The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

-1 means he’s 11…

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/12/2008

So this guy Twelve shows up here. I made a couple of comments on a post of his a while back, the comments of which turned into a Thread That Would Not Die! Presumably, he’s been led here by a referrer or by clicking on my name or something; that’s not really important. He then made a looooooooooooong comment on a post I wrote some time ago called Fools, Damned Fools And Christians.

Oddly enough, I couldn’t remember a damn thing about the post in question until I looked at it, and found that it was dedicated to making fun of some Christian who posted a bunch of stupid stuff. How unusual.

Anyway, this looooooooooooong comment of his was dedicated to criticising my post. That’s fine; I welcome controversy, and I’m always happy to be criticised, if only because it often helps sharpen one’s writing abilities.

In this case, however, it seems that I won’t need to strain myself too much.

I’m posting this here, rather than responding in the comments, because it’s my blog and I can do what I like here. W00t!

It also makes me look like I’m occasionally providing some content, which is a bonus.

On with the really big shew. Quoted remarks are his, generally; where necessary, I’ve quoted inside quotes to show context.

Hey, I noticed that your blog has no more than one side of any argument with creationists, so I thought to help fix that. I am a Christian, or so I consider myself, so I’m probably no more than just an ignorant, inexperienced loudmouth, but I’ll try to keep my incoherent babbling to a minimum.

Well, chief, if that’s how you want to refer to yourself, go nuts. As to there being only one side… Well, I don’t give a side to flat-earthers, fascists or believers in fairies, either. Make of that what you will.

Anyway, to the point. I’ll follow your example and dissect your words and address each quoted phrase.

You mean you’ll try. And that’s generous phrasing on my part.

The Bible also says a talking snake told a woman not to eat a fruit which would give her knowledge of good and evil. A talking snake. A. Talking. Snake.

In the defense of creationists, the “snake” was Satan in the form of a serpent, and therefore not a talking snake. Personally, that could have been either (1) a metaphor, or (2) an embellished portion of the Bible that never really occurred in this way — after all, most of the Bible, if not all, was kept unforgotten through oral tradition, and not written down until much later. In other words: Not. A. Talking. Snake.

Uh-huh. These would be the same Creationists who claim an absolutely literalist interpretation of the whole damn book. You don’t get to claim something is literally true in every respect and then cry metaphor when your claim makes you look like a dumbass. Metaphor is out the window, not that it ever had a look-in: the verses in Genesis 3 are pretty clear that it’s an actual talking snake; see particularly “[…] the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made”.

Furthermore, the whole thing of its being an embellished portion leaves you on shaky ground not only as far as literalness goes, but also in respect to its general truthfulness; if an event so important as the genesis (pun intended) of original sin, a doctrine so central to Christianity that its absence renders the whole enterprise irrelevant, can be obscured or embellished, what does that say to the mythos of Jesus? It leaves your house standing on sand; if the Bible can be embellished even down to its foundational portions, then its coherency is suspect, as are its truth claims as a consequence.

And while I’m on the subject: The whole magic-fruit idea may also not be entirely accurate. If there was any fruit involved, then it was because “God” (or so we’ll call Him for now) wanted to give the two humans a choice: to obey or not. To accomplish this, He simply pointed to some tree and said “Don’t eat that, because I said so.” (Although that may sound unfair, they did have plenty of other food, so the tree wasn’t a necessity in that respect.) And by giving them this one rule, He allowed them a choice, that choice being ‘God,’ or ‘not God.’ Through this, humans had free will. If the humans, at any point in time, chose ‘not God,’ then they would be willingly separating themselves from Him, and it was for this reason that they were thereafter forbidden to return to the garden, which was God’s garden. So, basically, God made humans, gave them on rule, which they disobeyed, thereby separating themselves from God, and suddenly they’re less perfect — fruits and snakes are irrelevant.
Does that make any sense to you?

It makes sense, if you mean whether I understand what you’re saying. It makes no sense to anyone with an iota of sense or conscience, though; if I tell my eleven year old son that he shouldn’t open the cupboard in the kitchen, without a single explanation or reason, and his curiosity gets the better of him, and he opens the cupboard to find all of my dead wives, am I justified in throwing him out onto the street? Does that make me a good person? No, it doesn’t; it makes me a stupid jerk who overreacted to an unknowing violation of an arbitary, unexplained rule. And possibly a murderer, if I really were keeping dead wives in my cupboard.

Most Atheists are pretty committed – mainly because we have the tendency to actually think about this stuff before we start telling all and sundry that it’s a good idea. Another reason is being surrounded on all sides by people telling you that something which you’ve examined very carefully and come to reasonably is wrong, despite all evidence; that tends to put people’s backs up a little.

That’s a rather sweeping generalization you seem to be making there. I may be wrong about this, but you seem to be implying that atheists are the only ones who think things through. If so, I’d like you to reexamine your opinions.

Generalisations are sweeping by their nature; it’s kind of the point. Even so, you’re wrong, and frankly reading into the quotation what you want to see because it supports your preconceived notion of what I (and possibly other Atheists) think.

If you can’t show any evidence for it and if in fact the evidence goes entirely against it, I’m calling it wrong.

That last sentence is a bit redundant, isn’t it? (That is to say, your lack of tolerance for any beliefs but your own seems quite obvious.)

Again, reading what you wish to see into things. I’m plenty tolerant of other people’s desires to believe in whatever they wish. Tolerance, however, does not equate to approval or the inability to criticise; to use a real world example, I tolerate the right of the Aryan Nations to peacefully parade in support of their political views, even while I find them and their beliefs deeply repugnant. I would not hesitate in calling them douchebags for their beliefs while simultaneously supporting their right to express those beliefs.

And more to the point, which of us two holds a viewpoint which threatens the other eternal punishment for non-compliance? Which of us has views which necessarily require that the other person submit to those views? I’ll give you a clue: it’s not me.

Tell you what, you find me someone dumb enough to have said exactly this, and I will personally kick him or her out of the non-existent Atheists’ Club while eating the sap’s membership card.

They aren’t difficult to find — just google the word “Christians” to find loads of atheists, and you’re bound to find at least forty on the first link whom you can kick out of the club. Not all atheists know what they’re talking about, no, actually, I’ve met plenty who don’t have the slightest idea.

You know that stuff you guys don’t do well? Evidence, we call it. Don’t refer to some anonymous person you might find on Google if you could be bothered; if you want to be taken seriously when asserting a point, some evidence.

If its attributes are completely incoherent and contradictory, we can call it a day on its existence.

I’d appreciate it if you told me these attributes, because honestly, I’ve not yet come across these attributes.

You’re playing faux naïf here, and it really isn’t cute, but I’ll play along. I’m generous like that. To give the classic, there is the problem of evil. We also see purpose vs. timelessness/, freewill vs. omniscience, the inherent incoherency of the first-cause argument and so on.

You claim objective morality for your god but Euthyphro took care of this problem centuries ago; you claim perfect goodness and power for it, yet the problem of evil still exists.

Referring back to my fruit and snakes explanation: because there is good, there is bad/’not good.’ Because there is ‘God,’ there is also ‘not God.’ Hence, free will. ‘Not God’ is typically defined as “evil,” and so the problem of evil is a non-existent one.

Christian FAILPfff! You’re playing the redefinition game, and badly, at that.

Evil is commonly meant as that which causes suffering; by claiming that not-God is equivalent to evil, you’re smuggling in dual premises: that evil is defined only as that which is not-God, and that those without God-belief are suffering.

Bad Christian! No doughnut for you!

Your definition is self-serving and fallacious. In other words, FAIL.

Your god is incoherent, illogical and makes no sense.

Grammar Nazi Paragraph: I understand that you wish to, in no way, give any respect to the concept of the Christian God, it is still improper English to refer to God as god, because God is a name. Or should I start writing things about richard dawkins in this way?

These goggles, they do nothing!As Lottie said to you in comments, god refers to a class of noun, which happens to be the same word Christians have appropriated as a proper noun. Awesome psychological warfare against the polytheists, by the way.

Your term “God” is a subset of “god”; in other words, you’re wrong.

Write RD’s name anyway you like; I don’t have the authority to stop you being an asshole.

Plus, the implication that we revere Dawkins in some way is just dumb, not to mention insulting. I respect the man as an author and scientist, not to mention a great populariser of science, but I don’t worship him.

To imply state this is ridiculous.

But aside from that, yes, the typical portrayal of God used in this world is something of a load of nonsense. We’ve been adding attributes to God that need not be attributed. But this is no reason to eliminate all possibilities of a timeless creator. After all, the universe didn’t just jump into existence.

Wow! Well, I’m convinced by the power of your argument.

Here’s a tip for you, because I’m all about the education: the argument from incredulity is as good as way of signposting idiocy as a big neon sign that flashes on and off while playing a soundtrack of David Hasselhoff’s greatest hits remixed for an audience of semi-deaf epileptic techno freaks.

Am I being clear enough for you here? Because I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea.

The argument from incredulity says, in essence, that your own inability to understand something trumps all considerations to the contrary, logic and evidence included. Is that really an argument you want to be associated with? Because if it is, you need to put down the thinking and step away before you hurt yourself.

Because consistently lying to children doesn’t count as abuse? Consistently telling children that the smallest moral infractions will cause them to be punished in agonising pain for all eternity? That not believing in something which cannot be seen, touched, smelled or in fact at all factually attested to will get them the same punishment? Yeah, right. Nothing abusive there.

Exactly my point from before: Unnecessary attributes. The God of the Bible is One that allows for mistakes, and compensates for those mistakes by imposing His judgment upon Himself. So, no, the “smallest infraction” will not cause a person to suffer eternally.
“And if you kept a book of sin, O Father, who’d be standing?”

Really? So loving someone of the same sex is worthy of eternal punishment? Stealing a loaf of bread or cussing out your parents or boiling a kid in its mother’s milk gets you a front-row seat for the matinee show of This-Is-What-You-Get-For-Messing-With-The-Big-G? Because these strike me as pretty small beer in the grand scheme of things, and yet, they are all forbidden by various Bible verses.

And as for your comment about God not being able to be seen, touched, smelled, etc.: “‘God’ is not necessarily a physical being that can be perceived by the five humans senses. As humans, we know only what we can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste. This limits our understanding to only the physical world that can be perceived by these senses. However, we have an understanding of other existing ‘things,’ such as the concept of ‘goodness,’ or emotions such as ‘happiness.’ Although these things are not perceivable through the five senses, it is agreed that they do, in fact, exist. God is defined as ‘Love,’ ‘Goodness,’ ‘Life,’ and other such benevolent things –- all as a sentient being. Considering this, one can assume that God is not limited to space, or time, and that He may not necessarily be capable of being perceived by humans through the five senses.”

We can also meaningfully define the words “goodness” and “happiness”, we can see evidence of what they are, we can see what good and happy people do and how they act.

All you’re doing is trying to define your god out of the realm of being questioned. If you cannot sense it in some way, you cannot attest to its existence; all you have in that case is a meaningless assertion, as well as the rather ridiculous logical jump.

Ahahaha. It is to laugh. Seriously, if we’re fools, then I’m happy with foolishness. If being intelligent and reasonable is foolish, I am a big fool.

Ignorance is bliss…

This must be why Christians so frequently claim to be the happiest little people on the planet, your silly parting shot notwithstanding.

Seriously, dude, if this is the most intelligent set of arguments you can muster, how have you survived to maturity adulthood be old enough to be out unaccompanied in public without a leash? You must have some serious near-misses on a daily basis. “Look, shiny things in the road!” *CRASH*

Yeesh. This sort of thing makes me seriously consider supporting the notion that use of the Internet ought to require an IQ test, or at least some kind of inanity-censoring program. Although, if it did, we’d probably never see any new Lolcats again, which is not something I’m willing to be responsible for.

2 Responses to “-1 means he’s 11…”

  1. Amusing… The problem is, an individual cannot convince anyone of something they’re not willing to know. That seems to be the inherent problem in most debates concerning religion.

  2. The problem with arguments about religion (or anything, really) is that you can’t convince someone of something they are not ready to believe in.

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