Monica’s Longer Arguments No Better than the Tweets, part 2
Monica, who goes on Twitter as @Monicks, has thousands of followers. Why? Her arguments are even more vacuous than most. I think I got hooked into this for the same reason I follow @antitheistangie (Angie Jackson)–not for intellectual arguments or deep thinking, but because she’s really, really hot.
That said, let’s examine one of the remaining two commands of the Bible that no one follows. It’s interesting that I mentioned I’m following Angie because she’s super hot, since divorce (Mk 10:8-12) is today’s topic.
I agree that divorce is forbidden; so what? The people that God declares righteous in the Bible: were they perfect and without sin? No! Abraham lied numerous times. Jacob deceived his brother and his father to be the heir of promise. David slept with another man’s wife, then conspired to have the husband killed. Peter denied Jesus three times. Paul killed and tortured Christians to get them to renounce their faith in Jesus.
If we had to come before God with our works, we’d all be screwed. Especially me! I just admitted to a sin in the introduction of this post–looking at a woman besides my wife with lust! The righteous live by faith.
So, at the end of the day, the truth of Christianity doesn’t rise or fall on the actions of its practitioners. If it did, this religion would never have gotten off the ground.
But that’s getting away from the central issue of ignoring divorce. We’ll come back to the idea that the actions of Christians isn’t the arbiter of the truth of Christianity in a moment. First, let’s look at the parallel passage in Matthew 19:9, which reads, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (emphasis added). This is a twist on our story.
The translation “sexual immorality” really isn’t the best way to capture the Greek word that Matthew used. The NET Bible translates it simply “immorality.” The word is properly understood as separating parts from the whole or destroying the union or fellowship of [something]. I take this to mean that anything that destroys the fellowship of marriage (beating your wife, gazing with lust upon Angie Jackson, creating an unsafe home environment, physically or emotionally abusing your children) should be grounds for divorce. Sexual immorality is only the tip of the iceberg.
So, divorce is permissible if one of the partners destroys the solidarity of the marriage. Other passages confirm this (check 1 Cor 7:10-16).
Do I think that all Christian divorces are taking place because someone broke up the solidarity of the marriage? No! I’m not naive. I know that some Christian divorces occur for the same frivolous reasons as the unbelievers’ divorces: “We’re not compatible anymore;” “I didn’t know he snored that loud!” “She nags me everyday.”
That brings us full circle: the truth of Christianity doesn’t rely on the actions of its practitioners. If it did, this religion wouldn’t have survived for very long, because all of us are sinners–whether we lie about our marital status to save our own skin, deceive our closest family to wrongfully obtain an inheritance, or secretly wish Angie was wearing something skimpier in the latest video.
Tomorrow, we shall show that atheists truly don’t think very deeply about possible meanings of biblical texts. They read what is there and that’s it.
Monica’s Longer Arguments no Better than the Tweets!, part 1
Recently, I posted that Twitter user Monicks made a supremely ignorant statement about God and moral responsibility. In that post, I specifically mention the trouble with arguing via Twitter; namely, you get only 140 characters to make your point.
So I thought that, perhaps, Monica would argue better if she had unlimited characters to work with. And so I checked her blog, and read the most popular post on it.
So much for that idea. All unlimited words did for her was give her more rope with which to hang herself.
So let’s look at these 11 things that the Bible forbids, yet we do anyway. First, Monica intelligently anticipates the main objection that will be raised, to which she unintelligently replies:
As a final note, I know that nine of these 11 cite the Old Testament, which Christianity doesn’t necessarily adhere to as law.
To which I say: If you’re going to ignore the section of Leviticus that bans about tattoos, pork, shellfish, round haircuts, polyester and football, how can you possibly turn around and quote Leviticus 18:22 (“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”) as irrefutable law?
But that’s me trying to introduce logic to religious fanaticism (or, at least, trying to counter some mix of ignorance, bigotry and narcissism with logic). And I should probably know better.
Why is this unintelligent? The short answer is in this video from Stand to Reason.
Long answer: Read the rest of this entry
Dumbest Tweet I’ve Read in a While
I’ve complained that arguing via Twitter is a bad idea. The problem is that you get 140 characters to make your point, and that’s it. So reading a tweet that’s truly stupid, but requires more than 140 characters to respond to, creates a dilemma. There’s TwitLonger for some of those cases, or I can link it up to my blog as I’m doing in this case, but there’s no way to know how many people will actually read the reply.
Another issue is, while you might reply to the person that said it, and you include “@” + their Twitter name so they will see it, not everyone who read the tweet will see it. This is complicated by the fact that users can retweet posts that they like, spreading the message (but no replies) far and wide.
And, there are far more atheists using Twitter than theists. Which means that, when an atheist says something that’s plain ignorant but is catchy nonetheless, it is going to get read and retweeted dozens of times. Even if a theist writes a reply, the damage is already done. Few (if any) will see the reply.
Twitter user Monicks (whose real name appears to be Monica), has the ignorant tweet of (perhaps) the year. Maybe not, since we’re only in April (the best month of the year, and yesterday was the best day of the year). But it’s still pretty ignorant. Monica says:
I’m not subscribed to Monica, so the only reason I saw it is because she was retweeted by ThinkAtheist, who I do subscribe to. Monica has 5,609 subscribers and ThinkAtheist has 8,934 subscribers. That particular tweet was retweeted by at least 12 other users, so it looks like way more people have seen that tweet than will ever see this reply. But I wanted to try anyway. Read the rest of this entry
Questions Theists Can’t Answer: 2 Wise Observations
Belief is, by definition, the consideration of something unsupported by evidence. Because of this, it is inherently unfounded on truth.
Depends on what sort of belief is under consideration. Some beliefs are logical deductions based on other beliefs. These are founded on the truth of the beliefs that come before them. Others are grounding beliefs that have no evidence to support them one way or the other.
The problem with this statement is that it applies to atheists as well. Everyone, whether theist or atheist, starts somewhere in their structure of beliefs. Those presuppositions upon which a worldview is based are really the crux of the debate between atheism and theism. The theist starts with God, while the theist starts with nature.
I’ve also noticed that one atheist commented that one way they can tell that theists are full of “bullshit” is that we can answer every question. The scientist, it is reasoned, admits his limitation and is happy to say, “I don’t know” when he doesn’t know the answer. Theists, on the other hand, answer every question that the atheist proposes. Since we never seem to admit that we don’t know the answer, that means that we’re full of it.
So, basically, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Let me illustrate why.
The existence of a list such as this indicates that the atheist believes that we can’t answer every question proposed. That might be true. A few months after I started my main blog, I was forced to admit that I didn’t know the answer to the proposed dilemma:
So which is stronger, manfluence or Godfluence? Well, Hasic posits that man put the belief about God in the heads of children, and that the kids are responding to that belief, not to God. But this overlooks the fact that God determined the situation in which these kids were placed, not man. If they grow up Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim, He wanted that to happen for a reason known only to Him and that increases His glory somehow.
I don’t know why and there isn’t any way to find out (Job 37:5). (source, emphasis added)
There really are somethings that humans don’t know the answers to, and I’ve tried to be forthright about that. Now, usually when I do, the atheist in the argument immediately claims victory: “Ha! I found a question you don’t know the answer to! I win!”
Can’t have it both ways, guys. Either you want me to answer everything, or you want me to admit that I occasionally don’t have an answer. But you can’t claim victory when I have all of the answers, and also claim victory if I don’t have all the answers. We call that “stacking the deck.”
Insomina Pays Off!
Because I couldn’t sleep, I wrote the answer to proof #11 in my newly updated response to God is Imaginary, that case study in inconsistency, incoherence, and special pleading. Insomnia has finally paid off. Enjoy!
Questions Theists Can’t Answer, the Atonement
I was recently directed to a Reddit thread where the atheists were proposing questions that theists can’t answer. Surprise, surprise, we can answer them, and in many cases have answered them (just not the satisfaction of the atheist). Of course, personal satisfaction isn’t a prerequisite for truth.
That said, what follows are questions from that thread that center on the Atonement. Read the rest of this entry
Happy National Atheists’ Day!
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD?
There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Convincing Skeptics to Believe
John W. Loftus discussed what it would take to convince him to believe. The discussion was prompted when Jayman, a Christian, asked Loftus if he witnessed a bona fide miracle, would he then believe in God? Let’s look at the hubris displayed in the answer:
I have said that it would take a personal miracle for me to believe. I didn’t say what kind of miracle nor did I comment on the other things that would have to accompany that miracle. Let me do so now. . . .
Let’s say the miracle was an anonymous one, like the resurrection of my cousin Steve Strawser, who died at 58 alone in the woods of a massive heart attack, or the skeptic Ken Pulliam who died in October. I would believe in a supernatural reality, yes, but an anonymous one. I don’t think I could conclude anything different. But it would be an anonymous god who did it. I could not conclude much about this god other than that he could raise the dead. (emphasis added)
Once telling us that a miracle would convince him, he qualifies that by saying that a miracle is only evidence of a supernatural entity, but the identity of said entity is still open for conjecture. Then he backtracks:
So I would need more than a miracle, even though that scenario is already far fetched to begin with. (emphasis added)
After the miracle, Loftus wants God to take credit for it, by making a personal appearance (of course). Loftus further considers that proposition:
But let’s say that along with such a miracle I am told by this deity to believe exactly the way Jayman does about Christianity. That presumes even more than that a miracle occurred, since there are so many brands of Christianity around, some accusing the others of heresy. Would I believe then?
Assuming that the miracle came, the worker of the miracle has shown himself and taken credit, then he tells Loftus to believe exactly as a specific Christian believes. Meaning God’s power has been demonstrated, and then asserts his authority. Does Loftus submit?
So, if I experienced a personal miracle I would require more than just that to believe in Jayman’s god. I have so many objections to the Bible and the biblical god I would have to reconcile what I know with what this deity told me to believe. I cannot even understand why any god would require me to believe in the first place! At that point I would be forced to chose between Jayman’s god and a trickster conception of god, and the trickster god would have to be my choice given what I know. (emphasis added)
Wow. Don’t miss Loftus’s this:
- An incontrovertible miracle occurs.
- God himself appears to Loftus and takes credit.
- God tells Loftus which Christian denomination is correct in all doctrinal points.
- However, Loftus doesn’t think that any branch of Christianity is correct.
- Loftus assumes that the deity who appeared and worked the miracle is now tricking him.
If I was convinced Christianity is true and Jesus arose from the grave, and if I must believe in such a barbaric God, I would believe, yes, but I could still not worship such a barbaric God. I would fear such a Supreme Being, since he has such great power, but I’d still view him as a thug, a despicable tyrant, a devil in disguise; unless Christianity was revised. (source, emphasis added)
This is quite educational. My conclusion: John W. Loftus is an arrogant and unrelenting narcissist who has put himself in place of God. In his own words, Loftus has said, “Even if God himself proved his existence beyond a reasonable doubt and told me that Christianity is true, I’ll believe it but I’m still not going to worship God.”
Literally, John Loftus has just told us that he knows better than God. Only on the Internet can you witness egos this big first hand. And, this proves that no one is in hell kicking, screaming, and crying to be let out (as I’ve frequently argued). Loftus would rather be there then to bow down and worship God.
I don’t think I can add anything further. This speaks for itself.
Consistent Atheist: Meet Tom
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
All right, I’m new to blogging so you’re going to have to give me some room. My name is Tom Scanlon, and I’m an atheist. But I feel like I’m different than most atheists in a very important way. I consistently apply the attitudes and methodologies that led me to atheism to all areas of my life.
My life is pretty messed up because of that, but I don’t care. I’m actually happy because I’m 100% consistent in all of my conclusions about life–no matter how weird they are. In the coming weeks, I’m going to post about that, so you’ll see just how messed up things are.
Cory and I used to go to school together and we reconnected through Facebook. I saw Cory had a blog and I talked to him about how to start one, since I was thinking about doing one about how consistent my atheism has become. When I heard that you have to update blogs fairly regularly to get traffic and build loyal readers, I balked because I don’t think I have that much to say, or that I’ll even post that often. So, being a gracious friend, Cory agreed to let me post every now and again to his blog.
So, hi, everyone! I thought I’d start out with a brief introductory post and then maybe later this week or something I can put up a post about applying the methodology for rejecting Christianity to my personal life, and why it messed stuff up so badly.
All my posts will be under the Consistent Atheist category of the blog, so click on that to check me out. Also, I got my own page. All right, that’s it. Hopefully I’ll be back around Friday or so with my first post.