Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid #49: Science is Built on Christianity (3 of 3)

Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid #49: Science is Built on Christianity (3 of 3) February 10, 2020

Does science owe a debt to Christianity for setting down the philosophical prerequisites for scientific progress? One author seems to think so. But like retroactive quote mining to find that the Bible was actually in harmony with what we’ve learned through modern science all along (more), the argument is desperate and unconvincing. As commenter Ann Kah noted, “This is so over-the-top that it fits into the category of ‘not even wrong.’”

This post concludes our critique of this article (part 1 here).

But Christianity is more hopeful!

Next up is the obligatory claim that the Christian message is more hopeful than that of any competitors. About the previous five properties of Christianity that are supposed uniquely nurturing to science, the article warns,

Reject one or more of them, and you will end up sooner or later in a hopeless cul-de-sac.

Hmm—do I want the worldview that’s more hopeful or the one with the best evidence that it’s true?

I guess it’s an indication of the poor quality of the Christian argument that “Yeah, but our view is more hopeful!!  :-)” can be presented without embarrassment. But it seems out of place in an article written by a Christian celebrating science.

Only Christianity can save science

The article tells us that Western society is lurching toward “the death of humanity”:

Scientists are sawing off the branch on which they’re sitting.

How about that—who knew that science was on its last legs?

The article declares that scientists like Richard Dawkins reject “objective morality, free will, and the meaningfulness of life” (presumably, that’s objective meaning in life). Then it whines about how (to the atheist) religion, altruism, love, and more “must all be explained away as the purposeless side-effects of [natural selection and] mutations.”

You say that objective morality and meaning exist? Stop complaining and show us. Ball’s in your court. You’re right that evolution can explain religious belief and emotions, but let’s second-guess evolution after it stops being the scientific consensus.

At the end, the article laments about the naturalistic view:

The perception that each of us has that a proposition is provable, or an experiment is conclusive, is no guarantee of anything in external reality; instead it is the outcome of subatomic dominoes falling in random patterns. How can science continue if even scientists start to believe this about their minds? . . .

A few more decades of such irrationalism will undermine completely the foundations of research and truth-seeking in the sciences, and the West will go into the same despairing stasis that haunted ancient Egypt, India, and China. Ironically, the only hope for science now is a rebirth of faith.

“Subatomic dominoes”? Perhaps this author lies awake at night afraid, not of monsters, but quantum indeterminacy lurking under his bed. Instead of learning about whatever scientific puzzle concerns him, he’ll just label it as nonsense. Satisfying his common sense apparently outweighs the scientific consensus on quantum mechanics.

The author dismisses the civilizations of Egypt, India, and China, apparently unaware that they lasted far longer than the period of modern science we’re in at the moment in the West.

To understand where this author is coming from, imagine someone who thinks that food is made in the back room of the grocery story by some mysterious process. He can get by with this confused idea of how the modern food industry puts food on the shelves, but he would be wise to avoid critiquing a process he doesn’t understand. Our author is like this with respect to science. Next time he feels the urge to critique what he doesn’t understand, he should lie down until the feeling goes away.

A restorative from Mark Twain

To those of you who were annoyed by the brainless chum in this article, I have an antidote. Mark Twain’s 1905 reply to a patent medicine salesman nicely fits our predicament.

Your letter is an insoluble puzzle to me. The handwriting is good and exhibits considerable character, and there are even traces of intelligence in what you say, yet the letter and the accompanying advertisements profess to be the work of the same hand.

The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link. It puzzles me to make out how the same hand could have constructed your letter and your advertisements. Puzzles fret me, puzzles annoy me, puzzles exasperate me; and always, for a moment, they arouse in me an unkind state of mind toward the person who has puzzled me.

A few moments from now my resentment will have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your own poison by mistake, and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and all other patent medicine assassins have so remorselessly earned and do so richly deserve.

The last word

You’ve heard that correlation doesn’t prove causation. That’s true, but if there’s causation, there must also be correlation. The argument in this article fails by its own metric: there’s no correlation between Christianity and experimental science since Christian Europe was asleep for a thousand years after it took the baton from the Roman Empire. No correlation means no causation.

Consider a very different approach. The book Guns, Germs, and Steel also looks at relative progress between societies. It opens with a description of the 1532 meeting in Peru between Spanish conquistador Pizarro and the Inca (ruler of the Inca empire) and asks, why did Pizarro sail to Peru and capture their king and not the other way around? It explains why some parts of the world did well and others not by looking at the distribution of livestock and crops and other properties. It’s like a card game—Europe happened to have been dealt a good hand of resources, and Christianity isn’t necessary to explain its success.

European Christianity was a leg-iron to progress, not the catalyst to it. Only by moving from supernaturalism to naturalism has society progressed from pretend-answering questions about nature to really answering them.

Faith has produced zero new knowledge about reality, and science has produced libraries’ worth. I think I’ll stick with science.

 That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.
— P.C. Hodgell (often misattributed to Carl Sagan)

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Image from Alexander Kliem, CC license
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  • Norman Parron

    Everything I’ve read in science history has been that religion (any) has always held science back if not actively pushing it backwards. Engineering (which does not show religion to be BS) was advanced by religion the English protestants found economic power by using it to make big business…but that is not really science

    • Oh? That doesn’t seem to be what they say nowadays.

      • NSAlito

        It’s de rigueur to count engineers, dentists and MDs as scientists when counting the number of scientists who disbelieve in evolution.

        • I’m not sure of the relevance.

        • NSAlito

          The training of engineers is substantially different from the training of scientists. Engineering (nor dentistry, nor medical practice) is not in a position to “show religion to be BS” the way science is.

        • Okay, the confusion is this: I wasn’t saying engineers are scientists. Rather, the comment which I made was to the fact that modern historians don’t feel religion has always held up science. That’s called the “conflict thesis”. It has been discredited for some time.

        • NSAlito

          Rather, the comment which I made was to the fact that modern historians don’t feel religion has always held up science.

          In any case, religion isn’t close to the only thing that can hold up science: Guildism, threats to profit (tobacco, fossil fuels), threats to identity (humanity of those outside the tribe), fear of change, and the inherently self-delusional nature of the human brain.

        • Yes, definitely.

        • Greg G.

          At least 20 years ago, Creationists had “scientists” sign up for a list of those who agreed with a statement about evolution. The statement was something like “evolution didn’t explain everything.” Some real scientists agreed with that. Then the list was presented as scientists who rejected evolution. The real scientists had trouble getting their names off the list when they saw how it was being used. But the “scientists” included dentists, medical doctors, and engineers.

          Project Steve was launched as a response but was limited to real scientists in the field who agree that evolution was the best explanation and their names “Steve”.

        • I know.

  • Ash

    Christianity is anything but hopeful when you’re raised by Rapturists.

    • MuttsRule

      And can you think of anything less hopeful than Jean Calvin’s Double Predestination: “All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.”

      • Raging Bee

        I can sort of imagine Calvin’s face as he realizes what a load of cr@p he’s just stepped into…and can’t step back out of because all that logic is based on the Incontrovertible Word of God.

        • Greg G.

          I have thought for a long time that Calvinism is the logical conclusion of Christianity, thus disproving it by reductio ad absurdum.

        • Raging Bee

          You mean John Calvin was actually…SATAN??!!!

      • The Jack of Sandwich

        But we still need to work (even fight) to spread this idea, so that the people who are preordained to eternal life or death will know about it, and know they can’t do anything to change it….

  • Jim Jones

    To understand where this author is coming from, imagine someone who thinks that food is made in the back room of the grocery story by some mysterious process.

    Not just food.

    https://notalwaysright.com/he-is-sew-clueless/184993/ He Is Sew Clueless

    https://notalwaysright.com/hasnt-quite-cottoned-on/80068/ Hasn’t Quite Cottoned On

    • The mind goggles.

      • Illithid

        Oh, yeah, if you have any faith in humanity left, go read NAR. That’ll kill it.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    The article declares that scientists like Richard Dawkins reject “objective morality, free will, and the meaningfulness of life”

    What is the religious basis for claiming there is free will? Ignoring, of course, the Christian religions that basically reject free will, too.

    Keep in mind, the reason that religious nuts insist there is free will is because, if we don’t have free will, then God is a pretty ugly monster. Since God can’t be a monster, then, QED, we must have free will! See how it works?

    Oh, they will give you things like, “If we didn’t have free will, then we would just be robots!” To which the answer is, so? Any God worth its omnipotent salt could easily give us the appearance of free will/

    “We have to be free to reject God” – says who?

    etc
    etc
    etc

    • Lord Backwater

      What is the religious basis for claiming there is free will? Ignoring,
      of course, the Christian religions that basically reject free will, too.

      They think they need it to answer questions like “why is there evil?” and “why is there sin?”

      Free will is so important to Christian theology that the term appears precisely zero times in teh Bible (KJV) an YHWH, the tribal god of the Jews, frequently violates free will such as when He “hardens the heart” of pharaoh in order that He can show off by killing more people and animals.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        They think they need it to answer questions like “why is there evil?” and “why is there sin?”

        Exactly. It’s nothing more than a dodge to avoid the conclusion that God is a [bad guy].

        One of the answers to the “Problem of Evil” is that God is just a d0uchen0zzle. Since we can’t have that, then it must be free will.

  • Lord Backwater
    • Raging Bee

      Did you miss the bit where Jesus said “Riding that thing ruined horses for me forever?” Oh wait…

      • Lord Backwater

        You have to admit the “horses” of 73 million years ago were not the greatest for riding.

        • Raging Bee

          How would Jesus know that? Was he there?

        • Tawreos

          They were perfect for riding, they were terrible if you wanted to get off of them.

      • Greg G.

        So that’s why Jesus rode donkeys…

      • Anri

        “And that’s not all it ruined – next time, I’m using a saddle!”

        • Raging Bee

          Jesus was God (sort of) — he wasn’t that easily injured, except when it was part of the Plan!

      • Greg G.

        This conversation got me to reminiscing about my neighbor’s horses when I was a kid. Mom would give us some carrots or we would pick some clover to feed the horses. We were told to hold them in the palm of our hands with our fingers straightened out so the horse wouldn’t accidentally bite them. I imagine that was one thing you didn’t have to worry about with a Tyrannosaurus is that they would accidentally bite.

        • Raging Bee

          No, they’d always DELIBERATELY bite.

  • eric

    The perception that each of us has that a proposition is provable, or an
    experiment is conclusive, is no guarantee of anything in external
    reality; instead it is the outcome of subatomic dominoes falling in random patterns. How can science continue if even scientists start to believe this about their minds?

    Now, this is a funny one. On this hand, the author wants to say that if science is unable to arrive at certainty (“no guarantee of anything…”), that would doom the entire process. But theologians often separately argue/point out that science, being inductive, can never arrive at certainty. The latter is true, of course. But obviously it contradicts the former claim; obviously science without certainty can be done, since people actually do it.

  • Raging Bee

    What the AF does this guy know about Egypt, India, and China? Can he point to a chapter in each country’s history where “naturalism,” devoid of faith, forced each of them down to the “third world”/”sh1th0le country” status he seems to think they’re in?

    Oh, and his prejudices about these countries is a bit out of date: China is now starting to kick a$$ again, and India is at least trying to make some progress lately as well. So is China’s current resurgence a result of a “rebirth of faith?”

  • Raging Bee

    Also, I notice a “rebirth of faith” hasn’t exactly restored the Middle East to its glory-days as a center of scientific, mathematical and medical innovation. So where, exactly, HAS a “rebirth of faith” led to any sort of real progress anywhere? Iran? They’ve got plenty of faith already, and they’re trying to make progress by becoming MORE “materialistic,” not less.

  • Bob Jase

    Just look how Christianity helped humanity progress during the Dark Ages, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the pogroms, the witch hunts and the dozens of intersect wars.

      • Raging Bee

        I have mixed feelings about that chart. On the one hand, it fails to account for advances by Islamic, Chinese and possibly Indian civilizations, some of which (esp. Islam) contributed to Western advancements. OTOH, those civilizations had their share of enforced backwardness and retrenchment too; so maybe their contributions are a kind of a wash?

      • Definitely not, according to most medieval historians.

      • epicurus

        I don’t know if things would have been much better if the Western Roman Empire had stayed pagan. They would still have been over run by the various “barbarian” groups who would themselves then be pushed out by the next tribe knocking on the door. Depopulated cities, some in ruins, devastated economy. Would the various conquering groups have settled down and scientifically advanced quicker without the Church? Maybe, maybe not.

        • Lex Lata

          Quite right. As the Western Empire disintegrated, its culture and civil institutions were more or less displaced/replaced by pagan Franks, Goths, Vandals, Saxons, Lombards, and other “barbarian” groups that were largely unlettered and had virtually no philosophical or scientific tradition–certainly nothing on par with the Mediterranean world’s.

          There’s little reason to think these folks would’ve made more intellectual progress during the Middle Ages as pagans than they did as Christians. Indeed, there’s good reason to suspect the opposite. The critical mass (pun intended) of learning in Western Europe during late antiquity and the early medieval period was in the network of Christian abbeys and missions, whose clergy brought the Roman tradition and tools of literacy northward and westward into the nascent kingdoms that took the Western Empire’s place.

          The chart is a fun gimmick, but it’s not good history.

        • Agreed that the regression after the disintegration of the Roman Empire wasn’t mostly due to Christianity. Nevertheless, Christianity wasn’t the magic formula that brought success, prosperity, and science to Europe.

        • Another thing is to wonder what would have happened had the Roman Empire survived to the present ages. As pagans, I mean.

        • epicurus

          I think you would have to lay down a whole bunch of suppositions before you could go that route – strong empire? weak empire? Does Islam still conquer North Africa, etc. – No Christianity= no Islam perhaps. It could get mind boggling.

        • Good points. I assume Islam would still exist and the break-up of the Empire in two either doesn’t happen or happens later on.

        • epicurus

          Well, probably to state the obvious, I’m sure there would have been more and greater engineering and technology advancements over the 1000 year period between 500 and 1500 than occurred in the actual medieval period. In the Arts and Culture realm, the Romans tended to just copy the Greeks, so maybe not so much there. I keep thinking of the Cold War being to cause of the space race. Without it, maybe we’d still just be looking through telescopes. So maybe if Rome reigned supreme right up to today, there wouldn’t have been much motivation to really get out there and make things happen. Way too many variables for me to predict.
          Your turn.

        • There’s also the possibility of the Roman Empire expanding through the world, perhaps discovering the American continent, and contacting with China as well as what would happen when Romans and Muslims met.

          I find quite unlikely the possibility of a global Roman Empire, especially with no modern technologies, and variables include that Islam expanded through the Empire as Christianity did, Zoroastrianism and/or mystery religions as Mithraism becoming the equivalent of Christianity. The possibilities are endless.

        • epicurus

          Interesting, at least to me, is that the discovery of and initial exploration of the americas, not counting the vikings, was to find a way to China and the east. But why did they want to? Because just a bit earlier the Turks had taken Constantinople and cut off the trade routes to the east, and China. If Rome had expanded and “dealt” with the Turks, there may never have been a need to develop deep water ships to sail across the Atlantic, and The New World might still be unknown to all except those who live there.

      • NSAlito

        “Guildism” in Europe restricted the spread and advance of new ideas and techniques.

  • Polytropos

    Mark Twain is always good value.

    I don’t understand how people can think science is not hopeful. Science allows us to find solutions to our problems – solutions that work, and make our lives better. I can see why believing the afterlife will be better is hopeful, but even assuming for the sake of argument that there will be an afterlife, how is making this life better not a source of hope?

    • The problem with quoting Twain is that so many quotes attributed to him are things he didn’t say, and many things he did say are attributed to others. Most of the rest are misquoted. It is my considerred opinion that he is the most misquoted human in history. Here, for example, is an image of the actual note, in Twain’s own hand, which is his explanation of the rumor that he had died:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98336acb008e14aea99fadab5d0e5f3eb9e8c3b93ab1eb203de6c0115f9fb4a3.jpg

      As you can see, his actual words are not what most people quote.

      • NSAlito

        It is my considerred opinion that he is the most misquoted human in history.

         —Mark Twain

        • Greg G.

          It is my considered opinion that Mark Twain is the most misquoted human in history.

                  –Samuel Clemens

    • al kimeea

      There’s a downside to knowledge, but not it seems for spending an eternity on your knees, saying prayers, worshiping The Love God

  • #1: I know of a Fundy who claims atheism offers no hope. No hope next to what alternatives, especially if one goes literalist?

    #2: Even if everything boils down to neurochemicals and electrical impulses, love will still be love, compassion will still exist, etc.

    • Ann Kah

      Atheism offers no hope …but only if you expect all your hope to be handed to you by an ancient book.

      • Raging Bee

        …and then only if y’all are agreed on WHICH ancient book is the source of all TRUE hope.

        • Ann Kah

          Then we can become a theocracy. This is me NOT holding my breath…

    • eric

      Fundie – “Atheism offers no hope. You’re going to hell.”
      Nonbeliever – “wouldn’t that mean atheism offers the hope of not going to hell?”

      • Otto

        Bingo

        • Greg G.

          Bingo

          Fὐck! (Sorry, isn’t that the proper response?)

  • Wan Kun Sandy

    Then it whines about how (to the atheist) religion, altruism, love, and more “must all be explained away as the purposeless side-effects of [natural selection and] mutations.”

    Altruism and love as “purposeless side-effects of mutations”? Whoever say that love is purposeless? Once again, I think the article is speaking about imaginary strawman atheists, not actual atheists. I think love brings more meaning and purpose to atheists than many Christians. Many Christians, especially the toxic ones, twist the definition of “love” so that it morphs to the characteristic Christian Love™ that is so often featured in P/NR blogs here. Besides, love also exists in animals, not just humans, and this also includes monogamous love, i.e. the kind of relationship that is idealized by conservative Christians.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/monogamy-genetic-code-birds-fish-voles-mating-animal-behaviour-dna-a8716296.html

    Ironically, the only hope for science now is a rebirth of faith.

    Of course, there are faithful scientists, but when they’re working they’re expected to put their faith aside. Faith is irrelevant to science, especially natural sciences. Faith must not influence their works, they must work on the basis of things that are observable and falsifiable. A proper scientific journal paper shouldn’t contain “God” or the like because God is not falsifiable nor observable. Besides, God or faith is very subjective, and in my opinion, the character of scientific works is to be as objective as possible. It defeats the point of science if the subjective faith is included in scientific work.

    • NSAlito

      Rather than “Faith is irrelevant to science” I would say faith is anathema to science, which is driven by evidence and logic.

  • Raging Bee

    “Atheism denies the reality of altruism, love and spirituality!” say the religious bigots who deny the reality of any altruism, love or spirituality that doesn’t fit their prejudices.

  • Greg G.

    Off topic: Here are some letters from the Greek alphabet that look similar to the Latin alphabet. It includes substitutes for the lowercase vowels but nothing for an uppercase “U”. They can be substituted in colorful words to avoid a timeout.

    α ε ι ο υ χ ν γ ς Χ Ν Α Ε Ι Η Ο Ρ Υ

    • Wan Kun Sandy

      I’ll add Cyrillic letters. The lowercase “u”, uppercase “Y” and “U” aren’t available. For the lowercase “u” just use the Greek character.

      а е і о к у в р т с м х н А Е І О К В Р Т С М Х Н

      For the ultimate work-around, here it is: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9546ce82f06d6db5594947f2da455e72bc1555c15f7057b43e2c5fe1871ddde2.jpg

      credit to @tanelihuuskonen⁠

      • Greg G.

        You can also use ‌ to break up a naughty word in the same way. It stands for “zero width non-joiner” so it looks like two words to the filter but one word to the readers.

        • Michael Neville

          No, the nanny filter recognizes ‌ and will shit upon any naughty words containing it.

    • NSAlito

      Seidensticker went to the MASSACHVSETTS INSTITVTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

    • That reminds me of the young-earth Creationist with the belt buckle that read IXOYE (he was doing his best to recreate IXΘYΣ).

  • I agree science and the other things you mention aren’t dependent on theism. However, to say Europe was “asleep” until then is wrong. They had slow but steady progress to reach the Scientific Revolution (less so than in the Muslim world at first and more initially with the Greek East than Latin West from what I understand). Diamond’s thesis has also largely been rejected both by fellow anthropologists and historians.

    • Lord Backwater

      Diamond’s thesis has also largely been rejected both by fellow anthropologists and historians.

      Yeah, but he had a great title, so we’re just going to have to live with it.

      • I’m not sure what you mean. Assuming that he’s wrong, we shouldn’t keep citing this.

  • RichardSRussell

    I guess it’s an indication of the poor quality of the Christian argument that “Yeah, but our view is more hopeful!! :-)” can be presented without embarrassment.

    Especially coming from an outfit that contends as an article of faith — straight out of their holy book — that only 144,000 humans will ever see heaven and the remaining billions of us will be screaming in excruciating torment for all eternity. Yeah, now that’s being hopeful, all right!

    • And those are from the tribus of Israel (Revelation 7:4), something conveniently forgotten by JWs and the like. Everyone else is pretty much screwed.

  • RichardSRussell

    Anybody who trashes quantum mechanics because of its underlying arbitrariness obviously knows nothing whatever about statistics. For example, it’s theoretically possible that all the oxygen molecules in the room you’re currently sitting in will happen to simultaneously all move over to the north side of the room, but it’s beyond an astronomical figure of unlikeliness. But I’ll bet that this guy thinks that “stochastic” was one of those heathen Greek philosophers.

  • Otto T. Goat

    Recent research not only confirms the existence of substantial psychological variation around the globe but also highlights the peculiarity of populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD). We propose that much of this variation arose as people psychologically adapted to differing kin-based institutions — the set of social norms governing descent, marriage, residence and related domains. We further propose that part of the variation in these institutions arose historically from the Catholic Church’s marriage and family policies, which contributed to the dissolution of Europe’s traditional kin-based institutions, leading eventually to the predominance of nuclear families and impersonal institutions. By combining data on 20 psychological outcomes with historical measures of both kinship and Church exposure, we find support for these ideas in a comprehensive array of analyses across countries, among European regions and between individuals with different cultural backgrounds.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3201031

    • Raging Bee

      Okay, get back to us when you’ve read the rest of the paper, and explain your point.

    • Lord Backwater

      populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD).

      This is not a sure tipoff that you are reading parody. Ignore the man behind the curtain!

      Also, I’m pretty sure Oligarchic does not start with a ‘D’.

      • RichardSRussell

        If you read Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind, you’ll see that he acknowledges that the primacy leftists place on the values of Care and Fairness (vs. the Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity values more favored by rightists) are much more pronounced in the modern WEIRD population than elsewhere in space or time.

        More about moral foundations theory here:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory

        • Pofarmer

          Well shit, another book.

        • NSAlito

          Tragedy struck today when a Cross Examined reader was killed by a collapsing to-read book pile….

  • RichardSRussell

    This pretty well sums it up:

    Q. What would get you to change your mind about evolution?

    Ken Ham: Nothing.

    Bill Nye: Evidence.

  • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

    Science can be a wonderful thing. It produces medicine and other beneficial advances. However, without ethics it can also bring horrific things such as nerve gas. This is not to say religion is the sole source of ethics but it does codify them in a way that limits subjective morals.

    • epeeist

      However, without ethics it can also bring horrific things such as nerve gas.

      Don’t know where you live but I would suggest that you have a look at the ethical requirements on researchers in the biological and medical fields in your country.

      This is not to say religion is the sole source of ethics but it does codify them in a way that limits subjective morals.

      Religious ethics have exactly the same degree of subjectivity as non-religious ethics.

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        Science did not produce nerve gas?

        Thou shall not steal, murder, or covet seem pretty straightforward to me.

        • Greg G.

          Human ancestors have despised murder and theft long before there was religion. But who would have even thought coveting was wrong if not for religion? Not even Paul:

          Romans 7:7 (NRSV)7 What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

        • epeeist

          Science did not produce nerve gas?

          You intimated that science doesn’t involve an ethical dimension, you were wrong. The ethical requirements for biological and medical procedures are stringent.

          Thou shall not steal, murder, or covet seem pretty straightforward to me.

          One needs to have religion in order to be aware that theft and murder are unethical? That explains the hordes of atheists going around stealing from people and murdering them.

          Just as a matter of interest, what is the origin the “Christian virtues”?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You didn’t prove me wrong. You proved me right. I said that science needed the restraint of ethics. Obviously the people who instituted those ethical guidelines agreed

          No, I specifically stated that religion was nor the only source of ethics. Your ethics guidelines proved me right on that as well.

          As a Christian I believe Christian virtues came from Christ.

        • epeeist

          You didn’t prove me wrong. You proved me right. I said that science needed the restraint of ethics. Obviously the people who instituted those ethical guidelines agreed

          So we are agreed that the practice of science does indeed have an underlying ethical basis. This being so I presume you won’t intimate that it hasn’t again.

          As a Christian I believe Christian virtues came from Christ.

          Virtue ethics was produced by the Greeks, including Plato and Aristotle. They were incorporated into Christian ethics because these were so sparse and inadequate.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          No, we do not agree. Science has nothing to do with ethics just as religion has nothing to do with science. If it did then ethical guidelines would not be necessary.

          My ethics come from Jesus. If a man asks for my shirt I give him my coat as well. I don’t think that comes from Greek philosophy.

        • epeeist

          I don’t think that comes from Greek philosophy.

          Then you ought to read some St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. The former was a neo-Platonist and the latter and Aristotelian. The influence of Plato and Aristotle on Christian ethics is well-known to anyone who has done even the smallest amount of reading on the subject.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I get my Christian ethics from Christ not a pope.

        • epeeist

          I get my Christian ethics from Christ not a pope.

          So who do you get your reading comprehension from?

          The fact that you are prepared to accept a deficient version of ethics has nothing to do with the fact that Christian ethics is essentially an import from the Greeks.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          So far you have used proof by assertion, ad hominem, and appeal to authority. How about just arguing facts and logic?

        • epeeist

          So far you have used proof by assertion, ad hominem, and appeal to authority.

          Do you want to point out where I have used these, rather than just asserting I have.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          “Virtue ethics was produced by the Greeks, including Plato and Aristotle. They were incorporated into Christian ethics because these were so sparse and inadequate.”

          Proof by assertion. You made this claim and when I disagreed you simply stated it again.

          “You really ought to look at the percentage of the European population died in the 30 years war, a war that was largely religious before you go exposing your ignorance to all and sundry.”

          Ad hominem. The appeal to authority was another poster who said I should read a book by some “expert”. My mistake on that one.

        • epeeist

          Proof by assertion.

          Yet all it would have taken would have been a simple search for “virtue ethics” and “Christianity” to verity my claim – https://www.britannica.com/topic/virtue-in-Christianity

          Ad hominem.

          Ah, you are one of those people who thinks that any attack on the person is fallacious. I suggest you try something like Walton’s Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation, if I can show, for example, that you are not a good source for your claim or that you are biased in some way then an attack on the person is perfectly valid. The fact that you are ignorant of the 30 Years War (or the Albigensian crusade) shows that you are not a good source for your claim.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Yes. All you had to do was substantiate your claim with a Google search and the resulting link to avoid the proof by assertion fallacy

        • DeadBabyJoke

          You don’t know what an ad hominem attack is, snowflake.

          Argumentum ad hominem: You are wrong because you are an asshole

          NOT argumentum ad hominem: You are wrong, asshole, because [insert rationally valid argument here].
          ~ OR ~
          NOT argumentum ad hominem: You are
          an asshole.
          Eepist did NOT use the ad hominem attack, you liar. Like most people, you think an ad hominem attack is just insulting people, but it’s not.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I see, So this is not an ad hominem. Fuck You

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Did I hurt your delicate, fragile snowflake fee-fees, @$$hole? I’m sick of fuckwits69 whining about ad hominem attacks when they don’t actually know what an ad hominem attack is. Which was EXACTLY what you were doing. And most people who whine about ad hominem attacks quite often use ad hominem attacks themselves.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Lol. Projection?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          You would know, wouldn’t you?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Lol. You don’t even realize you are doing it again

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Says the crybaby who was whining about ad hominem attacks when no one was using them, as well as showing that you don’t know what an ad hominem attack ACTUALLY is. That’s projection. I guess this is something else that you are ignorant of.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          He was being insulting just as you are now. Yes, I misused the term. I admit that. You asked what religion gives mankind? Well this is anecdotal, but every Atheist board I go on has nasty obviously unhappy people insulting anyone who disagrees

          On the religious boards people seem to be happier and less inclined to harass visiting Free Thinkers. You guys spew hatred at Christians. That is not a good representation for whatever ideology one espouses.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          “He was being insulting just as you are now.”
          Your posts were insulting right off the bat, so why you are surprised that people are hostile towards you?

          “Yes, I misused the term. I admit that.”
          At least you admitted it. Most people just dig their heels in and refuse to acknowledge that they don’t know what an ad hominem attack is, even when given a definition.

          “You asked what religion gives mankind? Well this is anecdotal, but every Atheist board I go on has nasty obviously unhappy people insulting anyone who disagrees”
          Then you’ve never paid attention to Christian websites, TV shows, magazines, sermons, etc. They CONSTANTLY demonize, dehumanize, insult, and mock atheists, non-Christians, and the LGBTQ on a daily basis, but then turn around and throw a hissy fit when it happens to them, usually whining that they’re being “persecuted and oppressed,” even though they don’t consider it persecution when they do it to others. Becuase they’re a bunch of thin-skinned snowflakes who can dish it out, but can’t take it.
          And you also conveniently ignore all the nasty, angry, bitter, insulting Christian trolls who go to atheist/non-Christian/LGBTQ websites to preach, insult, mock, criticize, and harass others. Which happens ALL THE TIME. Hell, I had some Christian fundie whack job going by the name “Politically Incorrect” threaten to stab me because I said something that he didn’t like.

          “On the religious boards people seem to be happier and less inclined to harass visiting Free Thinkers. You guys spew hatred at Christians.”
          You’re both a liar and a crybaby. Most Christian websites ban and censor anyone who disagrees with them, both atheists/free thinkers, as well as other Christians. This is in addition to all the shit69 that Christians say about atheists/free thinkers, non-Christians, and the LGBTQ on a daily basis. Christians arrogantly think that they’re free to insult others and treat them like crap69 (while asserting that people aren’t allowed to show Christians the same treatment), and then wonder why people don’t like them and insult/mock them right back. Respect isn’t automatic, it’s earned. Considering what Christians say and do against everyone else, why shouldn’t they treat Christians how they treat everyone else ALL THE TIME? It’s a two-way street, and if Christians aren’t willing to show people basic decency and respect, they shouldn’t be surprised when they get a taste of their own medicine.

          “That is not a good representation for whatever ideology one espouses.”
          This applies with FAR more accuracy to Christianity than it does atheism, given the way Christians have treated other Christians and non-Christians for the past 2,000+ years. Or have you chosen to ignore all the atrocities that Christians did in the name of God and their religion? Again, this is why people fear and hate Christians. With the track record and body count of Christianity, who can blame them? We have Christians who ignore the law and the Constitution, are trying to strip the rights of women, racial & religious minorities and the LGBTQ of their rights, and are working tirelessly to America into a Christian theocracy so they can impose their religious beliefs on everyone else and force them to conform to Christian standards, even though non-Christians and the LGBTQ are under ABSOLUTELY no obligation to follow or obey the rules of a religion that they don’t follow. Gee, I wonder why THAT might piss people off and sour their opinion on your religion? /s
          And this is also irrelevant. You STILL haven’t given me any examples of what religion has given mankind.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          “Your posts were insulting right off the bat, so why you are surprised that people are hostile towards you?”

          Please copy and paste what you found to be insulting in any of my posts that was not in RESPONSE to insulting rhetoric.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Well, most people here find the idiotic and discredited PRATTs about science and religion that you invoked to be insulting. Like that stupid post about nerve gas and ethics that you were blathering about.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          IOW You took offense that someone would actually disagree with you and you mischaracterize that as insulting so as to rationalize your own poor behavior

          Poor baby.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          You’re a religious crybaby who invoked a bunch of stupid fucking69 arguments, then got all butthurt69 when the people here called you out on your stupid bullshit69. The one showing and attempting to rationalize poor behavior is you, fuckwit69.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Nothing but insults. Post some substance.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          This coming from the fuckwit69 who hasn’t posted anything of substance the entire time that he’s been here. Just idiotic and poorly thought out Christian apologetics.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I am not the liar. You lied when you said I was insulting from the beginning and it is that toxic dishonest crap that probably got you banned from any Christian sites you went to.

        • Greg G.

          You lied when you said I was insulting from the beginning

          I do not recall what your first post was about but I do recall the impression I got from it and it was not good. You did not give the impression that you were here for a mutually interesting conversation.

          Well this is anecdotal, but every Atheist board I go on has nasty obviously unhappy people insulting anyone who disagrees

          That tells me that it is not just your initial volley here.

          I do not often comment on religious sites but when I do, I try to be respectful and have productive conversation with some commenters but there are still religious commenters who are quite negative. It may be that way wherever you go on the internet.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Nope, I didn’t post anything that was offensive, I simply pointed out that the Bible didn’t condemn or prohibit abortion. The post didn’t even last a minute. Not that I make it a habit to post on Christian websites, I don’t. And the one who’s spews dishonest toxic crap are Christians, who vomit that type of drivel on a daily basis. More hypocrisy and whining about people treating Christians how Christians treat everybody else on a daily basis.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Right. You never said anything about hypocrisy and such? Horseshit you started in on me with no provocation and then lied and said I was insulting first.

          You ate lying again and the worst lies one can tell is to themselves.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          That’s what happened. I don’t give a shit69 if you believe me. And a lot of people found your posts to be rather insulting, from what I saw of the responses.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Then show an example of what you consider insulting

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Your holy book and religion.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Sorry. I didn’t realize you were a vampire.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          I’m not the one who’s a member of a murderous, depraved, evil, genocidal cult of child rapists69 who worship an invisible Sky Wizard and his son, the Jewish zombie. Nor am I the one who thinks that a shitty69, contradictory, badly written holy book that condones pedophilia69, incest69, rape69, child rape69, child marriage, sexual slavery, familial cannibalism, murder, mass murder, genocide, and infanticide is a source of morality. EVERYTHING about your religion is disgusting and offensive.

        • Susan

          this is not an ad hominem. Fuck You

          Exactly.

        • Pofarmer

          This really is a slow one.

        • Susan

          This really is a slow one.

          I’m less inclined to to think they’re slow, and more inclined to think they’re intentionally dodgy.

          Based on this exchange, and past exchanges.

        • Pofarmer

          If he’s trying to be dodgy, he’s not even good at that. They get accused of fallacies so often, that they think it’s cute to use them, but don’t actually understand what they are.

        • Susan

          they think it’s cute to use them

          Or useful to use them, in order to shift the burden.

          but don’t actually understand what they are.

          Or useful to pretend they don’t.

          This is not Luther’s first ride around the carousel.

          I’m going to guess that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

          He’s learned enough to shit disturb, but has no interest in honest discourse.

          (I think I’ve finally become officially cynical in these discussions… too many strategic snake oil salesmen over the years, and too few theists willing to have an extended, honest, respectful discussion.)

          Sad to say that.

        • Pofarmer

          In order to have an extended, honest, respectful discussion, you have to be prepared to admit that the other guy just might be right. And that just won’t do.

        • Susan

          In order to have an extended, honest, respectful discussion, you have to be prepared to admit that the other guy just might be right

          It’s not even that complicated..

          You just have to be prepared to accept that if you make claims for which you can’t show support, then it’s reasonable for the other guy to not accept your claims.

          When it comes to fields of science, for instance, one can show support.

          When it comes to religious claims, I’ve never seen any.

          Just fallacies and attacks on character when those fallacies aren’t accepted.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Nope, definitely not an ad hominem attack. That much is true.

        • NSAlito

          Slaves, obey your masters.

        • Pofarmer

          Science has nothing to do with ethics

          This, quite simply, is bullshit. Read a little Stephen Pinker for Pete’s sake.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Does he explain how the scientific method is an ethical standard?

        • Pofarmer

          It’s not, in and of itself, but we can use it to develop ethical standards. And that’s the point.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Okay. How does one develop ethical standards in a scientific manner?

        • Pofarmer

          I said that science needed the restraint of ethics

          YOu think religion has been LESS restrained by ethics? Secular ethics are what is responsible for largely neutering religious sectarianism and wars.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Religion has nothing on Communism for death tolls.

        • epeeist

          Religion has nothing on Communism for death tolls.

          Oh FFS, not this again.

          You really ought to look at the percentage of the European population died in the 30 years war, a war that was largely religious before you go exposing your ignorance to all and sundry.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)
        • epeeist

          Hostile? Just irritated that this PRATT has reappeared yet again.

          As for your reference to the killing fields, you do realise that this is a tu quoque don’t you?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Okay. I concede that religion was more lethal than communism. Do you concede that since the development of communism it has been more lethal than religion
          “Tu quoque (/tjuːˈkwoʊkwi, tuːˈkwoʊkweɪ/;[1] Latin for “you also”), or the appeal to hypocrisy, is an informal fallacy that intends to discredit the opponent’s argument by asserting the opponent’s failure to act consistently in accordance with its conclusion(s”

          WHAT? How do you see an example i gave to support my assertion and read it as if I am accusing you of anything?

        • epeeist

          Okay. I concede that religion was more lethal than communism.

          I am not asking you to do that, simply to either withdraw your assertion or substantiate it.

          Do you concede that since the development of communism it has been more lethal than religion

          Why should I do that? You are claiming that there is a causal link between the development of communism and deaths in those countries that have identified themselves as communist, however you have supplied no warrant to show this.

          WHAT? How do you see an example i gave to support my assertion

          Two things, firstly in your initial post you made a claim to which I provided a rebuttal. Your response was to provide a reference to a specific example of deaths in a totalitarian regime. Hence, tu quoque.

          Secondly, your reference does nothing to support your claim that “religion has nothing on communism for death tolls” since it is a) a single example and b) provides no comparison to deaths caused by religion.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Which assertion do you wish me to concede? I already conceded that religion killed a higher percentage of populations than communism. (Though i was technically correct. Communism killed far more people than religious wars simply due to the increased population in the hundreds of years since that has been a major problem)

          I posted the definition of your fallacy. I did not infer you were a hypocrite by posting my example. I would love for you to explain the logic of THAT assertion.

          I posted that example in response to your claim of religion killing a higher percentage of the population. If I was going for the huge numbers which indeed dwarf the religious wars I would have cited the Cultural Revolution in China and the monumental death toll of the USSR.

          As far as a causal link, give me a break. Communist countries did the killing just like the Catholic Church did the Crusades. You would laugh at me if I said the RCC just called themselves Christians and you posted no causal link to their actions and Christianity.

        • epeeist

          I already conceded that religion killed a higher percentage of populations than communism.

          Something I didn’t ask you to do since I was not, and still am not sure, is true.

          As far as a causal link, give me a break. Communist countries did the killing just like the Catholic Church did the Crusades.

          To be sure there were lots of killings and unnecessary deaths in places such as the USSR, Cambodia and China. The question is whether it was communism that was causal in these deaths. Might it not be something else, for example the fact that they were all totalitarian dictatorships.

          As for the killings in the Crusades one would have to ask whether Christianity was solely responsible for these? Could there be other causes as well, for example the quest for treasure or land?

          If there are multiple possible causes and you want to link a claim to evidence then you need to supply a warrant, in this case the warrant needs to be causal.

        • Bob Jase

          Those Catholics and Lutherans who supported Hitler ran up a pretty good death toll themselves.

        • Pofarmer

          As a percentage? The 30 years war, for instance, wiped out 75% of the population in some areas, and was responsible for something like a 10% decrease in the entire population of Europe. The Albigensian crusade killed millions. In relative terms, the death toll of Religion has been immense.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Wrong. Christianity has killed FAR, FAR more people, directly and indirectly.
          As detailed in American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present, “It is also apparent that the shared history of the hemisphere is one framed by the dual tragedies of genocide and slavery, both of which are part of the legacy of the European invasions of the past 500 years. Indigenous people north and south were displaced, died of disease, and were killed by Europeans through slavery, rape, and war. In 1491, about 145 million people lived in the western hemisphere. By 1691, the population of indigenous Americans had declined by 90-95 percent, or by around 130 million people.”
          That’s not even getting into the tens of millions of other indigenous peoples that European Christians murdered in the centuries after that. Then there’s the untold millions more people that were killed by Christians in the COUNTLESS genocides that continue right up until the 21st century. If you combined all of these facts and death tolls, the Christian body count FAR EXCEEDS that of Communism. You’re a liar desperately trying to distract people from the facts: Christians are a murderous, genocidal, depraved death cult of child rapists, who are ABSOLUTELY in no position to talk about morality.

        • NSAlito

          Neither science nor math nor plumbing “need” the restraint of ethics. Human behavior needs the restraint of ethics. A crowbar can pry a rafter off of a trapped person, or can beat that person in the head.

          BTW, Zyklon B was a cyanide-based pesticide.

      • Pofarmer

        Religious ethics have exactly the same degree of subjectivity as non-religious ethics.

        I would argue that religious ethics are much worse, because part of their subjectivity relies on pleasing imaginary beings.

    • Greg G.

      Science is a tool. A hammer is a tool that can be used to build window frames or break windows.

      Religion brings horrors such as Thirty Years Wars and Inquisitions but lets the perpetrators feel justified by it.

    • Pofarmer

      You realize that there are genocides commanded in your holy book, right?

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        I am. Just as I am aware what I’m about to write is going to go over like a turd in a punch bowl.

        Sometimes that is an ethical action. Case in point: Hiroshima. As horrific as tens of thousands incinerated was the Japanese government was planning on 20 million civilian casualties to make a US invasion untenable.

        • Pofarmer

          You ever heard of the Aligensian crusade?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I had to look it up. I was aware of the persecution of Cathars but I had never heard that name for it. As this was not ordered directly by God and there was no imminent threat to millions of people this does not come close to my ethical requirements.

          Pretty sure Jesus would not approve of this, the Inquisition, or the forcible conversation of Native Americans.

        • Greg G.

          Pretty sure Jesus would not approve of this, the Inquisition, or the forcible conversation of Native Americans.

          Jesus is just fine with torturing people forever. He would look the other way if those things were done in his name by believing Christians.

          If Christianity was a non-fantasy, Hitler might be in Heaven for being a Christian while Anne Frank is burning in hell for being Jewish.

        • Pofarmer

          Pretty sure the Pope would disagree with you, as the Vicar of Christ on Earth. At least try to be honest, if only with yourself.

          or the forcible conversation of Native Americans.

          Go ye therefore and preach to all nations? Really?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Pretty sure you are wrong. Now lets see how honest you can be about admitting it

          https://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/13/world/pope-asks-forgiveness-for-errors-of-the-church-over-2000-years.html

          Sure PREACH and if they don’t listen shake the dust off your sandals and leave.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re kinda making my point for me. The Church only had to “apologize” because it became necessary for them to conform to secular ethics. Not the other way around.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          No. I referenced the scripture that clearly stated Christians are not to forcibly convert people.

          Matthew 10:14
          If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

          They were finally conforming to Christian ethics. I am not a Catholic but I did consider John Paul II as one of my spiritual leaders. He was a great man.

        • Greg G.

          Who here welcomes you? Nobody wants to listen to your words. Shouldn’t you shake the dust off your feet and never return?

        • Pofarmer

          Let’s see how that works out.

        • Pofarmer

          Get to shakin, asshole.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I am not preaching here. I came because there are actually some intelligent people on this board and I enjoy a good debate. Why don’t you show me some intellect and lose the ad hominems?

        • Pofarmer

          De Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt, I see.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          When you have to make shit up to argue you can pretty much tell the debate is not going your way. Speaking of which, I am still waiting for you to explain how my posting an example of communism killing a large segment of a population is somehow accusing you of hypocrisy.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ll give you the same link I gave another poster.

          https://www.vox.com/2015/6/23/8832311/war-casualties-600-years

          What’s really an aberration is the peace for the last 70 or so years.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          When you have to change the subject that too is a good indication the debate is not going well for you

        • Pofarmer

          You’re the one who brought up the death toll from communism, dumbass.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I had ALREADY CONCEDED THAT POINT and we were discussing your misuse of a logical fallacy. That means that YOU CHANGED THE SUBJECT.

          And given your intellectual performance in this discussion you are in no position to even judge who is or isn’t a dumbass. Further, while I am an asshole as you previously stated the difference between us is that I try not to be.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, what logical fallacy did I misuse? Cause I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You are correct. My apologies.

        • Bob Jase

          Aw, the poor bitsy! Everyone else is soooo mean to you and wrong all the time aren’t they?

        • Pofarmer

          John Paul II was a cloistered asshole. Just like the rest of them.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          How so?

        • Pofarmer

          You’ve got a 58 year old celibate priest espousing on sexuality. A Priest who had always been in administration, not even direct preaching.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          That was his job. So anyone who disagrees with you is an asshole?

          Hmmm.

        • Pofarmer

          He made it his job. He was theologian. Not a sociologist or psychologist. He basically drug the RCC back.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          A theologian teaches theology. That is the theology of tbe RCC. You are just flailing around trying to make a point, but you have none.

        • Pofarmer

          Is it theology when it controls someones Sex life? Doesn’t that give the RCC a pass because they can declare everything “Theology.” Which, BTW, is what they try to do. In the past, when they could, literally everything was subservient to their theology in the areas they controlled. Screw. That.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          It is theology if it is the moral.teachings of the religion. I find it sad that I had to explain that

        • Pofarmer

          But they think it should apply to all society……….That’s why there’s societies like Opus Dei, influencing State and Federal Legislators.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          In the case of abortion I see their point. They feel they are protecting innocent lives. In Gay Marriage and such your argument is valid. Forcing ones religious morals on others when there is no victim is just busy body bullshit

        • Pofarmer

          It goes beyond that. They want no contraception either. They are one of the groups pushing to not have medical plans cover contraception, even if those being covered want it.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Except for the inconvenient fact that the Bible is not only COMPLETELY silent on condemning abortion, but the Bible itself contradicts the beliefs and positions of pro-lifers entirely. Pro-lifers have no biblical basis for their stances. Period. Fuck69 you, next case, End of report!

        • Greg G.

          The Bible even gives a remedy when the husband suspects his wife of adultery. He takes her to the priest who mixes up some mud from the ground of the tabernacle, where un-house-broken animals are slaughtered. If it doesn’t make her sick, she is innocent. If it makes her abort the pregnancy, suffer a prolapsed uterus, or dies, then she was guilty.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Yeah, the Test of the Unfaithful Wife in Numbers. That’s something that I never get tired of pointing out to pro-life liars. Whenever someone say that the Bible condemns abortion, you know that they’re liars who haven’t read the Bible.

        • Greg G.

          You’ve got a 58 year old celibate priest espousing on sexuality.

          That makes me feel old. For the first time in my life, there is a pope younger than I am.

          I remember it being a shock when I realized my doctor was younger than me but now I might be a bit leery of a doctor who is older.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s a tricky spot, fer sure,

        • Greg G.

          I was going to suggest to Luther that in Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out the disciples as beginners which would be abrogated by what is said at the end of Matthew 28. But I decided to recommend he follow the suggestion he is so fond of quoting.

        • Greg G.

          Sure PREACH and if they don’t listen shake the dust off your sandals and leave.

          The Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice. You can go to the Old Testament examples and demand they surrender to slavery. If they don’t, kill them all but keep any young girls you like.

        • Bob Jase

          Christianity – where saying, “Oopsy” to an invisible magician in the sky is supposed to make everyone forget the damage, pain and destruction you have caused.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Did you post to the wrong person? I don’t see how this is a reply to what I wrote.

        • Bob Jase

          Maybe you should read what you cite.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I posted a link that showed where Pope Jogn Paul ii apologized to people for wrongs done against their ancestors. You posted a snide reply about apologizing to God and being forgiven

          Two different subjects. Get it?

        • Bob Jase

          You interpret your way, I’ll interpret my way – just like the babble.

          Still amounts to saying, “Oopsy” to the clouds.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Ok. How do you interpret that verse?

        • Bob Jase

          I interpret that verse like all good Christians do – it means what I want as is most convenient at the moment.

          Do you follow the ten commandments even though Christian doctrine states the OT rules are only for Jews? Do you eat cheeseburgers? You can’t do both with creative interpretation just as all Christians do.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          The verse is clear. You pretend it could be interpreted another way but avoiding the question reveals you realize it can’t

          Bluff called Your turn.

        • Bob Jase

          I notice you can’t answer my questions.

          Btw, WHAT verse? We weren’t talking about any specific one.

        • Bob Jase

          And the folks who staged the inquisitions knew Jesus supported them.

          All Christians ‘know’ Jesus agrees with them even over other Christians.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Love your enemy and let he who is without sin ring any bells? Anyone can say and believe whatever they wish. It doesn’t make it true.

          The Bible is clear. If people reject Christianity we are to shake the dust off our sandals and leave them be.

        • Bob Jase

          I’ve heard that – is that why organized Christianity has promoted genocide and other delightful customs for centuries!

          If you celebration your platitudes are cheap why should I think differently?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          No. Christians did those things because they were hypocrites.

          I don’t understand your second sentence. Try again.

        • Bob Jase

          Autocorrect is like god, it changes things it doesn’t like with no understanding of what was meant.

          You don’t follow your platitudes, why should I?

        • Greg G.

          First sentence stolen with no regrets or apologies.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah. NO True Scotsman would………..

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Dude. I said THEY WERE CHRISTIANS.

          WTF is your mental malfunction???

        • Pofarmer

          Allow me to quote.

          Christians did those things because they were hypocrites.

          So, True Christians, who weren’t hypocrites, wouldn’t do those things? Right?

          Except, the Christians who did those things, uhm, didn’t think they were hypocrites. Right?

          I mean, the implication is pretty clear.

        • Raging Bee

          Hiroshima wasn’t a “genocide,” f00l, and it was far more justifiable than most of the ACTUAL genocidal actions described in the Bible.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You can label the incineration of tens of thousands of civilians in an instant however you wish. Pretty sure however that when you tally up the casualties of the nukes they have comparable death tolls to at least some of the biblical genocides.

          As such you are technically correct that the bombings were not a genocide but obviously fail to grasp that they were comparable to some of the ones in Bible and therefore are an acceptable example of how mass killing can be ethical.

          Duh

        • Raging Bee

          I’m not talking about numbers, boy, I’m talking about justification.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You were pointing out that the nukes I never actually said were genocides were not genocide. Ax far as justification you have no clue what an all knowing God saw that He determined justified it.

          Oh, and being a douchebag does not make your arguments stronger. It just shows everyone that they should be glad they only know you on the internet.

        • Pofarmer

          Er Ma Gerd he really is grasping at straws. Another Troll for Jesus.

      • DeadBabyJoke

        Yeah, but those were different, because reasons! What’s ironic to me is that this dipshit69 opposes abortion, while freely admitting that there were genocides in the Bible. Even though there were EXPLICIT references to murdering pregnant women, babies, and children, which contradicts the false narrative that the Bible condemns abortion. Hell, a couple of the most famous stories from their own holy book has God murdering everyone on the planet during a hissy fit and killing all the firstborns of Egypt. How these fuckwits69 can claim that God and the Bible are pro-life with a straight face is beyond me.

        • Pofarmer

          The ones who turn my crank are the ones who, especially Catholics, claim that “all life is sacred” or whatever, in support of their anti-abortion stance. I mean, you have to ignore basically their entire freaking history to even begin to support that position. Hell, the Catholics killed their last heretic after the U.S. Civil war. They instigated a war on the U.S. Mexican border at the beginning of the 20th freaking Century. Their Priests and Bishops were convicted of War Crimes in Rwanda. Screw em.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Yeah, I know, and think it’s fucked up. If I had to guess, they’re just as ignorant of the history of the RCC as they are of the Bible. Either way, their claims hold no water with me. Fuck69 them a white hot poker!

    • Bob Jase

      Science doesn’t decide on the uses for its discoveries like nerve gas – people do and they are often religiously motivated,

      And I’ve never seen a religion that didn’t take multiple sides on any ethical situation for whatever suited it best at the moment.

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        What religiously motivated use of nerve gas can you point to?

        • Greg G.

          The Protestants had Martin Luther’s venom against the Jews and the Catholics had a prayer said during one of the most attended masses that referred to “the perfidious Jews” that stirred animosity against the Jews that led to the Holocaust where Jews were required to remove their clothing for a shower but were killed by nerve gas.

        • Bob Jase

          Ever hear of the Holocaust? It was a popular Christian pastime a few decades ago n Germany.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          LMFAO. Yes i heard of the Holocaust. Ever hear of the Reich’s Church? If you think an altar with swastikas and copies of Mein Kampf is religious, let alone Christian, I have a bridge to sell you.

        • Bob Jase

          Yeah, I think an altar with swastikas and copies of Mein Kampf of is just as religious as one with a corpse on a stick and a book by ancient goatherders.

          And most of the Nazis were RC or Lutheran, no excuses change that.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          The official church of the Third Reich replaced the Bible with Mein Kampf. RC and Lutheran churches use the Bible.

    • Raging Bee

      As you just admitted, religion is NOT the “sole source of ethics.” In fact, religion isn’t even a GOOD source of ethics.

      Also, whose “subjective morals” are you talking about, exactly? Most liberal secular moral principles are based on observation and experience of real-world circumstances, so they’re not “subjective.”

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        Just admitted? I said it in my opening post.

        Bullshit. Everybody bases their worldview on “observations and experiences”. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf using them. How you interpret those things to decide what is right makes it subjective.

        • Bob Jase

          Then it’s a good thing that all 40,000+ versions of Christianity agree completely on everything the bible says so that can’t possibly be subjective.

        • rationalobservations?

          Which bible do you claim all Christians agree about?

          Is it the oldest 4th century prototype known as “Codex Sinaiticus”?

          Or is it the KJV that differs from Sinaiticus in over 14800 significant ways?

          Or is it one of the many other internally contradictory, historically inaccurate, historically unsupported, scientifically absurd other versions written by men since the late 4th century?

        • Bob Jase

          Your sarcasm meter needs to go back to the shop.

        • rationalobservations?

          You should realise that many entries are aimed at all readers of these columns.

          However you erroneously referenced “the” bible when there are in reality so many different versions…

        • Bob Jase

          I take it bac k, your sarcasm meter is fine, you need the repairs.

        • rationalobservations?

          Meanwhile, and since you have no answers….
          Back to the topic..?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          The Bible is COMPLETELY subjective, dumbass69. That’s why there’s 40,000+ sects of Christianity, all of whom believe that they’re “True Christians™” and everyone else are “False Christians.” They can’t agree on anything, minor and major. Its also the reason why the Bible can be used to condone or condemn just about anything. That makes it worthless as a source of morality, and contradicts the BLATANTLY FALSE claims that Christians believe in and follow absolute, objective morality. Because they don’t, and NEVER have.

    • NSAlito

      The premise of Christianity is that people are blamed and punished for something their distant ancestors (Adam and Eve) did. That is fundamentally unjust to the point of evil.

      The premise of caste-based Hinduism is that people have been reincarnated into their current castes based on behavior in a previous life. That is also fundamentally unjust to the point of evil.

      It’s possible to have a beneficial life “philosophy” that doesn’t rely on magical thinking, but few would call it a religion.

    • DeadBabyJoke

      Science is better than religion, which has made little to no positive contributions to the world. They CERTAINLY haven’t given us anything that was beneficial or helpful to advance mankind. And religion has brought us nothing BUT horrific things. As far as I’m concerned, the religious are in ABSOLUTELY no position to talk about ethics or morality.

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        “Science is better than religion, which has made little to no positive contributions to the world.”

        Demonstrably false

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Religious_charities

        • DeadBabyJoke

          And? So what? None of that erases the immeasurable harm that religion is responsible for. And it’s also irrelevant. What has religion actually done? What has prayer done to make a measurable and testable difference in the world? What religious texts have ever lead to a scientific breakthrough that ACTUALLY improves the lives of humans? What does belief in the supernatural contribute to the future of mankind? Because religion has stood in the way of scientific and social progress and helping people, which has been seen over and over again. I could go on and on with these questions, but I doubt that I’ll receive a solid answer backed up with evidence.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          So what is your statement was bullshit

        • DeadBabyJoke

          I notice you didn’t answer the questions.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          What questions?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          The ones that I asked you in a different post, which you have yet to answer.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Okay. Give me another one.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Why?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Because you wanted me to answer it?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Then why don’t you go read the post in question?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          If your question wasn’t important enough to you to repeat it then why should I care about it?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Because you’ve got nothing, and you know it?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Right. I have no answer to a question you refuse to ask.

          You find this surprising?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Why should I have to ask you questions when the questions were directly posted to you already?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You don’t have to do anything, but if you refuse to repost your question (which is easy for you) and insist that i go to the trouble of searching for something you posted some time ago then you don’t get your question answered.

          Why that isn’t obvious to you is a mystery.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Again, fucktard69, I posted those questions directly to you in a post a few days ago. If you’re too stupid to go through the posts to find the posts that have those questions, that’s your problem, not mine.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Not my problem. Have a nice day.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          So, IOW, you’ve got nothing and are running away because you’re incapable of looking for the post in question?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Look through my posting history. I repeat my questions all the time. What makes you so special that I should cater to your whims?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Because you keep asking me to repeat questions that I’ve ALREADY asked you a few days ago, which you can’t go read for yourself, because reasons!

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Oh. You mean where you asked what good religion had done in response to a post listing all the charities religion was responsible for.

          How many times must I answer it before you stop asking?

        • DeadBabyJoke

          You’re a liar who MOST DEFINITELY did not answer my questions. I gave you a list of questions regarding the ALLEGED benefits and advancements that religion has had for mankind. You posted some irrelevant nonsense about charities, which isn’t an answer. And charities/being charitable aren’t exclusive to religion/the religious. Try again.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Let’s see if I can give you a clue.

          1) You stated religion had never given us anything of benefit.

          2) i posted a list of religious charities which, unless you are completely clueless and don’t believe charity to be beneficial, proved your original statement wrong.

          3) You responded to that ignoring the obvious and asking the same question again.

          I dis not say I answered all of your questions dumbass. I don’t intend to. I already showed you are an idiot.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          I gave you a list of questions about what actual, tangible, measurable effects, benefits, or breakthroughs that religion/God belief/belief in the supernatural has given humanity. Charities don’t fall under any of these categories. You don’t need to be religious to think up or run a charity. Hence, this is irrelevant.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You don’t think charity has a measurable benefit to society? And while one does not have to be religious to think up or run a charity for the majority of its existence it has been the sole domain of religion.

          As far as breakthroughs, that is the domain of science. Asking that is about as fair as asking what charities science has founded.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Now you’re being wilfully obtuse.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You are the one who said religion has never produced any good and is now being willfully ignorant about the role of religion in the history of organized charity.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          You know EXACTLY what I was asking. I gave you a list of specific questions which you haven’t answered. You just gave me some irrelevant crap69 about charities, which didn’t answer any of the questions that I asked. That’s being willfully obtuse. That’s your problem, not mine.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I don’t know what you are asking. I thought you asked for an example of where religion had done good and I thought I answered.

          If you are asking something else then state so clearly.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          Read the questions again, numbnuts69.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Ask it in an intelligible manner genius

        • DeadBabyJoke

          I did. I guess that you’re incapable of looking through the posts that we’ve exchanged over the past few days so you can answer the goddamned69 questions.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          It takes a pretty dishonest person to say that someone repeatedly asking them to restate a question is avoiding said question.

          Good luck convincing anyone but yourself of that nonsense

        • DeadBabyJoke

          I’m not being dishonest, you are, you liar. It’s not my problem that you’re to stupid and incompetent to go look up questions that I’ve ALREADY asked you. If anything, YOU’RE the one being dishonest by refusing to go and read the questions that were asked days ago.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Look dumbass, if someone asks you to restate some question YOU SAY they didn’t answer and YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER then it is you being a dishonest little coward hiding behind your evasion.

          I have stated this in multiple ways even an idiot could understand so I will not respond again to your stupid rationalization.

        • DeadBabyJoke

          WAAAAHHHHH!!!!! I’M A STUPID CRYBABY WHO CANT BE BOTHERED TO LOOK AT A POST THAT WAS POSTED DIRECTLY TO ME!!!!! That’s you, dipshit69.

    • You’ve lost me. How does religion help? Is it all religions that do this? Why wouldn’t philosophy (say) be at least as good in codifying ethics? Or the process of building a society?

      • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

        It provides a set code of morality

        Philosophy is one of the other “source(s) of ethics”

        The Third Reich was a society

        • The Third Reich was a society

          Your point is that some societies have bad traits? Sure. Religions have bad traits, too.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          My point is that if one relies on society for their morals then morals are not a constant. That is ethics by mob rule.

        • Bob Jase

          But Christians all follow the same morality right?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          No, but they should. Morals are defined by the Bible they share.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s amounting to one, long “No True Scotsman” fallacy now.

        • Are you saying that morals are a constant? That’s not my impression.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I’m saying that the moral codes contained in holy writings like the Torah, the New Testament, and the Bhagavad Gita do not change and as such are not subject to the fickle whims of society.

        • epeeist

          I’m saying that the moral codes contained in holy writings like the Torah, the New Testament, and the Bhagavad Gita do not change

          Even if this were true it doesn’t show that the morals in these books are right.

          Sounds like an argumentum ad antiquitatem to me.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          This is true, but they are certainly better than the morals of a Roman or Nationalist Socialist society

        • Greg G.

          Have you even read the Torah?

          The Romans enjoyed blood sports and public torture and executions but they apparently thought the Hebrew system of justice needed to be reined in to stop the stoning of a person who picked up sticks on the wrong day or children who were disrespectful to their parents.

        • epeeist

          Ah, that’s the best you have got? Our morals are better than those of the fascists?

          (Assuming you mean the raw Christian morals and not the ones they imported from Plato or Aristotle, not forgetting Epicurus and the Stoics of course.)

        • Pofarmer

          This post by Sample1 on Outshine the Sun seems Germaine.

          For whatever reason, I never gave much thought regarding ancient
          human beings (say pre-agrarian civilization) having essentially the same
          brains as we do today.

          This means the apologetic for slavery that
          God was preparing the Hebrews slowly (over millennia, as the apologetic
          usually goes) to accept the changes required of them, is not
          convincing.

          Any of those ancient peoples’ infants, if we had a
          time machine to bring them to the present, could have been reasonably
          expected to assimilate into a 21st century culture, one where slavery is
          illegal and immoral. In other words, there is no good reason why
          ordered slavery needed to be part of God’s Plan. Of course, when we
          replace all of God’s Plans with various human beings’ plans, things
          begin to make good sense.

          And so that Christian apologetic fails.
          However, religions and myths adhere to easy-to-vary explanations.
          Meaning, such a new fact, like brain structure not changing radically,
          can be absorbed into whatever apologetic theory they are postulating.
          That is a feature for easy-to-vary explanations and a bug for
          hard-to-vary ones.

          Food for thought.Mike
          Edit done

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          My examples spanned almost 2000 years. Clearly not just a reference to one society.

          Further I am not convinced the morals are copied from anywhere as I have yet to see any evidence to support this assertion.

        • epeeist

          Clearly not just a reference to one society.

          Well no, you did throw another one into the mix, nevertheless you still compared religious morals with those of German fascists.

          Further I am not convinced the morals are copied

          But as we have already seen, the “Christian virtues” draw from the Greeks.

          Any basic text on the history of ethics is going to show how other ethical systems influenced Christianity. Try this article on Augustine and Plato or this article on Aristotle and Aquinas for example.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I used two examples thousands of years separated to make a point. Sorry you missed it.

          I am not reading your articles. If they provide evidence then post said evidence. Otherwise I am not wasting my time.

        • epeeist

          I am not reading your articles.

          One thing that is apparent with many theists who come here is how ill-read they are. Not only that, but how unwilling they are to fill the gaps in their knowledge. It is almost as though their faith is unable to stand up to anything outside a very narrow set of boundaries.

          You are not just ignorant, but deliberately so, and no that isn’t an ad hominem.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You cannot tell me what argument your article makes and I am the ignorant one?

        • epeeist

          You cannot tell me what argument your article makes

          I have provided a claim, evidential backing in terms of the writings of Augustine and Aquinas (and no, I am not going to post the City of God or the Summa in a combox) and a warrant in terms of testimony from a reliable source (the Encyclopedia Britannica). The fact that you refuse to read this material is your problem not mine.

          I am the ignorant one?

          Indeed you are, and willingly so.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          No. You made a claim. And then made another claim purporting to support the first claim. You provided a link that made the same claim but if it contained any evidence it was concealed behind a pay wall.

          If you honestly believe I am going to subscribe to some site to find out what the heck you are talking about you are the ignorant one.

        • Bob Jase

          “Further I am not convinced the morals are copied from anywhere”

          OR

          “I’m saying that the moral codes contained in holy writings like the
          Torah, the New Testament, and the Bhagavad Gita do not change and as
          such are not subject to the fickle whims of society.”

          Which Luther Dorn is lying??

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Where is the conflict? Just because they believe the same thing does not mean they copied one a other. And what is with the “everyone I disagree with is a liar”? That seems to be a common malfunction on this board.

        • Pofarmer

          So you believe in stoning rape victims to death or marrying them off to their rapist?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” so obviously not. I am a Christian, not a bronze age Jew. However, if I did live in the bronze age I would consider that to be the superior moral code to everything else civilization had to offer. The stoning of rape victims only occurred if the woman did not cry for help when she could have. This prevented both adultery and more importantly false accusations of rape. As far as the marry your rapist law, that protected the woman from starvation. As she was now unmarriageable she would otherwise be doomed to either a life of prostitution to survive or not surviving.

          I know this offends our modern sensibilities, but there were valid reasons for such laws and they were to limit suffering.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

          The earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John do not have that story.

        • Rudy R

          John 7:53 – 8:11 was not originally in the gospel and is not found in any other gospel. Since the author of John is unknown, how can you be sure it’s not falsely attributed to Jesus? Can we assume you are a moral relativist, since it was moral to stone rape victims and force women to marry their rapists back in the day, but would be immoral now?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.

        • Greg G.

          Which is one of the best indications that it was not in any of the originals of those manuscripts.

        • Rudy R

          So one should conclude that we can’t reliably attribute the stoning story to Jesus.

          Can we assume you are a moral relativist, since it was moral to stone rape victims and force women to marry their rapists back in the day, but would be immoral now?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          As the passage was included in some manuscripts one cannot discount the possibility that it was a teaching of Jesus. That being said your skepticism is quite defensible

          It is moral to steal? Would it be moral to steal a bandage to prevent someone from bleeding to death? If I answered yes to the second question would I be a moral relativist? The fact is no woman was stoned for being raped. If anyone was stoned because of this law it was because she didn’t cry for help and probably wasn’t being raped.

        • Rudy R

          For your stealing question, I don’t believe in objective morality. I don’t really care if it is moral or not to steal the bandage. I would steal it and if I was breaking a law, would face the consequences. Saving someone’s life is more valuable then the cost of the bandage.

          Should show evidence to support your claim no woman has been raped and that if a woman didn’t cry out, she wasn’t raped.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          If you are not going to define what morals mean to you then discussing morals with you is pointless

          The penalty in the Bible is not for being raped. A woman who had no chance to cry for help or one that did cry for help was not punished. Also, if a woman knows she will be killed if she didn’t scream for help, had the ability to scream for help, and did not do so then she PROBABLY was not being raped.

        • Greg G.

          You are thinking of the penalties for an engaged woman having sex. If she has sex in the city, it is assumed that she didn’t scream, so she is put to death. If she is has sex in the countryside, she gets the benefit of the doubt and not killed.

          But a girl who is not engaged is sold to the man who had sex with her whether forced or not, then he cannot divorce her, and there is no provision for a wife to divorce a husband.

          So the concern is more about her being property and her father getting the bride price than about it being rape.

        • Rudy R

          Morality is a set of codes of conduct agreed by a society or a group that maximizes human pleasure and minimizes human suffering. Once that principle is accepted by a society or group, which has been demonstrated by most human societal groups, then it is mostly objective in how to pursue that effort. For example, cutting someones head off is nearly objectively wrong.

          For you to claim that every woman would, at all times, cry for help if raped, is also a claim to know every woman’s brain state, past and present. Are you claiming to be omniscient? The same for a woman knowing if she will be killed. Are you claiming to have knowledge of the psychology of every woman, past and present?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I didn’t say that. I said if she didn’t cry out for help when she could have she PROBABLY wasn’t being raped. I even capitalized probably. Yet you STILL responded as if I stated it was a certainty.

          Why?

        • Rudy R

          I did not miss your emphasis on probably. Probably is not a stipulation in Bible scripture. It should not be the case that a woman MUST cry out for help to prove that she is in distress.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          “I did not miss your emphasis on probably,

          So you ignored it purposely. Do you think that was honest?

        • Rudy R

          “Probably” was your caveat, not mine. The caveat was not relevant to my response to you.

          I said if she didn’t cry out for help when she could have she PROBABLY wasn’t being raped. I even capitalized probably.

          Just so I’m clear with your position, it is moral to stone a woman if she almost certainly didn’t yell out while being raped. Because you added “probably”, you are almost certain that a woman would cry out for help during a rape, but not certain. Why are you not certain? I would understand the uncertainty, because you would need to KNOW the brain-state of every woman, past and present.

          For me, the probability of a woman being raped or not being raped is not a factor in my moral code. It is not moral to stone a woman for being raped and is not moral for a woman to be stoned for having consensual sex.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Right. You ignored my caveat to argue against something I didn’t say. That is a Strawman argument. Get it?

          Since we are going to continue to try to put those morals in a modern environment i will say ot would be moral to imprison a woman who falsely accuses someone of rape for the same term her accused victim would have served. That would serve the same purpose as that Bronze Age law.

        • Rudy R

          So you don’t agree with stoning?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          To quote Dylan, everybody must get stoned.

        • Rudy R

          Is that a yes or no.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          In the 21st century yes. In the Bronze Age no.

        • Greg G.

          Then it is not objectively moral. Why did God command it in the Bible?

        • Rudy R

          So you’re a moral relativist. Unusual position for a Christian.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Not at all. I believe what is best for the greater good is the more moral of choices. In an era with 40% child mortality and constant food insecurity (not to mention surrounding hostile Bronze Age civilizations) it is paramount that the providers and protectors of society avoid conflict among themselves.

          This is achieved by reducing both competition for mates and anxiety that the males might be cuckolded by unfaithful mates. Society combats this with patriarchy. Nature solves the problem with higher sexual dimorphism. Both are present in civilizations like this that face severe evolutionary pressures.

          This is not to say that sexual immortality is not a threat to society today. With the somewhat recent decline in monogamy men are inclined to “pump and dump” while women and children languish in single parent households and the poverty that accompanies them. Still, this is not an existential threat and as such capital punishment is in no way justified.

        • Rudy R

          Rudy R: So you don’t agree with stoning?
          Luther Dorn (deplorable): To quote Dylan, everybody must get stoned.
          Rudy R: Is that a yes or no.
          Luther Dorn (deplorable): In the 21st century yes. In the Bronze Age no.
          Rudy R: So you’re a moral relativist. Unusual position for a Christian.
          Luther Dorn (deplorable): Not at all.

          Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
          Moral relativism: the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.
          Divine command theory:: morality is somehow dependent upon God, and that moral obligation consists in obedience to God’s commands.

          Which is it? Based on your comments, it would appear you are a moral relativist.

          I believe what is best for the greater good is the more moral of choices.

          What is the greater good?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I am saying the morality of an action depends on the circumstances under which it was done. NOT by the standpoint one takes. Killing a person in self defense is moral. Killing a person because they made you mad is not.

          The greater good in this case is the very survival of a civilization.

        • Greg G.

          That is a pretty good example of moral relativism. Killing isn’t necessarily wrong, the morality is relative to the reason you kill.

        • Rudy R

          We mostly agree on morality, although we part ways on patriarchy. It’s just unusual that a Christian admits to subjective morality.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Probably haven’t seen a lot of us discussing evolutionary pressures either. I think we agree on patriarchy in our current environment though. For instance, the Bible says the man is the head of the household and generally speaking men are better suited for it just as generally speaking women are better at nurturing children.

          However I have a friend that is a stay at home dad and his wife is head of household. Works great for them. The important thing is the division of labor and having a leader for the family. Anyone who says women cannot be leaders must have never heard of Margaret Thatcher. Like her or not she was a formidable person.

        • Rudy R

          However I have a friend that is a stay at home dad and his wife is head of household. Works great for them.

          Patriarchy had it’s role in society, but as you attest, females can be as effective as the dominant power in politics and the home. You must understand that as an atheist, I do not believe the Bible is the word of God or is inspired by God. The Bible just codified man-made societal norms of the times and as such, have many out-dated morals and social norms, patriarchy being one of those.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          BTW You do realize Bob Dylan was not talking about throwing rocks at people right? It was a joke.

        • Rudy R

          Yes, I do realize the humor. BTW, that’s the only chuckle I’ve gotten out of this conversation.

        • Bob Jase

          Whims like slavery, genocide, forced conversion or death, witch burning, holy wars, child labor, misogyny, stealing children/land/possessions, feudalism, divine right of kings, those sort of whims?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Pretty much as all are against the morals taught by Jesus

        • Greg G.

          In what verses did Jesus renounce any of those?

        • Uh, but the morality defined by “the fickle whims of society” is the better one. The Bible supports slavery and genocide. Modern morality gives civil rights to all adults.

          Or do you want to return to good ol’ fashioned OT values?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          The Bible limits slavery while the cultures i referenced, from both biblical and modern times, permitted and even encouraged at times killing your slaves.

          The Bible does not support genocide. The OT examples were all specific instances where God made the call. It does not say “Do this on your own” The NT says to love your enemy which precludes genocide. Both of the societies I mentioned made genocide the national policy.

          There is no logical way to say their morality is superior to the Bible’s

        • Greg G.

          The only limitation is that permanent slaves could be bought from foreigners. Hebrews could be indentured for six years, then released with livestock. Leviticus 25:44-46 explains this and how the fellow Hebrews were not to be treated harshly but the slaves bought with money were excluded from that restriction as the passage states they could be treated like slaves.

        • Bob Jase

          It must be spring, already cherries are being picked.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Context is not cherry picking.

        • The Bible limits slavery while the cultures i referenced, from both biblical and modern times, permitted and even encouraged at times killing your slaves.

          Read the Good Book, my friend. It makes clear that God is A-OK with slavery for life.
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/04/yes-biblical-slavery-was-the-same-as-american-slavery-2/

          The Bible does not support genocide.

          When the most moral being in the Bible demands genocide, how can you say that it doesn’t support genocide??

          The OT examples were all specific instances where God made the call. It does not say “Do this on your own”

          Sorry, where is “Do as I say, not as I do” in the Bible? We’re made in God’s image, remember? If God doesn’t follow the morality he demands of humans, what does he follow? Or is it “Whatever God does is right”?

          The NT says to love your enemy which precludes genocide.

          Should’ve thought about that before you adopted the OT as scripture.

          Both of the societies I mentioned made genocide the national policy.

          Genocide was a tool in the Canaanite conquest. Sounds like national policy to me.

          There is no logical way to say their morality is superior to the Bible’s

          And vice versa, apparently.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I have read the Bible. Every passage that deals with slavery places limitations on it. Disagree? List one that doesn’t.

          Those who would condemn the Bible because of the moral codes in the OT conveniently forget that it was far superior to the moral norms of the period it came from.

          Fair enough, but let me ask this. What do you think the policy of the Canaanites would have been had they won?

        • I have read the Bible.

          Excellent! Then perhaps you remember Lev. 25:44-46 that says that slavery for life (no, not indentured servitude) is acceptable.

          Slavery in the Bible is pretty much what slavery in America was.

          Those who would condemn the Bible because of the moral codes in the OT conveniently forget that it was far superior to the moral norms of the period it came from.

          I guess I have higher standards for your omniscient supernatural being than you do. You should upgrade your god—this guy is a dick.

          What do you think the policy of the Canaanites would have been had they won?

          Who cares? No, let’s not change the subject away from the abysmal morality Yahweh shows in the OT. He’s just like any king of the time could be.

          It must just be me, but I have higher standards of morality for the 21st century than those that came from the Bronze Age.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          It says that it is only acceptable with non Israelites. That is a limitation. Further if the slavery of nom Israelites was banned then no prisoners would be taken and enemies would simply be killed.

          Again, this moral code is superior to every other one extant in this period. Judging it by modern standards is not logical..

        • It says that it is only acceptable with non Israelites. That is a limitation.

          That’s nice. Also irrelevant. Are you confused about the topic? Your “omni-benevolent” god set out the rules for how slavery works. That’s a problem.

          Further if the slavery of nom Israelites was banned then no prisoners would be taken and enemies would simply be killed.

          Pathetic.

          You do realize that God can do anything, right? Comparing the Israelites against other tribes doesn’t matter since only one of them had a perfect god as a big brother. Yet again, I have high standards for god, while you’re always apologizing for him and his brutal actions. You need an upgrade.

          Again, this moral code is superior to every other one extant in this period. Judging it by modern standards is not logical.

          I’m going farther than that: I’m comparing it against a perfect standard, that of a perfect god.

          Since the Bible is very, very far from that, the conclusion is obvious.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          It says that it is only acceptable with non Israelites. That is a limitation.
          That’s nice. Also irrelevant. Are you confused about the topic?
          ———-
          Apparently you are. You were challenging my contention that every reference to slavery in the Bible placed limitations on it.

        • You were challenging my contention that every reference to slavery in the Bible placed limitations on it.

          Nope. Uninteresting.

          My conclusion is that God’s actions and rules in the OT make him a dick. Are we on the same page?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          You were challenging my contention that every reference to slavery in the Bible placed limitations on it.

          Nope. Uninteresting
          __________

          Which is it? Are you denying reality or just uninterested in it?

        • I’m pretty sure I just answered that.

          My conclusion is that God’s actions and rules in the OT make him a dick. Are we on the same page?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Pretty sure you didn’t. The section you cited to show that references to slavery did not always limit the practice did indeed limit the practice to specific groups.

          As those groups would simply be killed if they had no value as slaves the law actually saves lives.

          As the law saves lives the author of it is not a dick.

        • Deplorable Luther: Are you denying reality or just uninterested in it?
          Goin’ to Hell Bob: Uninteresting.

          Yep, I answered it. Read more gooder next time.

          The section you cited to show that references to slavery did not always limit the practice did indeed limit the practice to specific groups.

          I am uninterested in this tangent. You can chat about whether every sentence about slavery had a limitation in it with someone else. I have nothing to contribute.

          What I do enjoy, however, is pointing out what an asshole Yahweh/Elohim was in the Old Testament. Let’s talk about that instead.

          As those groups would simply be killed if they had no value as slaves the law actually saves lives.
          As the law saves lives the author of it is not a dick.

          Translated: “Yeah, but Yahweh’s rules weren’t quite as bad as those of other tribes!!! :-)”

          Sure, let’s assume that. This is the point where the atheist stops trying to educate the Christian about what “omniscient” and “omnipotent” and “omni-benevolent” mean and moves on to ridicule.Why is it that the atheist takes the Bible’s claims seriously, while the Christian can’t? And what does that tell you about the untenability of the Christian position?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          I am fully aware what the prefix omni means. Do you understand what the term free will means? Yoy appear to be selective about which biblical claims you take seriously.

        • How is human free will relevant to God’s acting like a Bronze Age tyrant?

          Yoy appear to be selective about which biblical claims you take seriously.

          Where does the Bible say “free will”?

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Tyrant? You just pointed out that God was omnipotent alluding to the fact that He could, if he desired, impose His will over an unwilling people.

          That is the mentality of a tyrant

        • I have no idea how you think this extricates God from his OT immorality.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          We obviously have different opinions on what is moral. Just out of curiosity what is your opinion on abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia?

        • We obviously have different opinions on what is moral.

          Do we?? I assumed we were on the same page with respect to genocide, slavery and rape. Not so?

          And we mustn’t forget the more interesting question: God’s immorality in the OT.

          Just out of curiosity what is your opinion on abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia?

          More interesting would be God’s opinions on those issues. Good Christians are of several minds on each of these.

        • nowhere does it say the will is free… not even you do.

  • Len

    … How can science continue if even scientists start to believe this about their minds? . . .

    1) Who says scientists belive this?
    2) By the same “reasoning”, how can religious believers continue?