Moral law in an amoral universe?

This is another thought provoking video from Ravi Zacharias for you to digest on Atheism, Feminism and the Bible. The question is about a girl who became an atheist after reading that God cursed Eve with labor pains in childbirth because of her sin. The girl stopped reading and said she doesn’t want to believe in a God who doesn’t believe in her. The questioner asks what Ravi would say to that girl and his answer blew me away.

Seriously, it’s awesome. Give it a listen:

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  • Tyler

    Okay…so the woman refuses to believe in a “God” who doesn’t believe in her because she reads a verse out of the Old Testament and this guy’s response to that is to look at the New Testament which is supposedly a newer part of the same collection, but in reality is a bunch of Catholic add-ons.

    What’s worse here though is that he doesn’t even actually answer the question. If this woman in question has a logical mindset, she will also see that looking at the difference between Jesus and Yahweh is too different to be the same “God.”

    I know I seem like the type who attacks Christianity, but I really only question the logic of it. I am yet to hear anyone actually answer for the flaws and immorality which is prevalent all throughout the Old Testament. Instead, people use the New Testament…almost as if to say “Forget about that other book which taught that women were basically property and that women are not equal to man and do not have rights as a man does. Jesus does believe in equality and Jesus is also God all of a sudden, so just believe and you will be fine.”

    I think if Christians were smart…they’d renounce the Old Testament altogether and live solely by the New Testament. That’s just my take on it. Sorry guys, but it really does work much better and fits better as a philosophy than it does as a religion unless you take out the Old Testament and leave that to the Jews.

    • Anonymous
    • He does answer her question and does it well. I would say listen to it again because he does it in three sections: defining the amoral universe of an atheist, showing that even though she is an atheist she used morals to debunk the Bible, and then gave the larger context for how Christ treated women.

      It’s really quite fascinating but if truth be told, I had to listen to it twice myself.

      • Tyler

        I explained why this guy was wrong last time you posted him and I’ll (also in 3 parts) explain why he’s wrong in this clip.

        1. Atheism is not to believe in anything. Beliefs and morals are two completely different things. A person’s worth is also different from these other 2 things. A person does not have to believe in anything or be what society would consider a “moral” person to consider themselves to be someone of great worth and value.

        2. There were people with morals and values before any concept of a single “God” existed much less was Judaism (hence the Bible) the beginning of morality.

        3. This is in response to your talking about how Christ treated women. Christ did not exist nor did anyone ever think or really know that the “messiah” would be named Jesus Christ. That’s why I made a point to note that the Old Testament (where Adam & Eve and the “original sin” is told and is Judaism) and the New Testament (which Jews do not believe in because they do not believe that Jesus is the “messiah” therefore it is yet to happen).

        I am not arguing that Christianity does not treat women well. The New Testament is full of writings by people talking about how men should treat women with respect. My argument is that Judaism doesn’t. So…if you really want to try to get this Atheist woman in question to read the Bible again…just have her read only the New Testament and think of Christianity as a philosophy and she might be more open to it.

        • Anonymous

          Nit-picky, but Atheism is to not believe in gods. Not believing in anything is called Nihilism, and lots of Atheists (myself) have plenty of affirmative beliefs.

          • Tyler

            My bad, dawg. At least the point was made anyway.

          • Anonymous

            Like what?

    • KeninMontana

      Just to point something out about “Catholic add-ons”, it depends on which version of the bible you are consulting Tyler. For example the KJV bible was not written by Catholics, it was written for the Church of England after the Puritans pointed out what they claimed were errors in the previously used Great Bible of Henry VIII.

      • Tyler

        The very first complete listings of all the writings which comprised the New Testament was put together by the Catholics over 300 years after Jesus’ death, so…I’d say Catholic add-ons is the right way to describe those books since every other edition whether written by them or not is based on them.

        • Goldni007

          Wrong. No Catholics. I have to goto work now. No time. But not true about thaat.

        • KeninMontana

          No actually, You have it backwards Tyler. The Bible as we know it, did not exist prior to the what was known as the Church of Rome, what is now known as the Old Testament was borrowed from the Jewish tradition to establish Christianity and the new faith’s connection with the God of the Hebrews. What you describe as “add-ons” were the collected writings of the Apostles and early Disciples that were assembled into one volume in a series of church “summits” beginning with the Council of Nicea. Prior to Nicea there was no unified Catholic church or agreed upon canon or bible.

          • Tyler

            So, you’re telling me then that the Jewish Bible is completely different than the Old Testament? I mean…I know that the Jewish people don’t think of their book as the Old Testament because they don’t believe in the New Testament, but how is it a completely different book other than by name?

            Again…the New Testament as most people know it today since very few people keep copies from before the year 300, came from the church.

            • KeninMontana

              It’s called the Torah, not the “Jewish Bible”, you really need to work on your reading/comprehension skills there old boy, because I said nothing of the sort about the Old Testament.The name “Old Testament” is purely a Christian one that references the Five Books of Moses, which make up the Torah. I’ll try this one more time, the Catholic Church as we know it did not exist as such at the time of Nicea, it was the Christian Church and led by at least five different major Patriarchs with differing Canons. The Catholic church evolved out of the sect led by the Patriarch of Rome from what was known as the “Latin Rite” of the Christian Church.In much the same way as the branch of the Christian Church led by the Patriarch of Constantinople became the Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Church. What came out of the Councils that began with Nicea eventually became the known as the New Testament made up from what were held by the Christian Church to be the teachings of Jesus as related by his Apostles.

              • Tyler

                Cool. Got ya. I’m pretty sure however that the Old Testament consists of more than just the Torah since there are more than 5 books in it. Sorry. Nitpick had to be combated with more nitpick. Thanks for the clear up though. I’ll just stick with Church add-ons then since they still are essentially add-ons.

    • Austindpowers89

      i thought the first part of his answer was interesting, in that he was extrapolating upon the atheist world view. If there is no God then there is no creator, if there is no creator then there is no created… the universe is an accident, as is life itself. So the universe has no purpose if no one made it, nor does life. How can anyone attribute value onto anything if it has no purpose? Life’s worthless. It doesn’t matter if we all kill eachother or if we create a heaven on earth… there’s no right or wrong.

      I suppose i don’t understand how labor pains extrapolate into “I don’t believe in a god who doesn’t believe in me…” but how can you believe in yourself if you don’t believe in god? if the universe has no purpose you have no purpose… you can create your own purpose but it’s a self fulfilling one… it ultimately doesn’t matter to anyone or anything.

      I’m not one to take everything from the bible as literal truth, but I believe in God, and I believe in the teachings of Jesus Chirst.

      • Anonymous

        So you’re saying that if there was no god you would go about happily slaughtering people who crossed your path because, “hey, why the hell not?” If there was no god, would YOU no longer care if someone killed you?

        There are more leaps in your logic than I’ll bother to go into, lest William come crawling out of his hole again to pick random crap to interject.

        Why do you need something outside of yourself to give yourself purpose? Make your own, that’s part of being an individual with free will, if free will isn’t actually an illusion.

        • Austindpowers89

          i’m not saying that i would go about happily slaughtering people… but i am saying that if there’s no god then what’s wrong with that?

          if those people don’t matter to my own self purpose then their lives have no meaning to me. My life has meaning to me, but why should i care about anyone else?

          if someone else has something i want, why can’t i just take it from them? you’re gonna say that i shouldn’t take something i want because i wouldn’t want them to take something from me. well i would say, i would take what i want from others but not let them take things from me… including my life.

          • Anonymous

            Empathy, reciprocal altruism, ethics, Natural Law and Natural Rights founded in Reason, Evolutionary imperatives towards dispositions in social animals to not kill each other off as a species…

            Take your pick.

            • Anonymous

              Whence reason? Whence imperatives? Altruism? Social Animals? Seriously? These are concepts that demand more than the universe has to offer on its own.

          • Tyler

            I don’t believe in “God” as he/she/it is presented in this series of books written by man. I believe that behaviors such as killing people, raping people, and stealing, etc., etc. are wrong NOT because of “God” or even because my parents told me that they are wrong or even because there are laws against those behaviors. I have natural instincts.

            I remember this one time when I was in Iraq and I was told to shoot this kid who was coming up to the gate if I noticed any suspicious movements. Something just felt wrong the whole time and I started to get nauseas…but I kept my eye on the kid. One of my soldiers who was also with me asked if we could (keep in mind, he asked “could,” not “should”) shoot him now. I wouldn’t let him. He was about to go ahead and shoot because the kid was pulling something out of his pocket, but I grabbed the barrel and told him to stand down. Sure enough, the kid was just pulling out a replica watch he was trying to sell. The man refused and the kid ran off. I didn’t need to believe it was wrong because of “God,” and we had authorization to shoot him just on a “hunch,” but my “hunch” told me it was wrong and I think I would’ve (and maybe even to this day still) experienced what some would call “Hell” had I shot that kid or allowed my soldier to do it.

            • Austindpowers89

              why does it feel wrong? why do we feel guilt? why do we feel grief? why do we have empathy? why do we feel shame?

              if it didn’t feel wrong to you to kill that boy would that’ve made it right? you can believe that right and wrong are subjective or objective. that is to say, everyone has a different list of what is right and what is wrong to them, or everyone has the same list of what is right and what is wrong. I’m saying, if there isn’t a set list of what is right and what is wrong set by some higher power, then everyone’s playing by their own rules. Killing that boy was wrong to you but wasn’t wrong ultimately because there isn’t anything ultimate.

              • Anonymous

                What you try to split as Objective vs. Subjective is actually false. What you are describing is a choice between two ideas of Subjectivism.

                If morals are decided by individuals on their own, criteria or no, that is NO MORE subjective than a god deciding what is moral by his/her/it’s own criteria. Specifically you are posing a choice between Sartrean Subjectivism and Divine Command Theory.

                If morals/ethics are Objective, in a metaphysical sense, then by definition they are OUTSIDE of a deity. And the closest you’ll ever get to an Objective ethic/morality is the Categorical Imperative.

                Objective in a social or practical sense, (ie. what makes things better) is itself subjective in what someone evaluates as “better.”

                Commonly understood Subjectivisms
                http://science.jrank.org/pages/11356/Subjectivism-Varieties-Subjectivism.html
                Divine Command Theory
                http://www.iep.utm.edu/divine-c/
                Subjectivism vs. Objectivism
                http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/103/eoes.html
                The whole Objective vs. Subjective debate misses the point.

                Ultimately, even the systems generally referred to in ethics as objective are still necessarily subjective. This is due to both the individuals evaluation and decision of these systems and which to adopt.

                Then if you consider Natural Law, which is generally said to be discovered or revealed through reason. Reason is itself a function/concept born of the human mind, making IT subjective to some degree. Then if you consider that most things we perceive have to come to us through our senses, and sense information is only understood through translation by our brains, making just about everything we ever talk or think about subjective.

                Also, are you denying that everyone has a different list of what is right and what is wrong and basically operating under their own guidelines? Have you watched the news? I mean ever? There is overlap of course, but come on, let’s be honest here.

                Sorry that took up so much space.

                • Kevin D.

                  Quote:

                  “If morals are decided by individuals on their own, criteria or no, that is NO MORE subjective than a god deciding what is moral by his/her/it’s own criteria.”

                  If you are arguing that a god is bound by the same limits of man then you are correct, that god is exercising a subjective decision process. However, the Judeo-Christian faith argues that God doesn’t abstractly decide what the moral standard for man is – He is the embodiment of that standard. That is to say, there is no decision process on the part of God on what is or is not good any more than you decide if you are human or not. Additionally, those faiths both teach God’s standard is unchanging and eternal.

                  How one approaches that standard is subjective, but God no more “created” that standard than He created Himself. The standard is eternal and unchanging as God Himself is eternal and unchanging. Upon this single fundamental truth exists all reality – observable and otherwise.

                  It is from this position that Ravi argues, that as God is unchanging and eternal, God’s standard alone is the only objective truth. And if you believe your moral statements to be themselves objective you must borrow from the very thing you say does not exist; or, at least, cannot be known. For if all things are subjective then there is no meaning in anything beyond what the fickle say there is. And even that declaration is substantial only so long as the crowd believes it to be.

                  Immoral become moral as soon as 51% of the people say it does.

                • Anonymous

                  The fact that just about everything is subjective to one degree or another as expressed above does not mean that all things are equally subjective. There is, if you’ll permit the overused idea, a graduated scale with objective and subjective at either end.

                  Mathematics and logic, I feel, can safely be said to be pretty darn far on the objective side of it, if you ignore that they are inventions of our minds and are true by default. while evaluations like “better” are on the other extreme. Even within claims of “better,” you can have varying degrees of objectivity depending on the premises and reasoning.

                  The very likely circumstance of subjectivity pervading all corners of human knowledge and experience is not invalidating of that knowledge or experience for a reason illustrated by the nature of opinions. VERY little in life is not opinion, but not all opinions are equal, there are informed opinions which have greater weight than others. Ethics based in reason or empirical data are more persuasive and authoritative than mere opinion or theological assertion.

                  “Immoral becomes moral as soon as 51% of the people say it does.”

                  Is that not precisely the pattern we see in every society throughout history including the Hebrews evolving ethics, then followed by the Christians? The behaviors judged as moral by societies are completely dependent on the inter-subjective consensus.

                  After all, the god of Christians is held to be the same god of the Hebrews, Jahwist monolatrism put aside for the moment. In that time, the 51%+ felt slavery was a moral practice, or at least not an immoral one, with instructions on how to acquire and beat slaves laid out by a deity. 51%+ felt that it was a just punishment of the Samarians to have their children dashed to pieces and their children ripped open by the assyrians (Hosea 13:16). 51%+ felt that a girl became a woman at the age of 13 and was in a position to be placed in sexual commitments with an adult. 51%+ felt it was a moral requirement to sacrifice animals and burn the organs.

                  If morality is eternal as you say, then either the laws of morality were poorly translated by the prophets to the Hebrews, poorly translated into the New Testament, someone lied, or morality develops with society and the gods people believe in reflect this development rather than the other way around.

                  With what you say about god and his being an embodiment of morality, it sounds as though the freedom/free will of this god is limited in at least some way by this. If this is the case, then by what measure is that god omnipotent?

                • Kevin D.

                  It’s clear to me that rather than wishing to understand context you simply wish to wag your finger at that you don’t understand. A very tribal response. Let me address some of your points:

                  “After all, the god of Christians is held to be the same god of the Hebrews, Jahwist monolatrism put aside for the moment. In that time, the 51%+ felt slavery was a moral practice, or at least not an immoral one, with instructions on how to acquire and beat slaves laid out by a deity.”

                  Visit the following page for a very detailed breakdown of how slaves were commanded to be treated, and why the practice of slavery was necessary: http://www.rationalchristianity.net/slavery_ot.html

                  “51%+ felt that it was a just punishment of the Samarians to have their children dashed to pieces and their children ripped open by the assyrians (Hosea 13:16).”

                  The entire chapter is about God’s anger against the unrighteous. The Bible has a harsh thing or two to say about sin. It’s also clear that the penalty for sin is death. Do we sometimes blanch at that penalty when we see it? Absolutely. But God isn’t capricious when He does these things. Every opportunity is given to the people to repent. At some point judgment must come.

                  “51%+ felt that a girl became a woman at the age of 13 and was in a position to be placed in sexual commitments with an adult.”

                  Actually, if you know anything about the ancient world, 13 or so was the age of adulthood throughout the planet. When the average life expectancy in ancient Rome was 35, 13 is hitting the mid-life point.

                  Your gripe isn’t a Biblical one. It’s a human one.

                  “51%+ felt it was a moral requirement to sacrifice animals and burn the organs.”

                  Given as they were created by God, and God commanded His people to do this as a cost for their sins… Furthermore, given that the cost of sin was death this served as a very visceral reminder for those who had to do such things. If you had to slaughter an animal because you sinned against your deity, wouldn’t you try to do better next time?

                  It’s clear to me from these objections alone that your problem with the Bible is neither rational nor logical. It’s emotional. Your criticism shows nothing of serious thought and is easily addressed by contextual understanding – the slavery and sex-at-13 examples being the most glaring because you don’t even have to go to the Bible to get the answers. You simply needed to pursue an understanding of the living conditions of the ancient world.

                  If you’re not willing to put in even a modicum of honest work I don’t know what answers you expect to glean.

                • Kevin D.

                  It’s clear to me that rather than wishing to understand context you simply wish to wag your finger at that you don’t understand. A very tribal response. Let me address some of your points:

                  “After all, the god of Christians is held to be the same god of the Hebrews, Jahwist monolatrism put aside for the moment. In that time, the 51%+ felt slavery was a moral practice, or at least not an immoral one, with instructions on how to acquire and beat slaves laid out by a deity.”

                  Visit the following page for a very detailed breakdown of how slaves were commanded to be treated, and why the practice of slavery was necessary: http://www.rationalchristianity.net/slavery_ot.html

                  “51%+ felt that it was a just punishment of the Samarians to have their children dashed to pieces and their children ripped open by the assyrians (Hosea 13:16).”

                  The entire chapter is about God’s anger against the unrighteous. The Bible has a harsh thing or two to say about sin. It’s also clear that the penalty for sin is death. Do we sometimes blanch at that penalty when we see it? Absolutely. But God isn’t capricious when He does these things. Every opportunity is given to the people to repent. At some point judgment must come.

                  “51%+ felt that a girl became a woman at the age of 13 and was in a position to be placed in sexual commitments with an adult.”

                  Actually, if you know anything about the ancient world, 13 or so was the age of adulthood throughout the planet. When the average life expectancy in ancient Rome was 35, 13 is hitting the mid-life point.

                  Your gripe isn’t a Biblical one. It’s a human one.

                  “51%+ felt it was a moral requirement to sacrifice animals and burn the organs.”

                  Given as they were created by God, and God commanded His people to do this as a cost for their sins… Furthermore, given that the cost of sin was death this served as a very visceral reminder for those who had to do such things. If you had to slaughter an animal because you sinned against your deity, wouldn’t you try to do better next time?

                  It’s clear to me from these objections alone that your problem with the Bible is neither rational nor logical. It’s emotional. Your criticism shows nothing of serious thought and is easily addressed by contextual understanding – the slavery and sex-at-13 examples being the most glaring because you don’t even have to go to the Bible to get the answers. You simply needed to pursue an understanding of the living conditions of the ancient world.

                  If you’re not willing to put in even a modicum of honest work I don’t know what answers you expect to glean.

                • Anonymous

                  My case was not one of emotion, it was one by pointing to your own claimed eternal standard of morality to show that what is though of as moral practices change with time, even for the believers.

                  Unless, of course, you are claiming that Slavery is still a valid practice today, defend the god ordered abortion of Samarian unborn children, acknowledge that what is considered pedophilia today was the standard under God’s laws, and see that sacrifices used to be required as part of the ETERNAL standard but are no longer.

                  The point is that your eternal standard is anything but. Of course the 13 years old = adulthood was standard across humanity at the time, the point is that it is not today. Do you, or do you not endorse what are today considered pedophilia?

                  Animal sacrifice wasn’t only for forgiveness for sins, nice try though.

                  Again, your “eternal” standard has changed with the times as much as anything else in human civilization. Unless, of course, you today still endorse and/or practice these still in the 21st century, then “bravo” for your consistency.

                • Anonymous

                  My case was not one of emotion, it was one by pointing to your own claimed eternal standard of morality to show that what is though of as moral practices change with time, even for the believers.

                  Unless, of course, you are claiming that Slavery is still a valid practice today, defend the god ordered abortion of Samarian unborn children, acknowledge that what is considered pedophilia today was the standard under God’s laws, and see that sacrifices used to be required as part of the ETERNAL standard but are no longer.

                  The point is that your eternal standard is anything but. Of course the 13 years old = adulthood was standard across humanity at the time, the point is that it is not today. Do you, or do you not endorse what are today considered pedophilia?

                  Animal sacrifice wasn’t only for forgiveness for sins, nice try though.

                  Again, your “eternal” standard has changed with the times as much as anything else in human civilization. Unless, of course, you today still endorse and/or practice these still in the 21st century, then “bravo” for your consistency.

                • Kevin D.

                  So… you throw context completely out the window. Again. God addresses you where you are at. He is a parent. What was necessary 4000 years ago may not be necessary today. Just as how your parents treat you differently as a child and as an adult. Are they hypocrites for not smacking your hand every time it draws close to a hot stove? Why then do you think God is?

                  If you will not grasp this simple principle there is no one, not even God Himself, who can give you a satisfactory answer. An open mind is one willing to bend. You are not willing. You’re so wrapped up in childish gotcha games, so enamored by playing in big boy pants, there’s no talking to you. Your words drip with arrogance and contempt.

                  So, I won’t try to get through to you. It’s not my job.

                • Kevin D.

                  So… you throw context completely out the window. Again. God addresses you where you are at. He is a parent. What was necessary 4000 years ago may not be necessary today. Just as how your parents treat you differently as a child and as an adult. Are they hypocrites for not smacking your hand every time it draws close to a hot stove? Why then do you think God is?

                  If you will not grasp this simple principle there is no one, not even God Himself, who can give you a satisfactory answer. An open mind is one willing to bend. You are not willing. You’re so wrapped up in childish gotcha games, so enamored by playing in big boy pants, there’s no talking to you. Your words drip with arrogance and contempt.

                  So, I won’t try to get through to you. It’s not my job.

                • Anonymous

                  From experience, I know that no number of answers to your many questions will satisfy you. You will reject the Biblical worldview no matter how many of your objections get answered. YOU DON”T WANT to believe, so you ignore the big picture and concentrate on a bunch of details in order to make yourself feel better about the big mistake you made in leaving your faith. “No emotion”?! Do you re-read your writing before hitting “Post?” You are angry, and from what you concentrate on it is obviously less about the intellectual inferiority of us Christians than about your feelings toward God Himself.
                  A I getting through? (Doubt it)

                • Anonymous

                  Oh, and pointing out ≠ finger wagging.

                • Anonymous

                  When a parent says to a child, young and inexperienced in the world, “because I said so,” it is a natural and prideful reaction of the child to reject this assertion of authority and demand an explanation when the fact is he isn’t even capable of comprehending one, little less deserving of one. You want and expect to have a problem with God, and so every perceived discrepancy is greeted with an eager expectation of the failure of the faith you once held to satisfy the longing you have to make sense of the moral universe. GROW UP!

                • Anonymous

                  “That is NO MORE subjective than a god deciding what is moral by his/her/it’s own criteria.” Still angry at God.
                  But God, by definition, has the right and the ability to decide what is moral and to act accordingly. He has no obligation to explain the intricacies of the moral universe and His actions to you (though He has given us a fair amount of info about what is expected of US). Please accept your intellectual puniness in light of the complexities of life and make peace with the One who created it.

              • Tyler

                See…now you’re going into a whole different realm. I was simply pointing out why this guy was wrong in his talking about Atheists living in an amoral universe.

                A person can still consider things “right” or “wrong,” even if they don’t believe in “God,” and the concepts of “right” and “wrong” existed in tribal societies long before the idea of a “God” was ever conceived by anyone.

                Besides…why does there have to be something “ultimate” to determine a “right” or “wrong?”

                “Would that’ve made it right?” To me…without the gut feeling, it probably would’ve been more of a “better safe than sorry,” judgment…not a “right” or “wrong” judgment. To society as a whole…probably not. Then again, “right” and “wrong” are situational. Had I or my soldier have shot that kid who had done nothing wrong…we would not have been punished because we had leadership who would’ve supported us since they had given us clearance to shoot him. A random person hearing the whole situation might think that the Army as a whole was wrong for that or at least my unit was wrong for giving clearance to do it “on a hunch.”

                So…who is determining what is “right” and what is “wrong?” In the end…this idea that there is an “ultimate” determination of this is a myth. It’s all in the mindset of the tribes (which in many ways even us Americans are…just on a larger scale.) It’s like calling something or someone “normal,” or “abnormal.” I would just say that “abnormal” people are just different.

                • Kevin D.

                  Right. Like how beating your wife is abhorrent in the tribe called America. But in, say, a tribe called Afghanistan, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to discipline a spouse who forgets her place.

                  Morality as adjudicated by the 51%. There’s a reason America is a republic and not a democracy. Democracies have a bad habit of killing people.

                • Tyler

                  That exactly what I’m talking about. In America, we used to allow wife beating with what was called the “Rule of Thumb” which came from the idea that it was legal for husbands to beat our wives, as long as the stick was not thicker than your thumb. Of course, we eventually as a very large tribe decided to change our “tribal law” to not allow spousal abuse anymore.

                  “Right” and “wrong” is determined by the tribes. Afghanistan still believes this practice of wife beating is okay where we obviously look at it as evil. There are countries in the world where slavery is still perfectly normal and not thought about, but obviously we here decided that was no longer legal almost 150 years ago now.

                  Morality is still determined by majority here in America too even if the laws don’t match that same majoritarian morality. Medicinal marijuana is a perfectly good example. Most Americans believe that it should be legal, but as of right now…without double-checking this…if I remember right, only 14 states have legalized it. Now…if you put two and two together in this particular post of mine…morality and legality are not one and the same. Learn something new everyday, eh?

                • Anonymous

                  Let’s not confuse laws passed by an state or norms accepted by a tribe with moral law. Would you condone wife beating? Sure sounds like it. I dare say that if we analyzed a society which condones wife-beating that we could make a good argument that it’s wrong, wouldn’t you say? That they’ve made a bad decision in the context of a greater, over-arching moral law?

                • Tyler

                  Morality is nothing more than what people would say is “right” or “wrong” as a whole. That is essentially what moral law is. Now, while I do believe that what is morally right and legally right are different (the ridiculous war on drugs being a perfect example), what is considered “legal” and “illegal” is based on what our society considers “right” and “wrong” as a whole.

                  Of course the majority of the people on planet Earth and especially the wives (perhaps even the more modern-thinking men) in those particular societies would believe it is wrong as a whole. Morality is still essentially a majoritarian thought process in the end whether it be the majority of the people in that particular “tribe” or whether it be what the entire planet’s morality is.

                • Anonymous

                  But why do societies bother to set up as close to an ideal law as they can? Where does the impetus come from? Why do people feel the need in the first place? Because there is an inherent desire and expectation to express the law that is written on their hearts. The expression of that law in real life is flawed since it goes through the filter of “self,” which is selfish and lacks complete understanding, but everyone still naturally expects that their morality or law is altruistic and true for all people, whether they’ve consciously rejected the notion on an intellectual level or not.

                • Tyler

                  “Law of their heart,” is a funny expression because not everyone has this barrier which keeps them from knowing the difference between “right” and “wrong.” The majority of these people however are either in jail or mental institutions, so we just don’t really think about that. I’m not sure I get your last sentence there. Everyone still expects that their morality is altruistic and true for all people? Of course they do…even if their idea of “morality” is different than everyone else’s, so I’m not sure what your point was there.

                • Anonymous

                  The point is that it is inherent in our nature to assume one concrete system of morality because we instinctively know that there is one. It is only our pride that makes us unthinkingly believe that we are the ones who have it figured out, when even a little thought brings us to the realization that such a universal system must come from something greater than we are, and that we need to humbly submit to it and to accept that we don’t have all the answers.

                • Tyler

                  That exactly what I’m talking about. In America, we used to allow wife beating with what was called the “Rule of Thumb” which came from the idea that it was legal for husbands to beat our wives, as long as the stick was not thicker than your thumb. Of course, we eventually as a very large tribe decided to change our “tribal law” to not allow spousal abuse anymore.

                  “Right” and “wrong” is determined by the tribes. Afghanistan still believes this practice of wife beating is okay where we obviously look at it as evil. There are countries in the world where slavery is still perfectly normal and not thought about, but obviously we here decided that was no longer legal almost 150 years ago now.

                  Morality is still determined by majority here in America too even if the laws don’t match that same majoritarian morality. Medicinal marijuana is a perfectly good example. Most Americans believe that it should be legal, but as of right now…without double-checking this…if I remember right, only 14 states have legalized it. Now…if you put two and two together in this particular post of mine…morality and legality are not one and the same. Learn something new everyday, eh?

                • Anonymous

                  All evidence points to mankind believing in a deity of some kind for all of history. The idea of morality does not predate the idea of deity or God.

                  Without an ultimate authority for morality anything goes for any given person and you can find yourself robbed, beaten, or dead with no right to complain.

                  Let go of the weed, Tyler. There IS a spoon.

                • Tyler

                  I suppose if you believe that praying to nature itself and nature itself being a “deity,” then you’re probably right about your first sentence…but in those societies where people (some still do even to this day) worship and pray to nature, there is no sign from trees or sign from the sky or sign from any other thing which happens to speak to them and tell them that these specific behaviors are wrong. There is no law book like there is with religions. These people just understand already collectively that certain behaviors are not acceptable in their tribe.

                  Honestly…as far as your last sentence before you call me a stoner (which I haven’t been in years)…that is nature’s law…survival of the fittest…and it is because nature’s law wasn’t good enough for most tribes that forced theses tribes to make up their own rules.

                • Anonymous

                  On the contrary, those who pray to nature do hear back from their deities, and they are told what to do and not to do, and they reap the consequences for better or worse. I’m sure you’ve heard of the concept of “taboo.” Crossing the will of a deity in animistic, “tribal” cultures is to break moral law, and will be met with consequences. It’s not a collective decision being made.

                • Tyler

                  You mean the sense that they believe that great droughts, floods, and other naturally occurring disasters are due to a consequence of something which was done wrong? Of course…but they don’t hear any sort of “answer” or right these “answers” down in books or rocks or any other form of communication other than orally telling their peoples what they believe was done wrong. Shamans in some of these tribes serve as the mediators between the physical and spiritual and since the tribe as a collective have decided for themselves first that he/she is the guy…then of course, they’ll listen to what he/she says as a result. It’s still all in the mindsets of the tribe though even though they believe it comes from nature.

                • Anonymous

                  And who do the shaman supposedly converse with? Dead ancestors and deities. I’d like to know where you get the idea that tribes choose their shaman collectively. I can’t say that doesn’t happen, but I can say that in my experience working with animistic cultures the deities (demons, most likely) choose the shaman, sending them into fits, possessing them, and speaking through them. Are their words recorded? Yes, sometimes even on paper or rock, though through physical symbols in their environment as well. There is a whole lot more going on in any given tribe than “general revelation” and the imagination of men.

            • Diamondback

              How do you explain “hunches” or “sympathy” or “conscience” or the general ability to know right from wrong? How about man’s spirituality which exists ONLY in man. Or man’s ability to reason? etc. etc.

              Also, how can something be created from nothing especially with all the ‘miracles’ found in life? Just coincidence? Yea, right.

              Just curious?

              • Tyler

                Well…these questions you ask would be better left for the Atheists to answer. I absolutely believe that “God” created everything. I am closer to a pantheist than anything else because I believe that the illusion of all of us being separate entities from the cosmic consciousness is what “created” separate entities such as humans and animals (though I would argue that humans are also animals…just more intelligent ones).

                • Anonymous

                  Then what is an illusion, pray tell? An illusion presupposes a reality that is mis-perceivable. Something real.
                  All part of a “cosmic conscious” would mean 1. you and I are one being that disagrees with itself, 2. there are no animals and humans to be different or the same in any way, 3. the words “cosmic” and “consciousness” are the same thing, and in fact they are the same as you and a bowl of cornflakes, 4. an illusion can produce more diversity than it consists of itself.
                  This is why marijuana is still illegal.

                • Tyler

                  Marijuana nor any other drug (legal or illegal) led me to my understanding of the universe in which I am a part of. I’m surprised at you taking a lucky guess because in different words…you’ve got part of my illusion statement right. There’s a druid word called “melchizedek” which means the physical manifestation of the cosmic consciousness which basically means that the universe separated itself from the whole and split up to “create” the universe which we are currently in and perceive. Don’t mistake this for me saying I’m a druid. We can simply agree to be different in this respect because I don’t have anything against you for believing in your books as long as you don’t use them to try and annoy me and especially not to try and hurt or kill people.

        • Anonymous

          If he did “go about happily slaughtering people,” why would you care, given that you don’t believe in God? You believe in all the effects of the existence of the Creator and expect behaviors and moral values of yourself and others coherent with His nature, but not in the One who would have been necessary to make their existence possible.
          You too make leaps in logic, mostly when it comes to the religious topics on this blog, which you seem to engage in with an intensity unrivaled by your other posts and comments. You’re righteous indignation at THIS very comment will prove that you demand a specific set of morals from me, and expect that in your demanding you are RIGHT. Otherwise why bother? WHY READ AND WATCH THIS BLOG? You want a more libertarian government that will afford you more freedom, perhaps, or something like that, so you engage in a conservative blog that more of less agrees with your political ideology, but as soon as something Christian comes up you’re ready to pounce. You’re right, after all. Humanity can create morality ex-nihilo and expect that this morality will have a sound and universally-agreed-upon foundation that gives all members of the species the right to expect compliance from others on moral grounds (?!). And since you’re right, you feel compelled to evangelize. Hmmm
          PS – Thomas Jefferson was one of dozens of Founding Fathers, ALL of whom saw the foundation of America in light of the providence of the Christian God, as His will, and even Jefferson held Church services in the Capitol building and engaged in a large number of Church-promoting activities despite his propensity for endulging his intellect in comtemplating the nature of divinty, etc. (Whoa! There goes your un-foundable-without-God ire again!)
          You need to head back to that Episcopal Church and make peace with what IS, and stop denying it because you don’t like what you perceive.

          • Anonymous

            1. I don’t need to believe in god to come to the conclusion on my own that as individuals we own ourselves. In owning ourselves that means we own our bodies. In owning our bodies we own the labor of those bodies. In owning our own labor we obtain ownership of previously unowned resources/goods when we mix our labor with them. If mixing our labor with resources/goods earns ownership of them, the same would apply to unowned land and would be called homesteading.

            In the absence of homesteading, the only legitimate way to obtain ownership over something (if you accept the premises) is through voluntary trade. Aggression against a person’s rightful external property is tantamount to an assault on their person. Aggression is defined by the initiation or threat of initiating violence against a non-aggressive individual.

            Look up the Nonaggression Axiom and Neo-Lockean Property.

            2. This is the first time in awhile I’ve actually gotten into it with anyone over religion itself, the only exception would be over evolution last week. Talk to Calln_BS, las, or CM Sackett, any of them will tell you I’ve been arguing Libertarianism even more than religion for months now.

            3. Oh, and I don’t want more Libertarian government, such a thing is paradoxical. I am for the abolishing of the State.

            4. Why bother with anything? Because it’s an interest of mine, it passes the time between coursework and reading in my free time. I don’t need some anthropomorphic extra-dimensional entity to set my purpose in “stone,” as it were, I define my own purpose by my own interests and values. You do this as well but you project it onto the rest of existence via sacred tomes and mythology.

            5. I never claimed that morality as defined by us (as if there is another kind) would be universally agreed upon foundation. A sizable portion of the inter-subjective consensus is all that is needed, and can be reached through education and engagement, but there will always be people who disagree as well as other cultures with opposing inter-subjective consensuses. However, insofar as ANY ethics or morality can be “objective,” there are plenty of systems of ethics which require no deity and are FAR more “objective” than the Divine Command Theory you apparently subscribe to.

            6. I don’t have room to quote you the numerous letters by Jefferson to others I have cataloged to show you just how clearly that Jefferson was in fact NOT a Christian as people conceive of the lable today. He called himself a Christian in the same sense he called himself an Epicurean, he felt Jesus was a magnificent and benevolent reformer philosopher and applied the term Christian to himself to mean he loved Jesus’ ethics. He held in disgust and general contempt what he called the “platonic mysticisms” attributed to Jesus by people who never saw Jesus personally or lived in the same time as him. He felt Christianity as a religion was a fallen denigrated system of beliefs and that the hocus pocus would discredit it in the future, but he also felt pragmatically that at the time it was the best means by which to get people to police themselves.

            I have never denied that last part of Jefferson’s perspective on Christianity.

            7. Don’t make the classic is/ought mistake, friend.

            • Anonymous

              Topic:
              1. That’s why I said “or something like that” concerning your political views. Fair to say you’re not a big-government progressive; that’s the ballpark I was aiming for in making my bigger point.
              2. Yet you do save your best and most vehement for your debates with Christians concerning faith and the Bible. I wasn’t referring to frequency, but to intensity. That was the point.
              3. Okey dokey.
              4. Okey dokey #2. A Christian would call this free will, which I believe in. I just don’t see “will” or “interest” or anything conceptual at all being possible outside an intelligent Creator. Non-intelligence just can’t breed intelligence (I feel a link from Dan_Tumser coming on.)
              5. I’ll go with Ravi on this one and say that an amoral universe can’t produce morality. How can we conceive of any form of morality, universal or not, without a moral Source? Your comment about “far more objective” also assumes, again, limited, human starting point instead of acknowledging that God alone, by definition, knows enough to be fully objective. From a human perspective, I get it, but to agree with you I would have to rule out the existence of God ahead of time, which would be circular.
              6. Starting at the end, you do see that he did actively support Christian activity in both personal and public activities. I know he wouldn’t fit today’s definition of a Christian, but this was a chance to broaden the scope of a debate you and I had several months ago before I ran out of free time to include the group of Founders as a whole in determining the religious nature of the foundation of our country and the significance of the Bible in early governance. I threw it in, but the point there too was that in bothering to argue you show that you care about something (I know this is a hot topic for you), which wouldn’t be possible unless you were created by someone who is capable of caring and arguing.
              7. It’s your eternity. I just wish you could get past your finite view of the infinite God, and that you were a little less aggressive in your evangelization of Believers. I’m sure that a lot of people could lose their faith as you have pretty easily when presented with such good sounding arguments as you make.

            • “Talk to Calln_BS, las, or CM Sackett, any of them will tell you I’ve been arguing Libertarianism even more than religion for months now.”

              …the boy speaks the truth, there.

              Evenin’ Daniel. You still trying to ‘prove’ the ‘non’ existence of something (the God who made AND loves us both, you-n-me) that you’ve also admitted you weren’t ‘positive’ didn’t exist (or wasn’t, in fact, all that He stated clearly He was/is/forever shall be)?

              Remember? ‘Bout 2 months ago… you stated that you were still ~ how’d you put it? Oh yeah, still “searching” on that subject (among many others). Your honest search, even as you gather more and more ‘knowledge’ is one of the things I admire most about you… and that reminds me of myself, at your age.

              Don’t worry. The answers to your questions ARE THERE (and seldom anything akin to what you believed them to be). They’re not at all hard to “see”, once you recognize their track. But a search like yours (and mine, in its day), and a searcher such as yerself… is one of the very few occasions when ‘developmental fruition’, or ‘evolution’ even ~ is required to GRASP THEM.

              Yes, evolution… the kind of the ‘experience’, the heart, mind (not to be confused with that thing college students take out and play with) and LIFE.

              Suggestion? You of course, shall do what you decide to do with it.

              Watch a little more. Speak a little less (in this venue). Spend more time tasting than cooking… more energy reflecting than ‘declaring’… and more heart discovering the vast Wonder that is yet around you ~ than disclosing what everyone 5 years older than you already knows… that people can really SUCK. That Duplicity is our single-most shared trait. That Death is rarely ‘fair’… and taxes NEVER ARE.

              …and that NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING written or spoken in the tongues of men is so patently air-tight that no foul germ of Doubt can get in and cause discomfort for the true SEEKERS, such as yerself.

              NOTHING.

              …that’s where this maddening, crazy, confusing, UN-comforting (in the midst of some of Life’s biggest SH#TSTORMS) gem ~HEBREWS 11:1-6~ actually becomes a KEY. To answers. To Peace. To LIFE.

              Here it is, just in case you’re in one of those moods I find myself in sometimes, where I just don’t WANT to ‘look it up’.

              _________________________________________________

              1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

              3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

              4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

              5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

              AND HERE IS THE ONE THAT REALLY T’d ME OFF, during the torture and murder of my life, 12 years ago: after 20 years of whole-hearted service already

              6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

              Have a good night all,
              CM Sackett

              • las

                Darn you Sackett… you would have to go and quote 11:6. Someone threw something similar in my face a couple weeks back and I was bitterly chewing on it feeling so hard done by, but in my heart I knew it was burning a hole and creating a lot of smoke in my soul that only I could see. Here is what was thrown in my face.

                “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” Heb. 4:2

                So you see, I was acknowledging the truth of God’s promises, but denying its power for me personally.

                This is why I love Jefferson. The man was a bundle of contradictions. He acknowledged Christ’s ethics (and actually Jesus didn’t really teach ethics…ethics was a bi-product of relationship with God) but just could not acknowledge the person of the Law giver. Jefferson produced his own Bible, minus the miracles… just like the Jesus Seminar People of the 1970’s. I believe Jefferson had more integrity than they, however. But Jefferson missed the one scripture that was key to understanding the truth that Jesus was more than just a “good teacher”. That scripture was..

                John 10:38 “But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” That’s where Jefferson went off the rails because his problem was very simple… the problem of unbelief.

                It reminds me of a talk I heard given by Douglas Murray from the UK Centre for Social Cohesion. He spoke at the Heritage Foundation, and for a young guy, he said something pretty profound. I’ll broadside it from memory…. It goes something like this: As we Conservatives see society disintegrating all around us we seek reasons and answers. We easily see the reasons in the total denigration of faith in the public square and in private practice. The eschewing or religion and belief in a moral God. But we are hypocrites if we expect society “out there” to get back on track by returning to God… back to the Bible, so to speak, if we see that as a prescription for them, but don’t take the prescription for ourselves.

                It’s this sense that I get when I hear others say they can live moral lives without the moral law giver. It’s the chirping of the believer in his moral utopia. All he has to do is think a little harder, reason a little higher and ethics and morals will miraculously enlighten him. It’s the fated belief that within his own “man” lies the perfection he seeks. Oh, he’ll never be so transparent to declare it as perfection, but it’s perfection he seeks regardless.

                Anyway a few thoughts here with the dog beside me and -25C outside.

                Have a good eve.

                • grizzlybarrmomma

                  las – beautiful, just beautiful…your words flow like water over a glassy smooth boulder.

            • Anonymous

              “He (Thomas Jefferson) felt Christianity as a religion was a fallen denigrated system of beliefs and that the hocus pocus would discredit it in the future” (Dan)

              You are a fibbing defamer. This is complete slanderous garbage. Which liberal God-hating, revisionist, fool wrote this other than you?

              Not only are you a misrepresenter and a bearer of false witness, but you have an evil crystal ball which can see into a man’s beliefs and his motives and can tarnish them without shame, without proof, and without truth.

              Your real enemy doesn’t exist remember? Yet you rail against this non-entity, you appear to hate this non-entity and you are angry at this non-entity. That makes a lot of sense, said I, with my tongue crashing through my cheek.

              • Anonymous

                You’re averse to reading anything with a lot of words which doesn’t have quotes in red letters, so I doubt you’ll do any more than gloss over this at best and decide your opinion on your gut. I’ll respond in the hope that anyone else who reads this can see just how painfully ignorant you are and how it gives rise to your stereotypical hubris.

                Try reading something besides the bible, apologetcs excuses for it, and the alternate reality revisionism of the BS-artist David Barton some time.

                The man was not a Christian in any sense that you would proudly proclaim it as a label. Some mathematicians call themselves “Platonists”, “Socratic” is a term used for methods of dialogue, and “Cartesian” is still used in both Philosophy and mathematics. It is in this sense that Jefferson referred to himself as both an Epicurean (from Epicurus) and a Christian.

                I’ve never asserted that Jefferson was an atheist. He may well have believed in a special individualist theism or closer to the deism of Paine. Such specifics are not divulged by him. What is made clear, though, is what he was NOT, and what he felt was a pragmatic benefit to be present in the people of a society. He felt Christianity was too magical in it’s thinking and corrupted but was still the best philosophy for people to police themselves.
                ————————————-
                “Dear Sir, — I owe you a letter for your favor of June the 29th, which was received in due time; and there being no subject of the day, of particular interest, I will make this a supplement to mine of April the 13th. My aim in that was, to justify the character of Jesus against the fictions of his pseudo-followers, which have exposed him to the inference of being an impostor. For if we could believe that he really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind, that he was an impostor. I give no credit to their falsifications of his actions and doctrines, and to rescue his character, the postulate in my letter asked only what is granted in reading every other historian. When Livy and Siculus, for example, tell us things which coincide with our experience of the order of nature, we credit them on their word, and place their narrations among the records of credible history. But when they tell us of calves speaking, of statues sweating blood, and other things against the course of nature, we reject these as fables not belonging to history. In like manner, when an historian, speaking of a character well known and established on satisfactory testimony, imputes to it things incompatible with that character, we reject them without hesitation, and assent to that only of which we have better evidence. Had Plutarch informed us that Caesar and Cicero passed their whole lives in religious exercises, and abstinence from the affairs of the world, we should reject what was so inconsistent with their established characters, still crediting what he relates in conformity with our ideas of them. So again, the superlative wisdom of Socrates is testified by all antiquity, and placed on ground not to be questioned. When, therefore, Plato puts into his mouth such paralogisms, such quibbles on words, and sophisms, as a school boy would be ashamed of, we conclude they were the whimsies of Plato’s own foggy brain, and acquit Socrates of puerilities so unlike his character. (Speaking of Plato, I will add, that no writer, antient or modern, has bewildered the world with more ignes fatui, than this renowned philosopher, in Ethics, in Politics and Physics. In the latter, to specify a single example, compare his views of the animal economy, in his Timaeus, with those of Mrs. Bryan in her Conversations on Chemistry, and weigh the science of the canonised philosopher against the good sense of the unassuming lady. But Plato’s visions have furnished a basis for endless systems of mystical theology, and he is therefore all but adopted as a Christian saint. It is surely time for men to think for themselves, and to throw off the authority of names so artificially magnified. But to return from this parenthasis.) I say, that this free exercise of reason is all I ask for the vindication of the character of Jesus. We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications. Intermixed with these, again, are sublime ideas of the Supreme Being, aphorisms and precepts of the purest morality and benevolence, sanctioned by a life of humility, innocence and simplicity of manners, neglect of riches, absence of worldly ambition and honors, with an eloquence and persuasiveness which have not been surpassed. These could not be inventions of the groveling authors who relate them. They are far beyond the powers of their feeble minds. They shew that there was a character, the subject of their history, whose splendid conceptions were above all suspicion of being interpolations from their hands. Can we be at a loss in separating such materials, and ascribing each to its genuine author? The difference is obvious to the eye and to the understanding, and we may read as we run to each his part; and I will venture to affirm, that he who, as I have done, will undertake to winnow this grain from its chaff, will find it not to require a moment’s consideration. The parts fall asunder of themselves, as would those of an image of metal and clay.

                There are, I acknowledge, passages not free from objection, which we may, with probability, ascribe to Jesus himself; but claiming indulgence from the circumstances under which he acted. His object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust. Jesus, taking for his type the best qualities of the human head and heart, wisdom, justice, goodness, and adding to them power, ascribed all of these, but in infinite perfection, to the Supreme Being, and formed him really worthy of their adoration. Moses had either not believed in a future state of existence, or had not thought it essential to be explicitly taught to his people. Jesus inculcated that doctrine with emphasis and precision. Moses had bound the Jews to many idle ceremonies, mummeries and observances, of no effect towards producing the social utilities which constitute the essence of virtue; Jesus exposed their futility and insignificance. The one instilled into his people the most anti-social spirit towards other nations; the other preached philanthropy and universal charity and benevolence. The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever dangerous. Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a blood thirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. They were constantly laying snares, too, to entangle him in the web of the law. He was justifiable, therefore, in avoiding these by evasions, by sophisms, by misconstructions and misapplications of scraps of the prophets, and in defending himself with these their own weapons, as sufficient, ad homines, at least. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore. But that he might conscientiously believe himself inspired from above, is very possible. The whole religion of the Jews, inculcated on him from his infancy, was founded in the belief of divine inspiration. The fumes of the most disordered imaginations were recorded in their religious code, as special communications of the Deity; and as it could not but happen that, in the course of ages, events would now and then turn up to which some of these vague rhapsodies might be accommodated by the aid of allegories, figures, types, and other tricks upon words, they have not only preserved their credit with the Jews of all subsequent times, but are the foundation of much of the religions of those who have schismatised from them. Elevated by the enthusiasm of a warm and pure heart, conscious of the high strains of an eloquence which had not been taught him, he might readily mistake the coruscations of his own fine genius for inspirations of an higher order. This belief carried, therefore, no more personal imputation, than the belief of Socrates, that himself was under the care and admonitions of a guardian Dæmon. And how many of our wisest men still believe in the reality of these inspirations, while perfectly sane on all other subjects. Excusing, therefore, on these considerations, those passages in the gospels which seem to bear marks of weakness in Jesus, ascribing to him what alone is consistent with the great and pure character of which the same writings furnish proofs, and to their proper authors their own trivialities and imbecilities, I think myself authorised to conclude the purity and distinction of his character, in opposition to the impostures which those authors would fix upon him; and that the postulate of my former letter is no more than is granted in all other historical works.” -Thomas Jefferson to William Short 1820

                “It is not to be understood that I am with him in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it, etc. It is the innocence of his character, the purity and sublimity of his moral precepts, the eloquences of his inculcations, the beauty of the apologues in which he conveys them, that I so much admire; sometimes, indeed, needing indulgence to eastern hyperbolism. My eulogies, too, may be founded on a postulate which all may not be ready to grant. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus.
                -Thomas Jefferson to William Short 1820

                “But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State: that the purest system of morals ever before preached to man has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves: that rational men, not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.
                -Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval 1810

                “To the corruptions of christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.” -Thomas Jefferson, Page 12 The Life and Morals of Jesus of Narareth
                ——————————-

                Emphasis mine.

                • Anonymous

                  Thanks Dan…Impressive. I do think much of his problem is one of the messengers rather than the message. He also appears to take issue with the messengers who actually penned the Gospels and with the miracles. If these are really his words and I have no reason to doubt that, this is new to me and I hereby withdraw my hastily thrown accusations and in fact, aplogogize to you for those accusations…unreservedly.

                • Anonymous

                  I have read 3 novels by R.D Blackmore and 3 more by Hawthorne on my Kindle in the past 45 days. Cabin fever. I read a-plenty sir. Thanks again.

                • Make no claim to being a ‘Hawthorne’, or even one of those my work has been compared to (Rourke, Twain, L’Amour, Capstick)… but if you’re really bored, this one is on KINDLE now:

                  http://www.amazon.com/The-Doorway-Buck-ebook/dp/B004H4XNFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1293285421&sr=1-1

                  Let me know what you think…
                  Sackett

                • Anonymous

                  Sure, as soon as you give me some music feedback.

                • Anonymous

                  I’ll be needing a review of me music first 🙂

                • Anonymous

                  Let me tell ya what happened there. I responded via e-mail and when it didn’t show up I also responded the normal way. So there. Daddy be takein’ care of biznez.

                • Here’s a link to one of the VERY FEW videos I’ve found of their work…

                • So far, ‘To The Son’ has put the biggest smile on this ol’ face (if we ever get together this side of Home, with gitfiddles around… you’ll know why pretty quickly.

                  So there.

                • Oh, and I hear a LOT of Bernie Leadon and Michael Georgiades Band influence… whether you listened to them or not.

                  Bet ya don’t even know (without goople) who they were! LOL!

                • Anonymous

                  “To The Son” might be the only instrumental on that page :-I
                  I here ya talkin’. I would get much more gratification as a writer than a singer, but, what do you think of the singing?

          • Anonymous

            “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Gen. 5:24

            I loved that Enoch. Had to say it.

            • Anonymous

              Thanks. Me too.

      • Welcome to the Book of Ecclesiastes

    • Kevin D.

      That you view the New Testament as nothing more than “Catholic add-ons” tells me all I need to know about how much time you actually spent looking into the formation of the New Testament canon.

      As early as A.D. 180 20 of the 27 canonical books of the New Testament were already widely accepted as authoritative. And by the time of the Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393, the first time a council of bishops listed and approved a canon of Sacred Scripture that corresponds to the modern Orthodox and Roman Catholic canon, we’d already seen such a list by Athanasius of Alexandria in A.D. 367 – some 26 years earlier.

      All the Catholic Church did was purge heretical texts that gained popularity in various parts of the world. These purged book never had widespread acceptance and the Catholic Church never placed as canon a book that wasn’t already widely accepted as such.

      Seriously, read history past the part where your biases are confirmed.

      • Tyler

        My bad. I guess I should clarify.

        “All the Catholic Church did was purge heretical texts…”

        Because they “purged,” them…we’ll never know WHY those books were considered “heretical.” For all we know, there was evidence in some of those books against Jesus being a “miracle man,” much less the “literal son of God.” But that’s not really what I’m debating here.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Catholic Church basically took the books and their monks hand-copied them for hundreds of years before the printing press was invented. Of course, their monks would not have been able to do that without the church’s authorization, so since it was the church who authorized the New Testament of the Bible as people today know it to be copied…I would say “Catholic add-ons” is still correct even by what you just put out there.

        My biases came about from reading more into the religion and finding multiple flaws in it and the confirmation didn’t really come about until I had my own personal “meeting with God” moment so-to-speak. Because I did actually “meet with God,” I not only believe, but know there is a God. It’s only religion where the puzzle pieces aren’t fitting and might never fit unless I am able to somehow confirm that these were books written by people who didn’t even know that the earth is round or that our planet is not even close to being the center of the universe.

        • Kevin D.

          You seem to believe “purged” is a synonym for “destroyed.” I regret to inform you the reach of the Catholic Church wasn’t as all encompassing as popular fiction would have you believe.

          Many of the books rejected by the Church – and I use that word purposefully because most of the Church, outside of and separate from any say-so of the Catholic Church, rejected these books as evidence by their relatively limited use – can be easily found to this day. If you want to read some of these rejected texts for yourself I might suggest “Lost Scriptures” by Bart D. Ehrman. There’s also the ever-so-famous as of a few years ago “Gospel of Judas.” Finally, there’s also “The Essential Gnostic Gospels” by Alan Jacobs. A quick Google search of known heresies and their proponents will turn up volumes as well.

          As for who was authorized to copy what by whom, the question is irrelevant. In the past, perhaps, you’d have had a point. However, modern translators have access to manuscripts dating back to the First Century A.D. and attempts by the Catholic Church to alter Scripture for their own nefarious purposes would have been exposed and addressed. No, one does not need to rewrite Scripture if one wishes to read into it a doctrine they wish it to reflect. This goes on even today.

          Of course, if you wish to posit that the Catholic Church has altered Scripture from the original manuscripts for it’s own ends, you need to provide proof. To date, you’ve only provided supposition and you own inferences. These do not a valid argument make. If you wish to say such evidence doesn’t exist because of the Catholic Church then you leave me to prove a negative which is impossible and your argument is fallacy – because how can you know yourself?

          I’ve given you names, dates, and resources to look at. You stated the Catholic Church created the New Testament in c. A.D. 300. I showed that a canon that contains all but seven of the books of the modern canon was widely known nearly 150 years previous and that an identical list created by the bishops of the Church, the first “official” list of its kind, was known at least 30 years hence.

          You never addressed these points and, indeed, move to the copying and transmission of that canon by the Church as proof of Catholic authorship of the New Testament. This argument is too invalidated as modern translators are not bound by these strictures and these modern translations do not differ radically from those copies generated by the early Catholic Church beyond what one would reasonably expect translating a work from antiquity throughout several centuries.

          • Tyler

            I’m gonna go ahead and withdraw further argument here because as you said…providing a “negative” isn’t possible and we seem to be arguing from two different perspectives.

            You are arguing the nitty gritty of my calling the New Testament “Catholic add-ons,” which if I really cared enough I would keep arguing after this post (which I won’t). Feel free to use whatever reason you want for my withdrawal, but I’ll just say it like it is. It’s 4:18 AM where I’m at, I’m done with the work I was doing on here and am tired and needing sleep. As for my original post which you replied to…the main point is that I was simply arguing that Ravi here is wrong in his so-called answer because he is using the New Testament which really has no true ties to the Old Testament which is the portion of the Bible he is supposedly answering the question about.

            I never said anywhere that the church actually wrote the gospels or any of the rest of the New Testament for that matter. I used Catholic add-ons because they’re the ones who authorized the copying of the texts and they’re the ones who seem to have decided that these books should be added to the Old Testament as opposed to being its own separate entity away from it.

            My original point still stands which is that there are too many fallacies in the Old Testament for Christians to be able to intelligently cling onto them as a part of their own stories even if their stories are based on it hence Christians in my humble opinion (please note I will call this my own opinion because that is what it is) would be better off if they separated from the Jewish books of the Bible and just stuck with their own books if they’re going to continue to practice it as a religion instead of just a philosophy which in my humble opinion (again…just my opinion here) fits better than the patriarchal morals which are taught throughout the books (even in the New Testament, though not as bad as the Old Testament).

            • Kevin D.

              Agree to disagree then.

              But the New Testament is inexorably tied to the Old. I’d love to hear why you think this isn’t so and where the incompatibility lies. That said, I do feel that the faith as practiced by the Apostles and the Messiah is very different than what most Christians practice today. This isn’t to say Christians aren’t saved! But that, well, they should look a lot more Jewish than they do.

              I recall something I heard a rabbi say once: Christians are the only people who ever stole a religion. There’s a lot of truth in this, I think.

              So, maybe in this area we find some agreement, you and I. The Tanakh and the New Testament are harmoniously one, but mainstream Christianity sure doesn’t look as Jewish as it should for the book to be a unified whole.

            • Kevin D.

              Agree to disagree then.

              But the New Testament is inexorably tied to the Old. I’d love to hear why you think this isn’t so and where the incompatibility lies. That said, I do feel that the faith as practiced by the Apostles and the Messiah is very different than what most Christians practice today. This isn’t to say Christians aren’t saved! But that, well, they should look a lot more Jewish than they do.

              I recall something I heard a rabbi say once: Christians are the only people who ever stole a religion. There’s a lot of truth in this, I think.

              So, maybe in this area we find some agreement, you and I. The Tanakh and the New Testament are harmoniously one, but mainstream Christianity sure doesn’t look as Jewish as it should for the book to be a unified whole.

            • Kevin D.

              Agree to disagree then.

              But the New Testament is inexorably tied to the Old. I’d love to hear why you think this isn’t so and where the incompatibility lies. That said, I do feel that the faith as practiced by the Apostles and the Messiah is very different than what most Christians practice today. This isn’t to say Christians aren’t saved! But that, well, they should look a lot more Jewish than they do.

              I recall something I heard a rabbi say once: Christians are the only people who ever stole a religion. There’s a lot of truth in this, I think.

              So, maybe in this area we find some agreement, you and I. The Tanakh and the New Testament are harmoniously one, but mainstream Christianity sure doesn’t look as Jewish as it should for the book to be a unified whole.

              • Tyler

                I actually made my basis in the fact that God goes from being what many would call a raging alcoholic in personality to deciding “Um…maybe I should actually guide and teach people what they’re doing wrong as opposed to just warning that I’ll punish them if they don’t change,” thousands of years later. Plus, I don’t recall the Old Testament ever saying that the “messiah” would be the literal son of God. I only recall it saying that someone would come and save everyone. That’s another thing which created my bias. I just wonder (and may never know) if the making Jesus into the literal son of God was just a marketing gimmick by someone. I may need to look back in my Bible for this, but if I recall right…only John actually describes Jesus’ miracles.

                • Anonymous

                  Huh?! Check out some Mark one time.

            • Anonymous

              “Too many fallacies” is a pretty substantial accusation there. We can’t just dismiss what we don’t like based on our presuppositions, a common theme among those who’ve rejected the Bible, whether atheist or pantheist. “I don’t like it” and “I can’t accept that” is a pretty weak argument, don’tcha think? At some point we have to face reality and deal with what is instead of hiding inside of what feels good.

              • Tyler

                The creation story alone is enough for me to not say “I don’t like it,” or “I can’t accept it,” but…God must’ve thought people were too stupid to just flat-out tell them the details of the universe’s creation so he needed to give them a “bedtime story version” or somebody else just wrote a “bedtime creation story” for those who were uneducated to get them to fall in line.

                But…that story aside…there’s another story jumps out pretty well. As I’ve said…there’s nothing wrong with believing in God, but people are full of crap and this story just sucks. Noah’s Ark. 600 year old drunk builds a boat and he somehow gets 2 of every animal to willingly go into cages and eat…WHAT exactly, since some animals like to eat…OTHER ANIMALS. Oh…let’s not forget that apparently everyone else who already had boats…their boats didn’t work somehow during this “great flood.”

                • Anonymous

                  If you want to understand the creation story and many like it throughout the Bible you have to leave behind your Amero-centric worldview behind. Modern western civilization is the first in history to largely communicate their beliefs through extensive logical argumentation and explanation. I’m sorry you don’t like the bedtime format, but narrative in parallelism is the perfect format for non-modern western cultures (the vast majority and certainly inclusive of the earliest, btw) for explaining Creation in a way that is familiar and memorable.
                  There is no evidence that Noah was a drunk, but he did make a mistake AFTER the Flood. No one claimed that he’s getting into heaven for living a sinless life.
                  Let’s pretend that God is capable of bringing the animals to Noah for him to take into the Ark, shall we? And that He is capable of sustaining life on the Ark, even if the food that I’m sure Noah and his family gathered ran out? Maybe Noah and his family were even intelligent enough to build stalls in the Ark that would separate the carnivores from the other animals. Hmm.
                  I’d also say it’s a fair guess that this early in history there weren’t a lot of boats laying around, if any given the farmer/herder subsistence lifestyles prevalent among those described up to that point, and there certainly wasn’t anything like what Noah built. We’re not talking about laying around in a dingy for a day or two under a sprinkle. We’re talking about a torrential downpour for 150 days, one created specifically with wiping out mankind in mind. No, their boats, assuming they had any, somehow didn’t work under these conditions.

                  At least Dan comes armed with concrete arguments instead of this mamby-pamby “I-pulled-it-out-of-my… -narrow-imagination” stuff. Try giving it an honest read, will ya?

                • Anonymous

                  If you want to understand the creation story and many like it throughout the Bible you have to leave behind your Amero-centric worldview behind. Modern western civilization is the first in history to largely communicate their beliefs through extensive logical argumentation and explanation. I’m sorry you don’t like the bedtime format, but narrative in parallelism is the perfect format for non-modern western cultures (the vast majority and certainly inclusive of the earliest, btw) for explaining Creation in a way that is familiar and memorable.
                  There is no evidence that Noah was a drunk, but he did make a mistake AFTER the Flood. No one claimed that he’s getting into heaven for living a sinless life.
                  Let’s pretend that God is capable of bringing the animals to Noah for him to take into the Ark, shall we? And that He is capable of sustaining life on the Ark, even if the food that I’m sure Noah and his family gathered ran out? Maybe Noah and his family were even intelligent enough to build stalls in the Ark that would separate the carnivores from the other animals. Hmm.
                  I’d also say it’s a fair guess that this early in history there weren’t a lot of boats laying around, if any given the farmer/herder subsistence lifestyles prevalent among those described up to that point, and there certainly wasn’t anything like what Noah built. We’re not talking about laying around in a dingy for a day or two under a sprinkle. We’re talking about a torrential downpour for 150 days, one created specifically with wiping out mankind in mind. No, their boats, assuming they had any, somehow didn’t work under these conditions.

                  At least Dan comes armed with concrete arguments instead of this mamby-pamby “I-pulled-it-out-of-my… -narrow-imagination” stuff. Try giving it an honest read, will ya?

        • Anonymous

          Isaiah 40:22

          “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”

          Isaiah is in the old testament of course. I think they knew the Earth was round. This verse not only alludes to that, but comes right out and says it. Isaiah also contains one of the most specific prophecies about the Christ to come.

          I have listened to Ravi a lot and find him above reproach. I find some of your words though, beneath contempt. You shared and so will I. I would like to see and hear you in a debate with Ravi. I think you’d crying within a few short minutes, and leaving in embarrassment shortly thereafter. You haven’t got much of a clue as to what you’re talking about sir, it appears to me. Before you denigrate something as replete with integrity as the Holy scriptures, you should have at least, an iota included somewhere in there that demonstrates something other than dubiously formed opinions that hold neither weight, wisdom or water.

          • Anonymous

            The passage you cite allows no such inference to the spherical shape of the planet. “Circle of the earth,” implies the belief about the planet which was a widespread entirely common perception that the earth was a disc under the crystalline dome firmament. This concept is shared with the Babylonians, Canaanites, I think the Phoenicians, Zoroastrians, Sumerians, Assyrians, and the Mithraism that showed up in the Roman legions.

            http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qAjRg43KuhY/SPvEFzyI2TI/AAAAAAAAAP4/YSwYlOl–uM/s400/firmament.jpg

            Such was a belief held by just about everyone in the Levant and mesopotamia. It was only really challenged by the Greeks, and even then it was treated with skepticism. After all, with the perspectives they had at the time, flat and circular was a pretty fair approximation.

            • Anonymous

              I also like in Genesis where the order of creation is mentioned. “Scientists” agree with that order, even those that still cling to the frayed theory of evolution (macro). It’s kinda’ like opening up a 6 digit combination lock on the first try isn’t it? I also think that men knew the approximate circumferance of the Earth during the first millenia if not earlier.

              When do you think man discovered the “spherical” nature of the Earth and the circumferance?

              • Anonymous

                Actually, no, you’re wrong again. Scientists do not believe in their being an Earth before the sun. They don’t accept light before stars. They don’t accept plants on the ground before the sun in the sky. There is no firmament. There is no “deep,” and outer space is not full of water. Days are a completely relative term, without an earth to spin in an orbit around the sun there is no such thing as a day. All of which is claimed in at least one one of the two Genesis myths if not both.

                As for when, do you mean 1st Century B.C. or A.D.? Either way, that isn’t the earliest. The earliest considerations of an earth that wasn’t flat was Pythagoras. The first estimation at the size of our planet came from a Seleucid in the Hellenistic territory of what used to be Persian dominated Babylon.

                • Anonymous

                  Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

                  The ‘let there be light’ statement starts with the word “And”. It also appears that the frame of reference regarding the light, is the Earth itelf. Regardless, the heavens and the Earth were created first, the sun is part of the heavens.

                  Additionally, you have no idea what surrounded the Earth, and neither do scientists, before the deluge. I was not wrong before and I am not wrong now.

                • Anonymous

                  “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Gen 1:3

                  “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.” Gen 1:14-18

                  In case you didn’t catch that, light came before the stars, the sun or the moon according to your sacred texts.

                  You know what also came before the stars and the sun? Water (Gen 1:2), the mythical firmament (Gen 1:6), dry land (Gen 1:9). Grass, herbs, and fruit trees (Gen 1:11-12)

                  You know why outer space WASN’T full of water? there isn’t enough Oxygen to bond with Hydrogen to fill space-time with water. Even if there was, without any stars it would have been ice. When space-time was small enough for all of the H2O to fill it, EVERYTHING ELSE was packed in with it so tightly that it was too energetic and dense for such molecules to form!

                  Also, the Earth is not the first or second of even 100,000,000,000th object to form in the Universe. Not even close, the magnitude by which you are wrong on THAT is more than astronomical.

                • Anonymous

                  “And” does not denote chronology here sir. It does not denote chronology anywhere. It seems to be concurrent to me…much like me, or you, being able only to utter one sentence at a time. God help us if you could utter two at a time. Also, the heavens contain stars.

                  You attempt to find fault with the word like there’s a reward for it, I think you fail. No one said anything about outer space nor where the Earth is located sir. You go on and argue with yourself for awhile. Your tediousness wearies me. Id rather watch the snow fall from the sky as opposed to hopeful God-jabs from your lips. You who stab at the creator and the Word as if it were a pincushion or a dartboard. Greater than you have made attempts. Christianity marches on. God’s word remains infallable. I don’t think you’ve dented it, but thanks for repsonding. I appreciate it.

                • Anonymous

                  Ran out of scripture to quote at me in a vain hope I didn’t know the actual words of the text, did you?

                  Did you forget that the Genesis fable takes place over the course of 6 days? Did you forget that those days are listed in order with what god did during each?

                • Rshill7

                  No Dan, I didn’t run out of scripture, I ran out of patience with your mexican jumping bean “arguments”. The only “fable” that I see at this moment sir, is the one you believe, which allows you to score your own debate with “your wrong and your wrong” ad nauseum. The fable that somehow lifts up yourself in your own mind and tells you that you know something that others do not. I am also wearied by your fable-knitting attempts to bring people to Hell with you. I see no virtue there and mountains of evil where such virtue could and should be.

                  While you’re grasping for straws to spit at your creator and his book, relax and use one of them to slurp a refreshing drink through, or just blow some bubbles like the overconfident (based on nothin’) kid that you are.

                • Anonymous

                  In other words again, you got nothing. Keep making excuses for your “inerrant” storybook.

                • Anonymous

                  Said Mr. Nothin’ Jr.

                  Ok Dan, and you keep making excuses for yours.

                • Anonymous

                  One final point of order. Notice how the narrative says “and, and, and” as opposed to then, then, then. Concurrence, not chronology here I think.

                • Anonymous

                  Assuming a knowledge of physical conditions at a time when you did not exist based on currently existing conditions is not logical, only likely if you already believe in a God-less universe that cannot be acted upon or inherently changed by an outside source.

                • Anonymous

                  Yes, for example geology. Many geologists are uniformitarianism types, some are catastrophists(catastrophism). To assume the world has remained static is really funny to me. How a uniformitarianist can pronounce their theory with a straight face is amazing to me. I believe catastrophism is the rule of the day. For example, fish fossils atop mountains, fish fossils sticking up through strata vertically, where the fishes tail is supposedly 100 million yrs old, his torso, 20 million yrs old and his head is still FRESH! Fresh fish-heads for sale! Fresh fish-heads for sale.

                  The assumptions these evolutionists and atheists make are smelly…like the fish-heads.

                  P.S. Don’t get me started on carbon dating and age of the Earth dating 🙂
                  Welcome from me Enoch…glad you’re here sir.

                • Anonymous

                  Thanks Rshill7. I’m a bit hit-and-miss since I’m on the road a lot, but I try to at least keep up with what people are saying even if I don’t always engage. It’s been fun to track this page and put in my two cents worth. So many fallacies, so little time… 🙂

            • Anonymous

              Also it most certainly does allow for a spherical inference in the text of Isaiah 40:22. It does not disallow it as you seem to suppose. If I could see some dis-allowance there sir, then you might have point with me, and a “fact” that disagrees with reality and with God’s word. As it is though, you show no such dis-allowance from the scripture and therefor have no legitimate beef with me or God, or observable nature, or this scripture.

              With all of those “ors” one might be able to row to some place. You have not left your chair as far as this little discussion goes.

              • Anonymous

                If “circle,” is interchangeable with “oblate spheroid,” then my Honda is interchangeable with a Mercedes.

                Why didn’t any of the Apollo missions or Space Shuttles crash into the Firmament (Gen 1:7 KJV)?

                • Anonymous

                  A basketball is circular, and theoretically, so is your head. The tires on my trucks are circular too as is the baseball which resides in my glove. The basketball, the baseball and your head are circular and they also as you say “oblate speroids”. If your Honda is interchangeable with a Mercedes, that sounds like a free upgrade. Jump all over that.

                  “…divided the waters below the firmament from the waters above the firmament.” It depends on what you think the firmament is sir. It could be the solid earth itself…that which is firm, water underground versus water in the atmosphere (which is another cool thing in itself, i.e., how the Bible describes the water cycle before modern man could) or it could mean simply the expansion of the sky, in which case a shuttle wouldn’t crash into it but pass right through, as we’ve all witnessed.

                • Anonymous

                  Sorry, wrong.

                  “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Gen 1:6-8

                  “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” Gen 1:9-10

                  The Firmament was NOT the earth itself, and it was solid enough to divide the “waters” of the “deep”

                  “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,” Gen 1:14-17

                  It is abundantly clear that the “firmament” was the sky to the authors of Genesis 1.

                • Anonymous

                  Great. If it was the sky…what’s there to crash into? If it’s the earth, that’s good too. It works either way for me, as I have already said.

                • Anonymous

                  In other words, “I was flailing out any response I could think to try and poke a hole and just got slapped down, so I don’t wanna think about it anymore.”

                  Did you miss the part that the firmament is a sky solid enough to divide the waters of the deep? One cubic meter of water weighs one ton. A “firmament” sky that big to hold back that much water of “the deep,” would have to be more resilient than titanium.

                  But hey, maybe god just opened a window in the firmament for the Apollo rockets and Space Shuttles to go through. Would that be the same windows used by the contemporary religions’ gods to let in the rains? Or did the spacecraft go through the hole torn by Gilgamesh?

                • las

                  I’m enjoying this….

                  Dan c’mon man… lighten up!

                • Anonymous

                  How much does Water VAPOR weigh Dan?

                • Anonymous

                  How much does Water VAPOR weigh Dan?

                • las

                  heh heh… awesome!

                  You conjure up that image of the old jules verne 1902 french film A Trip to the Moon. The image starts at 4:43
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JDaOOw0MEE

                • Anonymous

                  Great. If it was the sky…what’s there to crash into? If it’s the earth, that’s good too. It works either way for me, as I have already said.

                • Anonymous

                  “and it was solid enough to divide the “waters” of the “deep””

                  You mean solid like how like charges repell, or solid like that point of separation between vinegar and water, or that solid like the separation between inner space and outer space? Or solid like the solid gold dancers from 70’s. None of those sound solid to me sir, at least not in the sense you seem to want to convey.

          • las

            Be careful… not to fall into the trap of ascribing modern scientific truths to simple self evident truths of the ancients… in this case the Israelites. To the Israelites a simple observation of the horizon conjured a dome like circle from which the stars hung with a firmament below. Isaiah 40 is a simple observation… not a statement of science. The most you could say, however, is that with the advantage of 21st Century hindsight and if a long view from space were taken into account… then that dome above the horizon is indeed a circle.

            God did not write a post-modern update into the ancient Hebrew texts to correct their ancient views. A simple observation of the ancients can in no way be construed as compromising the integrity of the text just because their unscientific rendition is devoid of a modern scientific explanation. It should be understood in the similar way that scripture talks of sailing ships and horse and donkey transportation and not hydrofoils or 747’s.

            But extrapolating hard scientific facts into the texts will always be problematic and the “circle” bullseye on Christians’ backs will become an even wider target for the skeptics.

            • las

              Correction:
              “the horizon conjured a dome like circle from which the stars hung with a firmament below.”

              That should be:
              “the horizon conjured a dome like circle from which the stars hung from a firmament with the earth below”.

            • Anonymous

              No one ever erected a statue to a critic or a skeptic that I’m aware of las 🙂
              I think that’s Ok. What are Christians NOT targets of?

            • Anonymous

              Also, for God to instruct man, He had to speak in such a way that man might grasp that which was related. These are the types of things and “reasons” skeptics and critics cite as effective Bible bashing. They are not effective in my opinion. Hence, both the questions and the quest, remains, unsullied in my opinion by thoroughly modern Millie, ultra-modern Vanilli as well as the just plain silly.

              • las

                You said: “He had to speak in such a way that man might grasp that which was related.”
                -So we agree… sort of. I’m not convinced that God was speaking through Isaiah in a way that man was supposed to grasp anything “scientific”. It was a simple human observation.

                You said: “What are Christians NOT targets of?”
                -Quite right. My comment was about Christians interpolating things into scripture that are too tenuous upon which to take a firm stand like Isaiah 40:20. I do want to equivocate a bit here, however, because Scripture describes events and phenomenon that scream out for a scientific explanation. Creation and the flood being the most obvious examples.

                You said: “No one ever erected a statue to a critic or a skeptic”
                -I disagree… look at the adulation and genuflection received by the likes of Hitchens or Dawkins. Although both of these men are in the strict sense NOT skeptics. They both know exactly what they don’t believe, yet they stand on pedestals erected. What used to be simple atheism is now imbued with a religious fervor and certitude that injects vigor and energy and religious certitude into its zealot followers. In order to affirm its validity it is necessary to nullify God and their targets are not Hindus, but Christians, not Muslims but Christians, not New Agers, but Christians. Like you said, it’s hard to disprove a negative. But Christians are always the target.

                Regarding atheists… they come in all sorts of packages. It’s the zealots who have supplanted the Christian zealots who get the air time however.

              • las

                You said: “He had to speak in such a way that man might grasp that which was related.”
                -So we agree… sort of. I’m not convinced that God was speaking through Isaiah in a way that man was supposed to grasp anything “scientific”. It was a simple human observation.

                You said: “What are Christians NOT targets of?”
                -Quite right. My comment was about Christians interpolating things into scripture that are too tenuous upon which to take a firm stand like Isaiah 40:20. I do want to equivocate a bit here, however, because Scripture describes events and phenomenon that scream out for a scientific explanation. Creation and the flood being the most obvious examples.

                You said: “No one ever erected a statue to a critic or a skeptic”
                -I disagree… look at the adulation and genuflection received by the likes of Hitchens or Dawkins. Although both of these men are in the strict sense NOT skeptics. They both know exactly what they don’t believe, yet they stand on pedestals erected. What used to be simple atheism is now imbued with a religious fervor and certitude that injects vigor and energy and religious certitude into its zealot followers. In order to affirm its validity it is necessary to nullify God and their targets are not Hindus, but Christians, not Muslims but Christians, not New Agers, but Christians. Like you said, it’s hard to disprove a negative. But Christians are always the target.

                Regarding atheists… they come in all sorts of packages. It’s the zealots who have supplanted the Christian zealots who get the air time however.

                • Anonymous

                  I’m a Las fan 🙂

                  Have a good afternoon sir.

                • grizzlybarrmomma

                  I’m glad you too have joined the fan club, too…..aint we smaaaaaht to do it….

                • Anonymous

                  Yes. Bear-Rug.

                  🙂

                • grizzlybarrmomma

                  VIOLENT RHETORIC

                • Anonymous

                  So I guess ‘mangy and tick-infested’ would be beyond the pail? 🙁

                • Anonymous

                  One more thing…Hitchens and Dawkins. Where are the statues? I agree that some have erected shrines to these and more to those like these but they are flights of fancy designed to comfort nonbelievers in their disbelief. I think Pascal’s wager was, and remains, a good one. Thanks.

                • las

                  They’re living statues… they’re not dead… yet! Every big name faculty and college drags them on stage and props them up on the pedestal to the rapturous applause of their acolytes.

                  Now Rshill… having said that…. did you look at the crowd at Ravi Zacharias’ talk. It would be tempting to say the same thing about him. But in truth, the acolytes on his side would be a smaller bunch than the nay-Sayers at his lectures – just knowing the makeup in the academy. I don’t have figures, but experience tells me so.

                  They come out in droves to try and debunk him. Notice when he made his many point he gets no applause. Contrast that to a Hitchens or Dawkins captive confab. Either it shows the Atheists are in the majority or it shows that the Atheists tend to be much more triumphalist when a point is scored than when a Christian scores a point. I suspect the Christians are much more polite to an honest inquiry and do not dance in triumphalist applause.

                • las

                  P.S. When Hitchens goes up against Dinesh D’Souza, for example, even Hitchens quakes. He admits that with D’Souza he has a formidable opponent and gets his feathers ruffled in D’Souza’s presence.

                  Here is a tasty… on atheism and communism and fascism
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boH_tJ0mCrU

                  There are others…

                • Anonymous

                  I can almost see Hitchens attempting to enter into a debate with Peter at the pearlies. He’s eaten up with cancer and may very soon know the truth and whether Peter is the debating kind.

                  Atheism seeks converts just as Christianity does. The resulting converts of both sides have very little in common and vastly different futures. If I were an atheist seeking converts I’d be engaged in soul murder.

                • las

                  With Hitches I love his wit, sort of respect his manipulations of historical knowledge even if it is used to slag Christianity. To be sure the organized Church, esp. the Catholic Church has lots to answer for. As an orthodox (small O) Christian, I hate to have to answer for the heresies of the Catholic Church.

                  But as for Atheists… whether it’s soul murder… I’m not sure that is even an article for debate. I would not want to go down that path. To me the issue is leading people to the Gospel, people in darkness, yet identifying with people in their sin and wretchedness… saying “yup… I used to be there as well”. We all are from the same stalk… the tree of the human race.

                  Anyway Rshill… gotta go… a treat of poutine awaits and I’m hungry and I am so looking forward to clogging my arteries.

                • Anonymous

                  Enjoy!

                  Soul murder is used as an expression only here due to the ever-living aspect of the soul. I could have much more correctly stated it, however, were I engaged in the conversion of people to atheism I would be like a taxi-cab hustling them on to Hell, where they probably will scream something akin to “bloody murder”.

                  That soul’s gonna live forever…somewhere. Virtue lies in helping escort it to safety. Evil lies in escorting it to Hell. Whether that is the intent of the escort or not, the result, I think, would be the same.

                • Anonymous

                  And finally, Dan reminds me of the old but fun description which seeks to delineate the difference between a general practioner and a specialist.

                  “A General Practioner learns less and less about more and more until he knows nothing about everything, and a Specialist learns more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing.”

                  I think Dan fits both extremes.

                • Cheryl~

                  The heresies of the Catholic Church?

                • Cheryl~

                  The heresies of the Catholic Church?

                • las

                  I regret saying it… I kinda suspected there would be some disapproving ear out there. Not only am I a Protestant, I’m orthodox (small “O”) in the sense of sola scriptura with the other four solas. As for heresies, the list is long. I’ll go there with you if you wish… but I prefer not. This thread is getting pretty long as it is… and Catholic bashing is not my thing, although I would be guilty as charged since I started it I guess. But it’s up to you. It’s your call.

                • You are correct in only ONE thing that you said-this isn’t the place! Thanks though for responding!

                • las

                  Hello Cheryl… Admittedly indeed, initially I made the blanket statement of Catholic heresies. You would have to disprove all my claims in order declare only ONE of my statements correct. That you have not done, nor would you be able to since I have not elaborated on any of the 5 solas in order for you to reach your conclusion. By saying that I am correct in only ONE thing, you comfort yourself with a victory over a discussion that has not even begun.

                  If one of Scoops’s postings involved the conflict between Protestant Sola Scriptura and the Catholic Church’s elevation of Catholic/Apostolic Tradition, or something in the neighbourhood thereof, then we could have at it. In the meantime, the humble thing to do would be to remain agnostic in anticipation of the dog fight to come. N’est pas?

                  But to stir the pot a little… I have noticed that you heavily used scripture references in some of your previous posts. Be careful, my friend, you could be in danger of becoming a heretic accused of using “sola scriptura”. I am unsure what the remedy should be… perhaps lighting blessed wax candles, saying the Rosary, numerous Hail Marys… Of course I taunt.

                  Have a good day.

                • You are correct in only ONE thing that you said-this isn’t the place! Thanks though for responding!

                • las

                  They’re living statues… they’re not dead… yet! Every big name faculty and college drags them on stage and props them up on the pedestal to the rapturous applause of their acolytes.

                  Now Rshill… having said that…. did you look at the crowd at Ravi Zacharias’ talk. It would be tempting to say the same thing about him. But in truth, the acolytes on his side would be a smaller bunch than the nay-Sayers at his lectures – just knowing the makeup in the academy. I don’t have figures, but experience tells me so.

                  They come out in droves to try and debunk him. Notice when he made his many point he gets no applause. Contrast that to a Hitchens or Dawkins captive confab. Either it shows the Atheists are in the majority or it shows that the Atheists tend to be much more triumphalist when a point is scored than when a Christian scores a point. I suspect the Christians are much more polite to an honest inquiry and do not dance in triumphalist applause.

          • Tyler

            “Circle of the earth” though may possibly have flat-out said the planet was round…doesn’t necessarily mean that the people got that it was an orb…maybe a flat circle. Otherwise, I think they might have had globes before the explorers of the 14th and 15th centuries even though they had not actually traveled to the Americas yet. There’s a reason Columbus had to find a more wealthy country than his own to allow him to set sail to prove he could sail westward to get to India.

            • Anonymous

              Well, if I drew a circle in the dirt and Dan drew a globe in the dirt, they would both be two-dimensional.

              If we both penned the same on a sheet of paper, we could both get paper cuts with his pic of the globe and my pic of the circle 🙂

              However when I AND when Isaiah speaks of the circle of the earth, I think he means a circular (round) Earth. Dan and perhaps you, are looking for ways to debunk scripture, I am looking for ways to verify it. I cannot debunk ANY of it and I don’t think anyone else can either. It isn’t intellectual suicide by any stretch. On the contrary.

              • Anonymous

                In other words, I give it the benefit of every doubt and Dan gives it the doubt of every benefit.

                • Tyler

                  Without debunking scripture which really wasn’t the point of my original post anyway…why then did Europeans in the 14th and 15th century still think that Earth was flat if “God” had already told everyone thousands of years prior that it wasn’t?

                • Anonymous

                  No printing press.

                • Anonymous

                  And some still think it’s flat 🙂

                • Anonymous

                  Up until the printing press, regular folks had no copy of the scriptures…it was whatever the church said it was. Which is why many people still confuse the message with a few horrible messengers. The printing press made the Protestant category of Christianity flourish. Martin Luther and all that. There was major backlash to the Catholic leaders. Before that, the Catholic priests etc. demonstrated how absolute power corrupts absolutely. The message has always been above reproach, but some messengers tried to reproach it and severely reproached themselves in the process. Now we can ALL read that Holy Word for ourselves.

            • Anonymous

              Well, if I drew a circle in the dirt and Dan drew a globe in the dirt, they would both be two-dimensional.

              If we both penned the same on a sheet of paper, we could both get paper cuts with his pic of the globe and my pic of the circle 🙂

              However when I AND when Isaiah speaks of the circle of the earth, I think he means a circular (round) Earth. Dan and perhaps you, are looking for ways to debunk scripture, I am looking for ways to verify it. I cannot debunk ANY of it and I don’t think anyone else can either. It isn’t intellectual suicide by any stretch. On the contrary.

        • Anonymous

          “For all we know?” Seriously? You could make up anything, just ‘cuz!

          The method of determining cannon was perfectly reasonable, and I would hope that some stuff WOULD have been rejected! That was the whole point. What’s legit and what was made up later by those not associated with the Apostles? Why would you and others assume from the get-go that rejected texts were rejected illegitimately with no evidence save a general dissatisfaction with the direction and sins of the Catholic Church in later centuries? Ask yourself why.

          • Tyler

            I don’t argue that some text was rejected because it was considered “garbage,” but it’s not like these guys have “fact checking” the way we do now. It’s a question that I don’t believe anyone can honestly answer in modern times. Why was any of it rejected and why were any (probably none of them, since they wanted to impress people) of the “miracle stories” undisputed?

          • Tyler

            I don’t argue that some text was rejected because it was considered “garbage,” but it’s not like these guys have “fact checking” the way we do now. It’s a question that I don’t believe anyone can honestly answer in modern times. Why was any of it rejected and why were any (probably none of them, since they wanted to impress people) of the “miracle stories” undisputed?

      • Robinson11207

        Could I get a link to a Catholic site that fleshes that out a little. This is a great rebuttal and I’ve been trying to find a way to form this argument myself.

        • Kevin D.

          I’m sorry but that argument is my own. I’m not a Catholic. I’m a part of the Hebraic Roots movement.

          However, the information is all in the historical record. I might suggest starting with John McDowell’s “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict”. Also Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ”.

    • grizzlybarrmomma

      T- I have a tender place for you in my heart, because of what you’ve shared about your little girl…..

      As a Dad I can guarantee you see great innocence and worth in her……

      This is what Ravi addressed….. First respect this atheist woman, assuming she’s honest about her statement….“And then see her as 1. A woman with a tender conscience 2.A woman who has personal worth and a 3. A woman who says if this is the way I’m described there’s no place for me here“…..If deduction correct – validate it…..If deduction incorrect SHE HAS TO CHANGE…….

      “when she is invoking a moral law and she’s invoking worth……which says she is borrowing from the Judeo Christian World View to debunk it…” ). “No other world view gives the respect to a woman thaT Jesus does”

      T- Your little girl has worth. You know that. You don’t even have to be “using” Christianity as a philosophy to know that. This is in the heart of man (I believe because of God himself). “No other world view gives the respect to a woman(or man) than Jesus does”

      But change – no way – DENY DENY DENYWE LOSE WE – this is the only way to cling to independence from the creator of the Universe and His laws…..When we do that, we lose we lose we lose…….. Why not stop using Christianity and allow yourself to be adopted by the one that love’s you enough to die for you……This is the greatest thing you could give you dear little girl……TRUTH!

      • Anonymous

        That was sweeter than honey-dipped fishcakes. I think I got a cavity reading it and two more eating it. Very nice.

      • Tyler

        Again…as many have done, you seem to assume that I’m also an Atheist. I am not. My only point in saying this guy is wrong is that he didn’t really answer the question because he goes on to basically say that Jesus is where she needs to look even though the “original sin” is all Old Testament stuff which is where people didn’t even know of a “messiah” yet much less specifically Jesus Christ and especially not a “literal son of God” who also happens to be “God himself” according to a trinity set forth by a group of religious officials who gathered to come to such a decision.

        If I were in that spot and asked him that same question, after his “answer,” I would’ve asked him “Where in the Old Testament is the answer to your question?” I would’ve made him either do that or possibly come to the conclusion which I stated which is that the Old Testament is practically a different religion in itself (Jews would especially think this) therefore, you should ONLY read the New Testament and use it as either a separate entity religion-wise or use it as a philosophy.

        There are many good teachings in it which is why Jefferson used them to make his own book to give to Congress about ethics and why I have no problem with my little girl being a Christian if that’s where she feels she belongs. I refuse to force religion on my angel the way my parents did with me because…well…me AND my older brother both saw the many flaws in it and decided to find our own answers.

        I think where the trouble may come into play is if her overzealous mom brainwashes her real good…she may believe that her daddy is “evil” because he’s not a Christian therefore stay away from him. My ex is living proof of people who take religion too danged far and I just hope that doesn’t happen to my daughter also. Oh well. She’s only 10 months old and I may get joint custody of her soon depending on what the courts decide, so hopefully I’ll have enough of an influence to keep her a somewhat “balanced” and “well-adjusted” little girl.

        • Tyler

          I wouldn’t reply to myself, but it won’t let me edit right now and feel I must do this for the nitpickers. Yes…I’m aware that the Old Testament has prophecies about a messiah. I am actually referring to just the “original sin” portion of the Old Testament when I said that.

        • grizzlybarrmomma

          T- Atheist, no. But I do not believe you are a man that has a personal relationship with the God of the Bible. I was addressing a man (you) who have said that you “use” Christianity. I am differentiating between religion as a philosophical expression and Christianity as a personal relationship with the one true God, through Jesus Christ.

          God is love itself…Worth can only come deep within one’s soul through this amazing relationship with Him. We are unable to bridge this canyon of sin to establish this relationship with God. Thus, The Christ. The cross is the bridge from darkness (our sinful lives) into light (the kingdom of God). Asking for forgiveness and believing on the Son of God is our effort. The Bible says the only way to the Father is thru the Son (Jesus) and no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him. GIFT GIFT GIFT.

          I think a simply heartfelt “God if I can have a relationship with you, show me”, is sufficient to move heaven on your behalf. Watch and see.

          No one can give another this relationship with God, but a loving Daddy (you) can legitimate life in Christ through your own experience with the LIVING GOD. And this for your precious girl. Whether you’re around to affirm her or not her relationship with God will give her the greatest worth known to mankind……One that says you are worth dying for daughter.

          • Anonymous

            Grrr. I wish I would have said that. It glitters and gleams with truth, but it is easy on the eyes, and not hard on the heart.

          • Flyover

            Want to hit “Like” X 10. Faith truly is a GIFT. You don’t have to understand “everything.” Just accept it and say “thankyou,” and enjoy a little peace in your life.

          • Flyover

            Want to hit “Like” X 10. Faith truly is a GIFT. You don’t have to understand “everything.” Just accept it and say “thankyou,” and enjoy a little peace in your life.

            • Anonymous

              That sounds exactly like how everyone treats “Terms of Use” agreements on software. Don’t bother reading it, just scroll down to the bottom and click “I accept.”

              • Flyover

                I can see how what I said sounds like that. I just meant that I realized I needed to accept the gift of faith first and then I began to understand. The more I seek and study the more I am excited to see how it all works and fits together. Then, my faith grows and, then, I understand more… I have come to see that the faith part comes first, then the understanding. Faith, just the “size of a mustard seed” is enough.

          • Tyler

            The main reason I study religions is because it speaks worlds of volumes to the spiritual language which people relate to as well. If I use Hindu or Buddhist values to communicate to you…you would probably get the jist of it, but it would mean more if I used Christian values to communicate with you. I just believe that religion and the relationship with “God” are two completely different things and I have personally experienced “God” as well as its continuing influence on everyday life. “Karma” is a common term basically meaning “action.” It’s an easy enough concept really no matter your religion. What you reap is what you sow. You get into anything what you put into it. If you do bad onto others, then bad will come back around to you and vice versa. I appreciate the advice. I think I will be fine once this custody battle’s over with.

            • grizzlybarrmomma

              T- There is one universal language crossing all barriers of communication. It’s expression is as deep as life itself. And it’s source is without question for those who have tasted of it. This language is LOVE. Christianity is the only religion that expresses this language through “action“.

              The Motilone Indians are a tribe of Colombia, So. America. Their legend: A man who became an ant. He had seen ants trying to make a home. He wanted to help them make a good one just like the Motilone home. So he dug in the dirt. But the ants were afraid and ran away because he was so big and so unknown. Miraculously he became an ant. He thought and looked like an ant and he spoke their language.

              He lived with the ants and they came to trust him. He told them one day he wasn’t really an ant but a Motilone and that he had tried to help but they were scared. The ants laughed at this fellow ant saying how could you be the same big, scary guy? At that moment he was turned back into a Motilone and began to move the dirt into the shape of a Motilone home. This time the ants recognized him and let him do his work, because they knew he wouldn’t harm them. That was why according to the legend the ants had hills that looked like Motilone homes.

              In the Motilone culture “evil, death, and deception find power over the Motilone people through the ears, because LANGUAGE is so important to the Motilones. It is the essence of life. If evil language comes through the ears, it means death.”

              “After Motilones kill a wild boar the chieftain cuts the skin from the animal and puts it over his head to cover his ears and keep the evil spirits of the jungle out.”

              The Motilones know today that Jesus Christ was murdered and just as the skin of the boar over the chieftain’s head hides his ears from evil, so the blood of Jesus Christ is pulled over the deception (sin) of us all and hides it from the sight of God.

              The Motilone’s learned that as they each have their own trail, they can also walk on God’s trail because Jesus the Christ, God become man, showed them God’s trail and hid their sin from God the Father.

              THAT IS THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE IN ACTION.

              Quotes from BRUCHKO by Bruce Olson

    • Smurph

      Look at the Jews – probably mostly believing, at least up until the 20th century. Were they bloodthirsty racists? Were they bloodthirsty racists in the 1st century? No… so how does the violence in the Hebrew Bible really fit in to the development of Jewish civilization, culture and values? There was something else going on there. To a believing Jew, that something is the Lord leading his people up from bronze age savagery, to be worthy sons and daughters. Grace isn’t magic. He give us free will, and he meant it.

      To the Christian mind, in addition, it’s preparation for Christ to come and teach a lesson in radical love – love that was always there, in the covenant with Abraham, but fully realized in Christ’s sacrifice.

      So, no, there’s no logical disconnect between Jewish culture now and the ancient covenant; nor is there a contradiction in Christianity’s retaining the Old Testament.

      • Tyler

        Since the last sentence is the only part of your reply that had anything to do with my post…that’s what I’ll address.

        There may or may not be a contradiction in its retaining of the Old Testament, but it makes more sense for Christians to leave out the Old Testament in their belief system because the two “gods” are completely different in every shape, form and fashion.

        Until the Council of Nicea (or was it the Council of Jerusalem?), people had a hard time trying to figure out the multiple “god” thing since the 10 Commandments specifically says not to worship false idols and that the one true “God” is the only “God.” They basically had to force the “holy spirit,” the “father,” and the “son,” to fit one “God” to keep their new religion from falling apart.

        Still doesn’t really answer the parts about how the predictions of the coming “messiah” doesn’t say that the “messiah” would be the “literal son of God.” That was something that people just decided to make up in my own humble opinion to make it seem more amazing than it actually was.

        Christianity works better as a philosophy because if we all showed unconditional love for everyone (even our “enemies”) the same way Jesus did…then we would have “Heaven on Earth.” Try to deny that last statement, but you know that part’s right even if you agree with nothing else I’ve said.

        • Anonymous

          You should read the links I posted to you at the top of the page, The Documentary Hypothesis really clears up a lot about the Old Testament.

          The things like “worship no other gods before me,” come from Deuteronomist revisionism by strict Yahwists under King Josiah of Judah around 622 B.C.. Monolatrism became the order of the day in response to the Assyrian conquest on Israel in an appeal to Yahweh Sabbaoth.

          The real monotheism didn’t come around until the priestly source and his own revisionism.

          http://www.amazon.com/History-God-000-Year-Judaism-Christianity/dp/0345384563

    • Smurph

      Look at the Jews – probably mostly believing, at least up until the 20th century. Were they bloodthirsty racists? Were they bloodthirsty racists in the 1st century? No… so how does the violence in the Hebrew Bible really fit in to the development of Jewish civilization, culture and values? There was something else going on there. To a believing Jew, that something is the Lord leading his people up from bronze age savagery, to be worthy sons and daughters. Grace isn’t magic. He give us free will, and he meant it.

      To the Christian mind, in addition, it’s preparation for Christ to come and teach a lesson in radical love – love that was always there, in the covenant with Abraham, but fully realized in Christ’s sacrifice.

      So, no, there’s no logical disconnect between Jewish culture now and the ancient covenant; nor is there a contradiction in Christianity’s retaining the Old Testament.

    • Marie

      Tyler, to be as gentle as possible, your suggestion that Christians renounce the Old Testiment altogether and live solely by the New Testiment, is simply not possible.
      First of all, it doesn’t matter if it seems to “fit better as a philosophy than it does a religion” This suggestion doesn’t matter to any Christian.

      Christianity is based on faith, (Like the faith of Abraham) therefore how the world views it, is of little concern to those who believe.
      Secondly, The New Testament is a fullfillment of the Old Testament. It is impossible to have one without the other. Nor is Christianity meant to exclude the Jews, who were in fact the First Christians. (Called Messianics)

      It’s a terrible error to think we can renounce one book for the other.

      (OT) Duet 6:4 “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord: & (NT) Rev. 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Clearly in this verse Jesus is proclaiming Himself God Almighty. And in many other references between the two Books. But a person has to study both the Old and New Testiments in depth, (and in prayer) in order to understand it fully.

      It’s not impossible to understand, if a person has a willing heart to know the truth.
      But it does require the real faith that God will show His truth to those who are seeking Him.

      • Tyler

        What’s funny about you saying this is that “God” has already revealed his truth to “I who sought out for it,” hence why I am so confident in accepting “God,” but renouncing religion.

        But hey…I like your response the best out of this discourse because you stayed on point. Good job.

        • Marie

          Well. to be honest, your first comment was the one I answered but the post somehow ended up all the way down here. You can’t accept God and renounce His word my friend, this is what I’m cautioning here…

          Also, thanks for answering, I noticed this is a conversation between men which these kinds of conversations tend to be.
          I’ll leave you to it.

          The above mentioned is my point.

          And it’s getting pretty late in my neck of the woods.

          Good evening Gents ~

          • Tyler

            You’re right, if the “God” you’re referring to was the same “God” that I believe in. I’ve said it before. I believe in “God,” but not the one of the Bible which was written by man. I believe in the “God” which I have come to know and experience for myself. I don’t cling to life so harshly which actually enhances it because without fear…the potential to do amazing things is unlimited. That’s what I believe “God” is all about. There’s a positive and negative aspect to the same being. This illusion of a “devil” and a “Hell” is all borrowed from other ancient traditions. I experience mostly “Heaven,” but with the occasional “Hell” when something bad happens to me or I just plain screw up badly. The degrees vary upon what I do. Nothing ever truly dies, but is just transformed. It is fear of death which created religion and a need to obey a higher power, so that when that day comes you’ll be “fine.”

      • Anonymous

        Marie, I don’t think it’s the part they DON’T understand that bothers them…If you know-what-I-mean.

        • Marie

          Not exactly Rs~
          Can you add a little more to your thought on this?

          • Anonymous

            It’s the part they DO understand that bothers them. Responsibility to someone and something much, much greater than themselves. Morality, the worship of something other than themselves. It’s that, “you can’t tell me what to do or how to be” problem. Does this help?

            • Marie

              Yes.
              Thank you.

            • Tyler

              Morality has nothing to do with worship. That’s one of the few original points I placed out here to explain why Ravi is wrong here. But that’s where we might as well agree to disagree.

              • Anonymous

                From whence cometh your frame of reference for anything resembling morality sir? You wouldn’t even have the word without the gospels and those events chronicles therein, I suggest.

                You cannot take concepts from the Word and pretend they existed before or independant of that word. Can’t you see what you’re doing here? We have all been imbued with morality from the gospels (starting with Adam and yes, I think Adam predates Bablylonians etc.) and so your basis for morality is the very gospel that you claim morality doesn’t need? Sure, you can be moral without worship I guess and you can also worship without being moral I also guess.

                Even before the book of Genesis, those events happened that Genesis reports on. God communicated with not only early man, but according to Genesis, the first man. Adam, the one that was shackin’ up with Eve.

    • The old testament is the promise of a Messiah or a savior for the world, the new testament is that promise come to fruition. Every story in the Old Testament points to Christ, the New Testament is the Christ and the beginning of Christianity. Paul and the apostles teaching us how to live like Christ lived to the best of one’s ability. The problem with most people is they THINK too much and then start believing they have the answers. Constantly debating themselves in their mind, trying to convince themselves they know more than the one who created them. Go ahead and banter about what I say here, doesn’t make any difference to me. I am one christian who is tired of the so called theologians and “educated” trying to convince everyone otherwise as to the reason we are on earth. Your purpose is to glorify God and bring others to Christ as Christ said before his ascension. Go read the Bible and if you are a christian, saved or born again as Christ told Nicodemus then you already know this and to chatter about christianity as if it is something to debate is frivolous and not what Christ intended for us as his followers to do.

      • Marie

        I’ve read a lot of books once, and only a couple twice, but I find the Bible an amazing Book that I’ve read and have been studying for years. The teachings are timeless and speak to every generation for one thing, and there’s always something new to learn – another depth to ponder.

        Here is something that I find interesting, since we’re discussing the Old and New Testaments.
        Isa. 53:5
        “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we ARE healed.”
        Now in 1 Peter 2:24
        “Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye WERE healed.”

        It’s pretty interesting to me that in Isaiah’s day, when he spoke of the ONE to come he spoke in the present tense, saying “we ARE healed”, yet Peter, speaking in his present day spoke in a past tense saying, “ye WERE healed.”

        I won’t add my thoughts to God’s WORD, because HE has a way of explaining it best Himself.

        I just wanted to share the thought with you, and say also that when I think of God and Eternity, I think it will take eternity to discover the fullness of Him.
        He IS truly an AWESOME GOD!

        • Anonymous

          Marie, I never noticed that before thank you!

          • Marie

            God is beyond words ~ Awesome!

            Just imagine what we could do as Christians, if we ONLY understood the REAL POWER of FAITH.

            May God Bless you and increase your understanding, Because it is His Holy Spirit who teaches and gives us knowledge.

        • Anonymous

          Isaiah was prophesying. He was looking further into the future than Peter existed in. In other words, as Isaiah was “seeing this” and explaining it, he would have had to look in his rear view mirror to see Peter.

          Peter also said “For we do not follow cleverly devised fables as ye suppose, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” (from memory…should be really close)

          I think that to God time is different. To us it flows like a river…I believe to HIM it is a geometric plane and he can vector to any time and any place he wants. He can answer my prayer and Peter’s simultaneously, relative to our sense of now. He can be saying “Let there be light” and “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, simultaneously. Time is obviously unlimited to HIM, but his foreknowledge is not causative. Ooooh, now my head hurts a little 😉

          • Anonymous

            Hence, words like ‘are’ and ‘were’ lose a bit of their relevance to His way of thinking. He has to use them for us though. It could also be that Isaiah was seeing the future a little behind of where Peter was. Hence Isaiah saying ‘are’ and Peter saying ‘were’.

            • Marie

              Except when you veiw it from Faith’s point of view. Either way you look at it, the message is: “your healing is complete, you need only accept it by Faith”
              Also, I’m seeing a comformation between the authors of these two Books.
              The comparisons made between Isa., 1 Pet, & Rev. 1:8 in the sentence:
              “Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

              In his day, Isaiah was looking forward to Christ’s coming, and speaking by Faith, he spoke as if he had already come. Peter, who knew him and saw His works testified that we “were healed”, and also John wrote of the future when he would return to receive His Kingdom.

              I’m not trying to make you agree with me. But I am asking you to consider it.
              There are so many more scriptures I could write, but it would only confuse the issue.

              The point I’m still making is that both the Old and New Tesaments are the completeness of God’s Word. One doesn’t void out the other, and to think that it does causes a person to be in error.

              • Anonymous

                I know that faith is a thing but does it have a point of view? I realize
                that Isaiah was looking forward, in the natural to Christs coming, but in
                the prophesiacal sense, he was looking forward. I agree with you that the
                old and new testaments are part of the same delicious sandwich of truth.

                • grizzlybarrmomma

                  Just eavesdropping on y’all – Hebrews 11:1
                  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

                • Marie

                  I appreciate your input. Another good verse concerning faith. The Bible is a complex Book and its teachings are endless. I think we could carry on this conversation for weeks, if people stayed interested in it.

                • grizzlybarrmomma

                  🙂

    • Soulriderone

      Yes ,his respond is to look at the larger context and the larger picture, which is and always has been, beneficial applied to any situation. The whole is she derived her conclusion (if you want to do logic, real logic lets get to grit of it of whether his argument is valid). She derived her conclusion from the premise of God gave pain to women therefore God doesn’t believe in me. Even if that conclusion and premise is true (which obviously shown in the video above is not)she derives her premise from the Bible and what she believes it says about her and women in general. So wouldn’t it make sense for her to check her source even more thoroughly (if she is deriving it from the same source), to see the whole of what it says. Always look at the whole of your situation and conversation no matter where it comes from. So it doesn’t matter whether or not they are “Catholic Add-ons” it is separate from the argument.

      • Goldni007

        I thought that too. She sure did give up quickly. Way to honestly pursue the truth girl!! You were an easy win for the devil.

  • Shane2813

    So has this guy ever been on Glenn’s show???

  • I always love listening to his answers. God has given him great wisdom.

  • John

    Sensational video! Thanks, Right Scoop.

  • Anonymous
  • grizzlybarrmomma

    T- I have a tender place for you in my heart, because of what you’ve shared about your little girl…..

    As a Dad I can guarantee you see great innocence and worth in her……

    This is what Ravi addressed….. First respect this atheist woman, assuming she’s honest about her statement….“And then see her as 1. A woman with a tender conscience 2.A woman who has personal worth and a 3. A woman who says if this is the way I’m described there’s no place for me here“…..If deduction correct – validate it…..If deduction incorrect SHE HAS TO CHANGE…….

    “when she is invoking a moral law and she’s invoking worth……which says she is borrowing from the Judeo Christian World View to debunk it…” ). “No other world view gives the respect to a woman thaT Jesus does”

    T- Your little girl has worth. You know that. You don’t even have to be “using” Christianity as a philosophy to know that. This is in the heart of man (I believe because of God himself). “No other world view gives the respect to a woman(or man) than Jesus does”

    But change – no way – DENY DENY DENYWE LOSE WE – this is the only way to cling to independence from the creator of the Universe and His laws…..When we do that, we lose we lose we lose…….. Why not stop using Christianity and allow yourself to be adopted by the one that love’s you enough to die for you……This is the greatest thing you could give you dear little girl……TRUTH!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it amazing how people will write a dissertation on what this man said and they will babble on like silly children.

    I will not add my two cents worth to this discussion, but only say for those who can understand what he was saying, then the blessing is theirs. To the others… well I guess it would be appropriate to say it is like casting pearls before swine.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it amazing how people will write a dissertation on what this man said and they will babble on like silly children.

    I will not add my two cents worth to this discussion, but only say for those who can understand what he was saying, then the blessing is theirs. To the others… well I guess it would be appropriate to say it is like casting pearls before swine.

  • Slowtraincoming

    Wonderful answer from Ravi. Thank you.

  • Deb

    How can you say you don’t believe in God when by stating that there IS a God you don’t believe in you validate that of course there is a God?

    • Tyler

      My grandpa once said “I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist.”

      • Anonymous

        Nor have I.

      • Anonymous

        Nor have I.

  • Thank You for bring this man to my attention. I don’t know if I have ever heard a man with such a profound intelectual understanding of the word & works of Christ.

  • Marie

    This man is truly a wise and gifted teacher of God’s Word.

  • There will come a day when the TRUTH will leave this earth. No one will be left whose mind will not be infiltrated with half truths, or lies as they used to be called. Now when the time comes, that the truth is not known anymore and the Bible is considered just a good morning read, the father of all lies will appear and deceive even the very elect. Everday, not year, but day, God’s creation becomes more and more proud in it’s so called knowledge of how and why God created us, that soon, as I said earlier, no one will know, let alone understand the reason for our existence.

    • Tyler

      So…unless I’m wrong…your statement confirms one of my biases which is that “God” wants people to be ignorant of what’s going on around them. Sort of…ignorance is bliss?

      • How did you get that from what he said? I think what he is saying is that people can get so “proud, arrogant” with their own thoughts and ideas and figuring things out that they can’t even begin to think there could be a God that loves them that has a Son that died for them…you know the story…my husband’s Spanish teacher in college told him light years ago-ha-that the more knowledge he gets, the smaller God becomes!

  • My favorite speaker and teacher of all time! Thanks RS.

  • Marie

    It’s pretty inspiring to see how many comments this video has generated.