David McDonnough: The Best/Worst Christian Apologist in America

More evidence that TrueChristians depend on nothing more than ignorance and lies to support their nonsense.

 

The author of Applied Faith, David McDonnough, is the living embodiment of why today the evangelical brand is toxic… and for that, I salute him. The product of an American Bible school masque…

Source: David McDonnough: The Best/Worst Christian Apologist in America

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189 responses to “David McDonnough: The Best/Worst Christian Apologist in America

  1. I didn’t realize that David McDonnough’s opinions were of profound importance to the whole of Christianity. No doubt this demonstrates that my faith is based on nothing more than ignorance and lies.

    Mr. McDonnough is fairly articulate and well spoken. I suggest finding a Christian blogger who writes badly and citing him instead. Your case will be better made when Christianity is represented by someone who can’t spell.

    • John B, as always, you ignore what has been said and have invented something else to attack.

      It’s nice to see you whine about the supposed importance of McDonnough, and then claim he is then supposedly “fairly articulate and well spoken”. I assume you agree with him then, showing that more than a few Christians have such beliefs?

      Yep, this does demonstrate that your faith is based on nothing but ignorance and lies. I’m still waiting on the evidence you claim to have that supports your religion’s stories.

      Hmmm, so you want to see Christians who can’t spell? I know these are bloggers but we can see the case being made about ignorance and some Christians here:

      guaranteed that some of these are fakes, but the vast majority are not. I am, of course, waiting for you to claim that these folks aren’t “real” Christians.

      • That’s what I’m talking about! Now you’re on the right track! Post more stuff like this. These people will probably not ask you questions that you’ll have to evade.

      • John B, it’s great to see you try to bear false witness about others. It’s yet more evidence to show that you have no more interest in following what the bible says that I do.

        Now, JB, how about showing where I, or anyone in this discussion, has evaded any questions? And do you agree with McDonnough or not, JB? As always, for as much as you accuse others of evading questions, it’s only you who have done so.

      • You’re not enjoying it.

        You’re trying to figure out how to tell me it’s wrong to harm people when you can’t appeal to God’s existence.

        And it’s annoying you…

      • Enlightened self-interest. It’s called empathy. I don’t harm people because I don’t want to be harmed. It’s really not complicated… But maybe it is for you….

      • Oh, are you officially taking over for Club? A tag-team thing? That’s cool.

        No. Empathy isn’t complicated…
        What’s complicated for me is why your enlightened self-interest should win out over mine. Why should your idea that it’s wrong to kill people for sexual preferences trump the law makers in Uganda?

      • It doesn’t win out over yours. We have both arrived at the same idea, haven’t we?

        Or have I misread you and you, in fact, support slavery and the killing of homosexuals, as prescribed by your religion?

      • Point is already made.
        Sorry you’re bored. Keeping you entertained wasn’t my goal. You inserted yourself into this discussion so feel free to fade away to the safety of your echo chamber.

      • My echo-chamber? LOL! You’re commenting over there, aren’t you? Any apologists is free to comment, and I encourage it. I enjoy showing you all the flaws in your thinking. Unfortunately, it’s why not many apologists comment anymore. They get embarrassed, like you’re presently being embarrassed.

        So, John, answer me. You love evading questions put to you, don’t you?

        Why shouldn’t it?

      • From a strictly evolutionary perspective, our laws shouldn’t trump the laws in Uganda (or anywhere else). Our empathy, if it is merely and evolved process that takes place in our individual brains, is in no way superior to the empathy of your friendly neighborhood religious zealot.

        Show me the flaws in this thinking.

      • Empathy is the mechanism, the skill, the capacity. “Evolution” has nothing to do with right or wrong.

        Perhaps you should think a little more about the words you’re tapping out before actually tapping them out, John. Your thought processes are thoroughly confused, and I suspect you don’t even know what it is you’re talking about.

      • How is it possible that evolution has nothing to do with right or wrong? You’re the one who suggested empathy evolved. I agree that evolution has nothing to do with morality but I’m startled that you would suggest that!

      • Are you serious? I’m sorry, I’m just confused as to whether you could honestly be this ignorant about what “Evolution” is. The mechanisms of natural selection are genetic drift, gene flow, and mutation.

        Are you following me so far?

        Great. Now ask yourself: how can “empathy” evolve? Empathy, like the capacity for abstract thought, is a byproduct of neural layering. Is does not evolve, and you’d be doing yourself a favour not to try and put words in someone else’s mouth. Erecting strawmen, like you seem so prone to doing, is a sign of intellectual incompetence.

        And as Club has already pointed out, it appears you actually think evolutionary theory is all about violence and nihilism. It’s not.

        Now, shall we get back to the opaque, almost juvenile line of reasoning you’re attempting to tease loose?

        You asked: Why should OUR evolved sense that slavery is wrong win out over the law makers in Uganda? To which I asked:

        Why wouldn’t it?

        Care to answer this?

      • Club doesn’t accurately represent my point of view.

        Empathy is the product of neural layering? Guess I’ll have to take your word for it.

        I think I understand. Our neural layering is superior to the neural layering of people who practice slavery because we say so.

      • JB, if you wish to claim I have not represented your point of view accurately, you need to answer my questions about it. Since you have refused to do so, there is no reason to think I am inaccurate.

        Now, JB, here is where you present evidence for your claim.

        and wow, nice to see you utterly ignore JZ’s point and create one more strawman argument.

      • Here, I’ll give you my answer which you may peruse as I await yours.

        Q: Why shouldn’t it?

        A: Isn’t the conclusion (slavery is wrong) the surest path to a better, safer, stronger society with, importantly, less suffering? Is not reducing uncertainty and suffering one of the central ambitions of enlightened social creatures? Is that not why we learned to work together? Our capacity for predictive thought (an element of our empathetic skill) makes figuring that out quite easy. And as I have already pointed out to you, conducting yourself towards others in a manner to which you would want them to conduct themselves to you (the so-named Golden Rule) is an ancient philosophy, pre-dating your religion by at least 2,000 years (when we have the first formal representation of the notion), but no doubt stretching way back into the Paleolithic.
        If you’re not aware of the origin of the word “meme,” I’d suggest you look it up. Here, though, I’ll start you along this process of learning:

        A meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying culturalideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

      • Isn’t the conclusion (slavery is wrong) the surest path to a better, safer, stronger society with, importantly, less suffering?
        Perhaps. But what if society A is made stronger and better by enslaving society B? What if society A believes it is a cultural improvement to outlaw homosexuality?

        Is not reducing uncertainty and suffering one of the central ambitions of enlightened social creatures?
        Yes. That ambition comes from religious philosophy.

        Is that not why we learned to work together?
        We work together when we agree. We don’t work together when we disagree. You and McDonnough are not working together because you are in disagreement about public policy.

        Our capacity for predictive thought (an element of our empathetic skill) makes figuring that out quite easy. And as I have already pointed out to you, conducting yourself towards others in a manner to which you would want them to conduct themselves to you (the so-named Golden Rule) is an ancient philosophy, pre-dating your religion by at least 2,000 years (when we have the first formal representation of the notion), but no doubt stretching way back into the Paleolithic.
        My religion claims that God created the entire universe including the Golden Rule. Nothing pre-dates God. But why does it matter when the Golden Rule was introduced?

        My original point remains: Whenever we tell another human being how they ought to behave, we are making a religious assertion. There is no natural basis for one animal telling another animal to ‘be nice’.

        I’ll consider accepting memes if you’ll consider that pixies are real.

      • “Is not reducing uncertainty and suffering one of the central ambitions of enlightened social creatures? Yes. That ambition comes from religious philosophy.”

        No, that ambition is not religious. Or are you going to suggest troupes of macaque monkeys working together are, in fact, a religious organisation? What about a clan of hunter gathers coordinating work duties?

        Are you seriously this uneducated?

        ”But why does it matter when the Golden Rule was introduced?”

        Because, John, you were (are) trying to claim you get your morality from Jesus. I have demonstrated to you that that philosophy (which you erroneously attributed to Jesus) is an ancient notion, so common it was, in fact, in popular culture (the Odyssey) six centuries before Jesus even plagiarised it.

        You didn’t know that, did you?

        Well, now you do.

        ”My original point remains: Whenever we tell another human being how they ought to behave, we are making a religious assertion.”

        Educating children about correct dietary practices, for example, is religious? Nuclear arms treaties are religious? Conservation of natural reserves is religious? Mosquito nets are religious?

        Don’t be an idiot.

        And why are you now trying to shift the dialogue to this nebulous “religious” assertion? You are defending one religion: Christianity. You deny all other religions, so you are being thoroughly disingenuous here…. But I expect that type of behaviour from apologists. You’re not honest people, which was precisely what my post was demonstrating, and you are merely confirming with your behaviour here.

        ”There is no natural basis for one animal telling another animal to ‘be nice’.”

        Oh sweet Neptune. Evidently you know positively nothing about biology and the structure of social groups, from troupes of meerkats to humans.

        Were you home schooled?

        Listen, I’m sorry, but there is no point conversing with the wilfully ignorant. You are merely a waste of my time, and I just hope you have no contact whatsoever with children.

        Take care.

      • In the future, insert these characters into the first line of your statements “YAAIDDMWMHFC ” and I will take it to mean “You-are-an-ignorant-despicable-dishonest-moron-who’s mama has facial hair.” This should save you a few key strokes.

        Apparently you have better uses for your considerable intellect so this is my final post. I will give you the ‘last word’. Ever the audacious apologist I will restate my thesis for vaporization beneath the infallible light of your boundless wisdom.

        If nature is all that exists then whatever happens in nature is neither right nor wrong. If there is no universal standard for what is ‘good’, then it is incoherent to label anything as ‘bad’. Atheist opposition to slavery is nothing more than an assertion of personal opinion. It has no higher, moral significance because there is nothing higher than human intellect. You tell David McDonnough that homosexuals shouldn’t be murdered. He asks, “Why not?”. You can only answer, “Because I don’t like it.”

      • Congratulations for ignoring absolutely everything put in front of you.

        You are an exceptional idiot.

        This is why I truly, genuinely hope you have no contact whatsoever with children.

      • As many Christians, you seem to need to make yourself out to be a martyr. That doesn’t work so well since you have been shown to intentionally make false claims and to intentionally refuse to answer questions. No one has said, or cares, if your mother has facial hair (we all do, since we’re mammals). Your words are a lovely example of how you create strawman arguments in order to avoid addressing the points made in response to your nonsense.

        Hmmm, for your “final post”, there is at least one more of yours, which again shows you are less than honest, or at least less than self-aware. You’ve made this claim before JB, and you keep making comments, and most amusingly, keep unsubscribing and subscribing to my blog.

        Nature is indeed neutral. Humans put meaning on what happens. They do this by making claims about religion, but those fail since some humans cling to the beliefs of humans who lived thousands of years before them. These humans insist that the opinions of humans long dead are really the infallible commands of an unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient god that agrees with their hatreds and desires. They have no evidence of this, just like the humans who claims that some other god has given them some magical commands that supports *their* ignorance and bigotry. All your beliefs end up with the pitiful concept of “might equals right”.

        You’re right, it’s personal opinion on both sides, and your god disappears in a puff of smoke; no need or evidence for a god to be a moral absolute. Humans are the arbiters of morality and we’ve been getting better at making morality good for everyone rather than xenophobic agrarians who want to play pretend their morals are better than others.

        The problem for many theists is that their opinions can be shown to objectively harm others, like their approval of slavery and murdering homosexuals, considering women nothing more than brood mares, claiming that people of different races cannot marry, (http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2016/04/02/mississippi-rv-park-owner-evicts-interracial-couple/82469086/)

        Again, JB, you apparently agree with McDonnough. Do you? You apparently see nothing wrong with killing people whom you don’t like. Is this correct?

      • Here’s my opinion on John, ‘club’. I have suggested it to him on his own blog, so it won’t be a complete surprise to him.
        He’s experiencing cognitive dissonance, which happens to (and HAS happened to) many of us. He’s trying to hang onto his ‘beliefs’ when faced with very rational, sensible and reasonable suggestions put forward by others online. It’s a powerful affliction; an emotional reaction to the very real fears of having to face the fact that he has been duped.
        But look, John. Your imaginary friend is not interjecting on this thread. People – real people – who have been there ARE. 🙂

      • No. I am not to kill people whom I don’t like. In fact, I’m supposed to love my enemies and turn the other cheek when they “speak evil against me”.

      • John, that reply tells me you are a better person than the god you worship, Yahweh. Have you ever considered that?

      • Yeah. I’ve considered it. But it doesn’t work for a couple of reasons. Right off the bat it’s just words until I actually FOLLOW the order.

      • ”No. I am not to kill people whom I don’t like. In fact, I’m supposed to love my enemies and turn the other cheek when they “speak evil against me”.”

        Sorry John, but that notion is also not original to Jesus. Long, long before Jesus, Lao Tzu, amongst many, many others, said the same thing:

        I treat those who are good with goodness,
        And I also treat those who are not good with goodness.
        Thus goodness is attained.
        I am honest with those who are honest,
        And I am also honest with those who are dishonest.
        Thus honesty is attained.

        In Jainism (Vitaragastava 14.5) it’s expressed this way: My Lord! Others have fallen back in showing compassion to their benefactors as you have shown compassion even to your malefactors. All this is unparalleled.

        In Tosefta, Baba Metzia 2.26 we find this: Aid an enemy before you aid a friend, to subdue hatred.

        In Hinduism (Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda 115) it’s expressed this way: A superior being does not render evil for evil; this is a maxim one should observe; the ornament of virtuous persons is their conduct. One should never harm the wicked or the good or even criminals meriting death. A noble soul will ever exercise compassion even towards those who enjoy injuring others or those of cruel deeds when they are actually committing them–for who is without fault?

        In Buddhism. (Dhammapada 3-5) it’s expressed this way: Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.

        Also, in Buddhism (Dhammapada 223) Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth.

        In Taoism (Tao Te Ching 63) it’s said this way: Do good to him who has done you an injury.

        And in Confucianism (Analects 14.36) it’s expressed this way: Someone said, “What do you say concerning the principle that injury should be recompensed with kindness?” The Master said, “With what will you then recompense kindness? Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”

        So, again, you can see your particular flavour of religion is nothing special. Self-evidently, humans arrive at these notions by the mechanisms I have already detailed.

        As the wonderful Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine so eloquently put it:

        “Facts are facts. They are enormously discourteous.”

      • Are you DAFT, John B?? Or are you choosing willful ignorance? If so, for what reason??

        John Z. – You’re responses are not wasted. I am reading them. Unlike John B, however, I understand English.

      • Again, you defend one religion, and one religion only: Christianity. Or are you suggesting Hinduism, for example, is true?

        And Buddhists, in case you didn’t know, are atheists.

        What you are, in fact, describing, John, is the human capacity for abstract thought (including empathy) and our ability to articulate those thoughts into transmittable philosophies and social memes.

        It’s really not that complicated.

      • Or maybe you are providing evidence that goodwill toward others (including enemies) comes from a single source that permeates the universe. Doesn’t it make you a little suspicious that this ‘meme’ keeps popping up in cultures and religions that are so wildly varied? If I read the same message in thousands of different newspapers on the same day I’m inclined to think they’re all using one source and not writing independently via abstract thought.

        (And I did know that Buddhists were atheists but Buddhism is also considered a religion so I didn’t mention it out of respect for you.)

      • ”Doesn’t it make you a little suspicious that this ‘meme’ keeps popping up in cultures and religions that are so wildly varied?”

        Suspicious, no. Why would it? Why would anyone be suspicious that cultures arrived at the same ideas? Human beings are human beings: we are at the same evolutionary point. It’s no more unique than isolated cultures arriving at the same technologies, like ax’s and knives. Are you suggesting boats, for example, being discovered at about the same time around the world was religious? What about the discovery of the jet engine? It occurred almost simultaneously in two countries: Germany and England, yet both inventors knew nothing of the other.

        I’ve said it before, but it deserves repeating: don’t be an ignorant idiot.

      • A few replies back, you explained that empathy doesn’t evolve so humans being ‘at the same evolutionary point’ isn’t relevant to morality.

        And introducing boats and jet engines into the discussion doesn’t answer the original question. You make a boat, fill it with food, paddle over to my island and feed my tribe. I make a boat, fill it with warriors, paddle over to your island, conquer you and feed my tribe. What’s wrong with that?

      • We live in the Information Age, man! Ignorance is a choice!

        Is there is a god that you’ll concede could exist? If not, why does it matter which one?

      • Do you have memory problems?

        Perhaps you should scroll up a little and see where this started. Here’s a hint… it was with you giving me an example of what you thought demonstrated “atheist ignorance.”

        To-date, you’re not doing too well in that endeavor.

        Get back to me when you remember where you are, OK?

      • Right. Ignorance is ‘a lack of knowledge or information’. You don’t know which god I’m referring to. That is atheist ignorance. Do you have memory problems?

      • So, you are indeed referring to the Christian god described in the bible, right? No other?

        JB, other religions claim a creator god, just like yours. You need to show that your god, not some vague “creator” exists. This would mean showing that the events of the bible happened. Can you? CAn you show that only your god is the vague creator god mentioned in the ontological, teological etc arguments?

      • And John, I’m glad you’re admitting Jesus was nothing unique, and certainly not original in anything he said. He just plagiarised ideas, philosophies, and social memes that had been around for centuries… and more often than not, articulated far, far better by others.

        This shows progress on your part.

      • Christianity is declining. 280,000 young evangelicals jettison your religion every year in the US. Islam, however, is rising rapidly. Does that make Islam true?

      • Tell me, why are you so embarrassed about Christianity?

        You seem to be trying everything to distance yourself from it… first clutching onto the generic “religion,” as opposed to your specific religion, then suddenly retreating to the “supernatural” and a pathetic appeal to popularity.

        So tell me: why so embarrassed?

      • You are misinterpreting. I’ve nothing to be embarrassed about.

        You do not believe God exists. If you don’t believe there is a transcendent (supernatural) reality then there is no reason to talk about any specific religion. We can’t talk about the nature of God until we agree that there is such a thing as God.

        Which gets us back (because of my inexorable desire to stay on topic) to your inability to give me a reason why OUR empathetic judgments are superior to the empathetic judgments of lawmakers in Uganda.

      • Certainly seems you’re embarrassed.

        Just tell me which god you’re talking about. For starters, what’s its name? How do you know that’s its name?

        I remind you, you said atheists say there is no evidence for God. There are tens of thousands of gods. How can I answer you until I know which god you’re talking about? How can I answer you until we know what “evidence” atheists’ are saying doesn’t exist.

        So, if you’re not too embarrassed, please tell me which god you are talking about.

      • I’m talking about the God that sets the rules of morality for mankind and hardwired the sense of right and wrong into people around the globe…theist and atheist alike.

      • Why all the song and dance?
        How can we tell Ugandan law-makers not to mistreat homosexuals? How can we say slavery is wrong? Why shouldn’t my tribe paddle to your island and take away all your food?

      • Why are you so terribly embarrassed about this god? You seemed to suggest you had evidence for this thing, yet appears you don’t even know its name…

        Okay, no problem.

      • Why are you so terribly embarrassed about your atheistic worldview? You seemed to suggest that you had reason for writing an entire blog post about the evils of evangelical zealotry, yet you can’t explain why your views are superior to those same zealots.

      • Indeed. Children should be protected from your willful ignorance.

        You have done nothing but reinforce that conclusion with every comment you make.

      • Ok. Your case is rested so I’ll close mine. In summary:

        I can make claims about right and wrong behavior by appealing to a universal standard (The teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament ) that transcends cultural rituals. The existence of God is necessary as the ultimate standard of right behavior. (Note I did not say BELIEF in God is necessary for right behavior.)

        Atheists have no transcendent standard for morality because there is nothing beyond the physical universe. Atheists often compound this problem by referring to the teaching of Jesus as ‘mythical’ or ‘false’ thus nullifying the ‘be-kind-to-your-neighbors’ lessons that saturate Christ’s precepts.

        It is therefore incoherent for atheists to claim any behavior is ‘better’ or ‘more right’ than any other behavior.

        So you have no justification for your assertion that David McDonnough should not create anti-gay laws in Uganda.

      • As it’s patently obvious that repeating what has already been put to you is pointless, let me just explore this notion of yours:

        “I can make claims about right and wrong behavior by appealing to a universal standard (The teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament ) that transcends cultural rituals.”

        If this were true, and I suspect you think it is true, then we should expect this character (Jesus) to have blown open the moral and cultural and legal landscape.

        So, John, please name single genuinely new or original thing Jesus said or did.

        Just one.

        If you actually believe what you say, then that shouldn’t be difficult, should it?

        I look forward to reviewing your answer…

      • I thought you rested your case already…

        …and despite your numerous reminders that it’s pointless to discuss things with the willfully ignorant, here we are with you asking for more information from ignorant, little ol’ me…

        And nope. Jesus doesn’t need to jump through your hoops. If you truly want to find God, you will. If you’ve already rendered your decision (and rested your case) then you’re not actively examining evidence anymore. With absolutely no effort you can observe that Jesus split the whole of history into two parts based on his arrival on the planet…never mind.

        You seem to be under the mistaken idea that I have a position to defend. YOU made the claim that anti-gay laws are wrong. YOU claim that slavery is wrong. It is your responsibility to defend those claims.

        …but you rested your case.

      • ”With absolutely no effort you can observe that Jesus split the whole of history into two parts based on his arrival on the planet….”

        Wonderful! Sounds like quite a chap! Sounds like a world changer!

        I’m certain then that you’ll have no problem whatsoever in answering the question:

        Please name a single genuinely new or original thing Jesus said or did.

        Just one.

        You can name one thing, can’t you?

      • …do you know someone else who split human history?

        I rest my case.

        (So you get the last word again because I won’t jump back in after my case is closed.)

      • That’s great that you think Jesus split human history! I’m certain then that you can answer the question:

        Please name a single genuinely new or original thing Jesus said or did.

        Just one.

        This is the third time I’ve asked.

        You can name one thing, can’t you?

      • And yes, I can name many people: Newton, for one. Hoyle, another. Cyrus the Great, of course, for writing the first code of human rights. Charles Babbage altered the world in astonishing and simply insurmountable ways. But my favourite is our nameless but magnificent ancestor who spent three years some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago etching the Thaïs Bone; the moment our species officially embarked on our pursuit of understanding the world around us using rational thought and observation… science.

      • Oh, and I’d be remiss not to mention Yāska, the Vedic grammarian and author of the Nirukta; a technical treatise on etymology, lexical categorisation, and the semantics of words. It is Yāska to whom we owe our formalised language. His work was the foundation of contemporary studies in cognitive linguistics and semantics, including phonetics, grammar, syntax, lexicography and morphology. It was Yāska who first categorised nāma (nouns), ākhyāta (verbs), upasarga (prefixes), and nipāta (particles and prepositions). He created ontological categories to describe actions (bhāva) with past, present and future connotations. He formulated grammatical aspect, the murta, which identified perfective and imperfective situations. In all, it was Yāska who first looked at the entire lexicon of language and wrestled it into a system of understanding which we still use today

      • And no list would be complete without Leucippus. Leucippus asked one of the most important questions ever asked in history:

        If you break a piece of matter in half, and then break it in half again, how many breaks will you have to make before you can break it no further?

        Hello sub-atomic world!

      • What do you mean by “split history”? We do have humans in the west making a difference between one year and the next. Funny how its based on something that Christians don’t agree on, when JC was born. When was that, JB? When was the flood? The exodus? I’m amazed that you run to a completely invented date system created by humans as evidence your god exists.

      • Whether or not Christians agree on the exact date of Jesus birth doesn’t change the fact that B. C. And A. D. Are references to Christ. Amazing accomplishment for a guy who, according to you, never even existed!

      • And as I mentioned on your own blog, Yeshua had nothing to do with accomplishing that – the dating system was established by the Church in 500, but not widely used until about 800, so no, it’s not ‘quite an accomplishment‘. I have to wonder just how many of these things you already know, but are only pretending ignorance – it would be hard for anyone to actually be that ignorant.

      • adisillusionist,” himself a minister (and atheist), says that lots of ministers, himself included, teach things that they know not to be true because they’re not prepared for the financial hardship if they just walked away.

      • I donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Cancer Research Center. The Clergy Project people are grown. Those kids need all the breaks they can get.

      • I just have to choose my priorities, and those kids come ahead of any axe I may have to grind. At St. Jude’s, no family EVER pays a dime for the treatment of their child.

      • I know they do great work, but not all kids can get in and the hospital trades on that moniker. I can give to other organizations and don’t have to tacitly support false claims. To each their own.

        You seem really involved with the hospital, were you by chance a kid there?

      • No, for me all it took was one look at kids on chemo, who should have their whole, long lives spread out before them. The Shriners do good work with children as well, but they don’t specialize in cancer. I’ve raised so many healthy children, it just feels like I owe the Universe some payback, to sort of balance the equation.

      • You HAD to mention that – it has been SO long since I’ve warmed a snifter of Courvoisier V.S.O.P.

      • so, how’s that working, your supposed letting others have the last word, JB? You’ve wandered off to your blog to try to take the last word and now you’re back here. Hmmm, seems that your claims of how wonderful you are for letting people have the last word is just one more intentionally told falsehood, e.g. a lie.

        Yep, BC and AD to refer to Christ and were made up by Christians hundreds of years after this character supposedly existed, a claim for which you have no evidence, JB. Jesus did nothing at all, including exist.

        Hmmm, since we have days named for the Norse gods, why they must exist too, just like your god and your savior.

        Your claim was that Jesus split history, and that was a baseless claim, one more told by you. You aren’t supposed to make false claims per your bible, JB. Why are you ignoring that supposed font of objective morality.

        Again, do you agree with McDonnough or not?

      • Come on, John… Surely this is the easiest question in the world for you to answer.

        Please name a single genuinely new or original thing Jesus said or did.

        Just one.

        You can name one thing, can’t you?

        Surely you can….

      • It appears John can’t answer the question.

        An odd concession, considering the awesomeness he has attached to this character, Jesus.

        One would imagine, after all, that a god would have at least one new or original thing to say.

      • JB has done this repeatedly, made claims about his religion and failed to support his claims. He generally ends up with insisting on how his god must exist because morals NEED a ultimate base, one of the most baseless bits of apologetics out there especially for a Christian. Oh, and he always whines that there is evidence, claiming he doesn’t have to present it. It’s a wonder he can’t, if his claims are true at all.

        He’ll be back. He’s subscribed and unsubscribed from my blog about six times now, and he shows up on other atheist blogs with the same sad claims, to run away again.

      • I’m sorry I got in on the tail end of the fun.

        As for, “…his god must exist because morals NEED a ultimate base“:

        First, research into moral psychology shows that, like language, though there’s an innate capacity for altruism, fairness, justice, and cooperation, there’s a developmental path from infancy through childhood and into adolescence to an understanding of right and wrong – no, we aren’t born with a sense of right and wrong.

        Second, if we get our morality from his god, why is it that our moral intuitions are so radically different from his? Why do we agree that women are entitled to equal rights and opportunities and yet his god views them as property, as a commodity to be traded, bought and sold? Why do we agree that genocide is wrong while he not only permits it, but encourages it, even urges it? Why do we agree that slavery is wrong and yet he not only permits it but even provides rules governing the institution? Why do we agree on the value of religious freedom and yet he dictates slaughter for anyone that would dare worship another god than he?

        Third, evidence from behavior of other species and from research into moral psychology in humans shows that morality is an evolved behavior, with precursor (proto-morality) behaviors like altruism, reciprocity, fairness, justice, empathy and others existing in other species with an understanding of these basic concepts in babies as young as only a few months. This means that morality was around way before religion was, and certainly way before the Yahwist cult or its subsequent permutations in Christianity and Islam were around.

        So, as a theist, if you would argue that way, you would be, and are, wrong.

      • Carmen just gave me that link – I’ll drop in there sometime tonight or tomorrow. Thanks!

      • This little girl fell into a gorilla pit at a zoo, and was rendered unconscious. The female gorilla could have sniffed her out of curiosity, prodded her a time or two for a response, then moved on to something more interesting. Instead, she cradled the injured child, looking up imploringly for help, and held her until that help arrived.

        These chimpanzees demonstrate concern for the ill or injured young chimp on its way to the infirmary.

        Here, it’s hard to say who is comforting whom —

      • hmmm, we thought you had made your final post. 😀

        Your claim about truly wanting to find your god is the usual nonsense. It’s the no truescots man argument, in that only true believers will find this god. Well, JB, I’ve been looking for years and your claim fails. Per your own holy book, Jesus will jump through hoops, with doing miracles to convince people who he supposedly was and having no problem with all with showing Thomas evidence. Again, your own bible shows your claims to be wrong.

        You also add more lies to your claims by falsely claiming that we are not actively examining evidence anymore. We’re waiting for the evidence you claim to have and surprise, you refuse to give it. Funny how that works, right?

        No one noted that JC existed beyond stories in the bible. China didn’t care, the civilizations in North America didn’t care. So again, we are left with false claims by a Christian who is ignorant in history.

        You do have a position to defend. You’ve been desperately trying to do so for how many comments now? IF you didn’t, why the comments, JB?

        Do you agree with McDonnough? A simple question. Why haven’t you answered it.

      • You can indeed make claims about right and wrong by appealing to your version of your religion. There is no “universal standard” in the bible. We know this because Christians themselves do not agree on what moral laws this god is promoting. None of you can show that your personal versions are any better than the next. Your “ultimate standard” is nonsense.

        There is no evidence for your god or any other, JB. Each Christian claims that their god exists and it supports their morals.

        We also know that belief in god is not necessary for right behavior because you have shown yourself to be an excellent example of a Christian who doesn’t do what he claims is the ultimate morality.

        You assume that there needs to be a “transcendent standard for morality”. Why should this be the case? Ah, because you need a reason for your god to be needed, and there is no evidence for that at all. Jesus is mythical and his teachings nothing new. These facts do not “nullify” the idea that not harming your neighbors is a good idea. It still works out very well as a completely human idea. Nice strawman, btw. Also, the teachings of JC aren’t just “be kind”, not by a long shot. As anyone who has read the bible knows, this character also said that all of his father’s laws are to be obeyed, no exceptions and that includes the ones that say people should be killed for really stupid things. This character said that anyone who doesn’t worship him should be murdered and deserves “hell”, that lovely sadistic fantasy of Christians. That’s where good ol’ McDonnough gets all of his hatred and bigotry. Right from the bible itself. So, again, your claim of an “ultimate standard” is shown to be wrong, by your very own holy book.

        Human morals aren’t perfect, but they have consistently granted that humans are deserving of equal rights, not some power fantasy that there is only one “chosen people”. They change and have long left the morals of the bible in the dustheap of history. It is not incoherent to consider something better or worse. That’s based on empathy and what we want happening to us.

        Now, if you do agree that people should not be harmed, then your morals are as subjective as mine since you ignore your bible’s supposedly “ultimate standard” when convenient. You’ve made up your own morality and try so very hard to claim that your god agrees with it.

      • You’ve been given the reason before, JB. It’s because we don’t want such things to happen to ourselves.

        You have claimed the Judeo-Christian bible and its god to be the sole arbiters of morality. The morals that those things express is that it is perfectly fine to enslave people and to take their things. In your morality, this is good. If you agree with JZ, Carmen and me, that slavery is bad, and theft is bad and genocide is bad, why?

      • “Why” is exactly the question I keep asking you guys!

        Knowledge of good and evil came to mankind when Adam and Eve broke the only law God issued. Prior to that first fateful act of rebellion, there was no such thing as ‘bad’. Bad stuff (slavery, theft, genocide) resulted when sin entered God’s perfect creation. It was not God’s intention that mankind rebel but it was His will to allow us to do so if we choose.

        Humans, because we are made in the image of God, have the capacity to understand the difference between good and evil. That’s why you, JZ, Carmen and me agree that slavery is bad. Humans are the only species on the planet that worries about its impact on other species. Humans worry about the comfort level of chickens before we eat them! And humans empathize with the suffering of other humans most of all.

        If there is no God, then good and evil are illusions. Empathy is a mixture of chemicals and bio-electric impulses with no more meaning than a belch. People are just animals who make better tools than the other species.

        And my question for you atheists remains: Why should your opinions about about morality trump the opinions of people who disagree?

      • No, JB, your bible tells a story about how evil came into the world. No evidence for it at all. But as soon as you have evidence for this, I’d be happy to look at it.

        All of your nonsense is repeating the baseless claims of the bible. Evidence please for the following, and please do remember the bible is the claim, not the evidence: humans in the image of this god, the garden of eden, God, Satan, Adam and Eve, etc.

        Again, since Christians do not agree on what good and evil are, please show how your bible/god is the ultimate source.

        Good and evil are quite real. They are just subjective. People are indeed animals. You’ve already been told why some opinionsn should trump others. Evidene, my dear JB, evidence. We have evidence that slavery harms. What is your evidence that it is perfectly moral and okay?

      • Knowledge of good and evil came to mankind when Adam and Eve broke the only law God issued. Prior to that first fateful act of rebellion, there was no such thing as ‘bad’.

        So, fire didn’t burn flesh and water didn’t drown babies?

        That’s interesting.

        Fire and water did exist, didn’t they?

      • They only believe in their very own version. They are atheists to all others. We also have the hilarious fact that Christians don’t agree so much to the point of having thousands of disagreeing denominations, that can’t dare share a building and I get to see churches in every country and every street corner who are sure that those other people aren’ t Christians at all. The attempt you are making that all theists are one big happy family is simply a lie.

        Again, humans are wired to believe. That doesn’t make your god or any god real, especially when you have no evidence for it, just like those other billion believers.

      • that should be obvious. You’ve claimed hat your god is the only one. Why so many differing beliefs? Why not one story? If there is one ultimate source, then why does this source decide to tell its believers that anyone who doesn’t believe in “x” is damned and no one agrees on “x”?

      • That is the point, JB. You tried to claim number of converts was important. Now that you’ve been shown wrong, that suddenly becomes “not the point”. Thanks again for attempting insults to avoid addressing problems with your claims.

      • still no evidence that this happened at all. Not one scrap. And no evidence that your god is the one true creator god, or that a god is needed at all.

        You have done like so many other Christians, faced with no evidence, your god gets vaguer and vaguer. Rather than the bible god, we have a god, that is a force, rather than a god that supposedly did all sorts of things in the bible that we have no evidence of at all. No creation story, no flood, no exodus, no resurrection, nothing.

      • So, you deny that your bible is something you follow for morals, correct?

        Your bible does say in one place that one is supposed to love your enemies and turn the other cheek. Your actions here show that you do not hold to that at all. Your bible also says, supposedly from the exact same entity, that one should kill one’s enemies, one should kill people if they do not accept Jesus as their lord, that the long list of people in Romans 1 deserve death. That one can kill people for not giving enough money, and that all who do not worship your god will be murdered and then sent to the lake of fire.

        Please explain the contradictions.

      • Define religious, JB. I’m curious since it doesn’t mean “teaching acceptable behavior in civilization”.

        There’s also the problem that what your religion claims as true has nothing to support it at all. There is nothing that shows your god exists, much less created the entire universe or the Golden Rule. STill no more reason to believe your myths over the myths of Mormons, Muslims, Wicca, Shinito, Zoroaterians, Asatru, etc. Still waiting for the evidence for your claims.

        Do you agree with McDonnough’s claims or not, JB?

        You have claimed that others evade questions and have provided no evidence at all to support that false claims. It’s not at all hard to show you doing exactly what you claim others do.

      • I’m referring to Merriam Webster’s definition of religion: “an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group”. I’m suggesting that statements about something in the natural universe being “right” or “wrong” are not scientific.

      • So, your claims about how religion is a way to teach acceptable behavior are false as we knew all along.

        Statements about things being right and wrong are based on human experience and empathy. First, tell me what you mean by “scientific” and then tell me what you mean when you claim that determinations of “right” and “wrong” or perhaps better put “more beneficial” and “less beneficial” are not “scientific”.

        Also, please show how your god and your bible are objective sources of “right” and “wrong” as you have claimed, and how the gods and holy books of other religions should not be considered equal to your god and your holy book.

      • Scientific statements are statements of plain fact. “Burning wood creates heat.” Science describes the characteristics of fire. Science cannot make claims about whether or not fire is good or bad.

        As you correctly explained, good and bad are decided by human empathy. The question I keep asking is, who is right when individual empathy leads people to different conclusions?

      • IF scientific statements are statements of plain fact, then all of your claims do not work since they have no facts to support them.

        You ask who is right when empathy leads people to different conclusions. This assumes that empathy is being felt by both sides. Do you have evidence of this?

      • As usual, JB shows his utter ignorance about evolution and creates the usual strawman he loves, the delusion that evolutionary theory is all about violence and nihilism. He has nothing else.

        Our empathy, which means to comprehend that others have minds and understanding them, is indeed better than the lack of empathy that so many religious bigots display. It allows humans to exist in civilization because we can work together and that allows our species to continually exist and breed, changing our environment so our traits are good fits for it. Empathy can also be taught, so it is not just in our individual brains.

        Bigots lack empathy and demonstrate this through their violence toward others and selfishness.

        Causing destruction for no reason other than a false claim that your imaginary friend is better than someone else’s imaginary friend serves no beneficial purpose, except perhaps in the short run where you may temporarily get resources. However, we know from history is that societies that are based on hate, xenophobia and ignorance don’t do so well.

        Again, JB shows that ignorance and fear are what supports his faith.

        Now, JB, do tell us if you agree with David McDonnough’s views or not. Do tell us how bigotry is better or at least not worse than empathy and explain this in evolutionary terms. Surely you can, right since you have made the claim that this is true?

      • I’ll also ask “why shouldn’t it?”. Let me ask you, JB, do you support the murdering of homosexuals?

        Would you want to live in Uganda? Why or why not?

        and I’ll guess that you not answer these questions either.

      • Where? I have all of your posts in front of me and do not see you answer “why shouldn’t it?” with any evidence. I’m guessing you may mean when you claim evolution should make it do this and such and since you are wrong about evolutionary theory doing this, you did not answer the question.

      • Ah, so now JB is psychic and can tell people what they are feeling. Sorry, JB, you’re as wrong about that as you are about everything else. As I’ve already demonstrated, it’s not hard at all to know that it is wrong to harm others and one doesn’t need your god or any god to figure that out. Indeed, your religion commands this harm to be done quite a few more times than it says to help the weak.

        Your argument seems to be that morality is nothing but obedience to whatever you want to pretend your god commanded. I’m quite happy to have a morality based on reason rather than blind obedience and the idea of might equals right as Christianity is.

  2. John, David McDonnough (no matter how articulate and well-spoken) is representative of fundamentalists who – no matter how intelligent they appear – are doing serious damage by promoting conservative think-tank opinions. Here’s why: the uneducated swallow what he says because of his supposed credibility.

    ” No doubt this demonstrates that my faith is based on nothing more than ignorance and lies”. Actually, yes it does. 🙂

    As atheists keep insisting – show us the evidence, John.

      • .. .and you can’t see the damage he’s doing, with that kind of thinking? Not to mention his very inhumane attitude … then again, if you are drinking the kool-aid, it’s not likely you can even think for yourself.

      • John, you have read all the comments on John Z’s site so you know exactly what I’m talking about. Quit being disingenuous.
        Now, if you’ve got some enlightening points to bring up, please do that.

      • Let me ask you, JB, is it “serious damage” when someone is threatened with physical harm because of the baseless beliefs someone is espousing? Is it “serious damage” when people commit suicide because of the lies someone tells, that they are sick and disordered, when they are not?

        Is it not “serious damage” when a parent beats a child because this idiot says that hitting a child is perfectly fine?

        as for you request for evidence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_among_LGBT_youth

      • Yes. I can say those are seriously bad things. I believe God exists so I’m not just spouting my personal opinion.

        Why should I care about your opinion (or Wikipedia’s)?

      • Then you are agreeing that the actions by Bible-believing Christians are harmful. Good, glad we got that out of the way.

        YOu don’t need to care about my opinions. One would hope that you would care about the facts, but considering you have lied, have been unable to support your claims with facts, etc, there is not much reason to think you care about facts at all.

      • I don’t feel that it’s good to harm people but I say that as a theist. I believe there is an authority higher than nature.

        My question is still, why do atheists object to stronger humans exerting power over weaker humans? It’s what happens in nature for crying out loud!

      • I don’t feel that it’s good to harm people but I say that as an atheist. See how that works?

      • Why should I?

        (In case you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s called ‘giving you a taste of your own medicine’)

      • JB, we seem to have you claiming that the only reason you don’t hurt people is because you are afraid of someone more powerful than you. We also have your bible saying its fine to hurt people. Your “authority” doesn’t say don’t hurt people, so where do you get your ideas that hurting someone is wrong?

        Again, you show your ignorance of evolutionary theory and desperately try to reduce it to the “only the strong survive”, which is simply wrong.

        No, it isn’t what happens in nature. The physically powerful do not always survive to spread their traits through offspring. Plenty of animals do not harm the weak of their kind. You really do need to educate yourself on evolutionary theory and animal behavior, JB. You keep cutting your own throat on the edge of your ignorance.

        Again, JB, do you agree with McDonnough or not? It seems you are reluctant to answer which could indicate you are ashamed of what you might agree with.

      • John, the ACP is not a “think tank.” It is a fraudulent body masquerading as a “professional medical body.” As David said presenting “scientific facts.” Um, no.

        And David has the capacity to do real harm: he’s a counselor, spewing this hate to people genuinely in need.

      • “Think tank” wasn’t my label. That was borrowed from the previous post.

        I’ve had some difficulty getting any specific examples of serious damage being done. I imagine that David’s camp would insist that your position does serious damage to people in genuine need. The challenge comes in figuring which side is correct.

      • Hate is never correct. Period. Lying to propagate that hate (as David and the ACP have done) gives you an idea of who is in a position of strength here.

      • One should never condone a fraud, which is what the ACP is. And as you have seen, in the hands of an apologist like David, he presents their jaundiced lies as what david called “scientific facts.”

        Is this right? Can this behaviour be defended?

      • Agreed that fraud should not be condoned. But the ACP is not guilty of fraud if they genuinely believe the things they’re claiming. Being wrong is not the same as being a fraud.

        If the ACP is knowingly dispensing lies, then they should be exposed. If they are mistaken in their claims, then they should be corrected.

      • John, can you not understand that exposing them is what many people hope to do by posts such as these?

      • Carmen, can you not understand that being unable to give examples of the serious damage being done greatly reduces the effectiveness of these posts?

        Who is traumatized by David’s revelations? How is he causing serious damage?

      • You’re doing exactly what you did the last time I conversed with you — being obtuse. Did you read Tildeb’s comment ?(which David wouldn’t allow on his site); John put it on early in the thread. I’m not going to repeat points that others brought up on John’s thread.

      • Okay, Carmen. I’ll do your work for you.

        The damage being done is that David (and others of his ilk) are stigmatizing homosexuals. This causes homosexuals to become distraught and desperate to the point of suicide.

        Have I got it?

      • This is Tildeb’s comment which David censored:

        “Speaking wholly about massive truth bombs, why are you intentionally – speaking as one professional to another, of course – dismissing the amassed research leading to very clear and unambiguous policy statements and from the American Association of Pediatrics… you know, theactual. professional body for pediatrics in the States?

        In addition, by intentionally calling same-sex attraction to be at least similar to an “obsessive and compulsive disorder, much like chemical addiction, sexual addiction, OCD and others,” (fully discredited by all major psychological and psychiatric and pediatric professional organizations, let’s be clear) you are actively promoting the stigmatization of LGBT youth according to the American Psychological Association – an act contrary to our professional standards… unless, of course, you are not a member of any of these professional organizations… very handy when you wish to promote your religious beliefs in your so-called ‘counseling’ but under the false pretenses of pretending to be a professional pediatric and psychological counselor with professional training and professional standards… or do you correct this assumption and let clients know you are not representative of any of these professional bodies? You wouldn’t try to fool potential clients, would you?

        Clearly, you do not support professional ‘best practices’ but reject them wholesale. The truth bomb here is that you assume that, because of your contrary and incompatible religious beliefs, you are in a position to know better than tens of thousands of your supposed ‘colleagues’ who do the research and are concerned with best practices and this is why you apparently feel no ambivalence or remorse about promoting further stigmatization to a vulnerable pediatric minority.

        I’m sure you have no problem rationalizing the higher suicide rate from this vulnerable minority as having nothing whatsoever to do with such religiously inspired stigmatizing – as the kind of pseudo-professional counseling you engage in here and supposedly in real life – and has everything to do with professional organizations who attempt to counter this discrimination and the legacy of harm it leaves in its wake with knowledge and clear policy guidelines you simply wave away.

        Well, aren’t you special… having received your professional training apparently from SNL’s The Church Lady.”

      • Wow, either you are a liar again or your are simply ignorant.

        Funny how the bill of rights in the US Constitution were amendments and then more and more were added to give people rights who didn’t have them before.

        and I’m more than happy to show you to be ignorant and your words to be lies and your claims to be baseless. You serve as a great example of how Christianity isn’t something to be respected at all.

  3. Then why didn’t you put this comment on John Z’s blog, hmmm John? Or did you even read the intro . . . it’s on his site and on this one. .

  4. Pingback: Why Should I Be Nice To You? – The Comedy Sojourn

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