Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Times Like This"

Joe Holman, contributor to Debunking Christianity, has written an emotionally charged post that uses what Cho Seung-Hui did to throw a temper tantrum against the caricature of Christianity - the sappy and weak version - he held to.

"In trying times like these, when terrible crimes against humanity have been committed, like the recent murders of Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old South Korean man of Virginian Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, we must be extra careful not to rush to judgment or let anger get the best of us!"


Yes, let's not get carried away. One meat bag shot other meat bags. One cog in the evolutionary wheel of life shot other cogs.

Cho Seung-Hui was described as a deeply troubled man, one who never smiled or greeted strangers, and always expressed deep-seated hatred of “rich kids,” and people who led lives of “debauchery.” He took antidepressants, and it is believed once set fire to a dormitory, stalked women, and wrote very disturbing pieces of literature. He was what many would call “a bad guy.”



Surely what is left out above is not a mistake. If Holman read the literature to pick up on the above features of Seung-Hui's life, why did he leave out these features:

  • "A law enforcement official who read Cho's note described it Tuesday as a typed, eight-page rant against rich kids and religion."
  • "Cho indicated in his letter that the end was near and that there was a deed to be done, the official said. He also expressed disappointment in his own religion and made several references to Christianity, the official said."



If Seung-Hui had written that he was told by God to do what he did, atheists would be railing against the "evils of religion." But, in Seung-Hui, we have a man who dropped religion, and seemed particularly upset or angry with Christianity. Why does Holman leave this out?

"Where is God when terrible things like this happen?"


Controlling all the details of His plan. Holman may not like this, but God ordained that Seung-Hui would do this.

But, say God is nowhere. There is no God. Then what happened was about as "terrible" as an anteater filling up at the local ant colony.

"What we must remember is, God is there, even though it seems at times as though he isn’t."


The only way there can be real "times like this" is precisely because "God is there."

"God loves us all, including those of us who have chosen the wrong path. God loves Cho Seung-Hui very much and looks down from heaven with compassion, despite his wreaking sheer havoc on an unsuspecting college campus, taking many innocent lives in the process."


Where does Holman get this? God "loves" Seung-Hui but "Esau He hath hated?" Who said "God loves everyone?" Does he not "hate all those who do iniquity?" This is sloppy theology. This type of theology births apostates like Holman. No strong ground, and so when the waves of "times like this" come, he sinks in the sand. So, he gives up "the ground," but the unfortunate consequence is that he must also give up the reason for giving up "the ground" - that is, the "times like this."

"Jesus was right there all the time, looking down with love as this angry man premeditatedly sawed the serial numbers off the guns he used to blast screaming college kids into tomorrow. Jesus was watching as young people, with their lives still ahead of them, stood petrified with fear in those brief moments before their demise. Jesus was there, waiting in the wings to comfort those mourning families who lost their loved ones at the whim of a tarnished soul. Jesus was there, my friend, Jesus hasn’t forgotten! As the song goes, Jesus knows, Jesus cares!"


Holman needs to pepper his post with emotional verbiage to get sympathy. Holman doesn't want to tell it like it is. Holman believes Seung-Hui is an evolved meat bag. Holman believes the victims were evolved meat bags. Holman is a naturalist. The Personal has been kicked out in favor of the Impersonal. But the Impersonal doesn't care about Seung-Hui, the victims, or Holman. Holman must assert his feelings in the face of the Impersonal unfeeling force. To live a contradictory life is the Way Holman has chosen. He's Bertrand Russell's poster child:

"Brief and powerless is Man's life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for Man, condemned to-day to lose his dearest, to-morrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his little day; disdaining the coward terrors of the slave of Fate, to worship at the shrine that his own hands have built; undismayed by the empire of chance, to preserve a mind free from the wanton tyranny that rules his outward life; proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate, for a moment, his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary but unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power." - Bertrand Russell, A Free Man's Worship

Holman can stand up to the uncaring cosmos and shake his fists in despair, asserting his own meaning, but for some reason, Cho Seung-Hui cannot do the same. Seung-Hui looked into the "gate of darkness" and saw that omnipotent matter rolls on its way, making Cho's life ultimately meaningless, and so he acted upon this situation. What's Holman's beef with his own worldview?

"There’s a lot of anger in the air because of this tragedy. The world is wishing this guy straight to Hell, thinking of how much people like Cho Seung-Hui deserve to suffer, but its times like these when we must try especially hard to think like Jesus."


Think like Jesus? It is Jesus who said the world would be judged by His Words. It is Jesus who came to "bring a sword." It is Jesus that said it was His Way or the highway. Jesus said sinners would be thrown into the lake of fire. So, why does Holman not want to "think like Jesus?" It's because Holman has a nice Jesus. A blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus. An effeminate Jesus. Jesus with a dress, and without the jeans. So, Holman must attack a caricature, rather than the real deal.

Furthermore, it's at times like this when we must strengthen our resolve. Be consistent with our beliefs. Try to think like Momma Nature. Ultimately, no one cares about the victims. Ultimately, what Seung-Hui did, was not objectively, morally wrong. The grand Imperson doesn't have "moral obligations." We make them up! So, that what Seung-Hui did is called "wrong," is actually fantasy. It's made up. Reject Christianity and its story of the world, you must invent your own story. There is no grand meta-narrative, there's millions of subjective autobiographies. Windowless monads, without any pre-established harmony. And thus we need to not only affirm this worldview while engaged in polemical debate, but we must hold it when we face "times like this." We must not cheer the proclomations of the materialist worldview when we are detached from the issues of life, but when we run smack dab into them. Thus materialist Richard Vitzthum,

"Human thought and feeling is the most complex, versatile, adaptive, sensitive, perceptive, creative, purposeful, and voluntaristic product of terrestrial evolution and perhaps cosmic evolution as a whole... It creates all the value and meaning that humans find inside or outside of themselves. The material order outside of human self-enclosure and self-definition is empty of human value and meaning, consisting as it does of an aimless interplay of natural process dictated by invariable physical laws. Its amoral indiscriminateness contrasts sharply with the human compulsion to discriminate and judge. This compulsion evolved from the billions of years of biological adaptation to earth's environment that transformed simple cells into multicelled animals.

Human thought and feeling is a material offshoot of this very indiscriminateness. It consists of neural events that individually are insensitive, unthinking, and unfeeling as all other basic chemical reactions but that collectively are capable of processing raw electromagnetic signals into emotional and intellectual information. Although the process is not yet well understood, it may consist of computation that mathematically measure incoming arrays of signals against synaptic weightings in the brain's neural networks...." - Richard C. Vitzthum's "Materialism: An Affirmative History And Definition," Prometheus Books, 1995, pp. 230-232

So you feel upset about this whole Virginia Tech thing because your individually unfeeling neurons went snap, crackle, and pop. This whole thing wasn't really wrong. You just had some electromagnetic signals which operate according to laws of physics and biology give of certain physical impulses in yoru body. These are not right, wrong, or meaningful. It's the way it is. Seung-Hui had his own electromagnetic signals go off in his head, the results of which ended in what happened in Virginia. And, when the victims died, what happened on Holman's worldview? Well, electromagnetic signals ceased to "go off." And, all of this was set in motion eons ago by unfeeling and unthinking physical processes. No purpose for it. That's the way the cookie crumbles. It's no different than the erosion of the beach cliffs here in Southern California which were also brought about by prior unthinking and unfeeling processes. Cliffs erode, people erode. Sometimes they take more sand with them than other times. Oh well. This is the grand and glorious worldview of the atheist.

Now, I know that at "times like this," with "worldviews like that," it may be hard to hold back the anger. We know what happened was really wrong. It seems so hollow to look upon "times like this" and know that what happened was only wrong because we made it all up!

" Its times like these when the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord shines out brighter than the sun. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance! We should not wish evil on this disturbed and erring child of God, no matter how horrible and unsettling his deeds."


And in "times like this" to wish for "cosmic justice" is to live contradictory to the way things are. Assume Holman's worldview and there will be no justice for the victims or their families! To wish for any ultimate meaning and ultimate justice is to wish that your worldview was not true! Thus the "times like this" cause the holders of weak theology to give up their worldview only to have the "times like this" cause the holders of evolutionary naturalism to wish that evolutionary naturalism were not true. Welcome the irrational man. He gives up a position which makes intelligible the supposed reason for giving up his position.

"We should all aim never to be judgmental or hateful, and we must be careful where we place blame."


This is Holman's Jesus. Holman's castrated Christianity. The Jesus of the Bible, had Holman ever cared to open it rather than hold to his faith by his feelings, said that we must judge. "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Jesus doesn't say that we should take the plank out from our eye, and then do nothing about our brother, no, he says and then we may go to our brother and judge him.

People are quick to judge Cho Seung-Hui, but before they do, they should consider judging the people he executed first. They were college kids, most of them, and like the majority of young men and women today, probably experimented with premarital sex, smoked pot, and drank alcohol—not exactly followers of Christ! So we shouldn’t judge him too harshly.


Well, Holman is just pontificating here. But, what is his point? We shouldn't judge Cho because the people he killed may not have been Christians? I don't get it? What we should add, though, is that if these pre-marital sex engagers were so normal, possibly they had abortions as well. And so why can they participate in the mass murder of a population of our society - the unborn - but Cho can't participate in the murder of other members of our society? That's odd. Holman only has a problem with some people being murdered. The one he arbitrarily deems "human people." So, Holman shakes his fist at reality, makes up moral laws, and then makes up who is and who isn't allowed to be murdered. The unbelieving worldview is a big kid’s fantasy. They live in ways which contradict the way reality really is, and they tell us creation myths about things that happened "once upon a time, when a frog turned into a prince."

"Perhaps just before that last bullet ravaged his brain, doing away with his thought processes, he muddled a prayer to God, asking for forgiveness of his sins and relief from the pain of life under which he snapped. For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life! God loves Cho Seung-Hui, just like he loves you and me. He wants us to spend eternity in heaven together."


Holman even had a magic version of Christianity. Simply saying "the magic words" somehow does something.

Though it is highly unlikely that Seung-Hui repented, especially given that he was anti-religion, probably an atheist at the time of his rampage, let's say that he did. So, God forgives him. This is only on the basis of Jesus Christ's life and death. Jesus would have been punished in Seung-Hui's place. So, Christianity still preserves ultimate justice. There is no justice to be had for this event given Holman's version of reality. The desire for justice is a holdover from these apostate's days as Christians. They need to stop playing both sides of the fence. They need to repeat this before they go to bed: "A meat bag killed meat bags. A certain collection of chemicals killed other collections of chemicals. An animal killed other animals." They should not only cling to Darwin to "fit in" in the Science classroom, but Darwinism should be applied to "times like this." Thus Richard Rorty,

"The idea that one species of organism is, unlike all the others, oriented not just toward its own increated prosperity but toward Truth, is as un-Darwinian as the idea that every human being has a built-in moral compass--a conscience that swings free of both social history and individual luck." - Richard Rorty, "Untruth and Consequences," The New Republic, July 31, 1995, pp. 32-36.


"Maybe, even as I write this article, those slain men and women that meet God at the pearly gates are in for a surprise!"


But above he said they were not Christians.

Actually, after we're long gone, there will be no memory of these people or Seung-Hui. All is ultimately meaningless. People will forget. There will be no justice. And we all look rather silly protesting this and acting as if something "really bad" happened. Acting as if there is meaning. Acting as if reality were such that what Bertrand Russell proclaims was not true. In light of what happened at Virginia Tech, and coupled with atheistic evolutionary assumptions, can we really disagree with Lord Russell,

"Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand."

I think not. I plea for consistency from the atheists during "times like this." Go on, tell the world what you have no problem telling them from the ivory tower. God is dead, and with Him so are morals, meaning, and justice.

If you are honest with yourself, at "times like this" you need a God. You cannot live out your worldview. You need ours, the Christian's. But it doesn't come without a price. You must repent and submit to Jesus as Lord. You must live according to his rules, his stipulations. We will not disintegrate into The Imperson, we will meet The Person, and be judged by him. Instead of worrying where Cho Seung-Hui will be, worry where you will be. Truth be told, none of us are any better in God's eye than Cho Seung-Hui. To hate Seung-Hui is to hate yourself. If it is laughable that God would save him, it is laughable that God would save us. Oh but for Christ! If you want to find meaning here, justice, and the intellectual right to condemn Seung-Hui's actions, you need to hold on to Christ and accept His version of reality.

33 comments:

  1. Well said. Extremely well said.

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  2. ~reallyanexatheist4/18/2007 8:42 PM

    The DC crew is not really interested in debunking Christianity per se rather they are still puppets of the great "fundamentalist boogey man" I pointed this out to them in an earlier post but of course they didn't respond.

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  3. Thank you for your relentless defense of the Faith, and for delivering the Truth of the Gospel in "times like these" when so many are desperate for it! God Bless!

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  4. Yeah, I read Holman's comments before I left from work. He struck me as an anti-religion ambulance chaser, seeking after whatever tragedy he could find so he could litigate in court again. It's impossible to read anything he wrote and come to the conclusion that he actually cares about anything that happened at Virginia Tech. To him, each death was nothing more than an opportunity to bash Christianity with the same Nerf bat he's been swinging since adolesence.

    I agree that Holman should write consistently with his worldview here. Virgina Tech was just an event. There was no moral significance to it. Shake up a Pepsi, it explodes. Shake up Cho, he explodes. So what? He's removed himself from the gene pool. No more problem there. And those he killed...well, they were just too weak to survive in this hostile world. The cold, cruel march of evolution must procede.

    Nature red in tooth and claw. You cannot evolve without death. Without competition, there is no pruning the weak; without struggle, there is no strength. Moralizing this--calling it a "tragedy"--has no place in evolution. It's no more a tragedy than when homo sapiens offed the Neaderthals. It was a dispassionate event, nothing more.

    Of course Holman cannot vocalize this. He is made in the image of God, whether he intellectually submits to it or not. So are his readers. Too much honesty and the self-denial will destroy his atheism.

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  5. "But it doesn't come without a price. You must repent and submit to Jesus as Lord."

    Which according to your worldview is utterly impossible for them to do unless God flips the magic "desire Jesus" switch for them. What can you expect from someone ranting about being "consistent with their worldview". Hypocrite.

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  6. Why is it that atheists like the nincompoops of "Debunking Christianity" always sympathize with pieces of trash like a murderer? Sadly, there are Christians who feel sorry for this maniac and even reprimanded me when I said I was glad he killed himself. I'm glad that loser is dead. Heck, I wished I was the one who pulled the trigger on him. He killed over 30 people and blamed his victims for his rampage! Why feel sorry for this guy? I'll be as judgmental and emotional as I want to be and say I'm glad that bastard is frying in hell.

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  7. Unfortunately Anonymous hasn't been keeping up with the posts here:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/agent-causation.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/contemporary-compatibilism.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/classical-compatibilism.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/uncharted-freedom-tires.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/if-only-i-do-could-it-all-over-again.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/03/thoughts-on-free-will.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/03/immorality-of-hell.html

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/02/irrational-interrogator-squad.html

    A basic request is that when an interlocutor lodges an objection, he should take note if the objection has already been answered, building into his objection a notion that he is familiar with the counter-argument, and anticipating the rebuttals, cast his objection in the most relevant light so the discussion can actually progress rather than the challenged having to waste his or her time pointing out that the objection has been dealt with elsewhere.

    So, though I've not been shown to be a hypocrite, anonymous has been shown to be lazy and intellectually dishonest. What can we expect from someone who holds a bankrupt worldview? Gotta stack the deck in your favor somehow. Easiest way is to make yourself unaware of the relevant counter-material, and then throw out stock objections hoping that other unaware readers will read the objection and find a scintilla of force behind it. Anonymous is an adherent of the "ignorance is bliss" school of atheology.

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  8. Controlling all the details of His plan. Holman may not like this, but God ordained that Seung-Hui would do this

    While our views may seem problematic to you, your view is absolutely sick.

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  9. A much appreciated post.

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  10. And those he killed...well, they were just too weak to survive in this hostile world. The cold, cruel march of evolution must procede.

    Nature red in tooth and claw. You cannot evolve without death. Without competition, there is no pruning the weak; without struggle, there is no strength. Moralizing this--calling it a "tragedy"--has no place in evolution. It's no more a tragedy than when homo sapiens offed the Neaderthals. It was a dispassionate event, nothing more.


    And this all proCEEDs under the assumption that "evolution = value" and that "natural laws and orders = moral oughts". You are implying that evolution needs help, or is our basis for value judgment. You are saying that eugenics is a rational "program" that we ought to subscribe to and use to form values (how to decide what is 'weak' and thus 'deserves' death). Yet no rational case can be made for this any more than for thermodynamics or relativity.

    And even Darwin knew it:
    With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil [emphasis added].

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  11. Whoa!

    I think we just found the ethics professor for the Irrationality Department-Institute of Thought!!!

    Daniel said:
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    And this all proCEEDs under the assumption that "evolution = value" and that "natural laws and orders = moral oughts".
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    No, it's under the fact that a valueless system has no values and there are no moral "oughts" at all under a secular worldview.

    Daniel said:
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    You are implying that evolution needs help, or is our basis for value judgment.
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    No, I'm pointing out the logical inconsistencies of yoru value judgments with your belief in evolution.

    Daniel said:
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    You are saying that eugenics is a rational "program" that we ought to subscribe to and use to form values (how to decide what is 'weak' and thus 'deserves' death). Yet no rational case can be made for this any more than for thermodynamics or relativity.
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    I don't think Daniel realized what he wrote here. He is equating eugenics with thermodynamics and relativity (I'm assuming scientific relativity, i.e. Einstein), two concepts that are generally accepted by virtually everyone. He then claims that there's no rational basis for any of these. Which of course means there's no rational case for saying anyone who disagrees is wrong.

    You're saying it's irrational to hold a position on the moral validity of eugenics.

    Well, I guess that's consistent with a valueless system anyway. But it makes me wonder just why you're disagreeing with anything I wrote then.

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  12. I'll make it relatively short, taking that last fallacious point that you keep waving: we do not derive our morals from scripture. Those bits which are in the scriptures are those we pick and choose, having rejected the majority (slavery, rape, murder, pillage, incest, bigamy, genocide, etc.).

    Scripture is full of "morals" which we don't accept... which you don't even accept. Would you execute disobedient children? Would you stone to death any new bride who couldn't prove she was a virgin if her husband pronounced himself unsatisfied with her? The bible says to do exactly this, and says so repeatedly.

    The following offences merit the death penalty: cursing your parents; committing adultery; making love to your stepmother or your daughter-in-law; homosexuality; marrying a woman and her daughter; bestiality; and working on the sabbath.

    In Judges 11 Jephthah made a bargain with God that if he would guarantee Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites, Jephthah would sacrifice a burnt offering of 'whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return'. Jephthah did indeed defeat the Ammonites ('with a very great slaughter') and he returned home victorious. His daughter and only child, came out of the house to greet him (with timbrels and dances) and - alas - she was the first living thing to do and not, as he might have expected, his dog.

    Kill your child because you made a promise to God to do so. We don't allow that these days. Ask Andrea Yates, Deanna Laney and Dena Schlosser. This is the moral code of the Bible.

    'If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' -- Luke 14:26

    Right. Very loving and moral. It doesn't say ignore, it says hate.

    Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg said, 'Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.'

    Holman left your comment in his blog up; I'll be surprised if mine don't disappear here within an hour.

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  13. reallyevilcanine said:
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    Holman left your comment in his blog up; I'll be surprised if mine don't disappear here within an hour.
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    Why bother deleting that which shows everyone how shallow the response to Christianity is?

    By the way, all your objections in your comments have already been answered repeatedly. The search feature on the blog will help you out there. That is, if you actually want to know what the response is instead of just wanting to emote.

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  14. Frank Walton, you sound like a redneck douchebag. Get real. We pray for souls on a matter of eternity, not joy for someone 'burning in hell'. We find peace that God's glory was somehow increased in the midst of this, even in suffering, and even in Cho's wild act and suicide.

    An eternal perspective doesn't include your sense of human retribution and your shenanigans.

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  15. Kudos for your restraint on comment deletion, but what exactly are you calling "shallow"? Please elaborate. I have lots of time; my employer pays me handsomely to sit in front of a few computers and wait as our software slowly installs and runs as I test it. I've given numerous examples of morals we most certainly do not hold which are clearly defined in and demanded by scripture.

    Would you call the Hindis of India amoral? The believers of Shinto in Japan amoral? What about the godless communist villagers spread across the vast regions of China?

    Good people will do good, book or no book. We are social animals and we benefit by helping others. Why do people -- religious and non-religious alike -- flock to scenes of utter destruction to help out? Have you ever personally helped out at a disaster site? Lifted broken concrete? Filled sandbags? I have.

    While some are drawn to such scenes by their religious views in subservience to some deity with the hope that such action might offset their sins, the majority arrive due to a sense of moral obligation to help their fellow man. I do such things with no expectations, but at the same time the hope that someone would do the same for me or my loved ones. Therein lies -- I admit -- a selfishness, but it's far removed from the reality of the present. I receive neither payment nor promise, but it allows me hope. And that hope comes without any supernatural being.

    I am an atheist. I don't believe in that which is written in the book you profess to believe in despite failing to follow it to the letter. I find nothing but fault in it. Yet I help people despite my curmudgeonly exterior. I direct annoying tourists. I fix people's flat tires. I feed homeless people on the street (don't give money; offer a meal at a nearby restaurant. Those who accept the food aren't playing games). I've let strangers in need sleep in my apartment.

    I helped a blind woman this morning and gave good advice on helping the blind in my blog entry today, a blog I basically use to vent my anger at humanity in general and our customers specifically. In short, I have yet to meet a Christian more christian than I. I would hope that, should it turn out that there is some super deity, be it God or Baal or Isis or Zeus or Oðin, that when s/he weighs up my good against bad, I'll be allowed into Valhalla or Heaven or the Pasta Zone on the strengths of my actions despite my lack of fawning subservience due to that which made logical sense to a creature designed to use his free will and thought.

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  16. reallevilcanine asked:
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    Kudos for your restraint on comment deletion, but what exactly are you calling "shallow"?
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    Your understanding of Christianity, your arguments against it, and your stated worldview all come to mind.

    You said:
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    I've given numerous examples of morals we most certainly do not hold which are clearly defined in and demanded by scripture.
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    Except you didn't. You gave a list of things that included commands to an Israeli theocracy, a faithful telling of an historical event, and verses ripped from context.

    Secondly, you've given no basis for your own morals. Even if we stipulate for the sake of argument that everything you claimed about Christianity was true, why should we care about your version of morality? You have a burden of proof to bear too.

    You said:
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    Would you call the Hindis of India amoral? The believers of Shinto in Japan amoral? What about the godless communist villagers spread across the vast regions of China?
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    No, they have morality (as you do); but I question the basis of their morality, as I question yours. Those who do not have a transcendent moral standard to appeal to have no basis for asserting their morality. At most, it's mere opinion.

    You said:
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    Good people will do good, book or no book.
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    Which begs the question. Why do you call anything good? There is no good or evil unless there is a moral standard already in place.

    No, what you must say is that people will do actions, book or no book. You cannot judge their actions good or evil without justifying your moral position.

    You said:
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    We are social animals and we benefit by helping others.
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    Oh, is that all it takes? The Nazis figured they could benefit by killing off the Jews. Why was the position wrong?

    Benefit alone is not moral. I doubt even you would disagree with that. Thus, this "standard" is insufficent to provide morality.

    You said:
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    While some are drawn to such scenes by their religious views in subservience to some deity with the hope that such action might offset their sins, the majority arrive due to a sense of moral obligation to help their fellow man.
    ---

    But there is no "obligation" to help anyone. A "sense of moral obligation" is an irrational sense, isn't it? Without a reason for your morality, you are simply saying that this "magic" feeling occurs and causes people to do good.

    But when the "magic" feeling isn't there and these people do "bad" instead, why is that wrong? What if someone caused the disaster? Why would s/he be judged as immoral while those who helped clean it up be considered moral?

    Just your feeling?

    Try convincing a sociopath of that feeling.

    You said:
    ---
    I would hope that, should it turn out that there is some super deity, be it God or Baal or Isis or Zeus or Oðin, that when s/he weighs up my good against bad, I'll be allowed into Valhalla or Heaven or the Pasta Zone on the strengths of my actions despite my lack of fawning subservience due to that which made logical sense to a creature designed to use his free will and thought.
    ---

    But of course you realize that the said deity will be judging your "good against bad" based on that deity's standards and not upon yours, don't you?

    And who are you to say that the deity's morality is wrong and yours is right? Who made you God?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Peter,

    No, I wasn't judging the rationality/truth-value of eugenics, special or general relativity, or thermodynamics. I was saying no rational case can be made to use natural laws and descriptions of scientific theories as the basis of our "oughts". That's all.

    Your critique assumes that evolution is what ought to happen, quote,
    Shake up Cho, he explodes. So what? He's removed himself from the gene pool. No more problem there. And those he killed...well, they were just too weak to survive in this hostile world. The cold, cruel march of evolution must procede.

    Nature red in tooth and claw. You cannot evolve without death. Without competition, there is no pruning the weak; without struggle, there is no strength. Moralizing this--calling it a "tragedy"--has no place in evolution.


    It seems clear that you are trying to rationalize the rightness of this along survival of the fittest lines. All I'm pointing out is that this is qualitatively little different from saying,

    "Well, I set her on fire, sure, but it was just the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics! Heat flowed from the warmer object to the colder! It was no tragedy!" Ditto with any scientific "justification" of a moral horror.

    To be honest, I'd rather we all wait a while before using VT as a new pawn on the chess board of debate. But it seems the floodgates have already been opened.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Daniel said:
    ---
    No, I wasn't judging the rationality/truth-value of eugenics, special or general relativity, or thermodynamics. I was saying no rational case can be made to use natural laws and descriptions of scientific theories as the basis of our "oughts". That's all.
    ---

    1) Thanks for clarifying.

    2) I completely agree with your second sentence. There is no rational scientific case for any "oughts" (in the moral sense).

    3) But this means, ipso facto, there cannot be anything "scientific" about morality. Science alone cannot provide a complete worldview. Thus, the atheist who would claim to live his life based on science is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that). :-)

    4) This leaves the atheist with at least one non-scientific philosophical belief system, for which is seem highly hypocritical to say other philosophical systems of morality are wrong because they are "unscientific."

    So with all that in mind, I think your comments with their clarifications do more to argue for the Christian than against him.

    Daniel said:
    ---
    It seems clear that you are trying to rationalize the rightness of this along survival of the fittest lines.
    ---

    Actually I was demonstrating the opposite. I was showing how, given the worldview of evolution the the logic of that system, any concept of morality is bogus. This is why I concluded my paragraph by saying, "Moralizing this--calling it a 'tragedy'--has no place in evolution."

    Surely, given your above statements about the insufficiency of science to provide a rational morality, you actually must agree with me when I say that moralizing Virginia Tech (and calling it a "tragedy" is a moralization) has no place in evolution.

    Since that was my point, and since it appears you agree with my point, again I ask why the response?

    Daniel said:
    ---
    To be honest, I'd rather we all wait a while before using VT as a new pawn on the chess board of debate.
    ---

    You and I agree here as well.

    ReplyDelete
  19. REALLYEVILCANINE SAID:

    “I'll make it relatively short, taking that last fallacious point that you keep waving: we do not derive our morals from scripture. Those bits which are in the scriptures are those we pick and choose, having rejected the majority (slavery, rape, murder, pillage, incest, bigamy, genocide, etc.).”

    i) It’s a mark of your moral frivolity that you don’t even bother to cite chapter and verse. Due to your lack of specificity, there’s nothing specific to rebut.

    ii) BTW, what do you, as an atheist, think is wrong with bigamy? Do you think a man should be a virgin on his wedding night? Do you believe in monogamy? Based on what?

    “Scripture is full of ‘morals’ which we don't accept...”

    i) The law of God is never unjust. But OT law isn’t setting an ethical ideal. Rather, its function is pretty minimalistic and essentially negative: to proscribe the outer bounds of socially acceptable behavior. Of what will or will not be tolerated.

    ii) You also make the ignorant mistake (see below) of assuming that Biblical narrative is automatically prescriptive.

    “Which you don't even accept.”

    I would accept it if I were a Jew living under the Mosaic Covenant.

    There are both continuities and discontinuities between OT ethics and NT ethics.

    To a certain extent some (but not all) OT laws are geared to the socioeconomic conditions of the ANE. So it’s necessary to *exegete* Scripture, and not merely *quote* it. There’s a fair amount of carryover between OT and NT ethics, but this needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

    “Would you execute disobedient children?”

    “Children?” No. But, of course, the law has reference to incorrigible juvenile delinquents (young adults, not “children”).

    “Would you stone to death any new bride who couldn't prove she was a virgin if her husband pronounced himself unsatisfied with her?”

    Several issues here:

    i) The fact that certain offenses were classified as capital crimes doesn’t mean the death penalty was automatically carried out. We have, for instance, exactly such an example in the case of the Virgin Mary. But she was never executed. Joseph was under no obligation to have her stoned to death.

    A death sentence prescribes an appropriate punishment. But under OT law, some death penalties could be commuted.

    ii) Certain aspects of Deut 22 are bound up with the socioeconomic system of ancient Israel (e.g. betrothal, the dowry, the laws of inheritance in a tribal society). So some OT laws need to be recontextualized.

    iii) But I don’t rule out execution for adultery simply because that may be offensive to your politically correct and culturally-conditioned sensibilities.

    “The following offences merit the death penalty: cursing your parents; committing adultery; making love to your stepmother or your daughter-in-law; homosexuality; marrying a woman and her daughter; bestiality; and working on the sabbath.”

    i) Except for Sabbath-breaking, I have no inherent problem with this.

    ii) As for Sabbath-keeping, the Sabbath was one of the covenant signs of membership in the OT theocracy. Hence, Sabbath-breaking was a breach of covenant.

    It is not a covenant sign of membership in the Church. Hence, Sabbath-breaking doesn’t have the same significance under the New Covenant.

    That doesn’t mean that Sabbath-breaking is inconsequential, but it has been demoted.

    I’d add that all you’ve done thus far is to express your personal disapproval. But how does that constitute an argument for the moral superiority of your own value-judgments?

    “In Judges 11 Jephthah made a bargain with God…Kill your child because you made a promise to God to do so. We don't allow that these days. Ask Andrea Yates, Deanna Laney and Dena Schlosser. This is the moral code of the Bible.”

    i) This example reflects your self-reinforcing ignorance. You have no grasp of narrative theology in general, much less the design of Judges—the function of which is to chart the downward spiral of Israel. If you bothered to consult a standard commentary such as Daniel Block’s, you wouldn’t be citing an episode from Judges as if the Book of Judges were morally prescriptive when, in fact, it’s just the opposite—a testimony to the lurid decadence of Israel during this period of her history.

    ***QUOTE***

    'If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' -- Luke 14:26

    Right. Very loving and moral. It doesn't say ignore, it says hate.

    ***END-QUOTE***

    Are you trying to be obtuse?

    “Hate” is hyperbolic, and the point of the passage is not about Christians disowning their families, but about non-Christian families disowning their Christian members.

    This was a time and place when you were expected to carry on the family religion. If you didn’t, you would be disowned.

    So the point of the passage is, What should a convert to the Christian faith do in case his family forces the issue? Makes him choose between his Lord and his family?

    In that event, his spiritual allegiance takes priority over his familial or tribal or ethnic allegiance.

    “Would you call the Hindis of India amoral? The believers of Shinto in Japan amoral? What about the godless communist villagers spread across the vast regions of China?”

    Actually, there’s quite a lot of immorality in communism and Eastern religion. But, due to common grace, many unbelievers retain a remnant of common decency. They frequently live above their creed.

    That said, do you really think that communism is a textbook example of secular ethics? What about Stalinism? The cultural revolution under Mao? The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge? Or North Korea?

    What about Hindu ethics? What about those ancient war epics with their warrior code? What about suttee? What about female infanticide?

    What about Japanese ethics? What about its warrior culture? What about the Shogunate? What about the Japanese Mafia? What about the rape of Nanking?

    “We are social animals and we benefit by helping others.”

    A platitude which quickly breaks down in a lifeboat situation.

    “The majority arrive due to a sense of moral obligation to help their fellow man.”

    And what’s’ the source and standard of your “sense of moral obligation.”

    “In short, I have yet to meet a Christian more christian than I.”

    And what’s your sample group? Are you a churchgoer?

    In any event, there’s more to being a Christian than being a do-gooder.

    “I would hope that, should it turn out that there is some super deity, be it God or Baal or Isis or Zeus or O_in, that when s/he weighs up my good against bad, I'll be allowed into Valhalla or Heaven or the Pasta Zone on the strengths of my actions despite my lack of fawning subservience due to that which made logical sense to a creature designed to use his free will and thought.”

    Nothing fails like false hope.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Daniel: "To be honest, I'd rather we all wait a while before using VT as a new pawn on the chess board of debate."

    I agree as well. But why is it that it is only the atheists who have been using the events as excuses to attack Christians. My posts would not have been written if theirs had not. But, they can't go unanswered. Bad thinking must be corrected. And, people might buy into their shoddy arguments.

    Anyway, perhaps you could let *the atheists* know this?

    I wonder why it has been *them* who have used VT as a spring board? Perhaps it's because they really don't care? It's hard to care about bags of meat, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Peter,

    But this means, ipso facto, there cannot be anything "scientific" about morality. Science alone cannot provide a complete worldview.

    I agree.

    Paul,

    I have mentioned my aversion to using this tragedy to anyone's "advantage" on a few boards, not only to Christians. Honestly, I didn't know Joe wrote that until I came here and read your response to it.

    Christians and atheists (and everyone else, apparently) have both tried to use this to their collective "advantage" in arguing that it proves some point on their bullet-list. I can't even feign outrage about it, I'm just kind of reacting in a somewhat cynical, expected-these-reactions-to-happen, tired fashion.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Perhaps I should qualify the above response to Peter re morality and science. I think studying the moral sense and the formation of moral concepts is a natural enterprise. However, I think that moral truths can only be established philosophically and not empirically.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Danny,

    And yet here you are *responding.* It is clear then that you agree that the ones who *respond* are not "using this" to their "advantage."

    ~PM

    ReplyDelete
  24. Paul,

    I scratched my head a bit and read your comment a few times.

    My purpose in writing on this thread was to ask Peter why he disparages "evolutionary ethics" when it is an obvious fallacy to say that natural laws are "what ought to be" rather than "just" what is.

    I didn't write to criticize you for responding to Joe.

    And, I let my feelings on the matter be known at DC as well:
    in this comment --
    At 6:50 AM, April 20, 2007, Daniel said...

    For the record, I'm really tired of everyone, and I mean everyone using this tragedy as a means to advance their arguments. Christians, NRA members, gun control advocates, atheists, etc., etc., etc.,
    ad nauseum.

    Single events like this are completely unnecessary to make a point -- tragedy is everywhere, all the time, but people are moved mindlessly to use single examples by the media spotlighting them. 25,000 people starve to death every day. 200 people were killed in Baghdad in a single day right when this happened at VT. Pick any random terrible thing to hone in on, people. Why this?

    -Daniel
    VT alum '04


    As a side note, I've made my blogsite private because I am applying for jobs and thought it wise, so please refrain from the disparaging comments like you made aboutexapologist and exbeliever for doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Daniel said:
    ---
    Perhaps I should qualify the above response to Peter re morality and science. I think studying the moral sense and the formation of moral concepts is a natural enterprise. However, I think that moral truths can only be established philosophically and not empirically.
    ---

    Hey, miracles happen daily...we agree on something :-)

    Of course the next step would be to ask you what, exactly, you ground your philosophical concepts of morality in.

    After all, philosophical concepts make truth-statements about the world; and if your moral philosophy is at odds with your scientific philosophy (that is, if your morality requires the world to be a certain way that is contradictory to "science") then you have a consistency issue.

    So, since we both agree that science cannot provide a rational method for morality, what does (in your worldview)?

    Daniel said:
    ---
    My purpose in writing on this thread was to ask Peter why he disparages "evolutionary ethics" when it is an obvious fallacy to say that natural laws are "what ought to be" rather than "just" what is.
    ---

    But of course my argument wasn't addressing you specifically; it was addressing those who do hold to evolutionary ethics. It only addresses you insofar as your ethical worldview conflicts with your evolutionary understanding. Since you haven't given us your ethical worldview (although in the past you've mentioned such things as Platonism as possibilities), then the application of it to your position would be something you'd have to do, not me.

    On the other hand, we both have said the same thing: those who believe solely in "science" and who maintain that they can only live by "science" have no basis for morality; which was my point. Under that system, there was nothing wrong with what happened at Virginia Tech.

    Daniel said:
    ---
    As a side note, I've made my blogsite private because I am applying for jobs and thought it wise, so please refrain from the disparaging comments like you made aboutexapologist and exbeliever for doing so.
    ---

    Your blog is your blog. You have my permission to do what you want with it :-D

    If I were to accidentally say something (such as, oh, "I don't know why you'd be worried about potential employers reading your blog unless you thought they might find your thinking irrational"), well that's just punditry anyway. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Daniel,

    I didn' make any comments about your private blog site.

    I was simply pointing out that it has been *the atheists* who have used this to vent about Christianity.

    So, I'm just making sure that you note that we here have simply *responded* to people's poor criticisms.

    Thanks for your support in noting that it is the DC crew, and not us, who have exhibited poor taste.

    ~PM

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous,

    Thank you for your relentless defense of the Faith, and for delivering the Truth of the Gospel in "times like these" when so many are desperate for it! God Bless!

    Sadly, its not helping.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Paul wrote:

    Controlling all the details of His plan. Holman may not like this, but God ordained that Seung-Hui would do this.

    And this is the money shot. An atheist somewhere else pointed out this sick sentence, and Paul tried to refute it by mentioning compatibilism.

    But compatibilism does nothing to remove God's responsibility from his ordainment of this atrocity. It merely makes it a partnership-in-crime.

    And even if we assume that Paul is right, and God truly isnt to "blame" for this even though He preordained it, this explanation is quite piss poor at satisfying any not-yet-Christian's skepticism, especially if they "have any philosophy training, at all" :P

    No wonder pews are emptying so fast nowadays. Nobody buys these kinds of explanations anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Paul Manata said: But why is it that it is only the atheists who have been using the events as excuses to attack Christians.

    Right. One atheist writes a timely and poignant piece of satire and you claim that no christian blog would ever resort to co-opting the VT killing spree. Uh-huh.

    --

    Peter:
    you've given no basis for your own morals.
    I most certainly did: selfishness. The Golden Rule was around long before the Bible and is apparent in every society we observe, from Western culture to backwater China to the Yanamami in South America. By doing good to others I should be able to hope for and even expect the same will be done to/for me. Without reciprocity any society falls apart. Whether government-subsidised welfare for citizens or religious-based "alms for the poor", all societies recognise how imperative it is to provide for all members, though some more than others. Here in Germany I really don't have to worry too much about medical care, insurance and the cost of medicine.

    What burden of proof? Under my simple morals, everyone benefits and not just those who are in such dire straits that they're willing to accept whatever preconditions you impose (belief in your deity) in order to receive any sort of help from them. That's hardly charity; it's coersion. Would now be a bad time to mention that I ended up homeless in the US for a short while, and that while there were various organisations offering assistance of some sort or another, it was only the Christian groups who demanded a couple hours of absolute acceptance of their beliefs before they would consider offering such help in the form of food or a cot? Even the Krishnas only asked that you be quiet for 30 seconds as they made their offering prior to eating. The "musical" festivities afterwards were optional.

    but I question the basis of [Hindi/Shinto/communist] morality, as I question yours
    And I've explained it. You've utterly failed to explain the basis of your "morality" considering the fact that you outright fail to adhere to many of the precepts expressed in the professed basis. According to your "basis" slavery is perfectly acceptable. Luke acknowledges not only that slavery exists but that humans are God's slaves who he continually beats. Genesis makes it clear that it's better to hand your two virgin daughters to an angry crowd be gang-raped rather than to let them at your house guest. This is what you are claiming to be the basis of your morals.

    One of the 10 Commandments is to "Honour your mother and father" and yet Matthew 10:21 says ""Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." Are these your morals? What do you do here?

    Even if you say your parents are posessed by Satan and have turned away from "The Lord", the commandments don't make exceptions. They say, "Honour your mother and father". Nothing less, nothing more. You can't honour your parents by turning away from them, and according to biblical law, your turning away from them requires you to be stoned to death. Your failure to turn away from them should have you put to death. What do you do?

    Why do you call anything good? There is no good or evil unless there is a moral standard already in place.
    We, as a society, determine "good" and "bad". As I've already shown, various acceptable mores in your book are not "good" in our society. No sane person is calling for stoning to death any man or woman who wears a cotton-poly blend T-shirt. Since there are clear examples of "morals" which you do not accept, your book is not the standard upon which our morals -- or even yours -- are based.

    I'm just going to call "Godwin" on your Nazi sentence. That's really beneath you.


    A "sense of moral obligation" is an irrational sense, isn't it?
    No, as I've already stated. My long-term selfish interestes are served by such short-term sacrifices.

    Try convincing a sociopath of that feeling.
    A sociopath is, by definition, one who doesn't subscribe to -- or even understand -- any general social benefit ideas, nor does he have empathetic feelings.

    But of course you realize that the said deity will be judging your "good against bad" based on that deity's standards and not upon yours, don't you?
    Which deities demand things that, on the grand scale, go against societal security? I mean besides yours (Matthew 10:21 again). And what of all the deities which you ignore and deride as myth? What happens if one of the other religions was right and when you die, instead of facing the Abrahamic God you're face-to-face with Baal? How can you be sure yours is the correct one when others are so equally sure theirs is the correct one and yours is nonsensical? Because your book says so? Theirs does, too.

    And who are you to say that the deity's morality is wrong and yours is right? Who made you God?
    Being willing to kill your child because some vioice told you to is wrong, at least in our society, and I've given the examples already. Yet it's par for the course in the Bible. I wasn't on any of the juries which conviceted the referenced women who killed their kids because "God told them to", and I'd wager that no fewer than 80% of the jury members who did convict these women considered themselves Christian. Yet by convicting the women these jurors strayed from their own professed beliefs. Who are they to question what God told these women to do?

    I'm curious about what you think should have happened to the women? Should they not have been convicted because of their claims that God told them to kill their kids? Are you fit to determine whether thesy were truly called upon by the Lord to do something unpleasant for some "greater good"? Or were they just delusional? How do YOU make that determination? Who are YOU to judge your own deity? And if those women were delusional, it's a safe assumption that the rest of us would also declare you delusionaal if you were you to claim God had spoken to you. You would deny this as much as those women who killed their kids did. It takes more certainty and determination that I'm betting you have to go ahead and murder your own kids. Only faith can get someone to do something that horrendous.

    ##

    Steve said: It’s a mark of your moral frivolity that you don’t even bother to cite chapter and verse.

    No, it's a mark of your ignorance and unfamiliarity with the book you supposedly base your morals on. If you want to be petty, fine. Here you go:

    slavery: Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, 1 Peter 2:18, Exodus 21:7-8, etc.
    rape: Numbers 31:15-18
    murder: Mark 7:9-10, Luke 10:10-15, Acts 3:23 (with ref. to Deut. 18:18-19)
    pillage: Dt. 3:3-7
    incest: Gen. 19:30-38
    bigamy: Gen. 26:34, 28:9, 1Tim. 3:2
    genocide: Dt. 3:3, 1 Sam.15:2-3, Num. 21:34-35

    Happy?

    And before you trot out the old "The Old Testament doesn't count" argument, The New Testament is based in the OT, doesn't reject it, and even references it.


    Hebrews: 10:28-29: Those who disobeyed the Old Testament law were killed without mercy. It will be much worse for those who displease Jesus.

    Matthew 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    Mark 7:9-10: And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (7:9-10)
    "Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

    "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

    (See Ex. 21:15, Lev. 20:9, Dt. 21:18-21)



    > But under OT law, some death penalties could be commuted.
    Is it "moral frivolity" that prevented you citing where death sentences could be and were commuted? Leviticus is pretty clear on the subject.

    > I have no inherent problem with [capital punishment for adulturers and others].
    You are truly a scary man if you believe that consenting adults should be killed for doing that which we by nature do. It's not just humans.

    >how does that constitute an argument for the moral superiority of your own value-judgments?
    I never claimed that mine were better. I dispute your claim that the Bible provides a moral code to which Christians adhere and that the Bible's morals are necessary to a moral society.

    Don't go twisting my words or this argument around. You and Paul claim the Bible is a moral authority. You then discount the OT as an authority and call it the "limits". Only a few sentences later you trollishly state that I've claimed my morals are superior when the sdiscussion had nothing to do with my morals, only the fact that so-called "Christian morals" do not come out of the Bible, and for those which can be found in the Bible, these are equally found in non-Christian societies.

    > You have no grasp of narrative theology in general...
    > “Hate” is hyperbolic...

    Did you move the goalposts again? You did. Admit it. Every time you get called out on the contents of the Bible -- the True Word Of God Himself -- you claim that a particular passage is only hyperbole. Or Allegory. Or parable. Then you call me ignorant because YOU, Steve, choose to interpret certain passages as such while others claim those same passages are literal.

    >Actually, there’s quite a lot of immorality in communism and Eastern religion.

    Please be so kind as to cite the immoralities in communism and Eastern religions.

    >But, due to common grace, many unbelievers retain a remnant of common decency.
    >They frequently live above their creed.

    Unlike Christians, what their book says to do and what they do in the name of their religion [*cough*crusades*cough*burning*witches*cough*heckle*funerals*cough]

    ADD? Communism is not Stalinism is not Maoism, troll. Stick to the topic.

    Western morals do not come from the Bible. The Bible is unnecessary for a person to live a moral life.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Poor Aaroncan't seem to follow arguments. I brought up compatibilism in response to saying that Seung-Hui was a *robot* or *puppet.* And, so yes, compatibilism is relevant to my response.

    Secondly, what is meant by "responsible." How does the fact that S determined that S* would P, means that S is morally responsible for doing P?

    Responsible could mean "he ordained it." Okay. So what.

    Anyway, where's your argument, Aaron? Do you even have one? Or is tough talk all you have left?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Really dumb dog said,

    "Right. One atheist writes a timely and poignant piece of satire and you claim that no christian blog would ever resort to co-opting the VT killing spree. Uh-huh."

    The context was "has been." That means "past." Your links report posts that came *after* this one of mine. Furthermore, where did those posts use it to "attack" Christians? I have no problem with people writting about the VT shootings.

    Anyway, pup, listen to the big dawg, I can help. Holman's post attacked a weak view of Christainity. My post sliced his to shreds. So, the fact that you're sticking up for Holman shows you're just going by ideological presmises rather than rational ones.

    Lastly, when I did satire and parody, atheists called me a liar and said I broke the 9th commandment. I'm glad you have just called them all idiots, or called Holman a liar. Either way, thanks for allowing me to use you for fodder. I'll let you know when I can use your services again.

    ReplyDelete
  32. About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

    Peace Be With You
    Micky

    ReplyDelete
  33. let me get this straight:the atheist writer blames Christianity, at least obliquely, for the shooting rampage deaths, but seems to cry crocodile tears for the victims.I suppose this atheist writer cries equal volumes of crocodile tears for the atheist victims of Mao,Stalin, Pol POt, Khmer rouge,etc!

    ReplyDelete