Classic Comment #3

A friend who has had an undeservedly long job search left the following comment on Facebook:

“I’m pretty sure job-hunting will play a key role in hell.”

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26 Responses to Classic Comment #3

  1. Andy says:

    Fisher of Men,

    Lovely. Your fishing for men I presume is your intention to fish for the Kingdom of God by reaching the souls of men with the gospel. However, you are fishing for atheism and agnosticism by making people read your blog and conclude that the gospel you proclaim is B.S. So I want to congratulate you for making atheists out of many mediocre Christians and confirmning the absurdity of Christian faith for those who don’t believe.

    I really love how every other religious view other than your own interpretation of the Bible is false and leads to hell. That message is the fastest growing and most successful atheist maker known to man! Keep up the good work.

    Your morbid fascination with hell is also very interesting and tells more about you than it does about the gospel. Have you ever sat down for a whole day and gazed into the eyes of your own child and considered the possibility that he or she stands the chance of being damned and tortured in hell for eternity? How does that make you feel? Does it cause you to wonder about the nature of the God you proclaim? If your child became apostate and an unbeliever (and the chances are good by even the Bible’s own demographics “narrow is the way… and broad is the way….”)what would you say about hell then? Would you conclude God is just and the child made his or her choice and must live the consequences?

    If so, I suggest you see a psychologist to get a handle on the disturbed emotional state of life that exists within you towards your own offspring.

    You make it so easy to dispense with the notion of hell that a great thank you is owed to you for liberating people from that terrible doctrine of the fear of hell. According to your religious beliefs every man, woman and child goes to hell! The reason is if I choose your gospel and avoid hell (as you proclaim), well fear not, I am still damned to the hell proclaimed by all the other religions you claim to be false. On the other hand, if I choose their religion (i,.e. Catholic, Mormon, Muslim), then I go to hell according to your beliefs. So somebody’s hell applies to me no matter what I choose to believe!!

    Thank you for making it so clear to everyone that your entire message is bologna. I have a better idea; forsake the fear of hell all together, it’s all made up by the religious to scare you into their fold.

    Here’s a challenge for your fundamentalist mind; Name one single act done or statement said by a Christian believer (or a religion)that could not have been done or said by a complete unbeliever. There are none. That should show you pretty clearly that the whole entire religious enterprise is just that -an enterprise. Completely socially contrived and man made.

    And just for fun, name a wicked thing done or said by a believer done in the name of their religion. The list will fill up quickly.

    Happy fishing for the other team.
    Andy

  2. Bill says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Every creation has a creator. That means the universe has a universe Maker. He has a law, and we’ve all broken it. For example lying is against the law. So is stealing, lust, taking His name in vain and dishonoring our parents. Clearly, no one is guiltless.

    The penalty for breaking any of the laws is hell. God would be perfectly just in sending us all to hell, however He provided a way to get to heaven. He didn’t have to do that. He is infinitely merciful in providing 1 way.

    I’ve never understood the accusation that God is intolerant, because He doesn’t accept the myriad ways men have proposed to deal with their sin. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Are you grateful to have 1 way to get to heaven, or are you going to bang on the pearly gates and demand entrance on your own terms. Hopefully you will see the folly of the latter before it’s too late.

    As far as whose hell you’re going to, I’ve found that really only Islam and biblical Christianity have a hell where unbelievers will go. Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons all say that you’ll either have another chance, or that even atheists can end up in heaven. Besides, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says. You have to determine the truth and submit to it, regardless of whether you like it or whether someone else threatens you with hell.

    As far as who can do good deeds and who can do evil, you’re relying on Christianity to even ask the question. To say there’s good and evil means there is an absolute moral standard beyond ourselves. If there is an absolute moral standard, there must be a standard Giver. Who is the Giver, Andy?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  3. Andy says:

    Bill,

    You still didn’t really face the question about reconciling a loving God with torture for eternity. And what if it were your own child?

    I am curious about your the assumptions that are underneath your theological beliefs. Why is it assumed by you that everyone goes to hell unless they receive forgiveness and salvation on God’s terms? Why hell at all? Do you see reality through the prism of either punishment or reward and that’s all? Why punishment? What kind of Bronze age belief system is that?

    Also, why your god? why should someone choose a bronze age god who appears to primitive and superstitious bedouin pagans and tells them to ignore all the other gods and instead choose only him and flee to a different land? this god then demands a child sacrifice, genital mutilation, genocide and murder of rival bedouin tribes and describes himself as fiercely jealous against all the other gods. Why should someone choose that one with the threat that if you do not then you will suffer misfortune in this life and be tortured once you are dead for the rest of eternity?

    What about all the other gods with their demands of allegiance to them? Why not the Egyptian sun god Ra? Why not the Persian god Mithras? Why is it the Hebrew god YHVH? History givs us at least 30,000 divine deities all submitting resumes for the job of receiving human worship. Why does yours stand out from the thousands of others that emerge in the literature of the bronze age?

    My point was that if I chose to embrace and Worship Ra, then your beliefs send me to hell. If I choose your YHVH, then the other gods send me to their hell. So who is to be believed and why must their appeals to worship carry with them the threat of torture if I do not? Surely, can you not see how for an atheist or agnostic looking at all the invitations for religious belief it is absurd to choose 1 of the 30,0000 deities? Or why would an unbeliever who takes a look at all the options not rule out all the primitive bronze age gods with their threats of hell and torture if you do not choose them and instead choose a more modern and loving belief system? Why not Unitarian? they seem rather nice and sweet and typically do not run around telling people that if you don’t choose their god you and your children will be tortured after you die.

    And to your last point about standard giver, you make a mistake in assuming that atheists do not recognize right and wrong without appealing to an otherworldly deity. They do recognize that. It is obvious that there is an innate standard in our species no matter what a person believes or if they believe the 30,000 deities are made up and there are actually none. If your standard of right and wrong demands that a God made it then how do you explain what would happen if two atheists standing on a sidewalk saw a child on a bike about to ride past them into the path of an oncoming bus? Morality is innate within our species otherwise we would not have made it this far in evolution. If we didn’t believe that murder is wrong we would have died out like the 98% of every species that ever lived did. Moral Standards are innate to us and do not require one of the gods to provide it.

    Lastly, I once again challenge you to my above challenge: Name a single thing done or said by a believer that could not have been done or said by an unbeliever.

    Cheers.
    Andy

  4. Bill says:

    Andy,

    You still didn’t really face the question about reconciling a loving God with torture for eternity. And what if it were your own child?

    God is loving, but that is not His only quality. He’s also just. For example, say someone murdered a loved one of yours. Would it be loving for the judge to simply let that person go? You could maybe say it’s loving to the murderer, but it’s not loving to you or the rest of society. A good judge isn’t concerned with love, but with justice.

    My job in raising my child and disciplining him isn’t the same as God’s job in meeting out justice. Hell isn’t corrective; it is punishment. God created some people for heaven and some people for hell (Romans 9:20-23).

    Why is it assumed by you that everyone goes to hell unless they receive forgiveness and salvation on God’s terms?

    Because we have all sinned against God. God loves people, so murderers are punished. God loves the truth, so liars are punished. If you don’t receive His forgiveness, you receive His justice.

    Why hell at all?

    Hell is God’s place of punishment.

    Do you see reality through the prism of either punishment or reward and that’s all?

    No.

    Why punishment?

    As the Creator, God has established a standard for you to live up to. He has the right to do that as your Creator. You have broken the law, and just like any guilty criminal, you must be punished. Justice must be done.

    What kind of Bronze age belief system is that?

    It’s either true or it’s false.

    Also, why your god?

    No other belief system explains the world we live in.

    What about all the other gods with their demands of allegiance to them?

    Their demands are either true or false, and you must decide.

    History givs us at least 30,000 divine deities all submitting resumes for the job of receiving human worship.

    Hindus have 300,000,000 gods, so I’m not sure where you’re getting your number. Are you saying there are 30,000 that threaten hell?

    Why does yours stand out from the thousands of others that emerge in the literature of the bronze age?

    You’re asking the same question repeatedly.

    My point was that if I chose to embrace and Worship Ra, then your beliefs send me to hell. If I choose your YHVH, then the other gods send me to their hell. So who is to be believed and why must their appeals to worship carry with them the threat of torture if I do not?

    Your question assumes that contradicting claims from different gods can all be true. That doesn’t make any sense. Either the claims of Christ are true, or they are false.

    Surely, can you not see how for an atheist or agnostic looking at all the invitations for religious belief it is absurd to choose 1 of the 30,0000 deities?

    I don’t see the absurdity. The claims of 29,999 are false. That doesn’t bring into question the credibility of the true God. There is one truth, and you are charged with finding it.

    Or why would an unbeliever who takes a look at all the options not rule out all the primitive bronze age gods with their threats of hell and torture if you do not choose them and instead choose a more modern and loving belief system?

    If you choose a more modern and loving belief system does that make it true?

    Why not Unitarian?

    What’s the point of Unitarianism? Does it make a difference in your life whether you live as a Unitarian or as an atheist? Are you choosing something because the beliefs appeal to you or because it’s true?

    It is obvious that there is an innate standard in our species…

    Is it obvious? It doesn’t seem obvious to me. Why is it wrong to kill 6,000,000 Jews? Did Hitler have the same innate standard as you? What if someone doesn’t have the same innate standard as you? Do we all determine right and wrong by our own innate standard or by your innate standard?

    If you say that it always has been and always will be wrong to rape (for example), then you are appealing to an absolute standard. What human or group of humans has the power to establish an absolute standard? If there is an absolute standard, there must be someone with the power to establish an absolute standard, right?

    Lastly, I once again challenge you to my above challenge: Name a single thing done or said by a believer that could not have been done or said by an unbeliever.

    I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. No Christian claims that a believer is superior to an unbeliever. I could name some things, but they would not impress you.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  5. Andy says:

    Bill,

    The challenge is to name something done or said by a believer that would give evidence that it is clear a God was the one backing it up. Everything religious people do is mere social enterprise and could equally be done by a non believer (i.e. feed the poor, run a homeless shelter, start an orphanage or a hospital, etc). So, the result is no evidence that gives a reasonable mind the ability to choose the Hebrew God YHVH over the Persian god Mithras. Anybody can do or claim what the Christians and Jews do… there is no supernatural backing to it. So why can the atheist not say that your god is simply one among many? Your life has no more nobility in it than the Hindu lady in India. Both of you feel your beliefs are true, both of you pray, both believe the prayers are heard and answered by your gods, and both of you probably live noble and good lives. So what evidence clearly establishes yours to be true and hers to be false?

    By the way, can you answer for me what you believe will happen to that Hindu Lady in India after she dies as a believing Hindu?

    Andy

  6. Bill says:

    Andy,

    Now you’re the one not answering my questions.

    I will rephrase my answer to your challenge, and add one point. Christians don’t believe that you will become a superior person when you receive Jesus. The deeds you deem as being good can indeed be done by people of nearly any belief.

    Secondly, I believe there are things that Christians do that no one else can do. However, if I were to list those things, they would not impress you, and your inner moral standard may even deem them to be wrong.

    My additional point is that ideas and religious beliefs widely held by a society certainly do lead to consequences. India is mostly Hindu, and it is (by almost any measure) an undesirable place to live. People starve to death while juicy beef roams freely in the street.

    Another example would be countries whose beliefs are officially atheistic. The USSR is a place where the number of people killed by the government dwarfs Hitler’s efforts.

    Finally, Europe and America were largely Christian at one point, and that is where freedom, invention, and prosperity have thrived.

    Anyone, including your hypothetical Hindu lady, who rejects Christ will get exactly what they’ve earned. They will be punished for any laws they’ve broken.

    What do you think will happen to your Hindu lady?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  7. Andy says:

    Bill,

    The challenge is an important one. It has nothing to do with proving Christians superior. That is not what the challenge is meant to reveal. It is meant to challenge you to to name any act done or thing said by believers that could not be done or said by unbelievers. In other words, name a single thing that proves your religion to be supernatural and empowered by God that cannot be explained by natural human action. Something that is not just a circular argument that says well the bible is true because it said Jesus rose from the dead for example.

    Or is your belief system simply a human creation just like all the other thousands of belief systems and claims? Seriously, what do Christians say or do that cannot be done or said by an total unbeliever?

    As for the unanswered question, I think you had several questions that seemed to me to be comments. I could be mistaken, so if you ask me again, I will answer..

    What will be the Hindu Lady’s punishment after she dies? 6 years of eternity with no sunshine, then back to normal? what in your view is her punishment?

    The USSR was a place ready for a dictator due to the docile religious acceptance of the Russian Orthodox people. You will recall that historically Russia was the most successful example of a nation converting to Christianity which did not prevent it from accepting the Stalin dictatorship. Religion was used to control the Russian people by the STalinists hijacking the powerful Russian Orthodox church… so much for Christianity giving freedom and prosperity. Dictator class 101 will teach all would be dictators that success comes from choosing a people already made docile by religion. All the christian churches in dictatorship or fascist countries were complicit in and used to gain control of the people.

    The success of the United STates is due to the wall of seperation that Jefferson put in that made for the first amendment guaranteeing the seperation bewteen church and state. only nation anywhere to officially do that keeping the state out of churches business and churches from controlling the state with their silly ideas of a christian nation.. The USA is a case where reason and rational logic rather than religious superstition set it up for success. It’s why atheists fight to keep that wall of seperation in tact from the rabid religious right in America who would rather turn the nation into a theocracy like Iran. The USA case you claim to be a proof for the truth of Christianity is actually a case made for keeping silly religious belief in the privacy of churches or personal belief. In the public sphere reason and rational thought (which suits the atheist fine) prevail and provide the success. European Christianity always produced an over reaching by churchmen which turned the nations into being led by christian emperors, monarchs who were head of church and state etc. These produced religious and holy wars everywhere they emerged. Misery and suffering resulted. Popes trying to run countries, kings trying to run churches …etc all produce crusades, wars, strife and division. This is why Europe today is rejecting its Christianity in favor of secularism. It sees the success of America in it’s secularism which is protected by the first amendment.

    Face it Bill… You are latching onto a bronze age superstitious belief system with dubious claims, backed up by no supernatural power, and no different than the myriads of other bronze age superstitions and beliefs that emerged when our human species was still in its fearful stage of its evolution. Religion is merely the way an afraid species deals with its fears… it creates gods, human sacrifices, worship as a way to cope with its’ fears before it had the science to understand that disease and floods were not the wrath of the gods but scientific phenomenon.

    Thats why religious belief is so diverse. It reflects the diverse way the species created a belief system in its various geographic locations. They are all created by the human species…yours included.

    When these diverse groups began to encounter one another, out of fear and insecurity they told their neighbors that their religious beliefs were absurd and inferior. It’s the age old human game of gaining superiority over others, “your beliefs are wrong, and if you don’t take ours misfortune will strike you.” We are an insecure species compensating for it by acquiring superiority over others. it’s exactly what you are attempting on your website… “on fire so others will not be..”

    when reason, logic and science took hold it rendered the bronze age superstitions mostly irrelevant, or as lovely poetic and historic viewpoints that one could choose to believe in, or not, in order to give some meaning and ritual to their lives. This is I believe why America succeeds. It gives a place where reason prevails while respecting the rights of people to hold any religious belief privately that they wish. if it’s belief in Homer’s Iliad as truth, or Shakespeare, or Joseph Smith’s stories, or the Hebrew God’s account of creation, then fine. But the wall of seperation remains. Meanwhile science explains things like origins and religious belief can decorate someone’s life if they feel it gives them meaning. But the wars over whose poetry or rituals are the right ones are wars better left to the bronze age where they were needed. Otherwise we handicap people’s ability to think by giving them silly and foolish ideas like a flat earth, the sun revolving around the earth, or a 6000 year old planet. One may believe the earth is flat as a religious belief if they want, but in the U.S. they may not teach it in public schools. There, reason and science will teach what it has evidence to demonstrate by experiment. Hence the enormous success of the USA.

    So I invite you to emerge from the bronze age Bill, give up fighting their old superstitious wars over whose poetry is correct, come join the reasonable age of tolerance and if you need religious belief to give life meaning then fine… that is o.k., but why not choose something nice or attractive like love and understanding rather than torture of the dead and human sacrifice.

  8. Bill says:

    Andy,

    I’ve responded to your challenge, and I reject it as a measure of the veracity of Christianity. You’re asking that Christianity prove itself by doing something that it doesn’t claim to do.

    I will tell you what the Hindu lady’s punishment is when you answer my question about what you think happens to her when she dies.

    So, you say the Russian Orthodox citizens of the USSR and pre-Soviet Russia are to blame for the atheist principles that led to the deaths of 70 million people? Surely I don’t have to explain the problem with that.

    You may want to re-read your high school U.S. History book as your statements are completely false. Jefferson didn’t write the Constitution or put anything in the first amendment. He wasn’t even in the country at the time. There is no “wall of separation” in the Constitution.

    As for rationality and logic setting up America for success, I would completely agree. Those are Christian ideas made possible by the God of the Bible. Atheism offers no explanation for the existence of the laws of logic as they are immaterial.

    That leads us back to my questions. There are moral absolutes, so there must be a moral absolute standard Giver. Who is the standard Giver?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  9. Andy says:

    Bill,

    The Hindu lady most likely passes away in peace and is not likely conscious of any afterlife unless there is something beyond the grave of which we as a species know nothing. Without the evidence of any afterlife beyond the last minute flashing of the human brains chemicals, we cease to exist not unlike all the other life forms. Short of any evidence or reason to believe whose picture of the afterlife we should believe we really don’t know other than to conclude that nothing happens after she dies. So my offense against her is to offer that her religious views of her afterlife given by her religion are not likely true and she will cease to exist like all other humans regardless of what poetry we choose to believe to describe what we hope the afterlife to be.

    But, according to YOUR religious views, what could be the offense you offer to her? What do you say happens to her upon her death?

    You have not responded to my challenge. You refuse it. This leaves the question outstanding on the table as to “why Christianity?” and why not any of the thousands upon thousands of religious or spiritual viewpoints. If a genuine seeker asks you what causes your religion to stand out among all the myriad of others, do you say to them “I don’t accept the basis of that question”? If so, how does that “fish for men”?

    I’d hate to correct you on the First Amendment history because I’m not even American. I’m Canadian. The forerunner of the First Amendment was the Virginia Statute written by Thomas Jefferson (and passed on January 16 1786), He was one of the most effective of the US founding fathers and he was a supporter of religious freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. He is considered one of if not the most important and best American Presidents. As you know, similar to most founding fathers he was a Deist and not a Biblical Christian. His are probably the most prominent fingerprints in the shaping of the American experience and it’s philosophical ideals as well as its’ republicanism. Secular nation in its very DNA would be an accurate description of the American birth and life.

    As for the USSR, perhaps a vigorous Russian people not accustomed to the god like status of it’s pre-revolution czars, would have refused the ascent to power by the communists at all costs. I assume the American people would refuse communism to the point of bloodshed. Americans simply do not accept whatever is handed to them be it by religion or by political party. Hardly a docile people. Americans are wired to have a notion of fighting for their independance. This is the same independance that Jefferson was so passionate about. It is also the independance from the ridiculous monarchical state AND religious power of kings. Americans seperate the church from the state in order to keep the nation free from religious dictates and the churches from state coercion. This is opposite of what the Russian people were all about. Too much influence given to the religion of a nation causes the nation to abuse it or use it to their own ends. The religion in question tends to view this state favor as a license to do and get away with anything because it sees itself under divine mandate and government blessing. When that view is lent to the state which endorses the religion, all kinds of vile corruption and abuse of power can happen because an already docile people simply accept it as a form of divine will.

    And as a last point of interest demonstrating the genuine love Christians have for one another, the Baptists of Danbury Conneticut wrote to Jefferson asking for protection of their religious freedoms. If you recall why you will know that it was not protection from the atheists or the Deists like Jefferson, it was from the Congregationalists of Danbury Conneticut who would really have given the Baptists a rough time of they had gotten any hold of civil power.

    Lastly, the moral standard giver is the human species itself which finds in its innate being the understanding between right and wrong. It knows that as a species it will not get very far if it practices murder and theft, it will live in conflict if it constantly practices rape and pillage. It instinctively knows that its young need to be protected from harm, and from incest. These morals are generally understood across all cultures. That does not prevent these things from taking place, but they occur against the better knowledge of the species itself. Other morals are a result of social conditioning and take place over time in a social context of reason, discourse, proposal, and debate.

    I believe that covers all the answers you required of me. That leaves my challenge to you as the only outstanding matter Bill.

    Cheers.
    Andy

  10. Bill says:

    Andy,

    The Hindu lady is cast into the lake of fire where there is eternal, conscious torment. She will beg for a drop of water, and there will be no relief. She will weep and gnash her teeth for all eternity. This is also what awaits you as you live in open rebellion to your Creator, denying the truth in favor of your own sinful desires.

    Do you think having church services in the U.S. Capital building complies with your idea of separation of church and state? What about if the U.S. Congress voted to purchase Bibles for distribution to Indians? Is it possible that we are using a different definition of “separation of church and state” than he who coined the term?

    Do you really believe that the human species establishes moral absolutes? That doesn’t seem very absolute to me. If you look down through history, there have been very different beliefs. When someone placed a newborn baby on the arms of an idol of Molech to be burned to death in exchange for favor from him, did they know that they were doing wrong? Do you think it’s wrong? If someone lived in that society and all his neighbors did the same, where does he go to consult the absolute standards established by the human species?

    Your standard is completely arbitrary and useless. That standard can be flipped on its head and used for any purpose. You cannot tell right from wrong without borrowing from the God of the Bible. Your worldview is inadequate for describing the world in which we find ourselves. It is impossible that anything other than Christianity is true.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  11. Andy says:

    And the challenge…? Does it go unanswered?

    Back to our Indian Lady for a moment. You have clearly answered what you believe will happen to her. Torture of the dead. Does this same punishment apply to her if she lived in India in the year 785 A.D.? (that would pretty much guarantee she never encountered a Christian missionary)

    You cite the case of offering babies to Molech. It’s called human sacrifice and was used even with children. It is in your religious tradition too. Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was prepared to follow through with it which tells us what people will do if they believe they have divine warrant for it. Anything at all. So much for moral absolutes in your religion. Not to mention the fact that your religion includes god ordained commission of genocide, pillage and plunder of Amalekites, Cananites, Hittites, etc. not just against soldiers of those tribes but their women and children as well. Now that is extreme Jihad before radical Muslims ever came along. Also you have child genital mutilation, and ultimately human sacrifice to atone for sin. The god in your religion sanctions and then commands murder of innocents (so how can you talk about unchangeable moral absolutes if your religion and its’ history bends those absolutes by divine warrant when and where it chooses?).

    Then murder is forbiden in the 10 commandments which bear a remarkable similarity to the earlier written code of Hammurabi in Mesopotamia including laws about slain oxen. So morality is clearly evident in cultures and their laws that predate the Old Testament laws. Obviously some things are self evident, until people believe they have a divine warrant to committ them. You citing the case with Molech proves my point here not yours. My point is that religion will lead people to do the most heinous immoral things because they believe their god told them to, your god told the Israelites to destroy the Amalekites as well as other tribes and including their elderly, their women, and their children. Your refusal to worship Molech damns you to their fires of punishment and your religion requires the exact same thing. Can you not see that to an unbeliever, it’s all the same immoral mess. It’s one bronze age violent religion versus another and those who refuse must be tortured. Burn them if they do not worship. Gosh Bill, at this moment even Wahabi militant Al Qaida type Islam looks merciful and kind.

    So what makes your faith claims any better than worship of Molech?

    Andy

  12. Bill says:

    Andy,

    You can keep mentioning your daunting challenge as often as you like. That I had to repeat my response 3 or 4 times makes me think you never read what I wrote about it. I don’t feel like repeating it again.

    You’ve judged God by your arbitrary moral standard and He comes up lacking. I’m not too surprised. I can design a test in a way that gives me the ability to pick and choose who passes and fails. That’s the problem with having a completely arbitrary standard, and it’s the reason atheism doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny.

    You may have your own moral standard, but to apply your standard to anyone else is inconsistent with your atheism. Why is it wrong for the ancient pagans to sacrifice their children to Molech? You may come up with many reasons why it’s good for people not to murder, but why should those pagans submit to your reasons? How could they submit to your reasons? They had their own arbitrary reasons for committing that act. Why is their arbitrary standard inferior to your arbitrary standard?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  13. Andy says:

    Because the species will not survive if it succumbs to murder as acceptable. Natural selection and the drive for life causes a species to recognize innate moral standards. It’s simple self preservation and exists powerfully in our species. That’s why.

    Cheers.
    Andy

  14. Andy says:

    Bill,

    An atheist wouldn’t be judging god by an arbitrary moral standard at all. That’s left to the believers. An atheist doesn’t judge someone who is not real and who doesn’t exist. That wound approach grounds to be psychologically evaluated as not normal. The atheist is free from the potential of resenting God, anger at Him, or being torn up by the dilemma of why bad things happen to good people. An atheist does not have those internal struggles. Bad things happen because we live a life that is difficult and survival is not guaranteed. It is what it is. No one to blame and no one to come wave a magic wand.

    The other thing atheists don’t have to live with is an internal psychological divide between them as the “chosen race” or “holy nation” or “chosen ones” and all the other humans who are unsaved. Do you have any idea what it personally feels like to not have that artificial divide and all its inherent struggles and loneliness or the accompanying arrogance? Do you have any idea how wonderful it feels to be just another normal member of a species that fights for it’s survival and along the way has a sense of humor, irony, fun, love, and the bond of a brother or sisterhood that puts us all in the same boat together? No chosen ones having to “save” the damned ones…

    Atheism stands up to scrutiny because it is a position that welcomes challenge and test. It is to say that while we cannot be sure that a god of some sort (or creator) does not exist (he, she, it or they may in fact exist beyond our evidence); what we CAN be sure of is that there is absolutely NO evidence that he does exist. If someone makes a claim then produce the evidence. It is a position of humility that is open minded to the evidence presented. It is a standard of evidence that is requested by the atheist. And you have nothing other than faith claims that anybody could make.

    That’s a far cry from the unreasonable certainty that believers have and especially the dogmatic “against the face of evidence to the contrary” that fundamentalists have.

    What amazes me about the fundamentalist mindset (evident in groups like yours and in fundamentalist Islam). is that when you get challenged to produce the evidence that the unbeliever asks for you cannot or refuse to do it. You still refuse my challenge and so it still sits on the table.

    I don’t know why you have a weblog then. If you are going to go out and print in the public domain claims for superstitious non-evidenciary beliefs of the existence of Celestial rulers then the normal rules of public discourse that most of the rest of us abide by also apply to you. That you publish in public and then refuse to accept the challenges to your claims is quite amazing to me and says either a lot about your belief system or alot about you. I’ll leave that to your readership to decide.

    you: “Your standard is completely arbitrary and useless. That standard can be flipped on its head and used for any purpose. You cannot tell right from wrong without borrowing from the God of the Bible. Your worldview is inadequate for describing the world in which we find ourselves. It is impossible that anything other than Christianity is true. ”

    The last sentence you wrote has a measure of desperation to it that I think you can imagine makes any serious enquirer to your religion pass right on by. The innate moral standard in the human species evolved together with its’ evolving biology and growing consciousness… all things that evolution would bring about in the right conditions. This is true in all ethnicities and races as well as cultures. When you say it is impossible to have morals without borrowing from the god of the bible you walk yourself into a huge trap. Cultures and societies all over the earth and all through history had moral standards and they never even knew a bible existed. They expressed the universal moral standards innate within us through their own religious yearnings and understanding or through their wisdom literature or poetry. The golden rule in some form is evident everywhere you go. “you don’t really want to treat others in a manner that you would not like them to treat you.” This crosses all cultures and is in tact in places where the Bible never visited. It’s universal within our species.

    The science produced evidence for the origins of life, the cosmos, and the species can be looked to because it goes through an enormous amount of critical test. Every theory is put out and subjected to peer review, scientific test, analysis, and invites scrutiny. That is how the theories are refined, deepened, or discarded. On your blog, you make claims about the infereority of all other religions than your own, and you do the same even to religious denominations within Christianity that do not agree with your own viewpoint.

    You do all this without evidence, and when challenged to provide evidence that shows your claims to be nore than merely man made, you refuse to do it. Why make claims then? Why not take down the blog and free up space on the internet for more serious discourse?

    These are honest questions Bill,
    Cheers.
    Andy

  15. Bill says:

    Hi Andy,

    Unfortunately I’m not going to have time to respond completely to your comments. I’d just like to let you know that I do intend to get to them.

    You said, “Because the species will not survive if it succumbs to murder as acceptable. Natural selection and the drive for life causes a species to recognize innate moral standards. It’s simple self preservation and exists powerfully in our species. That’s why.”

    You’ve chosen your reasons why murder is wrong. Why should anyone else care about your reasons? This is completely arbitrary.

    If the world we live in has moral absolutes, yet atheism doesn’t provide an explanation for their existence, then atheism is not true. Only Christianity provides an explanation for the world we live in. You borrow everything you have from God to deny His existence.

    I’ll catch you later.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  16. Andy says:

    Hi Bill,

    you said: “You’ve chosen your reasons why murder is wrong. Why should anyone else care about your reasons? This is completely arbitrary.”

    Nobody else “should” care about my reasons because they are not my reasons. They are innate in all of us and in our species. It’s in the DNA, the Genetics, the shared social consciousness to one degree or another. When someone over rides them they do so against their innate recognition of something akin to the golden rule. They are universal and not mine at all… I share in them.

    Atheism doesn’t try to provide an explanation beyond it’s own actual reach. What it offers is evidence that shows what is real about life, our origins, or past, and the cosmos. It knows it cannot exceed its’ reach because the evidence does not allow that at THIS point in its development. We will get further as we have gotten further throughout history and we have.

    It was once believed that the Sun revolved around the earth and the earth was “fixed”. Galileo’s science gradually reached the point of confidence in the evidence that the earth revolves around the sun. It was your camp that stubbornly refused to accept it and stated that belief in the prior theory was a matter of salvation. Religious blindness puts forward ideas with absolutely NO evidence and binds the eternal welfare of souls to that idea even as science proves them wrong. I call that the ultimate “Left Behind” saga. Believers are left behind because they are forbidden the fruits of scientific discovery.

    And the future looks even bleaker for your camp Bill. Just like science made ridiculous fools out of religious groups that used to believe in a young earth theory, so it is rapidly yielding more and more genetic DNA evidence of evolution. We are on a steep learning curve regarding origins of the human species right now! Even the backwards and conservative “cling to the Bible” Roman Catholic church has had to admit that “the theory of evolution is no barrier to Christian faith”. They would have excommunicated proponents of that theory a few generations ago.

    Still waiting for you to answer my challenge…
    Regards,
    Andy

  17. Bill says:

    Hi Andy,

    You said, “So much for moral absolutes in your religion. Not to mention the fact that your religion includes god ordained commission of genocide, pillage and plunder of Amalekites, Cananites, Hittites, etc. not just against soldiers of those tribes but their women and children as well. Now that is extreme Jihad before radical Muslims ever came along. Also you have child genital mutilation, and ultimately human sacrifice to atone for sin. The god in your religion sanctions and then commands murder of innocents (so how can you talk about unchangeable moral absolutes if your religion and its’ history bends those absolutes by divine warrant when and where it chooses?).”

    Then, you said, “An atheist wouldn’t be judging god by an arbitrary moral standard at all. That’s left to the believers. An atheist doesn’t judge someone who is not real and who doesn’t exist. That wound approach grounds to be psychologically evaluated as not normal.”

    It seems clear to me that you have judged the God of the Bible, and by your own statement that means you are approaching grounds to be “psychologically evaluated as not normal.”

    You’ve rejected the moral standard provided by God and made up your own arbitrary standard which God doesn’t meet. In your world, the line can be drawn anywhere you feel like, and anyone can be found on the wrong side of the line at your whim. That’s not a very good system by which to live your life. To invoke Jesus’ analogy, it sounds to me like you’re building on shifting sands.

    You said, “The other thing atheists don’t have to live with is an internal psychological divide between them as the “chosen race” or “holy nation” or “chosen ones” and all the other humans who are unsaved. Do you have any idea what it personally feels like to not have that artificial divide and all its inherent struggles and loneliness or the accompanying arrogance?”

    That statement shows that you haven’t comprehended the gospel that I’ve attempted to explain. A dialogue works best when each person tries to accurately represent the other’s beliefs.

    I’ve done nothing to merit the forgiveness of my sins. In fact I’ve only done the opposite, just as every other human has. I believe that there is nothing that makes me better than anyone who hasn’t received salvation, and I desire for everyone to receive it. Arrogance isn’t really even a possibility.

    But again, you’re implying that arrogance is morally wrong. You’ve provided no basis for referencing an objective moral standard. Why is arrogance absolutely wrong?

    You said, “It is to say that while we cannot be sure that a god of some sort (or creator) does not exist (he, she, it or they may in fact exist beyond our evidence); what we CAN be sure of is that there is absolutely NO evidence that he does exist.”

    Atheism is the belief that there is no god. It is not the belief that there is no evidence for a god. In order to be an atheist, you must take the blind leap of faith that with the little information you personally have to go on, that there is absolutely no god. Personally, I’m not into taking blind leaps of faith.

    Besides that, there is plenty of evidence. You’ve simply buried your head in the sand. Where did matter, time, space and energy come from? (You can’t say the big bang, because the big bang starts with all the matter in the universe.) Where did the first life come from? Do you believe in aliens like Richard Dawkins? Where did the information in the DNA of the first life from come from?

    You said, “That you publish in public and then refuse to accept the challenges to your claims is quite amazing to me and says either a lot about your belief system or alot about you.”

    I’ll answer this one more time with an analogy, and then I’ll just have to assume you’re beyond reason. It really is just another example of misrepresentation of my beliefs, which doesn’t do very much to impress me.

    If someone challenged me with the fact that Christians haven’t sprouted wings and can’t fly, I would simply say that Christianity doesn’t make the claim that Christians will sprout wings and fly. It is just that simple. Christianity doesn’t claim to do what you challenge it with. It just doesn’t make any sense to keep presenting your challenge.

    You don’t care for my claim that it is impossible for Christianity to be wrong. However, you still haven’t provided any reason for moral absolutes, yet you continue to appeal to an absolute moral standard. Atheism contains many such internal contradictions, as do all other religions except for the one described in the Bible. If a belief system has internal contradictions it can be rejected as false.

    You said, “The science produced evidence for the origins of life, the cosmos, and the species can be looked to because it goes through an enormous amount of critical test.”

    Wow! I’d love to see the evidence for those things. You can disagree with Expelled all you like, but if there’s anything that movie shows it’s that there is no evidence for the origin of life. I can provide quotes from science regarding the lack of evidence for each of those items if you like.

    You said, “Nobody else “should” care about my reasons because they are not my reasons. They are innate in all of us and in our species. It’s in the DNA, the Genetics, the shared social consciousness to one degree or another.”

    There are many problems with that. First off, even if I concede that a moral code exists in our DNA, etc., you’re again implying that it is immoral to go against the moral code in our DNA. I’ll repeat myself again. You may be able to provide many reasons why murder is wrong, but those reasons don’t make an absolute standard. Someone else can have their own reasons why murder is acceptable and define their own moral code. Your system is completely subjective, but you act as if it provides a basis for objectivity. It doesn’t. You can’t have it both ways. There is either an absolute standard with someone who has the power to establish absolutes, or moral relativism is true, in which case, you’d have to revise your arguments drastically.

    You said, “Atheism doesn’t try to provide an explanation beyond it’s own actual reach. What it offers is evidence that shows what is real about life, our origins, or past, and the cosmos. It knows it cannot exceed its’ reach because the evidence does not allow that at THIS point in its development. We will get further as we have gotten further throughout history and we have.”

    The discussion we’re having about morality is a philosophical discussion, not a scientific discussion. Science concerns itself with the material universe, and will never shed any light on why there are immaterial moral absolutes.

    You said, “Believers are left behind because they are forbidden the fruits of scientific discovery.”

    What fruits of scientific discovery do Christians not partake in? I guess you could mention abortion, but I don’t really think that abortion is very fruitful scientifically or morally. Are you aware that many of the great scientists and even the founders of many of the different fields of science were Christians?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  18. Andy says:

    Hi Bill,

    you said (“It seems clear to me that you have judged the God of the Bible, and by your own statement that means you are approaching grounds to be “psychologically evaluated as not normal.”)

    Let me make the point a little sharper. Atheists do not judge someone or something that does not exist. It would be insanity to judge the God of the Bible if that god is not real. It’s as silly as judging the tooth fairy, or being angry at the tooth fairy, or blaming the tooth fairy for why bad things happen to good people (or for not paying enough for teeth).

    The god of the Bible is of interest to atheists as a field of study to gain insight into the minds and thinking of our primitive human past and the cognitive reasoning of very superstitious bronze age peasants, who themselves were violent, fearful and completely illiterate. the nature of the god of the Bible is the absolute clearest way into the minds of the men who described him. He is an invention of their minds and so his qualities describe not Him, but the men. To judge him is absurd. However, it is extremely helpful in judging and making observations about the bronze age men. In a similar way the descriptions of the Greek gods tell us nothing about those gods (since they are not real) but they tell us a lot about the Greeks. Ditto for the thousands upon thousands of other gods that emerge from past history. They tell us a lot about the men who made them. And YHVH (the bronze age Hebrew god) is a product of bronze age characters like Abram, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Noah, etc. That this god happened to be adopted by an Iron age upstart religious cult later known as Christianity, is also historically interesting in revealing what was going on in the social relationships and minds of 1st century disaffected Hebrews. But it’s no more real than the god Zeus.

    The god of the bible therefore is violent, capricious, jealous, greedy, flippant, self-contradictory, schizophrenic, cruel, and changes his mind ONLY because the men of that era were violent, capricious, jealous, greedy, flippant, self-contradictory, schizophrenic, cruel, and changed their mind all the time. He is the mirror image of them. He was created in their image. A projection of themselves. Why else do you think their dealings with him and his activity on their behalf always made them his favorites and why outcomes of war or Exodus always turned out ultimately to show that they were the centre of the universe around which human history was focused?

    For example, (and not too overlook a huge point of fact that the books of the Old Testament were written several hundred years after the events they describe and by the victors of those events), but consider the Exodus story. It is the biggest theme of the whole Bible. It was written about by men who were the favored ones of that story as over against the ugly Egyptians whom they hated. Duh! No wonder the story turns out that way. And especially because the Exodus did not occur. Israeli archeologists (the ones with the most at stake in the story being true) have all conceded that the story is not substantiated at all in history but is a religious myth to give meaning. But it sure tells us a lot about the mindset of this fearful minority of Hebrew people and their troubled relationships with their neighbors.

    You have not accurately described my beliefs at all Bill. And don’t belittle me as to suggest that I don’t understand the gospel or your particular protestant fundamentalist slant on it. I completely do understand both. Most educated atheists understand the gospel entirely. It’s not complicated at all. And we certainly have no trouble understanding the partiality and intra-mural, inter church battles between your version of the Christian gospel and the hundreds of other Christian versions in the other Christian churches. That too is not difficult at all. Too us it is not hard to understand…. to us it is simply ridiculous. And it is completely tribal. Believe it as one may believe other religious myths in order to decorate and give a certain ambiance to your life if that is what floats your boat, but certainly do not believe it as though it is some ultimate certain literal truth that came from heaven down to earth. If it did, then why does it look exactly like and fit the situations of the human people who received the revelation in the first place. Why does it not look or fit universally across all people and all places through all times? The answer is because it is man made. That doesn’t mean it is stupid, it only means that it is stupid to believe it literally as though it applies to every human being on pain of eternal torture if refused. THAT IS ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY.

    Lastly, the science that believers are forbidden from is a forbiden-ness of their own choosing. It is the science that sheds light on the origin of the universe, the age of the solar system, the origins of our species, our recent ancestors… all of this comes from inquiry and reason unhindered by religious superstition and backward thinking. When religious people ignore scientific discovery and cling to primitive ideas about the earth being only about 6000 years old, or that some bronze age god put the dinosaur fossils in the earth to “test the faith of the believers”, then they are left behind in the sense that they intellectually handicap themselves and their children as well as socially retard their growth while they are young because they force them to believe ridiculous theories (THAT ARE ALL ABOUT SCIENCE) that have long been discarded and shown to be false. It’s not unlike the spaced out and drug fried brains of hippies who went on to produce offspring and think that it would be cool to name them “Starlight” or something like that and teach them that before they are old a spacecraft will arrive to unite them with fellow creatures from other places in the universe and that they are special to have early knowledge of that belief. What do you think happens to children like that on the playground? Now simply exchange that ridiculous myth for one that says the identical thing to a child unfortunately named “Naman” or “Isaac” or “Naomi” who is taught dinosaurs are only “leviathans” and that the earth is 6000 years old, that a human sacrifice made 2000 years ago atoned for his sin, and that salvation is lived out by first immersing in water then arising to week after week drink the blood and eat the flesh of this human who was sacrificed (literally or figuratively; take your pick as it matters nothing), and that before this young man dies in old age a white horse will appear in the sky (from where it comes is scientifically a great feat to explain) and that a trumpet…. seriously it doesn’t get better than this…. literally a “TRUMPET” will sound and this boy or girl will rise into the sky to meet this god who was the original human sacrificed to atone for sin and whose flesh they had been eating and whose blood they were drinking all their lives. Oh, and just for fun or just for giggles, lets add to this myth that if the child refuses or simply cannot believe it they will be tortured for all eternity! As for those unfortunate and damned unbelievers in this myth who are left behind they will participate in plane crashes, car crashes, and hideous suffering as a result of divine wrath. It seems that this god can pull off his own 9/11 in much more spectacular form.

    What does it feel like Bill to lie to children like this and alter and damage their psyches for life?

    On a point of agreement I agree that many scientific discoveries were made by Christians. And as a result it radically reshaped their understanding of their faith. The world renowned head of the genome project Francis Collins is a devout Christian and believes in evolution and that the human species is approximately 100,000 years old as homo sapien once it made the evolutionary shift from it’s previous manifestation. I doubt very much you agree with Mr. Collins.

    Again I re-submit my challenge to you. Everything said or done by Christians or churches could equally be said or done by un-believers. Your faith and belief in god is superfluous and is not needed for an explanation of origins or of morality. Name one thing done or said by believers that could not be done or said by an unbeliever. And if unnecessary, then Ockham’s razor says it can be cut from the picture. It cannot be proved, it has no evidence and is a highly prejudicial and superstitious tribal and violent self-indulgent belief, therefore it is not required at all. It destroys children’s minds and creates division and strife as well as the resulting violence. it threatens torture if refused and therefore is unbecoming of our species and can be laid aside or placed alongside Aisop’s fables on the bookshelf as interesting fables that tell us a lot about homo-sapiens of the bronze age past.

    Cheers.
    Andy

  19. Bill says:

    Andy,

    Every time you make a moral judgment (which is quite frequent) you’re appealing to the existence of my God. It’s really quite sad to see you continue in a worldview that is self-contradictory.

    You must provide a basis for the existence of an objective moral standard (beyond the wishful thinking you’ve already demonstrated) to convince me that continuing this conversation isn’t a complete waste of time.

    I’ll be honest with you about this. I’ve discussed it with many atheists, and none of them have been able to provide an answer. Many atheists are aware of this problem and have become moral relativists. Or maybe they were moral relativists and became atheists so their conscience wouldn’t bug them so much. Moral relativism is a position that would be more consistent with atheism, but of course it’s not what we see in the real world is it?

    Also, if you cuss again, I won’t take the time to edit your comment. I will simply delete it.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  20. Andy says:

    Bill,

    Sorry about the cuss. I didn’t think that one would register. It’s the same cuss word that St. Paul uses in the New Testament. You can look that on up. But I will refrain on matters of taste and apologize for it. And I appreciate that you know the difference between “cuss” and “curse”.

    I don’t know how to provide more of a basis beyond what I’ve already done at length. I think Death is pretty objective. It is not in our species’ interest to wantonly kill, steal, cheat, and commit perjury. Self interest helps illuminate that. And by Objective moral standard I hope you are not meaning that these standards do not change and evolve, because they do and can still be objective. They evolve over time as our understanding of them evolves. The same is true for your faith which once encouraged slavery, subjection of women, genocide, pillage and plunder, and hate. Over time the Christian conscience of these things changed as (it seems) did the mind of god in the bible on these matters. So we are all in the same boat in a process of the innate moral standard being refined, sharpened, grown, developed, and evolving over time.

    I don’t think you have read the best minds on this topic. Read people like Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dawkins (to some degree), Einstein, on objective morality. Atheists love their children too and view eating them in a cannibalistic frenzy as going against their innate and objective moral standard. That atheist might grow up in remote China and never having heard of “your god”.

    Cheers
    Andy

  21. Bill says:

    Andy,

    You said, “It is not in our species’ interest to wantonly kill, steal, cheat, and commit perjury. Self interest helps illuminate that.”

    I think that statement is laughable to anyone who has read a newspaper–much less a history book.

    Besides that, you haven’t answered my question concerning your hypothesis. Why is it immoral to go against the moral code found in our DNA?

    You’ve given your reasons for your morality. Someone else can give their own reasons for arriving at a completely different standard of morality.

    When you apply your morality to someone else, you’re assuming there is an objective standard for moral absolutes. Atheism provides no basis for that. You’re not being consistent.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  22. Andy says:

    Bill my gracious friend,

    You are running out of things to say. Minds much greater than my own have written about innate morality for a long time. Perhaps you should read up on them and acquaint yourself with their arguments.

    It is immoral because we have an awareness of the pain it inflicts on another person, and would not want that pain inflicted on us. Self-interest is always a part of the picture. And I never said that murder, genocide, pillage and plunder would not happen, it simply happens against our better understanding and demonstrates our selfishness as humans. We may choose to go against our innate morality and we do, but it is against the concept of progress and survival.

    By the way I would caution you not to read the history books. Nearly all of the ugliness, war, killing, genocide and pillage is religiously motivated. That implicates you not the atheists. So in light of that indisputable fact, of what good has your religious moral framework been to humanity or in demonstrating that your beliefs are a superior morality at all? Explain that to the dead victims of religiously motivated homicide! Dead accused witches, victims of the inquisition, victims on both sides of the Reformation, victims of the countless holy wars through history, dead jews victimized by church approved anti-semitism, dead Tutsi’s in Rwanda, victims of successive leaders of the church backed “holy” roman empire, and we haven’t even got back far enough to the Bible! Amalekites, Hitites, Canaanites, Egyptian children, dead people from the World Trade Centre, dead Afghan women who ran afoul of the Taliban, on and on the list goes. Not to mention to millions of psychologically damaged children by the absurd practices of religious families and institutions. Clerical sexual abuse, child genital mutilation… on and on it goes. Where does it start? Somewhere near when poor little Isaac (a terrified and vulnerable bedouin nomad child) who carried to his grave the horrific memory of his own schizophrenic (voice hearing) father with a knife lifted over the child who was tied up and unable to move.

    And You want to lecture the world about moral standards Bill? Give me a break. Maybe if you Judeo-Christians and children of that homeless psychotic self naming lunatic Abraham could give the world JUST ONE measly century out of the 40 or 50 you have been lecturing the world about your superior morality where you aren’t having to apologize for being responsible for or backing the most hideous things our species can imagine doing to others. Then.. we might listen to a little tiny fraction of what you have to say! I would even settle for 50 innocent years, maybe even 20!!

    The problem is that you will never be able to string together 20 to 50 years of moral innocence as a religion. You are a people who are whole heartedly, 100% in favor of, eager for, glad about, and look forward to the torture of other human beings. At the end of the day that is the biggest and most disturbing thing about you. you approve of torture. plain and simple torture. You believe it is justified. If you believe that, (and you do) then there is nothing that you would not approve of and do because you believe god gives you warrant.

    Saddam and his psychopathic sons pale in comparison to what you folks have conjured up and look forward to. I could actually end the torture by dying if Saddam tortured me badly enough. Your torture carries on for all eternity. Now THAT is amazing!

    So I suggest you get away from the morality argument Bill, and recognize the comfort and care one can expect from the atheist camp in comparison to what you folks have given the world and offer for our eternal future.

    with beer mug raised to morality… Cheers.
    Andy

  23. Bill says:

    Andy,

    You said, “You are running out of things to say. Minds much greater than my own have written about innate morality for a long time. Perhaps you should read up on them and acquaint yourself with their arguments.”

    Have you read what these brilliant atheists say? Why are you unable to summarize their fantastic responses to my arguments?

    You can present great reason after great reason why murder is wrong, but it wouldn’t matter even a little bit. No one has to submit to your borrowed morality or your borrowed logic.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  24. Andy says:

    Bill,

    I’ve read them. I am unable to summarize them because those concepts are their thoughts and mine are my thoughts. Plus they are much smarter than I am and can handle their perspectives much better. That’s the way it works I suppose. There are millions of different ways of expressing atheism, deism and agnosticism. I have my ways and others have their ways. And I have handled your arguments along the way one by one unless I overlooked one. Not only that, but these great minds would say the same thing. They don’t know everything either and themselves stand on the brilliant traditions and thoughts of great men and women who have gone before them. It`s not `borrowing`at all. It`s how thought develops.

    I am getting the feel however that we have run out of steam here. You cannot respond to any of the points I make and you refused the challenge, yet you say I don’t respond to your arguments. You have only one answer and it’s simply repeated. “your logic is absurd, you cannot have morality without borrowing from the god of the bible, it is impossible that anything other than Christianity is true” is what you say. I have stated where morality comes from in many ways and you say the exact same thing over and over. It’s like having a discussion with a tape recorder, I make a point and you push the play button and the recording comes.

    Well, why have a blog at all then and why create a forum for discussion and debate? You have only one point that is easily answered and in many ways, to which you restate your one point. I am wondering if you really understand what I’m saying at all.

    You have a blog entitled “Fisher of Men”, so I presume you have an evangelistic aim in mind and view yourself as an apologist making your case to unbelievers. So Bill, you are the one bringing the case to us unbelievers. Why on earth then have you turned it around to require of me a “response to your arguments”? I’m not trying to fish for you, but you are trying to fish for me. So the burden falls to you. Why do I not believe? Because it is man made, it is not true and based on bronze age tribal competitive superstitious claims, and is not a belief system that is at all required to explain human life. It is add on unnecessary man made baggage that by the logic of Ockham`s razor can be cut away and discarded in favor of the simplest explanation that has evidence to back it up.

    That`s what we believe Bill. You are approaching us in order to `fish for us` meaning you are the one with a case to make in order to convince us to believe. The ball is in your court then because you are the one pursuing. So don`t say over and over that I am not “responding to your arguments“. You brought the case to me, I challenged it and you backed down from the challenge. Simple. If this is what it means to fish for men and I have expressed honest reasons why I don`t believe and you cannot answer them but request that I answer your arguments, then I suggest you do not take up fishing of any kind whatsoever. You are throwing a line into the water but you have no hook on it. Why would I bite and on what would I bite…. you won`t catch any fish at all that way.

    That`s a little like the fisherman with no hook on his line demanding from the fish an explanation as to why he is not biting on the line when he should be. Its a little absurd.

    Thanks for the discussion however,
    Cheers.
    Andy

  25. Bill says:

    Andy,

    1. I point out that you’re appealing to a moral standard with no explanation for the existence of a moral standard.

    2. You propose a source for a moral standard (DNA or whatever) and I present arguments for why that is an inadequate explanation.

    3. You don’t attempt to counter my arguments but tell me to read some books somewhere.

    My apologetic is to point out that your worldview is self-contradictory. That is my only goal. You claim to have some brilliant answers available to you, yet you refuse to provide them. I’m sure you can see how it’s hard for me to believe that you actually have these brilliant answers when you refuse to provide them, and so does every other atheist I’ve ever talked to. As far as I’m concerned, I met my goal. If you wish to prove me wrong, feel free to do some more research and get back to me at some point in the future. I’m very confident that you will never find adequate answers, because atheism is false.

    Thanks for the conversation.

    Bill

  26. theoldadam says:

    I know the feeling. Your friend is right.

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