Wednesday, April 22, 2009

would you rather?

I used to love playing this simple game. You just get together with some of your friends and come up with opposing situations to see which option they would choose, like, would you rather go without chairs or beds? I say I'd rather have chairs, but most everyone says beds. Anyways. I came across two egregious comments on the DC forum (may it rest in peace, John Loftus) and I wasn't sure which I'd rather be. I'll post both comments and see which comes out on top.

Steven Bently said:
All these preachers on fire for jesus.

What I cannot understand is how come they cannot connect the time difference between Genesis 1 and all the cow and sheep and goat sacrifices and burnt offerings to atone for sins and then some 4000 years later the same god decides it's time for a human sacrifice to atone for sins.

Did the same god suddenly have a disdain for animal sacrifices and suddenly after 4000 years decided to go for Big Game..a human being?

Why is it you nutjob christians cannot fathom that intelligent human knowledge is gained by the passage of time, knowledge is not gained by the written word of a bunch of ignorant superstitious sheep and goat herders of 2000 years ago, that had no formal education that shunned and condemned scienticfic knowledge.

The majority of the people whom wrote the Bible thought that the world was flat.

They also thought that the heart, was the center of all thought and emotion.

Nowhere in the Bible is the word "brain' surely the god of all creation would have known about the human brain...pig brain..goat brain..etc?

They also thought that rainbows was a sign that the bible god would not flood the earth, we now know that rainbows are caused by the reflection of water molecules from any light source.

They also thought that diseases were caused by demons and evil spirits.

We now know with the invention of the microscope, that diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, microbes, made chemicals...etc.

You don't see a doctor use the Bible for a medical reference to help him diagnose a disease, unless he's a totally insane brainwashed Christian doctor, do you?

"I want to be a preacher."

Why the crap do you want to be a preacher?..Do you honestly for one second believe there is not one person in the USA that has never heard of Jesus Christ?

Is it because you yourself are so afraid of hell that you have to distroy other peoples lives and their way of thinking to come around to your dumbed-down way of thinking just so you can capture that Jewel in your Glorified Crown that Jesus has promised his followers?

Are you people so much that indulgent, that unless you can convince other people to bow down to your imaginary god, just so you can get your false praise?

Jesus was nothing but a phantom icon made up by the master of deceit of his time, the Saul/Paul two faced con-artist, and none of you christians have enough frikin common sense to recognise it.

The great Saul killed many of Christians, then on the way to Damascus he convenienly had a vision of Jesus, (the savior of all sins), then he changed his name to Paul and got instant forgiveness and is now revered as a Saint, how can anyone in their right mind be that gullibly ignorant and believe in such foolish nonsense? Murderer becomes Saint!

Mary, Paul, Peter, Jesus, John, Luke, Joseph, all no last names, none of them conventional names of that era.

Even Adam and Eve, not conventional names of their era.

Neither a god nor jesus wrote one word of the bible, why not? Because they were not as smart as the sheep and goat herders were?

This world needs to wake up and realize the Bible is nothing but a bunch of thoughts written down by people whom their world view was set at 2000 years ago and before that and past down to them through oral tradition with no evidence to support their views, with absolutely no evidence in 2009.

What's wrong with you christians?

I know it's temporary insanity, most of us have experienced it, it needs to be temporary...wake up to reality..please!

I know you can't, because mommy or daddy or the pastor, said it was all true, and they surely would not intentionaly mislead me.

Not only have you and the majority of Americans been grossly mislead, you've been badly fooled, and terribly misinformed.

Grow up, live in reality, not man made superstitious myth.

And Andrew said:

I don't trust anything you say, John, because of your history.

You are loathsome, and you know it.

Any person who cheats on his wife like you did cannot be trusted when he talks in other areas of life.
(I had to paraphrase since Loftus erased all memory of Andrew)

I can't decide yet, so tell me, would you rather?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Idiot sniffers

This is more evidence that we are all wannabes here.

Lee Randolph has been defending his deconstruction of Christianity over at DC some more, and in one of his comments, after laying out his arguments, curiously remarked that not only was Christianity "busted" but that I was "busted" as well.

J.L. Hinman at CADRE also wants to let everyone know how one of his commenters is not very well read. I sensed a little bit of defensiveness in all of this post.

And on this very blog I've been called "stupid" and "idiot" and "fool" already. It seems like its from both sides. (also, I'm not sure what to make of those who also called me "son")

But I think that the biblio-blogsphere is littered with "idiot-sniffers" who feel compelled to let someone know when they are an idiot with a harsh post. I don't think it is very helpful, even to call an idiot and idiot, but it sure is fun. I've seen bad arguments litter the internet, and even more false information on both sides. But there is a difference between recognizing a bad argument and calling someone stupid.

So here's my theory: none of this is about truth-seeking, it's all about ego massaging. That's the only way I can make sense of Lee's and J.L.'s posts. Neither side is really trying to help the other, it's all about proving who is smarter. Along the way we might run into some good arguments on either side, but pretty soon everything breaks down. Holding is the best example of this by far.

So here's my solution: we stop taking ourselves so seriously. No one is going to solve world problems on our blogs. We're doing this as a pasttime, and when it becomes too personal or heated, we need to remember that we're just typing. Let's leave the real problems to the experts ;-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oh, the horror!

Lee Randolph over at DC put all of his eggs in a post trying to scare Christians out of observing Easter. When I pointed out that his post was mainly polemic and bullying, he countered by asking me to tell him where I think he is wrong. Here it goes.

Lee never makes a sustained argument in this post. It sounds like a 10 point atheist sermon. I don't even think pointing out the problems with some of his arguments is worth the time, since all of the choir is going to say "good post, those Christians are brainwashed." How can I argue with that, since I'm brainwashed?

But the deeper issue is that it seems that Lee can't conceive that someone could look at the same facts and come to different conclusions. I know all about propitiation and atonement, but I don't think it is bloodthirsty or savage. I see in it (gasp) love and redemption. I see a hope of a new life, beyond all of the junk we create for ourselves.

But just to get to specifics, here's a tasty treat: The authors of the Gospels cannot be identified, therefore neither can their credentials or if they were in a position to know. Therefore the information is of low quality.

Notice how Lee wipes away 200 years of biblical criticism with one argument. This is his haymaker, that we don't have the signatures of the authors to verify. I might as well never read an AP article until I find out who submitted it and where they are from and what their biases are and whether they are delusional and whether they have any hidden ideological motivations.

But if atheists wanted to get together this Sunday, Lee would make a good fire and brimstone preacher.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

John W. Locust

This is my "un-biased post":

These wars that get started on the internet are usually more painful to watch than funny. Here's probably the worst example.

Now before I attack Holding, I want to be clear that whenever someone says they "technically" didn't lie or deceive, then I think a kitten dies somewhere, but that is really beside the point.

I think that Holding was perpetrating the worst type of ad-hominem there is, show someone lying to discredit their entire corpus of arguments. So no on Theology Web anyone who doesn't want to deal with Loftus' arguments can point to that thread and say "See?" This is more evidence that we are all wannabe's, but it gets worse.

Apparently this trick by Loftus inspired Holding (or Turkel, whatever) to create a set of satire blogs under the username John W. Locust. I don't know where he finds the time, but I think that the worst part is that it really isn't funny. How hard is it to put "porn" under the list of interests? But even if it was good satire, like the site from my earlier post, then attacking someone personally just never gets it done. We all try to quote scholars and talk about how much we've read, but the first chance we get, we attack someone personally. And I mean everyone, because Loftus is just as guilty of this himself.

I know Christian posters like Holding think that satire is just their way of communicating their message, and atheist posters like to "make Christians mad," but it just makes all of this look very stupid. Of course, I might be flattered if someone thought enough or not enough of me to make fake blogs against me. I can dream, can't I?

Maybe my new favorite

This one's fun: The intelligent zone

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts on mental masturbation

So says the mysterious Jason (profile not public) in a post on DC:

It's not that I'm trying to talk past you. It's just that I find that philosophical arguments only take you so far. It gets to a point when it becomes an exercise in mental masturbation. At some point were going to have to cease convincing ourselves, and each other, as to how we can out wit one another with clever arguments and deal with hard core data.

I'm a little concerned that he described his data as "hard core" here, but let's leave that aside for now.

Jason seems to disparage philosophy here because it is a type of sleight of hand that waves away real evidence for formulated arguments. This is typical, to me, of the neo-positivist atheist crowd, this constant call for evidence. The problem is that evidence in a vacuum is meaningless. Let me give an example:

Penzias and Wilson discovered a weird phenomenon in the universe in 1964. They observed a lot of radiation in the universe that shouldn't really be there. It came famously to be called "cosmic background radiation." That is all they found. They didn't find the Big Bang, a singularity, quantum cosmology, or the cosmological argument. Everything else is an extrapolation from the evidence. That is what we do, otherwise all of this "learning" would be meaningless. We have to make connections and find patterns in the data.

And the way we do that is with philosophy. So it bothers me to hear sketptics claim "evidence" as if there were no need to put it together. They put together arguments against Christianity using philosophy. It is unavoidable.

But I have a theory here. Dawkins, the original high priest of the "Brights" isn't a very good philosopher. TGD has a lot of rhetoric but not a lot of well-reasoned arguments (eg. his centerpiece: Who designed the designer?). This movement is heavy on scientism, but ignorant of the move from postivism that occurred 50 YEARS AGO. Ayers himself rejected it. Relativism is probably one of the most dominant views today, and it is philosophically grounded (even though I'm not a relativist). So calling an existentialist or subjectivist "schizo" or "irrational" just shows a lack of either decorum or (gasp) knowledge of how we actually think.

The truth is that we all stroke our worldviews, and our egos as well in these forums. But if you don't like the implications of an argument, then attack one of it's premises. It's just not becoming of a wannabe to ignore a "hard core" argument.

Raison d'etre

This is the reason that I wanted to start this blog. BarefootBum stated this in a post on Debunking Christianity:

"Dr." Groothuis mentions the cosmological argument and the argument from design. These arguments are jokes. Dawkins mentions both in The God Delusion, and I was able to refute them within the first six months I studied philosophy. This sort of incompetence is inexcusable for someone who puts "Dr." in front of his name, unless that doctor is treating my bunions.

BB is sooooooooooooo smart, and so are all of us here on the biblioblog sphere. He's so smart that he can tell who really is a doctor, and who isn't. He should be on an advisory board somewhere. But when I look at his profile, he is an "amateur philosopher." What???? How can someone with such authority only be an "amateur."

I think that all of us blog because we just want to show how smart we are, even though we don't have the letters behind our names. That's why we always sound so confident, no matter what side we are on. And why we can label each other. On BB's blog his favorite tag seems to be "egregious stupidity."

So I want to expose some of the bluster on both sides here, but of course I'm going to be more generous to Christian posters. I'll comment on comments, but probably not put up a lot of original arguments. I just wanna start something.