Book review

Do You Like Gladiators?

This is the opening section of Chapter 25, One True Spartacus, from Everything You Believe Is Wrong.

Defiance

At the end of the eponymous movie, the slave army led by gladiator-cum-general Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) lies defeated before the creator of the First Triumvirate, General Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier). But Crassus does not know which of the multitude is his foe. He offers to commute the enemy army’s sentence of crucifixion on the condition the survivors identify the body or person of Spartacus. One after the other the men rise, defiantly shouting, “I am Spartacus!”

Crassus, who knows his logic, realizes that because each man claimed to be the one true Spartacus, there could be no one true Spartacus, and so he released them all in the names of Diversity, Tolerance, and Equality.

Kidding! I’m kidding.

Crassus did not succeed in discovering with certainty which prisoner was Spartacus. He reasoned that because the slave war existed and was led by a man named Spartacus, there had to be one true Spartacus. He wanted to punish the one true Spartacus. So he crucified everyone. Brutal, but effective.

Based on subtle behavioral clues, he most suspected two of the men were the one true Spartacus. He saved this pair for last and had them fight to the death. The still-undiscovered one true Spartacus mercifully killed his lieutenant, but was then himself crucified. Crassus never knew for sure he had his man—and to add to the subtlety, the one true Spartacus never shouted I am Spartacus! Still, Crasus reasoned that, given the evidence he had, he made the best choice.

Which he did. Make the best choice. If Crassus reasoned as we first supposed, by that odd logical rule which stated that because every man claimed to be the one true Spartacus there could therefore not be a one true Spartacus, he would have committed the One True Spartacus Fallacy. This fallacy says because there is a choice or there is disagreement over the truth of a proposition, there can be no one right answer.

Many gods

Stated so simply, the fallacy is absurd, and you might figure nobody would ever wield such a limp noodle. You would be wrong. The One True Spartacus Fallacy is particularly beloved of atheists who use it to deny that all other religions except theirs is false, which is a sort of two-for-one solecism. The routine in argument has become standard. First comes the One True Spartacus, then comes the denial that their religion is a religion, the latter error likely arising from the false belief that religions must have nameable, immortal gods.

Regardless whether I’m right about atheists having a religion, it is certain the One True Spartacus for the atheist plays the same role as the Peer Review Fallacy does for scidolators; see Chapter [Science]. This can be seen via some atheists’ favorite joke. This lists minor deities in whom they disbelieve, and in whom they assume Christians disbelieve. Then comes the quip that they, the atheists, “reject” only one more deity than the traditional theist. Funny. As a plain statement of observation, it is nothing more than a sophomorism, but if it is used, as it almost always is used, to imply that the one more deity—God—does not therefore exist, or that He should not be believed in, it is the One True Spartacus Fallacy.

A Good Joke

Two theists of different religions and an atheist walk into a bar. Theist One says, “My religion is the one true religion.” Theist Two says, “No, my religion is the one true religion.” The atheist says, “What loons you two are. All religions claim to the one true religion. Therefore there is no one true religion.” Given just the information available, the atheist has committed the One True Spartacus Fallacy and at least one of the theists has made an error, and possibly both have, though we cannot know on this evidence alone.

Theists fall into error, too. Usually this is because of humility coupled with justified uncertainty, which are no bad things, or perhaps because of a too liberal interpretation of ecumenicism or mercy, which are not such good things (the interpretations). The polite theist resists claiming his religion is the one true religion, even though he believes it is, in an effort to spare the feelings of his audience, perhaps hoping to win his listeners over by coyness. The danger is that this practice becomes habitual and the theist forgets what he believed. And then he looks around and sees all the other religions and then says to himself his cannot be the one true one.

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Categories: Book review

69 replies »

  1. What if there were no One True Logic, but rather every man has own personal logic, and all logics are equal. That way no oppressor class of logic supremacists can lord it over poor weak logic victims, shaming them for being “wrong”. My truth is as good as your truth. I’m okay, you’re okay (even if you’re a dope.) Every man really is Spartacus. Think of how such an approach would instantly resolve all conflict among men. Logics liberation, daddio — Viva la Revolucion!

  2. I think the atheist trope you mention here can be used to make two non-fallacious points:

    1. The existence of many competing and mutually contradictory claims lowers the probability that any given claim is right. In an ordinary situation, if someone tells me he is Spartacus, I’m going to assume a very high probability that he is Spartacus, unless I have some particular reason to distrust him. If a hundred men all say “I am Spartacus,” then it is obvious that falsely-claiming-to-be-Spartacus is a very common thing. It means the usual tests for whether someone is Spartacus or not have a very high false-positive rate, and that should make me less inclined to believe that any particular person actually *is* Spartacus. It obviously doesn’t prove that there is no real Spartacus, but it does make it reasonable to dismiss claims-to-be-Spartacus unless very strong evidence is provided.

    2. Most Christians dismiss most other gods and religions out of hand, without bothering to come up with evidence or arguments against them. Believing in Thor or whoever just seems self-evidently silly. The atheist’s point is that all religions seem silly to outsiders, and that dismissing them without serious consideration is a legitimate — or at least a fairly universal — response.

  3. The point of the ‘atheists just reject one more God’ meme is to get Christians (and others) to see that the sort of reasons Christians reject Thor, Allah and Poseidon are the same as the sort of reasons atheists reject the Christian God: basically, lack of evidence, NOT that we ‘want to sin’, or some such nonsense. In other words, it’s about probabalistic reasoning. If I said ‘most psychics are fake so all of them are fake’, that absolute claim would be the OTS fallacy, but ‘most psychics are fake so all of them are PROBABLY fake’ is perfectly reasonable. And probably true.

    As for atheism being a religion, surely it is up to atheists to define what they believe, in the same way as it is up to Christians to define what they believe? Would you accept it if I were to define Christianity as ‘belief in a cosmic Jewish zombie’?

  4. Das right, like, all logics be equal, ya know?

    What I’m talkin’ ’bout, wigglers.

  5. The point of the ‘atheists just reject one more God’ meme is to get Christians (and others) to see that the sort of reasons Christians reject Thor, Allah and Poseidon are the same as the sort of reasons atheists reject the Christian God: basically, lack of evidence,

    BZZZZT! Strawman and wrong! “Lack of evidence” was never the one and only tact followed by early Christians, this is typical atheist projection. Some pagans literally worshiped real men who actually existed that they deified, for example. Or at other times it was assumed to be demons. Other times everyone was fully aware that certain ‘gods’ simply did not exist, but their cult existed for purposes of political or social convenience. That also happens today. For example:

    Dat-dah-dah-DAAAH (drumroll)

    Edgy Atheists that worship Satan.

    You know… just so they can shock/horrify/mock those there Christians. But oh boy are they sticklers for proper rites and rituals!

    Atheists also, like pagans, tend to deify and worship men – such as certain politicians and leaders and ideologies deified in the State apparatus. Sure, atheists don’t all walk around swinging incense every Sunday, but they are the ones with just as much Manifesto-thumping evangelical zeal.

    NOT that we ‘want to sin’, or some such nonsense.

    Yes you do! As sure as night follows days, one dances a followup to the other! Always has been that way in actual practice, no matter how much posturing atheists try to do in theory!

    In other words, it’s about probabalistic reasoning. If I said ‘most psychics are fake so all of them are fake’, that absolute claim would be the OTS fallacy, but ‘most psychics are fake so all of them are PROBABLY fake’ is perfectly reasonable. And probably true.

    The problem is that the atheists also then turn around and say, “I’m psychic! Look at my science! I will tell you all about the past through a reading of these bones! Gaze into my crystal model to see the future! OMMMMM-SHANTI-OMMMMNIIICRRROOONNN-OOOOOO!”

    As for atheism being a religion, surely it is up to atheists to define what they believe, in the same way as it is up to Christians to define what they believe? Would you accept it if I were to define Christianity as ‘belief in a cosmic Jewish zombie’?

    But, you already do that all time! That’s what makes most atheism so sad and also so funny! The sheer hypocrisy of it all! And its adherents are blissfully unaware that they ae doing it! Then you come here and play “the victim” that we are hurting your wittle feelings whenever we point out the blatant absurdities of your positions. And it is especially rich coming from you, who refuses to answer simple questions such as which branch of atheist origins myths you personally subscribe to. So we haven’t got it wrong. Like Protestantism, and pagans, there are many house churches and cults amongst atheists. We don’t assume you are all the same guy! But there is certainly a shared herirage and doctrine!

  6. Johnno: perfectly irrational, illogical, non-factual assessment that clearly advertises your complete cluelessness about atheism. But I don’t mean to hurt your wittle feelings. so have a nice afternoon, anyway.

  7. I second Swordfish’s comment.
    I have long disagreed with the notion that Christians or theists of any kind get to say what others think.
    its word play at best.
    It doesn’t convince anybody but reassures the ones with less faith, or. those who need to feel superior/fail to understand the position of their opponent.
     
    Very highly regarded Christians using the trope.
    It’s rhetorical banter and of little efficacy in convincing anyone. It even smacks of cultish luring type behaviour, which is creepy.
    If it’s done in debate, perhaps it’s simply point scoring, but it’s projection none the less.
    To think you can simply knock a letter from the front of a word and hey presto, something has happened inside someone’s head, it’s very fatuous.

  8. People express opinions as fact, in this blog and everywhere else. Like most people, I insert an imaginary “IMO” before every statement of claimed fact that doesn’t include a citation. Like most people, I would tire very quickly of reading “IMO” in every sentence. Plus, it makes the writer come across as wishy-washy, so the writer’s guides say not to do it.

    Atheists and theists (and beists and ceists and deists, and eeists, etc) want to define each other in order to more completely define their own beliefs. If someone in one group is inclined to take offense at being defined by someone in another group, my advice would be to realize that the person defining you is revealing something about themselves personally, but revealing nothing about you personally. How could it be otherwise?

    There, now that’s out of the way. IMO, people believe what they need to believe, or what makes their world-view more comfortable for them, IMO. IMO, some people find great comfort in God, others find great distress in the notion of an all-powerful god of any sort, IMO. IMO, humans were created, or evolved, with a deep innate need to believe in something, IMO, which is why atheism so often appears as it’s own religious fervor.

    Personally, I dismiss any x-theist claims that their particular beliefs can be proven correct. That’s why we call it a belief. On the other hand, people explaining why they believe what they believe is generally pretty interesting, and sometimes even helpful.

  9. I second Swordfish’s comment

    What a shock. Why, if one didn’t know any better (and didn’t notice you fail the witch test multiple times) one might conclude you are in fact a wolf in sheep’s clothing, not to be trusted, and in not a Christian at all.

  10. Malcom,
    You’ve been corrected many times and still can’t accept that you are wrong.
    Wonder if you actually understand Swordfish’s comment?
     
    Understanding a person’s beliefs does not mean that you share them.
    I also second Milton Hathaways’ comment.
     
    This is not a cult, Malcom. Nor is the Christian church. We don’t do witch tests, for example.
     
    It is your kind of response which spoils the discussion on God.
     
    It’s a shame, because some of the topics not fully discussed can never be, covered properly.
     
    The best you have is an insult and a pretty bad one at that. So Swordfish is reinforced in his view of what it means to be a Christian.

  11. The argument agaiinst God’s Son, the Lord of all, Jesus Christ, has been going on since the start of Jesus’ public ministry. His fantastic claims of literally being God’s Son, so He Himself is God, too, have been attacked with consistency.

    Jesus’ miracles of healings were widely acclaimed and were desired by ever so many of the people. His teachings were given with an authority that the people had not experienced before. That He cast out devils and demons was also widely known. His known raisings from the dead of the two children and then of His excellent friend Lazarus, were witnessed by many who started to proclaim Him the long awaited Messiah. His powers were such that He walked right through the crowd who wanted to throw Him over a cliff, He multiplied loaves and fish, He walked on water. He proclaimed that He and God are One.

    Later, the fear of Jesus, that He might be the Messiah and that they would lose their power over the people, had so grown that many of the leaders of the Jewish faith decided that Jesus must be executed.

    Even with all of that which Jesus had accomplished and taught and done among the people, the people came into agreement for His death, and so Jesus was crucified after being scourged and whipped and crowned with a crown of thorns pressed firmly into His head. Even so, He suffered all of this in God’s Love. Jesus’ mother and her sister and more, witnessed His crucifixion, their hearts torn with grief and hope and love.

    Jesus had said such would happen to Him, and that He would rise from the dead on the third day following His death. And Rise from the Dead He did, on the third day. Afterwards, Jesus appeared to many, to His apostles, to the two on the road to Emmaus, to Mary Magdalene to whom He said for her to go and tell His Apostles
    “17Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God. 18 John 20.

    And then later, He ate and drank with His apostles and allowed Thomas to put his hand in His wounds. Jesus ascended up to Heaven in full view of His Apostles whom He told to go to Jerusalem to await the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and He did send the Holy Spirit many days later and His followers were filled with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s gifts, and they went forth fearlessly witnessing to the Lord Jesus Christ, with miracles, healings, raising the dead, teaching, preaching, prophesying, praying in tongues, writings, and most of all, God our Father’s Love for each of us.

    So, one can believe all of this, or one can choose to believe that Jesus Christ and all of these writings of Him are false.
    Choose Christ Jesus, Who is Life.

    God bless, C-Marie

  12. I second Swordfish’s comment … one might conclude you are in fact a wolf in sheep’s clothing, not to be trusted, and in not a Christian at all.

    So Swordfish lays out (at least one of) his reasons for being an atheist; Joy essentially says “makes sense”; and you conclude she’s un-Christian. Why? Is there some rule in Christianity stating “Thou Shalt Not Believe Atheists”? If anything, the rule to love thy neighbor implies giving the benefit of the doubt.

    You clearly don’t believe Swordfish. Are you an atheist yourself and thus know how all atheists think?

    Whatever the reason, it’s not well thought out. Are you vying with Johnno for the Post-With-the-Most-Drivel award?

  13. Most of the commenters have long histories of commenting. Anyone willing to go through old post will easily be able to get a sense of each poster’s character.

    And that may be precisely why prolonged discussion is difficult: some people are obvious frauds or not seeking honest discussion. To give them the benefit of the doubt, when they’ve made things clear by their actions dozens of times before, is hardly productive. Especially since there are some of them who will respond repeatedly with very little content the second that they receive a scrap of attention.

  14. But addressing the actual topic, it is common for atheists to engage in pseudo-dialectic. That is, rhetoric used as if it were dialectic (i.e. formal logical argument). The “I just believe in one less god” is a perfect example of this. Really it has little to no logical power; even a single god would disprove the atheist position so pointing out that a Christian disbelieves “most” gods hardly makes a convincing case for the atheist. It isn’t an honest response to the Christian position since Christians do not really believe in “a” god so much as the one true God, who is among other things the source and preservation of all existence (and so is a wholly necessary being in a way that the likes of Zeus, Thor, Isis, etc. are not.) Some people will try to put a probability spin on it, but anyone who has read how this site to learn how probability works should be able to say why this is an absurd argument. (If not, here’s a hint: take any event and then start listing off as many possible alternatives you can think of, no matter how absurd. What does this do to the probability of the event in question occurring?)

    Most atheists, if pressed, will even admit that “I just believe in one god less” is pure rhetoric. It’s pithy, sounds like it means more than it does, and implicitly attacks the Christian as dishonest. All good for persuasion, especially against the unwary, but as I said it means very little in terms of logical truth. But if you don’t call atheists on it they will at least imply that it is firm logic, at the very least by insisting that their opponents refrain from anything but the most cold-hearted logical Vulcan response. If the atheist’s puffy rhetoric is met by an equally dismissive bit of mocking rhetoric from the Christian, the atheist will whine and wail about how illogical and unfair Christians are.

    Rhetoric is fine and logic is fine. Pseudo-dialectic is dishonest and lame.

  15. Speaking of pseudo-dialectic, enumerating your beliefs without explaining why you believe them is a good example. It accomplishes nothing.

    Swordfish said he doesn’t believe in a God because of lack of evidence. Likely much the same reason you don’t believe in a host of pagan gods.

    Seems you should be explaining the why of your beliefs if you want to convince him. That would be a true dialectic.

  16. DAV,

    Why? Because Swordfish’s comment was ludicrous and besides. He has been posting here for months at least, maybe years. Do you seriously think he has never read any of the commenters’ many, many arguments for the existence of God?

    Of course he has, and he dismisses them all with a sneer and out-down, as he does everything Briggs writes. He should not be taken seriously.

    Joy naturally – as is her wont – sided with the ridiculous pseudo-dialectic non-objection to Christianity. This is – as several people have pointed out before – not at all a surprise given her commenting history.

    Nobody has corrected me. Everyone has pointed out to me that Joy CLAIMS to be a Christian; as Joy has never admitted she believes Jesus is the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead despite being asked on multiple occasions, considering she has been called out for lying and insulting others regularly, and co sidering she virtually never sides with Christians on substantive issues, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t see it.

    I once made the offer to Joy that I would apologize and admit I was totally wrong if she confessed Jesus was the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead. She did not, so I take back nothing.

  17. Swordfishtrombone has been about as long as Johnby, roughly, as I recall reading the unusual name in the past.
    I have argued with Swordfish and he was pretty patient about it. IN fact, it was due to something Swordfish’s said that I shifted myself to go online and discover the audio bible!
     
    Thank you Dav, you always comprehend and understand 🙂
    considering she has been called out for lying and insulting others regularly, and co sidering she virtually never sides with Christians on substantive issues, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t see it.
    No that is not quote so.
    I have not been called out for lying, or rather if you think I have, then whoever did so, was wrong, in their accusation.
    Since I am not a liar, very often to my own detriment. (Think autistic/“TMI”)
     
    As for insulting people? Do you mean saying that you are behaving like a troll? Or something else? A couple of times Johnby has taken offence on behalf of another reader who was not being insulted but the comment was aimed at the individual at his church who none of us know?
     
    If these subjects matter so much to you, then it’s worth being honest about. I have absolutely no reason to be otherwise. Take a register of those who you claim have taken issue with my comments and you will find that they are all of the fundamentalist mindset, all very recent recruits here. Whether they call themselves Catholic or something else.
     
    As for your unchristian attitude towards deciding those who do and don’t belong to the church, well, together with Rudolph’s contention, which is also wrong, if you truly had read comments from years ago you would see how and why my thinking is as it is.
     
    My jumping because you say so is proof of nothing but that your will to up the anti is greater than average.
    There is not a magic spell of wording that is required by God. That is my belief.
     
    When Christians discuss with other Christians in an understanding way or even other people of a calm and gentle disposition take the time to understand, then there’s really no need for unpleasantness or escalation of many of the emotions that many of us feel at some time or other.
     
    If you want to think I’m a witch then I’ll accept that if you can just stop repeating yourself. Can you see that it just draws more defensive comments in reply?
     
    Some of the time, as well, I’m working out what I think and believe, altering my view, altering my way of describing something? TRYING to be more brief?
     
    I miss Luis Dias from years ago. He was from Portugal and someone I used to argue with about God. I learned a lot from doing so and although he did make me cry, I thought he was a devil, after time passed and I thought about our discussions, I grew fond of him and realised m own error and cheekiness. If I could find those discussions I would, but there was almost nobody around at the time, just me, no Christians to “jump” to the defence of the faith, not even. Briggs.
     
    If you truly believe that people are going to go to hell for eternity for not having the world view that you do, then at least you could feel sorry for them.
     
    If I may be so bold, I think the first time I really riled you was when I made a comment about neighbours being jealous of each other . This seemed to do something at your end.
    I also was going to explain to you why I made an error way back during our first discussion and admit to not having read the article, but it was too late! You were off to the races and haven’t calmed down since. That’s my take on our interlude

  18. Malcolm,
    Swordfish’s comment was ludicrous
    I dunno. Stating the need for evidence of a belief doesn’t strike me as “ludicrous”. Why do you think it is?

    Do you seriously think he has never read any of the commenters’ many, many arguments for the existence of God?
    What arguments might those be? I’ve been here much longer than Swordfish and don’t recall any. Perhaps you can refresh my memory. But then, you did say “arguments” and not “evidence”.

    Nobody has corrected me.
    A futile task apparently.

    Everyone has pointed out to me that Joy CLAIMS to be a Christian; as Joy has never admitted she believes Jesus is the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead
    So, to you, a Christian is someone who recites certain words, in presumably, a certain order? The way they act toward others doesn’t count? How distinctly odd but not surprising considering the tone of your posts. I’m guessing you consider yourself a Christian.

    Incidentally, when did I ever say I didn’t believe in the Pagan gods?
    I don’t recall saying you didn’t. I did say that to Rudolph Harrier, though. Are you claiming that you and Rudolph are one and the same?

  19. Joy naturally – as is her wont – sided with the ridiculous pseudo-dialectic non-objection to Christianity.

    Do you know the definition of dialectic or is that the word for today? How does one create a fake one? I notice that Rudolph Harrier used it to characterize Swordfish’s comment. But then, you seem to be claiming to also be Rudolph so “both” of you using it isn’t surprising.

  20. So, to you, a Christian is someone who recites certain words, in presumably, a certain order? The way they act toward others doesn’t count? How distinctly odd but not surprising considering the tone of your posts. I’m guessing you consider yourself a Christian.

    Wow that was weak. “Ha you think Christians need to actually ADMIT they believe in Jesus? Not very Christian of you.”

    If you actually want to have a real discussion, my blog is linked. This is not that.

    Pro-tip: What you are saying does not follow from my words. The rest of your comment is similar.

    Also, you don’t respect me, as I don’t you based on your comments here, but at least I say so. The passive aggression is just obnoxious. Talk to me like an adult, as I’m doing you that courtesy.

  21. that was weak. “Ha you think Christians need to actually ADMIT they believe in Jesus? Not very Christian of you.”

    It was YOU who said: Joy CLAIMS to be a Christian [but] Joy has never admitted she believes Jesus is the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead. How should I have interpreted that?

    Talk to me like an adult
    I would like to but you are so childish. You can’t even admit what you’ve said.

    You are doing your best to win that award. Good luck.

  22. That is what Boris would call pettifoggery.
    Since it is a really small point in the clenched side of God debates.
    I pointed out, to me, cringeworthy argument about atheists having a strong ‘faith” .

    The power of the argument is all in the mind of the person using it and thinking it makes a jot of difference. The point is, that it’s obvious to me that it’s a kind of desperate rhetorical trope.

    Andrew white uses the argument but he was kind of joking…John Lenox uses the argument, but only, again, in debate to counter arguments made by opponents about what faith is. So it’s silly to be het up because it lacks efficacy and falls flat.
     
    Just as Atheists using some types of remark or response to insults really ought not impinge. Particularly when it comes to discussions of evil and suffering.
     
    Logical, arguments include resisting the temptation to project or insist on framing their opponent’s view. It’s definitely dishonest to do so after it is pointed out.
     
    33:40 Cannon Andrew White uses the trope we discussed above. It comes across as humour. Most people here don’t engage in discussions on faith, let alone confrontational ones. Notice he wouldn’t be drawn on “what Jews thinks” about atheists.
    https://youtu.be/WVhiv8Gi4aY

  23. Johnno: perfectly irrational, illogical, non-factual assessment that clearly advertises your complete cluelessness about atheism. But I don’t mean to hurt your wittle feelings. so have a nice afternoon, anyway.

    TRANSLATION: Cary cannot demonstrate any of the above, so Cary will simply assert it and take the afternoon off.

    Typical internet atheism in a nutshell.

    Please don’t compare yourselves to the more intellectual sort of published atheists of the prior eras who knew if they wanted to have thier opinions taken seriously, they had to measure up against the impressive theistic heavyweights of their time and of the past.

    I have long disagreed with the notion that Christians or theists of any kind get to say what others think.

    How about Christians and theists simply hoisting others by their own petard? Holding them to their own standards? Highlighting the fallacies nailed to their soapbox?

    So Swordfish is reinforced in his view of what it means to be a Christian.

    Oh, don’t worry… his views were long reinforced before he got here. He only gets back as good as he has given. Or are we pretending we don’t know his history of attitude here?

    If anything, the rule to love thy neighbor implies giving the benefit of the doubt.

    Except we’ve been neighbors for a long time and know each other well. Unlike atheists, I’m not in the habit of entertaining endless Descartesian doubts so I can maintain my skepticism.

    Are you vying with Johnno for the Post-With-the-Most-Drivel award?

    Point out the drivel, DAV, should be easy, right?

    Swordfish said he doesn’t believe in a God because of lack of evidence.

    Swordfishy is also a Trans-advocate. Where is the evidence for that? Yet he is A-okay with this standard when it suits him. How about you? Please don’t joke that any if this has anything to do with “evidence.” It certainly has a part, but is not the whole story. Observe simply how in the past swordsy cannot even respond to simple non-theistic questions about the function of a heart as a device that pumps blood and what is the mechanism for blood observed to be locomoting without a heart-like apparatus in cultured laboratory embryos. He was completely apopleptic that someone would question long-standing beliefs. His first rationale was to dig up some off-topic paper that one of the authors published questioning one of his great and infallible gods – Isaac Newton. What does that seem like to you?

    Evidence?

    Or behaviour no different than a pagan religious zealot?

    Tell us Dav.

  24. DAV,

    You missed my point completely. I am being CONSISTENT, by saying that yes, to be considered a Christian in any meaningful way, you need to admit you’re Christian. I suppose there are exceptions for Christians in hiding; Briggs’ blog is not that. So I expect an apology, obviously, as you said something straightforwardly wrong. I await it patiently.

    You interpreted me correctly, your point is just so self-evidently absurd that I can’t take it seriously. There are charitable people who are not Christians. That charity doesn’t make them more Christian than Christian hypocrites (and we are all hypocrites to some extent); it just makes them charitable non-Christians.

    I have absolutely no reason to believe Joy is anything besides a troll *based on the things she has said and written*, but she could clear it all up simply by stating that she does confess to the basics of Christian belief, the bare minimum needed for Christian to mean anything.

    She refuses, for reasons that I submit are obvious but that you are trying very hard to avoid admitting.

    We Catholics need works AND faith, not just one or the other.

    I would like to but you are so childish.

    Try me.

  25. There’s an important lesson in the gospel when Peter cuts off one of the ears of the guards who are holding Jesus. He rebukes Peter and puts the ear back on.
     
    Similarly, Jesus says, to those who feel threatened by his power:
    “my kingdom is not of this world or my servants would be fighting”
     
    See Kieth Ward on the reformation on youtube for more information about the Protestant versus the catholic faith and current relation of one to the other.
     
    Malcom, you must be an American. Neither a Canadian?
    Christians don’t respond or talk the way you do. I’m guessing it’s in part because the christian faith is so tied in the US, to the political system. I simply don’t relate to your way of declaring your veracity as a Christian. It’s not recognisable as Christian.
    If you translate that into thinking I’m afraid to say I’m Christian? Then you’re wrong, again.
    If it’s your contention that I’m a “x” therefore not a true christian then don’t you think the easiest thing would be for someone to simply do your bidding in order to be accepted?
     
    Think about it carefully. If it’s points of belief or matters of contention then they can be addressed directly,
    in the customary way, logical debate.
    I don’t seek your approval. Nor do I need your permission or your acceptance. God accepts me. That’s enough.
     
    The same is true for anybody who has knowledge of the presence of God.
    Many atheists put Christians to shame.

  26. You missed my point completely

    Considering I saw no point, I guess so.

    I am being CONSISTENT, by saying that yes, to be considered a Christian in any meaningful way, you need to admit you’re Christian.

    So when I asked if that’s what you meant, you changed the question into a direct quote using words not from me: that was weak. “Ha you think Christians need to actually ADMIT they believe in Jesus? Not very Christian of you.” and somehow don’t think you’re being childish?

    I expect an apology
    For what? Something you did? Now that’s childish.
    You could try the childish thing of holding your breath while waiting but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    I have absolutely no reason to believe Joy is anything besides a troll *based on the things she has said and written*

    Nobody cares what you think. Of anyone is a troll, it is you.

    you are so childish. … Try me.
    You’re right. You are consistently childish.

  27. Malcolm the Cynic,

    Because Swordfish’s comment was ludicrous and besides. He has been posting here for months at least, maybe years. Do you seriously think he has never read any of the commenters’ many, many arguments for the existence of God?

    I simply explained as best as I could what the point of the ‘one less god’ meme is, which isn’t what Briggs said it is. Why was my comment ‘ludicrous’? Please explain.

    With regard to arguments for the existence of God, arguments aren’t evidence. (Incidentally, I’ve read very few arguments for God on here.)

  28. Johnno,

    Swordfishy is also a Trans-advocate. Where is the evidence for that?

    Evidence for what? If you mean evidence that some people identify as a different sex to the one they were born as, the evidence for that is that they say so, and are prepared to endure years of hormone therapies, multiple surgeries, and often rejection and abuse.

    Where is the evidence that you are a Christian?

  29. Evidence for what? If you mean evidence that some people identify as a different sex to the one they were born as, the evidence for that is that they say so, and are prepared to endure years of hormone therapies, multiple surgeries, and often rejection and abuse.

    So not based on any scientific material evidence or any demonstrable proofs or any philosophical standards or academic rigor that atheists are constantly whining about for theists to provide to their satisfaction? So different standards are applied based on how atheists feel, and it just so happens to always apply this about-face along all those standards of morality that atheists deny has anything to do with their supposed intellectual rejection against God’s existence? Right?

    Where is the evidence that you are a Christian?

    My fear and trembling to work it out. Let’s find out whether I succeeded or not at the Final Judgment.

  30. Joy,

    For someone who rejects the veracity of the Gospels, rejects basic dogmas of the faith, and is a member of a man-made church built on the rock of serial adultery, it is rich to hear you declare what you think a “Christian” ought to sound like, especially considering you shamelessly have no problem defining how any of the evangelists ought to feel about identifying demonic possession or mental illness when they see it, because you obviously know better than both Christ and the author and eyewitnesses.

    Don’t blame on the Americans the failures of the irrelevant English fallen-away “church”, you wouldn’t last a second in the company of earlier Christian times where they’d have zero tolerance for your luke-warm half-baked nonsense.

    Indeed, many atheists do put many “Christians” to shame! You are one of those. Swordfish is at least far more honest and consistent in his ideology than you are. It is truly pathetic.

  31. DAV,

    Considering I saw no point, I guess so.

    That was a strangely large amount of words to respond to something you are now admitting you didn’t understand. Weird.

    Nobody cares what you think.

    DAV, you are nobody’s spokesman but your own. If other people don’t care what I think, that is their right. I’m not banned and so will continue posting until I get bored or find it pointless, or the host – who I respect and so will follow his wishes – tells me to cut it out.

    For what?

    You said this:

    It was YOU who said: Joy CLAIMS to be a Christian [but] Joy has never admitted she believes Jesus is the Christ and God has raised Him from the dead. How should I have interpreted that?

    But claimed earlier that this was a contradiction with something I said earlier, because obviously I could not really mean that admitting you were Christian made someone a Christian.

    In fact, my comments were perfectly consistent, because I DO consider claiming that you believe in and worship Jesus Christ is essential to being a Christian: Faith and works, not faith alone OR works alone, as the Apostle says.

    Moreover you say this:

    So when I asked if that’s what you meant, you changed the question into a direct quote using words not from me:

    Except that you *admitted my interpretation of what you thought was accurate*, then doubled down on it. So I’m apparently not misinterpreting you; in fact, you misinterpreted me, then later *admitted you didn’t see the point in what I wrote*.

    See, as you clearly like Joy and think my characterization of her is wrong, you could defend her directly and manfully, and call me out as incorrect, instead of the circumlocutory way you tried to guide me to your oh-so-wise opinion. I’m not saying you’re obligated to like or agree with me, as that’s obviously ridiculous.

    But no; you talked to me like a child, then have refused to do even the bare minimum of attempting to understand what I wrote. So yes, I mocked you, because you already and immediately indicated you wouldn’t treat me with basic respect; I merely responded in kind.

    You could try the childish thing of holding your breath while waiting but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Why would you recommend anything? Why not simply respond to my points as written, instead of playing this game where you try to ask me questions to show me the error of my ways or something? I’m not your student, and this is a discussion, not a class where you guide me to the correct answer.

  32. The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10.

    God bless, C-Marie

  33. Ambivalent about Gladiators but like the theme tune

    I like Spaceman though, first heard it today, like it immediately
    https://youtu.be/udsMTb2NIak

    (The theme keeps recurring about the notion of Jesus being an extra terrestrial time traveller)

  34. Johnno,

    So not based on any scientific material evidence or any demonstrable proofs or any philosophical standards or academic rigor that atheists are constantly whining about for theists to provide to their satisfaction?

    I’m satisfied that if people report they are trans, go through years of surgery and hormone treatments, then report that they feel better afterward, then they are honestly reporting the way they feel. I’m sure they don’t do it for a laugh. What does it even mean to waffle on about ‘philosophical standards’ etc, in relation to this? If someone told you they felt depressed, would you ask for a higher ‘philosophical standard’ than their own reporting of their own feelings?

    So different standards are applied based on how atheists feel, and it just so happens to always apply this about-face along all those standards of morality that atheists deny has anything to do with their supposed intellectual rejection against God’s existence? Right?

    Different standards of evidence are required for ordinary claims, such as people’s reporting of their own feelings, and extraordinary claims, such as that a first century Jew came back from the dead, walked on water, zoomed up into space, etc.

    My support for trans rights has nothing to do with atheism per se, but I expect your prejudice against trans people is due to your (or someone else’s) interpretation of Christianity. I support trans rights because if I had been born trans, I would want the right to change my own body.

    Let’s find out whether I succeeded or not at the Final Judgment.

    So not based on any scientific material evidence or any demonstrable proofs or any philosophical standards or academic rigor? In that case, I don’t believe in Christian people. As for the Final Judgement, I like the depiction of it in Mahler 2.

  35. Have just read Johnno’s and Malcom’s comments were they there before I posted my last one?
    For goodness sake.
    Johnno,
    You are doing it again. Reframing and projecting the views and faith of your opponent.
    I am not an atheist. I simply call logic wha tis is when I see it.
    If someone argues honestly and gives reasons for their view then what can you do about that?
    You can’t admit that others have a different world view to your own without resorting to insults?
    As for you attempt an ejection that is not yours to perform.
    As for your depiction of what I said about demonic possession that is very dishonest of you. Why not take the points each in turn and give a proper reason for there being another interpretation?
    At no stage did I claim to “know” better than Jesus, for example.
    Think about hits though, did Jesus know, as a man, about computers? Or germ theory?
    Jesus was fully man and yet he was divine.
    Back to the point about the demonic pigs, as far as I recall reading the gospels, the witness made the claim. Jesus did not describe the pigs as being possessed.
    Does your bible say something different?
     
    You truly are too angry and emotional to argue properly or should I say debate.
    As for Luke warm? You’re using a cliched argument and yet another wrongheaded notion of what I am and what the Church of England is.
     
    I would not be so insulting about the Catholic faith. It is the misuse and abuse of power that I object to, amongst other things. It is the members of the church who let their churches and the true Christian church of Christ down in their behaviour towards others.
     
    Do you read the bible often? Malcom, Johnno?
    There’s no place for anger in this discussion but you seem apoplectic most of the time

  36. Take this kind of remark:
    “For someone who rejects the veracity of the Gospels, “
    That statement, if it’s aimed at me, is untrue yet you still wish to continue a discussion maintaining that as your first contention.

    If you believe that the bible is inerrant, then you are I’m afraid, not familiar enough with the bible.
    There’s a list of erroneous and false statements in the rest of the comment.

    Thinking about that space man song. I went out with a vicar from Chelmsford who looked a bit liek that singer.
    One of his parishioners asked him,
    “are you Jesus”? (a little boy)
    I only went out with him a couple of times but he was very nice. The singer also, it appears, shares the same singing teacher as me. Or used to. Such a small world, Essex!

  37. I’m satisfied that if people report they are trans, go through years of surgery and hormone treatments, then report that they feel better afterward, then they are honestly reporting the way they feel. I’m sure they don’t do it for a laugh. What does it even mean to waffle on about ‘philosophical standards’ etc, in relation to this? If someone told you they felt depressed, would you ask for a higher ‘philosophical standard’ than their own reporting of their own feelings?

    But you’re running away from the main point –

    ARE THEY THEREFORE ACTUALLY REALLY SCIENTIFICALLY THE OPPOSITE SEX?

    The answer is NO.

    That’s it.

    Their feelings and whatever hard work they put into it DOES NOT alter reality.

    Ergo as I said above, you and your self-described “atheism” don’t actually care about scientific facts or empirical evidence. It is based solely on emotions. And is also very much involved with moral affairs, which are also not based on objective criteria, but on personal ones, as your example of trans-sympathy makes clear.

    That someone just “says so” is not evidence. You would not accept that on grounds as proof of the existence of God. But you irrationally accept it for transgenderism even though you can easily verify the fact that what they claim is a falsehood.

    Neither does it justify the morality of the action. For example Islamic Jihadis also have feelings and put in extraordinary work and effort to do what they do. Years of training. Years of study. Many motivated by the animosity against them and the bombing and occupation of their own nations alongside either being victims of or witnesses to rejection and abuse because of their ethnicity and religion. Many of them also report feelings of elation and joy at accomplishing terroristic missions and gloat about it on video as a strike against the infidels and the west.

    Do their feelings matter to you? Do you take them at their word?

    Also it is extremely callous of you to so simplistically summarize the ‘trans experience’ as you have. You show no acknowledgment of the fact, that just like vexxine efficacy, the self-described “feelings” of post-op trans are short-lived, leading to more depression and misery and eventual suicide. No matter how hard they work or how many surgeries they go through, there comes a point where they realize that they can’t escape reality, pretending to be the opposite sex didn’t solve their problems in life, and now they have done something they can’t go back on, have physical and health complications due to drugs and therapies and are utterly screwed.

    Some who never went too far, engage with that philosophical dilemma and manage to escape. Many many others are not so lucky. That’s also part of the trans-experience. Sociological evidence that you are deliberately ignoring.

    Different standards of evidence are required for ordinary claims, such as people’s reporting of their own feelings, and extraordinary claims, such as that a first century Jew came back from the dead, walked on water, zoomed up into space, etc.

    But you look at someone who is clearly a man tell you he is a woman, and you believe that readily. Something easily verifiable in your own time and presence and the natural world. This is the equivalent to someone right in your presence, walking on the ground telling you that right now the ground is water, and he is also flying simultaneously. According toy our criteria, you will believe him, because your believing in his fantasy makes him happy and eases his momentary depression with your participation.

    My support for trans rights has nothing to do with atheism per se, but I expect your prejudice against trans people is due to your (or someone else’s) interpretation of Christianity.

    Yes it does. Those people are clearly a useful cudgel to you in your animosity against Christianity. The Atheism is secondary. This is why whenever we get involved with you in any discussion it inevitably ends up with you singing off a litany of this’n’that “phobias” “bigotries” and whatever else on your way out the door.

    I support trans rights because if I had been born trans, I would want the right to change my own body.

    As unscientific a statement as any. What does “born trans” even mean? And if you are born in a fixed way, then what is there to change? Might as well claim one can be a “born atheist” or a “born accountant.”

    So not based on any scientific material evidence or any demonstrable proofs or any philosophical standards or academic rigor?

    Of course not! Is any of this sinking in yet?

    In that case, I don’t believe in Christian people.

    But then, why not convince yourself otherwise anyway? What’s one more contradiction on top of another? I mean… you’ve already thrown away consistency, empirical evidence and the natural world. So why not do so this time?

    Answer: Your own personal feelings, where you simply don’t want to, that’s why. Objectivity and Evidence never mattered.

    Hence why your claims about what “atheism” is really all about, are nonsense.

  38. Joy,

    You are doing it again. Reframing and projecting the views and faith of your opponent.

    For example…?

    I am not an atheist. I simply call logic wha tis is when I see it.

    Who said you were?

    If someone argues honestly and gives reasons for their view then what can you do about that?

    And if someone isn’t arguing honestly?

    You can’t admit that others have a different world view to your own without resorting to insults?

    I didn’t say others don’t have different worldviews. I’m saying that your worldview is INCONSISTENT & WRONG.

    As for your depiction of what I said about demonic possession that is very dishonest of you.

    Which part was dishonest? Are you saying you didn’t say that the Evangelist didn’t understand mental illness and didn’t understand what was going on or what he was describing? Tell us, Joy.

    Why not take the points each in turn and give a proper reason for there being another interpretation?

    Because your choice of “interpretation” ignores the text, and undermines the reliability of the Gospels, which is one of those things that throws the Christian faith into severe doubt.

    At no stage did I claim to “know” better than Jesus, for example.

    Indeed, you did not explicitly state so, but your “interpretation” implies that Jesus didn’t know what you somehow do, and if He did, then He was playing along with a deceptive con.

    Think about hits though, did Jesus know, as a man, about computers? Or germ theory?

    Are you… seriously asking this question…? Seriously?

    Seriously?

    Jesus was fully man and yet he was divine.

    Are you therefore claiming, heretically, that Christ’s human nature didn’t know what His Divine nature was doing? Was Jesus schizophrenic, according to your “interpretation.”

    Back to the point about the demonic pigs, as far as I recall reading the gospels, the witness made the claim.

    Read it again. Christ clearly responds, acknowledging the demon’s request. So either Christ was lying, or Matthew, Mark and Luke were all together lying about Christ’s acknowledgment.

    Jesus did not describe the pigs as being possessed. Does your bible say something different?

    Now you’re engaging in pure venomous sophistry.

    Read the text, Joy. It’s recorded in 3 of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Each giving slightly more details of the same incident. The context is clear in all 3. The demons talk to Christ. Ask Him to allow them to escape into some pigs. He acknowledges this request directly.

    You truly are too angry and emotional to argue properly or should I say debate.

    I admit that my patience is often tested by someone like you who fails at reading comprehension, yet excels at verbal contortions.

    As for Luke warm? You’re using a cliched argument and yet another wrongheaded notion of what I am and what the Church of England is.

    It’s an argument that’s an oldy, but a goody. So are you claiming that King Henry VIII didn’t set off to found his own church for the purposes of allowing himself to divorce and remarry? Also property theft?

    I would not be so insulting about the Catholic faith. It is the misuse and abuse of power that I object to, amongst other things. It is the members of the church who let their churches and the true Christian church of Christ down in their behaviour towards others.

    In their behavior maybe… but now we are involved with dogmas of the faith and morality here. In that, the Catholic Faith has been impeccable.

    Do you read the bible often? Malcom, Johnno?
    There’s no place for anger in this discussion but you seem apoplectic most of the time

    Clearly you don’t? There’s a lot of that righteous anger in there. Not much room for effeminacy.

    That statement, if it’s aimed at me, is untrue yet you still wish to continue a discussion maintaining that as your first contention.

    Yes, I do.

    If you believe that the bible is inerrant, then you are I’m afraid, not familiar enough with the bible.

    So, you admit that you reject their veracity. Hence my contention, aimed at you.

    Thanks for playing, Joy, we can at least say that you are a fine representative of Anglicanism as a whole.

  39. Johnno,
    I’m not playing with you, I’m being serious.
    Righteous anger is nothing but outward display of an emotion which you can’t handle.
    It’s you who consistently claim that your opponent, often me, is too ’emotionalj’ or insert capitalised words randomly.
    It’s a smoke screen Johnno. If something’s true, it’s worth saying calmly and properly.
    You are not God, vengeance belongs to God.
     
    The Gospels are not inerrant just as the bible is not. The traditional Christians of all kinds do not hold that it is inerrant. It is a doctrine of the fundamentalist church which began in America. They aloso believe in a young earth, and a list of other ‘fundamentals’.
     
    Think about the Gospels being personal accounts, which they are, and each one gives a different perspective on what happened. So the accounts differ, in detail. Hence the bible is not inerrant. There are c countless examples which are not important for all Christians I have eve met personally. Only in online discussions does the conversation descend and regress to such false teaching.
    It goes mostly unchecked as those doing it are loud and aggressive, churlish and unwilling to conceed small points of error, even.
     
    It’s not righteous anger, it’s just anger, misplaced hurt, probably, anger usually or often is.

  40. You are doing it again. Reframing and projecting the views and faith of your opponent.
    You, hohnno, say,
    for example?
     
    But the example is already given:

    In the following way:

    Take this kind of remark:
    “For someone who rejects the veracity of the Gospels, “
    That statement, if it’s aimed at me, is untrue yet you still wish to continue a discussion maintaining that as your first contention

    So the example you request was already given!

    Then, this:
    Yes I do…
    Make up your mind, they are small points of clarification, otherwise the debate is yet again, false.

    Going through point by point is only useful if you’re going to concede when you’re wrong on a basis for your disagreement and ‘outrage’.

  41. So, you admit that you reject their veracity. Hence my contention, aimed at you.


    No, you see? You are lying .
    I said the bible is not inerrant. Which is a true statement.
     
    A statement which is only contentious to a fundamentalist, or perhaps someone not familiar with the bible in detail. Hence my question about how much scripture you have read.

    Ironically, the angle Swordifsh adopts in arguing about the bible, often, is a photo-negative of the fundamentalist. That’s probably because so many Christians who are fundamentalist influenced, think, erroneously, that their biblical interpretation is the right one and the only one. Swordfish’s arguments against the Christians I know are often straw man *to me, so they don’t impinge. Often he is being humorous and responding in kind, given the tone of the discussion or the article.

    Hence, you think Swordfish is “consistent’ or whatever. You are in tune with regards ‘doctrine’ discussion points …coming at it from a similar place…I don’t agree withe either of you. Much of the time, you’re defending a straw man fundamentalist view.

  42. In their behavior maybe… but now we are involved with dogmas of the faith and morality here. In that, the Catholic Faith has been impeccable.
     
    Again, how do you know what faith ‘they’ have? Who is ‘they’? All catholics?
    All you know is what faith they’re supposed to have! Or you hope they have.
    When it comes to the pope, all bets are off though.

    Do you know what dogmas “we’re” talking about?

    Do you mean me? Or someone else, re ‘dogma’. Since I’m the one who used the term initially, and I’m not sure you know what I’m talking about since you are mistaken about what I think and believe, naturally.

    Given you can’t concede the first error, how can you claim what “we’re” talking about? Or who did what when?
     
    God’s commandment to the apostles was clear through Jesus.
    I do not need to cloak the writing with pretentious showy verbiage from ancient texts. It doesn’t make the truth more true. It helps the weak followers to remain convinced and cajoled by poor leaders who don’t speak for Christianity.
    In medical field we call that kind of thing BS, or false placebo. In science they call it blinding people with science…bamboozle’s another good word.

  43. Y’all me forgive for this thought, but, I’m thinking of making a collection of *oy’s posts, collecting all those ‘works’ into one volume … it could be titled something along the lines of “The Screwtape Letters in the 21st Century” …

    I’m also reminded of Jesse Romero’s book titled “Devil in the City of Angels”. He recounts a story working as a young deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and in particular in the ward where the ‘killers’ were held. As a 21 yr old deputy he recounts how he offered a half dozen different inmates (at different times) involved in satanic ritual killings their choice of anything from the ‘good chow’ served up in deputies’ mess hall in return for them saying, for them repeating one simple sentence: “Jesus is Lord”. None could do it according to him … as they tried, they appeared to be literally choking as they made the attempt … it was like their mouths were glued or cemented shut and their face would turn different shades of red … this was observed by other officers, deputies present at the time, too. It freaked them all out …

  44. Jim, that’s a work of evil if I’m reading your comment as I think you intend. Also given that you can’t bring yourself to type my name, you’re actually demonstrating the point you think you’re making.
     
    I’ve thought for a while that the word Joy is missing in so many of the articles and posts on here.
    Just one of many observations. Thank you for demonstrating

    If you go back and collate ‘your’ ‘works’,

    you’ll find that you will be ‘sated’ that your ‘magic words’ were many times iterated in many different ways. You won’t admit it though, because you are proud…as Malcom, Rudolph, and several others are proud, who are being puffed up by the cowardice of other professed christians.

    Ignorant christian liars will not prevail in demanding written statements about the faith of others.
    I don’t open up to strangers, as for a spiritual discussion, if you have a true faith you know the error of what you have done in God’s name.
    We no longer live in the medieval era of forced confessions (which are meaningless to God), but speak volumes about the ones demanding them… and becoming tempestuous when it isn’t forthcoming. What we have above and elsewhere is a string of untruthful remarks and false accusations, nothing else.

    If it takes my demonstrating this, then so be it.
     
    See 1 Peter where you are advised to always be ready to give an account of your faith. Do so with gentle humility and respect (paraphrased). How much of that have we seen in the above discussion?
     
    That humble account is not anticipated to be between Christians. Christians are not supposed to fight, particularly about faith, nor back bite and accuse, yet we see it daily.
     
    It’s impossible to know, for sure, another’s heart. Particularly I would say that those who so glibly gush with preparatory texts are those who I’m most wary about with regards sincerity.
     
    This is a generalisation on my part but life experience has taught me, “easy come easy go.”

    I’ve absolutely no problem conversing with Atheists, or respectful normal individuals of all manner of faith. In fact, that kind of truthful spiritual debate is missing from this place. Shame, perhaps it’s too frightening for some who crave certainty in an uncertain world. For those who don’t see Christianity as a mystery.

    To claim that someone with true faith, imagine such a person, is satan, or guilty of witchcraft, is about as bad as a spiritual accusation can be. Yet they accused Jesus of the same kind of evil and blasphemy. They were so sure of themselves. In the same section of 1 Peter there is also warnings about how you will be treated as a Christian.
    In that light, I take comfort but am not encouraged by the behaviour of those who are supposed to be my own kind.
     
    So in a sense, your persecution is explained and predicted in the bible. It just so happened it’s the very section I’ve been reading this evening, regarding witness to God.

  45. DAV,

    LOL. Grow up, sweetie

    What is this in response to? Seriously I have no idea. You called me childish, and eventually your writing devolved into this.

    As for Joy, I hope her sophistry stands on its own.

  46. Malcom,
    Dav made perfect sense, you tripped up on your own reading and that of the comments of others.
    If only people could be bothered to go back and read what happened…such petty nonsense masquerading as high principle.

  47. Sincerely Malcom,
    1 Peter makes excellent reading if your’e feeling persecuted
    John’s gospel also helps very much. Look what Paul had to put up with!

    Regarding DAV, I much appreciated Dav’s logical interventions in the past, he doesn’t know, but just one yellow smilie rendered me the best night’s sleep I’d had in months. So don’t be such a pain. Dav’s a sweetie too! takes one to know one

  48. Johnno,

    But you’re running away from the main point – ARE THEY THEREFORE ACTUALLY REALLY SCIENTIFICALLY THE OPPOSITE SEX? The answer is NO.

    I’m not running away from anything. Your claim here (completely different to your original claim) is just a strawman. Trans people do not claim to be ‘scientifically the opposite sex’, that’s why a trans woman is called a trans woman, not a cis (biological) woman. Because of this fact, the rest of your comment is mostly irrelevant, but I’ll respond to some of your more irrational points, because the truth matters to me, even if it doesn’t matter to you.

    Ergo as I said above, you and your self-described “atheism” don’t actually care about scientific facts or empirical evidence. It is based solely on emotions.

    Ergo as I said above, you and your self-described “Christianity” don’t actually care about scientific facts or empirical evidence. It is based solely on emotions. And is also very much involved with moral affairs, which are also not based on objective criteria, but on personal ones, as your example of transphobia makes clear. (haha)

    I am an atheist entirely because of the total 100% lack of any emprical evidence for God. I didn’t become an atheist *because* of emotional reasons, I became an atheist *despite* emotional reasons – I very much wanted it to be true that a benign intelligence was in charge of the world, but I eventually had to admit to myself that such an idea wasn’t supported by any evidence. It took decades for me to gradually realise that. (Incidentally, I still would like it if a benign intelligence was in charge of the world – but not the anti-gay, pro-slavery Christian God, as it isn’t benign in the slightest.)

    You would not accept [personal testimony] on grounds as proof of the existence of God. But you irrationally accept it for transgenderism even though you can easily verify the fact that what they claim is a falsehood.

    Trans people claim to *identify* as the opposite sex. Their personal testimony is not only good enough evidence for that, it’s the only evidence that could exist, unless some kind of DNA or similar test could developed one day. Personal testimony isn’t good enough evidence to establish the existence of God, and you must agree with that, otherwise, why aren’t you a Muslim? Do you not accept the personal testimony of two billion Muslims?

    Do [Islamic terrorists’] feelings matter to you? Do you take them at their word?

    This is a completely stupid argument. I don’t understand how you can be so dumb. Personal feelings clearly CAN’T justify terrorist bombings, but they CAN justify someone altering their own body, which doesn’t harm anyone else in the slightest.

    But you look at someone who is clearly a man tell you he is a woman, and you believe that readily.

    It’s interesting that, just as homophobes only ever mention gay men, transphobes only ever mention trans women. I’m sure there’s a reason for that. Anyway, if you’ve never met a woman who looked like a man, then you must have led a sheltered life. What do you do in such a situation? Demand to see her birth certificate, or just behave like a decent human being would? Incidentally, it’s almost certain that you’ve met trans women without realising it. Oh noes! Perhaps you should demand everyone’s birth certificate when you meet them, just in case?

    [I support trans rights because if I had been born trans, I would want the right to change my own body.]

    As unscientific a statement as any. What does “born trans” even mean?

    It’s not a scientific statement, it’s an emotional and moral one, and it’s something you should think about. Your objection is irrelevant as it doesn’t matter whether someone is born trans or not. Should people be allowed to live as a different sex to the one they were born as? I can’t see any reason why not. It’s as simple as that.

  49. Swordfish,
    I don’t disagree in any of what you wrote because you’re telling the truth. The only part is that Christians “hate gays”? Jesus didn’t teach that. Christians who understand Jesus do not practice the laws of the Old Testament.
     
    Straight men often hate gays, many of which are Christians. That’w the difference!
    There’s the line which fundamentalists quote about the sin that cries out. Where in fact, it’s the man who’s crying to heaven. Hasn’t everybody done some sort of crying to heaven for some injustice or suffering in their time?
    I believe there was a lot of male rape in the past, just as there was all kinds of liberty taking with women. It’s a man’s world and always will be.
    ““Re your lost faith *which I accept seems ‘final’,

    I believe you will find that God hasn’t let you go AND is nothing like the image presented by so many. His powers appear in complete contradiction to those violent and vengeful depictions. His power is awesome, happy, and astonishingly revealing and interconnected. If something happens to change your mind again, it will simply leave you with little alternative but to look for which story is true, out of all the infinite theistic explanations.
    Sorry if that sounds mushy, but I mean it sincerely
    Death is not the end.

  50. Joy,

    Okay, you wrote 3 posts addressed to me in an attempt to get me to respond, so I will:

    Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God has raised Him from the dead.

    I will, right now. Jesus Christ is Lord. God raised Him from the dead.

    See? Surely this is simply a non-issue, laughable, and as you claim to be a Christian admitting this should be trivial. Right?

    If you refuse I take back nothing and apologize for nothing. I have nothing else to say to you and find your comments less than worthless; they are horrible misdirection from a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  51. Malcom
    The first time you rudely demanded my typing your magic words, I told you that it would make absolutely no difference what I said. That is still true. In my view, anyone holding the degree of venom towards a stranger the’ve never met, is likely incapable of humility of any kind, let alone a sincere, unsolicited apology, perhaps a phoney one, like yours, promised in advance, with the threatening invective guff, should I refuse. So I don’t trust you. Does it show?
     
    You ask me to “confess” nay, “admit”!
    Which is telegraphing of your own real feelings or attitude. Can’t believe you still use the same phrase given the time you’ve had to reflect.
     
    Are you ashamed? embarrassed? About your faith?
    Or is it that you just like to use the old ‘magic wording’ from the inquisition? Perhaps further back? Those were phrases written in context and said with extreme malice.
     
    How many times would you have to read my comments to understand what I believe? Why do you even bother me?
     
    Are you so blinkered that you can only think of one possible reason why someone would not jump when you say so? Particularly on this topic and given your libellous remarks?
     
    Think about how you are asking the phoney question, and the not so small print you’ve included with the plastic ultimatum! Boasting of the punishment should I default or disappoint you. (That would be the punishment you’ve already perpetrated on a perfect stranger).
     
    1 Peter does predict the treatment will seem strange, it does.
    The first chapter is important.

  52. Joy,

    The only part is that Christians “hate gays”? Jesus didn’t teach that. Christians who understand Jesus do not practice the laws of the Old Testament.

    I said ‘God’, not ‘Christians’. It seems obvious to me that if God was real, he wouldn’t have changed his message. In any case, surely the Ten Commandments still apply, so some of the Old Testament laws still apply? It’s true that Jesus didn’t condemn gay people directly, but neither did he condemn slavery directly (or at all), so that doesn’t mean much.

  53. SwordfishSorry, yes,
    I said ‘God’, not ‘Christians’.
    Yes and leapt points, sorry.
    ?What I’d intended to describe was that if God does not hate gays we cannot justify, as Christians, “hating gays”: It’s my belief that we are supposed to aim for goodness. Hating isn’t on the agenda.

    It seems to me, a Christian is supposed to be like Christ who was an example to us and a messenger of God’s two New commandments. Jesus speaks of ‘Him who sent me’. This seems to me to be his entire purpose and the route to what is formally and archaically call AtOneMent, which is togetherness/reconciliation. ..with God. *the real living God as opposed to the horror picture conjured of sadistic and vengeful fun spoiler.
     
    It seems obvious to me that if God was real, he wouldn’t have changed his message.
    No, but it does say and Jesus is quoted to have said it, that “man’s heart became hard”. That’s not hard to believe! So God’s nature didn’t change but ‘ours’ did or was in error, which was causing us some of our own suffering as well as that of others…some of which you mention: slavery, violence, barbarism, corruption etc.
     
    “If God exists” it would be indifferent and callous to leave us in our freedom making mistakes without Hope, Peace and how to achieve them, Love, or that such a thing even exists? Or a sense of why we are called to the Good Life. (always think of Tom and Barbara)
    The notion that God loves us and he made us to be free…”If you love something et it free”
     
    There’s no point in the universe, or “purpose” if he looks away in our suffering ~&~ failing to share his wisdom, that’s not love.
     
    In any case, surely the Ten Commandments still apply, so some of the Old Testament laws still apply?
    Yes, but there were hundreds / dozens of (forget how many. To read them is a heart sink), commandments in the Jewish law. We ignore most of them and many who are Christians do not keep the sabbath day holy, for example, not as the orthodox Jews and Pharisees at His time thought should be observed. Jesus corrected those who said he was coming to break the law. He was coming to help us know the Spirit of the law, and the Holy Spirit which Jesus said he would send, a second comforter, after his death. So the Old Testament is literally the old law. The New Testament is the new law. yet, Jesus didn’t teach to disobey authority.
    Neither did Paul. In other words, the point is not to make trouble on purpose or form a militant group. He corrects Peter, for example when he cuts off the ear of the guard. He did not protest his own condemnation or death sentence. Neither did Paul resist arrest but knew what was coming to him. He told the truth to power though. ‘Freedom of speech’
     
    Jesus did not teach to break the law of the earthly authorities or Empire. I find the passage on throwing the first stone instructive beyond the prosaic. He also ‘rebuked’ people who sought to condemn others Spiritually, yet look what man has done with the notion of the “Power and the Glory” of God. They take liberties!
     
    It’s true that Jesus didn’t condemn gay people directly, but neither did he condemn slavery directly (or at all), so that doesn’t mean much
    Neither did he enunciate directly all of the evil and unkindness of the day.
    Since his message was freedom from sin and gives many Christians the resource to withstand suffering. The plight of a slave is also covered in the New Testament teaching.
     
    The modern notion that all slavery was associated with chains, cruel and all the obvious evil is slightly unrealistic. It was the primitive welfare system and people who were slaves were to some degree beholden to their ‘masters” simply because there was no other way for them.
     
    Some liken the early system in this country where landlords had tithed cottages and paid their workers minimally but gave them board and security, as “slavery”. I don’t think it was.
    The welfare state isn’t necessarily a perfect alternative, much cruelty and abuse. It was a progression, though, giving independence or freedom to people who otherwise would have been destitute in many instances.

    Our own country, as Christian, was the first to identify slavery as it was being practiced as a norm around the world, was wrong, morally. We also don’t crucify people in civilised countries, chop off hands, stone, take advantage of someone weaker, physically or mentally, cruelly slaughter animals, etc.
    That’s the difference between Christian countries and nations which operated the way Jesus found the world in his life as a man.
    ~&~
    This is the area which hard liners unfortunately fail to heed Christ’s message and they are in some way suffering as a result, I would say, internally.

    From what I know of you you’re not so far from the truth. It’s the Old Testament notion of God with whom you disagree. So do I. Yet if he’s real, how can we complain about what IS? We can’t change it but we can alter how we respond and how we feel can be effected in a real way. Persecuting those who lack faith or who don’t share the right faith is also going against God’s teaching. Salvation is between a person and God, not to outsiders or onlookers
    As for the repeat of the evil lies overleaf, I can only say they don’t believe in Truth, so how can they claim to have faith in a God who IS Love? they don’t represent Christ’s message even remotely.

  54. Alrighty, let’s start with Joy.

    Johnno,
    I’m not playing with you, I’m being serious.
    Righteous anger is nothing but outward display of an emotion which you can’t handle.
    It’s you who consistently claim that your opponent, often me, is too ’emotionalj’ or insert capitalised words randomly.
    It’s a smoke screen Johnno. If something’s true, it’s worth saying calmly and properly.
    You are not God, vengeance belongs to God.

    There is a difference between basing your arguments and oremises purely on emotion, veesus getting righteously angry at something or someone for logical rational reasons.

    And please spare us the unrelated claptrap you added is about vengeance, for which nobody here is a combox is capable of doing.

    The Gospels are not inerrant just as the bible is not.

    Here us where we disagree, and where you expose the fact that whatever version of “Christianity” you espouse has no legitimate or rationale basis.

    The traditional Christians of all kinds do not hold that it is inerrant.

    Please stop. This is bullshit of the highest order. Utterly ignorant of history of both Christians and Jews. Even many Anglicans would be embarassed at your utter lack of knowledge. This above all else demonstrates that you are either a deliberate deceiver or an utterly irrational actor so wedded to emotion that you believe you need to pass off statements like this as if they were the plainest darndest thing that you imagine everyone agrees with.

    It is a doctrine of the fundamentalist church which began in America. They aloso believe in a young earth, and a list of other ‘fundamentals’.

    I’m sure this will come as a big surprise to all the Jewish midrash sources, Church fathers, Church councils, and pagan writers who observed Jewdaism and Christianity being very fundamentalist long before America even existed and was still a mythical continent that largely existed as a hypothetical place gleaned from the claims of a few ancient sailors and was still largely “undiscovered.” Please go educate yourself Joy, you are out if your depth. Please even avail yourself of knowledgable atheists, they will be honest enough to demonstrate for you that all the “fundy” ideas if Christians have always been the same since the start, especially from those Roman fellows who took very seriously that bread and wine literally were to be treated as flesh and blood and condemned Galileo’s propositions and argued with pagans who either believed the Creation was very old or eternal. Joy, please, you REALLY have no knowledge or grasp of actual historic Christianity.

    Think about the Gospels being personal accounts, which they are, and each one gives a different perspective on what happened. So the accounts differ, in detail. Hence the bible is not inerrant.

    So do contemporary history books and newspaper articles. That some choose to focus on different details or perspectives and contain something the other doesn’t mention, doesn’t mean they are therefore all collectively in error or the events described didn’t occur. You really don’t know what you are talking about.

    There are c countless examples which are not important for all Christians I have eve met personally. Only in online discussions does the conversation descend and regress to such false teaching.

    So what? There are liberal Christians out there that treat their faith as a social buffet event? What a revelation!

    It goes mostly unchecked as those doing it are loud and aggressive, churlish and unwilling to conceed small points of error, even.

    Yes, because they take their faith seriously and are trying to be consistent and rational about it. This tends to be at odds with those who only pick and choose what they prefer to follow and live like hypocrites and then get upset that someone out there actually gives a damn when they really just want a comfortable after-life scenario that keeps them pschologically reassured without any necessary effort in their part to actually amend their lives past a certain comfort level.

    It’s not righteous anger, it’s just anger, misplaced hurt, probably, anger usually or often is.

    I say it is. You have grounds to judge otherwise? Give me something ither that that you personally feel otherwise.

    You are doing it again. Reframing and projecting the views and faith of your opponent.
    You, hohnno, say,
    for example?

    But the example is already given:

    In the following way:

    Take this kind of remark:
    “For someone who rejects the veracity of the Gospels, “
    That statement, if it’s aimed at me, is untrue yet you still wish to continue a discussion maintaining that as your first contention

    Because you yourself admitted that you believe the Gospels contain errors. Which means they are not reliable. Which means they lack veracity. So all you are moaning about is that you don’t like the fact that you’ve been exposed as someone who willingly places her faith upon unreliable testimony. So now you are trying to complain that I am not using nicer words and language to describe your lunacy.

    Observe:

    No, you see? You are lying .
    I said the bible is not inerrant. Which is a true statement.

    So why all the song and dance to escape the implications of your own admissions?

    A statement which is only contentious to a fundamentalist, or perhaps someone not familiar with the bible in detail. Hence my question about how much scripture you have read.

    So I’m a fundy. So what is wrong with adhereing to the fundamentals of a structured religion?

    I’ve not only read the Bible several times. I’m also familiar with extra-biblical sources of early Christians, the Church, the Jews and both their opponents. Clearly you haven’t done the latter as you wouldn’t be making stupid statements like the early Christians not being fundies, but instead more like milquetoast adulterous 21st Century Anglicans, yet somehow succeeded to take on the hyper-critical intellectual Greco-Roman world with erroneous Gospels about a backwaters guy who rose from the dead after a very humiliating execution. Yeah, I’m sure that slipped by the whole pagan world who would view this sect as competitors for the conver space and just let them slide on by or give them easy outs to escape execution by just admitting that their Gospels were in error here or there, yet these stubborn pre-American fundies preferred to face death. Boy! If only they read their own Scriptures and knew what Joy knows… then I’m sure they’d be enjoying peaceful lives!

    Ironically, the angle Swordifsh adopts in arguing about the bible, often, is a photo-negative of the fundamentalist.

    And he’d actually be right for once! What is there to argue with someone who’ll happily change their beliefs to accomodate his? Swordsy obviously wishes everyone would be a pushover like you, further cementing him comfortably in his belief that what you believe in is irrational nonsense.

    That’s probably because so many Christians who are fundamentalist influenced, think, erroneously, that their biblical interpretation is the right one and the only one.

    Some even believe they are unfallibly so. Almost as if God, being Truth itself, actually does care enough to give us a source of Truth that is inerrant and reliable. Not his problem if there are people out there whi think they either know better, or worse, believe Truth is unknowable, and therefore are content to settle somewhere that makes out like His effort was entirely fruitless. So why did He even bother in the first place?

    Hence, you think Swordfish is “consistent’ or whatever. You are in tune with regards ‘doctrine’ discussion points …coming at it from a similar place…I don’t agree withe either of you. Much of the time, you’re defending a straw man fundamentalist view.

    Yes, we are on opposite sides of the spectrum. We are both being consistent with our premises… rather he is at least attempting to, but atheism is inherently contradictory as no atheist merely stops at “I don’t believe.” They, by necessity, subscribe to their own kooky idead. But they try to be rationalist about it. You on the other hand have no rationale. When your own basis is, as you profess, in error, then that only leaves you with yourself and your own feelings as your guide. That is not objective criteria.

    Again, how do you know what faith ‘they’ have? Who is ‘they’? All catholics?

    They have written it down and explained it honey. And have been doing so for nigh on 2000 years. Not their problem that you reject it.

    All you know is what faith they’re supposed to have! Or you hope they have.

    Yes, but not because I personally had anything to do with it.

    When it comes to the pope, all bets are off though.

    Christ bet on it and built His Church upon it. Not His problem if you reject it.

    Do you know what dogmas “we’re” talking about?

    All of them.

    Do you mean me? Or someone else, re ‘dogma’. Since I’m the one who used the term initially, and I’m not sure you know what I’m talking about since you are mistaken about what I think and believe, naturally.

    I think even you are confused about what you think you think you believe.

    Given you can’t concede the first error, how can you claim what “we’re” talking about? Or who did what when?

    Because I am not in error, but Mrs. Joy who admits she bases her faith on faulty testimony is naturally in clear contradiction.

    God’s commandment to the apostles was clear through Jesus.
    I do not need to cloak the writing with pretentious showy verbiage from ancient texts. It doesn’t make the truth more true. It helps the weak followers to remain convinced and cajoled by poor leaders who don’t speak for Christianity.
    In medical field we call that kind of thing BS, or false placebo. In science they call it blinding people with science…bamboozle’s another good word.

    Uh huh… I see.. I see.. Seems you know better than everyone then, you know this without even reading them! Would you say… that you are an expert?

  55. There is a difference between basing your arguments and oremises purely on emotion,

    veesus getting righteously angry at something or someone for logical rational reasons.
    Yes, but you do the former while trying to pretend the latter.
    You’re neither righteous or logical
    You’re just plain wrong and very cross about it

  56. Johnno, comments are blocked at the moment
    but in the meantime try and calm down if the truth matters

  57. Now fishy,

    I’m not running away from anything. Your claim here (completely different to your original claim) is just a strawman. Trans people do not claim to be ‘scientifically the opposite sex’, that’s why a trans woman is called a trans woman, not a cis (biological) woman. Because of this fact, the rest of your comment is mostly irrelevant, but I’ll respond to some of your more irrational points, because the truth matters to me, even if it doesn’t matter to you.

    Oh okay, so then tell us… why are these clearly not-ackshully-men/women, with yiur enthusiastuc support, DEMAND, to be treated as and addressed by terms meant specifically for real-scientifically-men/women and access their spaces and events reserved only for real-scientifically-men/women? Why are they to be catered to when it is as you admit, clearly a game if pretend? I would think that you as an atheist would be above such things that you hold religion in contempt for in favor of scientific criteria?

    Ergo as I said above, you and your self-described “Christianity” don’t actually care about scientific facts or empirical evidence. It is based solely on emotions. And is also very much involved with moral affairs, which are also not based on objective criteria, but on personal ones, as your example of transphobia makes clear. (haha)

    But we do! That’s why I’m emphasizing scientific criteria a lot and you are the one running from it! Observe, by your own words:

    “It’s not a scientific statement, it’s an emotional and moral one, and it’s something you should think about.”

    If anything, my example of ‘transphobia’ clearly requires objective criteria in order to morally “discriminate” against them. Without objective criteria, this would not be possible. But as you finally admitted, you’ve got none!

    I am an atheist entirely because of the total 100% lack of any emprical evidence for God. I didn’t become an atheist *because* of emotional reasons, I became an atheist *despite* emotional reasons – I very much wanted it to be true that a benign intelligence was in charge of the world, but I eventually had to admit to myself that such an idea wasn’t supported by any evidence. It took decades for me to gradually realise that. (Incidentally, I still would like it if a benign intelligence was in charge of the world – but not the anti-gay, pro-slavery Christian God, as it isn’t benign in the slightest.)

    So you want emperical evidence… but only if that emperical evidence is “benign”, according to what you emotionally accept… But trumpets… what does cold hard scientific emperical evidence have to do with benignity? It’s either true, or it’s not. It doesn’t care the least bit what you feel about the consequences or outcome. If the skeletal remains are your dead loved one’s corpse, then your loved one is dead. That you wish it wasn’t so doesn’t change the fact. Again, you have only demonstrated what I said about you, that your claims about being persuaded by evidence are hogwash. The ‘evidence’ is subordinate to your non-objective feelings and desires.

    Likewise, how much you wish for some benign intelligence to exist being in charge of the world seems a contradiction. This benign intelligence would not be in charge of anything because, being benign, it would enforce nothing and serves no practical purpose for you to want it anymore than having nothing at all. The moment you want it to do something, means that you want it to be a judge. And when it does, why limit it to what only you want it to do? Does only what you want make it exist or not exist? Or is the evidence of its existence or non-existence there regardless of yours or my personal wants? Again, you have only exposed the fact that your wants come first. Not evidence. Because evidence doesn’t care for the implications of what you nor I feel about it.

    An intelligence that is in charge needs to judge things. The only benignity you can hope from it is that it be patient and merciful. Not that it will let you do whatever you personally want, anymore than it should let me or anyone else do what they personally want, especially if those run counter to your interests.

    Trans people claim to *identify* as the opposite sex. Their personal testimony is not only good enough evidence for that, it’s the only evidence that could exist, unless some kind of DNA or similar test could developed one day.

    So, no evidence. Just “I say so!” And thus all of society must be upended for this cause without backing.

    Personal testimony isn’t good enough evidence to establish the existence of God, and you must agree with that, otherwise, why aren’t you a Muslim? Do you not accept the personal testimony of two billion Muslims?

    No, it’s not. That’s why I’m not a Muslim just because Mohammad pulled an “I said so”, without miracles or eyewitness testimony or anything else to back him up. Same case for transgenders, for which we have clearly objective visible scientific criteria that proves that the person is suffering from a delusion that requires a different kind of treatment. And consensus doesn’t mean much either if it is at odds with evidence, even if billions believe in Transgenderism, or Islam, or the bulletproof protection of untested mRNA injections certified by government and the social media committes or that every fact-checker declared that the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop didn’t exist.

    This is a completely stupid argument. I don’t understand how you can be so dumb. Personal feelings clearly CAN’T justify terrorist bombings, but they CAN justify someone altering their own body, which doesn’t harm anyone else in the slightest.

    No, it’s NOT CLEAR. Explain your criteria as you would to a terrorist who has witnessed his entire family wiped out by a US drone strike on a wedding party as to why his efforts and feelings do not by themselves justify his retaliatory efforts.

    You are also conveniently forgetting that the brouhaha over trans-people in society right now is not so much just what they choose to do to their own bodies, and these self-mutilations have been occurring for a VERY long historical time and these sex-confused people have always been there, but now they are forcing OTHER PEOPLE to do thungs and change their language and behaviors to cater to their needs to the point of threatening parental rights, employment, free speech, men and women’s private spaces, women’s sports, women’s safety, and yes even the common practice of science and medicine, where evidence and objectivity must now bow to the trans-jihad. Since the stakes have been raised, obviously the issue cannot be conveniently ignored as some fringe cult and must now be dealt with, starting from the very premise as to whether there is any actual trans-anything, or simply people with mental health issues at odds with reality.

    It’s interesting that, just as homophobes only ever mention gay men, transphobes only ever mention trans women. I’m sure there’s a reason for that.

    Yes there is. We are trying to use the most basic, egregious and obvious examples for the slower folk out there so ad to establish common ground for an argument. We do this for you. That you are so reactionary to the standard use-male examples common to most discourse surely says something.

    Anyway, if you’ve never met a woman who looked like a man, then you must have led a sheltered life. What do you do in such a situation? Demand to see her birth certificate, or just behave like a decent human being would?

    It depends, is she trying to enter the men’s bathroom, or does she just want to buy cigarettes?

    Incidentally, it’s almost certain that you’ve met trans women without realising it. Oh noes! Perhaps you should demand everyone’s birth certificate when you meet them, just in case?

    I’m sure I’ve even met terrorists and murderers and rapists and pedophiles and never realized it either! Oh no! What’s your point?

    [I support trans rights because if I had been born trans, I would want the right to change my own body.]

    Again, what does ‘born trans’ mean? Babies come out either male or female. “Accidents” of hermaphroditism are rare and even then there is no such thing as the wrong body. Does Mr. Athiest here now believe in the existence of a soul? And these souls are sexless? If they are what difference does ut make what body they get, it is now their physical sex. Do they have a sex before they are born? How do they get it? Was it because they were once an amphibian dinosaur and this is some kind of evolutionary reincarnation? And what guarantees they get the same sex body of specie all the time? Is God doing it? So God gives their souls one sex, but screws up and gives them the wrong body? I wonder if there are also certain races born in the wrong bodies too? Does swordfish support trans-racial people? They exist! If not, why not? Is there some political barrier? Maybe the politics is very bad and needs to be more benign…

    Let me help you out here… There is no such thing as transexuality.

    Even if you could use a ghostbusters apparatus to figure out the sex of a pre-born soul, which would have all kinds if implications for the pro-abortion crowd who insist the early stages of life are not even human, much less a boy or girl, yiu could still never give them the “right body.” You only mutilate what they already have. There will always be some artifact of their actual body’s sex left way down to their bones and chromosomes. That’s the science. That’s the evidence. But we already know you don’t care about that. You pretend to whenever it’s convenient for winning internet arguments. When it’s not, you discard it. No consistency.

    Your objection is irrelevant as it doesn’t matter whether someone is born trans or not. Should people be allowed to live as a different sex to the one they were born as? I can’t see any reason why not. It’s as simple as that.

    They are interfering with my life and demand my participation in their delusion and if I don’t give it to them I suffer costly consequences. So if it is a war they threaten, then I’m willing to fight them. Otherwise for the longest time, nobody gave an F what these fringe lifestyles did outside of the minority of religiously-motivated people and medical professionals that cared enough to help them, or family directly involved with said-people who wanted them to be normal.

    Clearly you haven’t thought any if this through. I suspect that you are only on board because it is culturally en vogue to pretend you care and virtue signal. I don’t think you’ve actually been around such people for a lengthy period of time – years – to see the toll such life-altering decisions take on them past the honeymoon period. It’s funny that you presume I haven’t. But they are not examples to use for frivolous internet points. Besides, I am all about the evidence here, personal stories and emotions are not necessary. Stick to that.

  58. And please spare us the unrelated claptrap you added is about vengeance, for which nobody here is a combox is capable of doing.

    Hmm.
    What are you calling vengeance? You have previously advocated the Spanish Inquisition be reinstated or expressed admiration for them at least. Your bilious comment and lies about other readers seem to look quite a lot like vengeance. What other motive have you for telling lies about strangers?

    Spare “us” what is this “us”
    I ‘m responding to you
    The first error or untruth which is demonstrable is that the bible is inerrant. It isn’t. Trivially (to Christians) that is a true statement. Ask YOS about it if you don’t believe me, but he’s also Catholic and believes in evolution, so watch out you don’t find yourself in a minority, you could be persecuted!

    One can’t argue in trust, about the rest without starting with the first of your contention, which is wrong, regarding A)the bible and b) my own faith, about which you’re clearly not an expert but think you are.
    Which bible is it that you wish to refer to?
    I’ve found none of them glaringly different as yet and I’ve been looking at many. So choose one to save us time and I’ll use that in demonstrating the inerrancy. Used to always read the KJV but Johnby said its anathema to Catholics. So which bible? *makes no difference but you choose so we don’t get stuck discussing why my choice is no good

  59. Johnno,
     
    See this common link:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_Gospels

    Given that the gospels are all different in detail, that there are differences in the eyewitness and in the timing in the bible, such are when the last supper took place, it means the following:
    All accounts are not mutually true. They are typical eye witness accounts
    So look into the synoptic gospels or take your own choice of bible and hold them side by side. Ask yourself if all the discrepancies you find can all be true at the same time.
    Then you will have the answer to why I say the bible is not inerrant.
    (That’s just the Gospels.)
    It is the inspired work of God though. Literalists want it to be literally true. So I take it that’s how you view it and think that is the way all Christians are supposed to view it. Also where you’re similar to atheists or skeptics, as they offer such as evidence of the non existence of God.
    You seem to believe the same conclusion must b3 drawn from a non completely literally true bible.

    God is the subject throughout. What matters is whether you believe that Jesus died as a matter of history and rose again on the third day;.
    The responses of all who knew him, the proliferation and the fact that Paul totally changed to the opposite view on having a vision and hearing a voice, tells me and probably others, that there is something very unusual which happened at the time.
    I have changed my mind about checking together for you, the bible. You are smart enough to carry on with the investigation.
     
    My favourites for what it’s worth, are John and Mark
    John because I think he’s the loveliest, prefer the descriptions. The Holy Spirit is described more vividly. Mark, because he’s the shortest and clearest.
     
    Turned out, Mark is considered by most to be the most accurate. Yet look at what Jesus said about himself in both of those, Mark and John: In one, it’s a secret who Jesus is and in the other He tells everybody
    “I Am the light of the world”
    https://youtu.be/FSboL_WYP9k
    Now I found a better vid but lost it. The central point isn’t the detail of the investigation but the fact that they cannot all be ” literally” true, while the are all telling a truthful story.

  60. Therefore I do not doubt, as you claimed above, more than once, the veracity of the bible
    If I doubt God, and I have and do sometimes, I have other reasons for my faith than only the bible

  61. John Chapter 15.
    1
    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
    2
    He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes [1] so that it will be even more fruitful.
    3
    You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
    4
    Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
    5
    “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
    6
    If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
    7
    If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
    8
    This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
    9
    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
    10
    If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
    11
    I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
    12
    My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
    13
    Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
    14
    You are my friends if you do what I command.
    15
    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
    16
    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
    17
    This is my command: Love each other.
    18
    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
    19
    If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
    20
    Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.’ [2] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
    21
    They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
    22
    If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.
    23
    He who hates me hates my Father as well.
    24
    If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.
    25
    But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: `They hated me without reason.’ [3]
    26
    “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
    27
    And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

  62. Johnno and Swordfish,
    Who will find the interview “outrageous”?

    “The individual is sovereign”
    “on earth as it is in heaven”
    Faith exists in the real world and is a matter for the individual,
    Christianity teaches the values of freedom and of purpose.
    The ‘alt right’ as I’ve been saying all along, is behaving exactly the way the far left and the woke/pc behave. Glad I agree with Peterson, re white supremacy, too
    So true on literature and art,
    “there is only one way to interpret the bible…which is….”
    “”there is only one way to interpret western literature, which is thought he sense of the white supremacist”
    ….
    On thought and ideas, free speech, etc.
    As I see it, religious conviction is a private matter, which starts in childhood.
    https://youtu.be/IMBfT38xbhU

    “The individual is sovereign”

  63. Johnno,

    Why are they to be catered to when it is as you admit, clearly a game if pretend?

    I didn’t ‘admit’ any such thing, so don’t say that I did. Trans people don’t ‘pretend’ that they feel they are the opposite sex, they really do feel it.

    But we do [care about facts and scientific evidence]

    In much the same way as homophobes only ever mention gay men and transphobes only ever mention trans women, Christians only ever talk *about* evidence, they never present any. Have you got any evidence for God?

    So you want emperical evidence… but only if that emperical evidence is “benign”, according to what you emotionally accept

    No. I said I’d *like* there to be a benign intelligence, not that I wouldn’t accept evidence of a non-benign intelligence. I’ve always pursued the truth, even when I didn’t like where it led. If I said ‘I love pizza’, you’d say ‘fishy said he hates pizza!!!’ (Note to self: Why do I even bother responding to this clown?!)

    An intelligence that is in charge needs to judge things.

    Why? A benign intelligence wouldn’t create beings who wanted to do things that he/she/it didn’t want them to do in the first place. Creating beings that can disobey you, then bitching about them when they do doesn’t seem very intelligent to me. On the other hand, it does sound like the sort of dumb thing that would happen in an ancient fable.

    That’s why I’m not a Muslim just because Mohammad pulled an “I said so”, without miracles or eyewitness testimony or anything else to back him up.

    First, Islam has miracles, such as Mohammed flying on a winged horse and appearances by the angel Gabriel. Second, you don’t have miracles, you have *claims* of miracles. Claims aren’t evidence, they are things that require evidence. Third, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but you don’t have any extraordinary evidence, you have claims in an old book, exactly the same as Islam. From a standard of evidence point of view, Christianity and Islam are nearly identical. Fourth, what eyewitnesses?

    Explain your criteria as you would to a terrorist who has witnessed his entire family wiped out by a US drone strike on a wedding party as to why his efforts and feelings do not by themselves justify his retaliatory efforts.

    Oh, FFS! Actions aren’t right or wrong depending on whether the people carrying them out feel justified or not, they’re right or wrong depending on the CONSEQUENCES of those actions. Having surgery on your own body has minimal consequences, terrorist bombings have very grave consequences. It shouldn’t be necessary to explain this, as it’s obvious that you’re only arguing this because you feel it necessary to argue with everything I say, even if you really agree with it. Please don’t tell me you think a boob job is as bad as 9/11.

    You are also conveniently forgetting that the brouhaha over trans-people in society right now […]

    This alleged ‘brouhaha’ is largely a myth created by the extreme Christian Right. Example: I read that in Utah, they tried to pass a bill to prevent trans people from taking part in sport. This affected only 4 people, 3 of whom were trans men, and therefore at a physical disadvantage from a sporting point of view. So there was only 1 trans woman affected by this in the entire state. The bill was thrown out.

    I’m sure I’ve even met terrorists and murderers and rapists and pedophiles and never realized it either! Oh no! What’s your point?

    My point is that you’re complaining about a non-issue. You interact with trans people without even realising it and nothing is ‘demanded’ of you, or even politely asked of you. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine a less important issue.

    Again, what does ‘born trans’ mean?

    I mean it in the sense of having an innate tendancy to think and behave in a certain way. In the same way as autism is innate. But as I’ve already said, it doesn’t matter from a moral or consequential standpoint if it’s innate or not, just as it doesn’t matter to me if I’m mugged by someone with an innate tendancy to mug people or an aquired one.

    There will always be some artifact of their actual body’s sex left way down to their bones and chromosomes. That’s the science. That’s the evidence. But we already know you don’t care about that. You pretend to whenever it’s convenient for winning internet arguments. When it’s not, you discard it. No consistency.

    This is just as stupid as claiming that ‘the science’ says that autistic people don’t exist because their bones and chromosomes are the same as non-autistic people. *If* trans people are biologically different, then those differences would be in their brain. But in any case, I’ve been completely consistent throughout this exchange. I’ve never said that a trans woman is biologically a cis woman. That’s a BS strawman claim you made up at the start. Why can’t you at least try and represent my position honestly?

    They are interfering with my life and demand my participation in their delusion and if I don’t give it to them I suffer costly consequences.

    How? Be specific.

    So if it is a war they threaten, then I’m willing to fight them.

    What ‘war’? Now you’re really going nuts! If you want to fight, why not go to Ukraine and help out the Russian army?

    Besides, I am all about the evidence here, personal stories and emotions are not necessary.

    Is someone trolling me here?! I’m starting to think you’re a troll trying to make the Christian Right look even more ridiculous. If you were a real Christian, you’d use the word ‘evidences’, surely?! Now, do the honourable thing. Retract your lie about me being ‘soft on pedophiles’ and apologise. I’m still waiting.

  64. Today’s rhetorical question after reading the preceding posts: If el diablo had a lawyer, would he write much, if any, differently then *oy?

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