Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why I Am A Christian

Anthony_McCarthy  kogwonton • 13 hours ago
I answered you on the demand for proof, that proof wasn't available, that those things in human life were the product of belief, morality is based on the belief that God created all of us and that we are equally endowed with rights and have a moral obligation to respect those rights on an equal basis. Every dodge for that point that you have proposed to get past that has only damaged the idea if not killed it off entirely.

kogwonton  Anthony_McCarthy • 12 hours ago
Ok, so your 'objective moral authority' is 'the product of belief'... I rest my case. Thank you for admitting that I have been right about you from the very beginning.

Anthony_McCarthy  kogwonton • 10 hours ago
Did I use the phrase "objective moral authority"? That would be odd because I believe I've written that God, having created us, knowing our thoughts, being all powerful, would not have a need to resort to objectivity in order to communicate with us. I've also pointed out that there is no such thing as objective knowledge, not really. In the end the only thing we can know is the raw experience of our own consciousness, everything else, every single thing, including mathematics, science, even the experience of logic is inference based on our entirely subjective experience. "Objectivity" is rather a myth, though I sometimes use the word to press those who believe they and their knowledge is objective.

kogwonton  Anthony_McCarthy • 6 hours ago
You truly are idiotic. If god exists as this omniscient figure upon whose command all existence is sustained, that particular perspective would be the only truly objective one - that of knowing in totality, of knowing from all possible perspectives, even that of the object known. That is the point. You make morality into some 'thing' that has an existence apart from the beliefs of human beings. Everyone has a sense of morality if they value anyone beyond themselves. It is a biproduct. Everyone, regardless of their belief, knows how they prefer to be treated, and that a formula for a civil society is to extend to others what they expect in return. Even dogs understand an sense of fairness. Laws are for people that don't get that. As for 'objectivity' being a myth, it is no more a myth than the smallest or largest possible unit of space or time. It is far less mythical than some big papa in the sky that tells everything what to be and what it all means. You have yet to offer a shred of evidence for such a thing.

Anthony_McCarthy  kogwonton • a few seconds ago
You are thinking way too small, imagining God as if s/he were some human being who has to learn about the universe through experience instead of the Creator who made every single aspect of the universe, knowing it more intimately than humans can experience. That practice, of trying to imagine God as if s/he were some superman is one of the things you guys share with biblical fundamentalists, which is why they are always talking about God as some kind of superman action figure.

You make the same mistake in considering morality which I have tried to show you isn't a thing that comes about because human beings make it happen. I tried to address your self-interest, something which atheists don't seem to ever be far from, showing you that if your rights and the obligation of others to respect them depends on social consensus, your complaints about being deprived rights not already so created is a delusion and that society has no obligation to create those rights if it chooses not to. You don't even have a right to equal consideration under your scheme so if they wanted to create rights for every single other ideological faith group, except atheists, you wouldn't have a right to equal consideration UNDER YOUR ATHEIST FRAMING OF RIGHTS.

The proof that my view of rights, as being inherent, equally distributed and co-exist by virtue of a real and consequential moral obligation on each of us to respect those rights, is abundantly supplied by human experience and human history. It makes all the difference in the world whether or not those real rights and obligations are believed to be real or if people believe with you that there are no inherent rights, no equality, no obligation to equally respect rights. The belief that those are real is what produces a just democratic society based on equal justice before the law, yours produces the full range of oppressive governments and societies in which people are denied their rights are even existent as a matter of preference, whim, custom and group privilege. And there is no explanation of those equal rights and moral obligations that I've ever read or heard articulated that doesn't rely on the fact that God arranged things that way. Materialism always, in every case I've seen it pushed that far, denies their reality and insists on a depraved view of life. Denying the best thing about reality, the experience of life, available to us to be known.


  1. Interesting article at Slate about how American high school kids, in general, find high school boring. Boring, because it is not challenging.

    Most "educational theory," of course, thinks "boring" = "not entertaining enough." But most high school students think it is not intellectually engaging enough. My experience, limited as it is, supports this conclusion.

    And as proof we don't challenge our students to think, to reason, to actually examine premises and conclusions and consider ideas? These conversations you've posted.

    Ye gods and little fishes, the ignorance parading as insight! I don't even have to agree with them (I don't), but they can't put a coherent argument together to save their lives! The simplistic, shallow thinking; the rigorous refusal to examine concepts or even to give ideas definition beyond "I think it, that settles it!" It's appalling.

    Honestly, most fundamentalists I know are better informed than these people. And I've known a lot of very conservative evangelicals who prized their pastors with Harvard Ph.D.'s, because they were learned men. Those people would consider these correspondents of yours mental midgets.

    We really don't educate people worth a bean in this country.

  2. It is one of the funniest things about the "We OWN science, man!" style of atheism is that they discount the many fundamentalists, Christian and Islamic, who have advanced degrees in science, from elite institutions, who have published science in well respected journals - many of them with a vastly more impressive publications record than such de-luminaries as PZ Myers. There were people with degrees and training in science and engineering who planned and carried out the 9-11 attacks, people with more of a science background that Sam Harris. And, that's not to mention the high academic requirements in many parochial schools.

    I have come to conclude that the new atheism is a product of functional illiteracy and an "education" that is derived mostly from TV, movies and popular novels. I think you were there for argument with Derbes and Grommit about Inherit the Wind, which they both believed was based on history, when it is a pretty total fabrication that distorts the history. And they are two of the smarter, more informed of them. It makes you want to cry, to see how it is the educated ones who are headed eagerly into a materialist dark age. They are reproducing all of the alleged intellectual sins of the scholastic era with a sciency gloss, something I think will make the ignorance even more difficult to see through. And, as these conversation show, they're headed to reproducing all of the more serious sins as a result, overturning the best things that were produced by the religious humanists, yes, including the Puritans. Things like the foundations of democracy. I think the replacement of the struggle for human dignity and a decent life in a caring society with liberalish-libertarian Social Darwinism, Atrios' assertions that the age of consent should be lowered very low because, you know, "agency", is directly related to atheism. And I'm not going to pretend that I don't see that because pointing it out and fighting against it and the bases of it will hurt the feelings of atheists, anymore.

  3. "Inherit The Wind" was meant to be an allegory about McCarthyism.

    But we take movies as history, so....

    1. I have become entirely allergic to historical fiction because, well, it's fiction and history is so much more important than this benighted modernist culture considers it to be. Considering its addiction to "theory" in every form as well a it somewhat incoherent demand for "evidence" at the same time, its discounting of history, of the record of what has really happened within human experience and the record of humans' action and engagement with reality, somehow leads me to believe either they haven't thought things out very well or they really don't care. Though those are not mutually exclusive, with the capitulation of those who are allegedly intellectuals, I'm inclined to think the don't care side of that is more probable. Intellectual decadence is a symptom of moral indifference. When you don't believe the truth is morally required, you tend to tell and pretend to believe convenient or opportunistic lies. So, I hate historical fiction.

    2. Well, fiction in general.

      There is no place in Texas that looks like Monument Valley, yet everyone believes Texas is one vast desert where cattle are raised on dirt and cactus. I saw a movie supposedly set on the Texas Red River, with a mountain range in the background. The mountains in Texas are on the Rio Grande, several hundred miles to the south of the Red River (which is a border between Texas and Oklahoma. In the Great Plains, in other words). But it was in a movie, so it must be true!

      Hell, I grew up meeting people convinced I rode a horse everywhere, and had an oil derrick (what they thought was an oil well) in my backyard. They didn't learn that crap in school.

      And cowboys were not working stiffs on ranches, they were brave individuals boldly riding from isolated town to isolated town, living off...well, what, exactly? And disputes were settled with shoot-outs, which far from being an invention of dime novels, actually occurred!

      And don't get me started on Washington and the cherry tree, or how Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.