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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Is The Euthyphro Dilemma Really A Dilemma For Christians?

The Question: Is Good Good Because It Is Good, Or Is Good Good Because God Says It Is Good?

From CARM Ministries, the summary of the problem and the answer:  


Blessed!

42 comments:

  1. Here is a detailed response to a refutation of CARM's video: This is good study material: http://carm.org/euthyphro-answer-to-response

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  2. Something is good because it is good, not because any god commands it. In the bible, god condones and endorses slavery, even giving his people a system on how to go about it and how hard to beat these slaves. So if god determines what is moral, then it would follow that slavery should then be moral. However, most modern humans will unanimously agree that slavery is wrong. Therefore, on the moral issue of slavery, you have the majority of humans at odds with what god says on that. I'd go so far as to say the majority of christians are at odds with god on the issue of slavery, even though they won't admit it and will find some context in which god is good for condoning and endorsing slavery.

    As far as stealing, etc goes, those things are wrong because they cause harm to others. At best, god is a messenger of morality. Those things would still be wrong whether any god or gods say so. Stealing is wrong because it is, not because an authority figure says so.

    The problem is trying to hold up god as the standard of morality yet trying to simultaneously justify many of the things he did in the bible, that would make Hitler and Stalin look like choir boys. Your only option at that point is to either concede that much of the bible is only hebrew myth and that the christian god never did such things or to just blatantly say that "God is god and anything he does, commands, or endorses is good, simply because he does, commands, or endorses it". In either case, both options bring up alot of problems.

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  3. IGNORANCE said: Something is good because it is good, not because any god commands it. Then you would admit that there is a body of things that exist that have an intrinsic value of good in nature. Then where are these things and how have they arrived at those values? In nature we can certainly point to things that are morally neutral such as trees and rocks which are neither good or bad. I believe most science will affirm that. So how do you gr from what is commonly and mostly held among all rational people to there is something that is good simply because it is good? That's sounds like an subjective value statement to me.

    Secondly IGNORANCE continues to say: In the bible, god condones and endorses slavery, even giving his people a system on how to go about it and how hard to beat these slaves.

    The Bible does none of these things. The closest that the bible does is set parameters around how to serve under slavery which was the condition of SERVILE WORK, indentured servanthood and other forms. Radicals and idiots such as this enter conditions of chattel slavery and further ramp that up with "beatings"...Name ONE place where a slave was beat or provisions for beatings of slaves were outlined? There are none! This guy continues to be a rambling fool, but I'm shutting him down after this.

    I've also discussed this very issue with real scholars and atheists such as Dr. Hector Avalos and we were able to discuss many particular points on this. For a correct insight on slavery anyone can go HERE: http://bethelburnett.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-atheismsame-old-confusion.html

    At either rate the article deals with the issue that goodness proceeds from the nature of God. It is not called good because there are good thing separate from him, neither is it called good arbitrarily or because he calls it (whatever it is) good.

    Deal with the subject matter, not the fantasies and obsessions of God haters.

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  4. There are some distinctions that must be made when individuals are addressing the issues of morality and making moral arguments. William Lane Craig outlines this difference adequately by the use of the following terms:

    1- Moral ontology ~ The body of morals duties that we as human beings have. This area is often referred to as the place of objective moral values.(most people readily point to what they believe is universally tight and or true)

    2- Moral semantics ~ This is the investigation of meaning of descriptive moral language or terms. A second part of this is theories or study of how and why words come to mean what they do.

    3- Moral epistemology~ This is the study of how we come to know those moral duties or moral ontology.

    The mistake that most people make is arguing moral epistemology on the basis and grounds of moral semantics, or arguing moral semantics on the basis or ground of moral ontology. In other words, they confuse the issues and we get a hodge podge of confusion as a result. I'll do my part to make sure that the confusion we witness above is kept to a minimum so that believers can learn and grow since this site is dedicated to that issue.

    The problem is clear as outlined by FM...it seems that everyone says that this or that is wrong or right. The question then and most importantly is how does one know what is wrong or right? What is the basis for their understanding of moral ontology? That is the key. If morality is rooted in subjectivism, then my morals, no matter what they are are no better or worse than anyone else's. Where is the repository of these values and secondly how are they known. Criticize how I know right all one wants, but how do you, the critic, know what is right and or wrong? This is moral epistemology.

    Don't allow folk to confuse the three issues and a conversation will flow and be much more fruitful.

    CADRE Comments covers this area excellently here:http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2012/04/distinguishing-between-moral-ontology.html

    Here is a good book on the subject of Christian morality and its foundations: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-store/products/books/item/philosophical-foundations-for-a-christian-worldview_Book

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  5. William Lane Craig says alot of things. William Lane Craig says that genocide is ok as long as it's god commanding it. William Lane Craig is justifying god ordering mass murder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHRmdCZO2bE.

    But after all of the fancy words and whatever else the bottom line is that there is no way to justify animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, child murder, adult murder, condoning slavery, murder for arbitrary dictates as being in line with a perfectly moral being.

    There are good arguments on both side of the coin. However, even if there is a deity from which all morality flows, it certainly isn't Yahweh.

    I asked a question on Just what would it take for god to do for you to view him as less than all good?

    You never answered me.

    But if literally anything that the christian god can do is good, simply because he does it, how do we know it's good? We have no basis for calling him good as opposed to evil.

    God looses his temper with His children because they aren't acting right, and He creates a global flood to drown every man, woman, child and baby on the planet (with the exception of 8). Those of us as parents can relate to this, right? Shouldn't each and every act of an all-good God be able to be described as "good"? If not, then what does "good" mean? If so, then you can't continue to call God good. Under the same conditions, what would the devil have done? If the devil had sent the worldwide flood, would William Lane Craig call the devil "good"? Granted, the devil was not the creator of said humans-- but if it's good when God does it and evil when the devil does it, doesn't making this distinction demand a framework of morality? The difficulty that Christians face is that they cannot, under any circumstances, call any action of God "evil"-- even if it is blatantly so. Hence the irrational apologetics.

    They still claim that God is "all good".

    What follows from this is that the word "good" ceases to mean "beneficial and benevolent", and is quietly inclusive of some quite different adjectives. Hoping no one will notice, these apologists are able to perform a staggering feat of moral gymnastics, and encourage their fellow Christians to do the same. They re-define morality to include horribly barbaric acts that none of us would condone. Even William Lane Craig, champion Christian apologist, would condemn these deeds were they contained in any other book.

    To illustrate this, let's make up a hypothetical example. Let's say the Hindu God Shiva, in the Hindu Holy Book the Vedas, kills 50,000 of his followers for no other reason than simply looking at a copy of the laws that he gave to them. After this mass killing, however, the Hindus still claim that Shiva is all-good. Would Mr. William Lane Craig say that their logic is correct? Would he say that their holy book is internally inconsistent? What do you think? (For the record, in the bible God kills 50,000 of His worshipers for looking into the Ark of the Covenant, a gold-plated wooden box containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments).

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    1. First, this is some of your last commentary here, because you can't seem to stay on point or remain focused...so read as well as you can...

      You said: But after all of the fancy words and whatever else the bottom line is that there is no way to justify animal sacrifice

      men have dominion over animals and eat them everyday, this is a bleeding heart misdirection and has nothing to do with moral ontology and or epestimology. In fact, produce one shred of "evidence" that this is or was wrong? Who told you it was and why? Where did you get your info from?

      You said:human sacrifice, child murder

      NOwhere in the bible is human sacrifice or child murder condoned. In fact it is condemned. Here is a passage: Lev. 18:21 ~:21-And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD....Deut. 18:10 ~ There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch". Then Isaiah makes the directive from the Lord that folk who kill arbitrarily and assume god is please have no benefits and receive no rewards for their deeds are evil: Isa, 66:3 ~He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. sacrifice.

      God considered these things ABOMONATIONS and SINS of the people. What was your statement that the bible God endorses it and condones it??? YOU are found to be a LIAR!


      Then you say: child murder, adult murder,
      Ooh well it seems that is DESTROYED by my commentary above

      Then you say: condoning slavery,
      Then I have already hendled that ADEQUATELY Here: http://bethelburnett.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-atheismsame-old-confusion.html and again that totally destroys your assumptions

      So CEASE and DESIST from idiotic ramblings of such, if you can't provide new info or refute premises based on something other than repetition. Your repetition only shows you have ADD of a form of something that I can't decipher. You premises in these matters are overcome and you offer nothing new, but some type of self directed moral statement...

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  6. By the way I read you and Dr Avelos exchange. I like where you admitted that you have to agree that anything the christian god does, up to and including genocide is good. That was my point all along.

    Therefore if animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, genocide, torture, sanctioning of slavery, ordering of cannibalism, murder for arbitrary things, such as picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week, touching the ark, and sending bears to kill children for calling a prophet "baldy" where found in the Quran then you would readily say those things were wrong and you would call Allah wicked and cruel.

    The difference is, you have no religious obligation to agree with everything Allah does so you can call it as you see it. I suspected as much all along. It also explains why you believe being thrown in a lake of fire is a valid alternative to heaven when it's the christian god doing it, but if it's the muslim god doing it then it's cruel.

    You're religiously obligated to agree with the Bible.

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    1. You attempt to make something resembling a coherent argument here: Granted, the devil was not the creator of said humans-- but if it's good when God does it and evil when the devil does it, doesn't making this distinction demand a framework of morality? The difficulty that Christians face is that they cannot, under any circumstances, call any action of God "evil"-- even if it is blatantly so

      Basically you're stating that to YOU and your rationalization of the world, God's acts of correction to eliminate the evil that man had chose, was an evil act. You want to "humanize" this by claiming that this is the same type of relationship that a parent has with their child and that is the basis for you interpreting this as an evil act. Only that is not the case.

      Since Genesis God is God and has certain demands. God is not "just" a father, he is God. He is holy in nature and character as well. This is what Adam and eve hid themselves. They were fearful of the fact that he had demands and placed rules within the context of human experience. So you cannot impugn the character of God unless it was not known and or understood among humans that God's nature was right and that he acted evilly. If he is holy and demands such of his followers, then he must by virtue of that display his character.

      Why should he be or become who he is not to accommodate the sins of man? If that is the case he would be capricious and arbitrary regarding sin himself. So you can debate all day, whether that was the best choice or course of action, but when God deals with sin it is always because he has a holy, blameless and perfect nature. With the LIES you assert earlier, you will surely have a hard time refuting any of that.

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    2. BY the way IF you read my interaction with Avalos, you saw that my position was that God never has committed genocide and he never has...so get the story straight please. ooh I forgot, you're hard of reading!!!!

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  7. Please tell me how I am not staying on topic? Aren't we talking about god's morality. And I did read your position, but you can call it whatever you like, it fits the definition of genocide-the deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

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    1. You aren't staying on topic, although you are doing slightly better. The fact is that God didn't order the "mass murder" of a large group of people. What God did was gave the Israelites the land and ordered that they go in an posses it. In fact it was only 5 nations out of the dozens that God tells Israel to utterly destroy. In EACH case it was because those nations had such abominable practices that they were an infection to the world. As I quoted, those nations practiced all forms of human sacrifice (which you FINALLY came to your senses to see that neither God nor any prophet ordered) and opposed God claiming that they themselves were supreme deities (so far as their leaders etc.)

      In EVERY CASE God gave the inhabitants of those nations and lands AMPLE time to relocate. As I indicated previously, Jericho was KNEW Israel was coming for 40 years and all they did was build walls. If someone wanted to be saved or save themselves, all they had to do was LEAVE! Rahab, a HARLOT made a pact and an agreement and God honored that. So the destruction was never upon a people as in the bloodline had to be eliminated. The destruction was upon them in that area that practiced those things and more.

      So look at the texts...you will find no death squads chasing those that ran (if there were any) and if you use any sort of chronology you will find that there was much mercy extended...So there was no genocide, especially in the sense that radicals like you hail....

      Now, aside from all of that...WHO told you that genocide was wrong anyway? How do YOU know that?

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  8. You said "Since Genesis God is God and has certain demands. God is not "just" a father, he is God. He is holy in nature and character as well.

    You got that right about god not being just. And dictators have demands too! So what? That doesn't justify mass slaughter when your demands aren't obeyed. That's just a version of might makes right.

    You said "Basically you're stating that to YOU and your rationalization of the world, God's acts of correction to eliminate the evil that man had chose, was an evil act."

    Thats exactly what I'm saying. If god's nature is so far above us that we can't comprehend it, then we have no basis for calling him good. I'll admit that by that same token, we have no basis for calling him evil either. At best, all we can say that he just "is". Now if you tell me he's good and he's the source of all human morality, then i'm going to judge his actions in a human sense. And in a human sense he has committed or caused to be committed many actions we humans understand as evil.

    You said "If that is the case he would be capricious and arbitrary"

    He is capricious and arbitrary. Killing 70,000 people for something their king did that you made the king do is very capricious.

    You said " but when God deals with sin it is always because he has a holy, blameless and perfect nature"

    According to what standard? One he just made up?

    You said "men have dominion over animals and eat them everyday"

    Yes men eat animals, animals eat other animals. There's a difference between that and killing them simply because you can smell the burning flesh and see the blood running. That's jut sick. That's why it's a felony in most places. And most civilized human beings consider sacrificing animals so a deity can smell them burning as barbaric.

    No human sacrifice???

    Christianity is built around a human sacrifice of Jesus. What about the slaughter of Saul's male descendants who were "hung before the Lord" to stop a famine the Lord had sent until they were killed? 2 Samuel 21

    Or Jepethahs daughter Judges 11:30-39

    No child murder committed by god? Let's see

    God kills children with bears: From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces. (2 Kings 2:23-24

    All of the firstborn children of Egypt, just to show off his power to the Egyptians: Exodus 12:29
    And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

    Exodus 12:30
    And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

    King David's baby son to punish David (David sure does have a lot of get out of jail free cards)

    2 Samuel 12:14

    Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 2 Samuel 12:18

    And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead:

    I think those qualify as child murders.


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    1. I said:You said "Basically you're stating that to YOU and your rationalization of the world, God's acts of correction to eliminate the evil that man had chose, was an evil act."

      You said:Thats exactly what I'm saying. If god's nature is so far above us that we can't comprehend it, then we have no basis for calling him good.

      I know so you admit I understand what you are saying. But then NEVER and NO PLACE does ANYONE say that "the nature of God is so far above us that we can't comprehend it". That is a point NOT being argued. Of course we can comprehend it or else it is meaningless and not even a part of the conversation. What you are saying is that you don't agree that his nature is good.

      That's OK, BUT now, how do you know this fact? How do you know that anything God could possibly do is not good? Then define what is and what would be good? Or is good the better of two alternatives, or does good simply bring happiness and joy? Then what is the cost of that good and how is that measured? You rant so much that its hard to really get to any fruitful points, but I try...

      You said: I'll admit that by that same token, we have no basis for calling him evil either. At best, all we can say that he just "is".

      What is that? Then what are you even talking about? If you have no basis for calling him or his actions evil, Then you are lieing saying and attributing evil to him and his nature...You are the ULTIMATE false witness...so how is what you say worth anything at all?

      Understand this...in order to have a basis to call God's nature or anything in scripture into question you MUST have a basis for good, truth, morality etc, or else all you are doing is making a purely SUBJECTIVE criticism...That is not worth the toilet paper that you flushed down the toilet last night.

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    2. You said: Now if you tell me he's good and he's the source of all human morality, then i'm going to judge his actions in a human sense. And in a human sense he has committed or caused to be committed many actions we humans understand as evil.

      How do you come to "understand" anything as evil? What is your epistemology and method? This is vitally important. How do we "humans' come to understand this or God's action as evil? Is there a vote someplace?

      Answer this, was the Civil war evil? More folk died than all of American history in that war. Was it evil? How do we determine that premise and concept?

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    3. You said this so far as human sacrifice:Christianity is built around a human sacrifice of Jesus.

      Jesus death was not a human sacrifice. It was a shame/honor sacrifice that displayed great love and passion. this was based on the thoughts in the ANE society in which these acts were born. Of course sacrifice on the cross was abhorrent. That was the key. It represented the abhorrent nature of our sins. It was substitutionary as that death was upon us because of sin. So his sacrifice was the great display of both honor and love. in FACT the same is said about true love today. it is sacrificial even until the point of death...In marriage it is "until death do us part"...that entails that folk in love should give their lives for one another until the end of those loves...That is praised as the ultimate value of love...

      Why is it any less of a virtue to you radicals? That is because you have a priori naturalism and a tendency for self preservation and at root a real jealously that causes you to criticize a God who does this based upon his inherently good nature...that is sad.

      The sacrifice of Jesus did NOT have elements of a Human sacrifices, as you outline in your continued diatribes. Jesus laid his life down and no man took it, neither did he commit suicide..This is why the preaching of the cross of "foolishness" to them that don't believe. It doesn;t have to make rational sense, because there is no reason he did it, and YOU are certainly proof of that!

      You said: What about the slaughter of Saul's male descendants who were "hung before the Lord" to stop a famine the Lord had sent until they were killed? 2 Samuel 21

      Please try that one again. there is no reference to what you are saying in either 1 or 2 Sam. 21. try that one again.

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    4. You said: Or Jepethahs daughter Judges 11:30-39

      Since we can IDENTIFY clearly that there was no child sacrifice or human sacrifice in Israel and that God did not condone any such actions, how is it that you "think" that Jeptehah's commitment to God, for a victory would or could end in the death of a person, yet alone his daughter? HOWEVER, allow me to acquiesce and explain 2 trains of though and then the real issue....

      1- There was no human sacrifice. As I believe. This process would have had to have been in accord with priests and not simply Jeptehah's dictates. Scripture doesn't even indicate that Phineas (the High Priest) was consulted, yet alone oversaw a sacrifice of this sort.

      2- This was a dedication to God of his daughter as a perpetual virgin away from his household. Scripture states that she lived as a virgin all her days (v.39)

      3- There was a human sacrifice that people lamented for years (v.40) I don't hold to this, but the occasion was not a joyful one when she is thought of. This is reminiscent of death or a serious alteration of lifestyle at least.

      At EITHER rate, what Jeptheah did WAS NOT authorized by God. His vow Judg. 11:30 was done out of faithlessness and not belief taht God would deliver. It was an unsanctioned agreement that he made with God no matter what the outcome...

      How is GOD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WILL OF MAN IN MAKING SUCH A VOW? How do the decisions of your relatives or family members impugn your character? That is the point. You are claiming that god had bad or evil character...no matter what happened, God didn't tell this man to do a thing!!!! Show me where he did.

      In 2 Kings 23 the kids were mocking the man of God. They were doing what they had been taught and raised not to do. The man of God represented God himself by type. Actually they were mocking God out of their knowledge and ignorance. The bear killed them albeit if they were not in that place doing what they were doing, that would not have happened. God is NOT mocked, as all the ungodly shall find out...

      As stated, how do you KNOW that was wrong and by who's standards is that judged?

      So far as Egypt is concerned, even the Egyptians could avoid the plague by applying the blood. There was no restriction. they were too hardheaded and did not wish to avoid the death of the firstborn which was warned...Could they not leave Egypt? They would have been spared. Could they not get and demand that Israel share the blood? No, they were too obstinate, like all GOd haters....

      By the way, noone in their right minds hold that a miscarriage, stillbirth etc, is a baby murder. David had sinned and the price to his sin was the death of his child. It wasn't blessed...But Solomon, He and Bathsheba's second son became King of Israel...

      So you analogies of baby killing simply doesn't stand examination.

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  9. How am I lying about god committing mass murder, condoning slavery or any other things I listed. I'm citing chapter and verse, it's right there.

    And I read your slavery commentary. It's nothing I haven't seen or read from any other apologist who attempts to whitewash the issue. The bottom line is this: People were being bought and sold as property with permission from god. God gave instructions on how hard to beat your slave. God set up rules in which slaves could be passed on as property to children, bought and sold. And not once did he condemn it.

    And the excuse that god "allowed" slavery because of sin is tired. He surely didn't allow blasphemy because of sin, in fact, he ordered you to be killed for it Leviticus 24:13
    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying Leviticus 24:14
    Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

    Yet, he let slavery slide. You know, because of sin and all.

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    1. You said: How am I lying about god committing mass murder, condoning slavery or any other things I listed. I'm citing chapter and verse, it's right there.

      Maybe in your "head' it's right there along with all of the other anti-God fantasies you espouse, but in REALITY its not there. In fact, one has to be such an IDIOT to persist in this type of argumentation...The modern Civil Rights movement and the preceeding Abolitionist movement were products of BIBLICAL interpretation about the freedom and equality of man and mankind across races...whereas Darwin, your hero, surmised that women were less than men because they had smaller brains, that Black people were an inferior people because they had dark skin and wrote a book called On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection Or The Preservation Of Favored Races In The Struggle For Life and you, a Black man of all things, fight for the garbage that he wrote which was the REASON that White folk felt justified in having slaves and continuing to look down upon non-White folk from the beginning. He just said and wrote what many of them, the White establishment, heard and believed....

      Whereas the abolitionists, and Civil Rights folk all risked their lives in JESUS name to set folk free... I WILL NOT allow idiots like you to rewrite history and change the scriptures to suit your cock-eyed schemes and materialistic fantasies proposed and passed off as science...Anything God preformed he did out of the goodness of his nature. There is NO GOOD inherent in nature as was your previous point...

      If there is a good in nature...where is it at???? Show me and the world please? All of nature is morally neutral...I WISH you could show me where it is since you believe in things having inherent goodness...You sound stupid...Listening to the fools ant DC too much-LOL!!!!

      By the way, most of the garbage you present here, reminds me of a guy named Harry McCall (who you are probably gleaning material from) and I ate Harry up too in debates ALL DAY LONG, along with his other psychotic friends over there....They are really not a threat at all. LOL!!!!!

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    2. By the way, I shined the light of truth on Darwin's garbage years ago: http://bethelburnett.blogspot.com/2009/10/unnaturally-selected-150-years-of.html

      Materialism, the ULTIMATE fantasy of life, pretending that things are they way they think they are-LOL!!!

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  10. You said "God considered these things ABOMONATIONS and SINS of the people. What was your statement that the bible God endorses it and condones it???

    Yes he condemned child murder and human sacrifice as long as you were sacrificing people to another god or killing children in the name of another god. As long as he was ordering it though, it was all good. And in case you continue to say I'm lying, I've cited chapter and verse above regarding both human sacrifice and child murder.

    Let me guess, I need your commentary on those verses, because I'm interpreting them all wrong. In those verses, it's really Satan committing the murders.....god is just "allowing" it.

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    1. So that is a little progress...you AGREE that the scripture NEVER hailed human sacrifice as a practice....If so PLEASE state where it did...Please name a scripture that God commands human sacrifice as you state.

      God reserves the right to do anything he wishes. So yes I will agree with that. But he does all things out of his nature of goodness. And yes, you do need my commentary on the verses you quote because you have them all wrong and contorted. Even the basic elements of them you jack up. You've done this repeatedly. So it is either because you are a fool, ignorant, or simply don;t care about the truth or representing things accurately.

      As I said, you tell US, how do you know any of the things you've outlined is wrong? Where is your moral authority and how is that contrived? THAT would be on the subject. Deal with moral ontology and how it is derived because scripture and its interpretation is obviously not your strong point.

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  11. Just what would it take for god to do for you to view him as less than all good?

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    1. How about any instance where God acted outside of his character of holiness...He is holy and as being that, is not delighted nor entertained with and by sin. If any of that is true and if he cannot lie as he said he cannot...then what could he do? Absolutely nothing if he acts in the boundaries that he outlines.

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  12. You said "The modern Civil Rights movement and the preceeding Abolitionist movement were products of BIBLICAL interpretation about the freedom and equality of man and mankind across races

    Yes and that same christianity was also espoused by anti-abolitionist as a justification for keeping slaves. And what does the Civil Rights Movement have to do with god's morality? I fail to see how the civil rights movement in any way excuses god's atrocities.

    You said "whereas Darwin, your hero"

    Wait a minute? When did I ever say Darwin was my hero???

    You said "and you, a Black man of all things, fight for the garbage that he wrote "

    Darwins personal views have nothing to do with the truth of the science. The science is true because it is shown to be supported by valid evidence and it passed the scientific method. The theory of evolution by natural selection is true regardless as to who said or what there personal views are. I could care less what Darwin's personal views were that says nothing about the science. By that logic is 2 plus 2 not four because a klansmember said it? It's 4 regardless as to who says it and despite their personal views or beliefs.

    You said "change the scriptures to suit your cock-eyed schemes and materialistic fantasies "

    How am I changing the scriptures? I'm citing chapter and verse directly from your inerrant bible. Maybe you should take some time to read it. I cited the chapter and verse specifically so you would know I'm not making things up. And what schemes and fantasies are you talking about?

    You said "Anything God preformed he did out of the goodness of his nature"

    Tell that to the 42 children he sent bears to kill. If that was his goodness and this god actually exists.....all I can say is his "goodness" looks exactly like his "evil". In fact, I and any other non-christian can't even tell the difference. How do you even tell the difference?

    You said "If there is a good in nature...where is it at"

    How are you defining good? Is it anything that god happens to feel like doing at the moment? No I cannot show you that in nature.

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  13. You said " I ate Harry up too in debates ALL DAY LONG"

    Never heard of him and I'm sure in your opinion you did. Just like in your opinion god killing 42 children with bears was good.

    You said "By the way, I shined the light of truth on Darwin's garbage years ago"

    And somehow the theory of evolution is still the best explanation for the diversity of life on the planet according to the consensus of science. And you still have no Nobel prize and are not published in ANY scientific journals. By the way, why are YOU getting off-topic? We weren't talking about evolution.

    You said ".you AGREE that the scripture NEVER hailed human sacrifice as a practice"

    No god never made a law commanding it, but he allowed it on at least 2 occasions. One when he sent a 3 year famine on Israel and only stopped it when Saul's descendants were "hung before the Lord" and the 2nd when he accepted Jepethahs daughter as a human sacrifice for helping him win in battle. I posted the chapter and verses in previous comments, just so you won't think im making this up.

    You said "God reserves the right to do anything he wishes"

    Might makes right. He makes up rules and enforces them with violence. It's the same way gangs run prisons or dictators run countries. They make whatever rules they feel like making based on whatever criteria they feel like at the time and expect everyone around them to abide by them. Failure to do so results in being beaten, stabbed, tortured or killed. Your god is no better morally than a prison gang or a dictator.

    You said "And yes, you do need my commentary on the verses you quote because you have them all wrong and contorted. "

    According to you I do, but thats just you saying so.

    You said " Where is your moral authority and how is that contrived?"

    Human decency, an understanding of what is intrinsically right or wrong and that it is right or wrong regardless of whether an authority figure, the christian god for instance, says it's right or wrong. I get my moral authority by determining what actions are harmful to others and to what degree. I don't need a god to tell me those things. If you need a god to tell you that wanton slaughter is wrong, I thank that god for those around you that you are a christian.

    You said "scripture and its interpretation is obviously not your strong point."

    And neither is anyone else, based on the literally thousands of different viewpoints on biblical scripture from important questions such as can you lose salvation or are you always saved, baptism in jesus name or in the name of the trinity, is Muhammad prophesied in biblical scripture, is jesus the son of god or not to little issues such as should women wear pants or not, should music be allowed in worship or not.
    Heck, what even version of the bible is the correct version, that's up in the air.

    The answers to those questions change depending on who you ask. There aren't any consensus regarding those issues, they vary depending on who you ask. Biblical interpretation obviously isn't anyone's strong point.

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  14. Now I'm not going to spend 50 posts per article just talking to you. That won't happen and if you need debate that bad you ought to write a book. I see you don;t know what the heck you're talking about though so please spare the world I suppose....You avoid the question with a bunch of logical fallacies in your argumentation and you display that you have no interest in dealing with the issues. So at some point I will cut you off...

    You said:How am I changing the scriptures? I'm citing chapter and verse directly from your inerrant bible. Maybe you should take some time to read it. I cited the chapter and verse specifically so you would know I'm not making things up. And what schemes and fantasies are you talking about?

    You have not delivered any scriptures (very few) in their context. You are using the scriptures as a pretext and isegeting thought and what you want them to say into them. That's the problem. You are scripturally illiterate. If you were raised in church, you certainly didn't pay attention too well. Then this type of stuff is common if you frequent these atheist websites who do nothing more than use scripture in such manner.

    You said: And somehow the theory of evolution is still the best explanation for the diversity of life on the planet according to the consensus of science. And you still have no Nobel prize and are not published in ANY scientific journals. By the way, why are YOU getting off-topic? We weren't talking about evolution.

    See that's what I mean...This is a classic diversionary tactic of atheists...like someone has to have an advanced science degree to understand what is written and interpret it ptoperly...You have nothing but your materialistic fantasy to make a judgement about faith. You are hardly in a position to criticize anything I say if we use the same premise as you require of me and any Christian in criticizing Darwin. See it has to work both ways. You are an radical "pretend" atheist as I suppose. I say "pretend" because an atheist "knows" that there is no God. You don't know, you just don't believe in the God of the bible and want to argue every point as if you know...What do you know?

    WHERE is your moral base? How do you KNOW that 42 children dying at the hands of a Bear under God's direction was wrong? What tells you this?

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  15. You said: Saul's descendants were "hung before the Lord" ...I posted the chapter and verses in previous comments, just so you won't think im making this up.

    Obviously you are 2 Sam 21: 1-6 Reads like this:

    1-Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2-And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3-Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? 4-And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5-And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6-Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

    I THOUGHT you said that God said to kill or ordained the killing these folk? Then I THOUGHT you said that God wanted them dead??? They were in famine and the reason for the famine was pronounced surely in v.1, but no where does God say kill anybody...So what are you talking about?

    This is interesting, you attempted to answer at least one of my questions. You said this of how you know morality: Human decency, an understanding of what is intrinsically right or wrong and that it is right or wrong regardless of whether an authority figure, the christian god for instance, says it's right or wrong.

    OK, before I unpack that, how do you determine what is "intrinsically" right and wrong? If there is no objective measure, then isn;t anything and everything you say arbitrary? Then what is human decency? Is it the Hitler "human decency" or the Stahlin "human decency"? Or is it the Pol Pot "human decency"? Like you said, define that FIRST....

    You said: I get my moral authority by determining what actions are harmful to others and to what degree. So YOU make the moral authority...What relationship to all humans does your "determinations" make? Are we to bow to your "determinations" or does every individual make their own "determinations"? Please tell me how this works, when 2 people, have two different "determinations"...This will further our conversation.

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  16. You said "You have not delivered any scriptures (very few) in their context. You are using the scriptures as a pretext and isegeting thought and what you want them to say into them. That's the problem. You are scripturally illiterate."

    According to you i'm "scripturally illiterate". And that's your opinion. I'm taking the words to mean as they are written on the page, like I would if they were written anywhere else. I don't need someone else's interpretation of what a straight forward statement means. Beat your slaves with a rod means beat your slaves with a rod, stop trying to pretend like straight forward statements mean something else when they don't agree with what you want to believe. I guarantee when the bible makes a straight forward statement about homosexuality, you take it as it is written on the page. You don't start with all that context mess to make THAT PASSAGE mean the opposite of what it says on the page. You're picking and choosing with the best of them.

    And before you can tell me I'm scripturally illeterate, maybe you christians need to get your own house in order first! Why don't you all come to a consensus on just what is the correct version of the Bible and then how to interpret it. Then you can tell me I'm interpreting it wrong. But as long as you can't agree on whether the Bible has 66 or 73 books, whether the Protestant Bible is the inerrant word of god or whether it's some other version, whether you're always saved or can you loose salvation, is the Pope infallible, should you pray to Mary and saints, is the bible literal or figurative right down to issues within the same denomination as to should sanctified christians go to movies and should sanctified christian women wear makeup and pants.

    Get those issues straight first and then tell me im "scripturally illiterate". You're just hurling insults now because I don't agree with your position.

    You said "See that's what I mean...This is a classic diversionary tactic of atheists...like someone has to have an advanced science degree to understand what is written and interpret it ptoperly...You have nothing but your materialistic fantasy to make a judgement about faith. "

    Ok, why should I take what you say about evolution, when the only reason you're denying it is because it conflicts with your faith? You have nothing to back up your position besides "The bible says it, that settles it". Your position is based on your personal belief system Science is based on evidence that can be shown and proven. That's why I take what science says over the preacher that's an armchair evolution denier. Because you would deny ANY and ALL positions that conflict with your faith, whether it's evolution or not.

    And if you have sufficient evidence like you say, that would over-turn evolution and show it to be wrong, why are you writing about it on a blog? Why are you not showing it to actual scientists who have the ways and means of evaluating it? That doesn't even make sense.

    You said "So YOU make the moral authority...What relationship to all humans does your "determinations" make?"

    I make my own morality based on intelligence and common sense. I don't need a god to tell me not to bash someone's head in simply because I feel like it at the time. Stop trying to say I have no basis for my morality, simply so you can justify your god's mass crimes that make Hitler look like an amateur. That's all you're trying to do. You're trying to make it so your god has to be right. Sorry, those of us who are not brainwashed by religion can see god as less than good for ordering slaughter for arbitrary things.

    If it takes a god to tell you not to kill people so you don't walk around just randomly doing it, then I thank that god you are a christian. But even if there is a god handing down morality, how do you get that it is the christian god?

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    1. You said: According to you i'm "scripturally illiterate". And that's your opinion. I'm taking the words to mean as they are written on the page, like I would if they were written anywhere else. I don't need someone else's interpretation of what a straight forward statement means. Beat your slaves with a rod means beat your slaves with a rod, stop trying to pretend like straight forward statements mean something else when they don't agree with what you want to believe.

      I'll be a little more nice, but this is what I mean FM, the scripture you call into account is Exodus 21:20-21: 20 -Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21- but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

      You say the scripture commands a slave-owner to beat their slaves with a rod and you don’t need anyone telling you otherwise. However, a cursory reading of the text displays that these were restrictions and guidelines for one who beats a slave, not a commendation or encouragement to do so. This is a classic example of why I say scripturally illiterate. To say that God encourages or condones the beating of slaves is a false assertion read into the scripture.
      The fact is that if slavery is endorsed by God, especially the type you consider (chattel slavery) then how do slaves have any rights at all? According to v.1 of the same chapter, a slave could go free after 7 years without paying a dime for his freedom. Where is that in and under the construct of chattel slavery?

      What you want God to say is, “thou shalt have no slaves”. I agree, like you, that would have been nice….BUT, the sin of man makes that nearly impossible. It is not impossible with sin to worship God, but one of the first relationships that breakdown with men is the relationship towards other men. Slavery is a product of sin. Like other sins that god knows will continue until such time as there is a remedy among men to sins power (eg: Jesus) God sets parameters those parameters not only set boundaries around the institution of slavery, they set restrictions upon the slave owner. Simply put, there was NO encouragement to beat a slave as you say. There were limitations and a punishment if one was beat incorrectly, improperly and unjustly.

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    2. So far as your diatribe on the diversity of interpretation found regarding the bible being ample reason to discard it, well if we were to be consistent in your proscribed methods, then we would have to discount and throw out about all of science now wouldn’t we? Scientific hypotheses, even those things we hold as scientific facts are always disputed and there is only “general” or “wide range” “consensus” on most and many subjects. Look at astrophysics, even big bang cosmology itself. There is not agreement on those principles and for as many that postulate a big bang there are nearly as many who continue to postulate some form of steady state aren’t there?

      In short, universal consensus is not and has never been how truth is either established nor confirmed. However, what we find within Christianity, as we have found since its dawn, there are essentials that unify and that are not in dispute. Sin is the problem between man and God. Jesus is God, he lived, was fully god and fully human, died for the remission of our sins, and was raised bodily and physically, and he will return to judge the quick and the dead. No matter how many books are in the bible, those things are not in dispute. No matter whether one takes a literal or figurative approach to biblical interpretation, these things are not in dispute and since early on, evidence shows that these were the beliefs that were commonly held among Christians everywhere. So your argument kind of falls on its own sword for these reasons and more


      You said: Ok, why should I take what you say about evolution, when the only reason you're denying it is because it conflicts with your faith? You have nothing to back up your position besides "The bible says it, that settles it".
      NO, you seem to misunderstand, evolution doesn’t conform to reality. No transitional forms, no species becoming completely different species and changes and mutations within species have been found to not enhance species, but to make the species worse. Everyone agrees with variations and adaptations, but what Darwin and evolution calls for is macro-evolutionary change. That is simply not supported by the evidence. God didn’t tell us that…more and more of your venerated scientists affirm those things. Some give in because of professional pressure to conform and nothing more . Do the research since you are a critic. Be critical even about what you are told regarding the ‘agreement” among scientists about evolution as I did. You will find what I am saying to be true.

      By the way, I only introduced evolution in response to your presentation on slavery. It was the interpretation of and ideas set forth by promulgators of Darwinian evolution that affirmed that certain races were favored and therefore the inferiority of blacks and women could be based on scientific means. Biblical standards were not so. As I stated slaves had rights and there is a more and more mounting evidence and proofs, that women in ANE times were much more affluent and had many more rights of both property ownership, mobility and resources than has been assumed historically

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  17. You said "How do you KNOW that 42 children dying at the hands of a Bear under God's direction was wrong"

    Come on, you're grasping at straws now. What sane and civilized person will agree that sending bears to tear to pieces 42 children, simply for doing what children do and name calling, is right? I can't even believe you're asking this question. I know it's wrong because it's barbaric. Even if they were middle-aged men in their 40's and 50's, what had they done to deserve to be ripped apart by bears???

    And the funny part is, is that you're being very hypocritical. Atrocities like this are ok, as long as they come from the god you believe in.

    But when Muslims fly planes into towers and kill innocent people by the thousands, you'll shake your head and point the finger at how bad Islam is and how bad Allah is. You know, because they have the "wrong" god, according to your belief, but if they had the right god, it would be totally ok.

    So, let me get this straight: It's ok for your god to send bears to rip apart 42 children, but it's wrong if Muslim's say their god tells them to fly airplanes into buildings and kill people?

    Under divine command theory, if you adhere to Islam and believe him to be the source of morality, flying planes into buildings as a suicide bomber is perfectly fine as long as you think Allah is commanding it.

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    1. You said: I make my own morality based on intelligence and common sense.

      So you are judge, jury, and executioner? A traveling court of one? Then how does that scope out when others have opinions contrary to yours? What is common sense and how is that attained? Does this mean that mentally impaired folk cannot have morality. It seems that if they can’t come to the place of “common sense” they can’t be moral, Please explain this and how are you sure your morality is right? I don’t have to tell you have no base for morality. However, why do you have a moral duty? Do you know why? Since evolution tells you that it is in your self interest to act selfishly and preserve yourself, then why do you not bash somebody’s head in that threatens that? I am unashamed to say that my moral epistemology is biblically centered. You haven’t demonstrated one modicum of evidence or direction as to where yours comes from. One day you could wake up and “common sense” could be something else to you the next day than how you feel about it today. That to me is scary. I can point to a lot of people who were crazy religiously and otherwise and did horrible things. But the word of God didn’t change and or endorse or encourage them to do those things. It was their version of “common sense” that caused the problem. There have been a lot of religious terrorists, I will agree. But there is an abundant amount of people who have killed because it was “common sense” to do so. Jeffrey Dahmer said as much…he recounted BEFORE he repented of his sins, that atheism opened the door to every type of self gratification that he could find because he understood that there was nothing on the other side of it. No accountability for anything so why should there be any restraints? Before he died, Dr. Paul Kurtz understood the same problem with Humanism and atheism. As it pertains to trashing religion he stated: “Most of my colleagues are concerned with critiquing the concept of God. That is important, but equally important is, where do you turn?”

      He even realized that when there is nothing on the other side, and people understand that what you believe means that there is ultimately no accountability for anything, it becomes a futile system of belief and this ultimately leads to a changing interpretation of “common sense” That’s why it is important. .The word of god is TRUTH and it shall stand. You know how I should act, because you can read what I should do. That's the only way you know any moral duty, whether you'd like to believe it or not. What comes up in your mind is insufficient to bind anyone to any standard…fact is that you claim to be worried because I may "think"god tells me something, but there is NOTHING supporting and or predicting your actions except your own mandates of your mind. THAT is dangerous and THAT is scary!.

      So it is clear that you understand that there are moral duties, the problem is that you can’t tell me why and a greater problem is that your morality is rooted in the subjectivism of your own mind. As stated, by contrast, my morality is objective, has a sure foundation (whether I adhere to it or not is my choice) is not changing and is not subjective in its nature. It seems those elements are all of the things that are needed for any society and people to be stable and have sustainable growth and achievements.

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  18. IAnd why is it that it only ever seems to be the ugly bits of the bible that are ever taken out of context? Why don't we ever hear christians complaining of John 3:16 being taken out of context?

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  19. So far as the 2 female Bears that killed 42 children out of group of probably more than hundreds or so, by the direction of God, what I ask you, is how do you know that it is wrong? Both of us know that killing unjustly is wrong all day. God commands us against killing and that is upon the innocent. So the moral value exists clearly. 42 children and more accurately teenagers or young men, dying innocently, against no instructions would be a problem. However, as I said they were neither “children” in the sense that the critic intends nor were they innocent as they understood to observe and obey the holiness of God and not to mock his prophet. What they were bullies moving by group think. What they were mocking is the better question. I believe they were mocking the fact that this prophet no longer had a head.
    The scriptural key, if one interprets the actions of God at all, is that Elijah had been taken, and now Elisha was alone. He was the anointed man of God. The kids were mocking God and his relationship to God. They were mocking the anointing of God, all of which they were familiar with since they could speak. So what should be God’s lesson in this? Should God say don’t do something and when one “does” nothing should happen? Should God allow the criticism of his anointed without cause when the criticism is actually levied at he himself? If he was "fake" all things are lawful and good. But he isn't fake. He is a real God.

    When we see something like this, a proper interpretation of it is not only the words, but the CONTEXT of the words and the sitz em laben. You decontextualize the event like most critics do or create your own 21st century Western context to evoke emotion. That is disingenuous. Maybe it is because of spiritual blindness, maybe it is because your analytical skills aren’t as sharp as supposed…I don’t know but to interpret this as God just indiscriminately killing kids over "little instances" where men act imperfect, is both inaccurate, misrepresentative of the scripture and totally out of context. So please move on, this is answered more than adequately and though you try, you still haven;t proved that God kills babies or children.


    CARM address this adequately as well: http://carm.org/why-did-god-kill-42-lads-merely-saying-elisha-

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  20. Done a quite adequate job with the meta-ethical foundation of morality in which we hear Jeffrey Dahmer reject atheism in his own words. God rest his soul and the soul of those his victims. Subjective moral values and moral values based on one's "common sense" are not binding upon anyone. That's simply the truth.

    http://bethelburnett.blogspot.com/2013/04/moral-duty-jeffrey-dahmerif-there-is-no.html

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  21. Maybe you should familiarize yourself with evolutionary biology. It explains a wide range of things about human behavior, including the development of morals among humans and how they were developed to maximize our survival as a group.

    Obviously we are going to continue to disagree because I don't think what is moral or not comes from an authority figure. There are arguments on both sides for murder being wrong, whether you want to say it's because a god commands it or not. However, in some things, like my earlier example of strip clubs, you can only justify going to 1 of these places as being wrong because an authority figure said so. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with going to one. Wrong things can happen at them, but then wrong things can happen anywhere.

    Also, divine command theory is very subjective, because it all depends on the god you believe in. Under this theory, the 9/11 terrorists did nothing wrong by flying airplanes into a building. I know you think it was, but that's only because you think they have the wrong god. But that's just a matter of faith, because it's no way you can objectively demonstrate you have the right god as opposed to any one else. Andrea Yates killed her children, which she says the christian god told told her to do. Obviously you disagree with that, because your idea of god doesn't not allow him to tell anyone that. Again, that's only faith and what you happen to believe about god's nature. You could be wrong. And you have no way of showing that god wasn't actually talking to her.But if the christian god was indeed talking to her, then by your own beliefs, you are forced to admit that she was right for killing her kids.

    I on the other hand, can say she was wrong, regardless if a god told her to do it or not. You can't.

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    1. Maybe I AM familiar with evolutionary biology enough to know that abiogenesis is impossible under a purely materialistic paradigm, as biological life doesn't come from nonlife and further that immaterial realities such as morals just doesn't come from slime. As I said, show me a moral or immoral tree or rock. Then, maybe we have something. Until then all we have is a materialistic fantasy and myth that doesn't even get out of the gate.

      And yes we will disagree because as we have seen, there is a growing amount of evidence that moral epistemology and basic moral ontology does not arrive out of some preservation for the group or species as materialists claim. We are not a "blank slate" as studies have shown and continue to show. http://bethelburnett.blogspot.com/2014/02/babies-moralitywhat-are-real.html

      So far as your strip club analogy, that is what we are saying. Under a purely materialistic view there is nothing wrong with ANY action. All actions are subjectively equal, if not of the same result. Socrates held that people who "know" will do good or the best thing. Under this sort of view, a married man going to a strip club can be seen as ethical or good and the same sort of good as a man who is faithful to his wife and avoids the strip club. That is confusion!

      So having a moral law giver is not a negative, since I can present a case with some degree of certainly that morality cannot be developed from material substance and further that in reality, it is plain to see that all actions are not equal whether that is in function or result.

      Now, you can talk about what what people "believe" God tells them all day. But the record speaks for itself. We see no christian conspiracy to commit murder or mass murder and just about every atrocity that occurs such as you mention is universally condemned as not being representative of Christianity, whether in practice or belief. So the case is trumped up severely...What we NEED to look at is folk and even countries who made atheism their mission and view the results. need we say Stahlin? In over 10 to 60 million deaths at the hand of ONE? Need we say Pol Pot? In over a third over 2 million, of Cambodia gone? How about Napoleon, who was an atheist? over 6 Million dead?

      Why and how did these people not only arise but gain stronghold over all people to commit these atrocities? In their "minds" they had the right. They rejected the moral law giver. This was the sad result.

      Religious folk, and Christians in particular may act immoral, but that immorality is IN SPITE OF what Christianity teachers. Materialists may act immorality, but their immoral acts are not condemned by atheistic premises. They are simply equal actions. There is no clear and compelling WHY? of atheistic morality also. Survival of the species is an insufficient answer, because the whole of materialistic philosophies are about self and self interest. As long as I survive who cares about anything and any one else. That is materialism carried out to it's N'th degree.

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  22. You said"is both inaccurate, misrepresentative of the scripture and totally out of context. So please move on, this is answered more than adequately and though you try, you still haven;t proved that God kills babies or children.

    Yes I have, because that's what the text says in a straight-forward manner. Any "interpretation" is just trying to whitewash it. The strange thing is, I only hear christians say that violent passages like these are always taken out of context. These are the only verses that do not mean what they say on the page, in black and white. The "good" verses like John 3:16, Psalm 23, Phillipians 4:13 and others are NEVER, EVER said to be taken out of context when interpreted as they are written on the page. And if anyone try's to point out that one of those verses means something different, you're going to point out whats clearly written on the page.

    Furthermore, as I said earlier, interpretation of scripture is extremely subjective. That's proven by the many thousands of opinions about what the bible "really" says. On top of that, christians among themselves can't seem to agree on which bible is the correct bible and which books are the word of god. A billion catholic christians think the bible has 73 books which are the word of god. Certain books that are held as inspired today were not held as inspired by early christians. Even today christians can't agree if one is always saved or can they lose salvation, do you pray to Mary and saints, down to little issues like smoking cigarettes or wearing makeup.

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    1. So far as the universal agreement argument, I have sufficiently dealt with that issue and you have not refuted it. But I will restate:

      "In short, universal consensus is not and has never been how truth is either established nor confirmed. However, what we find within Christianity, as we have found since its dawn, there are essentials that unify and that are not in dispute. Sin is the problem between man and God. Jesus is God, he lived, was fully god and fully human, died for the remission of our sins, and was raised bodily and physically, and he will return to judge the quick and the dead. No matter how many books are in the bible, those things are not in dispute. No matter whether one takes a literal or figurative approach to biblical interpretation, these things are not in dispute and since early on, evidence shows that these were the beliefs that were commonly held among Christians everywhere. So your argument kind of falls on its own sword for these reasons and more"

      What we believe about which books are inspired has nothing to do with Orthodoxy either. Orthodoxy and orthopraxy are two different issues. Critics often treat them as the same thing. But they are not.

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  23. You said "What we believe about which books are inspired has nothing to do with Orthodoxy either. Orthodoxy and orthopraxy are two different issues. Critics often treat them as the same thing. But they are not."

    That's beside the point. My point is that on many questions, whether important or trivial, there is no consensus on how to interpret the Bible. For instance, I'm familiar with COGIC and I know that 50 years ago, there was no way no how, that a COGIC woman would be wearing pants or makeup. COGIC saints, whether male or female, didn't go to movies. This was justified by certain passages in the Bible.

    Now, 50 years later, in the same denomination, reading the same Bible, the prohibition on women wearing pants and makeup has been relaxed. You can go to the St. Louis meeting and see Bishops wives and supervisors walking around wearing make-up, something that would've never been allowed 50 years ago, much less among Bishops wives or supervisors. The rationale on lifting the prohibition against pants, makeup, and movies are based on the same Bible that was used in 1964 to say the opposite. These are trivial issues that can't even be agreed upon by a single denomination.

    My point was that interpretation of the Bible is very subjective, depending on who you ask or even when you ask.

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    1. You said: For instance, I'm familiar with COGIC and I know that 50 years ago, there was no way no how, that a COGIC woman would be wearing pants or makeup. COGIC saints, whether male or female, didn't go to movies. This was justified by certain passages in the Bible.

      That's what I said. That is a situation of orthopraxy, not orthodoxy. Pants weren't worn in biblical times, and there were no "movies" to attend either. At the time that COGIC was formed both issues were issues of particular importance (not that personal appearance, or places that one goes is unimportant now), but neither of those things have anything to do with the primary belief of Christianity. Paul taught "liberty" in many things in serving Christ. I will agree that people are used to a fundamentalist way and approach to studying, but that has nothing to do with what unifies and makes us Christian. We are not lost to confusion on those things.

      In general, I will agree with you that folk have laxed their practice and the only way we know how they interpret things is how they live that out. I think what you are saying is a profound observation. It's like, "what do you really believe then, if you live like this"? Then "why did you change IF the first way you believed is true?"...So you'll get no fight from me there. All I know is that some of these folk have backslid and become weak in the faith.

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    2. I also think that subjectivism speaks more to the nature of sin in the hearts of men and women rather than changing interpretation. Most of these folk don't claim to interpret it any differently. They simply live it out differently. It;s almsot like changing words...words and their impact change over time. Men change, but God doesn't. Along with changing men comes our change in our perspective of GOd. Jude knew this. That's why he said to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered". So that is an important thing to do. It is there and can be found, but that is the nature of sin and weakness.

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