          I am seeking from you the objective, logical meaning of the word “atheist”. Does it mean “I don’t believe in anything that does not meet the threshold of evidence that I would believe in it”?

          I think the objective meaning of “God” is the supreme being. Logically, that would require that God be omnipotent. It would need no other attribute although it could have many.

          As to your question about meaning, have you not ever wondered about things you do not know? Some would say, “I wonder what lies beyond the horizon”?
          Others would say, “It is useless to wonder; the earth is flat and you will just fall off if you venture too far”.
          And still others would say, “I am happy with my life in this cave. You are a fool to believe anything is better than this”.

        • MR

          I am seeking from you the objective, logical meaning of the word “atheist”.

          I don’t believe a god exists. Whatever evidence might be required might be answered by you. What evidence would you need to believe that some religion you do not currently believe is true?

          I think the objective meaning of “God” is the supreme being. Logically, that would require that God be omnipotent. It would need no other attribute although it could have many.

          Ok. I see no evidence for such a god. What evidence convinced you that God exists and how do you support it? Does it match a similar criteria as above?

          Why do you keep sidestepping my questions?:

          You claimed that without an afterlife, life and the universe have no meaning. Would the universe mean less in some way if you didn’t have an afterlife? What meaning does your life give you, the universe or God, especially if he doesn’t need you?

          It’s okay to say, “I was just parroting apologetic talking points and I don’t really have an answer.”

          What objective meaning does your life have?

        • Ed Senter

          If you think that I am just “parroting apologetic talking points”, then you are not real bright.
          There is no “objective meaning” to life. God does not need me, yet he created me. Therefore, I am here to serve God’s purposes. I cross over the horizon. God is in charge and there is nothing but truth.

          You still have not defined ‘atheist’. You have described yourself as either a skeptic or contrarian.

        • MR

          There is no “objective meaning” to life.

          Then what did you mean by:

          If there is no after life, then there is no meaning to life or the universe, for that matter.

          …if not parroting apologetic talking points? I think that’s a reasonable assumption. If life has no objective meaning, why present that like it should be a problem for atheists? It’s not about meaning, is it? It’s about getting to live forever, is my guess.

          God does not need me, yet he created me. Therefore, I am here to serve God’s purposes. I cross over the horizon. God is in charge and there is nothing but truth.

          You sound like you’re in a cult. What evidence do you have for this, or are you just hoping to live forever? If God’s purpose were for you to live this life only and then cease to exist, would this life then become meaningless to you since there is no after life?

          You still have not defined ‘atheist’. You have described yourself as either a skeptic or contrarian.

          But I did. An atheist–as I describe myself–is someone who doesn’t believe a god exists. I don’t consider myself particularly skeptical or contrarian. Why do you continually create strawmen? Do you not believe me? It doesn’t fit the apologetics you’ve been fed? You should try listening to what atheists actually say then.

          Why do you avoid my questions?

          What evidence would you need to believe that some religion you do not currently believe is true?

          Because chances are that you and I are so different in that regard.

          What evidence convinced you that God exists and how do you support it? Does it match a similar criteria as above?

        • Ed Senter

          I don’t see an afterlife without God.

          Your definition of atheist leaves out the meaning of ‘god’. Your definition is nothing more than “I don’t believe what I don’t believe”.
          Define “god”.

        • MR

          I don’t see an afterlife without God.

          I didn’t ask that.

          If God’s purpose were for you to live this life only and then cease to exist, would this life then become meaningless to you since there is no after life?

          Your definition of atheist leaves out the meaning of ‘god’…. Define “god”.

          It’s not for me to define “god.” I don’t believe in it, remember? You gave me your definition. Others have given me theirs. I don’t care about definitions for god, anyway, does God exist? If you believe he does, what evidence convinced you that God exists and how do you support it?

          Your definition is nothing more than “I don’t believe what I don’t believe”.

          Then your comprehension isn’t very good. You should probably lay off the apologetics. Your reliance on strawmen make you appear dishonest.

          What evidence would you need to believe that some religion you do not currently believe is true?

          Why do you suppose you don’t answer this question? It makes you appear dishonest.

          What evidence convinced you that God exists and how do you support it? Does it match a similar criteria as above?

          [Edit to add:] Are you afraid to answer these?

        • Ed Senter

          The evidence that convinced me that God exists is Jesus Christ and learning why he died. To me it has never been about the how and the what. It has always been about the why.
          Jesus came to do the will of the Father and that was to die on that cross. He fulfilled the Law and both he and the Law were nailed to that cross. The resurrection is the proof positive.

        • MR

          So, you fell for a story.

        • Greg G.

          The early epistles know nothing but what they got from the Old Testament. The Gospels and Acts are fictions created by midrash and mimesis using the most popular Jewish and Greek literature of the day.

        • MR

          What evidence would you need to believe that some religion you do not currently believe is true?

        • Greg G.

          Maybe seeing Yoda raising a spacecraft out of a swamp?

        • Susan

          The evidence that convinced me that God exists is Jesus Christ and learning why he died.

          No where in that sentence, did you include evidence for the existence of Yahwehjesus. You have to accept its existence to believe the story.

          Your entire post is more preaching and still no evidence.

        • Greg G.

          It is up to the theist to define “god” and to provide evidence that it exists. Theists are short on evidence but long on excuses. Every theist’s god is indistinguishable from being imaginary. The atheist position that there is insufficient evidence for gods is proved by the complete lack of unambiguous evidence.

        • Ed Senter

          Do you know the difference between a ‘definition’ and ‘evidence’?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t have to define everything I don’t believe in. I don’t care if the theist defines something to believe in, it is imaginary unless it is based on something more than imagination. If you want to tell me there is something, show me the evidence. If you are going to continue talking about an omnipotent benevolence, there is evidence against it, the existence of suffering. If there is omnipotence, suffering is not necessary. If there is unnecessary suffering, then the omnipotence is not benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          The evidence of suffering is not the absence of benevolence.
          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.
          If the omnipotence creates a sentient being and gives it free will, he risks the created being making the wrong choices. The result is often suffering. The only way to eliminate suffering, therefore, is to take away free will.

        • Greg G.

          Suffering is either necessary or unnecessary. If it is necessary, you lose omnipotence because it does something that can only be done by suffering. If suffering is unnecessary, then you lose benevolence. Allowing gratuitous suffering is sadistic.

          The cause of the suffering is irrelevant. There is no reason for an omnipotence to create a scenario that could result in suffering unless said omnipotence was malevolent. If it cannot set up a scenario where suffering was impossible then it is not omnipotent.

          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.

          Something that can do good but not bad cannot be omnipotent. If it is possible for a human or a demon to do bad, then it is logically possible to do bad. Even weak omnipotence can do the logically possible. A benevolent omnipotence could do bad but wouldn’t. If that was the case, there would be no suffering.

          If you mean “not omnipotent” when you say “omnipotent”, you need to find another word. If you really mean omnipotent, you need to face the implications of the word.

        • Susan

          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.

          Don’t be silly. Power is not goodness.

          The only way to eliminate suffering, therefore, is to take away free will.

          Now, you’re being dishonest. Ignoring the problems that have been pointed out and simply repeating things that make no sense.

          Was there or was there not suffering before free will?

        • Greg G.

          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.

          If I steal all your money, it’s good for me and bad for you. If God causes me to suffer, it is bad for me, but if it is good for God, then he is sadistic, not benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          That is your opinion and it is wrong.
          Let us keep this on a logical plane
          If the omnipotence could be judged by either good or bad, that would presume a force or standard greater than the omnipotence;
          therefore, the omnipotence is not omnipotent.
          That is not logical.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You do know the meaning of the word “omnipotence” right? Because your comments demonstrate a complete lack in that department.

        • Ed Senter

          It would have helped if you gave your opinion.
          Omnipotence means all powerful, nothing greater, supreme.
          Maybe your problem is that you want to impose your standards unto an omnipotence? That’s funny.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It would have helped if you gave your opinion.

          My “opinion” is the standard definition of being all powerful. Given that we agree on that, Greg’s point on theodicy stands. An all powerful being that causes suffering when it could easily be avoided is a bad cunt. The free will caveat is a loada ballix. For two reasons. Most suffering is not caused by humans. And the suffering that is as a result of humans, usually removes the human rights freedoms of one of the parties involved.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence

          Omnipotence means all powerful,….

          Right….so when you said…

          If the omnipotence could be judged by either good or bad, that would presume a force or standard greater than the omnipotence; therefore, the omnipotence is not omnipotent.

          You mean anything that is subordinate to the omnipotence hasn’t got the power to judge the omnipotence? So how do you know YahwehJesus is omnipotent?

          …nothing greater,…

          Nope…it means omni=all; potent=powerful…all powerful is not the same as “nothing greater”.

          But there is no reason for there not be more than one all powerful being though, right?

          …supreme.

          Nope….not that either. Yes, yes, I know it is a synonym in some dictionaries. That some infer that anything that might be all powerful should be supreme is neither here nor there. An all powerful being might not be a supreme being.

          Maybe your problem is that you want to impose your standards unto an omnipotence?

          What standards are those do you imagine?

          That’s funny.

          Yeah…you are.

          That is not logical.

          No…you are not.

          Now, what about all those other “omnipotent” deities you choose to disregard or ignore?

        • Ed Senter

          Presuming that an omnipotent could achieve desired results from suffering by some other method is a faulty premise.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…you are just not grasping this simple concept at all.

          We agreed omnipotent beings are all powerful and can do anything…at least anything logically possible, right?

          Anything logical that an all powerful being can achieve by suffering, it must be able to achieve without suffering. Because there is suffering, either the being is not all powerful, or it is malevolent. If it is not all powerful, then it is not God. If it is malevolent, then it is not omni-benevolent, so again not God.

          Suffering fucks up Gods perfection.

          You are placing restrictions on God by saying that God can only achieve certain things through suffering alone. That refutes omnipotence.

          Give it up already.

        • Ed Senter

          Logic is the study of correct and incorrect reasoning. A statement may be logical but still be wrong.
          “All men weigh 200 lbs,; this is a man; he weighs 200 lbs” is a logical statement, but is still wrong because all men don’t weigh 200 lbs.
          Saying that God “must be able to achieve without suffering” maybe logical but it is not necessarily true.
          Your demand is presumptive. God can do anything he wants. It is like your other paradox about the arrow and shield. WHY would he do such a thing?

        • Saying that God “must be able to achieve without suffering” maybe logical but it is not necessarily true.

          There is gratuitous suffering (Bambi slowly dying in the forest, for example). God could achieve his purpose(s) without gratuitous suffering, and if he were all-good, he’d want to. But he doesn’t. Conclusion: no god.

        • Ed Senter

          God is omnipotent, but he does not have to be good- whatever you want to believe “good” is. I say- whatever God does is good. He has the power to make it so.

          The Bible teaches that this is a fallen world. The fact that you wish everyone lived in a pleasure bubble is not relevant. The fact that there is suffering should bring a visceral response which shows what it is like to be separated from God.

        • God is omnipotent, but he does not have to be good- whatever you want to believe “good” is. I say- whatever God does is good.

          God is both “good” and not “good.” OK, got it.

          He has the power to make it so.

          So might makes right? Or God can do whatever he wants to, just because he can? That was certainly the messag of Job.

          The fact that you wish everyone lived in a pleasure bubble is not relevant.

          Not what I said. Reread it—it wasn’t that long.

          The fact that there is suffering should bring a visceral response which shows what it is like to be separated from God.

          Too bad God doesn’t give a crap. The good in society is thanks to man.

        • Ed Senter

          No, you did not get it. God is not ‘good’ and not ‘good’.

          God is good, not because he conforms to some objective standard. God is good because he is omnipotent.

          But heh, you got the message of Job correct.

        • Can you say that God is “good”? If so, what standard do you evaluate him against?

          Why does omnipotent somehow imply “good”? Just because he can do whatever the hell he wants, so therefore it’s all good? And if you’re saying that you know God is good because the Bible says so, you need to show that the Bible is reliable.

        • epeeist

          He has the power to make it so.

          I always knew Jean-Luc Picard was god.

          The Bible teaches that this is a fallen world.

          Other mythologies do not, so why should we choose your mythos rather than another?

        • Ed Senter

          That is one reason right there.

        • epeeist

          Not sure what you are trying to say here given that your message doesn’t seem to be a response to either part of my post.

          Actually, your post is completely content free.

        • David Cromie

          ???

        • Ed Senter

          The Bible teaches that this is a fallen world, other “mythologies” do not.
          It is separate from the rest of the pack.

        • adam

          “The Bible teaches that this is a fallen world,”

          The Bible teaches that God condones slavery:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Logic is the study of correct and incorrect reasoning. A statement may be logical but still be wrong.

          Indeed, but not the example you give.

          Ed, don’t proceed to lecture anyone on what logic is, and move from there with what is an illogical example ffs.

          “All men weigh 200 lbs,; this is a man; he weighs 200 lbs” is a logical statement, …

          Nope. It isn’t.

          …but is still wrong because all men don’t weigh 200 lbs.

          No shit Sherlock, but that’s not the only reason it is wrong.

          “All men weigh 200 lbs,; this is a man; he weighs 200 lbs”

          Read that syllogism of yours again and tell me what’s wrong with it?

          Now, read this syllogism and tell me why it is sound…

          1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
          2. There is evil in the world.
          3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god does not exist.

          The difference might be too subtle for you.

          Saying that God “must be able to achieve without suffering” maybe logical but it is not necessarily true.

          It is, if, and only if, we both agree on the premises. If you don’t agree on the premises, then just say so. I thought we both did.

          Your demand is presumptive. God can do anything he wants.

          Yes it can if it exists, but if you are too pig thick to understand that in doing so, God fails the omnibenevolence test, then you shouldn’t be claiming you are being logical.

          It is like your other paradox about the arrow and shield.

          Whoosh! That one went right over your head. And it wasn’t an arrow, it was a spear. The paradox is to demonstrate the problem with the concept of omnipotence. Take God out of it if it makes you feel better.

          An example of this paradox in non-western thought can be found in the origin of the Chinese word for contradiction (Chinese: 矛盾; pinyin: máodùn; literally: “spear-shield”). This term originates from a story in the 3rd century BC philosophical book Han Feizi. In the story, a man was trying to sell a spear and a shield. When asked how good his spear was, he said that his spear could pierce any shield. Then, when asked how good his shield was, he said that it could defend from all spear attacks. Then one person asked him what would happen if he were to take his spear to strike his shield; the seller could not answer. This led to the idiom of “zìxīang máodùn” (自相矛盾), or “self-contradictory”.

          And you didn’t answer the question. Is it a logical contradiction? Can an all piercing spear and all protecting shield be made, yes or no? The God can’t do everything.

          WHY would he do such a thing?

          Irrelevant. Why is immaterial, COULD is the question.

          I don’t know why and neither do you. Maybe God spends a lot of time trying, just to prove omnipotence, but fails.

          Who knows why your silly god does the dopey things the buybull claims he does.

          Why does he send two she bears to rip asunder a bunch of youngsters for taking the pish out of a baldy man?

          Why does he kill all the first born in Egypt?

          Why does he smote Arron’s two lads for burning the wrong incense?

          Why does he demand the death of folk who eat shrimp or mix textiles in their apparel?

          Why does he kill David and Bathsheba’s innocent newborn because those two fuckers broke the rules?

          The list goes on. Your god does ridiculous and inane nonsense all the time according to the big book of yarns.

          You can’t just claim the “mysterious ways” gambit when it suits you Ed…that’s being disingenuous.

        • Ed Senter

          Ignorant, you just lived up to your name.
          God can do anything he wants. That makes him omnipotent- he is not stupid.
          You might as well go play tic-tac-toe with yourself.

        • adam

          “God can do anything he wants.”

          God cant do ANYTHING, that is why he needs ignorant pricks like you to do his bidding.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e3bbea2d1e4d81dbd3798980be2ee8b39f893fee5d1d2b81b76b5e7ba184e1.jpg

        • Greg G.

          An imaginary omnipotence can do anything. It can even claim that everything it does is good. It can say that it never lies. But that is just what a liar would say.

          An omnipotence could do things it thinks is good but others might consider those things to be not good. An omnipotence could do things that everybody considers good. That would be a benevolent omnipotence. We don’t live in a universe with one of those. Even the Bible says so.

          But you are the one who accuses God of doing those things by insisting the Bible is true. If there is a God who is not the OT God, then you are more likely to be sent to hell than someone who is not convinced by the lack of evidence of a god. Maybe that’s what the hypothetical god wants.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ignorant, you just lived up to your name.

          Congratulations….you didn’t take the bait as quick as the religious fuckwits usually do. But still, epic fail.

          God can do anything he wants.

          As can any imaginary fictional character that can be invented, but that doesn’t make them any the more real, so pah!

          That makes him omnipotent- he is not stupid.

          Repeating you asinine ballix ad nauseum doesn’t give it any the more veracity. Nonsense is still nonsense no matter how many times you repeat it.

          You might as well go play tic-tac-toe with yourself.

          Well,seeing as you can’t, or won’t, address the questions, I really might as well. You don’t seem to have anything more than repetitive imbecilic mindwankery.

        • Ed Senter

          There is no problem with the concept of omnipotence. If you interject presumptuous, unreasonable demands into the concept, it is not the concept that fails. It is the rhetoric of the ignorant. who is merely trying to win an argument, that fails.

        • Greg G.

          Logic requires a valid argument AND true premises. Not all men weigh 200 lbs, so any conclusion you draw using logic with the premise that all men weigh 200 lbs will not necessarily be true. “Dogs sometimes have fleas” therefore “it is raining” is an invalid logical structure, in this case it is a non sequitur, but the conclusion may be true anyway but it is not logic.

          Saying that God “must be able to achieve without suffering” maybe logical but it is not necessarily true.

          If God cannot achieve without suffering, then he is not omnipotent. If he can achieve without suffering but allows suffering anyway, he is not benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          No, a VALID ARGUMENT requires logic and true premises.
          So for today’s lesson, you get an F.

        • Greg G.

          Where is it wrong?
          1. Omnipotence means suffering is preventable and therefore unnecessary.
          2. Benevolence means unnecessary suffering would not exist.
          3. If an omnipotent benevolence exists, then unnecessary suffering cannot exist. (1, 2)
          4. Suffering exists.
          5. Therefore no omnipotent benevolence exists. (Modus tollens)

        • Ed Senter

          The only thing you have said that may be true is “suffering exists”.
          The rest of it is you are just defining your premises as your desired results.

        • Greg G.

          Unless you define omnipotence to mean not much more powerful than humans and benevolence to mean sadistic, the argument works. Your defense has been closing your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears, and shouting, “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

          I used to have a dog that seemed to be very caring. I think if she had been omnipotent, she would have prevented all suffering.

          This argument doesn’t even need God to be omnipotent, just powerful enough to prevent suffering and be as benevolent as a good dog.

          So your comment about the definitions shows you still don’t understand what you are arguing against. You only sense that you can’t defeat it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Holy fuck….you think the premise all men weigh 200lbs is true?

          Ed you are one dumb fuck.

        • Ed Senter

          Ignorant, first learn how to read before comment, please.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “All men weigh 200 lbs,; this is a man; he weighs 200 lbs”

          That is your first premise. It is not a true premise as you admit in the same comment.

          … is a logical statement, but is still wrong because all men don’t weigh 200 lbs.

          Therefore when you say silly contradictory shite like…

          No, a VALID ARGUMENT requires logic and true premises.

          When you’ve already given an invalid argument and admit the fuckin’ premise is false.

          Then don’t start whinging about the reading comprehension of others and don’t go spouting condescending crap such as…

          So for today’s lesson, you get an F.

          When it is you that hasn’t a fucking clue what he’s talking about.

          “All men weigh 200 lbs,; this is a man; he weighs 200 lbs”

          Is not a logical statement, nor a valid argument because the fist premise is not true, and the rest of the syllogism is nonsense,

        • epeeist

          No, a VALID ARGUMENT requires logic and true premises.
          So for today’s lesson, you get an F.

          No, a SOUND ARGUMENT requires logic and true premises. A VALID ARGUMENT simply requires proper logical form. As an example,

          P1: All theists are millionaires
          P2: Ed Senter is a theist
          C: Ed Senter is a millionaire

          So in today’s lesson you get an epic fail.

        • adam
        • Ed Senter

          Even the Greeks got it wrong.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          If suffering can do something that the god thingy cannot do directly, then the god thingy is not omnipotent. If suffering can do some thing, then it is logically possible to do that thing. Any entity or process that cannot do that logically possible thing cannot honestly be called omnipotent.

          An omnipotence could use suffering but it would be unnecessary. An omnipotence that would use unnecessary suffering for no reason cannot honestly be called benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          That is the great mantra of the atheist and it is simply wrong. Your error is presuming that if God can do it, he should do it simply because he can.
          Omnipotence means he can do anything he WANTS, not just do anything logically possible.
          And he is good, not because he conforms to some objective standard.
          He is good because he is omnipotent.

        • He is good because he is omnipotent.

          I’m sending an email to Santa right now to get you a dictionary for Christmas.

        • epeeist

          Omnipotence means he can do anything he WANTS, not just do anything logically possible.

          I am struggling with some of the puzzles in this book, but there again I am not omnipotent.

          Here is a question for you, can your god create a puzzle it cannot solve?

        • Ed Senter

          Why would he do such a stupid thing?

        • epeeist

          Why would he do such a stupid thing?

          But you said ” he can do anything he WANTS”, so if he wanted to then he should be able to create such a puzzle. However if he does so and cannot solve it then it means he cannot be omnipotent. Of course if he cannot create such a puzzle then it means he cannot be omnipotent…

        • Ed Senter

          I am beginning to see why atheism attracts such shallow thinkers.
          Your error is presuming that if God can do it, he should do it simply because he can.
          God can do anything he wants; however, he ain’t stupid.
          You might as well play tic-tac-toe with yourself.

        • adam

          “God can do anything he wants;”

          but God cant even defeat chariots of iron:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d31ab45c82072f5956edbf1fb7c20e2def96839aa94839458da1da64f44d4e37.jpg

        • Greg G.

          No, Ed. He is trying to show you that your definition of omnipotent causes impossible situations. The simple God can do anything means he can create something he can’t do, so you need a better definition of omnipotence.

        • Ed Senter

          You prove my point again.

        • Greg G.

          Your point was that you are in over your head?

        • Ed Senter

          Just because you can dream up impossible situations does not in any way negate omnipotence.

        • Greg G.

          Ed, I didn’t invent them. Christians have struggled with these paradoxes for ages. That’s why Christian philosophers have redefined omnipotent to “the ability to do anything that is logically possible”. I agree with you that it’s a bit of a cop-out. It’s like redefining omnipotence to “not quite omnipotent”. They can’t quite define it into existence anyway.

        • epeeist

          I am beginning to see why atheism attracts such shallow thinkers.

          Oh FFS, there goes another irony meter.

          Your error is presuming that if God can do it, he should do it simply because he can.

          You are obviously unaware of the difference between “can” and “could”, but there again since this is hardly surprising since you also seem to be unaware of the difference between “omnipotent” and “omni-benevolent”.

          God can do anything he wants; however, he ain’t stupid.

          The problem with this is that “stupidity” is a property that can only be possessed by things that exist. So far you have not just failed to demonstrate that your god exists, you have failed even to attempt to demonstrate this.

        • Ed Senter

          So you can not admit that I am right on the hypothetical, so you move on to the reality?

          I have proved that omnipotence is possible. Will you admit to that?

        • epeeist

          I have proved that omnipotence is possible. Will you admit to that?

          No, you haven’t. You have repeatedly stated that your version of omnipotence is possible. An assertion is not a proof.

          You have a major problem here, you are completely out of your depth and you don’t realise it. Your grasp of logic and semantics is minimal to say the least and your knowledge of things like theodicy is non-existent.

        • David Cromie

          You have to be a very ‘shallow thinker’, and a deluded superstitious believer, to think there is a supposed ‘god’ for which there is not a shred of irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Again, it is you that is claiming that God can do anything. Your question “why?” is a non sequitur and your attempt to obfuscate. You don’t get to decide if it’s such a stupid thing, only your god does.

          You wouldn’t be trying to think for your god now would you Ed? Heaven’s ta Murgatroyd Ed, you are painting yerself into a corner here…funny as fuck.

          Don’t you realise the entertainment value there is to be had in doing puzzles? The more challenging the more entertaining. God’s lot isn’t as consuming as it was back in ye olde biblical times, with all that genocidal smoting to occupy and entertain. Just because you think it a stupid thing to do, only informs us about you. You or I don’t get to decide the mind of God. It is beyond our remit, remember?

          Maybe your god likes doing puzzles and strives for the challenge of being just that one time puzzle stumped, not much craic in knowing that one will always be able to beat the puzzle. But that’s something your god can’t do, stump itself because of its omnipotence, which invokes that nuisance of a paradox again. Fucking God’s omnipotence, well and truly up.

          Mysterious ways are a pain in the arse sometimes, aren’t they?

        • Greg G.

          Maybe humanity is a puzzle that God can’t solve. The Flood was hitting the reset button. The Tower of Babel was a failed attempt at a solution.

        • Ed Senter

          Are you still playing tic-tac-toe with yourself?

        • adam

          Are you still trying to Steve Bannon yourself?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nice none answer again Ed…I’ll take that as a sign of your capitulation.

          At least playing tic-tac-toe with myself would be more challenging.

        • Ed Senter

          Have you figured out yet that you can’t both win and not lose?

        • Greg G.

          The question is not a “why” but a “could”. It is the sort of thing that makes philosophers redefine “omnipotence” to “the ability to do anything that is logically possible. It’s a cop out but it is the only way to consider omnipotence because omnipotence is invalidated by the question of whether God could make a rock so big he couldn’t lift. If he could make a rock so big, his inability to lift it means he is not omnipotent. Omnipotence could make a bachelor or someone who is married but not a married bachelor.

        • Ed Senter

          Maybe they should have defined it as “the ability to do anything that is REASONABLE” because that is just stupid. It sounds like the only philosophers you have listened to are atheists who are trying to achieve a desired result.

        • Greg G.

          The definition they give for omnipotence is “the ability to do anything that is logically possible.” That is the definition I have been using. But even if we say a benevolent being would prevent all unnecessary suffering and a sufficiently powerful benevolence would end all suffering, so the argument doesn’t require omnipotence.

          I do not think creating sentient beings with the capability of suffering unnecessarily is reasonable for a benevolent being nor allowing it.

        • Susan

          Maybe they should have defined it as “The ability to do anything that is REASONABLE”

          By whose standards? You seem to have missed the point, entirely.

          It sounds like the only philosophers you have listened to are atheists who are trying to achieve a desired result.

          Apologists and theologians insist on skipping past the rock/strength paradox, the spear/shield paradox and any variation.

          They are unable to cope with the inherent paradoxes in “omnipotence” so they redefine “omnipotence” to “being able to do anything logically possible”.

          Take it up with them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You seem to have missed the point, entirely.

          Or just too stupid to understand.

          They are unable to cope with the inherent paradoxes in “omnipotence” so they redefine “omnipotence” to “being able to do anything logically possible”.

          And their argument still flounders.

        • Susan

          And their argument still flounders.

          Well, yes. As Greg G. has pointed out, even a sufficiently potent being that allows suffering is not benevolent.

        • adam

          Hey, not everybody wants a benevolent God.

          Just one they believe is on their side.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip…a child rescuing a chick that has fallen from its nest has more potency to relieve suffering than YahwehJesus.

          Of course the Christers will put that good work down to their god working in mysterious ways. The child has learned some valuable lessons. Never mind the millions of chicks that fall out of nests where there is no child around to rescue them, so they die unnecessarily suffering.

        • Susan

          Never mind the millions of chicks that fall out of nests where there is no child around to rescue them, so they die unnecessarily suffering.

          Yes. A system that Yahwehjesus is supposed to have designed.

        • Greg G.

          Sometimes those chicks are evicted by a cuckoo or a catbird chick that was laid as an egg when the nest was left untended, so the nest builders end up raising the offspring of another species. I wonder who came up with that idea?

        • Ed Senter

          Any omnipotent “paradox” is a figment of the imaginations of pseudo-intellectual atheists.

        • Susan

          Any omnipotent “paradox” is a figment of the imaginations of pseudo-intellectual atheists

          .

          No. Claims of “omnipotence” bring inherent paradoxes. It’s not an atheist conspiracy. It’s logic. It’s logic that has been recognized by theists for a very long time.

          Do you think we’re agents of Satan and that honestly addressing our points will endanger your soul?

          At this point, I’m not sure what other explanation you might have.

          The logic has been shown.

          If you want to do your theological duty, you won’t waste time arguing with stuff theologians accepted and began to special plead their way out of centuries ago.

        • pseudo-intellectual atheists

          I’m glad he put that qualifier. I wouldn’t want to put on airs.

        • Susan

          i wouldn’t want to put on airs.

          You know how uppity we can get.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t you think that it is REASONABLE to reduce suffering where one has the ability to do so? Or is that stupid?

          If you had unlimited power, don’t you think it REASONABLE to stop suffering? Or would that be stupid?

          Ffs even some of we humans endeavour to do that much. Perhaps just not you. I guess you never take your kids the dentist or doctor. Never given to charity…that would be stupid and not be reasonable.

          Even I’ve shit your god.

          Silly pants Ed…trying to redefine omnipotence in order to save face and making a complete arse of yerself, ya Coco.

        • adam

          “trying to redefine omnipotence in order to save face”

          I dont think this is the case.
          Ed is merely cruel and uses bible God to justify his own desires for cruelty.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think Ed is cruel through ignorance, not design. At least I prefer to think that way anyhow.

          He has to redefine words in order to make his position seem rational, but he doesn’t seem to understand that it has the opposite effect and makes his position even more untenable…and bug nutty bat shit crazy.

          I think Ed has been suckling at the teat of Kool-Aid merchants for too long and his instance at trying t make words mean stuff they don’t mean exemplifies the cruelty and Ed is just too stupid to realise this point.

          Or you could be spot on and Ed is just another knuckle-dragging religious moron who uses the Buybull and his version of god to justify being a cruel thinking cunt.

        • adam

          “At least I prefer to think that way anyhow.”

          But you are so kind.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah….ya know me better that matey….give ’em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves…removing any speculation of course.

        • Ed Senter

          So you define omnipotence as “must remove all suffering”, eh?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are a complete cretin Ed.

          More moronic obfuscation.

          I’ll try again….

          Don’t you think that it is REASONABLE to reduce suffering where one has the ability to do so? Or is that stupid?

          If you had unlimited power, don’t you think it REASONABLE to stop suffering? Or would that be stupid?

          Avoid answering by all means, you’ve already given the game away.

        • Ed Senter

          For the purposes of defining ‘omnipotence’, the only thing that matters is absolute power. Whether the use of that power is good, bad, or reduces suffering, or anything else has nothing to do with the definition.

        • adam

          “For the purposes of defining ‘omnipotence’, the only thing that matters is absolute power”

          Which you havent demonstrated even exists.

          You know like your IMAGINARY God, that you cant demonstrate.

        • Greg G.

          He is way ahead of you. Go back and read what the conversation is about. You are completely lost. You jumped to a stupid answer with your rhetorical question a few steps back.

        • adam

          “Why would he do such a stupid thing?”

          Because Bible God does stupid things:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/398eee168a95a1c3714d1513e1274d5c0eb7136e6f5206bb94180f68ef55410d.jpg

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          Why not?

          According to you, God can do whatever it wants. And given that you can’t know the mind of your god, you can’t know what it wants or would do. Or even what it deemed to be stupid.

          You are the typical godbot…claiming the mind of your god is beyond human comprehension, then thinking you can know the wants and needs of said god.

          You are hoist by your own petard ya dimwit.

        • Ed Senter

          Ignorant, you miss the point again…

        • Greg G.

          No, Ed. Omnipotence means he could do it. Benevolence means he would do it. If God doesn’t want to do it, he is not benevolent.

          You make those two claims but the existence of suffering shows that one or both properties are missing. Therefore, the god you worship doesn’t exist

        • Ed Senter

          Why can’t you understand?
          There is no objective ‘good’ which you so want to force into this conversation.
          You claim that suffering, either gratuitous or unnecessary, would make God bad. IT DOES NOT MATTER! God could be ‘bad’. -whatever.

          I gave you a perfect example (although not necessary for my argument) that God gave man free will. God does not have to play nursemaid just to make your argument work. Your premise is flawed and is why atheist arguments are left wanting.

        • adam

          “that God gave man free will. ”

          but he didnt give man free will:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f82147c8efa48709931146100a7df8d385664f36cdcdc777d2f5005d4938345.jpg

        • Greg G.

          The “free will’ causes suffering argument” is a failure. It appears to be a pure act of desperation. Our free will is limited. We can’t go faster than light speed through space and we can’t go back in time no matter how much we will it. So if we have limited free will, an omnipotence could expand other free will possibility while preventing those that end in suffering. Omnipotence could do a billion miracles per nanosecond for every sentient beings as easily as not doing them.

          You still have unnecessary suffering which means you can’t have both omnipotence and benevolence.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          It isn’t a faulty premise, it is within the definition of the words being used. A definition you agree on ya clown.

        • Ed Senter

          No, you are adding a condition onto the definition- if the omnipotent can do it, he should do it. That is error.

        • Susan

          Presuming that an omnipotent could achieve desired results from suffering by some other method is a faulty premise.

          How many times will you ignore Greg G’.s point?

          If results can be achieved by suffering, then results can logically be achieved.

          *If results can be logically achieved, an omnipotent being can achieve them without suffering.

          So, suffering is not necessary. Therefore, you can’t have an omnipotent/omnibenevolent being.

          So no. It’ is not a faulty premise.

          Greg G. has established that so far, his premise (*) is true.

        • David Cromie

          Where is your irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that any supernatural entities actually exist, good, bad, or otherwise? Without such evidence, your warblings are pure BS!

        • Ed Senter

          You mean you want evidence that YOU would believe? Can’t help you there.
          The only evidence I have is the Bible.

        • Greg G.

          But you read stupid things into the Bible that aren’t there so you can’t trust your understanding of the evidence. You are seeing a mirage.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do ya think Ed has actually read the bloody thing?

          He is demonstrating here that he hasn’t.

        • Greg G.

          I think Ed pays a sizable amount of his income to someone to tell him this stuff. He can’t afford to not believe every word that person says.

        • adam

          “The only evidence I have is the Bible.”

          so you have no evidence, you have mythology.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/193d55bd369db06e229a36a8e4eea56c31ec9a4aa8bfdf3912642c9ce978869c.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Ignorant Amos
        • adam
        • David Cromie

          The so-called ‘bible’ cannot logically be used as confirmation of itself, because that is using a circular argument, and thus fallacious. As for proof; to be an actual proof it has to be such as any literate person with half a brain would be compelled to accept it (because based on the irrefutable evidence, as laid bare).

        • adam

          “Maybe your problem is that you want to impose your standards unto an omnipotence?”

          No standards are needed, you’ve not demonstrated omnipotence, only impotence.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.

          congratulations, you win the prize for Most Philosophically Bankrupt Statement Including Use of Latin.

        • Ed Senter

          And you are the judge? – Splat!

        • epeeist

          Whatever the omnipotence does is good, a priori.

          One of the standard things that theists bring here is unjustified assertions. Well done, you have lived down to expectations.

          Tell us, why should omnipotence entail goodness?

        • Ed Senter

          It is self-evident. Goodness is a matter of opinion and entirely relative. There is nothing greater than an omnipotent being, therefore, impossible to judge.

        • Greg G.

          Then you cannot say that the omnipotence is good or bad if you can’t judge it.

          But choosing that unnecessary suffering exists is sadistic, therefore you cannot say the omnipotence is benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          How do you know unnecessary suffering is sadistic?
          The omnipotence is neither benevolent or sadistic. The omnipotence is just right!
          Might makes right.

        • Greg G.

          If might makes right, then there is no need to bother worshiping. It may detest people sucking up with bad evidence. It can promise you heaven and give you hell.

          The word “sadistic” is related to causing suffering for enjoyment. An omnipotence could prevent it as easily as allowing it so it has to have chosen for it to exist. If the omnipotence prefers it that way, then “sadistic” is the right adjective.

        • MR

          Who was here recently with their panties in a bunch over the use of “Might makes right,” and here this one is promoting it! Seems to me no one has a legitimate way to know anything about God. None of them can agree. Meanwhile, everything can still be explained if their is no God. Let them get their stories straight then get back with us on how they support it.

        • Greg G.

          I think I have seen a few theists defending against the “might makes right” argument. C*ndy Sm*th was one of them, I believe.

        • epeeist

          One would have to wonder what his attitude is to government, democracy or kratocracy? Would he approve the lot that are currently in power in the US?

        • Ed Senter

          You are just assuming suffering is unnecessary and therefore sadistic. You are inserting your own values.
          An omnipotence can do anything he wants. That is the point.

        • adam

          “An omnipotence can do anything he wants. That is the point.”

          Of course:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bfb7cbb09a39ae8911c3879d7def113ab5277eb302961e16b02b2a649a0e7d6.jpg

          but then claiming this omnipotence is all-loving at the same time, presents a problem.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49ed4a65c217619db273eb191506b8428aa86f753e98599f6612a2172cc89641.jpg

        • Ed Senter

          For God to be God he must only be omnipotent.
          That is a logical conclusion that no one can deny.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…that is not how most believers in God see it. Google “attributes of God”.

          You can’t cherry pick the one attribute then define your idea into existence.

          There are plenty of believers who deny your logical conclusion that God must be omnipotent. So obviously you are wrong.

        • Ed Senter

          God can have many attributes; however, the one attribute he must have is omnipotence.
          That is what I said and no one can deny that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course I can deny that. There is no empirical evidence for your gods existence, never mind any of its attributes.

          Given the other alleged attributes of your god, means that the attribute of omnipotence has to be watered down to such a degree that it no longer means what it is supposed to mean.

          Define what you are claiming and how you support it?

        • Ed Senter

          I am not offering empirical evidence.
          I am offering the reasoning behind God.
          The almighty would not be the almighty if anything was greater, correct?

        • epeeist

          I am offering the reasoning behind God.

          I say that the scales on the Loch Ness monster are green, those who say they are blue are wrong. I am offering the reasoning behind the Plesiosaurus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your reasoning is circular.

          The almighty is God, because anything defined God must be almighty.

          That applies to any and all almighty gods…it doesn’t help in anyway.

        • Ed Senter

          You live up to your name again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…because you know everything…NOT!…ya dumb cunt.

        • adam

          “The almighty would not be the almighty if anything was greater, correct?”

          Yes, let me introduce the Almightier, mightier than your almighty.

        • David Cromie

          Anyone can ascribe any desired attributes, whatsoever, to the favourite ‘god’ of their imagination. This does not prove that their imagined ‘god’ actually exists. What about all the other manmade ‘gods’ humans have/still do believe in, are they also real, or are they not just figments of superstitious imagination too?

        • Ed Senter

          So you agree that if God exists, he would be omnipotent?

        • adam

          If my aunt had a penis, she would be my uncle.

          Bible God can’t even defeat iron chariots, hardly omnipotent.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d31ab45c82072f5956edbf1fb7c20e2def96839aa94839458da1da64f44d4e37.jpg

        • Greg G.

          No, a god might be powerful enough to make it look to us like it was omnipotent, yet not actually omnipotent.

          The definition you have been throwing around is self-contradicting. Can God create a rock so heavy even he can’t lift it? If not he is not omnipotent and if he can, then his inability to lift it proves he is not omnipotent.

        • Ed Senter

          God is not so stupid as to submit to the dictates of an imbecile. Splat!

        • Greg G.

          He is stupid enough to punish serpents for what Satan did.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which was actually nothing.

          And malevolent enough to punish all women for the actions of one woman.

        • David Cromie

          ‘Satan’ is merely the alterego of Yahweh!

        • adam

          “God is not so stupid as to submit to the dictates of an imbecile.”

          And yet you think he is stupid enough to submit to your dictates:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e3bbea2d1e4d81dbd3798980be2ee8b39f893fee5d1d2b81b76b5e7ba184e1.jpg

        • adam

          “God is not so stupid as to submit to the dictates of an imbecile.”

          But God is so stupid:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2cc44055c5339231f0c74be689bfcd26b4a683baa74097f02aaa9746f70099e4.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not only that…he did it after having hardened the Pharaoh’s heart to change his mind when he was going to let the chosen ones go…stupid alright.

          So much for that “free will” ballix….and as for omnipotence, my arse!

          Ed the dolt has the mind virus fuckwittery really bad.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do you agree that if Superman exists, he would be able to fly?

        • epeeist

          I have tried him with the colour of the flippers on the Loch Ness monster. So far no reply.

          One is reminded of Winnie the Pooh, “I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          I have tried him with the colour of the flippers on the Loch Ness monster. So far no reply.

          Aye, a seen that.

        • David Cromie

          The one does not follow from the other! Where is your irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that any supernatural entities, whatever their supposed attributes, actually do exist, since you firmly believe in them?

        • Ed Senter

          You are not a thinking person. The logic is correct.

          If you want evidence that God exists, the proof is the Bible. Now have fun tearing that apart.
          The bottom line is you either believe or you don’t believe.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          “The bottom line is you either believe for lousy reasons or you don’t believe for good reasons.”

          FTFY. You’re welcome.

        • David Cromie

          If pink elephants exist, they would always be pissed and talk nonsense, just like you!

        • Ignorant Amos

          And if yer arse was square, ya could shite coal bricks.

        • Greg G.

          If Zeus could be God without being omnipotent, then Zeus can do some thing that a God that must be omnipotent cannot do. Since God cannot do a thing that a less-than-omnipotent being can do, then God cannot be omnipotent.

        • Ed Senter

          A Clown impersonating a thinker.

        • epeeist

          A Clown impersonating a thinker.

          I thought this irony meter was lasting a long time, but alas there goes another one.

        • Greg G.

          Says the guy who believes in talking serpents.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam

          “That is a logical conclusion that no one can deny.”

          “God” clearly demonstrates non-omnipotence.
          That is a logical conclusion that no one can deny.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77d30400592fc7527096034a5efcf4dfe84c3e29a936b278b96300e447ab8086.jpg

        • adam

          “For God to be God he must only be omnipotent.”

          Then either God is IMAGINARY, or unnecessarily EVIL.

          That is a logical conclusion that no one can deny.

        • adam

          “For God to be God he must only be omnipotent.”

          No, to be God, he must not be IMAGINARY…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cec86c13ff651044ebf846246f7b360fb2d8a3eccf42e97c497a2d680eb4b44d.jpg

        • epeeist

          It is self-evident.

          The response of a person who cannot justify their claim.

          There is nothing greater than an omnipotent being, therefore, impossible to judge.

          You missed the conditional, “if it exists then there is nothing greater than an omnipotent being”.

          As for your second clause, you seem to be acceding to my point, namely that omnipotence does not entail the good.

        • Ed Senter

          Perhaps ‘good and evil’ are too emotive and personal. Let’s use ‘God and not God’ = “if you are not for me, you are against me.”

        • Susan

          Perhaps ‘good and evil’ are too emotive and personal.

          Or perhaps, they’re terms you fling about happily until you get called on them.

          Let’s use ‘God and not God’.

          You mean, let’s change the subject?

        • Ed Senter

          If you think I changed the subject, you need to get smarter.

        • Susan

          If you think I changed the subject, you need to get smarter.

          If you think you haven’t, then deal with epeeist’s points.

        • Ed Senter

          Whatever is ‘good’, it takes power to make it so.
          Might makes right.

        • Susan

          Whatever is ‘good’, it takes power to make it so.

          I thought you didn’t want to use the terms good and evil? Make up your mind.

          But I will respond, whatever is evil, it takes power to make it so.

          .

          Might makes right.

          Then, genoicde is as right as rain.

          It takes power.

        • Ed Senter

          You have offered rhetorical nonsense.

          The omnipotence is good, not because he conforms to some objective standard.
          He is good because he is omnipotent.

        • Susan

          You have offered rhetorical nonsense.

          You have equated power with goodness without justification. I’ve tried to point out how clearly wrong that is.

          He is good because he is omnipotent.

          Type it as often as you like. They are not the same thing.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Whatever is ‘good’, it takes power to make it so.
          Might makes right.

          Good is a matter of perspective, not power. A single algae organism produces oxygen. From my perspective, that is wonderfully good. From an anaerobic organism’s perspective, that is bad.

          The closer to a universal good, the better it would be, which would take some power.

          An omnipotence that was good would be able to achieve good from every perspective. That is not the case, therefore there is no good omnipotence.

        • adam

          “Whatever is ‘good’, it takes power to make it so.
          Might makes right.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1dafb6d1406b0d440d4140893e6cfb14546a560963dcf72dac84c3817d081a31.png

        • epeeist

          Perhaps ‘good and evil’ are too emotive and personal.

          And again you seem to be agreeing with me, namely that the good is not entailed by omnipotence.

        • Ed Senter

          I don’t think we are in agreement.
          I am saying that the omnipotence is not good because he conforms to some objective standard.
          He is good because he is omnipotent.

          If God exists, good is God, and evil is the absence of God.

        • evil is the absence of God.

          The tens of millions of people drowning due to the Flood had good evidence that God’s presence was pretty evil.

        • Susan

          He is good because he is omnipotent.

          No.

          If God exists, good is God, and evil is the absence of God.

          You keep bringing those terms back even though you said they should be abandoned.

          What you meant is that you get to abuse them and shouldn’t have to defend yourself when you do so.

          No.

          Power is not equal to goodness.

          So, pick your poison.

        • Greg G.

          We see suffering. If there is an omnipotence, it is not good. “Good” is an English word created by humans to describe what we like. If I take all your money, I might call it good but you would call it bad. If an omnipotence enjoys the suffering of sentient beings so much that it considers it good, then it is a sadist. Trying to force the victims of sadistic suffering to call the suffering a good thing is more abuse. Unless you have Stockholm Syndrome.

        • Ed Senter

          You are using ‘good’ as an emotive term reflecting your personal preference. If you intend to impose your personal preference onto an omnipotence, that is totally useless.

        • adam

          ” If you intend to impose your personal preference onto an IMAGINARY omnipotence, that is totally useless.”

          FTFY

        • Greg G.

          Yes. Anybody can do what is good for them and call it good. But that might be bad for someone else. If a sadist tortures me for fun, it is good for him. But I would not. If God is sadistic, he can call it good but that does not make it good for you or me. We can call it bad because it is bad from our perspective because unnecessary suffering is bad for us.

        • Ed Senter

          Let me put it this way.
          The omnipotence is good, not because he conforms to some objective good.
          He is good because he is omnipotent.

        • adam
        • adam
        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Good is a matter of perspective and omnipotence has nothing to do with it. “Good” is a human word used by the speaker’s position. If God is not good from a human perspective, then the adjective does not apply. If the omnipotence calls himself good, but he is causing unnecessary suffering to us, we cannot honestly apply the word good. The description of Bible God is not a good entity. I can imagine an omnipotence that was good but there would be no suffering.

          When use use the adjective “good” to describe God, you are being obsequious to a figment of your imagination. Christers say that God is just and merciful but those are contradictory terms. Just throwing words at God because they have a positive ring with no consideration whether they apply is not honest.

        • Ed Senter

          Friend, you are the one that brought ‘benevolence’ into the conversation! You preach the atheist mantra in an attempt to appear intellectual- “God is either an impotent benevolence or a omnipotent sadist”. Isn’t that what you have said?
          Omnipotence means God can do anything he wants.

        • Greg G.

          Omnipotence means God can do anything he wants.

          Benevolent means he does benevolent things.

          If he wanted to prevent suffering he could because he is omnipotent. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t benevolent.

        • Ed Senter

          God does not have to be ‘good’ although he is.

        • Greg G.

          Omnipotence does not have to be good. Allowing unnecessary suffering is not good. So you can’t claim God is both omnipotent and benevolent. Your cognitive dissonance knows this and appears to be shutting down your thoughts before you realize it. Think through the cognitive dissonance.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Susan

          You preach the atheist mantra

          It’s not an “atheist mantra”. It’s logic.

          God is either an impotent benevolence or a omnipotent sadist

          Yep.

          Omnipotence means God can do anything he wants.

          You’ve chosen “omnipotent sadist”.

        • Ed Senter

          It is presumptuous to attach conditions like ‘sadist’ and ‘benevolence’ onto your premises.
          An omnipotent God would be in control and know what he is doing.

        • Susan

          It is presumptuous to attach conditions.

          Not presumptuous if the conditions emanate from the the definitions.

          An omnipotent God would be in control and know what he is doing.

          Power is not knowledge, either.

        • David Cromie

          In what way does ‘omnipotence’ imply ‘goodness’? Is ‘might’ always ‘right’ for you? If an omnipotent, omniscient ‘creator’ cannot rid its creation from ‘evil’ (all the things, including its sidekick, Satan, that produce suffering in the world), then it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, ‘omnipotent’. Of course, it could be that evil was written into the master plan, ab initio! That would make your beloved ‘god’ a sadistic bastard, and that is the anthesis ‘good’.

        • Ed Senter

          Might makes right. I didn’t say might is right. All goodness is relative and based on opinion. An omnipotence can make anything ‘right’.
          Evil is not just the opposite of good.
          Given all of that, if God exists then anything that is not of God is evil. Call it ‘God’ and ‘not God’. If God separated himself from his creation (which is the Christian claim), then evil would proliferate. That doesn’t make him a sadistic bastard. It just shows the world what it is like with him not being around.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ed just redefines the word “good” to mean whatever he says it means and bingo, he thinks he is right. That’s logic 101 Ed Senter style. He has just turned out to be the same as every other Christer that has darkened these pages.

          It would be more logical to invoke the evil God of the philosopher of Stephen Law’s hypothesis.

          God, Evil, and Theodicies

          http://stephenlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/god-and-theodicies_10.html

        • David Cromie

          “The evidence of suffering is not the absence of benevolence”. If so, why did this omnipotent ‘creator god’, upon reviewing its handiwork, declare that everything was ‘good’, and then, being omniscient, not notice the grave flaw in the blueprint, and set about rectifying it immediately? The fact that suffering, from whatever cause, seems to be by deliberate design, shows that this ‘god’ is a sadistic monster, with no love for its ‘creation’!

        • Ed Senter

          Maybe that is why God set up a redemption plan just in case the man and woman, to whom he gave free will, screwed up. God ain’t finished.

        • Greg G.

          Suffering cannot be undone. If God is omnipotent, suffering is unnecessary. A redemption plan cannot undo unnecessary suffering. When will God be finished with all the unnecessary suffering?

        • Ed Senter

          Do you know what God could do to presumptuous critics? SPLAT!

        • Greg G.

          He could do the same with gullible sycophants, too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And in Ed’s worldview, does.

        • Ed Senter

          Would a man mock God?

        • Greg G.

          Hard to say, no one has ever presented an actual god.

        • adam
        • BlackMamba44

          I am seeking from you the objective, logical meaning of the word “atheist”. Does it mean “I don’t believe in anything that does not meet the threshold of evidence that I would believe in it”?

          Holy shit. It’s not that fucking complicated.

          Atheist: Someone who lacks belief in god(s).

          That. Is. It. Not difficult.

          I think the objective meaning of “God” is the supreme being. Logically, that would require that God be omnipotent. It would need no other attribute although it could have many.

          Any evidence other than a few thousand year old book?

          As to your question about meaning, have you not ever wondered about things you do not know? Some would say, “I wonder what lies beyond the horizon”?
          Others would say, “It is useless to wonder; the earth is flat and you will just fall off if you venture too far”.
          And still others would say, “I am happy with my life in this cave. You are a fool to believe anything is better than this”.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae1b44fda3cb2e93f9af50ffe6e7a478e95162dffc221b7be3543844d394e31d.gif

        • TheNuszAbides

          Atheist: Someone who lacks belief in god(s).

          That. Is. It. Not difficult.

          as i feared when he let forth his “opposite of a theist” definition, he can’t seem to think his way out of the [identity investment]-centric view from his brand of Xianity.

        • Susan

          Since atheists don’t believe God exists, that begs the question: what do you mean by “God”?

          It doesn’t “beg the question”.

          And it’s also why I asked what you believe/claim and how you can support it and you never answered me.

          You are cliaming something called “God” exists.

          And won’t answer my question.

        • Ed Senter

          Is it possible that an omnipotent being exists?

        • MR

          Is it possible that one doesn’t? Could you be wrong?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Anything is possible in fertile imagination.

          But how would you know?

          Only an omniscience could know.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s bound to go over Ed’s head if he makes no real distinction between [flapping his gums about God] and [God’s existence as an abstract concept] and [the presupposed entity who just has to SHRUG and maybe occasionally shed a superultramega-tear when naughty demons/atheists persist in their scripturally-prophesied folly].

        • Susan

          How is “reject God” a strawman?

          I don’t accept the claims about Yahwehjesus that some eedjit makes on the internet when he is utterly unable to support them and attempts to special plead his way out of everything when asked to do so. .

          Just like I don’t accept vampire claims.

          An atheist is the opposite of a theist.

          A non-believer in vampires is the opposite of a believer in vampires.

          Vague, trivial at best and it ignores the burden of proof.

        • Ed Senter

          What is a “vampire”?

        • Greg G.

          What is a “vampire”?

          Those things Abraham Lincoln slew.

        • epeeist

          An atheist is the opposite of a theist.

          The problem is “theist” is so ill defined. How many gods do you believe in? Of the ones that you don’t believe in do you a) lack belief in them; b) believe that they do not exist; c) believe they are simply different aspects of your god or; d) something else altogether?

          If you take position b) then how did you prove that these gods do not exist? If you take position c) then how do you justify this?

        • Ed Senter

          Above, I described God as omnipotent. Therefore, logically, there can only be one God.

        • epeeist

          Above, I described God as omnipotent.

          “Described” is the wrong word, the word you want is “Defined”. And of course simply defining something doesn’t mean that your definition has a referent.

          Therefore, logically, there can only be one God.

          If and only if the god you defined actually exists. Of course you haven’t actually demonstrated this…

        • Ed Senter

          1. To define something is to limit it. God could be many things, but the one thing he must be to be God is omnipotent. So, that is why I use to describe.

          2. So you agree? If God exists, there could only be one?

          This is important because I have been asked to describe a religion that I could believe in. If there is only one God, most of the world’s religions are disqualified by simple logic.

        • 1. How do you know God must be omnipotent? Maybe our universe was created by a smart alien.

          2. Christianity kinda has 3 gods. Does that disqualify it?

        • Ed Senter

          1. If a smart alien created the universe then he would be God.
          God must be omnipotent because that is what makes him the greatest/supreme. His power is greater than any another being. He can do anything he wants.

          2. Christianity has 1 God/ 3 persons. So, that does not disqualify.

        • 1. That smart alien wouldn’t be omnipotent. You can define “God” any way you want, but that’s not evidence.

          2. Wrong. The Trinity makes no sense. But perhaps you can explain it to us.

        • Ignorant Amos

          2. Wrong. The Trinity makes no sense. But perhaps you can explain it to us.

          That should be entertaining.

        • Greg G.

          Fifty eBucks says his first explanation commits the Heresy of Modalism.

        • Ed Senter

          1. The creator is always greater than the creation. The universe would entail everything; therefore, whoever created the universe would be omnipotent.
          That is reason. If you want evidence, go to the Bible.

          2. I can’t explain the Trinity and no one has.

        • 1. No, “universe” doesn’t equal “everything.” There could be a multiverse.

          No, the Bible doesn’t provide evidence.

          2. Then you shouldn’t accept it. Or do you have no use for evidence?

        • MR

          He’s sounding a bit like our Ed D. “…For the Bible tells me so. ‘Nuff said.”

        • Two Mr. Eds? My cup sloppeth over.

        • David Cromie

          It is fallacious to claim that the so-called ‘bible’ is proof of itself! Circular arguments get us nowhere.

        • Ed Senter

          Show where my logic is circular.

        • David Cromie

          English comprehension (and logic) are obviously quite foreign to you!

        • Greg G.

          His logic cannot be circular because the radius is zero.

        • Hermit

          So if I create a model universe that is too complex for you to understand (not difficult) then I qualify as a god thingie?

          How about if I create a model universe that is easy for even a moron to understand? Would that still qualify me as a god thingie?

        • adam

          I see what you did there……..

        • Ed Senter

          Since the universe already exists, anything you made would be just a rearrangement of matter and energy.
          But whoever created the universe out of nothing, it would be God.

        • adam

          ” nothing, it would be God.”

          Yep, God is nothing, at least we agree on that.

        • Hermit

          There is compelling evidence that your imaginary god thingies were a syncretion by the relatively late Canaanite civilisation (some of whom became the Hebrews), and so your god thingies were dependent on humans inventing them, rather than them inventing anything, let alone inventing a universe far beyond their inventor’s mental competence, billions of years before any humans had evolved.

          There is no evidence, from the Big Bang until hominids came onto the scene, that anything was “created” (intentionally made). Instead there is overwhelming compelling evidence that that the universe instantiated as a result of a gravitational fluctuation and so was not “created … out of nothing” but arose from simple processes which continue today.

          Everything in the universe is already connected to everything else in the universe. So a “rearrangement of matter and energy” would instantiate a new universe. There is no evidence that this has ever occurred.

        • Ed Senter

          Where did these “simple processes” come from. The best I have heard is “I don’t know”.
          A Catholic priest came up with the Big Bang. It supports the claim that the Hebrew God spoke and not a thing became everything.

          Maybe the syncretion is not what you think but a true belief followed by several caricatures of that truth.

        • Greg G.

          That was Georges Lemaître. He came up with the idea through science, not religion. He said:

          If the theory of relativity had also been necessary for salvation, it would have been revealed to Saint Paul or to Moses.”
          ― Georges Edouard Lemaître

          From the Wikipedia page on him:

          By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation, stating that the theory was neutral and there was neither a connection nor a contradiction between his religion and his theory.[20][21] When Lemaître and Daniel O’Connell, the Pope’s science advisor, tried to persuade the Pope not to mention Creationism publicly anymore, the Pope agreed. He persuaded the Pope to stop making proclamations about cosmology.[22] While a devout Roman Catholic, he was against mixing science with religion,[23] though he also was of the opinion that these two fields of human experience were not in conflict.

          Lemaître would tell you to shut up, too.

        • Hermit

          All universes are defined by quantum indeterminacy during formation, which determines not only how long they last, but also what is possible and impossible in that universe.

          Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity implied a starting point for spacetime after the Planck epoch (10^-43 seconds) and multiple cosmologists, including Alexander Friedmann and Willem de Sitter, independently proposed “Big Bang” like theories, the last of which was Georges Lemaître who proposed a “Firework” theory which proposed a “hypothesis of the primeval atom”. Today this view is obsolete, as we know that the Big Bang was not a singularity, but the standard Lambda-CDM model is based on his work combined with Andrei Linde et al‘s chaotic inflation theory which unifies quantum physics, relativity and astrophysics and predicts a multiverse.

          Lemaitre himself warned against naive interpretations of his work as speaking to religion, “…As far as I can see, such a theory remains entirely outside any metaphysical or religious question. It leaves the materialist free to deny any transcendental Being. He may keep, for the bottom of space-time, the same attitude of mind he has been able to adopt for events occurring in nonsingular places in space-time. For the believer, it removes any attempt at familiarity with God…” [Rodney D. Holder, ‎Simon Mitton (2013) “Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy”, Springer]

          The oldest extant Hebrew scriptures date to about 200 BCE, and were assembled during and edited after the fifth century BCE, and the Hebrews only become differentiated from the surrounding Canaanite population between the sixth and seventh century BCE (though apologists have tried to lay claim to an ambiguous mention of the utter destruction of a wandering tribe of homeless people around the time of the Late Bronze Age Collapse). The Enûma Elish dates to no later than the 18th century BCE and likely earlier, placing it at least a millennium before the Hebrew borrowed their creation stories. See https://goo.gl/Ax3i0p “Once Upon A Time in Genesis” for a brief analysis of the derivation of the Hebrew myths, some likely sources and the problems inherent to them.

        • Ed Senter

          “There is no conflict between science and religion.” -Georges Lemaitre
          The best science can do is explain the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of existence. It can not answer ‘why’.
          You can come up with multiple models of universes and the only ones who will understand are the “programmers” who discovered the models. You could come up with the absolute correct explanation for how the universe exists and it would not conflict with the view that “God spoke and not a thing became everything.”
          Only the first couple of chapters of the Bible deals with creation. There is very little about the antediluvian period. Nevertheless, the Bible records the fall of mankind. The important part starts with the faith of Abram. The Christian position is that God was in Christ reconciling himself to the world. This is a redemption process. That work if not finished.

          To suggest that because ancient civilizations have similar stories, therefore none are correct is not honest.

        • Greg G.

          “There is no conflict between science and religion.” -Georges Lemaitre

          Georges Lemaitre did not take Genesis literally. He thought there was a conflict between science and your religion.

        • Ed Senter

          Catholics do take Genesis literally. They just recognize there is a huge gap of time between Gen 1:1 and 1:2.
          You don’t get to be a Catholic priest unless you swallow the whole program- hook, line and sinker.

        • Greg G.

          atholics are free to believe in Creationism, they are also free to believe in an old earth. Some faithful Catholics believe that God created the universe and all that is in it exactly word for word as it is laid out in Genesis 1 – a young earth. Other good Catholics believe in an old earth. The Church has no defined Dogma regarding the specifics of how the earth and the human body were created. Nor does it think that we have to nail that down to be saved.

          Google the text for the article if you like. It’s a pain in the butt to copy & paste between windows on a phone.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Dick Ed is just talking more shite as usual.

        • Susan

          Catholics do take Genesis literally.

          Show us where George Lemaitre took Genesis literally.

          They just recognize there is a huge gap of time between Gen 1:1 and 1:2.

          Show us where George Lemaitre just recognized a huge gap of time between those two chapters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What a loada ignorant ballix.

          A modern reader of Genesis must bear in mind the principles of biblical exegesis laid down by St. Augustine in his great work De Genesi Ad Litteram (On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis). Augustine taught that whenever reason established with certainty a fact about the physical world, seemingly contrary statements in the Bible must be interpreted accordingly. He opposed the idea of a “Christian account” of natural phenomena in opposition to what could be known by science. He viewed such accounts as “most deplorable and harmful, and to be avoided at any cost,” because on hearing them the non-believer “could hardly hold his laughter on seeing, as the saying goes, the error rise sky-high.”

          “Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine ‘work,’ concluded by the ‘rest’ of the seventh day” (CCC 337)

          “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390)

        • Ignorant Amos

          “There is no conflict between science and religion.” -Georges Lemaitre

          Georges Lemaitre was good at compartmentalization. He was able to leave his dog collar at the door of the laboratory when he put on his lab coat.

          He may have said there is no conflict between science and religion, but he was quick to check the pope to not talk about science and religion in the same sentence.

          By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation, stating that the theory was neutral and there was neither a connection nor a contradiction between his religion and his theory. When Lemaître and Daniel O’Connell, the Pope’s science advisor, tried to persuade the Pope not to mention Creationism publicly anymore, the Pope agreed. He persuaded the Pope to stop making proclamations about cosmology. While a devout Roman Catholic, he was against mixing science with religion, though he also was of the opinion that these two fields of human experience were not in conflict.

          The fact of the matter is, science and religion are in conflict all the time. Then when the science becomes irrefutable the smarter religious know when it is prudent to back off.

          Only by ignoring the elephant in the room could you repeat such an asinine claim like there is no conflict between science and religion.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/why-science-and-religion-_1_b_879022.html

        • Ed Senter

          1. Christianity does not depend on any “inner sense”. Christianity depends on a fact- the fact of the resurrection. The resurrection was a miracle. You can search for evidence of the resurrection all over the internet just like you search for these other articles.

          2. Science is based only on that which can be measured by the senses. Science has not ruled out any of the claims of Christianity. That makes science and religion compatible- not in conflict.

        • Michael Neville

          Christianity depends on a fact- the fact of the resurrection.

          The resurrection is not a fact. It’s a story unsupported by evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The resurrection is not a fact and there is nothing on the internet that verifies that it was a fact.

          Science is based only on that which can be measured by the senses.

          The stupid, it burns.

          Science has not ruled out any of the claims of Christianity.

          Yes, it really has. From Adam & Eve being the first pair of humans on the planet, to the Earth not being the centre of the solar system….and dead people don’t come back to life because they can’t…and much more.

          That makes science and religion compatible- not in conflict.

          Ballix.

          That YahwehJesus created the universe and everything in it, is a religious claim that is not compatible with science.

          That’s just for starters.

        • Ed Senter

          Do you even know what ‘science’ is, ignorant? With your attitude, there is nothing that science has not determined. How do you know that the ‘scientific method’ is even valid?
          Question: What is the mind? How does a sentient being know that he is aware?
          Science can explain brain synapsis, chemical reactions, and even break down some of the genetic elements; but, it has yet explained the how and why the mind thinks.

          The Bible does not rule out evolution any more than science has not ruled out that Adam and Eve were the first sentient beings. Neither has science ruled out that God created the universe. Miracles are just something that science has yet to explain.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do you even know what ‘science’ is, ignorant?

          Oh ffs behave yerself. It seems that I’m not the one who is deluded into thinking he’s not ignorant. It’s about what is your problem.

          With your attitude, there is nothing that science has not determined.

          Another fallacy to add to you list, the straw man.

          How do you know that the ‘scientific method’ is even valid?

          Maybe it’s because it works. It has an impeccable track record unsurpassed by any alternative.

          If you have an alternative method that can do everything science can do and more, get it wrote up, because I’m sure there is a bag of Nobel prizes awaiting you.

          Science can explain brain synapsis, chemical reactions, and even break down some of the genetic elements; but, it has yet explained the how and why the mind thinks.

          Science is working on it. It has done more to answer the questions than any other method. It may never get everything answered, but it’s the best we have. God-did-it is not a reasonable alternative am afraid.

          The Bible does not rule out evolution any more than science has not ruled out that Adam and Eve were the first sentient beings.

          Given the mountain of evidence in support of evolution, the buybull can’t possibly rule out evolution. Science, on the other hand, has ruled out that Adam & Eve were the first sentient beings.

          Neither has science ruled out that God created the universe. Miracles are just something that science has yet to explain.

          Oh deary me, the cat is out of the bag.

          Science has made the God hypothesis unnecessary. No God required.

          When any miracle claims do get explained, I will guarantee the explanation will be like every time previously, a natural one. Until then they are fanciful unexplained woo woo.

        • adam

          ” With your attitude, there is nothing that science has not determined.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49a0c32d34d03acc446ec009ee1ac4cb1eab59d923ac380ea760fa51a583f64f.png

          ” How do you know that the ‘scientific method’ is even valid?”

          Well we can start by testing how it works in reality.

          So science has provided cell phones, medicine, housing, food production, etc.

          “it has yet explained the how and why the mind thinks.”

          YET, is the key phrase here.

          Science can already read minds, treat epilepsy with medication instead of trying to exorcize ‘demons’

          “The Bible does not rule out evolution”

          Six days and having to rest a whole day rules out evolution.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a92d7da9e7a995a9b958f7e40a354ab3fa5d72a4563067f29d0cb6178258e15.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          To suggest that because ancient civilizations have similar stories, therefore none are correct is not honest.

          So how do you know which one’s are correct if any? What method do you use to support your assertion…other than your confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and wishful thing that is of course?

          It seems to me that until one or more can be demonstrated to be correct, the default position should be none are correct. To suggest otherwise is what is actually being dishonest. Let me guess, you have a particular ancient civilizations similar story out of all of them, as being correct, right? Well demonstrate why any of us here should accept it as anymore correct than any other ancient civilisations religious stories?

          Pro tip: Don’t try citing the buybull again as it’s own evidence that it is correct. You’ve been explained why that is folly.

        • Ed Senter

          “The proof of a prophet is whether or not his prophecies come true.”
          The Pharisees demanded a miracle from Jesus to prove he was the Messiah. Jesus said, “the only miracle you will see is the miracle of Jonah. Three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the son of man be. On the 3rd day, will be the resurrection.” Jesus rose from the dead 3 days after he was crucified.
          We are currently living in the “last generation” since Israel returned to Jerusalem. 30 years from now, if you are still alive and are still an atheist, you can proudly proclaim it was truly “buybull”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A Catholic priest came up with the Big Bang.

          Wait…it wasn’t the Hebrew God then?

          Anyway, it wasn’t a Catholic priest that came up with the expanding universe theory first. It was a Russian physicist named Alexander Friedmann.

          http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/scientists_friedmann.html

          Friedmann in 1922 introduced the idea of an expanding universe that contained moving matter; Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaître would later independently reach the same conclusion in 1927.

          The term “big bang” came much later and was meant as a pejorative against those not in the camp of the steady state theory. The term was coined by Fred Hoyle in 1949.

          It supports the claim that the Hebrew God spoke and not a thing became everything.

          Nope…it really doesn’t and that you think it does just shows another facet of your ignorance.

          By the way, when was there “not a thing”?

        • Ed Senter

          When was there “not a thing”?
          Infinite regression is not a fallacy.

        • epeeist

          My copy-paste response since this gets repeated so often:

          The original equations came from a Jew, Albert Einstein, who didn’t believe in a personal god. The first exact solution of these was by a Soviet physicist and engineer,
          Alexander Friedman. This solution was independently rediscovered by Lemaitre. The idea of a dynamic universe was supported by the observations of Edwin Hubble, someone who was probably a deist.

          Lemaître also put forward the idea of a “primeval atom” which underwent some kind of radioactive decay to produce the universe. This is a big bang theory, but it is not the big bang theory. This was produced by another Soviet physicist, George Gamow, who migrated to the US, his theory was disparagingly referred to
          as the “Big Bang” theory by the British physicist Fred Hoyle who had no time for religion.

          Incidentally when Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism Lemaître and the the papal scientific advisor persuaded the pope from making proclamations about cosmology.

        • Ed Senter

          Funny, no Jew believes in a “personal God”. That’s a fact.
          “Big Bang” was more or less a pejorative term. The point is no knows how the universe started. God is as good an answer as any of them.
          Certainly, no model universe has disproven God as the first cause.

        • Greg G.

          Actually, Alan Guth’s model shows that no God is necessary for his hypothesis.

        • Ed Senter

          You mean the universe started from “almost nothing” versus “something”?

        • Greg G.

          Nope, just nothing.

        • David Cromie

          The term ‘christian’ was originally was originally pejorative too! So what?

        • epeeist

          The point is no knows how the universe started.

          Yep

          God is as good an answer as any of them.

          Nope, that’s just an argument from ignorance, especially if you are referring to a specific god (Yahweh/Jesus?) given the number that humans have invented over the millennia.

          Certainly, no model universe has disproven God as the first cause.

          And the classic theist dishonest attempt to shift the burden. You want to claim that your god created the universe? Fine, then you demonstrate this, your god is not the null hypothesis.

        • Michael Neville

          Just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you. –Dara O’Briain

        • Ed Senter

          Your bias is noted.
          Saying that God is a possible cause is not an argument from ignorance. I would say that an argument from ignorance is saying “no god could have created the universe.”
          Until science determines a first cause, God could be a null hypothesis.
          So, you have it backwards.

        • epeeist

          Your bias is noted.

          As is your lack of knowledge and understanding of informal logic.

          Until science determines a first cause, God could be a null hypothesis.

          And there we go again, another argument from ignorance.

          Oh, and begging the question in that you are also presuming a first cause.

        • Ed Senter

          The kicker is that I accept the Bible as containing the truth. It says God was the first cause.

          I am also well trained in the sciences and reasoning, so go figure.
          I have yet to find a conflict between science and God.

        • Susan

          I am also well trained in the sciences and reasoning.

          And I am an astronaut and a world-class ballerina.

          I have yet to find a conflict between science and God.

          Whoa! Then, stop the presses!.

          (Tiny point. epeeist was addressing the problems with your logic. He didn’t question your “science”.)

        • epeeist

          The kicker is that I accept the Bible as containing the truth. It says God was the first cause.

          Sigh, and how do you know the bible is true?

          I am also well trained in the sciences and reasoning

          Actually I see you more of a poster boy for Dunning-Kruger since you have demonstrated little in terms of understanding or knowledge of science or logic.

        • Greg G.

          I am also well trained in the sciences and reasoning, so go figure.
          I have yet to find a conflict between science and God.

          Anybody who argues that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan as if it was a historical event does not understand science and its implications.

        • David Cromie

          Most adults have given up believing in their beloved childish fairy tales by the time they grew up and developed their faculty for critical thinking, and could tell the difference between fact and fiction.

        • Ed Senter

          And I have used my critical thinking skills to determine the Bible is not fiction.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Those skills, such as they are, are either ridiculously poor, or have really let ya down.

          Talking animals, flying people, impossible big boats. parting seas, standing still Sun,…the list is immense.

          Then there is the reams of absolute nonsense, here’s a couple off the top of my head…

          She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. ~Ezekiel 23:20

          Ye shall not round the corners of your heads.~ Leviticus 19:27

          All that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. ~ Leviticus 9:10

          Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. ~ 2 Kings 2:23-25

          Whosoever … hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookback, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken … He shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries.~ Leviticus 21:17-23

          “Thank God Bible-believing Christians don’t take the Good Book as seriously as they claim to.” ~Valerie Tarico

        • Greg G.

          Nothing better than Ezekiel 23 to make you commit adultery in your heart. It’s pornographic literature.

        • Ed Senter

          What is amazing is that the old testament reveals how man totally fails in regards to the law. Only a small remnant ever trusted God. Yet, in spite of this failure, the Jews still recorded this failure. If no man could keep the law, then why was the law given? Do you know the answer to this riddle, or do all you have to offer is juvenile mockery?

        • MNb

          “If no man could keep the law, then why was the law given?”
          Because a bunch of literate fanatics decided to write them down.
          Are all your riddles that simple?

        • Ed Senter

          God wrote the law in stone on Mt. Sinai. Moses, upon seeing the Israelites worshipping idols, threw those tablets down shattering them. The tablets that were placed into the Ark of the Covenant were written by Moses.

          The law was given to prove the serpent (liar) wrong. You can know good and evil and still not do it.

        • Greg G.

          Where is the Ark of the Covenant now?

        • MNb

          1. Irrelevant. You presented a riddle, I answered it and it took me less than two seconds. You are too dishonest to admit it.
          2. How does that work, “God wrote the law in stone on Mt. Sinai”? Did your god use hammer and chisel? How can an immaterial god use material things like a hammer and a chisel?

        • Ed Senter

          1. You didn’t answer the riddle.
          2. God wrote the law in stone with his finger.
          What makes you think God is immaterial? The body has more space than matter. Star Trek didn’t invent the transporter room.

        • MNb

          1. Thanks for confirming that you’re a liar for Jesus. What you mean is that I didn’t answer to your satisfaction and that’s because, as I already suspected, you don’t meant it as a honest question but as a rhetorical cheapo.
          2. What makes me think is christians like you telling me so. Beyond spacetime and stuff.

          But go ahead. Define your god as a material entity. Then please tell me what his mass and volume is, or if you prefer subatomic features: spin, colour charge and mass/energy. Also tell us how you measured those features of your go. You can also begin with telling us how many fingers your god has, how long and thick they they are; if he has a thumb that’s opposable or not and again above all: how you found all your answers out.
          That or admit that “god is material” is also meaningless.
          But of course you being dishonest to the core of your bones won’t do either. That’s a falsifiable prediction, so you’re even more invited.

        • Ed Senter

          Me: Why was the law given?
          You: Because it was written down.
          Who is the liar? Answer- YOU

        • Michael Neville

          Why was the law given? Because it gave the priests an easy job with no heavy lifting, a lot of prestige, and authority over other people. Claiming it came from a mysterious god that only the priests had access to was an easy sell to the gullible, especially if the priests had the authority to banish or kill anyone who objected.

        • MNb

          You asked: “Do you know the answer to this riddle?”
          Now you confirm that not only I not the answer but also gave it.
          Still you also wrote that I didn’t answer the riddle.
          You deliberately wrote something down you that isn’t true.So you’re the liar.
          Worse – you’re getting boring. Like so many christians you are neither capable of writing anything substantial nor of admitting that your non-arguments are exactly that: non-arguments. Yawn. Our conversation is over until you bring up something interesting and/or funny.

        • Ed Senter

          You choose to argue semantics. Your answer was a non-answer.
          I offered substance and it went right over your head.

        • adam

          ” If no man could keep the law, then why was the law given?”

          So God can torture MOST people

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bfb7cbb09a39ae8911c3879d7def113ab5277eb302961e16b02b2a649a0e7d6.jpg

        • God is as good an answer as any of them.

          “God did it” has never been shown to be the cause of anything. By contrast, “God didn’t do it (though many thought that he did)” has been shown to be true for lightning, famine, plague, and myriad other natural phenomena.

          You’re backing the wrong horse.

        • Ed Senter

          Whether or not I am backing the wrong horse is yet to be determined.

        • Susan

          God is as good an answer as any of them.

          I would take that seriously from someone who understood all the models from all of the experts on the subject of the universe, then defined “God” and was able to show that it was “as good an answer as any”.

          Can you do that?

        • Susan

          no model universe has disproven God as the first cause.

          Why should it have to?

          None of them seem to require an incoherent, unevidenced being.

        • adam

          ” It supports the claim that the Hebrew God spoke and not a thing became everything.”

          It does no such thing.

          There is no mention of your Hebrew God in the Big Bang

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • Hermit

          You are equivocating with “nothing”. If I create a model universe, then to anything in that universe, there was nothing before its instantiation and whatever experience they have is by definition (a universe is everything, imaginary and non-imaginary, which can be experienced) limited to those things in that universe, with nothing outside of it.

          So please answer my questions.

          Aside from the strong indications that we might be living in such a model universe, it is mathematically certain that if it ever will be possible to create such a model universe, that we are in such a universe. So, if this is a model universe, is the programmer necessarily a god thingie?

        • Ed Senter

          Would such a universe negate the possible existence of an omnipotent being?

        • Greg G.

          Your definition of omnipotence negates the possible existence of such a being.

        • Hermit

          Some christers assert that they have one god thingie, but the claim is incoherent, contradictory and rebutted by other christers.

        • Ed Senter

          You can’t understand this?: The only requirement for God to be God is that he must be omnipotent?
          No one has rebutted that yet.

        • Greg G.

          There is a requirement that takes precedent over that for God to be God: The god thingy must exist outside of your imagination. An omnipotent imaginary being is not omnipotent, it is just an imaginary being.

        • Ed Senter

          So, one must prove the hypothetical exists before the hypothetical is true?

        • Greg G.

          You said “The only requirement for God to be God is that he must be omnipotent” I said there was another requirement.

          A hypothetical might be true or false. One must prove it is true before one can honestly say it is true.

        • adam

          “No one has rebutted that yet”

          Of course they have, and Greg G. does again below.

        • epeeist

          1. To define something is to limit it.

          And to avoid defining it is the standard tactic amongst theists to protect their god from falsification.

          2. So you agree? If God exists, there could only be one?

          The critical bit is whether your god actually exists or not, so far you haven’t demonstrated this.

        • Ed Senter

          No, the critical point is admitting the logic. If God exists, there could only be one.

        • Greg G.

          If we grant that premise, we can point out that God lacks the ability to co-exist with an omnipotent being. If we can exist with an omnipotence then it is logically possible to do, But God would be unable to do that logically possible thing, therefore we have proved that God doesn’t exist.

        • epeeist

          No, the critical point is admitting the logic.

          So who taught you logic?

          If God exists, there could only be one.

          And the conditional is the critical bit, there is no substantive evidence for the existence of such an entity.

        • David Cromie

          Where is the ‘logic’ in your statement? If Osiris exists, then there could only be one Osiris (same could be said of all the other thousands of manmade ‘gods’ of history)! The trick is to prove beyond peradventure that any ‘gods’, or other supernatural entities, actually exist. Do you have any such proof, even if only for your favourite, supposed, ‘god’?

        • Ed Senter

          There can not be two or more omnipotent beings. That is self evident.
          And just in case you claim that I have not defined ‘omnipotent’, it means most powerful/ none greater.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There can not be two or more omnipotent beings. That is self evident.

          Nope… you are doing that shit ya do.

          A good God and an evil god twin could co-op exist and both be all powerful.

          And just in case you claim that I have not defined ‘omnipotent’, it means most powerful/ none greater.

          Yeah…. that’s not the all powerful definition from earlier. Stuff your most powerful and none greater shite.

          Twins could be both all powerful…fuck, a herd of Space Ponies seems a far better option. A twin wouldn’t be greater, even triplet gods… quadruplets? Why can.t heaven be ..ah fuck, nevermind….am on a two day birthday bender and BBC4 is doing a psychodelical night and I’m reminiscing Fuck off.

        • David Cromie

          On the other hand, there is no irrefutable evidence that there are any ‘omnipotent’ ‘gods’! You still have not supplied evidence to the contrary, but merely repeat your unsubstantiated opinion, ad nauseum. Repeated superstitious BS is still BS!

        • Ed Senter

          Do you know the difference between logic and evidence?
          Logic is the study of good and bad reasoning.
          Evidence is the substance that supports a claim.
          The evidence is the Bible.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible is the claim that needs the evidentiary support.

        • Ed Senter

          So, you agree that the Bible is evidence for the claim that God exists, but you just don’t believe the evidence?

        • Greg G.

          I said the opposite of that, Ed. You are having trouble distinguishing your wishful thinking from reality. No wonder you can’t shake religion.

        • Susan

          Evidence is the substance that supports a claim

          So, what “substance” do you have to support your claim?

          The evidence is the Bible..

          No. The claim is “the Bible”.

          What support do you have for it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ed is too stupid to realise that by his own fucked up logic….

          The Book of Mormon is evidence.

          The Guru Granth Sahib is evidence.

          The Qu’ran is evidence.

          The Scarlet Letter is evidence.

          The Philosophers Stone is evidence.

          …and on and on and on and on story books…ad infinitum…evidence, my arse.

          WHICH GODS DO NOT EXIST?
          No Gods Wrote Holy Books

          by James Leonard Park

          Most of the world’s religions have one or more sacred books. And usually they claim some form of divine authorship of these books. But in most cases the world’s religions do not agree that the holy books of the other religions are equally sacred or inspired.

          The most authoritarian forms of organized religion have the tallest tales to tell about how their scriptures came into being. In some cases these claims amount to saying that their holy books were written personally by their gods. More subtle claims explain how the human authors were inspired by gods.

          Educated and intelligent people everywhere cannot accept claims of gods writing books literally. Did the gods write with quill pens? And why did these gods always write in the languages of the people who claim the holy books?

          https://s3.amazonaws.com/aws-website-jamesleonardpark—freelibrary-3puxk/CY-BOOKS.html

        • Ed Senter

          The claim is God exists.
          The logic says, if God exists, the only attribute he must have is omnipotence.
          The evidence is the Bible.
          Get it?

        • Susan

          The claim is God exists.

          The claim is Yahwehjesus exists.

          The logic says, if God exists, the only attribute he must have is omnipotence.

          Then, you are claiming an agent exists who is merely omnipotent. That is not Yahwehjesus.

          All you are saying is that you are only claiming an omnipotent being. It possesses no other necessary qualities.

          As you don’t seem to have any grasp on any of the formal implications of any form of omnipotence, you have nothing.

          Also, any formal consequences of any formal implications of omnipotence are beyond the scope of any human to evaluate and/or demonstrate..

          The evidence is the Bible

          How so?

          Get it?

          I think I get it.

          You don’t seem to at all. .

        • Ignorant Amos

          Then just admit that your God is malevolent because it doesn’t want to prevent unnecessary suffering and we can move on ya Coco?

          Get it?

        • David Cromie

          There is no irrefutable, falsifiable evidence that any ‘god’ exists, including your favourite supposed example. It is fallacious to argue that something is true because you read it in the so-called ‘bible’, since that is a circular argument. Exactly the same reasoning you rely on would also hold for the truth that Harry Potter exists!

        • Ed Senter

          Wrong!
          The writers of the books of the Bible claim they are espousing truth.
          J.K. Rowlings knows she writes fiction.

        • adam

          “The writers of the books of the Bible claim they are espousing truth.”

          Wrong!

          The writers KNEW it was fiction.

          It the sellers that want to claim truth:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/54c8d1c0c0ee69b482e4c8d13f5c2fb8b2c0eec3f40b07115fd17a69716ed936.jpg

        • David Cromie

          The so-called ‘bible’ cannot be used to prove the truth of anything contained within it, that is the fallacy of the circular argument! What the so-called ‘bible’ lacks is the irrefutable, falsifiable evidence for the reality of its supposed ‘god’?

        • Greg G.

          The Bible can be separated into individual books that could corroborate one another, but the canonization process was an exercise in cherry picking. We know some of the writings were derived from other writings so they are not independent. The gospels and Acts are fiction based on the literature of the day, more like fan fiction. The epistles get their information from the OT, not recent memories. So it is a circular argument with false premises.

        • David Cromie

          “The Bible can be separated into individual books that could corroborate one another…”. Not really, since they frequently contradict each other! The whole ‘bible’ is based on myths, legends and folklore, cobbled together from Pagan sources, for the nefarious purposes of the various scribes.

        • Ed Senter

          You are the one making the circular argument: “the Bible is not true because it can’t be true, and anyone who claims it is true is a liar, because the Bible is not true…”

          I am offering the Bible as the truth of the matter. You are free to believe it or not.

        • David Cromie

          Your attempt at ‘reasoning’ is even more stupid than your English comprehension skills! If this is your approach to reading the so-called ‘bible’ then you obviously have problems with understanding what you read there too (perhaps you rely on others to read a simplified version for you (no words bigger than two syllables), and then telling you what to think/believe).

        • Ignorant Amos

          Too dumb for words.

        • David Cromie

          “The claim is God exists”. Again, where is the evidence?

        • adam
        • Ed Senter

          Hint: google “bible”. Whether or not you choose to believe it, does not in any way not make it evidence.

        • adam
        • David Cromie

          I have no need to google ‘bible’, when what I ask for is the irrefutable evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’, as claimed in this book of Pagan myths, legends, and folklore, actually exists. The so-called ‘bible cannot logically answer that question.

        • Ed Senter

          By your response, I can’t determine if you have examined the evidence and don’t believe it, or, refuse to look at the evidence and dismiss it out right.

        • David Cromie

          You have completely missed the point: it is impossible to examine non-existent evidence!

        • Ed Senter

          If your point is “the Bible does not exist”, you are correct, I missed the point…

        • adam

          “If your point is “the Bible does not exist”, you are correct, I missed the point…”

          Exists as mythology, unreliable as history

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e6eceefda06b08605b3653301b5e246ee7fbd6ce2a594a4e6a0d18e41ce10f5.jpg

        • David Cromie

          Do you not understand plain English? I ask you again; Where is the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists? That is the crucial question you keep dodging!

        • Ed Senter

          And I keep saying the Bible IS the evidence.
          Why don’t you understand that?

        • Kodie

          That is motherfucking stupid, and you’re too motherfucking stupid to understand how motherfucking stupid it is. End of discussion, dummy!

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Wizardess appears….thank fuck…james warren doesn’t like pejorative language much…personally I could give zero fucks..but he has issue….like has been witnessed before.

        • Kodie

          I haven’t had enough time to keep up until summer’s over. I have now made it to the first page!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know how ya feel…the summer holidays are over and the grand kids are back to school, so more free time now.

        • adam

          “By your response, I can’t determine if you have examined the evidence
          and don’t believe it, or, refuse to look at the evidence and dismiss it
          out right.”

          Dismiss it outright

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/831e274b356c03b8778b1d9672b8ab244560e2fda7a4cd57b0436d5bda02694f.jpg

        • MR

          And why the need to point to a thousands-year-old (collection of) book(s) when “God” (and Jesus!) supposedly exist(s) and is/are actively working in the world today?

        • Michael Neville

          But the Bible is needed because that’s where God revealed himself. He doesn’t reveal himself today because he’s too busy not revealing himself.

        • David Cromie

          What else are we to point to, if not the source texts for a demented, superstitious, belief in supposed supernatural entities, for whose real existence believers can not adduce any irrefutable evidence?

        • epeeist

          Do you know the difference between logic and evidence?

          This site is costing me an absolute fortune in irony meters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The evidence is the Bible.

          No it isn’t, you are being stupid. And illogical.

          Using the buybull to verify the buybull is circulus in demonstrando a.k.a.
          circular reasoning, and it is a logical fallacy.

          X is true because of Y.
          Y is true because of X.

          The Bible is the Word of God because God tells us it is… in the Bible.

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/66/Circular-Reasoning

          Evidence is the substance that supports a claim.

          Not if it is not really evidence and just begging the question a.k.a. petitio principii, which is also logically fallacious.

          Claim X assumes X is true.
          Therefore, claim X is true.

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/53/Begging_the_Question

          Do you know the difference between logic and evidence?

          And it is patently obvious to everyone here that you do not…except yerself that is apparently.

          So asinine with just the one head.

        • Ed Senter

          I have never said the Bible is true because it is true. You are free to believe it or not. It is, however, most definitely evidence.
          What I have said is the Bible proves itself in the sense that if you are wondering who is the serpent in Genesis, you must go to other parts of the Bible to see that the serpent is Satan/the devil. To understand the Bible, you must put on the “Jesus glasses”.

        • David Cromie

          “Do you know the difference between logic and evidence?”. Yes, but you obviously don’t, any more than you know the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’!

        • Greg G.

          If we can co-exist with an omnipotent being, then it is logically possible to co-exist with an omnipotent being. Therefore, either an omnipotent being must be able to co-exist with other omnipotent beings or omnipotent beings cannot exist.

        • Tommy

          I’ve never thought about that.

        • Tommy

          What’s the difference between a real omnipotent being who’s existence is not evident and cannot be proven in any way and an imaginary omnipotent being?

        • Susan

          What’s the difference between a real omnipotent being who’s existence is not evident and cannot be proven in any way and an imaginary omnipotent being?

          Well, now. You are only asking that because your world view blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

          And you are asserting a position you can’t defend.

          Can you DISPROVE it?

          I’ve spent years (as have many others here and elsewhere) asking this simple, obvious question.

          No answers so far.

          Just the same raggedy arguments that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

          And a good deal of poo flung at you for asking it.

          In this case, Ed will probably say it’s a stupid question. But he can’t show why.

        • Ed Senter

          There is evidence for a real omnipotent being.

        • Tommy

          There’s evidence that you didn’t answer my question.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ed is good at that malarkey…par for the course though.

        • Ed Senter

          The real omnipotent being is hidden!

        • Tommy

          Just like all the imaginary ones!

        • Greg G.

          The existence of suffering is evidence that a real omnipotent being is not benevolent. Who wants to spend eternity with an omnipotent sadist?

        • Ed Senter

          I have already proven that conclusion is wrong. Only an intellectually dishonest- pseudo intellectual atheist would say such a thing.

        • Greg G.

          Your wishful thinking is interfering with your perception of reality again.

          You tried and failed many times without coming close.

        • Susan

          I have already proven that conclusion is wrong.

          You’ve got to be kidding.

          You have never even shown that you understand Greg’s point, let alone proven it wrong.

          Christ on a cracker

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope.

          Nothing you have said so far on this has even remotely contained evidence for an omnipotence.

        • Ed Senter

          The Bible is the evidence- believe it or not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And just in case you claim that I have not defined ‘omnipotent’, it means most powerful/ none greater.

          Except that is not the definition of the word. You are making it that just to sustain your nonsense.

          It means all powerful…like we agreed upon a few days ago. From omnis “all” (see omni-) + potens (genitive potentis) “powerful” (see potent). Not most powerful, not none greater, though an omnipotence could be both those things.

          There is no reason why there could not be more than one entity that is all powerful.

          The buybull undo’s the concept of Gods omnipotence in many places.

          But here is the rub, the concept of omnipotence is complete nonsense. It is just a word.

          You couldn’t possibly know something has omnipotence because for that you’d need to be omnipotent.

          Any powerful, unearthly, being could appear to us to be omnipotent. It could trick minds, perform tricks, even cause floods and inspire books to be written, but, we would have no way of knowing if it was truly all-powerful or merely very powerful. Arthur C Clarke famously wrote ‘Any technology, sufficiently advanced, will seem like magic’ and likewise, any particularly powerful being can seem as God to us. Assuming that God is all-powerful simply because it is said to have facilitated miracles is not a sensible extrapolation.

          http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/omnipotence.html

        • Ed Senter

          What I have said is that the only attribute God must have is omnipotence. For God to be God he must be omnipotent.
          I have read your buddy’s comments (vexen crabtree) and found them to be nothing but contrarian and presumptive.
          God created the world the way it is. To presume God could of created it a different way, therefore he is not omnipotent is just stupid.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What I have said is that the only attribute God must have is omnipotence.

          And you continually ignore, or deny, the implications for that claim.

          For God to be God he must be omnipotent.

          And because there is no entity that can be omnipotent, but especially the God of Christianity, you have just demonstrated no God. Thanks.

          Can God lie and sin?

          Hebrews 6:18 says, “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.”

          Possible actions also include coming to know that one has never been omnipotent, which, since no one can know falsehoods, no omnipotent being could do. Additionally, this kind of view causes problems for various traditional religious views, such as the assertion by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews that it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18) since lying is a possible action.

          According to the New Testament, “God cannot be tempted with evil” (James 1:13) and it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Traditionally, these divine inabilities are taken quite seriously, and are said to follow from God’s attribute of impeccability or necessary moral perfection. According to this view, it is impossible for God to do evil. It seems, however, that no being could be both omnipotent and necessarily morally perfect, since an omnipotent being could do anything, but there are many things a necessarily morally perfect being could not do.

          http://www.iep.utm.edu/omnipote/

          To insist a being having omnipotence, you must make a trade off, but to make that trade, you have to deny your God some quality. You are logically fucked, but too dishonest to admit it.

          I have read your buddy’s comments (vexen crabtree) and found them to be nothing but contrarian and presumptive.

          No doubt you do…but can you refute them? I’m going to got out on a limb here based on your performance to date and suggest not.

          God created the world the way it is.

          Nah, only ignorant dunderheads think that. Science is doing a better job of explanation, no gods required.

          To presume God could of created it a different way, therefore he is not omnipotent is just stupid.

          I don’t presume anything about gods, I think the whole idea of God is incoherent, hence my igtheism. You are the fool claiming God’s omnipotence and then putting restrictions on that omnipotence. You are doing it here too.

          What I’m presuming, based on the definition of omnipotence, i.e. all-powerful, that any claim being made to an omnipotent being that could not have created the world differently, is not, by definition, omnipotent. Therefore you are the one being the stupid dick, Ed.

        • Ed Senter

          Can God lie and sin?
          The question is absurd on its face.
          Since God is omnipotent, God is the source of all truth. The question, therefore, is not can God lie, the question is would God lie? Why would he?

          Since God is omnipotent, and sin means to fall short or miss the mark (hamartia), who would God be less than? The question is absurd.

        • Michael Neville

          Since God is omnipotent, God is the source of all truth.

          Two unsupported assertions. First you need to show that your favorite god is omnipotent. Then you need to shows that omnipotence begets truthfulness. An evil or indifferent god could be omnipotent but not truthful.

        • adam
        • Hermit

          Omnipotence is, like “god hood”, an imaginary quality, lacking defined attributes, which has not been and probably cannot be intersubjectively verified. Depending on the definition, it is either incompatible with our universe (which contains finite energy making omnipotence impossible), or is a meaningless claim (for example the god thingie could do anything but chooses not to do anything that would break the laws of the universe) which would apply to everyone.

          So any number of things could have the second and none could have the first, making your claim, “Therefore, logically, there can only be one God” a classical deepity.

        • Aaron Browne

          And god being from time indefinite to time indefinite cannot also be intersubjectively verified. Which goes for many of his qualities. The counter to your argument is the classic abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence. You dont know, why speculate?

        • Hermit

          You are completely wrong. I didn’t ask about a supposed god thingie, I asked about the intersubjectively verifiable attributes sufficient and necessary to qualify any thing as god thingie. If such attributes do not exist in this universe, which had a defined beginning and will have a defined end, so is not “indefinite”, then no thing can be claimed to possess such attributes, confirming that, in this universe, where all more than imaginary thingies have intersubjectively verifiabnle attributes allowing them to be classified as being more than imaginary, god thingies are purely imaginary thingies.

          Because “the universe is everything, real (I would say more than imaginary) and imaginary that can be experienced”, while “abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence” (sic) the total absence of evidence is sufficient evidence that what you are speculating about is imaginary, because more-than imaginary things possess more than imaginary attributes qualifying them as such.

        • Aaron Browne

          “Abscence of evidence” and “total abscence of evidence” is semantically the same content meaning. Abscence means abscence. That you would concoct theories and philosophies in the abscence of evidence is the epitome of lunacy.

        • Susan

          That you would concoct theories and philosophies in the abscence of evidence is the epitome of lunacy.

          That’s what we try to explain to theists on a regular basis, sometimes as bluntly but more often, much less bluntly.

          I ask them:

          “What are you claiming and how do you support it?”

          Not much luck, so far.

          Any ideas?

        • Aaron Browne

          I argue with hermit regularly and you are a cut and paste carbon copy of her. You are not saying anything new. Please do have a good night

        • Susan

          I argue with hermit regularly and you are a cut and paste carbon copy of her/

          I barely know her. I like the points she made but I’ve seen very few comments of hers here.

          I just met you.

          I see you’re big on shifting the burden of proof.

          I was trying to explain why theists haven’t supported their claims.

          I only explained that I keep asking theists to show me consistent methods by which they separate their claims from other imaginary claims.

          You are not saying anything new.

          Probably not. Someone selling magnetic bracelets or scientology would telll me the same.

          Do people often ask you to separate theist claims from imaginary claims?

          Have you ever thought of providing an honest answer?

        • Hermit

          It seems that you do not understand evidence anymore than you can spell “absence”. “Evidence” is always intersubjectively verifiable, because all significant more than imaginary things have effects which are intersubjectively verifiable.

          Are fairies more than imaginary? How about Zeus? Like any other imaginary things, there is no evidence that these things exist. In the absence of evidence supporting their existence, we safely conclude that these are imaginary things.

          That is due to Ockham’s razor, Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. [William of Okham] (Do not multiply entities more than necessary)

          Or as Hitchens reminded those like yourself, unfamiliar with “Onus probandi” (The burden of proof), “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence”.

          Set theory supports a rigorous approach.

          1) More than imaginary things (“Real things”) are things about which predictions can be made which can be validated by means of intersubjective verification (definition).
          2) Imaginary things are things that can be imagined (definition).
          3) The Universe consists of all things which can be experienced, imaginary and more than imaginary (definition).
          4) All things that can be experienced in the Universe are imaginary, more than imaginary or both (corollary 3).
          5) All imaginary things in the Universe may be placed in the set of imaginary things (tautology).
          6) All more than imaginary things can be imagined (corollary 1).
          7) All things in the Universe may be placed in the set of imaginary things (MP 6 + 5).
          8) For each object in the set of imaginary things which is a more than imaginary object, the object must possess at least one attribute identifying the object and therefore it can be predicted that the object possesses at least that attribute (MP 7 + 1).
          9) Any object that does not have at least one attribute identifying the object is not a more than imaginary thing (MT 8 + 1).
          10) Anything that can detect any property of any thing can be detected (Quantum Mechanics observer effect).
          11) Anything outside the Universe is incapable of determining anything about objects inside the Universe, because if it could determine anything, it could be experienced and would be inside the Universe (MT 3 + 10).
          12) Nothing outside the Universe can determine anything inside the Universe (Contradiction 11).
          13) Nobody to date has been capable of providing intersubjectively verifiable evidence of attributes possible in this Universe which are necessary and sufficient to ensure that a god thingie qualifies to be regarded as a deity. (Conclusion from Internet survey on Disqus over the course of many years).
          14) No attributes which are not possessed by existing more than imaginary things have been identified as necessary to explain any intersubjectively verifiable observations. (physics, cosmology, biology, medicine etc.).
          15) God thingies hypothesised by humans to date are almost certainly imaginary things, because there is no intersubjectively verifiable prediction that can be made about the attributes of god thingies (MP 8 + 13).
          16) God thingies hypothesised by humans to date are almost certainly imaginary things, because there is no intersubjectively validatable necessity for any attribute which might be possessed by hypothesized god thingies which are not already possessed by more than imaginary things (MP 8 + 14).

        • Aaron Browne

          We went through this list already and I pointed out where your argument breaks down. This is an old cut and paste list.

        • Hermit

          1) You don’t argue. You dispute. Invariably in the absence of evidence and reason.

          2) Note that the above asserts, with the method used to justify each assertion, a series of interconnected propositions which tend to support a number of conclusions, including that “all god thingies are imaginary”.

          3) If you wish to overcome that conclusion, you will have to show that some intersubjectively verifiable attributes exist which, if possessed, would be necessary and sufficient to qualify the possessor of such attributes as a god thingie, and that a thing exists where there is intersubjectively verifiable evidence that the thing possesses such attributes.

          4) You have not done this, and for the reasons stated above, cannot do this. It is from https://disqus.com/home/channel/disproofofunattributedgodthingies/discussion/channel-disproofofunattributedgodthingies/responses/, as the articulation there is carefully considered and has proved resistant to much better attacks than any you have advanced to date.

          5) Trying to claim that “the argument breaks down” in the absence of persuasive evidence is insufficient, but please provide a link to where you imagined that you “pointed this out” so that everyone else can determine the accuracy of your assertion for themselves.

        • Susan

          We went through this list already and I pointed out where your argument breaks down

          Where does her argument break down?

        • Greg G.

          Hermit asked Ed for evidence to verify his claims of omnipotence. You came along and admitted that there was no evidence which undercuts Ed’s claim as effectively as Hermit did.

          Evidence of absence where there should be evidence is evidence of absence. Contriving excuses for evidence of absence shows that the proposition is not based on evidence so it that leaves imagination. The claims cannot be distinguished for imagination without evidence.

        • Hermit

          So fairies exist in your universe, and you cannot tell that they are purely imaginary?

        • David Cromie

          Along with unicorns and pink elephants! Or any other supernatural entities that the credulous minds of deluded individuals care to imagine as real.

        • Hermit

          Including the invisible pink unicorn (buhp*).

          *Blessings upon her pinkness.

        • Greg G.

          Including the FSM (burp*)

          * Blessings upon rigatoni pasta.

        • Hermit

          The trouble is that the FSM (burp) is so noodly, while the IPU (buhp) is so, well, invisibly pink, that my heart is quite given to her 😉

        • Hermit
        • Susan

          And god being from time indefinite to time indefinite cannot also be intersubjectively verified. Which goes for many of his qualities.

          Then, on whar basis can anyone believe/claim that it exists?

          the counter to your argument is the classic abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence.

          That qualities are claimed for which there can be no evidential support doesn’t bother me in the least. Not only is there no evidence, the claim is that there can be no evidence.

          If someone claims that there is a buffalo in the top drawer of my dresser, and I look and see no buffalo, I can assume absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

          When someone claims a being exists with qualities no human can possibly evaluate, I don’t believe them until they give me a good reason.

          You don’t know, why speculate?

          It is the person claiming these things that seems to be speculating.

          I just don’t take those speculations seriously until they provide a good reason to take them seriously. .

          Until they show differently, it is imaginary.

          Of course, one can invent any qualities one likes for an imaginary being.

          That doesn’t mean it’s not imaginary.

        • Aaron Browne

          You are entitled to your position. Good night.
          p.s. your unsubstantiated position that god is imaginary also does not bother me in the least. Abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence

        • Susan

          You are entitled to your position.

          Thank goodness.

          Good night.

          Sleep well.

          your unsubstantiated position that god is imaginary

          But it’s not unsubstantiated. Not the position, at least.

          I explained why humans claiming things exist that seem, in principle unsupportable, looks like humans making things up or believing stuff someone else made up.

          My position that without support, it’s imaginary, is not unsubstantiated.

          I am not claiming anything. I am pointing out the weakness of those sorts of claims. Unless you’d like to disporive my Immaterial Snowflake Fairies.

          Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

          That’s what I tell people who don’t believe in my Immaterial Snowflake Fairies.

        • Aaron Browne

          You are invited