Debunking 10 Popular Christian Principles for Reading the Bible (3 of 3)

Debunking 10 Popular Christian Principles for Reading the Bible (3 of 3) March 8, 2019

Let’s wrap up our critique of Jim Wallace’s article, “Ten Principles When Considering Alleged Bible Contradictions.” (Part 1 here.)

Principle #8: Description is Different Than Approval.

“Remember, just because a Biblical author writes about something, this does not mean God condones it or supports it.”

Wallace wrestles with the problem of polygamy in the Bible. Many patriarchs are shown with multiple wives, and wise king Solomon in particular had a large harem. Does this make clear that God is fine with polygamy? Apparently not, as Wallace assures us that “from the very beginning, anyone who had more than one wife was in sin and was living in opposition to God’s will.”

His evidence is the vague clue that overseers should have one wife and the demand that kings should have few wives—hardly evidence that God hates polygamy. Wallace must ignore polygamy practiced by most of the patriarchs without a peep of protest against polygamy by God. God even told David that he had blessed him with many wives and would’ve been happy to give him more (2 Samuel 12:8).

Why do you think God dislikes polygamy? Just because you do? This is an unusually blatant example of our Christian apologist playing God like a sock puppet by reading into the Bible his own views on a social issue.

Principle #9: Don’t Fret Copyist Variants.

True, there are variants in the thousands of Bible manuscripts, but none challenge anything important. And it’s not like these variants are an embarrassing secret—they’re acknowledged in the footnotes of just about every Bible.

The example this time is of conflicting accounts of a battle. In one account (2 Samuel 8:3–4), David captured 700 horsemen, while in another account of the same battle (1 Chronicles 18:3–4), he captured 7000.

Wallace notes that this isn’t especially important, and I agree. Note, though, that Wallace is again discarding biblical inerrancy. The Bible isn’t magically protected against error, so even he must accept the Bible being occasionally wrong.

But by tossing out this trivial example, Wallace may hope to camouflage an important issue. Here’s where it gets interesting. We agree that copies of Bible books can contain errors, and we agree that very, very few of the original copies from the first couple of centuries have survived. Scholars have thousands of cases of two or more variants of a single passage where we have manuscripts documenting those variants. The famous long ending of Mark is an example. Wallace will point to modern Bibles that show the most reliable version and footnote the alternative version. So where’s the problem?

Here it is: imagine a fork in the historical road, with two different manuscript traditions of a single verse, for which we have copies from only one tradition. Do we have the accurate version now? We wouldn’t even know to ask the question! Only with copies of both traditions can we distinguish verses that have been changed from those that have been copied flawlessly from the original (more here, here).

Who knows what we’d discover if we could access every single manuscript copy. Maybe our Bible would have a thousand significant changes or maybe zero—we simply don’t know.

Principle #10: Remember Who’s Boss.

“Sometimes the God of the Old Testament can seem pretty harsh. . . . But we need to read the Scriptures carefully and remember God alone is God. . . . He gets to make decisions over life and death, even when we don’t understand all the details.”

The example he gives is a tough one, God’s demand of genocide for the Amalekites (I discuss this here). Wallace’s response is a bit like what God says to Job as he justifies his might-makes-right position, which I paraphrase as: “You talking to me, bitch? Uh yeah, get back to me after you’ve created a universe.”

Wallace’s argument is a popular response to this Problem of Evil. First, we assume objective morality. Second, work God in: “Objective, transcendent standards require an objective, transcendent standard giver.” Finally, declare that the Problem of Evil assumes objective morality; otherwise, “there can be no apparent injustice.”

See how that works? Atheists bring up the Problem of Evil, but this assumes objective morality, which in turn demands God as the objective morality source, and the atheists have shot themselves in the foot!

Let’s consider the problems with each step. First, he gives no support for his claim to objective morality, and I’ve never seen any. What we see around us are shared (and sometimes deeply held) moral beliefs, but that doesn’t make them objective moral truths.

Second, evolution nicely explains human morality. Evolution selects for altruistic traits in social animals like humans and other primates. We’re all the same species, which is why your moral sense is pretty much the same as everyone else’s.

Finally, morality works just fine without being objective (grounded outside of humanity). Look it up: morality and the ideas behind it such as good and bad are defined in the dictionary with no reliance on objective grounding.

Things get a bit embarrassing as Wallace justifies God’s murderous rampages as documented in the Old Testament: “If you create a piece of art, you have the right to destroy it, even though I do not. After all, it is your creation and, therefore, it is your property.”

We’re not talking about art, we’re talking about things that feel. A rock is different from a rabbit, and you can’t treat them the same.

The property argument also doesn’t work. If you create a building or a bridge, you’re not the boss once you sell or give it away. It’s not yours anymore. The same is true for a donated kidney or unit of blood that’s now in someone else. An artist can’t destroy their art once it’s in a museum or private collection. And if God gave life to an animal, it’s no longer his life to take back (h/t commenters Kodie and Greg G.).

In our eyes, humans are immoral when they kill a living creature just for the hell of it. In the same way, God doesn’t get a pass when he kills people with no reason besides “because he can.”

And why must Wallace defend God’s “perfect plan”? Why doesn’t God come down himself and give us his perfect justification? Omniscient gods shouldn’t need apologists.

Wallace’s goal here was to give fair rules for evaluating the Bible, but his bias is apparent as he concludes:

Am I going to stand as [the Bible’s] critic, or am I going to allow the Bible stand as a critic over me? Either I am going to decide what’s true or false in the Bible, or the Bible is going to decide what is true or false in me.

No one would yield to the sovereignty of a god before thoroughly and skeptically evaluating claims for that god, which is exactly what this article was supposed to help us do. But apparently an honest evaluation of the Bible doesn’t give him the advantage that he needs, so Wallace wants to first assume God and then the Bible’s supernatural claims. This is the Hypothetical God fallacy. It’s also circular logic.

No, we don’t assume God first. Honest adults start with the null hypothesis, which is that Christian supernatural belief is no more accurate than that of any other religion. They follow the evidence where it leads, regardless of whether they like it or not.

The lack of understanding of something is not evidence of God.
It’s evidence of a lack of understanding.
— Lawrence Krauss

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(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 3/10/15.)

Image from Dean McCoy, CC license

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  • It’s funny how they rely on #10 as a sort of fail-proof weapon, and yet they still try to avoid it as long as they feel points #1 to #9 can be enough to bring a win home – possibly they can see by themselves the inner contradiction between their God’s supposed all-lovingness and this I’m the boss, b*tch attitude.

    • Reminds me of how Wm. Lane Craig usually ends his “debates” with an altar call of sorts.

      I guess there’s no point in making the case unless you have the call to action at the end. Otherwise baby Jesus cries.

      • al kimeea

        Given this former police detective’s authoritative views on the evidence for his deity, I wonder how many incarcerated innocents there are based on his gut.

        OMdoG – God’s Crime Scene for Kids written has he…

        Wallace seems to have begun life filled with the love of Jebus and would soon learn/understand the truthyness of #10. This belief in unquestioned authority has led him down the tortuous evidentiary path of #1-9. #10 is what it is all about, with the rest an effort to make that seem reasonable, despite the BuyBull being anything but.

        I hope this guy didn’t abuse his civic authority in a similar fashion.

        • al kimeea
        • God’s love …

        • Yes, God creates for the Good of the created, as he needs nothing from you.

          God could have let your fallen nature takle over and let you be born in hell. Instead He gave you a chance to be born here to repent.

          you have your reward, I suppose. As for eternity, you know deep down and it frightens you, doesn’t it?

          you just hope that the next blasphemy will finally make God go away, or the next attack on Christians will make your shame go away. Don’t worry, the greatest pain of hell is knowing exactly who God is and that you rejected HIm. you won’t be able to run then, but it will be too late, won’t it?

        • epeeist

          Don’t worry, the greatest pain of hell is knowing exactly who God is and
          that you rejected HIm. you won’t be able to run then, but it will be
          too late, won’t it?

          That’s it, that’s all you’ve got? Pascal’s wager, the most stupid argument for the existence of god bar every other argument.

          As it is the above cartoon nicely illustrates what a complete cunt your god is. In a hissy fit he kills 99.99996% of the human race with the rest of the biosphere as collateral damage. Why should anyone worship such a complete moral monster.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Worthless assertions from a worthless person.

          Provide evidence of your assertions. Right now you’re only demonstrating what an objectively awful person you are.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, c’mon Dude. If your God is all powerful there’s no need for all the fallen nature crap. If we could be born in hell, we could just as easily be born in a perfect heaven. All the Earth and suffering is unnecessary. Try to dial back the brainwashed stupid.

        • Who is this “your God” as if God was personalized or just one among many like how pagans such as yourself refer to demons as “gods.”

          sin is division from God. As CS Lewis said, evil men cannot recognize evil. For this reason, you do not know or understand the weight of sin.

          you would be born in hell because that is what you deserve as a direct cause of your fallen nature.

          you have free will, but you misuse your free will and would rather not think about it.

          you have a specific (fallen) nature and that cannot be denied or ignored. Just look at the horrifying things you have become as a result of that reprobate mind. This fallen nature is carried through from your parents to you.

          you were given a time here to repent. your choice to do so or not, and there are no excuses as you have complete control over yourself.

          Will you ever repent? I sincerely doubt it, but I do not sense in you the dead, vacuum of satanism like I do with the blog writer here.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, dude, trying not to be a gaslighting asshole would get you further than this schtick.

        • So I am “gaslighting” you because I remind you that you have free will and that your fate is completely, 100% in your control?

          God does not damn people. God allows you to do it to yourself via His Pernissive Will as free will is Good as God created free will.

          This is why “deathbed conversions” don’t work. you make a conscious effort to deny God and yet hold in the back of your mind that you can play God like a fool.

          you can help yourself right up until the point of death (after which your will is set permanently), but not when you take God for granted and assume He will forgive you no matter what. Penance and Repentance is required.

        • Greg G.

          You have no evidence about whether deathbed conversions “work”. You are making that up. You are gaslighting.

          Wise up. You were gaslighted, too.

        • Pofarmer

          God allows you to do it to yourself via His Pernissive Will as free will is Good as God created free will.

          All right, now you’re just makin’ shit up.

        • epeeist

          God created free will.

          If we have free will we are causal agents. If we are causal agents then your god cannot be omniscient.

        • Otto

          God allows you to do it to yourself via His Pernissive Will as free will is Good as God created free will.

          Maybe I didn’t want free will…but that wasn’t a choice was it.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re demanding we believe YOU merely on your fervent assertion(s).

          Ain’t gonna happen.

        • Greg G.

          You have no objective, reasonable, unambiguous evidence for any supernatural thingy, so “your god” is the one YOU imagine.

        • Pofarmer

          evil men cannot recognize evil.

          You might wanna reflect on that.

          “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of
          its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under
          robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber
          baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
          satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us
          without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

          C. S. Lewis

        • al kimeea

          “Just look at the horrifying things you have become as a result of that reprobate mind.” This raises a couple of hoops, or questions, that you should be able to honestly answer.

          To which vaguely frightening things do you refer?

          How do you know of them?

        • I do not sense in you the dead, vacuum of satanism like I do with the blog writer here.

          Atheists can’t be satanists.

        • Nonsense. both atheism and satanism are sects of gnositicism, and atheism predates and inspired satanism.

          In return, a full wing of the worldwide satanic coven (there is only one, the rest are just fronts) into funding and printing “atheist” literature as well as funding and hosting “atheist” speakers.

          Do you not ask them for money?

        • Wrong again. The dictionary is your friend.

          I’ve donated to the local chapter of the Satanic Temple (which have quite sensible tenets that any atheist could accept: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/tenets ). Why should I ask them for money?

        • Ah, so you confirm what you deny. your gnosticism is showing.

          I knew you were one since I first met you. Their delusion and evil is very noteworthy. I get this feeling when I interact with you like I am talking to a corpse cruelly reanimated by demons.

          One cannot reason with pure evil, and so I think we are done here.

        • Read the tenets and see if that sounds like conventional theistic satanism. Or are those concepts too big for you?

        • As Chesterton said, the only way evil can be done is via “splendid dupes” who support what they fundamentally do not understand.

          That money you gave went to child sex trafficking, blood sacrifice, curses, hexes, all manner of evil.

          This you will answer for. I will include you in my Rosary intentions later: to return all your (and anyone associating with you) curses back to whence they came and that all with Guardian Angels near you to be made aware of your evil so they can pray for you to either repent or at least be made so you can never hurt another again.

        • al kimeea

          the words are too big

        • se habla espol

          Ye, we cannot reason with pure evil, and we see this whenever christianists show up to demonstrate it yet again.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Define this ‘gnosticism’ you’re decrying.

          My money says your definition will be self-serving and incoherent.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          As usual, you’re just showing what an ignorant preening fuckup you are.

          Atheism is merely, “I don’t believe your ‘god’ claims”

        • Kodie

          What the fuck are you talking about? Atheism is “I don’t believe the assertions of NIGELTEAPOT, etc.” You say something stupid like a fairy tale with no evidence to support it, I don’t believe it, you can’t provide any proof or substance, and am I just supposed to be faked out by your alarmist bullshit? It’s in my complete control to ignore you because you sound like a child who is afraid of the monster under the bed. It’s not there.

        • 3 of 15

          If you believe demons are imaginary, why do you worship them?

          Secondly what do you count as “evidence?”

        • se habla espol

          “Your god” is the god (or the gods) of your personal imaginings. It may or may not be the gods of the imaginings of anyone else, christian or pagan, but there is not way to decide. The claims that many christians make, they also deny when Islam makes the same observations.

          Yes, I fell few months ago and broke a couple of ribs. That ‘fallen nature’ has healed, quite nicely, though. My parents had died couple decades before I fell, though.
          I see that you deny any omniscience to your gods, also. You do this by claiming that we have free will, which cannot exist in the same universe as an omniscient critter.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What have we to repent?

          Not being terminally gullible?

        • Kodie

          “Your god” is the god in your imagination. It’s not THE god, it’s not A god, it’s not any god. It’s in your head. Repent because some guy on the internet thinks it’s an emergency! LOL!

        • 2 of 15

          you wasted my time for this sneer?

        • Greg G.

          If God wanted you to spend eternity in heaven, you would already be in heaven. There would be no need for an omniscient god thingy to create a world to see who is gullible enough to believe in him for stupid reasons and fears.

        • God’s fabulous gift doesn’t work for atheists, does it? We can’t just believe the unbelievable, and if that’s what’s required to get into heaven, I guess we’re screwed.

          So much for Jesus’s infinite love.

          it will be too late, won’t it?

          You forgot the heart and happy face icons after that.

        • your evil is due to your personal, desperately chosen action, regardless of how desperate you are to “gnosis” away your free will (lol, how is that working out for you).

          you were allowed to repent. your life here is your answer to God.

          That you have spent it spitting at God in the hopes it would make you divinized is not how one saves oneself.

        • Do you spit at Zeus? I don’t spit on things I don’t think exist. What concerns me is the negative impact of Christianity on American society.

          No desperation on my part, but thanks for your concern. I follow the evidence. “Just believe” ain’t gonna work (and I doubt it would work on you to, say, just believe in leprechauns or Bigfoot).

        • Sure, I would as I spit on all demons I am made aware of. I also offer prayers for their torture and banishment.

          The demon zeus was killed a long time ago though. The holiday Hanukah celebrates overcoming the cult of zeus’ seige of Jerusalem and the Temple through Faithfulness. God killed the demon you mention in reverence here as thanks for renewing the Covenant.

          So you are not only so desperate that you worship demons, you worship a dead demon. That has to be something you brought on yourself, as there is no manipulation te devil can do to make someone that far gone and pathetic.

          The Church is based on hard thinking with fully known pedigree and heritage. you cannot even admit your own position to yourself.

          The Christian “impact” you hate so much is that your plans of overthrowing God’s order cannot be enacted with the Church present and accounted for. you were promised delusions of divinity if you did it by your dark master, and you really want to “be like gods.”

          The question then becomes how does that even work? I imagine you don’t think about it.

        • I would as I spit on all demons I am made aware of.

          Zeus isn’t a demon; he’s pretend.

          I also offer prayers for their torture and banishment.

          Aren’t you big-hearted.

          The holiday Hanukah celebrates overcoming the cult of zeus’ seige of Jerusalem and the Temple

          I doubt Zeus had anything to do with it. Just pretend, remember?

          So you are not only so desperate that you worship demons, you worship a dead demon.

          And you have a hard time with reading comprehension. Try again.

          you cannot even admit your own position to yourself.

          And you have no argument. You’re intellectually impotent. You’re not even shooting blanks.

          The Christian “impact” you hate so much is that your plans of overthrowing God’s order cannot be enacted with the Church present and accounted for.

          I respect the U.S. Constitution. When Christians try to violate it, I get annoyed.

          Have you tried believing in leprechauns yet? Tell me how that goes. Maybe after you show me how to do it, I’ll try believing in Jesus.

        • zeus, the abomination of desolation, was a demon whole cult was known for conquering everything it came in contact with. God allowed it to attack Jerusalem as a test, when the test was passed, the demon and their cult was destroyed as thanks from God to Isreal.

          There is no foundation for the constitution outside of God, so you are once more angry that the us exists at all because it gets in the way of your ambition.

          I have no interest in the “faerie” occultism that the modern pagan Irish dupe themselves into. That you are not sectioned for your repeated railing against God shows that it is recognized there is something there for you to rail against.

        • There is no foundation for the constitution outside of God

          Yeah? Show us how democracy, separation of church and state, and the Bill of Rights were dictated by God.

        • “Endowed by our creator” based on the fundamental dignity and rights endowed by being Made in the Image of God.

          While a freemason, jefferson was at least able to realize there is no foundation outside of God for anything.

          The separation of Church and state only exists to protect the Church from the government. Something you are angry about as you want to institutionalize your gnosticism.

        • FAIL. You’ve demonstrated nothing.

          The separation of Church and state only exists to protect the Church from the government.

          Wrong again. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Government can’t be used to push religion.

          Jefferson is irrelevant for this discussion. We’re talking about the Constitution.

        • Is your demon tugging at your chain? Why is your persona here becoming so violent and desperate?

          you remind me of something Venerable Fulton Sheen said: that fools think that only because the Church defends Natural Law, that one absolves themselves of Natural Law if they claim to be outside of the Church.

          All governments are fundamentally religious, and the Constitution makes the us Chrisitian, which is why you hate both the country and it.

          you would prefer it be your satanism, but “comrades” like you never realize that following liars is suicidal. Not to mention that trying to repeat the mistakes of ancient rome and ancient greece will make you suffer the collaspe of both ancient rome and ancient greece.

          As I said before, I have learned enough about you to know you are incapable of being reached. I am done with you.

        • Hateful and illogical, just like your imaginary master.

        • smrnda

          “All governments are fundamentally religious,”

          how does that apply to officially atheist states? I don’t think I can call the government of the PRC ‘fundamentally religious’ – you could argue it’s built around a cult of personality, but I think that’s stretching the term ‘religious.’

          The constitution is also hardly Christian. There’s nothing really specifically Christian in there, it is more deist.

        • The document is Christian, there is no masonic standards to base anything on so therefore jefferson had to go into Christian territory.

          Actually, atheism was founded in the 1800’s as a modernization of gnosticism based around the idea of usurping God by presenting God as a competitor. This is why those you see here ritualistically deny God, as it is a ritual to them to do so.

          The way they get around being questioned on their religion is that their foot-soldiers aren’t actually told what their position is. Therefore they can just be told what to say and do, without them being refuted on grounds of reason or sense.

          you don’t strike me as one of them. They may pounce on that. Not even your devilry when it comes to lifelessly hating children will save you from their attacks.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Is your demon tugging at your chain? Why is your persona here becoming so violent and desperate?

          Sounds to me like you’re vehemently projecting to protect your feeble ego.

        • Kodie

          There are a lot of different denominations of Christianity – would you prefer another one (they all think they are the correct one) to dominate your beliefs? Or do you enjoy the freedom to believe the particular fantasy you believe? The amendment protects Christians the right to educate their little morons at home, like you obviously have. Most Christians in the US go to public school and learn about evolution and what the constitution actually says instead of the warped lessons you’re learning. Who wouldn’t be upset to see such a moron embarrassing yourself so willingly?

        • 6 of 15

          There is no substance to any heresies.

          public schools teach a new age religion based on marxism

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “Endowed by our creator”

          That’s the DoI, you worthless asshat.

          The CONSTITUTION controls.

        • Kodie

          Does your teachermom know you’re on the internet? There is more than one church or religious house of worship. There are so many. The amendment is to protect any single one of them from controlling every citizen and their freedom of belief. You were obviously educated brainwashed in the home without modern standard textbooks.

        • 5 of 15

          There is only one One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

        • smrnda

          “zeus, the abomination of desolation, was a demon whole cult was known for conquering everything it came in contact with.”

          I think that the followers of Zeus had a hard time conquering some regions, and frequently failed.

        • Like when God let them sack Jerusalem, and then God wiped both them and their demon out as thanks to the few Isrealites who kept the Faith.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          zeus, the abomination of desolation, was a demon whole cult was known for conquering everything it came in contact with.

          Exactly *what* color is the sky on your world, again?

        • MR

          Wow. This guy is even whackaloonier than I thought.

        • Don’t tell me that’s easy. He just makes it look easy.

        • MR

          It makes one wonder if half these guys aren’t just paid agitators.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sure, I would as I spit on all demons I am made aware of.

          Hmmm, sounds to ME like you haven’t found ANY demons.

          So why are you nattering on about them?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          you call our rationality ‘evil’, but it’s a hearty horselaugh in the face of your craven cowardice…a cowardice all the deeper for never having had the nerve to test the terrifying claims that chain you.

        • Kodie

          No, dude, you sound like a child screaming about the monster under the bed, now check for the one in the closet. You are alarmed over a phantom that you’ve been brainwashed to be frightened by. Why on earth should we believe you? I’m not evil, I’m not desperate. Critical thinking wasn’t on your list. What the fuck loony business are you talking about? None of us are spitting at god. Everything you’ve ever heard about god is from OTHER PEOPLE. It’s a rumor. It’s a myth. Whatever you think should frighten us in your posts to “repent” to some fantasy character, beg forgiveness and admit all wrongdoing to the air, for what exactly? What are the details? I mean, I would like someone like you who is very light on details to stop screaming and actually calm the fuck down and say something really intelligent and sincere.

          Ok, Christians think the same stupid things about atheists – but we’re just mad at you. You are not smart, and you are insulting us, so that gives us a right to be mad at you for bothering people with this fiction like it’s important.

        • BTW, NIGEL is in timeout.

          [EDIT: … which isn’t to say that his extant comments don’t need rebuttals but simply to explain why he won’t be replying. In his Nigel form, anyway.]

        • Kodie

          Figured that out along the way, where he belongs. I kept it up anyway.

        • 4 of 15

          you use so many words, but you say nothing other than virtue makes your vice uncomfortable

        • se habla espol

          He gave you a chance to be born here to repent.

          Repent from what? According to your Wholly Babble, I, like all other humans, was born with a knowledge of good and evil, aka morality, your “Original Sin”. Is morality, being a moral person, what I’m expected to repent from?

          As for eternity, you know deep down and it frightens you, doesn’t it?

          No. Neither your idea of eternity, nor your notion of heaven, nor your notion of hell, is at all frightening. I worked through Pascal’s Wager in a few seconds, when I first encountered it as a teenager, sixty-odd years ago: it was trivial then, and is still trivial.

        • Kodie

          That’s such a funny myth! I’m sorry you have taken it seriously, and your alarmed reaction to the blog post is supposed to be scary.

        • you certainly should be scared in your position.

          When I got 15 email notifications of your reply, I was glad that my profile is private or I knew you would have given me many more.

        • Michael Neville

          Look at the two giraffes hanging over the bow staring at the floating giraffe corpse. One’s saying to the other, “That’s Uncle Bob!”

        • al kimeea

          The animals do look aghast don’t they?

        • It just needs the unicorns. They were too late to get on, I understand.

        • Inaccurate. The deluge remade the entire world so that it would be more conducive to fallen man not destroying ourselves with war. Those who were destroyed by the deluge would have no trace as the earth was deleted to make a new one.

          Same reason babel was destroyed.

          Chesterton has a brilliant analysis about why keeping mankind separate is the only way to keep us sane.

        • Greg G.

          Why not put Jesus in Eden instead of Adam? Then God wouldn’t have to keep restarting everything.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Assertions.

          I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.

          Bring evidence or STFU & GTFO.

        • epeeist

          Chesterton has a brilliant analysis

          Unlikely, he was the author of second-rate detective fiction.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve told this story before. I tried to read Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man”, but there were so many fallacious arguments in in the foreward I couldn’t force myself to read the book.

        • epeeist

          I’ve told this story before.

          And as I have said before, it is trivially easy to spot the villain in many of the Father Brown stories, it is the atheist what done it.

        • ildi

          Hey, *spoiler alert* there, bud!

        • al kimeea

          Yes, The GCB “remade the entire world” and neglected to inform the Chinese or the Olmecs or most anyone back in the day not living within a small region of the eastern Med. The Abrahamic Prick then proceeds to reveal a different truth to 3 separate groups, thus setting the stage for centuries of conflict, because…

          “it would be more conducive to fallen man not destroying ourselves with war”

          ROTFLMFAO – For a claimed perfect being, IT sure phuqs up. A lot. Gott Mit Uns ring a bell…

          Adults with imaginary friends haven’t learned to put away childish things. “Sane”, you keep using that word…

        • Modern people did not exist back then. All modern people are born of Noah’s (and therefore Abel’s) bloodline as all others were wiped out.

          Not to mention there was no Mediterranean back then. With all the war and genocide going on before the deluge, there must have been only one small landmass with everyone close together.

          Also ironic you chose two peoples that have a half-remembered idea of the flood deep within their cultures.

          Now, who are these three different groups?

          There is the Old Covenant which turned into the New & Eternal Covenant as represented by the Church. There has only ever been a singular group that worships God.

          I assume you mean modern Jews and mohammedans, but neither are valid. The former was created hundreds of years later (you even project this onto the Church) by the pharisees looking to reconsolidate power after Isreal was destroyed by the pagans. The latter is a totalitarian political system created hundreds of years after that, as a way to mix talmudic Judaism with the old, pre-Christian pagan religion of mecca.

          As for the second to last paragraph, I assume you are referencing German army belt buckles. What does that have to do with anything? Are you trying to claim that the nazis invented the German army? Knowing the writer of this blog, I would only assume you are that dull if you read this site.

        • al kimeea

          Hmmm. You really are down the rabbit hole. I’m guessing “back then” is aboot 6000 years ago, say 9AM, 4004 BCE-ish. The flood following some time later. We know the peoples we now call Chinese were cultivating rice 2000 years earlier than the rebooted religion you favour.

          Those who prefer the other ways to kiss the deity’s arse, will tell me your version isn’t valid with just as much fervour. Subsets of all three groups will tell me the same. There are tens of thousands of versions of xianity that claim to invalidate all others.

          You’re not saying anything new or different than any other flavour of GCB worship.

          If the deity rebooted the world to reduce war, IT has failed miserably.

        • epeeist

          The flood following some time later.

          The chronology of “the flood” apparently lands in the time that the Egyptians were building the various pyramids. You would have thought they might have noticed large amounts of water washing the foundations away.

        • smrnda

          We also know the mediterranean was around then, and was a region where many early civilizations sprung up.

        • al kimeea

          was that before or after Odin assailed Jerusalem, according to this latest chew toy

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Didn’t you know? They made rafts and *floated* those big stones into place for the Pyramids (where they then stored their nice dry grain…

          😉

        • epeeist

          Modern people did not exist back then. All modern people are born of Noah’s (and therefore Abel’s) bloodline as all others were wiped out.

          So tell me, which of Noah’s sons married the Chinese woman?

          There is the Old Covenant which turned into the New & Eternal Covenant as represented by the Church. There has only ever been a singular group that worships God.

          But Jesus is part of your triune god, so he bears responsibility for the vicious acts that your god carried out in the OT.

        • Kodie

          You’re online. You can read a lot of sites, or did your teachermom restrict your access? It’s clear that you have not been out of her sight since birth and only know what she knows, or you are in a mental ward, but you have too much computer access for the mental ward. Most public libraries have books you can download and read on your computer, so if you are in some kind of hostage situation or other, see what you can do to access a library site in your remote superstitious village.

          The real world is absolutely different than you confront us with this weirdo nonsense. If you are young and homeschooled, I feel so sorry for your sheltered life.

        • 8 of 15

          The blog owner should be ashamed of how he corrupts weak and desperate children. Just one more evil on his already extensive pile, that he no doubt hopes he can project onto others to absolve himself.

        • Kodie

          God seems to be really stupid at predicting human behavior and preparing and accounting for it. Jesus is absolutely the dumbest resolution I’ve ever heard for anything. God made that, and then sent morons like you to scream at everyone that it was real it was real, it really was really real, repent repent repent or else!???? Your god thought that was a good system?

        • 7 of 15

          you appear to be angry you have free will because you misuse free will

        • Even the ones who are big on evidence don’t believe based on evidence. It’s always after-the-fact thinking.

        • I’d imagine none, considering he follows the evidence rather than hoping reality will bend to his ego if he sneers and bullies hard enough.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          WHAT ‘evidence’?

          And again, your projection and defaming are tiring to the honest, rational people here.

      • Well it is hard to have a debate with people who have no arguments, or those like yourself who honestly thought “ye will be like gods” is a legitimate promise.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Are you *always* a lying, projecting, defaming asshole?

          Or is it just a hobby?

        • Kodie

          Doomsday cult worshiper.

        • “You have no arguments” isn’t an argument. It’s a schoolyard taunt, but I realize that’s about the best you’ve got.

          those like yourself who honestly thought “ye will be like gods” is a legitimate promise.

          If that’s a reference to something, I don’t know what it is.

          As for being like gods, you’re wrong–Man has done far, far more than the Christian god has ever done. The Christian god is nothing but the promises of his followers. It’s Man who has cured disease and fed billions.

        • Actually, it is pointing out that you have no arguments. your desperate attempt to read your own desires into things apparently extends outside of Scripture.

          The Church has created everything you take for granted.

          As CS Lewis said, those tho think only of the other word do the most for this one. In reality, CS Lewis was close but wrong, it is those who think of the other world that are the only ones who do anything for this world.

          Secondly, you are contingent upon God. It is like you are an appliance trying to unplug yourself from the wall. To do what, destroy yourself?

        • I have an entire blog (this blog, in fact) of arguments against God and for atheism. Pick one and tell me where I make mistakes.

          Secondly, you are contingent upon God.

          A claim without evidence.

        • you have no foundation, so all of it is unfounded. No, your ego is not a foundation. Neither is your capital sin of pride.

          For all your ambition shown here, how much of God’s Divine Will have you stolen for yourself? Let’s test: tell a chair to dance or tell the sky to rain. Report back with your empirical findings.

          As Venerable Fulton Sheen said:

          “Voltaire boasted that if he could find but ten wicked words a day he could crush the “infamy” of Christianity. He found the ten words daily, and even a daily dozen, but he never found an argument, and so the words went the way of all words and the thing, Christianity, survived. Today, no one advances even a poor argument to prove that there is no God, but they are legion who think they have sealed up the heavens when they used the word “anthropomorphism.” This word is just a sample of the catalogue of names which serve as the excuse for those who are too lazy to think. One moment’s reflection would tell them that one can no more get rid of God by calling Him “anthropomorphic” than he can get rid of a sore throat by calling it “streptococci.” As regards the use of the term “anthropomorphism,” I cannot see that its use in theology is less justified than the use in physics of the term “organism,” which the new physicists are so fond of employing. Certain words like “reactionary” or “medieval” are tagged on the Catholic Church and used with that same disrespect with which a man may sneer at a woman’s age. Mothers do not cease to be mothers because their sons grow up, and the Mother Church of the Christian world, which began not in Boston but in Jerusalem, is not to be dispossessed of her glorious title simply because her sons leave home. Some day they may be glad to return and their return will be the truest “homecoming” the world has ever seen.”

        • You assume you’re right and that, therefore, my position is flawed. Logic don’t work that way. Give me an argument for your position.

        • I know Absolute Truth, and I know your intentions and your position (even though you cannot admit them to yourself).

          I have given you so many, even when I met you on my other account. you simply think ignoring the Truth makes it go away.

        • I know Absolute Truth

          You clearly have no idea what an argument is. But, as is my wont, I’ll give you one more chance: give coherent, rational arguments with evidence, or get banned for being a waste of space-time.

        • al kimeea

          you ask for a miracle…

        • Yep. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t happen. Little Nigel is now in the Naughty Corner.

        • epeeist

          Little Nigel is now in the Naughty Corner.

          Oh noes, just as he was about to answer all the questions that had been put to him.

        • Respond. I’ve told you that you need to change your approach. Do you have arguments? Or just insults?

        • I have so many times over multiple years. you ignore it all.

          I have done my due diligence in regards to you. your fate is your own.

        • My patience is only so deep.

        • It is nonexistent as you only care for your ego.

          My Rosary is already started and you are blocked.

        • Kodie

          So scary! LOL.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I know Absolute Truth

          You claim ‘Absolute Truth’….now *demonstrate* it.

        • al kimeea

          Yes, let us test. You pray for a chair to dance or the sky to rain or amputees to be made whole and get back to us with film at 11.

          We’ve been waiting 2000 years, we can wait a wee longer.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          you have no foundation, so all of it is unfounded.

          I don’t believe you.

          Demonstrate this with *evidence*, not just argument.

        • Kodie

          Like any ordinary Christian, he invents the loophole of “what do you count as evidence, and what are you going to use it for?” He doesn’t have evidence, doesn’t think he needs evidence, is necessarily suspicious of entrapping himself in the lower hand, providing insufficient evidence (because it all is) and having it thrown out as not being evidence. Because it isn’t. So instead of being in a discussion, he is in a monologue.

        • Otto

          Well it is hard to have a debate with people who have no arguments

          And yet you still show up here with nothing to offer.

      • wtfwjtd

        Remember how you said that “Omniscient gods shouldn’t need apologists?” It’s pretty clear to some of us, after decades of exposure, that “apologists need omniscient gods.” The alter call is great tool for keeping the flock under control–guilt and shame are powerful weapons for asserting this control.
        This would also appear to be the point of #10–“because the Bible says so” or more accurately, “because *I say* the Bible says so, you must do as I say.”
        Otherwise, as you point out, Baby Jesus cries. And who among the Truly Faithful© wants to see that?

    • God is God. That you seek to compete with God is meaningless, nor does it divinize you to try to project your fallen nature onto God in the hopes it assumes divinity into you.

      How is that working for you so far? Heh.

      Anyways, Love is to will the Good of the other as other. That you don’t understand God, shows you have no legitimate will nor a capability to understand Love so therefore that explains your outburst here.

      Love is so fundamental that God had to create it on Himself. The basis being God creating things for the Good of the creates, as He needs nothing.

      • God needs nothing – so did we human beings, until he supposedly had the brilliant idea of bringing us here w/o our knowledge or consent.

        • God creates for the Good of the created.

          This is a strange assertion you make though. Reality doesn’t need your consent. It seems you are angry that you have free will, and that your total weakness has lead to you your self-destruction through sin.

        • Reality doesn’t need your consent

          It seems you are angry that you have free will

          If the former is true, the latter isn’t, then, I’m afraid.

        • No, you clearly hate free will because you misuse it and therefore fatalistically believe you were made to sin, when it is you just being weakminded and doing whatever demons tempt you to do to damn yourself.

          you are correct that you are afraid though, you should be on your path. Though why don’t you just do something about it? you aren’t helpless, you choose to be this way so you have no excuse.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          if ‘free’ will MUST be used as YOUR KIND dictate, well, that’s hardly *free*, now is it?

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Nonsense.

        Dog is dog.

        I’ve SEEN dogs.

        Try again.

        You’re demanding we take your word for something that’s critically important, IF TRUE.

        I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.

        • al kimeea

          No doubt he believes you’re a minion of a former NHL player…

      • Pofarmer

        If God needed nothing, then he wouldn’t have needed to create. Ergo, god has needs.

        • And what does God need you for?.

          God creates for the Good of the created, as God needs nothing. I said this already and your demon panicked and shoved your capital sin of pride in the way to distract you.

          Here is another thing you do not realize: God is God.

          you think you have usurped God and that you are a competitor to God. Therefore you fantasize about your own grasping at divinity.

          Of course, since you do not know who God is, therefore you cannot understand Love and therefore you cannot understand God creating a thing merely because He wants them to exist and share in His creation.

          Amusingly, I imagine another impediment to your betterment here is your total ignorance of what it means to create. you are only capable of destroying so you figure creation is some act of insecurity like your arsonist mindset.

        • Kodie

          you think you have usurped God and that you are a competitor to God.

          Nobody here is delusional enough to think that. It is pure Christian brainwashing to think you know what other people are like. How unkind of you.

        • 10 of 15

          If I was unkind, I would be celebrating your self destruction like the demoniac who runs this site. Clearly I am not doing that

  • Lex Lata

    “Principle #8: Description is Different Than Approval.”

    I agree! Describing the razing of a city, for instance, doesn’t necessarily indicate approval of total war. But a conspicuous moral silence where one would reasonably expect disapproval or criticism can be construed as acquiescence, at a minimum. Nowhere in the OT did Yahweh or any of his champions condemn polygamy (or concubinage), and the practice apparently endured in some Hebrew communities for many centuries, even well into the Christian Era.

    Moreover, actual approval is most certainly approval. The obvious example here is chattel slavery for non-Hebrews, which Yahweh, Moses, and other biblical figures expressly permitted, regulated, practiced, and even encouraged in certain circumstances.

    “Principle #9: Don’t Fret Copyist Variants.”

    I agree! Copyist variants are a cause for worry only if one believes the scriptures we have are the inerrant word of God. If we analyze the texts as flawed, human work product like other writings from antiquity, fretting is neither required nor warranted.

    “Problem #10: Remember Who’s Boss.”

    Whoa, hang on now. This is just a don’t-worry-your-pretty-little-head escape hatch, an exercise in presuppositionalist Calvinball. (Both Calvins, BTW.) Essentially Wallace is telling his readers that if Principles 1-9 don’t help them reconcile a textual problem, they should simply eschew critical reading and award points to the Bible regardless, because God. That’s not solving scriptural inconsistencies so much as retreating to an epistemic safe space where they can be ignored.

    • NS Alito

      Describing the razing of a city, for instance, doesn’t necessarily indicate approval of total war. But a conspicuous moral silence where one would reasonably expect disapproval or criticism can be construed as acquiescence, at a minimum.

      The lie to the “not approval” argument can be seen in every religious moralist’s criticism of law or literature which does not actively condemn something it describes. Ban the book that depicts the protagonists having guiltless sex or decry the law that allows no-fault divorce. That’s because we know that humans learn what’s acceptable from other humans unless it’s clear what the restrictions should be.

    • Jack the Sandwichmaker

      It’s a “Might makes Right” argument. God doesn’t have to apologize for his evil and he has no responsibility to be coherent in his message.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        🙁

        True, but not really flattering to those who assert it.

      • evil is decay caused by sin, to the point of being an absence of Good.

        sin is division from God.

        Good is anything as God created it to be.

        So now tell me how God can be decayed and divided from Himself to the point that He is without Himself? That is absurd.

        However! you are decayed by sin and you are absent of Good.

        So you are simply projecting your ugliness onto God in the hopes that will let you compete with God. How is that working? It clearly isn’t,

    • Brian Davis

      Copyist variants are a cause for worry only if one believes the scriptures we have are the inerrant word of God.

      This is why I’m starting a new denomination that abandons literalism in favor of belief in the inerrant gist of God.

    • epicurus

      And given the size of the Bible, would it really be so much effort for God add a few more pages to explain why He allows or causes suffering? Would the explanation really be so long? Even if it added a hundred pages, or even 500, so what?

      • It would be one line “look in the mirror,” and that is already in there so no need.

        suffering is a result of sin and misuse of free will.

        The Bible is the collected works of the Prophets of the Old Covenant. There are no more Prophets and so the Deposit of Faith is closed. The Apostles were the Last Prophets of the Old Covenant, and the First Bishops of the New & Eternal Covenant.

        • epicurus

          “Look in the Mirror”
          Ya, because I cause earthquakes and disease. What a lame answer.

          “Deposit of faith is closed”
          What’s that got to do with it? Put the explanation in before it’s closed.

        • The point being that if you hate evil, hate it first in yourself. Humility cures pride.

          earthquakes are necessary to maintain the planet. disease is due to corruption of the body.

          It means that the works of the Prophets are completed. If you want any good, hard thinking to explain what you are curious about, the Magesterium of the Church has you covered.

          I recommend Venerable Fulton Sheen to start with.

          What is forgotten is that sin is not the worst thing in the world. The worst thing is the denial of sin. If I am blind and deny there is any such thing as light, I shall never see. If I am deaf and deny sound, I shall never hear. And if I deny there is sin, I make forgiveness impossible . I believe that the whole political and religious situation of the world can be summed up in terms of the divorce of Christ and His Cross. Put the Cross-less Christ on the right side, and the Christ-less Cross on the left. Who picks up the Crossless Christ? Our decadent Western civilization. Christ is weak, effeminate, with no authority to drive buyers and sellers out of temples, and never speaks of self-discipline, restraint and mortification.

          Who picks up the Christless Cross? Russia and China, where there is a dedication to a common ideology, the use of discipline and authority to keep peace and order. But neither can heal. The, Crossless Christ leaves men burdened with their guilt which festers in a thousand psychosis and neuroses. The Christless Cross cannot save for it ends in Dachau, the Gulag Archipelago and the squeezing of the lives of millions like grapes to make the collective wine of the State.

          Which will first find Christ with the Cross? The totalitarian states who have the Cross without Love, or the Western world which has “love”so often erotic-without sacrifice? We do not know. But we do know that at the end of time, when the great between the forces of good and evil takes place, satan will appear without the Cross, as the Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer to become the final temptation of all mankind.

    • Projection of this kind is the mortal sin of despair. your lies damn, and they say nothing of God or His people.

      chattel slavery is a pagan thing, and has always been rejected by the Church. It was still simple servitude for non-Isrealites in the Bible, same as for anyone else.

      adultery is against the Commandments and it is a wonder how you missed that. I wonder shortly as it is clearly purposeful attempt to satanically mislead.

      In fact, adultery is such a mortal sin that Samson, David, and Solomon lost their positions over it and had to regain their standing through much effort.

      God is God. Faith is founding oneself in God.

      Without that foundation no other thinking is possible.

      Without understanding God and Goodness you have no will.

      For an example of where that leads, look at your own life.

      • Lex Lata

        1. “chattel slavery is a pagan thing”

        Yes, but it was also a Hebrew thing. For further reading, in addition to the OT (especially the Torah), I’d heartily recommend Catherine Heszer’s Jewish Slavery in Antiquity or, if time is short, Raymond Westbrook’s “Slavery and Master in Ancient Near Eastern Law,” which is online here: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3004&context=cklawreview

        2. “has always been rejected by the Church”

        Sometimes, not always. The Church’s history with chattel slavery is complicated at best, especially in the Americas from the 16th through 19th centuries. By way of a personal example, my alma mater, Georgetown University, has recently been coming to grips with its own involvement with Jesuit-owned slave plantations: https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/

        3. “It was still simple servitude for non-Isrealites in the Bible, same as for anyone else.”

        No, it wasn’t. Hebrew debt-slaves and non-Hebrew chattel slaves were legally similar in certain respects, but there were several significant differences in length of service, treatment, and other factors. Please see the sources in item 1 above if you care to learn more.

        4. “adultery is against the Commandments and it is a wonder how you missed that.”

        I didn’t miss that; it’s beside the point. Adultery is not polygamy. At no point was adultery lawful in Hebrew society, to the best of my knowledge. Having multiple wives (or in some cases concubines) generally was, though, both during antiquity and into the Middle Ages in some communities. Even today, polygamy has occasional proponents: https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-defiance-of-israeli-law-polygamy-sanctioned-by-top-rabbis/

        5. “For an example of where that leads, look at your own life.”

        Thanks for the advice, but my life is pretty good. Two awesome kids, an equally awesome wife of 15 years, a solid career, good physical and mental health, books and music all over the house, plus some opportunity for hobbies and nonprofit work.

        That does’t leave me much time to follow online commenters to other blogs and harass them with hostile, ill-formed cries for attention, though. How people with meaningful lives manage that I’ll never know.

        • No, you purposely missed everything, as it is common for lawyers, demoniacs, and marxists. Then again all three of those are redundant, and you are all three.

          One would assume you would be better at arguing if you were a lawyer though. Instead you will believe any lie or any dishonest historian on the grounds of “LOL it appeals to my ego so I don’t care about anything else.”

          Marriage is a bond between God and a man and a woman. There is no valid marriage to multiple women or multiple men. It is simply adultery, which is a mortal sin as it is against the 10 Commandments.

          you forget your dead soul and your desperate attempt to fulfull Venerable Sheen’s prophecy here:

          “Conscience, Christ, and the gift of faith make evil men uneasy in their sin. They feel that if they could drive Christ from the earth, they would be free from “moral inhibitions.” They forget that it is their own nature and conscience which makes them feel that way. Being unable to drive God from the heavens, they would drive his ambassadors from the earth. In a lesser sphere, that is why many men sneer at virtue–because it makes vice uncomfortable.”

          It is only when one has so much in this world that one realizes how worthless it all is. For a guy who insists on trading his soul for all of it, it must be maddening to you; therefore your troll gimmick on here.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          If you weren’t so vitriolic and vile, you’d be amusing in your buffoonish blowhard rhetoric.

        • smrnda

          Thanks for mentioning Georgetown, as that’s a great example of a current institution realizing ‘hey, we wouldn’t even be here without slavery’ and admitting that publicly. And trying to make good on that, in some way.

          But Christians were fine with slavery through much of history, particularly institutions who were caught up with it economically. How could any institution so big not rely on slavery, at a time when that was normal?

      • chattel slavery is a pagan thing, and has always been rejected by the Church

        Then tap dance around the fact that Lev. 25:44-46 authorizes slavery for life for non-Israelites. You should needlepoint that one on a pillow to remind you, since you seem to be a bit forgetful.

        • Servitude for life, not treating them as livestock.

          People entered into it willingly or by imprisonment, but it was the same as having a live-in servant.

        • Yeah? Demonstrate this. Put yourself into slavery for life, such that you can be bought and sold, and subject to the punishment in Ex. 21:20-21.

          If people willingly did it back then, you can enter it willingly yourself. It’s a small price to pay to show how sensible God’s Old Testament rules were.

        • I have no desire to. Some did to serve or pay debts.

          The Old Covenant was replaced, and the old servitude laws are only useful in a savage, nomadic situation like during the Exodus.

        • I hear you. The Old Testament slavery laws–either indentured servitude for people like us or chattel slavery for life for foreigners–was abysmal. God reflects the Bronze Age morality of those people.

        • Then why is the Church so advanced that even you 2000 years later are making the mistakes of the pagans from 2000 years ago.

          It is because the Church is eternal. Thank God you and your errors are not.

      • smrnda

        “chattel slavery is a pagan thing, and has always been rejected by the Church”

        The Christian church both owned slaved and encouraged slavery.

        • There is only one Church, and it is called Catholic. The Church has always rejected slavery.

          you lie to yourself in the hopes it will make the Church go away, and you believe any lies you hear about it for the same reason.

          As Chesterton said:

          It can always be urged against it that it is in its nature arbitrary and in the air. But it is not so high in the air but that great archers spend their whole lives in shooting arrows at it—yes, and their last arrows; there are men who will ruin themselves and ruin their civilization if they may ruin also this old fantastic tale.

      • Greg G.

        chattel slavery is a pagan thing, and has always been rejected by the Church.

        That’s a lie. Did you make up out of ignorance or did your church tell you that.

        The OT supports it and endorses it. The OT gives specific instructions in how to turn a Hebrew indentured servant into a permanent slave by giving him a slave wife, so that if they have children, the servant must decide at the end of his indenture whether to go free and leave his wife and children to his master or become a slave for life.

        The NT is no better. Jesus used a parable that endorsed beating slaves.

  • MadScientist1023

    “If you create a piece of art, you have the right to destroy it, even though I do not. After all, it is your creation and, therefore, it is your property.”

    I find it very ironic that Christians, who are generally vehemently pro-life, would make this argument.

    • Great!

      • 125,000 counts of punishment equal to that of cain added daily for your complicit promotion.

        Each one of those cries to Heaven for vengeance and therefore requires even temporal payment in blood. On top of infinitely worse punishment.

        you did not think this through.

        • What happens 125,000 times per day? Somehow it sounds like abortion, but then these numbers don’t work.

        • That is the number of them worldwide daily.

          ~45 million every year. 2+ billion since 1970 alone.

          How long have you been around and supporting this evil? I think trying to math it out is too close to sin for me to try.

          Though it would be useful very for you should you ever come to your senses and need Confession. Technically they are only valid if you give the number, but so few know that.

        • Careful. I wonder if you’re more part of the problem than I am.

          Abortion, like any medical intervention, could be seen as a necessary evil. You’d rather the problem go away by magic, but it doesn’t work that way. So my goals are twofold: (1) keep abortion as an option and (2) reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (which, of course, greatly reduces the number of needed abortions).

          As far as I can tell, you want to (1) eliminate legal abortions as an option and (2) not focus on reducing unwanted pregnancies through the means that work: comprehensive, early sex ed + easy access to contraception.

          My approach arguably would reduce abortions by 90%. How about yours? And, more important, which option would lead to more abortions?

        • So I am a part of the problem because I point out that children are human?

          How does that work? Because of the shame of your evil, you project it onto me and that makes me guilty of what you are consciously doing?

          contraception is ineffective and sex-ed actually does not teach anyone anything besides “sexualizing” children for use by your “elite.” Therefore you treat people to get “power” by using others, be it by lust or by demonic blood sacrifice. When the contraception does not work, the children you brainwashed go to “remove the problem” as they honestly did not know that procreation leads to pregnancy.

          What you advocate for is what made the unthinkable such a common occurrence.

          Woe be to you who calls evil as Good and Good as evil.

        • So I am a part of the problem because I point out that children are human?

          You’re part of the problem because your approach causes more abortions than mine.

          Abortions are what you’re concerned about, right? Try to keep up.

          How does that work?

          I just explained it to you. Maybe read it slower.

          contraception is ineffective and sex-ed actually does not teach anyone anything besides “sexualizing” children for use by your “elite.”

          Translation: “Because I said so.” OK, got it. Very convincing.

          If you don’t want to discuss it, just let us know.

          When the contraception does not work, the children you brainwashed go to “remove the problem” as they honestly did not know that procreation leads to pregnancy.

          Given this unhinged rant, it’s clear that I’m not the brainwashed one.

        • Again, your projection is mortally sinful, and you do it in defense of the worst sin that cries to Heaven for venegance.

          I know both sophecles and your dark master taught you that scapegoating will absolve you, but it doesn’t. Attempting your occultism repeatedly won’t suddenly help you. It is you alone who bears the weight of your sin.

          sexualizing children leads to messing them up, then you tell them that procreation is separated from its purpose through drugs, then you give them an option to kill as a way to get out of the mess you put them in. Quite the racket you have going on there. Would be better if a millstone were to be tied to your neck, and it thrown into the sea.

        • smrnda

          I get that adults sexualizing children is not healthy, but at some point, long before legal adulthood, most people start puberty. The best thing to do is make sure these teenagers have info to prevent bad consequences from happening. Many people I know were sexually active as teenagers. Was this ideal? I dunno, I’m just a realist about this stuff. However, thanks to the educations they received nobody got pregnant, and nobody got a disease. The few people I know who were not so lucky did not have accurate sex education.

          on procreation, that’s just a biological consequence that, thanks to modern technology, we can totally separate from the sex act. i’m not getting the point you’re trying to make.

        • The teens become sexualized not of their own, but by your desperate attempt to create “fresh meat” for yourself.

          One cannot deny Natural Law, and just because you are suicidal does not mean you can claim life is a “consequence” or that denial of life is “lucky.”

          As I said above:
          “sexualizing children leads to messing them up, then you tell them that procreation is separated from its purpose through drugs, then you give them an option to kill as a way to get out of the mess you put them in. Quite the racket you have going on there. Would be better if a millstone were to be tied to your neck, and it thrown into the sea.”

          At least the satanist that runs this blog shows some signs of humanity and self-awareness even though he reeks of death. you just seem mechanical, like an “android” as phillip k dick described them: like human but without what makes one human.

        • Kodie

          Stunting children from growing up or encouraging marriage in late teens is the way Christians deal with it. They think if you don’t talk about sex, kids won’t discover it on their own, as the animals they are, and then if that doesn’t work, scare them into getting married as soon as they get horny to the first person they feel horny about, because that means they’re in love. Christianity is warped.

        • 12 of 15

          So tote argument here is from perversion due to a sexualized childhood? Poor you.

        • smrnda

          Some forms of contraception are highly effective, and also take user error out of the equation. Condoms are less effective than the pill, and less effective than implants.

          Sex ed, as I remember it, both taught about health related issues, but also brought up the issue of consent. And part of that was making it clear that a person is both free to say ‘yes’ but also free to say ‘no’ to sex and that there was nothing wrong with saying ‘no.’ As a person who is asexual, I was appreciative that this sex ed covered ‘lack of interest in sex’ because it let me know that I was not ‘wrong’ for lacking the drive.

        • It is as effective as dancing around a pot at the coven. If God Wills you to be pregnant, you will be. God will however leave you out of His plans if you reject him enough, at least in some cases.

          The problem with “sex ed” is that it tries to separate procreation from it’s purpose, all in the desire to sexualize children.

        • Kodie

          What is the name of your cult, I am eager to join!

    • John Hinkle

      It’s not ironic if your Compartmentalizer is tuned up and refilled with high octane Jesus every Sunday.

      • This type of projection where you hope you will absolve yourself through scapegoating is the mortal sin of despair.

        • John Hinkle

          I don’t believe in sin, and the rest of your statement is gibberish.

        • So your argument is that reality requires your consent? Is that how you reprobates operate here?

    • Cozmo the Magician

      Now now. The WOMAN does not MAKE the baby, Jesus makes the baby.

      • Jesus makes all the babies, just like Santa visits every child in one night? I’m skeptical. No one’s that randy.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          have you LOOKED at the catholic church’s record?

        • Let me guess, it is your sexual sin, but projected.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Until there’s evidence for your ‘god’, ‘sin’ doesn’t exist either.

          So your talk of sin obviously translates to “Don’t do what King I doesn’t approve of”, and you can go fuck yourself for a lark if YOUR KIND think we’re going to allow you that kind of undeserved and unearned privilege again.

          Face it…YOUR KIND used to burn witches…now you’re reduced to trolling atheist blogs….and your ‘jesus’ is reduced to appearing on toast and dog’s anuses.

      • eric

        If Jesus makes the baby, then his representatives on Earth on are the hook for child support.

        • No, your responsibility is your own. They are your children, you explicitly even asked God for them through procreation.

        • Kodie

          Your cult is amazing, how can I join! I can’t wait to wash my brain!

      • MadScientist1023

        Wow. Jesus really gets around, then.

    • But you did not create your child, monster; they are your offspring. God created them as He created you.

      your fallen nature means you cannot create, and in that frustration you destroy for the delusion of “power.” Even your own children, it seems.

      Though you desperately claim your child is your “body” is really to claim them as property. This is in the hopes you invoke old slavery laws to that says you can kill your slaves.

      So not only are you feckless, disturbed wannabe-tyrants who are complicit in the worst sin of all, you are a slaver too. Of your own children nonetheless. I imagine you got this evil of your own fallen nature, and not even demons could tempt you this far.

      • MadScientist1023

        If you feel like having a civil conversation, we can talk then. If you just want to scream at people, find someone else.

        • There is no civil conversation to one who claims their children, their own children (YOUR own children), are property to be exterminated for the “power” delusions of your ego.

          That, and you, are evil. All one can do to evil is crush it underfoot.

        • MadScientist1023

          Yep. No point in talking to you. You have no interest in anything but your own shrieking voice. I hope your god loves you. Few others ever will.

        • To quote Venerable Fulton Sheen: “Right is right even if nobody is right; and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong.”

        • Give us the objectively correct resolution to abortion and same-sex marriage. Then show us (1) that this resolution is objectively correct (not just correct in your opinion) and (2) prove that objective moral truths are reliably accessible by ordinary humans.

          If you fail, this quote is pointless.

        • Both are satanic rituals opposed to the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Marriage respectively.

          There is only one thing you can do to evil: cut it limb from limb and put the ban on it.

          As Venerable Fulton Sheen said:

          “A dogma, then, is the necessary consequence of the intolerance
          of first principles, and that science or that church which has the greatest
          amount of dogmas is the science or the church that has been doing the most
          thinking. The Catholic Church, the schoolmaster for twenty centuries, has been
          doing a tremendous amount of solid, hard thinking and hence has built up dogmas
          as a man might build a house of brick but grounded on a rock. She has seen the centuries
          with their passing enthusiasms and momentary loyalties pass before her, making
          the same mistakes, cultivating the same poses, falling into the same mental
          snares, so that she has become very patient and kind to the erring pupils, but
          very intolerant and severe concerning the false. She has been and she will
          always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy,
          error, untruth, affect not personal matters on which she may yield, but a
          Divine Right in which there is no yielding. Meek she is to the erring, but
          violent to the error. The truth is divine; the heretic is human. Due reparation
          made, she will admit the heretic back into the treasury of her souls, but never
          the heresy into the treasury of her wisdom. Right is right if nobody is right,
          and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. And in this day and age we need, as
          Mr. Chesterton tells us, ‘not a Church that is right when the world is right,
          but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.'”

        • al kimeea

          I wonder how many children he raped and VatiCorp covered up…

      • smrnda

        Children are born and develop due to biological processes that just happen, but do involve considerable investment from the woman being pregnant. If you want to suggest some god is out there, behind the scenes, making it happen, I don’t see much room for this god to exist. We can explain the whole process with biology.

        On art, whether you have the right to destroy art kind of depends on the law. If I sell a painting, and someone puts it up in their house, I can’t break in and destroy it because I no longer like it, nor can I demand that they do the same.

        If you want to argue that abortion is wrong because it’s really a god, and not the woman who is somehow providing the material to make the child develop, then it’s on you to prove this god exists. Because to me, it seems the woman is the one doing the heavy lifting, and this god might as well not exist.

        • Children are formed miraculously at conception, with everything about them decided in their dna from that moment. A release of zinc even leads to a flash of light as it happens.

          Children are not made by humans, they are requested through procreation and God chooses to conceive or not. There is nothing in biology that forms a child from nothing but simple matter. your “god of the gaps” idea applied to the sciences (which is just simple observation) is not a foundation for reality.

          you are not a painting, you are a human Made in the Image of God.

          abortion is the worst sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance, and monsters like you treat your own children as property to be disposed of for the delusion of “power.”

      • Kodie

        You don’t seem to have a comprehension of biology whatsoever.

    • se habla espol

      That’s the theme of The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand’s first big work. I dind it quite interesting that @nigelteapot:disqus would endorse it.

  • GShelley

    “True, there are variants in the thousands of Bible manuscripts, but none challenge anything important”
    This is a little disingenuous. It is probably true, that other than the snake handlers, there are no “important” principles that rely solely on these variants, but it is certainly not true that the variants are not theologically significant – John 5:7 for example, or the addition of “by Jesus” in some variants of Ephesians 3:9

    • What’s disingenuous is his reference to our existing NT manuscripts, which ignores the thousands (?) of manuscripts lost to time. All we can do is try to make sense of the ones we have, and we can only guess at what the lost manuscripts of the first few centuries would tell us.

      • One Fundy I know of claims the copies of the OT t least are pretty much exact, since around 2,000 years ago (more or less was that).

        Given that this does not seem a case of epic fail from his part as when mixing in quantum physics and dark matter with Genesis, talks about the Flood, claiming evolution is BS, or that the mithocondrial Eve was really the first woman I suspect a case of lying for Jesus knowing the sheeps will never question what they’re fed.

    • Some claim the “Great Commission” was added later on.

    • Ficino

      Do you mean I John 5:7?

  • Raging Bee

    Principle #10: Remember Who’s Boss.

    That’s what Christian morality is: Might Makes Right times infinity, so shut up, that’s why.

    • For my next cross stitch pillow, that’s the Christian quote I’ll use.

      • Raging Bee

        Attribute it to some early saint — that’ll make the pillow look even more twee.

    • Jack the Sandwichmaker

      I remember a video game I used to play, featured a Superhero whose catchphrase was “Right Makes Might”!
      I have to think back to that fondly whenever Christians have to resort to Might Makes Right

      • Raging Bee

        I think the Conniptins in “Cerebus” had such a saying…but they weren’t superheroes.

      • Lex Lata

        Freedom Force? Loved that game.

  • On the Amalekites. I remember how a pair of woman -I guess one at least was a pastor- were discussing about the sin of disobeying, especifically Samuel’s lack of obedience to God… and while they mentioned the slaying of cattle and animals they STFUed about the massacre of the Amalekites themselves, down to children and babies.

    That’s not fair. Nor is to believe without ever questioning it what is just Bronze/Iron Age propaganda stolen from others, that flies straight on the face as so many things of the so-claimed omnibenevolence.

    • Michael Neville

      According to the propaganda there’s few things Yahweh likes better than people getting killed. Take the nuking of Sodom and Gomorrah–the beginning scene is people are alive and Yahweh is pissed, the end scene is people are dead and Yahweh is happy.

      • Doubting Thomas

        You have to remember, all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were killed by fire and nothing makes god happier than the smell of burnt flesh. God likes dead people. God loves dead burned people.

        • Offerings are described as a “fragrant aroma,” and they’re identified as food offerings. I guess that makes God a cannibal, assuming that we’re created in his image.

        • Greg G.

          If God loves the aroma of burnt offerings, why don’t they burn money in churches?

        • That’s a keeper.

        • That was the Old Covenant. Now Christians are under the New Covenant, which is completely different but obviously has the same God because reasons. And because the (unburnt) sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to cover all sins, no more burnt offerings are required. God must have decided he needed a new diet.

        • Greg G.

          There is a relationship between breath and spirit, so God must have been putting on weight with all that inhaling.

        • God must have decided he needed a new diet.

          I hear you, bro. I’ve realized that recipes like “the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them” were making me a little portly as well.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Considering the amount of frivolities the money is spent on, it would do just as good if it were burnt.

        • al kimeea

          it is metaphorically – $63K/yr for Protestant middle managment

        • Kodie

          Jesus came to liquidate the burnt offerings system.

      • Ficino

        But they were Somdomites, and not even posing ones. /s

      • there’s few things Yahweh likes better than people getting killed.

        It’s the little things that bring joy. We all need our hobbies to stay busy, especially as we get older. I know a guy who collects butterflies.

        • smrnda

          Speaking of butterflies, I always find it interesting that the author Vladimir Nabokov collected them, and that he did not know how to drive.

      • ɹoʇɐuᴉɥʇʎɯǝp

        Love me. Or else.

        Nowadays, we call that abuse.

      • Chuck Johnson

        Yahweh likes to dispense justice in a grandiose and exaggerated form.
        The ancient Bible authors were not subtle thinkers.

  • A better answer regarding his “gotcha” on the problem of evil would be that it’s inconsistent. See here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2012/08/01/advice-to-critics-of-the-argument-from-evil/

    • MR

      I’ve always complained that the use of the term “problem of evil” is problematic. The Christian hears a very different thing than the atheist when the word “evil” is bandied about. Evil, as I understood the term as a Christian, simply doesn’t exist.

      • True, and that same blog I linked to recently asked whether it might be renamed to “the problem of suffering” (an alternative that I’ve seen already sometimes). In a debate though one might simply ask a theist “what do you think is evil?” I’m curious-what did you consider evil then? Wouldn’t human sins be evil to you?

        • Greg G.

          I prefer to use the “Problem of Suffering” because most people have experienced suffering.

        • True, or at least they know others do.

        • MR

          that same blog I linked to recently asked whether it might be renamed to “the problem of suffering”

          Greg G., I smell a lawsuit.

          In a debate though one might simply ask a theist “what do you think is evil?”

          Yes. And watch them dodge and squirm when you point out the inconsistencies in their thinking.

          I’m curious-what did you consider evil then?

          I think like most Christians, and indeed, even some non-Christians, I had a dichotomic view of evil, that it, on the one hand, is our judgment of certain extremely harmful actions, and that it is yet, also, somehow a thing in and of itself, distinct from the person(s) involved. A thing that has its own agenda. That distinction tends to be blurred.

          From a Christian standpoint, of course, evil stems from Satan who both directs and influences evil acts. That can happen proximately, or indirectly as a result of the fall of man. It is both distinct and part and parcel of who we are.

          That dichotomy stands out for me when I recall how once, when I was a child, someone, I believe it was Grandma M, described the perpetrator of some crime as someone possessed because “you could tell just from the look in their eyes.” Of course, that look I have seen many times in my life and have come to recognize it as someone under the influence of drugs or perhaps mentally ill. She would have agreed, but also would have held to her original opinion.

          It strikes me now just how easily we can, as human beings, readily condemn some as being “evil,” perhaps, even, being possessed by the devil, while excusing others, be it family members or members of our own tribe (whatever that tribe may consist of) as being under the influence of drugs, mentally ill, [extreme duress] or what have you. Grandma M would have been much more forgiving and excusing of her grandson than she would of someone she saw on the news. And everyone is someone’s grandson.

          As an atheist, you begin to recognize the disconnect. You begin to recognize that evil doesn’t exist as a thing in and of itself. It’s simply a label we place to describe extreme, harmful acts. You don’t need the devil to explain those things when drugs, mental illness and the like do a better job. When someone commits a truly heinous crime, demonic possession or moral fallibility has less explanatory value for me than simple psychopathy. If a wolf were to suddenly turn on its own pack and kill several of them, do we think it “evil,” do we think it possessed? No, we think there’s something physiologically wrong with it. Yet with humans, we’re quick to label such things as evil and, for the Christian, to imagine an external agent as a cause.

        • Catholics (or at least Thomists) have a particularly squirmy definition of evil, where it’s merely an absence. So cancer is an absence of healthy tissue etc. Of course, none of them will admit that God in any way caused such an absence. That differs from what your view was. I kind of think evil is a thing, somewhat like you did (or perhaps do?)-that’s it’s pain (broadly speaking).

          Odd that, if you really though someone were possessed by an evil being, they would still be responsible for the act. LIke you said, I guess only if you liked them. As you say, there’s little consistency. I do think certain people can be called evil using my definition above, in the sense that they cause needless pain, but they’re not so in the sense that many think at the same time.

        • MR

          The absence view strikes me more as an apologetic excuse. I don’t know of any non-apologist, Catholic or no, who thinks of evil in that way. Ask someone on the street to define evil and you’re not going to get, “it’s an absence of good” unless they’ve been coached to think that.

          No, I do not see evil as a thing any longer. It is a label. A label that can be used, by politicians, for example, to great effect because of its ambiguity. You can call someone, or even a country, evil and have both religious and secular people agree, even though they hear completely different things.

          The wolf, too, caused pain to his pack. Was he also evil? Nature, by virtue of its nature causes pain every day. Is nature, too, evil? The death of a loved one, i.e., absence…, evil? No, I don’t buy it. Evil is just a label we humans apply to describe a complex interaction of motives, actions, intent and our judgement of them. It’s not a thing.

        • Greg G.

          I agree with you. Evil is just a position on the spectrum from evil/pain to good/pleasure. Pain is not an absence of pleasure nor is pleasure an absence of pain.

          Orgasms feel good even if you have a broken leg that hurts.

          But “evil” has a connotation of being intentional. So anything bad to a religious person would seem to have some intentionality behind it whether it is a devlish affliction or a holy punishment for thinking a cuss word or something.

        • You’re probably right. They have very idiosyncratic definitions of many words, “good” and “evil” being just two of them.

          I don’t deny it’s an easy label, and easily capable of conflicting views.

          Well, remember I said “broadly speaking”. The pain a wolf causes is necessary for it to survive, mostly. Otherwise though, I do see evil in nature, and of course human action (if you consider that separate). I agree it’s complex though.

        • Good is anything as God created it to be

          evil is decay caused by sin to the point there is an absence of Good.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          As usual, you’re pushing unsupported nonsense that you’ve brainwashed yourself to somewhat believe, but not fully….and THAT is why you come here to spout your nonsense & attack us, as surrogates for that rational part of your mind you so desperately wish to silence.

        • Pofarmer

          If you look at all the evil acts committed in the actual name of God, it kinda undercuts you.

        • Greg G.

          Suffering is evidence that there is no such thing as a being that is both capable of preventing all unnecessary suffering and loving enough to prevent all unnecessary suffering.

          If there is such a thing as necessary suffering, it means suffering can do things your god thingy cannot do, which means it cannot be omnipotent by even the weakest definition.

        • All evidence indicates things are created to decay.

          Sin could not affect the universe without God’s, if he’s all-powerful.

        • evil is decay caused by sin. death is a side-effect of that due to simple causality: because you are contingent upon God and becoming divided from God causes you to stop functioning, degrade, and rot.

          How could God have created division from Himself, when it is something you desperately do on your own out of free will? Are you angry that you have free will?

        • So rocks, trees etc. all decay as a result of sin? Very odd, especially as they existed before us. Or do they sin too?

          I’m saying that if things decay, it is God who willed it. How are my choices the cause? I am not in control of those things.

        • I am speaking of humans, who are immortal due to our Immortal Souls.

          you are not a tree or a rock, though you would love to pretend you are as you think it will make you too irrelevant to be Judged. The problem is trees and rocks compare favorably to you as they do not sin, so therefore your bulwark isn’t effective.

          sin is division from God. It is a misuse of your free will that you destroy your will and sin. That is on you alone and God holds free will in such high regard that he will let you damn yourself.

          Now, you have offended me here, you aren’t in control of your own choices? Are you insane or just perfectly possessed?

        • Those things decay too, that was my point.

          God, as the creator, is the one who decides what the effects of these things on the world will be, not me you or anyone else.

          I offended you? Try not misrepresenting what I wrote, to read my mind or simply offering insults. If you can’t, our conversation can end here.

        • your sin decides your death and your decay.

          God’s Divine Will is to let you repent. God will not impede on your free will as your free will is Good.

          you have lost so much because of your reprobate mind, even the capability to recognize your own actions.

        • Does it decide the decay of rocks, trees etc. too? That was the question.

          I don’t know what this has to do with anything I’ve said.

          You are indeed quite the mind reader. Unable to answer a simple question it seems though.

        • Who is “it,” reprobate?

          God whom you think you usurp through “gnosis” and the capital sin of pride. Disrespecting God is a self-injury called blasphemy, and it does nothing to God.

          Again, you are not a tree or rock. you would be eternal if you were not fallen by your own personal choice. Instead you reject that eternity, for a much worse eternity.

        • What, not who. It seems this is too much for you, given these unceasing insults, tangents and misreadings. So long, I’ll spare myself any more of it.

        • Are you trying to dip into absurdity to escape a very simple point?

          Please read what I said.

        • se habla espol

          Can you provide any empirical evidence that Thermodynamics has anything to do with “separation” from your gods? Since you can’t, do you even have any argument about the subject, beyond just repeating your nonsense claims?

        • WCB

          God supposedly created man. To create man, God had to design man. God had three choices.

          A. Create man with an evil moral nature
          B. Create man with an indifferent moral nature
          C. Create man with a Good moral nature

          If God creates all, designs all he creates, and is perfectly morally good and wise, God must choose C. Create man with a good moral nature who does not sin. Obviously, your God did not choose C. Man’s free will will be constrained by his moral nature. So if man is created with other than C., a good moral nature, man’s free will is crippled by God.

          I call this the Moral Nature Of God argument. A God that does not choose C. is not a just, merciful, compassionate or fair God, which the Bible claims explicitly God is these things. God then is responsible for all sin.

        • Good is anything as God created it to be. I believe I said this already and you ignored it.

          you have free will, which is the ability to choose Good with perfect autonomy. What you do is deny and enslave yourself to anything that will destroy your free will in your desperate quest to somehow “be like gods” through self-destruction.

          Because your earliest parent was weak, you inherited sin from them. you have free will and have no need to give into your fallen nature, but you actively deny your free will and purposely choose to sin and become evil.

          Now, evil is an absence of Good caused by decay because of sin. Basically is is you dying, first spiritually then your mind goes insane as you become a walking corpse.

          Since your soul is dead, there is nothing for God to pull out of the mud, and therefore you fall to hell.

          you can heal this, but only in the Church. If one is outside the Church, they must live without mortal sin altogether, and the best they will get is limbo.

          Two problems with your statement that I have not already pointed out here or somewhere in this comment section:
          1) you clearly worship evil due to fear of evil. evil is not a thing, it is an absence like a rotting corpse.

          Hillaire Belloc said you gnostics worship evil because you are afraid of it, because you feel there is nothing to save you from it. Why? Because your capital sin of pride makes you think you have usurped God, and that evil is stronger than you are, you assume evil is all powerful. The reality being that you are just weak and dying as a result of sin, and you are unable to admit you are wrong due to pride.

          All you need to do is deny your pride, but you don’t seem like one to even attempt it or know how.

          2) The will is created when you know Good as Good. Since you do not know what Good is, and purposely refuse to recognize it, therefore you have no will.

          Now, free will is inborn into your Rational Soul, meaning you can choose Good no matter your purposeful destruction of your will. you simply choose not to overcome your destruction of your will as you think it provides an excuse for you to sin.

          It does not.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’m wondering if this post is better suited for a street corner or a straight jacket?

        • WCB

          “Good is anything as God created it to be.”

          Uhmmm, no. Since God creates everything, even evil is good because God created evil people and devils? No. This is irrational and
          the very sort of intellectual nihilism that I despise. And extreme for of divine command. Again, if God creates all and is as claimed, omniscient, then if God creates anything at all, he will know how that Universe will unfold, hard determinism. So all moral evil is caused solely and only by God who choose a poor Universe to actualize. Put on this dunce cap and sit down.

        • I made another post to you. you outright ignore it to reply to one you already replied to?

          Again:
          Good is anything as God created it to be.

          evil is decay caused by sin.

          As I said in the message you outright ignored:

          Really, you hate that you have free will, because then you lose the excuse that you are helpless. you are helpless, but by a personal, conscious choice due to your reprobate weakness.

          you deny God’s 2 wills because one of them is the Permissive Will that allows your free will to act unimpeded. As if you blame God for not putting training wheels on you, when billions are just fine and thrive in your situations.

          judas was going to be the greatest of the Apostles. God was setting him up for great things through exposing his weakness and allowing temptation.

          Problem was that judas was weak and killed himself because he could not handle the process.

          Therefore God had to find an equally evil man who was not weak to replace judas. Enter St Paul who took the forging process wonderfully.

          God only exposes your weakness when you are to correct it. God only allows your temptation in areas He wants you to be especially strong in.

          Clearly you were tested, and were being prepared for something, but you washed out. I can only hope that I meet the child born to be strong where you failed and to complete your mission for you. I want to thank them for their service in equal measure to how I rebuke you now.

          your life is not over yet though, maybe there is still time to complete what you were meant to do if you repent soon enough.

          As for you, I wipe your dust from my feet. I said all I could possibly need to. I have no intention to follow your dance around your ego to escape Truth.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I don’t believe you.

          DEMONSTRATE it, don’t merely *assert* it.

        • se habla espol

          Being a catlick, assertion is all that @nigelteapot:disqus has.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Wall of useless text, full of insults, ad homs, and nonsense.

          Why do you waste our time?

        • epeeist

          you have free will, which is the ability to choose Good with perfect autonomy.

          I note that you ignore anything you are incapable of answering.

          As it is you bloviated on free will yesterday, I responded in this post, pointing out that if we have free will then we are causal agents and hence your god cannot be omniscient.

          But blow-hard as you are you avoided answering.

        • smrnda

          So is uranium ‘good’ or bad? Did god create non-radioactive uranium and it was corrupted due to sin? This is very silly.

        • uranium is a rock that is unstable.

          you are a fallen human.

        • Kodie

          God created abortion. Okey dokey.

        • 15 of 15

          No, cain did when he killed Abel.

          When one murders the truly innocent in satanic sacrifice, that is not of God.

          I can see that blocking you would be wise.

        • Pofarmer

          Evil is a human concept, a human construct. There is no “evil” in nature, only actions that we consider as evil as moral agents.

        • I disagree, obviously.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell you what, I bet in just a couple of minutes you can come up with 10 things, that if thry happen in nature or happen to non humna species, are not evil, but if they happen to humans, are. I bet you can also come up with examples of things that on e group pf humans think kf as evil but other groups do not,

        • Or not. I might believe they are evil, but necessary or unavoidable. As for disagreement, what does that prove? Assuming you’re right though, it’s my own construct, no less valid than any other. This is not something we’re going to get anywhere with I think.

        • MR

          You see evil as a thing or you’re simply making a judgement? If you believe it to be a thing, what is it? This is the mistake we make, I believe. Evil is not a thing just as love is not a thing, or justice, or wisdom, or…. Our culture, the movies we watch, the stories we tell each other…, would have us believe that they are. But there is no entity out there that ebbs and flows that infiltrates us or abandons us. Those are just words [labels] to describe complex interactions and our judgments of them. We have reified them in our minds, but they don’t really exist. Not as things. It’s a useful lie we tell ourselves, but it’s also a lie that many use to their advantage.

          [minor edits]

        • MR

          Another label we’ve reified: Patriotism or Nationalism. Donald Trump hugging the flag comes to mind.

        • I already said. Yes, it’s a thing to me, and that’s (again, broadly) pain. Repeating ourselves will not get anywhere I think. Whether it’s true or not begs the question, and thus alleged usefulness will be too. Anyway, this far away from where we started. I don’t think discussing it further will get anywhere.

        • MR

          But you’re not just calling pain a different name, and pain is not the same thing as evil. What then do you really mean? Indeed, pain, broadly, could even be labeled as a good since it deters us from greater harm. Where does this evil lie? Where does it come from?

        • Pain is an evil, but that can be necessary to prevent more of it. I don’t know how to be clearer. As for “where it comes from” it’s just the nature of the thing so far as I can tell. I’m bad at arguing though, and interested in trying to further. So let us drop it.

        • MR

          “Pain is an evil” sounds to me like a judgement, as opposed to just saying “pain equals evil.” They are not, after all, synonyms. They are not interchangeable.

          I don’t see this as an argument between you and me. I’m trying to tease out a definition that isn’t clouded by the usual nebulosity with which we tend to talk about these things. Hand waving “pain is evil” doesn’t really tell us anything.

          I assume you mean you are not interested in trying to argue this further, but aren’t you interested in trying to dispel your own or our misconceptions?

          For me this is precisely the problem. We don’t analyze or own beliefs, which leaves us vulnerable to others taking advantage of us.

        • I mean the latter.

          All right, well I’ve tried to be clear. I’m not sure how it is a handwave.

          Yes, that’s what I mean. I thought it was disagreement, not just some misconceptions here.

          It may not seem so, but I really do analyze them. Getting them across to others is difficult sometimes.

        • MR

          I mean the latter.

          I’m not sure what you’re referring to. That “pain equals evil?” Do I have evil in my lower back? Why not just call it pain? The discs pinching the nerves in my lower back cause electrical signals to be sent to my brain which are interpreted as “pain.” This doesn’t sound like a definition of evil to me. In what way does that pain equal evil? If evil is a thing, where in that definition does it reside? In my discs? in the electrical signal in my nervous system? In the interpretation that happens in my brain?

          Again, I just see evil as a label to describe complex concepts. A shortcut. The same for love. Such terms are useful so we don’t have to constantly be talking like Spock: “Ah…, just look at those two, they are so in ‘a reciprocal relationship, bound up in physical and hormonal attraction which is bolstered by their similar backgrounds, beliefs and other commonalities….’ Isn’t that sweet?”

          We like to think that love is a thing. It’s so much more romantic. We tell ourselves and our children that love is the greatest thing in the world until your daughter is dating a guy from the wrong side of the tracks and then, “It’s just hormones, honey.” I mean, on some level we know we’re bullshitting ourselves.

          The same for evil. It’s simply a shortcut to describe the intents, actions and judgments we have of a situation that we deem highly negative or harmful in someway, particularly when we are discussing things done to and by humans, though it does bleed over into other aspects. We sometimes attribute evil to acts perpetrated on animals, particularly the more similar they are to us. We have a soft spot for most mammals, for example, but most people don’t think twice about swatting a mosquito. A tornado can cause more pain than a human being and yet most people don’t speak of a tornado as being “evil.”

          Another thing that disturbs me about the use of the term evil is that it both elevates and demeans the person to whom we are referring. Calling someone a monster elevates them above you and above humanity in a way. It gives them power over us through fear. Demagogues and the like can use that to great effect. At the same time it dehumanizes the person you call evil and robs us of our own empathy. In many ways, it’s a cop-out. When we label someone as evil, we absolve ourselves, we absolve society of any implication and eradicate any need to truly understand the situation.

          Going back to pain and evil. How do you reconcile those distinctions? To my mind, and I think to most people, they are clearly not the same thing. Show me where evil resides in my example and in what form.

        • Yes, that. Not all evil is “moral evil”. As to where in all that, I guess this depends on what pain is. I can’t say for sure.

          For me I think it may be a shortcut too. I don’t have a better term at the moment though.

          I can understand the concern here. However, mostly I’m not referring to people here.

          Well, like I said, I’m not good at arguing. I don’t know how to do what you ask, nor was that ever my intent.

        • MR

          If a thing, what do you think it’s origins are? Why do you think evil equals pain? Where did you get that idea?

        • It has the same origin as the rest of nature I suppose. As for me, I don’t know where the idea came from. I’ve always thought this.

        • MR

          What of people (or animals) who can feel no pain? They do exist. Therefore no evil?

        • I don’t think personally feeling it is the sole measure. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d rather not talk about this anymore.

        • MR

          Sure, but you can imagine my skepticism.

        • Yes. That’s fine. I freely admit this is an issue I’m far less sure about myself too.

        • MR

          Well, thanks for engaging. I understand it was uncomfortable. I think they’re important things to consider.

        • That’s okay. I just lament my own poor arguing skills/lack of good arguments in some cases. They are important though yes.

        • MR

          I think you have fine argument skills. I just don’t think you were really arguing. I don’t think you were expressing an argument so much as expressing a belief while avoiding defending it. Much like the Christians who visit here.

        • That’s true, I wasn’t, as a result of not having any good arguments for it worked out. I’ll have to get some, or abandon that idea.

        • MR

          Ouch. That sounds too much like the apologists. Is it better to look for a good argument or to seek the truth? Abandon an idea or explore why we believe it?

        • I mean if there are good arguments. Assuming there aren’t, then abandon it. Clear enough? Or are more comparisons to apologists necessary? Anyway, we can’t all claim to be perfectly rational.

        • MR

          That’s better. 🙂

        • All right then.

        • al kimeea

          some people enjoy pain and is the pain of surgery evil…

        • MR

          Yes, I think the theory has a number of issues. Again, it seems to me the result of trying to turn an value judgment into a thing. Unfortunately, in this day and age we’re still stuck with Plato’s outdated forms. I don’t think it’s solely a religious problem.

        • al kimeea

          pain is pain imho, that can be inflicted in an evil manner or simply the result of injury or illness

          I would say cancer or dementia are evidence of an evil, cruel GCB…

        • MR

          Sorry, al, GCB?

        • al kimeea

          np, Great Celestial Bully

        • evil is an absence of Good, specifically it is decay caused by sin.

          man is fallen due to the capital sin of pride, which is believing that you have usurped Divine Will.

          As Chesterton said, if man really was God, then the last thing man would want is pain. That man is in pain is a reminder that his pride is a lie.

          This leads to despair and all manner of evils trying to rationalize what is absurd.

        • MR

          Yes. Well, I think that’s bullshit and you won’t be able to justify it. Been there done that.

        • So your argument is that reality must conform to your ego?

          How is that working?

        • MR

          How much do the Russians pay you?

        • Projecting your own marxism now?

        • MR

          Convincing.

        • MR

          As I said, incapable of justifying your belief. Throw up a strawman and hope no one notices. Typical.

        • This projection is obnoxious.

        • MR

          Yawn.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your projection and downright libelous commentary ARE obnoxious.

          Perhaps you’re reaching self-awareness?

        • se habla espol

          Yes, we find your projection to be quite obnoxious, as with the arrogance, hubris, and pride that are sine qua non of faith.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why do you always misrepresent your opponents’ views?

          Is it because yours are so reprehensible you can’t defend, so must tear down the good that others do?

        • Greg G.

          If God was omnipotent, there would be another way to remind people that pride is a lie. Allowing pain to do it is evil.

        • smrnda

          This seems like a pretty vague statement.

          Many people are not in pain, They live comfortable lives under stable governments in prosperous societies. Their interpersonal and family relationships are pleasant and enriching. Others are in considerable pain, sometimes caused by broader social problems, or else perhaps by simple bad luck in what are otherwise decent places to live. Even the term ‘pain’ is vague. I know people who deal with considerable physical pain that is chronic. It’s not pleasant, but they deal with it and live otherwise fine lives. I’ve met a few people who seemed to have deep emotional problems, but who weren’t really suffering in any material way.

          Chesterton seems to imagine that either god is god, or man is god. But if there is no god(s) then pain would exist, since nobody would have the power to abolish it. And if god(s) exist, why would there not be pain?

        • This is because the original sin, the capital sin of pride is the delusion that one has arrogated divine will to themselves.

          When one becomes consumed by this to the point of going reprobate, they sink deep into despair as they would sooner destroy themselves totally than admit their pride is unfounded.

          The requirement of the uncreated, uncontingent Prime Mover is absolute. By denying God, they declare that they are their own uncreated, uncontingent Prime Mover; which is refuted by causality and contingency. This is why they deny free will and causality and contingency.

        • Kodie

          Pain is not evil in the way that Christians call things evil. I think they mean evil like evil is a phantom that makes things that hurt hurt. We are physical beings in an uncaring universe, and evolved to have neurological responses to stimuli, so it’s hard to call that evil. Such as, god made childbirth hurt as a curse to Eve, but isn’t that just physically evident that it will hurt? Is it evil that birthing children should hurt? Maybe that’s why epidurals and c-sections were invented, but using our tactile sense to learn about what’s happening to us and around us seems like a good thing, even if some of those things hurt sometimes. If pain is evil, is numbness good?

        • Kodie

          Exactly. Humans make judgments of what is evil to humans, and it is relative. If something is near universal, such as the dislike of being held prisoner, is that evil? I mean, tell kids at school, they don’t have a choice, and can sometimes feel like they are captive animals until the bell rings, but society values education. Education isn’t a standardized thing that is good or bad either. They can be in school with horrible teachers, learning all the wrong things, or not being treated as an individual with certain educational needs, plus the other students making political ranks and worrying about that kind of shit with no escape. We still think this is good. People in countries where the kids are too busy dodging bombs to go to school or born the wrong gender to be allowed to go to school, we think school is the answer. When allowed to go to school in these circumstances, the children seem to love it more than American kids.

          I’m not saying school is bad, I’m using an example to frame the things society tends to value as a not ideal thing for the people who are in it, even in the best of circumstances. Marriage – good or bad, same thing. Is marriage evil? Can marriage be evil to someone? Is it marriage, or the person’s own marriage that is evil to them? Can being married to one bad partner make marriage seem evil to them in general?

          I started with the idea to talk about animals though. You want to buy a plot of land and build a house on it, for example. Is that evil? To most humans, that’s a good thing. To your neighbors who liked that piece of land wild, not. To the animals who made that their home? Many of them can adjust and settle elsewhere (but for how long?), but plenty will lose their lives, and baby animals are the most vulnerable. We have a lot of blah blah in humanverse, babies are the best and need the most protection, but with respect to human needs, i.e., we need to build this house to make room for a human baby (especially since there are empty houses all over the place, but they keep building more buildings), animals don’t fucking matter one bit. And animals do cruel things, like murder other animals or same species, eat their own babies, and we don’t say gerbils are evil. Or lions are evil. Gerbils have a tendency I learned about in 3rd grade, unfortunately, and lions are dangerous to humans (and lots of other animals), but they are not evil. I mean, I think lions kills young too, so they don’t have to raise the babies of a lady lion they want to fuck, and we never call that evil.

          These labels are confining and subjective.

        • MR

          I don’t want to take away from the other things you said because I enjoyed your analysis, I just want to recount a conversation I heard recently related to your comment about human babies. I volunteer at a religious organization doing a secular service. One of the church members was talking about something related to their kids and I forget what he said but it had to do something with the worth of doing something and a nonreligious regular said something along the lines of, “Yeah, we forget that kids grow up to be adults. We tend to overvalue them.” It was kind of a shocking thing to say, even for my ears. But, yeah, we dote over and protect our children, but difficult life or not they’re going to grow up to be adults and will be judged as adults whatever their childship was like. And then they will die and no one will ultimately care what happened in their childhood or adulthood unless it had some kind of historical significance. That runs so counter to our innate moral intuitions, but all of that is kind of like this running relativity, like a moving target. We care now, we care for how it might affect our future, but that caring is somewhat ephemeral. And then, not too many people are going around worrying about what their third-great grandmother’s childhood was like, and if they happen to know, they tend to speak about it dispassionately. We care about things now, with good reason, but it makes us kind of selectively, selfishly compassionate.Thanks for your comments, by the way.

        • Kodie

          I tend not to see how children behave as necessarily temporary. Adults are tribal bullies just like children, so that doesn’t go away either. The “they didn’t know any better” innocence, preservation of innocence, or seeing children as a different class of people, etc. I was more going for the social over-reaction to children dying, the way the news reports it, etc. If 4 people were killed in a car crash, and 3 of them were children, why does the news make us try to care about those 3 above the other 1? Compared to how many baby birds and other baby animals we mow down to build a house or a highway or whatever we value, whatever has gone through committees and permits and bids to be voted as “good” by the community, doesn’t give a shit about animal babies, even though the internet love animal babies. Similarly, as far as evil is concerned, we don’t care (or probably know) that much what animals do to their own young, or to the young of their prey. It’s not seen as evil, all the murder around us. I walked out of my building the other day, and this scene is still pretty much there – a massive pile of feathers. No dead bird anywhere, just hundreds of feathers of the little fuzzy kind and the big wing kind. Don’t know what happened, never will. It kind of haunts me in a way, but that’s something that happens all the time. We only care when it’s little babies, or young women, typically those who are young moms, or are infantilized as a victim class in society. Missing young woman! Potential vessel of human life! We don’t talk about the predators as much, but value certain people when they are killed, the news reports are supposed to make you feel more at a loss, that you couldn’t protect the weakest and smallest victims of society. People cry, they put out those damn teddy bears, and mourn for a dead child that they will never get to go to a fucking school dance! I’m never going to a school dance, either, it wasn’t that big a deal as it seemed when I was 14 or so. That’s what I don’t get – dead people don’t miss what they’re missing. Why is that the focus when they are young? Yes, they will grow up to be adults and most of them will be selfish pricks as far as I can tell. Don’t they start out that way? I mean, I think that is how humans play-wrestle. Economics and politics is how children play.

        • Great observation. This brought to mind WLC’s comment about the “fear and unbearable sadness” he felt as a boy when he first learned about death. To me, it’s bizarre that he’s fretting now about how a billion years from now, no one would know his name if there were no afterlife (which, apparently, is proof enough of the afterlife for him).

          But forget that. Consider things from your standpoint. He’s worried about himself and (I’m guessing) whether his life will matter in the greater scheme of things. But what about his forebears?? That is, why is he focused solely going forward and not backwards? Why doesn’t he spend hours weekly doing genealogy research so that he could speak with authority (and compassion) about his third-great grandmother’s childhood?

          Your perspective highlights the selfishness in his approach. The goal isn’t to follow the evidence; it’s not even to get everyone into heaven. Rather, it’s to find a way to get him into heaven so that his life has ultimate meaning instead of meaning that applies just for him and his family.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, people have a bad habit of erroneously imbuing something with existence merely because it can be referred to in noun form. Apologists make these category errors all the time.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, Catholics will use that definition when it’s convenient, then drop it when it’s not. See it all the time.

        • That doesn’t surprise me.

        • Greg G.

          Greg G., I smell a lawsuit.

          Does a broken record have legal standing?

      • It exists within you.

        As CS Lewis said, evil men cannot recognize evil. That is why you lost track of your own.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          That must explain why you cannot see the Evil of the God of the Bible, you have fallen victim of that evil yourself.

        • This is called despair, which is mortally sinful.

          you know your pride (arrogating to yourself Divine Will) is refuted by your weakness and suffering. But you cannot admit this to yourself as you would destroy yourself before you deny pride (we call these reprobates).

          you however turn to your gnosticism, and think you can “gnosis” away your sinfulness by projecting it onto others in the hopes they will be guilty in your place.

          Do you think that actually works? Heh.

        • se habla espol

          CS Lewis said, evil men cannot recognize evil. That is why you lost track of your own.

          That must explain why you cannot see the Evil of the God of the Bible, you have fallen victim of that evil yourself.

          This is called despair, which is mortally sinful.

          Don’t you think you’ve exposed enough of yourself here?

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Well, i guees you should repent.
          I wish you well in escaping your mortally sinful dispair.

          May you find freedom from the bondage of fear, recover your humanity and go on to become a moral person.

        • Joe

          No. I’ts just a term for certain types of behavior.

        • MR

          You have lost track of your own empathy. Religion can do that to people. Particularly your brand. I see that now.

        • If I hated you, I would be encouraging you to destroy yourself instead of violently trying to wake you up.

        • MR

          A blurred line that shows the vileness of your thinking. You’re really winning me over.

        • That I want to wake you up by correcting you?

          you prefer me to softly coo to you on your path to hell? Ask your demon for that, I will not give it.

        • MR

          Convincing.

        • Kodie

          Hell is fictional, and I’m sorry you are afraid of the scary place that doesn’t exist when you die. Trying to make that our problem is only part of your problem. I think you’re not all there in the head. There is no such thing as demons and you’ve been frightened by a myth that your cult promotes in order to keep you. How much have you already paid them?

        • If I hated you, I would be encouraging you to destroy yourself instead of violently trying to wake you up.

          You’re doing worse: you celebrate atheists burning in hell forever. I realize it’s all just pretend, but you being on board with it makes you seem pretty hateful.

        • hell is the greatest mercy of God, as those in the state of hell (complete separation from God) make anywhere they are indistinguishable from hell.

          Again if I hated you, why would I not encourage you to destroy yourself.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          hell is the greatest mercy of God, as those in the state of hell (complete separation from God)

          So god is incapable of separating himself from someone without subjecting them to eternal torture?

        • al kimeea

          make anywhere they are indistinguishable from hell…

          Here’s my hell:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13be8655a77033c4cda3aba126ec5a3b7f1bb849522dd48a577de3ae259c19ea.jpg

        • Max Doubt

          “… as those in the state of hell (complete separation from God) make anywhere they are indistinguishable from hell.”

          I live in a state of complete separation from any gods, since the best I can determine by objective analysis is that gods exist only in other people’s imaginations. And about this separation situation? I’m diggin’ the shit out of it, basking in the glory and wonderment of my life and where I fit in the universe. If this is indistinguishable from hell, may everyone else join me here.

        • MR

          Imagine sending your child away to church camp with this one. Not much different than sending them away to be brain washed by ISIS.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Encouraging people to submit to your religion (ANY religion, to be honest) IS to encourage them to destroy themselves.

          That you can’t or won’t see it is a big part of the problem.

        • Kodie

          What has made you so delusional as to think other normal people need waking up? Your religion has filled you with arrogance and pushed you to confront people like a crazy street preacher, which would probably work out better for you than the nonsense you go for online.

        • smrnda

          CS Lewis seems to be a naive optimist when it comes to people then. Sure, many evil people don’t think they are evil. They have rationalized their actions to the extent that they can argue what they are doing is really good. But enough people know and feel that what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway? Why? Many reasons. Some are simply crooks out to make a buck. Others are just looking to see what they can get away with. Others are overcome with emotion.

        • It is a simple description of how evil destroys the senses and faculties.

          evil people cannot understand evil any more than those who are sleeping can understand sleep. Only those who are Good have the full faculties to understand all.

          Those who are half-evil (what you seem to be describing) are like those who are half-asleep, in that they cannot understand being awake but they only know of evil hazily as if they are pulled toward it.

          It might just be you have never seen people who are truly evil. They lack total self-awareness as if they are sleepwalking or not in control of themselves.

        • al kimeea

          As CS Lewis said, evil men cannot recognize evil.

          No doubt why you’re a member of the Raping Children Church…

      • se habla espol

        Does that mean that that tree in Eden, of “Good and Evil”, was only half a tree, the “good” half? Was its fruit haploid, perhaps?

  • LeekSoup

    “Omniscient gods shouldn’t need apologists.”

    Yeah. This. I mean, that just about fucking sums it all up, doesn’t it.

  • WCB

    Christians will tell you God is good. Perfectly good. Of course the God of the OT and NT is not morally good at all. The redefinition game now begins. When Christians mean good, good is some sort of mysterious quality us mere mortals cannot understand. “Who are you, little man, to question the incomprehensible and inscrutable actions of God?”. But the problem is that the Bible also tells us God has certain attributes, God IS just, God IS fair, God IS compassionate, God IS merciful. And more. God’s goodness is not some inscrutable and mysterious quality. I call this The Sub-goodnesses of God Argument. I started developing this argument years ago when on alt.atheist (remember Usenet?) theists pulled this game on me. The problem now is they have to redefine a lot of words, merciful, just, love (For God so loved the world…). We achieve a species of intellectual nihilism. No words mean anything any more.

    I also like to think of two aspects to this goodness of God puzzle. The myths of God’s actions, commanding genocides, massacres and murders, and the deeper theological claims about God. Predestination, the creation of the elect and non-elect. Romans 9, God the Great Potter who creates some arbitrarily as vessels of honor and others as vessels of wrath. Romans 11, God hardens the hearts of the Jews to not believe in Jesus. If God decides Jane is of the elect and saved, but John is not and is damned, this is not fair, nor just, nor merciful.

    It seems a lot of theologians try to brush all of this off by proclaiming God does not owe us an moral obligations. William Craig Lane, Ed Feser and others. And that God is not a moral agent. Does that species of theoretical God stand up to The Sub-goodness Of God Argument? Do these claims which seem to be very common among theists if Google is any indication, save God’s supposed goodness?

    Sorry theists, but I cannot sink into the comfortable intellectual nihilism necessary to save appearances with your God.

    • If you’ve got enough on this subject to weave into an interesting post, let me know if you want to write a guest post.

      • WCB

        I might take you up on that. The whole subject is complex and has a lot of different but related concepts of a good, all powerful God that simply are not rational in the end. Some of this I am still digging into. The dodge that God is not a moral agent and that God has no moral obligations to us seems to be a common way of theologians of adopting special pleading that needs a careful investigation. But at this time I haven’t really but begun to examine this rabbit hole in depth.

        Then there is the Simplicity of God theory. God is simple, not made of parts. So theologians don’t have to explain where God’s substance came from and where God’s attributes came from and what metaphysical process combined them in God’s substance. So no outside metaphysical necessities underlie God. God is the fundamental foundation of all existence, including the metaphysical necessities.
        So as per Descartes, God creates all the metaphysical necessities, the laws of nature and logic and numbers et al. God could create 2 + 2 to equal 5 if he so desired. So God, who is perfectly good, could eliminate moral evil by fiat. There can be no hidden reasons, or unknown reasons for moral evil to exist. I am beginning a deep dive into tracing the doctrine of the Simplicity of God to Descartes logical conclusion.
        If God creates the rules and metaphysics and logic, and is good, there should be no moral evil. This eliminates all theodicies, all Plantingian defenses.

        I am currently trying to do a deep dive into the problems of God, not just the problem of evil, but the problem of God and logic and metaphysics. Is God a rational being? The problem of evil seems to demonstrate the God of perfect Being Theology is not a rational being.

        • Ficino

          WCB, if you write a guest post, would you consider including a response to the claims that evil is only a privation, and that whatever exists, is good insofar as it exists? Those claims are often used as premises in arguments that seek to deflate the PoE.

        • WCB

          That is a subject that almost needs a long response to deal with it adequately. One of the great proponents of this argument was of course Augustine in his City of God. But it takes some rather strained metaphysical twists in the hands of Anslem and Aquinas et al.

          and it all leads back to the claim God is not a moral agent. One of the lead proponents of this claim God is not a moral agent is Brian Davies, who believes that Aquinas holds that position. I am still trying to wade through all of this. The question boils down to, “If evil is a privation, isn’t a perfectly good and all powerful God obligated to supply what is missing?” Again, if God is not a moral agent, then no.
          Now the question is, “Why isn’t God a moral agent who acts whether to eliminate evil, or supply needs to avoid moral evil?”. Can such a being be called good if that being could act but does not? Then we are back to the claim that good as applied to God is not the same thing as applied to men. A bastard form of divine command. He who makes the rules (God) is not obligated to follow his own rules.

          Insert masses of scholastic hair splitting metaphysical propositions here.

          Which is worse? An abusive father that beats his 3 year old daughter to death? Or starves her to death, through callous neglect?
          Why do these sorts of things no longer matter if we consider God’s actions.

        • Ficino

          Yes, Brian Davies is the Thomist I see quoted most often for the thesis that God is not a moral agent because, among other reasons, God has no moral duties. God is not properly described as “moral.” All God’s operations toward creatures are purely gratuitous. Someone is in hell for all eternity – that person has received much of God’s goodness, for starters in existing. And God is not obligated to confer a bigger dose of goods.

        • WCB

          Yes. Paul’s theology. God from the beginning of creation has predestined some to be elect and others not elect, and not of their own faults. And see my reply above to NIGELTEAPOT. If God decides to create a Universe, and is omniscient, any starting initial state of creation will unfold in a hard determined fashion thanks to God’s omniscience. Free will is impossible. It gets even worse if as some theologians claim, God is outside and beyond time, and created everything at once in all the Univer’s glory. Augustine and Boethius. The Essenes explicitly stated all is predestined and we have no free will. Possibly where Paul drew his theology of predestination and election.

          “I don’t practice what I preach because I am not the sort of person I am preaching to”.
          – J. R. “Bob” Dobbs – The Church of the SubGenius

        • Interesting. Let me know if you get enough material and enough interest to write a post.

          The Christian must tap dance around Man being made in God’s image and yet God adhering to a completely different (and never specified) set of rules. As far as I can tell, God careens through life doing whatever the hell he wants, and it’s “good” by definition. God is both moral (by human sensibility) and not, as needed at the moment.

          I respond to the “God is simple” argument here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/09/rebutting-the-god-is-simple-argument/

          Contact information is on the About page.

    • Good is anything as God created it to be. Since you deny God, therefore you have no foundation for Good, so you replace that with “moral.” Since God is the foundation for anything, and you actively deny that foundation, all you have left is to base things on your ever-changing ego.

      Therefore, that is why those like you define “moral” as “anything that appeals to me.”

      Oh the horrors of a reprobate mind.

      The ban was put on pagans to ensure the safety of Isreal. murder is forbidden, which is the killing of the innocent; there is nothing remarkable about killing the guilty.

      As for your fatalism and projected nihilism, that tells me you either were some flavor of calvinist before you got your reprobate mind, or you feel your sin that caused you to go reprobate is so great that you could never escape it.

      What is fair and just and merciful is you being allowed to be born here instead of directly in damnation. That the universe exists in the clockwork fashion as it does just so you can live your short life here in the hopes you repent.

      There are two things I can teach you that will answer you perfectly, but I will post that in a response to you on another blog. This one is ran by a tyrant and he thinks censorship makes the Truth go away.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        You’re peddling unsupported nonsense, demanding that we merely accept your word, and then are actively unpleasant when we rightfully stand up for ourselves.

        You DO realize how objectively worthless you are to the world and even yourself, right?

        • Pofarmer

          But he’s teaching, teaching!!! And you’re just refusing to listen. Of course, hos teaching looks a lot like gaslighting, but, heh, ya know, different strokes. I wonder how many blogs the asshole has been banned from?

      • WCB

        You seem to not have read the Bible.

        Isaiah 36:26-8
        26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony
        heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
        27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments,
        and do them.
        28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
        God.

        2 Corinthians 1:21-22
        21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
        22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

        Isaiah 59:20-21
        20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.
        21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I
        have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the
        mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

        Jeremiah 31:33-34
        33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord,
        I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall
        be my people.
        34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for
        they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive
        their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
        …..

        God in the Bible, supposedly a revelation from God himself, tells us God can make mankind morally good, removing evil and ignorance from man. Now, why hasn’t God actually done so? Because there is no God. A God that could do so, but does not act, is not merciful, compassionate, just and fair and is not good.

        Free will? Christians tell us God is omniscient and knows future events with certainty. And God is good and creates all. But if God decides to create a Universe, God must choose and initial starting point , a state of existence, to do so. Any choice God makes will mean that God will know the future. We can have no free will. All that will happen depends solely ogn God’s choice of an initial state of creation. If God’s new Universe is to have a Hitler, a Stalin, a Genghis Khan and all the moral evils they cause, it is all God’s fault and free will cannot exist for any sentient beings in any Universe this God creates. all moral evil that exists exists only because God chooses to create that moral evil.

        Romans 11. Why did the Jews reject Jesus as messiah? Paul tells us God hardened their hearts no to do so. Why not make all men believe? Since free will is not important to God if Romans 9 is trustworthy revelation, why not create a Universe where all men are good and true believers?

        The problem with perfect being theology is that it does not work. So Christians have to resort to nonsense to preserve appearances. But are easily debunked. Permissive and divine wills? You full of it me lad. A truly omnipotent God who creates all can eliminate moral evil, and if that God does not, God is not good.

      • Doubting Thomas

        Since you deny God, therefore you have no foundation for Good, so you replace that with “moral.”

        If you define good in relation to god, then of course I deny that. Since you don’t, that means that your idea of good includes slaughtering children and buying people as property. Any non-sociopathic person would deny that god or the “good” that comes with it. The fact that you flaunt your allegiance to such immorality speaks volumes about you.

        Why is it that conversations with religious people about morality always end up making the religious person look evil?

        • Kodie

          Because they are zombies.

      • Otto

        What is fair and just and merciful is you being allowed to be born here instead of directly in damnation.

        Wow…you are quite the misanthrope.

        • Doubting Thomas

          It’s sort of sad in the sense that such a statement says a lot about how he sees his own self worth. It almost evokes pity, until his arrogance and ignorance overwhelms me.

      • Jennny

        Oops, that last sentence….I used to be like you, Nigel Teapot. I arrogantly knew I knew The Truth, The Gospel, The Destination Of Every Person Who Didn’t Accept Jesus As Their Personal Saviour and it was my duty to work and pray my socks off 24/7 for the heathen around me…that they’d Get Saved and join my little One True Denomination. Then, I had a revelation, and it truly was a damascene moment, and I realised I was following a complete fiction. Please lay off the arrogance that you need to inform us here of your erroneous beliefs because no one has ever told us properly what x-tianity is before you came along. Hope you will one day find the truth and become unshackled from faith and be as truly free as many of us feel here.

        • Was that revelation that your parents walked in on your touching yourself? Then the shame was so great you thought denying God would make the shame go away? When that didn’t work, you thought attacking Christians would make your shame go away?

          The path you put yourself on is clear, and I imagine I am not far off on the type of sin that made you go reprobate. It is always sexual sin for some reason. As Our Blessed Mother said at Fatima, more are sent to hell for sexual sin that any other.

          I think it is because sexual sin involves turning other people into objects to be used. The shame is just too great. Of course what you don’t understand is that you would be ashamed whether you heard of God or not.

          Therefore your shame-based desire for revenge against God for merely existing is just the result of your collapsing in on itself after the death of your soul.

          I look into the abyss regularly. I am still here.

          you looked once and you collapsed and blinked. That is on your personal weakness, and your ignorance leading you to think we are equal despite your weakness is insulting.

          Freedom is responsibility? Faith is the Highest form of thought as it is founding oneself in God. Of which there is no other foundation.

          Denying that foundation means you float aimlessly with total helplessness as you flail in your reprobate death throes.

          How does one freely play an instrument? Is is by flopping around like a fish without knowing anything, or is it by rigid dedication to mastery? Is there even enough left of your mind to answer that, as it isn’t even a real question.

          Also, it is mortally sinful to project your sin onto others in the hopes it absolves you. It is the mortal sin of despair. Where your pride (believing you have arrogated to yourself Divine Will) is refuted by your fallen nature, but you are too far gone to admit your pride is unfounded; therefore you hope you will make me punished for your own actions and absolve yourself by scapegoating.

          Woe be to you, monster. Have a St Benedict prayer to send your curse back to whence it came.

          In fact, the idea just came to me that what made you go reprobate was an abortion, the greatest sin of all. Was it? your sexual sin degraded you so much that you committed the worst sin of all. It makes too much sense and it is too common of a path for those like you.

          Here is an actual moment of St Paul to Demascus: God only allows you temptations in areas He wants you to be stronger in.

          God was preparing you for great things and you could not handle it.

          judas was going to be one of the greatest of the Apostles, but he was simply weak. Therefore when he damned himself permanently, another evil man (Saul of Tarsus) had to be recruited to replace judas as a great Apostle.

          If only someone told you that before, eh? you are lucky you aren’t within slapping distance after that projection and ill-wishing you did here.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Your posts are much more enjoyable when I read them in the voice of Peter Griffin’s father.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb02f2c0331a872a00af1d3275ef12a022313cfb9b04b08a4957910185157969.jpg

      • eric

        Good is anything as God created it to be. Since you deny God, therefore
        you have no foundation for Good, so you replace that with “moral.”
        Since God is the foundation for anything, and you actively deny that
        foundation, all you have left is to base things on your ever-changing
        ego.

        As opposed to basing it on God’s ever-changing ego?

        It least with basing it on humans, we can discuss the results with the rule-maker, discuss the pros and cons, evaluate whether we think the results are worth having the rule, learn lessons from it’s application, and strive to create a better v2 of our rules. With God? We’re just subject to the dictator’s current whim.

        Don’t eat a fruit, or I cause you and all your children to become mortal! Kill your kid! Just kidding. Don’t work together to build tower, that’s bad! Don’t look back or I kill you! I’m a let Satan do whatever he wants to you short of killing you now – accept it as my will! Hey Pharoah, I’m a harden your heart. Now I’m going to kill your firstborn son because you had a hardened heart! Here’s some rules – follow them, or not only will I punish you, but I’ll punish your kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids. Yeah I know they didn’t do anything wrong, but I’m God, capice? Collective punishment is bad when you do it, but good when I do it!

        • Truth is immutable because it is so fundamental that God based it on Himself, and God is immutable.

          Once more you blasphemously project your own weakness and evil onto God in the hopes that it will give you divinity. How is that working out for you, reprobate?

          Watching you people here is like seeing lemmings run off a cliff.

          God is God. you are a created, contingent thing who has damned himself by fundamentally assuming that you have usurped Divine Will.

          Yet God exerts so much effort to give you this chance to save yourself here, but you reject it because you are that far gone. Should I pity you? Because I don’t.

          Here is something you should have been told when you were younger: God only allows you temptation when He wants you to get stronger in that area.

          Seems something every child needs to be told unless they become like you.

        • Damien Priestly

          No, you realize this is an Atheist blog, right? Evidence is required, not speculation.

          All you are doing making unjustified assertions about what a speculative (at best) God does…as if you know this spirit’s mind. You don’t …

          ..First give some evidence of any God(s) existence before rambling on about the deity’s efforts!

        • Otto

          Yet God exerts so much effort to give you this chance to save yourself here

          All I see are people like yourself who pretend to speak for a god…yawn.

        • Ficino

          Otto, you took the words right outta my mouth.

        • eric

          None of your statements (a) contradict anything I wrote about your God’s morality, or (b) provide rational support for the argument that basing morality on his ego is better than basing it on our own.

          God only allows you temptation when He wants you to get stronger in that area.

          No, he doesn’t. God practices collective punishment – which has nothing do do with letting me get stronger after facing challenges. It’s punishing someone else when I failed the challenge.

          This collective punishment is immoral. Tell me why it’s moral, or agree it’s immoral and then explain why God does immoral things.

        • Kodie

          You’re a street corner loony. I can’t believe you think rambling on about your imaginary friend is going to have any effect other than being annoyed and pity you for being so brainwashed.

      • Otto

        Therefore, that is why those like you define “moral” as “anything that appeals to me.”

        And you define “moral” as “Anything that you think God thinks”… you are not even a moral agent with that position…you are simply obedient. Good for you, nice puppy.

      • WCB

        We are told by Christians that God created everything and that God is omniscient, knowing the future in all details. So if God decides to create a Universe, God must choose and initial state of creation. God will know then how the future will unfold from that initial state. So, it follows that there can be no free will. God has infinite initial starting state of an infinite number of Universe God can cause to exist. Why would that God, being perfectly, morally good, chose one with a lot of moral evil? A Universe with Genghis Khan, Hitler. Mao, Stalin, and their whole hearted followers? Why all these Jihadi extremist murdering Moslems? All this sort of moral evil exists only because God created this Universe to have these things. we have no free will and cannot have any free will even in principle, if we posit an omnipotent creator God who is also morally perfect. Free will is impossible and so cannot be used to explain moral evil and to save God from being responsible for all moral evil.

        And…
        Isaiah 36:26-8
        26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony
        heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
        27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments,
        and do them.
        28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
        God.

        2 Corinthians 1:21-22
        21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
        22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

        Isaiah 59:20-21
        20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.
        21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I
        have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the
        mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

        Jeremiah 31:33-34
        33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord,
        I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall
        be my people.
        34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for
        they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive
        their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
        —-
        Your own Bible tells us God can indeed and will indeed create morally good people by direct action. Why doesn’t God do what God promised he world do? You need to think a bit more about all of this before posting stuff like this to us atheists.

        • you have no idea how much I hate it when people use so many words to say nothing at all. Especially when they think said glut of words acts as a bulwark around their egos.

          But do you know what I REALLY hate? When people like you keep asking the same question over and over because you don’t like Truth and hope if you ask enough the Truth will change to fit your ego through 2-year-old level bullying.

          In fact, I read over my past repsonse and I answered you perfectly twice over and without a chance for you to escape. Therefore I knew you did not even read.

          Really, you hate that you have free will, because then you lose the excuse that you are helpless. you are helpless, but by a personal, conscious choice due to your reprobate weakness.

          you deny God’s 2 wills because one of them is the Permissive Will that allows your free will to act unimpeded. As if you blame God for not putting training wheels on you, when billions are just fine and thrive in your situations.

          judas was going to be the greatest of the Apostles. God was setting him up for great things through exposing his weakness and allowing temptation.

          Problem was that judas was weak and killed himself because he could not handle the process.

          Therefore God had to find an equally evil man who was not weak to replace judas. Enter St Paul who took the forging process wonderfully.

          God only exposes your weakness when you are to correct it. God only allows your temptation in areas He wants you to be especially strong in.

          Clearly you were tested, and were being prepared for something, but you washed out. I can only hope that I meet the child born to be strong where you failed and to complete your mission for you. I want to thank them for their service in equal measure to how I rebuke you now.

          your life is not over yet though, maybe there is still time to complete what you were meant to do if you repent soon enough.

          As for you, I wipe your dust from my feet. I said all I could possibly need to. I have no intention to follow your dance around your ego to escape Truth.

        • Ficino

          God has two wills? So there is composition in God? God is then not entirely simple, and therefore is not pure act. So give up on any natural theology.

        • God is Ipsum Esse Subsistens. The Subsistent Act of “to be” Himself.

          Meaning the uncreated, uncontingent Prime Mover and that God is so far above His creation that one can only see Him through the interaction of His paintbrush on our universe.

          So your argument is that because you can understand nothing… then what? Do you have a point?

        • Max Doubt

          “you have no idea how much I hate it when people use so many words to say nothing at all.”

          … followed by 367 words assembled in a way that says nothing at all.

          You want truth? Truth isn’t the shit you make up in your head. This is true: There is nothing the gods you imagine can do outside your imagination that I can’t do, too. And there are many things I can do that your gods pretty obviously can’t. Out here in the reality we all share, outside your head, I am more powerful than any god you imagine. That’s the truth. If you don’t believe me, bring your god over for a contest. I’ll kick it’s sorry weakling ass. And if you have the courage to watch it – which I’m betting against – my victory will probably embarrass you, too.

          For all your flinging around the word “truth”, I don’t think you have the courage or honesty to accept it even when I offer to objectively demonstrate it.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/018d9075880fa729e0a61595800a6b259c3a2af784920b918da65f10a38caecc.png

      • Joe

        Good is anything as God created it to be. Since you deny God, therefore you have no foundation for Good

        I would have stopped typing right there. That’s not a statement that can be supported.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Good is anything as God created it to be.

        So you concede that theistic versions of “Goodness” are not only subjective, but entirely arbitrary?

        Since you deny God, therefore you have no foundation for Good

        It’s a good thing then that I have no use or need for “Good”‘; good alone will suffice.

      • Kodie

        Bob bans you for being a disrespectful raving lunatic, and that’s satanism to you? You have blocked your profile because people try to “censor” you? We’re just trying to have a conversation, and you keep flipping the tables and shooting your guns into the air. There’s no emergency that you are privy to. God is a fictional character, and you have a disease called brainwashing.

        • MR

          Damn I’ve missed you.

    • Jack the Sandwichmaker

      It’s telling that the being that taught morals to humans (the serpent) is cast as a villain. The God of the Bible did not want humans to know about good and evil. He doesn’t want them to have morality. He wants them to obey for the sake of obeying.

  • Greg G.

    “Objective, transcendent standards require an objective, transcendent standard giver.”

    I think “objective, transcendent standards” must stand without a standard giver. Standards given by standard giver are subjective, especially so if the giver is not subject to the standards.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Hm, hadn’t considered that.

      Good point.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Yup. As usual, Christian apologetics is hoisted by its own petard. Pretty much every argument falls victim to its own premises if you look closely enough.

  • Polytropos

    Principle 9 is a big one for me. Because of the way the Bible developed and the lack of early manuscripts there are many things we don’t know and can’t know about Christianity’s original messages and intentions. Messages, plural, of course, because we do know there were a lot of competing doctrines within the early church. This means we can’t actually assign a truth value to much of the stuff in the Bible. Even if we accept it was divinely inspired, we have no way to know how much of god’s message has been transmitted correctly. For those of us who aren’t already invested in the religion, it’s not exactly convincing.

    Principle 10 is nothing more than a disturbing insight into Wallace’s own view of right and wrong.

    • skl

      Because of the way the Bible developed and the lack of
      early manuscripts there are many things we don’t know and can’t know about
      Christianity’s original messages and intentions. Messages, plural, of course,
      because we do know there were a lot of competing doctrines within the early
      church.

      That’s not making sense to me. If you know the competing
      doctrines and messages within the early church, I would think you could know the
      original doctrines and messages within the early church. (“Original” as in what was
      included in the bible and was always taught by the church).

      • Otto

        There is not one Christian belief about God that was always taught, there were competing beliefs where some later became orthodox, and some were later considered heresy.

        • skl

          There is not one Christian belief about God that was always taught, there were competing beliefs where some later became orthodox, and some were later considered heresy.

          I wasn’t talking about “Christian belief”. That would be virtually meaningless. You can find 40,000 different beliefs among their ever-expanding denominations.

          I was talking about doctrines/messages that are in in the bible and especially that were taught by the early church.

        • Otto

          We are talking about the same thing…

          There is not one Christian belief doctrine/message about God that was always taught, there were competing beliefs doctrines/messages where some later became orthodox, and some were later considered heresy.

        • skl

          There is not one Christian belief doctrine/message
          about God that was always taught, there were competing beliefs
          doctrines/messages where some later became orthodox, and some were later considered heresy.

          I don’t think so. I think you could probably compare all those “competing” beliefs in the early church and see which ones were still held by the later codifying church. And those would be the beliefs “always taught.”

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          No, that would only prove that those were the beliefs of the codifying church, not that those beliefs existed since the origins of Christianity.

        • skl

          No, that would only prove that those were the beliefs of the codifying church, not that those beliefs existed since the origins of Christianity.

          We’re talking only about Christian beliefs or Christian-era beliefs. These include, by definition, beliefs existing “since the origins of Christianity”.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          No, we’re talking about the sets of Christian beliefs that were codified. Those probably did not all exist since the origin of Christianity. (I’m calling the origin of Christianity whenever the Christian ideas originated in the 1st century, rather than when Catholic dogma was first codified).

        • skl

          No, we’re talking about the sets of Christian beliefs that were codified. Those probably did not all exist since
          the origin of Christianity. (I’m calling the origin of Christianity whenever the Christian ideas originated in the 1st century, rather than when Catholic dogma was first codified).

          When I used “codify” above, I meant ‘formalizing the
          contents of what would be “the bible”’, not the formalizing of doctrine. My use of “codifying church” was as a time marker (i.e. 4th century). And so, I was suggesting comparing the doctrines of the 4th century church to those of the earlier church to see which of the competing doctrines was always taught.

        • Otto

          So suddenly the use of the word ‘belief’ is ok and you dropped the pretense of using ‘doctine/message’. So that was all just a smoke screen to deflect from fact your original point is clearly in error…and now you are doing it again.

          Dance monkey.

        • skl

          “Belief” was shorter. We can go back to “doctrines/messages”, if you like.

        • Doctrines like Marcionism, Gnosticism, and Apocalypticism? They’ve kinda been discarded now, but they were popular in their day.

        • skl

          Doctrines like Marcionism, Gnosticism, and Apocalypticism? They’ve kinda been discarded now, but they were popular in their day.

          According to the text, apparently so were beliefs that Christ was the reincarnation of John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets (ref: Matthew 16, Mark 8, Luke 9).

        • Greg G.

          The gospels are fictional stories written decades after the earliest Christian doctrines.

        • skl

          The gospels are fictional stories written
          decades after the earliest Christian doctrines.

          The issue is not whether the gospels are fictional. Rather,
          what we’ve been discussing is which of the earliest Christian doctrines were still church doctrine when the gospels were written decades later, and still later when the church was codifying the bible.

        • Greg G.

          There was no church doctrine when the gospels were written because there was no church.

          Paul and James were disputing doctrine before the gospels were written.

          ETA: The subsequent gospels were written to refute the earlier gospels.

          Many scholars take the Secret Gospel of Mark seriously from the sample in the Clement letter. It’s a bit different.

      • Polytropos

        Are you kidding me? Paul’s letters frequently try to clarify doctrinal points and criticize the people he was writing to for following doctrines he thought were incorrect. None of the gospels can agree on the details of the Jesus story, and the ones that made it into the Bible were only four of a number of gospels known to have been in circulation at the time – there were probably others we don’t know about. The entire recorded history of the church is full of doctrinal disagreements, which is why there are so many denominations in existence today.

        • skl

          Are you kidding me?
          Paul’s letters frequently try to clarify doctrinal points and criticize the people he was writing to for following doctrines he thought were incorrect.

          No. But I think you must be trying to kid me. Or kid yourself.

          Trying to clarify a doctrinal point doesn’t necessarily change a doctrinal point. It just clarifies it. And the text makes clear that church doctrine wasn’t any old “Christian” doctrine some people followed; it was the doctrine taught by the apostles.

          The entire recorded history of the church is full of doctrinal disagreements, which is why there are so
          many denominations in existence today.

          True, but that’s like saying
          1) A church of doctrines X is disagreed with by some
          folks, and so
          2) A new church of doctrines not-X is formed,
          and then
          3) Eventually 40,000 new flavors of churches of doctrines
          not-X form, and therefore
          4) There isn’t or never was a church of doctrines X.

          And I don’t think that’s necessarily so.

        • Polytropos

          The fact that Paul felt he needed to clarify doctrines shows the doctrines were not clear. In fact, Paul is the only apostle whose writings have survived, and he wasn’t even one of the original disciples. We have no way of knowing whether there were other apostles’ writings floating around the early church, or what such documents said if they existed.

          While there certainly could have been a single original set of Christian doctrines, the wide variety of denominations available today means Christians have no reliable way to tell if their denomination is correct, and since many of the denominations are incompatible, they can’t all be right.

        • skl

          The fact that Paul felt he needed to clarify doctrines shows the doctrines were not clear.

          I’d bet you yourself have certain unchanging “doctrines”,
          yet have stated them many times to different audiences, and with different words. Clarifying words, if you will. Doesn’t mean your doctrine changed.

          While there certainly could have been a single original set of Christian doctrines, the wide variety of denominations available today means Christians have no reliable way to tell if their denomination is correct…

          But maybe a reliable way to tell if their denomination is original. That is, the same as the original.

        • Polytropos

          Sure, sometimes I state things imprecisely, get things wrong, or even change my mind. But I don’t claim to be relaying extremely important information from almighty god.

          If you have a way to reliably tell if a denomination’s doctrines match those of the earliest church, I’d love to see it.

        • skl

          Sure, sometimes I state things imprecisely, get things wrong, or even change my mind. But I don’t claim to be relaying extremely important information from almighty god.

          In other words, the bible can’t be true because it has so many words.

          If you have a way to reliably tell if a denomination’s doctrines match those of the earliest church, I’d love to see it.

          Take a denomination’s doctrines and see if all of them match
          those held by the early church which codified the bible. Then match them further to the even earlier church which you say ‘we know’ was dealing with “a lot of competing doctrines”.

      • Jack the Sandwichmaker

        Shouldn’t “Original” doctrines be the church before it first splintered, which was BEFORE the Bible was codified.

        • skl

          Shouldn’t “Original” doctrines be the church before it first splintered, which was BEFORE the Bible was codified.

          I think the original doctrines would be the early church doctrines which carried through to the doctrines of the codifying church. Which would be distinct from the competing doctrines which Polytropos
          says “we do know.”

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          There’s no reason to think that those are the original doctrines.

        • skl

          There’s no necessary reason to think they’re not.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          If there’s no reason to think they are, why insist on calling them original? Call them “surviving”, because that’s all we can say about them.

        • skl

          If there’s no reason to think they are, why insist on calling them original?

          But as I said, and will say only once more, there’s no necessary reason to think they’re not the original.

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          Except we know there were other doctrines, why would we assume YOURS was the original?

          If I pick a card out of a deck, and put it back in then draw another one. The second card MIGHT be the same as the original, and I have no way of proving it wasn’t, but I would assume it probably wasn’t.

        • skl

          Except we know there were other doctrines, why would we assume YOURS was the original?

          NOT MINE. The church’s.

          If I pick a card out of a deck, and put it back in then draw another one. The second card MIGHT be the same as the original, and I have no way of proving it wasn’t, but I would assume it probably wasn’t.

          But if an early church had only a straight flush of certain cards and none of the other 47, and the later codifying church had
          those same 5 cards, then…

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          NOT MINE. The church’s.

          ONE church’s.

          But if an early church had only a straight flush of certain cards and none of the other 47, and the later codifying church had
          those same 5 cards, then…

          But that’s not the situation we have. All we have is the hand the codifying church has. (And frankly, their claim to have drawn a straight flush would make me suspicious that they had cheated)

        • skl

          ONE church’s.

          Identify, please. There are 40,000 of them.

          But that’s not the situation we have. All we have is the hand the codifying church has. (And frankly, their claim to have drawn a straight flush would make me suspicious that they had cheated)

          Doesn’t have to be a straight flush. Could be any 5 particular cards (e.g. a king and 4 of spades a 9 and 3 of clubs and a queen of hearts).

      • Step 1: get back to the original NT and prove that you’ve done so.

        • skl

          You know proofs are impossible, Bob.

    • Greg G.

      Right, P52 is claimed to be the oldest manuscript, a scrap from John. The text on the front and back match up with the text of John but a hole in the scrap is not big enough to contain the text for that part of John.

  • skl

    Why doesn’t God come down himself and give us his perfect
    justification? Omniscient gods shouldn’t need apologists.

    The bible’s god certainly is a strange one. In most cases he seems to reply
    on human apologists to spread the word. And even when he’s on earth, as the
    Jesus god, he still needs apologists. But apparently he needed much better
    apologists than he got, because he got executed.

    • You were making so much sense … until your last clause. Oh, well.

      • skl

        Just reading what the text says.

        • Greg G.

          The early epistles do not say Jesus was executed. That comes decades later in the fictional gospels.

  • Maltnothops

    Even the Greek scriptures make it clear that polygamy is okay.

    1 Timothy 3:8-13

    8 ¶ Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,

    9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

    10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

    11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

    12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

    13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

  • Ficino

    I repeat here what I wrote below in reply to NIGELTEAPOT:

    God was setting him up for great things…

    Problem was that …Therefore God had to find …

    Holy Maloney, what kind of finite, struggling god are you trying to sell us? Go away, little man with your little god.

  • Pat Lisenbee

    Since the Council of Nicaea chose what written works to use to make the new book for Catholicism/Christianity, this book has been warped a thousandfold or more. The oldest copy of the bible is the Sinai Bible in a London museum. The books out now have 10,000 MORE words than the Sinai edition. As Popes and Kings and Priests “copied” this book to spread its words, each person doing it added their own biases into it. There is no words from the gods they set up in it, only the opinions of the men who first wrote all the different stories, the men who chose what and what not to use, and the men who have added to it as the years pass. This is an entirely man-made tome, full of prejudice and bias, misogyny, rape, genocide and all the other “sins” of man being committed by this “god.” In fact, in Deuteronomy, (I don’t remember the exacts,) there is a recipe to make a drink to have an abortion. You mix foul water with the dust of the tabernacle and drink it, and lo, no longer pregnant. While this old tome doesn’t use the modern word “abortion” for this procedure, many believers don’t think this is true.
    The problem with this book and the people who follow it is called Cherry Picking. Through all of history, these believers choose or toss to make up their own belief system. But a verse in the book says that believers are to follow ALL the laws or they are sinning. So – you gonna dash your enemies’ babies’ heads against the rocks? You’re told to do that in Psalms! Better start obeying!! People pick and choose for their comfort, and when you show them the rest of the commands, they get angry because, even tho you are challenging their belief system with their own tome, you are messing with the sacredness of god. And their comfort. To have to think that their god told them to kill babies is not very popular. Besides – if you obey EVERY command given, you are either a most horrible criminal or totally insane. I like to think both.
    This book will continue to evolve. More is being added all the time; ministers of all beliefs state their bias, and their followers accept it as gospel truth. Well, dearie, your bias isn’t from the invisible alien in the sky. It’s your own belief of what you think you know. And in doing that, you’re all sinning. Going to any church of any denomination is SINNING! Read I Corinthians 1, where Jesus tells to not to believe what men tell you, only what Jesus said. There. Read it again to make sure you understand it. Denominations were created by PEOPLE desiring to believe a different way than they were told. That’s all. So once again, every single “christian” attending any type of church is sinning. Don’t follow the teachings of people, only follow the teaching of Jesus. But since there are no writings, so far, that this Jesus himself wrote, you don’t really know if what you’re being told is correct or not. Like the article says, different people see things different ways. Like in reporting a crime or car accident, every description is different unless the people got together and agreed on the specific words to say, which also means it’s a lie.
    The only way to solve this issue is to pull the fangs from the snake that is the Christian religion in any form. Otherwise, these people will go on forcing their biased beliefs on innocent children, gullible adults and broken people. The best thing you can do is to entirely reject this book and their beliefs. After all, the “laws” written in the book, supposedly by this “god” can all be traced back to older cultures, like the Egyptians, Sumerians and the Code of Hammurabi, to name a few.
    Have fun being a completely obedient christian!!