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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Friday, June 27, 2008

HAHA Ray Comfort can be funny!

Ray is such a stitch. He has a post up, I call it the "water is wet" post. He entitled the post, "Top Ten Predicted Atheist Objections to the Below Statement:"

"Water is wet." -- Ray Comfort

My response must have come in at number 11: "so what?"

I thought about how useless and inconsequential this statement is. And looking down his list, I came to the conclusion that he is pulling off a "Seinfeld;" a statement about nothing. He seems to want to show that something so obvious can be made to be contestable by atheists if it is uttered by a young earth creationist. [And I decided to leave out the actual real science which makes this statement absurd; along the lines of heat is hot, the sky is blue, ice is cold, etc.] Because real science is totally lost on people like Ray Comfort.

Instead, I thought about making another statement and propose similar rebuttals I predict Ray and other fundie Christians would say:

"God is good" -- Jeffperado

1. "Of course God is good, he's God after all"
2. "God has to be good, for he cannot be anything else by definition"
3. "If God were bad, then he would not be worthy of worship"
4. "Other Gods can claim to be good, but only God is good"
5. "God only does good things, so he must be good"
6. "The bible tells me so, and I believe in the bible"
7. "My parents taught me about God, and they said he was good, so he must be good"
8. "I go to church every week, and all I hear is how good God is. If my church tells me this, it must be true"
9. "Anyone who says their God is better, or says there is no God is wrong, therefore God is good"
10. "I believe, and my beliefs are right"

Just like the absurdity of the "water is wet" canard, the "God is good" is a canard as well. The truth lies in the nuance; what exactly does it mean to be 'wet' or for that matter 'good'?

Just like I would tell Ray that wetness is a property of water, and not an absolute one at that.
(Consider deep freezing water into ice -- is ice wet? Yet ice is still water). But can we do the same for God and good? Is there a way to seperate them? Christians would say no, that by definition, everything God does is good, and everything good that happens comes from God. Except, of course, when God --according to the bible-- kills babies, pregnant women, and small children. Or when an atheist does a decidedly good thing.

Then it isn't "God is good" any more; it is "God has a plan". And that plan is good.

Now go back and reread Ray's post. You will immediately see that what Ray is really saying is that he is projecting his own brand of convoluted illogic and lack of facts unto atheists in hops of convincing himself and others like him that atheists are really as screwed up and misinformed as he is, and thus his belief system is as valid as the system of reality found in atheism.

But really all Ray Comfort is, is funny in a sad sort of way.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dobson and Obama: Biblical Christianity

I have to say, I am amused by James Dobson. But not so much that I can just ignore him and his power in this great country. He is, by any terms, a silly person. He claims that he cannot be compared to the Rev. Al Sharpton, because he is not a reverend. He claims he is not a theologian. Yet despite being neither of these things, he can claim:
"Evangelicals are people who take Bible interpretation very seriously, and the sort of speech he gave shows that he is worlds away in the views of evangelicals," he said

And that makes him silly.

Notice how he is an evangelical, but not a reverend or theologian.. That makes it all ok to say ministerial and theological things with authority and then claim not to have that authority.

But the real core; the real meat of the issue is not what Obama said, or what Dobson claims. It is that there is this perception among the Christian Right that only their views on Christianity matter, and those of all the other millions of Christians out there are ignorant or unimportant. And most importantly, this great nation should only be controlled by those Christian views approved by the Christian right. Thus making this country a theocracy, even though it isn't because other Christians and non-Christians can have their views, only that they are not important or useful in governing.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Dobson.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Family Research Council Misses The Point Yet Again

Tony Perkins' Washington Update has this blurb:

Bench Pressing: Equality CA Urges Court to Strike Initiative

The clock is ticking on California's brief honeymoon with same-sex "marriage," and homosexual activists are doing everything in their power to make the court's May 15 verdict permanent. In a last-ditch effort to rob the people of their input in November, advocates of homosexual "marriage" are asking the high court to strike down the marriage protection amendment before it reaches the ballot. Using a tactic that same-sex couples test-drove in Oregon, the groups argue that the initiative "would change the state's Constitution so profoundly that it would amount to a revision." Unlike a simple amendment, a revision--as defined by California law--would require both voters' approval and that of the legislature. When liberals used this same argument to overturn the marriage protection amendment in Oregon last month, it failed. The court of appeals upheld the amendment, sending a powerful message on the effectiveness of a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

This week, Equality California is fine-tuning the strategy, suggesting that "if enacted, [the ballot initiative] would eviscerate the principle of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian people and strip the courts of their authority to enforce basic constitutional guarantees." (Translation: We recognize that the people of California oppose homosexual "marriage," and we'll use every possible loophole to circumvent the democratic process). Unfortunately for same-sex proponents, judicial activism may be common in California's courts, but the nullification of ballot initiatives is not. As the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, justices seldom intervene once an amendment has qualified for the ballot. Obviously Equality California is more afraid of the people's verdict than the court's. Join us in making more Californians aware of what's at stake this fall. Log on to www.frc.org/marriage to order your free marriage protection kit!

Just how many falsehoods and scare words did you see?
To show you exactly how absurd this line of argument really is, let us take that first sentence and change its meaning a tiny little bit: "The clock is ticking on California's brief honeymoon with [emancipation of slaves] and [abolitionists] are doing everything in their power to make the court's May 15 verdict permanent." If the subject were changed to reinstituting slavery, and that lying on a popular vote then slavery can simply be made legal by a popular vote. You cannot simply vote and take away the equality and rights of one group of people just because they happen to be a bit different in some aspect. Yet this is exactly what FRC and the California initiative are doing. They are attempting to repeal the civil rights equalization of gays. It is no different than the Jim Crow laws of the south and their fighting the entire civil rights movement of blacks.

This sentence repeats the inanity: "(Translation: We recognize that the people of California oppose homosexual "marriage," and we'll use every possible loophole to circumvent the democratic process). " Let me translate the translation: If a majority of Californians vote to kill all the citizens of Los Angeles and burn them for fuel, then the democratic process rules! And cheap energy to boot!! Unfortunately that completely ridiculuous analogy completely shows just how brilliant our founding fathers were and how ignorant the FRC and Tony Perkins. For if you were to use Tony's "logic" regarding our true democratic process, then he would support the murdering of every Los Angelean for fuel if California voted for it. Our founding fathers put in a safeguard against that "majority rules" abuse and desecration of the minority. It is those very same "activist" courts!

What if 50.1% of Americans voted to permanantly ban Tony Perkins to some desolate area of Antartica permanantly? would he look to "activist" courts to stay the decision, or would he just shrug his shoulders and say ok?

Look, its all very simple. America will adjust to this just like they did when it came to the civil rights movement of the 50s/60s. Equality is inevitable in the psyche of America. Some fight it, but they are on the losing end, as American history has shown. Opposite-sex marriages are not in the process of losing their value to their participants. It is just that their next door neighbors who happen to be gay, now have the exact same rights as they do.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage.. A Question

Considering the complete apoplexy of the Family Researh Council over the recent California Supreme Court decision to allow same sex marriage. One has to wonder the simple..

Just what is the reason to fight same-sex marriage? I have been waiting for years for an actual reason, but I have yet to hear even the most modest of excuses/reasons. So what is it?

I mean I hear some railing about 'traditional' marriage, but we all know that reality shows there is no such thing. "Traditional" marriage has changed so much over the centuries... We've had plural marriages, arranged marriages, same-race marriages, "shotgun" weddings. Then there is the issue of divorce; is it Mosiac? Is it Pauline? Is it Jesusian? Is it a product of the 19th century? Is it modern? Is it Catholic pre-Vatican II or post? There seems to be nothing in the standard vernacular of 'traditional' which actually is traditional. Even the man-woman thing is flexible in history. The Greeks and Romans had differing views on this. Even Judeo-Christian views are highly flexible on this; what represented same-sex protectorate companionship and what difference from this was marriage? Jesus and his disciples? Jesus and the one specific disciple "whom he loved"? Paul and Titus? There is nothing there either in terms of male companionship and wedded protectorship at all.

So just what is the fierce apprehension of fundamentalist Christians to same-sex marriage? How does it 'destroy' the institution of marriage for all those currently wedded opposite-sex marriages?

Sometimes I hear non-sensical posturings about it being "harmful/detrimental" to children. Or that it will cause sexual-identity problems in children. Both of these are are unfounded and fear-mongering to boot. If children of straight parents have no sexual identity problems, then there would be no gays at all. That is so bleedingly obvious, I cannot fathom that that excuse is ever even honestly made. Gay parents do not make gay children. Gay parents make children who take their own paths and respect those who take other paths, because they understand them. Gay parents raise more straight children than they do gay children.

But there is one argument against gays and same sex marriage that does make sense. Hatred of gays and the desire to keep them pinned down as second-class citizens not deserving of the same rights and priveledges as straights. How could I possibly argue against blind hatred?

I cannot. The hatred of gays will always remain among these people. There is no arguing that and no changing that. They hate and they struggle to make their hatred the law of the land.

They have that right. They can continue to hate on gays and actively try to keep gays from enjoying the very same rights and priveledges they benefit from. They can do that.

But the same is true of those of us who support gay rights. We can fight and proclaim as well.

So then, just what is the problem with allowing others to live their lives as they want and enjoy the exact same rights as we enjoy?

The answer seems to be, as always, that these fundie Christians want to force their personal beliefs on all the rest of us.

And do you think that will stop with same sex marriage?

Let them profess, proclaim, and pursue activism all they want. That is their right. Just don't let them write their views into all of our laws.

Really. I am interested in knowing why this is so bad.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Possible Republican VP Bobby Jindal

Over at Crooks & Liars, Nicole Belle shares with us a clip of possible Repub Veep Bobby Jindal. Head there for the clip. This quote is what interested me. As you know I am a scientist and love science in all its branches. Biology however seems to be the one singled out for attack by fundamental Christians (Republicans pretty much frown on all science...)
As a parent, when my kids go to schools, when they go to public schools, I want them to be presented with the best thinking. I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. I want them to see the best data. I personally think that the life, human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. I’m a Christian. I do think that God played a role in creating not only earth, but mankind. Now, the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want them to be–I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness. The way we’re going to have smart, intelligent kids is exposing them to the very best science and let them not only decide, but also let them contribute to that body of knowledge.

I thought it would be fun to pick this apart line by line and show just how absurd (and often self-contradictory) it is. Idiocy seems to hold more value than fact and reality when it comes to Republican science policy.

As a parent, when my kids go to schools, when they go to public schools, I want them to be presented with the best thinking. Translation: School vouchers, baby! Send my kids to private Christian schools on public tax dollars and let all public schools die a starved death.

I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. Translation: I want them to make the exact same decisions as me regardless of what they are taught. For example, no real sex education, only abstinence only edumacatin' for my kids....

I want them to see the best data. Translation: I want them to only see the data I approve of and not that of the real world. For example, they will only get abstinence only education; none of that safe-sex nonsense.

I personally think that the life, human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. Translation: All evidence to the contrary, they will only learn what I was taught to believe no matter what new evidence has arisen.

I do think that there’s a creator. Translation: Teach God in schools even if other parents do not want their children to have your own personal flavor of religion forced upon their own children; that is their tough luck.

I'm a Christian. I do think that God played a role in creating not only earth, but mankind. Translation: Forget all that factual sciency stuff. Teach Genesis in our schools! Just because there is a mountain of evidence and a working theory of evolution (just as --if not more so -- than gravity) means that I can ignore all the anti-gravity and other science flaws in the bible, if I can deny reality and teach biblical fantasy in classrooms in the form of creationism.

Now, the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. Translation: I want my kids exposed to the very worst non-science, but only if it can be called 'science'.

I don’t want them to be–I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness. Translation: Teach them any and all crazy theories and let their untrained newly-forming intellects defer all judgement to that of their equally uneducated and scientifically-illiterate parents. Hell, let's throw in geo-centrism and angels-pushing-down-on-all-objects as an alternative to gravity while we're at it -- oh and don't forget to throw in flat-earthism as well. Those are all also equally credible (to creationism) alternative 'scientific' theories too.

The way we’re going to have smart, intelligent kids is exposing them to the very best science and let them not only decide, but also let them to that body of knowledge. Translation: Mix shoddy non-scientific junk in with the factual real-world premiere science, claim the two viewpoints are equal and on the same factual footing, then set these kids free to: build our airplanes, powerplants, and perform our medical research, of the future. Surely, God's laying on of hands and prayer has the same potency to cure diseases as bare-knuckle hard fact-based research does.

This is what you can expect from the creme-of-the-crop Republican thinkers

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Redux: An Alternative Spending of the Iraq Money

A couple of years ago I wrote about what could have been done with the money spent on Iraq if it had instead been spent on energy research. Today we learn what the most current cost of the war is and also what the total projected cost will be. Just imagine where we would be as a nation, if we had spent over $600 BILLION on energy research and deployment from 2003 until today and were projecting spending a total of $2.7 TRILLION on energy research over the life of the program.

Just where do you think we would be if we instead of spending this money on a war in Iraq which killed over 4,000 Americans (more than died on 9/11) had spent it on energy research and implementation in our society? We would all be driving vehicles which had a zero carbon footprint, were cheap to operate, were more safe. We would be using electricity generated by zero carbon footprint sources; fusion and fission nuclear power, renewable resources, and our nuclear fuel cycle would be complete (no long term nuclear fuel storage problems).

On top of that, our social issues would be next to zero as well. Every single American would have the best and most thorough health care our children would be the best educated and science would be advanced to almost unimaginable levels. How much is a manned mission to Mars expected to cost, $1 Trillion? Done.

So spend this money on killing 4,000 Americans -- That is sane in the eyes of diehard conservative Republicans. But spending that same amount of money on making this great country a shining star of all that is good -- that is wasteful?? And anyone listens to these people? Instead of our children paying for a great and saving blossoming of science, energy and social salvation (if this pat I have laid out were to have been taken), our children and grandchilden are going to be paying for the deaths of over 4,000 Americans for what?? A halfhearted and despised liberation of Iraq? What sense does that make?

I really do cry when I think about just how wasted this monstruous sum of money has been. And I mourn when I think about how far along we would be as a society if it had been spent as I've outlined.

Evil does not even come close to describing these people who have guided our country for the last 8 years.

Should I bring back Dolly's version of Imagine again? Naw, I've used it too many times already...

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Acts of God in Nature: The Latest Chapter

When a major hurricane hits New Orleans, it is an act of God -- He is punishing a city for hosting a gay pride event. But what about tornadoes? Are they acts of God as well? They can be every bit as disastrous and deadly as a hurricane but only to a smaller area -- say a boy scout camp.

Currently, it is known that four scouts have died. That is tragic to say the least.

But what I have to wonder; actually the thing that I have to wonder about is, is this an act of God? I mean we know why so many of these fundamental/Charismatic Christians claimed that Katrina was an act of God; God hates gays and wanted to destroy them -- taking all of New Orleans with them. So why would God hit the Scouts? They deny entry of gays and atheists into their midst, they profess God. So why would God so specifically target them?

I cannot say. And, I know, that we will not hear an explanation from that very same gang of Christian goons who laud Katrina (and 9/11) as punishment for gays and American secularism (i.e. stark atheism). I almost expect to hear some nonsense about this tragedy being some part of "God's plan" whatever that is.

"Acts of God" indeed. Nature is blind but God is not (if you subscribe to the notion of the Christian's God). Thus everything happens for a reason. Making sense of killing young Boy Scouts via an act of nature can only make Christian rationality look inane. Unless these Christians come out and say God was extremely unhappy (at the same level He is with gays and atheists) with the Scouts expelling gay children and non-religious children from the scouts. Maybe that is God's latest and greatest plan -- secularism, equality and inclusiveness.

Yeah right. Now pull my finger, it plays "Jingle Bells."

The only thing this shows is that nature is real and God is imaginary. And children suffer and die.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Revisiting Ray Comfort

You know it has been a long while since I have mentioned Ray Comfort. I discussed him even before he had his own blog, Comfort Food. Reading his blog one thing becomes clear; simple questions to him beg absurdly simply answers. And more importantly, well-thought-out questions do not exist and thus have no need of answers. This is obvious in the types of "questions" which get asked and answered As anyone who peruses his blog can see. Nothing tough or above the simple strawman is ever addressed, just simple-minded questions and even more simple-minded answers. This leads one to wonder if this simplemindedness is the only level on which Ray Comfort is able to operate. He after all, is the arch-architect of the infamous "banana" argument for creationism. This alone should has disqualified him from and reasoned Christian discourse. But alas, he has hung around like that pesky "common cold" virus.

I have to admit that I am thankful. For if his is the level of Christian apologetics, then reason, logic, fact and reality have a chance in overcoming Christianity. We can all thank our good friend Ray for that.

Let us take for one example of this, this recent post by our good friend Ray, The Faithiest. He opens it by posing a "question" he recieved. One look at this question and you can instantly tell that it is nothing more than an overly simple question asked in hopes of being overly simply answered. And Ray jumps at the chance of making the simple completely over-simplistic:

"Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically. GET OVER IT! No one is ever, ever going to go back to the idea that species were created fully developed at a specific point in time. NEVER. The details of the theory may change but not the framework. There is no faith involved. Move on. Evolution happens." Milo

I cannot say that I know the mind of Milo, but I can say that his representation here is so absurd as to be laughable. Reality is that humanity learns on a daily basis, we know more today than we did yesterday. Thus what we consider to be factual from day to day never changes, how we interpret those facts as we learn more, changes. Faith is the complete absense of fact. A Muslim has faith in their god, as does a Jew in theirs, as does a Christian in theirs. No fact is involved. Consider a man standing atop the tower of Pisa with a stone in his hand. He cannot say to his friend there, that he has faith if he lets go of the stone it will hit the ground, and his friend cannot say that he has faith it will not hit the ground. This is because they are talking about facts of reality, the real physical world. But in terms of religion, there is no reality whatsoever. It is all faith-based. How can one supernatural god based upon some holy book be better or more real than another god based upon some holy book?

Just look for example at the bible: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" [Heb 11:1 NKJV]. Since all of nature can be seen of evidence of it seen, then none of nature can be considered in terms of faith. This includes evolution. We see evolution, we see evidence of evolution in the past, we have mountains of facts not just including fossils, which are all nature and thus not faith-based to back up evolution. We have the natural laws of physics to back up dating and relational chronographies. We have chemistry and bio-chemistry, DNA, embyonosis. All these are natural and fact based; thus outside the "unseen" realm of faith.

But none of that shows up in Ray's post at all.

Here is what we do see in Ray's response:
You have said, "Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically." This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change. You don’t know how life began; you simply believe that what you have been told actually did happen. Like it or not, you are a "believer" in the theory of evolution.

How life began is not an issue of evolution at all. Evolution deals only with how life, once it occurred, changed over time. How difficult is it for Creationists to understand this very simple fact. The origin of the chemistry of life is completely different from the origins of the diversity of lifeforms once life came into existence. One is a question of speculation, the origin of life, and one is a question of understanding all the facts of life and how well we understand the process that fits all those facts together. And here I repeat this simple, nay simply simple fact that every day we learn more facts and thus have a better -- more precise -- understanding of how all present species came to be like they are today.

But look more closely at what Ray actually does say. Take this quote, "This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change." Could this not also be said about George Washington? Who today could have personally seen George Washington? Thus according to Ray Comfort we can only "believe" in George Washington via "faith". Furthermore, we have witnessed lifeforms change, even change into new species. So not only do we have a flat out lie about not witnessing evolution, but we have either deceit or ignorance when it comes to the value (or lack of value according to Ray) of things we have not seen but can verify in totally natural records.

This is again in stark contrast to the supernatural and unknowable ways of any god, not just God or Jesus. Since the bible was written by humans and is undeniably rooted in specifically historical events, it is also natural not supernatural. Thus even the bible itself is not proof of anything supernatural other than the supernatural desirables of its wholly natural authors.

So again we come up against this whole canard of faith applied to the provable and understandable natural realm when it is defined solely by the unseen, unknowable and supernatural realm of the gods. Even the bible tells us this.

Ray Comfort, then must either be a charlatan or wholly ignorant of both real reality and biblical reality.

And more importantly, this is just an example. His entire philosophy and blog is exactly the same.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

How about this Proposition?

You know I have written much about Rapture Ready and end-times-believing Christians in the past. They all believe it so firmly that no amount of reality will ever sway them. Their dishonesty in their very own writings and beliefs can never be changed. They all have their eyes to the sky looking for Jesus to return at any moment.

Then there are other Christians out there looking to make a few buck off these gullible people. Take for example the website You've been left behind.

I think that maybe I should into this racket as well. I mean that as an atheist, I will most certainly be left behind, and I will most certainly be able to send out emails and actively work with recipients of these emails. That is more than I can say for the staff of that other website. They will all be gone and cannot offer the personal services that I can, being as I will still be around after the rapture.

So what do you think? Should I go for it? I will even go so far as to offer cut-rate prices at half of what that other left behind site offers. Or should I just offer my services as a post-Rapture contractor (with the obvious pre-Rapture fees) to an already established firm?

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Dishonesty and 'T'ruth vs real truth

For decades (possibly even centuries) Christians have been champions of possessing Truth -- capital T -- which clashes with truth -- little t -- the knowledge of humans and their real world around them. The story told by Christians regarding evolution and creationism is the perfect and most clear example of this. Just look at the NYT article about the "strengths and weaknesses" debate in Texas. Much has been written about this article in science realms, so I need not go into that. I merely wish to point out this dualism of truth. The line in the article which shows this most starkly is this:
"Dr. McLeroy, the board chairman, sees the debate as being between “two systems of science.”
“You've got a creationist system and a naturalist system,” he said."

That is the reality of the difference of 'T'ruth and truth. Paul wrote in Romans, "For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?" [Rom 3:7 NKJV]. So we see that dishonesty is part and staple of furthering Truth. This is because the Truth of God's kingdom may mean lying about the truth of this material world. This is an ingrained belief of Christianity since the days the New Testament was written. It is exactly why the reality of this world can be so easily discarded by fundamental Christians, because what is true in reality has no value in God's realm. Just look at the only source of evidence of this Truth; the bible. It was written and interpreted by humans, living in the material realm. Yet it is the only source of God's realm where Truth exists. Thus the contradiction, the only source of God's realm of truth is via a materialistic, humanistic, realm of truth. If Truth can only be learned via the material (the bible), and the material has no value when compared to the Truth of God's realm, then there can be no way to know the Truth. That is where faith steps in, in God's realm of Truth.

This contradiction means that the only thing in the material realm -- that realm which we all know and experience on a daily basis -- that can be True is the bible. All else can neither be trusted or even called true. We see this to be fact in relation to evolution and the stance of people like Dr McElroy. If this obvious contradiction were to be lived out to its fullest by believing Christians, then they should be even more reactionary than the Amish or Mennonites who reject modern technology. For all that is built upon the backs of science and materialistic fact. Yet they do not reject the reality of modern technology. That contradiction of Truth vs truth is laid bare and completely ignored.

If only Christians could step back and look at themselves; their beliefs and real world practices, then they would be ashamed. They would all move to reject literalism because of its disasterous realities and all embrace a more liberal form of Christianity. Not that I see that happening any time soon though. The blinders that keep the strictly materialistic Bible firmly ensconced in this supernatural ether of God's realm cannot be lifted by logic, reality or truth. The lie of Paul has already cemented that.

When it comes down to it, the real difference between fundamental Christians and atheists is simple, These Christians want to accept as true something which they cannot know in a materialistic sense, and atheists only accept those things which are knowable in the materialistic sense. This total lack of understanding between the two groups is founded on this basic lack of fundamental cooperation.

Christians will never take a step back and look at their beliefs from a fact-based and true perspective, and atheists will never give in to the idea that the completely unknowable (i.e. faith) has any merit whatsoever to determine what is True and what is true only in the material realm.

It becomes obvious that 'T'ruth is inherantly dishonest, in that it relies on materialism and humanity but claims to be the pure extraction of the exact opposite; the Godly realm. Paul and his 'lies for God' and the constant lying about the truth of this material world are inherant staples of the fundamental Christian psyche. There is no distinction between dishonesty about the real world and professed faith in the 'T'ruth of the bible. Anyone, even every single Christian, can know the truth of this world via our amassed knowledge, but no one, no even one single solitary Christian can know anything about the Truth of God's realm, without faith -- the simple act of merely believing it is true without any way to know it is true.

I am sure we will return to this philosophical and theological discussion again in the future.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Problem with the "Good Person" Test

Now I wish to say upfront that I understand the ultimate purpose of this test; it is to simply show that there are no good people outside of accepting Jesus.

But we all know that this is total bunk. Even the most basic Christian who remembers even the tiniest amount of Sunday School knows this to be totally false. For that would mean that no one of the Old Testament made it into heaven, because they would have to pass this very same "good person" test, that is unpassable. Yet the Old Testament tells us of a number of Old Testament Persons who made it into heaven, some even bodily.

Thus we know the test is false and a flat out lie on its face. But have any Christians out there thought about what it means for that test to be false? I doubt it because it would mean that Christ is not necessary for entrance into heaven. And that is not what the New Testament tells us. So if those two testaments are in conflict, then which is right and what should we all believe, Christian and non-Christian alike. I will look at that question at the end of this post.

First, I would like to share with you the email I wrote to the authors of this "good person" test..

I just took the test, and I felt wholly unsatisfied. For I know of no one who passes, no matter their Christian leanings. All would fail regardless. Why?

Consider what you wrote:
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
There is none righteous, no not one. Romans 3:10

This is false and misleading. Just consider for a moment the Old Testament. Is Moses in Hell? Is Elijah in Hell? Is David in Hell? What about Aaron, Elisha, Lot, Noah, Solomon? Ruth? I think it harsh to call these people "righteous" "just" and "heroic" and yet tenets of hell. Don't you agree

So there must be a level of "righteousness" that gets one into heaven that a mere human can perform. This makes Jesus irrelevant. Again, I say, this evidence of the "righteousness" of many Old Testament Characters makes the redemptive power of Jesus irrelevant if one can maintain that same level of righteousness as the Old Testament Characters, unless they are not in heaven.

Then you wrote:
"Imagine you are standing in front of a judge, GUILTY of serious crime. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt of your guilt. Your apologies
and good works cannot erase your crimes; therefore you must be punished. The fine for your crime is $250,000 and you have no money."

But what happens if the judge is guilty of the exact same crimes as you, and all others, and guilty a hundred thousand times more than you are. If you stole a pen and the Judge stole thousands of acres of land. If you killed a person, but the
Judge killed tens of millions of people, if you raped, but the Judge raped thousands of young girls, and ordered the raped of countless thousands of more. If you blasphemed, but the Judge blasphemed many more times than you and all other humans combined. If you lied, but the Judge lied infinitely more than you. How can that judge be in any way superior and able to judge you?

Remember Paul told us that it is acceptable to lie in God's name. He wrote: "For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?" Romans 3:7 Lying for God is moral.

You also noted: "Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by GRACE ye are saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT of works, lest any man should boast.""
But in James 2:14 "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" Followed by James 2:17, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead"

So even the bible lies and is misleading, and you fell for that lie. Just as Paul stated you would when he told you those of the bible would lie to further the message.

I suppose it would be easy to just say that because the New Testament happened second it should supercede the Old Testament. But that in and of itself creates a fundamental problem. God does not change nor does God's laws. Both Testaments attest to this. But if there is a fundamental change, that being that there is a way into heaven by being "righteous" enough, as the Old Testament states, then why even is there a need for the New Testament and Jesus Redemption, if everyone in the New Testament need only to live up to Old Testament standards?

Let me give you an analogy:

Suppose that you you live in an exclusive neighborhood, aimed solely at keeping out all crime. You and you family earned a spot in that neighborhood by being strictly lawful for your entire lives. This same strict standard also applies to all your neighbors. Now suppose some new owner of that subdivision comes along and says that anyone can move in, no matter what their past crimes are, if they simply accept him as their new lawgiver and they promise to abide by his laws. How would you and your neighbors feel that first of all being lawful is no longer the rule or standard, and second of all that murderers and rapists and theives are now allowed into your very own neighborhood, as long as they promise to abide by a set of new rules that didn't even exist when you moved into this neighborhood?

Yet this is the crux of the "good person" test. This is the very founding core of modern Christianity.

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