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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 16, 2009 07:14PM

Professor Pangloss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I always found Bertrand Russell's Theologian's
> Nightmare instructive:

amusing, perhaps, but hardly instructive

meanwhile back to you providing any suggestions on anything substantive e.g.


Where is the evidence for god or the supernatural?
Why is religion a better, more sustainable explanation for our observable universe than science?
How do I justify ignoring clear evidence just because it disagrees with my religion?
Why is my religion any more believable than any of the others?
How much science can/must I ignore to prop up my religion?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 16, 2009 07:48PM

nutters Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I always found Bertrand Russell's Theologian's
> > Nightmare instructive:
>
> amusing, perhaps, but hardly instructive
>
> meanwhile back to you providing any suggestions on
> anything substantive e.g.

I think it's instructive - it certainly illuminates how arrogant mankind can be in terms of religion. I think that you think Eliot posted this. I may be mistaken.

> Where is the evidence for god or the
> supernatural?

None. In fact, there are good arguments against the existence of god. As for the supernatural, I'm not sure the word can be properly defined, much less shown to exist.

> Why is religion a better, more sustainable
> explanation for our observable universe than
> science?

Religion, for the most part, is not even an actual explanation. Religion does not explain how god created the universe. Most religions don't even explain *why* god created the universe (I believe there are a few that do, the Egyption one for instance I think).

> How do I justify ignoring clear evidence just
> because it disagrees with my religion?

I do not have a religion and I do not ignore clear evidence.

> Why is my religion any more believable than any of
> the others?

I suffer from no religion.

> How much science can/must I ignore to prop up my
> religion?

None.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 16, 2009 08:12PM

Why would Russell's little science fiction Nightmare particularly interest anyone, being just another anti-Christian jab?
"Why, oh why, did the Creator conceal from us poor inhabitants of Earth that it was not we who prompted Him to create the Heavens? Throughout my long life, I have served Him diligently, believing that He would notice my service and reward me with Eternal Bliss. And now, it seems that He was not even aware that I existed."
The Bible is a massive communication addressed specifically to created Man, that makes completely clear that Man did not "prompt God to create the Heavens." And the pre-eminent theme of both the Old and New Testaments is God's "Grace" not Man's merit. Russell's Nightmare has it utterly backwards. It is a parody of 'popular' -- not Biblical -- Christianity.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2009 08:21PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 16, 2009 08:16PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why would Russell's little science fiction
> Nightmare particularly interest anyone, being just
> another anti-Christian jab? "Why, oh why, did the
> Creator conceal from us poor inhabitants of Earth
> that it was not we who prompted Him to create the
> Heavens? Throughout my long life, I have served
> Him diligently, believing that He would notice my
> service and reward me with Eternal Bliss. And now,
> it seems that He was not even aware that I
> existed."

It's a clear example of the arrogancy of believers.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 16, 2009 08:41PM

"Example?" It's a science fiction story. In any event, believers should be the least arrogant of all men/women because they "merit" nothing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2009 08:50PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 16, 2009 09:13PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Example?" It's a science fiction story. In any
> event, believers should be the least arrogant of
> all men/women because they "merit" nothing.


Yet they aren't.

They expect god to care about them enough to submit to an absurd sacrifice.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 16, 2009 09:24PM

Professor Pangloss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> nutters Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> >


>how arrogant mankind can be in terms
> of religion. I think that you think Eliot posted
> this. I may be mistaken.
>

oops - mea culpa -I did think it was Eliot;)

perhaps Eliot would be prepared to answer the same questions?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 16, 2009 09:42PM

Ness wrote: Believers should be the least arrogant of all men/women because they "merit" nothing.

Pangloss wrote: "Yet they aren't. They expect god to care about them enough to submit to an absurd sacrifice."

Ness replies: Res ipsa loquitur. That comment speaks for itself.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2009 09:44AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 16, 2009 10:43PM

nutters Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > nutters Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> > >
>
>
> >how arrogant mankind can be in terms
> > of religion. I think that you think Eliot
> posted
> > this. I may be mistaken.
> >
>
> oops - mea culpa -I did think it was Eliot;)
>
> perhaps Eliot would be prepared to answer the same
> questions?


It's understandable - it was a large block of text that didn't address anyone's specific questions. It was *EASY* to mistake it for an Eliot response...

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 16, 2009 10:45PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ness wrote: Believers should be the least arrogant
> of all men/women because they "merit" nothing.
>
> Pangloss wrote: "Yet they aren't. They expect god
> to care about them enough to submit to an absurd
> sacrifice."
>
> Ness replies: Res ipsa loquitur. That comment
> speaks for itself.


Redundancy.

Much like unsolved mysteries...

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: slinkeyts ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:37PM

its the way it is



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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 17, 2009 03:21PM

Pangloss wrote: "[Christians] expect god to care about them enough to submit to an absurd sacrifice."
Sigh. This goes beyond just calling Christianity false ... to hating the concept of an 'absurd' substitutionary atonement.
I'll agree that 'Altruism' is 'absurd' in an uncreated (and therefore ultimately 'a-moral') cosmos.
No mere 'argument' is going to convince either Pangloss or Nutters that the cosmos is created, as the Bible says ... or that God will raise us all from the dead, as the Bible says ... or that God will accept Jesus's "absurd sacrifice" for some, as the Bible says.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 17, 2009 04:05PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss wrote: " expect god to care about them
> enough to submit to an absurd sacrifice."Sigh.
> This goes beyond just calling Christianity false
> ... to hating the concept of an 'absurd'
> substitutionary atonement.

Nonsense, Eliot. I don't 'hate' the concept. I just recognize them as absurd.

> I'll agree that
> 'Altruism' is 'absurd' in an uncreated (and
> therefore ultimately 'a-moral') cosmos.

This goes beyond just calling an uncreated cosmos false....to hating the concept of alturism in an uncreated universe.

You have to actually argue for your points Eliot, not just assume them. I realize that presuppositionalism has softened your critical thinking skills, so I write this mainly for the lurker. I expect no response to this; as a response (ie, demonstrating your assertions through logical proofs) would require critical thought. Instead you'll just blythly assume your conclusions and possibly suggest that I hate Christianity again.

> No mere
> 'argument' is going to convince either Pangloss or
> Nutters that the cosmos is created, as the Bible
> says ...

How would you know? You haven't tried to present an argument nor have you attempted to refute the arguments against a created cosmos that i've presented.

This is they height of hypocrisy Eliot! You seem to be really talking about yourself here, since you have been completely unfazed by the actual arguments that have been presented!

> or that God will raise us all from the
> dead, as the Bible says ... or that God will
> accept Jesus's "absurd sacrifice" for some, as the
> Bible says.

Just because you take offense to it being called absurd doesn't make it any less absurd. If you don't want people to think your beliefs are silly, then don't have such silly beliefs - or at least stand up and attempt to refute the logical arguments presented AGAINST your beliefs.

But no. You will just sit there, posting your often refuted bilge pretending to be deep and intelligent. Pretending to have graduated from Harvard (or was it Yale?). While the rest of us are pointing at you declaring that the 'emperor has no clothes'.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2009 04:06PM by Professor Pangloss.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 17, 2009 05:29PM

Pangloss, in point of fact, I never said anything about when or where I attended university ... it's irrelevant, in any case.
Because of your presuppositions, I submit that there is no evidence that you would accept that Christianity is true -- other than finding yourself raised from the dead and judged.
Jeremiah 6 applies: "Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it."

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Local Man ()
Date: February 17, 2009 07:57PM

what the shit is goin on in here?

does mclean bible church still suck or what?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 17, 2009 08:13PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss, in point of fact, I never said anything
> about when or where I attended university ...

I believe you claimed to have been educated by a Harvard professor, which implies that you went to Harvard. You also claimed that your brother went to Cambridge (sp?) if I recall correctly.

> it's
> irrelevant, in any case.Because of your
> presuppositions, I submit that there is no
> evidence that you would accept that Christianity
> is true --

You are assuming this, I am asking you to demonstrate it. You are simply waving your hands and sticking your fingers in your ears.

You are the one who's presuppositions disable him from considering alternative worldviews and even arguments. I would go so far as to say this has been demonstrated.

Keep in mind that you haven't once presented an argument for Christianity, so to pretend that you *know* that my presuppositions would prevent me from hearing the truth of christianity is the height of arrogancy.

> other than finding yourself raised from
> the dead and judged.Jeremiah 6 applies: "Their
> ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of
> the Lord is offensive to them; they find no
> pleasure in it."

This is more nonsense and, dare I say, falsehood coming from you Eliot. I emplore you to be honest in your communication.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 17, 2009 08:15PM

Professor Pangloss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You have to actually argue for your points Eliot,
> not just assume them. I realize that
> presuppositionalism has softened your critical
> thinking skills, so I write this mainly for the
> lurker. I expect no response to this; as a
> response (ie, demonstrating your assertions
> through logical proofs) would require critical
> thought. Instead you'll just blythly assume your
> conclusions and possibly suggest that I hate
> Christianity again.

I'm going to give myself 8 points out of 10 for this. While you did pretty much ignore the points I brought up in this post and you did fling rhetorical poop at me, you didn't just assume that I hate Christianity. So I'm denied a full 10 points.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 18, 2009 10:53AM

Pangloss my friend, give it a rest. Academia is rife with visiting professors and fellows; my family lived on the Continent for years precisely because our father was invited to implement specific Harvard teaching methodologies in some European post-graduate programs. That's why I speak French and Italian. But this is all ad hominem ... so who cares?
Q: What "logical proofs" would ever convince you that complex symbiotic adaptations are orchestrated (as opposed to instances of Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics)?
Q: What "logical proofs" would ever convince you that that irreducible complexities (such as human eyes and even more remarkably, human cells) are 'designed' rather than sheer happenstance?
A: None. Because (like all of us) you interpret your perceptions within the context of your personal metaphysics -- which no longer includes the God of Christianity.
You've come out of a Christian context ... I am sure that you are aware that the New Testament considers Christianity to be propagated, not by 'ontological arguments', but rather by the Holy Spirit acting on the hearts of men who hear the Word of God and have their presuppositions changed thereby. E.g., Acts 13:
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.
When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
That is why Lon Solomon preaches from the Bible every weekend, rather than barraging the audience with Scholastic theoretical theory. McLean Bible Church has the expectation, and the experience, that the Holy Spirit will change some men's presuppositions, and their lives for all eternity, because "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
It is nevertheless not inappropriate, I think, to point out to 'Darwinian' man, that within his uncreated and dying cosmos nothing really matters, while within the personal, created Christian cosmos even 'altruism' makes sense because somebody dominant is really "out there" ... whose character and communications, and past and future actions, matter to Man.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2009 10:54AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 18, 2009 11:46AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss my friend, give it a rest. Academia is
> rife with visiting professors and fellows; my
> family lived on the Continent for years precisely
> because our father was invited to implement
> specific Harvard teaching methodologies in some
> European post-graduate programs. That's why I
> speak French and Italian. But this is all ad
> hominem ... so who cares?

1. An ad hominem logical fallacy is when you distract from someone's argument by insulting the person; ie, when you basically put the credibility of the arguer on the line instead of the reasoning of the argument. You haven't put forth an argument - all you've done is assert stuff repeatedly, which means this isn't an ad-hom.
2. This is just more evidence of deceptiveness. You claim to have connections, pedigrees, and the like, but you can't argue (or won't) your way out of a paperbag. This produces an incongruenty (sp?).

> Q: What "logical proofs"
> would ever convince you that complex symbiotic
> adaptations are orchestrated (as opposed to
> instances of Lamarckian inheritance of acquired
> characteristics)?

I have asked for evidence in addition to logical proofs - which you have also failed to provide. In any event, at the very basic what I would require to accept intelligent design would be a coherent theory; ie, an explanation of how X was designed.

> Q: What "logical proofs" would
> ever convince you that that irreducible
> complexities (such as human eyes and even more
> remarkably, human cells) are 'designed' rather
> than sheer happenstance?

As I already mentioned, I would need a functional theory of design - not an appeal to ignorance, which is precisely what proponents of intelligent design advocate. Evolution cannot explain X, therefore it was designed.

That is PITIFUL reasoning and it certainly isn't science.

So, I'd need a theory of design. Then i would need an argument that irreducible complexity is evidence for design. Currently it's not evidence of design at all, since the theory of evolution can explain IC and evolution has a functional theoretical model.

> A: None. Because (like all
> of us) you interpret your perceptions within the
> context of your personal metaphysics -- which no
> longer includes the God of Christianity.

Nonsense - I've just shown this presupposition of yours to be false. I've given what it would take (a legitimate scientific theory + evidential support) for me to accept intelligent design.

I should note at this time that I've been asking for evidence/argumentation for god's existence, not for intelligent design, since even if it could be shown that life was designed, that doesn't logically entail that god did the designing - this is what the Raelins believe after all.

Further, I don't see the necessity for intelligent design and god belief - that is to say, I find it reasonable that god could exist AND naturalistic evolution is true, so the whole intelligent design angle seems like a red herring to me.

> You've
> come out of a Christian context ... I am sure that
> you are aware that the New Testament considers
> Christianity to be propagated, not by
> 'ontological arguments', but rather by the Holy
> Spirit acting on the hearts of men who hear the
> Word of God and have their presuppositions changed
> thereby.

I am aware that some parts of the bible indicate that, while other parts indicate the opposite, such as 'test all things', and Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead; so that they are without excuse" and there's a verse about always having an answer to unbelievers.

In short you are wrong.

> E.g., Acts 13: As Paul and Barnabas were
> leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to
> speak further about these things on the next
> Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many
> of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism
> followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them
> and urged them to continue in the grace of
> God.When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad
> and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were
> appointed for eternal life believed.That is why
> Lon Solomon preaches from the Bible every weekend,
> rather than barraging the audience with Scholastic
> theoretical theory. McLean Bible Church has the
> expectation, and the experience, that the Holy
> Spirit will change some men's presuppositions, and
> their lives for all eternity, because "faith
> comes from hearing the message, and the message is
> heard through the word of Christ.

This is also incorrect as throughout the bible god provides people with more then the 'holy spirit'. He supposedly provides evidence. The trouble is that you and Lon (and presupper's in general) pick and choose which parts of the bible you want to believe.

Let's remember Elijah and how he demonstrated that god existed:

1 Kings 18:36-38

"Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."

God did not infuse these people with the holy spirit - he empirically demonstrated to them that he existed through a test.

> "It is
> nevertheless not inappropriate, I think, to point
> out to 'Darwinian' man, that within his uncreated
> and dying cosmos nothing really matters, while
> within the personal, created Christian cosmos even
> 'altruism' makes sense because somebody dominant
> is really "out there" ... whose character and
> communications, and past and future actions,
> matter to Man.

It is inappropriate because you just assume it - you are a lazy and sloppy thinker Eliot. You believe what you believe because someone you respect said it. You have not reasoned to your position and you IGNORE valid arguments against your position.

In short you are guilty of the very thing that you baselessly accuse me of. I think you do this because you are frightened of actually considering the oppositions worldview. It's clear that you cannot handle a rigorous internal critique of your worldview and that you are clutching vainly at your 'darwinist' nonsense.

Why should anyone take you seriously Eliot? Your worldview is contradictory and actually presupposes naturalism. It should be tossed into the waste bin of intellectually bankrupt failures and Christian thinkers should go back to evidential arguments.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 18, 2009 06:46PM

Pangloss fulminates:
You can't argue (or won't) your way out of a paper bag.
I've just shown this presupposition of yours to be false.
The trouble is that you and Lon (and presupper's in general) pick and choose which parts of the bible you want to believe.
Your worldview is contradictory and actually presupposes naturalism. It should be tossed into the waste bin of intellectually bankrupt failures and Christian thinkers should go back to evidential arguments.
Why should anyone take you seriously? You are frightened of actually considering the opposition's worldview.
You are a lazy and sloppy thinker.
You believe what you believe because someone you respect said it.
You have not reasoned to your position and you IGNORE valid arguments against your position.
I should note at this time that I've been asking for evidence/argumentation for god's existence.
Throughout the bible, god provides people with more than the 'holy spirit'. He supposedly provides evidence.
God did not infuse these people with the holy spirit - he empirically demonstrated to them that he existed through a test.

1 Kings 18:36-38

"Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."
Ness notes: Your demand for a personal miracle raises issues contained in an article by J. Arthur Hill, in the The Hibbert Journal of October, 1906, vol. V, p. 118:

"Christ's miracles and resurrection were objective phenomena, and Christianity was based upon them. . . . But belief in Christianity has gradually crumbled away because there has been no continuance of well-attested cognate facts. The Catholic miracles and ecstasies make belief easier for one section of Christianity; but Protestantism–which cuts off miracles at the end of Apostolic Times–has committed suicide; by making unique events of its basic phenomena it has made continued belief in them impossible." B.B. Warfield commented: On this view no man can believe in miracles who has not himself witnessed miracles. Testimony is discredited out of hand; man believes only what he has seen. Must we not go further on this ground? Can a man continue to believe in miracles unless he continues to see them? Is not memory itself a kind of testimony? Must not there be a continuous miracle in order to support continuous faith? We cannot thus chop up the continuity of life, whether of the individual or of the race, in the interests of continuous miracle. Granted that one or the other must be continuous, life or miracle; but both need not be.You are demanding what God only provided during periods of new revelation ... There are three eras in the Bible when miracles abound, and they are all times of new revelation from prophets: Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Notably even in the book of Acts, miracles diminish after the initial coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.There will, however, be an opportunity for us to see fire come down out of the sky again, during the miraculous reign of the AntiChrist ... and you will want to think twice about what you will believe if you are alive to see these events:
‘He performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.’ Rev. 13:13,14And you are forgetting what happened after Elijah's true miracle (the 'evidence' you demand) ... Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 18, 2009 07:20PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ness notes: Your demand for a personal
> miracle raises issues contained in an article by
> J. Arthur Hill, in the The Hibbert Journal of
> October, 1906, vol. V, p. 118:

W.T.F.?

I was *not* "demanding miracles" - you are creating a strawman.

I swear Eliot, what was the matter with actually tackling the issue I raised? The one that spoke against your presuppositional nonsense? Instead you have to transform what I wrote into a plea for miracles, utterly missing my point.

> B.B.
> Warfield commented: On this view no man can
> believe in miracles who has not himself witnessed
> miracles. Testimony is discredited out of hand;
> man believes only what he has seen. Must we not go
> further on this ground? Can a man continue to
> believe in miracles unless he continues to see
> them? Is not memory itself a kind of testimony?
> Must not there be a continuous miracle in order to
> support continuous faith? We cannot thus chop up
> the continuity of life, whether of the individual
> or of the race, in the interests of continuous
> miracle. Granted that one or the other must be
> continuous, life or miracle; but both need not
> be.

Incidentally, this is special pleading and can be discarded as irrational.

> You are demanding what God only provided during
> periods of new revelation ...

No, I wasn't demanding that - you are misinterpreting my point.

> There are three eras
> in the Bible when miracles abound, and they are
> all times of new revelation from prophets: Moses,
> Elijah, and Jesus. Notably even in the book of
> Acts, miracles diminish after the initial coming
> of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

This is an unwarranted assumption (gee, from Eliot, who'd of thunk it?) on your part. You are picking and choosing what you wish to be so. I could point to a multitude of versus that speak to believers continuing to do miracles if I wanted to, but it isn't the point I was addressing.

Further, what's this bit about 'miracles diminishing' in Acts? What's your justification for this?

> There will,
> however, be an opportunity for us to see fire come
> down out of the sky again, during the miraculous
> reign of the AntiChrist ... and you will want to
> think twice about what you will believe if you are
> alive to see these events:

So you are one of the Christians who believe that Revelation is a book of prophecy of the distant future?

Interesting.

> ‘He performed great and miraculous signs, even
> causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in
> full view of men. Because of the signs he was
> given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he
> deceived the inhabitants of the earth.’ Rev.
> 13:13,14And you are forgetting what happened after
> Elijah's true miracle (the 'evidence' you demand)
> ... Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the
> prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They
> seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to
> the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

Eliot, I did not *demand* that evidence (ie, miracles) and you know it. I was refuting your point about presuppositions automatically entailing a denial of the Christian worldview. I pointed to specific passages in the bible that directly contradict this notion.

What do you do? You promptly erect a strawman, unable to intellectually grapple with the actual argument.

I guess I should be happy though, since you are at least acknowledging that an argument is on the table.

I find it quite telling that in your quoting my 'fulmination' you conveniently skip my quote (carefully cropping out all but the 'frightened bit'):

"In short you are guilty of the very thing that you baselessly accuse me of. I think you do this because you are frightened of actually considering the oppositions worldview. It's clear that you cannot handle a rigorous internal critique of your worldview and that you are clutching vainly at your 'darwinist' nonsense. "

My guess is that I hit close to home on that one - but if you'll do me a favor and tell me why you didn't include it? Also, it's telling that you included "I've just shown this presupposition of yours to be false." in your quotation of my 'fulmination'.

Odd that you think that my pointing out that I've refuted a presupposition is 'fulminating'...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2009 07:21PM by Professor Pangloss.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: NegativeDreamStealer ()
Date: February 18, 2009 08:05PM

I'm going to have to call this one, Eliot. It's for your own good. You're out of your league. You're the shrew to Professor Pangloss' tabby. Besides, your posts are beginning to read like a Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One! label.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 19, 2009 10:59AM

Pangloss wants evidential arguments and tangible evidence :
"Christian thinkers should go back to evidential arguments."
"I should note at this time that I've been asking for evidence/argumentation for god's existence."
"Throughout the bible, god provides people with more than the 'holy spirit'. He supposedly provides evidence."
"God did not infuse these people with the holy spirit - he empirically demonstrated to them that he existed through a test."
"Let's remember Elijah and how he demonstrated that god existed." [Elijah called down fire from heaven, to consume water-soaked offerings.]
Ness notes that:
1) In Biblical history, such 'evidence' occurs during periods of new propositional revelation ... not in response to every demand from an unbeliever.
2) God responded to Elijah's prayer for fire to consume the soaked offering ... not in response to the prayers of the priests of Baal (who were executed shortly after seeing the 'evidence').
3) Many who saw Jesus's miraculous healings nevertheless did not believe him to be who he claimed to be. On the contrary, some attributed his powers to the Devil.
4) In the new Testament, Thomas the disciple is indeed given 'evidence' of the Resurrection ...
Jesus said to Thomas: "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
5) But people forget that Jesus said more to Thomas: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
6) John, in his Gospel, writes: "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
7) It is precisely a 'body-slam' of men's presuppositions/metaphysics -- in response to reading/hearing about the Christ of the Scriptures -- that God performs. This is clear throughout the New Testament.
8) The 'anti-Evangelism' bubbling up in this forum appears to be aimed at bashing people out of their Christian metaphysics, simply because they cannot call down fire from heaven or offer 'evidential arguments' that will force unbelievers to bow their knee to the God of Christianity. This is a demand that is nowhere met in the New Testament. For this kind of 'evidence' the anti-Evangelists will have to wait to die, just as Jesus told the Pharisees who were constantly bashing him:
Jesus answered: "I am the one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

Then they asked him, "Where is your Father?"

"You do not know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also. You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."




Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2009 01:12PM by Eliot Ness.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 19, 2009 11:39AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss wants evidential arguments and tangible
> evidence :"Christian thinkers should go back to
> evidential arguments."
> "I should note at this time that I've been asking
> for evidence/argumentation for god's existence."
> "Throughout the bible, god provides people with
> more than the 'holy spirit'. He supposedly
> provides evidence."
> "God did not infuse these people with the holy
> spirit - he empirically demonstrated to them that
> he existed through a test."
> "Let's remember Elijah and how he demonstrated
> that god existed."
> Ness notes that:1) In Biblical history, such
> 'evidence' occurs during periods of new
> propositional revelation ... not in response to
> every demand from an unbeliever.

You seem to be conflating miracles with evidence. They are not equivolent.
Further, please point to where it states this in the bible, that this evidence only occurs during 'propositional revelation'.

This is a classic case of picking and choosing what you want to believe Eliot. You are ignoring what the bible says about miracles (not to mention evidence, but that's another topic):

Mk 16:17-18
""And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.""

1 John 3:22
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."

James 5:14-15

"5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
"
John 14:12
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

What you are doing is rationalizing away the necessary (biblically speaking) expectation of miracles.

> 2) God responded
> to Elijah's prayer for fire to consume the soaked
> offering ... not in response to the to the prayers
> of the priests of Baal (who were executed shortly
> after seeing the 'evidence').

Strawman - I didn't say that god responded to the priests of Baal. Elijah was trying to convince those priests by having god show off for them.

Point being, they were unbelievers who saw direct evidence against their beliefs - which you claim can't be the case.

> 3) Many who saw
> Jesus's miraculous healings nevertheless did not
> believe him to be who he claimed to be. On the
> contrary, some attributed his powers to the
> Devil.

Fair enough, but so what? This just weakens the case for god, IMO, since it suggests that even if god did make his existence evident then that wouldn't necessarily convince people to believe (ie, keeping free will intact).

> 4) In the new Testament, Thomas the disciple
> is indeed given 'evidence' of the Resurrection ...
> Jesus "said to Thomas: "Put your finger here; see
> my hands. Reach out your hand pnd put it into my
> side. Stop doubting and believe.'

Yup.

> "5) But people
> forget that Jesus said more to Thomas: "Because
> you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are
> those who have not seen and yet have believed."

I didn't forget that, it's not relevant to what I'm talking about though. It's also not saying that non believers should be spared such evidence.

> 6)
> John, in his Gospel, writes: "Jesus did many other
> miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples,
> which are not recorded in this book. But these are
> written that you may believe that Jesus is the
> Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you
> may have life in his name."

....So? Are you suggesting that Jesus is the only one that can produce miracles?

> 7) It is precisely a
> 'body-slam' of men's presuppositions/metaphysics,
> in response to hearing the Scriptures, that God
> performs. This is clear throughout the New
> Testament.

No, it's not, as I've pointed out. If it were clear you would be able to address the claims against it and you would be able to provide scriptual support - instead of just asserting it.

> 8) The 'anti-Evangelism' bubbling up in
> this forum appears to be aimed at bashing people
> out of their Christian metaphysics, simply because
> they cannot call down fire from heaven or offer
> 'evidential arguments' that will force unbelievers
> to bow their knee to the God of Christianity.

This is complete nonsense Eliot and you know better. I've asked for logical argumentation and received none from you. Further you have not refuted the arguments I've put forward.

To dismiss both of these as requiring you to offer evidential arguments is hogwash.

> This
> is a demand that is nowhere met in the New
> Testament. For this kind of 'evidence' they will
> have to wait to die, just as Jesus told the
> Pharisees who were constantly bashing him: Jesus
> answered: "I am the one who testifies for myself;
> my other witness is the Father, who sent me."Then
> they asked him, "Where is your Father?""You do not
> know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would
> know my Father also. You are from below; I am from
> above. You are of this world; I am not of this
> world. I told you that you would die in your sins;
> if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to
> be, you will indeed die in your sins."

Except, rationally speaking, that this argument is special pleading and could be used for any other religion (barring a requirement for a direct quote, naturally).

Ergo, it's an intellectually bankrupt argument. But thanks for playing.

Why don't you try Pascal's Wager on us, maybe that it will work. Shoot, at least it'll be an attempt at a logical argument. :-)

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 19, 2009 11:40AM

BTW - when I said this: ""Christian thinkers should go back to evidential arguments.""

I was talking about going back to the tradition of Acquinas (sp?).

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 19, 2009 03:35PM

Pangloss:
1) you're on the wrong forum ... you want to be argued into Roman Catholicism,
2) (BTW, you're the one who brought up Elijah's miracle in the context of 'evidence' ... not me),
3) the "tradition of Aquinas" that you are asking for assumes the fallen man can reason his way from Nature as he sees it, to the God of the Bible,
4) therefore you might as well pull up stakes and go to a Roman Catholic forum, because the Evangelicals aren't generally going to play that game,
5) Roman Catholics believe that they have an active Apostle living in Rome, giving new revelation ex cathedra, and that there are active miracles left, right, and center ... including the transubstantion of the elements of communion, not to mention apparitions of the Virgin Mary,
6) I say again, you're wanting to discuss with Roman Catholics, not Reformation Protestants.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 19, 2009 04:01PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss:
> 1) you're on the wrong forum ... you want to be
> argued into Roman Catholicism,

*Sigh*, go on explain yourself.

> 2) (BTW, you're the one who brought up Elijah's
> miracle in the context of 'evidence' ... not me),

You are dishonestly twisting my context and you know it. The context, as I've repeated said and you've ignored, is a rebuttal to your presuppositional treatment of the bible. In short, you are a cafeteria christian.

> 3) the "tradition of Aquinas" that you are asking
> for assumes the fallen man can reason his way from
> Nature as he sees it, to the God of the Bible,

Yes - it's the only rational option open to the Christian, as I explained before (which you completely ignored because you couldn't deal with the argument).

> 4) therefore you might as well pull up stakes and
> go to a Roman Catholic forum, because the
> Evangelicals aren't generally going to play that
> game,

Nonsense, evangelical does not equal presuppositionalist. I like the qualification of 'generally' though, it kind of defeats your assertion, doesn't it? ;-)

> 5) Roman Catholics believe that they have an
> active Apostle living in Rome, giving new
> revelation ex cathedra, and that there are active
> miracles left, right, and center ... including the
> transubstantion of the elements of communion, not
> to mention apparitions of the Virgin Mary,

What does this have to do with anything? My reference to Acquinas was about evidential arguments, not necessarily miracles being evidence.

You seem to confuse the two. Are you purposely obfuscating or are you generally confused. When I ask for a logical or evidential argument, an example would be a cosmological argument or a design argument. I'm not asking for god to write his name in the sky (does this clarify the distinction to you?).

> 6) I say again, you're wanting to discuss with
> Roman Catholics, not Reformation Protestants.

I'm wanting to discuss these issues with believers, not just 'Roman Catholics'. You want to *sidestep and ignore* any difficulties in your belief while continuing to spout assertions about non-christian positions.

I have continually asked you to back up your claims and you have been reduced to denying that such is possible - implying that your position is fideistic. Admit that and I'll leave you alone. As it is, I'm finding less and less reasons to continue this lopsided conversation with you, but I would deeply respect your honesty if you'll just admit that you are a fideist.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 19, 2009 05:14PM

Pangloss: "I'm wanting to discuss these issues with believers, not just 'Roman Catholics'."
Ness: No, you are slinging epithets at Protestants who will not engage in Roman Catholic scholasticism ... for example, you say:
"You are dishonestly twisting my context and you know it. The context, as I've repeated said and you've ignored, is a rebuttal to your presuppositional treatment of the bible. In short, you are a cafeteria christian."
"It's the only rational option open to the Christian, as I explained before (which you completely ignored because you couldn't deal with the argument)."
"I have continually asked you to back up your claims and you have been reduced to denying that such is possible - implying that your position is fideistic. ... I would deeply respect your honesty if you'll just admit that you are a fideist."
'Fideists' generally dissociate 'faith' from 'reason' ... and that simply is NOT the biblical Protestant position.
The difference between you and the biblical Christians is that they believe God speaks truth, in the Bible, about mankind's past, present, and future -- as well as truth about events that mankind cannot see, such as what is in the mind of God and what transpires between God and his created angels -- and your metaphysics will not allow you to believe those propositions.
No amount of argument is going to change your mind. Nor would 'fire from heaven.' Nor fulfilled prophecy. You know what the Bible says, and simply do not believe it.
I won't 'argue' with such a world-view, but I will ask what basis there is for any 'ought' rather than 'is' in an uncreated, impersonal universe.
I think Nutters is the most consistent non-Christian who has posted here, reducing morality to an evolutionary adaptation ... but from such a position, one could well keep silent about atrocities such as the Holocaust ... rather than imposing on others, one's culturally-conditioned residually Christian disapproval of, say, 'racism' and 'murder' ... after all, based upon your own world-views, who are you and Nutters to judge other men about anything? ... It's a cold, dark place to live but Nutters, to his credit, almost lives there already.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 19, 2009 06:03PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
It's a cold, dark place to live but
> Nutters, to his credit, almost lives there
> already.

Sorry - its not cold and dark out here

Its sunny, every morning the squirrels gamble in my garden, the woodpeckers come to feed. I stand on billions of years of rocks and biology. At night I can see billions of stars. My kids sleep soundly.

Its just that I get to see the world for what it is - complex, majestic, fragile - and myself for what I am, complex, evolved, transitory, the result of the biological machinery and information processing from which I'm built.

I can see why I make decisions, the limits and triumphs of my evolutionary heritage and why society makes decisions, agreements, trade-offs and mistakes.

I know my limits but I'm no man's or doctrine's slave

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 19, 2009 07:39PM

Sure it's dark out there ... if you look ahead for yourself, your children, and even the 10,000 stars that you can see in the sky at night.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 19, 2009 08:57PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sure it's dark out there ... if you look ahead for
> yourself, your children, and even the 10,000 stars
> that you can see in the sky at night.


Goodness gracious Eliot - is that jealousy?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 19, 2009 09:53PM

Nutters, why are you here, participating in a forum intended to disparage McLean Bible Church ... an organization whose members live in a completely different cosmology than you do?

Is the Christian world-view offensive to you because, for example, its adherents tell their children that death is not annihilation?

You've written that "the taxonomy of those who push religion in the face of the evidence" is "1. Fools, 2. Charlatans, 3. Thieves, 4. or simply indoctrinated."

Why are you -- who have told us that there is no "absolute, objective morality" -- making ostensibly moral judgments about Christians, based upon your personal culturally-conditioned prejudices?

And do you really think that there are no intelligent (not foolish), sincere (not charlatans), honest (not thieves), thinking (not indoctrinated) Christians out here?




Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 10:11AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: asshat ()
Date: February 20, 2009 03:10AM

More Than A Believer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You really just want to know that you have it ALL
> figured out. Who needs to get over their self
> now?
>
> If you'd really looked at all religions (instead
> of Christian bassing) going back to the
> neanderthal days, you'd know they all believe in
> something larger than themselves.
> However, I'm sure that you have it right and have
> everything figured out.


1.) your statement about us having it all "figured out" seems to be ass backwards to me. it is YOU who thinks to have all of the answers (on this life and the next). I am simply stating "i dont know", its an honest answer, is there life after death? I dont know. Is there a God? I dont know. Is there a heaven and hell? I dont know. What we are talking about is basing our lives around what we DO know. You do realize the bible was science, before science was invented. It was man observing and concluding on the workings and intricacys of the world. How we think god would want us to live. Then we had this little thing called the scientific method that came up, and started to contradict what our religions were telling us, and instead of saying "hey maybe the bible is beautiful poetry, or a deep meanigful metaphore.", we say "no, it is the word of GOD, and is to be taken literally in all cases, because if the world is not 6 thousand years old, than it ALL must be a SHAM!". What I and i believe many other agnostic/atheist/whatever you want to call us, are saying is.... " I DONT KNOW, we're trying to figure it out as best as we can, but dont tell us this book is the ultimate absolute truth, because there are way to many holes in its logic."

2. And as for your second statement about man warshipping something that is bigger than himself, you are right in a sense. The earliest forms of religion were warshipping animals. Animals that were killed during the hunt in order to survive. Early man realized that men were not the only concious beings. That is to say, men realized that in order to survive, they needed to kill, and they realized that the deer or bear they just killed was the same as them. It had feelings, fears, emotions, and a drive to stay alive. It was this realization of the ultimate sacrifce (death to the animal, so that they could survive), that the first religions were formed.

This has always been a big problem of mine with christianity. The belief that man is not an animal, but something much more. I believe man is an animal, with animalistic drives, with emotions, short comings ,etc. The bible tries at every turn, to make us superior to and more important than animals. Animals have no soul right? Take a look at your dog, tell me that it doesnt have feelings, emotions, and a personality that you can distinctly tell from another dog's. Furthermore, look at nature and see the reflection of man. Look at socail behavior in ants, or bees, for example (its quite stunning how close our social habbits are to theres). You have to look at the reasoning behind your religions views. The reason the church is so anti-nature, is because the very religions that christianity was trying to stop were religions that revolved around warship of the earth/nature/animals. This simple belief that man is not an animal puts us in one of the shittiest situations of all time. We are running out of room on this planet, running out of nature (i know personally i have to drive a good distance to visit a park, or to see any wildlife other than a bird and a few squirrels running around.) Why fight global warming? not because its not true, but because it is an afront to your religion. Because, "if this wasnt meant to be, then god wouldnt allow it - the logic of man is divine". So, "drill baby, drill", because the world is ending soon ,and god is taking the righteous to heaven right?

The Question of life and death has always been on mans mind, where did we come from, where do we go. As well as the idea of a creator - by logic that was given to us, something can not come from nothing can it? (as far as we know). So the question has always been there, and has always been asked, and has never been answered. I have absolutely NO problem with the question of the existance of god, heaven, hell, etc. What i do have a problem with is religions all thinking they have the absolute right answer. Look at the greeks and the romans, who were pan-theists. It sounds rediculous today to believe in zeus and the many other gods sitting in the sky and controlling every day life doesnt it? That is considered a myth right? Ok now step back from your own religion, take a look at it, and take a look at the history (not just what the bible tells you), now make a logical decission about it. The only reason you are a christian and not a muslim, is because you were born in america. Religion is nothing more than a social habbit, everyone has questions about god etc, but we indoctrinate ourselves and children with things that i believe are more harmfull than good.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, everyone look up Joseph Campbell and read some of his work. He was the worlds leading expert on mythology. He goes very deeply into various religions around the world and breaks down the meaning, signifigance, and history behind them. and yes christianity is considered as myth. all im asking is that you take the chance to sit back and think of your own religion as well as these others as myths, learn about them.... and then keep your religious views to yourself :P

sorry for the long-winded speech... im bored at work...

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: asshat ()
Date: February 20, 2009 04:56AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss writes: "I don't believe you were an
> atheist at all. I think you are claiming to be one
> because many of your intellectual heroes were."You
> don't trust anybody to tell the truth, do you? I
> was in fact excused from mandatory Church of
> England services when I began to just sit there
> and not participate. Met Schaeffer thereafter
> (through an outside music teacher to whom I
> confided my newfound atheism) but spent nearly a
> year as a 'practicing' atheist (so to speak),
> listening to discussions every weekend.

This sounds less like you being an "atheist" and more like you being a child that wants to rebel against the system that he was placed into.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: kl ()
Date: February 20, 2009 05:56AM

RESton Peace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> KL: From the first sentence, you epitomized my
> exact sentiment about christians and their
> self-loving bullshit. I hope you take my advice
> and shoot yourself. I hope you leave a large
> amount of brain matter on the walls, and that your
> face is blown clean off, so as to prevent a closed
> casket.
>
> Not that a casket will be needed. You have no
> family or friends who care about you... you have
> totally turned yourself over to Jesus Christ, and
> since he's been dead for almost 2000 years now, he
> is not available to find your corpse, notify the
> authorities, and make arrangements months later,
> when you have finally been identified via a
> hodgepodge of medical and public records. Your
> rotting corpse could be fed to dogs, and that
> would have more attendants than any other funeral
> your sad life would draw.
>
> Make amends with your so-called savior now,
> because Jesus Christ can and will sodomize you and
> all your children in hell. For this I have
> prayed.


Reply to above: I'm praying for you and forgive you, for you do not know any better about the self destruction you are bringing on yourself, for all time and eternity. Suicide? Sucicide is murder. And murder is sin. You are loved by God anyway, but like all of us as human beings, you and all of us, from the beginning of time, to the end of time, will be and are being, held accountable to God. You have declared a curse, you think on me and others who believe in Christ. In reality, you have declared the curse on yourself. Yet I, and others, are praying God's best blessings for you and others, and with God's best blessings, if accepted, the self-curse could be avoided. And even when those who believe in Christ do die, it is only the body which will die, the spirit would immediately go to be with Christ in Heaven, where I hope and pray you and so many others will be one day, something you would never regret, but be grateful for. All people are precious in God's sight, even before we were born and for those not yet born. God already knows who we all are and are to be. I'm so glad He does. I'm so glad each and every one of us is so very special to Him, no matter who we are.

And to your comment about being dead, and only the dogs to be in attendance. Not so, for God and His angels would be in attendance, and safely taking me to Heaven with Christ and others already there, for animals only have instincts to go by, and are not capable of choosing between right and wrong. Humans are the only creation on earth that are capable of choosing between right and wrong, between God and self, between eternal life, or eternal death. Which will you or others ultimately choose? I pray - for Life.

As for public records on all people = God already has these on every human being from Adam and Eve to whoever will be the last people on this earth - and on every aspect of each of our lives, not just mine. Scary, yes, in a way, but more merciful than how humans treat other human beings with these matters. And knowing God has records on all of us and every detail of the lives of every human being, is really a blessing in disguise, as He is willing to be merciful and forgiving, and willing to make of each of us, people who can have something to really live for that is worthwhile, for all time and eternity. People are usually not willing to have mercy or forgiveness on themselves or their fellow human beings - so unlike God.

So long for now, and again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: GW ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:17AM

TheMeeper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> More Than A Believer Wrote:
> >>> you spent so much time trying to convince
> yourselves that God is dead to what purpose.
>
>
> As opposed to the thousands of years, millions of
> innocent lives, and countless wars to prove that
> God isn't dead? To what purpose?


Reply: because God's creation - you and all of us - are so very mucy loved by Him.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church
Posted by: GW ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:25AM

WashingTone Locian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> >
> >
> > My feelings are not at issue - it's a question
> of
> > logic and reasoning; there's no purpose for the
> > suffering ergo it's incongruent with the idea of
> a
> > benevolent god.
> >
>
>
> There were actually several gnostic sects in early
> Christianity that came up with the concept of "two
> Gods," the God of the Old Testament (evil,
> vengeful) and the God of the New Testament
> (loving, forgiving) because there was no other way
> to reconcile the disparity between the two.
>
> Also, why would God command mankind not to worship
> any other Gods or idols and then come up with
> Jesus and a Cross. Is he just screwing with us?


Reply: The God of the OT and NT are one and the same. John 1:1 (NT); Genesis 1 (We will make man in Our image). only humans marred that image with sin. God created us pure and without sin, but with a free choice. The choice humans made was to disobey God, and this was and is sin. Then eternal punishment for people who rejected Him, and rejects Him, comes in to play. Originally Hell and the Lake of Fire was only created for satan and his following of disobedient angels. Yes, even angels were created with a free choice.
God has always been forgiving and merciful - in both the OT and the NT (the latter we are still living in). And there has, also, always been consequences for sin. Both are ever old and ever new.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church
Posted by: GW ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:35AM

GW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WashingTone Locian Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Professor Pangloss Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > My feelings are not at issue - it's a
> question
> > of
> > > logic and reasoning; there's no purpose for
> the
> > > suffering ergo it's incongruent with the idea
> of
> > a
> > > benevolent god.
> > >
> >
> >
> > There were actually several gnostic sects in
> early
> > Christianity that came up with the concept of
> "two
> > Gods," the God of the Old Testament (evil,
> > vengeful) and the God of the New Testament
> > (loving, forgiving) because there was no other
> way
> > to reconcile the disparity between the two.
> >
> > Also, why would God command mankind not to
> worship
> > any other Gods or idols and then come up with
> > Jesus and a Cross. Is he just screwing with us?
>
>
> Reply: The God of the OT and NT are one and the
> same. John 1:1 (NT); Genesis 1 (We will make man
> in Our image). only humans marred that image with
> sin. God created us pure and without sin, but
> with a free choice. The choice humans made was to
> disobey God, and this was and is sin. Then eternal
> punishment for people who rejected Him, and
> rejects Him, comes in to play. Originally Hell and
> the Lake of Fire was only created for satan and
> his following of disobedient angels. Yes, even
> angels were created with a free choice.
> God has always been forgiving and merciful - in
> both the OT and the NT (the latter we are still
> living in). And there has, also, always been
> consequences for sin. Both are ever old and ever
> new.
Update on my reply: "only humans marred that image with sin". Angels, perhaps were not created in God's image - perhaps not like we as humans were. Not sure about that. However, it is for humans that Christ came to rescue, angels, sadly, don't seem to have that privilege - perhaps because they were already in Heaven with Him, and knew Him firsthand, and once kicked out, perhaps will never have the opportunity again to be in Heaven - but this was and is their eternal choice-from even before the beginning of earth. yet we as humans, can choose, now, while on earth, to live eternally without Christ, or eternally with Him - on His terms - and rightly so - as He is our precious Creator and Who loves us so very much.

Glad you asked.
I'm learning so much from all of you who write in. even though there is so much hatred evident, this is perhaps one reason why I'm so glad you are writing in, because it only confirms more deeply, the reality of such a precious God who is more merciful and forgiving than any human being ever was or will be. I agree with KL and others regarding this.

I do pray His best blessings for each and every one of you.

Closing my input for now.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 08:31AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > Pangloss: "I'm wanting to discuss these issues
> with believers, not just 'Roman Catholics'."
> Ness: No, you are slinging epithets at Protestants
> who will not engage in Roman Catholic
> scholasticism ... for example, you say:
> "You are dishonestly twisting my context and you
> know it. The context, as I've repeated said and
> you've ignored, is a rebuttal to your
> presuppositional treatment of the bible. In short,
> you are a cafeteria christian."

I am taking your position and exposing it as fallacious. That is not the same thing as slinging epithets at protestants who will not engage in Roman Catholic scholasticism. You are running from any and all criticism of your position by throwing up strawmen.

Just because you don't like where the logic leads, does not mean it doesn't lead there. Or will no amount of argument change your mind?

> 'Fideists' generally dissociate 'faith' from
> 'reason' ... and that simply is NOT the biblical
> Protestant position.

Whoa, hold on there Tonto - I was not targeting the 'protestant' position. I was targeting YOU. You do not represent all protestants.

You also didn't answer my question, so I'll repeat it:

Are you a fideist?

This time don't dance around it, man up and answer the damn question.

> The difference between you and the biblical
> Christians is that they believe God speaks truth,
> in the Bible, about mankind's past, present, and
> future -- as well as truth about events that
> mankind cannot see, such as what is in the mind of
> God and what transpires between God and his
> created angels -- and your metaphysics will not
> allow you to believe those propositions.

*Sigh* this is whimpering nonsense Eliot. I am open to being wrong (which you are not and this has been demonstrated) - however I'm not just going to accept your word.

Will not amount of argument change your mind?


> No amount of argument is going to change your
> mind.

More lies. Look Eliot, here are the facts:

1. You are not a psychologist and you have not produced *any* arguments to support your brand of religion. Ergo, it's extremely dishonest to attack my character by saying that no amount of arguments will change my mind. How do you know this?

You don't, you can't refute what I've written and you need a scapegoat - this seems to be why you are making up this bilge about me changing my mind.

2. The fact is my mind *HAS* been changed in the past, in short, I used to be a Christian and now I'm not. That is evidence that my mind can be changed.

3. You are being a hypocrit since you have not even dealt with any of the refutations I've put forth. In short, you are pointing the finger at me, while it should be pointed at yourself.

> Nor would 'fire from heaven.' Nor fulfilled
> prophecy. You know what the Bible says, and simply
> do not believe it.

Nonsense - this is just an empty assertion. Please back it up or back it down. Or will 'no amount of argument change your mind'?

> I won't 'argue' with such a world-view, but I will
> ask what basis there is for any 'ought' rather
> than 'is' in an uncreated, impersonal universe.

Of course you won't - you know your position is not rational. Further, I've already demonstrated that your worldview cannot account for the is/ought dilemma, so your demands that any other worldview produce it are shallow.

> I think Nutters is the most consistent
> non-Christian who has posted here, reducing
> morality to an evolutionary adaptation ...

No offense to Nutters, but your opinion of his position is not really all that special - you aren't very rational eliot. You like Nutter's position because it supports what you already believe. That's sad.

Keep in mind that I think that a constructive discussion could be had with Nutters on the basis of morality and what constitutes objective morality, I don't believe the same can be said of you, Eliot.

You believe what you want to believe.

> but
> from such a position, one could well keep silent
> about atrocities such as the Holocaust ... rather
> than imposing on others, one's
> culturally-conditioned residually Christian
> disapproval of, say, 'racism' and 'murder' ...
> after all, based upon your own world-views, who
> are you and Nutters to judge other men about
> anything? ... It's a cold, dark place to live but
> Nutters, to his credit, almost lives there
> already.

*Sigh*, I don't know why i'm bothering, but I'll point out that your worldview does not say that those atrocities are *wrong* or *evil* either. What your worldview states is that it's wrong to cross god's opinion. In short, it's an authority play, ontologically no different then if we put *hitler* as the source of authority.

You can't (and won't) rationally deny this, so you'll just ignore the argument.

It's utterly pathetic.


BE HONEST WITH US Eliot! It's refreshing and it'll get the conversation moving again.

Now answer the question:

Are you a fideist?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church
Date: February 20, 2009 08:36AM

GW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Reply: The God of the OT and NT are one and the
> same. John 1:1 (NT); Genesis 1 (We will make man
> in Our image).

According to *you*, but not according to some of the first christians. Look up the history.

> only humans marred that image with
> sin. God created us pure and without sin, but
> with a free choice.

What does that even mean? What is this 'free choice' you are referring to? It sounds like the incoherent notion of libertarian free will.

What is 'sin'? If we do not know good from evil, then in what sense can it be said that we had a choice?

If adam and eve didn't know that betraying god was wrong, then how is it rational to punish them (and by extension, mankind) for eating the fruit?

> The choice humans made was to
> disobey God, and this was and is sin. Then eternal
> punishment for people who rejected Him, and
> rejects Him, comes in to play.

How is it rational and benevolent to punish someone forever for a finite offense that they didn't even know was wrong?

> Originally Hell and
> the Lake of Fire was only created for satan and
> his following of disobedient angels.

Where does it say this?

> Yes, even
> angels were created with a free choice.
> God has always been forgiving and merciful - in
> both the OT and the NT (the latter we are still
> living in). And there has, also, always been
> consequences for sin. Both are ever old and ever
> new.

If god is always forgiving and merciful then how to you square that with the lake of fire bit?


BTW - my apologies if I come off too aggressively. I've been dealing with Eliot's dancing around answers for a bit too long in this thread.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 08:39AM by Professor Pangloss.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church
Date: February 20, 2009 08:59AM

Okay, here's something that I wrote up several years ago. I wrote it up for a debate I was having. It's not a full proof argument, but I do think it's enough to give pause to the idea of god. I suspect that Eliot will ignore it completely, while hypocritically continuing to claim that *I* am the one that is not receptive to changing my mind. For all others, I welcome comment.

-----
What follows is a critical examination. It's fairly long and probably not suitable for everyone. I've incorporated cites where appropriate and in some cases I've quoted a sizable amount of text because I feel the author has done a far more admirable job of explaining the concept then I would have been able to. So I hope you'll bear through the quotes.

Okay, I want to state up front that I'm by no means an expert on atheism or atheistic argumentation. If you want what I consider a good book on atheistic argumentation, then I suggest you pick up the book "Atheism: The Case Against God" by George H. Smith. Additionally, I'm not seeking to convert or sway anyone towards atheism. I do not denigrate religious belief nor do I find it 'wrong' in any sense. What I'm attempting to do is provide a reasonable justification for atheism.

I think this is a particularly relevant and interesting issue, no matter which side of the 'pew' you line yourself up with. Religiosity and church attendance are at an all time high, in fact, belief has never been so common place in America-this is why the topic of God belief is an important issue. According to Michael Shermer:

"For the past two centuries American church membership rates have risen from a paltry 17 percent at the time of the Revolution, to 34 percent by the middle of the nineteenth century, to over 60 percent today." [1]

With that said, I will introduce some of the arguments either against specific arguments in favor of God or in favor of the non-existence of God. I will be addressing the arguments one at a time, and with proper reference links/cites when appropriate. I'm not going to rattle off a litany of arguments because I feel that more will be gained if we explore them one at a time and in greater detail.

Before I begin, I'm going to define some terms for the purpose of this discussion. These are by no means concrete and we can define them further if need be.

Atheist: Someone without the belief in God. It is not necessarily a position where the person says affirmatively that God does not exist. Atheist is a general statement about a non belief in any God concept.

Hard Atheist: This is the person who says that God does not exist, affirmatively.

Weak Atheist: This is a person who does not feel that there is any quality evidence for the existence of God. They do not rule the concept of God out definitely, but they see no reason to believe in any of the Gods they know of.

Agnostic: Agnosticism is not a position on whether one believes in God or not, it is a position on whether one believes that it is possible to know positively whether God exists or not. Additionally it's a position on whether God can be known through experience.

I'm fairly certain that everyone will agree with the above-at least to some extent. The next definition, that of God, begins the discussion and the first argument for the non-existence of God.

Before I begin examining the concept of God, I feel justified in asking the following question: Does God require faith? From what I’ve read, most incarnations of God want their believers to believe based off of faith, instead of based off of empirical evidence. If this is true, then atheism is justified-because without doubt there is no faith-only certainty. Depending on the response, I might come back to this issue. Now then, onto a bigger problem.

Defining God and the problems therein.

The very first question that should be asked before we can either affirm or deny the belief in an entity is what is the entity in question?

I think we can all agree that if the entity in question is ill defined to the point of utter arbitrariness that it doesn't make much sense to affirm a belief in the entity; after all, what would we be actually affirming a belief in? A mystery? An abstract concept that has no basis in reality?

In order to be clear on this point, I'll rely on the words of W.T. Blackstone:

"Until the content of a belief is made clear, the appeal to accept the belief on faith is beside the point, for one would not know what one has accepted. The request for the meaning of a religious belief is logically prior to the question of accepting that belief on faith or to the question of whether that belief constitutes knowledge."[2]

So without a foundation on which to rest a belief, that belief is by definition nonsensical. I think we can all agree on this. The problem with relating to commonly accepted definitions of what God is, is that since the dawn of time there have been many different definitions of God. Some included the more traditional anthropomorphic God, such as Zeus, Mithra, El, Isis, Horus, etc. These Gods were basically big magical 'men', so to speak, in that they were aggrandized versions of humanity. They had human form, emotions, and other characteristics. For the most part Gods of these sorts can be dismissed for the purpose of this discussion as they are not believed in by anyone here, and have been, for the most part, relegated to the dustbin of history. If anyone wants to go over their concepts in further detail, I'm more then willing to.

The other versions of God that are often brought up are the Gods without physical substance, these Gods include, but are not limited to, the God of Abraham (includes Hebrew/Christian/Islamic religions) and Ahura Mazda (granted even these can be argued against). These Gods are often described as omnimax Gods; i.e., all powerful, all benevolent, all knowing, and omnipresent (in most cases). These Gods are the type of God I am concentrating on. They are not defined outside of abstraction, which means they do not have a valid, workable, definition.

It is sometimes argued that God is 'being itself'. I do not think this is a rational statement however, because it blurs the definition of what we already know with what we do not know in an effort to sustain a belief in something for which none is warranted. If we say that existence or 'being' is God, then what is existence? What does 'being' mean? These terms become nonsensical when they are relegated to the attributes of God.

As George Smith puts it: "To divorce the idea of a supernatural being from the concept of god is to obliterate the basic distinction between theism and atheism. If the so-called "theist" or "Christian" is willing to admit that a supernatural being does not exist, then he has capitulated to traditional atheism, and his continued use of the word "god" carries no metaphysical significance." [3]

So God can not be redefined to mean existence or being, because it confuses the concept and destroys the concept of what it means to have a supernatural God. In short, there is nothing to believe in, other then existence, which is a fundamental axiom already.

To continue on, the other position a theist takes is that God is part of the supernatural. This too has the appearance of definition, but when inspected closely falls apart. When something is claimed to be supernatural, it means that it doesn't follow the natural laws of the universe. It is somehow outside of the natural world, it is outside of any possible understanding that we, as natural and physical beings, can be privy to-logically/rationally speaking.

Once again, George H. Smith sums it up: "The first problem with the designation of supernatural (or any equivalent term) is that it tells us nothing positive about a God. "Supernatural" tells us what a god is not-that it is not part of the natural universe-but it does not tell us what a god is. What identifiable characteristics does a god possess? In other words, how will we recognize a god if we run across one? To state that a god is supernatural does not provide us with an answer....the entire notion of a supernatural being is incomprehensible. The theist wishes us to conceive of a being exempt from natural law-a being that does not fall within the domain of scientific explanation-but no theist has ever explained how we can conceive of existence other than "natural" existence. "Natural existence" is a redundancy; we have no familiarity with "unnatural" existence, or even a vague notion of what such existence would be like."[4]

To claim that god is subject to natural law is to unmake god and to apply limitations to god. Additional claims of omnipotence then entail a logical contradiction and do not hold. Furthermore, since god has to be supernatural, that means that it can not possess determinant characteristics, these characteristics would automatically limit god to the natural (and obviously out of the omnipotent).

So what is god? Well, in order to exist, an entity has to exist as something. Existence can not exist without something to exist, and similarly anything that exists must necessarily be something. The trouble is, god can have no defining determinant characteristics and necessarily must be in the realm of the supernatural. As such, to claim that god exists is to claim that something with no characteristics exists, which is nonsensical.

Ludwig Feuerbach said: "To deny all the qualities of a being is equivalent to denying the being himself. A being without qualities is one which can not become an object to the mind, and such a being is virtually non-existent"[5]

What is there to believe in? What qualities does the believer believe that God possesses? The standard reply is that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc. Unfortunately this is not a proper answer, as this tells us what the God is not. These are not positive attributes. Omnipotence tells us that God is without limits in power. It does not tell us how this omnipotence manifests itself, nor how it can be achieved in the knowable world. It in effect, an empty statement, an aggrandizement of what human beings perceive. It is similar to the concept of 'perfection', in that it's an ill-defined subjective term and not part of objective reality. The other 'omni's fall because of similar objections. God is without ignorance and there is no place where God isn't.

Francois Tremblay states: "To understand how the god-concept is meaningless, I need first to explain what negative defining, and substance, mean.

Something is negatively defined when the identification critically lacks specificity because it tells us what something is not, instead of what something is. For instance, the following identification lacks specificity

"I am not Arthur Daniels Jr."

While it is true that I am not Arthur Daniels Jr., the identification tells you almost nothing about me. All it tells you is that I am not one particular person. It still leaves the possibility of me being any other person on Earth, or even any other sentient entity in the universe. As such, it critically lacks specificity.

Some categories of attributes interest us specifically, such as : substance, secondary attributes, and relational attributes. The substance of an existant is the basic nature of the material it is composed of. Secondary and relational attributes can only be meaningful insofar as the substance is meaningful and pertains to those specific attributes.

The following propositions can express this clearly.

1. The ball is red.
2. The sound is red.
3. The soul is red.

Proposition 1 is perfectly possible, since we know that balls are made of material which can have colour, such as plastic. Proposition 2 is not possible, as sound arrives to us in the form of sound waves, which cannot have colour. Proposition 3 is meaningless, since souls are "supernatural", which means non-material. All we know is that the soul is not made of matter, but we do not know what it is made of. If we do not know what it is made of, we cannot say what attributes it can take and what attributes it cannot take. Consequently, proposition 3 is meaningless.

If we look at the attributes given to the word "god", we find the same problems. All of its attributes are either negatively defined, secondary or relational. If a god is Creator, then it must be immaterial, as nothing can cause itself. But as we have seen, "immaterial" is a negatively defined term. Therefore a god's substance is undefined.

This lack of definition is fatal to the meaningfulness of the god-concept, as secondary or relational attributes can no longer apply either. It makes no sense to apply attributes like "unicity" or "loving", or even "personal being", to a being when we do not know the substance of that being.

The other core attributes of the god-concept suffer from the same problems. Gods are Creator, but this is a relational attribute, as it concerns a god's relationship with the universe. Gods have infinite powers, but the word "infinite" is negatively defined, and therefore ontologically meaningless. Gods are personal beings, but personality is meaningless without knowing whether the substance of a god is capable of intelligence or personality." [6]

All of this is to say that the god concept is incoherent. If this indeed turns out to be the case, then positive belief in such a concept is not possible. I realize that what you've probably just read can be seen as the same argument, drawn out in aggonizing detail. I've tried to keep it short-believe me (I'm rather long winded and could go on and on)-and I've tried to keep it coherent and on point as much as possible.

With that said, in order to validate a belief in an entity (God) the theist must first define the entity. The definition must include whether the entity is material or immaterial, supernatural or non-supernatural, etc etc. Unfortunately an entity that is material and non-supernatural is not a new entity at all, it's just a new term for the universe-which is why the pantheistic argument fails. An entity that is supernatural and non-material can not exist because that entity lacks specificity and is empty. A supernatural materialistic entity is a contradiction in terms.

Works Cited:

1. Michael Shermer, How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God (New York: Owl Books, 2000), p. 25.

2. William T. Blackstone, The Problem of Religious Knowledge (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963), p. 2.

3. George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (New York: Prometheus Books, 1979), p. 35-36.

4. George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God (New York: Prometheus Books, 1979), p. 39-40.

5. Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, translated by George Eliot (New York, 1957), p. 14.

6. Francois Tremblay, http://www.objectivethought.com/debates/daniels1.html

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 20, 2009 10:21AM

Pangloss your charm offensive is certainly energetic: "More lies." "You are making up this bilge." "You need a scapegoat your position is not rational." "You aren't very rational." "Utterly pathetic." "BE HONEST WITH US."

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 10:31AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss your charm offensive is certainly
> energetic: "More lies." "You are making up this
> bilge." "You need a scapegoat your position is
> not rational." "You aren't very rational."
> "Utterly pathetic." "BE HONEST WITH US."


Eliot, you've been yanking our chains for a while now - baselessly asserting things. I don't care if you are a fideist, but please admit it.

You've been shown to be dishonest a few times (I'll reference the gould qoute as an example), so you that criticism is on target for you.

Your position has been shown to be irrational and you have not defended it, so that criticism is on target for you.

"Utterly pathetic" is a personal appraisal, so YMMV.

You are frustrating to discuss these things with because you ignore, obfuscate, and assert. It's like having a one sided discussion (for the large part). Have you no experience with internet message boards? With debate/discussion? I'm not trying to be mean here and it really irks me that I doubt I'll get a response to this, but I'd like to know if this is your first time on messageboards and/or is this your first time talking to people - in detail - who hold different worldviews then your own.

I would also like you to admit that you are a fideist. I think it's obvious and I would respect you a whole lot more if you'd just admit it.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 20, 2009 10:51AM

Pangloss asks: "Is this your first time on message boards."
Ness replies: No amigo. I've in fact whistle-blogged a $250 million dot-con securities fraud, providing the public and the FBI with smoking-gun documentation (the officers and directors settled a class action lawsuit rather than go to court) ... furthermore, in part because of that whistle-blogging, Lehman Bros. then-CEO Fuld pulled the plug on a related fraudulent hedge fund and (remarkably) reimbursed derivative investors half their losses. (One of the damaged investors, whose CFO contacted me, is world-famous.) Both events were covered by the Pittsburgh press, a few years ago.
More charm: "You've been shown to be dishonest." "Your position has been shown to be irrational." "You ignore, obfuscate, and assert."
There'd be a better discussion if there were less invective.




Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 11:01AM by Eliot Ness.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 11:02AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss asks: "Is this your first time on message
> boards."
>
> Ness replies: No amigo. I've in fact
> whistle-blogged a $250 million dot-con securities
> fraud, providing the public and the FBI with
> smoking-gun documentation (the officers and
> directors settled a class action lawsuit rather
> than go to court) ... furthermore, in part because
> of that whistle-blogging, Lehman Bros. then-CEO
> Fuld pulled the plug on a related fraudulent hedge
> fund and (remarkably) reimbursed derivative
> investors half their losses. Both events were
> covered by the Pittsburgh press, a few years ago.

Um...Okay...This sounds like your experience was akin to lecturing. Is this correct?

In otherwords you didn't have a lot of discussion, per say, that your posting on this message board was mainly to keep the community informed - correct?

> More charm: "You've been shown to be dishonest."
> "Your position has been shown to be irrational."
> "You ignore, obfuscate, and assert."

I'm not blowing fluff up your butt Eliot, I'm being honest with you. If you'd like me to point out that you've been dishonest in more delicate language, I most certainly can, but at the end of the day, what's the point?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 11:03AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There'd be a
> better discussion if there were less invective.


I don't believe that Eliot - if you'll check my earlier posts, there was certainly a lot less invective. The fact is, you seem to respond better with an increase in invective. I mean, you are at least responding to portions of my posts now.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:06AM

I like how you guys are trying to use science and academics to prove/disprove the existence of God. Maybe when you get to the bottom of this, we can use science to prove/disprove Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, space aliens, fairies, the chupacabra, and the French.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 11:10AM

MrMephisto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I like how you guys are trying to use science and
> academics to prove/disprove the existence of God.
> Maybe when you get to the bottom of this, we can
> use science to prove/disprove Bigfoot, the Loch
> Ness Monster, space aliens, fairies, the
> chupacabra, and the French.


The argument I posted this morning was not a scientific argument; it was a semantic atheological argument. As such, those entities you mention would not be applicable, since they are (AFAIK) all supposedly natural creatures.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:17AM

Professor Pangloss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The argument I posted this morning was not a
> scientific argument; it was a semantic
> atheological argument. As such, those entities
> you mention would not be applicable, since they
> are (AFAIK) all supposedly natural creatures.

I was half-joking, but matters of faith cannot be proved or disproved. It doesn't matter how many scholars, theologians, priests, book writers, or subject matter experts are cited; until evolution moves beyond theory, or God makes himself known through something that clearly cannot be explained by anything other than the manifestation of God, it's all opinion.

And no, Mary appearing on a grilled cheese sandwich or the miracles described in the bible do not count as making himself known; faith is still required to believe things like that to be true.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:19AM

Pangloss: "This sounds like your [blogging] experience was akin to lecturing. Is this correct?"
Ness: No. It was hugely interactive and resulted in telephone calls and the release, by insider whistle-blowers, of incriminating material (written by a now VP of Kodak) to me.
I say again ... the discussion would be improved by diminished personal attacks.
I'll also say again, that you're looking to be argued into Roman Catholicism -- which believes in contemporary Apostolic revelation (via the Pope) and in the contemporary miraculous (at Lourdes, for example), and that fallen man can reason his way to (much of) the God of the Bible (Aquinas).



Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 11:39AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 11:27AM

MrMephisto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was half-joking, but matters of faith cannot be
> proved or disproved.

Yeah, I kind of figured that. Still, I've been dealing with Eliot primarily in this thread and that's thrown me off a bit.

As for your comments on faith, I'm not sure I agree fully. To some extent I do, for example, I'm of the opinion that the general concept of god (despite my earlier argument) is resilliant to disproofs. To the other extent I think that a lot of god concepts (worldviews, etc) can be disproved. That is to say if a concept has mutually exclusive characteristics that contradict each other, then that concept is incoherent and cannot rationally be believed (it is effectively 'disproved').

I think there is rational warrant for not accepting Christian presuppositionalism since in order to hold to it one has to distrust the very vehicle (ie, reason) for determining whether or not it's true (after all, if you take reason as untrustworthy as a given, then you have no means of discerning which relevations from god are true - if any).

> It doesn't matter how many
> scholars, theologians, priests, book writers, or
> subject matter experts are cited; until evolution
> moves beyond theory, or God makes himself known
> through something that clearly cannot be explained
> by anything other than the manifestation of God,
> it's all opinion.

I'm not sure how serious you are here, but 'evolution' will not move beyond theory because in science when something is a 'theory' that means it explains facts, laws, and phenomenon. To call something in science a 'theory' is not to say that it is on shakey ground (after all, what would you call a hypothesis?).

Creationists often confuse the layman's definition of the term 'theory' with the scientists. They need to be disabused of this notion though. Evolution is on no more shakey ground then any of the theories we have in science (ie, gravity, germ theory, atomic theory, etc).

> And no, Mary appearing on a grilled cheese
> sandwich or the miracles described in the bible do
> not count as making himself known; faith is still
> required to believe things like that to be true.

That's fine - I really have no truck with faith in and of itself.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 20, 2009 11:38AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss: "This sounds like your experience was
> akin to lecturing. Is this correct?"
> Ness: No. It was hugely interactive and resulted
> in telephone calls and the release, by insider
> whistle-blowers, of incriminating material
> (written by a now VP of Kodak) to me.

Okay, so it was in the form of blogging. I think I understand now why you don't have a good grasp on these kinds of discussions.

> I say again ... the discussion would be improved
> by diminished personal attacks.

Again, I don't believe you, since you have exhibited the same rhetoric since the beginning. I am willing to test this though. Where would you like to begin?

We can begin with morality if you'd like, can you address the following:

Why 'ought' we do such and such? Because god says so? Why ought we listen to god?

I've been critical on god-centered notions of morality because I do not believe that appealing to god answers anything. It seems to me that when one wants warrant for believing that the holocaust was wrong, appealing to god is not the correct way to do it. This is because when you appeal to god, what you are actually saying is that what is wrong is not the innocent suffering of millions of people, but that disobeying what god wants is wrong.

> I'll also say again, that you're looking to be
> argued into Roman Catholicism -- which believes in
> contemporary Apostolic revelation (via the Pope)
> and in the contemporary miraculous (at Lourdes,
> for example), and that fallen man can reason his
> way to the God of the Bible.


I disagree with you about what I'm looking to argue and see no reason to accept your word on this matter. If you'd like to present some evidence then please do so.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:50AM

Asshat told More-Than-A-Believer that "The only reason you are a Christian and not a Muslim, is because you were born in America. Religion is nothing more than a social habbit, everyone has questions about God etc, but we indoctrinate ourselves and children with things that I believe are more harmful than good."
There's a lot of generalization here.
What if More-Than-A-Believer were a convert from Islam, or even atheism, to Christianity, after careful study?
And in what way is Biblical Christianity -- based upon the life of Christ -- "more harmful than good?" ... teaching us that God says to "love our neighbor as ourselves?"




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 06:59PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: asshat ()
Date: February 21, 2009 12:15AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Asshat told More-Than-A-Believer that "The only
> reason you are a Christian and not a Muslim, is
> because you were born in America. Religion is
> nothing more than a social habbit, everyone has
> questions about God etc, but we indoctrinate
> ourselves and children with things that I believe
> are more harmful than good."There's a lot of
> generalization here. What if More-Than-A-Believer
> were a convert from Islam, or even atheism, to
> Christianity, after careful study? And in what way
> is Biblical Christianity -- based upon the life of
> Christ -- "more harmful than good?" ... teaching
> us that God says to "love our neighbor as
> ourselves?"


1.) but that isnt the case, he wasnt a muslim ,and he hasnt carefully studied his faith. In order for that to happen, he would have to objectivly look at the good of his faith, as well as the bad, and then compare that to the numerous other religions around the world. What you and he have both done however, is look at the good, and chose to ignore or manipulate the bad that everyone on this board has stated. You refuse to answer questions, and you skate around the issues. but please, quote another irrelivant Bible passage to answer this.
2.) More harmful than good in the sense of the spanish inquisitions, the thousand years of killing and war between muslims and christians. The fact is, america is a christian nation, and its policies are being made upon religious beliefs. Take for example the support of Israel. Why do we economically and militarily support Israel? We give them billions each year in aid and military equipment, we get nothing back in turn. We can not use their military bases to launch from, they do not help us in world conflicts, and they have been caught SPYING ON US. To those who say they are our best allies in the middle east, that is not true, many of the surrounding arab countrys help us financially and let us use their military bases as jump off points for missions, israel has NEVER done this. I can not see any reason other than the fact that the jews are "gods chosen people", and they should be in charge of the "holy land" in the eyes of christians. Ok, so thats one way which christianity has changed the way i would like to live. Another would be George Bush's evangelical agenda, which i believe also goes hand in hand with the war on "terror".

by the way, if anyone wants to be really scared - go rent the movie Jesus Camp.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 21, 2009 01:58AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nutters, why are you here, participating in a
> forum intended to disparage McLean Bible Church
> ... an organization whose members live in a
> completely different cosmology than you do? Is the
> Christian world-view offensive to you because, for
> example, its adherents tell their children that
> death is not annihilation?You've written that "the
> taxonomy of those who push religion in the face of
> the evidence" is "1. Fools, 2. Charlatans, 3.
> Thieves, 4. or simply indoctrinated."Why are you
> -- who have told us that there is no "absolute,
> objective morality" -- making ostensibly moral
> judgments about Christians, based upon your
> personal culturally-conditioned prejudices?And do
> you really think that there are no intelligent
> (not foolish), sincere (not charlatans), honest
> (not thieves), thinking (not indoctrinated)
> Christians out here?


Because

a) you're wrong
- the evidence against religion is so clear cut that its an untenable intellectual position

b) you're dangerous
- the behavior of religion in modern society distorts rational communal decision making by an appeal to fear, faith and superstition

c) you won't stop of your own volition
- you seem intent on propagating these failed dogmas to future generation

you don't live in a different cosmology - you live in the same cosmology as the rest of us - there is only one physics - but you hide behind a set of outdated pre-scientific superstitions and try to bamboozle others with circular appeals to scripture to avoid facing up to the realities of the world

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 21, 2009 10:30AM

Nutters writes: a) "The evidence against religion is so clear cut that it's an untenable intellectual position."
Ness notes that: 1) "Religion" is as nebulous a term as 'science.' I take you to mean any belief system that is not purely 'materialist.'
2) 'Science' is always in turmoil. It's a jungle out there. (E.g., Karl Popper's view of 'deductive testing of hypotheses' offended inductionists. Popper's student Paul Feyerabend [one of my teachers] was appalled by the dogmatism of what he called the "Quantum Cardinals." [Emilio Segre once harrangued me at lunch about Feyerabend's lab credentials. Believe me, there is no monolithic 'science.'])
3) But hey, there are plenty of solid "intellectuals" who are Christians.
4) Bill Buckley was one [albeit a Roman Catholic] who wrote "God and Man at Yale." So are the Evangelical authors of "Finding God at Harvard." You may disagree with these positions, but they are not "untenable."
Nutters writes:" b) "You're dangerous ... the behavior of religion in modern society distorts rational communal decision making by an appeal to fear, faith and superstition."
Ness notes: 1) How can you make "rational communal decisions" when you state that there is no "absolute, objective morality?"
2) Here in America we are fortunate to have a residual altruistic Christian consensus that does not sanction concentration camps or gulags. (And I'll wager that you sincerely subscribe to it in your gut, irrationally.)
3) But Nazis and Communists insisted that they were even better than "rational" and "communal" ... they laid claim to being "scientific."
4) French revolutionaries also claimed 'rationalism.' They were dangerous. So are Muslim jihadi fanatics who blow people up.
5) Do you really consider McLean Bible Church's missionaries "dangerous" purveyors of "fear" and "superstition?"
Nutters writes: c) "You won't stop of your own volition - you seem intent on propagating these failed dogmas to future generations."
Ness asks: 1) Should someone be "stopping" McLean Bible Church from speaking its mind?
2) And why do you care about future generations? In 100 years, you and your children will all be dead -- forever in your world-view.
3) Furthermore, modern scientific orthodoxy perceives the entire cosmos as hopelessly dying an entropy death.
4) Obviously you care deeply. But why? If eternal Death is inevitable, shouldn't one just "relax and enjoy it?"
5) Mikhail Gorbachev often uses the bizarre Romantic phrase "eternal humanity" ... but he doesn't really believe it? Do you?
Nutters writes: d) "You don't live in a different cosmology - you live in the same cosmology as the rest of us - there is only one physics - but you hide behind a set of outdated pre-scientific superstitions and try to bamboozle others with circular appeals to scripture to avoid facing up to the realities of the world."
Ness replies: 1) We live in the same 'cosmos' but we have different 'cosmologies.'
2) There are many theories today competing for the title of 'physics.' And the physics of 2009 is NOTHING like the physics of 1909.
3) It's naive to think that physics of 50 years from now will be just an extension of today's consensus.
4) The "reality of the world [of modern physics]" ... its faith-based 'eschatology' ... is annihilation by heat death.
5) It's ironic to see modern Men all lathered up about 'global warming' when ultimately they expect to perish due to 'cosmic cooling.'
6) Christians can bear to talk to their children about death precisely because they do not believe in such an impending cosmic cold, dark night. They have a concrete hope for a re-created cosmos.
7) 'Reality' to a child growing up with a 'science fiction' cosmology (I was such a one) is "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die."
8) There is no meaningful compassion in reductionist materialism. Except as a personal, culturally-conditioned preference.
9) Do you really fault McLean Bible Church for teaching its children values like Good-Samaritan 'compassion' based upon their Christian cosmology?
10) The Bible presents a different 'cosmology' from consensus Darwinism. But Christianity is not "superstitious" because in its created cosmology, there is a personal God who thinks, and feels, and acts in history.
11) It's precisely the hard-core history of a single Bible that distinguishes Christianity from, for example, the superstitious magical rituals of 1000's of free-lance voodoo priests in, say, Haiti.
It's not 'bamboozling' for McLean Bible Church -- which sincerely believes that Man stands condemned for his rebellion against God -- to tell men that there is a remedy if they lay down their egos at the foot of the Cross, no matter how much ridicule and invective are generated by that belief. You may disagree with that cosmology, but it's sincere ... and it's what Jesus told his disciples to do. If they are 'bamboozling' people then so, one would have to conclude, was the Jesus of the Bible.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."




Edited 15 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2009 11:22AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 21, 2009 11:22AM

Professor Pangloss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > I say again ... the discussion would be
> improved
> > by diminished personal attacks.
>
> Again, I don't believe you, since you have
> exhibited the same rhetoric since the beginning.
> I am willing to test this though. Where would you
> like to begin?
>
> We can begin with morality if you'd like, can you
> address the following:
>
> Why 'ought' we do such and such? Because god says
> so? Why ought we listen to god?
>
> I've been critical on god-centered notions of
> morality because I do not believe that appealing
> to god answers anything. It seems to me that when
> one wants warrant for believing that the holocaust
> was wrong, appealing to god is not the correct way
> to do it. This is because when you appeal to god,
> what you are actually saying is that what is wrong
> is not the innocent suffering of millions of
> people, but that disobeying what god wants is
> wrong.

Eliot, I'm waiting for you to address this. You claimed that diminishing the personal attacks would improve the discussion. I have stopped the personal attacks and you haven't improved the discussion. Please address the questions about morality that I've raised.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 21, 2009 02:30PM

Pangloss asks: "Why 'ought' we do such and such? Because god says so? Why ought we listen to god? "
"I've been critical on god-centered notions of morality because I do not believe that appealing to god answers anything. It seems to me that when one wants warrant for believing that the holocaust was wrong, appealing to god is not the correct way to do it. This is because when you appeal to god, what you are actually saying is that what is wrong is not the innocent suffering of millions of people, but that disobeying what god wants is wrong."
Notes and asides from Ness:

Make no mistake about it, I profoundly dislike some things that the Bible clearly presents:
** that Satan was left in authority over creation after he rebelled against God, rather than being immediately disenfranchised,
** that the first man & woman were allowed to multiply after they too rebelled against God, rather than being immediately disenfranchised,
** that unforgiven men/women are resurrected to eternal consciousness and pain after death, rather than just being annihilated,
** that 'original sin' and its associated moral guilt are transmitted by mere descent from Adam, (Hence the non-Adamic paternal lineage of Jesus.)
** Paul's metaphor in Romans, about the potter and the clay, because men are NOT just 'clay' -- they feel pain.
Christians can say that Men should "listen to God" because God (not Satan or Man) created and controls the cosmos, and tells the truth about it -- because the God of the Bible is ultimate reality.
(God's statement "I am that which I am" to Moses, [אהיה אשר אהיה, "Ehyeh asher ehyeh"] is one of the most profound philosophical statements in the Bible.)
If Christianity did NOT contain the Cross, why would we feel anything except rage against God for having created at all, and for allowing that creation to continue under a terrible curse?Even with the Cross, Christians have to hurt as well as rejoice. (Fran Schaeffer had this visible 'hurt' all the time when dealing with non-Christians, I think, because his emotions were very near the surface and because he believed what God had said about Hell ... and because he felt bound to push them toward their impersonal cosmology's inherent Nihilism.)
I see the bottom line issue being the Bible's clear picture of the absolute sovereignty of God (something that Lon Solomon, like Charles Spurgeon, preaches about without compromise).
God says that he completely controls history and yet finite, created Men (and angels) have moral significance and accountability.
If you or I were making up a religion, we would almost certainly not put things that way. Nor would we fabricate a God who is "Love" and yet exhibits never-ending "Wrath."
-- If Christianity is true, then although the Holocaust was murder, no-one involved, Nazi or Jew, was truly innocent ... though some are clearly more guilty than others.
-- If Christianity is true, then both Nazis and Jews alike were already under death sentences for their sins.
-- We never talk about the fact that Jewish child molesters and murderers were put to death before their normal life span, along with less guilty children and ordinary citizens.
-- Similarly, we ignore the fact that the judge, jury, warden, and prison guards have also received death sentences -- not just the criminal strapped to the gurney for the lethal injection.
-- We tend to live our lives as if we were Roger Rabbit 'toons' ... immortal ... except when exposed to the dread acetone 'dip' in the form of a Holocaust or a murder.
-- Contemporary television is absolutely obsessed with death and murder. Bones, Criminal Minds, CSI, Dateline, Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer, Law and Order, Medium, 20/20.
-- Christianity at least offers explanations for our existence and our death sentences ... Intelligent Design coupled with true moral guilt.
-- Contemporary reductionist materialism can wax poetic like Loren Eiseley, but it really has nothing authoritative to say about either birth or death.
-- Eiseley's epitaph breaks my heart: "We loved the Earth, but could not stay."
-- Christians have a different epitaph ... this classic (almost forgotten) hymn: http://www.opc.org/hymn.html?hymn_id=367>;
Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever!
He who deigned for me to die, Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me from the dust: Jesus is my Hope and Trust.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2009 02:37PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: February 21, 2009 05:09PM

Eliot..you must be a lot of fun at a party!

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: nutters ()
Date: February 22, 2009 11:01AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nutters writes: a) "The evidence against religion
> is so clear cut that it's an untenable
> intellectual position.

So much junk thinking in one post - it must be a record - so lets just tackle a couple


>
> Ness notes: 1) How can you make "rational communal
> decisions" when you state that there is no
> "absolute, objective morality?"

you can make "rational communal decisions" precisely because there is no "absolute, objective morality" - you look at the facts, you look at the long term consequences/tradeoffs and you make a communal agreement on utility and enforcement and the process of review - its exactly how democracies are meant to function


>2) Here in America
> we are fortunate to have a residual altruistic
> Christian consensus that does not sanction
> concentration camps or gulags. (And I'll wager
> that you sincerely subscribe to it in your gut,
> irrationally.)

This is clearly a farcical proposition. We clearly appear to believe in gulags and concentration camps - we just place them in other countries e.g. Gitmo, Abu Ghraib

We also appear to believe in encouraging our 'allies' to use techniques and policies against our rivals which we would view as unacceptable at home, and to use proxies to fight dirty wars and constant aggressions

We also appear to favor 'shock and awe' as the polite form of large scale 'terrorism' - the aims appear to be the same

I'm not sure I'm seeing much of your 'residual christian altruism' - or perhaps I am.

Its easy to argue that the civil lot of the average American has improved as religions hold has weakened. I'm sure that the vast majority of 19th C slave-owners were god-fearing Christians attending fire and brimstone sermons every weekend.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 22, 2009 12:14PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss asks: "Why 'ought' we do such and such?
> Because god says so? Why ought we listen to god?
> "
> "I've been critical on god-centered notions of
> morality because I do not believe that appealing
> to god answers anything. It seems to me that when
> one wants warrant for believing that the holocaust
> was wrong, appealing to god is not the correct way
> to do it. This is because when you appeal to god,
> what you are actually saying is that what is wrong
> is not the innocent suffering of millions of
> people, but that disobeying what god wants is
> wrong."
>
> Notes and asides from Ness: Make no mistake
> about it, I profoundly dislike some things that
> the Bible clearly presents:

First I am glad that it appears you are going to respond to this, so I have to tip my hat.

> ** that Satan was left in authority over creation
> after he rebelled against God, rather than being
> immediately disenfranchised,

I'm not sure the bible supports this - well, at least the old testament, anyway. It seems to me that there is an incongruenty (sp?) between the two - most likely from the helenization of Judaism during Roman rule.

> ** that the first man & woman were allowed to
> multiply after they too rebelled against God,
> rather than being immediately disenfranchised,

I'm not sure it can be said that the first man and woman rebelled against god. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

> ** that unforgiven men/women are resurrected to
> eternal consciousness and pain after death, rather
> than just being annihilated, **

That sounds contradictory to the notion that God is both merciful and benevolent.

> at 'original
> sin' and its associated moral guilt are
> transmitted by mere descent from Adam, (Hence the
> non-Adamic paternal lineage of Jesus.)
> ** Paul's metaphor in Romans, about the potter and
> the clay, because men are NOT just 'clay' -- they
> feel pain.Christians can say that Men should
> "listen to God" because God (not Satan or Man)
> created and controls the cosmos, and tells the
> truth about it -- because the God of the Bible is
> ultimate reality.

That does not follow logically though. To create something does not give one license over that something - even in Christian thought. If mankind fertilizes an egg then Christians believe that life has been created and mankind does not have the authority to end it.

Further, why ought we listen to god just because he controls the cosmos and tells the truth about it? You are giving me descriptions, not reasons for prescriptions.

> (God's statement "I am that which I am" to Moses,
> [אהיה
> אשר
> אהיה, "Ehyeh asher ehyeh"]
> is one of the most profound philosophical
> statements in the Bible.)If Christianity did NOT
> contain the Cross, why would we feel anything
> except rage against God for having created at all,
> and for allowing that creation to continue under a
> terrible curse?Even with the Cross, Christians
> have to hurt as well as rejoice.

I don't see the cross as changing anything logically. There was no reason to to allow creation to be cursed and no reason it should be cursed. It seems as though your explanation is that god/bible convinced us that we are worthless and we should be thankful for being worthless.

Why believe that though? Why should we believe what god thinks about our worth?

> (Fran Schaeffer
> had this visible 'hurt' all the time when dealing
> with non-Christians, I think, because his emotions
> were very near the surface and because he believed
> what God had said about Hell ... and because he
> felt bound to push them toward their impersonal
> cosmology's inherent Nihilism.)I see the bottom
> line issue being the Bible's clear picture of the
> absolute sovereignty of God (something that Lon
> Solomon, like Charles Spurgeon, preaches about
> without compromise).God says that he completely
> controls history and yet finite, created Men (and
> angels) have moral significance and
> accountability.

So you don't believe in free will?

In any event, you still aren't answering the 'ought' question. Why do we have moral significance - because god controls history? That's another non-sequitur. I could say we have moral significance because we exist and logically I'd be on equal ground with you.

> If you or I were making up a
> religion, we would almost certainly not put things
> that way.

Why not? Other religions prior to Christianity did and religions after Christianity did.

> Nor would we fabricate a God who is
> "Love" and yet exhibits never-ending "Wrath."--

Why not? Again, there is evidence to the contrary of this.

> If Christianity is true, then although the
> Holocaust was murder, no-one involved, Nazi or
> Jew, was truly innocent ... though some are
> clearly more guilty than others.

If Christianity is true, murder is not wrong because it promotes misery and suffering, it's wrong because god says so. This is arbitrary and subjective. It certainly is not an objective moral system.

> -- If
> Christianity is true, then both Nazis and Jews
> alike were already under death sentences for their
> sins.

If true, then that worldview is inconsistent, as it says that god is just. It is not just to punish someone for someone else's wrong doing.

> -- We never talk about the fact that Jewish
> child molesters and murderers were put to death
> before their normal life span, along with less
> guilty children and ordinary citizens. --
> Similarly, we ignore the fact that the judge,
> jury, warden, and prison guards have also received
> death sentences -- not just the criminal strapped
> to the gurney for the lethal injection. -- We tend
> to live our lives as if we were Roger Rabbit
> 'toons' ... immortal ... except when exposed to
> the dread acetone 'dip' in the form of a Holocaust
> or a murder.
> -- Contemporary television is absolutely obsessed
> with death and murder. Bones, Criminal Minds, CSI,
> Dateline, Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer,
> Law and Order, Medium, 20/20.

....So?

> -- Christianity at least offers explanations for
> our existence and our death sentences ...

What is that explanation? What you've stated so far doesn't make any sense.

> Intelligent Design coupled with true moral
> guilt.-- Contemporary reductionist materialism can
> wax poetic like Loren Eiseley, but it really has
> nothing authoritative to say about either birth or
> death.

That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet.

This is the main problem with your divine morality.

> -- Eiseley's epitaph breaks my heart: "We
> loved the Earth, but could not stay."-- Christians
> have a different epitaph ... this classic (almost
> forgotten) hymn:
> http://www.opc.org/hymn.html?hymn_id=367>; Jesus
> lives, and so shall I. Death! thy sting is gone
> forever! He who deigned for me to die, Lives, the
> bands of death to sever. He shall raise me from
> the dust: Jesus is my Hope and Trust.


While I appreciate that it broke your heart, you really haven't answered my question. I asked why we ought to accept what god says is moral. Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants. At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case.

So I ask you again, why ought we do what god wants us to do?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 22, 2009 12:21PM

To make my last post more efficient I thought I'd repost two of the important points that I think you need to address Eliot (of course if you want to address the others, then I'd be happy to read them).

1. I do not think it can be said that Adam and Eve 'rebelled' against God. If they can be said to have rebelled I do not think it's fair to punish them (and by extension mankind) for that rebellion. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

2. Why ought we do what God says? Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants - why do we care whether he created us or controls us? At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case. It also seemed as though power lead to authority. That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then it seems to me that morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet. If it's power that is the reason for following God's demands, then ought we also follow those who are more powerful then us? It seems to me that would be the case.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2009 03:25PM by Professor Pangloss.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: bump ()
Date: February 23, 2009 06:20AM

BUMP... this shit is too interesting to not be at the top of the boards

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 07:18AM

Nutters wrote: "It's easy to argue that the civil lot of the average American has improved as religion's hold has weakened.
I'm sure that the vast majority of 19th C slave-owners were god-fearing Christians attending fire and brimstone sermons every weekend."
Ness asks: You have stated on this bulletin board that there is no "absolute objective morality" ... so why do you preach against slavery except as a matter of personal preference?
You are slandering Christians with respect to slavery.
There was a strong Christian abolitionist tradition that opposed slavery going back before even the Constitution.
N.B. that the slave states were not allowed to have full census representation ... the non-slave states allowed them only 3/5th of a 'person' for each slave.
Christians can truly regard all men as created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. What can 'Darwinians' say about "rights?"
What can a 'Darwinian' say? ... except that "We all share a common male ancestor of 60,000 years ago and a common female ancestor of 140,000 years ago ... and I personally don't like slavery ... so you shouldn't either."
Paul, in the New Testament, told Christian slaves and Christian slave owners to love each other because they all serve Christ, even within the then-common cultural context of slavery. (See his letter to Philemon. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=64&chapter=1&version=31 )
Indeed, Paul referred to himself as a "slave of Jesus Christ." Former brutal slave trader John Newton became a Christian and wrote "Amazing Grace." Here is Newton's epitaph: "John Newton ... once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy."




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2009 07:20AM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 08:05AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Christians can truly regard all men as
> created equal and endowed by their Creator with
> certain unalienable rights.

Not to butt into your conversation with Nutters, but I don't think the above is true and I would like you to back up this statement. It seems to me that in the bible women are most certainly not the equals of men (men are the godhead) and this is brought up in both the old testament and new testament. Is this why you said 'all men as created equal' as opposed to 'all people'?

Further the bible doesn't seem to suggest that everyone is created equal - it says stuff like 'do not suffer a witch to live', and takes pains to suggest that unbelievers be stoned. I could go on, but I want to know where you are getting this from.

It's clear that Isrealites are favored above all people: Exodus 19:5

"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"

2 Corinthians 6:14
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? "

> What can 'Darwinians'
> say about "rights?"What can a 'Darwinian' say? ...

Darwinism is not a worldview, therefore your question doesn't make any sense. Humanists (an atheist worldview) could say that all people have rights. Objectivists (another atheist worldview) could also say that all people have rights.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 08:50AM

Vince(1) wrote: "Eliot..you must be a lot of fun at a party!"
My family has a perverse sense of humor [indeed, one of my brothers used to write for the Harvard Lampoon], but this forum isn't a party. It's a discussion of hugely significant issues, and an inappropriate forum for some of the sarcasm in evidence.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 08:57AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Vince(1) wrote: "Eliot..you must be a lot of fun
> at a party!" My family has a perverse sense of
> humor , but this forum isn't a party. It's a
> discussion of hugely significant issues, and an
> inappropriate forum for some of the sarcasm in
> evidence.


This is interesting Eliot, because if we accept what you say as true, then this discussion is only hugely significant to you. To us it would be no more significant then walking to the store.

I'm not picking on you or anything, I just found that kind of ironic.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 09:21AM

Pangloss wrote: "Darwinism is not a worldview."
Ness notes: The latest issue of Discover magazine positively drools over Darwinism, even offering adaptive explanations for art and religion. Darwinism has in fact become a 'world-view' whose underlying vibe is the 'uncreatedness' of the cosmos.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 09:26AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss wrote: "Darwinism is not a
> worldview."Ness notes: The latest issue of
> Discover magazine positively drools over
> Darwinism, even offering adaptive explanations for
> art and religion. Darwinism has in fact become a
> 'world-view' whose underlying vibe is the
> 'uncreatedness' of the cosmos.


You are equivocating Eliot. They are talking about descriptive processes for art and religion. They are not suggesting a worldview. Just because someone uses the term darwinism doesn't mean they are talking about a substantial worldview.

You might conflate naturalism with darwinism, as might others, but that doesn't make it a coherent worldview. As I said, atheists and scientists have many worldviews to choose from. By attacking 'darwinism' you are attacking a strawman since it's really not well defined.

Are darwinists physicalists? are they substance dualists? do they accept free will? Objective or subjective morals? Do they accept evolution? Evo-devo? Saltation? Punctuated equilibrium? The modern synthesis?

The label 'darwinist' is an attempted smear by the intelligent design crowd. What scientists, and particularly Dawkins, is trying to do is similar to what homosexuals did with the term 'gay'. They are doing this for the term 'atheist' as well.

My point is that unless someone here is an admitted 'darwinist', then you aren't actually arguing with anyone and this should be important to someone who expressed an interest in improving the level of discussion going on here.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 09:29AM

Pangloss stated: "The bible doesn't seem to suggest that everyone is created equal - it says stuff like 'do not suffer a witch to live', and takes pains to suggest that unbelievers be stoned.
Ness notes: You are talking about the Old Testament Israeli covenant theocracy. We do not live under that theocracy; it ceased to exist at the Crucifixion. (Indeed, to a large degree it had ceased to exist under Roman rule -- hence the Jews took Jesus to Pilate for execution.)

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 09:35AM

Pangloss ... the 'Man on the Street' is a naive 'Darwinist' who has not a clue what 'Eco-devo' means. Like it or not, 'Darwinism' is our contemporary secular religion. The 'Origin of Species' in the past is popularly understood to be a God-free happenstance from impersonal matter/energy in a mysterious 'Big Bang' The ultimate fate of the universe is popularly understood be a 'Big Chill' despite the current hysteria about allegedly man-made 'global warming.'

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 09:56AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss stated: "The bible doesn't seem to
> suggest that everyone is created equal - it says
> stuff like 'do not suffer a witch to live', and
> takes pains to suggest that unbelievers be
> stoned.Ness notes: You are talking about the Old
> Testament Israeli covenant theocracy. We do not
> live under that theocracy; it ceased to exist at
> the Crucifixion. (Indeed, to a large degree it had
> ceased to exist under Roman rule -- hence the Jews
> took Jesus to Pilate for execution.)


It's very interesting that you left off the new testament quotes that I included...Very telling. In any event, my point still stands as the new testament is rife with inequalities.

What you are doing is picking and choosing what you want to believe. There is no evidence to suggest that God changed his mind between the testaments - in fact, Jesus states very unequivocally that he did not come to change the law.

The new testament even goes so far to say that every male is holy - but there's no mention of females:

Luke 2:23 "(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)"

This one certainly suggests inequality between men and women:

"1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

Here's another:

"1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

11:8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. "

Also, all throughout the new testament, the Jews are blamed for a whole manner of things - including the killing of Jesus. This is clear racism if you ask me.

Romans actually goes so far as to suggest shunning those who do not believe as you do.

"16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

And of course there's 2 Corinthians
"6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? "



On a side note, and this goes back to the self refuting nature of presuppositionalist apologetics, how do you know that what you believe is the truth?

The reason I ask is because of passages such as 2 Thessalonians 2:11

"2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: "

Afterall, what if Satan has convinced you that your version of Christianity is correct, when in reality it's anathema to what God wants?

You don't and since you can't trust your reason, you are in a catch-22.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 10:08AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss ... the 'Man on the Street' is a naive
> 'Darwinist' who has not a clue what 'Eco-devo'
> means.

1. It's *evo-devo*, which stands for evolutionary development, which is an exciting area of research in biology right now.
2. I would disagree with you about the man on the street, since the majority of people on the street are either intelligent design advocates or young earth creationists - at least the streets of america. The studies I have read suggest that only a small fraction of people accept evolution as it *is* and a smaller fraction accept no divinity at all.


> Like it or not, 'Darwinism' is our
> contemporary secular religion.

The problem with this is that it's meaningless. I literally don't know what you mean by this - which is what the ID advocates want, because it's a catch all that they can denigrate.

We should all be as accurate as possible in our communication and just because the common man often isn't, isn't an excuse for us not to be.

> The 'Origin of
> Species' in the past is popularly understood to be
> a God-free happenstance from impersonal
> matter/energy in a mysterious 'Big Bang' The
> ultimate fate of the universe is popularly
> understood be a 'Big Chill' despite the current
> hysteria about allegedly man-made 'global
> warming.'

I disagree since Darwin made pains to integrate a 'creator' in the last paragraph of the book. Further, he does not mention cosmology nor morality.

In short, it's inaccurate and muddles the issues when you bring up 'darwinism'. It's not a very philosophical thing to do and it's not one that premotes a clear exchange of ideas. This is also why I continue to ask you to back up your statements about the nature of the universe (ie, the value of meaning and all that). As I've said, I'm an absurdist, so I can certainly sympathize with your viewpoint - but I will not just grant it. Positions should be argued for. This is what Socrates found out thousands of years ago.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 03:41PM

Pangloss, Clearly women are excluded from some NT church offices (such as elder). And the Apostles were all men (though Jesus had a substantial number of female friends throughout the NT). So what if women are not 'equal' in every respect to men? In Genesis, God subordinates Eve to Adam immediately after the Fall, because she had been deceived and then enticed him. So what?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 03:46PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss, Clearly women are excluded from some NT
> church offices (such as elder). And the Apostles
> were all men (though Jesus had a substantial
> number of female friends throughout the NT). So
> what if women are not 'equal' in every respect to
> men? In Genesis, God subordinates Eve to Adam
> immediately after the Fall, because she had been
> deceived and then enticed him. So what?


Women and Jews you mean. So I was correct - your claim that all MEN are created equal. Women aren't. By implication, we should treat them as property (as the old testament certianly does and the new testament implies).

As to 'so what'...Are you serious?

You are sitting here touting how morally superior Christianity is, when it's patently obvious how misogynistic it is! Not to mention how racist it is - blaming *all* Jews for the murder of Jesus.

You keep making these claims and I'll show you that you are wrong and now you are downplaying it?

Unbelievable.

Whatever, this was an issue between you and Nutters. I'm still interested in our first conversation - the one about morality. So if you'd please, address the issues on the table:
___________
To make my last post more efficient I thought I'd repost two of the important points that I think you need to address Eliot (of course if you want to address the others, then I'd be happy to read them).

1. I do not think it can be said that Adam and Eve 'rebelled' against God. If they can be said to have rebelled I do not think it's fair to punish them (and by extension mankind) for that rebellion. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

2. Why ought we do what God says? Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants - why do we care whether he created us or controls us? At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case. It also seemed as though power lead to authority. That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then it seems to me that morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet. If it's power that is the reason for following God's demands, then ought we also follow those who are more powerful then us? It seems to me that would be the case.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 23, 2009 03:59PM

Pangloss write: "... all throughout the new testament, the Jews are blamed for a whole manner of things - including the killing of Jesus. This is clear racism if you ask me."
Racist? The New Testament clearly states that the Jewish religious leadership of Jesus' time did indeed engineer the killing of Jesus. And they paid for it dearly when Jerusalem was was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The New Testament is just the opposite of 'racist' ... after all, God sends the Apostles throughout the world to preach to the Gentiles, where God had previously privileged the Jews.
By the way, why are you opposed to 'racism?' Is it your residual Christian morality?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 04:16PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss write: "... all throughout the new
> testament, the Jews are blamed for a whole manner
> of things - including the killing of Jesus. This
> is clear racism if you ask me."Racist? The New
> Testament clearly states that the Jewish religious
> leadership of Jesus' time did indeed engineer the
> killing of Jesus.

So because the Jewish leadership killed Jesus ALL jews are to blame?

> And they paid for it dearly when
> Jerusalem was was destroyed by the Romans in 70
> A.D.The New Testament is just the opposite of
> 'racist' ... after all, God sends the Apostles
> throughout the world to preach to the Gentiles,
> where God had previously privileged the Jews.

Next you'll be telling me that it's not sexist either. It's there in black and white for you to read.

> By
> the way, why are you opposed to 'racism?' Is it
> your residual Christian morality?

I am opposed to racism because it promotes unnecessary harm. If I had residual christian morality that would encourage racism, not discourage it. It would also encourage sexism among other things.

Again, I'll repeat:

Whatever, this was an issue between you and Nutters. I'm still interested in our first conversation - the one about morality. So if you'd please, address the issues on the table:
___________
To make my last post more efficient I thought I'd repost two of the important points that I think you need to address Eliot (of course if you want to address the others, then I'd be happy to read them).

1. I do not think it can be said that Adam and Eve 'rebelled' against God. If they can be said to have rebelled I do not think it's fair to punish them (and by extension mankind) for that rebellion. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

2. Why ought we do what God says? Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants - why do we care whether he created us or controls us? At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case. It also seemed as though power lead to authority. That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then it seems to me that morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet. If it's power that is the reason for following God's demands, then ought we also follow those who are more powerful then us? It seems to me that would be the case.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 04:40PM

While I'm waiting for you to answer those two questions Eliot, I thought I'd acquaint you with what is known as "The Joshua Challenge". I wrote this a while ago and I had a variety of sources (it's not original with me, although this particular spin was written by me):
__________

The Joshua Challenge

When I was a Christian I read the New Testament far more often then I read the Old Testament. It seemed to address me more and be more concerned with my frames of reference and I guess it also seemed more important.

In fact, it was only when I sat down and decided to read the entire Bible that I stumbled across another reason to prefer the New Testament-that being, the God of the Old Testament is a horrible God and the morality expressed by that God is of a type that I would hope no one today lives by. Recently, I read a few posts by a poster with the username "Badbadbad", on the Internet Infidel's Message Board. What materialized from Badbadbad's posting was a challenge to Christians-a challenge called the 'Joshua Challenge'. Its purpose is to question Christians about their beliefs-in an emotional context. To see whether they would accept God's word and commit brutality or if they would succumb to some other moral standard.

The challenge is preceded by a few questions:

1. Are humans loathsome and evil-including babies?

2. Due to human wickedness, would God be justified in killing both adult and child?

3. If the answer to the previous two questions was 'yes', do you think you could carry out this slaughtering?

Biblically speaking, the answers to those three questions would and should be 'yes'.

To move on and get to the meat of the Joshua Challenge now:

Let's pretend for a second that you are part of Joshua's army. You might want to reread the book of Joshua to get a better glimpse of what that would be like. In any event, you live in the time of miracles. Your people are the chosen people of God. God has continually worked his will to help and harm your people. You grew up with stories of God flooding the earth, while sparing Noah, and stories of God helping Moses get his people away from the Pharaoh.

God has even helped your commander-Joshua-with his conquests of the ancient world (or through your eyes-the present).

In the midst of one of these conquests, you are standing with Joshua and his army. They have just defeated the male warriors of the Amorites and started to destroy their town. They are mercilessly slaughtering the remaining villagers, the women and children. Some of the Amorites are still resisting, but most are begging for their life. All of Amorites are terrified at the unwelcomed and impossible to stop prospect to come. Joshua, as ordered by God, shows no mercy to any of them. He kills husband, wife, brother and sister all in the name of God. The Amorite villagers plead and cry with Joshua, to spare their lives. They beg for the life of their children, all to no avail.

So finally Joshua comes to you, drenched in blood, and he hands you his sword. He points to a remaining Amorite child. A three year old, who has just witnessed the butchering of his father, his brothers and sisters. He's watched through tears as Joshua dismembered his relatives. He cries while he watches you walk over to him, with Joshua's sword still drenched in blood. His eyes shift to his mother, who is still alive for the moment. She can not help him, although she's begging for his life. Save him and take her life, she pleads. The child is pleading with you as well and begging with you for his life. His face is twisted in horror. He says he doesn't want to be an Amorite anymore and that he won't be bad-he promises.

So what do you do?

Do you:

1. Refuse to kill the child and stop Joshua from killing the child? Will you risk your life for the three year old?

2. Summon the faith and courage to hack the child to death. Either quickly or slowly, depending on how much vengeance you feel God needs satisfied.

3. Refuse to kill the child and let either Joshua or another soldier do it.

4. Refuse to believe that Joshua speaks for God-be prepared to have enough courage to sacrifice yourself to stop Joshua.

Would you kill this child that's begging, crying, and pleading with you? Yes or no?

I, just like the person I've summarized this challenge from (badbadbad), would say no.

That's the Joshua Challenge.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Annon Imous ()
Date: February 23, 2009 05:16PM

14 pages and this thread is still going?
Attachments:
arguing_over_internet.jpg

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 23, 2009 09:32PM

Because it fits...
Attachments:
AnonymousDemotivator.jpg

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 02:21PM

Pangloss, I once asked Lon Solomon about the PTSD aspect of the "Joshua Question" -- having to kill men, women, and children upon God's command -- and his measured response was: "I'm glad I was not born a Hebrew warrior."
Certainly, a point-of-contact between 'Darwinists' and Christians is the recognition that we are ALL already under a death sentence.The question is: "Why?"
The 'Darwinist' must painfully watch an 'impersonal' universe kill off every living thing -- men, women, children -- for no apparent reason.
The Christian must painfully watch the God of the Bible fulfill the curse pronounced in Genesis, after the rebellion: "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
Obviously, you don't like the 'sovereignty of God' that runs clearly through the entire Bible. (Neither, in some respects, do I.)
But let me ask you the "Adam Question:" If Joshua's men had not killed those children, would they have lived forever (like the 'toons' in the Roger Rabbit movie)?
Point #1: The issue for both 'Darwinists' and Christians, is not whether those children were going to die, but rather when and how those children were going to die.
Point #2: As I've said before ... anybody who practices Christianity as a purely 'Happy Face' religion, is living in a dream world. There is much to weep about, and an urgency to missions. (The Apostle Paul is the role model here.)
Point #3: Do not confuse saving lives with saving souls. (This is a point overlooked somewhat, I submit, by anti-abortion activists.)
Point #4: If Christianity is true,then the cost to Jesus to redeem the soul of even one child, is beyond our imagining. Multiply that by hundreds of millions, or however many will one day be saved by the sacrifice of the Cross, and you have the measure of what God himself paid to satisfy the 'Justice' component of his character.
To answer the "Joshua Question" ... the Hebrew warrior at that time, to be honest to his beliefs, had to obey God rather than his own emotional impulses.
N.B. that Jesus talks more about Hell and the Wrath of God, than anyone in the Bible, New Testament or Old Testament ... stating repeatedly that his mission was to take that wrath upon himself: "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 02:37PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 02:43PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss, I once asked Lon Solomon about the PTSD
> aspect of the "Joshua Question" -- having to kill
> men, women, and children upon God's command -- and
> his measured response was: "I'm glad I was not
> born a Hebrew warrior."

I'm sorry, I'm a bit tired from work and all, but what do you mean by 'PTSD'. It rings familar, but it's not coming into my head.

In any event, it seems that Lon is implying that he would kill the women and children.

What this essentially tells us is that he doesn't feel there is anything morally wrong with killing people. Again, what's wrong is if they are people god doesn't want killed.

That's great for Lon, but I asked *YOU*, not Lon. Which of the 4 would you do (or is there a 5th?)?

> Certainly, a point-of-contact between 'Darwinists'
> and Christians is the recognition that we are ALL
> already under a death sentence.The question is:
> "Why?"

I'm not a darwinist, so this isn't relevant to your discussion with me.

> The 'Darwinist' must painfully watch an
> 'impersonal' universe kill off every living thing
> -- men, women, children -- for no apparent
> reason.

I can't answer for the darwinist. As far as my own view is concerned, this is not correct. People don't just 'die' - there are always reasons, be they other people, disease, meteors, etc.

> The Christian must painfully watch the God of the
> Bible fulfill the curse pronounced in Genesis,
> after the rebellion: "By the sweat of your brow
> you will eat your food until you return to the
> ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you
> are and to dust you will return."

According to the bible, the Christian must also engage in such 'painful slaughter'. The point of fact though is that sometimes it's 'holy' to do such things, so shouldn't the Christian be happy in ending the life of a child that god has commanded be ended?

> Obviously, you don't like the 'sovereignty of God'
> that runs clearly through the entire Bible.
> (Neither, in some respects, do I.)

It's not a matter of like or dislike - I think the notion is incoherent, to be honest. I think it also contradicts the notion of an objective worldview and I think it destroys any claim to morality that is distinct from a might makes right morality (ie, in otherwords it's no different then a godless morality based on the most powerful individual or group).

> But let me ask you the "Adam Question:" If
> Joshua's men had not killed those children, would
> they have lived forever (like the 'toons' in the
> Roger Rabbit movie)?

No, according to the bible they would have had to eat from the tree of life in order to live forever.

> Point #1: The issue for both 'Darwinists' and
> Christians, is not whether those children were
> going to die, but rather when and how those
> children were going to die.

I'm not a darwinist, so this question isn't relevant to me. Who is the darwinist you are talking to? If you are speaking generally then I'll ask in our conversations that when you respond to me, you respond specifically to me - unless the point you are making can be generalized to me (which isn't the case with your use of darwinists).

> Point #2: As I've said before ... anybody who
> practices Christianity as a purely 'Happy Face'
> religion, is living in a dream world. There is
> much to weep about, and an urgency to missions.
> (The Apostle Paul is the role model here.)

This is confusing - aren't you supposed to be happy to live a godly life? If not, then what exactly is 'good' and 'godly'? Is it wanton brutality?

> Point #3: If Christianity is true,then the cost to
> Jesus to redeem the soul of even one child, is
> beyond our imagining.

So then you are for abortion?

Further, what about the women? Why kill the animals (as mentioned in the chapter of Joshua)?

What is the value of life if it's better to kill the children then to raise them (and hence the fundamental nihilistic paradox that is Christianity)?

> Multiply that by hundreds of
> millions, or however many will one day be saved by
> the sacrifice of the Cross, and you have the
> measure of what God himself paid to satisfy the
> 'Justice' component of his character.
>

This assumes that such a sacrifice had to be made - but it logically it didn't. As I've already pointed out, god is only killing himself in order to satisfy himself. If morality is subjective (ie, it depends on god's mind and not on any objective feature of reality), then why doesn't god just change his mind and decide that no sacrifice is necessary?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 02:44PM

Pangloss, another point:

"Infant-sacrifice was a significant part of the cult of Baal, a Phoenician or Canaanite fertility god. Infant children were sacrificed to Baal as 'first-fruit' offerings, in performance of vows, and to secure prosperity."


"This practice continually reappeared in Israel's history, such as under king Ahab. The prophet Jeremiah cites this practice as an example of why God would "hurl" His covenant people out of their land into captivity among foreign nations."


"Baal was god of prosperity because he controlled the weather, which is crucial in any agricultural economy. His statuettes show him with a lightening bolt as his spear. In the days of Ahab, Elijah therefore challenged Baal's priests at the point of their god's claim to supremacy."


"The burnt bones of infants sacrificed to Baal were buried in urns under stone markers. Many thousands of these have been discovered in the ruins of ancient Carthage and its outlying towns. It is estimated that in ancient Carthage the ritual killing of infant children in sacrifice to Baal averaged about two and a half children per day."


"These practices, in the religion which Jezebel had imported and set up as official state religion of Israel, were the reason for Elijah's execution of all the priests of Baal and his consort."

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 02:46PM

I would like you to specifically address these questions Eliot (I've added another from the Joshua conversation):
-------
To make my last post more efficient I thought I'd repost two of the important points that I think you need to address Eliot (of course if you want to address the others, then I'd be happy to read them).

1. I do not think it can be said that Adam and Eve 'rebelled' against God. If they can be said to have rebelled I do not think it's fair to punish them (and by extension mankind) for that rebellion. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

2. Why ought we do what God says? Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants - why do we care whether he created us or controls us? At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case. It also seemed as though power lead to authority. That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then it seems to me that morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet. If it's power that is the reason for following God's demands, then ought we also follow those who are more powerful then us? It seems to me that would be the case.

3. Would you kill that child? Slowly or quickly? And would you feel holy and good doing God's word?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 02:49PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To answer the "Joshua Question" ... the Hebrew
> warrior at that time, to be honest to his beliefs,
> had to obey God rather than his own emotional
> impulses.


So by implication you would kill that child.....


Wow...I have a lot of choice sentiments that I'll suppress for the moment, but it occurs to me:

Let's say that today you start hearing god's voice. He informs you that you are a prophet and that you must kill a family. The last in a line of Amorites who managed to some how survive the earlier slaughter.

Would you do that?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 02:49PM by Professor Pangloss.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 02:51PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss, another point:
>
> "Infant-sacrifice was a significant part of the
> cult of Baal, a Phoenician or Canaanite fertility
> god. Infant children were sacrificed to Baal as
> 'first-fruit' offerings, in performance of vows,
> and to secure prosperity."
>
>
> "This practice continually reappeared in Israel's
> history, such as under king Ahab. The prophet
> Jeremiah cites this practice as an example of why
> God would "hurl" His covenant people out of their
> land into captivity among foreign nations."
>
>
> "Baal was god of prosperity because he controlled
> the weather, which is crucial in any agricultural
> economy. His statuettes show him with a lightening
> bolt as his spear. In the days of Ahab, Elijah
> therefore challenged Baal's priests at the point
> of their god's claim to supremacy."
>
>
> "The burnt bones of infants sacrificed to Baal
> were buried in urns under stone markers. Many
> thousands of these have been discovered in the
> ruins of ancient Carthage and its outlying towns.
> It is estimated that in ancient Carthage the
> ritual killing of infant children in sacrifice to
> Baal averaged about two and a half children per
> day."
>
>
> "These practices, in the religion which Jezebel
> had imported and set up as official state religion
> of Israel, were the reason for Elijah's execution
> of all the priests of Baal and his consort."


....

I'm not sure I'm understanding why you are posting this - are you trying to suggest that since another group of religious believers decided killing babies is holy that means that you can as well?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 03:04PM

Pangloss wrote: "Lon [Solomon] ... tells us ... that he doesn't feel there is anything morally wrong with killing people."
Ness replies: Nonsense. Lon was saying that when God commanded his OT covenant people, they had to obey regardless of personal feelings. God gave Moses the commandment: "You shall not commit murder." Yet God commanded his covenant people to administer the death sentence for certain acts within that covenant community, no matter how many tears they might shed for their friends who were being stoned.
Note that early death for the stoned Israelite was punishment but NOT Nazi-like annihilation. The Old Testament has plenty to say about a time in "Sheol" followed by a real resurrection and judgment.
The God of the Bible is sovereign over human life. The non-God of the impersonal 'Darwinist' universe is also, in a sense, sovereign over human life -- in a non-Christian cosmology, you too are under that non-God's impersonal death sentence.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 03:10PM

Pangloss asks: "Are you trying to suggest that since another group of religious believers decided killing babies is holy that means that you can as well?"
Ness replies: Nonsense again. More than a dozen times in the OT, God forbids his people to sacrifice their children as the pagans routinely did.
The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess.

But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same."

You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. (Deut 12)

They have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. (Jeremiah 19)




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 03:14PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 03:19PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss wrote: "Lon ... tells us ... that he
> doesn't feel there is anything morally wrong with
> killing people."
>
> Ness replies: Nonsense. Lon was saying that when
> God commanded his OT covenant people, they had to
> obey regardless of personal feelings.

Well, in fairness to Lon, he's not here to defend himself. However the implications of what you wrote are quite bare.

The sin is not killing, it's disobeying god. That's what is evident. Why should we care what god decides is wrong? Because he can punish us?

I'd like a specific answer to this, as I think it's crucial here.

> God gave
> Moses the commandment: "You shall not commit
> murder." Yet God commanded his covenant people to
> administer the death sentence for certain acts
> within that covenant community, no matter how many
> tears they might shed for their friends who were
> being stoned.

Right, a death sentence could be handed out for merely working on the sabbath, for instance. The point is that 'murder' isn't what the sin was. It was disobeying god. Killing/murdering/etc isn't wrong, per say, it's only wrong if god doesn't command you to do it. In short it's not the act, the taking of life, it's disobeying god's decree.

The problem is, why should we care what god thinks? If it's because he can harm us, then it would seem that might makes right is your morality schema.

If *thats* the case then a naturalistic morality based on the same principle is MUCH more perferred based on simple pragmaticism alone.

> Note that early death for the stoned Israelite
> was punishment but NOT Nazi-like annihilation. The
> Old Testament has plenty to say about a time in
> "Sheol" followed by a real resurrection and
> judgment.

I'm not sure I see a very big qualitative difference between throwing stones at someone's head and shooting them.

As for real resurrection and judgement, that seems that you/god/etc are punishing the people twice.

> The God of the Bible is sovereign over human life.

Right, because he says so. By extension a very powerful government could rule over human life too, there is no qualitative difference between the two morality schema - they are both subjective.

> The non-God of the impersonal 'Darwinist' universe
> is also, in a sense, sovereign over human life --
> in a non-Christian cosmology, you too are under
> that non-God's impersonal death sentence.

I'm not a darwinist, so this doesn't apply to me and I would appreciate it if you would refer to me and my position in future posts. I've already said this a few times before.

Incidently, what is a 'non-god'? It looks like you are making an existential claim about nothing....

Can you answer my three questions or do I have to constantly repost them in order for you to address them? I have quit with the inflammatory rhetoric and you said that if I did so the quality of the discussion would be enhanced. I ask that you uphold your end of the bargain.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 03:22PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss asks: "Are you trying to suggest that
> since another group of religious believers decided
> killing babies is holy that means that you can as
> well?"
>
> Ness replies: Nonsense again. More than a dozen
> times in the OT, God forbids his people to
> sacrifice their children as the pagans routinely
> did.
> The LORD your God will cut off before you the
> nations you are about to invade and dispossess.
> But when you have driven them out and settled in
> their land, and after they have been destroyed
> before you, be careful not to be ensnared by
> inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these
> nations serve their gods? We will do the same."
> You must not worship the LORD your God in their
> way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all
> kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They
> even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as
> sacrifices to their gods. (Deut 12) They have
> forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods;
> they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that
> neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of
> Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place
> with the blood of the innocent. They have built
> the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the
> fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not
> command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.
> (Jeremiah 19)
>


It's not nonsense, Eliot - I was seeking clarity, not accusing you (or your worldview) of this. I thought that was evident. It appears to not be evident.

My basic point/question is why are you bringing that up?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 03:23PM

Pangloss asks: "Let's say that today you start hearing god's voice. He informs you that you are a prophet and that you must kill a family. The last in a line of Amorites who managed to some how survive the earlier slaughter. ... Would you do that?"
Ness replies: Nonsense again. The Old Covenant is over, replaced by the New Covenant at the Last Supper. The foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets has been laid. New Testament Christians obey the Scriptures, not supposed prophetic voices in their heads.
Don't confuse the Reformation Christianity of McLean Bible Church with cults of Christianity that claim to have Apostles and Prophets (e.g., Roman Catholicism and Mormonism) or with New Age channelers who receive private revelations.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 03:34PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 03:37PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss asks: "Let's say that today you start
> hearing god's voice. He informs you that you are a
> prophet and that you must kill a family. The last
> in a line of Amorites who managed to some how
> survive the earlier slaughter. ... Would you do
> that?"
>
> Ness replies: Nonsense again. The Old Covenant is
> over, replaced by the New Covenant at the Last
> Supper. The foundation of the Apostles and the
> Prophets has been laid. New Testament Christians
> obey the Scriptures, not supposed prophetic voices
> in their heads.

1. That remains to be seen - after all Jesus said that he was not here to do away with the law.
2. The logic of your statement would be that we would have to ignore Paul's writings then, since he heard the lord's voice in his head.
3. What's the holy spirit's action to mankind?
4. So in the time of revelation, no human is supposed to join Jesus in his wanton slaughtering of sinners?
5. This example is a hold over from the old covenant, as I made clear - after all, this is an Amorite and all of them should be slaughtered.
6. How do you know whether or not the scriptures (or even which scriptures) are true or what they mean if you cannot depend on your autonomous reasoning?

Number 6 is the killer for presuppositionalists, unfortunately.

> Don't confuse the Reformation Christianity of
> McLean Bible Church with cults of Christianity
> that claim to have Apostles and Prophets. (e.g.,
> Roman Catholicism, Mormonism)

I'm not confusing anything - I'm showing that you are being inconsistent. You are trying to justify your position by appealing vaguely to the bible. Let's crack it open and see if you are justified.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 03:38PM by Professor Pangloss.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 04:37PM

Pangloss asks: 1. "Jesus said that he was not here to do away with the law."
Read Acts and Hebrews. Clearly the OT ceremonial law, temple, and priesthood are fulfilled by Jesus and done away with.
2. "The logic of your statement would be that we would have to ignore Paul's writings then, since he heard the lord's voice in his head."
Paul claimed authority as an Apostle, but what makes you think that he (psychotically?) "heard a voice in his head?"
3. "What's the holy spirit's action to mankind?"
As Jesus said, to "convict the world of sin" ... and as I said, to body-slam men's presuppositions and world-view by causing them to believe the Scriptures.
4. "So in the time of revelation, no human is supposed to join Jesus in his 'wanton' slaughtering of sinners?"
'Wanton' is a loaded word meaning unjust. The Biblical Judgement is entirely about God's justice.
5. "This example is a hold over from the old covenant, as I made clear - after all, this is an Amorite and all of them should be slaughtered."
You're joking, right? That was God's command to the Israelites. Jesus commanded the church to preach the Gospel to "all the world."
6. "How do you know whether or not the scriptures (or even which scriptures) are true or what they mean if you cannot depend on your autonomous reasoning?"
Here the Reformation Church looks to the Holy Spirit's action in history ... and no, we do not have the original manuscripts, just an amazing amount of texts.
7. Question: Why do you waste time struggling so mightily to persuade others of the untruth of something you once believed but now reject? Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 05:21PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 04:50PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss asks:
> 1. "Jesus said that he was not here to do away
> with the law."Read Acts and Hebrews. Clearly the
> OT ceremonial law, temple, and priesthood are
> fulfilled by Jesus and done away with.

Okay, so we agree that the bible is contradictory here. Or are you suggesting that just the ceremonial law, temple, and priesthood can be ignored?

If it's the latter, then that doesn't help your case at all, since killing the children wasn't a ceremony, a law, or part of the priesthood.

> 2. "The logic of your statement would be that we
> would have to ignore Paul's writings then, since
> he heard the lord's voice in his head."Paul
> claimed authority as an Apostle, but what makes
> you think that he (psychotically?) "heard a voice
> in his head?"

He mentions it on his way to demasticus (sp?).

> 3. "What's the holy spirit's action to mankind?"As
> Jesus said, to "convict the world of sin" ... and
> as I said, to body-slam men's presuppositions and
> world-view by causing them to believe the
> Scriptures.

....? How does it do that?

> 4. "So in the time of revelation, no human is
> supposed to join Jesus in his 'wanton'
> slaughtering of sinners?"'Wanton' is a loaded word
> meaning unjust. The Biblical Judgement is entirely
> about God's justice.

Well, technically speaking, it is unjust. In any event, that's not relevant really. It seems as though you didn't answer my question, so I'll ask that you do that now.

> 5. "This example is a hold over from the old
> covenant, as I made clear - after all, this is an
> Amorite and all of them should be
> slaughtered."You're joking, right? That was God's
> command to the Israelites. Jesus commanded the
> church to preach the Gospel to "all the world."

No, I'm not joking. As to Jesus's message, that doesn't really effect the situation, after all, you could recite the gospel while killing the Amorites.

> 6. "How do you know whether or not the scriptures
> (or even which scriptures) are true or what they
> mean if you cannot depend on your autonomous
> reasoning?"Here the Reformation Church looks to
> the Holy Spirit's action in history ... and no, we
> do have the original manuscripts. That is not,
> alas, how God dealt with the Church.

What does the Holy Spirit do? How do you know the HS is guiding you? How do you know it's not Satan or a deceitful message sent by god? How do you know it's not telling you to kill the Amorite?

> 7. Question: Why do you struggle so mightily
> against something you once believed but now
> reject?


What makes you think I'm struggling? At best discussing these issues with you is like pulling teeth - you ignore the problematic aspects of your worldview and I have to repost them and repost them. I would say that's irritating and not conductive to good discussion, but it's not really a struggle. If anything it seems like you are struggling to come up with good responses to the questions/arguments I'm making, which only solidify my rejection of Christianity - albeit only slightly as, no offense but you haven't really offered up anything new here.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 25, 2009 04:58PM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 7. Question: Why do you waste time struggling so
> mightily to persuade others of the untruth of
> something you once believed but now reject?


This is a slightly different question then the one you originally asked. My response to this is that I do not 'waste time' trying to persuade others. I spend some time productively attempting to engage others in these sorts of discussions for a few reasons.

1. I have found it's beneficial to have conversations with people on these issues. My worldview was changed once before and it could be again - I could find during a discussion a deeper understanding that I had previously missed.

2. I think it's important to discourage people from harmful beliefs. I find your beliefs in particular to be harmful intellectually. I'm not trying to insult you, but I find that presuppositionalism in general discourages seeking truth and healthy skepticism. I find that advocates of intelligent design tend to bully school boards to get their ideas taught as legitimate scientific theories.

3. It's interesting.

For point of record, I also argue with holocaust deniers and afrocentricists for the same reasons. Not as often as Christians, as they are harder to find.

I argue with people who deny moon landings, who believe there is a coverup in the government involving aliens (although I *used* to be one when I was a teen), and people who believe they are vampires (don't ask).

I engage in those discussions because I feel that skepticism, logic, and rationality are wonderful knowledge that should be shared. I do not usually engage these people (or people of certain other religions) with the intent of them dropping their beliefs.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 25, 2009 05:20PM

psychotic, or merely narcissistic?
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe."

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 05:29PM by Eliot Ness.

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Date: February 26, 2009 08:52AM

Eliot Ness Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pangloss, speaking of 'hearing voices in your
> head' ... do you think that Jesus was psychotic,
> or merely narcissistic?

I'm agnostic in terms of whether or not Jesus actually existed. If he did, then I have serious doubts that much of the New Testament can actually be attributed to his deeds and words.

I would like you to specifically address these questions Eliot (I've added another from the Joshua conversation):
-------
To make my last post more efficient I thought I'd repost two of the important points that I think you need to address Eliot (of course if you want to address the others, then I'd be happy to read them).

1. I do not think it can be said that Adam and Eve 'rebelled' against God. If they can be said to have rebelled I do not think it's fair to punish them (and by extension mankind) for that rebellion. In order to rebell it seems to me that you would have to know that doing what you are not supposed to is wrong. Adam and Eve did not know disobeying God was wrong, so I don't think it can fairly be said that they rebelled against God.

2. Why ought we do what God says? Why ought we not commit sin. Your answer was that he created us and he can control us. Both of these answers do not follow that we should do what he says/thinks/wants - why do we care whether he created us or controls us? At best you could argue that we have no choice but to do what he wants. The trouble with this is that if this is the case then no one could logically sin. Since sin supposedly happens, this cannot be the case. It also seemed as though power lead to authority. That depends on how you define 'authoritative'. The only difference right now is that god is more powerful, which is a might makes right morality. If god does not exist then it seems to me that morality would depend on the most powerful being/entity in the universe. It could be, for instance, a government that was capable of exerting it's control over all the denizens of the planet. If it's power that is the reason for following God's demands, then ought we also follow those who are more powerful then us? It seems to me that would be the case.

3. Would you kill that child? Slowly or quickly? And would you feel holy and good doing God's word?

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Re: McLean Bible Church
Posted by: GladToBeChristian! ()
Date: February 26, 2009 10:48AM

Hi!
When I go to a new Christian site, first thing I look for is its Doctrinal Statement, which I had to dig for in this case. It says in section entitled "How To Be A Christian" (or some such wordage):
You must personally repent of your sins (Luke 5:32; 13:3) and confess Jesus Christ as Lord over your life (Romans 10:9-10), believing that as God He can and will forgive your sins (Acts 10:43) and grant you eternal life (I John 5:11, 13).

What I find wrong about this statement: "REPENT" is from the Greek METANOIA, which means "CHANGE OF MIND about who Jesus is, that He is not just a man but the Son of God." It does not mean "ashamed of one's sins."
"Confess that Jesus Christ as Lord over your life" cannot be done until after one's salvation. A new believer is a new creation in Christ: THEREFORE, IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD BEHOLD ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW (2 Cor 5:17).

FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD - NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST" (Eph 2:8-9). Confessing that Jesus is Lord over your life" is a pre-salvation work, which amounts to nothing. Making Him Lord over your life should come AFTER you are saved.

"Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE UNTO YOU THE GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and in which ye stand; By which also YE ARE SAVED, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of of all that Which I also received, that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES; AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND THAT HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES." (1 Cor 15:1-40). Period.

In short: I DECLARE UNTO YOU THE GOSPEL by which also YE ARE SAVED, that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES; AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND THAT HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES."

Should you respond to this email, please do so on this site. Thanks. In Christ!

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Re: McLean Bible Church
Date: February 26, 2009 10:57AM

That's great for you GTBC, but are you saying this is a christian website or are you talking about MBC?

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Re: McLean Bible Church sucks
Posted by: Eliot Ness ()
Date: February 26, 2009 12:20PM

Pangloss wrote: "I'm agnostic in terms of whether or not Jesus actually existed. If he did, then I have serious doubts that much of the New Testament can actually be attributed to his deeds and words."
Ness replies: I understand, because supernatural events are inextricably woven into every bit of the New Testament, including not just Jesus' miracles but his awareness of what his opponents were thinking, his repeated escapes from attempts to kill or capture him, and his clear statements of foreknowledge about his impending death and resurrection.
In a 'Big Bang' world-view of impersonal matter/energy + time + chance (which I call 'contemporary Darwinism'), you can trust nothing, really, that speaks about human activity in the past (let alone 'divine' activity) ... and you can know nothing, obviously, about the future apart from speculation. You're left with your own personal experience of the present which, based upon observation, you expect to end in a permanent 'fade to black' at some point.
Christianity, with its assertion of an historic Fall, Curse, Incarnation, Atonement, Resurrection, and Judgment ... is obviously a bombshell into this world-view. But the Bible is clear that men/women believe the Bible's history and cosmology as a result of a 'body-slam' by the Holy Spirit, not as a result of scholastic argumentation or online forum debate.
"The Gentiles ... were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed." (Acts 13)

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