How Compelling is Christianity’s Cumulative Case?

How Compelling is Christianity’s Cumulative Case? February 22, 2019

I recently responded to the Argument from Mathematics. Apologist William Lane Craig marvels at how mathematics explains much of the physical world.

But if that is surprising, we must ask Craig what world we should expect to see instead. He offers nothing, so then what is there to be surprised at? (See my post for the complete response.)

William Lane Craig’s bravado

At best, Christian apologists can point to some philosophical ambiguity that they hope to resolve with God, but this ignores the fact that science and math have been the only disciplines from which we’ve ever learned about reality, and the Christians’ discipline of theology has delivered no testable results despite millennia of trying.

At the end of the interview, Craig says:

Honestly, I think [God] is the only explanation on the table. I don’t see what the competing naturalistic hypotheses are.

The very existence of WLC’s proposed answer is in doubt. I don’t know whether to marvel more at his audacity to push a hypothesis with no evidence or his gall to think we’re too stupid to notice. Once again WLC sits at the children’s table. “God did it” doesn’t rise to the level of an actual useful explanation that, y’know, explains things. It’s as useful as “Fairies did it.”

If you have no standards, sure, you can label any string of words an “explanation,” but for the rest of us, an explanation needs to pass some minimum test of credibility. Does it answer more questions than it raises? Does it make new predictions? Is it testable? Falsifiable? Does it seem to be agenda-driven wishful thinking? Has this kind of explanation ever been accepted by science before?

Remember that this is the scholar called “one of Christianity’s leading defenders” and “arguably the world’s foremost defender of historic Christianity,” which say much for the standards within Christian apologetics.

If there are unanswered questions, science goes with, “We don’t know . . . yet.” Let’s stick with that.

This illustrates two problems with how apologists deal with arguments. I’d like to highlight them so you can more quickly spot them in the future.

1. These caltrop arguments mean surprisingly little to apologists

Caltrop arguments are arguments used as a rearguard action. They don’t make much of a positive argument for Christianity and are only used defensively to deflect atheist arguments.

The Argument from Mathematics isn’t a hill that any apologist will defend to the death. They won’t bother since none use it as an argument to support their own faith. They didn’t come to faith after being convinced by this argument (or the Transcendental Argument or the Ontological Argument or the Design Argument or the Moral Argument), and their faith doesn’t rest on them.

They have nothing of consequence at stake. They may enthusiastically defend the Fine Tuning Argument, say, but once science has an explanation, they’ll discard that argument like a used tissue and grope for another. “Well, how about this one?” they’ll ask with the next argument du jour. “Do I get any points this time?” Apologists would trot out the Argument from Flavors or Colors of the Rainbow if they thought this would help, but since these aren’t arguments that they use themselves to ground their own faith, why should any of us find them compelling?

Their argument is simply, “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.” That’s not much of an argument, especially since it bets against science, the only horse that ever wins.

Not only do these arguments form no part of Craig’s evidential foundation, not only does he have no direct evidence supporting his position, but he doesn’t care. He’s content to pretend that an internal conviction of his own correctness trumps any arguments that I could possibly present (more here and here).

2. The failure of the cumulative case

Jim Wallace of the Cold Case Christianity podcast argues that Christianity is historically accurate. He claims that this is a cumulative case, like that built by the prosecution in a murder trial.

I disagree with just about every facet of the argument for the historicity of Christianity, but let’s put that aside. I want to introduce the idea of a Christian cumulative case because that’s what William Lane Craig seems to think he’s building.

A cumulative case for a murder trial might show that the accused had motive, that he is connected to the murder weapon (through fingerprints, say), that he had opportunity (no alibi), that other suspects are poor candidates, and so on. Each successful claim strengthens a single overall case.

Contrast that with the case often made for pseudoscience. Consider how the argument for Bigfoot is often made, for example. Here is a large plaster cast that claims to be the impression of a Bigfoot footprint. Here’s the photo of pressed-down vegetation, claimed to be a sleeping area. Here’s a tuft of fur. Here’s a story from a hunter who heard something scary. They’re from different places and times, there is no connection between them, and they invite other explanations besides a Bigfoot. The Bigfoot proponent admits that any one factoid is weak but hopes that the sheer volume will be compelling.

Not really. This isn’t a collection of mutually supporting facts that fit, jigsaw-puzzle-like, into a consistent whole as a cumulative case would. It’s just a big pile of unrelated facts. This kind of argument wasn’t convincing in centuries past for alchemy or homeopathy, and it isn’t convincing today for astrology or Bigfoot.

Let’s return to the William Lane Craig throw-spaghetti-against-the-wall-to-see-if-it-sticks approach to apologetics. If you dismissed one of his arguments, he’d reach into his top hat and pull out another one. He apparently imagines a cumulative case, with a big pile of so-so arguments adding up to a great big hug with Jesus.

But this is a sign of weakness, not strength. These are the unrelated, big-pile-of-crap arguments of those who claim that Bigfoot exists or that space aliens perform experiments on people. I’m not saying that claims for God, Bigfoot, or space aliens are necessarily false; I’m just distinguishing this kind of argument from an actual cumulative case.

WLC puts his reputation on the line when he backs an apologetic argument. He gets the credit when the argument is strong, but he also takes the hit when the argument does nothing more than introduce us to a curious question (into which he’s determined to shoehorn God). We already know that science has unanswered questions. If his argument devolves into merely this observation, he gives no argument for God, he wastes our time, and his reputation must be blemished as a result. Don’t let him wriggle away from a stinker of an argument without consequences.

Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left
but a dull, cold, scientific world.
I am left with only art, music, literature, theatre,
the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human spirit,
sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination,
dreams, oceans, mountains, love, and the wonder of birth.
That’ll do for me.
— Lynne Kelly

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 2/25/15.)

Image from Michał Parzuchowski, CC license

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  • Lex Lata

    Well, in Craig’s defense, he’s compelled by employment arrangements to conclude that God is the only explanation on the table . . . . Wait, that didn’t come out right.

    • Graham Heron

      I was thinking the same.
      He’s debated so many people he has to come up with a new wrinkle to hit the circuit again.
      I also remember a video snippet of him debating Sean Carroll. WLC had given a quote (out of context wouldn’t you know). SC responded with an actual video of the quote author explaining the quote in context – at the behest of SC who had predicted the use of the quote to begin with.
      WLC has run out of people and material to the point where he has lost his relevance to the church crowd (never had relevance to atheists of course).

      • The Sean Carroll anecdote is brilliant.

        That reminds me of an out-of-context quote (made by a Christian apologist) of geneticist Richard Lewontin, who stated that scientists “have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. . . . Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

        Sounds like an admission of bias until you read it in context … which makes the original charge against Lewontin sound like an admission of dishonesty.

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/01/bad-atheist-arguments-science-can-explain-everything-2-2/

      • Craig has openly stated nothing could change his mind. No one should debate him I don’t think.

      • Pofarmer

        I was watching quite a few WLC debates a couple years back. One of his points, I don’t remember which one, was simply trashed in one debate, absolutley shredded. In the next debate he trotted it right back out like nothing had happened. It took that for me to realize that he’s just fundamentally disshonest,

        • epeeist

          In the next debate he trotted it right back out like nothing had happened. It took that for me to realize that he’s just fundamentally disshonest,

          The use of the reset button is a standard trope for many theists.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, I’d seen it online, sure. But I’d never seen such a blatant example of it live and in person.

    • WLC responded to my attack on faith statements. I replied in the post below.

      https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/11/william-lane-craig-replies-attack-faith-statements/

  • ThaneOfDrones

    Off-topic:

    Robert Morgan Daniels of West Virginia is

    Curious: What exactly does an atheist believe?

    Be nice, he has not (yet) revealed a hidden agenda.

    • Michael Murray

      What a terrible typo. Surely it was meant to be

      Curious: What exactly does an atheist not believe ?

  • LeekSoup

    This is a great article, Bob. On my way out of church we had a guest speaker one Sunday – an apologist who’s been doing the shtick for decades. I went hoping to hear conclusive evidence that Christianity was true because I suspected it wasn’t (but I wanted it to be true; I had so much invested). Anyway, he went for the cumulative approach “look at all these reasons!!”

    They could all be undermined. (His capstone was the Argument from Consequences – believe in God or everything is meaningless. Not even an argument, that one.) And if individually they weren’t anything, a whole heap of them wasn’t anything.

    Here’s a point. Apologists wouldn’t need a heap of arguments if they had one – just one – argument that actually counted. They keep throwing out the caltrops but none of them are hindering the pursuit.

    • Yes, exactly. A similar argument: the existence of apologetics argues against God. If he existed and we all knew it, what would be the point?

      • Raging Bee

        “Oh,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that.” And vanishes in a puff of logic.

      • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

        Moreover, if Jesus God is just as real a person if any of us, we could end up with the ridiculous situation of Jesus reading aloud to us these apologetics for his own existence. Such a situation clearly shows the apologetics to never have been necessary- a smokescreen to eat up time and sow deceit!

    • ThaneOfDrones

      The “Gish gallop.” Tell so many lies that your opponent can’t keep up with them all.

      Einstein said a similar thing about criticism of relativity
      linky

      “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would have been enough. [In response to the book “Hundred Authors Against Einstein”]” ― Albert Einstein

      • The crazy thing about that book was that the “hundred authors” included only physicist, and Relativity was already well established by 1931 (the publication date).

        • TheNuszAbides

          included only physicist

          I’m guessing that phrase is missing a singular number? (not an s?)

        • It should’ve been “including only one physicist.” Thanks.

    • Jim Jones

      All they need to reject evolution is one ‘error’ in the placement of fossils in the layers of earth.

      But still, no luck.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Here’s a point. Apologists wouldn’t need a heap of arguments if they had one – just one – argument that actually counted.

      I think it’s better put that apologist shouldn’t need arguments because arguments aren’t how we demonstrate something exists.

      Apologists use arguments because they can be confusing enough to sound convincing.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    Apologist William Lane Craig marvels at how mathematics explains much of the physical world.

    I am nearing the end of Mathematics: The loss of certainty (Morris Kline ISBN-13: 978-0195030853, first published 1980)

    To recap, the foundations of mathematics came into question when a few people finally looked deeply into Euclid’s long suspect ‘parallel postulate’ and found that one could form a consistent, real-world-describing system by either accepting or negating that axiom. The result was non-Euclidean geometries. Then came Hamilton’s (William, not Alexander) quaternions and the calculus, which mostly worked great but had a questionable foundation. Things were a mess. Berkeley’s A DISCOURSE Addressed to an Infidel Mathematician got quoted on page 173+.

    In the late 20th century, several efforts were being made to shore up the foundations of mathematics, with some small success. But set theory introduced contradictions, and then Godel’s incompleteness theorem blew the whole thing up in ~1930.

    Since then competing schools of mathematicians tried to re-found mathematics on different foundations (logicism, intuitionism, formalism, set theory) and most mathematicians 1) go ahead with their work in various fields without worrying about the foundations and 2) prefer to work in pure, rather than applied, mathematics because it is easier to publish quickly that way. “Publish or perish”, etc. As I near the final pages, the world of mathematics is not in a happy state.

    As for mathematics explaining much of the real world, this is partially true, but with many caveats. For example, a Ptolemaic, geocentric model was somewhat successful describing in describing the solar system, but you had to add a lot of epicycles to make it fit. Then with a Copernican heliocentric model and circular orbits, there was some clarity but the accuracy was rather limited. This improved with Kepler’s introductions of elliptical orbits. But still, models up to that time assumed constant orbital velocity. Kepler improved this with some fancy trigonometry. It worked, but didn’t particularly make sense until Newton’s law of gravity and the calculus came along. Further improvement came with Einstein’s theories of relativity.

    Meanwhile, mathematics hasn’t done much with some basic astronomical needs like the “three body problem.”

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      And don’t forget those systems where the straightforward math DOESN’T work, and so, what we do in response is resort to probabilistic models, like statistical mechanics or weather forecasts. I’m sure Lane would call those a success, too, but they contradict the idea that we can fully describe the universe with mathematics. It comes down to, we have things we can describe with math, and in those places, we do it. But there are things we can’t describe with math, and therefore we don’t.

      The question is, if math can describe “much” of the physical world, how much? And why not all? If the world were so dang great, why shouldn’t we describe all with math?

      • Jim Jones

        Again, because we aren’t smart enough?

    • Jim Jones

      AFAIK, the “three body problem” is only a problem because we aren’t smart enough. But surely we can model the problem with computers?

      • ThaneOfDrones

        And what do you program into the computers? Mathematical formulas. Yes, you can model it into the computer, but then you have to enter all the individual formulas (A attracts B, A attracts C, B attracts A, B attracts C, C attracts A, C attracts B) run the model for the entire duration of the ‘experiment’, and you will be limited by the resolution of your model.

        Whereas what you really want is that all the terms go into one big unified set of formulas, and you solve for time X, w/o the bother of solving for each instant in between now and X because each instant changes the conditions for the next instant.

        Next, imagine there are actually more than 3 bodies; say a solar system with 8 or more planets, many of which have moons, along with asteroids and comets and dwarf planets. The modeling gets more expensive as you add more stuff.

        • Jim Jones

          Indeed. So does weather. And a lot more things.

    • Michael Murray

      2) prefer to work in pure, rather than applied, mathematics because it is easier to publish quickly that way.

      I hope Kline has some data to back that up. Speaking as a pure mathematician 🙂

      • ThaneOfDrones

        Data? What do pure mathematicians care about data? You can still get up rousing arguments about whether mathematics “exists” in some Platonic sense independent of the human mind, or whether it is invented.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          because the claim isn’t a mathematical question? also, why do you think pure mathematicians, as mathematicians, don’t care about data?

          a nice example is gauss’ study of the distribution of primes. when he was 15 (or 16) years old he used tables of prime numbers to study their frequency. this led him to conjecture pi(x) ~ li(x), where li is the so called logarithmic integral. this is equivalent to the prime number theorem pi(x) ~ x/log(x) (wikipedia).

          a more recent example is the BSD conjecture, one of the millenium prize problems (wikipedia).

        • ThaneOfDrones

          ? BSD is Berkeley Standard Distribution, a variety of Unix.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          For other uses, see BSD (disambiguation).

        • Michael Murray

          Sorry I meant data on pure mathematics being easier to publish in. We care about that data!

    • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

      … but you had to add a lot of epicycles to make it fit.

      not as many epicycles as people seem to think. maybe ancient astronomers would had needed lots of epicycles if their observations were precise enough, but given that they had to calculate those things manually, it would had been unfeasible anyway, and for centuries astronomers could only rely on their own eyes and simple instruments (naked-eye astronomy). i think this was a good thing.

      otherwise we wouldn’t necessarily have opted for such (supposedly) simple things like circles, ellipses or even the inverse square law. this gave us a chance to develop the necessary math “in tandem with” more accurate astornomical observations.

      maybe it would have been far more difficult to infer those now simple regularities from the “subtle chaos” of planetary motion if we knew about it from the start (especially if the necessary math isn’t available to talk about stuff like nonlinear dynamics in any detail) and we could be stuck with not “seeing the forest for the trees” at all.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        I sense a poem coming on, with epicycles and bicycles.

  • koseighty

    Apologist William Lane Craig marvels at how mathematics explains much of the physical world.

    Brilliant people invented math, logic, physics, etc. to model the universe they found themselves in, in order to better understand it all.

    Less than brilliant people then look at how well math, logic, physics, etc. model the universe we find ourselves in and declare it MUST be because (their particular) god did it!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Brilliant people invented math, logic, physics, etc. to model the universe they found themselves in, in order to better understand it all.

      And I will add, they used that math, logic, physics to model the things they COULD describe. As I suggested below, the failure with Craig’s argument is that he ignores the fact that there is a ton of stuff we CAN’T model mathematically, no matte how brilliant we are. And since we can’t do it, we don’t bother. He looks only at where we are successful and not where we fail.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      A god who thinks that pi = 3 invented all that maths?

      • Raging Bee

        He just abbreviated it for people who couldn’t have understood decimals…

        • Michael Murray

          Sometimes I feel sorry for God. He creates an entire universe and waits for billions of years of evolution to bring forward a small species of primate with exactly 10 little appendages on their hands to count with and they can’t understand decimals! What’s an omnipotent being supposed to !

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          that’s not unambiguous. you can count with one of your appendages (the thumb) three phalanges of each finger of one hand, resulting in base 12 that’s a nice base: 1/3 = 0.4, for example.

        • 12 has lots of divisors, which is why it’s handy to have 12 months.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          if one also uses the five fingers of the other hand one can count up to 60 (5*12) … and we are back to base 60 of the babylonians (60, like 12, is a “highly composite number”, btw).

        • ThaneOfDrones

          The Maya and Aztecs used base 20, which tells us they probably didn’t wear socks.

      • Michael Murray

        It was three until The Fall.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Imagine expressing π in Roman numerals, and then you’ll get why they left it at ‘3’.

        😉

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          the romans themselves had a notation for fractions (wikipedia). even with those few fractions they could have written down a more precise value/bounds of pi if they’d known how to calculate pi more precisely. with the fractions mentioned: 3+1/8+1/72+4/1728 < pi < 3+1/8+1/72+5/1728, for example.

    • Michael Murray

      I think there is a more subtle problem which is why does the universe have enough inherent regularity to allow modelling with any form of mathematics. My suspicion is that a universe without such regularity wouldn’t support intelligent life. But I’ve not thought this through particularly much. Of course another possibility is that we find in 100,000 years time that we still can’t write down a mathematical theory of everything and the supposed wonderful fit of mathematics and the physical world is just plain wrong. Assuming we get to 100,000 years. Seems unlikely at this point.

  • Raging Bee

    Apologist William Lane Craig marvels at how mathematics explains much of the physical world.

    1+1=2. You can’t explain that. Fucking arithmetic, how does it even work?

    • In his view, 1+1+1=1 is much more logical…

      • Raging Bee

        Okay then.

    • Ann Kah

      Oh, the pothole/puddle theology.

    • Fucking arithmetic, how does it even work?

      I’m still back trying to figure out magnets.

      • Greg G.

        Magnets and gravity suck.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Yeah, but magnets can blow as well.

  • eric

    I don’t see what the competing naturalistic hypotheses are.

    That’s not our fault, given that people have told you the most reasonable hypothesis over and over and over again. To repeat one more time: the reason it’s not surprising that math is useful for helping us understand the physical world is because humans developed mathematical tools for the express purpose of helping them solve problems they wanted to solve – among them, how to understand the physical world. Mathematical techniques are like logics (of which there are many) or hammers – tools in our toolbox. Why is a hammer good for driving in nails? Because humans designed it as a nail-driving tool.

    [Edit] I think what bothers me most about WLC’s ‘no explanation’ here is that it does such a disservice to the people who worked hard to do the development. Many historical people busted their asses to develop the mathematical techniques we take for granted. Newton’s Principia Mathematica is one of the crowning achievements of a hard-working genius – calculus didn’t just magically appear, and God certainly didn’t “fit” calculus onto the world. Leibniz and Newton created that technique. We are indebted to them to have such a wonderfully useful tool to help describe the world. This is more of the same “I thank God for curing me of cancer!” while the oncologist is standing right next to you.

  • Jim Jones

    At the end of the interview, William Lane Craig says: “Honestly, I think [God] is the only explanation on the table. I don’t see what the competing naturalistic hypotheses are.”

    If it wasn’t for experience, I would find it hard to believe anyone could be this stupid.

    He is amazed that the light switches in his house work reliably? Because that’s science: the study of predictability and of repeatable occurrences and what is behind them.

    And religion is neither of those. Except, I suppose, that religion can do nothing and that this is repeatable. Reliably.

  • The problem with this argument as usual is why has to be the Judeo-Christian God, not any other deity way beyond a war/weather (maybe) Bronze Age deity.

  • Phil Rimmer

    I meant to argue on the earlier thread, that a systemised universe is one that does what it does (what we see ours do) out of its own nature. Were it otherwise it would need an act of irresistible and overwhelming will to impose the lawful nature that we see. A mathematical universe has no specific need of a god.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      Also, the mathematics seems to be consistent throughout the observable universe. This is what you would expect if the maths were based on the inherent properties of matter. If they were based on the will of an arbitrary and capricious God, there is no reason to expect that.

  • Nick Ellis

    I believe the reason WLC continuously trots out the same tired talking points despite all the times they have been debunked to his face, is because he isn’t a Christian. He has worked out that his victims want to hear reassuring noises, and if they are phrased in ‘intellectual’ ‘philosophical’ jargon so that they don’t understand, they will be very reassured. He has a living to make, and he has decided that dishonesty is easier than developing real skills

    • Doubting Thomas

      The problem is that what you say about WLC is true of almost every apologist and so should we conclude that every apologist isn’t really a Christian? I think it’s probably more likely that he and most other apologists don’t care that their arguments suck, they believe for other reasons. They just try to keep the other sheep in the flock through apologetics.

      • Michael Neville

        Most religious apologetics is aimed at the believers to keep them believing.

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          Aptly named, in my view.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      He claims to be an xtian, he advances xtian talking points, he uses the ‘bible’ to support his arguments, and makes a living from it.

      If that’s not an xtian, I can’t understand who IS.

  • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

    *Arguing against eternal-life-promising religions is pointless unless you have come up with a cure for death.
    *Most or many people can’t accept the eternal death of themselves, their loved ones, their nation, and the human race as a whole.
    *So, the eternal-life-promising religions will survive with very many people, no matter what arguments are made against them.

    • Doubting Thomas

      That’s not an argument for religion. It’s just pointing out how irrational religious people are.

      • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

        Some people deal with the existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality by using rationality to reject & attack the eternal-life-promising religions. Other people deal with the existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality by embracing & promoting, despite the obvious irrationality, one of the eternal-life-promising religions. But these two approaches are really, in a key sense, the same thing. In both cases, the Controlling Factor for both types of person is the completely unavoidable, inescapable, insoluble existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality. Neither of these types of person defeats death or defeat the shadow and anxiety that death cast over the entire life of every adult person. (I’ve spoken this theory like it is an obvious truth. In fact, it’s just a theory, and not even original to me. I got this from a pretty smart dude. He’s a psychologist and a kind of existentialist. And, to me anyway, this theory seems pretty compelling. It seems to cut through all the endless arguments of atheists vs. theists. If anyone reading this finds any relief and light in this theory, then I’m happy about that. If not, well, then just ignore like all the other garbage on the Internet. I’m not interested in defeating anyone in a logic duel or philosophy game. Peace & best wishes. )

        • Greg G.

          Some people deal with the existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality by using rationality to reject & attack the eternal-life-promising religions.

          It has nothing to do with death. Religion tries to dominate society from ignorance. We simply oppose that.

        • Sample1

          Quotable.

          Dominate is the key distinction, for science also has a relationship to ignorance but one of unlocking the virtues of knowledge and by extension, many doors to freedom.

          Reminds me of a poem inspired by the Danish painting from 1562, Two Monkeys by Brueghel.

          Two Monkeys by Brueghel
          (trans. from the Polish by Magnus Kryski)
          Wislawa Szymborska
          _____
          I keep dreaming of my graduation exam:
          in a window sit two chained monkeys,
          beyond the window floats the sky,
          and the sea splashes.

          I am taking an exam on the history of mankind:
          I stammer and flounder.

          One monkey, eyes fixed upon me, listens ironically,
          the other seems to be dozing–
          and when silence follows a question,
          he prompts me
          with a soft jingling of the chain.

          Thanks for jogging my memory with such a good definition of religion.

          Mike

        • Michael Neville

          Posting the same thing twice is rather silly and undercuts the profundity you’re trying to achieve.

        • I see your point and understand how it can give solace to some, giving how hard is both to lose someone you love and to know that you’ll someday die, even if rather than death itself the problem is the transition between life and it and Asimov pointed once and you accept you die and it’s over.

          That said, those who claim to be the middlemen of God in the broadest sense have abused and abuse a lot of “eternal life”, going beyond helping those people. And some versions of it are not so pretty when one things deeper on them.

    • Michael Neville

      The argument from consequences is a logical fallacy.

      • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

        Some people deal with the existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality by rejecting & attacking the eternal-life-promising religions. Other people deal with the existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality by embracing & promoting one of the eternal-life-promising religions. But these are really, in a key sense, the same thing. In both cases, the Controlling Factor for both types of person is the completely unavoidable, inescapable, insoluble existential dread, horror, & anxiety of morality. (I’ve spoken this theory like it is an obvious truth. In fact, it’s just a theory, and not even original to me. I got this from a pretty smart dude. And, to me anyway, it seems pretty compelling. It seems to cut through all the endless arguments of atheists vs. theists. If anyone reading this finds any relief and light in this theory, I’m happy about that. If not, well, then just ignore like all the other garbage on the Internet. I’m not interested in defeating anyone in a logic duel or philosophy duel. Peace & best wishes. )

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          I think you mean to say ‘mortality’ not morality, not that it makes your contention any less of a fallacy.

          “Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for “argument to the consequences”), is an argument that concludes a hypothesis (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences.”

        • Michael Neville

          Morality and mortality don’t cause existential dread, etc. in me.

          I have a workable morality based on the golden rule (found in the Buddhist Tipitaka and the Analects of Confucius, both of which predate Christianity by about 500 years) and altruism. Religions or gods are not the source of my morality.

          Some 50 years ago I spent a year in Vietnam. I discovered that death can happen without warning and a person can go from walking, talking, breathing, etc. to dead in a literal heartbeat. I realized that I could die at any instant and came to terms with that realization. I don’t fear death. I’m not looking forward to it but I’ve got a dentist appointment for a root canal next week and I’m not looking forward to that either. As the old saying goes: Shit happens.

        • Susan

          I’m not interested in defeating anyone in a logic duel or philosophy duel.

          This isn’t about “defeating” anyone.

          It’s about examining claims.

          They don’t add up when you examine them.

          =====

          Edit: A few seconds later.

          I think you mean “mortality” but autocorrect turned it into “morality”. You can fix that by clicking on “Edit”.

          Just make sure to add that you edited it two hours later.

          It’s Disqus etiquette.

        • Phil Rimmer

          I have always had the experience that it is those tantalised by the possibility of eternal life that are the one’s more often traumatised by the prospect of it being denied it on some technicality.

          I am of an age when funerals increasingly occur and the religious seem in no way comforted at the loss of a loved one. I concluded that it is not existential threat so much these days that fuels religion, as failing to establish a life with personal meaning, and being able to graft on another.

          My dad, dying, sought to ensure I had no such existential fears (of death or of personal meaning). He said it was essential for him and all others to die for us all to make progress in our mutual adventure forward possible. Old eyes no longer see and fix problems. Cultures must evolve. All have contributed by fixing some and by bringing soup and helped bring us, here and now, to this, the best seat in the house so far, seeing further, living sweeter and longer lives, finding ever widening fellowships, better providing for those who come next with new powers to see and fix and understand.

          Happiness will never bliss us into passivity. That only comes when we make way for young eyes seeing the new problems.

          My two have never been promised eternity, which I take to be some kind of curse. It is something unneeded yet painful to lose. Worse it may fill a hole they could better (for all) fill for themselves. I have though promised them a chance at taking part in an adventure. They seem as delighted as any.

          I will never unsettle anyone who needs to feel in a curated universe and themselves created, to stave off anxiety. But, parents, don’t visit your fears (if you have them) on your kids who don’t need them. Don’t make empty and potentially disabling promises.

    • Susan

      Arguing against eternal-life-promising religions is pointless unless you have come up with a cure for death.

      Of course it isn’t. They don’t just make claims about death. They meddle in many crucial aspects of life.

      So, the eternal-life-promising religions will survive with very many people, no matter what arguments are made against them.

      It worked on me. They were allowed to fill my head with all sorts of nonsense that screwed up my thinking and I found my way out through reasonable conversations with thoughtful people.

      No harm in discussing this stuff out in the open. Not questioning it (not being allowed to question it) is a huge part of what gives it its undeserved authority.

      • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

        Susan makes good and powerful and convincing arguments. I really should retract or modify about half (or more) of what I originally wrote. I do still think there is a tiny bit of value in what I originally wrote (but maybe that’s just vanity speaking).

    • Susan

      Hi Let Me Recover My Sight.

      As your commenting history is blocked, I can’t follow up on the comments you left yesterday that have all but disappeared on Disqus.

      I can only say that there is no reason to regret making mistakes in discussion.

      I make plenty of them.

      That’s the point of discussion. It’s an opportunity to check our work.

      If you’re sincere, I hope you keep commenting.

      Many of our mistakes are because we’re trying to work our way through lies people have told us.

  • curtcameron

    I heard WLC once on the Unbelievable? program where he was talking about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics, and how that points to God. I wish I had been across the table from him. IIRC, he granted that the simple ideas from math, like 2+2=4, God couldn’t change, but the more complex ideas, like algebra and calculus I suppose, indicate a god.

    But I would have pointed out that he’s admitting that God would be bound by logic to make two plus two equal four, and ask him if we could extend that just a little bit, and could God have made it so that three groups of two each could be any other than six. And if he could have made it so that three groups of two each was not the same as two groups of three each. I’d stick to these simple examples because I think he’d agree that logically they’re just extensions of what he granted earlier, and then deal the fatal blow by pointing out that ALL of mathematics is like that – just logical extensions of the simple rules we already all agreed on.

    • Rudy R

      WLC did not come to his belief in the Christian god based on argument and evidence.

      “Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.” — William Lane Craig

      I’m sure WLC knows he can’t convert atheists to Christian believers based on his arguments, because he is supposedly a well-educated person and must know his apologetic arguments are bull shit.

      He must know that algebra and calculus emerged through the evolutionary mathematical process originating from hunter-gatherers creating a model to count food and such. Really, a first-grader could understand that concept.

    • WCB

      The doctrine of the simplicity of God claims that there is nothing outside of God that limits God. No metaphysical principals that need explaining such as where the essences of God come from and how they came to be exemplified in God. taking that to it’s logica conclusion, Descartes in his letters to Marin Mersenne states that God lays down the laws of the universe as a kin lays down his laws. God could make 2 + 2 = 5 if he so desired. This entails an interesting set of propositions. If God can create the metaphysical necessities and laws of the Universe, he could create man with a god-like good nature and god-like free will who will never do moral evil. Any claims that state God can’t do something like that are dead on arrival, theologically speaking. We obviously don’t live in a Universe like that. A super-omnipotent and perfectly good and moral God.

      But if God is not creator of the laws of the universe, the metaphysical necessities, where do they come from? God then is superfluous. naturalism is established. If God cannot make 2 + 2 = 5, what else can God not do? How far does naturalism go? And how would we be able to demonstrate any facts relevant to the issue?

      • curtcameron

        I’ve heard Christians respond to the question “can god make a square circle”? by saying of course not, that is illogical, but that he can do anything that doesn’t defy logic. Seems we have some Christians who want God bound by the laws of logic, others who want the laws of logic to be created by God.

        Or maybe they’re the same Christians, using whichever suits them at the time.

        • The Bibliognost

          Logic is subservient to God, not the other way around. Else logic is God.

        • Greg G.

          Brilliant! Can God exist and not exist simultaneously? Can a non-existent god create itself from nothing? If God can create a married man and God can create a man who is not married, can he create a man who is married and not married at the same time? Can God create a being greater than himself?

          If God is powerful enough to create a being, yet hiding from that being and performing every wish or thought that came into that being’s mind, so that a perfect illusion of omnipotence was created, how would God know that It is one of those created beings to a hidden god thingy?

        • Kodie

          The married bachelor is a separated man, a man who has abandoned, or a man who is married to his next wife without divorcing his previous wife, or a man who, like in all the sitcoms, was not officially married this whole time. A marriage license is an official contract that is also socially somewhat meaningless – people who form a family without filing a license and live as though officially married, are they unnarried? If your authority of that definition is the government, then no, but a man can also be ceremoniously married to another person after abandoning his first wife, or carry on multiple ceremonious marriages while having a career that allows him to secretly carry on relationships and “marry” several different people, or possibly even with the consent of his first wife, marry several other wives unofficially keeping a polyamorous relationship, so non-sanctioned marriages to more than one woman, or in the case of our religious numbnuts, a gay guy is not really married to his husband, even though the government establishes that he is, or in Catholic terms, the first marriage is the only marriage, and divorce is impossible, so Catholics never think anyone is legally married to their second spouse.

          Is that logic, or is that god. It’s people who make up a network of rules to establish what it means to be married – I think it is a social thing – you are married if you are committed to another person. The law makes it that it doesn’t count unless you make it official with them, and the law makes it so you cannot marry more than one person at a time, but in essence, you can be married and unmarried at the same time, either legally or illegally.

        • epeeist

          Logic is subservient to God

          Strange then that it is one of the many things that never gets a mention in the bible. In fact logic only seems to come to fore when trying to reconcile the various opinions on points of doctrine in the 4th and 5th centuries, then they have to import it from elsewhere, namely from Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

        • The Bibliognost

          What does that have to do with anything? Christianity does not have to “import” logic from anywhere. Without God there is no logic. Logic is only possible in an ordered, created universe.

        • epeeist

          What does that have to do with anything?

          Bit of an embarrassment don’t you think? Not only does your god fail to mention logic to its chosen people but it allows the pagans to discover its intricacies. And not only that, but they develop logic and the other “liberal arts” without your god’s help.

        • The Bibliognost

          Well, “my God” (as you so foolishly put it) established logic. You didn’t. There is no foundation for logic outside of God’s creative order. Logic cannot exist in a non-created vacuum of chance and happenstance. Logic does not occur in nature, but in the mind only. The fact that logic is not mentioned by that name in the Bible proves nothing. What next? You going to tell me Charmin toilet paper was created without God’s help and somehow establishes human autonomy?

        • epeeist

          Well, “my God” (as you so foolishly put it) established logic

          Well it certainly isn’t my god. Anyway, you seem to be making a claim there, got anything to back it up?

          There is no foundation for logic outside of God’s creative order.

          Ooh, another claim, can you justify this one or is it going to turn out to be another unsubstantiated assertion.

          The fact that logic is not mentioned by that name in the Bible proves nothing.

          No? You would rather think that a god written or at least god inspired book would have mentioned the way to reason properly. Perhaps your god didn’t want us reasoning, one might draw that conclusion from the whole apple/Garden of Eden episode.

        • The Bibliognost

          You know, for a finite being of limited intelligence and resources, you sure seem to know a lot about what God ought to have done, should have done, might have done, etc. One marvels He functioned without your preeminent insight. You know, I almost pity God – meeting you will certainly be the most challenging, if not the most frightening experience of His existence, given your unmatched intellectual prowess and stunning intellectual acumen. Uh huh.

          You see, here is a marvelous thing about God. I don’t have to prove Him. I don’t have to justify Him. I’m not even compelled to discuss Him in this sort of anti-God forum. We are told in the Bible that everyone knows there is a God, but you live in deliberate denial against intuitive (and external) evidences – because you love your sin and your pretend autonomy. Thus, I have no obligation to prove that which you know, but choose to live in denial regarding. So you can pretend, and huff and puff and judge God remiss about explaining logic to your satisfaction, or morality, or your very existence – you can work yourself up into a lather about your trite, sham objections – and maybe you impress a few of your ilk with your maverick spirit. But impress me?….not so much.

          You see, anyone can play the eternal skeptic. It’s easy to believe nothing and challenge everything. Almost makes one feel superior, eh? Well Mr. Skeptic – let me ask YOU a question. Where do morals come from? You will say something along the line of “tradition” or or “trial and error.” But what makes a moral stand actually moral? How do you know right from wrong? Good from evil? Your intuition? Your preference? You live in a (pretend) universe that spins on in absolute autonomy, devoid of truth, devoid of any way to even know truth. In the end, if you are honest (and you likely will not be in this matter) every construct of morality and ethics is contrived and grounded in nothing but personal taste and wishes, or some sense of expediency. Morality and ethics are only convention. Nothing can be truly moral or immoral in a random universe. We are all just collective atoms passing through something we call life – for absolutely nothing, to absolutely no end. You have to borrow from a Christian worldview, or some God centered worldview to just pretend to have meaning, for you have no basis for morals, meaning or purpose. You don’t even have the intellectual integrity, I’d wager, to admit this glaring truth.

          W/O God logic does not exist. Purpose does not exist, save in a pretend, fleeting and transient way. Why not kill your family and yourself? All you are is doomed space dust. Your family is no more significant than gravel in my driveway. You just pretend they are, because to assume the contrary is madness. So you go through the motions. You pretend you have purpose in a purposeless life, and wile away your time verbally harassing people who have discovered that life does indeed have purpose in a Creator God. And not only purpose, but salvific purpose.

          Nah, it’s too easy to play the curmudgeon. Everyone loves the maverick. You get to spend your 70 pretending what an insightful, clever guy you are. You get to ask the Christians pretend questions out of insincerity and in some deviant sense of entertainment, never expecting or honestly soliciting an answer. Sure, you have no consistent epistemology. Sure, you have no worldview commensurate with reality. Sure, you have basis for purpose, morality or life itself. But it’s sure fun to prod Christians with disingenuous questions, unfair accusations and snobby, condescending mock superiority. Shazam buddy – you got it made.

          Or do you?

        • epeeist

          You see, here is a marvelous thing about God. I don’t have to prove Him.
          I don’t have to justify Him. I’m not even compelled to discuss Him in
          this sort of anti-God forum.

          No, of course you don’t have to provide any sort of justification. But equally we are free to dismiss your unsubstantiated assertions as just that.

          Well Mr. Skeptic – let me ask YOU a question

          Ah, the old switcheroo designed to hide the fact that you are incapable of making a substantive response (ooh look, dialectic in action) to the points I made. You don’t imagine I am going to fall for that one do you?

        • The Bibliognost

          1. You missed the point entirely, but I’m not surprised. It’s exactly BECAUSE God is not “unsubstantiated assertions” that I don’t need to justify Him. God never sets out to “prove” Himself, He presupposes, and He is God after all, that all men know He exists. If you know the Bible, and I suppose you do not, you find it strikingly absent “proofs” for God’s existence. Why? Because such proofs are superfluous. This much is certain. Either God is right about this, or you are. I’m putting my money on God.

          2. I was not aware I was on trial, and that your belief system is ipso facto immune from observation or criticism. Quite a sham, if you ask me. (And young friend, it is I that am not going to “fall” for your evasiveness. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, and all that….)

        • The Bibliognost

          One more thought. Isn’t it funny I am obligated to make a “substantive response” to justify the Christian worldview, but you get a pass in justifying your atheistic one? Ah parity, fairness and equity – yet another set of basic standards that fall as a casualty to atheistic hubris.

        • Kodie

          Christians and other believers of every religion make the claims. Atheists listen to these thousands of claims and don’t believe any of it. Why aren’t you a Muslim? I throw that question out every once in a while, don’t feel like I am targeting you! Atheism IS NOT A BELIEF. We assess claims and the answer is “I do not find that credible.” “There is no credible evidence” for the superstition you are here to advance or support. Christians, for their part, most of them try a lot harder than you to come up with intellectual arguments. They still fail, so think about how little you have to offer and whether you’re up for it.

          By the way, you do know, there’s only people? Everything you’ve ever heard about god or learned or felt about god was transmitted by other people? We can’t debate the actual god because, as far as we can tell, he’s a rumor. People can post on patheos and disqus, and we’re all waiting for one of them to present the first honest argument instead of demonstrate lack of critical thinking and how powerful superstition is over grown-ass adults who should know better. I mean, you weren’t fooled by Islam propaganda, right? You can tell us all why that fails to impress you, right?

        • You’re making the remarkable claim, Chester. The atheist takes the null hypothesis, the default. The burden of proof rests on your shoulders.

        • epeeist

          It’s exactly BECAUSE God is not “unsubstantiated assertions” that I don’t need to justify Him.

          Ah, a presuppositionalist, how cute.

          Well actually no, the follower of a doctrine so insecure, so much a fragile little flower that it simply declares itself as immune from any rational discourse.

          Let’s forget the things that presuppositions that are declared to be true and take a step back. How do you know (and I use that word specifically) that presuppositionalism is true?

        • Kodie

          1. Why are you necessary here? I mean, if god is obvious, why does he send morons to say the stupidest things no grown adult would believe?

          2. You’re here, and your arguments are crap. Why are you here if not to have your beliefs challenged? Evading that is your failing. We have heard your boring and insufficient argument before, and if you have nothing else, you are only martyring yourself, obviously. You need to believe we are nasty because of the devil, not because you are behaving disgustingly disrespectful to your audience and justifying it with your insufficiently believable superstition.

        • It’s exactly BECAUSE God is not “unsubstantiated assertions” that I don’t need to justify Him. God never sets out to “prove” Himself, He presupposes

          So which is it? Is the God claim substantiated or not?

          If you know the Bible, and I suppose you do not, you find it strikingly absent “proofs” for God’s existence.

          I know, right? And yet people believe it nonetheless!

          I was not aware I was on trial

          And now you know. You’re the one making the extraordinary claims, remember?

        • Susan

          It’s exactly BECAUSE God is not “unsubstantiated assertions” that I don’t need to justify Him.

          Congratulations. Another unsubstantiated assertion.

        • The Bibliognost

          Congratulations. Yet another vindication of Psalm 14:1.”The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

        • Susan

          Congratulations. Yet another vindication of Psalm 14:1

          No. Just another excuse for you to make yet another unsupported accusation.

          Vindication would require upholding your claim through argument and evidence.

          You have no interest in doing anything of the sort.

          You came here with insults, and continued with nothing but.

          When people finally clicked on and responded to your bait, you followed with more insults and preaching.

          When people called you an asshole for behaving like that, you pounced on their language, even though, in meatspace, highly intelligent, law-abiding and respectful citizens would have done the same sooner, you doubled down.

          You are a windbag and and a troll. You haven’t supported a single thing since you arrived. Nor do you seem to feel any responsibility to do so.

          I’m fairly sure you’ve been here before under another name, based on your style.

          If I’m wrong about that, I’m not wrong about the first part.

          If you can’t support your claims, then go away.

        • The Bibliognost

          Listen dear, I did not make an “unsupported accusation” – in case you are ignorant of it, Psalm 14:1 indicates a Bible verse reference. Even in your twisted, nasty world – you cannot claim I wrote the Bible. So, take your “unsupported accusation” pretentious nonsense and buzz off.

          I am a windbag and a troll? And what are you? Purity on steroids? The Altruistic Atheist Fairy? The Guiding Light? The Atheist on High? The Dispenser of All Dark Wisdom? You have no idea what a child you sound like – you take no responsibility for your own gross behavior and over-reaction & you seem incapable of an iota’s worth of honest introspection. You are crude and nasty and morally reprehensible and you have no discernable decent qualities. Your hatred of God makes you mad. I mean the crazy sort, not the angry sort. Though actually that as well.

          And again with the “asshole” justification. You would have made a fine Nazi at the ovens. Apparently you have no conscience, no standards, no mechanism to sort out boorish, crude behavior from ethical behavior. When you attack a Christian, anything goes. Anything can be said. Any accusation can be made. Any charge is justified and needs no explanation or defense.

          You are the antipathy of decency, kindness, patience and reasoned positions. You are pushy, aggressive, vulgar, and combative. And stunningly, you seem to imagine you have some sort of moral high ground.

          You have no interest in God, or any Christian apologetic. To you this is a game in which you are only interested in one-upmanship. You are spiritually clueless, and you want to be spiritually clueless.

          And finally, you wrote “I’m fairly sure you’ve been here before under another name, based on your style.” You are wrong. I have only been here as The Bibliognost. I’ve never been here under any other name at any time. I don’t expect you to believe that, but then, I don’t care if you do or not. That’s the least of your problems.

        • Susan

          Listen dear

          I am not your dear, you condescending jerk.

          I did not make an “unsupported accusation”

          Of course you did. As well as unsupported assertion.

          in case you are ignorant of it, Psalm 14:1 indicates a Bible verse reference

          Yes, I know. And I’m pretty sure you know I know.

          Your little game of insisting that we accept that you quoting the bible means that you are representing a supernatural agent who is behind it is the problem. You are quoting ancient humans from a single supernatural claim among many.

          Unless you can show it’s anyone but humans talking, your claims are unsupported.

          I am a windbag and a troll?

          Yes. And I think you’re enjoying it.

          And what are you? Purity on steroids? The Altruistic Atheist Fairy? The Guiding Light? The Atheist on High? The Dispenser of All Dark Wisdom?

          Nope. I’ve made efforts to converse with you, despite your obvious desire to insult people without warrant and make unsubstantiated claims that you don’t seem interested in taking responsibility for.

          And again with the “asshole” justification. You would have made a fine Nazi at the ovens

          Don’t act like an asshole and you won’t be called one. You’re not being called one because you’re a theist. You’re being called one because you’re acting like an asshole.

          Comparing being called an asshole when you act like one, to being led into an oven by a Nazi just makes your more of an asshole.

          You have no interest in God, or any Christian apologetic.

          I showed an interest. But you’ve provided none. Just insulted people since you got here and insulted anyone who asked you to support your position, and then insulted anyone who objected to your behaviour.

          I don’t expect you to believe that.

          As I said, I might be wrong. But you sound very much like a couple of other visitors who came here.

          None of them provided any support for their positions, either. They used the same sort of phrases. And they had nothing but insults and (Dunning-Kruger-like) patronizing.

        • The Bibliognost

          I used the “dear” deliberately to make a point. You see, I say “dear” and it’s like a despicable thing, virtually evil and unforgivable, but somehow “asshole” gets a pass. Sense any incongruity here??? A certain lack of parity? Something a bit askew?

          No, no unsupported assertion or accusation. You ignored my point. No shocker there. Just keep saying the same thing over and over, the truth be damned. Liberalism and atheism at it’s finest.

          As for the Psalm verse, I get it you have no use for God or anything from the Bible. The point is…(since I have to spell it out simply)…that if you are hot and bothered about the Bible’s assessment of your character, purpose, or destination…take it up with God. I didn’t serve as God’s ghost writer.

          At 65, having seen the downward spiral of morals and conduct, and the rise of the angry, hostile and intolerant atheists, there’s not much here to enjoy.

        • Kodie

          Newsflash: calling someone “dear” or “son” is an insult when they are neither your dear nor your son.

          Newsflash: god’s not here, but you voluntarily entered this site with ostensibly a goal of communicating with people, but insulted them because you are prejudiced and expecting to induce a certain result merely be being a Christian and saying Christian things. Well, partially – you are programmed by your cult to be prejudiced, and of course the best way to confirm your bias against atheists is to insult them and then pretend you’re totally innocent when they call you an asshole for being yourself, an asshole. God’s not here, and you are. God’s not an asshole because he’s imaginary. Why would a smart god send such an ignorant and rude person like you to spread his message? You must hate god, you don’t want anyone to change their mind. I don’t hate god, because god is imaginary. If you don’t have an intelligent way to express how god isn’t imaginary, I have no reason to respect you or the book you rode in on.

          Newsflash: You know why we won’t change our mind? As long as idiots like you hide behind shitty arguments that a child wouldn’t be fooled by, Christianity is going to sound like the stupidest thing going. You only make more atheists by exposing how empty it is.

        • The Bibliognost

          You latest display of teeth and talons has only confirmed my last post. I may have been only a medical technologist in my working life, but I think I can be the physician here and make a diagnosis. You are miserable. I am quite sorry for you. May God give you mercy, life and light. You have none of those things.

        • Kodie

          Yes, of course. Christians come here behaving like the arrogant little shits they think they have the authority to be in order to effect a planned response, to confirm your bias against us. It’s not you, I must just be miserable! Keep up the insults and pretend you have something I don’t have.

        • The Bibliognost

          But I do have something you don’t have. I have peace in Christ. I have the hope of a resurrection – and in my case, that quite soon, as in my health my days are relatively few. I have contentment and I have epistemological certitude. You have emptiness, anger, sorrow, fear and self-loathing. You fear life and you fear death. Calling me names doesn’t change any of this. I am at peace and fulfilled. I shall endeavor to pray for you daily, as God gives me memory and breath. And all the cursing and abuse in the world won’t stop me.

        • Kodie

          You have emptiness, anger, sorrow, fear and self-loathing. You fear life and you fear death.

          You assume my interaction with you is my whole life! That makes you even more arrogant. I don’t think you have peace in Christ. You have delusions of an imaginary person giving you something you can’t have any other way, and also the arrogance of believing you have some authority to offer your disease to others so that they might seek the cure so you can feel vindicated! You are prideful, and you are angry. You can’t even LOOK at yourself or take responsibility for your own behavior. You blame everyone else for your failings, and then pretend you can do something to “save” them from a small sliver of their behavior you become privy to by insulting them on purpose to confirm your biases.

          There’s probably a lot of other baggage I forgot to mention, but that’s enough for starters.

        • The Bibliognost

          No, not at all, Hardly. No more than you are mine. I have a full life in retirement. Three grown kids, 6 grandkids, a wife of almost 47 years, many friends and a great church.

          You “don’t think I have peace in Christ,” but the truth is, if you are honest with yourself…since you are not omniscient, you really don’t know. But that’s ok. Maybe I am prideful at times, pride is a besetting sin for many folk – but angry, I am not. I feel sorry for you, not angry at you – not even when you curse me like a sailor. I am troubled by it, because it is so radically different than old people were treated when I was young. And I don’t say I feel sorry for you in some sort of smug condescending way – I actually really DO feel sorry for you.

          I can’t save you, and I don’t pretend I can. I have no power over you whatsoever. I said earlier, but I think you ignored it, that I do not even consider myself, in my own nature and self – any better than you intrinsically, and maybe worse.

          Maybe you missed it so I am doing this one more time, then I will not trouble you with it again. If you want to write an old man, and you REALLY want to know why I believe in Christ – and why I think atheism is intellectually and spiritually bankrupt – the write me at ========@gmail. com. I would welcome your communication and dialogue. I will not return this site many more times. I will erase my email address in about 10 minutes.

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          No, I don’t want to write an old man! I want you, in public, to defend your beliefs with something of substance. You have not respected your audience, and you have indulged in being a troll due to the contempt and prejudice you have for atheists. You don’t want to save people, because you know you can’t. You can go report to your church that the atheists were just awful like they told you we would be, because you can’t see how awful you are.

          I thought I saw a recent post where you were going to try to actually try to support an argument for believing in your fantasy, but you instead kept on believing we’re dark and miserable because we don’t have Jesus. It can’t be because you’re really stupid, arrogant, insulting, etc? I mean, you decided ahead of time that we’re horrible, and you insulted us so we would be horrible so you could continue blaming us for your flaws, personally, and the flaws and inadequacy of your religious beliefs to convince a thinking human.

        • The Bibliognost

          Yeah, well, writing an old man is better than BEING an old man….

          But as you wish. I don’t think atheists are awful, and that’s not what I “report back” to my church about. (I don’t do that anyway!) I do think that atheists are always deceived and generally miserable. I have been dealing with atheists since the early 70’s, and if you’ll forgive a generalization – I have not found them either excellent thinkers or particularly insightful. Most simply run on emotions…pretty much as you have with me. Yes, on occasion I encountered an atheist that was well read and articulate, and generally profited via discussions with them. But that was the exception.

          I’ve just re-read your post and it’s mostly just more ad hominem. I don’t think you are going to be able to break away from that – it seems to be your MO. That’s a pity, but, it is what it is. Old age has generally made me more patient, but it has not made me a fool (contrary to your frequent assertions to the contrary). It’s time for me to move on. I wish you would have taken me up on my offer, but I suppose I would have been surprised if you had. There would be no audience, and I think you need an audience.

          So, I will part ways here. I do not anticipate responding again. I will pray for you as I said previously. Thanks for your time.

          David

        • Kodie

          You are so fucking judgmental, and you can’t look at yourself in this. Your insight is to just keep repeating the same garbage bible phrase, atheists are fucking idiots, the bible said it! You keep saying it. You think you’re not saying, god said it. You keep thinking god gives you the authority to be insulting and prejudiced as fuck, and you think I’m not well read and articulate enough for YOU????? Holy motherfucking shit, what an arrogant douchenozzle you are.

          Good, I am glad you are leaving. I feel sorry for the denizens of the next blog you poison with your arrogance, and I hope they treat you like you deserve to be treated.

        • Greg G.

          I used the “dear” deliberately to make a point. You see, I say “dear” and it’s like a despicable thing,

          It’s condescending.

        • The Bibliognost

          You say – “I showed an interest.” Alright, I’ll show some good faith. Since you reject the Bible ipso facto – your probably refuse to consider Biblical apologetic proofs. But I’m going to use them. Not to antagonize you, but because I have no higher authority to which I can appeal. However, as a philosophy major (albeit in the dark ages) I am at least marginally competent to dance through the standard philosophical arguments for God, though personally I find that generally unhelpful and unconvincing to the fixed skeptic. Besides, I find little advantage in arguing for some generic “god.”

          And one more time – I have never been to this forum, or any other – with any other name other than The Bibliognost. I am a book dealer in my retirement. Biblio -book. Gnosis – knowledge. Thus, one who knows books. I do not play name changing games. I say again, believe that or not as pleases you…I can only tell you the truth about the matter.

        • Susan

          Since you reject the Bible ipso facto

          Nope. I just don’t accept it ipso facto. And you’ve provided no reason to do so. Nor any reason to accept it at all. You came here to insult people and have provided nothing to support your position.

          I have never been to this forum, or any other- with any other name other than Bibliognost.

          I don’t care. I don’t necessarily believe you. But purely as Bibliognost, you only came here to insult people and have done nothing to support your position. That is, if what you’re saying is true on that subject, it’s not very important.

          You’re just a troll, either. way.

        • Kodie

          Funny that you can’t spot a fallacy to save your life. The bible is a series of books written by people a long time ago about their superstition. Some of it happens to hit the spot for some people, I mean, humans lived and had stories that might sound a lot like your stories today, and came to resolutions that might work in your life today. It’s not fucking magic. Tons of that book is spooky and bullshit. People fool themselves, and create stories where an imaginary character is judging them or an agent, or have disgusting or biased social opinions that they use this imaginary character to endorse. GOD SAYS blah blah blah, they say, so I’m not going to believe Bibliognost, I’m going to wait until he “quotes” this guy he imagines is real, who can punish me when I die, and then it’s not just some doucheburger on the internet, it’s this mysterious force, so I believe it just in case.

          That’s fucking moronic.

          That’s the whole bible. You abuse your own deluded authority to speak to us from this scary guy you think is real, so we are supposed to just be thankful when you call us “son” or “dear” and think we are broken and wicked. How awful of you. What a judgmental asshole you are. How uneducated that you can’t spot the fallacy, and I’m so fucking sorry for you, but getting defensive over believing such stupid fallacies after majoring in philosophy causes you to double down and be so angry. What would Jesus do? Jesus would leave us the fuck alone and feel sorry for himself quietly.

        • The Bibliognost

          I never will never cease to be amazed at your bizarre sense of parity. I call you “son” or “dear” – terms of endearment from a 65 year old grandfather, and in return I get “judgement asshole.” And you say as if it’s the most normal form of discourse between two adults – the incongruity of your response simply doesn’t register in your mind. It’s simply unbelievable. You have no clue how grotesque and aberrant you behave. I cannot fathom how you function boiling over with such anger, so easily provoked, so willing to destroy anyone who says “boo” to you. Again – I am sorry for you, truly. Your misery level must be off the chart. All I can do is pray for you. I am doing you no good here.

        • Kodie

          You don’t endear people to you by refusing to know who they are, and deciding ahead of time that they are beneath you, and addressing them that way.

          Aren’t you old enough to know that by now? Are you going to keep defending your insulting behavior?

        • The Bibliognost

          You are so mistaken. You assume infallibility in judgement. I’ve never said you are beneath me. I’ve been pretty clear in insisting that your worldview is, but not you personally. You see how you blur that line?

          I don’t think I’ve insulted you at all, to be honest. Furthermore, I don’t even think you really believe that. I think you are lonely and deliberately provocative.

          Write an old man sometime – I can endure your worst. Biblio———com. I am going to remove that address (if I can) in about 5 minutes. I think you’ll find I’m a bit more of a thoughtful and serious person than you imagined in your rush to describe me dozens of times as an “asshole.”

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          You don’t admit you’ve insulted anyone. I think you are so ignorant and full of yourself that you can’t come to grips.

          What the fuck is your damned deal. You treat other people like their worldview, and then you want me to make a distinction? Stop ignoring your own behavior this whole time. There is no excuse from someone your age except you’re old-fashioned and this durn world is jes’ movin’ too fast fer ya.

        • Kodie

          I absolutely LOVE how you keep insulting me and not trying to address what I actually said. So, you were a philosophy major at the bottom of your class, you say.

        • I am at least marginally competent to dance through the standard philosophical arguments for God, though personally I find that generally unhelpful and unconvincing to the fixed skeptic.

          Arguments for God are useless? I tend to agree. But given that, what are you here for?

        • epeeist

          However, as a philosophy major (albeit in the dark ages) I am at least marginally competent to dance through the standard philosophical arguments for God

          I have seen no evidence of your philosophical competence nor even any grasp of apologetics. The only thing I have seen is presuppositionalism, a hypocritical doctrine with no intellectual integrity or credibility.

        • You need to stop the whining and earn your keep. Make an argument or respond to arguments in any post at this blog. (Admittedly, this is probably just the Dark Lord speaking through me because insisting on evidence and reasonable arguments is the kind of thing He does.)

          Become useful or get banned.

        • The Bibliognost

          I am too old to be intimidated, and too amused by such arrogance to be threatened. For a man fixated on denying God, you certainly have a god-like complex.

          Ban away. Life is full. Frankly, I am embarrassed for you.

        • Kodie

          Christians like you are the fucking worst. You are stupid, thoughtless, arrogant, and can’t recognize a fallacy to save your fucking life, and you LOVE to get banned, because you think that’s because we hate JESUS. No, you suck as a human. I guess you know that, because that’s why you need JESUS to save you from hell. You don’t give a shit about other people and the imposition your lack of intellect and your outsized ego has on others. You are the worst KIND OF Christian. Knows nothing, behaves offensively, and feels wonderful!

          Tell your cult you won at being such an asshole they banned you, they will give you an award.

        • Kodie

          You can just go ahead and cling to your toxic beliefs if you want to, but it does no good to quote a marketing pitch meant to snare insecure morons like you to join a club based on a fictional character.

        • The Bibliognost

          You know, since you seem determined to conduct yourself with toxic bitterness, I’m left with one question. Does anyone love you? Are you such a nasty, hard case out of loneliness and despair? You have the personality of a dull dentist drill. Has life passed you by? Are you alone in the glare of your computer looking for Christian folk to be obnoxious to in order to assign meaning to an empty, nihilistic life? What is it about atheism that generates such caustic aloofness? Such…poor character? Such poverty of spirit?

          You don’t have to respond. I understand how atheism has rotted your soul. You reek of misery. I am genuinely sorry for you.

          Over and out.

        • Kodie

          There you go making assumptions and insulting people based on your prejudice based on a bible fallacy. You don’t give a shit about your audience. You have the personality of a Christian. I mean a total idiotic, insulting, un-self-aware, arrogant, empty, pathetic, judgmental piece of shit. I saw it in you from the beginning. It’s not because you say Christian things, but that you think being a Christian gives you some authority you don’t have.

          I mean, I know Christians who don’t make terrible excuses to be a horrible person, but you’re not one of those kind.

        • You have the personality of a dull dentist drill.

          Look in a mirror. Imagine how ironic this sounds to u.

          You have the self-awareness of a rock.

        • Lee Young

          The Bible says that we are to speak the truth in love. I think that I agree with your basic beliefs, but when we claim to believe in the Bible, then we must be accountable to its tenets. Ephesians 4:29 says that we are to not let anything out of our mouth except for what builds others up. In my opinion, your sarcasm is not loving and above all, we are to love. As a Christian, I disagree with the atheistic arguments expressed on this site, but my Biblical beliefs also teach me that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity, even when we disagree or if we were attacked. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” As subscribers to the Scripture, we should have an even greater compassion for those who do not have faith. This compassion should lead us to words of kindness even in disagreement. Spoken in love. Hope its received the same 🙂

        • The Bibliognost

          Thanks for the note Lee. It’s a breath of fresh air in this cesspool. I appreciate the reminder, and I have no doubt but that is spoken in love as you claim (and much appreciated!) but may I remind you of another aspect of response we find in the Bible?

          For instance, consider how Jesus rebukes the Pharisees. Pretty harsh stuff. He calls them “white-washed tombs,” “blind guides,” “hypocrites” and other such derogatory terms. As you know, He does this with great frequency. I understand the atheists are not unbelieving Jews, nevertheless, is there no pattern here? Is He not our model?

          What of the imprecatory Psalms? For instance:

          “Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away! Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them! For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life. Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it- to his destruction!” (Psalm 35:4-8)

          Whatever else that is, “loving that is not.” Yet, it is part of the Word of God. And as you doubtless know, there are many of those Psalms.

          Likewise it is obvious that even in the NT similar “imprecations” on the enemies of God are found (Luke 10:10-16; Galatians 1:8; 5:12; 1 Corinthians 16:21-22; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Timothy 4:14; Revelation 6:10; 19:1-2).

          The Lord Himself used imprecatory language in Matthew 23:13,15,16,23,24,27,29.

          I did not curse these people, though they cursed and verbally abused me unceasingly and with clear relish and purposeful nasty intent. In that sense certainly, I did not return in kind. If I had, then you would have had clear reason to withstand me. And believe me as an old ex-Navy man, I could have!

          Finally, I do not believe “speaking the truth in love” requires us to be verbally abused without rejoinder. Though not in kind in terms of the evil speech, nevertheless, with authority and certitude.

          Thoughts?

        • Kodie

          Isn’t it so funny how Christians like to jump into a discussion like a parasite, complain about everything, and then change the subject, making wild unsupported assertions, but make that someone else’s problem? Young Bibliognost has no respect for his audience.

        • Kodie

          Why do you ask about morals when you justify treating people the way you do? You challenge people you know nothing about, and talk to them like they are children. What gives you the authority?

          Sorry your superstition makes your ego out of control.

        • You know, for a finite being of limited intelligence and resources, you sure seem to know a lot about what God ought to have done, should have done, might have done, etc.

          This applies to you primarily.

        • The Bibliognost

          Wow Bob, you sure showed me!

        • Kodie

          See how you insult people and don’t support your arguments with anything but bluster and indignation? You’re too old for that shit, aren’t you? And then get mad because you’re insecure that you are so unprepared to be in this debate that you blame everyone else????? Aren’t you too old and wise for that? Why do you still believe in your idiotic superstition without any substantial reasons?

        • Kodie

          “The purple snails ride unicycles in my bathtub drain”, you might as well have said.

  • valleycat1

    The Argument from the Colors of the Rainbow: They are always in the same order (assuming in a double rainbow you start from the other side)! And that order exactly matches ROYGBIV, which is how we remember the order! And no other order would look so pretty!

  • Michael Murray

    What I don’t understand is WLC stands on the shoulders of giants but he can’t see past the end of his own nose.

    • Raging Bee

      Which giants, exactly?

      • Michael Murray

        I was thinking of the scientists who did the work on which WLC bases his “Argument from Mathematics”. One of which would be Newton from whom of course I nicked the comment. But apparently it goes back a lot further

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants

      • Greg G.

        Frost giants, of course.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      ‘god’ filled distortion goggles.

    • Chuck Johnson

      Easy to understand.
      The intentions of science are truthful.
      The intentions of religions are persuasion and growth of the church.

      WLC offers simulated truth to try to enhance the power of the church.
      This used to work pretty well, but not so much anymore.
      Religions are shrinking throughout the industrialized world.

  • epeeist

    Caltrop arguments are arguments used as a rearguard action.

    Caltrops are useful when your bailey is being overrun and you are attempting to defend your motte

    • I’d made that metaphorical connection before, but I hadn’t seen this article. Thanks.

  • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

    People go to supernatural belief systems because they are desperate for HELP with their problems, ranging from Death to Poverty to Joblessness to Suffering Low Status to being Bullied to being Unpopular At School.

    When the Rational-Debunker-of-Supernaturalism comes along & tells the desperate person, “Jesus is not going to help you–Jesus doesn’t even exist outside of your mind & the mind of others” does that help the desperate, suffering person?

    And so I argue that unless and until the Rational-Debunkers-of-Supernaturalism can eliminate, for everyone, for all time, all the threats to life and well-being, the Promoters-of-Supernaturalism will always have and hold a big chuck of the “marketplace.”

    Even though there aren’t any Supernatural Beings outside of the human mind, belief in the benevolence, power, wisdom, and foresight of those Supernatural Beings does help and benefit certain persons in a way that Rationality and Science never can and never does.

    I would say that his is not just a claim, but something that is readily observable and perhaps even well-established by research psychologists.

    Yes, a certain chunk of the human population can be persuaded by facts and reason to abandon the use of Supernatural Beliefs, but I believe that this will never even 100%, and probably will never reach 50%.

    This is because we human being are animals, beings of the same basic nature as chimpanzees, dogs, parrots, with one key difference: Because of language and certain other functions of our unique higher brain, we can foresee our death, the death of our loved ones, and the death of our nation. And so we use our unique higher brain capacities to cope with that by imagining an existence in which death is no more, and threats to our well-being are no more, and we float in a paradise (like when we were in the womb, or were a newborn at our mother’s breasts.)

    Plenty of smart people have shown, convincingly I believe, that when you investigate down into the basis of Human Rationality, what you find is Irrationality. I.e, you find the Subconscious Mind and the Animal Instincts.

    These things are programmed into us by the DNA we share in common with all animals, and the bits of DNA that produce the brain parts that are unique to humans.

    In the final analysis, the Rational-Debunkers-of-Supernaturalism are just as Irrational as the devout Southern Baptist or Muslim. We are all Slaves-to-Our-DNA. We are not Gods, not gods, not AI super computers.

    We are animals. As such, our DNA mandate is to Survive and Reproduce. Everything else is just delusion, invention, fantasy, wishful thinking.

    Can there be a human society in which rational thinking prevails and irrational belief systems have been vanquished? No, for all the reasons stated above. Humans are not Rational Beings. We are not Logic Beings. We are not Math Beings. We are not Algorithm Beings. Plato was dead wrong. There are no Eternal Forms in some supernatural realm. There is only DNA, the Laws of Biology, and the Laws of Physics/Chemistry. We are DNA Beings. Life is DNA.

    That’s all. WE ARE ANIMALS. That was the terrifying revelation at the end of the 1968 “Planet of the Apes.” All this is pretty well presented, too, in the “Cloud Atlas” movie.

    In the final paragraph of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species,” Darwin twice refers to, and briefly summarizes, the Laws of Biology. We are all puppets and DNA (which encode the Laws of Biology) is the puppet master. To imagine ourselves are superior to this arrangement is just as delusional as any System of Supernatural Belief.

    Well, there’s that. What do you think?

    I’m trying to decide myself whether or not this is a fully workable, useful, productive view of life. I come on the Internet to learn, to gain improvement in my understanding of this big, horrible, wonderful “adventure” called human living. I like this view, as it seems to rise above all the tired old Atheism vs. Theism, Conservatives vs. Progressives, etc. This view seems to direct one towards being practical, and not putting one’s hopes in any Better World (either of the religious or secular variety).

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      When religion is denatured to merely providing personal comfort, I’ll stop fighting back.

      UNTIL it’s denatured that far, I’ll keep fighting its power and power grabs.

    • Michael Murray

      Remember the US (assuming you are from the US) is an outlier amongst western countries in terms of the relationship between quality of life and belief in gods. Pew has a graph somewhere on that. In the UK less than 50% say they have a religion.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/04/half-uk-population-has-no-religion-british-social-attitudes-survey

      • Gregory Paul, a researcher of such things, argues that poor social conditions are conducive to religion. One wonders what that tells us about the state of social conditions in the US. (Or maybe not.)

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Well, as an anecdotal example, the Scandinavian countries, with a robust social safety net, are among the least religious in the world, and the hellholes where there’s practically no social safety net (Somalia, Alabama ;-)…) are the most religious.

        • Michael Neville

          Karl Marx’s “Religion is the opium of the people” is applicable. The full quote is:

          Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

          Marx was saying that people use religion to ease their fears and suffering just like an injured person uses opium to ease their pain. Just as opium isn’t a cure, religion doesn’t fix the causes of fear and suffering. Both religion and opium mask pain without doing anything about the cause of the pain.

        • Pofarmer

          I dunno Bob, but it appears that MO has elected a probably Christian Dominionist to the Senate. Josh Hawley. I wasn’t really aware of all this until last night.

          Hawley was born in Springdale, Arkansas, but soon moved to Lexington, Missouri.[1][2] He graduated from Rockhurst High School(Catholic School) in Kansas City, Missouri. He then attended Stanford University and graduated with highest honors in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He moved to London and taught at St Paul’s School, London, for a year.[1] Hawley then attended Yale Law School, where he led the school’s chapter of the Federalist Society[3] and received a Juris Doctor degree in 2006.[4]

          At age 28, Hawley wrote a biography of Theodore Roosevelt for Yale University Press entitled Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness.[3]

          After law school, Hawley was a law clerk for Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.[1] He subsequently served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of the United States for Chief Justice John Roberts. During this year, Hawley met his future wife, fellow Supreme Court clerk Erin Morrow.[3][5]

          After Hawley’s clerkships, he began working as an appellate litigator at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C (then called Hogan & Hartson) in 2008.[1] From 2011 to 2015, he worked for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; he worked for them full-time at their Washington, D.C. offices before moving to Missouri.[6] With Becket, he wrote briefs and gave legal advice in the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC Supreme Court case that was decided in 2012 and in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case which was decided in 2014.[7][8] In 2011, Hawley moved to Missouri and became an associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School, where he taught constitutional law, constitutional theory, legislation, and torts.[1][9]

          In June 2013, Hawley served as a faculty member of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which is funded by Alliance Defending Freedom (a conservative Christian organization).[10]

          In May 2015, Hawley was admitted to the Supreme Court bar and became eligible to argue cases before the Court.[7][8]

          In a lot of ways, I think we’re kind of fucked.

        • He’s got great credentials, which is a little different than the Liberty University approach. But if he is a Dominionist, that is indeed a bad turn of events.

          It’s ironic when Christians clutch their pearls about Sharia law when the bigger issue (in the US, anyway) is Christian extremism.

        • Pofarmer

          Hes a smart, well educated, idealogue. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, and is also hypocritical corrupt and power hungry.

        • What could possibly go wrong?

          Cue the ominous music.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Preferably the organ/vocal arrangement of the 2nd mvmt of Beethoven’s 7th symphony used in the opening credits of Zardoz.

    • Michael Murray

      Here is that Pew graph for wealth versus daily prayer. Americans are just weird 🙂

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/31/americans-are-far-more-religious-than-adults-in-other-wealthy-nations/

      • TheNuszAbides

        Americans are just weird

        of course those who buck the global trend would prefer to use ‘exceptional’ …

        as a Yank born to Aussies, I know [ever-so-slightly] better …

    • Raging Bee

      …belief in the benevolence, power, wisdom, and foresight of those
      Supernatural Beings does help and benefit certain persons in a way that
      Rationality and Science never can and never does.

      And what way is that?

    • Raging Bee

      We are animals. As such, our DNA mandate is to Survive and Reproduce.
      Everything else is just delusion, invention, fantasy, wishful thinking.

      Dude, you’re getting your propaganda-points all wrong! It’s the ATHEISTS who are supposed to be saying that! Damn, boy, can’t you even read a script?!

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Can there be a human society in which rational thinking prevails and irrational belief systems have been vanquished?

      Of course not, but does that mean we should ignore and even sanctify certain irrational beliefs?

      • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

        Good point, JAA2. Activists who work against certain Irrational-Beliefs-in-Politics (e.g, outlawing gay sex, or allowing businesses/employers to choose to discriminate against gay persons) are doing good & important work.

        I’m just concerned about a particular Irrational-Belief-in-Politics that I see as being promoted by some (not all) Atheism Activists.

        I’m talking about the Irrational Belief that we can create something very much like a utopia by getting rid of all irrational thinking and re-making every person into a fully Rational Being, and re-making Society and its laws into a fully Rational System.

        Generally, these activists seem to imagine a world without greed, selfishness, competition, deception, and conflict, a world fully based on universal rational cooperation, sharing, openness, honesty, generosity, and goodwill.

        I take Darwin and Freud as scientists (not philosophers, which is what Marx and Ayn Rand were) we cannot ignore, and who lead us necessarily to viewing humanity with significant doses of pessimism.

        Do you see what I mean?

        • Susan

          I’m just concerned about a particular Irrational-Belief-in-Politics that I see as being promoted by some (not all) Atheism Activists.

          Then, it’s not necessarily connected to not believing in gods. Deal with it elsewhere, on its own terms.

          I’m talking about the Irrational Belief that we can create something very much like a utopia by getting rid of all irrational thinking and re-making every person into a fully Rational Being

          Then, you’re on the wrong website. In the wrong discussion.

          No one here has promoted that belief.

          Generally,

          Not here.

          Do you see what I mean?

          About strawmen?

          Yes.

          About this discussion?

          No.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Are you sure you aren’t strawmanning the goal, LMRMS? Could it be a more reasonable goal of gradually diminishing the tolerance for irrational thought such that a) we find a lower “ordinary” level and b) we become more aware of when poor reasoning is being utilized?

        • TheNuszAbides

          You sure Freud was more of a scientist than a philosopher? (Feel free to refer to the work of your psychologist chum.)

          Anyhoo, it’s not a matter of ignoring him in particular, as long as his errors and methodology continue to be corrected/questioned. Ditto for Jung.

    • Otto

      People go to supernatural belief systems because they are desperate for HELP with their problems…

      You skipped the part about the multitudes of people that are involved in supernatural belief systems because they were indoctrinated into them as children. You seem to have come to a conclusion and then just shoehorned your argument into it after the fact.

      Yes, a certain chunk of the human population can be persuaded by facts and reason to abandon the use of Supernatural Beliefs, but I believe that this will never even 100%, and probably will never reach 50%.

      So since there will never be a 100% success rate it is stupid to take the other side of the argument? Do you tell organizations that fight drunk driving that they are wasting their time because they will never get a 100% success rate? Do you know how silly you sound?

      • Let Me Recover My Sight -Mk 10

        Thank you for your comment. My comment contained defects. I regret that. Best wishes.

  • Rudy R

    And we all know the classic Bill O’Reilly brilliant apologetics, “…Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You [science] can’t explain that.,.”

  • To use your analogy, we already know murders happen and people commit them, while with God, aliens or Bigfoot their very existence is the issue (I’d consider aliens the most likely to exist of those three).

    • Herald Newman

      I’d consider aliens the most likely to exist of those three

      Part of this really depends on what you mean by “aliens”. I’m going to assume you’re talking about some other *technologically advanced* species, like ours, somewhere else in the observable universe. If that’s the case, then I don’t know that such a statement is warranted. We know that one technologically advanced, intelligent species, exists but we really don’t know what the probability of a species like ours arising is. We’ve only ever found life on one planet, where we don’t know exactly what conditions are necessary to give rise to life, let alone rise to a technologically capable species like ours.

      Of the three, God seems to be far less likely given that it’s often described as a mind without a physical brain. We have no reason to believe that such a thing is even possible. Between Bigfoot, and aliens, I’m not even sure I’m qualified to try to assess which of these is the more probable, although I grant that Bigfoot is highly unlikely. The probability of aliens seems to be a giant unknown, even if there are a trillion galaxies in the observable universe.

      • Michael Murray

        Aliens and bigfoot seem to me to be in another league to god. With Aliens and Bigfoot (great movie title) there is no question of could they exist just a question of do they exist. With god we are stuck with could or the even earlier question of what is god anyway ?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, aliens and Bigfoot are well defined and undoubtedly physically possible, god is neither.

        • Michael Murray

          An interesting in between case would be “was Jesus a time-traveller”. Time travel seems well defined but not so clear it is physically possible. I would still find it more likely than God.

        • Miranda

          Perhaps a human Jesus, wandering Jewish preacher was resurrected by Aliens, seen by his disciples then the process of reanimation went awry, he became huge and furry and became Bigfoot appearing to Paul in the desert…would explain all three no magic needed!

        • Michael Murray

          Yes ! The big feet might explain the walking on water as well.

          Wikipedia has a great list of science fiction stories involving Jesus. But there still seems an opening for Furry Jesus.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_ideas_in_science_fiction#Jesus

          I like the one where all the people in the crowd condemning Jesus to crucifixion are tourists on a time-travelling tour who have been told to do so as not to alter the future. But …

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Maybe he was a werewolf Bigfoot, and the rest of the time he was Andre the Giant?

          😉

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Time travel seems well defined but not so clear it is physically possible.

          We are all time travellers, travelling into the future at the rate of one second per second.

        • epeeist

          Time travel seems well defined but not so clear it is physically possible.

          But, but, but, Frank Tipler thinks it is possible

        • Pofarmer

          I think that would be Aliens VS Big Foot.

      • You’re right, it depends. I’m thinking of just any living things outside Earth to begin with. We do not know the probabilities true, but the fact it’s happened here means that’s possible. A similar planet might thus have life, although it’s not of course certain. That is still better though than a creature like Bigfoot which leaves no remains or spoors despite being in well-trafficked areas.

        God is the least likely for the reason you say, among other ones. For instance, the attributes given to God are logically contradictory as well. In a massive universe like ours, the likelihood of life somewhere, even very primitive, doesn’t seem really low. To me our planet alone here having life doesn’t see very plausible.

      • Just in the observable Universe. In the entire one, assuming it’s not infinite, who knows.

      • Pofarmer

        I dunno. We’re up to somewhere like 300 BILLION galaxies in the Observable Universe, each with billions of stars and who knows how many planets. On that scale, even if something is wildly improbable, it’s bound to happen Even a billion to one chance is going to happen many multiple times. Now, could we figure out if there is life in the next galaxy over? Yeah, probably not given the distances involved.

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    Honestly, I think [God] is the only explanation on the table. I don’t see what the competing naturalistic hypotheses are.

    Craig’s dishonesty is in full view in this quote. He clearly knows that god is on par with a naturalistic hypothesis (he doesn’t lament the weakness of naturalistic hypotheses, only their absence), yet notice how god is elevated to “explanation” in an effort to convey more certitude and/or efficacy.

    Sorry, Bill, if naturalistic explanations are mere “hypotheses”, then so is god. You know this

    Even sillier is trying to give credit to a hypothesis for being able to explain the phenomena that prompted its formulation. Newsflash, Bill, all hypotheses do this, otherwise they wouldn’t even warrant the label, “hypothesis”!

    So ungodly stupid.

    • Doubting Thomas

      It’s easy to explain things when you don’t actually feel the need to show your explanation is correct.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Exactly. And apologists put the pathetic cherry on top by acting stunned that their unsubstantiated explanation does, in fact, explain things. It’s really quite sad.

    • Chuck Johnson

      The Christian churches have a long, long history of gullibility and deceit.
      The ancient ignorance has been evolving into modern fraud.

  • Polytropos

    WLC’s cumulative case reminds me of a conspiracy theorist’s diagram – lots of random, unrelated things and nonsense factoids with lines drawn between them to show how it’s all totally connected man, don’t you see? It’s the New World Order! Or, in this case, god.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    “arguably the world’s foremost defender of histriornic Christianity,”

    FTFY

    😉

  • Joe

    I won’t accept a cumulative argument comprised of not one single successful argument.

    Usually murder cases are built around one firm piece of evidence, such as DNA at the scene, ad are supported by cumulative speculative evidence such as eyewitness testimony and a plausible motive. Adding up any number of zeroes doesn’t get you to one.

    • Susan

      I won’t accept a cumulative argument comprised of not one single successful argument.

      That can only mean that you’re not seeking with an “open heart”.

      Or that you want to sin.

      Or that you worship yourself.

      Or that the devil is messin’ with you.

      Or that you’re not sophisticated enough to understand the arguments.

      Or that you have “faith” in science.

      Or any combination of the above in an endless game of Whack-a-Mole.

      *It can’t possibly mean what you said.

      *Because…. See above.

      • eric

        Or it could mean that the arguments given for religion aren’t successful.

        • Susan

          Or it could mean that the arguments given for religion aren’t successful.

          Don’t be such a sinner.

        • eric

          I can’t tell if you’re a poe or not.

          …but assuming not, according to Christianity, everyone’s a sinner. So ‘being a sinner’ can’t be the cause of rejecting God, because if that were the case, there’d be no Christians.

        • Susan

          I can’t tell if you’re a poe or not.

          Sorry, eric. I was criticizing their strategies. I should have added a /s.

        • eric

          Ah. Thanks for the explanation.

        • Michael Neville

          Susan is neither a poe nor a troll.

        • MR

          Susan was speaking sarcastically. Unfortunately I fear the sarcasm won’t be obvious to many Christians either and will just be confirmation for them. I know it feels a bit like undermining your point, but she didn’t mean it that way.

        • Susan

          I fear the sarcasm won’t be obvious to many Christians either

          Hence, Poe’s Law.

          Wow, it’s scary to think that condensing a long list of terrible reasons for not accepting a bad argument can make me look exactly like an apologist.

          It wasn’t my intention.

          It’s not eric’s fault.

      • ildi

        Also, too: “Why do you hate God?”

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Aw, c’MON…if you add up ENOUGH zeroes, you *have* to eventually get to one, right?

      😉

      • Pofarmer

        This reminds me of something. I think it’s WLC, and I’ve seen other apologists use it, stating that “Actual infinities cannot exist” which means that the Universe cannot be eternal. Uhm, Ok. But, the part of the Big Bang theory posits that the Universe is actually creating the space that it’s constantly expanding into, so, the universe could be both infinite and eternal, though it wouldn’t have to be. Laws within the Universe may not apply to the Universe itself.

  • WCB

    For me, it is just the opposite. Read the NT and the gospels. Note the many contradictions, problems, nonsense and foolishness. The accumulative errors and nonsense spell “False!” in a big red font. For Christianity, we have the pungent smell of bad theology and special pleading. Christians are driven to either fundamentalist literalism or liberal Christian allegorization. Underlying Christianity is the problem of the self contradictions of the God they claim exists. The foundations of Christianity are unsound and accumulative nonsense that cannot support anything else on top of that.

    • Joe

      Similarly for me, I was never convinced by Christianity due to an accumulation of what I saw as many, many, severe flaws in their theologies.

      • Pofarmer

        What finally drove me completely out was seeing the horrible consequences of Catholics successfully applying their theology.

  • Chuck Johnson

    At best, Christian apologists can point to some philosophical ambiguity that they hope to resolve with God, but this ignores the fact that science and math have been the only disciplines from which we’ve ever learned about reality, and the Christians’ discipline of theology has delivered no testable results despite millennia of trying.
    -Bob

    Not true.
    Art, music, sculpture and religions all can, and do teach us about reality.
    They sometimes do it in an intuitive way rather than in a way that is clearly described in words.

    The supernatural claims of religions have been demonstrated by scientific thinking and by scientific research to be false claims, but religions consist of far more than just supernatural claims.

    Christianity becomes more progressive, more true and more valuable as the years pass, despite the hindrance of the residual superstition.
    That residual superstition is still a problem.

    • Lark62

      Religion is a thought stopping lie. Yes, perhaps art, music, sculpture and literature and mythology (aka fiction) can highlight some types of truth about humanity. Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Roadrunner and the Far Side can reveal truth in their own way.

      But religion remains make believe.

      And any benefit of religion needs to be considered along with harm caused by ignorance.

      • Chuck Johnson

        The supernatural part of religions is the make believe.
        Religions contain far more information and teaching than just the supernatural content.

        • Pofarmer

          This is nonsense.

          Do you think that the current trend of Christian Dominionism in the U.S. makes Christianity more True and more Valuable? Pull yer head out.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Your dishonesty is showing.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why do you say so? What is dishonest about @Pofarmer ‘s post?

        • Chuck Johnson

          I would, but it is best to not feed the trolls.

        • Susan

          it is best to not feed the trolls.

          It is not trollin to ask “How so?”.

          But if you think Pofarmer and HairyEyedWordBomb Thrower are trolls, then don’t tell them.

          Tell me.

          Or someone else here.

          Or is everyone who asks you to support your statements a troll?

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Or is everyone who asks you to support your statements a troll?”
          No, but you are Susan.
          Learn the difference.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve noticed one thing about you, Chuckles. If you can’t come up with a reasonable response to someone you accuse them of trolling. Friendly word of advice, don’t throw accusations of trolling around when (a) it’s obvious to everyone else the person you’re accusing isn’t trolling you and (2) using the accusation to hide the fact that you’re losing an argument.

          I predict that you’ll accuse me of trolling you.

        • Greg G.

          FYI: I spent two weeks in Saigon. Now in Vinh Long for a few days. Then back to Saigon to meet up with a few people before heading to Quy Nhon and Nha Trang.

        • Michael Neville

          I’d love to go to Vietnam. I want to see if Vung Tau is as beautiful as I remember it.

        • Greg G.
        • Chuck Johnson

          “I predict that you’ll accuse me of trolling you.”

          Exactly.
          You are trolling.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re pretending people are trolling you because we make arguments and criticisms of your comments and you not only don’t rebut them but you know you can’t rebut them. So instead you whine about trolls.

        • Susan

          Learn the difference.

          Could you explain the difference for the non-trolls and/or the non-trolling lurkers here?

        • Pofarmer

          Ole Chuck seems very enamored of himself. Apparently we’re not doing atheism right, or something. Hard to say with all the trollingly trolls trolling about.

        • Chuck Johnson

          No.
          Such an explanation would inspire additional trolling.
          Read my comments to learn what I do or do not consider to be trolling.

        • Pofarmer

          So now Susan’s a troll too? Anyone who questions you is a troll?

          Wow.

          Just Wow.

          Physician heal thyself.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Anyone who questions you is a troll?”
          You are trolling.

        • Pofarmer

          Somewhere.

          Someone.

          Could put the oxygen you are wasting to good use.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You don’t seem to have noticed that I approve of less trolling, not more.

          Your suggestion would lead to more trolling.
          Maybe that never occurred to you.

        • Susan

          You don’t seem to have noticed that I approve of less trolling, not more.

          I haven’t noticed it because that doesn’t seem to be the case. Saying so doesn’t make it so. You won’t answer basic questions about your proclamations.

          Your suggestion would lead to more trolling.

          Asking you to support your proclamations does not lead to more trolling (a term, you like to apply, but haven’t defined).

        • Chuck Johnson

          (a term, you like to apply, but haven’t defined).

          I hesitate to define it.
          That would lead to more trolling.
          I believe that it is best to not feed the trolls.
          So I keep my comments brief.

        • Susan

          I hesitate to define it.
          That would lead to more trolling.

          So a meaningless statement and an unsupported assertion. All rolled into one.

          I believe that it is best not to feed the trolls.

          Everyone’s a troll if they ask you to support your statements. That is, you aren’t interested in discussion, just proclamations.

          So I keep my comments brief

          And meaningless and unsupported.

          Whatever, Chuck.

          This is a discussion forum. If you don’t want to discuss anything, don’t waste commenting space.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          you do realize that the only one showing trollish behavior is you? while some of the comments here may be not couched in the most polite of ways i have yet to see a troll type response, if strong language is not your thing then perhaps this comments section is not for you.

        • Susan

          if strong language is not your thing

          He’s accused people of being trolls simply for asking him to support his position.

          In most cases, there was no strong language.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          oh quite, but someone who is going to clutch their pearls quite as hard as this chap is almost certainly going to have a low tolerance for what is considered strong language. But the only way to see if he has anything interesting to say is to keep him talking

        • Chuck Johnson

          No I do not realize that.
          And you are trolling.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          wow, not just a troll but bad one, no clever response just a badly spelled accusation, you really need to up your game to get taken seriously, now go away and let the adults talk

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          that is an outstanding way to duck into the punch, i mean i am impressed. would you care to prove my point again?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sounds like avoidance and craven retreat to me…and trying to mask it.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling.

        • The Bibliognost

          If you told me, as a young high schooler in the 60’s – that “troll” would become one of the most frequently used words in public forums, I would have thought you nuts. (Hint: how about expanding your vocabulary??)

        • Chuck Johnson

          I have a very wide vocabulary.
          And you are trolling.

        • The Bibliognost

          Just glancing quickly and casually above, I notice you use the word “troll” or “trolling” 5 times to various correspondents. Tell me friend, do you have any real function save utilizing the word “troll” ceaselessly? Do you actually think, reason and have substantive opinions? Or is this “troll” fetish the extent of your intellectual acumen?

          P.S. – If you do have a wide vocabulary, you might more convincingly establish it w/o your “troll” fixation. In short, grow up son.

        • Pofarmer

          How so?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Trolling.

        • Pofarmer

          Absolutely not. The regulars here will tell you I don’t troll. Perhaps you’d like to respond to the question?

        • Chuck Johnson

          The regulars?
          That proves it to you.
          Those regular troll.

        • MR

          In what way is Pofarmer being dishonest?

        • Chuck Johnson

          I would answer, but it is best t not feed the trolls.

        • MR

          Yeah. You’re not fooling anyone.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          If we can get the information and teaching *without* the religion, why should we bother with the religion? Especially when religion makes authoritarian power grabs?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Without superstition is an improvement.
          Without authoritarianism is an improvement.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          If you do not want authoritarianism, any monotheistic religion is a bad choice.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Any kind of theism tends to support authoritarianism.
          It’s not a bug, it’s a feature of leadership by the supernatural.

          This is related to the fact that religions are declining throughout the industrialized world.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Any kind of theism tends to support authoritarianism.

          The idea of democracy first appeared alongside a polytheistic religion, and the largest democracy existing today (India) is secular, but the dominant religion is polytheistic.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You call India a secular society.
          Your ignorance is showing.
          Blasphemy is a crime there.
          This is the face of authoritarian religion.

          http://tinyurl.com/y6gjqmau

        • The Bibliognost

          Sure, communism, never authoritarian and ALWAYS loathsomely religious…..

        • The problem is that they tend to be put in the back seat in favor of using them to control others.

        • Chuck Johnson

          One of the big functions of religions (historically) was the authority that religions granted to the governments.

          In the Jesus story, he was crucified because of his claim to be the son of God.

          The Romans had their own gods to legitimize their authority.
          The Jesus claim was viewed as a powerful political claim.

          As it turned out, the Roman political system (just as they had feared) did have plenty to fear from the Jesus movement.

        • Susan

          As it turned out, the Roman political system (just as they had feared) did have plenty to fear from the Jesus movement.

          Three centuries later. When it became accepted and then became the official religion of the empire.

          What exactly do you mean by “the Roman political system”?

        • Chuck Johnson

          I mean the polytheistic Roman political system.
          Which was then replaced by the monotheistic Roman political system.

          Big changes were made, but Rome continued to have much political power in Europe.

        • Raging Bee

          One of the big functions of religions (historically) was the authority that religions granted to the governments.

          Which governments, exactly? Certainly not the ones that did Mankind the most good — those were relatively secular regimes that had to promote progress and uphold liberty AGAINST religious opposition.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Your understanding of Western civilization is very poor.
          Unless you are lying.

        • Raging Bee

          Calling me ignorant doesn’t exactly work if you have no corrective information of your own to offer.

        • I forgot to mention that, despite science showing some of their statements to be wrong, still claiming that they’re right while scientists not.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes.
          The debunking of superstitions by science is having a substantial effect in the industrialized countries.

        • WCB

          I am down here in Texas. Our good Christians down here have sent a lot of far right politicians to office here. They have crammed our State Board Of Education with creationists who have managed to about gut science education here. They keep trying to cram Christian pseudo-history into school textbooks. The lies of David Barton and others. They are suffused with homophobia. They have whole heartedly adopted climate warming denial. The are trying to make birth control hard for the women of Texas to obtain. We have to fight these morons tooth and nail all the time. The utter lack of real information coming from these morons is startling. Thanks to the religion suffused politics of Texas, we have among the lowest spending on education of the 50 states and rank rather low on educational achievements of Texas students. All these wonders due to the high information content of Christian superstition. Slowly, but surely, the younger cohorts of Texans are beginning to catch on and abandon this superstition, but it will take decades to end the religious backwardness we labor under here in Texas.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, you have a lot of old-time religion in Texas.

          That old time religion is less of a problem up north.
          I went to Ridgebury Congregational as a child, Ridgefield, CT.
          (United Church of Christ)
          Presently, I live in Quakertown, PA where the Richland Friends Meeting House is located. (Quakers).

          Your Southern Baptist churches were founded to help the slave owners feel good about owning slaves.

          Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the Quakers were operating the Underground Railroad.

          Progressiveism does make a difference.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f18466291a5688f208d270dd65b50ef34749bd388fced068640486c5e5c1e2f3.jpg

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68e1e3f68f6b97ae29857d3370009924256812213510414eaf600687a948ca07.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          How do pictures of churches support your argument?

        • Chuck Johnson

          You would know if you cared about the question you just asked.
          You do not care, you are trolling.

        • Michael Neville

          So you can’t answer my question. You’re not only a whiner but you’re a stupid whiner.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Your Southern Baptist churches were founded to help the slave owners feel good about owning slaves.
          Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the Quakers were operating the Underground Railroad.

          List of Christian denominations by number of members

          Catholic Church – 1.285 billion

          Southern Baptist Convention – 15.0 million

          Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) – 0.4 million (!outnumbered by the “Assyrian Church of the East” ‽)

          Pentecostalism – 280 million

        • The Bible provides more assistance to the slave owner than the abolitionist.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Depends upon which slave owner and which abolitionist you are talking about.

          The Bible is full of hints, clues, leads, etc. which can lead the imaginative Christian just about anywhere. Historically, that is how the Bible gets used, to justify just about anything.

          It still gets used today as a rubber stamp of authority for an extreme diversity of moral propositions.

          But as you say, the slave owner gets a rich supply of justifications for slavery.

          Read a Letter from Birmingham jail.
          Watch “I Have A dream” on Youtube.

          Count the number of God, Bible and Jesus references.
          Very few.

          Compare that to the number of appeals to political justice and human justice. – – – Such appeals make up just about the entire letter and the entire public speech and the Bible gets pretty much ignored.

          MLK knew that the Bible was a weak source of credibility for supporting his political and social efforts.

          Many people considered his style of Christianity to be outrageous and subversive. Do a Google search on “MLK Communist”

          And of course, J Edgar Hoover had a great load of paperwork on King to help save the USA from possible subversion, sedition, etc. by the civil rights movement.

        • that is how the Bible gets used, to justify just about anything.

          Yes. Strong agreement.

          Read a Letter from Birmingham jail.
          Watch “I Have A dream” on Youtube.
          Count the number of God, Bible and Jesus references.
          Very few.
          Compare that to the number of appeals to political justice and human justice. – – – Such appeals make up just about the entire letter and the entire public speech and the Bible gets pretty much ignored.

          Interesting.

          MLK knew that the Bible was a weak source of credibility for supporting his political and social efforts.

          As I see it, he used Christianity to serve his agenda. He knew that a Jesus-y coating would help the message go down easier. I doubt that MLK as an atheist social worker would’ve been able to get the same hearing.

          It’s interesting to hear that his messages to the largest audiences dialed back the Jesus.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, and many feared him and thought him to be a subversive.
          Maybe even a Communist.

        • Chuck Johnson

          I think that dialing back the Jesus led to a balanced kind of morality and justice statement which was especially effective in serving the goals of the civil rights movement.

        • The Bibliognost

          For some, it seems almost everything comes back to homosexuality….. What profundity.

        • Lark62

          Like what? What does religion contain that fiction does not. The morality of Aragorn, Gandalf and Frodo far outweigh the morality of any semi-mythological mangod.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You know the difference.
          You are pretending.

        • Max Doubt

          “You know the difference.”

          No. He was asking you a rather straightforward question. Like what? And instead of answering it, you weaseled away.

          “You are pretending.”

          No, you are pretending. You’re pretending to have a position you can support when it’s pretty obvious you can’t. But try again… Like what?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Max, I have been seeing you comments for years.
          You are quite a fraud and a troll.

        • Max Doubt

          “Max, I have been seeing you comments for years. You are quite a fraud and a troll.”

          Your whining distraction noted, but not helpful.

          Your claim is…

          Religions contain far more information and teaching than just the supernatural content.

          So… Like what?

        • ThaneOfDrones

          So… Like what?

          Like “give me money on a regular basis.” Don’t forget that one.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are pretending that you don’t know what.
          You are lying.

          The Christians also lie to support their dogma.
          In both cases, confirmation bias is to blame.

          Willful ignorance.
          Lying to support a “higher truth”.

          Scientific thinking is better.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are pretending that you don’t know what. You are lying.”

          So instead of supporting your claim you’re projecting your dishonesty. Yes, we all get it. Here’s a hint: When you make a claim you can’t support, and when you get called out for making the claim, admit you can’t support it. Making up some shit to pretend to support it is dishonest. Avoiding your responsibility to support it while blaming others for your incompetence – as you’re doing here – just makes you an asshole.

          Try again? Your claim is…

          Religions contain far more information and teaching than just the supernatural content.

          So… Like what?

          Will you support the claim, honestly admit you can’t support it, or continue to be an asshole? My money is on number three, but giving you the benefit of the doubt, how ’bout you surprise us?

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are trolling.”

          No, actually I’m asking you to support your claim. Neither your apparent inability to do that nor your dishonesty nor your acting like an asshole constitute trolling on my part.

          Care to try again? Your claim is…

          Religions contain far more information and teaching than just the supernatural content.

          What is this information and teaching that religions contain? And if you can’t support your claim, just put on your big boy panties and act like an honest adult and say so.

        • Chuck Johnson

          So you, Max have not noticed that that religions contain far more information and teaching that just the supernatural content ?

        • Sure, it contains more, but how useful is that other information? It’s the blog of an ancient people–great stuff for historians but of little use to ordinary people.

        • Chuck Johnson

          For the religious, that information has been important and useful.
          They have used it as a guide.

          For historians and (secular) moralists, that information remains quite useful today. What the Bible got wrong and how that bad information has caused problems is important to know.

          The Bible can be used as a guide for good morality and as a collection of cautionary tales for us to examine the roots of bad morality.

          Gay marriage is a case in point.
          Declining credibility of the ancient morality described in the Bible has helped to make gays and lesbians more respected and loved in the USA.

          At the same time, the increasing respect and love for gays causes people to ask: “If the Bible got that one wrong, what else did it get wrong?”

          Considerable bad morality exists in our society due to its inclusion in the Bible. Looking at it critically and analytically is very instructive.

        • It occurs to me that we may be talking past each other.

          What the Bible got wrong and how that bad information has caused problems is important to know.

          OK, but the focus in this case is on what is correct, not to dwell on the many foolish sources of morality.

          The Bible can be used as a guide for good morality and as a collection of cautionary tales for us to examine the roots of bad morality.

          Since we know the good and bad in the Bible from someplace besides the Bible, I don’t see that the Bible is that useful. Since we don’t have a bias for the Bible over any other ancient silly book, why hold up the Bible as a particularly interesting book (aside from its being the book of Christianity, but I believe we’ve set that aside) over any other ancient book of wisdom?

          At the same time, the increasing respect and love for gays causes people to ask: “If the Bible got that one wrong, what else did it get wrong?”

          Yes, that is a way that Christianity can unravel.

        • Chuck Johnson

          OK, but the focus in this case is on what is correct, not to dwell on the many foolish sources of morality.

          I am focusing on both the good and the bad.

          I will say it again:
          The Bible was (for centuries) an important source of information for the development of Western civilization.

          The Bible is presently the source of a lot of controversy in the USA as to what what is moral and what should be legal here.

          You keep trying to convince me how trivial the contents of the Bible are. – – – I am not convinced.

          I am not even convinced that the contents of the Bible are trivial to you. You continue to dedicate a lot of your time focusing on the contents of the Bible.

        • Yeah, I think we’re talking past each other.

          (1) Is the Bible important? Absolutely. It grounds Christianity, which is the bull in America’s china shop. That’s why I dedicate time spent rebutting claims that Christianity is correct. Seen from another angle, it’s important because it was important to our predecessors (the European civilizations). Christianity is part of our history, whether you’re a believer or not.

          (2) Ignoring that, does the Bible have useful information? Not really. It’s one of a myriad of sources that historians use to understand history all over the world. The Bible tells about one tribe of people long ago and far away. There’s no special wisdom or insights that you can’t find elsewhere. If the Bible were another dead-end religion, it would be about as important as the Ugarit library, the Enuma Elish, or any other books/libraries from the ancient near east–that is, not valueless, but very much niche.

          We need to make sure we’re clear what we’re talking about. I’ve been talking about 2.

        • Chuck Johnson

          (A) “Ignoring that, does the Bible have useful information? Not really. ”

          (B) “It’s one of a myriad of sources that historians use to understand history all over the world.”

          I am a student of natural history and human history.
          I find both to be very interesting and important.

          When you tell me both (A) and (B), you seem to be telling me that evolutionary biology, anthropology, human history and similar studies are not very interesting to you.

        • Then you didn’t understand my point: if I’m talking about (1) and you’re talking about (2) (or vice versa), we’ll be talking past each other. Let’s be clear about what we’re talking about.

          Very simple, I think you’ll agree.

        • Chuck Johnson

          I consider (1) and (2) to be pretty nearly the same question.
          You consider (1) and (2) to be unrelated to each other.
          Or maybe independent variables.

        • Is my point that hard to understand? From my comment:

          (1) Is the Bible important? Absolutely …

          (2) Ignoring that, does the Bible have useful information? Not really.

          Two very different things. You quoted me wrong, so I wonder if you misread something.

        • Chuck Johnson

          No, you are saying that the Bible is important and that it does not have much useful information.
          I keep getting it right.

          I am saying that the fact that the Bible is important means that that Bible contains useful information.

          Much of the Bible’s useful information should not, however be used as a set of instructions for living our lives.
          Some of the Bible’s information can be used as a guide to good morality, but much of it is a guide for bad morality.

        • Max Doubt

          “So you, Max have not noticed that that religions contain far more information and teaching that just the supernatural content ?”

          My observations or opinions have no bearing on your inability to support your claim. You’re being an asshole. You know you’re being an asshole. And that makes you, by definition, a troll. And an asshole.

          So, your claim is…

          Religions contain far more information and teaching than just the supernatural content.

          What is this information and teaching that religions contain? Given the fact that so far you’ve got nothin’, your honest acknowledgment that you can’t support your claim would be an acceptable response.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling again.

        • ildi

          You know the difference

          The difference being that the morality in the Lord of the Rings is much more consistent than in the Bible – though not without its flaws, like the racism of orcs and trolls being “all bad” one-dimensional beings.

        • TheNuszAbides

          On the other hand, where wizards and balrogs exist, why couldn’t one-dimensional bogeyfolk?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          YOU don’t get to assert that.

          YOU made a positive assertion that there’s a difference.

          DEMONSTRATE THAT.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “YOU don’t get to assert that.”
          But id did assert it.

          You are lying and trolling.

        • Whoa. Less whining and more interesting conversation, OK?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Trolling does not interest me.
          That’s why I keep my answers brief.

        • No, trolling obviously fascinates you. Most of your comments are just about trolling.

          I’m suggesting you give us good comments and less whining.

        • Chuck Johnson

          No, the reduction (preferably to zero) of trolling is what interests me.
          So I keep my comments brief.
          Longer comments inspire additional trolling.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Fair enough, I’ll play your pettifogging game.

          YOU don’t get to assert that in the absence of evidence and then demand that we accept your statement as a basis for further discussion.

          Have I sufficiently nailed down all the corners for King You, or are you going to eel your way out again?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Your statements do not impress me.

        • islandbrewer

          I was going to say the hats. Christianity has given us some pretty impressive hats.

          https://i1.wp.com/www.holyarchangelcandles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/gold-miter.jpg?fit=945%2C945&ssl=1

        • Raging Bee

          I didn’t know Faberge made hats! It looks kinda Russian, and possibly a match for the Faberge toys Nicholas II so loved up till he got overthrown and killed. Which would be fitting, given the match between Nicky’s backward regime and his church’s backward doctrines.

        • islandbrewer

          … not to mention the most expensive omelets in the world.

          *cough*

          … because of the Faberge eggs.

        • I suppose, but let’s also not forget the Greek and Roman plays, poetry, histories, art, and so on.

          You can find wisdom in ancient holy books, but you need to use your own wisdom to separate the wheat from the chaff. When it’s all done, how much have you expanded your wisdom? Some, I’ll grant you, but I don’t see religion as that big a deal. Am I missing something?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Just being goofy, here, but *part* of wisdom is figuring out what is wheat and what is chaff, and *why*.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Am I missing something?”

          Yes, the huge influence that the Christian stories have had on Western and world civilization.

          Many benefits can be discerned connected with the Bible and Christianity.
          Many horrors and disasters can be discerned connected with the Bible and Christianity.

          An enormous amount of religion-inspired violence is a sad part of the legacy.

          Throughout Europe, Christianity won out and Islam was pushed back towards the east. If Islam had won out, then it would be the crazy and violent exploits of Muslims that I would be pointing out.

          Both Christianity and Islam have been very important parts of civilizations. The helped to give credibility to the Pyramid of Authority that exists in the Christian and in the Muslim worlds.

          That Pyramid of Authority seems to be a necessary element for any large civilization to be founded and to grow.

          The existence of civilizations on Earth is a very big deal for the survival and the evolution of the human species.

      • The Bibliognost

        Thanks Lark62 – I love opinions rooted in obvious omniscience.

        • Lark62

          I know that it is wrong to harm children. Does that count as “obvious omniscience”?

          That obviously puts me a step ahead of your omniscient Gob and the Lard Jeezus, who can’t seem to figure out how to tell their followers that it is wrong to rape children.

          Religion is a lie and a scam.

        • The Bibliognost

          Another angry unbeliever that writes like public school 7th grader. Deliver me from the boorish, O Lord.

        • Lark62

          You’re free to leave if you’re uncomfortable here.

          Go back to your echo chamber, and your religion built on hypocrisy, greed and lies.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “Door’s to your left…don’t let it hit you on the way out…”

        • The Bibliognost

          One more thought. Much of religion IS a lie and scam. Your problem is (correction, ONE of your problems is) that awful, incredibly dumb propensity to lump all things religious together in a “one-size-fits-all” compartment in your angry little mind. It’s easier to hate in an emotional way, w/o discernment, than to think. Sorry, time does not allow me to consider your other problems.

        • Lark62

          Methinks I struck a nerve.

          Are all those petty personal insults an outgrowth of that miraculous, wondrous christian love we hear so much about? I wonder how many people observing your gentleness and lovingkindness are thinking “Gee, I want to be just as kind as bibliognost.” (Spoiler – that would be a close approximation of zippo bits.)

          Let me see if I can guess which religion is not a lie and a scam, according to the great and mighty bibliognost.

          (Cue Jeopardy theme)

          Oh! Oh! Oh! It’s biblio’s version of Christianity that is the one religion not a lie and a scam.

          What a coincidence!

          Too bad, sucker. Your religion is a lie and a scam just like all the others. There are lots of good and decent people who happen to be religious, contrary to the evidence provided by present company, but all religions remain lies and scams.

          P.S. the fruit of the spirit is also just a myth. There is (quite obviously) no power that bestows goodness or kindness on random jeebus bots.

          Cheers.

        • The Bibliognost

          Friend, trust me when I say – you lack the standing to “strike a nerve.” You are just another atheist with a belly full of angst. In 65 years, I’ve known plenty of folk just like you. Petty ,arrogant, obnoxious and full of yourself.

          Even in the years I was studying philosophy in the early 70’s, your ilk impressed me little. Age has only confirmed that experience.

          I wonder how in your presumably short life you have come to such epistemological clarity – “all religion remain lies and scams.” Checked them all, have you?? Uh huh. No doubt. Never met an atheist that hadn’t searched exhaustively through ever religious claim. Well, at least so they tell me to nearly a man. Did I just hear another credulity bubble pop??

          Thanks, but I won’t be swapping your emotional laced confusion for my 47 years of faith clarity, tempting though it is.

          Consider my correspondence somewhat irregular or unusual. I rarely communicate with kids that say “Jeebus” thinking themselves clever, you know, like the other countless atheists who in copying one another use the same stupid term. In fact, among every sort of group I have ever encountered online, atheists are by far the most zealous advocates of their own sort of intellectually remiss group-think. Right up there with the JW’s and Mormons. Think on that some you atheist-stud-wanna-be.

          May God yet give you life and light. You have neither.

        • Lark62

          Yes, I clearly struck a nerve.

          The only one displaying angst is you. That rage is a tad out of proportion, ya think?

          I have never met a christian who fairly examined multiple religions prior to giving their life to Jesus. The decision to become a christian is either made very young or made in the throes of extreme emotion.

          Most atheists, including myself, became atheists because we examined the claims of religion. I don’t need to investigate every leprechaun sigthing to conclude leprechauns are make believe.

          The semi-mythological man-god you worship is the joke. (Thus a joke name is called for.) Your many incorrect assumptions about me, my age, my experience and the joy and love in my life are also a joke. I would not return to the angst, guilt and judgmentalism of Christianity for anything.

          Cheers.

        • The Bibliognost

          Son – One last time. You couldn’t “strike a nerve” if you were doing brain surgery on me with a chain saw. You have no standing with me. I don’t know you. You are a dime-a-dozen atheistic hack. You are not even a clever atheistic hack – you just seem full of yourself, fancying that somehow your hopelessly typical nonsense is somehow an irresistible epiphany for me. Not even close.

          When I became a Christian, I was in college majoring in philosophy. I was not raised by Christian parents. My only religious interests up to that point, and they were few, were more concerning Buddhism than Christianity. I assure you, though I was much younger than I am now, I was not a child, and I was not then nor am I now EVER “in the throes of extreme emotion.” But I understand such easy, meaningless assumptions are typical for your ilk. Besides, I would suspect I’ve done immeasurably more thinking about religion broadly and Christianity specifically in the last week than you’ve done in your entire life.

          Most atheists examine nothing. Atheism is an intellectual, spiritual and moral wasteland for weak, surrendered minds feigning superiority. Atheism is illogical, counter-intuitive and stubborn, willful blindness. As a group they are hopelessly proud, arrogant and bereft of honest introspection. And even worse, I find them often dishonest in pursuit of their worldview – making claims that are untrue and exaggerated in order to score points. Well, why not? In a godless universe morality and ethics are subjective constructs, not objective standards.

          And youngster – really – “rage?” On top of all your other problems, why are you such a slave to mindless hyperbole?

        • Susan

          You are a dime-a-dozen atheistic hack. You are not even a clever atheistic hack – you just seem full of yourself, fancying that somehow your hopelessly typical nonsense is somehow an irresistible epiphany for me. Not even close.

          So far, all you’ve done is express contempt and make allusions without contributing anything substantial to the discussion.

          That’s dime-a-dozen too.

          When I became a Christian

          What do you believe/claim on the subject and how do you support it?

        • The Bibliognost

          Well hello Susan. Are you coming in for the rescue? How perfectly noble! Just between you and I, I rather suspect Mr. Lark DOES need a hand.

          Now, are you asking me why I became a Christian? And how do I “support it?” Or are you soliciting my testimony, or an apologetic for Christian soteriological truth at large?

        • Susan

          Well hello Susan.

          Hello Bibliognost.

          Are you coming in for the rescue?

          No. No one’s afraid of you, here. No one requires rescue.

          As I pointed out, you have yet to provide anything but insults. Nothing of substance.

          are you asking me why I became a Christian?

          Yes.

          And how do I support it?

          Yes.

          or an apologetic for Christian soteriological truth at large?

          No.

          That would be putting the cart before the horse.

        • The Bibliognost

          Why my young dear, a rescue does not necessarily imply fear. The rescue I alluded to was one to salvage his argument from his incompetence. No fear was alluded to.

          And insults? Well – perhaps some candor, but compared to what I am called in secular forums by those such as yourself, my “insults” are fluffy and feather-like. Perhaps you are a SENSITIVE atheist? I am routinely called names by your ilk that would make your grandmother blush (one hopes), and my old Navy compatriots ill at ease. But you know that, don’t you?

          Short answer: I became a Christian because Christ revealed Himself savingly to me in 1975. I also became a Christian due to the impossibility of the contrary relative to unique Christian truth claims. Those who seek day and night to obfuscate, malign and destroy Christian truth during the 47 years following have not moved me much. I have read most of the most popular atheistic tomes. I watch atheists debate Christians at YT occasionally. I am struck by their overall incompetence, and their gross misunderstanding and mischaracterization of the Christian faith.

          And finally, by “support” one supposes you mean “justify” or “explain.” Well, presuppositionally, I certainly believe the existence of God requires no proof. Everyone knows God is. Romans 1 makes that clear. Though some, through no small effort and quite foolishly convince themselves otherwise. A godless universe, an uncreated creation, a de facto meaningless existence seems to me what requires grand and sweeping proof. You don’t have it. Or do you? Maybe at this rather late date in my life you can convince me of your personal brand of nihilism. Give it a shot.

        • Susan

          a rescue does not necessarily imply fear

          True.

          to salvage his argument from his incompetence

          You haven’t shown that he’s incompetent. You haven’t addressed his position. Just sneered at it.

          but compared to what I am called in secular forums by those such as yourself,

          I haven’t called you anything. I have only pointed out that all you’ve done is insult people and that you’ve provided nothing of substance.
          Anyone who checks your comment history here will see that that’s the case.

          Also, you might consider that swinging in out of nowhere, expressing your disapproval and contributing nothing of substance might just have a little bit to do with people responding negatively. Not necessarily your theism. Didn’t they teach you about that sort of thing when you majored in philosophy in college?

          my “insults” are fluffy and feather-like.

          They’re dismissive and vacuous. As are your comments so far.

          I became a Christian because Christ revealed Himself savingly to me in 1975

          I was abducted by an alien on Wednesday.

          finally, by “support” one supposes you mean “justify” or “explain.”

          Yes.

          presuppositionally, I certainly believe the existence of God requires no proof.

          Then, there’s nothing to talk about. All your sneering and bloviating is nothing but sneering and bloviating.

          Maybe at this rather late date in my life you can convince me of your personal brand of nihilism

          I’m not a nihilist. Not accepting Yahwehjesus claims does not make me one. Yahwehjesus does not exempt one from nihilism, either.

          Nice attempt to deflect, though.

          Ironic that you would accuse people here of being “dime-a-dozen”.

        • The Bibliognost

          Ah, my dear Susan. At last some agreement from you, if begrudgingly, RE “rescue.” . Progress!

          Some assertions warrant only a sneer. Look at yourself little sister. Aren’t you busy sneering at the assertions of Christians??

          I never claimed you called me anything…yet. I freely acknowledge that (thus far) you are the rare well-behaved atheist. But time will tell…

          If you are insulted thus far, you are way way too thin skinned. I have noticed, frequently, that liberals/atheists are like that. Generally nasty, but very very thin skinned if challenged. Even pleasantly.

          Why shazam – are you checking up on me? I think I am flattered!

          Now, I want you to think about this more closely than I suspect you usually think about things. I can “swing in” at will. I can “swing out” at will, and I am too old and too jaded to be intimidated by your passing disapproval. I participate as I like, when I like an to the depth I like. Give me something substantial, and maybe you’ll receive a reply in kind. Your continued display of disdain does not motivate me to serious interaction. All you are moving are rooks. Have any knights or bishops? You haven’t challenged me yet. I am beginning to think you cannot.

          Your alien comment is an example of the prima facie reason most Christians do not engage atheists. (Besides the Scripture which wisely reports “The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘there is no god.'” Psalm 14:1) When I first met atheists/agnostics in college, the few that that there were in my philosophy classes in the early 70’s, most were reasonably well behaved and not unnecessarily boorish. This sort of ugliness, this perpetual unpleasantness from atheists has not always been their MO. Atheists today are largely cruel, nasty, super-condescending, loathsome, pompous know-it-all asses. In my humble opinion.

          You have reasoned very poorly. Because I note that God’s existence does not need to be proved, for it is preuppostionally true, does not mean “there is nothing to talk about.” Hardly. One supposes your innate vanity will cause you to abhor what follows – nevertheless – it is just possible God exists, that is the Christian God, outside your awareness! Wow! Wild stuff, eh? I mean, since you know everything, have exhaustively searched for God in the Bible and elsewhere – who’da thunk it that maybe – just maybe, God exists and you didn’t get the memo! (Read: ignored the memo.)

          Sadly, many of my fellow Christians are remiss in some regards at this point. They mistakenly think they are required to heap “proof” upon “proof” on the hardened unbeliever. That sort of unbeliever, which you give every indication of being, cannot be “proved” into the kingdom of God. Knowledge of the Holy One is not garnered or established by witty epistemologically sound arguments. Frankly, I am uninterested in convincing of some nameless vanilla big-god-in-the-sky anyway. What does that accomplish? Even if you moved that far, what good would it serve you? Zip. You want your feigned autonomy and you want to impress others with your now fashionable pseudo-intellectual atheism, so you have what you want. Good luck with that – as the kids say. Do your 70, and put your worldview to the test. Let me know how it works out.

          You say you are not a nihilist. Frankly, I don’t believe you. I believe you may not like the word, but you certainly seem to reflect nihilism to me. OR….you are grossly and naively inconsistent. Finding pretend value in a transient, meaningless existence is insanity. Frankly, nihilism seems at least consistent with godlessness. What meaning do you ascribe to your existence? In your view, you are born, you procreate and you die – and it is as if you never lived. Someday the earth will die out, or the sun will nova, and everything you have ever known, thought or done will have been meaningless. How does that awareness breed anything BUT nihilism? If I were not a Christian, I would be a nihilist. I would recognize the absolute futility and vanity of life. That is to say, I’d respond to the godless universe consistent with it’s bleakness and hopelessness. But you don’t do that – do you? You pretend things have meaning. You pretend the transient is eternal. Like a little girl pulling the covers over her head hoping the boogey man won’t find her. Only God brings purpose to existence, but you are too smart and sassy to allow for God. Too autonomous. Too special. Well – we’ll see. At 65 and with serious health issues, I am nearing the end of my earthly sojourn. But my hope is in Christ. It’s not a pretend hope, it’s not a naïve stupid, desperate hope – it is a certain hope, and I am content. I am ready. Are you content? Are you ready for death? One thinks not. Maybe…just maybe…this little old sick grandpa knows something you don’t. Could be, eh?

        • Susan

          Ah, my dear Susan. At last some agreement from you, if begrudgingly, RE “rescue.” . Progress!

          I am not your dear Susan. Cut it out. I agreed, not begrudgingly, to a a trivial statement .

          Some assertions warrant only a sneer.

          But most don’t. And that’s pretty much all you’ve provided.

          You have not provided anything substantial yet. Just sneers.

          If you are insulted thus far, you are way way too thin skinned

          I’m not concerned about my feelings. Again, I go back to my statement that all you’ve provided (except your trivial point about rescue not necessarily involving fear) are insults. And nothing of substance.

          Now, I want you to think about this more closely than I suspect you usually think about things

          *gasp* More insubstantial insults. Who would have predicted that?

          I can “swing in” at will. I can “swing out” at will,

          Of course you can. It’s a public internet discussion. However, if you provide nothing of substance and only insults, no one will take you seriously.

          Your alien comment is an example of the prima facie reason most Christians do not engage atheists.

          Oooh… prima facie.

          Where did I go wrong? You are claiming that you had an experience that can be interpreted to mean that something is real that isn’t necessarily.

          You say you are not a nihilist. Frankly, I don’t believe you. I believe you may not like the word

          I have nothing against the word. Specifically, what do you mean by it? As a philosophy major, you know that it has more than one meaning. If you are just an apologist, repeating tropes, you will probably remain as non-specific as possible.

          I am not a nihilist.

          If I were not a Christian, I would be a nihilist.

          What sort of nihilist would you be?

          How does Yahwehjesus fix your nihilism?

          You pretend the transient is eternal

          No. You are making stuff up, rather than support your position.

          Only God brings purpose to existence

          Not only can there be purpose without Yahwehjesus, there is no reason to accept that belief in Yahwehjesus brings purpose.

          Define your terms and show the connections.

          Maybe…just maybe…this little old sick grandpa knows something you don’t. Could be, eh?

          Possibly, but so far, you’ve provided nothing that would make me think you have anything to contribute on this subject.

          Assertions, insults, and standard apologetics don’t make knowledge.

          Sorry you’re sick.

          It’s a mean, old planet.

        • The Bibliognost

          Susan: You are NOT being honest with me. Is it desperation? Is it stubbornness?

          I wrote you a lengthy number of paragraphs, making a number of cogent observations and your retort is – “You have not provided anything substantial yet. Just sneers.” Now that simply is not honest. You may disagree and you may be bothered by my worldview, and you can falsely characterize it as “not substantial” – but you cannot honestly (if honesty is important in your godless universe) claim it was all “sneers.” This is so often the problem with dealing with an unbeliever who seems to have transient (or non-existent) moral standards – they just make things up as they go along. Do you have integrity? Did your integrity lead you to falsely accuse me of “just sneers?” I understand you have no cogent basis for morality within an atheistic worldview – but have you no shame at all??

          I’m going to skip the rest of your more or less snarky comments, and zero in on a few short points. (Well, a little credit for the “sorry you’re sick.” Thanks)

          I get it you don’t care for God or Christianity. Fine. You say “I am not a nihilist.” Now, I am generally a fan of people being allowed to self-describe, but in this case, I do not understand your shying away from this description. So, with that in mind, can you answer a few short questions?

          (1) in my view, Christianity is true. In your view, whatever you choose to label it as, there is no God. Thus, in your universe, there is no intransient meaning. Or if there is, what is it? How can there be? You are a collection of transient molecules – no fundamentally different than a rock or a glass of water. So how can your worldview/purpose/meaning be anything but subjective and arbitrary preference?? And more importantly, how do you maintain sanity in such a epistemologically meaningless vacuum?

          (2) From where and on what basis do you ascribe to particular moral values? Are all moral values transient and subjective? It seems to me that in a random universe without divine causality morals cannot be anything but subjective. Thus, it is not objectively wrong for someone to murder your family – it’s simply convention and possible fear of legal consequences. But you have no basis, in a purely subjective universe, to determine fixed standards of right and wrong. All you can have is opinion. All ANYONE can have is opinion. You may borrow from the Christian worldview and find the murder of your family heinous, but from whence do you seize any intransient moral position forbidding it that is universal, undeniable and objectively true? And if objectively true, on what basis? How do you substantiate it beyond your preference?

          (3) You may hold the Biblical narrative in disdain and ridicule it – but it is a fixed standard. It presents objective truths. It’s not negotiable. It is not subject to rejecting scrutiny. Jesus told me to love my enemies. But in your world, that’s nonsense. Or at the very least, just an opinion among millions of others. You see, you are forced to look inward for truth. Whatever your mood, your hormones, your intellect, your preferences, your social influences – and a host of other influences working on you – finds some sort of culmination in a more or less a hodgepodge of behavior that is ultimately random and idiosyncratic.

          The planet is fine. It’s a mean, old, nasty world populated by sinful, confused folk.

        • Susan

          You are NOT being honest with me.

          Show me where I haven’t been.

          Provide something of substance.

          Support your claims.

        • The Bibliognost

          Hmmm. Now that’s weird since I clearly said – “I wrote you a lengthy number of paragraphs, making a number of cogent observations and your retort is – ‘You have not provided anything substantial yet. Just sneers.’ Now that simply is not honest”

          I do not know how to be plainer. To say everything I wrote was “just sneers” is not honest because it is not true. If you cannot admit this, I am going to have a very difficult time taking you seriously. Do you even believe that something can be true or not true? Honest or dishonest? Or are you further down some strange antinomian road than I realized…?

        • The Bibliognost

          By the way, after investing all that time to respond to you – to receive such an odd, inappropriate comment is disconcerting.

        • Susan

          after investing all that time to respond to you-

          But never supporting your claims. Just accusing me of nihilism (a term, as I predicted, you wouldn’t support)

          such an odd, inappropriate comment is disconcerting

          You’ve got nothing, then?

        • The Bibliognost

          Quite a strategy. You just ignore what you can’t respond to. All that effort, and you end up pretending I wrote nothing. Even for an atheist, that’s awful creepy.

          I am, as the Bible says, “casting pearls before swine.”

          I wish you well. Over and out. No further comment from you will be responded to.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The rescue I alluded to was one to salvage his argument from his incompetence.

          The projection is STRONG in this one….

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Well, presuppositionally, I certainly believe the existence of God requires no proof. Everyone knows God is. Romans 1 makes that clear.

          First, presuppositionalism is unfounded, so we can disregard it.
          Second, your beliefs don’t matter if you can’t demonstrate their reality.
          Third, gaslighting by supposed mindreading is SO declasse
          Fourth, why should we give a flying fuck what your ‘bible’ has to say? It’s about as shitty a tome as has ever been inked.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E.

          Provide it or stop wasting our time.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          BOY…*your kind* do not get to call anybody ‘son’ around these parts without being challenged and properly ridiculed.

          Get over yourself.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It would be if you were working under a valid assumption.

          Well aren’t YOU just the little presupposing gaslight-attempting prick…

          You see, you cast the problem as a “lack of evidence.”

          Obvious Troll is obvious.

          Really cool for you, because you know no evidence available will ever be enough.

          YOUR KIND don’t get to claim to know *my* mind any more than you can supposedly know the ‘mind’ of your supposed (and *evidence-free*!!!) ‘god’.

          I could type a thousand pages of single spaced, carefully and methodically spelled out evidences and you’d just say “so what? I’m not convinced.”

          THAT, buddy, is because ARGUMENTS AREN’T EVIDENCE!!!

          This is a spiritual issue, not an intellectual one. It’s not as if I could come up with just one more evidence it would tip the scale toward belief, and you’d somehow be magically compelled to become a Christian. Doesn’t work that way. Never has.

          “…brave, brave Sir Bibliognost, bravely ran away!”

          I can neither see, hear, nor smell gravity, but it exists. I can’t see air, either, with my naked eyes, but I can see how moving air acts as *wind*.

          If YOUR KIND can’t present anything as simple and mundane as such for your supposed ‘god’, then you’d be honorable to admit that it’s an infectious supernatural meme and no more.

          Consider the miracles of Jesus.

          I don’t believe your ‘bible’, so I don’t believe your ‘jesus’ could perform any sort of miracle(s) until I see such demonstrated.

          The vast majority of those following Jesus through the countryside & towns saw the blind given sight, the lame walk, the multitudes fed with a few fishes and loaves, and even the dead raised. And multiple other miracles.

          That’s what your ‘bible’ says, with zero evidence of any supernatural occurences. I’ll grant your ‘bible’ getting the geography right, but that’s about it.

          I would say this “demonstrated this God of mine” – but it made few converts.

          “My momma always said, ‘Stupid is as stupid does'”…lots of wisdom in ol’ Forrest Gump

          If Jesus came to you personally – and performed miracles before you – miracles for which no other explanation was possible save that they were bona fide works of God – you might be impressed for a season, you might even meet them with respect and awe. But in the end, when their memory faded a little, and skeptics who did not see began working to convince you of the contrary, you’d capitulate to the opinion of the faithless gainsayers.

          More gaslighting and throwing around ad hominem fallacies, mixed with attempted mindreading and prophecy of mindset.

          In the meantime, invite your ‘jesus’ to do exactly as you describe, and let’s see. I’d have to believe it existed, but not that it was either good or benevolent or worthy of worship.

          Better still, have your ‘jesus’ perform such when the JREF is looking for trickery. IF ‘jesus’ could do it, wouldn’t that, at a single stroke, invalidate atheism by SHOWING it to be wrong (which YOUR KIND haven’t managed in 2000 years, but hey, who’s counting?)

          You have sufficient evidence. God makes clear in Romans 1: 18-21:

          “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”

          Again, your ‘bible’ is an ARGUMENT, NOT EVIDENCE!!!

          You can use it as an argument, not even to *attempt* to ‘prove’ ITSELF!

          Try again.

          You do not lack sufficient evidence, rather you lack sufficient willingness.

          And refusing to be gullible to a bunch of authoritarian gaslighting abusive pricks is wrong WHY again?

          You live a life in disdain towards God – you do not want Him or solicit Him or submit to him. You want a life rooted in antinomianism and sin and that’s what you have.

          Your mindreading ‘skills’ STILL suck.

          YOUR KIND don’t get to tell me what’s in my mind.

          I don’t believe in your ‘god’, but I fear what YOUR KIND will do when given power, and all the evidence I need is in the newspapers EVERY FUCKING DAY!

          So you can sneer and pontificate about “evidence” while you do your 70 or so years.

          If you don’t want contempt, don’t be contemptible.

          and justify (or ignore) your sin as irrelevant.

          ‘Sin’ is merely offending a ‘god’.

          Until you can *demonstrate* your ‘god’ (this is really getting tiresome, reiterating this), there’s no such thing as ‘sin’. Considering some of what your ‘god’ supposedly considers ‘sin’ (I *like* shrimp, dammit!), that’s not a powerful point.

          But you will meet God. Be sure of that.

          That’s the joke…

          Until you can *demonstrate* that, you’re just an ill-tempered little brat threatening that your imaginary daddy is gonna come beat me up.

          Sadly…. not truly sadly….but sadly for you….you do not control the universe.

          Be glad. I’ve made a little list, they never will be missed…

          You shake your little fist at God

          Uh, your ‘god’ WOULD HAVE TO *EXIST* FIRST…

          Stop whining and SHOW me, so we can settle that

          , and pretend He isn’t there,

          Nope.

          YOUR KIND take ‘win’, ‘place’, ‘show’, and ALL the runner-up honors when it comes to pretend, with the exception of the very REAL violence YOUR KIND commit in violation of your supposed ‘god’s admonition of Vengeance is MINE, saith the LORD

          and come to places like this to stand as you suppose…bravely and unconvinced and openly disdainful of God and those who know him.

          Places like this are an escape from meatspace where we need to fear YOUR KIND unjustly and viciously attacking us.

          But you cannot win.

          Are we playing a game? I just want to live my life without interference from YOUR KIND in your demand that I pretend to believe in the idiocy you proclaim as divine.

          You are on a fool’s errand. In fact, the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

          More pseudo-deepity-wannabe assertions.

          The only foolish thing I’m doing is wasting my time on YOUR KIND, as the odds of getting you to see reason and reality are so minute.

          And again, your ‘bible’ is nothing to be besides a sometimes-accurate geography book full of shitty stories, so why should that be convincing?

          I cannot convince you

          Sure you can.

          BRING THE EVIDENCE.

          DOOOOOO EEEEEEEEEETTTT.

          , for your call for more “demonstrations” of God are fundamentally disingenuous.

          You’re *still* a shitty, failed ‘mind-reader’.

          May God yet have mercy on your soul.

          May Reason shine brightly into your mind, driving out the cobwebs of superstitious terror and subservience.

        • The Bibliognost

          You apparently have a lot of time, as well as a nasty pompous disposition and your are about a 9 on the 1 to 10 scale of atheistic boorishness. I’ve seen worse, but your pulling close to the head of the creepy pack.

          Time is not going to vindicate your anti-God hostility, anti-Christian hostility and your propensity for snide rudeness. You’ve convinced me of nothing, save – your parents apparently desperately failed you. Your nastiness and rudeness is no doubt standard fare in your dark world – but as for me, I prefer to avoid it.

          I leave you as I found you. Don’t bother to respond, I know I won’t. May God forgive your smug arrogance. As for me, I intend to ignore it.

          Over and out.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why not simply *demonstrate* this ‘god’ of yours exists, rather than handwaving and making emotional appeals?

          Wouldn’t it be simpler and more convincing?

        • The Bibliognost

          It would be if you were working under a valid assumption. You see, you cast the problem as a “lack of evidence.” Really cool for you, because you know no evidence available will ever be enough. I could type a thousand pages of single spaced, carefully and methodically spelled out evidences and you’d just say “so what? I’m not convinced.”

          This is a spiritual issue, not an intellectual one. It’s not as if I could come up with just one more evidence it would tip the scale toward belief, and you’d somehow be magically compelled to become a Christian. Doesn’t work that way. Never has.

          Consider the miracles of Jesus. The vast majority of those following Jesus through the countryside & towns saw the blind given sight, the lame walk, the multitudes fed with a few fishes and loaves, and even the dead raised. And multiple other miracles. I would say this “demonstrated this God of mine” – but it made few converts. If Jesus came to you personally – and performed miracles before you – miracles for which no other explanation was possible save that they were bona fide works of God – you might be impressed for a season, you might even meet them with respect and awe. But in the end, when their memory faded a little, and skeptics who did not see began working to convince you of the contrary, you’d capitulate to the opinion of the faithless gainsayers.

          You have sufficient evidence. God makes clear in Romans 1: 18-21:

          “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”

          You do not lack sufficient evidence, rather you lack sufficient willingness. You live a life in disdain towards God – you do not want Him or solicit Him or submit to him. You want a life rooted in antinomianism and sin and that’s what you have. So you can sneer and pontificate about “evidence” while you do your 70 or so years. and justify (or ignore) your sin as irrelevant. But you will meet God. Be sure of that. Sadly…. not truly sadly….but sadly for you….you do not control the universe. You shake your little fist at God, and pretend He isn’t there, and come to places like this to stand as you suppose…bravely and unconvinced and openly disdainful of God and those who know him. But you cannot win. You are on a fool’s errand. In fact, the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

          I cannot convince you, for your call for more “demonstrations” of God are fundamentally disingenuous. May God yet have mercy on your soul.

        • Kodie

          Hey dipshit. The bible says “the fool has said in his heart there is no god” to make people insecure that they are fools. You fell for it, and you’re using that to feel superior over other people who know that’s just a marketeting trick. That’s the gist of every fucking paragraph you’ve wasted here.

        • The Bibliognost

          Childish anger, four letter words and the reasoning of a gnat. Well, one wonders who really wasted time….

        • Kodie

          Oh, so you’re going to defend your superstition because I swore at you? You’re an adult. Look at how stupid the things you believe are.

        • The Bibliognost

          Friend, I don’t have any superstitions. Well….I do have an abiding notion that the Cowboys will make the Super Bowl before I die – I suppose that could be classified as superstition-like.

          So, you vindicate your boorish behavior because you dislike my religious views. How charitable. How mature. And son, trust me when I tell you – your inability to speak civility doesn’t cause me to wilt. I’m an old Navy vet, probably before your parents had the happy news (?) of your impending birth. It’s just so childish. So…ignorant. Perhaps it’s better to be superstitious than nasty, eh?

        • Kodie

          You are an insulting piece of shit all the way through. I read plenty of your boring comments before i posted. You hate atheists, you mischaracterize, and you start the discussion by punching and calling everyone “son,” like you’re my father. You suck as a human being. Is that what you want to hear? If you represent Christianity, I don’t want to be anything like you. I want to be the opposite of whatever you represent, just based on your horrible personality and tendency to demean people as if that’s a valid argument.

        • The Bibliognost

          Your comment would be an example of a total lack of self-control and self-understanding if it were not so patently pathetic. I call you “son” and you go ballistic. Yet you call me an “insulting piece of shit.” Sorry, just not getting the parity there. It seems to me you have no control over your mind or your mouth – but as an atheist, I have low expectations for you. Most atheists tend to be surly fellows and quite uncivil. In that regard, you must fit in wonderfully.

          Now, you say I “hate atheists.” Not so. I hate no one. I don’t even hate you, as crude and boorish as you are. So, I don’t hate atheists, but I violated your sensitive. girlish nature by calling you “son’ (never mind I am a 65 year old grandfather). So you can spew poisonous, filthy venom, but I can’t say “son.” You live in a very, very dark place.

          Now, will you explain how “son” is demeaning coming from an old man and “insulting piece of shit” coming from a poorly raised youngster is uplifting, fair and gentlemanly? I’d love to hear about it.

          However poorly you may feel I represent Christianity, trust me when I say you are going to win few converts to your abusive form of nihilism. You seem unable to communicate w/o disgusting abuse. May God yet bring light to your dark, dark, DARK soul.

        • Kodie

          Don’t you want to validate your beliefs by angering people by belittling them with your folksy insults, like calling people son, like you’d call a slave “boy”. Seriously, have some courtesy, you asshole. I don’t care how old you are, that makes it worse. You should know better, you should approach discussions and not be so disingenuous about how you deem your interlocutor as beneath you, younger than you, less experienced or less knowledgeable than you. You ooze some superiority for no fucking reason. So stop it, you old fart!

        • The Bibliognost

          I was not aware that “son” was automatically disparaging. Must be a generational thing. Certainly I do not consider it a “folksy Insult” -but is “insulting piece of shit” a sophisticated insult? As for slaves, don’t have any, never knew any, and I rather suspect you don’t either. A poorly conceived example on your part.

          Now really, if you are sentient, if you have at least a marginally normal IQ – how can you not possibly see the incongruity between my using the harmless word “son” with calling someone “asshole?” It’s inconceivable that even an angry, bad-mannered atheist cannot grasp the difference. I am beginning to wonder – are you of high school age? Are you a prisoner with access to a computer? Decent people…mature people….tend not to respond with your deliberate bad-boy attitude.

          And finally, I make no pretense to superiority. I only appear superior to you because you sense your manifest inadequacy in conducting meaningful, intelligent discussions.

          Old fart? Well, old anyway. But intestinal wind? Hardly. By the way, are you folks “old farts?”

        • Kodie

          I called you an asshole because you are one. You have been calling everyone “son” like you have the authority to. I mean, I call condescending assholes of any age, “asshole”, because you presented yourself as one.

        • The Bibliognost

          No, don’t put your lack of civility on me. You are responsible for your own bad behavior. The only possible justification you could manage, and it would be a weak one, is to urge that you are simply replying in kind – that I had the same nastiness as you and provoked you. But I didn’t provoke you – you don’t need provoking. You are simply manifesting what you are inside. I take no blame for that, and have no culpability. You are simply are the sort that behaves badly then seeks to blame others. That’s weakness. It’s pathetic. It’s childish. That you resort to such juvenile, puerile behavior is 100% your responsibility. You’ve done it with me without provocation – it’s simply a twisted, loathsome lack of basic decency. Blame it on your parents. Blame it on the culture. Blame it on anyone to avoid taking responsibility for your own odious behavior, but don’t you dare blame me. Grow up. Take responsibility. Stop being an online thug.

        • Kodie

          You think you were being nice and civil and never intended to trigger disgust? Puh fucking lease. I read dozens of comments by you before deciding I could not let you free style insult everyone’s intelligence by calling them “son”, followed by some stupid lecture. You are actually an asshole, and didn’t think anyone would call you on it. You take responsibility and stop being an online weird dirty dumb piece of shit.

        • The Bibliognost

          Ok I got it. I used the unforgivable and reprehensive expletive “son” which “Insults everyone’s intelligence” (and even though I am a 65 year old grandfather) and for my trouble – you call me “asshole,” about half a dozen times; “insulting piece of shit”; “dumb piece of shit; and “dipshit.” And then you have the audacity to feign the high ground! Fascinating! You are clueless! CLUELESS! And apparently you have some sort of excrement fetish.

          It’s your sort of amoral diatribe, bereft of thought, bereft of just a modicum of decency that makes me despair for the future. Never in my life – NEVER – did I ever speak to an old man as you have spoken to me. I understand the essential anonymity of the internet tends to make men of weak character wax bold and verbally abusive, turning many into cyberbullies. But that does not exonerate your callow behavior. If you are so tragically challenged by the word “son” as to feel morally justified in puking obnoxious and reprehensible insults – then you not only make manifest you are godless, vile and ignorant….you establish a fundamental indecent moral flaw that makes you unsuitable for participation in any public forum.

          You young sir, are indeed a wicked man (or more likely, boy). Irresponsible. Nasty. Abusive. May God have mercy on your festering soul. No further responses from you will be acknowledged or answered. I only hope your feckless parents discover your cretinous online activity.

          Over and out.

        • Kodie

          You’re not my grandpa, get over yourself. You disrespected your audience in multiple encounters with several other people by assuming everyone else is a teenage boy who needs you to lecture and guide them. I am not talking to you like you are an old man, you are just a jerk online who thinks you’re smarter than everyone because the bible calls atheists fools. That’s like saying you’re not a loser because you eat Pringles, or you’re cool because you shop at Old Navy. Please start over with that terrible line of reasoning!

        • Susan

          I didn’t provoke you.

          Of course you did. Since you got here, your only interest seems to be in provoking people. You began with insults, have persisted with insults and have contributed nothing to discussion.

          Even when people made efforts to get you to do so.

          In short, you’ve behaved like a complete asshole.

          When Kodie called you an asshole, it was because you are behaving like one.

          Of course, you pounced on that and just persisted in insulting and have still contributed nothing to the conversation.

          Grow up.

          Good idea. Give it a try.

          Grownups understand that behaving like an asshole means someone’s bound to call you one.

          Now….

          Do you have anything to contribute to the discussion but insults?

          Your presuppositionalism is not useful and it’s pretty assholeish.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • The Bibliognost

          Ok, I’m confused. Besides being nasty and obnoxious, WHO are you? Are you one of these multiple identity people? Sometimes “Kodie” and sometimes “Susan?” Sheesh. I hate those sort of juvenile games.

          If you are a separate person, and wanting to share in his fundamental indecency, I congratulate you. You picked up the torch laudably. Your 5th grade fixation with the word “asshole” and it’s corollaries does little to recommend your intelligence or propriety. So, if you are not Kodie you certainly aspire to his….ummm….basement level morality and vocabulary.

          But be you the same person with multiple personality disorder, or be you a different person – I honestly don’t much care. Your words are meaningless to me. The rants of children with filthy mouths and empty minds always fails to impress.

          However, I did enjoy a chuckle from one of your comments at least. This one was HILLARIOUS!

          “Do you have anything to contribute to the discussion but insults?”

          The really amusing thing is I think you are clueless concerning your own unabashed propensity to insult. People who have no civility, no public decency, and a propensity to hurling four letter words at strangers seem to me in a peculiar place to preach morality. Glass houses and all that…

          Grow up little sister….

          P.S. If you last question was serious, do you honestly expect to respond given your foul tenor? Don’t hold your breath kiddo.

        • Susan

          OK. I”m conffused.

          What part of “What are you claiming and how do you support it?” confuses you?

          Sometimes Kodie and sometimes Susan?

          Nope. But you know that.

          Your 5th grade fixation with the word “asshole.”

          Nothing in my commenting history suggests that I am fixated on that word. I simply pointed out that when you act like one consistently, adults will reasonably state that you’re acting like one.

          So, you showed up up here a while ago, insulted people generally without warrant, and have provided nothing substantial to support your position.

          Any chance you’ll make some kind of effort or are you just trolling?

          So far, you haven’t made a single substantial comment

          .

        • Kodie

          What is confusing about more than one person noticing how much of an asshole you are being?

        • The Bibliognost

          Just seemed odd that two foul-mouthed, low IQ types both attached themselves to me using the same 7th grade wording. Not impossible I suppose, but unlikely. Does your mother approve of your propensity to verbally fixate on anal expressions?

        • Kodie

          Susan is using the word I used because you objected specifically to the label. I just returned to the board after a few months away, and started my reading a couple weeks back. I found you to be irritatingly insulting and condescending, without content, and presumptuous that everyone at this blog needs to be spoken to as though they are your grandson.

          I hope you don’t really have a real grandson, or a granddaughter, because it sounds like you would be sexist to her.

          Your big argument was that the bible “even says” only a fool says that there is no god. OF COURSE A MARKETING LITERATURE WOULD WOO THE MARK WITH THAT SHIT. If that was all you came to say, I have to say, go suck on your werther’s. That is some weak shit, we’ve all heard about that line, from so many parade of Christian dummies. That you think you are higher IQ because you don’t say “asshole,” but choose to pretend you’re not an insulting douchenozzle because you called everyone “son” and condescend to everyone as though we’re inferior to you FROM THE BEGINNING? I had to call you out. You think I’m new here? You think I just came out of nowhere and don’t know you? I saw your weak line of shit thinking, and how it couldn’t stand up. You think if you act like everyone is your air-headed little grandson so you can way your grandpa wisdom on us, well you hold YOUR breath. Everyone here is an adult. Not everyone here is a man. I am insulted on the premise you think everyone who takes offense to you must be a young child with parents who don’t know what he does on the computer, and to keep defending what an asshole you are by repeating what a 65-year-old grandpa you are. Yes, you sound old. Your old thinking, like atheists are just a bunch of immature young punk boys who are angry or something. Yes, we’ve heard the Christian lies. You should recognize the attitude you have toward people initially starting out to discuss on this board as though we fit some profile you learned about at church.

          What else are they lying to you about?

        • The Bibliognost

          That you find me “irritatingly insulting and condescending” etc. troubles me very little. I suppose I have at least one minor virtue. In all my faults, as you perceive them, at least I do not call strangers “asshole” etc. because I am either bereft of sufficient vocabulary, ethical standards or self-control. That you do not see your own moral failing in that regard is quite telling.

          I do have grandchildren, male and female. I suspect they are quite secure not being pressed by me with your irrational brand of pop-culture nonsense.

          “My big argument” that the Bible calls the atheist a fool is not my opinion or preference, it is the Bible/God’s standard. I get it you don’t like that, but you’ll have to take it up with God in your impending judgment. (Frankly, I think God is going to get the upper hand of that brief discussion between you two.)

          No, I don’t think I have a higher IQ because I avoid your abusive language. I know I have a higher IQ because you write in a semi-literate, emotional style that suggests a certain intellectual inferiority. Now, that is neither here nor there, as it’s not your intellect that I am concerned about, irrespective of the validity of my assessment of you in that regard – it is your fundamental amorality and godlessness.

          I don’t know if you “are new here” or not. How is that even apropos? How does that justify your nastiness? I do not think everyone here is my grandson – actually, that prospect would be perfectly awful. A bunch of ill behaved, boorish, foul mouthed grandchildren would be a boon to no one.

          Perhaps you are not a child. I don’t know. But since you seem compelled to call me “asshole” and other lovely names, I’m not sure your concern that I presume you are a youngster, given that you talk like one – seems like much of an offense on my part. No parity between saying “asshole” every other sentence as you do, and my presuming you are young because your posts are so immature and gratuitous. .

          Yes, most (though not all) atheists are angry. Much angrier then when I confronted them in philosophy classes back in the early 70’s. Angry and often loathsome. And no, I did not learn this at church. Personal experience has established it.

          I am not aware that my Christian friends are lying to me about anything. Most of the lies I encounter come from the recesses of dark places from miserable, angry people I find in these sorts of forums. You know….like you.

        • epeeist

          “My big argument” that the Bible calls the atheist a fool is not my opinion or preference, it is the Bible/God’s standard.

          Well the bible might say that the person who does not believe is a fool, but why should we take that as true?

          Yes, most (though not all) atheists are angry.

          If you did take a philosophy class you will be aware that the above is an unsubstantiated assertion. Unless you can justify it why should we pay it any attention?

        • The Bibliognost

          I do not expect you to take that statement as true. I’d be shocked if you did.

          An unsubstantiated assertion is not necessarily false. As for justifying my anecdotal experiences, why would I? I never claimed a systematic study of the matter. My experience is that atheists, as a lot, are angry folk. They were not, to my awareness (another “unsubstantiated assertion) that way when they were my fellow classmates in college in the early 70’s. The “angry atheist” is fashionable now. Hip. Cool.

          Pay attention or not as pleases you. Know that your rapt attention is unnecessary for my continued well being and contentment.

        • epeeist

          An unsubstantiated assertion is not necessarily false.

          No, of course not, but to claim it either true or false without justification is just an argument from ignorance.

          Personally given that there are a myriad ways of being wrong and only one way of being right then ceteris paribus I tend to treat unsubstantiated assertions as false until shown otherwise.

          As for justifying my anecdotal experiences, why would I?

          Well you needn’t, but then there is no reason for us to take your anecdotes seriously.

          The “angry atheist” is fashionable now.

          And that is the only reason why more people are reporting themselves as having “No religion”?

        • The Bibliognost

          I bear no responsibility in your acceptance or rejection of my anecdotal experiences. However, not being able to justify them to your satisfaction does not negate or falsify them.

          As for the “unsubstantiated assertion” – I believe in the matter of truth claims vis a vis Christianity, that there is not a want of substantiation, rather, there is a want of willingness on the part of skeptics. Let’s be honest. I person committed to the flat earth notion cannot be won over with an contrary evidence. Thus the unbeliever. My point being that sometimes a lack of evidence is only a feigned problem, the real problem being a fixed commitment to absolute skepticism as an a priori experience.

          I do think that “that more people are reporting themselves as having ‘no religion'” may indeed by true. Certainly atheist apologists make much of that notion, but I don’t think it’s an evidentiary problem. I think there may be many cultural reasons for this, but time does not allow me to develop that right now. Must be out the door.

          Thanks for your response.

        • epeeist

          However, not being able to justify them to your satisfaction does not negate or falsify them.

          Didn’t say it did, but now we are definitely in the realm of argument from ignorance.

          I believe in the matter of truth claims vis a vis Christianity, that there is not a want of substantiation, rather, there is a want of willingness on the part of skeptics.

          If Christianity makes truth claims then we require that there are matters of fact to which these claims correspond. No matters of fact? Then why should I accept the claim.

          I do think that “that more people are reporting themselves as having ‘no religion'” may indeed by true.

          I can only speak for the figures from the UK, in the 2001 census 15% of the population reported themselves as having no religion, while in 2011 this had risen to 25%. However this is based on a single, loaded question (“What is your religion?”). If you take the British Social Attitudes survey, this asks “Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion?”, and then asks for the religion if this is answered in the positive. The figure for “no religion” was 31% in 1983 and 53% in 2016.

          So certainly for the UK it isn’t “may be true”, it is true.

        • The Bibliognost

          A lot of water under the bridge has taught me that arguments for the veracity of Christianity tend to do little to convince skeptics. To my view, that says more about the entrenchment of unbelievers than the paucity of evidence concerning Christian truth.

          Most discussions with the sort of atheists that thrive on demeaning people of faith rarely produces satisfactory exchanges. I’ve been in these sorts of discussions since the early 70’s, long before there was an “online” to have them at – and they rarely are fruitful. If Christ is revealed in the heart of man by the supernatural purpose and power of God…and He is…then reasoning with men whose minds are still bound by their sin and intrinsic darkness and antipathy toward God is usually unprofitable. Winning men to some generic version of God is pointless. I see little benefit from moving from atheism to some sort of deism.

        • Kodie

          To my view, that says more about the entrenchment of unbelievers than the paucity of evidence concerning Christian truth.

          It’s ’cause you’re biased, and you use that to fuel your arrogance toward atheists.

          Most discussions with the sort of atheists that thrive on demeaning
          people of faith rarely produces satisfactory exchanges. I’ve been in
          these sorts of discussions since the early 70’s, long before there was
          an “online” to have them at – and they rarely are fruitful.

          Have you ever actually examined how you approach the discussion? If it’s calling people “son” all the time, and treating your audience like morons, of course some people are going to want to punch you in your face. Blame them of course, you biased asshole. I mean, you think my mind is bound up by sin. That’s how you approach people. That’s how you talk to them. You think I’m angry at you because I’m a sinner rebelling? No. Plenty of Christians like you are mind-warped into believing you’re saving me, and, like I’m allergic to salvation or something. Your arguments are weak shit, that’s all. That’s absolutely 99% it. The rest of it is the people. It’s the fucking people. You take a look at how you condescend to people and treat us like we’re broken and you think your weak fantasy can fix us the way you think we’re broken. You are so judgmental, that’s why I came on like I did. You are so very very full of fantastical brainwashed cult fiction judgment, that came out through everything you said.

          intrinsic darkness and antipathy toward God is usually unprofitable.

          Do you not comprehend? You think we are intrinsically dark! You think when we lash out at you when you say these judgmental, oppressive, presumptuous statements, that we’re mad at god, not the person who used these words to set his garbage onto other people. You want to call me “son” because you have been brainwashed by your cult to be prejudiced and pity us. When I see this kind of nonsense, the first word I think is “asshole.” What an asshole you are Mr. Grandpa. Check yourself before you judge others.

          I think it says something about that … in your bible!

        • The Bibliognost

          Sir: Certainly I am biased. I understand you fancy you function without any bias, with total objectivity – but you only fool yourself. Every human being functions under some sort of worldview bias – even you.

          Given my age, most folk are younger than me. “Son” – even if offensive (though not so to my mind) is hardly even close to what I get called by your ilk. Did you note those vulgar and malicious usages with equal disdain? I suspect not. That may be some of that bias you don’t see in yourself. For instance you called me a “biased asshole.” You’ll have to excuse me if I consider that boorish term much more offensive than “son.” I suspect, when your father introduced you to a stranger – he referred to you as his son, and not his little “biased asshole.” Or did he?? Which strikes you more as a term of endearment? Think on it some. It may come to you.

          I’ve treated no one as a “moron.” If atheists are that sensitive perhaps they ought stay out of public forums. I say again – I am maligned, slandered and ruthlessly cursed and verbally assaulted by atheists at this site and others akin to it. Are you as outraged by that as your are by your trifling notion that I treat your buddies as “morons?” One suspects not. In fact, I think many atheists are quite sharp, intellectually speaking. I hardly dismiss them, openly or privately as “morons.” Within the realm of epistemological concerns, I think they are generally w/o a clue. Emotionally, many seem almost unstable. Spiritually, they are lost and undone. But I do not consider those who rail against me because I am a Christian – “morons.”

          Yes, I think your mind…your opinions…your preferences…your worldview…your presuppositions, etc. are “bound by sin.” Quite so. No thought and no deed are ever accomplished independent of your sin nature. But I’ve not singled you out personally in that regard. It’s an experience common to every son of Adam Only in Christ is there freedom.

          You write: “Plenty of Christians like you are mind-warped into believing you’re saving me, and, like I’m allergic to salvation or something.” Well, I can’t possibly be warped as you posit, because I have no power to save you. No Christian has. I cannot reason, argue or otherwise compel you by any action on my part into faith. I can confront your pernicious errors. I can urge you to Christ as a remedy for your sin and misery. I can resist your tendency to treat me as a ______ (fill in the word with any nasty or unreasonable expletive)….but I cannot hope, under my own power and by my own ability to save you.

          I certainly do not believe my “arguments are weak sh…” Rather, I believe existence that is thought to be based on nothing, for nothing, to no end, essentially nihilistic and absurd in it’s very conception and outworking is “weak sh….” You believe you are the outworking of random forces, stardust and lots of inexplicable “luck.” Buddy, that’s some “weak sh….” in my book. You are in a precarious intellectual and spiritual position to be responding with an unreasonable and juvenile poddy mouth.

          What you call “condescending” I call reality. You see, you believe you can curse me, vilify me, abuse and dismiss me with impunity, but you react like a dull-witted and endless offended school girl if YOU are confronted with a worldview you despise from someone who unapologetically disagrees with you. That you do not see this is astounding, simply astounding – but it’s so typical, it’s so predictable…I long ago ceased to be shocked by it. What’s humorous is that you are clueless or deliberately insensitive about your condescending, smug rhetoric towards me – yet you seize my Christian certainty and promotion as ipso facto condescending. Wrong thinking friend. Read the barrage of atheist rhetoric toward me and other Christians in this place and similar places objectively, and tell me who is most “condescending.”

          “You are so judgmental.” Nope. I do not judge anyone, I have no authority. I try to discern the good from the bad, and the foolish from the sensible, and the true from the false – but I judge no man. God is the judge. But…you DO judge, and that quite harshly. Your whole post is a personal indictment of me, and it’s chocked full of judgement. Again – how do you not see this?

          Well, to accuse me of being “very full of fantastical brainwashed cult fiction judgment” is pretty lame. All I garner from that is you have no tolerance for views not similar to your own. Ho hum.

          Anyway, enough for now. I did chuckle at your closing, but I suspect you have no idea how foolishly you come across. Consider:

          Using your favorite word, you write: “What an asshole you are Mr. Grandpa.” Then, incredibly…astonishingly…you write “Check yourself before you judge others.” Friend – isn’t it YOU that are judging? Isn’t your favorite description of me…”asshole”….a judgement? Your entire post is full of judgment. You called me “brainwashed.” “Condescending.” Is not your approach “judgmental?” Mull that over some.

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          Why do you keep calling me SIR OR SON.

          You are really judgmental, that’s the first thing that stuck out to me.

        • epeeist

          Why do you keep calling me SIR OR SON.

          I think “patronising” or “condescending” may be words you are looking for.

          Oh, and welcome back. You have been missed.

        • The Bibliognost

          I find your notion that “son” is judgmental ludicrous. But now even “sir” is judgmental? Are you gripped by some sort of political correct virus?? You’ve called me “asshole” over a dozen times…..and that’s fine with you….I get upbraided by you for saying “sir?” What sort of bizarre alternate universe do you live in?? Previously I’ve wondered about your conduct and worldview. Now I am wondering if you are sane….

        • epeeist

          Now I am wondering if you are sane….

          Did you check whether Kodie is male or female?

        • The Bibliognost

          I thought in today’s PC world such matters were of little concern…..

        • Kodie

          How much lower can you go with such a comment, given your history of not giving a shit who anyone you speak to is, as long as you can pretend they’re all little boys who need your grandpa wisdom. You’re delusional and an asshole.

        • The Bibliognost

          I have one question following your wasted, juvenile and irrelevant comment. If “shit” and “asshole” were excised from your vocabulary, would your total operative word count dip below 50? You know, like your IQ?

        • Kodie

          Why can’t you recognize how awful you are to people you’re trying to communicate to? I listened to enough of your horseshit to know your arguments, i.e., your baseless assertions, lacked substance, and were redundant, and that you didn’t care about people. You know, why does every Christian think we’ve never encountered a Christian before, and the popular lines from the bible? Is that all you have, and you deign to elevate yourself above all of us, in age, wisdom, intelligence, IQ, whatever you think… Seriously, I have been reading your LONG ASS paragraphs upon paragraphs defending how awful you need to be to get your point across, and vocabulary is all you seem to have. I mean, are you impressed by yourself too? I have a very large vocabulary, I’ve been told. I have a very high IQ, I’ve been tested. It makes it hard to get along with low-level morons like you, and the stupid things you think and say. It makes me very impatient. There are even studies that cursing indicates a high level of intelligence. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/health-benefits-of-swearing_n_5a5e44a8e4b0106b7f65b3a6

          That’s not the only link, but it’s huffpost, your speed of reading.

          I really don’t have the patience or need to run down a detailed deliberate response, because your only point was “the bible says” “only a fool believes there is no god” and how you believe you are older and wiser than everyone else.

          The bible is a cult brochure, and making you insecure that you might be a fool is going to get you eager to belong. That’s how marketing works. You’ve been fooled. I know how critical thinking works, and you don’t. You believe everything you’ve been told – about god, and about atheism, that you repeat false assertions as though you’re doing us a goddamned fucking favor. That’s how you got called out as an asshole. By relying on my language as a reason to dismiss me, by making assumptions about my age, my gender, my education level, my IQ, and whether my mother gives a flying fuck (her words, as I recall some 30 years ago, not mine) what I’m doing online, you fall into a pattern of judging me as the brainwashed prude you are. Ok, so I’m some online thug using strong language you presume wrongly makes me less intelligent, and as one of those teen punk boys you want to spank over your knee and scare straight about hell, well, I’m not. I just think you are a typical warped Christian. You are not kind, you are not moral, you are not better, or smarter. You cave in to your judgment, the only defense you have. Christians aren’t good from god, not good from learning the bible. You have behaved disgustingly, and I went an efficient route instead of pretending to respect you enough to argue your weak little shit point about “the bible says”. You double down later by repeating that you regard us as sinners who need to be treated, and you think you’re a fucking doctor!

          Yeah, the bible tells cultish followers like you that I’m too dumb to know what I’m talking about and rely on the nearest wise ol’ grandpa., or whoever wanders in to patronize everyone, to judge us, to make presumptuous comments about our intelligence. I have thought and thought about it a lot. I have not seen one Christian say anything new, and most say everything really really stale and old and debunked. You want to be on top, apologize for how you speak to everyone here. I don’t need one, but look at your comment history and examine whether you have been generous or charitable or decent. You have not. I read enough to know right away you were an arrogant asshole of a Christian. You have nothing new or smart to say, and you have treated everyone here as inferior because of your delusion, probably. What I really hate about Christians like you – you think if you don’t use swear words, you’re being more intelligent and not critical or judgmental of your audience! How dare you be so foolish! Hiding behind the dictionary to pretend you’re not an asshole!

        • The Bibliognost

          Clearly you are an atheist of the hapless variety that think you can dump on Christians willy-nilly and we are obliged to smile and thank you for condescending to even speak to us. You think I’m suppose to tell you “Jesus loves you, and I do too.” But the Bible says “God is angry with the wicked every day.” That means you are in a world of hurt my foul-mouthed friend. You are messing with the wrong Christian. I am obliged to tell you the truth, and to confront you in your foolishness, nastiness and pompous arrogance stemming from your unchecked depravity. And you have those qualities in spades. I am not obliged to practice pseudo-deference to inflate your clearly fragile ego, or massage that unchecked ego while you verbally try to eviscerate me. .

          You say “why can’t you recognize how awful you are to people you are trying to communicate to?” Yet – you don’t even come close to holding yourself to the same exacting standard. I guess atheists really have no standards to ignore. Thus, you can be antinomian and immoral and what the heck – truth is subjective, right? You call my beliefs “horseshit.” You call me a “low level moron.” and I think “I’m a fucking doctor.” (And as usual, at least a half-dozen or so of the obligatory “assholes.”) And then, you have the temerity to suggest your lack of verbal civility, control and decency indicates you have a higher IQ! Sheesh! If you had an iota of honest introspection for 30 seconds it would probably profoundly psychologically cripple you for life. You have to be one of the most genuinely self-important, narcissistic clueless atheists I’ve had the displeasure of interacting with in many a years. And those are probably your BEST qualities!

          You write: “I mean, are you impressed by yourself too?” Not particularly, but I’m glad to read you are, as indicated by your inclusion of the word “too.” But being impressed by my vocabulary is irrelevant. I’d far rather you be impressed by God. I’d far rather you be impressed – in terms of some sort of helpful moral epiphany – with your moral emptiness and abandonment of fundamental decency.

          Frankly, I don’t much care about your age, gender (assuming that you align yourself with one of the historical two), your vocation, your education, your IQ (by the way, there is a reason IQ tests so strongly hinge on verbal skills) or your mother’s maiden name. I don’t care a whit about you in regard to those things. Why should I? You write like a young person full of angst and bed-wetting anger, but maybe you are old woman with those same tendencies. It’s irrelevant.

          Then there is this jewel: “You have behaved disgustingly.” Alright, let’s say I have. If I have behaved disgustingly, then in the name of sanity what dark description is left to describe YOUR behavior? If I am disgusting, what in the name of all that is holy is your vile, nasty pomposity to be described as?? You don’t like my Christian faith, and therefore, you feel justified in saying whatever creepy, foul and abominable thing you like. You have no check on your assumptions, opinions and verbiage. It’s weird, really. Your hatred is so great, your misunderstanding so profound, your presuppositions so mistaken – that you think you do the world a favor by being as loathsome and revolting as you can be. And in all that, you vindicate yourself, and remain utterly clueless of your own dreadful comments. Seldom have I seen such a lack of self-awareness as you display with every post. And yet you say “You have behaved disgustingly.” You need a mirror held up to yourself in a profoundly desperate way.

          You posit I have not be charitable or decent. Why am I held to a standard that you are not? After all – to your mind, Christianity is all a meaningless waste and ruse. If your view is that your morality is sufficient, if not superior, grounded in your atheism – then will you direct me to your posts that display your “charity” and “decency?” I seemed to have missed them. You see – such criticisms of Christians are often petty and vindictive and cheap…after all, you have no standards. You can take potshots and you have nothing to personally defend in terms of your own behavior. That’s why you can curse me and call me names. Why not? We are all just meaningless collections of atoms on our way to nihilist obscurity anyway, right? Hard to care about being decent when all that looms is emptiness and meaninglessness.

          As usual, you did bring out a chuckle. You usually have at least one line that makes me smile. The “hiding behind the dictionary” comment was amusing. Don’t need a dictionary. Though I have a few. Send me your address, and I’ll mail you one gratis. You could use it.

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          I didn’t really read any of that rage. You have a lot of rage, though. I did not expect you or anyone to smile when I call you an asshole. I expect you to examine your behavior and apologize for being presumptuous and condescending and judgmental. I thought Christians were supposed to be better than everyone else. Better because they go to church all the time, and learn what the bible says, and behave respectfully and charitably to everyone. Yet, I know some have human flaws, but come on, take a good long look at everything you’ve said so far, and answer yourself, not me, are you being a good boy?

        • The Bibliognost

          Rage? Ha! No rage. I suppose you think every confrontation is rage. I feel no rage whatsoever towards you. I am truly sorry for you. And I know, but for the grace of God, I might be posting the sorts of inane things you are. But there isn’t a drop of rage in my soul towards anyone.

          I think you did read my comments contrary to your assertion in your last post, but I understand what motivates you to make the claim. You want me to think you aloof and unmoved… Well, if it makes you feel better, fine. But I don’t think you are being honest.

          I do examine my behaviors and, though you didn’t mention them, my motives. All the time. Do you?

          You are mistaken that I think I am better than you, or that Christians at large think themselves better. I don’t. And Christians that do think they are better than those that oppose them are ignorant. I am not in the least bit better than you by nature, and possibly worse. I believe, because the Bible teaches it, that men are basically depraved. You are and I am. The difference between us is not any intrinsic merit in me, but that I know what I am, and trust God to make me a better man, better husband, better father and grandfather. You see, Christ died for sinners…He said, ” They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” I needed and need the great physician because I KNOW what I am. I was sick. You are sick, but you feign wellness. That is our fundamental difference. I know I am a sinner, you suppose you are outside of such assessment.

          I think I’ve been a “good boy” to use your term, though at 65 the word “boy” seems a bit incongruous.

          You see, I’ve not said anything to hurt you – just to hurt you. I’ve been confrontation to cause you to “come to yourself,” to see yourself as I see you. To consider that maybe, to use the verbiage of young people “you’re not all that” in your snug atheistic cocoon. There is a better way. There is a better life. You see, you said I have rage – and you may even believe it – but I am incapable of rage toward you. My firmness is not grounded in rage, but in earnestness. I wish you could see the difference.

          I wish you well, truly.

        • No interest in sharing any compelling arguments for the Christian position, then? You seem surprisingly engaged by fretting about the tone of the conversation. Don’t you want to move on to something intellectual?

        • Kodie

          You see, I’ve not said anything to hurt you – just to hurt you. I’ve
          been confrontation to cause you to “come to yourself,” to see yourself
          as I see you. To consider that maybe, to use the verbiage of young
          people “you’re not all that” in your snug atheistic cocoon. There is a
          better way. There is a better life.

          You’re never going to get it. You and a lot of Christians behave disgustingly by painting all atheists as pathetic wretches who need you, because you think you know something we don’t. It’s offensive, and you offended. I didn’t come to your church and try to get you to see god is a fictional character.

          Your argument “only a fool….” yeah, that’s in the bible. You think I’m a fool and you’re not, you believe because you don’t want your tribe to call you foolish like you’re calling us. That’s why you’re AN ASSHOLE.

        • The Bibliognost

          You are no more “pathetic wretches” than the rest of humanity.

          You don’t need me, you need Christ.

          We DO know something you don’t.

          It (the gospel) is in one sense offensive. You are accustomed to and insist upon (feigned) autonomy. Any worldview threatening that pretend autonomy offends you mightily. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:28

          You are welcome to come to my church and try. Forgive my candor (I often note that brutal candor from atheists they expect us to take, but often refuse kindred candor in kind) – but 46 years in the faith, since my college days, I think you are going to find my conversion back to atheism/nihilism/antinomianism somewhat problematic. Besides, God is not “fictional.” It takes more than silly, blind atheistic sloganeering to be persuasive.

          The issue, which is not that difficult to grasp, vis a vis “the fool” is that God has set this standard and made this inviolate observation, not I. I am reporting, not creating truth. But even if I were sincerely wrong, and God was non-existent, it’s still boorish and nasty to call other people “asshole.” Your propensity to such behavior is additional evidence you need a Savior.

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          I wasn’t trying to convert you, you doofus. I see you as a brainwashed slave to a message that is lacking in any evidence. It’s clearly a myth. I am not trying to convert you, but when you come on real strong like you have to take me on your knee and talk down to me like you’re everyone’s grandpa and we’re all idiots, your slavery to your cult makes you an asshole.

          You’re not the first or only Christian, and your arguments are so weak. You think it’s all the holly spirit, then why does he communicate through weak messages and weak messengers? You don’t have the holy spirit, you just have arrogance. It’s of course, the church reached into your brain and found a spot you liked to get rubbed, and makes you feel useful. Then you become an asshole with it. Of course you don’t think you are, but you are.

        • The Bibliognost

          You imagine yourself as omniscient. You know everything. You know I am brainwashed. You know (as if you’d searched exhaustively) that there are no evidences. You know, infallibly, myth from reality. If I didn’t know better, I’d think perhaps YOU were God, such are your assumed and pretend powers.

          In your bizarre upside down, amoral world – I am an “asshole” (can you even speak without such language, or are you so bound to gutter-speak you can do no other?) because “I come on strong” and you feel I talk down to you. Yet you can be as nasty as a lifer prison inmate, crude, vulgar and indecent. You have no respect for my age or my faith or my opinion. You are bereft of a shred of decency, but you dare lecture me on propriety. In short you are disgusting, incorrigible and without the basic decency of a snake. It’s your sort that have turned online experiences, which might be pleasant and informative and beneficial into dark, nasty cesspools. And the pity of it is, the shame of it is, that your baffling hatred and intolerance is shamelessly practiced by you w/o any evidence of introspection or self-awareness. Doubtlessly, in your twisted, ego-driven, antinomian mind you see yourself the hero of your own story. It’s stranger than fiction. As bereft of basic human decency as you are, you take irrepressible pleasure and pride in mindlessly attacking people of faith.

          If what you evidence is freedom from “brainwashing,” I can only say…. brainwashing is desperately underrated.

          You’ve used the word “asshole” so often, I’ve lost count. Perhaps you might save one usage for the next time you drag yourself in front over your mirror. Then say it slowly, meaningfully, repeatedly. It may be the first accurate usage in your miserable, sad-sack life.

          We are finished. May God yet have mercy on your abysmally black mind, mouth and soul. I shake the dust from my feet where you are concerned. No reply from you will be acknowledged or responded to. I’ve read the word “asshole” more times in your repetitious nasty correspondence more times than in the rest of my 65 years put together. Enough is enough. God has not called me to be your babysitter, though heaven knows, someone needs to instruct you in basic humanity and decency.

          Over and out.

        • Kodie

          Did you read the blog posts? These arguments are lacking evidence. If any Christian knows something but hide it from us and use these weak arguments as though this is the best they can come up with, then what else is there? We’ve heard it over and over and over again. You bring nothing new. You treat us like scum, and expect us to be grateful. Then you tell us something stupid that you think is smart, and you rationalize away why we don’t find them convincing.

          That’s you, typical dishonest Christian.

        • Susan

          You imagine yourself as omniscient.

          Nope. Not accepting unsupported bullshit from some guy on the internet who has done nothing but insult people since he arrived does not mean she thinks she’s omniscient.

          your bizarre, upside down, amoral world

          There you again. Do you have anything but insults and unsupported claims?

          Not yet. Try harder.

          Yet you can be as nasty as a lifer prison inmate, crude, vulgar and indecent.

          People who’ve never gone to prison, never broken the law, people who work hard, pay their bills and make efforts to contribute to society every day will call someone an asshole when they act like one.

          I keep explaining that if all you do is insult people without warrant and make claims you can’t support, it’s only a matter of time before someone calls you on it. Grown-up, hard-working people with moral positions will call you on it.

          You’re being an asshole. This is a discussion forum. Not a soapbox. Not a troll park.

          May God yet have mercy on your abysmally black mind, mouth and soul.

          Fuck off. Stop being an asshole.

          There is no reason to think there’s a “God” whose mercy we need or that there are “souls”.

          You’re a bloviating jerk who’s contributed nothing to the discussion, who’s chosen instead, to be a pompous asshole and Kodie has pointed it out.

          I’m fairly sure you’re a sock puppet and a troll.

          If not, you’re at the very least, a useless waste of commenting space.

          No one cares about your opinion about anything or anyone here if you can’t support it.

          You can’t.

          So, fuck off.

          Go be an asshole somewhere else.

        • The Bibliognost

          Sewer Mouth Susan: Do you suppose your mother, a days after your birth 17 or 18 years ago, looked down at your new, angelic face and ever imagined what a sewer mouth reprobate you’d turn into in your teens? The poor, poor severely disappointed woman. She deserves all the pity and prayers I and the rest of faithful humanity can muster.

          Which do you hate most? Me? God? Or perhaps, narcissist that you are – you just fancy yourself on the vanguard of incivility and ever growing culture of vulgarity and pure nastiness, and I am but one of an endless stream of unfortunate targets of your vile personality.

          Consider this Sewer Mouth: Matthew 12:36-37 – “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

          And this…

          Hebrews 10:31 – “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

          You say nobody here cares about my opinion. Could be. But it is metaphysically impossible anyone cares less about my opinion than I do yours.

          “The collapse of the barrier between popular culture and decadence has released a toxic mudslide of vulgarity into the nation’s family rooms—and just about everywhere else. There is almost no remote corner of this culture that is not marked by the toleration of vulgarity, or the outright celebration of depravity.” Albert Mohler

          ’nuff said

          You say “Go be an asshole somewhere else.” I say to you, stop being a Sewer Mouth Susan, here and everywhere. Perhaps if you can sanitize your mouth, your inefficient mind will follow.

          Best Regards

        • Kodie

          It’s just language, you prude. Your ideas are sewer ideas, and your arrogance is sewer arrogance. Your ignorance and your disrespect are overflowing from the sewer. That’s why we talk such to you. You don’t give a shit about anyone else, you just love to talk, and that’s much worse. Fine quote from a bible-thumping asshole too! How do you go outside at all?

        • The Bibliognost

          “It’s just language you prude.” So, you can be as nasty as you want and you exonerate yourself with “it’s just language.” Is that what you would tell your grandmother? I’m a grandfather – is that the way you would want to speak to me if I was your grandfather? If some nasty, vile stranger swore at your elderly grandfather, your deepest insight to your grandfather would be “it’s just language, you prude.” Would you want your child telling his kindergarten teacher after eviscerating her with your sort of filthy talk “it’s just language you prude?” So, I am a prude for hoping for basic decency….and you are what? The champion of expletives which to you is far grander? Far more moral and decent? If you weren’t so hell-bent on hating me for being Christian, you’d admit yours is am asinine, insane argument.

          And yet you have the temerity of accusing ME of disrespect? Up is down, good is evil, wrong is write in your nihilistic universe. What a shame. What a terrible, wasteful shame. You are one thorough mess.

          Well, you ask how I “go outside.” Like anyone else I suppose. But unlike you. I don’t go out throttling strangers with words like “asshole.” Try it. You might find some basic civility is a good thing. It can’t be worse than the vile, creepy persona you exercise now.

        • Kodie

          You’re as nasty as you want to be, and you don’t even recognize it. I’ve been calling you out, but you focus on the wrong fucking thing.

          Again, YOU ARE NOT ANYONE HERE’S GRANDPAW-PAW. Cut that shit, that’s so disturbing that you believe you can be nasty by adopting some type of gentlemanly “don’t hit me, I’m elderly and wise” kind of persona. I don’t care who you are or how old you are.

        • The Bibliognost

          Correction my angry friend, I’ve not been nasty at all. I’ve been candid. YOU ARE THE NASTY ONE.

          You’ve been calling me out?? Ha! Well, pardner, maybe at high noon, eh? Meet you out in the street in front of the hotel.

          You seem determined to display what a thoroughly disgusting human being you are. You hold my faith in disdain, my age in disdain, and pretty much everything I write in disdain. It’s all so boorish and predictable. In the words of the immortal William Shatner, “Get a life.”

          Tell me youngster, are you going to pee your pants if you discover your mouthy, foul objections don’t cause me a moment’s lack of sleep? Ho hum, another pagan whose favorite word is “shit.” Shazam! I can’t tell you how impressed I am!

        • Kodie

          You’re nasty and disrespectful. I keep telling you, but you get so easily distracted.

        • The Bibliognost

          I am “nasty and disrespectful” for having the temerity to disagree with you. But I don’t dip into a bag of four letter words to assault you. That’s your MO, not mine. And you continue to feign parity. It’s hilarious! (And grossly dishonest.) But such is the world of those who hate God and His people…..

        • Kodie

          Are you fucking kidding me? You have no temerity. You are arrogant and condescending, you don’t listen to your audience, or get to know them, you make presumptions about our age, education level, and anything else you will, you’re just a disrespectful pile of Christian garbage. I am just saying – your religious belief that you have to tell me something, that you have to share your beliefs to try to save souls of people you preJUDGED to be broken somehow, and then use the weakest arguments available to your religion, that’s arrogance. Your religion feeds you “temerity”, you joined a cult and they told you we’d resist the message, and that’s just the devil inside! Keep trying, keep trying, don’t give in to the devil and know them as people, or the devil will get you too! It’s called sanctimony. Your religion tells you to be disrespectful to people. I am telling you that you arrived here to be intentionally disrespectful to people you don’t know, because you think you know what we need to hear to learn to be a dope like you. Sorry, you’re not in disagreement with me, you are in WILLFUL IGNORANCE of everything from any other perspective than the prejudices your church teaches. If you’re 65, why do you still believe in fairy tales, and give authority to mere men who are in business of gathering fools so they can live rent-free? You think I am 17 and a boy, and your “son” and need to be spanked with the lord’s love because you can’t face the truth, that you’re an asshole? You’re only being an asshole because your religion encourages you to be, and you can stop.. You don’t have to be an asshole.

        • The Bibliognost

          You are boo-hooing because I “don’t know you as people.” So, when you use your favorite word “asshole” like a machinegun, I am supposed to look past your outer, reprehensible behavior and admire the hidden jewel within? You are either insane or on drugs.

          That you count Christianity a “cult” tells me all I need to know about you, your junior high level vocabulary aside. You call the faith of millions and untold millions a cult, and then as you pompously declare what an “asshole” I am, you whine like a teenage girl about being “judged.” I don’t know if you are 17 or not, I only know you boorish speech, dismissiveness and propensity for demanding respect while offering zero yourself does make me think you are a high school child. I don’t know adults like you in the real world. Though perhaps there are a few – but since I don’t hang out with the local Madilyn Murray O’Hare Hate Christians Club, I don’t personally know any. Buy a dictionary, and buzz off.

        • Kodie

          Yes, it’s a cult because you robotically respond to programming and obey orders to seize on the devil in atheism. That’s how you talk to us. If you weren’t being a dishonest piece of shit, I wouldn’t use this language. I mean, I’m just saying it, you’re the one who is DOING it.

        • The Bibliognost

          “If you weren’t being a dishonest piece of shit, I wouldn’t use this language. I mean, I’m just saying it, you’re the one who is doing it.”

          “Most people, when directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, do not change their point of view or course of action but justify it even more tenaciously. Even irrefutable evidence is rarely enough to pierce the mental armor of self-justification.”
          Carol Tavris

          “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 15:14-15

        • Kodie

          “Most people, when directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, do not change their point of view or course of action but justify it even more tenaciously. Even irrefutable evidence is rarely enough to pierce the mental armor of self-justification.”
          Carol Tavris

          Yes, that’s what you’re doing.

          “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 15:14-15

          And this is you admitting you’re a slave to your cult.

        • The Bibliognost

          From that great sage whom you have stolen the style of:
          “I know you are but what am I.” Pee Wee Herman

        • Kodie

          Comedic genius Paul Reubens, you mean?

        • Greg G.

          I am supposed to look past your outer, reprehensible behavior and admire the hidden jewel within?

          What would Jesus do? Aren’t you supposed to turn the other cheek?

        • Why quote the Bible? You might as well quote Dianetics.

        • The Bibliognost

          Because you say so Bob? The Bible is irrelevant because Bob thinks it’s irrelevant? When did your opinion become the infallible measure of truth?

        • I’m trying to gently let you in on a secret: the Bible is just another ancient book of mythology to atheists.

        • The Bibliognost

          And that matters to me…why? Your unbelief is nothing to me. Less than nothing, secret or overt. I’ve believed God since I was in college in 1972. What sort of grandiose wisdom are you going to share to bring me to your version of nihilism? You can posit that God & the Bible and myths, lies, absurd or valueless. Have at it. You have what you want. You have your feigned autonomy and pseudo-intellectualism and all the smug vices that attend atheism. Good for you. As Dr. Phil says, “Let me know how that works out for ya…”

        • And that matters to me…why?

          I could try to explain it to you, but you have no use for the explanation. You’ve already got it all figured out.

          What sort of grandiose wisdom are you going to share to bring me to your version of nihilism?

          The Christian love just oozes out of your comment. I’m honored that you chose this blog to shit on.

          You can posit that God & the Bible and myths, lies, absurd or valueless. Have at it.

          No, I’m good. Your mind is closed.

          But one wonders why you’re here when you have such contempt for us.

        • The Bibliognost

          Bob – You just don’t get it. You are an (essentially) anonymous atheistic hack (not to be unkind, but candid) in a forum not known for kindness or decorum. When you go the childish, emotional route, e.g. “the Christian love just oozes out of your comment” I know that nothing I say, loving or hateful matters to you. You are bound and determined to nitpick and find fault and there is absolutely no words I can utilize that will alter your M.O.. You are predisposed by way of preference and presupposition to assault anything that is supportive of the Christian worldview. You know that. I know that. You say of me “your mind is closed.” I would submit, no more so than yours.

          I do not hold you in contempt, though many of you behave contemptibly.

        • When you go the childish, emotional route

          Life’s a mirror, pal.

          I know that nothing I say, loving or hateful matters to you

          Yeah? I’ve had interesting conversations with thoughtful Christians. For some reason, you can’t or won’t be put into that class. Don’t blame me.

          You are bound and determined to nitpick and find fault

          Hmm—good point. The last dozen thoughtful arguments that you’ve presented have gotten nothing but nitpicking from me.

          You are predisposed by way of preference and presupposition to assault anything that is supportive of the Christian worldview. You know that. I know that.

          Wrong again. I’m happy to point out where a Christian has made a good point or where I’ve learned something new. But when you’re determined to find nothing useful, I’m sure you’ll succeed.

          I wonder if people call you an asshole because you act like an asshole. Now, this is a crazy idea, but hear me out: suppose you acted like a decent person. I wonder … would people treat you like a decent person?

          I’d suggest that you try that as an experiment, but I’m sure you have no use for that.

        • The Bibliognost

          That you cast yourself as “Mr. Reasonable” does not surprise me. That you may actually believe your own press – does astonish.

          People use the word “asshole” – not only the boorish, churlish users here – but in general, because they lack sufficient self-control and basic decency to do the contrary. It’s easy and cheap to be nasty, to post gratuitous junior high insults and grouse with obscene vocabulary – and I am singularly unimpressed. Was unimpressed in school in the 50’s and 60’s and in 12 years military service. You are unlikely to change my mind. You merely confirm my thesis. People who can converse intelligently and mannerly, do. Those who can’t – are pretty much like you.

          You are indecent towards me, but your assertion that you are justified because you dislike my comments is an empty and ill-mannered attempt at exculpation.

        • You are unlikely to change my mind.

          About the word “asshole”? I’m sure not. I have no interest in doing so.

          What is the interesting challenge, however, is to see if you can change the reaction you get by changing your approach. So far, you’ve shown zero interest in (1) doing anything but whining about your reception and (2) presenting an argument for your worldview and explaining why we should follow it. As for (2), I assume you don’t have one. But if you do, I encourage you to present it, assuming you can tear yourself away from the important task of complaining to make an intellectual argument.

          You merely con firm my thesis. People who can converse intelligently and mannerly, do. Those who can’t – are pretty much like you.

          As I’ve pointed out, life’s a mirror.

          You are indecent towards me

          Wrong yet again. I’ve invited you many times to focus on making an intellectual argument. You’re determined to wallow in the muck instead.

          Suit yourself.

        • The Bibliognost

          Muck perhaps, but the muck from your hand.

        • Kodie

          Hi darling “son”, you behave like such a petulant and ignorant little punk teen boy, so I will now address you like you are not a 65-year-old grandpa, because you could not possibly be that old and wise if you are blaming everyone else for your reactions to them. You need guidance! Your religious beliefs are childish superstitions. You fall for the dumbest fallacies and need to be more alert. Stop being such a rude little prick to everyone, I’m a LADY in my 40s with a college education and an IQ of over 130 whom you immediately and with no provocation disrespected, but don’t feel intimidated with your easy-bible-verses-for-children that’s supposed to wow me. I am soooooo sorry I took a shortcut and used a word you think is dirty. The words “ass” and “hole” are in the bible, so I had no idea you would react so dramatically and forget to keep repeating your dumb verse where you keep calling us fools.

          The bible says that only a fool believes there is no god, or whatever that quote is – that’s not an argument or evidence of god. It is evidence of marketing and superstition and social effects. You don’t care what atheists are or what atheism is, you already have your beliefs, you are prejudiced, and you are mad because we won’t help you fulfill your mission. You feel like such a martyr to keep coming back even though you know what we think of you. You don’t take responsibility – the church tells you we won’t be receptive! They tell you it’s the message, not you. It’s the Christian worldview we’re literally running away from, not you. Sure, what is the Christian worldview – as far as you’ve stated, it’s to be a condescending self-important asshole, insult your audience, and say something stupid, then blame your audience.

          Bragging about how old you are is not helpful whatsoever to your argument. Whining about potty-mouth instead of reading and absorbing “THE MESSAGE” is not helpful whatsoever to your position.

        • Kodie

          Aren’t you a little old to make excuses? Aren’t you a little old to justify your behavior? Have you been an asshole your whole life??? The story you tell sounds like people are trying to tell you something, but you refuse to listen. Refusing to listen, and just believing what you want to believe about people is another trait of the classic “asshole” personality. I saw a bunch of posts from you before my first comment to you – what an arrogant asshole that guy is, I thought. He doesn’t want to know people, he just wants to insult them. YOU SPOKE FIRST and several times before I finally broke. You can’t be so un-self-aware. If there’s a god, he can’t approve of you behaving like such an asshole and a liar.

          People who can converse intelligently and mannerly, do. Those who can’t – are pretty much like you.

          What intelligent things have you said so far? You condescended to us, you lied about us to us, you quoted the most hack bullshit verse from the bible, and that’s all you had. Then you got mad because we didn’t say “thank you for saving our souls, you miraculous stranger!” That’s not how it works. People with working brains and critical thinking can see your argument isn’t just shit, but that’s the strongest idea you came up with, called all of us “son” like you’re our grandpa, and idiots because the bible condones it, and got defensive because someone used a curse word at you. Why not continue with your great reasons that believing in Jesus is smart? It’s not, is it. You’re not, are you.

          You are a brainwashed moron, but you like to believe it’s not your fault how people address you. We must have some other issues, and you think we’re not intelligent as you are, as old or as educated, that’s convenient, so you never have to change, and you can always blame someone else based on delusions you carry about the character of other people.

        • Kodie

          I know that nothing I say, loving or hateful matters to you. You are
          bound and determined to nitpick and find fault and there is absolutely
          no words I can utilize that will alter your M.O.. You are predisposed
          by way of preference and presupposition to assault anything that is
          supportive of the Christian worldview.

          That is actually not true. You came here insulting everyone and condescending, and because of this prejudice you have. Your arguments are really not substantial at all, and then you blame it on “the Christian worldview”. Yes, the Christian worldview is to treat atheists like they are infants who need you, and try to pass unintellectual bullshit as though it should inspire us or educate us,

          …. and then get all angry and shit, because you couldn’t do your mission. Blame your audience, but you are inept. Christianity itself is inept, and its followers are evidence that there is nothing behind it all but delusion. Please get the fuck out with your self-pity. None of us, not even me, was mean to you without cause. I don’t hate Christians or the “Christian” message, but I have yet to see a Christian adequately (and you are well below average) explain just what the point is. Is it self-delusion as you evidently are self-deluded? Is it to be an arrogant asshole? Is it to say stupid things like the programmed sheep? Is it to disrespect atheists because you’re taught not to be a good listener and just keep pitching your bullshit no matter what? You are MAD because we didn’t kneel and thank you for being an idiot and trying to sell your lame superstition. I mean, Christians take offense so easily, because you have nothing else to say. If you had an actual argument, any evidence, any honesty, your tone would not matter so much. You don’t want to continue being such a disconnected asshole to people, do you? I am just calling you what you are, how you be, as a person, it’s not because you’re Christian, it’s because you’re rude as fuck.

        • The Bibliognost

          You and Bob tag-teaming?

          You know Kodie, for the love of mercy, you need to suck it up a little. You are the whiniest, shrillest, most thin-skinned atheist I’ve encountered since coming to faith in 1973. ENOUGH already. You must be a liberal on top of being an atheist. (No shock there.) Everything offends. Everything is crisis. Everything engages your propensity to yet again rely on your favorite description: “asshole.”

          To disagree with you is to “disrespect” you. You allow no variance from your own cold, empty worldview. You say “Christians take offense so easily” but you are perpetually offended. Your every post serves up some new, grandiose sense of offense. I say “God is.” You say “you asshole.” I say, God is real, you say “you keep pitching bullshit.” I say, “you are moving headlong into God’s judgement, you counter with “you are rude as fuck.” How is it you can be sentient, and not see who here is being crude, rude, and perpetually nasty. Ain’t me sister.

          You’ve self-justified multiple times with the “I only do this because you provoked me” defense. Nonsense. Utter, total, absolute dishonest nonsense. You don’t need provocation to be abusive, you simply abuse by nature. You hate Christians and their God and this is your MO in dealing with them. You affix blame to everyone but yourself, you get abusive, you feign offense and you let the foul language and dishonest rhetoric fly. Honestly, it’s creepy and bizarre.

          I’m going to say this once more. You don’t want evidence. That’s just atheistic, lying schtick. We both know it. We know it Kodie , and you can post that lie till the sun goes nova and it simply is a deliberate lie. You can call me “asshole” and all your other 7th grade, vindictive words and it doesn’t change a thing. You are NOT looking for evidence, save to assault just like you ceaselessly assault me personally. If I offer philosophical evidence, you will reject with more verbal abuse. Reasoning from the impossibility of the contrary will bump you to likely increased zany, angry response. Biblical evidence will set your hair on fire. And personal experience will be rejected without so much as an iota of serious consideration. I’ve been in the faith since 1972 and I consider you the singularly most unpleasant atheist I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve encountered some doozies.

          You insist that I am not “a good listener.” What if I followed YOUR example? Are you displaying the form and intent of “good listening?” Let me supply evidence just from this one last post that you are not, and you are the opposite in behavior of what you disingenuously preach:

          “Yes, the Christian worldview is to treat atheists like they are infants who need you, and try to pass unintellectual bullshit :”

          “…. and then get all angry and shit, because you couldn’t do your mission.”

          “Is it self-delusion as you evidently are self-deluded? Is it to be an arrogant asshole?”

          “keep pitching your bullshit no matter what?”

          :”such a disconnected asshole to people,”

          Do these statements above reflect “good listening?” Now beyond your anger and fecal fixation, you’ve really done nothing but rant like a spoiled child. You call me “rude as fuck.” If that’s true, what words do you use to describe your drunken sailor approach to conversation? Did you save any special words to describe your own appalling behavior?? That’s the problem with feigned outrage – if you are ever genuinely outraged, you’ve cried wolf about a hundred times too many. You have no credence.

          You are going to die. That is a fact. No matter how you fight it, no matter how it frightens you – you are headed to death. Either you will stand before God in your sin, or you will have an Advocate. So far, you obviously are going it alone. It is not going to end well. Flee your sin. Not just your ugly rhetoric and anger and unsociability – but all your sin. Call out to God in Christ in mercy, and you can be saved. You’ll find knowing God infinitely more enjoyable than excoriating me. Really.

        • Kodie

          You are perpetually offensive and can’t fucking recognize it. I am not reading your boring empty bullshit. Answer Bob separately. He deserves your honest empty bullshit because you can’t come up with anything, and his observation is you prefer to be distracted. Why don’t you fucking know anything? Why do you think you don’t have to defend your faith to us intellectually?

          Why is your best argument to be a goddamned fucking asshole to everyone instead?

          Wait a motherfucking second – is the guy who is shocked and offended at curse words trying to be like I’m the one who is offended because I must be liberal? You never cease to be offensive and presumptuous. You can’t base your beliefs in reality, you can’t base your beliefs in anything. You are a robotic slave and can’t think for yourself. Christianity is a cult and it’s superstition. You make the claim and you have to defend it. YOU CANNOT. You can do nothing but flail and get offended because you ACT LIKE AN ASSHOLE and someone CALLS YOU AN ASSHOLE. Try not BEING AN ASSHO:LE.

        • The Bibliognost

          I am shaking the dust from my feet. I will no longer respond to you. You are a pariah. You are grossly abusive. And here’s the amusing thing – your intellect, such as it is reflected in your rants, is somewhat short of impressive. You have one function – you curse and vilify. That’s it. That’s the sum total of your ever response. You think and respond as a juvenile delinquent, and you have the unabashed temerity to call me a “robotic slave.” Friend, if anyone is non-thinking and robotic with his nasty rhetoric, it’s you.

          I hope you overcome your ‘asshole” fetish. It’s really pretty disgusting. In fact, you come across as a generally disgusting human being in ever regard.

          There is, as I’ve explained, no reason to defend my faith before you. It would waste your time, and it surely would waste mine. You have established yourself as unworthy of any Christian’s time. Your anger and vitriol is inexcusable. Jesus tells His followers to not “cast pearls before swine.” My judgement is that if that restriction doesn’t fit you, it has no application anywhere. I am finished casting pearls before swine. Go somewhere else and curse someone else. I’m too old and too weary with your puerile responses. May God yet have mercy on your horribly dark soul.

          Over and out.

        • Kodie

          I hope you stop having fantasies that you have anything to offer. So far, you’ve been abusive and insulting. You haven’t said one intelligent thing since you showed up, and expect a lot for nothing.

          Are you fucking kidding me telling me to go somewhere else?

        • I am shaking the dust from my feet.

          Praise God.

          And here’s the amusing thing – your intellect, such as it is reflected in your rants, is somewhat short of impressive. You have one function – you curse and vilify.

          And here’s the amusing thing—you could’ve engaged Kodie in intellectual conversation. I suppose that’s beyond your capabilities or simply uninteresting to you.

          I hope you overcome your ‘asshole” fetish. I t’s really pretty disgusting. In fact, you come across as a generally disgusting human being in ever regard.

          And you could’ve modeled the behavior you’re insisting on. A missed opportunity . . .

          There is, as I’ve explained, no reason to defend my faith before you.

          My bet is that it’s actually that you have no ability to defend your faith.

          Jesus tells His followers to not “cast pearls before swine.”

          Awk-ward! Kinda makes him out as a dick, doesn’t it?

        • Susan

          you could’ve engaged Kodie in intellectual conversation

          Or anyone else who attempted to have one with him.

          Alas, he came here to insult, with no intention to engage.

          And you could’ve modeled the behavior you’re insisting on. A missed opportunity . . .

          True. He could have done something more than behave like an asshole. Alas, that is all he seems capable of doing. So, Kodie called him one. Someone was bound to sooner or later. His behaviour merits it.

          My bet is that it’s actually that you have no ability to defend your faith.

          Not so far. He sure gets a hard-on strawmanning atheists, though.

          I honestly think he’s been here before.

          Hes a ‘baiter. Nothing more.

        • Kodie

          Under normal circumstances, I still don’t like to wait too long after someone shows their true colors, but my time is seriously limited. This guy has zero going for an argument, and treats everyone like we’re beneath him. Like most Christians believe, arguments don’t work anyway, but because they blame us for resisting them out of wicked atheism (denial that god exists, we want to be our own god, etc.), and not because the arguments they pick are so shallow. Someone like Bibliognost can’t even comprehend the concept of how poor and fallacious their favorite arguments are.

        • Susan

          This guy has zero going for an argument, and treats everyone like we’re beneath him.

          I think if someone does both, especially for a week, it is sufficient to ban them.

          They contribute nothing to discussion. And they clog up discussion.

          Ameribear and bman (and others), at least felt an obligation to make arguments without the bible. That they couldn’t, is secondary. They pretended they had arguments that had evidential support. They didn’t. But they didn’t just preach and insult.

          Though they did plenty of both, that’s not all they did. They threw actual arguments into the ring. That they were terrible arguments that they couldn’t support is not important.

          They were horrible. But I wouldn’t have banned them
          .
          Blahblahblahniost just baits, insults and preaches. All of which is useless to discussion.

          Blovianost is just here throwing troll chum. That’s all he’s done.

        • Kodie

          I think so, I would. I like your funny names for him too.

        • Susan

          Praise God.

          Bob, please check his commenting history at this site.

          He entered with insults and no interest in honest discussion.

          It’s been trollbaiting since the beginning.

          He has contributed nothing to discussion.

          Every honest and eventually annoyed response he’s given is just another opportunity for him to troll.

        • He is a waste of space, isn’t he?

        • Kodie

          He’s not shaking the dust from here, just from me, but he did tell me to go somewhere else and bother other people. I feel like I know this guy by his avatar, but since I took such a long time away last year, I’ve lost my mental catalog of who all the assholes are by their sock puppets.

        • MR

          Possibly Armstrong.

        • Kodie

          Except for the gratuitous use of videos to make his point, I was thinking that truck driving Christian. I google searched the avatar and found Jack Elam, so it’s not what that guy probably actually looks like, but I feel like someone had that picture before, but may not have had the same persona/style. I don’t think I know who Armstrong is.

        • MR

          Oh…, I forgot about that douche bag! It seems to me that we must be recycling the same douche bags, because most of the Christians I know aren’t that way. Why is it only the douche bag Christians who come here?

        • Kodie

          No, I think there are infinite douche bags. I don’t think all Christians are like this, but if it’s a big enough deal that you’re looking for religious conversations or proselytize on the internet, you’re going to be a fucking douche bag, chances are.

        • Greg G.

          Jack Elam was one of the great character actors. He once said the stages of a character actor’s career are (quoting from memory):

          1. Who’s Jack Elam?
          2. I want Jack Elam.
          3. I want the next Jack Elam.
          4. I want a young Jack Elam.
          5. Who’s Jack Elam?

        • Susan

          :Possbily Armstrong.

          I really doubt it.

          Not his MO.

        • Who said you don’t have superpowers?

        • epeeist

          Amusing that you go into full on Victorian fainting-couch mode at a few “naughty” words but you are willing to excuse the numerous genocides, occurrences of incest and gang rape in that holy book of yours.

          Over and out.

          As anyone who has communicated by radio will tell you, “Over and out” is a nonsense.

        • I didn’t realize until you prodded me to look for it that “over and out” is redundant. Thanks.

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t realize it either but as I read it, “over and out” are opposites. “Over” means “over to you” or “your turn to talk” and “out” means “I am done so no need to reply.”

        • epeeist

          Exactly that, which is why the phrase is completely ridiculous.

        • Greg G.

          Roger.

        • you need to suck it up a little

          … said the guy who luvs to respond to any and all insults.

          Wow–just how non-self-reflective are you?

        • Kodie

          I love how these Christian feel license to say any insult that their religion endorses about atheists, and get one, they can dish it out but can’t take it, but two or more, we’re “tag-teaming”. How paranoid. Still nothing of substance from the wise ol’ grandpaw-paw.

        • On point after point, I want to say, “Hold up a mirror to yourself.”

          It went over his head the first time, so I won’t bother.

        • Kodie

          The avatar looks familiar though. I want to say this is the dumbest, least prepared Christian in a long time, but my hotspot is due next Tuesday, and I can’t put it on hold until I return it, which could take at least another week!

          Bibliognost is really a moron with nothing to offer, that’s to say, he has already bunched up to the point where of course I don’t really want evidence! He has been taught that any atheists who ask for evidence are LYING! Goddamn, any evidence that moron can give is the weakest shit, and he can’t face it.

        • I think his avatar is a good fit. I could easily imagine his blather coming out of that mouth.

          The guy needs to get un-retired and go do something. He’s the curmudgeon version of the 20-something who plays video games all day in his mom’s basement.

        • Kodie

          I’ve seen it before, but it is probably some tv show character that Christians like… not Gregory House, but the opposite. Bibliognost is the total package – nothing of substance to say, believes atheists are just in denial, and only a matter of time before he uses the actual phrase “pearls before swine,” like every other dumb Christian with no pearls we can even look at or talk about. He’s already decided there is nothing he can say, without saying anything, that will change our minds, and yes, that’s probably true. Christians, especially the non-scholars, don’t tend to have much to go by, while the scholars bloviate some nonsense, and it’s always our fault that we can see through it. Yeah, we’re just disgusting people who love to be insulted because we’re disgusting, and then you can pass your dumb bible passages at us and we should be so impressed. I can imagine how frustrating to think that should work, and it doesn’t!

          EDIT: It is Jack Elam, the proctologist who shot drugs directly into his mouth in Cannonball Run. I feel like I have seen this image as some idiot’s avatar before though.

        • Kodie

          Seriously, I would actually love evidence. None of you have any, so why do you keep bothering us? You believe what you want to believe about atheists, but none of it is true. You have a superstition, basically “step on a crack, break your mother’s back,” is what you come up with, and we’re supposed to thank you and ask you for more of the same bullshit wisdom, but you’re conditioned to expect us to resist such “wisdom” because we’re following the devil instead. No, moron, it’s you, and the dumb things you say. We have such a thing called critical thinking, and the things you say are foolish…. and might I add, you’re not the first or even the 500th person to come here thinking this lame shit should impress us (and rationalize why it doesn’t).

          Go back to your cult and claim victory already. You’ve converted no one because we’re devil people like you were told to expect. It’s not that you were grossly presumptuous or insulting or that the argument, the only argument you supplied, is easily defeated by a child!

        • Kodie

          Either you will stand before God in your sin, or you will have an
          Advocate. So far, you obviously are going it alone. It is not going to
          end well. Flee your sin.

          This is you being rude as fuck. You have no supporting arguments, you are just an alarmist holding up your loony street corner myth.

          We’re here to discuss this shit. We’re not here for you to pretend you give a fuck and then rationalize why we don’t give a fuck for any idiotic superstition you want to pass off.

          I’m insulted because you think you’re qualified with this idiocy to save us from your imaginary friend, without asking us a single fucking question. You have no respect for people. You are a cultist robot, believing what you’re told and not actually present.

        • Rudy R

          When you use the Bible to proselytize, it’s irrelevant to all atheists, not just Bob. You’re wasting your time trying to convert atheists to Christians using the Bible, because to quote Isaac Asimov “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

        • The Bibliognost

          Well, it’s good to know where everyone stands. The deceased and errant Asimov speaks for you. The Bible speaks for me. I guess we’ll see how it all pans out.

          One more thought. I have no power to convert anyone. And, by the way, atheists have indeed come to a complete spiritual reversal vis a vis the Bible. I trust that doesn’t ruin your day.

        • Pofarmer

          I guess we’ll see how it all pans out.

          To quote Mark Twain. ” Before I was born, I was dead for billions of years, I see no reason I’ll be inconvenienced by being dead for billions more. “

        • epeeist

          I trust that doesn’t ruin your day.

          Ah, the inevitable ad baculum, I wondered when that would arrive.

        • Kodie

          Why don’t you have anything else to say? You threaten people, and speak down to them, but you can’t support your beliefs whatsoever. “we’ll see how it all pans out”? That’s the best you have, we’ll find out if we regret not listening to your weak shit when we die?

          You have no power to convert even a child with your weak beliefs. You talk to people like they haven’t examined this stuff before, and that is your mistake. You have no power to convert anyone because your arguments are so weak and the weakest elements of the bible. You have no power to convert anyone because everyone intelligent can see your argument (your only argument), is the most vacant and unsubstantial set of characters in the entire bible.

          But the thing is, if you are leaning on verses to argue for you, you haven’t thought about them, you haven’t read about them, you are just a fool for those bible verses, and you think they are magical and will convert us if you say them to the right victim. Yes, there are stupid morons who will find those passages deep and meaningful, but you have made the huge mistake of believing atheists can’t think. Yes, you think we are idiots, and rebellious demons who take what you say and feel the burn, and will be converted on the WORDS, either that, or deny the power of the WORDS passionately.

          You’re a fucking moron. You think the words carry magic? You think it’s up to us to feel what you expect us to feel from the WORDS from the bible, as though you are casting a magic spell on us? Are you 5?

          .

        • Kodie

          Why would it ruin anyone’s day? What is a spiritual reversal? What are you even talking about? It sounds absurd.

        • Rudy R

          No one speaks for me; found Asimov’s succinct quote best expresses my experience with the Bible.

          Spiritually, whatever that means, is irrelevant to my day.

        • Kodie

          Why do you think the bible is not written by ancient humans and their undeveloped opinions?

        • Greg G.

          “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:28

          That verse is practically the motto of the low end of the Dunning-Kruger scale. You obviously think you are smarter than everyone else by quoting the verse but the fact that you cite it as 1 Corinthians 1:28 when it is actually 1 Corinthians 1:18 undercuts your entire argument.

        • Kodie

          You seem to have the notion that everyone you speak to is younger and less knowledgeable than you are, that everyone is a MALE. It shows you care little to know who you’re speaking to, since I told you several posts back, I’m a college graduated woman in my 40s.

          But you remain and defend your status as an asshole. Keep treating everyone like a peewee youngster taken upon your knee for a spell of story-telling fables because that’s what your cult has insisted atheists are, and you think you’re some wise ol’ grandpaw-paw, never mind that you adhere to the belief in a fairy tale, that if it’s in the bible, that means it’s true, etc. I saw enough from you to finally speak up, because you’re not just an asshole to people, you’re not smart enough to take seriously.

        • A lot of water under the bridge has taught me that arguments for the veracity of Christianity tend to do little to convince skeptics. To my view, that says more about the entrenchment of unbelievers than the paucity of evidence concerning Christian truth.

          If atheists are closed minded, find some theists and use your arguments on them. How about Muslims? They believe in pretty much the same God, they like Abraham and Moses, and they believe in Jesus. You’re halfway there! Without those anti-supernatural biases in atheists, they’re sure to gobble up the Christian message.

          Most discussions with the sort of atheists that thrive on demeaning people of faith rarely produces satisfactory exchanges.

          You can find blog posts here that I hope aren’t demeaning. You can respond to them, pointing out the errors.

          I’ve been in these sorts of discussions since the early 70’s, long before there was an “online” to have them at – and they rarely are fruitful.

          Is the Holy Spirit not paying attention?

          If Christ is revealed in the heart of man by the supernatural purpose and power of God…and He is…then reasoning with men whose minds are still bound by their sin and intrinsic darkness and antipathy toward God is usually unprofitable.

          Why? If everyone has the evidence right there, you’d think that, again, the battle is halfway won.

        • The Bibliognost

          I understand that theology may not be your forte, but Allah is decidedly not the God of the Jews or Christians. Allah was the chief of hundreds of pagan deities worshipped in Arabia before Islam was even founded.

          I cannot speak for the proclivities of the Holy Spirit with absolute certainty, but I have observed enough atheists to have a fixed viewpoint as to theirs.

          Best Regards

        • I have observed enough atheists to have a fixed viewpoint as to theirs.

          So you know that I’m obstinate and closed-minded? Looks like you win before we start.

          While we’re stereotyping, I’m not surprised that you dismissed my Muslim challenge (or at least a strawman of it) without consideration. After all, that’s what a Christian would do, isn’t it?

        • The Bibliognost

          You are pursuing a useless course. An atheistic evangelical or apologetic message RE Islam is humorous, not serious. If I decide to pursue Islam, I will seek out appropriate representatives. It is as seemly for you to advocate for Islam as it would be for me to advocate for shamanism.

          If you fancy yourself the unique atheist, I am happy for you.

        • An atheistic evangelical or apologetic message RE Islam is humorous, not serious.

          Nope, quite serious. You can conceivably say that an atheist has a bias against the supernatural, but you can’t say that about a Muslim. That he’s just as resistant to the Christian message as the atheist says something about the truth of your message. Christianity is cultural, just like all the other religions.

          If you fancy yourself the unique atheist, I am happy for you.

          Not at all. Most atheists don’t care about the religion question and just get on with their lives. Those that take an interest in apologetics are much like me, eager to follow the evidence.

          You alluded to a symmetry between the atheist and Christian positions. I think you’re wrong; you think I’m wrong; we’re even. But I argue in this post that there’s an important asymmetry in the atheist’s favor.
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/10/i-used-to-be-an-atheist-just-like-you-2/

        • The Bibliognost

          The Christian faith transcends supernatural concerns. The problem with the Muslim faith is not it’s acceptance of the supernatural, but it’s epistemological notions, it’s soteriological notions and it’s confusion about the nature of God. I do not believe Christianity is cultural. I am not Jewish, nor am I from Israel – the birthplace land and religion of Christianity. If you mean it is western, or American – certainly it’s greatest progress is there, but the message is not bound to a region, say the way Islam is, vis a vis Mecca, etc.

          I am not convinced most atheists “don’t care about the religion question.” Many seem quite agitated it about it, to my observation.

          What symmetry and asymmetry (“in the atheist’s favor”) are you appealing to??

        • Kodie

          I am not convinced most atheists “don’t care about the religion
          question.” Many seem quite agitated it about it, to my observation.

          Are you sure it’s not you?

        • Greg G.

          I am not convinced most atheists “don’t care about the religion question.” Many seem quite agitated it about it, to my observation.

          It is not the question, we are way past that. It is the demand that religion be imposed on society that irritates us.

        • The Bibliognost

          I have no power to impose any point of view on you, much less society at large. Are you suggesting that Christians ought be banned from the public square, and that input from only those of like mind with you be allowed access?

        • Greg G.

          You have the power to shut up until you can prove your religion has any more validity than any other superstition.

          You can be as foolish as you want to be as long as you don’t try to force me to participate. That includes heeding preachers who do politics from the pulpit.

        • Kodie

          I would love it if you all weren’t so full of your “holy spirit” – by which I mean, you think we are all broken and hopeless and we need to hear your vapid little quotes to cure an imaginary disease. That you speak to us like we are misguided punk teen boys who require your wisdom to get back on the path, instead of grown-ups who are (1) much alrighty, and (2) have not found these lame assertions convincing. You don’t respect your audience. Everything you think you know about atheists and atheism, you learned from someone who is also telling you lots of other lies, mostly to keep you in your seat and not ask any questions. You didn’t ask us any questions. You didn’t listen when we told you. You persisted in making your assumptions and approaching us like a problem you are here to rescue us from. Do you think we’ve never encountered, or perhaps were raised as, another Christian, saying the same cult blatherings over and over and over and over again? You can believe what you want, but when you insult people along the way to doing what you think is your mission in life, you become a church-made asshole.

        • Kodie

          And the pathetic arguments and the people who think we are broken wretches who need a cure to their imaginary disease. I mean, so many wrong, dishonest brainwashed people! Who think we need their little quotes to see some sort of imaginary sunray of hope that’s all in their head. They refuse to listen, so I treat them accordingly.

        • The Christian faith transcends supernatural concerns. The problem with the Muslim faith is not it’s acceptance of the supernatural, but it’s epistemological notions, it’s soteriological notions and it’s confusion about the nature of God.

          That may well be the view from your perspective, but don’t flatter yourself that it’s anything more than that.

          I do not believe Christianity is cultural.

          Is Islam a cultural trait? Or Buddhism or any other religion?

          Why are 99% of Pakistanis Muslim? Is it because Islam is true?

          the message is not bound to a region, say the way Islam is, vis a vis Mecca, etc.

          Huh? How is Islam any more bound to a region than Christianity? If you say that there’s no location-based equivalent to bowing toward Mecca, that’s true, but that’s trivia.

          I am not convinced most atheists “don’t care about the religion question.” Many seem quite agitated it about it, to my observation.

          You mean the ones who discuss atheism online?

          Like I said.

          What symmetry and asymmetry (“in the atheist’s favor”) are you appealing to??

          Did you read the post??

        • Kodie

          I consider you a simple-minded Christian who has nothing to offer to an intelligent discussion. Sorry that I had to cut to the chase. Yes, you are an asshole for resorting to condescension rather than making an argument. Sorry I had to cut to the chase. Yes, you are an asshole for presuming everyone is an idiot and pretend your “65-year-old grandfather” persona means fuck-all. I didn’t mean to respond in this thread because it’s a little stale, but you are so full of yourself and so empty otherwise.

        • Let’s talk about something else. You’re a Christian? Which arguments for Christianity do you find most compelling?

        • Kodie

          To clarify, treating people like they are too young or innocent or inexperienced or uneducated to understand whatever “wisdom” you think you have, is demeaning. Telling us all we are boys is rude. I am a woman in my 40s, and I have a college degree. So stop pretending you know anything, or that we are all but wild children you need to lecture to. I don’t appreciate your demeaning attitude at all, you are sexist and pretty much disgusting. Did your religion make you disgusting? Do you always make assumptions that everyone is younger and needs your special guidance? That’s disgusting.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Art IS math, especially if it’s representative art (geometry).
      Music is patterns that follow laws of sound and human phisiology of what’s pleasing.
      sculpture requires knowledge of what rock can be efficiently worked with.
      Religion merely shows how gullible people can be, and how unwilling to admit to that gullibility.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Religions have always contained far more teaching and information than just supernatural tales.

        Religions are not merely an indication of how gullible people can be.
        If you really believe that this gullibility is all that religions have ever been, then your thinking is an indication of how gullible atheists can be.

        • Raging Bee

          Religions have always contained far more teaching and information than just supernatural tales.

          That was truest in more primitive times, when all pursuits of knowledge — math, astronomy, divination, history, law, storytelling, agriculture, etc. — were all under one roof, and were all practiced by the same far-less-differentiated elite of knowledgeable people in each tribe or village.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The Jesus stories contain teachings that can be useful and inspiring when the supernatural authority is discounted.

          Many proverbs and parables have educational powers, and in some cases, the supernatural is not referred to in the story.

          Just because a religious person tells you that all of the Bible is Divinely Inspired does not mean that you need to believe such talk.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The ‘jesus’ stories also glorify and promote:
          – Absolute Monarchy
          – Slavery
          – Substitutionary Atonement
          – Infinite punishment for finite crimes

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, it is important to be able to read the ancient texts with a skeptical, analytical eye.

          Separating the natural stories from the miraculous stories is a start.

          Then, separating the good morality from the not-so-good morality from they outrageously bad morality would make a good teaching exercise for anyone.

          Many religionists, however would be shocked at the presumption of morally analyzing the Bible. The pastors would claim that the parishioners “would not be ready” for such an exercise.

        • epeeist

          The Jesus stories contain teachings that can be useful and inspiring

          So do Aesop’s fables.

        • Pofarmer

          Or Norse mythology. Or Native American smoke dancing. or, The brothers Karimazov.

        • epeeist

          And not only that, but it takes little to find things that are ethically far better than the bible.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ll admit, I’m not real big on moral philosophy, but it seems like we eclipsed the biblical view of morality a long time ago. Probably starting 1000 years ago, and then Hume et al. really got on with it.

        • epeeist

          Probably starting 1000 years ago, and then Hume et al. really got on with it.

          Longer than this, as I have said before Christian morality was so poor that people like St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas had to import from Plato and Aristotle.

        • Pofarmer

          Good point. Which is why when I see people saying they want to “follow the bible” I kinda slap my forehead. People 2000 years ago knew it was a bad idea.

        • Chuck Johnson

          And both should be given the historical and philosophical respect that they deserve.

          And neither should be given any miraculous or voodoo-type of respect.
          People like to write stories.

        • epeeist

          And both should be given the historical and philosophical respect that they deserve.

          Respect is for people not for systems of ideas. To quote Salman Rushdie:

          The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

          People like to write stories.

          Indeed they do, but this does not mean that one should privilege one set of stories over another simply because it is religious in nature.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Use your own perceptions.
          Respectable people deserve your respect.
          Respectable ideas deserve your respect.
          Make your own choices.

          Indeed they do, but this does not mean that one should privilege one set of stories over another simply because it is religious in nature.

          In some situations, we can go further and (somewhat) discount a set of stories because they are religious in nature.

          Specifically, you should not believe the miraculous content.
          I know, for example that the Gospels need to be taken with a big grain of salt because of the purported miracles that are described.

          If the Gospel writers got the miraculous content wrong, what else did they get wrong in reporting the words and actions of Jesus ?

        • epeeist

          Respectable ideas deserve your respect.

          Why? One can see an argument for respecting the people who produced the ideas and also for (provisionally) accepting the ideas but why should they be respected?

          If the Gospel writers got the miraculous content wrong, what else did they get wrong in reporting the words and actions of Jesus ?

          Whether he existed or not? But if you strip out all the miraculous content what are you left with? A minor and rather unsatisfying proponent of an apocalyptic theocracy whose ideas on ethics were so feeble that theologians had to import from the ethics of both Plato, the Neo-Platonists and Aristotle.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “But if you strip out all the miraculous content what are you left with?”

          Lots of stories, parables and proverbs.
          Lots of indications as to what God, Jesus and other characters in the Bible were thinking and what their morality was.

          The Bible served as a source of politics, morality, entertainment, and a description of how our universe works.

          Such ancient sources of information were necessary for helping our civilization get a start. Tribes and civilizations need such oral and written traditions.

          Today, the things that the Bible provided to Western civilizations long ago have been replaced by modern laws, politics, science, communication technology, entertainment, etc.

          Over the centuries, the importance of the Bible to the moral and legal development of Western civilization has faded.

          Modern Christian churches use the Bible’s teachings more and more selectively. The result is that modern churches invent the morality and sermons that appeal to them and then use the Bible as a rubber stamp of authority.

          Churchgoing in the USA continues to decline, especially among the youngest Americans.

        • Lots of indications as to what God, Jesus and other characters in the Bible were thinking and what their morality was.

          But why focus on this one little tribe? If you want to get serious in studying an ancient culture, there are a lot more obvious sources than the Hebrews—Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Indian, . . .

        • Chuck Johnson

          I’m not asking you to focus on this one little tribe.
          As I have said, the various civilizations that have arisen around the world have used their religions as a part of founding and growing a civilization.

        • epeeist

          Lots of stories, parables and proverbs.

          So, little different to something like Aesop’s fables, the Kalavala or Confucian Analects then.

          Lots of indications as to what God,

          I though you were dispensing with the supernatural.

          The Bible served as a source of politics, morality, entertainment, and a description of how our universe works.

          So add in something like Hesiod’s Theogony or Homer’s Iliad to the list I gave above.

          Today, the things that the Bible provided to Western civilizations long ago have been replaced by modern laws, politics, science, communication technology, entertainment, etc.

          Perhaps you ought to ask yourself why this is. Why has it lost influence and been replaced by the things you mention?

        • MR

          Seems that we have a Clingon. No, not the K kind. The kind that are willing to admit that religion is bollocks, but they’re determined to cling on to their belief nonetheless. 10 to 1 this one will never come close to trying to justify a belief in God. More handwaving. Sigh.

        • epeeist

          The kind that are willing to admit that religion is bollocks, but they’re determined to cling on to their belief nonetheless.

          Yes, Dennett’s “Belief in belief”.

          10 to 1 this one will never come close to trying to justify a belief in God.

          Ripe for becoming a Unitarian Universalist though.

        • And I thought skl was one of a kind.

        • MR

          (I see the Russian bots are back liking comments. I’ve reported; feel free to do likewise, just don’t click on any links in the profile.)

        • helpful, thanks.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Perhaps you ought to ask yourself why this is. Why has it lost influence and been replaced by the things you mention?”

          Humans are inventive.
          Newer inventions tend to be more effective and useful than earlier inventions.

          The ancient stories allowed the ancient civilizations to be founded and to survive. But as far as benefiting humanity, they pale in comparison to the power of the inventions that we have at our command nowadays.

          So the religions fade away and get replaced with knowledge which is better.

        • Fire was a bigger step forward than the internet. Today’s mountain of technology is, of course, far higher than it was in the past, but in terms of the magnitude of individual steps forward, let’s not overestimate today’s.

        • Chuck Johnson

          I wouldn’t put them in a contest with each other because their functions are so different from each other.

          Here’e another important “invention”: hemoglobin.
          Genetic adaptive evolution invented hemoglobin.

          The forces of genetic evolution are not very intelligent*, but over a period of billions of years, this minimal intelligence* can be effective in creating the astounding biology of our planet.

          I use the word intelligence* with the asterisk to denote intelligence so minimal that people do not generally think of it as being intelligence.

          That’s the scientific creation story.
          Religionists will tell you that only an enormously superior intelligence could have created humanity.

          Empirical investigation has shown us that a minuscule intelligence* called adaptive evolution has been able to create humanity and all other living things on Earth.

          It’s almost like a miracle.
          And the religionists don’t want us scientists working the same side of the street as they do.

        • epeeist

          So essentially, as knowledge improved the old stories and ways of doing things became irrelevant.

          I would add another thing, namely explanatory power. As our knowledge has deepened many things that once had supernatural explanations (disease, natural catastrophes etc.) now have natural explanations. In no case has there been something that had a natural explanation that has now a supernatural one.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “So essentially, as knowledge improved the old stories and ways of doing things became irrelevant.”

          Yes, they became irrelevant for the purpose of following them as instructions to live our lives.

          But they are now relevant for the purpose of getting the big picture of human cultural evolution.

        • epeeist

          But they are now relevant for the purpose of getting the big picture of human cultural evolution.

          Except of course they aren’t. I live in the UK, as you can see from this article only just over three quarters of a million people attend a Sunday service out of a population of some 55 million, this is about 1.4% of the population. It has got so dire that the the CofE authorities have recently removed the requirement for churches to even have a service on Sunday. Other churches in the rest of the UK are in a similar position.

          If you look at the UK and Europe more generally it would seem that once you have a social safety net in place for things like health and unemployment, and people are no longer dependent on charity for such things then churches and the religion they peddle become irrelevant. People don’t turn away from them as much as simply stop going.

        • Chuck Johnson

          I am not advocating the study of cultural evolution in churches.
          Churches promote superstition more than they can promote any kind of scientific study.

          The ancient stories are best studied scientifically as a cultural artifact. That’s when they are relevant to getting the big picture of human cultural evolution.

        • epeeist

          I am not advocating the study of cultural evolution in churches.

          OK, let’s forget about organised religion, whether it be churches, mosques, temples or synagogues.

          The ancient stories are best studied scientifically as a cultural artifact.

          Sounds like it should be part of a social anthropology course.

          That’s when they are relevant to getting the big picture of human cultural evolution.

          Somewhat of a non-sequitur don’t you think. So what role does it, or should it, play in cultural evolution? How does this square with the fact that large parts of the developed world are culturally irreligious and even in the States those with “no religion” are the fastest growing demographic.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The ancient authoritarian civilizations used religions to help affirm the authority of the leaders. Authority and religions helped to create civilizations in the first place.

          The developed world now benefits from complex authority structures with that authority deriving from more complex and sophisticated cultural systems. The authority is more sophisticated than belief in gods and the reading of religious texts.

          This is cultural evolution.
          It is appropriate that “no religion” should be a fast growing demographic.

        • epeeist

          You seem to be in constant retreat. Having claimed that religions have a part to play in humanity’s cultural evolution you present no reasons that it should and seem to be accepting that religions are ceasing to have a role in such evolution.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Religions were very important to humanity’s cultural evolution.
          Today, their importance continues to decline.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “Sounds like it should be part of a social anthropology course.”

          Yes, and to me it is also a part of evolutionary biology.
          Human culture is a biological survival adaptation.

        • Kodie

          We have more accurate ways of assessing human cultural evolution. The bible is part of the historical and cultural literature, and interesting as an element, how one society wrote its mythology, just not a source of knowledge, or a guidebook, that current western culture esteems it.

        • Kodie

          A person can find something useful in religion, but that doesn’t mean they need to dunk their whole head into the tank of delusion and join the cult.

        • Chuck Johnson

          People should not believe magical, supernatural or miraculous things.
          That’s a good start.

        • Kodie

          If you can find a nugget of help in anything Jesus teaches, you do not need to believe Jesus (or the author of the New Testament) has any special insight into your core being and decides your fate. That’s what’s wrong with religion. They take something a person can use in their life and turns them into an idiot.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Religious leaders have an agenda of authority and control.
          This pollutes the original stories and philosophies.

        • Kodie

          It’s probably not the best source anyway. I don’t know what you think atheism is. It’s not to discard the bible as a historical document. Tear away the superstition, stop revering that book and that conglomerate of cults over the written book, i.e. idolatry of a book over education, knowledge, and truth about our world.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, exaggeration is a big part of religious traditions.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          but with out the supernatural elements, then the teachings are just philosophy not religion, and also don’t have anything like the supposed authority

        • Chuck Johnson

          And that’ts the improvement that is needed.
          Magical authority is the stumbling block.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2019/02/wow-im-in-the-new-york-times/

        • Kodie

          Religion binds what people have worked out and local preferences to superstition, so that religious people cannot separate what is real from a superstitious cause, and their social tribe’s wishes. So, yeah, you’re gullible.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Religions do a lot more than what you say that they do.

        • Kodie

          Not really.

      • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

        you can also turn it around and say that math is art. g.h. hardy explicity compared math and art in “a mathematician’s apology”:

        a mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. if his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made of ideas. a painter makes patterns with shapes and colours, a poet with words. a painting may embody an ‘idea’, but the idea is usually commonplace and unimportant. in poetry, ideas count for a good deal more; but, as housman insisted, the importance of ideas in poetry is habitually exaggerated: ‘i cannot satisfy myself that there are any such things as poetical ideas … poetry is not the things said but a way of saying it.'”

        “a mathematician, on the other hand, has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer, since ideas wear less with time than words.
        the mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.”

    • ThaneOfDrones

      Christianity becomes more progressive, more true and more valuable as
      the years pass, despite the hindrance of the residual superstition.

      WTF have you been smoking? As the “mainline” Christian denominations became more liberal and less Fundy in the 20th century, worshippers fled those denominations and swelled the ranks of the “Evangelical” sects.

      • Chuck Johnson

        I would reply, but it is best to not feed the trolls.

        • Michael Neville

          Instead of pretending that ThaneOfDrones was trolling you, how about rebutting his comment? Or are you calling him a troll because you can’t rebut his comment?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Troll

        • Michael Neville

          Damn you’re predictable.

          So are you going to rebut the people you call trolls or are you just going to whine about how everyone is trolling you? I’d place a large wager that you’re a whiner.

        • Kodie

          Why enter a conversation if you can’t keep up? Calling people trolls for expecting you to be able to handle a discussion you voluntarily entered makes your argument super weak. If you want to believe what you want to believe without being challenged, just go and stop blaming other people for your failings.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling again.

        • Kodie

          You are a simpleton who can’t defend his argument.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling again.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          it is not trolling to point out that in recent years the only churches that have seen increase are the increasingly belligerent ones, generally speaking people have either doubled down on the crazy or deconverted, hence why the number of religious people is decreasing.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You have stated it without trolling.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          You CAN’T answer, as measurable consensus reality defeats you.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Once again, you are trolling.

    • Otto

      Christianity becomes more progressive, more true and more valuable as the years pass…

      Exactly what parts of Christianity becomes more true and more valuable? (and I mean Christian specific, not the parts that Christianity co-opts from other parts of culture).

      • Chuck Johnson

        The general teachings.
        Emphasis on outlandish supernatural tales becomes downplayed.

        The parts that Christianity co-opts is a big part of progressive Christianity.
        Religions do not operate in a vacuum.
        The Mormons used to be very racist until God sent them a Divine message about that.
        In this way, the Christian messages improve.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Which ‘teachings’?
          – Slavery?

          Subjugation of women?

          Demanding monarchy rather than democracy?

        • Chuck Johnson

          Slavery, yes.
          The teachings of progressive churches are far better morality than the teachings of the Southern Baptist churches were.

          As the Southern Baptists became more modern, they even issued a public apology.

          https://tinyurl.com/onsuktf

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          But if you remove all the supernatural elements from Christianity you end up with humanism, so why not just cut out the middleman and become a humanist?

        • Raging Bee

          That’s pretty much what Jesus did: alleged miracles or no, he was a (relatively) radical humanist who preached a code of conduct based on reasoned calculation of benefits and harms to others.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Except for being a racist and an advocate of condemning people for thoughtcrime.

        • Chuck Johnson

          And I have seen one preacher who has done exactly that.
          We could use more.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2019/02/wow-im-in-the-new-york-times/

        • Raging Bee

          …and they kept on supporting backward policies long after apologizing. And our whole country is feeling the effects of their radical backwardness today.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes, apology does not preclude hypocrisy.
          Such things happen in Orwellian cultures.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your ‘bible’ still supports each of the terrible stains upon humanity that I mentioned.

          And thanks to ildi, we can add in the horrible, unfair idea of ‘substitutionary atonement’, whereby another person is punished for a supposed miscreant’s bad action(s).

          The whole ‘jesus *died* on the cross FOR YOU, YOU DIRTY SINNER!‘ is a nauseatingly HORRIBLE idea to accept, much less glorify.

        • Chuck Johnson

          My Bible?
          It’s everyone’s Bible including atheists.
          I am an atheist.

          It is very useful as an historical document.
          When used as a object of worship, it becomes a big troublemaker.

          Superstitions cause lots of problems.

        • It is very useful as an historical document.

          The history of one tribe from the ancient Near East. Sure, that’s something. Not in anyone’s Top 100, of course, but it’s not nothing.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Its importance and interest greatly increases because of the influence that it has had on Western civilization.

          The number of words written in the Bible is small compared to all of the writings of Western civilization which analyze or otherwise refer to ideas taken from the Bible.

          So it has had a big positive influence on Western civilization.
          It has had a big negative influence on Western civilization.

          It has long been a big deal.
          And it is just now, in the 21st century, becoming decoupled from the ongoing development of Western culture.

          By decoupled, I mean that it is being more and more viewed as an historical document and cultural phenomenon, and less as a miraculous prescription from God as to how we should think and how we should behave. (moral prescription).

        • By decoupled, I mean that it is being more and more viewed as an historical document and cultural phenomenon, and less as a miraculous prescription from God as to how we should think and how we should behave. (moral prescription).

          Sounds like we’re in agreement—it’s not a supernatural guide to life, but it’s still an important historical record.

          But that historical record ain’t much in the grand scheme of things. It’s like the Enuma Elish—important to a tiny band of historians who help write our history books but of no consequence in daily life.

          The Bible’s value is almost exclusively as the support for Christianity (and related religions).

        • Chuck Johnson

          In another message, I tell you that Christianity (or any religion that people can obey) is a key to enforcing the power of the Pyramid of Authority, and that Pyramid is a very important human invention.

          The Pyramid allows civilizations to be founded and to grow.

        • Kodie

          Just why are you calling other people troll? Explain what you mean and discuss, or run away and hide from it. The truth is, religion, Christianity, and the bible, still have a grip on people and their effects and influence on society. If you want to say that it’s settled, religion is no longer an issue, you are wrong. It’s not clear exactly what you’re saying because you seem to be obfuscating and obstructing productive discussion.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling.

        • Kodie

          Do you even understand the definition of a troll or are you just evasive? Christians tend to be evasive.

        • Susan

          You are trolling.

          No, she isn’t.

          When people engage your claims, you call them trolls.

          When they ask you to justifiy that accusation, you call them trolls.

          When others ask you to justify those accusations, you call them trolls.

          No one’s trolling but you, Chuck.

          You make claims that you feel no responsibility to support.

          Anyone who calls you on it goes on your troll list.

          That makes you the Troll.

        • Chuck Johnson

          So you say.

        • Susan

          So you say.

          Based on the evidence that is there for all to see.

        • MR
        • Kodie

          Hi, MR & Hi Everyone!

        • Looks like someone’s found reliable internet service again!

        • Kodie

          Well barely. I had the hotspot out again but didn’t post and then went on shitternet, so now I’m off shitternet and got the hotspot again for a little under 3 weeks. It’s probably going to be alternating like this indefinitely.

        • Suppose it were easy–where would the fun be in that?

        • Kodie

          I guess I’ll be around every once in a while for a while and then not. It’s hard to keep up in conversations – I started about 2 weeks back intending to just read, but found an arrogant piece of shit I just had to comment on.

        • I just had to comment on.

          Ya gotta to with the Muse.

        • MR

          And we are grateful.

        • MR

          Intermittent Kodie

        • Chuck Johnson

          Religion is still a going thing.
          Eliminating superstition would be a valuable accomplishment.

        • Otto

          The parts that Christianity co-opts is a big part of progressive Christianity.

          That is just Christianity rewriting itself to catch up to modern norms, it is not Christianity leading the way.

        • Chuck Johnson

          As the years go by “Christianity leading the way” continues to fade into history.

          And now we see Christianity intentionally putting up stumbling blocks.
          This is traditionalism.
          Those Christians are afraid and angry, and run to the past to try to get direction and moral inspiration.

          Much to the consternation of some:

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor/2019/02/27/official-united-methodist-church-hates-gays/

        • Otto

          Chuck, I agree not everything taught in religions is negative, and there are some things that are positive. I just don’t find Progressive Christianity to be all that impressive, yes they are much better than the alternative, but they are not coming up with anything new, they are just bringing the religion a bit closer to where people are already headed and justifying it with a God Authority, so it is still an anchor…just a less heavy one.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Where people are already headed is also where Progressive Christians are headed. They are people too.

          Us versus them gives you the wrong perspective.

          Justifying it with God authority is a false authority, but a lot of Progressive Christians know this, too. Those Christians spend less time pretending that God is the author of their ideas and more time owning up to the fact that they are responsible for the ideas and the decisions.

          God authority is one of the many superstitions that fade and weaken as Christians become more progressive.

        • Otto

          Who said anything about “Us vs them”…I was talking about secular morality vs religious morality…and you still haven’t answered how any of this equates to Christianity being more true or valuable.

        • Chuck Johnson

          The assertion is that in today’s culture, Progressive Christianity is more valuable than Fundamentalist Christianity.

        • Chuck Johnson

          God authority has been important for thousands of years.
          It functions when the few are educated and the many are ignorant and illiterate. It’s a top-down system of control. It controls the way that people think and how they behave.

          More modern moral authority is now taking over.
          It includes scientific thinking, rationality, skepticism, etc.

          The modern moral authority systems are appropriate for modern societies which are more democratic and more egalitarian.

          Widespread education and access to relevant political and social information make this change away from God authority both possible and necessary.

          Praise the Internet.

        • ildi

          The general teachings.

          Oh, that God needed the ultimate blood sacrifice of himself to save his creations from the eternal punishment he created for an inherited “sin” that he set up himself? That blind faith is better than evidenced reason? That somebody like Hitler could potentially be eternally rewarded if he managed to ask forgiveness and accept Jesus as his personal savior before the bullet destroyed his brain but somebody living their most moral life in non-God-belief gets eternal punishment? Those general teachings?

        • Chuck Johnson

          You are trolling.

        • ildi
        • Cynthia

          That is a real question.

          What do you see as the true “general teachings”?

          The teachings on forgiveness seem to be pretty key in Christianity, esp some denominations. If you teach that “legalism” and “works-based salvation” is wrong, isn’t the flip side that you aren’t to be judged on what you actually do to help or harm people?

        • Chuck Johnson

          The true “general teachings” are very extensive.
          How “general” they are depends upon their popularity.

          So if we make it general teachings plus the ideas that anyone at all has derived from Biblical teachings, we have a startlingly wide range of things that people promote as being authorized or taught by the Bible. Westboro Baptist Church is a fringe example.

          So now the choice becomes personal.
          I am an atheist, so instead of “salvation” I would recommend words like “success” “good choices” “good morality” etc.

          If you teach that “legalism” and “works-based salvation” is wrong, isn’t the flip side that you aren’t to be judged on what you actually do to help or harm people?

          My view on that controversy is that good morality includes both thoughts and deeds. Good intentions should be encouraged as a part of good morality.

          Observing the actual results of your attempts at doing good is another part of good morality. Empiricism should be employed.
          Actual results are important. Pay attention to the results.

          Believing in Jesus is the other popular Christian recommendation for salvation.
          This is one that I recommend against.
          It’s value to the church is largely authoritarian.
          I am against authoritarian morality, authoritarian thinking, etc.

          People should think for themselves.
          Careful consideration of teachings and philosophies can be very useful. Those teachings might include anything in the Bible including the purported words and ideas of Jesus.

          Those philosophical discussions will be most beneficial if the words of the Bible and the words of Jesus are considered to be ideas that humans have provided us over the ages with no miraculous power or authority behind them. Superstition within a religion is a stumbling block in a search for the truth.

        • Lark62

          No. This is just an example of culture putting pressure on religion.

          Christians claim moral superiority, but only after secular newspapers and secular law enforcement expose systemic abuse can they figure out “don’t let priests / preachers rape children.”

          Apparently, the Lard Gob can’t send a divine message without the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle and various Attorneys General.

        • Chuck Johnson

          “This is just an example of culture putting pressure on religion.”

          Culture puts pressure on religions and the religions change.
          Religions put pressure on the surrounding culture and the surrounding cultures change.

          Religions are a part of human cultures, these are not two separate things.

          You should know this.
          Confirmation bias blinds you.
          Confirmation bias blinds religionists, too.

        • They used to be racist until they found out that their bread was buttered on the other side. So “God” told them to change things.

          There’s no divine wisdom here.

        • Chuck Johnson

          It’s putative Divine wisdom.
          It’s ersatz Divine wisdom.
          Hypocrites. Liars. Whitewashed tombs.

          The “Book Of Mormon” play has a rich supply of Mormon compost to fertilize its satire.

    • Raging Bee

      Art, music, sculpture and religions all can, and do teach us about reality. They sometimes do it in an intuitive way rather than in a way that is clearly described in words.

      Yeah, but we have to use rational inquiry to verify what religion tells us. So why bother listening to religious beliefs or teachers if we have to go back to rational inquiry anyway?

      • Chuck Johnson

        All of this stuff is best viewed through the lens of rational inquiry.

        And “Why bother listening” is well known to many people.
        If you don’t want to bother listening, then don’t listen.

    • Cynthia

      Reconstructionist Judaism takes a similar approach.

      You can say that anything, religion or philosophy, that addresses “big questions” will result dealing with moral issues. I’m not sure that this proves the truth of Christianity specifically, as opposed to anything else that searches for truth.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Yes, those truths one can find in Christianity are truths “such as they are”.
        Much of those perceptions are in the eye of the beholder.
        And as always, I recommend against considering Biblical ideas as being anything other than the ideas that humans invented.
        Then those ideas were handed down to us through writings and religious traditions.

  • Damian Byrne

    For those interested, here’s a thread I’ve been involved in on a discussion forum
    https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35363

    and then a follow up thread I created
    https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35367

    They’re to do with whether you would take part in the execution of the man from Numbers 15, the man who picked up sticks and got stoned.
    It honestly frightens me how easily the Christians justify the man’s death and their taking part in it. I’ve got at least two people equating what he did (picking up sticks on the Sabbath) with GENOCIDE AND TREASON. The man is rebellious and evil, they say…and all because the order he violated came from God.

    • sandy

      It’s the same with supporting slavery. Many christians, I know, support biblical slavery because it was the “norm” at the time, so therefore acceptable.

      • Otto

        But morality is objective…so if it was OK then it is OK now. Right?

  • ThaneOfDrones

    STOP THE PRESSES!

    Bob, your whole argument is based on a simple misunderstanding. The case for Christianity is not cumulative, it is cumulus. As in cloudy.

    • Greg G.

      Bob mist that one.

      • MR

        He must have been in a fog.

      • Kevin K

        Stop raining on his parade.

        • Greg G.

          You’re going to Hail for that.

        • MR

          Be nice. We don’t want him to storm out of here.

      • Otto

        Are you cirrus?

      • ThaneOfDrones

        A lot of people don’t like to think about it because the stratus fear is high.

    • Michael Neville

      A brilliant argument. You’re a real ray of sunshine.

      • Michael Murray

        Seems like a bit of a snow job to me. I just can’t decide weather it’s true.

      • Taneli Huuskonen

        All hail ThaneOfDrones!

    • Raging Bee

      As in, ANOTHER big honkin’ thunderstorm that’ll flood the whole world again?!