Talk to the Rand

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Sat, 2007-12-15 02:26

The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world.

One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment.

But to pronounce moral judgment is an enormous responsibility. To be a judge, one must possess an unimpeachable character; one need not be omniscient or infallible, and it is not an issue of errors of knowledge; one needs an unbreached integrity, that is, the absence of any indulgence in conscious, willful evil. Just as a judge in a court of law may err, when the evidence is inconclusive, but may not evade the evidence available, nor accept bribes, nor allow any personal feeling, emotion, desire or fear to obstruct his mind's judgment of the facts of reality—so every rational person must maintain an equally strict and solemn integrity in the courtroom within his own mind, where the responsibility is more awesome than in a public tribunal, because he, the judge, is the only one to know when he has been impeached.

[The virtue of Rationality] means one's acceptance of the responsibility of forming one's own judgments and of living by the work of one's own mind (which is the virtue of Independence). It means that one must never sacrifice one's convictions to the opinions or wishes of others (which is the virtue of Integrity)—that one must never attempt to fake reality in any manner (which is the virtue of Honesty)...

A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest—but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon


( categories: )

That's right, Sharon...

Jameson's picture

God's wrath hath no bounds... unless you're a genocidal scumbag like Goering.

The largest sex organ in the human body, Mr and Mrs Magic Metaphysics, is the brain; the question is, how does Dick get aroused by someone with half of one...?

Rosie: "Judge not that ye be not judged!... I do not and could not possibly judge God's judgement."

Richard: "The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world."

... must be those big boobs.

Good God!

sharon's picture

Rosie: "...my argument is that in the OT there is not one occasion where God wipes out groups of non-believers who are righteous..."

God Kills Sons of Sinners:

Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

God kills Children:

The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

God demands: Kill Men, Women, and Children

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

God Kills all the First Born of Egypt:

"And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died." (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

Mr Holmes

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There are a number of statements Richard has made that I would like to challenge. But, of course, challenging him on this site would be "a familiar pattern of cult behavior." Further, I would become one of the drones in the insect colony rushing to the defense of "Queen Randroid Linz."

I hope no one here would hold back for fear of such an outcome, however probable it is. Goode's sliminess is on display for all to see and is only compounded by his knee-jerk quoting of someone-or-other about cultism in lieu of answers to questions or arguments. His mischaracterisations of SOLO are yet another substitute for argument, and no one is likely to lend an ounce of credence to them.

Glenn

Richard Goode's picture

Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life.

Should I add the above to the list of really, really dumb things Ayn Rand said? Or are you going to defend your heroine?

What is the philosophy of life of a man who has the hots for Jesus?

Glenn

Rosie's picture

He is not talking about me! He is mocking the absurdity of Rand's statement! Purlease!

But do tell us what you find sexually attractive and what this tells us of your entire philosophy of life.
I.e., You test the statement of Rand's. It sounds absurd on the face of it.
Or do you define "sexually attractive" with a broad and liberal interpretation to include the mind?

Richard

Jameson's picture

"Tell me what a "big boobs" philosophy of life entails."

So Rosie has two things you find attractive. It's a pity one of them isn't her mind.

Glenn

Richard Goode's picture

Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life.

Tell me what a "big boobs" philosophy of life entails.

Redemption

Richard Goode's picture

There are a number of statements Richard has made that I would like to challenge.

Well, go on then.

But, of course, challenging him on this site would be "a familiar pattern of cult behavior."

That depends. Will your challenging me consist in "honestly and intelligently debating with critics, using facts and logic," or will it be a "resort to low personal attacks on the critic, using name-calling, slander, condescending put-downs, libelous accusations, personal slurs, accusations of bad motives, and casting aspersions on the critic's intelligence and sanity"?

You've already accused me of bad faith.

Redeem yourself.

Robert

Rosie's picture

Thank you for your post, Robert. Yours are questions I examined during the two years I studied the Bible on returning from London to nurse my dying father. (He was expected only to live a few weeks max and I was expected to return to my job but as it turned out he got better on my return....and that is another story...) We also wrote a history of the world from every discipline. It was a very special and important time for me.

There are a few questions in your post to address. I will answer the first one first, Who created God? and, will try to find the time to answer the others. Because some people prefer a short answer and others a more detailed answer, I will provide the conclusion first and then the more detailed analysis for those who like to examine the rationale - as I did, and still do, with regard to any important and potentially life-changing assertions.

Who created God?
Conclusion
God has no need to have been created, since He exists either outside time (where cause and effect do not operate) or within multiple dimensions of time (such that there is no beginning of God's plane of time). Hence God is eternal, having never been created. Although it is possible that the universe itself is eternal, eliminating the need for its creation, observational evidence contradicts this hypothesis, since the universe began to exist a finite ~13.7 billion years ago. The only possible escape for the atheist is the invention of a kind of super universe, which can never be confirmed experimentally.

More Detailed Analysis to Support the Conclusion
Christianity answers the question of who created God in the very first verse of the very first book, Genesis:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)

This verse tells us that God was acting before time when He created the universe. Many other verses from the New Testament tells us that God was acting before time began, and so, He created time, along with the other dimensions of our universe:

* No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. (1 Corinthians 2:7)
* This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9)
* The hope of eternal life, which God... promised before the beginning of time (Titus 1:2)
* To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:25)

The idea that God created time, along with the physical universe, is not just some wacky modern Christian interpretation of the Bible. Justin Martyr, a second century Christian apologist, in his Hortatory Address to the Greeks, said that Plato got the idea that time was created along with the universe from Moses:

"And from what source did Plato draw the information that time was created along with the heavens? For he wrote thus: “Time, accordingly, was created along with the heavens; in order that, coming into being together, they might also be together dissolved, if ever their dissolution should take place.” Had he not learned this from the divine history of Moses?" (Justin Martyr. Hortatory Address to the Greeks, Chapter 33. Quoted from Plato's Timaeus Part 1.)

God exists in timeless eternity
How does God acting before time began get around the problem of God's creation? There are two possible interpretations of these verses. One is that God exists outside of time. Since we live in a universe of cause and effect, we naturally assume that this is the only way in which any kind of existence can function. However, the premise is false. Without the dimension of time, there is no cause and effect, and all things that could exist in such a realm would have no need of being caused, but would have always existed. Therefore, God has no need of being created, but, in fact, created the time dimension of our universe specifically for a reason - so that cause and effect would exist for us. However, since God created time, cause and effect would never apply to His existence.

God exists in multiple dimension of time
The second interpretation is that God exists in more than one dimension of time. Things that exist in one dimension of time are restricted to time's arrow and are confined to cause and effect. However, two dimensions of time form a plane of time, which has no beginning and no end and is not restricted to any single direction. A being that exists in at least two dimension of time can travel anywhere in time and yet never had a beginning, since a plane of time has no starting point. Either interpretation leads one to the conclusion that God has no need of having been created.

Why can't the universe be eternal?
The idea that God can be eternal leads us to the idea that maybe the universe is eternal, and, therefore, God doesn't need to exist at all. Actually, this was the prevalent belief of atheists before the observational data of the 20th century strongly refuted the idea that the universe was eternal. This fact presented a big dilemma for atheists, since a non-eternal universe implied that it must have been caused. Maybe Genesis 1:1 was correct! Not to be dismayed by the facts, atheists have invented some metaphysical "science" that attempt to explain away the existence of God. Hence, most atheistic cosmologists believe that we see only the visible part of a much larger "multiverse" that randomly spews out universes with different physical parameters.
"Uncomfortable with the idea that physical parameters like lambda [cosmological constant] are simply lucky accidents, some cosmologists, including Hawking, have suggested that there have been an infinite number of big bangs going off in a larger 'multiverse,' each with different values for these parameters. Only those values that are compatible with life could be observed by beings such as ourselves." Glanz, J. 1999. AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY MEETING: Hawking Blesses the Accelerating Universe. Science 284: 34-35.
Since there is no evidence supporting this idea (nor can there be, according to the laws of the universe), it is really just a substitute "god" for atheists. And, since this "god" is non-intelligent by definition, it requires a complex hypothesis, which would be ruled out if we use Occam's razor, which states that one should use the simplest logical explanation for any phenomenon. Purposeful intelligent design of the universe makes much more sense, especially based upon what we know about the design of the universe. (Einstein also supported this view as a result of his awed discoveries about the intelligent design of the universe but although he believed in a God creator he did not believe in the personal God of Christianity.)

What does science say about time?
When Stephen Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose extended the equations for general relativity to include space and time, the results showed that time has a beginning - at the moment of creation (i.e., the Big Bang). ("The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago." Stephen Hawking The Beginning of Time.) In fact, if you examine university websites, you will find that many professors make such a claim - that the universe had a beginning and that this beginning marked the beginning of time.
(Penrose, R. 1966. An analysis of the structure of space-time. Adams Prize Essay, Cambridge University.
Hawking, S.W. 1966. Singularities and the Geometry of space-time. Adams Prize Essay, Cambridge University.
Hawking, S.W. and G.F.R. Ellis. 1968. The cosmic black-body radiation and the existence of singularities in our universe. Astrophysical Journal 152: 25-36.
Hawking, S.W. and R. Penrose. 1970. The singularities of gravitational collapse and cosmology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: 529-548.
Such assertions support the Bible's claim that time began at the creation of the universe.

"I do not and could not possibly judge God's judgement."

Robert's picture

Then you are refusing to use the brain (that you believe God gave you as a gift) to its full potential. You are, by your own doctrine, snubbing God. Your brain really can to more than just hold your ears apart you know.

Possibly the greatest (IMHO) one sentence rebuttal of the existence for god was offered by Pierre-Simon Laplace: 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.' (I had no need of that hypothesis.) It was in reply to a question from Napoleon Bonaparte, who asked "M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator." [Paraphrased from: A Short Account of the History of Mathematics by W. W. Rouse Ball (4th Edition, 1908).]

In essence, Laplace is observing that the concept of God complicates -- rather than simplifies -- the Universe.

And he is quite right. Even priests admit this when they shrug their shoulders and opine "God works in mysterious ways!" [Really? Is that piss-weak explanation enough to satisfy your curiosity? Seriously!?!?] Christians state that God created the universe, but have no answer to the next question: Whom created God? Contemporary Christians go to great lengths to attempt to prove that evolution is a myth because this observation of fact conflicts with the stories in the Book of Genesis. I hasten to add that this is a huge improvement over their forebears who would settle an argument by burning their opponent at the stake. But why do these more enlightened Christians bother with such ridiculous contortions?

I mean, who related the events in the Book of Genesis (to name one of the many stories in the Bible)? It isn't as if Adam, Eve and the Snake had a stenographer in the garden of Eden!

Surely it would be easier for everybody if you made the assumption that the tale is a clear cut case of hear-say, dismissed it and repaired to the observation of reality in your search for God? Why else would an intelligent designer give you senses and a brain to make sense out of what you see, feel, taste, touch and smell? If God exists or existed, you should be able to detect him in nature sans faith and all the other faith-based baggage (Priests, popes, holy stories, holy wars, Inquisitions etc. etc. ad nauseam).

You are obviously devout, so would it not count for more in your God's eyes if you sought him out through actual observation of nature? If you anchored your belief in him with solid tangible evidence (obtained with the tools he has given you) as opposed to the dicta and dogma of the Bible or the Church or a Priest? Why should you accept these statements -- by strangers -- untested?

But therein lies the rub: Goode's law (using the brain to properly understand reality) would be violated if you behaved in such a way!

Applied philosophy, Jameson style

Ptgymatic's picture

Apt.

Intellectual Honesty

Curt Holmes's picture

There are a number of statements Richard has made that I would like to challenge. But, of course, challenging him on this site would be "a familiar pattern of cult behavior." Further, I would become one of the drones in the insect colony rushing to the defense of "Queen Randroid Linz."

All this would happen even though I have only been a member for a few weeks.

This is what passes for intellectual honesty.

Honesty

Richard Goode's picture

This thread is about the virtue of intellectual honesty. As Rand says, "you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort [of the quest for truth]," (intellectual dishonesty) but "there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking" (intellectual honesty).

It comes as a surprise to me that I've been accused (ironically, on this very thread) of dishonesty - by Linz, Robert, Kasper, Sharon and Greg. Greg even refers to my alleged dishonesty as "trademark"! But I am not dishonest. It is my accusers who are dishonest in calling me dishonest. It's all part of a familiar pattern of cult behaviour - "Rather than honestly and intelligently debating with critics, using facts and logic, the cult will resort to low personal attacks on the critic, using name-calling, slander, condescending put-downs, libelous accusations, personal slurs, accusations of bad motives, and casting aspersions on the critic's intelligence and sanity."

Two of my accusers try, at least, to make a case for calling me dishonest. Robert's case, however, is based on a wilful and near complete misunderstanding of my position. Kasper has this to say.

We had a long discussion on ethics. The objectivist put up a very strong case for the objectivity of ethics and debunked many of Goode's syllogisms. Over 200 posts and Goode never put up the crux of his case for Skepticism. Indeed the discussion remains incomplete. But that is from Goode's end not the objectivists. Why the abuse? To not address an error that has been brought to one's attention and to continue that error is a mark of dishonesty. It is also very taxing when a great deal of effort and time are spent on someone that masquarades as being commited to reason then turns out to not being interested in reason afterall, they would prefer to hold onto their beiefs/premises no matter what. It sparks resentment as the experience for me and probably many others was one of being cheated.

Let's take a closer look.

The objectivist put up a very strong case for the objectivity of ethics...

Objectivist ethics is premised on a fundamental error, the error of identifying morality with rational self-interest. Morality and rational self-interest are not the same thing. Indeed, it's a commonplace that the requirements of morality and the requirements of self-interest often conflict. Eating is an objective requirement for those who want to live. Not eating is an objective requirement of a successful hunger strike. But that these are means to chosen ends tells us nothing about the objectivity of ethics.

... and debunked many of Goode's syllogisms.

My syllogisms haven't been debunked. In fact, my accusers won't go near my syllogisms. They can't even bring themselves to answer this simple question: When A says, "Freedom is good," and B says, "Freedom isn't good", do A and B disagree?

Over 200 posts and Goode never put up the crux of his case for Skepticism.

I put up the crux of my case for skepticism in my first post on SOLO. "Even those of us who fancy ourselves rationalists and scientists," says Edward Slingerland, "rely on moral values - a set of distinctly unscientific beliefs."

To not address an error that has been brought to one's attention and to continue that error is a mark of dishonesty.

You brought an error to my attention? One that I haven't addressed? I don't think so.

It is also very taxing when a great deal of effort and time are spent on someone that masquarades as being commited to reason then turns out to not being interested in reason afterall, they would prefer to hold onto their beiefs/premises no matter what.

Objectivists are the ones who masquerade as being committed to reason - man's "only absolute" - when the truth is they would rather shirk the responsibility of thinking - indeed, shirk moral responsibility altogether - by clinging to a patently unreasonable philosophy.

My case for moral skepticism is that the existence of objective moral values is supported neither by sound argument nor material evidence. With no good reason to believe in the existence of objective moral values, should one conclude that morality is a myth? No, because

One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment... The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world.

In the absence of good reason to believe in the existence of objective moral values, one must believe anyway - as a matter of faith. (Faith is belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.)

Not so irrelevant, Kas

Jameson's picture

"Tell me what a man finds a sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life." ~ Rand Smiling

Good point Sharia

gregster's picture

That old chestnut.

"You can be certain of nothing!" said by simpletons.

Screw the opinion on his girl friend.

Kasper's picture

Where is your case for skepticism Richard?

Ah, he's back

Jameson's picture

Richard, what say ye of your girlfriend's magic metaphysics and unearthly epistemology?

Richard

sharon's picture

"To insist on absolute certainty before starting to apply ethics to life decisions is a way of choosing to be amoral."

Amoral, eh? Of this, I take it, you are absolutely certain?

Quote of the Day

Richard Goode's picture

Whether gods exist or not, there is no way to get absolute certainty about ethics. Without absolute certainty, what do we do? We do the best we can. Injustice is happening now; suffering is happening now. We have choices to make now. To insist on absolute certainty before starting to apply ethics to life decisions is a way of choosing to be amoral.

Richard Stallman, Thus Spake Stallman

Rosie: "Only in the OT does

sharon's picture

Rosie: "Only in the OT does God destroy the non-believers."

Me: And your argument is?

Rosie: "Well, my argument is that in the OT there is not one occasion where God wipes out groups of non-believers who are righteous..."

This is where I stopped reading. This ugly burlesque bizarre-o statement alone shows me the uncritical, obtuse swallowing of this monstrous evil—this man-made religion--went down the hatchet without much intellectual chewing. And then the quoting of chapter and verse from the Bible, this caricature-like practice of the garden variety bible thumper is just too much for me to take.

And where is the bad Dr No Goode?

Jameson's picture

Hiding under a burning bush somewhere in his philosophical desert?

Correct, Leonid

Ross Elliot's picture

""In truth, Objectivist ethics is essentially subjective, since it is grounded in your choice of life as your standard of value."

The stupidity of that comment is astounding.

Life is not optional.

Richard

Leonid's picture

"In truth, Objectivist ethics is essentially subjective, since it is grounded in your choice of life as your standard of value."
No, you've got it other way around. In Objectivist ethics life is the source of all choices. "There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence—and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms." (Galt’s Speech). And this is objective fact of reality. To make any choice one first has to be alive.

I refuse to plow your pauseless parroting, Purchas!

Jameson's picture

What part of "succinctly and in your own words" don't you get?!!!!! Honestly, Christianity has turned your comprehension to mush!!

Glenn

Rosie's picture

I do not think there is anything funny about genocide. But I took your response to be a kind of "joke" confusing God's justice with man's justice and coming up with a witty ribald comment.

In the case of Goering vs God, can you - succinctly and in your own words - tell us:
1) the clause in God's moral code that lets this evil scumbag off the hook.
2) if you, in your humble human opinion, think this is justice served.

OK.
1. Several passages come to my mind in answering this question but let me say from the outset that I am not a theologian who has spent her life studying the scriptures so that I know them inside out and am completely versed and can speak on behalf of God. I can only answer to the best of my ability from my own knowledge and understanding. This is why it is always important that Christians are required to have knowledge and the Bible asks this of us. It does not ask that we have blind faith as someone has commented. (I will save this learning for a separate post however.) The facts you present are probably insufficient to know for sure what God's Judgement would be and the Bible does not go in to great length about how God judges - He tells us what He required of us in our relationship with Him and with others and the consequences of our choices but does not delve into the creation or the end days in any way more than we need to know - but this is what I think might be the case for Goering, if he had asked God for forgiveness and genuinely repented of his sins prior to his death, for what it is worth.

The scripture that came to mind when I read your questions were (a) of the sinner who was being crucified at the same time as Jesus and who believed and repented at the eleventh hour and was saved (Luke 23:40-43), (b) the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and (c) the third of the three banquet parables. (Luke 14:15-24).

I also thought of the city of Nineveh whose people, when warned of what would become of them if they did not change their evil ways, repented, changed and were saved.

(a) The criminal on the cross
As you are no doubt aware, in the time of Jesus, crucifixion was reserved for the worst offenders. It was the most excruciatingly painful, slow and humiliating (because of its public nature) of all punishments. From this we can presume that the men being crucified beside Jesus were very bad. I believe crucifixion was considered too bad a punishment for citizens and was confined to slaves only and that the crimes were usually against the state i.e., treason. One of the criminals mocked Jesus but the other acknowledged that his own punishment was deserved because of his sins (i.e., he showed repentance/remorse) and asked that he be remembered. Jesus promised him that today he would be in paradise. (Luke 23:40-43) The implication here is that not only did he receive mercy but also that he would not have to wait to the end days to receive it.

Subject to the qualification I make at the end, I would say that if Goering had been genuinely remorseful, then he too may well have been shown the same mercy. This would seem to me in keeping with God's mercy. It does not in any way condone those sins, however.

(b) The Prodigal Son
The facts, briefly, are that a father has 2 sons; the first son works on the farm and the second son asks for his inheritance early, sets off and squanders it. When he is on his last legs, so to speak, he decides to return to his father. The father sees him coming in the distance and rushes off to greet him. The son repents of his wrongdoing and asks whether his father will take him back. The father not only takes him back but kills a fatted calf and has a celebration at his return. The first son is not pleased by this and queries the father's decision.

That the father was able to see the younger son when he was still a long way off means that the father was watching for his son, waiting for him, longing for him. The father runs to him, embraces him, loves him and gives him gifts; he seems totally oblivious to the fact that his son has disrespected him, acted outrageously, and lost everything. The father lavishes upon him, celebrates over him. This is a wonderful picture of the great love of God towards us. He seeks after us, reaches out to us. When we come to Him, He washes away all our evil deeds of the past, not holding them against us. “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

This type of love would again support Goering's entry into heaven. But let's look at the older son's position within the parable.

The parable also shows the attitude of the self-righteous sinner, pictured by the older son. He quarreled with his father that the younger son had messed up and yet the father had prepared for him the “fatted calf.” Because he considered himself better than the younger son, he could not share in the father’s joy. “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” The older son’s hardness of heart made him unaware of the riches available to him in his father’s house. This son complained that he had “slaved all these years.” He had no more love for the father than the younger son; nor did he avail himself of all the good things the father freely provided for him at all times. Both sin and self-righteousness separate us from God. We all of us require God’s grace, His unearned, unmerited love for us. The father went out to the disgruntled older son also. God is He who always continues to seek after us, regardless of the state we are in.

(c) The third banquet parable, known as The Slighted Invitation (verses 15-24), explains why this mercy might be shown by God.
(This parable is very like the parable about the Marriage of the King's Son (Mtt 22:1-14).) Jesus describes a man who invites many to a big dinner, but they all make excuses as to why they don't want to come. So he withdraws the invitation and instead invites the poor, crippled, blind, and lame from off the streets. He keeps doing this until his house is filled with guests.

More broadly speaking, this parable shows that God doesn't like to be snubbed when he issues his kind invitation. It makes him angry. He is determined, however, to fill his house with guests, and He will. To be among the guests, we need to rid ourselves of our pride and self importance, for God seeks the humble to dine with him.

Should Goering have shown humility, in stating he was wrong and asking forgiveness of God, God's love is such that he forgives and seeks the relationship of the person. He wants us to join the banquet. The invitation remains open right up to the point of death.

Qualification
We are told that on Judgement Day, all our circumstances are considered. Whether Goering would be granted eternal life is something I cannot know for sure. On the facts you present, that at the 11th hour he repents and asks for God's mercy, on the analogy of the criminal on the cross and the Prodigal Son it may seem that there would certainly be likely but it would perhaps depend on all the other facts of his life and any earlier opportunities presented to him to follow Christ and his thoughts at that time. On balance, I would say that he would be allowed to join the feast. Only God knows exactly how Judgement Day works for these sorts of cases but be sure that He knows the heart and mind of the person and will get it right.

2. I do not and could not possibly judge God's judgement. You would be asking me to become the first son in the parable of the Prodigal Son in so doing (which is why I included that part of it). I do not even know whether what I think He would do is what He would do. And if I am correct you are asking a tiny speck in the universe to judge the creator of it all?! I only know that the earth and our life on it is temporary and will one day end and that eternal life is the result of those who love God and their fellow man and live to receive His mercy at death since we are all sinners.

Haha, yes!

Ross Elliot's picture

God: the ultimate big government program.

Evil

Oh Rosie!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

How can you believe such rubbish? Your God is not only a monster, he's cosmically incompetent. Making it up as he goes along, changing his mind, wiping folk out, starting over. It's almost as though he didn't know what was going to happen. But he's God, isn't he?

Another stinking, stupid superstition, I'm afraid.

Sharon

Rosie's picture

"Only in the OT does God destroy the non-believers."

And your argument is?

Well, my argument is that in the OT there is not one occasion where God wipes out groups of non-believers who are righteous. They are all sinners. Abraham in fact asks God, if there were 50 righteous men in the town, would you destroy it? God says no. He brings the number down and down - always the answer is no. And every occasion where groups are killed, they have each time been warned. Noah spent 100 years while building the ark warning people of what was going to happen. No one listened. In the story about Sodom and Gemorrah, two angels are sent to retrieve the four people who are not sinners. The rest of the town tries to rape these angels. The story of Jonah being asked to warn the people of Ninevah that God will destroy them unless they change their ways is another example of God's justice. Jonah wants them to be killed because they are reknown for their evil and tries to run away and not warn them by going aboard a ship. He gets thrown overboard when the people realise that he is responsible for the trials they face, is thrown overboard and brought back to shore by a big fish. God makes him warn them. He does so, they agree to change their ways and they are redeemed. Jonah is furious about this. So God then has to teach Jonah about His mercy because he wants him to understand. This leads on to the story of the tree.

Ok. So what I am trying to say is that God of the OT destroys sinners. After warning in all cases. Where the people heed the warning they received mercy and redemption. But the wages of sin is death. In the NT Christ takes away the sins of the world but we are still required to follow God's law if we wish to receive eternal life.

Eternal life happens after this world is destroyed. This world is temporary as science has finally discovered. It is only after this world ends does the perfect and eternal world come into effect. Those who want to be there make their choice now. Those who don't choose where they want to be. Separate from God. If someone doesn't want that now on earth, why would he want it for eternity? The choice is each person's.

The parable of the banquet tells us that God invites us all to join the banquet. Some accept and some don't for whatever their reasons. And those reasons given in the Bible are pretty well the same as they are today.

Sharon - Original Sin

Rosie's picture

Reading back over the thread, I realise I failed to answer your question from the other day about Original Sin.

The doctrine of original sin comes primarily from Paul's letter to the Romans. In this letter, Paul makes the statement that "through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men..." (Romans 5:18) Taken out of context, Paul seems to imply that all people are condemned because of Adam's sin. If you examine what Paul said in context and how that fits with the remainder of biblical theology, the conclusion is that we are not condemned on the basis of Adam and Eve's original sin, but our own. (James 1:13-14) So, no, I do not consider that the Bible claims that people are condemned to hell on the basis of Adam and Eve's sin - the original sin of mankind.

If that summary is insufficient and further examination is interesting to you, here is the more detailed version:
What was the original sin?
God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden of numerous fruit trees that He had designed, from which they could eat anything, except the fruit from one tree.(Genesis 2:16-17) Although Adam and Eve had no concept of good and evil, they obviously did know about disobedience, since Eve told the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" (Genesis 3:3) From her statement, it is clear that Eve knew that she shouldn't eat the fruit. In fact she even added to God's command with the words "or touch it," which was not in God's original command. So, the original sin was disobedience, mistrust, and disloyalty against God.(Hosea 6:6-7)

Romans chapter five
In chapter 5 of Romans, Paul describes how we are justified before God on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ,(Romans 5:1) who came to earth to die for the sins of mankind(Romans 5:10). The chapter takes us back to how we got into the current mess we are in - back to our original parents, who committed the first sins. Paul's point in doing this is to compare the transgression by the transgressor to the redemption offered through the Redeemer. In this chapter, Paul makes it clear that, although Adam and Eve committed the first sin, we are guilty on the basis of our own sin:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (Romans 5:12)

What the original sin did was to cause the human race to fall into the practice of sin. We are born to imperfect parents, whose sin negatively influences us. We become accustomed to committing "minor" sins without regard to their negative impact on our lives and the lives of others. However, God, in His love, (Romans 5: Cool provided the means by which all people (Romans 5:18) could become completely righteous before Him,(Romans 5:18) thus inheriting eternal life. (Romans 5:21)

Conclusion
Thus our condemnation is rightly deserved due to our rebellion and disobedience of God's laws. God is not responsible for our sin, but we are, because of our own lusts. (James 1:13-14) God, has provided a way of escape for those who recognize their own inability to live up to God's holy standards. Hence Jesus Christ died for our sins to reconcile us to God.

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices." (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (James 1:13-14)

I'm deadly fucking serious

Jameson's picture

There's nothing funny about the Jewish Holocaust, Rosie, or any other genocide for that matter.

1. "There is a code written by humans [used] for judgement and sentencing [of a] person on trial."
2. "Conversely, there is a code written by God [for] judgement by God at death."

Right, so in 1941 Goering says, "I herewith commission you to carry out all preparations with regard to a total solution of the Jewish question." God could stop him, but doesn't: He's not ready to judge Hermann just yet; the genocidal maniac is, after all, still breathing. For the next four years 6 million Jews are snuffed out in Hermann's death camps, but before he can finish the job, moral humans - after a huge cost to themselves - stop him, put him on trial, find him guilty of genocide, and sentence him to death. The night before his execution Hermann reads his bible, asks for God's forgiveness, takes Him into his heart and pops cyanide.... then *poof* 6 million Jews turn around to see God welcoming born again Hermann into paradise (okay, so Jews don't believe in Christ or the afterlife and are probably burning in hell, but go with me here):

Let's put aside the charge of God's homicidal negligence for a moment and cut to Goering's retrial.

In the case of Goering vs God, can you - succinctly and in your own words - tell us:

1) the clause in God's moral code that lets this evil scumbag off the hook.
2) if you, in your humble human opinion, think this is justice served.

Red Hot Catholic Love

Rosie's picture

South Park does a good satire about this. The script is here. The first bit is funny but the scene where all the Catholic priests go to the Vatican (maybe just over half way) is very funny. You can watch the program on line also.

Einstein and God

Rosie's picture

Einstein's thoughts about the existence of God are interesting.

Here and here.

Glenn

Rosie's picture

Human law and God's law are not the same.

There is a code written by humans whereby humans present the behaviour/intention of the person on trial and then the judge (or judge and jury) apply the code and precedent (previous applications of the code to other factual circumstances) for judgement and sentencing to the person on trial. Conversely, there is a code written by God. Both the following and breach of this code leads to judgement by God at death. The former class has a right of appeal. Eye

Sometimes I am not sure whether responses are genuine or just opportunities for a display of wit. Where I believe it is the latter I won't usually respond. Not in pique but because I feel sure that the answer is obvious enough that it doesn't need to be spelled out and that the replier was merely taking the opportunity to be funny or point score. This has occurred on the occasion where I made a small error whose meaning was probably clear but where I didn't put enough Jesuit-like thought into its exposition or check it coz I was rushing.

I wasn't too sure about your post, Glenn, but have answered it just in case you genuinely can't understand the difference. Sigh.

As I've said before ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... the Church of Paedophilia.

Priest bailed after 'underage sex' sting

gregster's picture

"extraordinary number of their priests have been guilty of sodomizing choir boys with the tacit approval of the Vatican"

This priest below will be in more trouble than normal with Catholic authorities because it wasn't a choirboy he attempted raping.

By Vikki Campion From: The Daily Telegraph August 14, 2009

A CATHOLIC clergyman was "shocked'' when police officers swooped on him at a park instead of a 13-year-old girl he allegedly organised to meet over the internet.

Robert Fuller, 54, had approached a "girl" in an internet chatroom, unaware it was actually an undercover detective, and began a three-week long cyber seduction, police allege.

Fuller, who is attached to All Saints Catholic Parish at Liverpool, allegedly sent detectives lewd photographs of himself, and had sexual conversations with the teenager.

Can't speak for Christian-Objectivism...

Robert's picture

but libertarianism is probably the only political doctrine that would bring Christians relief from the on-going inter-confessional warfare (both literal and intellectual) that has been consuming their religion since its inception. That is, it is a political doctrine that enshrines, as a virtue, minding one's own business.

My hypothesis then is that libertarianism is attractive to Christians because it legalizes the formerly heretical practice of worshiping in their own way and on their own time schedule. Something christians have been dying for -- literally -- for centuries, usually at the hands of other Christians.

Case in point: This statement issued by the Lutherans to which the Catholic Church strenuously objects. That the Vatican has no jurisdiction over other religious sects seems to have escaped them -- 463 years after the Reformation! I would also observe that the Catholic Church also lacks the moral high ground given that an extraordinary number of their priests have been guilty of sodomizing choir boys with the tacit approval of the Vatican. But I digress.

Rosie...

Jameson's picture

1) "Judge not that ye be not judged refers to the person."
2) "Of course the subject matter must be judged."

So what they should have said at Nuremberg was, "Hermann Göring, the act of genocide was unconscionably evil. You're free to go."?

Reed - then is your

Mark Hubbard's picture

Reed - then is your fascination with this site Objectivism?

Mark

reed's picture

Mark -
But what is this Christian / Libertarian 'semi'-crossover? I don't get it.

Speaking only for myself... my beliefs are Christian. Any resemblance to libertarianism is not deliberate on my part.

Thanks for the video link

Kasper's picture

Very interesting points both very very intellegent. Dawkins was far too soft in the beginning. McGrath explains the birth of the universe in an existential, experience kind of way which in entirely insufficient cause for belief in a God or creator. The problem is that they both fall into the trap using metaphores to cover gaping holes.

What concerns me is that it seems non-sensical that the universe, existence, could even have been birthed in the first place. It begs the question what was here before there was something here, if there was something there then there was something here already. I think that the idea that the universe could have started is a bit of a contradiction.

So is this theory of the "expanding" universe which appears very odd. I can see how planets and stars move away from eachother but that does not necessarily substantiate the claim of an "expanding" universe. Indeed, expanding into what?

Glenn

Rosie's picture

Richard doesn't condemn Rosie.

The distinction between the two is that Judge not that ye be not judged refers to the person.
The quote from Ayn Rand refers to the subject matter. Of course the subject matter must be judged.

Rosie: "Are you familiar

sharon's picture

Rosie: "Are you familiar with Alistair McGrath who disputes Dawkins?

If you google "Dawkins and McGrath" there are some great debates between them on youtube.

After you have listened to them, or read McGrath, I wonder if you will consider Dawkins' the better argument."

For those who might be interested:

Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath Pt. 1 of 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Richard condemns Rosie

Jameson's picture

Rosie: "Judge not that ye be not judged!"

Richard: "The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world."

Jesus, Rosie - you're as loose as a goose!

Jameson's picture

So God saved one white woman in NYC because she prayed, and let the Nazis incinerate 6 million Jews who prayed every day in the death camps?

Immoral and completely fucking arbitrary!!

A would-be mugger, free-will and divine intervention--all in one

sharon's picture

"God does have the power to stop atrocities in their tracks and has done so. My philosophy lecturer in London who was also a Christian and had this to say: She was in New York. It was night time and she was returning alone from the theatre. Suddenly she was accosted by a very large black man holding a knife. He put it to her neck and said he was going to kill her, white bitch or words to that effect. She prayed. Almost immediately he dropped the knife and walked away. There was no apparent explanation."

Does it really need to be pointed out that this proves nothing?

Kasper

Rosie's picture

LOL.

OK! Smiling Happy to stop now. RSI beginning to set in!

And I think I have answered all posts. Smiling

I still want Rosie to answer the last charge against her god

Jameson's picture

... and while she's at it take a closer look at this statement:

"None of those countries are Christian countries with governments and laws based on Christian principles."

The Serbs are Orthodox Christians, responsible for the genocide of the muslims.

Glenn

Rosie's picture

If your God can move heaven and earth, he has the power to stop atrocities in their tracks. Instead he just sits back and observes - that makes him amoral. The fact that he allows mass murderers to even come into existence in the first place makes him immoral.

Sorry, Glenn. I thought I had answered this. I will try to be more direct.

God does have the power to stop atrocities in their tracks and has done so. My philosophy lecturer in London who was also a Christian and had this to say: She was in New York. It was night time and she was returning alone from the theatre. Suddenly she was accosted by a very large black man holding a knife. He put it to her neck and said he was going to kill her, white bitch or words to that effect. She prayed. Almost immediately he dropped the knife and walked away. There was no apparent explanation.

How do you know that God has not stopped atrocities in their tracks? You would not know this if they have been stopped.

As for the ones that occur? Is He just "sitting back and observing?" I doubt it. If you know the character of God, this could not be the case. Have you ever been in a situation where you have taken no action and let events unfold. In the unfolding of events there have been some "bad" things but when it unfolds completely the ultimate end has been "good" and even transforming?

The mass murderers have chosen this path. They weren't born with a gene that directed them to become mass murderers.
You could look up "Why does God let bad things happen?" in one of Lee Strobel's books. He is a journalist who interviewed a series of eminent theologians, scientists and atheists around the world. He was an agnostic or atheist at the outset and finished up a Christian. I can't remember now whether he finished up a Christian after his first or third book written in the same style but his three books are quite good in the sense that they provide both sides of the argument from experts who have devoted their lives to the study. Each book looks at Christianity from a different perspective. Well written, easy and interesting to read.

Superstition

Jeff Perren's picture

Normally I don't argue with Christians. Once faith and feelings enter the picture, reasoning becomes impossible. Go in peace I usually say, so long - as Robert likes to quote Jefferson as saying - as you neither pick my pocket nor break my bone.

But, this: "The NT also decries any form of superstition " is just too goddamn silly to let pass.

(Random House)
noun
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

(OED)

1. Widely held, but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as bringing good or bad luck.

If Christianity doesn't fit this, nothing does.

Jesus

Kasper's picture

I think I'm going to be sick.

I think that is quite enough now Rosie. You're more than welcome to stop now.

PS: Unless some one here would like to hear more?

The OT is the Bible

sharon's picture

Rosie one: "Only in the OT does God destroy the non-believers."

Rosie two: “The Bible does not say kill the non-believers.”

Surely someone should have told JC about this Rosie

HWH's picture

as Ingersoll remarks:

If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that; thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans -- saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him.

He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would he waged, and he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross.

He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned -- that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason's holy light and leave the world without a star.

He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain.

He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women's breasts unbabed for gold.

And yet he died with voiceless lips.

Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: "You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men."

Why did he not plainly say: "I am the Son of God," or, "I am God"? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain?

Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt?

I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know

"Why the venom, where's your sense of humor?"

Ptgymatic's picture

Why so passionless, Rosie, isn't this an important subject?

Yours is a doctrine responsible for more death and torture and suffering than any other. You adopt it with open eyes. That is reprehensible.

What is more depraved than rejecting your own humanity for a "get-out-of-jail-free" card you don't even need? An intelligent, educated person who smirks about blind faith, with every pretense at rational discussion ending, ultimately, in a simper to the effect of, "Nonetheless, I believe!"

Yes, you are an offensive object, a nauseating pervert. How can that surprise you? Don't you realize what it means, to choose blind faith?

Mindy

HWH - Superstition

Rosie's picture

"According to that Holy Book, Jehovah was a believer in
witchcraft, and said to his chosen people: "Thou shalt not suffer
a witch to live."

God is not a believer in witchcraft/magic. LOL. The Bible acknowledges that people practised it and that it led to false hope and false fear. In the OT, Dt 18:10 expressly forbids sorcery. It was punishable by death (Ex 22:18).
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" means smite the witch!

The NT also decries any form of superstition and condemns its practitioners to the lake of fire and eternal separation from the righteous. (Gal 5:20; Rev 21:8, 22:15).

Now *you're* behaving like a snake, Rosie

Jameson's picture

You've completely ignored the main point. Here it is again:

If your God can move heaven and earth, he has the power to stop atrocities in their tracks. Instead he just sits back and observes - that makes him amoral. The fact that he allows mass murderers to even come into existence in the first place makes him immoral.

Rosie

sharon's picture

"Only in the OT does God destroy the non-believers."

And your argument is?

Too tempting ..cannot resist

HWH's picture

was this the point of JC Rosie? (once again from Ingersoll)

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHRIST.

Millions assert that the philosophy of Christ is perfect -- that he was the wisest that ever uttered speech.

Let us see:

Resist not evil. If smitten on one cheek turn the other.

Is there any philosophy, any wisdom in this? Christ takes from goodness, from virtue, from the truth, the right of self-defence. Vice becomes the master of the world, and the good become the victims of the infamous.

No man has the right to protect himself, his property, his wife and children. Government becomes impossible, and the world is at the mercy of criminals. Is there any absurdity beyond this?

Love your enemies.

Is this possible? Did any human being ever love his enemies? Did Christ love his, when he denounced them as whited sepulchers, hypocrites and vipers?

We cannot love those who hate us. Hatred in the hearts of others does not breed love in ours. Not to resist evil is absurd; to love your enemies is impossible.

Take no thought for the morrow.

The idea was that God would take care of us as he did of sparrows and lilies. Is there the least sense in that belief?

Does God take care of anybody?

Can we live without taking thought for the morrow? To plow, to sow, to cultivate, to harvest, is to take thought for the morrow. We plan and work for the future, for our children, for the unborn generations to come. Without this forethought there could be no progress, no civilization. The world would go back to the caves and dens of savagery.

If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.

Why? Because it is better that one of our members should perish than that the whole body should be cast into hell.

Is there any wisdom in putting out your eyes or cutting off your hands? Is it possible to extract from these extravagant sayings the smallest grain of common sense?

Swear not at all; neither by Heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the Earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is his holy city.

Here we find the astronomy and geology of Christ. Heaven is the throne of God, the monarch; the earth is his footstool. A footstool that turns over at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and sweeps through space at the rate of over a thousand miles a minute!

Where did Christ think heaven was? Why was Jerusalem a holy city? Was it because the inhabitants were ignorant, crud and superstitious?

If any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat let him have thy cloak also.

Is there any philosophy, any good sense, in that commandment? Would it not be just as sensible to say: "If a man obtains a judgment against you for one hundred dollars, give him two hundred."

Only the insane could give or follow this advice.

Think not I come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother.

If this is true, how much better it would have been had he remained away.

Is it possible that he who said, "Resist not evil," came to bring a sword? That he who said, "Love your enemies," came to destroy the peace of the world?

To set father against son, and daughter against father -- what a glorious mission!

He did bring a sword, and the sword was wet for a thousand years with innocent blood. In millions of hearts he sowed the seeds of hatred and revenge. He divided nations and families, put out the light of reason, and petrified the hearts of men.

And every one that hath forsaken house, or breathren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

According to the writer of Matthew, Christ, the compassionate, the merciful, uttered these terrible words. Is it possible that Christ offered the bribe of eternal joy to those who would desert their fathers, their mothers, their wives and children? Are we to win the happiness of heaven by deserting the ones we love? Is a home to be ruined here for the sake of a mansion there?

And yet it is said that Christ is an example for all the world. Did he desert his father and mother? He said, speaking to his mother: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?"

The Pharisees said unto Christ: "Is it lawful to pay tribute unto Caesar?

Christ said: "Show me the tribute money."They brought him a penny. And he saith unto them: "Whose is the image and the superscription? "They said: "Caesar's." And Christ said: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's."

Did Christ think that the money belonged to Caesar because his image and superscription were stamped upon it? Did the penny belong to Caesar or to the man who had earned it? Had Caesar the right to demand it because it was adorned with his image?

Does it appear from this conversation that Christ understood the real nature and use of money?

Can we now say that Christ was the greatest of philosophers?

Sharon

Rosie's picture

Only in the OT does God destroy the non-believers.

Not the NT at all. This was the point of JC.

Glenn

Rosie's picture

None of those countries are Christian countries with governments and laws based on Christian principles. Of course they are not going to practice God's teachings.

As for your daughter, you would therefore choose as God would choose. Separation. Because she has not chosen you and has disobeyed and disavowed you and your laws/ethics. Only He would wait until the point of her death before He gave up on her.

Rosie

sharon's picture

Leaving aside Dawkins for the moment (who is not a philosopher) consider the history of free-thought in general. All the classic arguments for God (which you have broached) have been refuted time and time again. No counter arguments have ever been proposed to those arguments—other than a re-decorated rehash of the “design argument” which is currently in vogue. If you care to revise those arguments here, I will gladly provide you an illustration by refuting them.

"The Bible does not say kill the non-believers."

Jesus H. Christ, you can't be serious!

The act of murder is rampant in the Bible, and at the express command of God, this so-called 'good book.' In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons: working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night.

There are no two ways about it--the God of the scriptures is a cosmic tyrant.

Examples?

Even more Ingersoll

HWH's picture

From Superstition...Robert green Ingersoll

"According to that Holy Book, Jehovah was a believer in
witchcraft, and said to his chosen people: "Thou shalt not suffer
a witch to live."

This one commandment -- this simple line -- demonstrates that
Jehovah was not only not God, but that he was a poor, ignorant,
superstitious savage. This one line proves beyond all possible
doubt that the Old Testament was written by men, by barbarians."

Sorry..couldn't help but add a bit more

"Superstition is, always has been, and forever will be, the
enemy of liberty.

Superstition created all the gods and angels, all the devils
and ghosts, all the witches, demons and goblins, gave us all the
augurs, soothsayers and prophets, filled the heavens with signs and
wonders, broke the chain of cause and effect, and wrote the history
of man in miracles and lies. Superstition made all the popes,
cardinals, bishops and priests, all the monks and nuns, the begging
friars and the filthy saints, all the preachers and exhorters, all
the "called" and "set apart." Superstition made men fall upon their
knees before beasts and stones, caused them to worship snakes and
trees and insane phantoms of the air, beguiled them of their gold
and toil, and made them shed their children's blood and give their
babes to flames. Superstition built the cathedrals and temples, all
the altars, mosques and churches, filled the world with amulets and
charms, with images and idols, with sacred bones and holy hairs,
with martyrs' blood and rags, with bits of wood that frighten
devils from the breasts of men. Superstition invented and used the
instruments of torture, flayed men and women alive, loaded millions
with chains and destroyed hundreds of thousands with fire.
Superstition mistook insanity for inspiration and the ravings of
maniacs for prophesy, for the wisdom of God. Superstition
imprisoned the virtuous, tortured the thoughtful, killed the
heroic, put chains on the body, manacles on the brain, and utterly
destroyed the liberty of speech. Superstition gave us all the
prayers and ceremonies; taught all the kneelings, genuflections and
prostrations; taught men to hate themselves, to despise pleasure,
to scar their flesh, to grovel in the dust, to desert their wives
and children, to shun their fellow-men, and to spend their lives in
useless pain and prayer. Superstition taught that human love is
degrading, low and vile; taught that monks are purer than fathers,
that nuns are holier than mothers, that faith is superior to fact,
that credulity leads to heaven, that doubt is the road to hell,
that belief is better than knowledge, and that to ask for evidence
is to insult God. Superstition is, always has been, and forever
will be, the foe of progress, the enemy of education and the
assassin of freedom. It sacrifices the known to the unknown, the
present to the future, this actual world to the shadowy next. It
has given us a selfish heaven, and a hell of infinite revenge; it
has filled the world with hatred, war and crime, with the malice of
meekness and the arrogance of humility. Superstition is the only
enemy of science in all the world."

Your DRO argument was worth contemplating Sharon

HWH's picture

But IMHO Rosies BS is too silly to spend time on

Sharon

Rosie's picture

Are you familiar with Alistair McGrath who disputes Dawkins?

If you google "Dawkins and McGrath" there are some great debates between them on youtube.

After you have listened to them, or read McGrath, I wonder if you will consider Dawkins' the better argument.

The Bible does not say kill the non-believers. That is the Muslim's approach not the Christian's. The NT says that the physician (God/JC) is to heal the sick (the non-believers) not the healthy (the believers). It does not say to kill the sick. Smiling

You're not getting it, Rosie

Jameson's picture

If your God can move heaven and earth, he has the power to stop atrocities in their tracks. Instead he just sits back and observes - that makes him amoral. The fact that he allows mass murderers to even come into existence in the first place makes him immoral.

If one of my daughters had the power to stop a murderer - without risk to herself - and did nothing, I'd disown her.

Your blind faith seems to be blinding you to historical fact as well. The 'world' has not learned from Hitler's 'mistake': Cambodia, East Timor, Rwanda, Serbia... how many more genocides is he going to make innocents endure before he finally says enough is enough and does the right thing, using his super-powers for good and ending evil?

HWH

sharon's picture

"I didn't know you were capable of such common sense, your PDA/DRO claptrap"

All this tells me is that you agree with me in the first instance and not the second. But I thank you for your most dubious compliment. Let’s see if Rosie can muster her own brand of common sense in the face of these arguments.

Linz

Rosie's picture

Can't you see how warped this is?

No. I am a parent and it makes perfect sense. If I were a perfect parent who was truly divine, loathed evil, could not suffer any part of it, offered forgiveness and redemption and was constantly rejected, separation would be the the last resort and I would wait to the death in hope that my child would repent and choose to be with me. It is my child's choice.

It is slightly similar to your banishing Jonathan from SOLO. How long did you wait and at what point did you decide to do that? Was that on moral grounds? What were they?

And you say Ayn Rand lacked compassion??!!
Compassion is dished out in bucketfuls until the point of death. At which point the human makes his final choice. I imagine that this would be devastating for God.

You still haven't explained why God, knowing how "sinful" man would exercise his "freedom," went ahead with the exercise, including creating an eternal lake of fire for the endless punishment of the countless billions he knew he would be consigning there.

I think the eternal lake of fire is eternal separation from God which is eternal separation from good which is eternal torment. Imagery.
The reason why? God wanted the Jewish people to lead the way for the world to follow when they saw how favoured their lives were as a result of following God's law. When they continued to groan and grumble and sin after the exodus and their salvation from slavery and again after they were given the promised land, the way was opened for all of mankind to follow God through Jesus Christ. People may sin but not all men choose atheism. Many choose Christianity and keep on with the struggle to rid themselves of sin and make godly choices. There are some truly amazing people out there and stories about the grace of God manifested in Christians that would bring a tear to your eye. I might share one of these at some point. At the moment there is a resurgence of Christianity. Particularly in Russia, Africa and China.

It's beyond mind-boggling that folk can believe this in the 21st century. Many Christians don't even believe it, waffling that it's all metaphor, blah, blah.

Christians who don't believe it (the Bible) are not Christians. What is "it"? There are metaphors, parables and imagery to illustrate God's word in the Bible. Is this what you mean by metaphor? But what do you say Christians don't believe?

Sharon honey bunny you

HWH's picture

I didn't know you were capable of such common sense, your PDA/DRO claptrap notwithstanding Sticking out tongue

It was asked: How do you

sharon's picture

It was asked: How do you know what are its attributes? [speaking of God]

Rosie answers:

"You learn the attributes of God through the Bible, prayer and the Holy Spirit."

Really? The Bible tells us about the Attributes of God. Hmm.

Free-thinkers and atheists often invoke an argument known in philosophy as the “Problem of Evil”, used as a rejection of a divine being. It is a classic argument, not unique to me.

The argument follows thusly:

1.) God is claimed to be All-Powerful (Omnipotent) and All-Good (Omnibenevolent).
2.) If God is Omnipotent, It has the power to stop Evil.
3.) If God is Omnibenevolent, then It wishes the greatest good for all creation.
4.) Evil exists.
5.) Therefore, God does not have the power to stop evil and is not Omnipotent, or God has the power to stop evil, but is not Omnibenevolent.

However, it does not follow from this argument that “God does not exist”. Many atheists tend to take that very route when using this argument, and it only really argues against the attributes ascribed to God, and not to God itself as an actual existent.

So it can be claimed that using this argument is really philosophizing "mid stream" and it is not fundamental in the clash between theism versus A-theism.

Still, it is an interesting argument.

David Hume, the eighteenth century philosopher, declared the logical problem this way: "Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

God—and all the attributes ascribed to Him—can not possibly exist than can a squire circle. It is worse than the nonsense of 2+2=7—it is 2+2 = Orange! A total break from reality! It is an outrage to reason and logic!

Good thing Mario wasn't around in his day Linz

HWH's picture

or half his work would have been lost to a man enraptured Eye

Rosie

sharon's picture

I suppose this audience is familiar with Richard Dawkins and his book, ‘The God Delusion’. Dawkins talks a lot about what is in the bible. He talks about how the bible contradicts itself (but he certainly wasn’t the first). Stories in one gospel either don’t appear or the “facts” are completely different from one gospel to the next. To illustrate, Dawkins (and others) have pointed out how the story of the birth of Jesus is factually incorrect when you comparing the only two gospels that address it at all, as well as actual historical records. The two gospels stories have many key differences; just one example is that they have Jesus born in different cities! An element of the story of the birth of Jesus also mentions a census being ordered by Rome for the purpose of taxes and all historical records indicate that this did not happen. He also talks about the deleted gospels (i.e.: gospel of Thomas) and the various different “versions” of the bible. I could go on and on, but I don’t think I need to.

The belief (or faith) that you are speaking of is one that Dawkins (and many others) have shot holes in by looking at the basis of your faith: The book of God! The Bible. He’s shown that the basis of that that belief, that faith, is at very best, shaky. How can you, Rosie, feign knowing what’s god’s outlook is? Who tells you what God is thinking? The only book you have is The Bible and so I take you back to that once again. As an example (which I have brought up numerous times), you should start killing the non-believers because that’s what God’s instruction manual tells you to do. You can’t pretend to know what god thinks and there you must follow his rules--and his rules are laid out for you in the Bible. They aren’t for you to pick and choose. Follow all of them…or be the hypocrite.

Hilton ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

lashings of Ingersoll, and tongue lashings from Perigo

The two are, of course, one and the same. Evil

Jeff

HWH's picture

Starting with "The Ghosts, The Gods, The Great Infidels, Herecies and Heretics and the liberty of man Woman and Child" wont hurt...Oh...and while we're on it you can start with "about the holy bible"

Mindy

Rosie's picture

Such venom, Mindy! I am surprised. Smiling

I did not post a thread on this subject. It was a response to something. And it led onwards. I am not a ram it down your throat Christian. And as I have said, I am happy to get on with other things if no one wants to talk about it. If they do I am happy to talk about it. I certainly do not crave attention! What a funny thing to say. The phone has been running hot all morning and I have already turned down two invitations for coffee because of this and I am not even dressed yet!! I love this subject and am torn between keeping on talking about it and getting on with practical things I have to do.

Who said anyone was hypocritical in discussing their beliefs? Puzzled

Your last paragraph is the funniest/most puzzling of all. Not religious and I like to pose? Where does this come from, Mindy?

Can we please not engage in personal abuse or these mock attempts to reveal some kind of twisted psychology? I am as sane as the next man. Possibly saner! Eye Just keep to the topic or steer clear if it you do not have anything but a tirade of abuse to express. It is unhelpful and a waste of time. Please.

More Specific, Please

Jeff Perren's picture

I'll dig in to some of those. Are there any particular standouts, or a few more perpetually relevant?

Speaking of overlooked thinkers, I've always thought Spencer was less popular than he deserved.

Linz

HWH's picture

More like Rand with lashings of Ingersoll, and tongue lashings from Perigo Smiling

I sometimes think ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... SOLO's subtitle should be "Rand with lashings of Ingersoll," but I'm sure I'd get into terrible trouble. Eye

Linz

HWH's picture

You pipped me by 2 seconds...but it's a case of Ingersoll Ingersoll, so good it happened twice.

Re Ingersoll

HWH's picture

Jeff...go to http://www.infidels.org/librar... and read anything of his that looks interesting.

I'm blown away that so few people are aware of what this man said, and just as importantly, how he said it.

Unlike any other IMHO

Enjoy

Hilton

Mr. P. ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Ok, Linz, I confess. My education is deficient. But now I'm awakened. What Ingersoll works would you (or Hilton) recommend I start with?

Go here and feast! Smiling I'd urge Rosie to do so too.

And I've restickied my radio editorial for you.

Faith

Curt Holmes's picture

Rosie, I appreciate your honesty and full disclosure and do not wish to pile on. I believe (perhaps in error) that you are posting in good faith. I cannot say the same for Richard.

But it is clear to me that you have abandoned reason. The more specific your claims about god, god's plan, god's wisdom, predictions in the bible, etc., the more evident your abandonment.

Glenn

Rosie's picture

"then stood back and let him do it"
"At the very least, your passive creator is devoid of morality."

You are a parent, Glenn. You teach and tell your children right from wrong. They grow up a bit and as adults make their own decisions. You hope that they will make the right ones based on your teaching. At some time they will likely make a wrong decision. They may believe that it is a right decision from their perspective (just as Hitler believed he was saving his country and repairing the perceived injustices from World War 1) but it is not. Others agree with your child and not you. They support your child's decision. Your child does not change her mind despite your entreaties, your explanations and your teachings and wisdom. (This is where it is important to have your child trust your thinking implicitly and if you prove yourself to be an excellent parent this will happen and your child's trust and faith in you will supercede her own judgement despite her support group's encouragement. So it is with God.)

So your child makes a wrong decision and continues with it. What do you do? Can you force her to choose differently? She is an adult. Or will you let her go through with it? Will she and others learn more from the error? These are the sorts of ethical questions we as human parents address and so it is with God. Hitler did not win the war. Hitler's actions are raised as an example of atrocities continuously on this thread and throughout the world. We have not had a world war since then. We have not had an Hiroshima since then. Presumably we have learned from his and his colleague's error. God's character is not that of a magic fairy who comes down at each wrongdoing and magically and supernaturally puts it right then wipes our memories. He asks that we follow his law and obey. He asks that we refine our own characters and help others to do so where they slip up.

At the very least, your passive creator is devoid of morality.
Would you be considered devoid of morality if you let your child suffer the consequences of her wrongdoing? Or a wise parent who lets his child learn through her mistakes.

Ingersoll

Jeff Perren's picture

Ok, Linz, I confess. My education is deficient. But now I'm awakened. What Ingersoll works would you (or Hilton) recommend I start with?

And, Rosie, just so there's no misunderstanding, I have zero interest in Christianity, per se. But I'm always interested in why people adopt the beliefs they do, and in particular why some place faith above reason. If I were inclined to be religious, which is as unlikely for me as running for elected office or becoming gay, there are many I'd choose over that one. Frankly, Buddhism - silly as it ultimately is - makes more sense.

Theirs is not a pretense, yours is.

Ptgymatic's picture

They believe in reason. They know they can point out the errors in your beliefs, the illogic, the irrationality. You, on the other hand, have thrown away reason.

You have elected to believe. Perhaps you need the attention, preaching to the converted is very dull, indeed. Perhaps you enjoy the illusion of being a reasonable person, a little escape from the reality of your deliberate whimsical self-delusion.

Whatever your motive, it is you who are hypocritical in discussing your beliefs, not them. Isn't it an affront to your beliefs even to pretend to reason about them? Aren't you risking your cherished redemption? Isn't even the search for justification of what you believe treachery to the heart-felt sincerety of your beliefs? God tells you to believe, aren't you defying him by reasoning about them?

I doubt you are religious at all. You like to pose, and being religious is your back-door to losing the argument. I suspect you're quite the pragmatist; that your repertoire of pretenses will cover any situation is the one thing you truly believe.

Mindy

While I'm reading some Ingersoll this morning

HWH's picture

This thread seems to cry out for some of his booming oratory "from Liberty of man woman and child"

"Where did that doctrine of eternal punishment for men and women and children come from? It came from the low and beastly skull of that wretch in the dug-out. Where did he get it? It was a souvenir from the animals. The doctrine of eternal punishment was born in the glittering eyes of snakes -- snakes that hung in fearful coils watching for their prey. It was born of the howl and bark and growl of wild beasts. It was born of the grin of hyenas and of the depraved chatter of unclean baboons. I despise it with every drop of my blood. Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves on all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.

When the great ship containing the hopes and aspirations of the word, when the great ship freighted with mankind goes down in the night of death, chaos and disaster, I am willing to go down with the ship. I will not be guilty of the ineffable meanness of paddling away in some orthodox canoe. I will go down with the ship, with those who love me, and with those whom I have loved. If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender; it has furrowed the checks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel, to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine; neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake, and the conscience of a hyena."

De-lurking for a

Mark Hubbard's picture

De-lurking for a minute.

Another Christian. At least reading Reed's postings I always knew where he was coming from, and some interesting posts lately (Reed).

But what is this Christian / Libertarian 'semi'-crossover? I don't get it.

How can mystics feel they have anything in common with Objectivism? Or libertarianism for that matter?

Reed? Or, now, Rosie, I guess.

Good point, Lindsay...

Jameson's picture

At least Rosie is honest enough to reveal that she's as mad as a snake.

Her boyfriend, on the other hand, is just a snake.

Carry on!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I am ok about not posting any more on the subject if no one wants to discuss it. But both Linz and Kasper and maybe Jeff seem a little bit interested and have asked me to go on. Maybe you could steer clear of the thread in these circumstances? Otherwise, if people wish me to stop I am fine about this and will happily get on with something else.

Oh, keep going, Rosie. I want to save your soul. Eye

Jesus, Rosie!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It is difficult for we "sinners" to understand the righteous judgement of a holy God who on one hand hates all evil yet on the other hand loves the evildoers enough to sacrifice his Son for their salvation from sin. When an all loving God's attempts at reconciliation are refused and the only remedy for human sin is rejected, there is no other course of action that a righteous God can pursue but to leave the sinner to his self chosen destiny. God does not choose this destiny for man, man freely chooses it for himself. There is nothing in the Scriptures that say that forgiveness can occur after death. There is evidence in Scripture that there are gradations of punishment proportional to the degrees of guilt of each individual. The doctrine is difficult for natural reason and human sentiment but the Bible is clear about this, horrible as it may seem. But it is each human's choice.

Can't you see how warped this is?

And you say Ayn Rand lacked compassion??!!

You still haven't explained why God, knowing how "sinful" man would exercise his "freedom," went ahead with the exercise, including creating an eternal lake of fire for the endless punishment of the countless billions he knew he would be consigning there.

It's beyond mind-boggling that folk can believe this in the 21st century. Many Christians don't even believe it, waffling that it's all metaphor, blah, blah.

All this aside, Rosie, thank you for coming out. At least the rest of us now know what we're dealing with.

Rosie, how do you reconcile...

Jameson's picture

... the 'fact' that your God, who can move heaven and earth, created Hitler knowing full well what he was going to do, then stood back and let him do it?

Seriously, what kind of sick fuck would do that? At the very least, your passive creator is devoid of morality.

Mindy

Rosie's picture

I am ok about not posting any more on the subject if no one wants to discuss it. But both Linz and Kasper and maybe Jeff seem a little bit interested and have asked me to go on. Maybe you could steer clear of the thread in these circumstances? Otherwise, if people wish me to stop I am fine about this and will happily get on with something else. Smiling

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.